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Weekly Update: January 4th

“Our life spreads light when it is given in service. The secret of service is living to serve.”

 Pope Francis

Welcome Back:

We welcome back all of our students and staff to a New Year filled with hope!

Thank you:

Thank you to all of our families for your patience & understanding as we move to remote learning for the week of January 4th-8th ~ I know that we will successfully navigate this week as the caring & kind community that we are known to be!

Gentle Reminders:

Technology Pick Up

If you have requested to pick up technology for your child, please refer to the email with your scheduled appointment on Monday morning. We will have 4 tables set up outside our Main Entrance, with parents arriving at 10 minute intervals. We kindly request that you enter the school parking lot through the South entrance & exit through the North Entrance.

Remote Learning January 4th-8th

Remote learning will be provided for all students in accordance with PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning, which provides specific expectations around synchronous learning.

Learn more:

During Remote Learning, we will be following our regular school schedule. Our school day starts at 9am and finishes at 3:30pm. Teachers will be taking attendance each morning and afternoon. Lunch will continue to be from 11:55 am to 12:55pm.  Your child’s teacher will be communicating with you regarding recess breaks and subject times. Our staff sent home resources to support your child’s learning just prior to the break, in case we were directed to move to remote learning. Please take some time to review and organize this material with your child. As well, staff have previously communicated to parents the on-line platform that will be utilized for remote learning, ie. D2L, Google Classroom and or Microsoft Teams. All Grade1-8 students will be required to participate daily in 225minutes of synchronous learning. Kindergarten students on the other hand will have180 minutes of synchronous instruction. These minutes include small group instruction and may be divided up into smaller periods to meet students’ various needs.

Please note, that during the morning of Monday, January 4ththe Board has directed Teaching Staff to use Asynchronous Teaching and post activities for your child on their designated digital platform. This will allow parents time to pick up requested Technology from our school. We understand that this week may bring challenges for our families, their child(ren) and our staff. I am confident that our community will be able to navigate this coming week with patience, empathy and kindness!

The following links and documents provide some guidelines for parents and students to help ensure safe and effective live online learning:

Register your Child for Kindergarten
Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for your child and for your family! Our school offers a full-day, 2-year Kindergarten program, designed to engage curious early learners through different kinds of play, that help children learn how to reason and problem-solve as
they interact with one another.

When Can My Child Begin Kindergarten?
To register your child to begin Junior Kindergarten (Year 1) in September, 2021, your child must be four years old by December 31st, 2021. Children enrolled in Senior Kindergarten (Year 2) must be five years old by December 31st, 2021.

COVID-19: Province-wide Shutdown

Effective December 26, 2020, the Ontario Government Framework is paused and replaced with a Province-wide shutdown for 28 days.

What is open, what is closed and what are the restrictions under the shutdown? Public Health Measures outlined in the province-wide shutdown include:

  • Gathering restrictions: No indoor gatherings with anyone outside of your household. 10 people permitted to gather outdoors, however Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health strongly recommends that residents avoid both indoor and outdoor gatherings with anyone outside of their household.
  • Grocery and pharmacy: Open with capacity limits and physical distancing.
  • Retail: Curbside pick-up and delivery only for all non-essential retailers (including malls, pet and hardware stores).
  • Weddings, funerals and places of worship: 10 people indoors and outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Sports and recreational fitness: Indoor and outdoor recreational fitness facilities are closed, including ski hills. Some outdoor recreational amenities remain open with capacity limits and physical distancing.
  • Restaurants and bars: Indoor and outdoor dining closed. Takeout, delivery and drive-thru are permitted.
  • Personal care services: Closed.
  • Transportation and construction services: Open.
  • Healthcare and social services: Open.

For the complete list of businesses and organizations that are open or closed as a result of the shutdown, visit Ontario’s website(external link).

What do I need to do?

  • Stay home
  • Stick to your household
  • No indoor or outdoor gatherings
  • Only make essential trips outside of your home (groceries, medicine, or medical appointments)

Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures

This section provides additional information on sector-specific measures identified in the COVID-19 Response Framework(external link) and reflects Halton Region’s current shutdown. You will also find additional guidance from Halton Region Public Health, the Ontario Government and other health and safety organizations.

Schools and Post Secondary Info

Elementary and secondary school students in publically-funded and private schools will participate in remote learning from January 4-January 8, 2021. Secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021.

Post-secondary institutions are open for virtual instruction, with limited exceptions where in-person instruction is required.

Learn more about how the Province-wide shutdown affects schools.

If you are a school professional looking for COVID-19 Public Health guidance, please visit our School Years Program page.

If you are a resident looking for information and resources to help your family safely return to school, please visit our COVID-19 School Information page.

If you are a post-secondary school professional seeking information for these settings, please see Health Canada’s Guidance for post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Promoting Well Being: 21 Ways to Greater Well-Being in 2021

Newswise — For so many, 2020 has posed some of the greatest challenges of our lifetime.  Turning the calendar page to 2021 is a time to remind yourself to take good care of YOU in the New Year.  The faculty at Palo Alto University, which is dedicated to psychology and counseling, curated this list of 21 meaningful ways to make 2021 a more balanced year for you and other people in your life.   

  1. Practice self-compassion. Many people are good at showing compassion to others, especially during the pandemic, but not as good at being compassionate to themselves.  Self-compassion gives us space to breathe and take the time to take care of ourselves in a healing and kind way. 
  2. Take care of your basic needs.  When we are tired, hungry, and/or sedentary, our mood can dip. Prioritize sleep by going to bed earlier and getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night; Eat consistent balanced meals and walk outdoors for 20 minutes three times a week.  
  3. Be present. If you find yourself reliving the past or worrying about the future, try to bring yourself back to the present moment using your senses.  Notice five things that you see, four things that you feel, three things that you hear, two things that you smell, and one thing that you taste – and then proceed with your day. 
  4. Watch your breathing.  So often we think of self-care as activities we do after work or home responsibilities to compensate for daily stressors. Self-care means doing activities throughout your day, during work and home responsibilities, in order to achieve calm and emotional balance. The simple act of watching our breath throughout the day and noting how we feel can alert us to times and opportunities for taking care of ourselves. 
  5. Pick a few simple, easy goals. This is something that helps when the drudge of Zoom calls, being isolated at home and missing family and close friends gets you down.  If you’re feeling stuck at home, accomplish a few activities you wouldn’t normally have time for like reorganizing a closet, purging old emails, or planning a new exercise regimen. 
  6. Take an early morning walk.  Spend each day on an early morning walk listening to Podcasts, your favorite music or learning a new language. 
  7. Maintain a daily plan that puts you first.  Take the time to put yourself and your own needs first.  Are you adding some fun to your life?   Are you staying connected to those who are important to you?   By creating a space for yourself, it will make it easier to continue to support others. 
  8. Write a letter.  Write to someone who has been meaningful in your life and tell them why you’re thankful for their contribution and/or call them up and read the letter. A study showed that people who did this felt a significant increase in happiness, meaning, optimism, and life satisfaction for up to 3 months after reading the letter. 
  9. Write a poem a day.  Create your own 30-day poetry challenge.  It helps to focus your mind on one moment, idea, breath, sensation. It creates a rhythm beyond the daily news sound bites and taps us into the rhythms of the seasons and our souls.  Encourage someone you know to do it as well.   Schedule a time to read your collection to one another.    
  10. Read your way through your stack of magazines.   Indulge yourself in that stack of magazines that has been piling up on your coffee table.   This activity helps break the boredom, creates a sense of accomplishment and helps you to decide whether or not to continue your cancel a magazine subscription. 
  11. Take an on-line yoga class.   Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system. 
  12. Be gentle with yourself.   If something feels stressful, consider its purpose. Is it necessary or simply expected? If you didn’t do it, what would be the worst outcome? At the end of each day, ask yourself what felt productive, what felt meaningful, and what contributed to your mental health.  Focus on what went well, no matter how small, and build on those successes! 
  13. Reflect and think about “What I’m Leaving in 2020”.   Write a letter to yourself listing all of the accomplishments, lessons, and things you are most grateful for in 2020. This is a wonderful way to give yourself perspective and make the year feel complete.  It’s also a good time to begin charting how you may or may not do things differently in 2021. 
  14. Think of well-being as a journey rather than a destination.  This simple shift in concept allows for grace and patience if we find ourselves distracted or having fallen off the path along the way. Well-being as a journey recognizes improvements come gradually and if we maintain a sense of purpose and direction, in time, we will reach our desired goal.  
  15. Well-being is not a “one size fits all” experience.   There can be some variance in what it looks and feels like from one person to the next. Where one lives may impact the frequency in which one can engage in outdoor activities.   Genetics can predispose some to physical and emotional conditions and culture can shape the ways in which well-being is defined and practiced. With this in mind, consider what well-being looks like for you and engage in those things that support your own personal experience of the concept.  
  16. Give yourself permission to take a tech-break.  For many, 2020 has increased our reliance upon social media and technology.  Consider how this surge of dependency impacts your sense of well-being. Are you constantly scanning for missed texts, tweets and emails throughout the day? Are you spending more time on Zoom and Facebook than you are with the people who actually share your living space?  Evaluate how much time is spent using technology and how this time can be shifted to enhancing your well-being. 
  17. Clean one space or thing.  This is a win-win.  Whether you clean out your refrigerator, scrub the tub, or wash the inside of your car windshield, the reward of a sparkling clean space is always uplifting. 
  18. Eat Healthy.   Healthy eating means having a healthy attitude toward food.  Try new foods, enjoy meals with friends, and plan ahead so you can be sure to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables 
  19. Learn a new skill.  Learning a new skill can boost self-confidence and raise self-esteem.  If your time is limited, there are many ways to bring learning into your life.  Try learning a new recipe, use a YouTube tutorial to take on a DIY project.   There are plenty of mobile apps that can help you learn anything from astronomy and chess to video editing and computer coding. 
  20. Recall Positive Life Events.  Spend time thinking about some of your best memories. Whether it’s a vacation, an award you received, or a special time spent with a friend, recalling the happiest times in your life can bring more positivity to your mindset.
  21. Practice Forgiveness. Letting go of past hurt and anger is key to good psychological well-being. Forgiveness is about releasing these emotions that are holding you back and moving into a greater state of well-being.

~ Palo Alto University


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

Looking Ahead:

Welcome Back!
Jan 4 all day
School Fundraiser – Little Caesar’s Pizza
Jan 18 – Jan 31 all day
Return to In- Person Learning
Jan 25 all day
Catholic School Council Meeting
Jan 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
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
Cronin-Nowitsky, LouiseWeekly Update: January 4th