“There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.“
~ Amanda Gordon
Thank you for trying to always find the light and the positive in this challenging time together. We know the extended school closure is a challenge for all but we are encouraged by a glimpse of hope that our efforts seem to be making a difference.
Holocaust Memorial Day – Wednesday, January 27
Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides, which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is “Be the light in the darkness.” It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide. Mrs. Mills’ Grade 8 class will lead the school in liturgy on Wednesday.
Bell Let’s Talk Day – January 28th
Bell Let’s Talk Day is Thursday, January 28th and at Guardian Angels we are joining in the conversation around mental health to help break the stigma and create a positive change. This year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign shines a light on the actions that we can all take, because now more than ever, mental health matters. Staff and students will be participating in activities and conversations next week to increase their knowledge and awareness on mental health and learn healthy coping skills to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing.
On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.
Our CYC, Mrs. Pipe, has created an amazing Bitmoji Mental Health Classroom (featured in last week’s update) with interactive videos for students. This will be shared on teacher’s platforms.
We are pleased to announce Guardian Angel’s iDARE Committee! iDARE was first established at Queen of Heaven CES in 2017 to promote a diverse, inclusive, accepting, welcoming, and safe school environment for all. Their vision also includes building a board-wide network of administrators, staff, parents, and families who are passionate about the ongoing implementation of inclusion, diversity, and equity; and to the elimination of anti-Black racism within our communities through education and the celebration of the diversity of God’s wondrous creation.
In recognition of their amazing work, Guardian Angels has committed to carrying on their work and to promote this vision in our school community. Currently, the committee consists of GA staff and parent representatives and our first initiative is to provide resources to promote education around black history in honour of Black History Month this February. Should you wish to become involved this initiative please reach out to Mrs. Kelly Stephens, Vice-Principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GA Fundraising Initiatives
Valentine’s Virtual Dance-a-thon!
More information coming soon…
Our fundraising initiative Flipgive is a great site that earns the school cashback on purchases made with several retailers where you’re probably already shopping. Consider using it to help us raise funds to support our growing technology needs! It can be used for purchases at Amazon, Walmart, No Frills, Great Canadian Superstore, and many more stores for your day-to-day needs.
Ministry Updates – Remote Learning EXTENDED
On Wednesday, January 20th, Ontario Directors and Chairs received a memo from the Minister of Education that provided an update on the period of school closure and teacher-led remote learning. It indicated that in-person learning will resume next week in schools that fall within 1 of 7 public health units listed in the memo.
Halton Region was not on this list, and therefore HCDSB schools will remain closed for in-person learning until further notice. The Ministry has not provided a date when our Halton schools are expected to reopen for full in-person instruction.
What we know at this time:
- 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.
- Childcare 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.
Virtual Class Etiquette
- Courtesy and Respect are key
- Students use the designated platform to join meetings that are led by their teacher
- Recording and/or posting any content from virtual meetings is NOT allowed
Participating in a virtual meeting
- Know when to join your virtual meeting
- Wait for your teacher before joining the virtual meeting
- Always use your real name
When you are in a virtual meeting, you should behave like you are in the classroom…
- Sit in a well-lit room, facing a light source
- Please keep your video on where possible
- Be fully present, try your best to listen and focus
- Don’t eat or drink on screen please
- Be dressed appropriately for class time
- Raise your ‘virtual hand’ and wait to be recognized by your teacher if you have a question or comment
- Keep your microphone muted unless you are called on to talk
- Make sure your background is professional
- Use appropriate language, academic language in spoken and written questions and comment
Using the CHAT feature
- Use the chat as directed by your teacher
- Always use appropriate language
- The chat bar is NOT for posting gifs, pictures, random words or comments
What if a student does not follow virtual class etiquette?
- Teachers teach and review expected virtual etiquette.
- If a student does not follow expectations, teachers give corrective feedback.
- If behaviour continues, teachers will conference with student and contact family.
- If behaviour persists without good faith effort to correct, student is removed from the online environment.
- Student may return to online environment after conference with administrator and family.
Virtual Meeting Non-negotiables
- Courtesy and respect
- Constructive participation
- Positive intent
Physical Education during Remote Learning
Changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an update to the Curricular Physical Education Information Form as well as the creation of a resource for parents/guardians whose child/ren is participating
in Physical Education in a remote learning environment.
It is important to note that ongoing communication between administrators/teachers, students and parents/guardians is an important part of establishing a safe remote learning environment and a culture of
safety mindedness. School administrators and teachers should also maintain an ongoing dialogue to ensure the processes and procedures are working and supports are available to maintain a safe remote learning environment for all. Please see the attached information and recommendations for parents.
Reminder! 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.
We are pleased to announce that McCarthy Uniforms is our new official school uniform provider. Many of you may be familiar with the reputation for quality and the time-tested McCarthy tradition that will provide our families with exceptional uniform products. In addition to a superior quality garment, this new partnership with also provide our families with more flexibility when ordering, improved availability, and reduced costs. Some of you may recall that McCarthy Uniforms used to be our uniform provider and we are excited to rejoin their program as of February 1st, 2021, with over 60 years of proven, dedicated service to schools across Canada.
We encourage you to register early to be notified of invitations to webinars, access to a ‘launch gift’ and updates on your shopping options.
If you have any questions about our new uniform program, you can contact the McCarthy customer service team at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing our students in their new attire!