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Weekly Update: January 11-15, 2021

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” ~ Isaiah 43: 1-3

Remote Learning extended

Thank you to all our parents who helped support the remote learning that began last week. We truly appreciate your on-going support and patience during this model of instruction.

Due to the concerning increase in cases of COVID-19, the Ministry has announced that remote learning will continue in order to keep our students and families as safe as possible.  At this time, we are scheduled to return to the building on Monday, January 25, 2021. We will keep you updated if we hear differently from the Ministry of Education.

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, and any re-organization within the school is scheduled to take place when we return to in-person learning. We will keep parents abreast of any further changes as we move forward.

Holy Cross families are encouraged to note that the Ontario government has made financial support available for families during this temporary remote learning period through the Support for Learners program. Starting on January 11, 2021 (tomorrow!), an expanded Support for Learners program is providing $200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12 and $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs. Applications will be open until February 8, 2021.

Apply for Support for Learners Funding here: https://www.iaccess.gov.on.ca/SupportForLearnersWeb/public/index.xhtml

Student Attendance

During this period of remote learning, we continue to promote regular attendance, as it is important for students to remain engaged in their learning so they can stay on top of the curriculum and feel more connected to their peers while our school is closed. 

As noted in PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learningschools are required to take daily student attendance throughout the period of remote learning.

Attendance will be taken twice daily: once in the morning and again after lunch. If your child is not able to attend or participate in remote learning on any given day, please report his or her absence, as you typically would during in-person learning through the SchoolMessenger Safe Arrival System:  https://www.hcdsb.org/parents/report-your-childs-absence/.

We will be following our usual process of contacting parents and guardians when student absences are not reported. Our office staff may be working remotely; however, you can leave voice mail at 905-877-4451. Messages will be checked regularly during the school day. Alternatively, you can access staff via email. All contacts are listed on our website: Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. Now, more than ever, ongoing communication between home and school is key to your child’s success and well-being. 

Supports and options

We understand just how challenging this past week has been for everyone and we have heard from some of you with regards to the expectations surrounding synchronous learning (i.e., Kinder – 180 mins, Grades 1/8 – 225 mins) and attendance.

While we understand that virtual learning cannot fully replace the in-school experience, we want to ensure that our families have the supports they need so that students can fully engage in learning at home. We have distributed technology to families and support is available at 905-632-6314 x 500 or helpdesk@hcdsb.org.  As well, HCDSB can support any family needing internet connectivity.  

Ideally, we would like to keep our students connected to their classrooms and engaged with their peers. If you are experiencing challenges, please reach out to your teachers first to discuss strategies for support.

In some cases, where a child is experiencing extreme difficulty coping with the demands of online learning, parents may request to adapt their child’s schedule and to participate in more asynchronous learning. These requests must be submitted in writing directly to the Principal for approval. There is a form that must be completed.

As per Director Daly’s message to parents, please be aware of the following supports that are available:

We can also connect families with school-based supports such as our Child and Youth Counsellor and Special Education Resource Teachers for students with Individual Education Plans (IEP).

Accessing Your Child’s Online Learning Platform

Our School Board has revamped its website and we hope you had the opportunity to check it out! If you are having trouble accessing the log-in page to the online learning platforms using the new HCDSB website, the access points for all three learning platforms – D2L (Brightspace),  Office 365 and Google Classroom, are available on themain page of the Board’s websiteand also on the HCDSB Learn at Home link.

Advanced New Registrations for 2021-2022 School Year

To facilitate planning for the 2021-2022 school year, we encourage all families intending to register new children at Holy Cross CES (including Kindergarten registrations) by following the guidelines posted on the front page of our website: Holy Cross Advanced Kindergarten Registration

Online registrations are now open. In-person registrations (bringing in your documents) will take place once schools re-open.  Please direct questions regarding registration to our school secretary, Mrs. Ceko.

Holy Cross Tips

As we prepare for the upcoming weeks of balancing jobs while supporting our children with online learning, we know that our mental health continues to be impacted.  Please note the Free Call-In Counselling provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

We continue to draw on our faith and offer prayers for the safety and well-being of those who are sick, and those who are working on the frontlines to care for them.  

Anna Marie Toltl
Principal

Follow us on Twitter @1958holycross!

Toltl, Anna MarieWeekly Update: January 11-15, 2021