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Welcome Back Message to all WCDSB Staff from Director of Education Loretta Notten

Welcome Back!

And so we begin another #WCDSBAwesome School Year!  Yesterday we invited our community to share their #WCDSBFirstDay memories and pictures, and we visited St. Boniface CES where staff and students shared what they love about the first day.

In both cases – the pictures shared and the insights offered truly “filled my bucket”.  They captured the joy and anticipation of a new school year. Students shared thoughts,  as they often do, that were profound and insightful.  I was moved by the young man who said “I love the first day because it is a chance to re-invent yourself” and by the teacher who observed that she treasures being able to “welcome my students back and tell them I love them”.  Those sentiments really do capture the truly special nature of this time of year and our vocation.  Our staff and students commented on their excitement for the new faces, on the potential for fun, on just the realization of the many days to come and the opportunity to challenge oneself anew!  There are infinite possibilities for the year ahead and that is the true magic of these first few days! You can find the video at: https://wcdsb.ca/wcdsbfirstday/.

I hope you have been inspired by our Pastoral Plan theme of #CalledToBelong.  Inspired by the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter Renewing the Promise, it reminds us that we are all one in Christ Jesus and we as a Catholic school system, are commissioned to remind our students that they are all children of God, and called to be members of His family.  What greater message could we share?  I hope you share my pride in the communities of inclusion within Waterloo Catholic, and we hope that the theme that grounds us at this time is a beacon to us now and always to foster school communities of welcome and safety, of love and hope, and of Faith for our students.

The year ahead may not be without its challenges.  My prayer for our system is that we have the grace to travel whatever challenges come our way in respectful relationship with one another, and that we are all called to our better selves.  When we travel together, striving for open communication and walking in the shoes of the other, we will be destined to arrive at our journey stronger and with more joy in our hearts.  We are preparing our students to fulfill the Catholic Graduate Expectations, and as such we nurture them to be compassionate, creative, responsible citizens.  We want them to be empowered to use their voices and to be strong global citizens.  In order to succeed in this regard, we must found our system and our decisions in our students.  If we hold our gospel values close, and work and learn in service of our students, our road may not always be easy, but we will succeed in our vocation as a Catholic community.

I am filled with optimism for the potential of this system because despite any challenges, there is always goodness that prevails in our schools and in our classrooms.   As we greeted our  Administrators for the new school year, we were able to share the many strides we have made as a system over the past year and how well we are progressing against so many of our articulated priorities and goals.  Feeding from our Multi-Year Strategic Plan, we continue to unfold our Pastoral Plan as we transition to Year 2 #GatheredtoBecome later this fall, we launch a new Board Improvement Plan for Student Learning (BIPSA) that keeps the learner at its core, and we formalize our WCDSB Well-Being Plan, that acknowledges the integral significance of our health and well-being to our success.  We are well positioned to fulfill our Vison of our schools as:  Heart of the Community, providing Success for each and a Place for All.

Take the time to visit our website to see the updates and to stay in touch. And be sure to follow us on Twitter @WCDSBNewswire. When you have an idea – share it in your local setting but do not be shy about having your voice heard by others as well, including those of us who work at the CEC.  Your contributions and your voice matters.  Let’s build our preferred future together.

I am most grateful to the senior team for their leadership and guidance, but also to each of you for your myriad of contributions which we truly do value.  Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year.  Let’s continue to authentically live out our mission to educate and nurture hope in all learners to realize their full potential to transform God’s world.  May the year ahead be your best-ever.  May you never doubt that you are valued, that you make a difference and that you work in the service of the greatest vocation.

On behalf of the senior team and the Board of Trustees, thank you for all you do and once again, have a #WCDSBAwesome school year!

Yours in service and appreciation,

Loretta Notten – Director of Education

September 4th, 2019|

Information for New Bus Riders – “First Rider Program”

Last spring Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region (STSWR) hosted a First Rider Program at seven schools throughout the Region of Waterloo open to all junior and senior kindergarten students. The First Rider Program is a safety program introducing new riders to the bus and how to be a safe and responsible rider. An interactive video is followed by a bus safety demonstration and a short ride on the school bus.

If your child was unable to attend or is newly eligible for transportation this short video may be helpful for you and your child. https://vimeo.com/229625011

August 27th, 2019|

There’s Still Time to Sign Up For School! Register Online Today!

The 2019-20 school year is just around the corner – and registering to attend one of Waterloo Region’s 44 Catholic elementary schools and five Catholic secondary schools has never been easier. In fact, a quality, inclusive, faith-based education is now just a click away thanks to the Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Online Registration system.


~~ Parents can access the Online Registration form by clicking on the Register for School link on the WCDSB Homepage and then choosing either Kindergarten RegistrationElementary Registration or Secondary Registration. The link to Online Registration can be found on each page under the “Registration Options”

~~ Children born in 2015 are eligible for Year 1 Kindergarten.

~~ Children born in 2014 are eligible for Year 2 Kindergarten.

~~ When registering your child to attend a Catholic elementary school you must be prepared to provide proof of the child’s date of birth and either the child’s Catholic baptismal certificate or the Catholic baptismal certificate of at least one parent or guardian.

~~ If you are non-Catholic, but wish to explore a Catholic education for your child(ren), please review the WCDSB Admissions to Catholic Elementary Schools policy. Our secondary schools are open to students of all faiths.

~~ For information about WCDSB’s Extended Day Program, please click here: Extended Day Program.

~~ For information about French Immersion programs in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, please click here: French Immersion Registration Information.

~~ And don’t forget about the wide variety of adult learning opportunities available via our St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centre!

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board, representing more than 96,000 Catholic school supporters, operates 49 schools and five adult education facilities serving more than 40,000 elementary, secondary and continuing education students in Waterloo Region – continuing a 183-year tradition of quality, inclusive, faith-based education. Follow us on Twitter: @WCDSBNewswire – #WCDSBAwesome.

August 8th, 2019|

Student Busing Information Available Beginning Monday, August 19, 2019

Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region’s Student Login Portal allows parents to retrieve their child’s busing information for the first day of school. It will be open to families beginning Monday, August 19th.

Parents can login and view their child’s transportation details by going to www.stswr.ca and following these easy steps:

  • Click on “Student Login”
  • Enter your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN)
  • The 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 child’s street number (house number only)
  • Select the school your child is attending from the drop down menu

If you are having difficulty with the Student Login Portal, please CLICK HERE.

August 7th, 2019|

WCDSB Announces New Global Leadership in the 21st Century Course

Waterloo Region, ON – The Waterloo Catholic District School Board proudly announces the launch of its innovative new Global Leadership in the 21st Century course.

Quick Facts

  • Global Leadership in the 21st Century – which will be running at Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge in the 2019-20 school year — is a one semester five-credit course combining Economics, International Business, Political Science, World Issues and English.


  • The course is a uniquely designed experience in which one class of students will remain together each day for the entire semester. This immersive style of learning will allow for more in-depth, challenging and engaging lessons, while also providing students the opportunity to focus on their futures in a more informed and creative environment.


  • Global Leadership students will use the latest in professionally developed eLearning simulations and role-play, as well as real world challenges and case studies connecting students to leaders in their community, their nation and even the planet at large. Students will learn how to face the challenges that await them as global citizens, and how to develop real solutions for their world.


  • The course is a university preparation course which will assist students in developing the competencies and skills necessary to succeed at the post-secondary destination of their choosing. Competencies of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity will be core to the learning.  Skills related to effective case study writing, essay writing, various report styles, research and public speaking will be an asset.

Related Links

Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School

WCDSB International Education Program

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

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For more information, please contact:

Dan Witt — Principal, International Education

(519) 578-3660 Ext. 2537 | Dan.Witt@wcdsb.ca

June 27th, 2019|

End of Year Message from the Director of Education

I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Your works are wonderful.  My soul knows that very well.

Psalm 139:14

Once again we have arrived at the end of another school year.  As always I am filled with awe and wonder for all that has transpired between the bookends of September and June.  One only need pause for but a moment and think back on the year that was, to be filled with a sense of gratitude and accomplishment.  I am also conscious that it has not been a year without loss, some quite profound, as we have lost valued staff, students and Waterloo Catholic community members who we know have left voids in our lives.  Our remarkable faith gives us strength however, as we contemplate that they walk beside us in different ways now, but hopefully still giving us the strength and soul-nourishment we require.

I do spend the latter part of this month attending a number of graduations and you cannot help but feel a sense of pride as you observe the students being acknowledged and you listen to the various valedictorians speak to their diverse experiences, those that make them laugh, those that make them cringe and those that they will carry for the remainder of their lives.  While we most certainly value the learning and they do remark on those memorable classroom experiences, it tends to be the encounters of faith, their relationships, and their extra-curricular experiences which emerge as the most compelling of those memories.

In these final months I have had the good fortune to bring updates of our accomplishments at the Bishop’s Banquet, at our Community Leaders’ Breakfast and within our Strategic Plan Report Card to Board, to name a few.  In each case it was possible to point to a breadth of accomplishment where our pastoral plan theme of #CalledToBelong is authentically realized, where our desire for an integrated Well Being Plan is prioritized and where student achievement is thriving.

It has not been an easy year in every respect and the government announcements that informed our budget process have been challenging.  I am proud of the work of the senior team and grateful to them for their dedication throughout that difficult process.  Our system will continue to serve our students and serve them well, with love, with hope and with faith.  Our system is growing and confidence in our community that provides faith-based, quality, inclusive education remains strong.  For those that are transitioning to new roles or retiring altogether – gratitude for all you have contributed and best of happiness and fortune in your next chapter.

Thank you for all you have done, regardless of your role in our system, to ensure that our students have enjoyed the very best education possible.  Our board is so multi-faceted and that diversity is truly beautiful.  Just as the students we serve are all so different, all our staff bring unique talents and gifts, that when realized in the service of our students, make Waterloo Catholic truly a place that is Heart of the Community, where there is Success for Each and A Place for All.  As the pace slows, take the time to fully embrace the gentler days and those for whom you care.  Know that you are valued as a member of our Waterloo Catholic family.  May God hold you in the palm of His hand until we meet again.


Loretta Notten – Director of Education

June 27th, 2019|

Catholic Education Centres – Summer Hours

Canada Day and Civic Holiday

The Canada Day holiday will be observed on Monday, July 1, 2019. The Civic Holiday is Monday, August 5, 2019.  The CEC will be closed on these days.

Summer Office Hours (open to the public)

The following schedule reflects the times the CEC will be open beginning Monday, July 8, 2019:

Monday to Thursday – 8:30am to 4:30pm
Friday – closed

The regular schedule will resume on Monday, August 26, 2019.

CEC Summer Shutdown

While the CEC will remain open during the entire summer period, there will be significantly reduced business activity from July 22 to August 9, 2019 with a high level of vacation.

June 26th, 2019|

Fourteen WCDSB Schools Earn “Healthy Schools” Certifications

Waterloo Region, ON – Fourteen Waterloo Catholic District School Board schools have been awarded “Healthy Schools” certifications by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) – including all five WCDSB secondary schools.

Nine WCDSB schools received Healthy Schools certifications in 2017-18.

Quick Facts

  • Participating schools across Ontario completed the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource document. This process guides a school community through planning and implementation of a range of activities for a selected priority health topic. The process is annual, repeating each school year, and flexible for all communities across Ontario to sustain year over year. School teams focus on one of the following six health topics:
    • Physical Activity
    • Healthy Eating
    • Personal Safety and Injury Prevention
    • Growth and Development
    • Mental Health
    • Substance Use, Addictions and Related Behaviours


  • While a healthy school community aims to promote health in all six of the interconnected health topics, selecting a priority health topic based on each school community’s needs and assets helps focus the work of the school team. By focusing on one health topic comprehensively across as many of the five Foundations for a Healthy School areas as possible, schools are better positioned to have a deeper impact on their broader school communities.

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

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For more information, please contact:

John Shewchuk – Chief Managing Officer

(519) 578-3660 | john.shewchuk@wcdsb.ca


June 25th, 2019|

Multi-Year Strategic Plan Report Card

The Education Act requires school boards to develop multi-year plans that are three years or more in scope. The plans provide focus and direction to the board to achieve Ministry of Education goals and, equally as important, articulate the vision of the school board.

In June of 2018 the Board of Trustees accepted the final report card on the 2015-2018 Multi-Year Strategic Plan. Within that work was found stakeholder feedback regarding our previously identified Mission, Vision, Beliefs and three core Strategic Priorities.

There was a high affirmation rate for each, and thus it was identified at that time that those would remain constant and provide a foundational framework for a new strategic plan that was approved in December, 2018.

Informed by the MYSP survey completed in the spring of 2018, the June 2018 MYSP report card, and a number of conversations throughout of the fall of 2018, the Director and Senior Staff worked to identify both new Strategic Directions and corresponding goals for each of the three pre-identified strategic priorities.

There was an eye toward reducing the number of strategic directions and the number of goals. Nine strategic directions were reduced to six and 32 goals were reduced to 17.

Each of the six identified Strategic Directions of the MYSP have two to four goals which provide a focus to assist in the attainment of our Mission and Vision. For each of those goals, there are also a number of finite actions that were identified within the plan, that are seen as integral to the attainment of the articulated goals.

Each of the WCDSB staff departments responsible for the MYSP’s goals has completed a Strategic Direction Action Status Report in which they have reported back on the activities undertaken under the auspices of the strategic direction priority area.

As we navigate the early months of our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, we find that four of six Strategic Directions and 15 of 17 goals are progressing at an optimal level, having been rated at “Green” or “Effectively Meeting Standard”.

Two of the six Strategic Directions have some combination of “Green” (Effectively Meeting Standard) and “Orange” (Approaching Criteria), with the majority still being “Green”, as only two of 17 goals have been deemed to be “Orange.

There are no goals that have been assessed at “Red” (Not Meeting Criteria).

To review the detailed Report Card, please CLICK HERE and proceed to page 32.

We will be working diligently to ensure the forward momentum currently being experienced is maintained in the coming year. This will require a strong culture of collaboration, collective efficacy, high expectations and innovation.

There are many points of celebration and there is clear direction in terms of the work for the year ahead. We can be most proud that our Vision and Mission – which are firmly rooted in our faith and gospel values – are recognized as our strongest or most clearly affirmed indicator.

June 19th, 2019|

Catholic Trustees Approve $299.9 Million Balanced Budget

Waterloo Region, ON – Trustees of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board have approved the Board’s $299.9 million 2019-20 school year budget.

Government policy changes involving class sizes, reduction in per-pupil funding, and cancellation of the Local Priorities Fund have led to an overall reduction across the school system of approximately $10 million, impacting staff as well as student programming and resources.

The government continues to consult with stakeholders on specific policy changes. As a result, further funding amendments may be introduced in the coming months.

Quick Facts

  • The overall budget is as follows:
    • Total Operating: $278.9 M (+ $5.6 million)
    • Total Capital: $20.9 M (+ $2.2 million
    • Total Operating & Capital: $299.9 M (+ $7.8 million)


  • Some of the strategies used to balance the budget include:
    • Reduction of support staff and academic staff throughout the system
    • Reduction of school budgets
    • Reduction of maintenance budgets
    • Deferral of equipment purchases including laptops, Chromebooks, vehicles, furniture, and custodial equipment
    • Reduction of departmental PD budgets and PD requiring release time


  • Further, a spending freeze was implemented in 2018-19 to increase surpluses available for 2019-20 and future years, should they be needed.


  • While the depth and breadth of the proposed reductions may seem daunting, WCDSB Senior Administration believes the school system is resourced in a way that provides students with opportunities, experiences, and instruction that are the envy of most jurisdictions in the world.


  • The WCDSB continues to be proud of our strong graduation rates and EQAO scores, a diverse and supported student population whose families value faith-based education, and staff committed to student success and wellness.  Additionally, enrolment continues to grow at record rates, with a projected 3.3% increase over 2018-19 and a gain in student market share over 2017-18.

Related Links

WCDSB 2019-20 School Year Budget Package

WCDSB 2018-2021 Multi-year Strategic Plan

Ontario Grants for Student Needs

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

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For more information, please contact:

Shesh Maharaj — Chief Financial Officer

(519) 578-3660 | Shesh.Maharaj@wcdsb.ca


June 17th, 2019|