Celebrating Holy Week
- Although we are not able to celebrate Holy Week together as a school community this year, we encourage you to celebrate this most sacred time with your family. The Diocese of Hamilton has a list of parishes celebrating Masses online here: https://hamiltondiocese.com/news/2020/April/online-masses-and-resources
- The Diocese has also prepared a Holy Week Resource for us to use in our own homes: https://hamiltondiocese.com/uploads/docs/Coronavirus/Holy%20Week%20at%20Home.pdf
- Please know that the staff will be praying for our students and their families throughout Holy Week.
- We will be celebrating the last of our Lenten Initiatives on Wednesday, April 8. If we were here at school, we would be wearing hats to stand in solidarity with people in our community living with childhood cancers. Even though we won’t be physically together, I invite your children to wear a favourite hat today. If you feel comfortable doing so, please share pictures through Twitter by tagging the school (@OLPhcdsb) and Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (@OpaccOrg) and including the hashtag #TogetherApartHCDSB. You may also wish to make a donation to Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer at the following link: http://www.opacc.org/donate
Start of Teacher-Led Distance Learning
- As you know, last week the Ministry of Education announced that schools will remain closed to students until Monday, May 4, 2020 to help limit the spread of COVID-19. However, it is important for you to know that student learning will continue to take place, and so, beginning Monday, we are moving to teacher-led distance learning for all of our students.
What is Teacher-led Distance Learning?
- Distance learning is learning that takes place outside of a traditional classroom setting. While some of the instruction may be conducted online, students will not be expected to be on a device for all of their learning. Our goal is to encourage students to read, communicate and engage in learning experiences.
- It may look different for each class, but in general, distance learning:
- is flexible and can be done at any point during the day
- does not always require online access
- requires minimal parent/guardian support
Hours of Work and Focus on Learning
- The Ministry of Education has provided the following guidelines for hours of work and focus of learning:
- Kindergarten-Grade 3 · 5 hours of work per student, per week · Focus of learning: literacy and math
- Grades 4-6 · 5 hours of work per student, per week · Focus of learning: literacy and math + science and social studies
- Grades 7-8 · 10 hours of work per student, per week · Focus of learning: core math, literacy, science and history/geography
- Hours refers to the approximate amount of time your child would spend on the work assigned by teachers. This does not mean the amount of time your child should be online or in front of a screen. Your child’s teacher may engage with students in a variety of ways.
- As a Catholic school, our focus will also include Religion and Family Life, and our teachers will continue to integrate our faith and Gospel values in all subject areas.
- At the Elementary school level, your child’s teacher will use formative assessment to gather evidence of how he or she is progressing in their learning. Your child’s teacher will provide feedback on his or her progress, and he or she will receive a final report card.
The Days and Weeks Ahead
- Our teachers and educators have been busy preparing a plan for distance learning that will work for their classes and they are excited to connect with students again this week through distance instruction. We know that the learning experience will feel different for students, families and educators alike. As with anything new, the transition will bring its challenges, but please know that our teachers and educators are working hard, and we are all doing all we can to keep meeting the needs of our students.
- Our goal is for all students to successfully complete this school year. You have our commitment and assurances that we will continue to find innovative ways to create conditions that support the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional well-being of our students.
- Now more than ever the relationship between home and school is key to your child’s success, and we will continue to keep the lines of communication open with our parents. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any concerns around his or her learning. While many of you have been communicating with teachers through different apps, and can continue to do so, please note that all of our teacher emails are listed on our website under Contacts > Staff Directory.
- In light of the current COVID-19 health situation, our school board has made the decision to CANCEL a number of activities and programs for the remainder of this school year. Although at this time schools are scheduled to re-open for students on Monday, May 4, given the current uncertainty and the rapidly changing developments of this health situation, the decision to cancel these activities and programs was made in the best interest of student and staff safety and well-being.
- The cancellations include:
- all school field trips – both day and overnight
- all school lunch programs, including pizza, milk, and Lunchbox orders
- the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion for our Grade 2 students
- We are in the process of refunding costs of any upcoming trips or lunch programs that were paid through School Cash Online. If you paid through cash or cheque, we will issue a reimbursement once our school re-opens.
- **Please note that Lunchbox Orders will be working directly with parents for their refunds. They can be reached at 1.877.426.6860
- St. Michael’s Church will let us know about any updates about the Sacraments, and we will communicate them with families through updates and emails.