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Welcome Back!

Hello Guardian Angels CES Families,

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all new and returning families to Guardian Angels School for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. As a community, we will continue to take pride in the health and safety of all our staff and students. By continuing to work together as partners (Parish, School, Home), we can establish new goals and open new doors that will further enrich the lives and learning for all students.

Thank you to our AMAZING staff who have been in all week preparing a safe & special learning space.  Thank you to our INCREDIBLE office and custodial staff.  The school is organized and looks terrific!

Please see below for some important information as we get ready to welcome students back into the building…

HCDSB RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN:

Parents looking for information on the Board’s Return to School Plan can find it on the HCDSB website or by clicking here https://www.hcdsb.org/return-to-school/ .

CLASS PLACEMENTS – GRADE 1-8:

Class placements for the 2021-2022 school year have been finalized. Information was sent directly to each family on Saturday, September 4, 2021 confirming teacher and room location.

Please understand that class placements can change depending upon Ministry of Education or Board Directives, and fluctuations in school population.

Due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, our school will not be able to accommodate requests for changes to class lists. 

With your trust in our professional judgment, we will continue to provide all students with the best possible learning environment.

FIRST WEEK INFO:

We are looking forward to welcoming grades 1-8 students on Tuesday, September 7th or Wednesday, September 8th at 8:30 am (see below).

Kindergarten Families: Kindergarten students (Year 1 and Year 2) will have a staggered entry that is different from the grade 1-8 students.

  • Tuesday, September 7th = Scheduled interviews for new students
  • Wednesday, September 8th = Scheduled interviews for new students
  • Thursday, September 9th = 1st day of school for all current Year 2 students
  • Thursday, September 9th = 1st day of school for half of the Year 1 students (as indicated by their teacher)
  • Friday, September 10th = 1st day of school for the other half of the Year 1 students
  • Monday, September 13th = All students attend together 

STAGGERED ENTRY FOR SEPTEMBER 7th and 8th:

As indicated by Director Daly, Tuesday (September 7th) and Wednesday (September 8th) will have a staggered entry.

  • Tuesday, September 7th. All in-person learners in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school
  • Wednesday, September 8th. All in-person learners in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school
  • Thursday, September 9th. All in-person learners will come to school
  • Students from Grades 1-5 will meet their teachers on the back pavement, according to the map below while students in Grades 6-8 will proceed directly into the school. Staff members will be onsite to assist with this process

REGULAR DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP ROUTINES:

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

  • Parent/Guardian is not permitted on the recess blacktop unless walking a Kindergarten Student to their classes (Door 5 or 9)
  • 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). 
  • We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort) which will be shared with them and you in teacher communication  
  • Supervision starts at the school at 8:15. Students should not be on school property earlier than that as staff will not be on the playground.
  • Once on school property, Grade 1-8 students will proceed to their designated line and remain there, socially distanced, until entry. Teachers will be reviewing these procedures Day 1 and 2 of school
  • Kindergarten students will enter the school immediately upon arrival in the morning.  
  • Parents and caregivers are asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their child(ren). No gathering or congregating will be allowed on school property.  
  • Parents and caregivers are encouraged to use the ‘Kiss and Ride’ as students become more comfortable and familiar with the new routine.   

Thank you for your understanding and assistance as we work together to protect our students, families and staff so that we can ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all!  

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS:

The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Operational Guidance plan provides the baseline for school boards and local public health officials to develop a specific plan for the school board. 

With this plan as a foundation, some of the protocols that are in place to begin the school year include:

  1. Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
  2. All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Halton Catholic District School Board continued to be required to wear a properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks during classes and while in the hallways.  Masks may be removed during outdoor learning time. It is suggested the students bring a fanny pack or clip to hold their mask during outside play. Please refer to the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet for further information and guidance. A mask exemption may be requested for a student in Grades K-8 for the following reasons: (1) a pre-existing medical condition,  (2) 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, (3) other, as detailed by a healthcare practitioner. If any of the above conditions apply to your son or daughter, please contact our School Office to arrange for a Mask Exemption Request Form.
  3. All classes will continue to remain in their classroom cohort and be assigned a specific zone on the playground during recesses and lunch. They are not permitted to play with students in other cohorts.
  4. Children must sign out of class to use the washroom (for contact tracing purposes). 2 children are allowed in each washroom at a time, and there are 3 waiting spots marked outside in the hallway.  If there isn’t an available spot, children may have to return to class/outside. Remind your child to use the washroom only when necessary and not fool around while there, to allow others access. 
  5. Please help your child to understand the importance of regular hand hygiene. Children will be required to use school-provided hand sanitizer regularly throughout the day – upon entry to the classroom after being outside, before and after eating, etc.  Should you wish your child to carry their own hand sanitizer, it must contain at least 60% alcohol and be scent-free.  It can be used in addition to the required school-provided sanitizer. 
  6. We are kindly asking that all families who can to walk to school create this routine for our students. Our parking lot is congested, and we are limited in the amount of parking spaces available for parents.

NEW THIS YEAR! – DAILY COVID SCREENING CONFIRMATION:

The Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID-19 self-screening for all students attending school in person. This will be in place for the first two weeks of the school year, unless otherwise directed by the Ministry of Education. Please follow the following steps:

  1. Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Toolfor each child every day before leaving home for school.

2. Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher in one of the following formats: 

  • Email results to classroom teacher (emails are found on our school website
  • Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;
  • Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR 
  • Complete the Confirmation of Daily Covid-19 Student Screening Log (shown below) which students will bring back and forth to school each day. This will be provided to all students on their 1st Day of school. If you wish to print it out in advance and use it, that is also permitted.

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. 

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AT SCHOOL:

Should a student at Guardian Angels CES exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, they will be brought to the Isolation Room. They will be cared for and supervised until a family member can pick them up. Parents will be advised of next steps upon picking up their child.

REPORTING YOUR CHILD’S ABSENCES:

Parents and guardians should continue to use the Safe Arrival system to report their child(ren)’s absences, whether they have an illness, a medical appointment, or other important event.  
 
IMPORTANT UPDATE!  
This year, we have updated our Student Information System to PowerSchool, which offers an improved database system for our school board. This updated system has changed the student numbers that were previously assigned to each student. 
 
As a result, all parents and guardians who will be reporting their child’s absences through the SchoolMessenger website or mobile app this year are required to sign up with a new account to sync the student profiles for the 2021-2022 school year.

NOTE: Parents and guardians may continue to use the phone number (1-844-445-4505) to report their child(ren)’s absences. You are not required to set up a new account in order to report absences using the toll-free number.  

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. Where possible, meetings or visits will be conducted virtually.  

Visitors who are granted approval will be required to 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.  

UNIFORMS:

Guardian Angels School is a full uniform school. McCarthy’s is our only uniform supplier. Shop online at www.mccarthyuniforms.ca/shop. Call: 416-593-6900. The Milton Showroom is located at 1160 Steeles Ave. E, Unit 3.(see attachment for uniform options). However, children may still wear uniform items from ISW or navy bottoms in similar style from any retailer.

BUS EXPECTATIONS:

School bus transportation is a privilege, and we need to work together to keep everyone safe. If bus behaviour is poor or dangerous, the bus driver will issue a warning slip and riders may be refused bus service. There will be assigned seats both in the morning and afternoon runs. Students will receive a bus tag on their 1st Day of school which needs to be attached to their bag and visual throughout the year.

To ensure your safety, the following rules have been established:

  1. All students need to wear a mask. They are to remain in their assigned seats at all times.
  2. Students need to line up and board the bus in an orderly manner, while maintaining physical distance.
  3. Students are to remain seated; keep arms and head and belongings inside the bus.
  4. Students are to always respect the driver and not distract them.
  5. Students are not to eat or drink on the bus.
  • For more information, visit the HSTS website at https://www.haltonbus.ca/ 
  • Please note that Courtesy Seats are on pause until further notice.
  • If your child is eligible for bus transportation but does not plan on riding the bus to school next year, please complete the HSTS online Opt-Out Form online.

MAIN OFFICE:

Our Office hours are from 8:00 am – 3:30 pm. Parents are also reminded that we as a school are trying to minimize the number of outside visitors to the school the prevent the spread of Covid-19. If parents have questions, they are asked to not come to the school but instead, kindly call the school office at 905-876-2386 to speak with our Secretaries.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS:

If your child has a medical condition, the existing Student Plan of Care will be sent home for you to review and update if necessary, during the first week of school. **Note: If your child’s Student Plan of Care has not changed from last year, we need you only to return the pages of the parent package that require a date and your signature.  We will continue to use last year’s information.

If your child has an epi-pen, please ensure that you provide one to the school on or before the first day of school. This year, we strongly encourage that if you have a child who suffers from seasonal allergies that you have a Plan of Care on file.

Please email Mrs. Kelly Stephens at stephensk@hcdsb.org if your child is new to the school, has a new condition, or if your child’s condition(s) has changed. If your child has a change in their condition over the summer, please inform the school as soon as possible. Please contact the main office in this case.

Electronic copies of the consent form(s) including Student Plan of Care are available for you to complete by downloading the attachments:

There are 2 ways you can submit this information (and epi pens/medications) to the school:

  1. Return a signed printed copy on your child’s first day of school
  2. Return a signed digital copy to stephensk@hcdsb.org

Epi Pens – As per Board Protocol:

  1. 1 Epi Pen is carried on your child’s person
  2. 1 Emergency Epi Pen is to be kept in the Office (to be dropped off at the medical table along with documentation)

STUDENT 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 an Accident and Life Insurance Program for students exclusively through Old Republic/Reliable Life Insurance Company available on a yearly basis. 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.

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

CHILDREN ATTENDING SCHOOL ONLINE

Once again, a portion of our students have chosen to participate in online learning in the Virtual School. These changes have been finalized and no switches between the 2 learning environments will occur until the end of 1st Term (February 2022). Instruction for all online students begins on Tuesday, September 7th. Any technology requesting for students in the Virtual School need to reach out directly to Mr. Martin Simon simonm@hcdsb.org.

RECESS TIMES:

In the interest of student safety and to adhere to the guidelines of the Return to School Policy, Guardian Angels School will once again be on a staggered recess system. Students will remain with their class for the entire recess.

STUDENT ITEMS:

To maximize spacing in the classrooms, families are reminded to pack only essential items for students to bring to school in their backpacks. We are now permitted to use lockers with proper protocols in place, however they will only be used to store outer wear and locks are not permitted. Students will be able to access lockers only at recess times.

As a reminder, in order to follow distancing protocols, we encourage you to work with your child(ren) on putting on their own shoes (Velcro vs laces), coats, zippers, opening their own lunch containers, etc.

WATER BOTTLES 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 are not permitted to be used.  
  • Students and staff can use bottle filling stations to refill their drinking bottle throughout the day.  

LUNCHES:

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.  

  • Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.  
  • Sharing food items will not be permitted.
  • Reusable containers are encouraged, and recyclable items are to be taken home each evening. 

Hot lunch providers are permitted in the school (pizza) but this will be a gradual implementation. More details to follow!

ONGOING COMMUNICATION:

We will provide a Weekly Update, which will be posted to the school website and the link will be emailed each Sunday. The website will be updated frequently, including the Announcements page, where we will share school community news.

Students will record information in their personal agendas to help them stay organized but please note, staff will not be recording communication to parents in the paper agenda for health reasons. If you have a question or concern please direct it to your child’s teacher by calling the school to leave a message, or sending them an email, and staff will respond by phone or offer a virtual meeting as needed. Staff emails are on the school website under Contacts (please note that some grade assignments have changed*).

You can also follow us on Twitter: @GAngelsMilton

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for helping to keep us all safe so that we can learn!

Your Partners in Catholic Education,

C. Hawken, Principal      K. Stephens, Vice Principal  

Guardian Angels CES

Hawken, ChristopherWelcome Back!