Thursday, June 27, 2019 - Volume 11, Issue 22


Last night the St. Benedict community celebrated the graduating class of 2019 with a ceremony at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. During the event, we got to witness students receive recognition through community awards, awards of honour, and subject awards. Nearly three hundred of our grads crossed the floor to receive their scrolls with much joy and enthusiasm.

The evening was filled with a lot of pride and emotion, and we hope it is one the grads will not soon forget. There was laughter, and there were tears as Valedictorian Meghan Nemeth's address recounted the last few years here at St. Benedict.

Graduates, as you leave us we encourage you to keep fighting for justice, and keep effecting change. Not sure if you can make a difference? You have been instrumental in bringing clean drinking water to a village half way around the world. You collected books for native communities to help other students get an education. You have provided jeans for teens locally, and last week you showed your generosity in providing a second life to your used uniforms.

Still don't think you can make a difference? Collectively this graduating class has performed over 23,000 hours of community service. That is something you can all truly be proud of.

You have ... [brought] clean drinking water to a village ... collected books for native communities ... provided jeans for teens ...

Many thanks need to be given to Mrs. Spitzig and her Graduation committee for a wonderfully organized event. Mr. Milardovic kept the event going as our Master of Ceremonies, and the Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Lacalamita lead the processions in and out in regal fashion.

Congratulations graduates! God bless you all on your journeys, and remember that wherever you go, you will forever be a Saint!


A Fond Farewell from Mrs. Temple

Hello Saints,

I have some news to share. I know I have not been with you for long, but I have recently been offered a new position in another Board.

Effective August 1, I will be the Superintendent of Education for Brant Haldimand Catholic District School Board.

It is bittersweet for me as I have called St. Benedict home three different times in three different roles.
I have been a teacher, Vice-Principal and now Principal.

I have loved every minute of my time here and have called St. Benedict home for many years.

I have most enjoyed being back to St. Benedict as your Principal. I am proud of all that happens here and value the efforts of our entire staff and our student body for making it the heart of the community; success for each and a place for all.

Mrs. Ingoldsby will be your new Principal starting in the fall. She is very excited to take on this role and will work hard to continue to support all the great things that happen here. I know you will welcome her here just as you have me.

I wish you all the best. Take care and God Bless. Remember to keep smiling and always take the time to say thank you!

Did you know...

Our grads have donated over 700 uniform pieces to the Used Uniform Store this year... that is AWESOME!

Timetable Pick Up

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

8:30am-10:30am—Grade 9 Students
10:30am-12:00pm—All Grades

Thursday, August 29, 2019

10:30am-12:00pm—All Grades


St. Benedict tops Board's "Toonies for Tuition" campaign


Are you considering volunteering at St. Benedict?

Volunteers are a welcome resource at St. Benedict C.S.S. The school is in a position of trust with regards to students and must strive to protect their intellectual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As such, the WCDSB administrative procedure (APO 001) mandates that all volunteers be screened, references checked, and Criminal Background Check (CBC) done. School administration reserves the right to oppose or rescind any volunteer placement.

If you would like to volunteer at St. Benedict, please contact Ms. Fondacaro or visit our Volunteering page on the school website..

EnCOMPASS summer shutdown

The enCOMPASS Parent Portal and enCOMPASS Student Portal have been shut down for regular summer maintenance and will be available again to users on September 16th, 2019.

Did you know...

This year's BENN electronic newsletter saved:


sheets of 8½" x 11" paper
which is over


boxes of paper
which would weigh over



Thank you for being one of our nearly 1200 subscribers!

Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region surveys

We are asking parents and/or guardians to participate in a survey about their student’s journey to school. The purpose of the surveys is to get a better understanding of the thoughts and opinions of the student’s journey to school. We have created surveys for students using the school bus and for students who use other forms of transportation like walking or biking to school. Our goal is to enhance the student’s experience and to improve our services in the future. The survey typically takes 5 minutes to complete and will be open until Friday, June 14th, 2019.
If you have any questions in regards to the surveys please contact the Morgan Potts at (519) 744-7575, extension 229 or at
Thank you for providing your feedback. We appreciate the time you have taken and will actively use it to improve our services to you in the future!

Transported Students Survey

Students in the Walk Zone

News from Student Transportation

Transportation details for the 2019-2020 school year will be available on Monday, August 19, 2019.
Parents can login and view your child’s transportation details by going to and following these easy steps:
  1. Click on “Student Login”
  2. Enter your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN)
  3. This can be found on your child’s report card
  4. Numbers only, no space, no dash
  5. Enter your child’s birth date
  6. Enter your child’s street number house number only
  7. Select the school your child is attending from the drop down menu
Please note: any address changes need to be done through your school. If you are moving this summer or change caregiver arrangements for the fall, you should communicate the change of address to your child’s school before the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

You can also visit to see bus delays and cancellations, subscribe to receive e-mail notifications for late buses and closures and follow us on Twitter.

Bring Your Own Device and Purchase Program

Partnership with STAPLES Canada for Chromebooks and Windows 10 Cloudbooks

WCDSB has made significant investments to ensure our students and staff have access to a variety current technologies. The use of technology to support learning remains a key priority to ensure that students are equipped with the skills to flourish in an increasingly digital world. Chromebooks and Windows 10 Cloudbooks have proven to be versatile, reliable, and affordable digital tool in the classroom.

As students have engaged more with the technology that is available in their classrooms, many families have expressed interest in purchasing a device for their child to use at school and at home. Many parents have reached out, seeking advice about which technology would best support their child’s learning, is reasonably priced, yet durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily use as it’s transported back and forth to school each day.

More information can be found on the BYOD information page on the school board website:

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, you need to download and print out this document and take it to your nearest Staples store.


Welcome to the Umbrella Project! The Umbrella Project program is designed to help you and your family proactively build wellbeing and prepare for life's challenges. This can be done through practicing a set of skills that are known to improve our children's happiness and success. Much like an umbrella protects us from the rain, each of these skills forms a piece of an umbrella that protects us from life's rainy days and helps us learn and succeed.

This month, we're building our Mastery Umbrella Skills. Mastery is a great way to wrap up before the summer. It requires us to use many of the skills we have learned over the school year.

What is Mastery?

Mastery is our ability to work towards excelling at something – our craft, our relationships, our jobs and many others. The early stages of mastery require many of our Umbrella Skills to push through the boredom, fear, impatience and other difficult emotions of the learning journey. Over time, we build strength and confidence and can accomplish great things.

“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all others: We are merely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.” —Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Umbrella Mastery Tip #2

Iron body training 101: Cultivating the capacity for uncertainty and resistance.
We joke in our house that physical and mental discomfort is 'iron body training', strengthening and toughening our body and minds. While this is a funny lens we can put on difficulty, there is a lot of science behind this idea. We aren’t going to feel great all the time. Difficult situations and feelings are a normal part of the package of being human.

When we seek only pleasure in life, we spend much of our time looking for ways to short-cut through or distract ourselves from anything difficult. Living with this mentality is doing ourselves quite a disservice. It is precisely the challenges we are avoiding that give us the ‘iron body’ required to take on life challenges and uncertainties on our path to mastery. These skills are critical for adapting to changes, learning from failure, tolerating boredom and pushing through to our goals and dreams. When we stay within the confines of ‘easy and comfortable’, we quit easily and miss the chance to grow and expand.

Here are some common examples of iron body training to share with your children:
  • Accepting boredom as part of the journey to mastery.
  • Feeling anxious about trying something new and doing it anyways.
  • Taking on a challenge when the outcome is uncertain.
  • Purposely facing small versions of your fears.
There are so many ways we can encourage our children to face and adapt to the difficult – even coming to see it as strength! Start by helping them expect these challenges along the way and explain how iron body training works. Then celebrate the power and strength that comes when they get through these tough spots. This will cultivate their capacity for overcoming uncertainty and set them on a trajectory towards mastery.

Umbrella Mastery Tip #3

Use timed intervals of practice to improve mastery.
In working towards mastering anything, deliberate focused practice plays a critical role.
Robert Greene, world-renown master in the subject of mastery, emphasizes this important idea:
“This process of hardwiring cannot occur if you are constantly distracted, moving from one task to another. In such a case, the neural pathways dedicated to this skill never get established; what you learn is too tenuous to remain rooted in the brain. It is better to dedicate two or three hours of intense focus to a skill than to spend eight hours of diffused concentration on it. You want to be as immediately present to what you are doing as possible.”
In a generation plagued with infinite distraction, how do we create space for focus and hard wiring of skills?
One great way to help children accomplish distraction-free work is to have them work in manageable blocks with intentional rest in between. Start with 20-minute intervals of practice/ work with 10-minute rests and adjust according to your child’s current capacity (maximum 1 hour of work before a break). Instead of a long and distracted work session, this will allow for shorter focused bursts of work with anticipated breaks in between – a much better strategy for learning!
Here are a few tips for creating focus:
  • Set a timer for the work and rest intervals.
  • Turn off notifications on computers, set phones to airplane mode or put them in another room if your child has their own devices.
  • Encourage your child to get water, go pee or take care of any other distracting needs that may come up.
  • Use headphones if the environment is noisy.
  • Have your child get the work ready to go in advance so there is no set-up prep.
  • Have your child plan what will happen in the rest intervals – I.e. go outside, dance around the house, get a snack etc.
Teach your children to value focus and practice this skill regularly.

Umbrella Mastery Tip #4

Encourage learning over proving yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes we make in learning is to imagine we need to impress people and prove ourselves instead of being able to accept that we don’t know everything. That’s why we are learning! It is distracting and tiring to feel that we need to be constantly proving how much we know and undermines the actual learning process. Kids who feel this way are likely to quit at the first sign of failure or when someone comes along who is more experienced – as if that person or experience is a threat to their identity.
To help your children master skills with an open mind and humility, teach them the ‘Terrible Ten Rule’.
The Terrible Ten Rule is as follows: expect the first 10 times you try something new to be terrible.
It’s a simple but clear message about expectations for the learning process. Why would we expect to be good at things we haven’t learned or practiced yet?
By setting our expectations of ourselves as absolute beginners it allows our egos the space to relax through the first few attempts at anything new. It also allows us to learn from those around us with more experience instead of finding ourselves in a mental competition for who is better. Explain to your children that time and experience are the critical ingredients to mastery, not some natural talent we are simply born with and ready to display on the first attempt.

News from the Guidance Department

By Mrs. L. O'Neill

Community Service Hours

It is a requirement of graduation that each student complete 40 hours of community service. There are
many opportunities to fulfill this requirement. If you have already registered for Hour Republic check out the
guidelines on the website This website can also be used to track your hours and
see volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer spotlight

The Cambridge Rotary Ribfest 2019
Ribfest will be held August 9-11 at Riverside Park. Please register online and include St. Benedict in your registration.
They are looking for about 300 volunteers over the weekend. If you have questions please email

Love the outdoors? Enjoy kids? Like horses? Check out this unique volunteer opportunity . . .
Therapeutic horseback riding for people with disabilities is looking for volunteers. No experience necessary. Training provided. Must be 15+. Email or visit for more information.

The South-West Regional Soccer Association is looking for volunteers for a number of soccer tournaments and festivals throughout the summer. If interested, please email

CMBA is run by volunteers. If you are interested in giving back to your community please contact to see where you might fit in.

Support Catholic Education



Enriching the Lives of Students

By Mrs. D. Wittmann
There many opportunities for students to enhance their learning experience: Enrichment courses, LEAP, OYAP, UCEP, Co-op, Home Build, SHSM, and Skills Canada. Visit the Enrichment blog for information on all these opportunities. The Blogroll contains a plethora of learning enhancements. To learn more about what we offer, click on Enrichment@St.Benedict.

English Corner

By Mrs. D. Wittmann
To receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) each student must obtain four credits in English (one credit per grade). Visit the English blog to read the course offerings provided by the Saint Benedict English Department. The Blogroll has great resources for both students and parents. Enjoy! English@St.Benedict blog.

Advanced Placement at St. Benedict

By Mrs. D. Wittmann
Advanced Placement (AP) is an internationally recognized program that allows students to enrich the Ontario Curriculum with the goal of achieving university accreditation.

What does the research say about AP students?
Research shows that the best predictor of whether or not a student completes a university degree is not their high school grades or standardized tests. Rather, the best predictor is how many challenging courses a student has taken in high school. Students who challenge themselves with AP courses and exams are much more likely to complete a university degree in four years or less.

Please visit:
Congratulations to the almost 70 graduates who received their Specialist High Skills Major Red Seal diplomas last night.
Students graduated with a focus on a certain sector such as Arts and Culture, Business, Hospitality and Tourism, Manufacturing, Information and Communication Technology, Justice, Community Safety and Emergency Services, Construction and Health ad Wellness.
SHSM students complete a package of courses, certifications and a coop experience during grades 11 and 12.
Find out more information at

Bridge to Success Summer Course at St. Benedict

Are you entering grade 9 at St. Benedict this September (or know someone who is)? Do you want to earn a FULL credit before high school even begins?

St. Benedict's Bridge to Success course is running again this July at St. Benedict, and it is all about making your transition to high school easier!

It includes literacy, numeracy, well-being (spiritual, physical, emotional/mental), life skills, amazing guest speakers, fun excursions and more!

Click here for more information and to REGISTER NOW



Student Activities

The Arts

Other News

smh-sjhs reunion
It is our 30 year reunion from SMH/SJH. Please join us for a night of great music and friends and celebrate our past 30 has it been that long???

We look forward to seeing everyone from far and wide. Get your tickets early. This space has a max capacity of 250. We will be starting the music at 7pm. So get your dancing shoes on and head out to The Tannery Event Centre downtown Kitchener.

Please invite anyone you can remember for this event. We do not want anyone left out.

Having "The Talk"...

Talking with your teen about cannabis may seem hard, but what you say does have an impact. To ensure you’re prepared, practice live with our kids before speaking with yours.
An expert will also be on hand to provide advice and help guide you through the discussion.

Facebook Live Event Dates
July 16 at 7:30 pm
Talyssa + Dr. William Barakett

Participating experts

Anne Élizabeth Lapointe
Executive Director of the Centre québécois de lutte aux dépendances et de la Maison Jean Lapointe, Anne Élizabeth has implemented several prevention programs, in addition to publishing many articles and studies.

Dr. William Barakett
A family doctor, researcher and President the Quebec Cannabis Registry, Dr. Barakett is a respected expert in the field of addiction treatment.

Dr. Richard Bélanger
Pediatrician Dr. Bélanger is, among other things, an assistant professor in the Pediatric Department of the Université de Laval. His main research area is the use of psychoactive substances among youth.

Calendar of Events

Be sure to visit our school website for an updated calendar with detailed information links for most calendar entries.
Friday, June 28
Last Day of School

Monday, July 1
Canada Day

Monday, July 15
7:00am: Report Card Pickup (until 1:30pm)

Tuesday, July 16
7:00am: Report Card Pickup (until 1:30pm)

Wednesday, July 17
7:00am: Report Card Pickup (until 1:30pm)

Thursday, July 18
7:00am: Report Card Pickup (until 1:30pm)

Monday, August 5
Civic Holiday

Monday, August 26
BENN Newsletter Release

Wednesday, August 28
8:30am: Timetable pick up, grade 9s
10:30am: Timetable pick up, all grades
Thursday, August 29
10:30am: Timetable pick up, all grades
2:00pm: Used Uniform Sale

Monday, September 2
Labour Day

Tuesday, September 3
First day of school

Wednesday, September 4
First day of full classes

Be sure to visit the calendar on the school website for more updates and detailed information about upcoming events.