Monthly Archives: May 2020

A Message From LunchBox Orders

 

We hope you are well and taking care. With last week’s announcement confirming the school closures for the balance of the school year, we wanted to reach out to touch on next steps.

This week, we will finalize the cancellations for the deliveries and orders placed for June 1 onwards. In cancelling the orders, parents will be notified and a credit will be placed on their Lunchbox Orders account.  Credits will carry over automatically to the new school year and do not expire.

If a parent prefers a refund, they may contact us directly by email at info@lunchboxorders.com to complete the return of funds to their payment card.  Lunchbox Orders does not save payment card information for security purposes.  A refund transaction fee (4%) is applicable. The fee represents credit card and bank charges associated with the transaction.

 

 

By |2020-05-25T06:24:58-04:00May 25th, 2020|News|Comments Off on A Message From LunchBox Orders

Letter From Minister of Education May 19, 2020

Dear Families,

Please see a message from the Minister of Education to Ontario’s Parents. Letter to Parents May 19 Announcement FINAL EN FORMATTED – SIGNATURE

More information, as it is received, will be communicated to you.  We hope that you and your families continue to stay safe and please know that we are here to support your child’s learning!

Take care,

Staff of CTK

By |2020-05-19T19:33:11-04:00May 19th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Letter From Minister of Education May 19, 2020

School Closure Announcement

 

The Government of Ontario has announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of this current school year.  We will provide additional information as it becomes available.  Please visit https://wcdsblearnathome.wcdsb.ca for all the most up-to-date information.

The official government announcement is available here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/health-and-safety-top-priority-as-schools-remain-closed.html

 

By |2020-05-19T15:14:36-04:00May 19th, 2020|News|Comments Off on School Closure Announcement

Yearbook Time!

Yearbook sign with colorful brush strokes.

It’s Time To Order the 2019-2020 CTK Yearbook!

 

Needless to say, this school year has been one to remember!  The 2019-2020 yearbook is now available to order and will be filled with many wonderful pictures and memories of this school year.  Order your yearbook today on School Cashonline for $10.50!  All orders are due June 3rd and no late orders will be accepted.  Do not be disappointed!  Order your yearbook today!

 

All entries are due May 29th!

We are inviting CTK students to enter their drawings in our Yearbook Cover Contest.    Two winners will be selected to be displayed on the front and back cover.  Those entries not selected for the front and back cover will be displayed as ‘Honourable Mention’ inside the yearbook.  

Submit Artwork On:

  • 8.5 x 11 white paper
  • Vertical Orientation (portrait)

All Entries Must Include:

  • School Name and School Year (2019-2020)
  • The word “Bobcats”
  • An Image of our Catholic Faith
  • Themes we focused on this year (i.e. Called to Belong or Gathered to Become)

Tips For A Good Entry:

  • Use the whole sheet!
  • Colours should be bright and coloured in dark so they pop!
  • Not a lot of white space is left- use lots of colour including the background

Submit your work electronically (share from Google or take a picture and attach it) to Mrs. Sica: ( tammy.sica@wcdsb.ca).    Questions?  Please email Mrs. Sica!   All entries are due May 29th!

 

Thank you!

By |2020-05-19T10:12:45-04:00May 19th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Yearbook Time!

Thought Exchange Feedback

We Asked, You Answered! Thanks for Your ThoughtExchange Feedback!!

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020 we asked our #WCDSBAwesome community this very important question:

WCDSBLearn@Home – How Are We Doing…?

And the response was extraordinary!  The tool we used is called ThoughtExchange. Here’s how it worked:

1. Specifically, respondents were asked to answer the question:

As you consider Waterloo Catholic’s response toward learning at home, what questions or concerns do you have?

2. Once respondents shared their thoughts, they had the opportunity to read the thoughts of others and assign *STARS* based on how much they agreed (5 *STARS*) or disagreed (1 *STAR*). This rating system allowed the school board to identify the key areas of success, while also flagging the areas of greatest concern

Between April 14 and April 21, 2020 a total of 1,925 respondents provided 1,635 thoughts – which generated 36,941 *STAR* ratings.

The full report is available on pages 141 to 160 — via THIS LINK.

So, what did we learn?

At the highest level – it is clear that our community values the work our teachers and system have done.  There were a number of comments acknowledging the efforts of teachers to connect and to ensure the well being and engagement of students.

There were three key points of further feedback.

First, the need for connection remains high.  There is a desire for engagement between educator and family, between students and their peers, as well as a desire to have some “live” engagement.

Secondly, there is a concern about issues connected to equity – which invites us to be very thoughtful in providing choice and multiple entry points for students.

Finally, there were many comments related to learning tasks — with a desire for consistent expectations and routine as educators engage their students.

We have used the feedback, which is further detailed below, to continue to improve our service to our students, our parents and our staff.  We have already taken steps to support more consistency and a clear understanding of expectations, to strengthen our collaboration and to further ensure that each student is feeling a sense of connection.

Elementary Students told us they value the collaboration among teachers, so that they have a clear sense of expectations. Further, they value regular check-ins and are looking for a sense of connection. They are feeling isolated and are sometimes having difficulty navigating learning platforms without the assistance of a parent. They desire more descriptive feedback and want some consistency in learning tasks.

Secondary Students told us they too want clearer communication of next steps in distance learning. Some require more technical support, and they desire more consistency in the communication from different teachers. Some are also balancing personal or job responsibilities. They are looking for synchronous video conferences or lessons to assist with their learning and/or pre-recorded videos. There is a desire for a stronger sense of connection. Finally, they are very concerned about their assessments and the possible impacts to their post-secondary plan.

Elementary Parents articulated most strongly a sense of both gratitude but also a sense of being overwhelmed by balancing their own responsibilities. Further, elementary parents would like some consistency in terms of understanding expectations. They are not feeling fully clear on what is mandatory and what is optional. They would like further attention placed on wellness and on providing support to students that is more flexible and accessible. Equity is a concern for elementary parents.

Secondary Parents are valuing the continuity of learning that is happening. They are looking for communication to be clearer and wish to be involved in monitoring their children’s progress. They want communication to be more flexible and innovative, with a nod to desiring live lessons or video-conferencing. Not unlike elementary parents, they are finding it challenging to motivate their children to engage in the learning at times. Not unlike their children, they are also concerned about how assessments will impact post-secondary plans — and they are wondering about how assessments will inform final report cards.

Elementary Staff shared that the learning curve to embrace distance learning has been significant and that they are struggling with their own demands to balance work and home responsibilities. They are concerned about issues of equity and about what the gap may look like once students return to the classroom. They are also concerned about their safety when the time comes to return to the classroom. Finally, they are seeking further clarification on how optional subjects will be reported on the final report card and have general questions about writing report cards in this new landscape.

Secondary Staff are also concerned about the impact of the closure on the next school year and student readiness for the next grade. They expressed concerns that some students are struggling with the new learning format. Equity was also a concern for secondary staff and Administrators. Staff also commented on being concerned about mental health and wellness, and its significance to being able to positively engage in distance learning. There remain concerns about how to write an effective report card in light of the closure.

“The WCDSB’s Senior Staff – and, indeed, all WCDSB staff – have been listening and responding.  We are proud of the work our system and staff have done to mobilize, we value the thoughts offered, and we will continue to work with this feedback to refine both our care and our processes in this challenging time.

Our stakeholders clearly value the many efforts of staff thus far — and our central team, principals, teachers and support staff have responded to this unprecedented challenge in remarkable ways. We are so grateful to them.  We are in this together.”

 ~~ Loretta Notten, Direction of Education

Please follow us @WCDSBNewswire on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit www.wcdsb.ca to see the “Heart of the Community” in action.

The care for our students is core to who we are, and it will inform our decisions and actions as we move forward through this time of change.

Thank you all for your participation in helping us make WCDSBLearn@Home a success!

By |2020-05-11T17:27:06-04:00May 11th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Thought Exchange Feedback

Mother’s Day Gift

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board wishes to extend our best wishes for a most blessed Mother’s Day! We would love to honour all the women who support and nurture our most precious gift, the students of WCDSB! During this time we realize that heading out to purchase a token of appreciation is not possible so with this consideration we would ask that you please have your child open the following link and present the “gift” to you!

WCDSB Coupon Book

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

By |2020-05-07T20:46:33-04:00May 7th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Mother’s Day Gift

Assessment During Teacher-Led Distance Learning

Dear Families,

We wanted to thank you again for all of your work during teacher-led distance learning.  We are so proud of the work that our students are submitting and it really does seem that many of you have settled into a routine to complete your learning.  Please remember that this is our new way of learning and it is ‘school’.  The expectation is that each student complete the minimum hours as set out by the Ministry per week and complete the work that has assigned by teachers.  If you are experiencing any difficulties or have any questions, please do not hesitate to email your child’s teacher or Mrs.Sica (tammy.sica@wcdsb.ca) and we would be more than happy to assist you!  

Descriptive Feedback (Formative Assessment)

As noted by the Ministry of Education, assessment of student work during teacher-led distance learning will take the form of feedback or formative assessment rather than grading.   Research has shown that providing timely and specific feedback to students throughout the process of learning, not just on a final grade, will yield more growth in student learning (John Hattie).  Providing this feedback without marks (i.e. Level 3 or 75%) is the best motivation for students to improve their work as they will know exactly what they need to do (i.e. revise, extend their thinking, check their strategies, etc.).  During teacher-led distance learning, teachers will continue to provide detailed feedback (i.e. three stars and a wish) to students to improve their learning.  

What is Feedback?

 Not every piece of student work will be given feedback but rather only on those tasks most needed to improve achievement.   Feedback highlights:

  • What the student is doing well.
  • What still needs improvement 
  • What specific steps are necessary and/or what specific strategies can students use to improve learning 

When students submit or “turn in” their  work on Google Classroom, teachers will provide feedback (comments either in the form of voice notes, video, or written and shared back privately to students) on some of these assignments.

What do students do with the feedback?

Feedback allows students to improve their performance and encourages both practice and risk-taking.  When the classroom teacher provides feedback, students need to consider the feedback and use it to improve and change their work and future assignments/tasks.  This is where the learning happens for your child.  

This week, carefully consider the descriptive feedback (i.e. comments, three starts and a wish, or questions)  that your child’s teacher has provided and use it to look over your work again.   Refocus, improve your mastery of the skill, and further engage in your learning!  

Descriptive feedback is “the most powerful tool for improving student learning.” Black, Harrison, Lee and William

By |2020-05-04T11:38:54-04:00May 4th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Assessment During Teacher-Led Distance Learning

Igniting Hope!

This week is Catholic Education Week and the theme is IGNITING HOPE!   We are challenging each of our families to be the fire that will ignite hope in themselves and in others.  For each of the days, please complete the activity and remember to tag your pictures to @CTKBobcats.    Please also join Bishop Crosby at 11 am on Friday, May 8th for a live mass in honour of Catholic Education Week by clicking on this link: Diocesan Catholic Education Week Mass

View this link for a special message from Bishop Crosby

View this link for a special message from WCDSB

 

 

 

 

By |2020-05-04T10:18:47-04:00May 4th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Igniting Hope!

Umbrella Project: Skill for May is OPTIMISM!

umbrella project

This month we are taking on a skill that will help us look on the bright side!  That skill is Realistic Optimism.
How will realistic optimism help my child?
We often hear sayings about looking on the bright side of life. Turns out that looking on the bright side can actually improve your child’s mental and physical health. Mix that with helping them have a realistic look at the obstacles they may face, and you have a strategy for success. Achieving goals can be challenging and a negative outlook can defeat children before they even get started. Learning to be realistically optimistic will help your child link their dreams to the steps they will need to take to achieve them and help them take on life with a positive attitude.

OPTIMISM TIP #1: Help your child anticipate and plan for obstacles.

Obstacles become less daunting when we have thought them through and have strategies to deal with them. When your child approaches challenging situations this month, help them think through some of the obstacles they may face and potential strategies they can use to deal with them.   There are so many ways to prepare for obstacles in life while building confidence for the next time we may face a similar challenge. When possible, make the preparation something that will encourage a positive mood. Help your child feel empowered and optimistic by anticipating and preparing for challenges.

OPTIMISM TIP #2: Do something you enjoy before problem-solving. 

It’s easy for children to obsess over the unpleasant things that happen to them. When we try to problem-solve right after one of these events, it can be difficult to build optimism. Our brain naturally wants to match our memories and thoughts with the current mood we are in. Right after something unpleasant happens, it’s much more likely that our brain will turn to pessimistic thoughts.  If you notice this happening with your child, help them learn to put something they enjoy in between the unpleasant event and problem solving when possible. This strategy helps to bring them back to a more positive mood which will, in turn, lead to more optimistic problem-solving. It will also improve the creativity of the solutions they come up with.  Just remember to come back to the problem after the enjoyable activity. This shouldn’t end in problem avoidance. It should instead teach your child that they can build optimism and better problem-solving skills by intentionally improving their mood before they tackle difficult challenges.

OPTIMISM TIP #3: Consider the way you explain your own life to your child. 

We know that children are most likely to pick up their primary parent’s explanatory style. What does that mean? That means that if you are an optimist, your kids will likely be too. if you tend to put a negative frame on your life events, your children will also learn to interpret the world this way.  This explanatory style is changeable with some easy shifts in the words you use. To build your child’s optimism and their ability to see a path through tough times, think about these two key shifts in the way you explain the world:

  1.  Temporary vs. Permanent
    When bad events feel permanent, it can hinder your child from believing they can change their circumstances. In contrast, when difficult events happen, as they will in every life, show your child that most of these are temporary and can be overcome with time. Start by avoiding “always” and “never” in your explanations. “This kind of thing always happens to me” feels pretty permanent. The more temporary your child sees challenging times to be, the more they will be optimistic for the future.
  2. Specific vs. general/pervasive
    It’s easy to see patterns in life and group them all together but this style of explanation can leave us feeling pessimistic about our chances to make change. Try to be specific about the issues you face. For example, if someone at the office is unkind to you, try to keep the issue to that person i.e.. “John was unkind to me” instead of “people are unkind to me” or “men are always like this”. Think about this when you describe yourself too. Everyone is lazy sometimes, but when we generalize a feeling to our whole character we become less optimistic for change. For example, after a lazy day with nothing crossed off the to-do list you were hoping to accomplish try saying “I was feeling lazy today” instead of “I am lazy”. The later is more specific to the situation at hand and leaves room for tomorrow to be different while the former seems unchangeable. When we see our issues as pervasive to all areas of our lives it’s hard to be hopeful for something better. The more specific we can get, the more the situation will seem like something we can overcome.

Remember, to build optimism look at your own explanations of the world and aim for temporary and specific explanations over permanent and pervasive ones. Your child will follow in your footsteps.

OPTIMISM TIP #4: Teach your child to reframe challenge. 

Learning to see the positives in our challenges is a technique called positive reframing. The skill is critical in helping children build optimism, even when life gets rainy. The goal isn’t to find excuses for procrastination, mean behaviour or to change reality. It is to help them find the true bright spots in their difficulties, neutralize their negative feelings and beliefs, and prepare them to move.  How can we teach this valuable skill? As we all come to realize when we become parents, we can’t force our children to see the world a certain way. Just putting a positive frame on their difficulties for them can backfire and make them feel like we don’t understand what they are going through. Instead of giving your own positive perspective, try these two techniques to get your children thinking about their own reframe.

  1.  Help your child make new observations or think about the accuracy of their limiting beliefs by
    asking good questions. This can help them to tell a new story about what happened to them. Here
    are some options:
    ● What was positive in the situation?
    ● What growth can I get from this situation? How did this event make me better?
    ● How can I turn this disaster into a win?
    ● What is the best way to act in this kind of situation?
    ● What went right?
    ● What umbrella skill can I work on building from this experience?
  2. Neutralize the negative feelings with a little humour.  Before working through some of the questions for positive reframing, use a little humour to help them get into a positive state of mind. It will be much easier for them to see their situation in a new light.

See this blog for a more detailed look at coaching children through the challenges of building a
realistic optimism: https://umbrellaproject.co/category/realistic-optimism/

By |2020-05-02T17:05:18-04:00May 2nd, 2020|News|Comments Off on Umbrella Project: Skill for May is OPTIMISM!