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Addressing the PSW shortage through excellent training

In April 2018, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) released a report capturing how we will address the shortage of Personal Support Workers in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

The WWLHIN Report

The 2018 report states that “The WWLHIN is working hard to address the shortage for Waterloo Wellington. The obstacles surrounding the issue are complex and will take time to resolve, however, strategies are under development to rectify the issue for both the short and long term.” And St. Louis Personal Support Worker Program Manager, Tammy Cantin has heard first-hand from numerous care partners who have responded to this report with action. Some organizations have created incentive options for prospective PSW students and graduates, which could include the offer of subsidized training, cost of living, child care and partnering with PSW educational providers.

By partnering with St. Louis’ PSW program,  many long-term care and community care partnerships have emerged or been strengthened by our own school’s commitment to addressing the critical shortage of PSW’s in the Region and across the province. St. Louis is committed to training the best PSW’s possible, so that their training will take them to being sustainable members of the health care workforce.

St. Louis Certifying PSW’s

St. Louis breaks down the barriers to becoming a certified PSW by:

  • Delivering Quality education and hands-on training – meeting standards by Ministry of Education, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
  • Blending secondary school credit curriculum with PSW certification expectations and real work experience.
  • Supporting job-readiness – intensive lab instruction and significant community and long-term care placements builds a more confident PSW and sustainable employee. Employers hire 98% of St. Louis PSW’s within the first month of course completion.
  • Making the PSW program affordable – tuition is paid for by the Ministry of Education. Additional certificates, learning materials and uniform costs $1300 for the program.  Other costs include appropriate footwear and First Aid / CPR (required before beginning the program).  Community supports, financial assistance and child care services are available onsite at Kitchener Campus.
  • St. Louis PSW Program is available in Kitchener and Cambridge, full-time, part-time, days and evenings with both September and February start dates. Visit webpage for details: PSW Certificate

Start this September!

All classes in Kitchener are FULL for September and we are accepting applicants for February, 2020.

Some space available at our Cambridge location in partnership with peopleCare, Hilltop Manor.

Cambridge PSW class – starts September 25

Part-time, Tues, Wed and Thurs, 8:30am-3:30pm

Last chance to register:

Monday, September 16


150 Main Street, Cambridge

Region of Waterloo Building

Rm 172

(next to main reception area)

Back to School – Around the Corner!

Are you over 18 and ready to go back to school?

If you are looking for:

  • Credit courses to finish high school or get ready for college and university.
  • Credit preparation.  Have you been out of school for a while?
  • Skills training toward employment. Are you a better hands-on learner or ready for a career change?
  • Classes to improve English for newcomers, refugees or citizens. For a better life in Canada, better English language skills are needed.
  • Support for your children’s learning.

St. Louis has opportunities for you!

Registration begins Aug 27!

Visit our website https://stlouis@wcdsb.ca to find the program you are looking for.

Then come in to register at several locations through Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge


Summer School is Sizzling!

Going to summer school doesn’t sound cool.

That’s because it’s not.

It’s sizzling!


At St. Louis Adult and Continuing Education, we don’t slow down for the summer.  In fact, we are seeing remarkable attendance for summer programs this year!

What’s happening this Summer?

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board and St. Louis oversee 10 summer programs held in July and August.  Programs are offered at all 5 Catholic High schools, 3 Catholic Elementary schools and 2 St. Louis campuses at the heart of the downtown Kitchener community.  “We haven’t seen such large overall numbers of registrants and participants for Summer School since 2008. Credit Day classes, International Languages, ESL and HeadStart registrations have reached new heights. E-learning credit classes have skyrocketed. Summer Boost is back. And the new credit class, “Bridge to Success” for new Grade 9 students has tripled from last year.”, says St. Louis Principal, Paul Cox.

The WCDSB is thankful to have strong leaders and talented instructional staff. They are willing to make summer learning for children and adults relevant and supportive, helping them toward a successful learning journey.   Children’s programs offer fun summer learning experiences to be better students overall. Some youth and adult students rely on having the summer to complete their high school diploma or meet a condition of acceptance into post-secondary.  Some high school students want to free up their timetable for a heavy Fall term by taking an E-learning or summer co-op.  Refugees from the past couple of years are relying on taking ESL and Citizenship preparation classes as a critical next step toward their continued status in Canada.

Can You Still Register?

Registration is closed for all children’s and secondary school credit-bearing programs.

However, registration is ongoing for Summer English Language (Aug 8) and Citizenship Preparation classes (July 26).  Visit 77 Young Street for ESL registration, mornings only.

See you next Fall!

Whether you are attending summer school, sending your kids to camp, picking up a long overdue hobby or working through a summer reading list, know that at St. Louis, we believe that all of us crave “life-long learning”, inside and outside of the classroom.

Wishing everyone a safe and educational summer!  See you August 26 and 27 to register for St. Louis September programs!

Visit stlouis.wcdsb.ca July 12 for details.



Register NOW for Summer or September classes

The ESL office will be open the following hours at St. Mary’s only until August 8th:

8:15 AM – 12:15 PM Mon – Fri (not open July 1st or 2nd)

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM June 25, 26, July 2, 3, 8, 10.

Check the St. Louis website for September class registration hours and locations at the end of August.

Looking for sustainable work in the service industry?

Last chance to register in June for Certificate Programs that start September.  Spend 6 months in-class with intensive hands-on training, earn 6-8 elective credits, apply this learning during a 2-month work placement, find guaranteed work for successful students.


What are you waiting for?

The remaining intake or registration times for St. Louis’ three school-to-work programs starting in September are:  


Personal Support Worker Training

Monday, June 3, 9:00am

at 80 Young Street, Kitchener (for either Kitchener or Cambridge programs)

Tuesday, June 11, 6:00pm

at 42 Elliott St., Cambridge (PeopleCare, Hilltop Manor) (for either Kitchener or Cambridge programs)

Hairstyling/ Barber Training

Friday, June 7, 9:00am

at 80 Young Street, Kitchener (Kitchener program)


Culinary Arts Training

Wednesday, June 12, 9:00am

at 80 Young Street, Kitchener (Kitchener program)

We’ve got SKILLS… training!

During the first week of May, we expect students to line up to register for our three skills training programs – Culinary Arts, Hairstyling / Barber and Personal Support Worker training programs. If you are looking for a quality, affordable and job-ready skills training option to earn one of these certificates, St. Louis can support you toward reaching this goal.


Each program has less than 6 months of in-class learning, which includes extensive hands-on learning, plus industry experience at an affordable $1300 for materials fees.  Tuition is covered by the Ministry of Education, as secondary school credits are embedded into the industry-relevant training.


Employment success is remarkable, after completing these certificate programs. Culinary Arts has an 80% employment rate, and often at the food service venue of their choosing. Hairstyling has an 85% employment rate with every student successfully passing exemption exams, so they can begin their apprenticeship sooner. And St. Louis PSW has an astounding 98% employment rate with numerous employers actively hiring students to begin immediately after their placements are finished.  PSW students write their exams and already have their letters of permission to begin work that same day.


Are you ready to make a career change!

May Intake / Registration dates for a September 2019 Start


Culinary Arts:

  • Friday, May 3, 2019 , 9:00am (Kitchener Main Campus, 80 Young St.)

Hairstyling / Barbering:

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:00pm (Kitchener Main Campus, 80 Young St.)

Personal Support Worker:

  • Monday, May 6, 2019, 9:00am (Kitchener Main Campus, 80 Young St.)
  • Monday, May 13, 2019, 9:00am (Hilltop Manor, 42 Elliott St. Cambridge)


For more information: visit https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca , call 519-745-1201, email stlouis@wcdsb.ca






Follow the Beacon of Hope


Budding trees and flowers, birds chirping, newborn babies, and other small creatures welcoming a world filled with obstacles; these are all symbols of hope.


When a lighthouse light shines, reminding you to keep going on your journey or guiding you to shore for safety, that light is a Beacon of Hope.  The Beacon of Hope Award was established in 2015 by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for all students attending our Secondary Schools, including St. Louis. A suitable recipient will represent integrity, hard work, consistent efforts, Catholic values, and may not get recognized with the traditional academic / athletic / student spirit awards.


There are few things about St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres that make us “traditional”, and that is likely because we have  over 13, 000 students attending our schools’ campuses and satellite locations, representing all ages, faiths, backgrounds and walks of life.  What makes St. Louis students diverse and unique is also what binds St. Louis to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, the Beacon of Hope Award and its intentions. Because of this uniqueness, the Beacon of Hope Award ceremony is so meaningful to our school community.


On Thursday, April 18, 2019, we have honoured 3 recipients who embody the quiet resilience of the human spirit, optimism and compassion toward others, and the deep meaning that by shedding light, they hold onto hope for a better life and bring inspiration to others. Their powerful stories of struggle and perseverance were shared and this incredible honour was bestowed on them by Loretta Notten, Director of Education and Trustees of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.


Let us celebrate St. Louis’ 2019 Beacon Of Hope recipients:

Asmaa Ghazi Jameel

Mohamed Amin Bin Nurul 

Allan Martin


Every year that we celebrate the Beacon of Hope Award ceremony together, we walk away reflecting on the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s vision of being at the at the Heart of the Community, bringing Success for Each, and a Place for All. Staff and students at St. Louis strive to model this vision and our own school motto: Hope, Opportunity and Success for All! — a perfectly blended picture of who we are as an organization, within the whole.


An extra special thanks goes to our Chef teacher and St. Louis Culinary students for making this breakfast ceremony so special.

It’s Official! We are BACK IN CAMBRIDGE!

For over 30 years, St. Louis has offered a variety of credit courses and supportive programs in Cambridge.  Are we REALLY BACK? Some say we never left.  Many say they felt the absence of secondary school day classes in Cambridge these past 3 years. 


We are thrilled to announce that we have forged a partnership with the Region of Waterloo Employment Income Support and Community Services, St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres to re-introduce Secondary School Credit Day Classes in Cambridge! We feel so welcomed by the staff at 150 Main, Cambridge to bring this option back and we want you TELL EVERYBODY!



If you or someone you know is looking for secondary school credits or to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, they have the immediate opportunity to register over the next 3 weeks (April 15 -May 2).  First class is May 6, and we will offer our first teacher-directed Learning Strategies credit class back in Cambridge,  every weekday morning (8:45-11:45), 5 days a week until June 26 .  Core curriculum courses (e.g. Math and English) will be offered in September or they can start NOW with numerous Correspondence options to choose from.  Correspondence is self-directed learning, however onsite teacher support will be available in the Region of Waterloo Employment Resource Area computer lab.  This lab will give students a quiet study space and they can access tutor support by certified teachers, four afternoons a week

Please tell your friends, support your clients or challenge yourself to meet their goals:

  • to complete high school credits,
  • achieve an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or
  • pursue their plans for post-secondary prerequisites

We will do everything we can to support. Simply, take the following steps:

Step 1: Get your transcript from the last high school you attended or contact St. Louis is you are a former student

Step 2: Come to 150 Main Street, Cambridge, Monday to Thursday, 10am – 2pm with your transcript and photo ID – No student fees required in Cambridge.

Step 3: Develop an Education Plan with a St. Louis Guidance Counsellor (there are 6 ways to earn a secondary school credit through St. Louis!)

Step 4: Come back to school – May 6th



If you or someone you are supporting is still unsure or feels insecure in their abilities, please refer them to St. Louis Core Essentials 519-745-1201 or Project Read 519-570-3054 who will provide assessments, motivation and non-credit support to pursue this journey back in the classroom.

So what else does St. Louis continue to offer in Cambridge?

For Adults:

  • Core Essentials, literacy and basic skills (behind St. Benedict CSS)
  • ESL classes, day and evening (behind St. Benedict CSS)
  • Personal Support Worker training (Hilltop Manor)
  • Dual Credit (in partnership with Conestoga College)
  • Credits@Work (at the student’s place of employment)
  • Online credit courses (on any computer with internet connection)
  • Portuguese language credit class on Monday night (at St. Benedict CSS)

For Youth and Children:

  • Portuguese language credit class on Monday night (at St. Benedict CSS)
  • Polish, Portuguese & Spanish International Languages – Elementary (Holy Spirit Catholic Elementary)
  • Saturday Skills Builder for Grade 7 & 8 (at St. Benedict CSS)
  • Summer Expedition for Gr 6, 7 & 8 (at St. Benedict CSS)
  • Get a HeadStart to Gr. 9 (at St. Benedict CSS and Monsignor Doyle CSS)
  • Homework Clubs (at several Catholic Elementary Schools + St. Benedict and Mons. Doyle)

For details:

visit: https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca 

email: stlouis@wcdsb.ca

phone: 519-745-1201

What’s Keeping You From Finishing?

What’s keeping you from finishing your high school diploma?


Not enough time?

Going back with teenagers?

Something else?


We have the answers to all your questions about finishing your high school diploma and achieving your goals fast!  Finishing your high school diploma. It’s easier, faster and more within reach than you probably think. We understand. The idea of finishing your high school diploma in your final year of Grade 12 or as an adult of any age can be stressful.  For some adults, it’s a fear of going back to school with a younger crowd.  For others, it’s a cost consideration.  Maybe you don’t think you have time — that the sacrifice is too hard.


At St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres, we’ve made it easy for you to take the next steps toward your successful future, with flexible options that suit your life timetable. You can take courses or earn credits at our Main Campus, at home, at work or online. Credits can be taken during the day, night or even in the summer.  Ask us how to tailor your journey today or explore your website: https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca/programsandcourses/ssc/ .


If you’re an Ontario resident over the age of 18, tuition is free when finishing your high school diploma.  That’s right. You can achieve your high school diploma without tuition costs.   Some materials fees do apply, yet still highly affordable.

It’s FAIRgetmyhighschooldiploma

Credits toward finishing your high school diploma can be applied for previous learning or experience you may already have.  This means that finishing your high school diploma may be closer than you imagine.  This is especially important for new Canadians who have previous academic and life experience prior to arriving in Canada.

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) is the preferred accreditation for employers, as a minimum standard.  It’s what they look for when considering job applications and in today’s online application process, it’s an important tick box that must be truthfully answered.


Don’t let ANYTHING hold you back from taking the next easy step toward achieving your goals.




St. Louis is one of 60 locations in the Province to serve you and we are proud to serve Waterloo Region for over 30 years!


Still not sure if you are ready?  Visit getmyhighschooldiploma interactive microsite for more information.

Or go directly to the St. Louis at 80 Young Street, Kitchener. Explore our website: https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca/. Email stlouis@wcdsb.ca with your questions. Call to speak with someone in Guidance at 519-745-1201.

St. Louis Hairstyling Program – Volumizing Our Numbers

Next Intake/ Registration session for Hairstyling/ Barber Training:

Tuesday, February 5 at 9:00 am


Another term is ending for high school students, many of whom are doing their victory lap to improve some grades and are working to afford college or university.  We also have St. Louis students finishing Term 3 at the end of February. Why not register for St. Louis Hairstyling and Barber Training that begins March 25, 2019?


Many of those students are working in retail and hospitality jobs, gaining customer service skills that would be transferable in any career.  So if you are looking  to kick-start a professional career — a trade you will always have in your back pocket.


Check out the St. Louis Hairstyling and Barber Training details