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Cooks, Hairstylists and PSW’s of 2021

Have you really thought about the adaptations all industries have made during the pandemic?

Training for these industries has had to adapt as well. So what does your future hold? At St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres, there is Hope, Opportunity and Success for All.  You can upgrade secondary school credits toward a pre-requisite for any college or university program, work toward finally finishing your high school diploma or improve your English with teacher support.  Or you could consider hands-on, in-person, skills training programs.

Over the next two weeks, St. Louis is recruiting for our three skills training programs.

A few unknowns about St. Louis’ skills training or ‘school-to-work’ programs is that:

  • Tuition is paid for by the Ministry of Education,
  • Materials fees are low ($1,300)
  • and Secondary School Credits can be earned or upgraded.


Bring a fresh start to the new year and be work-ready by next Fall.

Pre-register and book an evening intake appointment NOW for:

  • Wednesday, November 18  Hairstyling / Barber training intake session – Start date: January 4, 2021
  • Wednesday, November 25  Culinary Arts training intake session – Start date: Feb 1, 2021

Covid-19 has shown the high demand for trained Personal Support Workers and St. Louis is accepting pre-registrations for 2021 Certified PSW Training classes.  Although the February 2021 PSW class is already full, inquire now to be on the waiting list.

For more information about any of these affordable, skills training programs, please email: stlouis@wcdsb.ca 

St. Louis Term 2 classes start on a Friday?

Who thinks about going back to school on a Friday at the end of October?

  • Adults who are determined to get their high school diploma – no matter how long it has been or how many credits you ‘think’ you still need!
  • Adults who have sights on post-secondary for 2021 (university, college, trades)
  • People looking for work and need to brush up on skills or pivot directions
  • Newcomers to Canada who have improved their English levels to Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 6+ and are ready to have their International Education recognized and high school equivalencies measured
  • Existing St. Louis students who just finished a rigorous 8 weeks of remote learning from home on the Desire to Learn (D2L) platform and are that much closer to reaching your goals.

Secondary School Credit (SSC) day classes are offered morning and afternoon. During Covid-19 restrictions, these day classes are still being taught remotely or through distance learning.  St. Louis is a really great adult, school-board run institution that will be a safe landing space to prepare you for your future.   Commit to the set times every morning and/or afternoon, Monday to Friday from October 30th to December 18th and earn one or two SSC’s toward your goal.

You’ve heard of Motivation Mondays? Let’s call this Fired-up Friday.

Don’t wait! It’s never to late to start or upgrade. Get motivated and let us help you reach your goals!

Term 2 Course Selection Form is available Oct 29, 30 and Nov 2 ONLY during Guidance Office Hours. A Guidance Counsellor will get back to you as quickly as possible, to get you started. 

For more information visit:  https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca/programsandcourses/ssc/day-classes/



Fairview & St. Louis Launch PSW ‘Living Classroom’


October 8, 2020 CAMBRIDGE – Fairview Seniors Community is pleased to officially welcome St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres and the Class of 2021 PSW students to its Cambridge campus.  This inaugural part-time St. Louis PSW class at Fairview Mennonite began on Tuesday, October 6th

A ceremonial (mask-) cutting was held by a small group of key contributors to this initiative on Thursday October 8 at 10:00 a.m., social distanced, outside the new classroom in the Main building of Fairview Seniors Community.









Fairview and St. Louis have partnered to offer a progressive ‘Living Classroom’ experience for 22 PSW students who will receive their training in the newly constructed 1,000 square foot classroom at Fairview.

The curriculum is the same as other PSW learning environments recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.  The Living Classroom concept, developed by Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and tested by Colleges across the province, is being adopted in collaboration with Fairview’s long-term care home and St. Louis’ 20-year PSW program.  Together, they are taking care training to the next level to create a shared learning environment. Students have the benefit of practical, hands-on experience incorporated into their learning and apply their knowledge throughout their training, while current staff and residents benefit from refreshers on best practices. This living classroom approach helps students build on their confidence and experience, as well as learn about the opportunities for growth and development in long-term care.

Tammy Cantin, St. Louis PSW Program Manager reflects on this partnership evolution by stating that “Fairview Seniors Community has been a solid partner with St. Louis for well over a decade, working with students during the placement portion of the program and hiring our graduates.  We are thrilled and honoured that Fairview would choose to invest in our school board-run adult training program.  I believe our shared vision will help further advance personal support worker care and care training in our community.”

As part of their training, students will continue to have practical placements in Fairview’s Long-Term Care Home (LTC) and Fairview’s Home and Community program. Upon successful completion of their certification exam in early July 2021, graduates may have the possibility of employment at Fairview in its LTC Home, Home and Community program or Fairview Suites.

“Fairview Seniors Community is privileged to enter into this training initiative with St. Louis, given the overwhelming need for PSWs in our Community, Long Term Care, Retirement and Home and Community,” says Elaine Shantz, Fairview Parkwood Communities CEO. “This enriched learning model feels like exactly the right fit for our campus of care. We are truly pleased to see this partnership unfold.”

Staff and students will follow Fairview’s and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s health and safety protocols, including health test screening upon entry and exit, physical distanced learning environment and personal protective equipment. Safety in our community and our residents in care will always remain top priority.


Fairview Parkwood Seniors Communities is a not-for-profit, charitable, faith-based organization featuring a campus continuum of care and affordable retirement options in both Cambridge and Waterloo. Fairview Parkwood Seniors Communities welcomes older adults of all faiths, cultures and financial means. The Communities offer a range of retirement options including independent living, assisted living and long-term care, as well as a Seniors Active Living Centre at its Fairview campus.


 The St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres have been a proud part of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for 34 years, historically serving more than 250,000 learners and over 12,500 annually to earn credits, learn languages and gain skills.  Each year, several hundred adult learners receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and over 6500 Secondary school credits are earned. For almost 20 years, more than 2,800 students have graduated from St. Louis’ award-winning certificate, apprenticeship and licensing ‘school-to-work’ programs (Culinary, Hairstyling/Barbering and Personal Support Worker) of which 82% per cent of Chef and Hairstyling graduates and 98% of Personal Support Worker graduates find employment in their fields within six months of graduation.

Watch the clip on CTV -Kitchener News or read about it in the Exchange Magazine

To register for the NEXT available class, visit https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca/programsandcourses/psw/certificate/

Catholic Secondary Schools NEW Start Date & St. Louis Start-Up

WCDSB Director of Education, Loretta Notten sends an open letter to all Catholic Secondary School Students stating that the WCDSB Catholic Secondary School start date has been moved to Monday September 14th.

Letter to Catholic Secondary Parents and Guardians Sept 01 2020


Catholic Elementary schools still plan to be opened with staggered starts between September 8 to September 11, by grades.  We know that there will be many new routines for our students to learn.  And we are continuing to work hard to prepare our schools and to prepare our staff to welcome our students.  We feel it is prudent and critical to a successful start to stagger the start of school for our students.

WCDSB is also challenged to fully schedule and staff our virtual school(s).

The newest virtual school for WCDSB K-12 students is now named St. Isidore.

St. Louis Adult and Continuing Education has had self-directed and online learning options for adults for a number of years and St. Louis’ Fall 2020 start up will also have staggered starts.

See below for highlights or visit our website for details.

IMPORTANT St. Louis Start-up Dates

Here are some St. Louis  start-up highlights:

  • Term 1 Secondary Credit Courses begin daily classes remotely Wednesday, September 9thRegister NOW and earn a credit in less than 8 weeks.
  • Self-directed online courses begin Monday, September 28 with options to earn credits around your schedule.   Certified teacher tutor support available in-person and by appointment.
  • International Languages Secondary School Credit courses are part of the above credit course registration process.  Register NOW for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish classes
  • All PSW, Culinary and Hairstyling students who were unable to complete their practical skills in class back in March and April have already returned to complete the last portion of their professional skills training, in-person, and in-school.  This hands-on learning in a safe school environment will prepare these students for their placements later this month.  Licensed Child Care is available onsite to support St. Louis students.  Registration has begun!
  • A NEW cohort of PSW, Culinary and Hairstyling students begin September 28.  St. Louis has small class sizes that will allow for in-person learning and skills development.  If you want to be ready to graduate next Spring, Register NOW for these high demand professional training programs.  Tuition is free, with affordable materials fees! Email stlouis@wcdsb.ca for details.
  • Core Essentials will be offered in-person in small class sizes beginning September 14
  • ESL and LINC will only be offered in-person for those English Language learners with the lowest literacy levels.  All students with Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 2 and higher will continue with remote learning morning, afternoon, evening and Saturdays this Fall. ESL & LINC Classes start September 14
  • Saturday and after school children’s language programs starting soon. Visit webpage for details.

May 12 Update to WCDSB re: COVID-19 School Closure

Your Voice Matters

As the Waterloo Catholic District School Board awaits direction from Provincial and local government officials to guide the future of our return to school, so does the feedback we receive from parents and students.  To our St. Louis school community and to parents of WCDSB students, please find attached an update from Loretta Notten,  Director of Education and Bill Conway, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Letter to WCDSB School Closure COVID 19 May 12th 2020

Upcoming eNewsletters

We are committed to keeping you updated, as much as possible.  If you want to learn about ongoing St. Louis programs or when schools and programs re-open, please read our upcoming eNewsletters ‘The St. Louis Hopeful . Invite your network to scroll to the bottom of our homepage and subscribe.

23 New PSW Graduates Immediately Deployed into Long-Term-Care Homes

April 16, 2020

Waterloo Region, ON — The Waterloo Catholic District School Board today announced that all 23 Personal Support Worker (PSW) students who finished their studies and yesterday received their letters of certification at the Board’s St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres, today began work at six local long-term care homes and two hospice centres in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

The St. Louis PSW program is an acknowledged leader among Ontario’s 22 school-board run PSW programs. The PSW Program Manager is Tammy Cantin RN and the program instructors for this cohort were Jill Corkery RN and Colleen Bisson RN.


“It is such a privilege to help prepare eager people for a career in healthcare and from day one our program strives to put the highest quality graduates into this role. Our focus on infection prevention for caregivers in health care is emphasized in all modules, since protecting themselves and others, under any circumstances, is vital. Students who start in the September program are faced with outbreaks of seasonal flu in our January placement, so they learn when they are in class that without infection preventing strategies, our long-term care homes can lose vulnerable people to the flu. We stress proper PPE use, cleaning of high touch surfaces, staying home if unwell, reporting and recording of all changes to clients’ conditions, etc., as integral components to quality care. “

~~ Jill Corkery RN – PSW Instructor

“St. Louis graduates are thinking critically and not merely doing what they see others do. I feel our graduates are very well prepared to meet the challenges faced in healthcare today and every day.“

~~ Tammy Cantin RN – PSW Program Manager


About the April 2020 PSW Program Graduates


  • Full time classes began (In-class theory): September, 2019
  • Lab training: Dec 16-20, 2019 and Jan 6-10, 2020
  • Final skills testing: Jan 13 &14
  • Long-term care 180 hour supervised placement. This class was specifically placed at Sunnyside Home in Kitchener and PeopleCare Hilltop Manor in Cambridge): Jan 15 -Feb 20, 2020
  • Community care 135 hour placement with various group homes and home care settings: Feb 21 – March 26, 2020
  • Exam written: April 14, 2020
  • Letters to Employers: April 15, 2020
  • First Day on the Job: April 16, 2020

About St. Louis:

  • The St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres have been a proud part of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for 33 years, serving more than 250,000 learners.
  • The total current number of St. Louis students of ALL AGES served across all programs = 12,500.
  • More than 38,000 hours of additional after school, Saturday and Summer Literacy and Numeracy supports is provided to students from Grades 7-10 annually.
  • The number of day school credits earned by St. Louis students = 6568 – and several hundred adult learners receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma via St. Louis annually.
  • Over the last 15 -20 years, more than 2,800 students have graduated from St. Louis’ award-winning, accredited certificate, apprenticeship and licensing ‘school-to-work’ programs (Culinary, Hairstyling and Personal Support Worker).
  • 82% per cent of Chef and Hairstyling graduates and 98% of Personal Support Worker graduates find employment in their fields within six months of graduation.

Related Links:

St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres

Follow us on Twitter: @StLouisWCDSB

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 48 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 184-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

Check out the story in the WR Record

St. Louis 2.0 Action during COVID-19 School Closure

Heart of the Community

In January 2020, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board announced that St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centre, Kitchener Main Campus was here to stay. This campus is the heart of our school community and we are still elated. Our students and community partners are thrilled as well! This news means continuance of service in a hub atmosphere, plans for future improvements to our buildings, innovations in our learning environments, and increased use of technology within the already many ways that learning happens at St. Louis.  

This 2019-2020 school year also marked the launch of a rebrand (of sorts) called St. Louis 2.0. This 2020 year would springboard this development work. Little did we know, COVID-19 would call us into action sooner.

St. Louis Response to COVID-19

As soon as March Break finished, senior staff at the WCDSB, as well as St. Louis staff and teachers sprung into action. ALL have been working tirelessly to move curriculum, assignments and classroom portals over to D2L. At St. Louis, we can celebrate that this week, Term 4 credit course students (slated to finish at the end of April), Hair styling/ Barber,  Culinary Arts and Personal Support Worker students, as well as existing online learners in the Correspondence program and International Languages for Credit learners have been working remotely to stay on track.  Obviously, learning from home looks very different from learning in a classroom setting — even for adults (if not moreso). Students and teachers are committed to their success and have jointly adopted the motto — “we are in this together.”

Challenged to Succeed

Let us give some perspective on why the urgency ‘to get back to it’ at our school. We have students who may only need two secondary school credits to graduate, or need that one prerequisite to get into university or college, or an entire cohort is almost finished or just started the classroom portion of a skills trade certificate program. Teachers and Program Heads have been committed to reaching out to these students. They are encouraging all students to login in to their D2L class platforms to do the work to earn their courses and to remain motivated, supported and challenged to succeed. If students want to succeed, they have to login. If they cannot login, contact your instructor.

International Language Elementary Saturday classes and evening classes have a plan to keep young language learners engaged with activities, home crafts, songs etc.

This update covers week ONE of “Back to School at St. Louis” in the wake of the Covid-19 and the government ordered school closure.

Staying Connected in the Weeks Ahead

We need to express that St. Louis is not yet prepared for any new registrations for any St. Louis programs. Our immediate focus is on current student success in their classes and programs. Guidance Services is exploring new registrations options and we will share as more information is known. 

It is our intention during the coming days and weeks to  share more details on a regular basis as developments unfold.  Visit https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca for regular updates. Share and invite others to ‘subscribe’

Next week, in particular, we continue to find solutions for 

  • Remote Tutor access for existing Secondary School Credit Correspondence learners, 
  • Connecting our instructors with learners in Core Essentials focused on literacy and basic skills development
  • How teachers can connect remotely with more students who have attended ESL /LINC
  • How co-op teachers can safely and remotely support those students whose co-op got cut short or has developed into an at-home environment
  • How do we support and monitor progress of Credits@Work students who are still working in essential services, while earning secondary school credits simultaneously.
  • What does Summer Learning look like?
  • How will you be able to register for September classes and skills training?

What Can You Do?

On behalf of St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres, we acknowledge that during this unprecedented time, the health of all our students, staff, as well as the local and global communities is what matters, above all else. 

Whether you are a student, staff or community stakeholder, we cannot stress enough the importance of staying home and good hand hygiene. We encourage you to keep your mind active (with your classroom work at home) in the spirit of lifelong learning, connect with others virtually or through social distancing to maintain mental well-being and most of all remain hopeful.  St. Louis is the school that brings Hope, Opportunity and Success for ALL! 

With Thanks come Blessings

We could not execute any of this action this week without the unwavering support of our colleagues at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, so let us share a final message from our Director of Education, Loretta Notten. During this season of Lent, let us further nurture our sense of community and belonging, and let us pray that God grants us the gifts of wisdom, care and comfort. Because our faith is bigger than fear.


Saturday Classes Running as Usual

Saturday February 29

ESL, Citizenship, Skills Builder and all International Languages classes

are running today.

Bundle up and stay warm.



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