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Weekly Update: February 1st

“The secret to navigating life well is to invite Jesus on board. The helm of life should be given to Him, so that He can direct the route.”

 Pope Francis

Thank you:

A very special thank you to Mrs. Pellegrini’s class for your leadership in organizing our Holocaust Memorial Day Prayer Service.

Thank you to Mr. Silveira, our school custodian, who has been cleaning, repairing & organizing our school facility ~ our students & staff will be impressed when they return to in person school!

Thank you to our AMAZING students who have been working so diligently and submitting their work~ our staff is very impressed with your dedication & resilience!

A very special THANK YOU to all of our parents & staff ~ you are ALL SUPER HEREOS & doing a “Good Job”! Please take a moment to watch the following & appreciate all that you do for your family!

Gentle Reminders:

A Message from Director Daly:

As you may have heard in the media, earlier today the Ontario government provided an update on the period of school closures and teacher-led remote learning. The announcement indicated that in-person learning will resume next week in schools that fall within 4 additional public health units.

Halton Region was NOT on this list, and therefore HCDSB schools will remain closed for in-person learning until further notice.

The Ministry of Education has not provided a date when our Halton schools are expected to reopen for full in-person instruction.  Read the Ministry’s News Release.

What Does This Mean?

Elementary and secondary students will continue to learn remotely until further notice. 

Students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School will continue to follow their established schedules. 

The change in learning format between in-person and virtual instruction will be delayed until schools re-open for in-person learning.

Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue to receive in-person support during the extended remote learning period.

Child care centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions.  

All Before and After School Programs will remain CLOSED until in-person learning resumes.

We will continue to provide updates as they become available, and will share information in the following ways:

Email to Parents/Guardians and Staff

Updates to our Return to School Plan website

Twitter: @HCDSB

Instagram: @HaltonCatholicDSB 

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. We look forward to the time when we can reopen our schools fully to in-person learning. In the meantime, we remain committed to working with our families to provide a quality Catholic education for our students that is flexible and engaging. 

As always, I hold all members of our HCDSB community in my thoughts and prayers. Please continue to follow the advice of our Public Health officials to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Confirmation Update

Please be advised that if your child is receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this year, the Parish has postponed all celebrations that were scheduled in the month of February. Please refer to the email sent on Wednesday, January 27th or the St. Paul the Apostle Parish Website:

Thursday, February 4th – Beach Spirit Day. We will be encouraging all of our students & staff to think outside the box and be creative and imagine that you are somewhere sunny & warm!

Friday February 5th – PA DAY – A reminder Friday, February 5th, 2021 is a designated Professional Activity Day. Online learning will not take place on this day and teacher-led remote learning will commence on Monday, February 8th.

Winter Water Safety

The safety and well-being of our students and families is always our greatest priority, and we work closely with our partners to share important information to help keep our community safe.

 As the province-wide lockdown continues and families are exploring ways to stay active outdoors, the risk of water-related incidents are increasing.

 Conservation Halton and the four municipalities in Halton have issued some important reminders and water safety tips to help keep our families safe during the winter months. 

 Some of these measure include: 

  • Keep family members and pets away from all bodies of water. 
  • Don’t follow pets or people on the ice or attempt to rescue – call 911 for assistance. 
  • Avoid recreational activities in or around waterways and check with your local municipality for alternative outdoor skating opportunities. 
  • Recreation of any kind is not permitted on stormwater management ponds. These areas can be very dangerous and should be avoided at all times. 

Please take a few minutes to share these important reminders with your children. For more information, please read the joint News Release.

Physical Education While Learning Online
As much as possible, and while respecting individual student needs and family circumstances, students will be learning across all areas of the curriculum, including Health and Physical Education, while online. As educators plan instruction for the next week, please review the information in the attachment about how to prepare your child and the learning environment so that he or she can participate in physical education successfully and safely while at home. Remote-HPE-Parent-Guardian-Informaiton-and-ChecklistDownload

Student Attendance

During this period of remote learning, we continue to promote regular attendance, as it is important for students to remain engaged in their learning so they can stay on top of the curriculum and feel more connected to their peers while our school is closed. 

As noted in PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning, schools are required to take daily student attendance throughout the period of remote learning.  Attendance will be taken twice daily: once in the morning and again after lunch. If your child is not able to attend or participate in remote learning on any given day, please report his or her absence, as you typically would during in-person learning through the SchoolMessenger Safe Arrival System:

We will be following our usual process of contacting parents and guardians when student absences are not reported. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Now, more than ever, ongoing communication between home and school is key to your child’s success and well-being. 

Teacher Absences

There may be times when your child’s teacher must be absent due to illness or other reasons. When this happens, we do our best to ensure a supply teacher is assigned to cover the class for the day.  Unfortunately, due to ongoing demands across our school district, supply teachers are not always available to cover every absence on any given day.

When a supply teacher is assigned, they will take attendance in the morning, and again after lunch, as per our usual practice. Your child will work on the asynchronous activities that have been posted in D2L, and the supply teacher will be available to answer questions and support students through these activities.

If a supply teacher is not available, your child will work on the asynchronous activities posted in D2L.

Regardless of whether a supply teacher has been assigned to cover the classroom teacher’s absence, your child’s Core French/Social Studies/Arts class will proceed and the FSL/PTM/Arts teacher will be online to provide synchronous instruction, as scheduled.

We will communicate with parents and guardians when a classroom teacher is absent, and let you know if a supply teacher has been assigned.  

Thank you for your ongoing flexibility, support and understanding during this period of remote learning.

Promoting Well Being: 10 ways to beat the January blahs through outdoor play

 Dorathay Gass  January 11, 2021  

When the holidays are over, along with all the magic and excitement that comes with them, January can feel like a long, dark, and boring month. The best way to beat those January blahs? Get outside and play! Here are 10 ways to do just that.

1. Try winter stargazing

Bundle up the family in snowsuits, hats, toques, and the whole kit-and-kaboodle, and head outside on a clear evening for some winter stargazing.

Don’t just make it any casual neighbourhood walk. Avoid areas with streetlamps and head out to a conservation area or a dark field close by to take in all the beauty the sky has to offer. Bring headlamps to guide you along your path until you find the perfect place to stare upward.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of stargazing. Even if you can’t name more than a few constellations, you can appreciate a starry sky on a clear night. There are also a plethora of apps and websites to help you find planets and patterns in the stars

2. Try a new winter sport

Is there a winter sport that you’ve always wanted to try that you’ve never gotten around to? Perhaps this is your year! From skiing and snowboarding to ice skating or tobogganing, there are many snow sports that you can dive into.

While equipment for some of these sports can seem costly and overwhelming, there are plenty of facilities out there that offer rentals and lessons. If that’s not an option, check out second-hand stores for already used and lower-priced items.

Related read: 5 games to help young children learn to skate

3. Try some summer fun in the snow

There are certain outdoor activities we tend to associate with the summer months, like playing lawn darts, horseshoes, or setting up a fun obstacle course during a Sunday family picnic. With that said, these and many other outdoor activities can still be done in the winter months too! Make it a game to see which summer games can be adapted for ice and snow.

There are plenty of ideas for children’s winter obstacle courses online. Plus you can replace hula hoops, pool noodles, and other “props” with colourful snow paint!

4. Hop on a fat-tire bike

Speaking of summer fun in January, a fat-tire bike is just like a regular bike, but with oversized tires and rims designed to allow for bike riding in the snow, as well as mud, sand, and bogs. It’s a perfect way to shake your blahs with a good workout, and ideal for avid bike riders who don’t want to give up what they love because of a little snow. Why not see if there are some available for rent in your area?

5. Blow ice bubbles

For those with little ones, blowing and chasing bubbles in your front or backyard in the snow is a great way to get outside and stay active. They’ll enjoy the activity, running around, fresh air, and watching those beautiful bubbles freeze and stick to the snow!

6. Play frozen freeze tag 

Pardon the pun, but you’ll do anything but “freeze” with a good old-fashioned game of freeze tag in the snow. Head to an open area in your neighbourhood, and let the games begin! You’ll be active, outdoors, and create some great family memories.  

7. Be a good neighbour

Do something this January that’s good for your body, mind, and soul! Sometimes the best way to beat the blahs is by doing a good deed. Bundle up the family after a hefty snowfall, grab your shovels, and clear up your drive, as well as others on your street. The feeling of knowing you’ve made someone’s life a little easier will add a bounce to your step. Plus, the physical activity itself is sure to help build some arm muscles. Make sure to stretch before and after!

8. Go on a winter scavenger hunt

Preschoolers love to keep busy and they love being outdoors. Scavenger hunts are a go-to activity for birthday parties and other gatherings, so why not do the same in January? Search for winter scavenger hunt printable sheets online—there are plenty to choose from these days.

9. Go for a snowy hike

Bundle up, find your nearest wooded area, and explore! There’s nothing more stunning than being outdoors after a fresh snowfall. Bring a camera to capture your postcard-like surroundings, and even bring unsalted sunflower seeds to sprinkle on snow. Chickadees love to snack on these, and if you stay still enough, you can place them in the palm of your hand. If you’re lucky, you can experience seeing this sweet little bird up close and personal! 

10. Go to the park

Most families love a nice day at the park in spring, summer, or fall, weather-permitting; however, it can be just as fun in January! Just make sure to pack snow pants for the kids, which will make barreling down that snowy slide that much more fun.

Remember that the winter weather may change what your kids can and can’t do on a play structure. While the swing sets will probably be okay to use, if the slides, monkey bars, and other areas of the structure are too icy for play, your kids will have to think of other creative ways to enjoy the park!

If the structure can’t be properly played on, your kids can still have fun at the park in January! They could build a snow fort under the structure, or have a snowball fight in and around it. You could build a snowman in the sandbox, or even create a “target” on the play structure where your kids can aim with snowballs. They can have just as much fun at the park in January as they do in July!


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

Looking Ahead:

School Fundraiser – Little Caesar’s Pizza
Jan 18 – Jan 31 all day
Spirit Day ~ Beach Day!
Feb 4 all day
PA Day
Feb 5 all day
School Uniform Vote March 4th-11th
Feb 5 all day
Virtual Friendship Liturgy @1:10pm
Feb 5 @ 5:35 pm – 6:35 pm
School Uniform Vote March 4th-11th
Feb 8 all day
School Uniform Vote March 4th-11th
Feb 9 all day
School Uniform Vote March 4th-11th
Feb 10 all day
School Uniform Vote March 4th-11th
Feb 11 all day
Local Love Day ~ $2.00 for United Way
Feb 12 all day
Cronin-Nowitsky, LouiseWeekly Update: February 1st