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Weekly Update: September 14-18, 2020

You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on our way!”
~ Dr. Seuss

We’ve had a great start — let’s keep the momentum going!

The first week of school is always exciting, as we catch up with old friends, meet new friends and new teachers. It is also a week when we learn new routines and expectations both in individual classrooms and in all areas of the school, including our playground.  Students, staff, and parents did a great job this week learning new routines and rules in and around the school, while remaining in their cohorts throughout the day. Health and safety protocols were introduced and practiced throughout the week and will continue to be a priority as we move into Week #2. Way to go!

A few reminders to ensure that entry and dismissal are as smooth as possible:

For entry:

Parents, kindly refrain from coming right up to the front of the school.  We are aiming to avoid clustering and congestion at the front.

  • If your child WALKS or RIDES a bike, please come up the sidewalk closest to Maple Street (AMICA side). Escort them up to the marked point.  Students will follow the sidewalk right into the playground, where staff on duty are stationed to direct them.  
  • If you use the Kiss and Ride (which we strongly encourage), please stay in your vehicle.  Staff members are stationed to help guide your children on the sidewalk closest to the Kiwanis field.
  • If you can park, please walk your child up to the Staff on the Kiss and Ride sidewalk and they will guide your child the rest of the way.

*Students go right into the school upon arrival through their designated door. Yard Supervision begins at 8:15 a.m. For the safety of your child(ren) we request that your child NOT be on school property until a supervisor is on duty. 

The Safe Arrival program has been established to ensure that your child arrives safely at school. Parents are encouraged to use the School Messenger app to record absences or the toll-free line 1- 844-445-4505.  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.  ​ Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE. 

For dismissal:

  • If you WALK to the school from home, please use the sidewalk closest to Maple Street (AMICA side).  Please wait for your child by the marked point.
  • If you are in the Kiss and Ride line up (which we strongly encourage), please stay in your vehicle.  Staff members are stationed to help guide your children along the sidewalk closest to the Kiwanis field.
  • If you park, please stand by your car until you see your child guided by a staff supervisor along the sidewalk closest to the Kiwanis Field.  Once you see them, then, please come up to the sidewalk to collect your children as we will not permit them to go onto the parking lot.  Please do not come to the sidewalk until you see the staff member with your child.

*Please do not gather to wait on the sidewalk or grassy hill which must be as clear as possible for our students.

This year, we are distinguishing between children who are picked up by a caregiver in a vehicle (“Kiss and Ride folks”) and children who walk or who cycle.  Please ensure that your child knows (or their teacher knows via the D2L, the agenda, or e-mail), what your dismissal plan looks like.  In the past, walkers and students picked up by a vehicle were dismissed out the same door. The two groups are released through different exits to support a staggered dismissal this year!

Junior Kindergarteners join us this week!

All of our SK friends will be in on Monday September 14th, and they will be joined by half of our JK students.  On Tuesday, Sept 15th, we will have ALL of our JK students join in the fun.  A special welcome to our youngest students as they come to big school! We are so looking forward to meeting you!

A gentle reminder to our Kindergarten parents to review the entry notes above.  Staff members will receive your children at the sidewalk and guide them directly into class where their DECE will receive them.

On another happy note: Holy Cross is pleased to welcome back Mrs. Oke to our Kindergarten team!

Busing begins on Monday, September 14th

The Halton Student Transportation Service (HSTS) has communicated that school bus transportation to and from school will be available beginning Monday, September 14, 2020. HSTS has sent an email to parents so that they may confirm the route number, pick- up time and location through the parent portal.  Specific seats have been assigned to each student and students are required to wear their masks on the bus.  For more information, visit the HSTS website at: https://www.haltonbus.ca/ . 

Family Consent Forms

A September package will be coming home with your child on the first day of school as per usual. These packages include important information, consent forms for your child to participate in our Physical Education program, Family Consent Forms, and Student Verification Forms. Please read, sign, and return these forms to the classroom teachers by Friday, September 18th.

Minimized Allergen Environment

One of the strategies we use to help keep our students safe is to remind parents, guardians and caregivers to ensure that you send your child to school with peanut-free/nut-free food products to school.  This includes look-a-like products to peanut butter.  These products claim to be so close in smell, taste and texture to peanut butter, that it is nearly impossible for students and staff to distinguish between a look-a-like product and authentic peanut butter.  We appreciate your cooperation in keeping the look-a-like products at home and preventing a mix-up of the two products, where the results could be life-threatening. For this same reason, we cannot accept treats for birthdays or celebrations and monitor this very closely.

If your child does have a particular medical condition, please ensure you have returned the necessary forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any medication needed so we can update our files.

Student Agendas

We will be using our D2L Learning Management Systems as our home-school communication tool this year to maintain the skills we learned last spring, and to minimize the items going between home and school.  However, we do have Agendas available for Grade 1-6 families as a “back-up” for those moments when glitches occur.   Please note that payment for the school agenda is available through School Cash On-Line for those families who opt to use it.

Holy Cross Tips

Changing routines after a summer at home and going back to school can be a challenging time for families.  This particular return to school, after such a long absence, may be especially tough for some families.  Remember to keep communicating with your school partners for support: we are here to help!  Check out: Tips for coping with back to school anxiety- https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/coping-with-back-to-school-anxiety/

AM Toltl/M. Simon
Principal/Vice Principal

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Elementary Vice-PrincipalWeekly Update: September 14-18, 2020