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Family Literacy Week

Good morning Angel Families!  We hope everyone had a nice weekend and got to enjoy a little extra family time.

This week is Family Literacy Week.  Attached is a daily calendar with some ways you and your child(ren) can celebrate Literacy.

Family Literacy Week 2021 Calendar (wpl.ca)

Also, on Thursday, January 28th, it is Bell Let’s Talk Day.   Please take a moment to visit the Bell Let’s Talk website to learn more about how to help someone who may be struggling with Mental Health.  We will also be drawing awareness to this by wearing BLUE!

Bell Let’s Talk

This site is chalked full of many resource links for you to visit or pass along to someone you know could use some support.

Support for Learners Government Grant

Hello Angel families,

Support For Learners Government Grant
Just a reminder that the Provincial Government is providing parents and guardians with financial support to help with additional costs during the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID- 19.  Eligible applicants will receive a one-time payment of :

$200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12
$250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs

Use the link below to access the government application form https://www.iaccess.gov.on.ca/SupportForLearnersWeb/public/index.xhtml

Looking forward to another great week of learning and engaging with our amazing Angels!

Angel Update – January 25 – 29

 

 

 

 

Another week of incredible resilience by our students, parents and staff!  We are pushing through with this new reality of remote learning and many students are thriving and showcasing amazing online work ethic and responsibility.  I know many of you are disappointed with the extension of our remote learning environment, as we were all hoping to return to face to face learning. The staff is also disappointed. We are missing the face to face experience as well!  However, we are definitely getting to put this month’s Umbrella Skill of Resilience into practice. Thank you again to our parents for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this unprecedented time.

REPORT CARDS AND EXPECTATIONS

Staff have been busy writing reports for each child that shows the strengths and needs of all of our Angels. To be honest, this will be some of the most challenging reports to write. Some families have opted for an asynchronous exemption because they are frontline workers and are not able to accommodate the Virtual schedule. Some families are seeing one of their children flourish while the next child at the table is putting up a fight every day when it is time to log in. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The WCDSB has some great resources on supporting mental health and well-being, especially when your family is struggling with the remote learning expectations that were thrust upon us.

Others are experiencing a different reality. Some younger children are participating very well, and our team is noticing that parents are doing their best to help…sometimes to the point of providing many ‘hints’ without allowing the child the opportunity to show what they know by themselves. This makes it very difficult for kids to demonstrate their learning independently and even more challenging for teachers to assess on the other side of a screen.

We know everyone –Parents, Students and Staff–are doing their absolute best. The Ministry of Education has mandated that reporting on learning continue and teachers prepare report cards as usual. Many of us would rather not be trying to blend in class and virtual evidence of learning into a document that doesn’t always best reflect the lived experience of the families we serve. There will be many moments of learning that your child has shown to you that the teacher will not be privileged to have witnessed. There will be circumstances beyond anyone’s control that have prevented your child from completing the work with the same level of excellence that they would have had they been face to face.

That being said, the report cards will be written reflecting the most consistent demonstration of learning. Teachers will use their professional judgement, but cannot report on evidence of achievement that does not yet exist.  Students still must complete work to ensure assessment is accurate and up to date. Teachers report on learning that has been identified through a product produced by the student, an observation noted by the teacher, a conversation with the student about their learning or a combination of all 3. Currently, the timeline of when Remote learning ends is not clear. Educators must use some of the learning demonstrated by their students during this period for the report card. Please reflect earnestly on how your child has been demonstrating their learning, and how that might impact the results communicated through the formal report card.  If work is not complete – this will be reflected in your child’s report card overall grades. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the upcoming report cards, please do not hesitate to contact the school for a further explanation.

Some Best Practices As We Continue Remote Learning

As we continue this Remote Learning Journey, it is important that we are reminded of some helpful practices that support our students’ learning. Please keep this guidance in mind as you support your child’s learning over the coming weeks.

Parent/Guardian Expectations:
  • the microphone and chat feature are tools for your child to access to support 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
  • appropriate use of the chat feature such as 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

THURSDAY JANUARY 28TH – BELL LET’S TALK DAY!

  • Your Teachers will have lots of important information and activities around supporting mental health.
  • We hope that you will wear blue to honour and create awareness for all who struggle with mental health!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH – JERSEY DAY!

  • Please wear your favourite jersey and show some team pride!  I know we have some Habs and LEAF fans our there.  Maybe the Raptors??  Excited to see you all showing that great Angel spirit!

PARENT SURVEY TO SWITCH MODE OF LEARNING HAS BEEN DELAYED

The survey to transition from face-to-face learning to virtual or from virtual to face-to-face on January 27th has been delayed. The survey is going to open and be updated when face to face learning resumes. Please check this link for updates: Switch modes of learning

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH

In December we practiced the Umbrella skill of Self-Compassion.  The following students have been chosen as Students of the Month – students who exemplify self-compassion and understand what it means to care for oneself so you can be better for others.  Congratulations to our amazing Angels!

Mrs. Jacob/Mrs. Janzen and Ms. Rocha:  Elena K and Kai T

Mrs. Eugenio and Ms. Santos:  Alexander C and Elias M

Mrs. Dickert: Kameron E

Mrs. Thacker: Noah E

Mrs. Kruger:  Nikita P

Mrs. Palmer:  Sloane G

Mrs. Norman: Thomas H

Ms. Carere: Kaden W

Mr. Comiskey:  Eva G

Mrs. Saraiva:  Cristina B

Mr. Radford:  Piniael M

Mrs. Claessens:  Maddie C

Ms. Staples:  Dominic T

Mme. Armstrong:  Bradyn S

UMBRELLA PROJECT:

Get your kids moving outside

Nature has some amazing benefits for our health!

Nature provides two major benefits to us – firstly, it is very calming to our nervous system. The second benefit is that it stimulates our curiosity and our natural tendency to explore the world and tap into our imagination.

This combination is an amazing resilience builder.

I explain the importance of play time outdoors.

Until next time,

Dr. Jen, The Umbrella Project

DATES TO REMEMBER!

Wednesday, January 27th – Spirit Day!

Thursday, January 28th – Bell Let’s Talk Day – WEAR BLUE!

Friday, January 29th – Jersey Day

Monday, February 15th – FAMILY DAY – No School 

Wednesday, February 17th – Ash Wednesday

Thursday, February 18th – Term 1 Reports go home

Monday, March 15- Friday, March 19 – March Break

Friday, April 2 – Good Friday

Monday, April 5 – Easter Monday

Monday, May 24th – Victoria Day Holiday

Friday, June 4th – PD Day – no school

Monday, June 28th – Term 2 Reports go home

Wednesday, June 30th – Last day of school

Remote Learning Extension

What a start to 2021!  Together we have accomplished three weeks of adjusting to new routines and technology to continue the learning journey for all. A huge THANK YOU to everyone for contributing to the success of remote learning!  With yesterday’s announcement that online learning has been extended, we would like to share the following:

To our wonderful Angel students – Stay Engaged.  Keep logging into your class and putting forward your best efforts. Stay home, stay healthy, stay happy! We are so proud of you all and we look forward to seeing you each day online.

To our supportive Angel Families – Stay Positive.  We recognize it may be challenging to have kids learning at home while you may also be working, either from home OR out in the community. We appreciate your efforts too. Please remember to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

To our committed Angel Staff – Stay Confident.  Your online classes are evolving daily and all your planning and preparation to teach synchronously online are evident in the quality of learning. Your efforts are recognized and appreciated.

At this present time – we do not have a date as to when/if the extension will be lifted.  As more information becomes available with regard to remote learning – I will continue to keep you informed.

Thank you,

Mrs. Papp

Reminder – PD Day on Friday

Just a friendly reminder that we have a PA Day on Friday, January 22, 2021.

Teachers will be engaged in assessments and students will not be asked to log on this day as there is no school/remote learning for students.

Grade 8 Parent Information

Dear Parents/Guardians of our Great8’s,

St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School is beginning the process of transition planning for our students in Grade 8. With the current pandemic restrictions in place, the staff of St. Benedict have prepared several electronic resources to share information with students and families.

The link for the “Virtual Grade 8 Night” is included here:

Grade 8 Night Introduction

They also share some additional information regarding course selection:

Course Selection Slides

Finally, please find the general “Future Saints” webpage here:

Future Saints

We hope this information will support your conversations and planning at home. Our Grade 8 teachers will be reviewing the resources with our students also. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher.

 

ARE YOU THINKING OF SWITCHING YOUR CHILD’S MODE OF LEARNING?

ARE YOU THINKING OF SWITCHING YOUR CHILD’S MODE OF LEARNING?

Virtual vs. Classroom Survey Open Next Week (Jan. 27-29)

Parents will have one final opportunity to switch their mode of learning this year.  If you would like your child/ren to move to St. Isidore – our online school OR if you would like your child to return to face to face learning, please ensure that you complete the survey by the deadline.  The survey will open up on January 27th starting at 6am and will stay open until the 29th at 6pm.  These deadlines are firm.  Once you have made your decision – the learning mode will switch as of February 16 and will run for the remainder of the year.  Here’s the link Switching Learning Environments – St. Isidore Virtual Learning School (wcdsb.ca)

Angel Update – January 18-22

PD Day – Friday, January 22nd

Just a friendly reminder that we have a PA Day on Friday, January 22, 2021.  Teachers will be engaged in assessment and students will not be asked to log on this day as there is no school/remote learning for students.

Glitches with Remote Learning

If you experienced disruption yesterday in the Google Meets – things DID NOT work as planned! Websites and the internet DID NOT cooperate for us!  This WILL happen again!  We apologize!

So please, give the teachers patience as we troubleshoot these hiccups when they happen during remote learning.  When this happens the next time, students will know it may take a minute to get things back up and running.  We encourage students to continue with their asynchronous work while staff and IT continue to troubleshoot the technology.  We anticipate that this may happen again from time to time. Everyone ended up picking up right where the class left off, and so thank you for joining back into the meet when you were able.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning

We have reached the end of week 2 for remote learning! Congratulations and thank you to everyone for your time, effort, and perseverance. We all acknowledge this is a challenging format for students to learn in, and it takes a tremendous amount of support from parents/guardians to get through each day. On behalf of the staff, thank you for the overwhelming support and kind messages from our parent community. This type of teaching takes an exceptional amount of time to prepare each night and also creates a level of fatigue far different from face to face teaching. We are truly doing our very best to provide a balanced learning environment for your children. Your ongoing patience and support is very much appreciated.

Screen time concerns

Many parents have expressed concerns around the amount of time children are spending on screen during remote learning. Teachers are doing their best to balance the ministry mandated synchronous (live) instructional minutes with what is reasonable and healthy for children. Whenever possible, teachers are encouraging students to close their Chromebook or do work away from the computer. It is also important for students to get up and move around frequently for their physical and emotional health. Please know that teachers continue to be available for your child even if synchronous (live) lessons are not happening. In many cases, the teacher may be checking in with a small group of students or working on assessment in the virtual classroom. Teachers have been sharing a daily schedule which outlines times for students to gather in their online class meeting, and also notes when to work asynchronously (offline).  Again, this remote learning environment is challenging for everyone. We are working hard to provide meaningful and engaging work for students while balancing realistic expectations which require students to be sedentary while staring at a screen.

In keeping with our board’s Communication Guidelines protocol please reach out to your child’s teacher directly if you are experiencing any challenges or have concerns regarding online learning and/or your child’s progress. The teacher is always the first point of contact. If you phone or email the school you will be directed to contact the teacher. For further clarity regarding the WCDSB Communication Guidelines please see the linked memo.

APC001: WCDSB Communication Guidelines

Mental Health & Wellness awareness

Your child/teen’s mental health is important to us, just like it is to you.  There are proactive things we can do to promote wellness in spite of the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic. We hope you can use the attached flyer as a starting point to talk to your child/teen(s) about where to go for help if they are struggling.

Not everything that weighs you down is yours to carry alone

You can learn more about how to promote wellbeing and access a wide range of supports and resources by visiting our board website at the link below:

WCDSB Mental Health and Wellness webpage

Learning Platforms:

Are you interested in switching modes of learning? The next transition date is February 16th. Surveys will be open from January 27th starting at 9am to January 29th at 6pm.

https://stisidore.wcdsb.ca/switching-learning-environments/

We wish all our St. Michael families continued health and wellness during this challenging time.

DATES TO REMEMBER!

Friday, January 22nd – PD Day – No school

January 27th – 29th – ability to switch mode of learning:

Monday, February 15th – FAMILY DAY – No School 

Wednesday, February 17th – Ash Wednesday

Thursday, February 18th – Term 1 Reports go home

Monday, March 15- Friday, March 19 – March Break

Friday, April 2 – Good Friday

Monday, April 5 – Easter Monday

Monday, May 24th – Victoria Day Holiday

Friday, June 4th – PD Day – no school

Monday, June 28th – Term 2 Reports go home

Wednesday, June 30th – Last day of school

Kindergarten Registration – Sign up online today!

Online Pre-registration for Kindergarten is Open: It’s Time to Sign Up for School!!

It’s time to sign up for the 2021-22 school year – and registering to attend one of Waterloo Region’s 43 Catholic elementary schools has never been easier.

  • Children born in 2017 are eligible for Year 1 Kindergarten (JK).
  • Children born in 2016 are eligible for Year 2 Kindergarten (SK).

Parents can access the Online Pre-Registration form by clicking on the Register for School link on the WCDSB Homepage and then choosing Kindergarten Registration.

To finalize your child’s registration, please contact your local Catholic school directly, for individual registration dates and times.

QUICKFacts

~~ When registering your child to attend a Catholic elementary school you must be prepared to provide proof of the child’s date of birth and either the child’s Catholic baptismal certificate or the Catholic baptismal certificate of at least one parent or guardian.

~~ If you are non-Catholic, but wish to explore a Catholic education for your child(ren), please review the WCDSB Admissions to Catholic Elementary Schools policyOur secondary schools are open to students of all faiths.

~~ A complete list of WCDSB schools that will offer the Extended Day Program in 2021-22 will be web-posted before the end of this current (2020-21) school year. Please call your school directly for information about the Extended Day Program. A complete list of WCDSB schools currently providing the program is available via this link: Extended Day Program.

~~ For information about French Immersion programs in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, please click here: French Immersion Registration Information.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 185-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

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