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Weekly Update June 7, 2021

The strength of the family lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love.

Pope Francis
We Are All Wonderfully Made

June is the designated Pride Month in Canada, and throughout the month, we will join other schools in our district in raising awareness, and nurturing our call to build safe and inclusive learning environments where every student and every member of the community is welcomed, valued, and respected. Please refer to the board website for further information.

June is also National Indigenous History Month in Canada! This month, and every day, the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) celebrates and honours the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in our country, and in our HCDSB community.

National Indigenous History Month is a time for learning about, appreciating and acknowledging the contributions First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have made in shaping Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities.

The month of June is also Filipino Heritage Month across the country. The Philippines have become one of the largest population of newcomers to Canada, with Ontario being home to over 340,000 Filipinos! The Filipino Canadian community plays a significant part in fostering growth, prosperity and innovation throughout our province.

This month, we are virtually celebrating the unique history and contributions that Filipino Canadians have made and continue to make in the social, economic, political and cultural fabric of Canada.

This is also an important month for the Filipino community as June 12 marks Philippine Independence Day. This is a day to celebrate democracy and culture for Filipino Canadians across the country.

Join us in honouring the unique identity and rich history of Filipinos across our Board!

Sacred Heart of Jesus Feast Day- Friday, June 11th

The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are part of our longstanding tradition in the Church.

A novena is an ancient form of prayer in the Catholic tradition consisting of nine consecutive days of prayer leading up to a particular feast day where a particular blessing or grace is sought.

Please find the following guide to support you in praying the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Novena To Sacred Heart of Jesus

Ministry Announcement & Gr. 8 Graduation

As you have likely seen or heard in the media, the Premier of Ontario announced that all Ontario elementary and secondary schools will remain closed for in-person learning for the rest of the school year. See the Press Release here.

The announcement that remote learning will continue through the end of the year will be disappointing for many of our students and staff. It has been a difficult year, and we cannot overlook the impact this extended period of remote learning has had on everyone.  

As stated in the news release, the decision to remain in remote learning is to allow the province to focus on accelerating COVID-19 vaccinations to support a safe summer and return to in-person learning in September 2021.

  • Elementary and secondary students will continue to learn remotely until the end of June.
  • Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue to receive in-person support during the extended remote learning period.
  • Child care centres will remain OPEN.  
  • All Before and After School Programs will remain CLOSED.

The Premier also announced during his press conference that school boards are to work with their local public health units to develop plans that will allow for outdoor celebrations for graduating students in elementary and secondary schools. As noted in the press release, the government will allow school boards to invite graduating students in elementary schools (by class) and secondary schools (by cohort) to return to school in June for a short, outdoor celebration, where physical distancing is possible. Not having received any formal direction or parameters from the Ministry of Education, we are not able to provide any additional information at this time.

As previously communicated to families, our schools have been preparing for virtual graduation ceremonies for the last several months and extensive planning and work has already been undertaken to create memorable celebrations to honour our graduating students in Grade 8. These virtual graduation celebrations will continue, as planned.

Grade 8 Graduation at St. Andrew

The following activities will be part of the St. Andrew CES Gr. 8 Graduation 2021:

  • Grade 8 Graduation Diploma Pick Up Extravaganza!Friday June 18th, 6pm – 9pm (Families will be provided a time to arrive for their Graduation pick up from their child’s teacher)
  • Grade 8 Graduation MassThursday June 24th, 7pm – 8pm (Mass will be Live Streamed – link to follow)

HCDSB Virtual Elementary School for the 2021-2022 School Year

In light of the current Public Health situation in Ontario due to COVID-19, the Halton Catholic District School Board will continue to offer a virtual school setting for Kindergarten to Grade 8, together with those awarded placements in our optional virtual programing for French Immersion (Grade 1 to 8) and Extended French Grade 5 to Grade 8 for 2021-2022 school year.   

You may recall that in March we reached out to all parents and guardians with children attending an HCDSB Catholic Elementary School to ask you to provide an early indication of your intentions for the 2021-2022 school year. This information was gathered early to help us determine how many teachers will be required to staff our Virtual Elementary School, and how many teachers will be needed for in-person learning.  Understanding that the health situation would continue to evolve over the next few months, we told you that we would come back to you again in June to confirm your decision.

Specifically, we are asking you to confirm your plans for September 2021:

1.     Will your child(ren) attend school in-person, with enhanced health and safety protocols in place; OR

2.     Will your child(ren) attend the Virtual Elementary School and participate in remote learning.

At this time, we are asking that you confirm your decision by completing the online form linked below if you would like your child to attend the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School.

Complete the Online Form Now to Register Your Child in the HCDSB Virtual Elementary School
Please complete this form ONLY if you would like to register your elementary child in the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School for the 2021-2022 school year. If you would like your child to attend school in-person, no further action is required.

 Some important notes before you complete this online form:

  • If you would like to register more than one child in the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School, please fill out a separate form for each child.
  • If you do not complete this online form, we will plan as though your child(ren) will be attending in-person instruction in September 2021.
  • An opportunity to change the learning environment for your child(ren) will take place through a Change of Learning Environment Form in January 2022 with an effective change date of Tuesday, February 22, 2022.   


This online form will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Please direct any technical questions regarding this form to:

About the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School

  • Read the Parent Handbook to gain a better understanding of our virtual school learning model for September 2021. 
  • Take a few minutes to meet the school administration team and learn more about the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School by watching the Parent Information Video.

Blaze Pizza Father’s Day Fundraiser

Blaze Pizza is partnering with St. Andrew for a delicious Fathers Day Fundraiser. On Wednesday June 16th, between 4:30 – 7:30pm walk into Blaze Pizza located at 2508 Winston Park Drive in Oakville, show the flyer below before ordering and Blaze Pizza will donate 20% of the proceeds back to our school!

Literacy and Numeracy Summer Programs for Students in Grades 6 – 8

The Halton Catholic District School Board’s Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education is pleased to be offering Literacy and Math Summer Programs for Grades 6, 7, and 8 students from July 5 – July 16, 2021 (Session 1) and July 19 – July 30, 2021 (Session 2).

Please note that due to the current COVID-19 situation, the health and well-being of our students continues to remain our highest priority. All Session 1 and Session 2 classes will be offered in a distance (e-learning) format this summer.

For program details, please review the following information sheet: Literacy and Math Distance Learning Summer Programs

Online registration is available for Session 1 and Session 2. You may register your child for one or both sessions by filling out the following online form: Summer Distance

The deadline to register is June 24, 2021. No registrations will be accepted after June 24th 

Thomas Merton Grade 8 Reach Ahead Program

The HCDSB Thomas Merton Centre for Adult and Continuing Education is offering Grade 8 Reach Ahead programs in the 2021 Summer School for only those students who are pupils of the Halton Catholic District School Board. This program offers highly motivated students of a high academic standing to earn Grade 9 courses in advance of starting high school.

For students interested in engaging in the Reach Ahead program, the courses offered will represent their first exposure to high school credits. However, please be advised:

  • summer school secondary credits are conducted at an accelerated pace (5 times faster than secondary day school programs) over 20 days
  • students are expected to attend classes from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
  • students can expect to spend anywhere from 2 to 2.5 hours per day on homework

Please Note: For the reasons stated above, elementary principals, in consultation with their parents, must provide the approvals for all Grade 8 students engaging in Reach Ahead studies indicating that their students are ready for secondary school studies.

Students who wish to register themselves for this program must register through myBlueprint on the Thomas Merton Summer School website. The deadline for summer school registrations is June 24, 2021 at 4PM sharp. For more information, please see the Grade 8 Reach Ahead information page.

EQAO’s 2021–2022 Student Engagement Committee

EQAO is excited to announce the call for applications for the 2021–2022 EQAO Student Engagement Committee. This committee is an opportunity for interested students to have a positive impact on the agency’s activities and on Ontario’s education system. Student voices and experiences help EQAO to advance their goal of continuous improvement. EQAO encourages applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit or Indigenous person. As an accessible agency, they offer accommodations as required, including during the recruitment process.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Applicants must be enrolled in an Ontario school in Grades 7–12.
  • Applicants must have completed at least one EQAO assessment.

Application Form

To learn more about the committee’s previous work, visit EQAO’s website. You can find the application form at this link: . Submissions must be received by June 7, 2021,and selections will be announced by the end of June 2021.

Halton Food for Thought – Support Available for Families

We would like to make you aware of the support available to all families during these uncertain times through Halton Food for Thought and their partnership with Food for Kids. Please see the information below and note the link to access the website.

The Healthy Student Snack Bag program is open to all HDSB and HCDSB students and student families. There is no registration required – families are encouraged to go to the HFFT website Halton Food For Thought for dates, times, and locations to pick up the bags.

Family Paint Nights

HCDSB families, students and staff are invited to participate in virtual family paint nights to get creative at home and learn about Indigenous art!

The online sessions will be hosted by Indigenous Artist, Moses Lunham, who will provide step-by- step instructions on how to create a painting at home. No prior artistic experience is necessary to get involved! However, those interested in participating can prepare for the art session(s) by collecting the following art supplies IndigenousArt.pdf

Wednesday, June 9th – Strawberry Being the First Fruit of the Season

The session will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. A link to the live sessions will be available on Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel on the scheduled time and day.

If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Saevil, Indigenous Education Advisor at:

Kids Safety First – VIRTUAL Red Cross Courses

This summer virtual courses for students are being made available. For students in grades 2 & 3, there is a First Aid for Kids Workshop; for students grades 4-8 there is a At Home all by Myself and First Aid for Kids Workshop, as well as Canadian Red Cross Babysitting Course for grades 6 and up. Please see the attachment for dates, times, and registration details.flyer_for_summer-2021Download

HCCF Annual Charity Golf Classic

Join HCCF for a fun day of fellowship and fundraising!  All to help HCDSB students in need to succeed in school.

As a Catholic Community, we are called by Jesus to care for others. At the Halton Catholic Children’s Foundation (HCCF), they strive to do this by providing financial assistance to HCDSB students and their families in need – creating Hope, Dignity and Equity so that students can access learning and education without financial barriers to success.

Students at our school have benefitted from HCCF’s financial support in the past. Please consider supporting them so that they can continue to say “Yes” to helping HCDSB students and families with basic necessities (such as food and clothing, school supplies, shoes, eyeglasses, personal hygiene items, and learning technology).

You are invited to support the 10th Annual HCCF Charity Golf Classic on July 20th – Piper’s Heath Golf Club. Golfers, sponsors and prizes are needed.

Not a golfer? Please pass this information along to someone who is, or consider making a personal / corporate donation.

For information about the Golf Classic or HCCF visit their website – , or contact Marc Clare, Executive Director, HCCF at, 905-802-0918.

Promoting Well-Being

Free and Fun Challenge Inspires Kids to Get Outside and RUN

There’s no doubt that it’s been a long, tough year for everyone. And while there may be light at the end of the tunnel, right now, kids in many parts of Canada are still unable to participate in the team sports or physical activities that they love. What we could all use now is a little inspiration. And this month, we’ve got it, thanks to a Canadian track star and a 14-year-old Montrealer. A recent CP24 article reported that Canada’s Andre De Grasse and teen Jesse Briscoe have started up an initiative that invites and encourages Canadian kids coast-to-coast to join the RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge. Briscoe said he was tired of sitting at home playing video games after his team sports were cancelled due to the pandemic, so he and his dad reached out to De Grasse. Luckily, De Grasse was up for the task of inspiring kids to get active and to hopefully find joy in getting outside and moving again. As a result, the virtual racing challenge was brought to life. 

Here’s how to participate in the RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge:

From May 1 to June 25, go to your local 400m track and run one lap as fast as you can. Then go back weekly to improve your time. It’s that simple! Siblings and/or parents can record times and capture photos and videos to be shared online. Registration is free, although any donations will go to youth mental health initiatives such as Kids Help Phone. The beauty in this challenge is that running is something we can all safely do, by ourselves or together as a family. If you’ve got a pair of running shoes and some time to get out there, you can take part. But if running isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get active outside during the pandemic, while also gearing up for the excitement of the Olympic games. 

Read more about kids and running:

Update from Halton Region

Beginning Monday, May 31, 2021, Halton youth aged 12 years of age and over who live or attend school in Halton will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination booking appointments through Halton Region’s online booking system.

Halton Region Public Health will offer first doses to all youth aged 12 to 17 years of age in June, and second doses by the end of August. Appointments for the Youth Vaccination Program will be available at Halton COVID-19 vaccination community clinic locations administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that youth must have had their 12th birthday by the date of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. For additional information, please refer to the Halton Region website at: Halton – COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics


Attendance! Please note that attendance will be taken daily as per usual. If your child will be absent from their virtual classroom, please report the absence via School Messenger.

Not Returning? If your children will not be returning to St. Andrew in September, please email Mrs. Cerqueira at to let our office staff know as soon as possible. This information will be helpful to us as we begin to consider our classes for next year.

Moving? Families are reminded to contact the school if any of your personal contact information has changed or if you are moving out of our school boundary. Please email Mrs. Cerqueira at

Looking Ahead

Family Paint Night – Strawberry Being
Jun 9 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Catholic School Council Meeting
Jun 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Email if you would like a link to join this virtual meeting.

Pride Awareness Day
Jun 14 all day
Parent Pick Up of Student Belongings
Jun 14 @ 9:00 am – Jun 16 @ 4:00 pm
Grade 8 Drive Through Graduation
Jun 18 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Weekly Update June 7, 2021