Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - Volume 12, Issue 15

A Message from our Principal

Dear Saints and families,

I hope this message finds you all well, as we continue to follow the direction of health officials, we all remain at home, making the best of our current reality. I continue to receive some amazing feedback from teachers about the resilience and dedication that many students are demonstrating in this new way of learning.

We recognize that there continue to be times of uncertainty that can be somewhat frustrating at times – thank you for your patience to wait for clarity, we do appreciate your understanding as we await further direction from the Ministry.
Understanding that some of you may be experiencing some challenges with learning at home and some significant personal circumstances, we invite you to reach out to teachers, guidance counsellors or an administrator to support or answer any of your questions. This is just a gentle reminder to ensure that your child is logging into each of their classes on a regular basis during the school week. The Ministry of Education has outlined that your child should be spending 3 hours per course per week.

. . . you may be experiencing some challenges . . . wereach out to teachers, guidance counsellors or an administrator . . .

This provides the opportunity to continue the learning and position them for success by maintaining a daily routine of logging in each day and completing the assigned work. As well, if they require help, please ensure they are reaching out to their teacher who is there to support them with their learning needs. Thank you for your on-going support as we work our way through this new way of teaching and learning.

Please know that we are all missing the students and life as we knew it in the building prior to March 13th, who knew that the announcement of an extended March Break would find us here! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Student Council who continue to engage the community through their social media accounts. A special thanks to their creation of a staff video, giving many of us the opportunity to let students know that we are thinking of them. I am sure you will agree that the final product is very heart warming. Unfortunately, the video is still in editing (staff got to see a sneak preview), but keep an eye on the school and SAC social media in the coming days for its pending launch!

Finally, thank you for all that you are doing in supporting the continuity of learning for your own children. Please join me in continuing to pray for our community that we all remain well and keep moving forward with strength, perseverance, and hope.

Midterm Marks for Graduating Students

For grade 12 graduating students, midterm marks will be due on April 28th for teachers for us to upload them to the OUAC and OCAS websites for post-secondary opportunities. Please connect with your classroom teacher for further clarification.

Do you have poor wi-fi? Have a cell phone?

Did you know: You can connect your laptop or Chromebook to the internet using your cell phone using tethering. Go into the “Setting” menu of your phone, next, the “Connections” menu, then find something similar to “Mobile Hotspot and Tethering” go into this menu and toggle it ON. Once that is toggled on, an alert will show up and allow you to “tap to set up”; here you can set a Wi-Fi name and password. Once that is finished you can go to your other device and connect to the newly created Wi-Fi.

Please note:
  1. This will use your data, so be mindful of your data plan!
  2. This uses significant battery power on your phone, so you may want to plug it in if your battery is low.
Happy learning, stay safe and healthy!

WCDSB Learning tools

Visit the WCDSB Learn at Home Website with important Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and Pray at Home resources for the most up to date information regarding learning plans and other essential information.
WCDSB D2L Platform*

Google Classroom*

OneNote Classroom*

* Students should use their GAFE logins and passwords to enter these sites

Supporting students' questions

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Recently our Board's student trustees Rori Schaefer and Meghan Cymbron gathered questions from students and put them to our Board's Director and the WCDSB Chair. Check out this video where they try to address some of students' most pressing concerns.

Having trouble making contact?

As we navigate through the reality of self-isolation and learning (and teaching) from home, communication may sometimes be a challenge. Here are several tips to make sure that the lines of communication are kept open between parents, students, and teachers:
1. Pick it up: Teachers are using different tools to make calls home, and will not always be calling from a known number. When you see Unknown Number or Private Caller, pick up to see if it may be your son's or daughter's teacher
2. Check your junk email: Teachers often send emails to many people at once, which may trigger your spam filter. Check to see if any teacher emails have gone there.
3. Students, check your GAFE email: All students in the WCDSB have a Gmail account and email address that is of a common format; most teachers will email them to that email address. If your son or daughter doesn't get notification for this email account to their phone, they should check there frequently for emails from teachers.
4. Email teachers for an update: all of our staff email addresses can be found on the school website by going to About Us > Staff List
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Are you still trying to adjust to learning from home?

Check out this article "What Should You Do When Your Classes Switch to Online?" on the Charter College website.

It has a lot of helpful tips for students on how to deal with learning from home.

Chaplain's Chat

This week is Earth Week.

What a wonderful world we live in! I think COVID distracts us from the goodness of creation. There is goodness all around: the kindness of people helping one another; the stirring of life in spring; the creative drive of scientists to find treatments and vaccines.

With less human activity we are also seeing the regeneration of the earth. People in Venice are seeing fish in canals. Urban dwellers are seeing clear, blue skies. People in the eastern world are seeing mountain vistas unseen for 30 years. Canadians are seeing more wildlife around their homes. When we look up and look around, we see that we live in a wonderful world.

I invite you and your isolators to check out the song, "What a Wonderful World" by these artists: Eva Cassidy; Tony Bennett and K.D. Lang; Joey Ramone; and of course, the one and only Louis Armstrong.

And now the prayer:

God, you created the earth and declared it good.
You continue to create and always declare it good.
Forgive us when we are distracted by COVID and lose sight of the goodness of our world.
As spring arrives, may be be heartened by life unfolding.
As we clean up yards and gardens, may it be a commitment to caring for your earth, our earth.
May our days be full of celebrating the goodness of earth, our wonderful world.
We pray for the victims and their families as a result of the horrific shootings in Nova Scotia.
May the survivors find comfort.
May the deceased Rest In Peace.


Be well.

Bob R.

School support contacts

Parents, if you need to contact your son's or daughter's Guidance Counsellor or Student Success teacher, please contact them via email below:

Guidance Counsellors

Ms. O'Toole - Alpha A to Di + Int'l students
Ms. Arkell - Alpha Dj to Ki
Mr. Betik - Alpha Kl to Pl
Mrs. O'Neill - Alpha Po to Z

Student Success Teachers

Ms. Romanick - Alpha A to C
Mrs. Borba - Alpha D to H
Mrs. Healy - Alpha I to Me
Mrs. Missio - Alpha Mi to P + Community & Active
Mr. Malnerich - Alpha Q to Z
coping after tragedy

A Checklist for Success While Remote Learning

As you know, the Ministry of Education has directed school boards to offer remote learning and learning for all students. There is an expectation that students will participate, with the support of their teachers, to the best of their abilities.

Our expectation, and the Ministry's expectation, is that students will do their best to complete all assigned work. Students and families are encouraged to connect with their teachers if they have questions about assessment and evaluation.​​ We are here to support you!

During remote learning, students will be required to shift and create habits of success in their new learning environment. Your child’s teacher will help with this, and will communicate clear expectations for students. Students, in consultation with their parent(s)/guardian(s), and to the greatest extent possible given their individual circumstances, should:

Student Responsibilities

  • Establish daily routines for engaging in learning experiences (e.g. start at 9:30 a.m. each day).
  • If possible, identify a comfortable, quiet space in your home where you can work effectively and successfully.
  • Check your GAFE email address daily (school board gmail account). Email addresses are the last five digits of their Student Number and the first three letters of their last name
  • Monitor the established lines of communication with your teacher(s), to check for announcements and feedback.
  • Do your best work by completing assignments with integrity and academic honesty.
  • Do your best to meet timelines, commitments and due dates.
  • Communicate proactively with your teacher(s) if you cannot meet deadlines or require additional support.

Happy Earth Day to you...!

It is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day today so a good reminder to take some time to celebrate the Earth. Here is a bit of a challenge for anyone. Take some time today to do what you can in your own home or with some social distancing to change a bad habit or show what part you play in making the Earth a better place in terms of fighting pollution, waste or to mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change. You will find some great resource links as well! Check out this Google Slide show.

Eco Club would like to wish you all a Happy Earth Day today and provide some suggestions on how to celebrate it if you're looking for some activities:

This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations so take some time to reflect about your part in taking care of our planet, think about whether there is something more that you could do, stay safe, and enjoy!

Thank you Saints for your donations!

In the last issue of the BENN we put out a call for cotton fabric and elastic cording, and you came through! Thanks to your contributions over 200 masks have been made and are going to be distributed where needed throughout the tri-cities area. Sewers and seamstresses are working on making more caps and masks, and can always use your support.

In order to make these pieces, they are looking for donations of cotton fabric and flat elastic cording (that is approximately 5mm – 10 mm in width). Because fabric stores are no longer considered “essential services”, these stores have closed, and materials are harder and harder to find.
Anyone willing to offer a curb-side donation of any supplies for making masks and caps is asked to contact Miss Stockie via email at She is willing to pick up donations in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge areas – no contact required. Just notify her of a location and she will arrange for a time to collect these supplies.

Warm thanks for the generous spirit that is always present at St. Benedict!

WCDSB staff answer the call for PPE equipment

Despite the fact that he is not in his shop in the Annex, Mr. Castela is not letting his equipment, or talents, sit idle. He is one of several dozen WCDSB staff members who are printing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at home using 3D printers.

Partnering up with local tech company InkSmith, volunteers from the Board are using design software to create the different parts needed for shields and masks. Parts take anywhere from an hour to four hours to print, depending on complexity.

Once the parts are printed they are delivered to a central location where the equipment is assembled, sanitized, and distributed where needed.

Johnson Inc. 2020 Scholarship Program Opens April 22

Building on Johnson’s History of Supporting Customers and Communities

For many Canadian students, the jump from high school to post-secondary education is a thrilling transition into adulthood, but one that comes with new financial responsibilities.

Johnson understands the challenges faced by students during their pursuit of higher education, and Johnson is proud to offer scholarships to help them achieve their dreams. Since 1998, Johnson has awarded over 1,500 scholarships and academic grants valued at more than $1 million to support young Canadians coast to coast in pursuing their post-secondary education.

This year, Johnson is pleased to offer 50 scholarships worth $1,000 each to students who have a car or home policy through Johnson; or have a parent/guardian or grandparent who has a car or home policy or group benefit plan with Johnson; or are members/employees of a Johnson sponsor/client group; or have a parent/guardian or grandparent who is a Johnson employee. Students must complete high school in 2020 and must be beginning post-secondary education this fall or CEGEP (if living in Québec).

Applications for the Scholarship Program will be open starting April 22, 2020. Completed application forms must be submitted by July 15, 2020 and must contain an official school transcript of final year credits.

For more information, or to apply for a Johnson Inc. Scholarship, please click here.

Important information from


idea exchange logo
In response to the Region of Waterloo's directive that all municipally funded cultural and recreational facilities are closed to the public and in response to the Province of Ontario's declaration of a state of emergency, Idea Exchange locations are now closed.

As the situation has evolved rapidly with COVID-19, there are changes almost every day and we try to make the best decisions with the information at hand, especially the recommendations of Region of Waterloo Public Health.

At this time, we do not know when the Province of Ontario's state of emergency will be lifted nor do we know when public health will revise their requirement of social distancing, so we are sadly making the call to cancel your Spring program/event. We would love to look at re-booking your program/event for possibly Fall.

Be sure to check the WCDSB's


page for more information and updates

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