Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - Volume 12, Issue 17

A Message from Administration

As you may already know, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 Premier Doug Ford announced that students in Ontario would not be returning to school in June, 2020. We acknowledge that this news is disheartening for many, but the Ontario government has made this decision to protect the health and safety of all students and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We continue to recognize the unique position our Grade 12 students are in due to the challenges that have occurred in education this semester. We applaud you for your dedication to your schoolwork and to achieving so much as you look to your future goals. Graduation ceremonies are still under consideration and further information will be provided when we are able to proceed with the plan, in the interim we will be providing a partial refund to all Grade 12 students who paid the graduation fee. The cost of the gown will not be refunded as they have already been purchased, We hope to distribute gowns at a later date, so that families may use them for private celebrations and photos. We ask that students keep gowns in good repair so that they may be used at the ceremony when we can accommodate a community gathering.

... teachers and school staff will continue to reach out to support students ...

Additionally, there will be a partial refund of the Student Activity Fee, as some of the activities planned for the second half of the semester were not possible. Refunds will be made via School Cash on Line. If you paid cash or cheque, a school cheque will be generated when we are able to return to the building.

Classroom teachers and school staff will continue to reach out to support students during at home learning. All updates with respect to school closures, mental health resources, learning supports and other information can be found on the board website at
We will provide additional information as it becomes available regarding returning school items and the collection of personal items that may be in lockers. Please continue to follow the direction of Public Health and stay safe during our time apart, as always please reach out to us if you need guidance or have any questions.

Blessings to you and your families,
The Administration at SBCSS

Letter to Parents from the Minister of Education

Yesterday, the Minister of Education announced that schools will be closed through the end of June.

Click here to read his letter to parents.

We Asked, You Answered! Thanks for Your ThoughtExchange Feedback!!

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020 we asked our #WCDSBAwesome community this very important question:

WCDSBLearn@Home – How Are We Doing…?

And the response was extraordinary!

What we learned:

At the highest level – it is clear that our community values the work our teachers and system have done. There were a number of comments acknowledging the efforts of teachers to connect and to ensure the well being and engagement of students.

There were three key points of further feedback.
  1. First, the need for connection remains high. There is a desire for engagement between educator and family, between students and their peers, as well as a desire to have some “live” engagement.
  2. Secondly, there is a concern about issues connected to equity – which invites us to be very thoughtful in providing choice and multiple entry points for students.
  3. Finally, there were many comments related to learning tasks — with a desire for consistent expectations and routine as educators engage their students.
We have used the feedback, which is further detailed below, to continue to improve our service to our students, our parents and our staff. We have already taken steps to support more consistency and a clear understanding of expectations, to strengthen our collaboration and to further ensure that each student is feeling a sense of connection.

Secondary Students told us they too want clearer communication of next steps in distance learning. Some require more technical support, and they desire more consistency in the communication from different teachers. Some are also balancing personal or job responsibilities. They are looking for synchronous video conferences or lessons to assist with their learning and/or pre-recorded videos. There is a desire for a stronger sense of connection. Finally, they are very concerned about their assessments and the possible impacts to their post-secondary plan.

Secondary Parents are valuing the continuity of learning that is happening. They are looking for communication to be clearer and wish to be involved in monitoring their children’s progress. They want communication to be more flexible and innovative, with a nod to desiring live lessons or video-conferencing. Not unlike elementary parents, they are finding it challenging to motivate their children to engage in the learning at times. Not unlike their children, they are also concerned about how assessments will impact post-secondary plans — and they are wondering about how assessments will inform final report cards.

Secondary Staff are also concerned about the impact of the closure on the next school year and student readiness for the next grade. They expressed concerns that some students are struggling with the new learning format. Equity was also a concern for secondary staff and Administrators. Staff also commented on being concerned about mental health and wellness, and its significance to being able to positively engage in distance learning. There remain concerns about how to write an effective report card in light of the closure.

Read the full Newswire article here

Chaplain's Chat


In these times, we may feel disoriented because it feels as if all of life has been disrupted.
When we look around us, we realize that much of our world is stable and predictable. The earth keeps spinning; seasons change; night turns to day; and new growth is revealing itself all around.
When we feel a little discombobulated we can find stability in creation.
And so we pray.

You are creator of our earth.
We see you in the predictable patterns of creation.
The earth keeps spinning and the seasons keep changing.
May we find comfort and hope in your creation. Amen

Attention all current Gr. 10 & 11 SAINTS!

LINK CREW is proud to invite you in applying to be a LINK CREW LEADER for the 2020-2021 school year! Please complete the following Google Form and submit by May 22nd!

If you have questions, contact one of the staff coordinators - Mrs. Arkell, Mr. Borba, Ms. Edwards, Mrs. Healy, Mr. Reitzel or Mrs. Spitzig

Notes from WCDSB and CSAC

  • A reminder the Nutrition for Learning (NFL) pop-up snack program continues. Visit the NFL site for locations.
  • On Wednesday May 20, the WCDSB is starting a new campaign called #WCDSBFindtheUmbrella open to all WCDSB families. Prizes include $100 PC giftcards. Contest information found here:
  • Dr. Jen Forristal from the Umbrella Project is hosting a free webinar for parents on Wednesday night. The "Five Steps to a More Resilient Child" webinar starts at 7 p.m. and requires signing up.
  • A couple of years ago we brought in Dr. Jean Clinton to speak with parents. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 30 years. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education 2014-2018. She has begun a series of short videos for parents and educators you may enjoy or wish to share with other parents.
  • Remember to keep checking the Board website for updates!


Course Change information

Any student wishing to make a course change for 2020/2021, please email your guidance counsellor. Be sure to include your parents/guardians email on the course change request. Please consider graduation requirements and post-secondary plans when making your course decisions.

To review your course selections and the course calendar, please log into My Blue Print (link on school website) to view your choices. The school course calendar can also be found on the school website.

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

Grade 12 SHSM News

Grade 12 SHSM students are asked to check their school email accounts for opportunities to complete online certifications to complete their red seal SHSM graduation requirements . Please email Mrs. Crowell if you have any questions.


Champions for Change club continues activities

Hey Saints! The Champions for Change club is proud to present our June campaign: We Are All Human.

This campaign is to raise awareness against discrimination and promote equality along with diversity. Each week we will be focusing on a different topic, including racial equality and LGBTQ+ rights. We will be posting the weekly topics every Monday on our Instagram feed and expanding on that topic in its own Instagram story, which will be in our highlights so you can always access them. Make sure to follow along with @bennieschampions4change to learn more about the society we live in and what you can do to help promote equality for all.

Another reminder we are still running our NGO awareness campaign and Champions for Mindset campaign every week until the end of the school year on our Instagram page.

We hope all is well during these challenging times. Stay safe Saints!

Yearbook Team still hard at work

"I’m a survivor / I’m not gonna give up / I’m not gonna stop / I’m gonna work harder."

- Destiny's Child

These song lyrics could not be more applicable to this year's Yearbook Team, as they have been tirelessly working to complete the 2019-2020 Yearbook for their student body; putting in so many extra hours behind the scenes to ensure that it is as perfect as possible!

This team has "worked harder" despite the many challenges of virtual communication and they have certainly risen to the challenge; proving that they are definitely "not gonna give up" on their Yearbook goals of preserving the amazing moments and achievements of the St. Benedict CSS community.
So, thank you to our Yearbook Team, we are so grateful to you for helping us to remember that our 2019-2020 school year will not be defined by a pandemic, and is full of amazing moments that are worth remembering!
The team: Alyssa Haddow, Morgan Goodfellow, Kaden Johnston, Justin Leski, Nimrah Imtiaz, Victoria Izbitski, Ashley Poretti, Isbah Syed, Courtney Zammitt.
Yearbook virtual meeting

Other News

From the school librarian's desk

idea exchange logo
I hope that all St. Benedict students are staying healthy and managing to get through course work online. It certainly is a challenging time for all of us, but more so for students and teachers.

You might not know it but your school Library Learning Commons continues to offer you online resources which can be found through your school website as well as through D2L. To access your school resources go to St. Benedict Gale pages at

Also please note that I am available every Tuesday, by email from 10 to 11 am to assist students with research and citation. However, even if you have a question during another time of the week, please don't hesitate to email me at

Idea Exchange, your local public library, while currently not open to the public, still has many online resources and some virtual programming to offer you.

2020 High School Graduates

2020 high school graduates have made some special sacrifices because of the ongoing pandemic. One of these sacrifices is the loss of their prom night. At Idea Exchange, we have been hard at work to try and remedy this with:

A Night on the Cloud: Your Virtual Prom

Friday, May 29 8:00 to 10:00pm (Zoom)
This event is open to the graduation class of 2020.

Attention Class of 2020! Idea Exchange has partnered with Nitro Music and UBU Hair + Body to bring prom to your living room. Register online to receive access to our city-wide prom.

A Night on the Cloud will be taking place on Zoom, where you can show off your prom style, send messages to friends and dance together to a shared playlist.

For more information and to REGISTER please visit A Night On The Cloud or email Kim at Please note that this is not a school event.

Online Library Membership

If you don't yet have a library card, you can get an online membership that gives you free access to eBooks, e-magazines, audio books, movies and much more.

Looking for something to read? You can find the latest YA fiction at download library. All you need is a library card!

Take care and stay well Saints!
CDE 2020 Instagram post

Be sure to check the WCDSB's


page for more information and updates

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