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Weekly Update #1

Education- It might look like it never has before.  It might feel harder.  It might be a struggle.  But, it still can be good. There still is learning.  There still is discovery.  There still is connection.  Have patience.  Perhaps this is the year we look at education with new eyes. 

–Rachel Marie Martins  findingjoy.net

A Warm Welcome!

A very special welcome to our new families that are joining the Lumen Christi school community!

Please join us in welcoming Ms. McDermott – grade 1, Ms. Orr- grade 3, Ms. Ribeiro – grade 4, Ms. Kosterman – grade 5, Ms. Esteves – grade 6, Ms. Fournier – our school librarian, Ms. DeFreitas – to our French team, Mrs. DeSilva and Mrs. Hurley – SERTs, Mrs. Nelson-Sydor – our Child and Youth Counsellor.

Thank You!

Thank you to our AMAZING teaching staff and support staff who have been in this week preparing for a safe return to school for all our students.  They have prepared welcoming and safe learning spaces for all our students and we are grateful to be working with such amazing Educators.

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE office & custodial staff who have been working to ensure that we have a smooth start and transition to the 2021-2022 school year! The school is ready to receive our students.

Thank you to all of our Lumen Christi Families who have been so patient & supportive as we begin a new and very different school year!

We are looking forward to welcoming our students back to school!

To prepare for the new school year, HCDSB has shared their Return to School Plan 2021-2022, which provides the protocols, guidelines and expectations that will be in place to help prevent and respond to cases of COVID-19 in our schools and workplaces throughout the year. 

This plan was developed in consultation with Halton Region Public Health, and is based on the guidance and directions outlined in the Ontario government’s COVID-19: Health, Safety and Operational Guidance for Schools 2021-2022

Various aspects of this plan may be subject to change based on the most current information provided by the Ministry of Education and/or from the local or provincial Public Health departments. We invite you and your family to read the plan as you begin to prepare for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. 

The health and well-being of our students, families and staff is our first priority.

Gradual – Staggered – Return to School:

As communicated by HCDSB, the first day of instruction for students was originally planned for Tuesday, September 7, 2021. To help ease the transition for our students and staff, and ensure a safe and healthy return for all, we will be implementing a gradual (staggered) return to class for our elementary students who will be learning in person

Why Are We Implementing a Gradual Return to School for Elementary Students?  

The first day back to school, even under ‘normal’ circumstances, can be very stressful for students, families and staff. We recognize that this year, these feelings may be heightened given that most students have not been in an in-person school environment since April 2021 and even longer for students who attended the Virtual Elementary School last year.

A gradual return to school for our elementary students will help alleviate some of the anxiety in students and staff, by providing a calm environment to help students review new and existing health and safety routines at school and practice our entry and dismissal procedures in smaller groups. 

Staggered Entry for Students in Grades 1-8 Learning in Person
We will be easing into the new school year by welcoming students back to school in smaller groups, on September 7 and 8.

The following schedule will apply for all elementary schools: 

Tuesday, September 7th        Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters 
A-K will come to school.
Wednesday, September 8th          Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters 
L-Z will come to school
Thursday, September 9th                ALL students in Grades 1 – 8 attending in-person instruction will come to school.

Kindergarten Students:

The following dates apply for students entering Kindergarten in one of our HCDSB Catholic elementary schools this September, 2021: 

Year 1 Kindergarten 

  • Orientation interviews for Year 1 Kindergarten students will take place on Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, 2021. 
  • Staggered entry for Year 1 Kindergarten students will take place on Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10, 2021. 
  • All Year 1 Kindergarten students will begin Monday, September 13, 2021.  

Year 2 Kindergarten  

  • Orientation interviews for Year 2 Kindergarten students who are new to the school will take place on Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, 2021. 
  • All Year 2 Kindergarten students will begin school on Thursday, September 9, 2021. 

Your child’s teacher will be contacting you this week, if they have not already done so. Please contact us if you require specific details around the orientation interviews or staggered entry process for Year 1 Kindergarten students.  

In order to honour the requirements and expectations of the Ministry of Health and the HCDSB Return to School Plan, we will be facilitating our Kindergarten interviews outside in the Kindergarten yard.

When you arrive for your interview, please ensure that you are wearing a mask and honouring social distancing protocols. Please park on the Kindergarten side and wait in your vehicle until you see that the previous family has left, and the educator team signals you in. The educator team will meet with you and your child in the outdoor yard. Should you wish for your child to see the inside of their classroom, one of their educators will take them inside for a brief orientation while you wait in the yard. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with this procedure.

Please note: Kindergarten students will enter the classroom directly upon arrival in the morning.

Special Education:

At the elementary level, students with special education needs who are not in self-contained classes will attend school on the designated alpha day with their peers. If your child has special education needs and would benefit from daily attendance, and/or additional time to support their transition back to school, please contact your School Principal.

Class Lists:

All schools are currently finalizing elementary class placements and making adjustments based on new registrations coming in this week. Final placements will be available on Friday, September 3rd after 3:00 p.m.  

  • Parents and guardians will be able to access the class placement for each child, using your child’s Office 365 email and password. You will not require your child’s OEN number.  See step-by-step instructions.
  • If your family is new to HCDSB, your child(ren) will not yet have an Office 365 email. In this case, you will receive an email from your school with your child(ren)’s class placement(s).

NOTE: Due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, schools will not be able to accommodate requests for changes to class lists. As we have experienced, please understand that class placements can change depending upon Ministry of Education or Board Directives, and fluctuations in school population. With your trust in our professional judgment, we will continue to provide all students with the best possible learning environment.

Daily Confirmation of COVID-19 Self-Screening:

The Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID self-screening for all elementary 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.

  1. Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
  2. Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher in one of the following formats: 
  • Email results to classroom teacher;  
  • Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;
  • Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR 
  • Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, which your child(ren) bring back and forth to school each day.

First Day of School Procedures:

For Grade 1-8 students, each class has been assigned a line on our back pavement (see image below which shows where classes will line up by their Room Number). Upon arrival all Grade 1-8 students will go immediately to their line. Teachers will meet their classes at their lines beginning at 8:05am. Various support staff will be on duty to help students get to their assigned line.

We encourage Grade 1-8 students to arrive at one of three locations:

North Pavement (Kinder side of school): Mrs. DeRosa, Ms. Esteves, Mr. Mendola, Mr. Tielemans, Mr. Rosa, Mr. Mailloux, Mr. Adams, Mrs. Simpson, LaPlante, Mrs. Iacio, Ms. Ribeiro, Mrs. Boyd, Mrs. Gallagher, Mrs. Hand

South Gate 1 (Near bike rack): Mrs. Chimenti, Mrs. McDermott, Ms. Dann, Mrs. Bernal, Ms. Orr

South Gate 2 (Near portables): Mme. Matthews, Mr. VanWill, Ms. Dametto, Mrs. Hyndman, Mrs. Mamolo, Mrs. Campbell, Ms. Kosterman, Mrs. Hamilton

Following the guidelines from Halton Regional Public Health Department, we ask that only one parent/guardian accompany students to help maintain social distancing measures. Parents will not be allowed onto the back pavement.

End of Day Dismissal:

All Grade 1-8 classes will dismiss from their line on the back pavement. Two minutes before dismissal (2:48pm) a horn or whistle will signal older students to collect their younger siblings from their lines and leave the school property together at the bell. At the dismissal bell (2:50pm) any students with consent from their parents will leave on their own. Immediately following will be parent pick up for our students in Grades 1-3 using these assigned pick up locations:

North Pavement (Kinder side of school): Mrs. Hand, Mrs. Simpson

South Gate 1 (Near bike rack): Mrs. Chimenti, Mrs. McDermott, Mrs. Bernal, Mrs. Hamilton

Ms. Dann, Mrs. Bernal, Ms. Orr

South Gate 2 (Near portables): Mrs. Hyndman, Mrs. Mamolo, Mrs. Campbell

Reminder: Students are expected to wear cloth masks from home and should arrive wearing one. Masks will also be provided by the Board.

Dr. Meghani Webinar:

If you did not have an opportunity to view the live webinar hosted by our Director of Education, Mr. Pat Daly, and Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region, the webinar can be viewed on the HCDSB Youtube page here

Health and Safety Protocols:

We will continue to follow our 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. 

The following are some of the protocols that will be in place to begin the school year:

  1. Daily Self-Screening: Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
  2. Staggered Recesses: In order to ensure physical distancing, we will have staggered recesses throughout the day. We will have two morning recesses, two lunch recesses and two afternoon recesses. Each class will be designated a “zone” on the field/pavement, and they will stay in their “zone” each recess ensuring they are only with their class/cohort. Teachers will be walking their class to their “zone” for each recess and will pick them up from the “zone” at the end of recess.
  3. Cohorting: All classes will continue to remain in their classroom cohort, and assigned a specific zone on the playground.
  4. Masking: According to the Public Health and HCDSB guidelines, outdoor times will be used as opportunities to provide students with a break from wearing marks if they are within their cohorts. All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Halton Catholic District School Board are 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.  Please refer to the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet for further information and guidance.
  5. Safe Drop off and Pick Up: The following drop-off and pick-up protocols continue to be implemented this year to help minimize contacts and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school community.
  • Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children.
  • 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).
  • For grades 1-8 students, when your child arrives at school they must have their mask on and proceed to the blue line that has been designated for their class (cohort). Staff members will assist with this process at the beginning of the year. Students must remain on their blue line until the school day begins, they may not walk around or play in the school yard. This procedure is in place to keep all student with their cohort at all times. Students will line up to enter our school, and we will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time.
  • We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort).
  • Each kindergarten class will be provided with an individual gate for drop off and pick up. Kindergarten students will arrive with their mask on, and 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 permitted on school property to prevent the spread of COVID-1

6. Student Transportation Schedules & Important Reminders:

Student transportation will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. 

Access to student transportation schedules is now available through the Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) Parent Portal. 

Once you have an account, you will need to add your student using their 9-digit Ontario Education Number (OEN). 

*Note: If your child has not been assigned an OEN (ie. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you would have received a phone call between August 23 – 27 providing you with the transportation schedule. If you did not receive this phone call, please contact HSTS.

For Parent Portal instructions, please click here.

Important Notes:

  • Non-medical/cloth masks or face coverings are mandatory for all students while on the bus. 
  • As the Ministry of Education recommends reducing the number of students on the bus where possible, courtesy seats will not be offered at this time for the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Students will be assigned seats for the 2021-2022 school year. Seat assignment information will be communicated by your child’s school, and bus drivers will have copies of seating charts available for confirmation.

Transportation Resources for Elementary Students

We encourage families of elementary students to view the following videos to learn about school bus safety during COVID-19:

For more information and resources related to COVID-19 and transportation, please see COVID-19 Transportation Information.  For all other transportation information, please visit Haltonbus.ca

Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS)

transportation@haltonbus.ca
905-637-4009

For specific information about COVID-19 Safety Protocols that are in place for students while travelling on the bus, please visit www.haltonbus.ca/covid-19-return-to-school-transportation/

7. Visitor Protocol: This school year we will continue to limit visitor access to our school in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

All visitors, including parents and HCDSB staff who are not assigned to our school, will require approval and pre-screening before entering our building. Only visits that are deemed absolutely essential will be approved – e.g. visits by the Fire Marshal’s office or by public health. 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.

8. Lunch Protocols:  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. Please note that students will not be allowed to go out for lunch with friends. If you pick up your child for lunch a parent/guardian must complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment before the child comes back to school.

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.

Considerations for Lunch Prep:

• Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.

• Sharing food items will not be permitted.

• Reusable water bottles are encouraged.

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 will continue to be wrapped and/or made inoperable. Although bottle filling stations will be in use, students and staff are not advised to touch any filling station apparatus.

Thank you for your understanding as we limit the number of visits and contacts to our school community to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. Please know that we will continue to work through health and safety protocols to be able to offer a lunch program this year. More details will be shared when they become available.

As we are limiting visitors to our school, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day. This includes vendors such as Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, etc.

Medical Perils:

Please ensure you have returned the necessary medication & forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any updated information for our files as soon as possible.  The Student Plan of Care was sent home at the end of June for you to review and update. Please ensure that all epi-pens are labeled. If your child has had a change in their condition over the summer, please inform the school prior to students returning.

If Your Child Feels Unwell at School:

It is important for your son or daughter to let their teacher know if they are feeling unwell at school.

Students who show signs/symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be taken to our school’s designated isolation room where they will be cared for and supervised until a parent or guardian can pick them up.

It is very important that we have current contact information for all of our families so that we can get in touch with you quickly. Please contact our school office if there have been any recent changes to your contact information.

Follow us on Twitter @lclightmilton

Upcoming Events and Activities at Lumen Christi

Sep
2
Thu
Mandatory Provincial PA Day
Sep 2 all day
Sep
3
Fri
Board Designated Holiday
Sep 3 all day
Sep
6
Mon
Labour Day
Sep 6 all day
Sep
7
Tue
1st Day of School – Students with surname A-K
Sep 7 all day
Kindergarten Entry Interviews
Sep 7 all day
Sep
8
Wed
1st Day of School – Students with surname L-Z
Sep 8 all day
Kindergarten Entry Interviews
Sep 8 all day
Sep
9
Thu
All Students Attend Grades 1-8
Sep 9 all day
First Day of School for Year 2 Kindergarten Students and first half of Year 1 Students
Sep 9 all day
Sep
10
Fri
First Day of School for second half of Year 1 Students
Sep 10 all day

Melchionna, Ann-MarieWeekly Update #1