Monthly Theme: Sense of Purpose



The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has announced that all of its members will be engaging in a one-day strike on Tuesday, February 4. This decision affects all Catholic district school boards in Ontario. 

As a result of this strike, all Waterloo Catholic District School Board elementary and secondary schools will be closed on February 4. 

All WCDSB extended day programs will be open for the day as usual (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) for students currently registered in the program on Tuesdays. 

Secondary school credit courses, hair styling courses and culinary arts courses offered at the WCDSB’s St. Louis Adult Learning & Continuing Education Centres campuses will be cancelled on February 4. St. Louis guidance and correspondence services will also be unavailable on February 4. All other St. Louis programs will be open and running on their normal schedules. 

Community use of schools activities will continue as scheduled. 

OECTA’s previously announced administrative job actions will remain in effect before and after February 4. 

As before, we remain hopeful the two sides will return to the bargaining table quickly and will come to a fair and respectful agreement that serves the best interests of our students.


We know that sometimes this is confusing for families as different union names or school boards are announced for job actions. 

  • we will always post on our website when we are closed
  • listen for teachers belonging to OECTA or Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association- this is the union representing our teachers
  • listen for keywords such as OECTA, Waterloo Catholic District School Board or WCDSB or Catholic schools



No doubt you are aware of the virus and its current status in Ontario.  It is possible it is causing concern for you or members of your family. The Ministry of Health is in regular communication with school boards across the province. In these communications, the over-arching key messages centre around the fact that Ontario is very prepared and has effective protocols, which are currently operating very well, and the guiding principles that we do well to ground our response in the facts and what we know to be good practice. 

 To that end – we are encouraged to redouble our efforts to ensure:

  •         good hygiene – washing hands thoroughly with soap or use sanitizer;
  •         covering one’s mouth and nose when one sneezes or coughs;
  •         staff and students stay home when ill.
  •         It is also wise to get a yearly flu vaccine, available from clinics or pharmacies.

Attached is a letter which has been provided jointly by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.  This letter was sent out earlier this week and should be helpful in providing the necessary facts and insights needed at this time. 

Coronavirus update letter – MoH Jan 27EN

As well, attached is a poster that will be placed in all classes. Please review at home with your children as well.




Do you know any families in our boundary who have children that will be Kindergarten age in September 


Year 1 and Year 2 registration will be held Beginning on February 10, 2020  for children born in 2016 (eligible for Year 1) or born in 2015 (eligible for Year 2) who have not attended Year 1.

Extended hours for registration will be on Wednesday, February 12th, from 4 – 7 pm. Please go online to register (  and then call the office to make an appointment to complete your registration(519-743-4401).



This Wednesday, February 5th  is Winter Walk to School Day! Keep active this winter and join schools across Canada to celebrate Winter Walk Day. Dressing warmly for a brisk winter walk can be exhilarating and fun – give it a tryWednesday! 

Here are some ideas: 

  • If you can walk safely to school, wrap up warm, leave the car at home and travel to school on foot with your friends. 
  • If you live too far to walk the whole way, try getting dropped off at a friend’s house or a few blocks away from the school so you can walk the last leg. 
  • If you take the school bus, walk to the bus stop, or use one of our recesses to walk around the yard!

The class that has the highest percentage of students who walk to school on Wednesday will win a prize!



This month we are going to working with students to learn about purpose and their meaningful contribution to the world. As we always say at the Umbrella Project, all of the skills are important and work best together! The happiest kids are able to understand their own needs and their contribution to the bigger world around them. 

How will a sense of Purpose help my child?

Purpose is the feeling that the things we do and the choices we make have meaning and make a difference. This makes us feel happier and more confident and gives us a set of guiding principles that help us make decisions. When kids have a sense of purpose it is easier for them to keep going when things get difficult because they can see a bigger picture. This can make them less likely to get stuck in the small trivial details that don’t matter in the long run. The journey of life isn’t linear so it’s important to live each day with a bigger set goals and values that can make even the toughest of days feel worthwhile. Having a sense of purpose is so important that it can actually help your children live longer, healthier lives.

PURPOSE TIP #1 Do a family culture brainstorm 

Creating a family culture is a great way to help your child start the journey of identifying with a bigger purpose. What do I mean by family culture? Culture is the behaviours that are characteristic of a group. This can encompass just about anything, from the types of foods you choose to the leisure activities you do together to the higher principles you value. Feeling like a part of something bigger helps us start to establish our sense of purpose. 

Start purpose month by brainstorming together, all of the things that you value most as a family. You can do this on a white board or a big sheet of paper that allows space for everyone to write in their ideas. A few questions you can reflect on are: What characteristics do I have that I am most proud of? What brings me joy? What have I done lately that makes my life feel meaningful? 

Here are a few examples that came up in my family: seeing the world, having new experiences together, enjoying healthy delicious food, supporting our friends and family, using generosity and kindness as much as we can. Once you have everyone’s ideas down, reflect on the ones that resonate most with everyone and put them somewhere your family can regularly see them. 

The more multi-generational, the better, so don’t forget to include grandparents if they are able. If not, just take a few minutes to reflect on their sense of purpose as well. Culture can be passed down for many generations. In my family a great example of this is generosity. Although my grandfather is no longer with us, he left a legacy of generosity and this family exercise has been a great way for me to share that with my children. Focusing on generosity helps me feel purpose in my day to day life and also makes me feel like part of something bigger that my family contributes to the world. 

A child’s sense of purpose will continue to evolve over their lifetime, so this exercise should be fluid and open to change and input from your child over time. Remember, when children are committed to a culture/home they feel part of, they will want to help shape it in ways that will help them to excel. When identification with that group is lost they can feel frustrated and withdraw, a situation seen often in teens. Make sure your childs’ voice is heard when you work on your shared family culture. 


We are very proud of our partnership with St Francis Parish. In order to continue to build on this relationship, each week we will be providing our community with a link to access the Church Bulletin so you may keep yourself apprised of the many events at the Parish.

Bulletin Feb. 2, 2020


Can you solve these riddles? 

In a bicycle race, the man who came two places in front of the last man finished one ahead of the man who came fifth. How many contestants were there?

You have 14 brown socks, 14 blue socks and 14 black socks in your sock drawer. How many socks must you remove (without looking to be sure) to have a matched pair?


Here’s what is happening at St Paul CES this Week:


  • Pizza orders due through Cash Online by Midnight
  • John Howard Classroom Visits 




  • Pizza Day
  • Winter Walk to School Day
  • Spiritwear Wednesday – all Panthers are invited to wear their Spiritwear on Wednesdays




Have a great week Panthers!