• news

    Internet filter experts needed to protect children, say some school board trustees

    Waddell acknowledges the Waterloo Region’s public school district – which is wrestling with the same Internet safety issues as many other boards – is working to address the problem, but suggests it’s time to bring in the experts. Improving content filtering levels is vital, she argues, especially since the school district will depend more on technology as it moves toward a paperless system.   Read the full article at

  • news

    Some trustees vote against hearing parent delegation

    Kitchener PostWhy was there an attempt to muzzle me at last month’s Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) meeting? Apparently they didn’t want to hear what I had to say — so much so that they publicly voted against granting the opportunity for me to speak before the ratification. I have to wonder what they are afraid of. Or why they don’t feel granting five minutes of time to a concerned parent is worth the effort.

  • news

    School board approves budget, $900,000 in administration renos

    Waterloo Region RecordParent Natalie Waddell, a Kitchener parent who is running for a seat on the public school board, lambasted trustees Monday night for spending money on “unnecessary” renovations at the education centre.

    Waddell told the Times she was worried her concerns wouldn’t be heard before trustees voted on the budget. Although several trustees voted against a request to allow her to make her delegation prior to the vote, she was given the go-ahead to address the board.

  • news

    Ed centre renos are ‘unnecessary’, says parent and trustee-hopeful

    Waterloo Region Record“It really is a no-brainer that now isn’t the time to be spending on unnecessary upgrades,” contends Kitchener parent Natalie Waddell, who is also running for trustee on the public school board.

    Waddell challenged the board’s logic, questioning how many meetings need to accommodate 200 people. A survey conducted by the board to help gauge spending priorities, clearly said no more spending on the education centre, she noted.

  • news

    Board should create a concussion policy

    Waterloo Region RecordI grew up in the 1970s, when the public elementary schools flooded the playgrounds and created rinks, and we skated at lunchtime.

    We didn’t wear helmets, simply because it was before society became aware of head safety and the serious — and often permanent — health implications that even the slightest jolt can cause. It wasn’t until 1979 when helmets became mandatory equipment in professional hockey that people started to notice.

  • news

    Future of J.W. Gerth

    CTV News Kitchener A working group recommends grade 5 and 6 students here, be sent to Doon Public School.

    “There was a lot of emotion, a lot of things to consider, so it was very difficult” says Natalie Waddell. In just five years, J.W. Gerth Public School has swelled and now has 200 more students than it was built for.

  • Battle over south Kitchener school boundaries may lead to legal action

    CTV News Kitchener Natalie Waddell sits on a coalition of parents and board planners which will help shape which option is selected; their final meeting is tomorrow.

    “We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each of the options and presumably we’ll be making a choice as to which one to recommend. ”

  • Public school board plans new ways to ignore parents

    Waterloo Region Record “Parents have a right to be heard,” argues parent Natalie Waddell, who was heavily involved in the extended daycare debate. “And board meetings are the only forum where parents have an opportunity to speak publicly on these matters.”

    If these proposed rules had been in place, Waddell says it would’ve been impossible to mount as effective a campaign against the board’s extended day proposal. No doubt that’s the point to this whole exercise.

  • Public board eyeing custom daycare model

    Waterloo Region RecordSome outspoken parents, including Natalie Waddell, who created the group WRDSB Concerned Parents website, maintains the board’s latest proposal comes from administration staff, not elected trustees.

    The Waterloo Region Catholic School Board announced several weeks ago it would honour the concerns of thousands of parents who wanted to keep third-party daycare operators in schools.

  • D’Amato: The discussion can now begin on bigger child care issues

    Waterloo Region RecordThere is also the concern that there will be as many as 15 children to one supervisor in the board-run programs, which have less stringent standards to meet than agencies like the Y. What happens if a child trips, falls, and knocks his teeth out? The one supervisor has to comfort the child, call the parents or an ambulance, and watch the rest of the children, with no one around but the janitor, who may or may not be within reach. “It just blows my mind,” says Kitchener mom Natalie Waddell, “that anyone in the school board thinks it’s acceptable.”

  • Extended day programs ill-conceived

    Waterloo Region RecordThe Waterloo Region District School Board is proclaiming to parents that it intends to run extended day programs in schools with approximately 10 students. This is their plan, despite the fact that they are only legislatively required to run programs if the class size is 20 or more.

    The board intends to make a class size of 10 viable by having just one instructor on site. By law, they only require one adult for up to 15 children.

  • Braving the elements to protest daycare changes

    Waterloo Region Record To keep spirits up, they sang a twisted verse from the Village People tune YMCA.

    “Incredible there is this many people out here, given the weather,” said Natalie Waddell, who started a website on the issue and has a five-year-old in the Y program at Gerth.

  • The seamless day

    570 news Concerned parent Natalie Waddell told 570 News that’s what bothers her most about the seamless day model, “there is no summer care for our children, so there seamless day is for 10 months of the year but for the other 2 months of the year we have to hustle around, so I mean that’s not very seamless.”

    Natalie Waddell is the founder of an awareness website which has become a rallying point for parents. It features a petition as well as more information.

  • Parents want consultation on board-run daycare

    Kitchener Post Natalie Waddell, among other delegates, asked trustees to sign a motion that was put forward by trustee Cindy Watson asking the school board to hold special consultation meetings before any changes are made.

    “Not only do you have a moral obligation to do so, but you also have a legal obligation under the Education Act of this province to bring our concerns forward,” said Waddell.

  • Seamless day sparks debate

    Waterloo Chronicle
    Natalie Waddell was one of many delegates who asked trustees to sign a motion put forward by trustee Cindy Watson asking the school board to hold special consultation meetings before any changes are made.

    “Not only do you have a moral obligation to do so, but you also have a legal obligation under the Education Act of this province to bring our concerns forward,” said Waddell.

  • Parents demand say in child care debate

    Waterloo Region Record Two trustees — Cindy Watson and Colin Harrington — are seeking support from fellow trustees to support a motion allowing public consultation on the plan. Parents who have added their names to a growing petition — 339 names and counting — want their voices heard, said parent Natalie Waddell.

    “Not only do you have a moral obligation to do so,” she told trustees, “but you also have a legal obligation under the Education Act of this province to bring our concerns forward.”

  • Parents deserve a say on daycare takeover plans

    Waterloo Region Record Waddell has organized an online petition ( to rally support for existing daycares in our region. “The result has been overwhelming,” says Waddell. In less than a week she’s heard from numerous families across the region demanding their voices be heard. “We’re parents. And we want to be consulted,” she told me.

  • Parents concerned about changes to daycare

    The The possible impact of changes planned for daycare programs at Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) facilities has many parents worried.

    Natalie Waddell is a busy working mom with a five-year-old son, and she isn’t happy with what could change.

    “We took steps to make a plan that works for us and the board is just taking that away.”

  • Parents concerned about changes to daycare

    CTV News KitchenerWaddell is among the parents who feel removing third party day care providers like the local YWCA could make the service more expensive, force them to find other summer arrangements and leave them without options when their children turn eight.

    She has started an online petition to have the board reconsider the move.

  • Stop board-run daycare petition launched

    Cambridge Times A Kitchener mother is launching a petition in hopes of preventing the public school board from taking over before-and-after daycare programs at elementary schools across the region.

    Natalie Waddell, whose sons attends J.W. Gerth Public School in Kitchener, is incensed by soon-to-be implemented changes that will see the Waterloo Region District School Board begin operating before- and after-school daycares, currently run by third-party providers on school sites.