Children Not Feeling Well – Next Steps to Follow

Families have recently received a letter from our Director regarding important changes to COVID protocols as mandated by the Ministry and Public Health.

 

When your child is at school and expresses that he/she does not feel well, (one symptom), the school is obligated to treat the situation as a possible COVID case. This is out of an abundance caution, in the effort to keep all staff, students and their extended families safe.

 

The office will contact the parents/guardians to pick up their child from school along with any siblings and begin the isolation period.

 

This isolation period for the symptomatic individual can end when ANY of the following happen:
  • there is a negative COVID-19 test result
  • there is an alternate diagnosis from a medical professional
  • 10 days have passed since the symptom started and it has not worsened, however the remainder of the household must isolate for 14 days after the last contact with the symptomatic individual
This isolation period for the asymptomatic family members can end when ANY of the following happen:
  • negative test result is confirmed
  • there is an alternate diagnosis from a medial professional
  • 14 days have passed since the last contact with the symptomatic family member (if there is no test result or alternate medical diagnosis)
Prior to the start of each school day, each child is to have the  COVID-19 School Screening Assessment completed: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.

 

When calling in your child’s absence, please describe the symptoms and let the office know which of the following you will seek:
  • a COVID-19 test
  • going to the doctor
  • self-isolating your family (siblings included)
Your continued support and understanding are appreciated as we work together to keep our school community safe and healthy.

St. Isidore Term 1 Report Cards

The Report Cards for students working on-line at St. Isidore have arrived at St. Margaret.

We have scheduled pick up times alphabetically for pick up of the reports and an IEP if a student has one already.

Pick up times will be:

Wednesday February 24th from 9:30 -11:30 a.m.

-Students with Last name beginning with A to K

Wednesday February 24th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

-Students with Last name beginning with L to Z

When picking up please follow all Health and Safety Guidelines. Vehicles are welcome to use the parking spots or pull up to the front of the school safely. Cones will guide a line up to the front door at a safe distance.

WCDSB Budget Survey 2021-2022

WCDSB is inviting schools to participate in the 2021-2022 Budget Survey.

The questions and links are here:

  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?

Updates from our Director of Education

February 22nd, 2021

 

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

Term 1 Report Card Distribution

Term 1 Report Cards for students attending St. Margaret will be distributed at bell time Friday February 19th.

Term 1 Report Cards for students learning on-line at St. Isidore will have their Report Cards delivered to St. Margaret by Monday February 22nd. A message will be posted Monday on Newswire for a scheduled pick up next week.

Please review the accomplishments and discuss goals for Term 2 with your child. Students and parents are invited to complete, sign and return the comment section. It will be placed in the student’s OSR.

 

Winter PariciPACTION & Lenten Lift-off

Based on feedback from the CSAC survey last fall in conjunction with Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (CPIC) collaboration, CPIC, is pleased to present Winter ParticiPACTION and Lenten Liftoff, a series of winter activities to support parental engagement funded by the Ministry of Ontario Pro Grants.  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.  More information on activities within each theme will be shared shortly and we are excited to offer rich content from a variety of community partners while tying the themes to our
core focus this year, “Gathered to Become”.

The first in our series of activities is specific to Faith formation for the start of Lent.  We are excited to present the series Formed which will be the foundation of activities for this theme which will feature Friday night faith flicks along with resources to support family discussion. Lenten booklets will also be available shortly and more information will follow soon.  Please join us in sharing the message of these free resources and content to support our families over the winter months.  Parents can sign up here.

Ash Wednesday at Home

Families are encouraged to place the sign of the cross on their child’s head in lieu of ashes this year.

There was no distribution of ashes this year due to Covid protocols.

The attached link has some resources  from Hamilton Diocese.

Link is: https://hamiltondiocese.com/lent2021/

Final WCDSB Elementary School 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.

Reminders from the School Office

Welcome back Scottie Families!!

We are so excited to be back face to face. Thank you for working together with staff to support on-line learning.

Just a few reminders:

1. Reminder that all students must complete the school screening self assessment EVERY day before coming to school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ At the end of the assessment, you will either get a green checkmark, an orange circle or a red X. You may only come to school if you get the green checkmark. Please call the main office every morning to report absences.

-All Students in grades 1 to 8 MUST wear their masks on the yard at all times. This includes the time before the morning bell rings, during recess time, and as they are leaving the property at the end of the day. Staff will be actively reminding students NOT to congregate.

-Parents please continue to help at pick up and drop off. Please continue to lead by example by wearing a mask while you wait. Also, avoid congregating in groups.

-Only Essential Visitors will be allowed to enter the building. (An example of an Essential Visitor is a health care provider supporting a medically fragile student.)

-Parents must not enter the building with their late children or to drop off a lunch. Please contact the office and a staff member will meet you at the door. Please wear a mask!

2. Remember the Staff Parking Lot is NOT a drop off area. We have a few families that have received special permission from the office to park safely before and after school.

3. Wednesday is Winter Walk Day! All students who walk to school, to their bus stop, or at home (for distance learners)  can register to win a gift card to Indigo by registering here https://bit.ly/LetsGetOutside.

4. To respect the current Health and Safety guidelines, students will NOT be distributing Valentine’s cards or treats. We encourage students and staff to wear Red or Pink on Friday February 12th!

 

 

 

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