St.Louis-Headstart-9blank strip image

HeadStart Registration has been temporarily been suspended!

What is HeadStart?

HeadStart is a voluntary, value-added summer program offered for FREE and only through our Catholic Secondary Schools.  Although this program is not mandatory, separate registration for HeadStart is required. This program is only available to students enrolled in our Catholic Secondary Schools each September. Students and parents tell us how timely and transformative this program is.

How does HeadStart make a difference?

Learn to:

  • Open your lock / locker
  • Find your classes
  • Navigate around other parts of the school
  • Create your fit with new friends
  • Feel a part of my new school community before the first day of school

“ Excellent initiative for Grade 9 students! As a former SMH Grade 9 student when it was located downtown, this would have been a great intro to high school back in the day. For my somewhat shy and apprehensive daughter, this program was a great icebreaker, a chance to find her comfort zone and start the first day off on the right foot. Congrats on a well-developed program, great communication ahead of time. A bonus for any new Grade 9 coming into SMH.”

– parent of St. Mary’s HeadStart student

HeadStart is TWO FULL DAYS.

We have accommodated over 1000 Grade 9 students entering our Catholic Secondary Schools and the program does reach maximum capacity before the end of the school year.  To accommodate this many students, HeadStart is being offered TWICE.

Session #1:  Wednesday, August 26 and Thursday, August 27, 2020


Session # 2: Monday, August 31 and Tuesday September 1, 2020

8:30am-2:30pm (to mimic closely to a regular school day)

Note: there will be NO programming on Friday August 28,  (MAKE YOUR SUMMER PLANS around these dates, as attendance on the dates you select is expected, and making switches is not always guaranteed)

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.

Since 2010, St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres  and 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 transition.

Two Awesome Days!

Get a HEADStart to Grade 9 is a two-day program and will be jam-packed with activities in both small and large groups, so students can gradually adjust to the “largeness” of high school.  We understand that the end of August is a popular time for other summer activities, so please choose either Wed and Thurs, Aug 26/27 OR Mon and Tues, Aug 31/Sept 1 to participate.

Commitment to attend the full two days ensures optimal learning, the greatest benefit and the least disruption within the limited 12 hours the program is running. If students cannot attend at all, 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.

Transition to Grade 9 in so MANY WAYS!

Every Waterloo Catholic high school has a team of students and staff that will help once school begins. 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 as a benefit, they will be able to focus more on course learning and achievement and making choices regarding involvement in other school activities rather than “sweating the small stuff”.

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 ONE piece of the whole transition to high school, however this concentrated effort by each Catholic Secondary School is making a difference!

HEADStart is a TWO full-day program, offered on the following dates:


Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – Day 1

Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Day 2

(no programming on Friday, August 28, 2020)



Monday, August 31, 2020 – Day 1

Tuesday, Sept 1, 2020 – Day 2


START TIME: 8:30 am (all 5 Catholic Secondary Schools)

END TIME: 2:30 pm (all 5 Catholic Secondary Schools)

Reminder: HEADStart is a summer program and not mandatory, therefore a separate registration for this summer program is required.

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 2020, then they should be encouraged to register for this summer program as well.

  • Monsignor Doyle CSS, 165 Meyers Rd., Cambridge
  • Resurrection CSS, 455 University Ave., Kitchener
  • St. Benedict CSS, 50 Saginaw Pkwy., Cambridge
  • St. David CSS, 4 High St., Waterloo
  • St. Mary’s High School, 1500 Block Line Rd., Kitchener

Get a HEADStart is offered FREE

to students who are currently in Grade 8, attended a publicly funded school in both Grades 7 and 8 and can provide an Ontario Enrolment Number (OEN).

Waiting List

All private school and home schooled children planning to attend a Catholic Secondary School in Grade 9 in September 2020 must be REGISTERED for a Catholic high school in order to be considered and will be placed on waiting list.

Waiting list determinations will be decided after registration closes in June 2020,

Many thanks to the Ontario Ministry of Education for supporting the Continuing Education Literacy and Numeracy Learning Opportunities Grant.

HeadStart Registration is NOW OPEN until June 1, 2020.

St. Mary’s
St. David
St. Benedict
Monsignor Doyle