St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Elementary School
560 Pioneer Drive, Kitchener, ON, N2P 1P2
WCDSB Vision: Our Catholic Schools: heart of the community, success for each, a place for all.
WCDSB Mission: As disciples of Christ, we educate and nurture hope in all learners
to realize their full potential to transform God’s world.
School Newsletter – September 2017
Dear Parents and Guardians
On behalf of the St. Kateri staff, I’d like to welcome you the 2017-2018 school year. We hope everyone had a great summer and that your children are looking forward to a great year ahead. Whether your child is returning to St. Kateri or attending for the first time, we are excited that you will be part of our school community.
St. Kateri returns most of its outstanding staff from last year; however, there are a few changes of which I’d like to make you aware. Please join me in welcoming the following new staff members to our community: Miss Arndt (ECE), Ms. Esposto (Kindergarten), Madam Lopes (French), Mrs. Mendes (Gr. 6), Mr. Martins (Gr. 7), Ms. Filipovic (Grade 8 until May), Ms. Tojeira (Gr. 4 LTO full year), and Mr. Setler (Vice Principal). As well, I am very much looking forward to supporting the community in my role. The entire staff will be providing great learning opportunities, both curricular and co-curricular, this year and I am excited to be an active participant.
St. Kateri is well known for the strong support it provides to its students. I have heard the school community is blessed with great parents/guardians, and community members who support of a variety of programs and initiatives. This speaks to the team approach that is so important when it comes to achieving the most fulfilling and rewarding experience for your children. I look forward to your support in continuing to provide your children with a healthy Christian environment that will encourage them to be actively engaged in their learning.
Please take note of some important introductory information about the school and the school year listed on the following pages. More information can be found in the front section of the student agenda and on our school website https://stkateri.wcdsb.ca/
Please make special note that our ‘Meet the Teacher Night/Open House and School BBQ’ is scheduled for September 26th. We look forward to seeing everyone out for some good fun and good food.
I look forward to working with you and seeing the students at St. Kateri excel spiritually, academically, and socially this school year. Please feel free to call me or make an appointment should you have any concerns at all.
Yours in Christ,
Mr. Dave Lynch
Daily Schedule for 2017 – 2018
The daily schedule for the school year is:
8:25 a.m. Entrance of students
8:30 a.m. National anthem, prayer, announcements and the start of classes
9:35 – 9:50 a.m. Recess break
11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Lunch break
1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Recess break
2:55 p.m. Dismissal of students
Safe Arrival Program
If a child will be absent or late for class, we ask parents/guardians contact the school (519-895-1716). Since we have an answering machine, you may leave a message at any time from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. The school’s administrative assistant will be at the school to receive your phone calls beginning at 8:00 a.m.
When you call to report the absence or anticipated lateness of your child, please note the following information:
- Child’s full name
- Child’s grade and classroom teacher
- Reason for the child’s absence / lateness (*)
* It is important for the parent / guardian to contact the school when their child will be late for class. When arriving late for class, the student must report to the office and obtain a ‘late slip’. For your information, the school staff will consider a student late for class in the morning should she / he not be in the classroom when the national anthem is played.
Staff members are on the school yard (both the JK/K yard and main yard) for yard duty beginning at 8:10 a.m. Please have your children arrive at the school after supervision begins in the morning.
At the end of the school day, students are expected to go directly home unless they are with a parent or involved in an after school activity. Staff members supervise dismissal from 2:55-3:10.
The main office is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 3:50 p.m.
For safety reasons, please note all entrances to the school will remain locked during the school day. A buzzer monitoring system is in place for visitors at the front entrance of the school.
Board and School Website
For up-to-date information about the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, please check out www.wcdsb.ca
You may access the school website through the Board site by simply clicking on ‘Our Schools’ in the upper tool bar or by going here: https://stkateri.wcdsb.ca/
All the information you need … 24 hours a day … 7 days a week! www.wcdsb.ca
2017-2018 School Year Calendar – Some Important Dates
September 5 First Day of School
September 26 BBQ and Meet the Teacher Night from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
September 13 Opening School Mass in the school gym, 10:00 a.m.
September 19 First School Council Meeting, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
September 22 P.A. Day
September 28 Terry Fox Run
October 9 Thanksgiving (no school)
October 23 (Monday) P.A. Day
November 7 Progress Report Card Distribution
November 9 Parent-Teacher Conferences
November 17 PA Day
December 6 Advent Mass in the school gym, 10:00 a.m.
December 8 P.A. Day
December 23 – Jan. 7 Christmas Break
January 26 PA Day
February 14 Ash Wednesday Liturgy in the school gym, 10:00 a.m.
February 15 Term 1 Report Card Distribution
February 19 Family Day
March 12-16 March Break
March 30 Good Friday (no school)
April 2 Easter Monday (no school)
April 11 Easter Mass – 10:00 a.m., school gym
April 13 P.A. Day
May 7-11 Catholic Education Week
May 7 Parenting Author Presentation, Ann Douglas, 6:30-7:30 in the gym
May 21 Victoria Day (no school)
May 29-31 G.8 Spiritual Retreat @ Mt. Mary
June 1 P.A. Day
June 13 Closing School Mass, 10:00 a.m.
June 26 Term 2 Report Card Distribution Date
June 39 Last Day of School for Students (Regular 2:55 p.m. dismissal)
Early in the school year, the secretarial staff will be forwarding student information forms to all parents. Please complete/update your child’s information as carefully and as quickly as possible and return the form to the school office. It is vitally important that we have up-to-date information on each child in our care should there be an emergency. (Parents of a child who has an anaphylactic condition or diabetes are asked to be especially cautious in ensuring that the school staff are aware of the student’s condition and provide all pertinent information should an emergency arise)
Waterloo Catholic District School Board Communication Guide for Parents
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) has established communication guidelines for parents and staff. Parents are requested to follow the following steps to ensure prompt and efficient resolution to their questions or possible concerns.
Parent should speak with the teacher / staff member. Issue resolved. If issue is not resolved, proceed to
Speak with the principal. If you have not spoken with the teacher / staff member directly, the principal will
ask you to do so. Should you not wish to do this, the principal will involve the teacher / staff member in a
three-way discussion. The principal may request, at any time in the process, that you put your concerns in
writing. The principal may involve, at any time in the process, others who may be helpful in resolving the issue.
Role of the Trustee:
Parents may contact the trustee at any time. The trustee will direct the parent to follow the process outlined above.
Role of the School Council:
St. Kateri Tekakwitha School Council is not a forum to discuss parent-teacher / staff member-student issues. If these matters are brought to any St. Kateri Catholic School Council member or any School Council meeting, the concern will be referred immediately to the principal.
Visitors and Volunteers in the School
For the safety and well being of our students and staff, all visitors to the school, including parents and guardians, must sign in and obtain a Visitor badge at the main office. The badge should be returned to the office upon your departure.
Similarly, whenever volunteering in the school, please sign in at the office and obtain a Volunteer badge before proceeding into the school. The badge should be returned to the school secretary when you leave the school.
In advance, we thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
St. Kateri Catholic School is looking for interested volunteers who would like to share their time and talents with the staff and students of our school. Volunteers strengthen and enrich educational programs and foster greater cooperation among all the partners in our Catholic school community.
Our school welcomes volunteer involvement in a variety of areas and capacities. Volunteers may provide short term or long term commitment to such things as: supervising on school excursions, serving as a guest speaker, working in a classroom or helping to run special events.
Volunteers derive a great sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from their work and our school life is certainly very much enhanced by their generous efforts.
If you are interested in volunteering in our school, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact principal, Dave Lynch, or Vice Principal, Richard Setler, at the school (519-895-1716.
Nuts, Peanuts, Peanut Butter Substitutes and Their By-products
St. Kateri CES has students who could experience serious consequences if exposed to peanuts, nuts, or their by-products (e.g., peanut oil, peanut butter). In some cases, the reaction could be life threatening. Merely smelling or touching a peanut product could cause an anaphylactic seizure or reaction resulting in a serious consequence. For the same reason, please do not send spreads to school made with other nuts such as Nutella.
We also request that you do not send peanut butter substitutes (usually made from soy) with your children. Because these products look and smell like real peanut butter, it puts our staff members in a difficult situation with determining whether or not a product could cause an anaphylactic reaction.
For the safety of these students, we ask that you do not send peanuts, nuts or their by-products to school with your child. Moreover, from time to time, some parents are very generous in sending treats to school to be enjoyed by the students in their child’s class during a celebration or special event. Should you do so, we ask that you take care that the foods are not made with peanuts, peanut oil, etc. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Entry and Exit of Students
Each class has a designated exterior door for entering and exiting the building in an orderly fashion. To ensure orderliness, as well as the security and safety of the students, the students are asked to only enter or exit the door intended for their class. It is very difficult for a teacher to supervise her / his class if the students use a variety of exit doors.
Should they arrive late for class, the students should enter through the main entrance, at the front of the school, and report to the office for a late slip.
St. Kateri Catholic School Council
Community involvement in our school is a key element in maintaining a spirit of collaboration and mutual support. Our Catholic School Council, an advisory body to the school principal, is an important group. Besides providing leadership in the community and a parent/community voice, the Council also contributes valuable advice on numerous issues and school initiatives. We ask that you consider becoming a member of the St. Kateri Catholic School Council for the 2017 – 2018 school year. Please check your child’s backpack as information will be sent home concerning the Council in the first week. An orientation session and initial meeting will be held in the Learning Commons (Library) on Tuesday, September 19th beginning at 6:00 p.m. All other council meeting dates will be included in a forthcoming letter.
Annual Public Health Immunization Program – Important Notice
The Immunization of School Pupil’s Act, a provincial law, requires Waterloo Region’s public health officials to collect and maintain the immunization records of all students in the Region of Waterloo. The Act requires students to be immunized against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. With appropriate legal documentation, exemptions based on medical or philosophical reasons are allowed. However, students that do not have complete records or legal exemptions may face suspension from school for up to 20 days or until the records are completed or the exemptions received.
The Health Department and all schools within the Region of Waterloo work together to ensure that students are up to date in their immunizations. Every September, Public Health requests the immunization records of every student. This year again, parents are reminded to forward all immunization updates to Public Health in September/October.
Public Health will continue to strive for excellent immunization coverage which assists in protecting our children and community from vaccine preventable diseases.
Immunization: For their health. For their future.
For further information, please call 519-883-2006 ext. 5273 to speak to a nurse. Please call 519-883-2006 ext. 6182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to leave your child’s immunization information.
Dress Code, Electronics, and Cell Phones
A reminder to parents and students that St. Kateri does have a dress code for its students. Please respect the Dress Code at all times, including co-curricular activities and off site excursions.
The following guidelines will help parents and students when choosing clothing that will contribute to a positive school environment:
- Clothing may not display any derogatory or inappropriate writing or pictures.
- Hats need to be removed upon entering the building
- Shoulders must be covered (i.e., no tank tops, spaghetti strap tops, etc.)
- Shorts and skirts should be of modest length
*Students who are inappropriately dressed will be reminded of the dress code or asked to change
Students are not permitted to have personal electronic gaming devices at school at any time. Items may be confiscated and held at the office until a parent/guardian is able to retrieve it.
If a student brings a cell phone to school with parental permission, the cell phone must remain turned off and either in the student’s backpack or a safe place in the classroom during the school day, unless it is being used specifically for a learning purpose under the direction of the teacher. Students must use the phone in the main office if they need to call home during school hours. The school is not responsible for any lost or damaged cell phones or electronic devices. Parents will be contacted should a student have difficulty following the school’s phone policy.
Students Transported To/From School by Bus:
Student Transportation will have sent parents information on pick-up and drop-off times and location. You may also wish to find your child’s bussing information at www.stswr.ca . Once on the website,
- Click ‘Student Login’
- Enter your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) – can be found on your child’s report card (numbers only, no space, no dash)
- Enter your child’s birth date (dd/mm/yyyy)
- Enter your street number (house number only)
- Select your child’s school
As we begin the school year, we would like to remind all students eligible for bus transportation to/from school and their parents of the following:
- When traveling to school, students should be at their designated pick-up location five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the school bus.
- The student and her/his parents should develop a contingency plan should the child miss the school bus when traveling to school (e.g., return home; walk to a neighbour’s home; walk to school, etc.)
- When departing school, should any student miss her/his bus, that child should immediately go to the school office for assistance. She/he should not walk home.
- Only students eligible to ride a school bus will be allowed to do so when riding to/from school. Those who are not eligible to ride a bus will not be permitted to do so. If a child is not eligible and she/he wishes to visit the home of a classmate, it will be the responsibility of her/his parent to make transportation arrangements.
- Transported students will only be allowed to ride their designated bus to/from school. A pupil will not be permitted to ride another bus for which they are not eligible.
- There will be an assembly for students eligible for bus transportation early in the school year. At the assembly, procedures and expectations will be reviewed.
Healthy Eating in Class/Snack and Litter-Free Yard
In order to promote healthy eating, students at St. Kateri will be allowed to eat healthy snacks during class, at times determined by the teacher. Students will eat smaller, healthier portions throughout the day which will promote a healthy body weight and improve concentration. Because students are eating healthy snacks in class they will not bring recess snacks outside. This will enable students to be active for the entire recess and keep our yard litter-free.
Some examples of healthy snacks students should bring to school include:
- Granola bars (nut free)
- Crackers and Cheese
- Bread Sticks
- Cottage cheese topped with grapes
- Oatmeal cookies
- Chocolate milk and a small homemade muffin
- Toasted pita points with salsa
- Dry breakfast cereal in a sealed container with a drinkable yogurt
Parent/Guardians are encouraged to send healthy snacks for their children in order for this program to be a success.
WCDSB Elementary School Food and Nutrition Policy
As you may be aware, the Waterloo Catholic District School board has a Healthy School Nutrition Policy. In order to foster healthy eating in the school, The Waterloo Catholic District School Board Elementary School Food and Nutrition Policy has been adopted. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that our students are exposed to healthy food choices and messages consistent with Canada’s Food Guide. The policy was developed with direct input from Region of Waterloo Public Health and the latest research regarding school nutrition and health.
Having a school nutrition policy will benefit families, students and our schools, as it will reinforce the classroom healthy eating lessons and eating well will be easier if nutritious foods are always available at school.
The policy identifies three different food categories: foods with Minimum, Moderate and Maximum Nutritional Value. Our schools will be offering only foods and beverages with Maximum and Moderate Nutritional Value whenever food is offered or sold (e.g., hot lunch days, special events etc.).
Some examples of foods with Maximum, Moderate and Minimum Nutritional Value:
Foods with Maximum Nutritional Value
- Whole wheat, whole grain and multigrain bread and grain products
- Vegetables and Fruit
- Milk (2% MF or less, white and chocolate)
Foods with Moderate Nutritional Value
- White enriched breads, bagels
- Lower-fat muffins and fruit loaves
- Cookies – whole grain, fruit bars, oatmeal, gingersnaps
- 100% fruit juice
Foods with Minimum Nutritional Value
- Hot dogs, salami, bologna
- Chocolate-covered granola bars
- Pastries, cakes
- Fruit drinks, punches, cocktails
The policy will also address the following topics:
- Use of food as rewards
- Classroom celebrations
Healthy Snacks (during instructional time)
Meet the Staff
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! MEET THE STAFF
Tuesday, September 26th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Meet the Teacher and School BBQ Night at St.Kateri
- Visit your child’s classroom
- Meet your child’s teacher
- Take the night off from making dinner – Grab a burger at our BBQ ($5 for a combo: hamburger, bag of chips, and water/pop/juice…no pre-ordering necessary)
The 2017-2018 School Newsletter
As of October, St. Kateri’s monthly newsletter will not be sent home in hard copy unless specifically requested. If you would like a copy of the Monthly Newsletter sent directly to your email, please subscribe to the newswire service on St. Kateri’s homepage https://stkateri.wcdsb.ca Also, the newsletter will posted on our school website each month.
If you prefer to receive a hardcopy (paper copy) of the newsletter, please fill out the form that was sent home or contact the office by Sept. 22. We will make sure we send one home with your child each month.