Director Notten Letter To Families

October 29th, 2021

Dear WCDSB Community,

We hope that you continue to be well and that you are enjoying some of the beauty that the fall season affords us.  We are pleased that, for the moment, cases seem to be slowing provincially and in the region, and in general, currently we are seeing fewer cases in our schools.

This letter brings a few important updates of which we would like you to be aware as they are important to your understanding as to how things are unfolding and precautions we wish to continue to enforce, so that we may continue on a safe, healthy and positive path as a community.


As we have shared before, please know that one of the most important things you do each and every day is to complete the screening tool before you as a staff member or student (or parent of a student) arrive at school.  Any individual who fails the screener or who is symptomatic in any way should not be reporting to school.  That is part of our collective responsibility to one another.


We have started our conversations with Waterloo Region Public Health about vaccination for our 5-11 year olds but at this point, things are still in the planning and approval stage.  As updates become available and we have specifics to share, we will be in touch as promptly as possible.


On October 28th, the government did share additional updates in relation to program with PCR testing and rapid antigen testing (“Test to Stay”).  In both cases these programs feed from pilot programs in the province,  and will be utilized when deemed necessary.  Both are in relation to when there are positive cases being experienced in a given school community.  There are specific criteria tied to their use and are not general surveillance/screening tools.

Sports / Athletics

As reported in my last letter, we have been pleased to see the return of athletics and sport to our schools and for inter-scholastic play to have returned for those age 12 and older.  The criteria to play is full vaccination and/or proof of a negative test.  This strategy is being used in a very targeted way for students who are not able to use our other usual strategies to ensure their safety – that is – they are unable to ensure masking and social distancing.  We have been heartened by how well received the return to athletics has gone, and remain enormously grateful to our (coaching) staff for supporting this “return to play/competition”.  The tests we were able to provide, through the support of a local partner, are no longer available to us.  At a provincial level, informed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, they have indicated we are no longer able to access or provide the tests.  We are disappointed by this decision as we did feel it was a safe and equitable way to deliver sports.  Our policy that a player /athlete must be fully vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative test has not changed.  Families will now have to source the tests.  Below we provide some links where those purchases may be made.  Of course, vaccination remains an option.

Inclement Weather Protocol

Every year at this time we like to share some reminders about protocols for snow days.  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, as was the case last year, that is not possible due to our covid 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 9:30 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.  We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and hope that we are not in this situation too often.

Potential Travel

A reminder that students under 12, travelling with vaccinated parents do not have to quarantine per se, but they are not allowed to return to school until 14 days from return have passed.  This guidance is found on our webpage.  This is federal policy we are sharing.

Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are continuing to ensure a safe and happy school experience for all.

We are grateful for your support and partnership as we navigate this unique year.


Loretta Notten

Director of Education

Grades 4 to 12 WCDSB Census

The WCDSB Student Census is an online survey that collects data specifically related to self-identity, demographics, and experiences at school. The WCDSB Student Census is a confidential and voluntary survey for all students in Grades 4 to 12. The goal of the Student Census is to better understand the diversity of students within the WCDSB and to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural, social and demographic makeup of our students.


This work is mandated for all school boards in Ontario under the Provincial Anti-Racism Act (ARA s.6(2)). The census will allow us to gain detailed insight as to the cultural, social and demographic makeup of our students and will be used to identify/eliminate systemic barriers. This is a valuable opportunity for us to learn more about the students we support and help us to identify differences and gaps in our students’ experiences and outcomes, based on their diverse needs.


The Student Census includes questions about:
• Indigenous Identity
• First Languages
• Ethnic/Cultural Background
• Racial Identity
• Citizenship Status
• Religious/Spiritual Affiliation
• Gender At Birth/Gender Identity (9-12)
• Sexual Orientation (9-12)
• Challenges (e.g., ADHD, Hearing Impairment)
• Household Characteristics
• School Experiences (e.g., Belonging)


The Student Census supports many curriculum connections. Some of which include:
• Transferable Skills (All Curriculum 1-12): Global Citizenship and Sustainability
• Family Life (Grade 1-8): Living In Relationship B2 Exploring Human Nature
• Social Studies (Grade 1-6): Vision and Goals of the Program


All students from grades 4 through 12, regardless of their learning modality (e.g., face-to-face, virtual), are invited to participate. We offer the survey online, however, a paper format is available upon request through the school Administrator. The survey will be taken during class time and devices will be made available to students.


The Student Census is voluntary. Parents/Guardians of students under the age of 18 can request their child be exempt by completing the opt-out form. Please visit:


Further, in November, any student may choose not to participate, to stop participating, or to skip a question at any time, regardless of whether their parents/guardians consented. If you have questions or comments about the WCDSB Student Census, please contact the school Principal or and one of the Census team staff members will respond shortly.

LAST Domino’s Pizza Fundraiser Night Tuesday October 26th

Tuesday October 26th


800 Franklin Blvd. / Avenue Rd.


  1. When you place an order enter the code CARE on every pizza
    Example: if you order 3 pizzas you need to enter the code CARE 3 times.

How St. Margaret benefits from families ordering pizzas:

  1. Margaret School will receive $5.00 for each pizza received at that store.

St. Margaret Halloween FUN is on Friday, October 29th.


Students and staff are invited and encouraged to wear their costumes to school or wear orange and black Friday October 29th!

Please ensure that your child’s costume/clothing is appropriate for school. Students are to wear non-violent costumes/clothing along with their mask/face covering (minimal make up). We discourage ‘props’ as they are easily lost or damaged. We are also discouraging ‘inflatable’ costumes in the classroom to respect our COVID protocols BUT students can bring an inflatable costume to wear in the dance! Students are expected to manage their own costumes (especially for washroom breaks).

Costume Masks DO NOT replace the wearing of their own ‘safe’ mask.


At this time, please do not send Halloween treats.

Our Grade 7/8 Student Parliament has planned activities for the week:

*CANDY GUESSING GAME BALLOTS will be given to each student to fill in and guess the number of candies in the jars.  The jars will be in the front foyer all week, and students can submit their answers on Friday before they enter the dance.  Winners will be announced on Friday after the dance.

*Pumpkin decorating contest is available for any class that wants to participate. There will be prizes for winners for the following categories: Scariest, Most Creative, and best Jack O Lantern.

*Colouring contests for our EY and Primary classes.

*Each class will have some fun and dance in the gym with their classmates to some Halloween themed music.

*Each student will be given a treat bag (includes a bag of chips, mini-chocolate bar and juice box) on their way OUT of the dance.

Thank you for your understanding.

Mr. J. Schnarr

St. Margaret Bingo Volunteers Needed!


St. Margaret is one of over 70 non-profit organizations that have the opportunity to volunteer for bingo, and all are members of the Cambridge Gaming Association (CGA).

Since 2010, the school has been earning a share of bingo proceeds in exchange for providing trained volunteers at assigned bingo sessions.

Training is now available online!

Our school needs a volunteer to attend a bingo session once a month for a 2 hr session.  Sessions will be Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

Over the past 8years St. Margaret has raised over $40,000.  The funds have been used for…

-playground structures

-school mass busing

-gym equipment

-hosting a math night

-library books & Resources

-school busing for movie

-classroom toy bins

-student agendas

-digital camera

-sports team uniforms

-library furniture

-headphones for computers

-kindergarten toys

-wireless headset for gym

-science enrichment tools

-learning to code programming

-ECO Club initiatives

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Bingo Coordinator Robin Hanian at


Domino’s School Pizza Today



Tuesday October 19th

Tuesday October 26th


800 Franklin Blvd. / Avenue Rd.


  1. When you place an order enter the code CARE on every pizza
    Example: if you order 3 pizzas you need to enter the code CARE 3 times.

How St. Margaret benefits from families ordering pizzas:

  1. Margaret School will receive $5.00 for each pizza received at that store.


Saturday Skills Builder – Grade 7 & 8

Dear Parents/Guardians of Grade 7 & 8’s,


A great opportunity on Saturday mornings:  9:00am to 12:00pm ONLINE (until in-person learning permitted),


October to June (regular attendance is not required, but strongly encouraged)


Skills Builder is a FREE literacy and numeracy support program for Gr 7 and 8 students attending any school within Waterloo Region.  If your child needs help to get through this transitional time and grades or study habits are suffering, encourage them to get the extra help they need. Taught by Certified Intermediate teachers, Skills Builder will provide instruction and additional resources to assist with the skills and tasks that follow this year’s curriculum.


Skills Builder is intended to help students who need:
  • more time and attention outside of school hours
  • a different approach to learning
  • to hear, see, and apply new knowledge more than once
CLICK HERE to register online.


For more information:


WCDSB Student Census

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you are aware, we have our WCDSB Student Census beginning in just over 2 weeks. We invite you to please have a look at the census here

The purpose of the WCDSB Student Census is to eliminate systemic racism and advance racial equity in the WCDSB as authorized by the Anti-Racism Act in s.7(2).  The WCDSB Student Census is a confidential and voluntary survey for all students from Grades 4 to 12 that students will complete with their classroom teacher during class time.  The results and analysis of the census will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the diversity of students within the WCDSB and of the cultural, social and demographic makeup of our students.

The WCDSB Students Census is voluntary. Any student may choose not to participate, to stop participating, or to skip a question at any time. Additionally, parents/guardians of students under 18 years of age can ask that their child be exempt from participating in the census. As part of our communication campaign, information has been distributed electronically by school Newswire, on our website, and on social media.  As you will read within the Student Census information, there is an OPT out opportunity, this process is explained within the link. The OPT out option is available until October 25th should parents choose this.

We look forward to sharing the results from the Student Census as it becomes available.

Monday October 18th School Photos at St. Margaret

Lifetouch Photos

Monday October 18th in the school gym

-we will begin at 9:00 a.m. with our Early Year’s classes

-these photos will only be head and shoulder pictures at this time

-we will offer other photo options in the Spring (e.g., sibling photos / Graduation photos)

-there will not be class photos or composite at this time

St Margaret Grade 3 First Holy Communion Reminders

St Margaret Grade 3 First Holy Communion Reminders:

-Saturday October 16th

-St. Patrick Church with Father Joe

10:00 a.m. Mass (Alphabet letters last name beginning with A – M, including Weise Family)

*Please wait until at least 9:30 a.m. to enter the church. A staff member will greet you!

*a staff member will put a reserved seat label on each pew so no need to come extra early

1:00 p.m. Mass (Alphabet letters last name beginning with N – Z)

*Please wait until at least 12:30 p.m. to enter the church. A staff member will greet you!

*a staff member will put a reserved seat label on each pew so no need to come extra early

-each family gets 1 pew, up to 8 people

-there are no formal or group photos. If you want a photo with Father Joe, see him after mass. If you want a picture in front of the altar, please wait until the end of mass and families are moving out safely.

-Please wear a mask!!

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