Monthly Archives: February 2021

Dragon Update March 1-5

Did you miss the Parent workshop – Building Strong & Resilient Children?

Here is a link to the recorded workshop. Take some time to review it and find out how you can help your child develop skills that will help them persevere in life’s rain. 5 Steps to a more Resilient Child Replay

Here is the link to the Umbrella Assessment that Dr. Jen talked about in her workshop. This is a great activity and an important piece of the process: UmbrellaAssessment(Interactive)


Family Winter Participaction March Events:

Brought to you by the Catholic Parent Involvement Committee & Ministry of Ontario Pro grants are some fun activities from yoga, cooking, mindfulness, and library learning. Check out the following link for more information and to sign up. Family Winter Participaction


Mandatory Self-Screening of Students:

Students must check for symptoms of illness every day before going to school. You can screen your child or yourself by taking the COVID-19 school and child care screening.


Budget Surveys:

Below are two links to surveys. The purpose of these brief budget surveys is to gain feedback from stakeholders with respect to board priorities. They only take a few minutes to complete

  1. Understanding that the Board priorities are intended to support Graduation rates, Well-Being and Faith Formation. Please identify what you feel is the MOST important area for investment within the budget in order to achieve our priorities? 
  1. Understanding that the Board priorities are intended to support Graduation rates, Well-Being and Faith Formation. Where do you think the Board could obtain savings or efficiencies?

Umbrella Project:

March’s theme of the month is Autonomy. Autonomy is the skill that helps us think and do for ourselves, feel that our life is in our control and confidently make our own choices when faced with uncertain situations.

What will autonomy do for my child? 

When we have autonomy we feel empowered to make decisions that can improve our lives instead of feeling that our lives are outside of our control.  Having autonomy increases our motivation and ability to do things for ourselves and can make tasks feel less like work and more enjoyable.  Research on autonomy in more than 80 countries has shown a positive connection to our wellbeing.  The feeling that our life is self-directed instead of controlled by others has wide reaching implications on almost every aspect of our well-being from our engagement in school to our honesty at home.  It forms the foundation of our independence.

Don’t compare your child to others

To boost your child’s confidence and ability to make self-directed decisions resist the urge to compare them to siblings and peers. Instead of motivating your child, this most often has the effect of making them feel inferior and reduces their confidence in decision making for themselves.  Low self-esteem comes from perceiving we are inferior to those around us…. not a great autonomy builder. When our children don’t feel good about themselves they tend to look to others to make decisions for them instead of having the confidence to do it for themselves. 

The best comparison for your child is themselves.  If your child struggles with listening in class for example, the first step shouldn’t be comparing them to the great models of listening in the class.  Change doesn’t happen overnight and becoming a mediocre listener is a step in the right direction towards the eventual goal of being good at this skill.  Celebrate positive progress from your child’s own baseline and try to eliminate other unhelpful comparisons.  It will serve your child more to go down their own path at their own pace.   Confidence that you are good enough is a big piece of developing autonomy, independence and good decision making skills.

This video is all about the importance of not comparing. 

Chat soon, 

Dr. Jen, The Umbrella Project


Every Wednesday is SPIRIT DAY at Dragon Nation

Every week we celebrate our collective school spirit by wearing our school colours or spirit wear.

Our school colours are hunter green, burgundy and white!


Reminders:

  • March 2nd – Asymptomatic testing for staff and students of St. Dominic’s: 4pm-7pm at Victoria Hills Community Centre.
  • March 3rd – Spirit Day
  • March 8th – Change of Class takes Effect (St. Isidore ⇔ St. Dominics)
  • March 9th – Catholic School Advisory Council
  • March 10th – Spirit Day
  • March 31st – Grade 8 Graduation photos
  • April 2nd – Good Friday (no school)
  • April 5th – Easter Monday (no school)
  • April break – 12th-16th

Outdoor Fun:

It was great to see so many classes outside tobogganing this week. Here is a picture of some of the fun.

 


Grade 5-6 Math Problem of the Week – Submit your response by clicking this link for a chance to win a Tim Hortons gift card in our weekly draw. 

 

 

Voluntary COVID-19 Testing for Asymtomatic Staff and Students

To continue to support our schools, students, staff and families, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board is pleased to be able to facilitate in partnership with Region of Waterloo Public Health and local COVID-19 testing partners, voluntary COVID-19 testing to be conducted at the following location.  Asymtomatic staff and students of the St. Dominic Savio CES school community have a unique opportunity for this testing and are encouraged to take advantage of this offer.

  • Tuesday Feb 23 – 4 pm – 7 pm Victoria Hills Community Center
  • Tuesday March 2 – 4 pm – 7 pm Victoria Hills Community Center

In addition to daily screening, masking and the other health and safety measures, this voluntary testing is an important layer of protection that helps to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Consent will be required from parents or guardians of students under 18 years old.

Pink Shirt Day – February 24, 2020

From its humble beginnings in 2007 in small-town Nova Scotia, Pink Shirt Day has spread across the globe as a way to take a stand against bullying and to show support for those who have been affected by it in schools, workplaces, homes, and online.  Last year alone, people in almost 180 countries shared their support of Pink Shirt Day through social media posts and donations.

On February 24, 2021, we encourage everyone at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board to practice kindness and wear pink to school or work to symbolize that you do not tolerate bullying. The focus for 2021 is “lift each other up.”

Message from our Director of Education

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community,

As we approach the end of February, we sincerely hope that this letter finds you and your family well.  Today’s letter brings a number of very important updates that are important to continuing to provide safe, welcoming learning environments for all our Waterloo Catholic staff and students.  Please take the time to read each of these updates, and do not hesitate to reach out to your local school if there are items for which you require further information or clarification.

On Wednesday, February 17th the Minister of Education, informed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, informed all school boards that there was an enhancement that would be adopted in terms of both screening and isolation guidance, as well as testing opportunities.  Please see below for these and other updates.


Screening:  Staff and students continue to be required to Self Screen before arriving at school (or immediately upon arrival).  Confirmation of screening continues to be required for all staff and our secondary students. The change is that  the new provincial direction requires that staff, students and children with any new or worsening symptom of COVID-19, as indicated in the school and child care screening tool, even those with only one symptom, must stay home until:

  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional, or
  • It has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.

The student self-screener is found here:  COVID-19 school and child care screening


Isolation requirements:

Further – all asymptomatic household contacts (siblings, parents, grandparents) of symptomatic individuals are required to quarantine until the symptomatic household member:

  • receives a negative COVID-19 test result, or
  • receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional

If the symptomatic individual tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional, the symptomatic individual must isolate (including from household members) for 10 days from symptom onset, and all household contacts must isolate until 14 days from their last contact with the symptomatic individual.

We realize this is a significant change and requirement for a family.  This is by provincial order and does not just apply to the education sector, but everyone in the province.  We may have to close some schools if too many staff are affected by this new requirement.  We will make every effort to avoid this reality.


Targeted Testing:

On February 16th, 2021 The Ministry informed us of some enhancements to Testing that will be implemented provincially.  These include:

  • Community Testing in selected sites: These are additional centers for any community member who is trying to access testing due to symptoms or as a result of being a contact.  You will receive a letter if your school community is being offered this service.
  • Increased Staff Testing: All asymptomatic staff have the ability to access selected community Pharmacies if they feel they want to access a test.
  • Targeted Testing for staff and students of selected schools: The Ministry has contracted companies to help in administering COVID tests to 5% of the schools within the Board (2-3 per week), representing 2% of our student population.  This service is for asymptomatic staff and students.  You will receive a letter if your community / school is being offered the opportunity.  It is fully voluntary and free of cost.  Clinics will run on weekends.

March Break:

On February 11th, The Minister also announced that March Break would be postponed.  We realize this is a disappointing development for children and families, but the good news it has not been cancelled altogether.  The Break will now occur after Easter, in the week of April 12th -16th.  We look forward to the well-deserved rest all staff and students will have the opportunity to enjoy in April.  Schools will communicate some changes that will occur in secondary as a result of this shift in dates.


Elementary Transition Survey:

We administered the elementary transition survey from February 16th – 18th, immediately after Family Day Weekend.  The official transition date for any student who chose to change their learning method will be Monday March 8th, 2021.

The results saw almost equal movement both ways – with 262 students moving to virtual learning at St Isidore and 290 students making the move back to in person learning.  This will necessitate some class re-organization but we are hoping that it will be minimized.  As previously indicated, there will be no more movement from one mode to the other for the remainder of the year.


Graduations:

We have made a decision that all elementary and secondary graduations will be virtual /adapted once again this year.  All indications would seem to suggest that while we hope to be in a much better place in terms of COVID transmission by the later spring and summer months, but planning starts much sooner than that.  We do not have enough assurances that large gatherings will be possible by then, so we have made a proactive decision that we will not run a traditional graduation celebration.  Your local school will be in touch about how this will be approached in your local site.

Once again, we encourage you to visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse to learn what public health measures are in place in our community – but also please be aware that these could change depending on the most current public health advice. We also suggest checking out the WCDSB website https://www.wcdsb.ca/living-learning-looking-forward/   and Region of Waterloo Public Health website https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx as they contain helpful resources and supports.  If you have any questions about what your particular school is doing, please reach out to your local school principal.


I will continue to remind all community members that mental health resources are available to students and families through Kids Help Phone, which offers 24/7 counselling and referral services across the province. To use this free resource, children can call 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868.

If there are any further updates we will certainly share them as soon as possible.  Please know that we continue to be in this together and day by day we will make it through.  Thank you for all that you have done to walk with us through this time.  As we journey thought Lent toward our Easter Season, let’s continue to remain people of hope, informed by our Faith.  Please reach out to us if you need help or guidance, and remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk together as a hope-filled community.  #InThisTogether 

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

Schools are Closed due to Inclement Weather (Feb 22)

Good morning Dragons!

Schools are closed due to inclement weather.  Work will be posted on students digital learning platforms (i.e., Google Classroom or D2L) by 9:30 am. It is expected students will work asynchronously throughout the day and teachers will be available for assistance until lunch time at 12:00 pm. Thank you for logging in to your child’s learning site on these days. Work hard and take time to enjoy and opportunities that winter has offered us!

 

Dragon Update Feb 22-26

 

Parent Workshop – Building Strong & Resilient Children clickable Zoom link on Feb 23 @ 7pm: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81011834046 


Mandatory Self-Screening of Students:

Students must check for symptoms of illness every day before going to school. You can screen your child or yourself by taking the COVID-19 school and child care screening.


Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (CPIC):

CPIC, is pleased to present Winter ParticiPACTION and Lenten Liftoff, a series of winter activities to support parental engagement. The activities are broken down into four core themes identified as the most important in our school communities: Faith Formation, Mental Health, Health and Wellbeing and STEAM. 

For access to these free resources, please sign up here.


Umbrella Project:

Review your schedule daily with the lens of Mindfulness

Stay present and cultivate awareness of your emotions in conflict

Parenting elicits strong emotional reactions. Very strong emotional reactions!! Our kids are capable of being our greatest source of joy and at the same time a steady source of rain and challenges to get through. I’m probably not telling you anything new here. To say parenting is easy would be the understatement of the century.  

It’s okay and normal to feel angry, frustrated, stressed and the other feelings that come along with raising a small human with a mind of their own. These feelings are normal and expected. We don’t need to get rid of them or make them different. The challenge is to have these feelings and not let them unconsciously take over and undermine our parenting practices. We cannot allow these feelings to cause us to have unpredictable responses, based on our current mood.

Mindfulness is a great parenting tool because it builds our capacity to a) become aware of our feelings; and b) accept our feelings, good and bad, without judgement. This is incredibly helpful in stopping our automatic reaction and instead noticing our feelings and responding more intentionally.

Start by accepting that life will rain, conflicts will happen, your child will push your buttons and start expecting these experiences to mix themselves in with the easier days. When they happen, notice your emotional response in these different situations. Tune into your child’s emotional response as well. You may be surprised to see the different layers of fear, hurt, disappointment that exist under the behaviour or emotion being expressed.

Try to stay present with the experience and give it the attention it deserves. Note that your feelings are just feelings and that they don’t need to be immediately expressed. After walking through this process with presence you will often see a natural downgrading of the conflict as you become more attuned to the true feelings occurring on both sides and catch issues before they escalate. If needed, take a few deep breaths or a few minutes of space to calm down the emotion you are experiencing before reacting to particularly hurtful or triggering situations.  

Listen to Dr. Jen as she describes this skill. 

Until next time, 

Dr. Jen, The Umbrella Project


Every Wednesday is SPIRIT DAY at Dragon Nation

Every week we celebrate our collective school spirit by wearing our school colours or spirit wear.

Our school colours are hunter green, burgundy and white!


Contact Information:

The office is ensuring all contact information is updated at this time. If you have a change in address, phone, or email please email erika.hayes@wcdsb.ca. Thank you.

 

 


Reminders:

  • February 23rd @ 7pm – Dr. Jen Virtual Parent Presentation: Building Resilient Children – more information coming soon.
  • February 24th is pink shirt day for anti-bullying.
  • Lenten Food Drive coming in the first two weeks of March – details coming.

Learning Celebrations:

Check out our Gr. 8s using the Learning Commons as a makerspace to design Judobots. Proud of the perseverance, patience our aspiring Engineers demonstrated!


Grade 3-4 Math Problem of the Week – Submit your response by clicking this link for a chance to win a Tim Hortons gift card in our weekly draw. 

 

 

 

 

Final WCDSB Elementary Transition Survey

Dear Parents/Guardians of WCDSB Elementary School Children:

Please note that your final opportunity to state your preference for a transfer for your child’s elementary school learning mode begins at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, and ends at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

A special online survey has been created for you to state your choice. The survey is not yet active. It will be activated at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16th.

The form will be available on our main webpage in the spotlight section – www.wcdsb.ca

You only need to complete the survey if you are looking for a transfer.

Please ensure you complete the survey during the stated February 16th to 18th time fame, as there will be no requests for changes granted after the survey closes. Additionally, as this is the final transition point for the 2020-21 school year, there will be no requests to change learning mode granted through to the end of June.

Again — the survey closes at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

Thank you for taking the time to state your choice and for assisting us in having the staffing, resources, and programming in place to assist the ongoing learning and success of your children.

Inclement Weather Day =  Adapted Remote Learning Day

Good morning Dragons!

Schools are closed due to inclement weather.  Work will be posted on students digital learning platforms (i.e., Google Classroom or D2L) by 9:30 am. It is expected students will work asynchronously throughout the day and teachers will be available for assistance until lunch time at 12:00 pm. Thank you for logging in to your child’s learning site on these days. Work hard and take time to enjoy and opportunities that winter has offered us!

 

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