Dear Waterloo Catholic Families,

On behalf of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, we welcome you and your family back for the start of the 2023-24 school year. We also extend a warm welcome to students, families, and staff that are joining us for the first time this year. We hope you all had an excellent summer and are as eager as we are to kick-off another exciting new year.

Those who are interested in registering for one of our schools, please click here.

As we kick off this school year, we cannot forget to extend a huge “thank you” to all our school staff, our Facilities staff, IT, Human Resources, and Catholic Education Centre staff; it is through hard work and dedication that we are ready to welcome back our over 38,000 students. We could not do it without them.

In other exciting news, this year we have a new school joining our WCDSB family and hosting nearly 600 students. St. Josephine Bakhita will be the 50th school in our district and the state-of-the-art building will provide students with an inspiring environment for faith-based learning.

As we enter this new year, we also enter the second years of our 3-year Pastoral Plan and our Multi-year Strategic Plan. The annual pastoral theme for this school year is “Strengthen!” based upon Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through the One who strengthens me”. We are the People of God, listening and responding, strengthened to share the Gospel.

The new pastoral plan theme brings with it a new hashtag (#WCDSBStrengthen) that will be used across the WCDSB’s social media platforms. Follow or use this hashtag to stay updated with the latest happenings across the Waterloo Catholic District.

In addition to introducing our new pastoral theme, we are also augmenting our “Right to Disconnect from Work” policy, providing additional parameters for employees’ availability to support a positive shift in our organizational culture. These parameters are part of our efforts to foster positive mental health and healthy schools; we believe that creating a strong learning environment begins with ensuring our staff strike a balance been life and work. As always, the well-being and learning of students remains at the core of our work, and we will remain ready to assist students and families in their transition into the schoolyear and onward.

Letter to Parent Community – Right to Disconnect – September 2023

We enter this school year hopeful that the pandemic is behind us and we can settle back into our
pre-COVID19 routines. That said, we will continue with certain measures for the 2023-24 school year out of an abundance of caution. These include:

  • Maintaining HEPA/UV filters on all learning spaces,
  • Running our HVAC systems before and after school hours to ensure air is properly circulated,
  • Opening windows where building occupants feel comfortable to do so, and
  • Using higher grade HVAC filters (e.g., MERV13) where possible/required/available.

All our schools received a deep clean over the summer and we carried out several capital upgrades and HVAC system improvements, which means our students will return to fresh modern learning spaces. We continue to have a supply of PPE available for those staff members that wish to use it.

As always, we will take our direction from Region of Waterloo Public Health. There is currently no mask mandate, but our schools do remain “mask friendly” environments. While there is no vaccine mandate, we do encourage everyone to be vaccinated.

We look forward to continuing to embrace a love of learning and teaching across our schools, which are proudly made up of a variety of races, cultures, ethnicities, and languages. With the support of families, employees, and community members, we will make this yet another #WCDSBAwesome year.

Sincerely,

Tracey Weiler
Chair, Board of Trustees

Tyrone Dowling
Director of Education