Phone: 519-621-0371

January Newsletter

A warm welcome back to all of our families within the St. Francis Catholic School Community. We certainly hope that the Christmas season was one filled with memorable moments and wonderful blessings.

It was incredible to witness so many generous donations to the Food Drive for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the many items of new hats, mitts, scarves, socks and blankets that were also donated on behalf of our St. Francis School families.

It was truly wonderful to be able to come together as a Catholic School Community and share in a turkey luncheon in our school gym. Heartfelt thanks are extended to Mr. Gibson for his leadership and generosity, as well as to the many helping hands from staff and volunteers. It was a beautiful way to celebrate our last Christmas together at St. Francis School.

As we begin another year and our last six months together, let us take the time to celebrate, and remember to be grateful for our many blessings, reflect on what was good during the past year, perhaps what was not so good, and what we may want to do differently in this New Year. During the month of January, we are called to reflect on the Baptism of Jesus and our own Baptism. Just like John the Baptist, we can know Jesus is our Lord.

We look forward to our continued working together.

PA Day: Friday, January 26

Friday, January 26th is a PA Day. There will not be any classes for students on this day.

Early Years Registrations for Sept. 2018

The paper work for Early Years’ Registrations for Sept. 2018 will occur with Mrs. Neves at St. Francis School in our main office. There will be a flyer sent home regarding dates/times for the Early Years’ Registrations. Following the completion of the paper work at St. Francis School, the information will be inputted for St. Vincent de Paul School, our new school at 30 Faial Road for Sept. 2018.

Outdoor Wear

Students are reminded to wear their coats when outside. If parents/guardians could kindly reiterate this message at home that would be appreciated.

Cash on Line

Go to: Select the “Get Started Today” option. Complete the 3 registration steps.

School Website

Please visit our St. Francis School website at When you have a chance, please subscribe at the bottom to receive electronic messages from the office, newsletters and school reminders. As items are tweeted, you will receive those too.

Popcorn Purchases

As of December 19th, popcorn will be available for purchase via Cash on Line. Profits made from popcorn sales will go towards the Grade 8 Mount Mary Retreat. Popcorn Days will run on Wednesdays from January 31st to April 25th. All purchases are via Cash on Line.

Inclement Weather Procedures

In the event of very inclement weather, the Board may cancel school for the day. This decision will be announced on local radio stations, and notices affecting bus cancellations will be given between 6:45 A.M. and 8:30 A.M. Please listen to CHYM FM 96.7, Dave FM 107.5 or Oldies 1090 AM, KOOL FM 105.3, CKCO TV CHANNEL 12 for a decision about bus cancellation or school closure from the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Also visit the board website: or check out our board Twitter account: @WCDSBNewswire. Information is also communicated on the Transportation website:

If school buses are cancelled in the morning due to inclement weather, they are cancelled all day and will not pick up students who found other means of transportation to arrive at school. Please note that transportation cancellations do not automatically mean schools are closed.

If school is to be closed during the day, students will not be dismissed until 11.30 A.M. for morning closure or at the regular 3:15 P.M. dismissal. Students will be dismissed according to the request identified by parent/guardians earlier this year.

Parents/guardians are the primary decision-makers regarding the safety of their child(ren). Although the schools are open and buses are running, if parents/guardians feel that conditions are not appropriate for their child(ren) to attend school, they have the right to keep their child(ren) at home.

 Math Tips for Home: Proportional Thinking

The more experience children have to make mathematical comparisons, the more they are likely to progress to thinking proportionally (comparisons using multiplication)¹. For example, the father is about twice the height of the boy. Many researchers agree that proportional thinking and reasoning is a complex process that takes time to develop. ²

 Whenever possible, ask questions where your child(ren) will need to compare quantities. You may ask for help when following a recipe by increasing the final amount. For example, if the recipe makes 10 cookies, then ask about the ingredient amounts needed if you want to make 15 cookies.

Parents/guardians may want to talk about different ages and have children compare them. For instance, “Mommy is 31 years old and you are 10 years old. How much older is Mommy than you?” You might expect to hear the response of 21 years older, but deeper proportional reasoning moves towards multiplication. Therefore, the response that Mommy is about 3 times as old as the child, requires a greater degree of thinking.

1 Doing Mathematics with Your Child: A Parent Guide by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

2 Paying Attention to Proportional Reasoning. Ontario Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat.


Test booklets and examples of student answers from the past five years are available at There is also a parent resource section for your perusal on the EQAO website.

 An example of a Grade 3 Mathematics Question

Kathy and Michael go to a craft store to buy paint and brushes. One bottle of paint costs $5, and 1 brush costs $3. Kathy buys 1 bottle of paint and 4 brushes. Michael buys 2 bottles of paint and 1 brush. How much more money does Kathy spend than Michael? Show your work.

 An example of a Grade 6 Mathematics Question

A store has 11.2 kg of potatoes. Maria buys 572 g of potatoes from the store and Colin buys 1.42 kg of potatoes from the store. After these two purchases, how many grams of potatoes does the store have left? Show your work.

Attendance/Late Check Program

It is important that if your child(ren) is ill, has a medical appointment, or will be late for any reason, that you contact the school with the necessary information: full name and grade, teacher’s name, and reason your child(ren) will be absent. Our school answering machine is in service 24 hours a day. Please note that we must receive a call from a parent or caregiver. If your child(ren) does not arrive at school, and you have not contacted us, we will attempt to contact you at home or at your place of work. Please keep us updated on current and active phone numbers.

Visiting the School

Parents/guardians who wish to speak with a staff member during the day, including before school, ask that you please do not go directly to the classroom. Similarly, parents/guardians are asked to not go onto the school yard while students are outside. For the safety of all, please check in at the office.


Please note that no electronics are to be brought to school (mp3 players, gaming systems, etc.) other than for instructional use in the classroom under the direction of staff. Cellular phones are not permitted to be used at school during any school time, including recesses. If students require cellular phones specifically for safety reasons, to and from school, the students must be sure that the cellular phones are placed in a safe location and turned off.

There will be opportunity for students to bring personal devices such as laptops, Ipods and tablets to class for instructional purposes (i.e. research) under the direction of staff who have assigned the work. These devices are for classroom use only. Students will be required to complete the form, “Student Acceptable Use of Outside Technology Equipment/Student Personal Electronic Device Consent Form” which is kept on file for the school year. The school is not responsible for lost or damaged personal devices.

Electronics that are found at school that are not being used for instructional purposes will be removed from the student, and forwarded to the office. The items will be returned to the student after a parent/guardian has been notified. A parent/guardian will be asked to come to the office to pick up the items, as these items will not be returned directly to the student. Please refer to the school agenda that was sent home on the first day of school.

Digital Images

Our students and staff enjoy opportunities to share some of their activities with parents/guardians, and the school community through teams, clubs, and special events. Many of these are “memory making” for families and as such photographs are often taken. We ask that families exercise their discretion when taking photographs or videos at school events and consider the privacy of other students who may also be present in those pictures. We would appreciate if families not upload images of students other than their own to the Internet (e.g. YouTube; Facebook). Your cooperation is appreciated.

Safe Schools Team ~ Virtue of the Month  

For January, the focus of the month is Enthusiastic Learner. When students display this quality, they demonstrate their eagerness to explore new ideas and complete new tasks by taking risks; they show and model leadership by being involved in the school community, and being an active member of groups; they have a positive attitude and show initiative in their learning. These are the look fors/expectations the staff will be looking for when recognizing the student of the month for January.


A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can also be caused from a fall or blow to the body. It is extremely important to seek medical attention if signs or symptoms of a concussion are present: ringing in ears, headache, fatigue, irritability, vision imbalance, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. For more information on concussion and injury prevention, please visit,

If a student happens to get a bump, blow or jolt to the head at school, a phone call will be made to parents/guardians to determine one of the response options: Come to the school and assess student; Pick up student; Provide permission for student to remain at school.

A copy of the Symptoms/Sign form and Parent Handout will be sent home to all students if there is a bump, blow or jolt to the head while at school.

Nutrition Bits

Here are some helpful tips when thinking about lunch preparation:

  • Place items like juice boxes and individual yogurts in the freezer for about an hour in the morning. They will be half frozen when you put them into the lunch bag, and they will remain cold.
  • Ask your child(ren) to bring home anything he/she doesn’t eat. This way one can get a sense of the amounts of food to pack for snacks and lunches, and see which food is a favourite/least favourite.
  • If your child(ren) doesn’t like to eat the crust off the bread, trim the crust off the bread before making the sandwiches. Then freeze the crusts in a freezer bag and use them to make bread crumbs.
  • Make trail mix with Cheerios, Shreddies, raisins and mini chocolate chips.