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Weekly Update Feb. 8

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Local Love Campaign ~Spirit Day~ Wear Red for United Way

On Friday February 12th we will be celebrating Local Love Day at St. Benedict. Students are asked to dress in red/pink clothing in support of the local contributions of the United Way. The Local Love donation drive supports initiatives in our community such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hamilton and Burlington as well as the Halton Food for Thought Program. We are asking for a $2 online donation via School CashOnline to wear red and show our support for this important organization. 

Valentine Day Cards

St. Valentine’s Day is on Sunday, February 14th, and while the week leading up to Valentine’s Day is a time when students typically enjoy sharing Valentine’s cards and treats with one another, this year in light of COVID-19, we will need to be extra cautious to ensure we are following the health and safety protocols that are in place to protect our students, families and staff.

If your child would like to bring something in to share with classmates for St. Valentine’s Day, please ensure:

  • that the items are non-edible, such as a traditional Valentine’s card or a pencil;
  • that there are enough items to share with everyone in the class so that all students are included; and
  • that the items are sent to the classroom teacher by Friday, February 12th.

The Valentine items will be stored over the weekend, to ensure that any viruses that may be on the material are inactive.

Therefore, Valentine Items will be distributed on Tuesday, February 16th (after Family Day and mandatory storage time).

Any items received after February 12th, will not be distributed until later in the week, adhering to health and safety protocols.

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we continue to adapt our practices to keep our students, staff and families healthy and safe.

Halton Public Health Recommendations for Schools referring to section 7.4 on page 9 that addresses paper handling .  

Black History Month

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This week, we are very excited to welcome our Black History Month Presenters, from our own St. Benedict Community. From Monday-Thursday, grades K-8 students will participate in at least one presentation, where students and staff will hear stories and learn about Inspirational Black People. On Thursday February 11th, St. Benedict Families are invited to join our BHM Parent Evening ~ at 7:00pm. If you are interested in attending, please email Mr. Guerin, to confirm your attendance. We thank all of our presenters for their time and dedication in planning this very inspirational week for Black History Month!

SAVE THE DATE Family Kahoot Night is BACK!

Mark it in your calendars….. we will be hosting another fun family evening, playing KAHOOT. On Tuesday February 16th, at 6:30pm, we playing Kahoot Trivia based on the Disney movie ~ INSIDE OUT! Please try to watch this movie, before this fun event! More information to follow this week.

The Reopen of our HCDSB Schools

All HCDSB Catholic elementary schools will reopen for in-person learning on Monday, February 8th.

Students will return to the learning format that was in place prior to the Christmas break. This means, that if your child was attending their home school and learning in-person, they will return to that format. If your child was enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School before Christmas, they will remain in the Virtual School. 

Arrival & Dismissal

~the same procedures as before the Christmas Break~

  • Kindergarten– upon arrival, they will continue to enter the building at the Kinder Gates. Students are not permitted in the Kinder yard without staff supervision. Staff members will be on duty, starting at 9:05am.
  • Grades 1-6– upon arrival, they will continue to line up in their class cohort zone on the back pavement starting at 9:05am.
  • Grades 7 & 8 – upon arrival, they will continue to enter through the main entrance, starting at 9:05am.

Staggered Dismissal for Safety

Please note that students will NOT be released off our school grounds, prior to 3:50pm, unless greeted by parent/guardian(s):

  • Kindergarten dismissal starts at 3:35pm, from Kinder gates
  • Primary (1-3) dismissal starts at 3:35pm, from back playground
  • Junior (4-6) dismissal starts at 3:45pm, from back playground
  • Intermediate (7-8) dismissal is at 3:50pm.

Students are reminded that they must go straight home, not congregating in the community (before or after school). Please talk with your child(ren) about this very important health and safety protocol.

Parents are reminded to quickly drop off & pick up their child(ren), not congregating on school property. When walking on school property, please wear a mask. Thank you for helping us keep our schools safe.

Transition in Learning Formats

At the end of November, 2020, parents and guardians were invited to request a change in learning format for their children. The changes were originally scheduled to take effect on January 11th, however were delayed due to the closure of our schools and the move to teacher-led remote learning. Therefore, this will not happen until after the Family Day Weekend.

For students where a change in learning format was requested, the transition to the new format will now take place on Tuesday, February 16th

If someone becomes ill at school

If anyone becomes ill at a school, they will:

  • be immediately separated from others, in a separate room if possible, until they can go home
  • be provided with a medical mask
  • continue to be supervised according to the school’s usual policy
  • be asked to maintain physical distancing
  • be unable to take school or public transportation

Learn about COVID-19 cases in Ontario schools.

If your child becomes ill at school

If your child becomes ill at school, they must go home.

The school will contact you and you’ll need to arrange for them to get home, in a way that does not include public transportation. We encourage you to have a plan for this ahead of time.

COVID-19 test

If your child becomes ill at school, you should consult their health care provider. They may recommend your child get tested for COVID-19. If you or your child is tested for COVID-19, it’s easy to get the results.

Returning to school

After negative test results

Students who test negative for COVID-19, or who are diagnosed by a health care provider as having something else, can return to school when:

  • they have been free of fever for 24 hours
  • other symptoms are improving

You do not need a doctor’s note or proof of a negative test result for your child to return to school.

After positive test results

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days and cannot return to school until the local public health unit advises that it’s safe. Learn how to self-isolate and care for someone with COVID-19.

Before and After School Program

  • All Before and After School Programs will reopen on Monday, February 8th.  
  • Child care centres will remain open.

Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols

As we prepare for a safe and healthy return to in-person learning, families are reminded to review with your children the Health and Safety Protocols available on our Return to School website.

An important reminder to continue monitoring your children for symptoms of COVID-19 and complete the Ontario School Screening Tool for each child each morning, before sending them to school:

Borrowed Technology & Devices 

 If your family borrowed a device from the school, we ask that you return it during the week of February 8th-12th. You may return the device with your child or drop it off at the school by buzzing the main office and a staff member will meet you outside. Please avoid busy transition times like the start and end of the day. Thank you


As you know, all HCDSB students must wear a mask at all times when at school. Up until the Christmas break, students were not required to wear masks while outdoors for recess or lunch break.  The Ministry now requires that masks be worn outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

As we cannot ensure physical distancing is being maintained while students are outside during recess, effective Monday, February 8th, all students will now be required to wear their masks when outside at recess and outside after lunch. Your child’s school will ensure that mask breaks are provided throughout the day.

You may want to consider sending your child to school with multiple masks so that masks can be replaced when they become wet during outdoor use. You are encouraged to read this tip sheet created by Halton Region Public Health on the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools.


To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have received Ministry direction to continue to follow physical distancing measures both inside our schools and in outside areas. School staff will be monitoring to ensure that children are not gathering in groups before school starts and after school. Please review with your children about the need to follow physical distancing guidelines and remind your older children to refrain from congregating in groups before and after school. Students are encouraged to go straight home after school.

As a reminder, parents are also asked not to gather during drop off and pick up times, and to refrain from carpooling if physical distancing and the use of PPE (masks) cannot be maintained.

Student Transportation

Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will resume for eligible students on Monday, February 8, 2021. Students who ride the bus must be wearing masks, and for contact tracing purposes, students must adhere to their bus seating plans. Please review these protocols at home.

Mental Health Supports

As a reminder, parents are welcome to visit our website for Mental Health & Well-Being resources and support. School Mental Health Ontario also has a number of excellent resources to help our HCDSB community navigate through this difficult period:

50 countries join to sing together

What a beautiful contribution to love and unity during COVID 19

Upcoming Events

In-Person Instruction Resumes
Feb 8 all day
Welcome Black History Month Virtual Presenters
Feb 8 – Feb 11 all day
Black History Month Presentation Night
Feb 11 @ 7:00 pm
Spirit Day Wear Red for United Way (no uniform) $2 online
Feb 12 all day
Family Day (No School)
Feb 15 all day
Pancake Tuesday Twitter Contest
Feb 16 all day
Ash Wednesday Virtual Liturgy (no ashes)
Feb 17 all day
Spirit Day: Flannel Friday (no uniform)
Feb 19 all day
Pink Shirt Day – Anti-Bullying Awareness (with Uniform Bottoms)
Feb 24 all day
Term 1 Report Cards
Feb 24 all day
Le Conte, TanyaWeekly Update Feb. 8