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Weekly Update: October 19-23, 2020

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
~ Elizabeth Edwards

School Reorganization

As previously shared through Board communication, the request for placement in our Board’s Virtual School has been significant.  Based upon the parent survey that closed on October 8, 2020, there has been a net increase in placement in the Virtual School across the system, which has prompted the need for additional virtual teachers.  Mrs. Papais has been seconded to our Board’s virtual school, and our school has restructured our grade 3-5 classes to comply with Ministry of Education staffing and class size guidelines.

The re-organization takes effect as of Monday, October 19, 2020.  All parents/ guardians of students in the impacted classes were informed of the changes this past week and can access the updated Class Assignments on our Board website.  On Monday, all students who have been re-assigned are asked to report to their new class.  

On Monday, we also welcome back several students from Remote learning, and we send our best wishes to those beginning in the Virtual School.  We wish Mrs. Papais good luck in her new role!  This is a new beginning for many of our students and staff.

We wish to express our sincere thanks for your ongoing patience and understanding as we continue to navigate through a very different school year.  By continuing to work together and to support each other, we can ensure a safe and successful learning experience for all our students.

Virtual Curriculum Night

The continued evolution and uniqueness of this school year has resulted in our Virtual Curriculum Night being rescheduled to Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 beginning at 7:00pm.  Families will be able to meet their child’s teacher virtually and explore the curriculum the children will learn this year.  We will begin at 7:00 with a Welcome, Prayer and Principal’s Message. This will be followed by 2 presentation times for each teacher.  The times are as follows: 7:15 – 7:30 pm or 7:40 – 7:55 pm.  Details will be shared by your child’s classroom teacher with the links to connect virtually in the coming days.

Grab and go Healthy Food Boxes

Our school board has approved our continued partnership with Halton Food for Thought to provide students with access to additional snacks at school to fuel a full day of learning.  As such, Halton Food for Thought will provide Grab & Go Healthy Food boxes to our school. This will give students access to a snack when needed throughout the day.

Information about the Grab & Go Healthy Food Box:

  • Grab & Go Healthy Food Boxes will contain pre-packaged, non-perishable food items such as granola bars and applesauce cups.
  • All items are peanut and tree nut free
  • Boxes will contain enough bulk snacks for one classroom for one month.
  • In accordance with provincial guidelines, teachers can distribute snacks from the Grab & Go Healthy Food Box as needed. This is not a self-serve model for students.
  • Halton Food for Thought programs are free of charge to all students, universal, and non-stigmatizing

Special thanks to our Grade 8 students for supporting with the delivery of the boxes.

Equity and Inclusion Education: Hallowe’en Costume selection

We look forward to celebrating Hallowe’en with our students on October 30, 2020.  As noted in our previous Weekly Update, while our observance of Hallowe’en make look different this year, we still invite our students to wear a costume (or orange and black clothing), on this day. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols within the school, costume props and masks cannot be brought or worn to school this day. While we want to enjoy the day, we still must follow Public Health protocols by wearing masks and exercising appropriate hand hygiene.

Halloween is a great time to have fun with costumes. There are endless possibilities from which to choose: a wizard, a clown, a crime-fighting cartoon puppy, a giant hot dog, a Minecraft character, even a velociraptor!  However, another person’s culture should never be our costume.

Holy Cross is a place where students not only learn about diversity but also experience it. We strive to ensure that our students see themselves and their classmates reflected in their studies. Our students and families should expect their interactions within our school community to leave them feeling accepted for who they are.  As you select a Halloween costume for your child(ren), we encourage you to reflect critically, to be mindful of cultural appropriation and to support the creation of a welcoming school environment for all.

The following are suggested questions to reflect on with your child when choosing a costume.  Your conversations at home on this topic directly help to support our school’s efforts to create and maintain an equitable and inclusive learning environment:

  • Is my costume making fun of a group of people, their culture or religion?
  • Does my costume reinforce jokes and stereotypes about certain groups, cultures or religions?
  • Am I altering my skin colour, facial/body features to make them more like a particular race, ethnicity, or cultural group?
  • Am I dressing up as a culture or borrowing from a religion that is not my own or is not part of my background?
  • Do I understand and respect the history or tradition of the culture that I am borrowing my costume from?

To learn more about the Halton Catholic District School Board’s commitment to Equity and Inclusive Education, please visit https://www.hcdsb.org/Board/Equity/Pages/default.aspx.  To learn more about Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, click here.

Holy Cross Tips

It is essential to recognize that parent’s reactions set the tone for their child’s school year.  Sometimes, we underestimate the resilience of kids and their ability to take these changes in stride.  The article School Is Working Out Better Than I Expected, acknowledges that as much as we wish life was normal and that kids could do all the things that we adults took for granted when we were kids… “that isn’t happening now, so [we need to] take a lesson from these tenacious students and appreciate what we can do and not dwell on what is lost.  There are interesting twists and turns and even some bumps when travelling on an unassumed road. All any of us can do is walk where the road takes us. And enjoy the ride.”

AM Toltl/M. Simon
Principal/Vice Principal

Follow us on Twitter @1958holycross!

Toltl, Anna MarieWeekly Update: October 19-23, 2020