It is in humility that we build the future of the world.~ Pope Francis
We are VERY happy to welcome back all our returning students and those new to our school community! Staff are excited to be able to work in person with your children and can’t wait to hear the sound of children fill our hallways & classrooms once again! Please know we are committed to providing a quality Catholic education that is flexible and engaging. We look forward to creating and maintaining a strong sense of community and welcoming spaces in our school.
This email will provide a few updates and tips as we approach the New School Year. Please look for a future email this week, outlining First Day Procedures.
Elementary Classroom Placements
The process to access your child’s classroom placement has been recently updated. Details on how parents can access this information will be shared by the board. Class placements will be available on Friday, September 3, 2021 after 3:00pm.
As we have experienced, please understand that class placements can change depending upon Ministry of Education or Board Directives, and fluctuations in school population. With your trust in our professional judgment, we will continue to provide all students with the best possible learning environment.
Orientation meetings take place on September 7th and 8th for all our Year 1- JK students and those new to Year 2- SK. Information regarding those meetings was emailed to parents at the end of June. At present, all meeting will be virtual.
All Year 2 – SK students will begin on Thursday, September 9th with half of the Year 1- JK students. The second half of our Year 1 -JK students, along with all Year 2 students will attend school on Friday, September 10th. All Kindergarten students will be learning in-school beginning Monday, September 13th.
Health and Safety Protocols
The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Operational Guidance plan provides the baseline for school boards and local public health officials to develop a specific plan for the school board.
With this plan as a foundation, some of the protocols that are in place to begin the school year include:
- Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
- All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Halton Catholic District School Board continued to be required to wear a properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks during classes and while in the hallways. Masks may be removed during outdoor learning time. Please refer to the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet for further information and guidance. We understand that for many this will be an adjustment with schools being closed for the last 5 moths. We recommend that this week, for your child to take some time to “practice” wearing masks again to reacquaint everyone with the feeling. Thank you for your assistance!
- All classes will continue to remain in their classroom cohort and assigned a specific zone on the playground during recesses and lunch.
We are kindly asking that all families who are able to walk to school create this routine for our students. The footprint of our school is not designed to have numerous cars parking to drop off children. When your child arrives at school they must be wearing a mask. We will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time. Kindergarten students will enter through the KDG gate and go directly to their classroom. KDG staff will be communication with parents outlining further specifics.
Parents and caregivers are kindly asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their children. Public Health has advised that there will be no gathering or congregating permitted on school property to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Used Uniform Pick Up Opportunity
On Wednesday September 1st from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, a few parent volunteers will be overseeing a used uniform pick up opportunity with protocols in place. Please wear a mask, walk over if you can and remain physically distant. We are not accepting donations of used uniforms at this time, but you are welcome to come by the tables set up outside at the front of the school if you need uniforms for your children. We have a large inventory of used uniforms. Thank you to our parent volunteers for supporting our families.
Any students with a medical plan for allergies or other medical conditions are asked to please drop off updated plans, EpiPen, medications etc. to the office by the first day of school.
If your child qualifies for bus transportation, you can now review their bus details through the Halton Student Transportation Services online Parent Portal at https://haltonbus.ca/sign-in/
You will need your child’s 9-digit Ontario Education Number (OEN) to access the parent portal. This can be found on a copy of any of their report cards.
If your child has not yet been assigned an OEN (i.e. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you will receive a phone call with busing information from Halton Student Transportation Services between August 23 and 27. If you do not receive a phone call, please contact Halton Student Transportation Services between 8:00am and 4:30pm at 905-637-4009 or Toll-Free: 1-888-803-8660.
For specific information about COVID-19 Safety Protocols that are in place for students while travelling on the bus, please visit www.haltonbus.ca/covid-19-return-to-school-transportation/
Courtesy Seats are on hold for now – a request for courtesy seat list will be reviewed once protocols allow.
This school year we will continue to limit visitor access to our school in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. We are hopeful that we will be able to revisit and once again have our valued volunteers back in our school building. If you are interested in being a volunteer please note that a police check with vulnerable sector screening is required. If you have never submitted one to the school, you can reach out to Halton Police Services online or in person. The school is in the process of updating our records for those previously on file.
All visitors, including parents and HCDSB staff who are not assigned to our school, will require approval and pre-screening before entering our building. Only visits that are deemed absolutely essential will be approved – e.g. visits by the Fire Marshal’s office or by public health. Where possible, meetings or visits will be conducted virtually.
Visitors who are granted approval will be required to complete an online screening form prior to arriving at our school. Once inside, all visitors will be required to wear masks.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all.
For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all elementary students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods.
We are working through the health and safety protocols and may be able to offer a lunch program this year. More details will be shared when available.
As we are limiting visitors to our school, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day. This includes vendors such as Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, etc. Parents and guardians are asked to provide their children with lunch and snacks in the morning before students enter the school building.
Considerations for lunch preparations:
- Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
- Sharing food items will not be permitted.
- Each student is required to bring their own drinking bottle to school that is labeled, kept with them during the day, and not shared with other students. All water fountains will continue to be wrapped and/or made inoperable. Bottle filling stations will be available for all students and staff to use.
If Your Child Feels Unwell at School
It is important for your son or daughter to let their teacher know if they are feeling unwell at school. Students who show signs/symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be taken to our school’s designated isolation room where they will be cared for and supervised until a parent or guardian can pick them up.
It is very important that we have current contact information for all our families so that we can get in touch with you quickly. Please contact our school office if there have been any recent changes to your contact information.
If you did not have the opportunity to view the live webinar hosted by our Director of Education, Mr. Pat Daly, and Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region, a copy of the webinar can be viewed on the HCDSB YouTube page here.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort. Working together, we will ensure a safe, healthy and happy return to school for all.
We will continue to keep you up to date with school messenger emails and updates to the website. We are working diligently to ensure student and staff safety as we return to school.
Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to work through this challenging time.
~ The St. Bernadette CES Staff