Welcome to our school community! We are so excited that you are starting school here at St. Gabriel Catholic School!
We believe that all families are composed of individuals who are competent and capable, curious, and rich in experience. We know our families love their children and want the best for them. Families are experts on their children. They are the first and most powerful influence on children’s learning, development, health, and well-being. Families bring diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Families should feel that they belong, are valuable contributors to their children’s learning, and deserve to be engaged in a meaningful way.
Welcome to Kindergarten Event You will be invited to our school this year in the spring, where we can gather in community and get to know each other! There will be an opportunity for you and your child to participate in activities together and ask questions. Let’s get ready to Talk, Create, Read and Play!
Welcome message from Mr. Philip Bruni (Principal)
“Welcome to our School where Young Minds Grow.”
I am so excited to welcome our new Kindergarten friends to St. Gabriel Catholic School and be your first elementary school principal. Kindergarten is a time of new beginnings, of making many new friends, and learning and exploring many new things. Under the guidance of our dedicated staff, your time at St. Gabriel will be filled with many new experiences and learning opportunities. I am excited to get to know you and watch you grow.
I can’t wait for your educational journey to begin at our school. So glad that you are joining our school family, “The Home of the Wings”. Welcome to St. Gabriel.
Welcome message from Ms. Nancy Montes (Vice Principal)
I would love to take this opportunity to introduce myself and say welcome to St. Gabriel! My name is Nancy Montes and I am the vice-principal here at the school. This is my first year at St. Gabriel and I love every minute of it! I have met so many wonderful students and their families and feel lucky to be a part of such a wonderful community. I look forward to meeting our newest friends, as they begin their journey here in Kindergarten!
Introducing Our Early Years Team
Each Kindergarten class includes a certified Kindergarten teacher and registered early childhood educator(s) (ECE). St. Gabriel also provides a before and after school Extended Day program:
Meet Ms. Jessica DaSilva (Teacher)
Hello and welcome! I have been teaching with WCDSB since 2017 and have been blessed to find a special love for teaching Kindergarten. This will be my third year at St. Gabriel and I feel so fortunate to be part of such an incredible community of students, parents, and educators. There is never a dull moment in Kindergarten and I very much look forward to meeting and getting to know each and every one of you this upcoming school year!
Meet Mrs. Laura Amaral (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Hi everyone! I’m excited to start my sixth year at St. Gabriel and continue to be a part of an amazing Early Years Team! I look forward to meeting all the children who are starting their Kindergarten journey in the fall. I’m glad that I get to be a part of that journey and to be able to meet all the families. It’s going to be a great year full of fun and learning! Have a great summer, see you all in September.
Meet Mrs. Maria Pereira (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Welcome to Kindergarten! My name is Mrs. Pereira! I am very excited to meet all of our friends in September. I am working in Kindergarten and also working with the after school program. I can’t wait to meet you all in the Fall! Take care!
Meet Mrs. Brenda Craig (Teacher)
Welcome families! I am incredibly proud to say that I have been a student, parent, and teacher with the WCDSB. I have been a part of the St. Gabriel Catholic School Early Years Team since it first opened its doors in 2014. I am very excited to be welcoming your child to this remarkable school community in September 2023! I look forward to getting to know your family as we begin to create some wonderful new memories this year. We will play, learn, and grow together in Kindergarten!
Meet Ms. Vanessa Camara (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Hi there! Welcome to Kindie land! I am so grateful to be back for my seventh year here at St. Gabriel school, and with such an amazing Early Years Team! The WCDSB community has been such a big part of my life, having been a student from JK straight to grade 12, and an employee since 2012. I love teaching, but most of all, I LOVE learning new things with my students. I am looking forward to meeting all of our new friends, and cannot wait to embark on all the adventure that awaits us this school year! Have a fun and safe summer! We will see you all in the fall!
Meet Mrs. Sarah-Anne Procunier (Teacher)
Hello everyone! I have been blessed to be a part of this school community since 2018, and I am very excited to embark on another year at St. Gabriel as part of our Early Years Team. I cannot wait to meet all of our new Kindergarten students and am eager to get to know all of the new families in our Wings community. Our students and Early Years Team are going to have so much fun learning and growing together this year! Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you in September!
Meet Mrs. Meagan Yake (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Welcome families! I am blessed to say that I have been a student, parent, and educator with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. I am excited to start my third year St. Gabriel Catholic School Early Years Team this fall. I cannot wait to meet all of you. I look forward to learning and creating memories with you! See you in September!
Meet Mrs. Oksana Rybak (Teacher)
Hello families! I am very excited to join the incredible team of educators at St. Gabriel. This is my first year here and I am thankful every day for my students and colleagues. I am an internationally educated teacher and have many years of experience teaching abroad and in Canada. I cannot wait to get to know your children and help them explore their passions, learn and develop positive habits that will help your children to adjust better to their first year in the kindergarten classroom. Hope to see you in September!
Each Kindergarten classroom at St. Gabriel is equipped with a wide variety of learning spaces to foster play-based learning (ex: dramatic play centre, craft table, literacy, and math centres). As part of the St. Gabriel community, students will learn about the Catholic faith and will be provided with opportunities to practice our faith together at our class prayer centre, during Christian Meditation, and at school masses. We will also participate in celebrations throughout the liturgical year to celebrate events such as Advent and Lent. Students also engage in learning outside the classroom– in the gymnasium, library/computer lab, and outside on the schoolyard. Every day students will have the opportunity to learn and grow together as part of our Wings community!
Our Early Years Team works to provide a collaborative and complementary partnership to support children and families. We work together to create learning opportunities that foster the interests of the students, whether it be dinosaurs, space, bugs, rainbows, etc.
Safe Arrival and Dismissal
The school hours are 9:10 am to 3:40 pm. In the morning, there is Kindergarten supervision beginning at 8:55 am in the fenced-in area. Please drop your child off there and feel free to leave once supervision arrives. Your child’s teacher will come and get them when the bell rings at 9:10.
St. Gabriel School has a “Safe Arrival Program.” It is very important that if your child will be late or absent from school, that you call the school, or leave a message on the answering machine; it operates 24 hours a day. Any change in supervision to or from school should be made in writing to the teachers.
At the end of the day, children can be picked up at the same rear door. In order to ensure that each child goes home with their designated person all supervisors/guardians must be on the safe dismissal “pick-up” list that you fill out. Bus students will be safely escorted to their bus.
Personal Hygiene in the Classroom
Each Kindergarten classroom has an individual washroom and classroom sink. We encourage students to frequently use the washroom throughout the day and to wash hands as often as necessary (ex: before snack/lunch, after coughing/sneezing). Unfortunately, we do not have a water fountain close to the classroom for a quick drink, so it is important that students bring a water bottle every day.
- Please help us make our school safe for your child: If your child has any health concerns (ex: asthma, allergies, etc.), please inform the school Principal and our Early Years Team as soon as possible.
- Please note: Our school board has a nut-free policy. Please do not send nuts or nut products with your child. This also includes nut substitutes. Thank you for your understanding.
A Message from Miss Metcalfe (Librarian):
The St. Gabriel Library Learning Commons is excited to welcome our newest readers in September! We have a large selection of picture books for our youngest readers to enjoy, that strives to encapsulate many different topics, authors, and ideas to engage the imagination and, hopefully, instill a lifelong love of reading.
Developing this collection has been of particular importance in the past couple of years as it is one that resonates with our earliest to our most advanced readers. You’re never too old to enjoy a picture book! I think your child will find this collection holds many different titles to peak their interest and hopefully start them off strong on their journey into the many worlds that books have to offer.
Each week will consist of a story read-aloud and discussion and then students will get to select their book to take home for the week. Then, you get to enjoy that book together at home, as home reading is a great way to keep that love of reading momentum going!
We are so looking forward to welcoming your child into the library learning commons next year and sharing the many books and experiences this wonderful space has to offer.
Health & Safety Protocols
“We Will Establish a Balance Between Physical Health and Safety & Social Emotional Health and Well-Being”
WEARING A MASK: All staff and students at St. Gabriel have the option to wear masks at school.
HAND WASHING: Hand washing will be reinforced as the key strategy to utilize to maintain good hygiene. Health Canada recommends hand washing using soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Try encouraging your child to count to 20 or to sing “Happy Birthday” two times in their heads. Hand sanitizer will also be available in the classroom and throughout the school.
Videos from Public Health:
Cash Online & Newswire
“Cash Online” is a system we use to collect money (for school lunch days, field trips, etc.) and to sign permission forms. Families will be required to sign up for Cash Online in September. Here is the link for Cash Online if your family is not already signed up: https://wcdsb.schoolcashonline.com/
“Newswire” is a mailing list to receive news releases, school updates, activities, and opportunities (ex: fundraising initiatives). To sign up for St. Gabriel Newswire, check out our school website at https://stgabriel.wcdsb.ca/ and scroll to the bottom and click “Subscribe to our news events”.
To sign up for the school board Newswire (WCDSB), check out the WCDSB website at https://www.wcdsb.ca/ .
Suggested School Supplies
- Big school bag
- Lunch box with snacks and lunch (reusable containers ☺)
- Face masks (recommended 2-3 per day, labelled with students names)
- Reusable water bottle
- Indoor shoes (Velcro/Slip-Ons, no laces please!)
- Change of clothes
- Label EVERYTHING
Getting Ready for School
Readiness for school refers to the child’s ability to meet the demands of school:
- to interact and work cooperatively with others
- to be able to listen and follow directions
- to be able to share
- to see, hear, speak clearly (hearing and vision check-ups are recommended before September)
- to be independent regarding washroom routines
Talk about school and what it might be like! Get excited! This will be a great experience!
Here are some suggested book links that are suitable for talking with your child about starting school:
- Visit: https://www.tumblebooklibrary.com/
- Login with the following (all lower case):
- Once you’ve logged in, click the following links to read the books:
More detailed information will be shared with families in our August letter and in September.