Build a Dream

On behalf of Build a Dream and Waterloo Catholic District School Board, we invite you to our FREE Build a Dream Young Woman and Parent/Guardian Career Discovery Expo for grades 7-12.

5:30 PM – 9:00 PM (Doors open at 5:00 PM)
425 Bingemans Centre Dr, Kitchener

We are thrilled to welcome #DreamMakers from around the community to speak about their career journey’s and successes in a high-powered 30-minute workshop!
We know you will enjoy all that Build a Dream has to offer, including:

* EMPLOYER CAREER FAIR! Meet 50 employers and explore careers in Skilled Trades, STEM,
Emergency Response, and Entrepreneurship.

* Conestoga College’s DREAMZONE! This interactive space is the perfect opportunity to get your
hands dirty, build something and have fun!

* FEMALE MENTORS who will chat one-on-one with you and answer your questions.


* Prizes, Swag, Scholarships, a light evening meal, and MORE!

We will be highlighting opportunities in a number of careers to better assist you in making career informed career choices. As a community, we recognize the critical role parents/guardians play in the development and education of their child, which is why we are providing this opportunity for you to come with your daughter and learn more about careers in these growing sectors!

P.S. Space is limited – 3 per household. Register today to secure your tickets to this FREE event!

REGISTER HERE: https://buildadreamkw2019.eventbrite.ca

For additional information, please contact: info@webuildadream.com

Build a Dream Expo

October 17th, 2019|

Take Our Kids to Work Day

Take Our Kids to Work Day, taking place on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019, is an annual event where students step into their future for a day and get a glimpse into the working world. The day involves students in Grade 9 spending the day in the workplace of a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host, where they experience and learn about the world of work.

For more information:

Contact your school’s Guidance Department, or
Michael Sullivan at 519-578-3660, ext. 2416.



Take Our Kids to Work Day 2


October 16th, 2019|

All Waterloo Catholic District School Board Schools are OPEN on Monday, October 7, 2019

As a result of the agreement reached between the government of Ontario, the Trustees’ Associations and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), all Waterloo Catholic District School Board Schools will be OPEN on Monday, October 7, 2019 – and all programs and services will continue running on their regular schedules.

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October 6th, 2019|

Important Labour Update from St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres

Dear St. Louis Students, Parents and Guardians and Community Partners:

Wednesday morning, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board received notice that a full Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) strike may commence on Monday October 7th, if an agreement is not reached this weekend.

If the strike proceeds, this will mean CUPE members will not report to work.  Our CUPE staff here at St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres are incredible Administrative Assistants who support all programs in our Kitchener Main campus office, Secondary School Credit and Guidance offices, ESL/LINC sites, Core Essentials, Culinary Arts, Hairstyling & PSW programs and our various satellite campuses.  They do extraordinary work to support all students to be successful and the work of all our teachers, instructors and managers.

As a follow-up to the October 2nd news of a possible CUPE strike, all Waterloo Catholic District School Board schools may be closed.  These schools mentioned would be all the Elementary & Secondary Schools in the Catholic school board – not the Public school board.

St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres are very proud to be part of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

All programs at all St. Louis locations will remain open in the event of a strike next week and classes will be running daytime, evening and Saturday as per our usual schedule.

But it will NOT be ‘business as usual’.

At this time there will be no new student registrations for:

  • Term 2 Secondary School Credit;
  • Correspondence; and
  • English Language classes (ESL and LINC programs).

Guests and partners will have their campus visits and services rescheduled until after labour disruptions are resolved.

St. Louis students who are also parents of children who attend our Catholic Elementary and Catholic Secondary Schools are advised to arrange alternate care for their children.

As labour negotiations continue, we ask everyone to please check the St. Louis website https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca/labour_updates/ over the weekend for updates. This will be your most important resource to get the most up to date information regarding St. Louis programming.

Alternatively, you can visit StLouisALC on Facebook or follow @StLouisWCDSB on Twitter.

For information regarding  possible school closures of Catholic Elementary & Catholic Secondary schools next week please visit the special Labour Updates web page at: www.wcdsb.ca/about-us/labour-updates/

We are all hopeful for a satisfactory resolution to the negotiations in the days ahead.

Quick Facts:

  • St. Louis supports approximately 3000 learners at one time (ages 6 months to over 70 years old), meeting the continuing education needs of over 12 000 students annually.
  • St. Louis is funded by various ministries: Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services; the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Canada; and the Ministry of Education
October 4th, 2019|

Important Message re: Planned CUPE Strike

Dear Parent or Guardian,

On Wednesday September 25th, 2019, we received word that CUPE would be initiating a “work to rule” campaign in all of our schools and work places on Monday September 30th, 2019.  We are writing today to provide an update on the CUPE strike action which is currently taking place in our schools.

At WCDSB, CUPE represents the following working groups:  Administrative Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, Educational Assistants, Personal Support Works, Child and Youth Workers, Lunch Hour Supervisors, Library Technicians, Communicative Disorder Assistants, Payroll and Accounting Associates and Computer Technicians.  In each case CUPE had informed us of “struck work”, which are duties that might otherwise be performed by these individuals, which is no longer occurring.

In all cases, our school safety and a Christ-centred learning environment remains of paramount importance to us, and our administrators are working diligently to ensure that we are compensating as best we can for the duties not being performed.  Having said that, it is important for all to acknowledge that it is not “business as usual” across the board, and in some cases compromises have been required, until we are through the job action.

This morning we received notice that a full CUPE strike may commence on Monday October 7th, if an agreement is not reached this weekend.  If the strike proceeds, this will mean CUPE members will not report to work.  As CUPE represents 1100 of our school based staff, we would not be able to safely operate our schools.  Therefore, IF the strike proceeds, we will be proceeding to closing our schools commencing Monday October 7th, 2019.

The declaration of and continuation of the strike is a result of central (provincial-level) negotiations and decisions that will be made at that level.  At WCDSB we do not currently control the decisions regarding the strike or its remedy.  Since there is a possibility that schools may be closed for an indefinite period of time, we recommend that you immediately begin making alternate plans for the care of your children, in the event that the strike proceeds.

We hope you find this update helpful.  Please note that updates are regularly being posted to our website www.wcdsb.ca and there is a Frequently Asked Questions section there as well, which may prove helpful.  In the meanwhile, we offer our prayers that CUPE and the government are able to reach a fast, fair and respectful collective agreement.

Sincerely yours,

Loretta Notten — Director of Education

October 2nd, 2019|

Important Message re Ongoing Labour Negotiations – CUPE

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you may be aware from media reports, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing education workers across the province, has announced plans to begin a province-wide “Work-to-Rule’ campaign beginning on Monday, September 30, 2019.

We are aware that bargaining between the union and government is planned to continue throughout the weekend. We respect collective bargaining and are hopeful that a freely negotiated agreement will be reached soon.

Regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s bargaining, all of our schools will remain open, and CUPE staff will report to work as usual. Student instruction will continue in our classrooms and, as always, the safety and well-being of students will continue to be our top priority.

As a Catholic school board, we value all of our staff as dedicated, caring professionals, and we respect labour laws that affirm the legal rights of our unionized employee groups to engage in job actions. We know that all sides are working hard to reach agreements, and we are hopeful that a new central agreement will soon be reached with our CUPE education workers.

Where to Find Information Updates

As new information becomes available it will be posted to the WCDSB website at: https://www.wcdsb.ca/about-us/labour-updates/

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of uncertainty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which WCDSB employees are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees?

A: The following WCDSB positions are represented by CUPE:

  • Education Assistants
  • Personal Support Workers
  • Child and Youth Care Workers
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Lunch Hour Supervisors
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Payroll and Accounting Associates
  • Computer Technicians
  • Library Technicians
  • Communicative Disorders Assistants

Q: What does “work to rule” mean?

A: Work-to-rule is a labour action in which employees are instructed by their bargaining unit to do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract. On Monday, September 30, 2019 CUPE began what has been announced as a “work to rule” action in schools across Ontario. However, in addition to “working to rule” CUPE has also withdrawn specific services that would normally be performed by WCDSB staff as a regular part of their day-to-day duties. This has had an impact in our schools and school board administration is in daily contact with CUPE to ensure the safety and well-being of our students remains paramount. Despite the impact of the withdrawal of services, we know that our schools will remain welcoming Christ-centred environments.

Q: “Will the withdrawal of specific services normally performed directly affect my child?”

A: While there are many services that will not have a direct impact on the daily learning of our students, parents with children who take special transportation should anticipate a change in arrival and departure routines. Some duties typically performed by CUPE staff, have been temporarily assigned to other school staff including Administrators and central office staff. WCDSB has also arranged assistance from bus drivers. Please contact your Principal for school specific information on these temporary changes.

September 30th, 2019|

WCDSB Students Meet or Exceed Provincial Average in all Grade 3, 6, 9 & 10 EQAO Assessment Categories

Waterloo Region, ON – The Waterloo Catholic District School Board today released its 2018-19 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessment results for reading, writing and mathematics in grades three, six, nine and ten. Grade nine students are only assessed in mathematics. Grade 10 students participate in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

For the 4th consecutive year, WCDSB students have met or exceeded the provincial average in Grade 3, 6 & 9 math. This includes standing 11% above the provincial average in Applied Level Math.


  • The Grade 3 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB ahead of the province by +1% in reading (75%), +2% in writing (71%) and +4% in math (62%).
  • The Grade 6 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB reading and writing scores level with the province (at 81% and 82% respectively) — while math (49%) stands +1% above the provincial average.
  • The Grade 9 WCDSB to Ontario comparison shows WCDSB’s Applied Level Mathematics students ahead of the province by +11% (at 55%) — while the board’s Academic Level Mathematics students stand above the provincial average by 1% (85%)
  • The WCDSB to Ontario comparison of OSSLT results shows WCDSB students topped the provincial average by 2% — with 82% of students achieving success.


”Each year we have the opportunity to gain a snapshot into our progress as a system when we receive our EQAO results.  This year’s results give us many reasons to celebrate the work of our staff and students, but we know there is more work to be done.  Our schools, like our students, are each unique and in every case, there is an invitation to dig deeper into the results to see how we can improve and grow further in our achievement.  We continue to be very pleased that we have met or exceeded the provincial average in all measures.  We are particularly proud of our work in the area of Grade 9 Applied Mathematics and hope to carry that momentum forward in all our work throughout the system”.

~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education

Related Links

Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer

(519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca


September 25th, 2019|

WCDSB Board Meeting Bulletin — September, 2019


Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, September 9, 2019 – Meeting Agenda Package

Public Board Meeting

Monday, September 23, 2019 — Meeting Agenda Package


Inaugural Service Learning for Credit Course

For the past number of years, WCDSB has given high school students the opportunity to have an experience in the global south, specifically in the Dominican Republic. The purpose of the trip is to seed students for service in the context of international and intercultural dialogue. The overall impact for students and staff who have had this experience has been consistently positive. That said, there has never been an opportunity to connect this experience to a credit bearing course experience.

In the 2018-19 school year, St. Benedict CSS and Monsignor Doyle CSS ran the Board’s inaugural three-credit service-learning experience. Students spent the year planning for their trip through local encounters and fundraising activities. In the second semester they began their formal course work which was intended to strengthen their knowledge base about the country they would visit (Kenya) — as well as the various dynamics impacting the specific community which they would visit. Seeing and understanding the interconnection of education to health, water, food and opportunity were critical points of learning. Mapping to a religion, social justice and co-op credit, students were able to experience a transformative learning experience which really does reflect our Board’s mission statement that “we educate and nurture hope in all learners to realize their full potential to transform God’s world.” This first group of students were pioneers in exploring the infinite possibilities that are borne of service learning for credit programs. This coming year Resurrection CSS will participate in the experience.

The full report is available on pages 8-9 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Summer Boost Program Report

The goal of Summer Boost is to provide an exciting educational program aimed at improving the numeracy and literacy skills of students through:

  • Having a variety of opportunities for hands on learning from science experiments to trips to the Outdoor Education center and Library;
  • Serving healthy snacks daily and engaging in regular physical activity that emphasizes teamwork, skills and fair play;
  • Engaging in fun literacy/numeracy activities at school and home with family members as part of the Home Numeracy/Literacy Program;
  • Receiving an integrated arts education – as cooperative activities are designed each week to promote creative thinking and expression through music, drama and visual arts;
  • Accessing technology including chromebooks;
  • Making new friends and developing a belief in themselves as learners through the power of perseverance.

In 2018 a total of nine classes, divided equally among three school sites, served 135 students.

The full report is available on pages 12-25 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) Update

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) sets specific operational direction to ensure that the key components outlined in the WCDSB’s Multi Year Strategic Plan as well as other relevant initiatives and priorities are addressed.

Updated annually and responsive to shifting contexts and needs throughout the year, the BIPSA reflects our system’s continued commitment to improved student achievement and wellbeing. It assures that the board’s mission, “As disciples of Christ, we educate and nurture hope in all learners to realize their full potential to transform God’s world”, is embedded in all we do. It is rooted in the evangelical vision of Catholic education which is beautifully defined in our Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations (OCSGEs).

The Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement provides the framework for each school’s School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA). The SIPSA allows for a more nuanced and focused plan that meets the specific needs of our unique and diverse school communities, each of which has its own metrics and targets that are monitored throughout the year and revised annually.

Key aspects of the 2019-2020 BIPSA are:

  • A call to “Know our learners”; “Respond to their needs”; and “Monitor our progress”
  • A focus on assessment for learning
  • A greater emphasis on leveraging technology to accelerate learning
  • A prioritization of experiential learning opportunities across all Pathways
  • A re-emphasis of Global Competencies that connect and align world-wide instructional priorities and OCSGEs
  • Greater attention to responsive small group instruction in math
  • Fostering math conceptual retention by building connections between math concepts

The 2019-2020 BIPSA takes the form of a two-sided “placemat”. This attention to brevity and clarity is intended to lead to greater engagement by all stakeholders and achievement by our students. The BIPSA can be read or approached in distinct manners and reflects a core focus, namely that we are committed to a) knowing our learners, b) responding to their needs, and c) monitoring their progress.

To view the full plan please see pages 26-30 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Enrolment Update


Budget Projection = 16,900

September 9, 2019 = 16,908

September 12, 2018 = 16,271

The year over year change is +637 elementary students. The change over the projected enrolment in the 2019-20 school year budget is +8 elementary students.

Kindergarten enrolment in September 2018 was 3,133. Kindergarten enrolment in September 2019 is 3,322, a year over year increase of 189 students.

The schools experiencing the largest increases in enrolment are:

  • John +87
  • Daniel +54
  • Agnes +54
  • Gabriel +49
  • Anne (K) +46
  • Dominic Savio +35
  • Paul +32


Average Daily Enrolment Budget Projection = 6,775

Average Daily Enrolment 2018-2019 = 6,550

Average Daily Enrolment Projected with September 13, 2019 Full Time Equivalents = 6,800

The Average Daily Enrolment projection will be calculated again after October 31, 2019.

The year over year increase in enrolment in both elementary and secondary is projected to be 887 students.

To view the full report please see pages 27-28 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Summer Construction Update

During the 2018-2019 school year, numerous construction projects were undertaken at many schools throughout the Region. All projects were funded by the Ministry of Education and were associated with building renewal, school priorities and capital projects. School renewal projects which capture non-building envelope items such as painting, flooring and millwork, totaled approximately $3.49 million. School condition improvement (SCI) which includes repairs to building components, improving accessibility and energy efficiencies totaled approximately $5.44 million. The majority of the work was carried out during an eight-week period over the summer months.

In addition to the school construction projects, a full renovation to the office spaces as well as mechanical, electrical and HVAC upgrades continue at the CEC. The majority of the renovations will be completed by September 30. The Parish Hall/New Board Room will be completed for November 1, 2019.

To view the full report please see pages 19-23 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Changes to HPE/Sex Ed Curriculum

In 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Education introduced an updated Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education, with significant revisions to the Human Development and Sexual Health strand. In Catholic schools, the content about human sexuality is not delivered as part of the Health and Physical Education program, but rather is incorporated as one aspect of the Family Life Curriculum. While the majority of content introduced in the 2015 version of the provincial HPE curriculum was already a part of FLE curriculum, additional resources were developed in 2015-2016 to ensure full alignment with the curriculum requirements of the day. Changes recently introduced to the HPE curriculum will continue to be fully addressed through the Family Life Education program in a way that is consistent with Church teachings, and our faith tradition. We teach the curriculum established by the Ministry of Education, and curriculum across all subject areas through the lens of our Catholic faith.

The revised curriculum largely restores the content put in place in 2015, with some further updates, and some modest changes:

  • The 2015 Curriculum had three strands (A: Active Living; B: Movement Competence: Skills, Concepts and Strategies; C: Healthy Living). Additionally, the curriculum identified “Living Skills”, with a note that the skills expectations were addressed across the HPE curriculum and that they should be assessed and evaluated within the other three strands.
  • The 2019 curriculum has 4 strands (A: Social Emotional Learning Skills; B: Active Living; C: Movement Competence: Skills, Concepts and Strategies; D: Healthy Living. “Social Emotional Learning Skills” is introduced as an additional strand, replacing “Living Skills” expectations.
  • The 2019 document includes concussion education from kindergarten through to grade 8 including explicit education on Board concussion protocols.
  • Concentrated focus towards online safety and bullying from kindergarten through to grade 8.
  • Concentrated focus on vaping education from kindergarten through to grade 8.
  • The 2019 curriculum expectations in the Healthy Living strand focuses on five health topics:

✔ Healthy Eating

✔ Personal Safety & Injury Prevention

✔ Substance Use, Addictions & Related Behaviours

✔ Human Development & Sexual Health

✔ Mental Health Literacy (New – 2019)

To view the full report please see pages 24-26 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Capital Priorities

The Ministry of Education has requested business case submissions for capital project funding. The submission deadline is September 30, 2019. Board staff will be submitting six capital priorities to the Ministry of Education.

East Kitchener — New 1400 pupil place school (400 Elementary and 1000 Secondary) to alleviate enrolment pressure at St. Mary’s HS, St. Daniel, Saint John Paul II, St. Anne Kitchener, and Canadian Martyrs. Proposed opening: 2022-2023

Huron-Brigadoon — New 564 pupil place school. Proposed opening: 2021-2022

St. John — Addition – 8 classrooms + childcare. Proposed opening: 2021-2022

Southeast Galt — New 350 pupil place school. This is part of a joint partnership with WRDSB and the City of Cambridge. Proposed opening: 2023-2024

St. Agnes — Addition – 8 classrooms + gymnasium + library. Proposed opening: 2020-2021

Rosenberg — New 400 pupil place school + community centre. The City of Kitchener is interested in partnering with WCDSB to construct a community centre along with the school. Proposed opening: 2023-2024

To view the full report please see pages 29-31 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Board Chair’s Update

Each month, Board Chair Bill Conway reports on the activities of the Board of Trustees. The report for September 2019 is available on page 32 via this link: Meeting Agenda Package

Upcoming Board Meetings

Committee of the Whole Board Meeting

Monday, October 7, 2019

St. Benedict CSS, Cambridge

Regular Public Board Meeting

Monday, October 28, 2019

St. Benedict CSS, Cambridge

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and four adult education facilities, serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer | (519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca

September 24th, 2019|

Information for New Bus Riders – “First Rider Program”

Last spring Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) hosted a First Rider Program at seven schools throughout the Region of Waterloo open to all junior and senior kindergarten students. The First Rider Program is a safety program introducing new riders to the bus and how to be a safe and responsible rider. An interactive video is followed by a bus safety demonstration and a short ride on the school bus.

If your child was unable to attend or is newly eligible for transportation this short video may be helpful for you and your child. https://vimeo.com/229625011

August 27th, 2019|