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Weekly Update: August 30, 2020

And suddenly you just know it is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.  

Welcome back for the 2020-21 school year!

Welcome back Holy Cross Families! We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer.  We are looking forward to re-connecting with our students, whether in-person or through remote learning.  We know that this year will present us with various challenges, but we remain optimistic, confident that with the grace of our Lord, we will find many creative and innovative ways to work through this “new normal.”  We thank you in advance for your continued partnership in Catholic education.

Important Updates about the Return to School Plan

We are working diligently at Holy Cross to ensure that the Board directives as outlined in the Return to School Plan are implemented.   Well before school begins, Holy Cross parents will receive information specific to our site related to new routines (entry, dismissal, recesses and lunches, etc.) through the Weekly Update.  One suggestion for parents is to consider having children try on their masks to gradually get used to wearing them for an extended period.  As per the Return to School Plan, masks are required, and it should be noted that face shields are not a substitution. 

On Friday evening, parents would have received an e-mail from the Board (HCDSB) regarding a “gradual” return to school.  Please note that no students will be at school on Tuesday, September 8th.    We will be easing into the new school year by bringing students into school in smaller groups, on September 9, 10 and 11th.

For Grades 1-8, the following schedule will apply for all elementary schools:

 Wednesday, September 9th        Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-F will come to school
Thursday, September 10th          Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters G- N will come to school
Friday, September 11th                Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters O-Z will come to school
Monday, September 14th             ALL students in Grades 1 – 8 attending in-class instruction will come to school. Remote learning will begin for students learning from home.

For parents of children attending Kindergarten (Year 1 and 2), please note that

Tuesday, September 8thKindergarten orientation interviews with parents and children, by scheduled appointment
Wednesday, September 9thKindergarten orientation interviews with parents and children, by scheduled appointment
Thursday, September 10th.All Year 2 (“Senior” Kindergarten, or “SK”) students will begin  
Friday, September 11thYear 1 (“Junior” Kindergarten, or “JK” students) staggered entry
Monday September 14thYear 1 (“Junior” Kindergarten, or “JK” students) staggered entry
ALL Kindergarten students will begin instruction with their full class on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

Parents of Kindergarten students will receive updated communication directly with information about the staggered entry process (what this will look like), and about interview times and protocols shortly.

Communication for Holy Cross parents

To ensure regular, timely home-school communication, Holy Cross will continue to use the Weekly Update format.  The Weekly Update will be sent out to parents through the Board’s School Messenger e-mail broadcast system, on Sunday mornings, and will be posted on our school website.  Please ensure that the office has your updated e-mail address. The calendar on our school website will also be updated regularly.  Please consider bookmarking our school website as a favourite:

From time to time, messages will be sent directly to parents from the Board.  Please keep abreast of those important updates as well.

In the event that you had any difficulty accessing the Intent to Return survey, please reach out to us at, to inform us of your decision.  If your children normally take the bus, it is also very important to let us know whether your child(ren) will continue to take the bus or will opt out at this time.

The office will be open to phone calls (please, no in-person visits at this time) as of Monday, August 31st, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Please note that information regarding class placement is not available at this time.

Staffing News to share: a special good-bye

We would like to announce that our school secretary, Mrs. Tracey Schaefer, has retired!  Mrs. Schaefer has served the Holy Cross learning community for more than 20 years with great dedication and professionalism.  Mrs. Toltl & Mr. Simon wish to express particular thanks for her support during their first (and unique!) year at Holy Cross.  May God bless you as you embark upon this new chapter, Mrs. Schaefer!  Enjoy your adventures in good health and keep in touch.

On behalf of the staff, we wish to warmly welcome Mrs. Zena Ceko to the role of school Secretary.  Mrs. Ceko is excited to join the Holy Cross team and has already enthusiastically jumped into the role!  A special shout out to Mrs. Robling for her kind support with transitioning.

Holy Cross Tips

As summer comes to an end, and back-to-school season begins, getting back into routines is important for children and families.  Some tips to help with a smooth transition:

  1. Have a positive attitude (especially important this year) and reinforce the positive aspects of going back to school to help build your child’s excitement for school.
  2. Establish routines that provide consistency and structure at home. Consistent bedtime and wake up time, morning and nighttime routines decreases stress for children so that they know what to expect.
  3. Let your child do what they are capable of doing for themselves. Children are capable of handling more responsibility as they get older.  Delegating tasks that they can handle helps children become more independent later.


Anna Marie Toltl/ Martin Simon
Principal/ Vice Principal

Elementary Vice-PrincipalWeekly Update: August 30, 2020