Monthly Archives: October 2020

Letter from Director Loretta Notten

Good morning CTK families,

Below is a very important letter from our Director of Education, Loretta Notten.

 

      October 27th, 2020

Dear Waterloo Catholic Community –

We hope that you are well in body, mind, and spirit.  We know that can be challenging in these times but we hope that you are drawing energy from our students, and from their experience of being re-engaged in their learning and forging new friendships while rekindling old ones.    Every day we hear stories and bear witness to the good work of our staff, and we know that they are making a difference to all the students we serve.  The purpose of this letter is to share a few brief updates and then offer an invitation.

To begin, at the October Board meeting last night we brought a series of important updates in relation to our ongoing operation of schools in our new COVID reality.  We shared that it is our intention to eliminate the November transition window in elementary.  We have been listening to our stakeholders – parents, teachers, administrators, and students, and while we know that it can be attractive to provide flexibility to accommodate changes between face to face and virtual, we also know that it takes a toll on everyone when there is disruption to pre-established classes.  No one asked for this new reality in which we are all living, and I think we can all appreciate that compromises are necessary and that as a school board, we are delivering on a promise not fully of our own making.  Having said that, I am extremely proud of all our staff and all they do each and every day to help us deliver on that promise.  Our staff in our bricks and mortar schools, and our St Isidore staff, are all hitting homeruns each and every day.  We anticipate that some parents may be disappointed to not have the additional transition opportunity, but we hope that in the main, people will agree that it was important to listen to the voices of our stakeholders, and to attempt to provide maximum stability moving forward.

In this same vein – we have been deliberating how to best proceed in secondary, in order to meet a variety of needs.  We have an additional 377 students who want to transition to St Isidore in secondary and 40 who wish to return to face to face.  (Generating a net 337 increase in students to St Isidore, or 14% of our total secondary population now studying in virtual)  A great many boards are now looking at a hybrid model of delivery in secondary, but again we tried to listen to the voices of our staff who told us a pivot in late November to a different model of delivery, other than what we currently experiencing, might be too stressful for all involved.  We know our staff have been working so hard and we are not looking to disrupt your reality again.  We also want our students to have the best educational experience possible.  To that end, we will continue with the current delivery model and take the next quadmester to fully consider options for the remaining two quadmesters.

We have had a few cases of covid in the past few days.   It is perhaps inevitable that when the provincial numbers rise, we too will see some cases.  I realize that if you get a letter saying there has been a case of COVID in your school that it is most unsettling.   I am pleased to report that to date our cases remain relatively few, they seem to be quickly managed and most importantly, we have had no cases of covid transmission in our schools to date.   Our safety protocols are working.   I know how much we all value reading that statement so I cannot state strongly enough the importance of following our WCDSB operational guidelines, of wearing masks as warranted, good hygiene practices and most of all, strong daily implementation of the self-screening tool.  We will only navigate this time together and fortunately, I have full confidence in our TEAM! #StrongerTogether

And now to the invitation.  As we did this past spring, we are launching a ThoughtExchange today and it will remain open for the next week.  We really do want to hear from you.  To gain insight into your thoughts about the past several weeks and our launch to the 2020-21 school year.  A reminder that you can add thoughts at any time, but do not forget to return perhaps more than once to star ideas as they populate.  As was the case last spring, it will give us insights into your impressions, your questions and assist us in know where we need to focus more energy.

The ThoughtExchange is available at: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/474084826

Please know that it is also available on our main website.

As indicated above, please remember that all students (or parents on their behalf) should complete this updated self-screening tool every day:  COVID-19 school and child care screening tool and a reminder that no staff should come to school without completing the adult self-assessment:  https://covid19checkup.ca/  The process of self screening each day is a vital step in ensuring the continued safety of all our schools, so sincere thanks to all for remaining faithful to this and to all our required protocols.

We are so very happy to be back to learning in our schools.  We have transitioned to Year 2 of our Pastoral Plan – Gathered to Become.  We look forward to our CSAC Chair and New Administrator Commissioning event Wednesday evening.  It feels so important to continue to find ways to foster community.  How blessed are well that we share one family in Christ as WCDSB – he nourishes and strengthens us daily.

We sincerely thank you for journeying with us.   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.  #WCDSBTogether  #WeGotThis

Sincerely,

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

 

By |2020-10-27T09:04:40-04:00October 27th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Letter from Director Loretta Notten

Week of October 26, 2020

Halloween is almost upon us and at CTK, we are very excited to be celebrating this day on Friday, October 30th!   Students are invited to come to school dressed in their Halloween costumes or in black and orange.

  • Cloth masks must still be worn throughout the day.  As such, you may wish to skip the face painting this year.  \
  • No costume masks that cover the face or fake weapons of any kind are not allowed.
  • Extremely graphic or gory costumes (including blood) are not allowed as we have young students who might be afraid.
  • Costumes should not interfere with classroom activities.  Students must be able to sit, walk, see, hear, etc., and students will still be required to sanitize and wash their hands.

Most importantly: Please remember that due to COVID-19 restrictions this year,  students are not allowed to bring any treats or non-food items such as stickers, pencils, glow bracelets, etc. to share or hand out to friends.  Thank you so much for your cooperation and we are looking forward to a”spooktacular” day!!!

COVID Screening:  Just a reminder that the COVID screening tool must be completed by staff and students prior to coming to school.  It only takes a couple of minutes to complete!  Please remember, if your child is ill, do not send them to school.  Here is the link to the screening tool:  COVID-19 School Screening

 

Masks: Last week, your child(ren) will have brought home cloth masks.  The Ministry of Education has provided one mask (black) for every student and the Waterloo Catholic School Board has provided three masks (Grey with the board logo) for every student.   Students are still allowed to wear the cloth masks that you have bought for them.  These extra masks will help if a mask gets lost or when you need some extra masks while others are in need of washing.  There is a spot on the inside of the gray masks to write your child’s name and room number or teacher’s name.  This will help to distinguish who the mask belongs to should they get lost.

How often should cloth face coverings be washed?  Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed after every day of use.

 

By |2020-10-25T17:38:38-04:00October 25th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Week of October 26, 2020

Week of October 19, 2020

Dear CTK Families,

The learning and fun at our school continues and week after week, our students continue to amaze us with their resiliency and sense of joy!  Thank you Bobcats!   Thanks also to our fantastic staff and parents for all of your work and support.  We couldn’t do it without you and we are so grateful and blessed!

Pastoral Plan: Gathered To Become

Last year, when we launched Called to Belong, we could not have foreseen what the future held.  Yet the Spirit was with us, guiding our theme and moving us to create a deep sense of BELONGING and connection during such a difficult journey.  We feel the same about the second year of our three-year Pastoral Plan, entitled Gathered to Become.  

The theme, Gathered to Become, is deeply connected to nourishing as in the Eucharist; as in the nurturing of children in the context of our schools.  As in previous years, we as a school community have created a symbol that will help all of us – students, staff, and parents- remember the theme of “Gathered to Become” and that when we listen to each other, pray for each other, give to each other and work together, we give eucharist.  The image that we have selected to create is of the Eucharist and everyone had a part in creating it:   

                                                               In John 6:35, Jesus proclaims “I am the bread of life.”   

 Let this year of Becoming truly be a year of Transformation.  As the Eucharist transforms us, so let us be the “Bread of Life” to all we encounter.  May we experience transformation this year – from the challenges of new learning situations, platforms, and teaching environments – to allow us to emerge from our chrysalis healthy and strong and to successfully be able to spread our wings and soar.  Please enjoy our Board’s launch video:  Gathered to Become Video.

Dress For the Weather!  With the cooler, wet weather, please ensure that your child comes to school prepared.   You may wish to send a hat, mitts, an extra sweater, and even an umbrella!  It is so important to get our students outside and so if it is just drizzling or misting, we will go outside for a short mask break and fresh air!  Thanks for your help in making sure your child is dressed for the weather!

Have you done the School Screening?    Just a reminder that each and every day, every student and staff must complete the Covid-19 School Screening prior to coming to school.  It only takes a few minutes to complete!  Depending on your answers of reported symptoms, it will advise if you should attend school (green checkmark) or if you should not be attending school (red ‘X’).  If your child reports to staff that they are feeling unwell during the day, we will complete the survey and if at the end of the survey, it states that can not attend, we will call home to have someone pick them up.  If you are unwell, please stay home for everyone’s health and safety!

Important Upcoming Dates:

October 20th:  IEPs go home

November 20th: Progress Reports Go Home

November 23rd:  Professional Development Day  (Extended Day will not be offered this day!)

 

 

 

 

By |2020-10-18T22:14:29-04:00October 18th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Week of October 19, 2020

Halloween at CTK 2020!!

 

Halloween:  Halloween will be a little different at CTK this year, but the fun will certainly remain! On Friday, October 30th, we are inviting students to come to school dressed in their Halloween costumes or in black and orange.  In order to ensure that all of our students enjoy their day, there are a few guidelines that we would like all students to follow with respect to costumes:

  • Masks that cover the face or fake weapons of any kind are not allowed.
  • Extremely graphic or gory costumes (including blood) are not allowed as we have young students who might be afraid.
  • Costumes should be simple enough for students to manage independently.
  • Costumes should not interfere with classroom activities.  Students must be able to sit, walk, see, hear, etc..

Most importantly: Please remember that due to COVID-19 restrictions this year,  students are not allowed to bring any treats or non-food items such as stickers, pencils, glow bracelets, etc. to share or hand out to friends.

As always, cloth masks will be worn throughout the day therefore you may wish to skip the face painting this year.

Thank you so much for your cooperation and we are looking forward to a”spooktacular” day!!!

 

By |2020-10-18T15:28:32-04:00October 18th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Halloween at CTK 2020!!

Week of October 13, 2020

We hope that everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

Class Restructuring:  Recently our families were given another opportunity to change their child’s mode of learning from face-to-face learning to online learning and vice versa.  To meet the needs of these students who have now selected online learning, adjustments in our enrolment had to be made and meant that we would lose one staff member to support our WCDSB virtual school, St. Isidore.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to Ms. Fernandes for her dedication and support and we wish her well as she accepts this new challenge and moves to a classroom in the remote online learning platform at St. Isidore.  Thank you Ms. Fernandes and we wish you all the best!   This change also meant that we had to make adjustments to our classes and class lists.  Letters went home to all students who were affected which provided more information and included their child’s new teacher and room number.   Our students are so very capable and resilient and will do wonderfully in their new classroom setting, especially as home and school work together to support them in this transition!

It is important to note that remote online learning and in-class learning may change at set intervals throughout this year. The next survey for parents to indicate in-class learning at CTK School OR remote learning at St. Isidore (Virtual School) will take place in November and will be communicated via our CTK Newswire. At that time, depending on the results of the survey, more changes to staffing or class compositions may be needed.  Again, we understand that this is a challenging and unprecedented time and we appreciate your ongoing patience and support as we work together to make the most of this new school year for the benefit of our children! It is so nice to be back at school!

 

Terry Fox:  At CTK, Terry Fox’s dream was certainly kept alive on Thursday, October 8th as our students jogged, walked, and even danced for cancer research!  As a school, we set our fundraising goal of $1000.00 and we did it!  We raised a total of $1117.00 ($777.00 online donations and $340.00 of staff pledges).  CongratualtionsBobcats and thank you for all of your support!

           

 

 

 

 

By |2020-10-12T18:51:49-04:00October 12th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Week of October 13, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!!

On behalf of all the staff, we wanted to wish our amazing students and supportive families a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

By |2020-10-12T09:35:34-04:00October 12th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving!!

Help Keep us Informed!

 

All School Cash Online forms were due October 2, 2020.   If you haven’t done so, please ensure these are all completed as these forms are MANDATORY. If you have missed the deadline please contact your child’s teacher so that we can resend the form on School cash online.

 

Here are some office reminders to help keep us informed. If you have recently moved or need to update contact information (such as emergency contact, address, phone number, etc.), please email elizabeth.almanza@wcdsb.ca.

When you email please remember to include the following:

  • The full name of your child, grade level, parent/guardian full name
  • New Address/Phone number information
  • If updating contacts include full name, relationship (aunt, sister, caregiver, etc.) contacts must be 18 and over, include numbers or emails
  • Parent emails

 

Thank you

 

CTK Office

 

By |2020-10-08T12:00:32-04:00October 8th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Help Keep us Informed!

Professional Activity Day Friday, October 9th

Dear CTK Families;

 

Just a reminder that tomorrow is a Professional Activity Day there is no school for students.

The extended day will be open at the school for those students who are registered.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving weekend.

We will see everyone on Tuesday, October 13, 2020

 

 

Have a great day.

 

CTK Office

 

By |2020-10-08T11:09:58-04:00October 8th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Professional Activity Day Friday, October 9th

Week of October 5, 2020

Looks like this week will be a busy one at CTK!  Check out what is happening…..

 

Monday, October 5:  Today is World Teacher’s Day and we want to send a big thank you to all of the amazing educators at CTK!  This year more than ever, we thank them for their steadfast commitment and care!  We are so blessed to have such amazing educators at CTK and can’t thank them enough for all that they have done and continue to do to make a difference in the lives of students!

 

 

umbrella projectUmbrella Skill Project:  We will once again be practicing our umbrella skills at CTK and for the month of October, we we will be practicing Gratitude!  Gratitude is the skill that helps us recognize all the things we have, instead of focusing our energy on the things we don’t have or the things we can’t control.  Our brains naturally pick up and focus more on threats and negatives than positives.  Unfortunately, this bias to the negative can work against our day to day mental health and to counter this we need to make sure we help our children see the positives as often as possible. Practicing gratitude is a great way to accomplish this positive focus and prime our brains for a happier outlook. It also helps us show our appreciation and return kindness given to us. Teaching children to be thankful for what they have, what others do for them and expressing these feelings is a powerful, positive coping strategy that can get them through many of life’s difficult days, strengthen their relationships and protect against anxiety and depression.   Here’s to being Grateful!

 

Rowan’s Law Day:  On Wednesday, October 7th, we will wear purple in memory of Rowan Stringer, a 17 year-old Ottawa rugby player.  In 2018, a new law called Rowan’s Law was passed in Ontario. It helps protect people who play sports, or play active games in schools, and helps teachers, parents/guardians, and coaches learn about preventing concussions. Rowan’s Law also helps people who get concussions to recover. Have you ever bumped your head or body? Probably! We’re all at risk of getting a concussion but because some bumps can hurt our brains and our brains may need a lot of time to heal, Rowan’s Law was created. Thanks to Rowan’s Law, all sports organizations and schools in Ontario will have new rules in place around concussions. Even when we do our best to prevent injuries there is always some risk.   If you bump your head, stop and tell someone!

 

 

Terry Fox:  This Thursday, October 8th, we will be walking for Terry Fox!  We are halfway to our goal of raising $1000.00 for cancer research.  Please help keep Terry Fox’s marathon of hope alive!  Don’t forget to wear RED on Thursday!   All donations can be made online to our school page:  CTK School Terry Fox Online Page

 

Friday, October 9th:  This Friday, is a Professional Activity Day.  Staff will be engaged in professional development around the new Math curriculum.  Enjoy your extra long weekend, Bobcats!  The Extended Day Program will be opened for those students registered in the program.

 

By |2020-10-04T13:39:04-04:00October 4th, 2020|News|Comments Off on Week of October 5, 2020
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