Learn Another Language

Always wanted to learn another language?

International Languages Secondary classes will start soon.

Register online at stlouis.wcdsb.ca//il/secondary/ for one of 6 offered languages:

Portuguese on Monday or Wednesday (Kitchener and Cambridge)

Chinese on Saturday (Resurrection CSS)

Arabic, Japanese, Polish and Spanish on Wednesday (Kitchener Main)


Special Message from Director of Education Tyrone Dowling

Dear Waterloo Catholic Families,  

We are excited to be welcoming you and your family back for the start of the 2022-23 school year. We offer a special welcome to all families joining us for the first time this year. We hope that all of you had a great summer and are looking forward to the new opportunities this year will bring.

If you need information about registering for school, please CLICK HERE .

We look forward to joining with you this year in the name of Catholic education to support the academic success and faith formation of all of our students.  We are thankful for the opportunity to work together with you to provide the very best educational opportunity possible for your child and family.   

I am writing to you today to provide important information to assist with your planning as we approach our first day of school next Tuesday, September 6, 2022. 

COVID Health and Safety Protocols

On August 5, the Ministry of Education released the Health and Safety protocols for the start of the school year.  Most protocols and guidelines remain unchanged to those that were in place at the end of June. We continue to work with our local public health officials to ensure we are aligned with the most up-to-date guidance and hope to minimize any potential disruptions to learning throughout this school year.  

The following is a summary of what you can expect in September:  

Ventilation – Over the past several years, significant upgrades have been made in school ventilation systems to support a healthy learning environment.  Our custodial and maintenance staff have been working throughout the summer to ensure our schools are safe, clean and that the ventilation systems have been inspected and properly maintained to welcome staff and students back. UV or combination UV/HEPA filtration units will continue to be present in all classrooms and learning spaces throughout this school year. 

Daily Screening – Staff and students are asked to continue to screen each morning before school using the COVID-19 school screening (ontario.ca) resource, and stay home when feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms.  We ask that screening become part of your personal daily routines.  The daily screening requirements and related guidance may change throughout the year and notification of any changes will be communicated to our community.    

Masking – Continuing with the protocols in place in June – and based on the advice of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health – masks will remain optional for students, staff and visitors in schools, and on student transportation.  We continue to support a mask-friendly environment in our schools and workplaces and recognize there are times when staff or students may need to wear masks in alignment with provincial or federal guidance or may choose to wear masks if there is a high incidence of illness in our community. Masks will continue to be available upon request to staff and students in the 2022-23 school year.  

Rapid Antigen Tests – Rapid Antigen Test kits will continue to be available to staff and students in schools as needed.     

For more information about school start-up routines, please watch for updates from your school this week.   

Thank you for your ongoing support of Catholic Education.  We look forward with anticipation to the new opportunities this year will bring.

I wish you all the best as we begin this school year in the coming week.


Tyrone Dowling

Director of Education


Term 1 Secondary Credit Courses begin daily classes face-to-face Wed., September 7.

Register NOW! and earn a credit in less than 8 weeks.


IMPORTANT St. Louis Start-up Dates 2022

IMPORTANT St. Louis Start-up Dates 2022

Here are some St. Louis start-up highlights:

  • Term 1 Secondary Credit Courses begin daily classes face-to-face Wednesday, September 7Register online starting Aug 29 and earn a credit in less than 8 weeks.
  • Self-directed online courses begin Monday, September 12 with options to earn credits around your schedule. Register online starting Aug 29 Certified teacher tutor support available in-person.
  • International Languages Secondary School Credit courses are part of the above credit course registration process.  Register online starting Aug 29 for Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish classes.
  • Licensed Child Care is available onsite to support St. Louis students.  Registration will begin on September 6.
  • A NEW cohort of PSW and Hairstyling students begin in September.  St. Louis has small class sizes that will allow for in-person learning and skills development.
  • Core Essentials will be offered in-person in small class sizes beginning September 12.
  • ESL may be offered in-person and online morning, afternoon, evening and Saturdays this Fall starting on September 12. Online Registration is open now.
  • LINC will be offered in-person morning and afternoon and classes start September 12. Online Registration is open now.
  • Children’s language programs will start on Saturday, September 24 or Monday, September 26. Online Registration is open now.

Weather Event – School is Closed – March 23, 2022

Due to poor weather conditions on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, schools will be CLOSED.

ALL St. Louis students taking in-person and online classes offered today,  should visit their virtual classroom for work posted by the classroom teacher.  Teachers will be available remotely during class times.  There are no childcare services offered at St. Louis today.

See you back on Thursday!

March Break for St. Louis

March Break for St. Louis

These past few weeks has been wonderful to have so many St. Louis students return to in-person learning in most programs.  A well-deserved March Break is scheduled for next week.  St. Louis campuses will be closed.  And there will be no St. Louis programming from Monday, March 14 to Saturday, March 19th.

Classes WILL be offered this Saturday, March 12th for the following programs only:

  • International and Indigenous Language programs –  Elementary
  • International and Indigenous Language – Chinese Secondary
  • English Language Saturday classes
  • Citizenship Preparation

We look forward to your healthy return to regularly scheduled classes, starting Monday, March 21st.

Return to School — March 21st

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health made a series of announcements that signal the province lifting some health and safety restrictions on March 21st.  Attached is a letter to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and St. Louis community from Loretta Notten, Director of Education addressing our return to school expectations after March Break. Updates regarding masking, distancing, screening and testing are all key within this letter. For example, we will still require all staff and students to complete the Covid 19 School Screening before entering our buildings.

As we transition through these updated health and safety guidelines, we strongly encourage caution, tolerance and understanding with varying comfort levels surrounding the relaxed Covid-19 measures.

These past two years have been a challenging, long journey, impacting everything, including your learning. At St. Louis, we will continue to support you toward success.

Have a restful and joyful March Break.


Family Day Weekend for St. Louis Students

Family Day Weekend for St. Louis Students

Due to the observance of Family Day in Ontario, St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres will not be offering courses or programs on Saturday, February 19th or Monday, February 21st. All in-person and online classes will resume on Tuesday, February 22nd.

What can I do this weekend?

Family Day is a Provincial Statutory Holiday that only a few Canadian Provinces observe. In Ontario, Family Day isn’t recognized as a holiday by the federal government. Therefore, federal civil servants do not have the day off. However, many stores, city services and attractions in Waterloo region will be either closed or operating on reduced schedules.  Visit your local City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, City of Cambridge or Region of Waterloo websites for local activities and services this weekend.

Family Day meaning

Family Day was originally created to give people time to spend with their families. It also provides a day off between New Years Day and Good Friday – adding a welcomed long weekend.  We hope you will take this time to connect with your families both natural and chosen, near and far, however you are able to.

Continue to keep our communities safe and see you next week!


SNOW ALERT – February 18, 2022

Due to poor weather conditions on Friday, February 18, 2022, schools will be CLOSED.

ALL St. Louis students taking in-person and online classes offered today,  should visit their virtual classroom for work posted by the classroom teacher.  Teachers will be available remotely during class times.  There are no childcare services offered today at St. Louis.

Have a safe Family Day weekend and see some of you back in school on Tuesday!

Year of the Tiger – 2022

On behalf of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, the International and Indigenous Languages Program (IILP) at St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres and the Grand River Chinese Language school,


Xin nian kuai le

Happy New Year

Year of the Tiger

This year – the Year of the Tiger, runs from February 1st to the Lantern Festival on February 15th , 2022.  The Tiger ranks third among the animals of the Chinese zodiac and is known as the king of all beasts in China. The zodiac sign Tiger is a symbol of strength, and bravery. During the Chinese New Year celebrations children could wear hats or shoes with a tiger image for good luck.

The St. Louis IILP Chinese language school, previously host to over 1500 people at magnificent Chinese New Year events, presents a virtual celebration again this year.  Chinese language students showcase their learnings each year through music, dance, dramatic performances, traditional garments, as well as many exhibits of art and accolades for essay competitions.  Students will continue to make their families proud, as they demonstrate their knowledge of the Chinese language and culture, as well as their strength, and courage for the year ahead.

Virtual events will be held this morning, Saturday, February 5th and again on Monday evening, February 7th . These events are not open to the public.

Families of the children attending the IILP Chinese language school wanted to extend warm new year’s greetings to all.


Gongxi Facai

Be Prosperous



For information about Chinese, Traditional Mandarin and the many other languages offered FREE for children and young adults to learn on Saturday mornings, Monday or Wednesday evenings and for 4 weeks in July,

Visit: International and Indigenous Languages Program – Elementary  or   International Languages Credit Courses

WCDSB and St. Louis launch two Nigerian language programs

WCDSB and St. Louis launch two Nigerian language programs for Children Kindergarten to Grade 8

February 4, 2022 — The Waterloo Catholic District School Board and St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres are pleased to announce the start of two new International and Indigenous Language Program (IILP) schools this week. Of the thirteen languages currently being offered remotely to students Kindergarten to Grade 8, we now welcome Nigerian languages, Igbo (E-boo) and Yoruba (Yo-RU-ba) to the Saturday morning program complement.

Yoruba will begin this Saturday, February 5th.

Igbo will begin next Saturday, February 12th.

Interest and enrolment spread rapidly over the past 6 weeks to attract close to 75 children from the Igbo and Yoruba language communities into the program. Although these language schools’ new beginnings are imminent, students interested in these two languages are welcomed to enrol at any time. Learning will begin remotely from home. When Saturday morning programs can resume to in-person learning safely, classes will be moved to our new St. Francis Campus (Queens Blvd and Westmount area).


What will they learn?

For 43 years, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board has assembled numerous language communities together to provide a robust International and Indigenous Languages Program (IILP) for both Elementary and Secondary learners. Various cultural communities within Waterloo Region have offered language learning for their children, JK to Grade 8.  Learning language among children ones own age is very different. By using music, games, storytelling, interactive and educational activities as well as increased use of technology, students learn the value of using another language.

This Ministry of Education mandated funding is available to school boards who then accommodate language learning when approached by cultural communities. To start a language school, a minimum of 23 learners (JK to Grade 8) is required. Regardless of which publicly funded school children attend during the day, all students are welcome to learn any of the languages offered after school, on weekends or in summer.  Note: prior knowledge of the language is not necessary.

How to Register?

Program details about these and other Saturday morning programs may be found at https://stlouis.wcdsb.ca/programsandcourses/il/elementary/ . Registration is online.

Classes are currently offered in a learn-at-home format led by a qualified instructor hired by WCDSB, until such time as we are permitted to return to a physical classroom.


“We are excited to welcome these two Nigerian language communities to the International Languages – Elementary Program and add them to the St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education legacy in Waterloo Region. Some language schools in the Region have been in existence for over 127 years, like the Sir Casimir Gzowski Polish School, and 45 years with the local Portuguese community.”

“We are enormously proud when we help a cultural community in their efforts to preserve language and culture. WCDSB and St. Louis became ambassadors for the first Rohingya language school in the world in 2012. That legacy has been recognized and can now continue for years to come. By inviting new language communities like Igbo and Yoruba to St. Louis / WCDSB, we are demonstrating a commitment to the value of diversity, inclusion and quality education.”

~~ Susan ElNagar, Program Manager, International Languages

“When a child hears their language spoken, especially while out in the public, they instantly feel a sense of community ~ a sense of belonging. Language is an integral part of cultural identity and a shared connection to roots brings communities together.”

~~Grace Ogor, Igbo Community member

“Youth growing up in an environment with little cultural outlets need intentional opportunities like this language school to foster usage and continuity of their mother tongue. While entertainment and social media give a general appreciation for the language that otherwise may not be spoken in daily life, learning with their peers would give an avenue for personal connections. The gift of learning their mother tongue would not only keep the language alive, but also gives them the confidence to stay rooted in culture – to explore other creative expressions, beyond our imagination.”

~~Aramide Taiwo, Yoruba Community member

Quick Facts:

History of St. Louis International Languages Program:

  • History of International Languages in Ontario is 44 years old in 2021.
  • Prior to 1977, heritage language schools were delivered by various cultural and linguistic communities.
  • In July 1977, Ministry of Education introduces Heritage Language Program to be offered through Continuing Education in or through School Boards.
  • By July 1989, Heritage Language programs become MANDATED and are funded through the Ministry of Education.
  • In 1993, the program name changed from Heritage to International Languages and then International and Indigenous Language Programs
  • To date, St. Louis International and Indigenous Language Program has over 1300 children participating in language learning during the 2021-2022 school year.  Summer Programming usually sees another 400 children.

About St. Louis:

  • Established in 1986, the St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres have been a proud part of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board for 35 years, serving more than 260,000 adults, youth and children.
  • St. Louis focuses on supporting adults and youth to complete their OSSD, upgrade for post-secondary, or learn an employable skill; help newcomers to learn or improve English; and offers many after-school, weekend and summer learning options for children.
  • 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).

Related Links:

St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres  ; @StLouisWCDSB , St. Louis Facebook

Nigerians in the Region of Waterloo

Waterloo Catholic District School Board

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 185-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.