WCDSB Female Students Participate in Annual Jill of All Trades Day

On May 30, 2018, Conestoga College hosted Jill of All Trades – a special event for female students, funded by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Advanced Education and Skills Development. More than 300 students participated.

The day began with an address by Mandy Rennehan, owner of Freshco, recipient of the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur “Momentum” award.  She shared her own self-made pathway success story and voiced her strong support for Women in Skilled Trades initiatives. She also introduced a number of members of her team, two of whom are recent graduates of Conestoga’s WISK program.

Rosie Hessian, the Chair of Community Outreach, Pathways and Youth Engagement for Conestoga College, is responsible for the Jill of All Trades day. She works very hard with her team every year to make the annual event even more successful than the year before, by bringing in new mentors such as Brandi Ferenc, an HVAC Mechanic/Gas Fitter 1 with Johnson Controls. Brandi spoke to the students about her own experiences as a trades person, and her journey from a university degree desk job to being a Red Seal HVAC Mechanic.

Jill of All Trades allows students to select workshops that align with their interests and curiosities. Students choose from several workshops ranging from Automotive Service, Truck and Coach, Heavy Equipment, and Motorcycle Technician, to Masonry, Welding, Plumbing, Millwright, Electrician, Carpentry, and HVAC. Students use the tools of the trades, complete small projects and depart the day with the items they had constructed, new friendships made, and a better understanding of the skilled trades opportunities available to them.

St. David CSS student Melissa Valad said: “I liked HVAC the best. I liked the opportunity to find out and experience a bit of what I would do in the trade.”

Her St. David colleague, Ainslie Huiser, summed the day up best when she said: “It was an eye opening experience, because before this I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and now I know I want to do carpentry.”


2018-06-21T11:48:36+00:00 June 21st, 2018|

WCDSB’s Popular “Extended Day” Program Grows to 37 Sites

Waterloo Region, ON – With the addition of five new sites, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s popular and successful “Extended Day” before-and-after-school program is now offered at 37 schools across Waterloo Region – another sign that more and more families across the Region are seeking a quality, inclusive faith-based education for their children.


> Extended Day Programs enhance the impact of the Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program and are taught from a faith-based perspective. The programs are delivered by teams of Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) who are members of the College of Early Childhood Educators.

> The extended day teams are dedicated to providing faith based, quality educational programming. Having an educator from the core day provides a seamless day allowing for consistency and security for both parents and children. The extended day program offers parents a convenient school location, equity of access and a safe and healthy environment for young children.

> The Extended Day program is funded by parent fees and operates on a cost recovery basis only where there is sufficient demand to make the program viable.

Schools offering the before and after school extended day program:

  • Blessed Sacrament – Kitchener
  • Canadian Martyrs – Kitchener
  • Holy Family – New Hamburg
  • Holy Spirit – Cambridge
  • Monsignor Haller – Kitchener
  • Our Lady of Grace – Kitchener
  • Our Lady of Fatima – Cambridge (new)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes – Waterloo
  • Saint John Paul II – Kitchener
  • Sir Edgar Bauer – Waterloo
  • St. Agnes – Waterloo
  • St. Aloysius – Kitchener
  • St. Anne – Cambridge
  • St. Anne – Kitchener
  • St. Augustine – Cambridge (new)
  • St. Bernadette – Kitchener
  • St. Boniface — Maryhill
  • St. Brigid – Ayr
  • St. Daniel – Kitchener
  • St. Dominic Savio – Kitchener
  • St. Elizabeth – Cambridge
  • St. Gabriel – Cambridge
  • St. John – Kitchener
  • St. Joseph – Cambridge
  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha – Kitchener (new)
  • St. Mark – Kitchener
  • St. Matthew – Waterloo
  • St. Michael – Cambridge
  • St. Nicholas – Waterloo
  • St. Paul – Kitchener
  • St. Peter – Cambridge (new)
  • St. Teresa – Kitchener
  • St. Teresa of Avila – Elmira
  • St. Teresa of Calcutta – Cambridge
  • St. Timothy – Kitchener
  • St. Vincent de Paul – Cambridge (new)


“We’re very proud of our extended day programs. When parents choose one they know their child will continue receiving the same quality, inclusive, faith-based education they receive during the regular school day. It’s just another example of the tremendous added value our Catholic schools bring to Waterloo Region and a great example of why Catholic education has always been and remains a jewel within our community.”

~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education

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 182-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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2018-06-20T14:32:10+00:00 June 20th, 2018|

Comprehensive Review of WCDSB’s Multi-year Strategic Plan Indicates Strong Performance

Waterloo Region, ON — In December 2015, the Board of Trustees of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board approved a new Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) for Waterloo Region’s Catholic Schools.

The Education Act requires school boards to develop multi-year plans that are three years or more in scope. The plans provide focus and direction to the board to achieve Ministry of Education goals and, equally as important, articulate the vision of the board. On June 18, 2018, Director of Education Loretta Notten presented a detailed “report card” on the accomplishments of the 2015 to 2018 MYSP, with a particular focus on the accomplishments of the past year, and outlined the next steps toward creating an updated three-year plan.


> The MYSP consists of three Strategic Priorities, nine Strategic Directions, and 32 Strategic Goals. The Strategic Priorities are:

  • Nurturing Our Catholic Community
  • Student Engagement, Innovation and Achievement, and
  • Building Capacity to Lead, Learn and Live Authentically.

> The MYSP report card was informed by a 32-question stakeholder survey. The survey received 671 responses, and there was strong participation from all WCDSB stakeholder groups – providing highly valuable and reliable feedback.

> In addition, the survey also examined the board’s current Vision, Mission and Beliefs, as well as early priorities that have been identified by the senior team through the annual budget process. Stakeholders were asked about the relevance of each, as the board moves forward into its new plan. The survey results suggest strong endorsement for the current Vision (87% agree or strongly agree), Mission (89% agree or strongly agree) and our three Belief statements – all at approximately 87% agreement. Similarly – responses to the five areas identified in the budget process as priorities moving forward, were strongly positive (as indicated in the accompanying bar graphs).

> As the 2015-2018 MYSP reaches its conclusion, eight of nine Strategic Directions and 31 of 32 Strategic Goals are progressing at an optimal level, having been rated as “Green” or “Effectively Meeting Standard”. One of the nine Strategic Directions has some combination of “Green” / “Effectively Meeting Standard” and “Orange” / “Approaching Criteria” – with only one of 32 goals rated as “Orange”. None of the Strategic Goals were assessed as “Red” – “Not Meeting Criteria”.  Ratings were informed not only by stakeholder feedback, which was generally positive and reflected growth year-over-year, but also by staff-submitted reports based on completed actions and key performance indicators (KPIs).

> Areas which were particularly strong – operating at 90% or better — were tied most closely to the Strategic Priority of Nurturing Our Catholic Community.  Stakeholder experience of the board’s Pastoral Plan, the sense of inclusivity and welcome, and the strong work in the area of socio-emotional literacy programming have all contributed to this high rating.

> Notable year-over-year gains were reported in the board’s graduation rate, the board’s student retention rate from elementary to secondary school, improved staff use of the board’s data platform, enhancements to Learning Commons spaces and improved student and staff results in relation to the board’s Numeracy Action Plan.

> Key next steps include the development of a comprehensive Equity Action Plan and an updated Pastoral Plan, all intended to assist with the overall goal of continued gains in the board’s graduation rate.


“We are extremely proud of the gains reflected in this Strategic Plan Repot Card Update.  We have worked very hard to ensure we have solid metrics against which we are holding ourselves accountable.  We are noting that in virtually all cases, we are not only able to point to significant markers of success, but that our stakeholders are also able to affirm that they are observing the same level of success. We have remarkable staff and students at Waterloo Catholic, and it is on the strength of their good work that we can have such a positive report card to share”.

~~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education

Related Links

WCDSB Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP)

2015-2018 Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) Report Card

Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario

2018-19 WCDSB School Year Budget

Board Improvement Plan for Student Learning

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 182-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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2018-06-20T10:47:28+00:00 June 20th, 2018|

Sir Edgar Bauer and St. Nicholas Boundary Adjustment Notice

Sir Edgar Bauer and St. Nicholas
Boundary Adjustment Notice

*Please note that no existing students are affected.

 The change was made due to increasing enrolment pressures at Sir Edgar Bauer.

This boundary change was made in accordance with WCDSB procedure APF008: Pupil Accommodation Review Process which allows senior administration to change school boundaries where relatively few or no students are affected.


As per APF008, the public has the ability to appeal this decision to the Board of Trustees within 30 days.

  • If you wish to appeal this decision please contact Alice Figueiredo at 519-578-3660 ext. 2239 or alice.figueiredo@wcdsb.ca.


2018-06-19T11:19:19+00:00 June 19th, 2018|

WCDSB Celebrates 36 Certified Ontario EcoSchools!

Waterloo Region, ON – This year, schools across Waterloo Region are certifiably green!  Thirty-six schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board certified with the Ontario EcoSchools program, joining a growing movement of 1,900 schools across the province.

Ontario EcoSchools works with 58 school boards to nurture student leadership and foster environmental learning and action in school communities. Certification is based on a provincial standard of excellence and reaches 1,000,000 students across Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • For the 2017-18 school year, three schools achieved Bronze level, 18 Silver level, 13 Gold level, and 2 Platinum (St. Anne CES – Kitchener, and Saint John Paul II CES). It is the Board’s stated goal to have all 44 elementary schools and 5 secondary schools certified by the end of the 2018-19 school year. See complete list of WCDSB certifications further below.
  • The Board’s Sustainable Education, Stewardship and Sustainability Committee has established four key strategic priorities to guide its efforts over the next three-year period: Learning & Teaching; Staff & Student Engagement in Action; Operations & Communications; and, Community Connections & Partnerships. For more information, please visit the WCDSB EcoZone.
  • Ontario EcoSchools is an award-winning environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 that nurtures environmental leaders, reduces the ecological impact of schools, and builds environmentally responsible school communities. All publicly funded schools can access the EcoSchools program free of charge.
  • Visit ontarioecoschools.org/media/ for more information and for a full list of certified schools across the province.

WCDSB is proud to be part of this growing network, and supports ongoing environmental practices. In 2009, St. Nicholas CES in Waterloo became the first WCDSB school to certify, and has continued to certify as an EcoSchool for the past nine years.

Heidi Rudy, teacher and EcoTeam lead at St. Nicholas, reflects on what started their journey: “It all began when I was approached by two students who were concerned with everything they were seeing in the media about the problems with the environment. We decided to start an eco club:  K2OPS was the winning name and stands for Kids Keeping Our Planet Safe.”

Rudy was the teacher who led and began the club, and with her guidance, the students have run campaigns such as litterless lunches, Earth Hour activities, walk-to-school days, reusable water bottle campaigns, anti-idling campaigns, and lights-out initiatives. The school also planted gardens and shade trees as part of EcoSchools certification, and started up a vermicomposter.

Rudy notes that the Ontario EcoSchools program was instrumental in guiding their K2OPS ideas each year as well as providing incentive: “The importance of the program is immeasurable. The main reason I ever took it on was for the students.  I have learned so much through them. To see their passion about caring for our Earth is all of the impact that I need to see to keep the team going.”

Reflecting on the last nine years, Rudy notes the difference the program has made at her school and beyond: “I would say that everything we have done is a success story – bringing the awareness to everyone and their families is success in and of itself!”


“We are so proud of the efforts our students staff have put into living greener lives at their schools and at home. The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations call on all students to — among other things — be “collaborative contributors” and “responsible citizens” and their success in the EcoSchools program shows just how much they take their responsibilities to the environment seriously. Of course, without the dedicated leadership of our outstanding school staffs and the great work of our Facility Services department, being “green” would be a much bigger challenge”.

~ Loretta Notten, Director of Education

“Being a teacher at a certified Ontario EcoSchool has been a very rewarding experience for me. It has allowed me to connect with students whom I might otherwise not interact with in a meaningful and significant way. It is rewarding to work with students on things that will have a very significant impact on their lives and their future, apart from the day to day curriculum lessons and class work. Seeing students taking responsibility for bettering their own futures at such a young age inspires me to want to continuing doing as much as I can to help them achieve their goals.”

~ Angela Pagett, Teacher, St. Anne (Kitchener) CES

“We never had composting bins at home, and now we all have them at our homes. We have had students at our school who had never recycled before and used to throw everything in the garbage at home. Now everyone is recycling and composting.”

~ Emma, Anna, Giuse, Grace, Madison, Matthew, Grade 7 students, St. John Paul II CES.

“Ontario EcoSchools certification provides a framework for environmental learning and action, and school communities bring it to life. The program allows schools and school boards to benchmark their progress and celebrate achievements year-over-year. We are so proud of the 1,900 schools and 58 school boards that participated in the program in 2017-18. This is a record number over our 13-year history.”

~ Lindsay Bunce, Executive Director, Ontario EcoSchools

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2018-06-14T11:27:50+00:00 June 14th, 2018|

The St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centre Main Campus will RE-OPEN Friday, June 8, 2018

The St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centre Main Campus (80 Young Street) in downtown Kitchener will RE-OPEN Friday, June 8, 2018.

 ALL classes regularly scheduled on Friday and Saturday will resume at all locations.  Guidance and Correspondence services offered at St. Louis Main Campus are normally closed on Fridays, and will be OPEN this Friday (June 8, 2018)  8:30am – 3:00pm to support students. Phones will be re-activated Friday morning.

 Students and teachers have been diligently working together to continue their course work remotely, since last Friday. Both St. Louis and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board thank students and staff for their patience as the school’s electrical system was repaired.

2018-06-07T16:35:59+00:00 June 7th, 2018|

SEAC Parent Engagement Night Videos

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) had a Parent Engagement evening held at St Mary’s H.S. on April 20, 2017 with key note speaker DJ Cunningham. The various workshops were themed with Self Advocacy, Math Strategies, Assistive Technologies, Transition Planning and Sacramental Preparation. The presentations were geared toward assisting families with children with special needs in the WCDSB.

Click here to watch the SEAC Parent Engagement Night videos


2018-06-07T11:01:04+00:00 June 7th, 2018|