HEADStart was a HUGE success!

Almost 60% of all Grade 9’s attending our Catholic Secondary Schools participated!

Pay it Forward to your peers who were unable to attend and tell the Grade 8’s from your former Elementary school how valuable this program was to your start-up success!

  • Open your locker – no probs!
  • Finding your classes – piece of cake!
  • Navigate around other parts of the school — mostly, except for those areas that were under construction this summer 🙁
  • New faces are now familiar  – whew!
  • Feel a part of my new school community on the first day of school – you bet!

DATES for 2018: Thursday, August 23, Friday August 24, Monday August 27 and Tuesday August 28 (MAKE YOUR SUMMER PLANS around these dates, as attendance on all 4 dates is expected)

  • 9:00am-12:00pm daily at all 5 Catholic Secondary Schools 
  • 12:30pm-3:30pm to be determined

This program is a summer program and not mandatory, however registration is required.

Registration will open Feb 26, 2018.

Nervousness about starting high school is heightened for most students in the days leading up to the first day of Grade 9.  HEADStart can alleviate some of that anxiety.

For the past 7 years, St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres and of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board have worked together to create a stellar program that addresses academic and social anxiety, provides Gr 8 students going into Grade 9 with the tools of academic readiness, study skills to achieve success and a chance to connect with peers (old and new) in meaningful ways during this tough transition.

Each day’s activities of the HEADStart program builds on the previous. Teachers and students cannot “help” the absent student “catch-up” the next day because they are already on to the next activity. Experiential learning is best learned “in the moment”.  If this 4-day program conflicts with other summer plans, and your child can only attend part of the program or not at all, we ask that you do not register your child.  Commitment to attend all 4 mornings ensure optimal learning, the greatest benefit and the least disruption within the limited 12 hours the program is running. If they cannot attend all four days, please be assured that students who are able to attend HEADStart will be encouraged to pay it forward and show their peers a few tips they learned once school begins. Also, every high school has a team of students and staff that will help along the way. HEADStart merely gives Grade 9 students a bit more support, more time to adjust to the transition, and gain more confidence to cope with the first few weeks of high school … and therefore focus less on adjusting and more on course learning and achievement and making choices regarding involvement in other school activities.

Get excited and BE PREPARED for those first few weeks/months of Grade 9 at our Catholic Secondary Schools next September. Grade 9 is an exciting, yet challenging milestone.

  • Find out what you need to know about your new high school
  • Meet energetic LINK crew and student leaders, Guidance, Student Success and Chaplains who are all committed to supporting ALL Grade 9’s
  • Get your timetable early … and make sense of it!
  • Find your locker and classes ahead of time
  • Get study skills tips to keep those grades up AND be involved!
  • Find out what to do and who to talk to when you are having trouble
  • Make new friends in small and large groups

Don’t be nervous. Have fun!  Bring out your Best!

Students and Parents alike have repeatedly shared how this program “transforms” them. Confidence increases, attitude toward school is positive, bonds with new friends meaningful, and achievement in course work is focused. A 12 hour program is only a piece of the whole transition to high school, however this concentrated effort by each Catholic Secondary School is making a difference!

HEADStart is a 4-day program, offered on the following dates

Thursday, August 23, 2018 – Day 1

Friday, August 24, 2018 – Day 2

Monday, August 27, 2018 – Day 3

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 – Day 4


Morning Session: 9:00am-12:00pm (all 5 Catholic Secondary Schools)

Afternoon Session: 12:30pm – 3:30pm (to be determined)


HEADStart is a summer program and not mandatory, and separate registration for this summer program is required.  REGISTRATION RE-OPENS Feb 26, 2018.

Get a HEADStart to Grade 9 is offered at all five Catholic Secondary Schools with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.  St. Louis plays a supportive role in planning, organizing and registering students for this sought-after FREE summer program.

If your child is registering to attend the following high schools in the Fall 2018, then they should be encouraged to register for this summer program as well.

  • Monsignor Doyle CSS — morning session
  • Resurrection CSS — morning session
  • St. Benedict CSS — morning session (afternoon session to be determined)
  • St. David CSS — morning session
  • St. Mary’s High School — morning session (afternoon session to be determined)

ONLINE REGISTRATION closed Friday, June 16, 2017 at midnight

Unfortunately, the program is at maximum capacity and no waitlist is available to accommodate new registrations.


For More Information, please contact:

Michele Breault, Program Manager

519-745-1201 or email stlouis@wcdsb.ca