Student Vaccine Message from WCDSB, WRDSB and Region of Waterloo Public Health

Student Vaccine Message from WCDSB, WRDSB and Region of Waterloo Public Health

~Sept 29, 2021

Dear Parent / Legal Guardian / Student,

As the 2021-22 school year begins, we remain committed to the health, well-being and safety of students, educators, school staff and the broader community. Keeping our schools open this year is our collective priority.

Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to protect yourself, your child, and your family from COVID-19. Vaccines help to stop the spread so we can safely and gradually resume more activities.

COVID-19 immunization for students is not mandatory. However, understanding the student immunization status and coverage within classes and schools will better enable public health units to respond if there is an outbreak.

Local public health units will be reviewing and assessing students’ COVID-19 vaccination information together with class lists to support case, contact and outbreak management within schools. This is only applicable to students eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., those born in 2009 or earlier).

All information collected by the public health unit will be kept confidential and used only for the purposes described in this letter. Further, these immunization records are being disclosed to local public health units under Section 39(2)(a) of the Personal Health Information and Privacy Act (PHIPA) as a disclosure that is made for the purposes of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA).

Public health units may reach out to parents/legal guardians/students, as applicable, if they have questions about a student’s immunization status. For example, they may have questions about a particular immunization record (e.g., dose timing), or information that is missing. They can also answer any questions you may have and provide information related to COVID-19 vaccines. It is important that this information is complete and accurate since it will inform public health units in the event of an outbreak.

Please see the following COVID-19 Information Resources for Parents/Guardians and Youth and the COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Parents and Guardians for information about COVID-19 and vaccines.

Should you have questions on how to access COVID-19 vaccines for yourself, your child, or your family, please visit www.regionofwaterloo.ca/GetVaccinated

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keep our students safe.

 

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang (she/her)
Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health
Region of Waterloo Public Health & Emergency Services

 

Loretta Notten

Director of Education, Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB)

 

jeewan chanicka (he/him)

Director of Education, Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)

 

WCDSB, WRDSB and Public Health Update Letter – Sept 29, 2021 in pdf

Welcome Back Letter from WCDSB Director

August 26th, 2021

Dear WCDSB Community,

The last days of summer are winding down and we know that everyone’s thoughts have turned to the return to school.  We cannot wait to welcome all our staff and students back!  We hope you have had a safe, restful and enjoyable summer.  This letter brings a few important updates about our return and provides a link to a much more detailed overview of our Operational Guidelines.

Return to In Person Learning

All schools will be open this September and St. Isidore (our virtual school, for those who enrolled last June) will operate dedicated classes at the elementary level.  We will use a hybrid model in secondary for those students who have selected online learning for this year.  Our St. Louis programs will be returning in varied formats to start the year. Specific program-based places will be shared next week.

Vaccination

On August 17th the Government of Ontario announced that they (and we by extension) will implement an immunization disclosure policy for all publicly funded school board employees and licensed child cares.  For those staff who cannot attest that they are fully vaccinated, they will be completing regular testing before reporting to their school or workplace.  The Chief Medical Officer of Health and Waterloo Region Public Health also strongly endorse all students ages 12 and older to access vaccination.

Masking

Students from K to 12 and all St. Louis students will continue to wear masks.  An exemption form is required for any student in grades 1 to 12 who is unable to wear a mask.  We will be strongly supporting this precaution, as Public Health and provincial guidance suggests that outside of vaccination, it is our best strategy to promote a healthy and safe environment for all.  We ask you to work with us to support students in understanding why we wear a mask and how to do so safely.

Masks do not have to be worn outside but it is always an option to do so and if no mask is being worn outside students should use physical distancing. Those requesting an accommodation under the Human Rights Code should submit their exemption request to their school Principal.

Hand Hygiene and Distancing

We are pleased to share that there will be more access to resources and learning materials.  We will take a cautious approach, but students will be sharing more objects within their classroom, so hand hygiene and distancing will remain important practices.  School staff will work with students to reinforce the strong habits that ensure a robust and safe learning environment for all.

Daily Screening

All staff and students are still required to complete daily screening, using the Ontario School Screener.  The tool is being updated to reflect the new protocols and we will share it and post it in our Operational Guidelines as soon as it is available.  This request is extremely important.  Any individual who is symptomatic should not come to school, even if they believe it is not COVID-19.

Lockers, Lunches and Breaks

  • The use of approved lockers and cubbies will be permitted this year. Once again hand hygiene will be critical, students must be masked at all times in these areas and there is a 5-minute time limit at a locker and students should avoid congregating.
  • The cafeteria remains closed at this time.

Please review our full Operational Guidelines to ensure you understand how we are ensuring a safe and happy return to school.

We are truly looking forward to a year that allows us to embrace a renewed love of learning, within our faith-based communities.  We remain every grateful for your continued support and remain ready and willing to assist you as we transition back to what will undoubtedly be a #WCDSBAwesome year!

Sincerely

Loretta Notten

Director of Education

School Vaccine Clinics – Book Now

Attention all Waterloo Catholic District School Board Students age 12-17

The Waterloo Region Vaccine Task Force is hosting school vaccine clinics across Waterloo Region between June 22 – 26, 2021 for youth and their families.

School vaccine clinics

Youth aged 12-17 and family members they live with can book appointments at these vaccine clinics to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are available between June 22 – 26, 2021. Free parking is available on-site at all the clinics.

Grand River Collegiate

175 Indian Rd, Kitchener, ON N2B 2S7

 

Southwood Secondary School

30 Southwood Dr, Cambridge, ON N1S 4K3

 

Huron Heights Secondary School

1825 Strasburg Rd, Kitchener, ON N2R 1S3

How to book an appointment?

To book an appointment please email youthclinics@regionofwaterloo.ca with your name, contact information, and preferred clinic location. Someone will call you back to complete the booking process (within 48 hours).

You can also book an appointment by calling the YMCA settlement services at 226-339-4964.

These clinics do not take walk-ins, an appointment is needed.

Who can get the vaccine now?

Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are now eligible to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Youth must be 12 years old at the time of their appointment.

Youth will be able to get their second dose quicker than other people so they will have both their shots before the 2021/2022 school year.

What vaccine will be given?

Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 12 years of age and older. See the resources below for more information.

Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe.

COVID School Closure – What this means for St. Louis Programs

CoronavirusUpdateSlider

April 13th, 2021

Dear St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Community –

As you know we have commenced our well-deserved April Break and we hope that for each of you, it is starting as well as it can under our current circumstances.  No doubt you are likely also aware, the Premier of the Province has indicated that the return to school after the April Break will be remote.  That means that, on April 19th all schools in the WCDSB, including St. Louis, will continue their learning virtually.  The decision is being made with an abundance of caution.  Experience has shown us that our schools are generally quite safe.  Our protocols have served us well, and the cases of COVID are not starting, nor are they generally spreading, in our schools – but we are a reflection of the community.  We have also seen an increase in the variants, and they are proving more concerning.  Closing the schools to in person learning for the remainder of April will help us contain the cases that come into schools and ensure that when we return to our buildings, we are doing so in the safest manner possible.

We do not yet have a firm return date for in-person learning, but we know that we will pivot to virtual for a minimum of 2 weeks.  Once we have a firm return date for in-person learning we share that information with the school community. Visit https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca often for updates.

The move to remote learning for our programs will be as it was in January.  The first day back to learning remains the same as planned for your program, beginning April 19th. There are no changes to the days or times of your programs. All learning that was occurring remotely will continue unchanged.

Students who were learning in-person in any of our campuses will be joining their classes or programs online for the duration of the school closure. They are as follows:

  • Culinary
  • Hairstyling
  • Personal Support Worker (*those in theory classes)
  • LBS — Core Essentials
  • ESL
  • LINC
  • Childminding & Licensed Child Care

Our students who are working on Co-operative education credits (Credits@Work and School to Work placements in essential services) may continue their placement following all COVID protocols and safety measures.

Thank you all for adhering to public health and safety measures that have ensured schools remain a safe place for our students and staff.  This will be more important than ever now – both for our schools and for our community at large.  During the April Break we all must adhere to the public health guidance to limit our contacts and social gatherings.

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 these helpful resources and supports:

I will also take this opportunity to once again point out 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.
  • For adults in the region there is crisis line support available through Here 24 Seven 1-844-437-3247.
  • Need COVID-19 support? Check out here4help.ca/.
  • Other online resources to check out for information and tools regarding mental wellness and health are https://mindyourmind.ca/, wellbeingwaterloo.ca (community collaborative to improve well-being) and https://anxietycanada.com/.

Vaccination does continue to roll out and while we are in the darkest of days right now, there is reason to believe there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. Please be sure to follow the media and be aware of Public Health announcements for vaccine registrations that may be available to you based on age and postal codes within the region as that information is being updated as new information becomes available. Let us continue to be an Easter people, anchored in faith.  Please remain confident that we are here to support you, as we walk together as a hope-filled community.  #InThisTogether  #WeGotThis

Please keep in mind that most of our school staff and teachers are on a well-deserved break and will be available for questions, guidance and updates as of April 19th, 2021.

Sincerely,

Lisa Mackay

Principal

For Staff & Students During “April Break”

Additional Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing for Staff & Students During “April Break”

The Ontario government has announced several opportunities to access COVID-19 testing for staff and students during the upcoming April Break.

Asymptomatic targeted testing expansion

The following options will be available to staff and students in the community.

In-Pharmacy Testing:

Existing Pharmacies

  • For the week of April 12-18 only, pharmacies that currently offer asymptomatic testing for education staff, will now accept appointments from students.
  • Children attending child care located within schools will also be eligible to access this testing. Please check with your local pharmacy on minimum testing age.
  • While students/children can access testing in pharmacies for April 12-18 only, this testing will continue to be available for all staff.
  • To book an appointment, visit the Covid-19 Testing Locations website, and select “pharmacy” as your location type, with the booking details requested.

New Pharmacies

  • In addition to these pharmacies, Shoppers Drug Mart is also able to offer additional in-pharmacy Rapid Antigen Screening for students and staff beginning April 14, 2021
  • Please see the accompanying list of participating stores
  • To book an appointment, please contact the store directly.

Assessment Centres

  • For the week of April 12-18, students and staff will also be able to access asymptomatic testing at local assessment centres.
  • Children attending child care located within schools, and child care staff, will also be eligible to access this testing.
  • This testing is only being offered to students, children and staff from April 12-18.
  • To book an appointment, visit the Covid-19 Testing Locations website, and select “assessment centre” as your location type, with the booking details requested

Participating Shoppers Drug Mart Stores

St. Louis Closed April 12-17. Stay Home, Stay Safe.

St. Louis will be closed for the April Break (April 12 to 17) to all in-person and remote learning. ESL, Citizenship and International Languages classes offered on Saturday, April 9, yet not on Saturday April 17.   We expect to return to current learning formats on Monday, April 19, however we respond to Provincial orders daily.

Please visit https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca for updates!

Letter to Students (and Parents) below:

Dear Students and Parents,

Thank you for continuing to follow the public health and safety measures that have kept schools open and safe for students and staff. It is our collective effort that continues to ensure you (and your children) can learn in the classroom.

As per recent announcements, the province has implemented a province-wide shutdown for four weeks in response to worsening trends in key health indicators across the province.

Schools will remain open for in-person learning through the Provincial Emergency and Stay at Home Order. The Spring Break will continue as planned, from April 12th to 16th, and schools including St. Louis will reopen for in-person learning and other learning formats on April 19th.

In light of the recently announced measures, it is more important than ever that we continue to follow health advice over the Spring Break to do our part to keep schools open, for in-person student learning.

At this critical point in the pandemic, the following  public health measures are crucial to help prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Socialize with your own household only.
  • Stay home.
  • Get tested, if you feel ill.
  • Participate in the targeted testing offered by your school board.
  • Screen every day, including during spring break, for COVID-19 symptoms before going to other approved locations (the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool is available to assist families with symptom screening).
  • Practice good hand hygiene habits, masking, and physical distancing.
  • Refer to ca/covidresponse to learn what public health measures are in place in our community.
  • Refrain from travelling.
  • Check wcdsb.ca and https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca websites for updates.

For the week of April 12-18, pharmacies that currently offer testing and assessment centres across the province will accept appointments from students and education staff for asymptomatic testing. The Ministry of Education will be working with school boards to offer school-based clinics. People are encouraged to take advantage of this testing capacity to be tested to support a safe return to school on April 19. Children attending St. Louis or any other childcare, and childcare staff, will also be eligible to access this testing.

As a reminder, before coming back to school on April 19th, you must screen for COVID-19 symptoms. If you, your child or anyone in your household is ill, stay home and follow the guidance in the school screener.

Your mental health and well-being and that of our school’s children continues to be a key government priority.  If as a St. Louis student, you wish to learn how to manage your stress better, drop-in to a virtual St. Louis student presentation https://meet.google.com/msp-bxwf-csj on Monday, April 12 at 2:00pm or Wednesday, April 14 at 10:30am. There is no need to register.

By following public health advice, we can all enjoy a safe Spring Break and continue to support in-person learning in our school. Have a safe, fun and restful break.

Sincerely,

Lisa Mackay, Principal

St. Louis School Breaks in March and April – Revised

We wanted to take this opportunity to share widely the St. Louis plan for the upcoming March and April break weeks.

March

On February 11th, The Minister of Education announced that March Break would be postponed. St. Louis offers programs under multiple Provincial and Federal government Ministries.  Unfortunately, the following programs are unable to change those predetermined breaks and the following classes will be cancelled March 15  to March 20 (this includes day, evening and weekend in-person and remote programs).

  • Core Essentials (Literacy & Basic Skills)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) (classes are held Saturday March 13 only)
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
  • Care for Newcomer Children (childminding) AND Licensed Child Care (Spots for Tots) -correction notice

Easter

Easter weekend is from Good Friday, April 2 to Easter Monday, April 5 and ALL St. Louis programs at ALL locations are CANCELLED during this holiday.

April

In alignment with the Ministry of Education’s directive to school boards to shift the March Break to an April Break, ALL St. Louis programs at ALL locations will be cancelled April 12 to April 17 (this includes day, evening and weekend in-person and remote programs).

To be clear, the previously mentioned programs will be cancelled for a second week and will be included in the list of all St. Louis program cancelled that week.

  • International Languages – Elementary (classes are held Saturday, April 10 only)
  • International Languages – Secondary (classes are held Saturday, April 10 only)
  • Term 4 Secondary School Credit courses
  • Correspondence courses
  • Credits@Work (no co-op teachers are available, yet you may continue to accumulate hours)
  • Culinary Arts Training
  • Hairstyling & Barber Training
  • Personal Support Worker Certificate Program
  • Core Essentials (Literacy & Basic Skills)
  • Homework Clubs (Gr. 7 – 10)
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) (classes are held Saturday, April 10 only)
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
  • Care for Newcomer Children (childminding)
  • Licensed Child Care (Spots for Tots)

Take advantage of this opportunity for a well-deserved rest.

March and April School Breaks Calendar 2021

Hairstyling and Barber: New class starts March 29

St-Louis hairstyling-student-blow-drying-hair-on-a-mannequin-head

 

St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres has the safety and well-being of all students and staff as our top priority. We all appreciate that hands-on, service professionals require strong in-person training to be successful.  It is even more critical that the art and science of teaching and learning Hairstyling and Barbering prepares our students.   Teach to the future, they say. Even if Covid-19 precautions are temporary, the adaptability, sanitary processes, and creative problem-solving are enhancements imbedded in student learning.

Yes, we still have all the pre-apprenticeship, in-class elements covered to become a licensed stylist or barber.  We even have Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) options available for adults working toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.  We teach the foundational skills of cutting, colouring, lightening, relaxing and styling hair, while helping you bring out your flair for hair design, colours, business and communication with clients. Of course, we’ve expanded on infection control, health and safety that we have always taught. And we’ve increased the necessary and appropriate digital means of teaching and learning.

So if you are ready to make 2021 YOUR year of Hope and Opportunity, Register NOW for the few spots left in this stellar Hairstyling and Barber Training program. Next class start Monday, March 29.

LAST INTAKE /INFORMATION SESSION: Wednesday, March 3, 4:30pm, 5:30pm & 6:30pm

For more information visit our website or email stlouis@wcdsb.ca

 

St. Louis CLOSED Feb 22 due to weather

All St. Louis campuses are closed to staff and students for Monday, February 22nd due to poor weather conditions.

ALL in-person programs and services offered by St. Louis Continuing Education and Adult and Learning Centres will be done through remote learning from home. Students should access their program or class virtual sites for instructions from their teacher for the day.

weather alert using a snowflake and caution sign

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