Thursday, June 25, 2020 - Volume 12, Issue 20

School year wrap up from the St. Benedict Administration Team

The end of this school year certainly comes with mixed emotions: relief, joy, uncertainty, loss and hope to name a few. We recognize that we are living through a historic moment in time that we will be talking about for decades to come, you have all been impacted significantly by this. However, there is so much to celebrate and be thankful for. While the time since March 13 is top-of-mind, it is also important to remember all of the wonderful experiences we had before that. We started the year with our LINK Crew, welcoming our Grade 9s and showing them what it means to be a part of the St. Benedict community, great things kept happening: impressive commitment and teamwork in Athletics, a truly impressive production of Beauty and the Beast showcasing our Arts programs. SAC activities to build spirit and community. We played, prayed and studied together, and indeed it was good!
Graduates, I hope you have taken the opportunity to celebrate your achievements with family and close friends. On behalf of the staff, we are all very proud of you, there has been awesome media coverage of the graduation committee initiative to light up the city in your honor, I hope you had the opportunity to witness the experience and take your chance to shine! We are confident that you will continue to bring light to our community as you continue to achieve your personal hopes and dreams for the future.

Graduates... continue to achieve your personal hopes and dreams

As this 2019/2020 school year is coming to a close, this year has certainly shown us the importance of patience, perseverance, relationships, and humanity over individuality. Our global society is calling for change: in our institutions, our environments and our governments. Recent events call us to find ways to listen more intently to the experience of racialized people locally and globally, and find ways to enter into dialogue that results in real, transformational change.
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Please view the following video message from the Director of Education, affirming the need for reflection and action, this work can be done together and we all wish to make that commitment.

Director's Message: Anti-Racism Matters

As stated, we have been called in profound ways to reflect personally and on school communities, be assured that the St. Benedict Community will be engaging in reflection and we are prepared to do the work that will help to ensure that we are doing our best to live out our school motto a Celebration of People and our Pastoral theme that all our Called to Belong.

We look forward to growing as a community of love, inclusivity, understanding and hope in the coming year. We acknowledge that we can all do better. We will look to everyone to make St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School a place of unwavering kindness, empathy, and inclusivity.

In closing, we celebrate all of you! Thank you for all of the times that you put forth your best effort, that you were kind to others, and that you learned from mistakes or challenges. Thank you for making a difference to our school community and committing to making our world a better place. Blessings to you and your families, we wish you all a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer!

Report cards to be mailed home


Due to the current situation, report card pick-up at school will not take place this year.

Report cards, along with information inserts for the 2020-2021 school year, will be mailed home the week of July 13.

Transportation information for 2020-2021 school year

Transportation details for the 2020– 2021 school year will be available in the third week of August.
Parents can login and view your child’s transportation details by going to and following these easy steps:
  • Click on “Student Login”
  • Enter your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN)
  • This can be found on your child’s report card
  • Numbers only, no space, no dash
  • Enter your child’s birth date
  • Enter your child’s street number
  • house number only
  • Select the school your child is attending from the drop down menu
Please note: any address changes must 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 2029-2020 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.

Important Information Re: Availability of COVID-19 Testing

Dear Parents / Caregivers:

The well-being of all members of our WCDSB community — including students, families, and staff — is a top priority for our school board. We are writing to let you know that COVID-19 testing is now available to any Ontarian who needs it.
Ontario’s testing guidance now indicates that you should visit one of Waterloo Region’s Assessment Centres if you:
  • have at least one of the symptoms of COVID-19
  • do not have symptoms but are concerned you might have been exposed
  • do not have symptoms but think you are at risk through your employment (for example, if you are an essential or health care worker)
  • would like to be tested
If you do choose to get tested, here are a few important notes:
  • Testing is voluntary.
  • You do not need an OHIP card to be tested. It is a free service.
  • Some assessment centres may require you to book an appointment first or have certain restrictions (for example, some are unable to test young children).
  • You can also take an online self-assessment to help determine if you should get tested.
  • If you are free of symptoms and have not had contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 when presenting for testing, you will not be required to self-isolate. However, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days regardless of your test result. If you begin to develop symptoms, self-isolate and contact your local public health unit for further advice.
Local information about COVID-19 is available from Region of Waterloo Public Health.

Chaplain's Chat


We have lived through a school year of more disruptions and challenges than usual.

We made it!

And so we pray.
God, in this crazy year we thank you for the teaching and learning that has taken place in the classroom and so much more outside the classroom.
Thank you for many in our school community who have shared our burdens and concerns.
Thank you for the care and kindness we have been shown through the challenges we have faced.
Thank you for the faith that has carried us in our daily challenges.
Thank you for the hope that has lifted our hearts.
Thank you for the love that keeps us going.
We give thanks for the community that we are. Amen
GradDonationAd BENN summer

Mental Health and Community Supports

If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to the Emergency Room at Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Crisis Supports

Here 24/7 at 1 (844) 437-3247 or
Kids Help Phone at 1 (800) 668-6868
Sexual Assault Support Centre (519) 741-8633

COVID-19 Coping Supports

COVID-19 has and will impact the mental well-being of people everywhere. School Mental Health Ontario has some tips and resources to help support student mental health– along with a youth-focused Mental Health hub.

Counselling Supports

Front Door (519) 749-2932,
Is your family struggling with conflict or parenting challenges? If so, the walk-in counselling
program at Front Door can help.

Family Counselling Centre of Cambridge and North Dumfries (FCCCND) at (519) 621-5090. FCCCND offers a sliding scale for fee payment, can work with some EAP programs, OW and ODSP benefits.

Addiction/Substance Use

Are you concerned about your teen’s substance use or gaming but aren’t sure how to share your concerns or what to do to help? Call Ray of Hope at (519) 743-2311.

Family Outreach Program

Looking for resources and services for your family? Family Outreach Workers can connect you to the support your family needs!
The Family Outreach Program is a neighbourhood-based program funded by the Region of Waterloo that works with families with children aged 17 and under to prevent and reduce the effects of poverty.
Family Outreach Workers walk with families to help meet basic needs by problem-solving solutions together, connecting them with services in their community and providing direct support when necessary.
Believing that we are stronger together, Family Outreach Workers work with other community partners (faith communities, local food banks, social service agencies) to find innovative solutions to support families living on low income.


Hospice Waterloo Region provides support to teens and children who have experienced the death of a loved one. Call Irena at (519) 743-4114;

The Coping Centre offers a peaceful place for support, understanding, compassion and encouragement in the uniqueness of one’s grief journey. (519) 650- 0852.
POSTPONED Used Uniform Sale Website Slider

Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) - volunteer this summer to earn $$$ for college/university this fall

Looking to make some $$$ this summer for college/university this fall?
Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) - Summer 2020

apply hereapplication form for the Canadian Student Service Grant (CSSG) program

what is it? → you can earn $1000 for 100 hours of volunteer work completed this July/August

how? → the majority of the volunteer opportunities are digital

who? → anyone entering post-secondary school in Sept. 2020

More information to follow, sign up now if you are interested!

CSSG → Letter to Student Volunteers
CSSG → Program Overview for Student Volunteers
CSSG → Supporting Not-for-Profit Organizations

Graduation message from the Premier of Ontario

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Yesterday Premier Doug Ford put out the following video for the St. Benedict graduating class of 2020:
And in case you missed it...

40 Days of Giving Initiative

By Ms. Varriano Lane

Back in February, Ms. Trentini’s ACTIVE class and Ms. Varriano Lane’s period 2 grade 10 religion class excitedly joined forces to create a Lenten initiative to help support three amazing organizations that serve those in need in our community: the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, the Build a Bag Angels who are dedicated to helping youth in foster care, and the Cambridge Shelter Corporation (Bridges).

Together, the two classes took the lead. They decided which organizations they wanted to support; they called the organizations to see which items were most in need; they delivered bags, boxes and posters to every classroom; they made posters to put up around the school; and they created short presentations that they then enthusiastically delivered to all period 2 classes. They were the reason this initiative was going to be a success!
Unfortunately, as a result of our current circumstances, the initiative was cut drastically short - from an anticipated 40 days down to 10. Students also did not get the exciting opportunity to gather all donations and personally deliver them to the organizations. Despite this, the St. Benedict community, as always, managed to step up!

When we were granted entry to the school for one day, we were overwhelmed with the amount of items already collected. So many students and staff had already begun supporting the cause. A huge shout-out goes out to Mr. Sanders’ grade 9 English class and Mrs. Hughes' grade 10 English class who both brought in an exceptional amount!

Needless to say, all three organizations were especially grateful for these additional resources, and this would not have been possible without the participation of our amazing students! Way to go, Saints!


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

Congratulations to the over 80 grade 12 students who graduated with a Specialist High Skills Major red seal!Want to know more about the program? Go to, email Mrs. Crowell, or see her in September if you have any questions.


St Benedict Summer Basketball Camp 2020 CANCELLED

Hello former campers and those who have emailed for information about the camp. Hope all is well and safe in this new world we live in.

We have hung on long enough trying to see if we could run this year's camp. We have had to come to a hard decision. Due to the uncertainty with COVID-19, this year's St Benedict Basketball Camp has been cancelled.

We look forward to seeing you all in the Summer of 2021. Mark July 12-16, 2021 into your calendars.
Please stay safe and healthy this summer. Make sure to keep practicing wherever and whenever you can.

Coach Malnerich


FALLing into DECA

DECA logo

Are you interested in Marketing, Finance, Sports, or running your own business?

Consider joining DECA.

DECA is an international organization focused on networking, career exploration, fun, competition and business. Through participation in DECA you will develop your business knowledge and presentation skills and meet students from across Ontario. You will also have the chance to connect with potential employers. DECA involvement stands out on a resume and university or college supplemental information form.
Now, is the time to start thinking DECA. We are looking for new and veteran members to join the St. Benedict team. DECA is open to all students from grades 9 - 12. The earlier you become involved in DECA, the more it will benefit you.

If you like working on your own and developing your own ideas, sign up for an individual event. If you prefer working with a friend, get your friend to join with you and sign up for a team event. DECA has something of interest to everyone with many categories and business sectors on which to focus.
Take a look at the link below to learn a little about the various competitions in DECA and to sign up for a category that interests you. There are some restrictions on the number of competitors that can be involved in the same category, so we are asking for your top three choices.

Join DECA today:

For more information, visit or email one of the St. Benedict DECA advisors:

The Arts

St. Benedict CSS 2020 Arts Awards

Even with the unprecedented disruption of 2020, the St. Benedict arts community had a stellar year: 3 coffee house performances (two live and one online); an arts battle; two dance showcases; our largest haunted house ever (shout out to Cosmo Crew!); two grade 8 “Experience Arts & Tech” days; Remembrance Day service; Wintersong concert - not to mention the incredible performance of the Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast” (only 6 months after last year’s “Rock of Ages”), and a collaboratively written play, “Social Geometry,” that was one week away from production when schools closed (it will return, as soon as we are able!).

Visual and performing arts students at St. Benedict know how to adapt, how to improvise, how to overcome adversity, and how to do an insane amount of work in a short time. We are grateful for the talents we have been blessed with, and for the opportunities that we have, but most of all, we are grateful for the gift of each other.

Every artist, musician, dancer, singer, actor, techie and crew person at Bennies deserves a round of applause - thank you for your talent, your passion, and your amazing spirit! We are proud to give special recognition to the following students:

Outstanding Achievement in Design:
Hanna Tuinstra
Outstanding Achievement in Crafts:
Lauren Gill
Outstanding Achievement in Drawing:
Jholina Alfonso
Outstanding Achievement in Sculpture:
Cami Keels
Outstanding Achievement in Painting:
Maya Sliwinski
Outstanding Performance in “Beauty and the Beast”:
Bradley Low
Outstanding Performance in “Beauty and the Beast”:
Daniella Vega
Outstanding Performance in “Beauty and the Beast” Orchestra:
Bingbing Li
Outstanding Performance in “Beauty and the Beast” Orchestra:
Carter Reid
Outstanding Performance in Coffee House:
Kelsey Gamble
Outstanding Achievement in Tech Crew:
Elias Garth Daley
Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management:
Julia Bonachuck
Outstanding Achievement in Cosmo Crew:
Alyssa Court
Outstanding Achievement in Cosmo Crew:
Ashley Poretti
Outstanding Achievement in Choir:
Ciara Pavao
Outstanding Achievement in Concert Band:
Victoria Izbitski
Outstanding Achievement in Concert Band:
Brianne Paquete
Outstanding Achievement in Guitar:
Kieran Flynn
Spirit Award:
Victoria Milardovic
Spirit Award:
Sarah Gomes
Spirit Award:
Hannah Corkery
Spirit Award:
Cassandra Brajuka
Spirit Award:
Riley Kelly
Leadership Award:
Candace Vassell
Leadership Award:
Angela Taborek
Leadership Award:
Mathieu Preston
Leadership Award:
Julia Renner
Overall Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts:
Stephanie Oei
Overall Outstanding Achievement in Drama:
Alec Gracey
Overall Outstanding Achievement in Dance:
Kylie Benevides
Overall Outstanding Achievement in Music:
Mia Haug
Outstanding Contribution to the Arts:
Ally Croucher

Other News

From the school librarian's desk

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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!
Idea Exchange will be offering a Teen Summer Reading program June 29 to August 29.

Go to Simply create an account (no library card needed!) and start reading and participating. Reading your first book, earns you a Domino's Pizza coupon!

There are prize draws for $50 gift cards every other week and a draw for the Grand Prize.

Idea Exchange is also offering free pick-up service of materials as part of our phased re-opening. This service along with the re-opening of our drop boxes will begin on Tuesday, June 16 at all Idea Exchange locations. You can learn more about this free service from our website. Don't let Covid-19 stop you from enjoying all that your public library has to offer!

For further information about summer programs check out Idea

Finally, I wish all Bennie's students a healthy and happy summer. Congratulations to the 2020 St. Benedict graduates! You did it! On to the next exciting chapter in your lives. May you be blessed in all that you do!

Be sure to check the WCDSB's


page for more information and updates

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