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Weekly Update: November 29th

“Let us work together to ensure that children continue to smile: their faces serene, filled with joy & hope.”

 Pope Francis

Thank you:

Thank you to our AMAZING community for your compassion and caring in supporting both our Food Drive & Angel Tree! We have had an INCREDILBE response ~We are blessed to live in such a supportive & kind community!

Thank you to Mrs. Pellegrini’s Gr. 5/6 students for your support in organizing our Food Drive!

Thank you to Ms. Makariak’s Gr. 7 Ambassadors for your support on Thursday evening & Friday Morning with our Food Drive & Giving Tree Donations!

Thank you parents & students for your participation in our Student Led Conferences! We greatly value your partnership, as we work together to support your child (ren).

Thank you to Mrs. Spence-Smith for organizing our Virtual School Book Fair and for those families who were able to support us!

Thank you toparents for remembering to park your car if you need to assist your child in the Kiss n Ride Lane- we appreciate your support in keeping our students- your children safe!

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE staff & students for organizing our First Ever VIRTUAL Christmas Concert! Please save the date: Wednesday, December 15th @ 1pm via Teams.

Thank you to our Catholic School Council for organizing our Chapters/Indigo Fundraiser that takes place on Tuesday, November 30th!

Gentle Reminders:

Prepare our Hearts for Jesus

~https://hamiltondiocese.com/advent2021/

The Offices for Liturgy, Youth Ministry and Evangelization and Catechesis are pleased to bring you a weekly Advent resource that can be celebrated with family in your home. Below you will find tips, videos and a simple prayer to be prayed around your wreath each Sunday of Advent.

Tips for Celebrating the Advent Liturgies with your Family

1. CARVE OUT TIME

Together, decide on a time for your weekly Advent prayer in the home. Advent can be a busy and difficult time for many. Try to find a time and day of the week that is predictably calm so that as many members of the family can participate as possible. A weekly family meal can make for a perfect time for prayer.

2. SET THE SCENE

Create an intentional space for prayer. If you are gathering during mealtimes, consider using your Advent wreath as a centerpiece on your dinner table. Before Advent begins, gather some simple greens and candles to create your own Advent wreath (an instructional video for this process is available in “additional resources”). Make sure the space you choose for prayer is comfortable and inviting for all children present. Have a match or lighter ready to light the candles on your wreath for each week’s prayer.

3. KEEP THE PRAYER SIMPLE WITH EASY, ACCESSIBLE LANGUAGE

Using the text provided below, prepare to lead your family through a brief time of prayer and reflection. Remind those present that we light our wreath to remember that Advent is a season of preparation, and we are called to keep our eyes and hearts open for the coming of Christ into the world. Before you begin your celebration, have your children share whom or what they would like to remember in prayer this day.

4. KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

Advent is a beautiful season of preparation, both for our homes and for our hearts. Take time in these busy days to stop and engage in prayerful conversation on the “reason for the season”. At the supper table, in the car on the way to an Advent gathering, or before bed after a hectic day, take time to ask:

  • How can we prepare our hearts as a family to welcome Jesus on Christmas day?
  • It is a wonderful time of the year to give gifts. What gift can you offer to Jesus out of love for Him?
  • Our Advent wreath brings the light of Christ into our home. How can you shine Christ’s light to others?
  • It can be hard to wait patiently for the joy of Christmas. What is one thing we can do together as a family to help us remain focused on Jesus and His coming?

Prayer for Advent

As you light your candle(s) for each week of Advent invite all who gather to share in this prayer:
God, Send your light into our hearts and fill us with joy,
as we prepare for the birth of your Son.
Transform our lives into images of Jesus
so that your light will shine through us.
Lord, fill the world with your peace, hope and love this Advent.
Amen.

School Parking Lots Before & After School

Thank you to our families for your patience & support in both of our school parking lots before and after school. Our north parking lot has a Kiss n Ride Lane and parking available for parents who need to assist their child out of the car. Our south parking lot is narrow and we remind all parents to be extremely cautious when entering this area. We kindly request that parents who are dropping off or picking up their child in the primary area, use the path rather than walking through the parking lot to leave school property. Thank you for your assistance in keeping all of our students, families and staff safe!

Save the Date: Indigo School Fundraiser – Tuesday, November 30th

On Tuesday, November 30th from 9am – 10pm, Indigo in the Burlington Mall will be supporting our school community! If parents, family or friends make a purchase in store between the hours of 9am -10pm, they can specify that proceeds are to go to Canadian Martyrs CES, then the school will receive 15% of eligible sales.

Giving Tree 2021

This year our Giving Tree will be supporting the Shifra House –  a registered charity that operates a maternity residence and Resource Centre for young, homeless mothers and their babies. Please consider the following items:

  • Gift Cards for Walmart
  • Gift Cards for Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Gift Cards for Grocery Stores
  • Toiletries (e.g. shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, lotion)
  • Baby Items (e.g. diapers, wipes, soothers, teethers, nail care kits, baby thermometers, wash cloths)
  • Baby Toys (e.g. board books, stuffed animals, sensory toys)
  • Baby Clothes (e.g. diaper shirts, onesies, socks, coats)
  • Women’s Clothing (e.g. leggings, tops, pajamas, slippers, socks, coats)
  • Household Supplies (e.g. paper towel, toilet paper, napkins, laundry detergent, dish soap)

Friday, December 3rd will be our final collection day.   

*If you are returning gift cards on their own, please place them in an envelope and have your child deposit them in “Santa’s Mailbox” located in the front foyer of the school or you can deliver your envelope on the designated drop-off days. Thank you for your kindness and generosity!

Community Christmas Trivia Kahoot Night- Save the Date: Thursday, December 9th @7pm Via Teams! Please look for further information in our upcoming Weekly Update.

Keeping Christ in Christmas

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) will once again be running our annual Keeping Christ in Christmas student contest! This year, the contest will be open for entries from Friday, November 5 through Friday, December 3, 2021.
Students are encouraged to submit entries that highlight the theme of the contest, and express in their own creativity how we can all do our part to Keep Christ in Christmas. We welcome entries from HCDSB students of all ages and abilities!
Students may submit entries electronically in the following four (4) categories:

  • Visual artwork (drawing, painting, photography, collage, sculpture, 3D model, etc.)
  • Original song
  • Short video (maximum length is 3 minutes)
  • Short story or poem (up to 250 words)


Submissions Accepted Online ONLYTo minimize the distribution of paper and for the health and safety of our students, staff and school communities, we will be accepting submissions ONLINE ONLY this yearStudent work can be entered into the contest through an online form available on the official contest page

Student submissions will be reviewed separately by division group, as follows:

  • Primary (K-3)
  • Junior (4-6)
  • Intermediate (7-8)
  • Secondary (9-12)


Sixteen (16) student entries will move on to the finals! A prize will be awarded to the top student entry in each of the four division groups.
For more information about the contest and submission requirements, please visit the Board’s website.
Deadline for Entries:
 December 3, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Have a Question?
If you have any questions about the contest, please feel free to email us at: keepingchrist@hcdsb.org or contact us on Twitter, direct message us on Instagram, or contact us through Facebook.  
We look forward to showcasing the creative talents of our HCDSB students!

COVID-19 Vaccination for 5-11 Year Olds

First dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments for 5-11 year olds can now be booked through Halton Region’s online booking system for children five to 11 years of age (or turning five in 2021). Second doses can be booked at a date closer to the recommended eight week interval. Appointments are dependent on paediatric vaccine supply and will be added to the Region’s booking system as supply is confirmed. Please keep checking Halton’s website and booking form as more appointments are added.

Appointments are available at the Region’s new paediatric child-friendly clinics (similar to a doctor’s office) and their four existing community clinics, featuring the Halton Heroes. Appointments are also available at select pharmacies and primary care providers & paediatric offices in Halton. Parents can decide which setting is best for their child, based on age and other personal factors. Information to assist with the decision is available on halton.ca/COVIDvaccines4kids.

Book an appointment

Human Rights and Equity Advisory Council

Our HCDSB schools are committed to creating safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environments that support student achievement and well-being in our Catholic schools. Human Rights and Equity are guiding values that are consistent both with Catholic Social Teaching, reaffirming the dignity of every individual, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code, which safeguards students and staff from discrimination based on the protected grounds. 

The Board’s Equity and Inclusive Education Steering Committee is in the process of forming a Human Rights and Equity Advisory Council (HREAC) to engage community stakeholders including parents, students and community organizations. 

The purpose of the HREAC is to assist in identifying community needs and to provide advice and guidance on addressing systemic barriers and supporting historically underserved members of the 2SLGBTQ+, racialized and Black communities in the HCDSB. 

Parents/guardians and students in Grades 7-12 interested in serving on the HREAC are invited to submit an application online through the HREAC Membership Application Form

Extended French Program (begins in Grade 5 at HCDSB.)

The online registration process for the 2022-2023 school year will take place in December of this year. The online registration portal will be available on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 until Friday, December 17, 2021.
A direct link to online registration will be available on the Extended French webpage, and can also be accessed on the homepage of the Board’s website (www.hcdsb.org) during this time period.
About the Random Selection Process
Student enrolment in the Extended French program will be determined through a random selection (lottery) process. Please note that only one (1) registration per child will be accepted and included in the random selection process. All duplicate registrations will be CANCELLED. Visit HCDSB’s website for more information on the Extended French Program

COVID-19 Safety Measures

For the safety and well-being of all students and staff, 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.

The Government of Ontario daily self-screening tool can be accessed here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Coming Soon ~ Student Census 2022

In February 2022, HCDSB will be collecting identity-based student data through a board-wide Student Census. This census will help our school board better understand and support our students and their experiences in school and will help promote equitable and inclusive learning environments.

NOTE: Parents of students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be invited to complete the online survey on behalf of their child. For more information about the Student Census, please visit the HCDSB website: https://hcdsb.info/StudentCensus2022

Courtesy Bus Seats

We are happy to inform you that courtesy bus seats will now be offered at a reduced capacity, beginning January 3, 2022.
In accordance with HSTS Procedure HS-1-004 – Courtesy Seats, families with children who are not otherwise eligible for school bus transportation to and from school are allowed to apply for courtesy seats on school buses.
Courtesy seats will be offered at a reduced capacity for the health and safety of our students, and to accommodate continued growth in the region of Halton. 

HSTS Courtesy Seat Application Form 
The HSTS Courtesy Seat online application form will be open for submissions at: www.HaltonBus.ca from Monday, November 8 through Friday, November 26th, 2021 until 5:00 p.m.
Upon completion of the application review process, parents and guardians who submitted a courtesy seat application will be notified by HSTS via email by December 31, 2021. Families will be able to check on the status of their application using the BusPlannerWeb portal. 
Visit the HSTS website for more information: www.haltonbus.ca 
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work with HSTS to reintroduce courtesy bus seats for our students.

Promoting Well-Being – Ready for the Holidays

When your child is struggling with mental health challenges, the holidays are not always easy. With so many expectations about what the holidays should be like or who we should be spending our time with, it can be very difficult to make it all work.

With the support of our network of child and youth mental health experts, we have rounded up some tips and ideas to help your family this holiday season.

1.     Do what works for your family

The holidays can be an especially challenging time of year for many families. Expectations of the holidays can be hard on children – and, let’s face it, it’s not ‘the happiest time’ for all of us. It’s ok to prioritize mental health over holiday commitments. When you prioritize your or your child’s mental wellness, you can focus on what works for your family. As a parent, consider the things that feel realistic for you to do and then offer those choices to kids/youth to pick from. So many of us struggle with saying no over the holidays – perhaps this year, you will feel confident about not over committing your schedule and slowing things down; and that’s ok! Also, keep in mind that having time to connect with each other is important, but so, too, is having space for everyone to have their own personal time.

2.     Plan early

Routines and predictability are often beneficial (within reason) for children and youth with mental health challenges. It’s a good time to start having conversations with children about what the holidays may look like so that they know what to expect. This also allows them to be a part of the new planning process. What is important to them? Is there something new they would like to try? Planning early also gives us time to let other relatives or friends know in advance to manage their expectations, too. Also, during the winter school break, consider connecting with the parents of your children’s friend so that you can help arrange days for play dates.

3.     Find a quiet place in a busy space

Find a spot during a holiday activity or party where your child (or you) can go for a break. Don’t force your child to interact with other kids or adults, instead let them have that time on their own to regroup. If your child is young, bring books or a bag of special toys. If your teenager needs to decompress with a game on their phone, that’s ok. Check in periodically to see how everyone is doing, or if some quiet time is needed.

Don’t worry about other people’s judgments. People may ask insensitive questions or make comments about your child’s behaviour. Sometimes they are trying to be rude, other times, they’re just trying to understand. Have a quick sentence or two ready that explains your child’s issues. This will help you stay calm and to keep from overreacting.

4.     Managing disappointment

Sometimes, the holidays don’t work out the way we expect. And for many of us, the holidays still won’t be what they may have been before the pandemic. That will be disappointing for a lot of children (and parents!) It’s important to acknowledge that disappointment, especially for children. Give kids a safe space to share their feelings and be heard. If the pandemic is impacting your plans, it’s ok to let kids know this is hard for you, too. Reminding your kids – and yourself – that this is a temporary measure in a very unusual time may make it all feel a little less daunting.  While we are all doing our part to manage the pandemic, so much of what is happening in the province – and the world – is out of our control right now. This is a good time to focus on the things that are in your control. When it comes to traditions of the holiday season, consider how you can incorporate the traditions, or at least parts of those traditions, that are most important to your family. It could be something as simple as baking or planning for a fun family movie night.

5.     Supporting children through grief

The holidays can be especially hard for families who are grieving. Remembering your loved one, telling stories, and laughing about good times together are all ok to do, and can provide comfort to your child. You might work together to come up with ideas for memorializing your loved one over the holiday. Remember that it’s okay for you child/youth to feel upset as there have been a lot of different types of loss this year.

6.     Take care of you

The holidays can be a stressful and anxious time for parents, too. Make sure that you are eating, sleeping and enjoying the holidays as well. Maintain healthy boundaries. Take time when you need it, don’t feel guilty saying no when you need to. Do what is best for you and your family. Consider planning a day where the family could play a game or watch a movie together. But don’t forget to have some scheduled time where kids can play games and parents or caregivers can take some time out as well.

Your kids are watching you model behaviour and your resilience is teaching them. Resilience is about bouncing back from challenges, rather than not having any challenges at all. Look back on your year. What are some of the things you and your family have done to get through this year? What is working? What doesn’t work? How have you changed as a parent? Notice what works for your family – and remember that this will look different for each family.

~ https://www.family.cmho.org/mental-health-ready-for-the-holidays/

Twitter:

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

Looking Ahead:

Dec
2
Thu
Pizza Day Term 1
Dec 2 all day
Dec
3
Fri
Giving Tree Donations Ends
Dec 3 all day
Dec
9
Thu
Pizza Day Term 1
Dec 9 all day
Virtual Christmas Trivia/Kahoot Night @ 7pm
Dec 9 @ 7:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Dec
15
Wed
Virtual Christmas Concert @ 1pm
Dec 15 @ 6:02 pm – 7:02 pm
Dec
16
Thu
Joy Day
Dec 16 all day
Pizza Day Term 1
Dec 16 all day
Dec
17
Fri
Early Release Day @ 2pm
Dec 17 all day
Red & Green Day
Dec 17 all day
Dec
20
Mon
Christmas Break Begins
Dec 20 all day
Cronin-Nowitsky, LouiseWeekly Update: November 29th