There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.Thich Nhat Hanh
Welcome back to our students who are returning from the Virtual School this Monday ~ we are excited to see you in person. Please know we will greatly miss our students who are transitioning from in-person to virtual school ~ you are ALL a very special part of our community!
Keeping Each Other Safe
We appreciate your support in helping our students understand the reasons for our new rules and procedures, and encourage you to continue to remind them about the importance of hand hygiene, mask wearing, and keeping a safe distance from one another whenever possible. Reminding your children to follow these practices both inside and outside of school will help to keep our whole community safe.
We know that it is frustrating that you can’t drop off items that your child forgot to bring to school, such as their lunch, textbooks or water bottles. We are reluctant to call students to the office because we need to limit the number of students in the hallway, thus preventing cohorts from mixing. We are also trying hard not to handle the belongings of others and we are not permitting children to share items. We have a Board protocol for handling all shared materials that includes sanitizing and/or quarantining items that have been touched by others. These protocols were created based on the guidelines provided by the Halton Public Health Department.
Getting to School on Time
We’ve had a number of students arrive late to school each morning after 9:00 a.m. This is a problem because teachers take attendance electronically in their classrooms as early as 9:05 as per our Safe Arrival Program. This is to ensure that no child has gone missing and all children are accounted for. When your child arrives late to school, they must therefore stop first at the office so that our office staff can go into the Attendance program and change their absence to a “late”. When we have multiple students showing up late, they have to line up in the hallway – this also leads to cohorts mixing.
For everyone’s safety PLEASE bring your children to school before the bell rings at 9:00 AM!
Dressing for the Weather
The only times children get a break from wearing their masks is when they are eating and when they are outside. For this reason, except in extreme weather conditions, such as a downpour or thunderstorm, we will attempt to go outside for every recess.
Because we have staggered the recesses, there are many fewer children outside at any one time. We have found, given our fewer numbers, that the children can safely carry umbrellas outside at recess.
With the rain, and hundreds of running feet, our field has already started to get muddy. But in order to maintain social distancing during recess, we are going to try to keep it open unless it becomes unsafe. You may therefore want to provide your child(ren) with rain boots to wear on wetter days.
A very special THANK YOU to all of those parents who have gone online and participated in our School’s Fundraiser this year! Now more than ever, we need your support!
On Wednesday October 21st, we will have our Early Bird Draw to see who wins a $50 gift card to Toys R Us! If your child would like a chance to win this prize, please get your donations in by Tuesday October 20th. Since many of our other programs which we rely on to support school council initiatives are on hold this year, the Boogie-a-thon is likely our only opportunity to generate funds that will allow us to continue to support St. Andrew. With your help, we can continue to support our students during these very challenging times! We appreciate any financial support that you can give us.
Donating is easy! Simply login to your School Cash Online Account:
- At the top right-hand corner, click on “Make a Donation”
- Under the “Fund Destination” please ensure you select St. Andrew
- Tribute Information – “Not a tribute gift”
- Message to School Board – Please include: student name, specify amount donated per child, and include the child’s teacher
- If you use the “Make a Donation” option, a tax receipt will be emailed directly to you.
Hallowe’en Candy and Treats:
A reminder that we encourage our students to celebrate the spirit and fun of Halloween, however we cannot accept any food or candy items at school. Thank you for your understanding. If you wish to provide non-food items for your child to share (e.g. Halloween pencils or stickers), please send them to the school no later than Monday, October 26th so they can be quarantined prior to being shared with the class.
Please remember, Halloween is a great time to dress up and have fun with costumes. In our Catholic education community, we want to promote respect, inclusion and empathy for all individuals. As students and staff select Halloween costumes, we encourage everyone to reflect critically, be mindful of cultural appropriation and create welcoming school environments for all.
The following are suggested questions to reflect on when choosing a costume to avoid being disrespectful or offensive:
- 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 color, facial/body features to make it darker or 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?
*PLEASE NOTE: students will not be allowed to bring any props that resemble weapons or wear Halloween Masks that cover the entire face. All students should be wearing their face masks, as outlined in our board policy. Please ensure that the costume is not a tripping hazard and students (especially KDG) can independently manage their costume while accessing the washroom.
Thank you parents for your support for ensuring that your child’s costume is appropriate for school!
St. Andrew Virtual Open House
It is a tradition at St. Andrew to have an Open House on Curriculum Night each Fall whereby our students can take their parents on a tour of their classrooms and share their learning routines. It saddens us greatly that we cannot have parents and guardians in the school this year to show you all the wonderful things happening in our classrooms.
For that reason, we have decided to provide you with a “Virtual Open House” to take place on Monday, October 26th, 2020 at 6:30 PM. Our classroom teachers will be creating presentations for parents and guardians to showcase their classrooms and share their learning routines and programming information with you.
The evening will begin with a prayer and welcome via a Live Teams Meeting. Mrs. Kotulak and Mrs. Boulos will walk parents through our new Math Curriculum. Afterwards, teachers will post their pre-recorded presentations for parents to view.
In an effort to create a sense of community and belonging, our CYC, Ms Ryrie, has created a Virtual Lego Club that all students are invited to participate in, whether they are in our school building or learning online! Each week, Ms Ryrie will post a building challenge. Students are invited to email her their submissions at RyrieC@hcdsb.org or to Tweet them using the handle @Youth_Whisperer. This week’s challenge is to Build a Vehicle.
Virtual High School Information Nights for Gr 8 Students’ Parents and Guardians
Halton Catholic District School Board high schools are holding information nights this week. Please see the links below for more information:
Thursday, October 22 – Grade 8 Parent & Guardian Information Night – Holy Trinity – 7 pm
This year, because of Covid-19, no registration forms will be distributed or collected at school for children wishing to participate in the Sacraments. All registrations must occur online directly through the parish website.
Confirmation for our Grade 7 students
If you would like your Grade 7 child to participate in the Sacrament of Confirmation this year, please register your child here: https://mmogp.ca/confirmation
First Communion and First Reconciliation for our Grade 2 students
If you would like your Grade 2 child to participate in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion this year, please register your child here: https://mmogp.ca/first-eucharist