Monthly Archives: September 2018

GRATITUDE – Umbrella Project October Theme

During the month of October our Umbrella Project skill and focus is Gratitude.   It will be part of our daily reflections, discussions and activities.  Together we can reinforce the important of gratitude with our students.  Below are some of the ideas and information we will be discussing with your child(ren) throughout October.


Gratitude is a skill and takes practice! Gratitude is:

The quality of being thankful

An acknowledgement of goodness

Readiness to show appreciation and return gratitude

Recognizing sources of goodness outside of ourselves and how they contribute to

our lives


Gratitude is often described as a relationship-strengthening skill. Recognizing what others

contribute to our lives and acknowledging them for this has been shown to make us feel better,

reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and generally boost our health. Gratitude helps us

realize what we have. When we take a moment each day to list or to simply think about all the

things we are grateful for we feel more content and happy. This could simply be acknowledging

that we have food to eat, clothes to wear, a good friend, a supportive family, or a loving pet.

Even people in the toughest situations bounce back faster when they are grateful. Regularly

expressing gratitude helps us see the positive things in our lives, rather than focusing on the

negatives. Gratitude also increases our compassion and makes us more likely to pay it

forwardand help others in need, so its a great way to spread goodness and improve others

happiness while improving our own at the same time.


1. Gratitude boosts feelings of joy, pleasure and happiness

2. Gratitude helps us bounce back from stress and adversity more easily (examples include

Vietnam war veterans recovering from post traumatic stress)

3. Counting your blessings instead of sheep isnt just a saying; Gratitude helps us fall

asleep faster and wake up more refreshed

4. Feeling grateful allows us to forgive more easily

5. Gratitude improves our friendships

6. Gratitude helps us feel more connected to our school and community


By |2018-09-27T08:06:43-04:00September 27th, 2018|News|Comments Off on GRATITUDE – Umbrella Project October Theme

Holy Family Prayer Group Invitation

You are warmly invited to join a group of Moms and Dads who want to pray for our school community once a month.

When: every last Monday of the month–
(The first one will be this coming Monday Sept 24!)

Time: 8:45-9:30 (some teachers may join us      for 5 min before school starts). If you cannot come for 8:45, come as you are able to.

Where: meeting room off the main office of
the school.

Any questions, please contact Jenn Albrecht at

Hope to see you there!!

By |2018-09-20T12:26:04-04:00September 20th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Holy Family Prayer Group Invitation

Terry Fox Walk Sept. 27th

Dear Parents;

Once again Holy Family Catholic School is pleased to be hosting its annual Terry Fox Walk on September 27th in the morning (Rain date September 28th). All monies raised through our event will be forwarded to The Terry Fox Foundation to further the cause of cancer research. Our walk will follow the same course as in previous years. Our route will be both on school grounds (for Kindergarten classes) and off school grounds as our course winds along Huron Street, Bleams Court, Grandview Avenue and Hunter Street. Students will be encouraged to complete the course as many times as the teachers see fit. Teachers, parents and supervisors will be on hand to supervise and assist students along the way. If you are interested in joining us to help supervise, please email or call the school at 519-662-1734. We also invite you to participate by walking, jogging or by cheering for your children as they complete their laps.

We are very proud to be associated with The Terry Fox Foundation and believe that our involvement will launch a successful, positive and meaningful school year. We are very proud of our contribution to cancer research; to date, more than $31,000 has been raised by the pupils in this school community for cancer research since 2001.

We are going completely paperless this year. All donations will be accepted, and tax receipts provided, through the Terry Fox Foundation website.

Our school is proud to be participating in the Terry Fox School Run. Please join our school community and support this worthy cause.


to be taken to our school’s fundraising page. The Terry Fox Foundation has a great reputation with 82 cents of every dollar going directly to cancer research. Thank you for joining us in the fight against cancer.

We hope to count on your support. Let’s keep Terry’s dream to find a cure for cancer alive.

Thank you in advance.

By |2018-09-19T19:07:47-04:00September 19th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Terry Fox Walk Sept. 27th

Clarification on Photo Day Reminder – Wednesday Sept. 19th

Tomorrow is Holy Family’s picture day.  All individual student photos will be taken. Due to scheduling conflicts the grade 4 – 8 classes will have their class photos taken on picture retake day.



By |2018-09-18T14:55:23-04:00September 18th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Clarification on Photo Day Reminder – Wednesday Sept. 19th

The Umbrella Project


Welcome to The Umbrella Project!

This school year, your child will be participating in The Umbrella Project. The Umbrella Project is a curriculum designed to help your child learn the skills of emotional wellbeing. This year we will be focusing on gratitude, grit, self-compassion, autonomy, mindfulness, resilience, intrinsic motivation, integrity and hope. Developing these skills will help your child lead a happier, more successful life. Learn more on the umbrella of emotional wellbeing on our website here:

You are invited to follow along with your child’s learning journey for each new skill by subscribing to our weekly newsletter (details below) where we will provide information, stories, challenges and tips about fostering the skill your child is focusing on in class. Caregivers have a powerful impact on childhood wellbeing and your participation will help to deepen your child’s understanding of these important skills.

You can also follow the Umbrella Project on social media for additional tips, resources and information. Find all the details here:

Please email us at to share your stories, ask questions, and give feedback about what has worked well in your home. We would also love to hear your suggestions for improvement. Our goal is to help children prepare for all of life’s weather and we welcome opportunities to grow and improve.

Health and happiness,

Dr. Jen Forristal

Founder of the Umbrella Project


By |2018-09-17T13:24:25-04:00September 17th, 2018|News|Comments Off on The Umbrella Project

From the Classroom

Principal’s Message

Each staff will be posting a brief write up about the happenings in their classroom once a month.  We are doing this to keep you informed of the many great events and learning that has and is happening.  It is our hope that this will allow you to have deeper and informed conversations about your child(rens) school life.

We have quickly started the new school year.  Staff and students have settled into their routines and begun robust learning and activities.  We started the year off receiving the Waterloo Catholic School Board’s “Faith Pilgrimage Cross”.  This cross has been travelling to every school in our board for the last year and will continue to be passed along until November.  Our mass and student activities were a great reminder to us that we have chosen a Catholic Education and that we are united through our belief in Jesus and the cross.

We have already begun running our sports teams and school wide activities and events.  We are participating in 3-pitch and soccer tournaments in the coming week.  Teachers are working hard at organizing assemblies, Terry Fox run, and our yearly Halloween Dance a thon.   There will be many more events and activities throughout the year.  Please follow us on twitter and the school website to learn about coming events.

A large part of our mission as educators is to develop the whole child and care for their wellbeing.  We look for ways that we can bring awareness and experiences to our students to provide them with the skills they need to be cope, adapt and embrace the stressors and opportunities they will encounter throughout  life.  We are fortunate to have been selected to participate in the “Umbrella Project”.  This is a two year program focusing in building student wellbeing by teaching and practicing skills of wellbeing (ex. empathy, kindness, grit, growth mindset).  This program focuses on home, school and classroom collaboration.  You will receive ongoing information about each monthly skill.  You can also read more about the Umbrella Project by following them on twitter @umbrellapjct or going to the website

I look forward to another year of learning.

V. Longo



Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Simpson & Ms. Floto

Welcome to a new school year! We have had a great start so far. It is great to see our returning SK friends and see how much they have grown! Our SK friends have helped to welcome our new JK friends with generosity and kindness. Thank you to our SK friends for being great role models to the JK friends as they learn our routines and settle into the school day. As we begin the year, we are learning the names of all our friends and learning how to recognize our names, build our names with various letter manipulatives and write our names. We look forward to being a part of the growth and learning of these inquisitive minds.


Ms. Kate Butter & Mrs. Sarah Lichti

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to the Holy Family school community if you are joining us for the first time! If your child/children are returning to Holy Family, welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Whether your child is starting Junior Kindergarten or returning to start Senior Kindergarten, I would like to congratulate you on this milestone! You will notice tremendous growth this year as your little learner continues to grow in his/her social, physical, emotional and academic life, as well as in his/her faith journey. I am very much looking forward to getting to know your child, as well as witnessing this growth.

On September 6th and 7th we welcome our J.K friends as they join the class. Throughout the month of September, both J.K and S.K students will be working on learning/executing classroom and outside routines (e.g. putting Mail bag in bin, changing from outdoor shoes to indoors and vice versa, playing with friends/cleaning up, etc.). We will be practicing playing with others and solving problems peacefully both in the classroom and in outdoor play. Towards the end of the month, we will begin our Jolly Phonics program, as well as Literacy and  Math centres.

Looking forward to a terrific year ahead!

Yours truly,

Ms. Kate Butter & Mrs. Sarah Lichti

*P.S For Parents of SK’s who had Mrs. Williams Last Year: Mrs. Williams gave birth to a healthy baby boy on June 29th. Both Mom and Baby Landon are doing very well. We wish them all the best!

Mrs. M. Borys-Sike and Mrs. Grimberg

Dear Family,

It is our pleasure to introduce ourselves as your child’s Kindergarten teaching team for the coming school year. It is our promise to offer a safe and secure (and happy) environment in which your child may grow and learn. Our full day program is based around the concepts of play and inquiry, focusing around the interests of the students.  Literacy, mathematics and other subject areas are delivered in a fun, engaging way, using manipulatives, songs, games, and hands on experiences. The FDK program permits Kindergarten students to attend school all day, every day. Research has shown that children learn best through play. The FDK program is a play-based program which includes large, small and independent learning centres taking place continuously throughout the school day. Please visit the Ministry of Education website for further information on this exciting way of learning and growing.


Mrs. M. Borys-Sike and Mrs. Grimberg



A word from Mrs. Valant…

A warm welcome back to all our families here at Holy Family!  I am very excited to be teaching students in Miss Esbaugh’s, Mrs. Rice’s, Mrs. Gruber’s and Ms. Butter’s rooms this year! Your child(ren) and I will be engaged in activities in the following areas of study: Physical Education, Drama, Dance, Music and Health.

Participating consistently and actively in physical education supports us physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. **It is VERY important that all students have two pairs of running shoes available in order that they can actively participate in daily activities that may occur indoors or outdoors. In addition, I strongly encourage – and would greatly appreciate – families to work on the art of tying laces so we can engage actively and safely in all physical activities. If your child is unable to tie laces, velcro running shoes are recommended; in addition, some other lace options, like hickies for kids, can be purchased on sites like Dressing in comfortable clothing is also recommended for our days in the gym.

Please check your child’s agenda for his/her designated Phys. Ed. classes.

I look forward to meeting up with you at our Meet the Teacher night, next Wednesday, September 19th.  Please also feel free to contact me at school with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the course of the year 🙂



News from Mrs. Afonso-Magolon’s Desk

Dear Family,

I am very excited to be starting a new school year with your child(ren).  As a Hybrid Teacher, I will be teaching and assessing your child in Music, Drama, Dance, Physical Education and Healthy Living.  I am dedicated to delivering an engaging program in the following classes: Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Sike, Mrs. Schlotzhauer, Ms. Gentile, & Mrs. Shouftas.

Each month, I will send home a newsletter outlining curriculum expectations that we will cover during that month.  Please be sure to look in your child’s agenda for September’s newsletter.  I have also sent home a letter outlining Physical Education days for each class.  Research shows that physical activity has many benefits including reducing stress and improving focus and concentration at school.  This is why we encourage children to be active every day and why your child should have running shoes as their indoor and outdoor shoes.  They are the safest choice!

Open communication between teacher, student and parent is essential in ensuring your child’s success.  Please contact me with any concerns or questions you may have.

Ms. Gentile

Thank you for the warm welcome to Holy Family School, I am excited to be here! Our Grade 1 classroom is off to a great start! We  have spent a lot of time learning about the members of our new classroom family. We have read books and brainstormed how to be kind, like Jesus, so we can create a positive classroom environment where friends help each other, share, communicate and show off their gifts. I look forward to inspiring the love of learning this year, please stay tuned to the agenda for ways you can support at home.

Thank you,

Ms. Gentile

Ms. Esbaugh

The school year is off to a wonderful start in Miss Esbaugh’s Grade 1/2 classroom! We have been busy getting to know each other, and creating/practicing our classroom expectations as a community. We are also working on establishing some important routines, such as taking responsibility for copying the daily agenda message; completing our weekly Word Work homework; and reflecting on our strengths and goals at the end of each week in our “Friday Folders”. We have also enjoyed decorating the classroom and making it our own by creating a “No, David!” craft; an “All About Us” bulletin board; and by putting our special name leafs on our classroom tree. Thank you to all of Miss Esbaugh’s friends for making the start of the school year so wonderful – keep up the amazing work and positive attitudes!

Mrs. Schlotzhauer


Thank-you for all the warm welcome backs I’ve received. I am equally as excited to be teaching your precious child this school year. My class letter with start up information was sent home on

Sept. 6th, I hope you have had some time to read through. If you have not already done so please send in a change of clothes in a labelled bag which may stay here at school in the event that your child has an accident. Please also review our school rules with your child and sign page 8 of the agenda as well as signing daily. I am asking that you please fill out the first page of the agenda with your child’s name and address. We will be using this information in class while we learn about responsibilities and safety. Lastly in Religion we have been discussing how we are part of God’s Family. He knows us all by name. Our names are special! If possible please send in a brief description of your child’s name (i.e., what does it mean, how was it chosen) for sharing next week.

Thanks so much, it’s great to be back!

Mrs. Schlotzhauer

Mrs. Shouftas

Welcome students and families Back To School! We are off to a great start this year and I look forward to continuing to getting to know your child. We have started our patterning unit. This year students will make patterns using two attributes (i.e., size and colour). Please practice making patterns at home. We will also be exploring number patterns. Please practice skip counting at home by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s and 25’s which will really help your child be successful at number patterns. Thank you for bringing in kleenex boxes for our classroom! I wish all students a successful year : )

Mrs. Rice

Welcome back from hopefully a fun filled summer with family and friends!  I am very excited to be teaching Grade 3 this year at Holy Family Catholic School. This month, we are focused on learning rules and establishing routines in the classroom and school community as well as learning to be contributing students in the classroom and around the school. We are in a portable this year so it is especially important that the students act responsibly and respectfully and they transition from our portable to the school for special activities and washroom breaks. There is lots of learning in math and language that will be happening in our classroom this coming year and the students’ enthusiasm is already over the top!  We will be starting Paragraph Writing in Language Arts and Place Value in Mathematics, as well as learning procedure in Problem Solving. I truly believe in acting as a partner with parents to ensure the children feel successful with their learning. The generosity already shown from families is overwhelming as many have contributed Kleenex, spoons and learning materials to our classroom. All of us in Portable 4 THANK YOU for that! Please feel free to contact me anytime or leave messages in your child’s agenda. I already know that I have an amazing class filled with super special children, and that excites me! On Sept 19th, I look forward to meeting you at the Open House!


Mrs. Gruber

What a fantastic first week we had in Grade 3/4!  The most exciting part of the week was beginning to learn more about each other by discovering our various learning styles (multiple intelligences).  The students are now grouped with others who have a similar learning style and are creating “Worlds” for themselves.  Next week, we will mix up the groups to see if the students prefer working with children who have similar learning styles, or with mixed groups (hopefully they will see the pros and cons of both!).

Thank you to all the parents who have returned the form requesting your email addresses.  If you have not provided this information to me, please do so, as soon as possible, as you have already missed an email from me about our upcoming trip to Green Acres Farm.

Homework for Families:  1.  Ask your child about the Umbrella Project  2.  Talk about and practice the responses for Mass 3.  Spend some time outdoors

Looking forward to seeing you later this month at our Meet the Teacher Night

Ms. Jarvis

Welcome back and thank you so much for such a wonderful first week with your children.  I am super excited to be teaching Grade 4 again this year at Holy Family.

In the next few weeks we are going to be diving into curriculum.  Along with establishing routines and expectations in the classroom, we are going to be focusing on a few key areas next week.

In Writing, our first focus will be on how to write paragraphs and how to organize those into an essay format.  In Math, we will be starting with Number Sense and Numeration but throughout the year there will be a strong focus on how to answer multi-step problem solving questions and show our thinking in clear and concise ways.  Our first unit in Social Studies will be about Canada and its Provinces and Territories.

This year my goal is to challenge my students but create a open and loving learning environment!  I can’t wait to meet all of you at Meet the Teacher night on September 19th!!!

Mrs. Kalbfleisch

Hello to all the wonderful families of our Grade 5 Students!

For those of you who do not know me, I am Mrs. Kalbfleisch (Mrs. K) and I am so happy to be back at Holy Family this year. The portable has been a “hive” of activity and learning this past week and we will continue to grow and try new things. We are exploring Patterning and Algebra and stating pattern rules using Math Language. In Language, we are talking about procedural writing which includes all the “how to’s” we deal with on a daily basis from rules to recipes! During Math we are using rules in practice games to hone our skills and become even greater Mathematicians. Shortly we will be writing our own rules for games that we will create and share with other students. I am excited to send home information on our new Religion Program and share the access codes with you so you can follow the program as we go. It is definitely a busy time but full of community building through relationships and shared faith experiences.

If you need to contact me quickly, the best way is through email as I check it daily before the bell at 9:00 a.m. I will inform you as soon as our google classroom site gets underway. Thank you all for the tremendous amount of support I have received and all the warm welcomes. I feel very fortunate to part of this awesome school community.


Ms. McLeod

Welcome to a new school year! Our first week back together has been lots of fun. This month as a class, we are focusing on building our classroom (and school) community together, following rules and routines and being kind and respectful.

Along with that we will start to look at paragraph writing in language, number patterns in math, healthy eating, elements of art, biodiversity in science, and Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community in social studies

Thank you to many of  the families for your generosity in sending Kleenex, plastic cutlery and learning materials to our classroom.

Just a friendly reminder to please initial your child’s agenda every night.

Looking forward to meeting you at our Open House on September 19!

Ms. McLeod


Mrs. Hurren

Welcome Back! We are excited to be spending our first couple of weeks together learning about how our classroom will run and celebrating the unique gifts that each one of us contributes to our classroom community. We have decided on a list of values that we will use as the foundation to our learning – have your son/daughter share these with you! We stretched our minds early with some excellent discussion and reflection during our time with the pilgrimage cross. We will continue to refer back to the cross this year as a reminder of God’s everlasting love for each of us. We are excited to get into some grade 7 learning, focusing on reviewing reading strategies and paragraph writing in Language and exploring operations with whole numbers in Math. We look forward to using September as a time for us to build a strong classroom community and to celebrate our individuality!

Mr. Vuylsteke (Mr.V)

Welcome back! My name is Mr. Vuylsteke and I will be the Grade 8 teacher here at Holy Family for the 2018/ 2019. I feel very blessed to be part of the Holy Family staff this year, and I am looking forward to learning more about the Grade 8 students over the next few weeks!

Grade 8 is an exciting year filled with new independence and increasing responsibilities. It is a time where elementary concepts are assessed and built upon as students prepare for the transition to secondary school. I want to thank you for being partners in your child’s learning, and I look forward to meeting with you at our Meet the Teacher Night on September 19th.


Mrs. Mash

September ~ Special Education

A new school year means a new start!

If your child is on an Individual Education Plan (IEP), please make sure to return the Parent Consult Form with up to date information by Wednesday, September 19th, 2018. Your input in the development phase of the IEP is valued and important as we begin to plan for your child’s programming. Term 1 IEPs will be sent home on or before Tuesday, October 16th, 2018.  If your child has a Special Equipment Amount (SEA) claim, please ensure that take home items; such as Chromebooks, are brought back to school each day. These tools are essential to student learning and success.

Let’s work together to make this the best school year ever!

Mme. Paquette

I would like to wish a happy school year to all the students and parents. I’m excited to be teaching French again this year.

In the next few weeks, we will be focusing on French Oral Communication which is comprised of Speaking and Listening. For some students, this will be their first time taking French. I will be using the DJ DELF Kit to help the students learn French in a more authentic way. It will be fun and interactive. Throughout the year I will be introducing Reading and Writing. Again, this will be with the help of DJ DELF.

This year, my goal is to help students become more comfortable with Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing in French. Please look for me at Meet the Teacher Night on September 19th 2018.








By |2018-10-01T15:29:18-04:00September 17th, 2018|News|Comments Off on From the Classroom

Hello parents!

Remember, Picture Day is coming on Wednesday, September 19

You can Make it simple by ordering your portraits online, using your Picture Day ID and child’s first name to get started. If you prefer to order on paper, we will be sending an order form home as well.

Remember to smile and have fun!

By |2018-09-14T15:11:34-04:00September 14th, 2018|News|Comments Off on

Bullying Ends Here – Tad Milmine presentation


Tad is a Calgary Police Officer who has become a respected speaker on the issue of bullying.  His work was recognized by the government of Canada in 2018 by being honoured with the Sovereign Medal from the Governor General.

He is presenting on Tuesday September 25th at 7:00 p.m. at the Haysville Community Ctr.  – 3433 Huron Rd., New Hamburg.

This is a free event open to Ages 11-adult


By |2018-09-11T16:03:14-04:00September 11th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Bullying Ends Here – Tad Milmine presentation