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Welcome Back ~ Weekly Update: September 6th

The love of Christ, welcomed with an open heart, changes us, transforms us, and makes us able to love.

 Pope Francis


A very special welcome to our new families that are joining our school community!

Please join in me in welcoming the following new staff; Ms. Galley in Gr. 3, as Ms. Macdonald is on Maternity Leave & welcomed her new baby boy, Ms. Zomparelli who is our new PTM, as Mrs. Kattis retired, and Ms. Crew, our SERT who has returned from Maternity Leave.

Thank you:

Thank you to our AMAZING teaching staff who have been in all week preparing a safe & special learning space for your child(ren)!

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE office & custodial staff who have been ensuring that we have followed all COVID Protocols and have a smooth start to the school year! The school looks FABULOUS!

Thank you to ALL of our Canadian Martyrs’ Families who have been so patient & supportive as we begin a new and very different school year!

Gentile Reminders:

The First day of instruction for students in Gr. 1-8, including Gifted students is a gradual return to school and will be based on Alphabetical Order, as indicated in the following chart. Please note, this gradual return to school will help alleviate some of the anxiety in students by providing a calm environment to help students learn the new health and safety routines at school and practice our entry and dismissal procedures in smaller groups.  

Date Schedule 
Wednesday, September 9th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-F will come to school 
Thursday, September 10th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters G- N will come to school 
Friday, September 11th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters O-Z will come to school 
Monday, September 14th ALL students in Grades 1-8 attending in-class instruction will come to school. Remote learning will begin for students learning from home. 

NOTE: Students registered for remote instruction will not be attending our school in-person on the gradual return days that have been scheduled between September 9 -11, 2020. These days are set aside for students who will be returning for in-class instruction, to review the health and safety protocols that will be in place in our school.  

The first day of instruction for students learning from home will be Monday, September 14, 2020. For more information, please visit our Return to School Website here:  

First Day Procedures Gr.1-8

Only one parent will be permitted to enter onto our main school yard to assist their child in finding their teacher. Parents must wear a mask when on school property.

Teachers will be holding up a sign with their name on it in your child’s line up area.

Parents are reminded to MODEL and encourage social distancing expectations.

Parents are asked not to congregate on the other side of the fences that fence off our main yard

Parents are asked to leave the school property immediately after their child has found their teacher and line up area.

Once the teacher has all of his/her alphabetical group for that first staggered day they will lead the class into the school and immediately conduct hand hygiene upon enter the classroom

We know that this will look very different than the first day of school that we are all accustomed too. The best thing that you can do to prepare your child for this “different” looking first day is to tell them that once the one parent has them to their teacher that they will be immediately leaving as instructed by the Principal.  We are concerned about the congregating of parents on this first day, as many of our families may not have seen each other for a long time.  Please know that we want to make sure that we can keep all students, staff AND parents healthy. 

After this first staggered entry day, parents are NOT permitted on the main school yard.  When students arrive prior to our 8:55am warning bell, they will immediately be heading to their line up areas and lining up socially distanced with the peers from their class/cohort.  There will be no free walking or play in the main yard prior to school.  These procedures will be reviewed with students on their first school day.  We very much need the cooperation of parents prior to school starting every morning to remember that parents/family members are NOT to congregate and watch at the fences before the bell rings in the morning.  Once again – we know that this is different, but we are implementing this to keep everyone SAFE.

Our KDG students will also have a staggered start.  All Year 2 (SK), both new and returning, will start school on Thursday September 10th and will continue to come to school everyday thereafter. Our Year 1 (JK) students, have had some changes to the staggered entry dates. Our Educator Teams will be emailing you directly with an invitation for a Virtual Meeting.  Please note, if your child’s original staggered entry date was scheduled for Thursday September 10th, your child will now attend on Monday September 14th and every day after that.  If your original staggered entry date was Friday September 11th, this will remain the same; however, they will not attend school again until Tuesday September 15th.

Daily Self Screening 

Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment. 

  • Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8oC) 
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19 

If any signs or symptoms, student and other household members must stay home, and school must be contacted. 

Please note, that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.  ​ 

Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE

Wearing of Masks at School 

Medical masks will be worn by all school staff.   

All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. Reasonable exceptions to this requirement will be put in place (see below Exemptions for Mask Wearing). 

Students will have ‘Mask Breaks’ during outdoor time and lunch. Students will be permitted to take their masks off in class while eating and when they go outside for recess/lunch and for outdoor class time. Students will place their mask in a labelled bag, provided by the school, prior to going outside and upon entry to the classroom they will place the mask back on. Please have your child practice proper hand hygiene before placing their mask on as this will be a regular school routine.  All students must have their mask in place when entering the school building in the morning and for dismissal. We would ask that parents take some time to review and practice this routine with your child.

Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet  

Exemptions for Wearing Masks  

Reasonable exceptions to mask wearing will be considered. 

An exemption may be requested for a student in Grades K-8 for the following reasons: 

  • A pre-existing medical condition. 
  • A diagnosis or learning profile that would limit a student’s ability to tolerate or safely wear a mask, including whereby a mask would affect essential communication for a person who is hearing impaired. 
  • Other, as detailed by a healthcare practitioner. 

If any of the above conditions apply to your son or daughter, please contact our School Office.  

School Bells:

Our bell times have been changed to allow for smaller groupings outside.

Morning Recess:

10:20-10:35 am Gr. 5-8

11:00-11:15 am Gr. 1-4/5

Lunch Recess will take place from 11:55-12:55pm.  

Gr. 5-8, will eat from 11:55 to 12:25 and then go outside for the first 30 mins.

Gr.1-4/5 will go outside from 11:55-12:25 and then come inside to eat lunch from 12:25-12:55.

Christian Meditation begins at 1pm for our students in gr. 1-8.

Afternoon Recess:

2:15-2:30pm Gr. 1-4/5

2:35-2:55pm Gr. 5-8

*For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all elementary students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods. 

As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day.  

Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch in the morning before students enter the school building.  

Considerations for Lunch Prep: 

Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.  

Sharing food items will not be permitted. 

Reusable water bottles are encouraged. 

Thank you for your understanding as we limit the number of visits and contacts to our school community to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. 

Drop-off and Pick-up 

As we prepare to welcome students back to school next week, we wanted to review the drop-off and pick-up protocols that will be in place to help minimize contacts and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school community.  

Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children. Parents and guardians will remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol). 

Morning Yard Supervision begins at 8:45 am. For the safety of your children we request that your child NOT be on school property until a supervisor is on duty. Children arriving late for school must first report to the office using Door 1. All students should be in their line with their class at 8:55 am as our day begins at 9:00am.

School Parking Lot

Please be advised, that the main entrance is for bus pick up and drop off only. We ask parents/caregivers to use the north parking lot only (closest to KDG area.) for dropping off and picking up students or entering the school when parking a vehicle. We would ask that the south parking lot be used for staff only. During “pick up and drop off” for arrival and dismissal, we ask all parents/caregivers to be mindful of our students’ safety and to remain behind the gate and do not enter the playground area. We kindly request that parents not bring pets on to school property, either before or after school. Please note that this is a Board Direction. Thank you for your attention & cooperation with this matter!

Please consider walking your child if possible, the first few weeks of school are typically very busy in all school parking lots. We would ask for your patience & smiles as we all begin a new and very different school year.

School Items & Lockers

Lockers will not be available for use by students this year.  Students are encouraged to bring MINIMAL items with them to school daily to reduce the clutter in the classrooms.  Less clutter means more space to distance our students apart from one another.  Knapsacks will be kept by the students’ desk. 

Even though we are encouraging minimal items at school, there may be some items that you may want to ensure that your child has (as items can not be shared from one child to the next).  Your classroom teacher can provide you with some suggestions during the first week of school. 

Gymnasium & Library

Our library will not be available for students in a conventional format this year.  Staff will be able to safely access resources for their classrooms from this space and our library technician, Mrs. Spence-Smith will be exploring options that will enable us to bring the library to the students!  The gym will not be in use until further notice.  All physical education lessons will be conducted outside while students remain in their same classroom cohorts.  We are busy working through procedures for safe gymnasium use for when the weather starts to turn and becomes wet and cold.  In the meantime, outdoor physical education time, led by their teacher, will be a great opportunity for both physical exercise and a mask break. 

Water Bottles

Students and staff will be able to bring reusable water bottles and refill them at designated refill stations in our school. For the health and safety of our students and school community, the use of water fountains for drinking will not be permitted.  

Water Fountains and Reusable Water Bottles: 

Each student is required to bring their own drinking bottle to school that is labeled, kept with them during the day, and not shared with other students.  

All water fountains will be wrapped and/or made inoperable.  

Although bottle filling stations will be in use, students and staff are not advised to touch any filling station apparatus.  

What happens if your child feels unwell at school? 

It is important for your son or daughter to let their teacher know if they are feeling unwell at school.  

Students who show signs/symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be taken to our school’s ‘isolation room’ and we will contact the parent or guardian to come and pick them up. 

It is very important that we have current contact information for all of our families so that we can get in touch with you quickly. Please contact our school office if there have been any recent changes to your contact information.  

Safe and Caring School

School staff will review the school routines and expectations with your child. Please know that these expectations are to help keep everyone safe and learning at Canadian Martyrs Catholic School. The Code of Conduct is in the front of the student agenda for gr. 1-8. We would ask you to review and discuss this with your child(ren).

School Communication

We will provide a Weekly Update, which will be posted to the school website and the link will be emailed each Sunday evening. The website will be updated frequently, including the Announcements page, where we will share good news stories. The calendar on the website can be subscribed to, so notifications can be received as dates are added.

Visitor Protocol 

This school year, in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, we are limiting visitor access to our school.   

All visitors, including parents and HCDSB staff who are not assigned to our school, will require approval and pre-screening before entering our building. Only visits that are deemed absolutely essential will be approved – e.g. visits by the Fire Marshal’s office or by public health. Where possible, meetings or visits will be conducted virtually.  

Visitors who are granted approval will be required to book an appointment and complete an online screening form prior to arriving at our school. Once inside, all visitors will be required to wear masks.   

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all.  

Catholic School Council Nominations

Role of Catholic School Council:  Ontario Regulation 612 states that every school must hold elections for the School Council within the first 30 days of each school year. The term of office is one year.  We want to encourage every parent to consider volunteering to sit on the Catholic School Council this year.  The school needs active and interested parents to maintain the quality of the school community we enjoy and to address the challenges the community will face in the future.  Nomination forms are available at the front office.

If Elections are required, then the names of candidates and a one-page information biography sheet, if available, will be posted on the School Community Bulletin Board located in the front entrance of the school.  This year, elections for our 2019/2020 Catholic School Council will take place in September according to the following timelines:

Nomination Forms Due:   Monday, September 14th  

Profiles Due (if required): Tuesday, September 15th

Council Elections (if needed): Thursday, September 24th

First Council Meeting:  Monday, October 5th at 6:30 pm

Meetings will be held “virtually” (using Teams). Dates & times will be posted on our school web page. 

Medical Perils

Please ensure you have returned the necessary medication & forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any updated information for our files. We are aware that Allerject is now available in Canada, and if this your choice of auto injectors please indicate this on the Student Plan of Care.

Please be aware that Canadian Martyrs CES strives to be a nut free environment. We have students with life threatening allergies to nuts and other allergens. No peanut butter or other nut products are allowed. Please check labels before sending items in school lunches and for snacks. Even a trace of nut oil from one child’s fingers to a desk surface can cause a deadly reaction. Please note that Wow Butter (soy product) is not allowed as we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter. Your support and attention to this matter is greatly appreciated as we have many students with life threatening allergies.  

Student Accident Insurance

The Halton Catholic District School Board does not provide accident insurance coverage for student injuries that occur on school premises or during school activities. Since accidents can happen, and some injuries result in medical, dental or other expenses that are not covered by provincial health care or employer group plans, as a parent, you may wish to consider purchasing student accident insurance.  

Student accident insurance can provide you with financial peace of mind against the possible expenses that can be incurred if a child is injured at school.  

The Board makes available an Accident and Life Insurance Program for students exclusively through Old Republic/Reliable Life Insurance Company. Participation is voluntary, and the costs for the program are paid by the parent or guardian. The program offers a variety of plans and benefits, which can be tailored to suit your needs. The coverage provided by the policy is comprehensive and reasonably priced ($17.00 to $33.00 per year, depending on the plan chosen).   

The insurance agreement is between the parent or guardian and the insurance company. If you wish to subscribe or for more information, please visit:  or call 1-800-463KIDS (5437)


Please follow us @CMartyrsHCDSB, to view learning in our community as well as some great community and parent information.

Looking Ahead:

“Celebration of Learning” ~ Curriculum Night
Oct 1 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Catholic School Council Meeting #1
Oct 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
First Communion Make-Up Date
Oct 10 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Thanksgiving Day~ No School
Oct 12 all day
First Communion Make-Up Date
Oct 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
First Communion Make-Up Date
Nov 7 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Progress Reports Go Home
Nov 24 all day
Student Led Conferences/ Parent Teacher Interviews
Nov 26 @ 3:30 pm – 8:30 pm
PA Day – Student Led Conferences/Parent Teacher Interviews
Nov 27 all day
Elementary PrincipalWelcome Back ~ Weekly Update: September 6th