Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is Week 3 of Remote Learning. We are thankful for the continued opportunities to learn, grow and play together this week even though we are physically apart. We look forward to welcoming back our students and staff to the school on Monday, January 25th! More direction will come from the provincial government by January 20th to confirm the return or extend Remote Learning for HCDSB.
Please refer to the information updates below:
Teacher-Led Remote Learning Continues Until January 25, 2021
The Ontario government announced that teacher-led remote learning will continue until January 25, 2021 for elementary students in Southern Ontario. This decision was made to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across our province.
Under the new Provincial Emergency announced on Tuesday, January 12th schools in 5 Public Health Units will not return to in person learning until February 10th.
At this time, Halton is not included as one of those 5 public health units and students remain scheduled to return to in person learning on January 25th. By January 20, 2021, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will advise the Ministry of Education if any additional Public Health Units will have Remote Learning extended and HCDSB will communicate to families at that time.
- Elementary schools will be closed for in-person learning between January 4-22, 2021.
- Elementary students will continue to learn remotely until Friday, January 22, 2021.
- In-school instruction for elementary school students is scheduled to resume on Monday, January 25, 2021.
Virtual Elementary School
- 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 will be delayed until school re-open for in-person learning on January 25, 2021.
Synchronous and asynchronous learning will continue at the regular school start time (9:10 a.m.)
Click here for information on expectations, tips, resources and supports available for remote learning. Among the supports highlighted are mental health supports available for students for students, families and staff.
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 Learning, schools 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.
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.
There may be times when your child’s teacher must be absent due to illness or other reasons. When this happens, we do our best to ensure a supply teacher is assigned to cover the class for the day. Unfortunately, due to ongoing demands across our school district, supply teachers are not always available to cover every absence on any given day.
When a supply teacher is assigned, they will take attendance in the morning, and again after lunch, as per our usual practice. Your child will work on the asynchronous activities that have been posted in D2L, and the supply teacher will be available to answer questions and support students through these activities.
If a supply teacher is not available, your child will work on the asynchronous activities posted in D2L.
Regardless of whether a supply teacher has been assigned to cover the classroom teacher’s absence, your child’s Core French/Social Studies/Arts class will proceed and the FSL/PTM/Arts teacher will be online to provide synchronous instruction, as scheduled.
We will communicate with parents and guardians when a classroom teacher is absent, and let you know if a supply teacher has been assigned.
Thank you for your ongoing flexibility, support and understanding during this period of remote learning.
Advanced Kindergarten Registration
Update! Part 2 of the Registration Process
Originally, Advanced Kindergarten Registration was to take place from Monday, January 18 through Thursday, February 4, 2021. Due to the extension of the remote learning period, Part 2 of Advanced Kindergarten Registration will be rescheduled after schools reopen for in-person learning.
Parents are still encouraged to complete Part 1 of the registration process, which can be done online.
Part 1 – Online Registration
- Online registration is available as the first step of the registration process.
- Once signed in, parents will need to fill out an online registration form for their child.
Part 2 – Complete Registration In-Person
Following the completion of online registration (Part 1), parents will be contacted directly through email.
NOTE: You will be contacted by your home school to complete Part 2 of your child’s Kindergarten registration when schools re-open for in-person learning.
What do I Need to Register my Child?
To complete part 2 of the registration process, parents must bring the following documents to their home school (required documents):
- Birth Certificate (required for Year 1 and Year 2)
- Year 1 children are required to be 4 years of age on or before December 31, 2021.
- Year 2 children (new to the school) are required to be 5 years of age on or before December 31, 2021.
- Roman or Eastern Rite Catholic baptismal certificate. If your child has no Roman/Eastern Rite Catholic baptismal certificate, your child may be admitted if one parent can provide a Roman/Eastern Rite Catholic baptismal certificate. Please refer to the Board’s Operating Policy I-22 for more information.
- Proof of address
Please note: Children currently registered in the Year 1 Kindergarten program are not required to register for the Year 2 program. Placement in the Year 2 program will be processed by the school, unless otherwise stated.
For more information on HCDSB’s Kindergarten program and the advanced registration process, please visit: http://bit.ly/Kindergarten-Program
Mental Health Tip
Parent Tip: How to talk with your child when you fell concerned that they may be struggling with a mental health concern:
It can be challenging to talk about mental health. Sometimes parents, like others, avoid the conversation because they don’t know how to start, or they worry that they might put thoughts into their child’s head that had not been there, and will therefore, make things worse. Research tells us that this is not the case. Bringing up worries, concerns, changes in behavior etc. with your child will open the lines of communication rather than worsen the situation.
Here are some tips to help you talk to your child about mental health:
•Find a quiet time when you are unlikely to have interruptions to begin the conversation.
•Reassure your child that they can tell you anything and you will not get angry with them (even if you get scared).
•Start the conversation with describing changes you have noticed in their mood, behaviour, reactions etc. e.g., “I have noticed that you seem to be crying more.” If you have had conversations with your child’s teacher about concerns, include comments from the teacher’s observations.
•Share that you “wonder” about how your child might be feeling, what they might be thinking, what they might be worried about etc. e.g. “I wonder if you’re feeling sad about losing your friendship with Sam.”
•Allow your child time to reflect before they answer.
•Stay calm and don’t abandon the conversation if your child responds with “Nothing is wrong…. leave me alone”. If this happens, reassure your child that you are there for them. Give your child some time and then try again.
•If your child tells you anything that makes you worried (e.g., thoughts of suicide, overwhelming anxiety, self-injurious behavior like cutting) reassure your child that you are glad they told you and you will help them find the right professional to talk to, and you will be there for them throughout the journey.
Please see the School Mental Health Ontario website (https://smho-smso.ca/) for more information.
Please visit St. Paul the Apostle Parish website regularly for updates.
No One Goes Hungry Program
The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH) distributes free meals to families in need on Saturdays. For information on this program, please see the links here for Oakville and Milton. Burlington residents may access either program.
On Thursday, January 28th, across Canada, people will be tweeting and texting messages of hope and wellness in support of Mental Health. #BellLetsTalk is a campaign that supports the education and awareness around mental health and mental illness. For every tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, Bell will make a donation to this campaign. With the support of our Child and Youth Counsellor, Mrs. Montague, SHOJ teachers will discuss mental health and ways you can help yourself or others feel their best! Please take a moment and tweet/retweet your support with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk and be sure to include our SHOJ Twitter account (@SHOJ_HCDSB) as well!
The time is always right to do what is right.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
February is Black History Month! All month long our staff and students take the opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions Black Canadians, both past and present, have made in making Canada the great country it is today. Lessons and presentations highlight these accomplishments and help our students become more aware that diversity makes us stronger. Click here for dates and times of community events celebrating Black History Month and take the opportunity to continue these important discussions at home!