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Virtual Learning Environment ~ Roles and Responsibilities

We continue to engage in Remote Learning as we enter the week of Jan. 11th. Thank you to our students/parents/guardians and staff for all of the work in navigating this teaching and learning platform.

Below are Roles and Responsibilities for both students and parents/guardians when working in a Virtual Learning Environment.

Each student is part of a Learning Management System approved by the WCDSB (Google Classroom, D2L Brightspace). Through synchronous learning, students engage with teachers and classmates (Google Meet or Microsoft Teams).

Parent/Guardian Expectations:

  • The microphone and chat feature are tools for your child to access learning.
  • When required, parents/guardians may act as a support. To honour the student learning journey, please allow your child to experience productive struggle by allowing him/her to do the thinking and complete the work independently.
  • Generally speaking, parents/guardians should not appear on camera or speak directly to the teacher or class during synchronous learning time. Please do not unmute the microphone during instruction to ask a question or access the chat feature.
  • Please connect with the classroom teacher first should you have a question or concern; staff will do their best to respond in a timely manner. Please note that during instructional time, staff are unable to respond.

Student Expectations:

  • Treat others with dignity and respect in actions and words.
  • Participate and actively engage in the learning.
  • Respect the workspace of others during collaborative learning (no deleting, moving or making changes to the work of others).
  • Have the camera turned on/off when directed by the teacher.
  • Google Meet or Microsoft Team links are not to be shared with others outside of the class; teachers to invite others, not students.
  • Use of Google Hangouts is not permitted during school hours unless directed by the teacher.
  • Appropriately use the “Chat” feature such as for asking questions, responding to the teacher when prompted.
  • Any communication in the chat is to reflect appropriate manners and language. The following are examples of unacceptable forms of communication. Incidents will be brought to the attention of the administration and parents/guardians will be notified: profanity, comments/images/actions that are violent, racist, degrading or sexual in nature, chat spamming (repetition of a word/line commonly used in gaming chats).
  • Focus on the learning and avoid distractions – open tabs should be related to the learning and direction by the teacher.
  • When the camera is on: appropriate clothing is required just as it is in a physical school, raise a hand when wanting to share, sit up position.
  • Synchronous learning is not to be recorded and/or shared.

Thank you for your efforts and support as we continue to provide a Virtual Learning Environment – one that is engaging and interactive. Your patience, support, flexibility are appreciated.

Dragon Update Jan 11-15

Kindergarten Registration- No Experience Needed

Calling all Baby Dragons:

Virtual learning extended to January 25th:

1st Week of Virtual Learning behind us and we want to thank our parents for being so supportive and encouraging. We know it is a lot to work to keep students engaged and we couldn’t do it without you. 

Want to switch mode of learning starting February 16th?

Complete the survey to transition from face-to-face learning to virtual or from virtual to face-to-face. vice-a-versa on January 27th starting at 6am to the 29th at 6pm. Here’s the link: Switch modes of learning

One Time Donation Fundraiser:

Thank you! Let’s keep the momentum going as we work together to create amazing learning opportunities for your children. Donations can be made on School Cash-Online and Grandparents or other family members can donate directly by clicking here.

Umbrella Project

Help your child face their fears,

Avoiding our fears may be the easiest road in the short term but doesn’t help us build resilience.  What we actually need is small, repeated exposure to the things that scare us.  Small successes over these fears over time help us slowly build the confidence to navigate the adversity.

Here’s an example from my family.  When my daughter was young she didn’t like to be the centre of attention.  This became glaringly obvious the day she wore a fancy dress to school for the first time in years, received at least 5 compliments in the first minute and proceeded to burst into tears and beg me to take her home.  It seemed like a small thing but it pushed a big fear button inside her.  Parenting dilemma…take her home to change or make her stay in a state of clear distress. 

Actually there is a third choice.  We had time to go home and change but only with the following condition; she was going to have to work on being the centre of attention.  That was the deal.

I explained that life will present her with many similar circumstances and I want her to have the skills to deal with these situations.  While this current challenge was too big for her, we were going to choose smaller opportunities for her to practice.  She agreed and we have since helped her practice this skill in many contexts until she is now more comfortable when she finds herself pushed this way. In fact, last year she made it to the school finals for the speech competition.  A huge change from the girl crying in the hallway over some positive attention.

This is how resilience is built.  Not avoidance, not full immersion, but repeated small fears faced and defeated over time.

In this short, 2 minute video, I explain the importance of facing our fears

You’ve got this!

Dr. Jen, The Umbrella Project


Mabel’s Labels: Don’t lose items to the LOST AND FOUND! Check out Mabel’s Labels! Select ST DOMINIC SAVIO FUNDRAISER (KITCHENER) from the list.


COBS Bread Bakery will donate 10% of a sale to St. Dominic’s if the buyer (St. Dom’s family members) states that they are supporting St. Dominic Savio school. 



  • January 22nd – PD day
  • January 27th – 29th – ability to switch mode of learning:
  • February 16th – Date the Change of Class Would Take Effect


Grade 3 to 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. We will hand out prizes when in class learning resumes. 



Congratulations to Yogesh who won our last POW. Check out his solution: 



Hiring: Lunch Hour Supervisors

St. Dominic’s and other schools surrounding us are looking for Lunch Hour Supervisors. If you are interested in the applying for a position please email a copy of your resume to

All successful candidates will have all necessary training provided to them.

Reminder: French Immersion Registration online January 7-31

Attention all Senior Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,

This is a reminder that registration for the French Immersion lottery will be open from January 7 – 31, 2019.  Interested families may register on the WCDSB website:

If you have not had an opportunity to attend one of the French Immersion Parent Information Meetings, the final one will be held at St David CSS. 4 High St. Waterloo, on Monday January 14 from 6-7pm.


Dragon Update Jan 4-8

Happy New Year St. Dominic’s Families!

On behalf of all the staff, I want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year filled with many blessings and God’s grace! After a tricky 2020 we are wishing you a year filled with new joys, new hopes, new dreams, and continued health and happiness!

Remote Learning: As you know the Minister of Education has communicated an expectation that synchronous learning be embraced starting January 4th.  This will be different from what we experienced in the Spring. 

On January 4th, teachers will work with you to ensure students have access to the platform and the necessary resources for learning.  Please be patient on the first day, as it will look a little different than the rest of the week. Teachers will need time to support students on how to navigate the digital platforms in light of the transition to synchronous learning. If you have any technology or connection concerns, please let your child’s teacher know as soon as possible on Monday so that we can work with you to solve those concerns.

The Ministry outlines the minimum duration of scheduled synchronous learning time to be offered to students each day as follows: Kindergarten: 180 minutes; Grades 1 – 8: 225 minutes.  It is important to note that synchronous learning time requirements are a cumulative number of minutes that a teacher is available to engage with students throughout the teaching day using a variety of synchronous and asynchronous strategies. It does not mean that live teaching will take place for the entire day. Please remember that in a classroom setting, whether online or at school, student engagement requires a back and forth exchange between educators and students and significant time for students to engage in learning tasks that include a mix of online and physical materials as well as movement, discussion, and connecting with educators and peers.

Classroom teachers will be sharing the schedule and expectations on Monday, January 4th for the students. As the school day at St. Dominic’s begins at 9:15 am, all students are expected to be on their Google Classroom site or virtual learning platformat 9:15 am on Monday. The school day for the rest of the week will be the same as our normal schedule, we will begin at 9:15 am and run until 3:45 pm.  Teachers are only available to respond to emails and requests during regular school hours. 

Attendance will be taken when students log in to the Google classroom both in the AM and again after lunch in the PM at 1:00. If a student will be absent, please make sure to call into the office and let us know, Mrs. Hayes and Mrs. Luszcki will be following up on all students who are absent. 

This kind of teaching and learning is still quite new to both educators and students and is happening in the midst of another pandemic lockdown. As such, it is important that we are all patient with each other, show compassion and empathy, as we navigate these extraordinary times together.

As always, thank you for your continued support and understanding. We wish you all a very Happy and Safe New Year!

Mr. Runstedler and Mr. Litschgy


Thank you:

St. Dominic appreciates all the support and patience you have given during the past few weeks as we have worked with public health to ensure our school is safe for your children. 


Christmas Charitable Gift Cards:

Thank you for all the gift cards brought in to support families in need within our community during Christmas. We raised $580 to buy toys. We know your contributions will make a difference.

One Time Donation Fundraiser:

Thank you! Let’s keep the momentum going as we work together to create amazing learning opportunities for your children. Donations can be made on School Cash-Online and Grandparents or other family members can donate directly by clicking here.

Mobile Technology Devices:

Students are only allowed to use mobile technology devices when directed by a staff member for the purposes of learning.  Students are not allowed to use their mobile technology devices on school premises or at school related events.  Mobile technology devices will be confiscated from anyone violating this rule.  The school is not responsible for damaged, lost or stolen items.

Source: 2020-21 Parent & Student Handbook


Directors Update Link:


Schools Closed on Inclement weather days when buses are cancelled
Excerpt from Special Message from the Director of Education

“As you know – there are sometimes days in the winter when we have to cancel bussing due to the weather and unsafe driving conditions for our buses.  In the past, if roads were still passable, we would leave schools open.  On those days however, we often pooled classes based on the number of staff who fully attended and the number of students.  This year that is not possible due to our COVID-19 cohort- related restrictions.  In consultation with the public board, with whom we share bussing, when we cancel buses, we will close schools and have a remote learning day.  Your teacher will communicate with you in advance so you know where to look for school work for the day and protocols on such days, but in broad terms, the teachers will post work in the morning, no later than 10 a.m. and students will work on their own timing in their home.  It will allow all students to access some learning and we will be continuing to keep one and all safe.  We realize it may not be a perfect solution and learning day, but bus snow days rarely were.”

APH 008: Inclement Weather Procedures

Below is a summary of important points regarding our school board policies related to Inclement Weather. Please reference this policy for detailed information regarding cancellations and early dismissals.

  • We will reference for accurate forecasts using PointCast location. You can also check this information from home. Simply type in the postal code for the school (N2N 3A6) and get localized information.
  • When the temperature (including windchill or “feels like”) is –14°C or warmer students will be outside for the entire duration of recess.
  • When the temperature (including windchill or “feels like”) is –15°C to—19°C students will be limited to 20 minutes of outdoor time at a time.
  • When the temperature (including windchill or “feels like”) is –20°C or colder students will be kept indoors.

It is critical that students be dressed appropriately for Canadian winter.

  • Please make sure your child has a hat, mitts/ gloves, snow pants, winter coat, boots. If you need assistance providing this for your child we are happy to help out.

Click the following link for the AP Policy Memo:


Umbrella Project

Watch your language

Most of us get so used to the way we criticize ourselves that we don’t even know we are doing it. However, the words we say to ourselves have power and direct our attention. Our inner critic is really a misguided attempt to help motivate and protect ourselves. The research shows that our inner critic is unlikely to have the effect we are hoping for and holds us back from our happiness and success. Our brains like to be correct, so we unconsciously pick out the information from our environments that supports our beliefs. When we tell ourselves we are stupid, for example, we can’t succeed. When we carry broken beliefs, our brains select the information in the environment that matches this belief and so we live into our thoughts.  

In addition, when we criticize ourselves in front of our kids they begin to feel we may be secretly judging them as harshly as we are judging ourselves. It’s hard to convince them we think they are beautiful just the way they are if they see us critiquing ourselves harshly in the mirror.  

The messages we give our children directly are important too. The language we use around them creates powerful self-talk that can help them or hold them back, make them feel well or hopeless. Try to be specific when you address your children instead of making generalized comments. There is a big difference between saying “you did something bad” versus “you are bad”. The first creates self talk that can help the child take responsibility and move on.  The 

latter doesn’t leave room for growth or change and can leave our kids feeling powerless.  

The same goes with praise.  We want our children to feel responsible for their success so when we generalize and say “you are smart” instead of “you did very well on this specific thing” or “your hard work paid off” we can accidentally make kids feel that everything is evidence that they are either smart or not and create a lot of anxiety around failure. Their self talk becomes about avoiding anything that might risk them being proved unintelligent. Instead, praise the things your child can always control like effort and their umbrella skills.

In this short 3:30min video Dr. Jen talks about this concept of watching your language.


For the month of January our focus will be on Resilience.  

What will resilience do for my child?  

Help them bounce back from challenges stronger than they were before. 

What is resilience?

Why do some people get knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever? It’s their resilience. Over time everyone will face a range of obstacles and difficulties; it’s part of life.

Resilience allows us to adapt or even feel stronger and happier after these times. It helps us to feel less like the victim of our own story and more like the hero.

When it comes to resilience, practising helps. With every storm you successfully weather, your resilience gets a bit better and the more we do that, the stronger we get.

Listen as Dr. Jen’s introduces this important Umbrella Skill of Resilience 

Make Connections

Friends and other social supports improve resilience.  Much like your umbrella protects you from the rain, having many strong umbrellas around you are necessary when the rain is too much for you to handle alone.  Does your child have multiple friend groups?  Maybe one at school, one in the neighbourhood, one with family friends… Help them find opportunities to make new friends and mentors and strengthen the connections they already have.  This will add to the network of people they draw support from and who they in turn are able to support.  Encourage them to be a friend, to get more friends.  

Chat soon, 

Dr. Jen, The Umbrella Project


Mabel’s Labels: Don’t lose items to the LOST AND FOUND! Check out Mabel’s Labels! Select ST DOMINIC SAVIO FUNDRAISER (KITCHENER) from the list.


COBS Bread Bakery will donate 10% of a sale to St. Dominic’s if the buyer (St. Dom’s family members) states that they are supporting St. Dominic Savio school. 


Grade 7 to 8 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. Congratulations to Simon who won our last POW.

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