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Update September 3, 2021

“The love of Christ, welcomed with an open heart, changes us, transforms us, and makes us able to love.”

~Pope Francis

A very special welcome to our new families that are joining our school community! Please join in me in welcoming the following new staff:

  • Mrs. Fabiano, joining our Educational Assistant Team
  • Mrs. Boss, replacing Mrs. Alihodzic on our Resource Team
  • Mrs. Landry in Kindergarten
  • Ms. Vicic in Kindergarten
  • Ms. Spence in Gr. 3/4
  • Ms. Vieira-Troke in Grade 6 and Grade 7 Extended French
  • Mr. Moreira in Gr. 6/7
  • Mrs. Smith replacing Mr. Fredette in the library
  • Mrs. Varricchio as temporary secretary to get us started off this school year

Thank you to our AMAZING teaching staff who have been in this week preparing for our students.

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE office and custodial staff who have been ensuring that we have followed all COVID Protocols and have a smooth start to the school year! The school looks FABULOUS!

Thank you to our FANTASTIC Educational Assistant Team who have been assisting with opening procedures!

Thank you to ALL our St. Bernadette Families who have been extremely patient & supportive as we begin a new and once again different school year!

Gradual Return to School for All Students Learning In-Person

We will be easing into the new school year by welcoming students back to school in smaller groups, on September 7 and 8. 

The following schedule will apply for all HCDSB schools

Tuesday, September 7th        All in-person gr. 1-8 learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school.  At secondary, all other students (remote learners AND in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will be learning remotely from home). 
Wednesday, September 8th          All in-person gr. 1-8 learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school.  At secondary, all other students (remote learners AND in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will be learning remotely from home).
Thursday, September 9th                ALL in-person learners (Grades 1 – 8, 9 – 12) will come to school. 

Daily Confirmation of COVID-19 Self-Screening

As you know, the Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID-19 self-screening for all students attending school in person. This will be in place for the first two weeks of the school year, unless otherwise directed by the Ministry of Education. 

Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Toolfor each child every day before leaving home for school:

Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher in one of the following formats: 

  • Email results to classroom teacher;  
  • Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;
  • Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR 
  • Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, which students will bring back and forth to school each day. 

Please note, we will be providing Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, that will be stapled into the front of your child’s agenda for your to sign off. On your child’s first day of school, please provide written confirmation that your child has passed the daily screening.

First Day Procedures: Grades 1 to 8

We ask that one parent enter onto our main school yard to assist your child in finding their teacher.

  • Parents are asked to wear a mask and follow social distancing expectations when on school property.
  • Teachers will be holding up a sign with their name on it in your child’s line up area.
  • Parents are asked to leave the school property once their child has found their teacher and line up area.
  • Once the teacher has all of his/her alphabetical group for that first staggered day they will lead the class into the school

The best way that you can prepare your child for their “first day”, is to share that once you have guided them to their teacher, that you will be leaving. We have been reminded by Public Health to ensure we do not have large groups congregating.  We appreciate that many of our families may not have seen each other for a long time, however we want to make ensure that we can keep all students, staff and parents healthy. 

Wearing of Masks at School 

Medical masks will be worn by all school staff.   

All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. All considerations for mask exemptions must be reviewed and discussed with the school principal.

Students will have ‘Mask Breaks’ during outdoor time and lunch. Students will be permitted to take their masks off in class while eating and when they go outside for recess/lunch and for outdoor class time. Please note, that students must wear their face mask in the hallway, while heading outside for recess and lunch. Please discuss and practice a routine with your child regarding wear they will keep their mask when they are outside (ie. pocket, pouch, Ziploc bag) Upon entering the building, after outside recess & lunch, students will sanitize their hands and then place their mask on before entering the hallway. All students must have their mask in place when entering the school building in the morning and for dismissal.

We ask that parents take some time to review and practice this routine with your child.

Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet  

Student Transportation Schedules

Student transportation will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 for students with a last name starting with A-K.

Access to student transportation schedules is now available through the Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) Parent Portal.

Once you have an account, you will need to add your student using their 9-digit Ontario Education Number (OEN). 

 *Note: If your child has not been assigned an OEN (i.e. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you would have received a phone call between August 23 – 27 providing you with the transportation schedule. If you did not receive this phone call, please contact HSTS.

 For Parent Portal instructions, please click here.

Important Notes

Non-medical/cloth masks or face coverings are mandatory for all students while on the bus. 

As the Ministry of Education recommends reducing the number of students on the bus where possible, courtesy seats will not be offered at this time for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Students will be assigned seats for the 2021-2022 school year. Seat assignment information will be communicated by your child’s school, and bus drivers will have copies of seating charts available for confirmation.

Transportation Resources for Elementary Students

We encourage families of elementary students to view the following videos to learn about school bus safety during COVID-19:

Kindergarten – Grade 3 students 

Grade 4-8 students

For more information and resources related to COVID-19 and transportation, please see COVID-19 Transportation Information.  For all other transportation information, please visit

Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS)

School Items & Lockers

Lockers will be available for use by students this year for outer wear only. Please note, lockers will not be in use the first week. Lockers will be assigned to individual students once we have reviewed our routines. Students are encouraged to bring MINIMAL items with them to school daily to reduce the clutter in the classrooms.  Less clutter means more space to distance our students apart from one another.  Backpacks will be kept by the students’ desk. 

Even though we are encouraging minimal items at school, there may be some items that you may want to ensure that your child has. Your classroom teacher can provide you with some suggestions during the first week of school. 

Gymnasium & Library

We are very excited as we will be able to utilize both our school gym and library this year! We will have a gradual and safe transition in using both these spaces.

Water Bottles

Students and staff will be able to bring reusable water bottles and refill them at designated refill stations in our school. For the health and safety of our students and school community, the use of water fountains for drinking will not be permitted.  

Safe and Caring School

School staff will review the school routines and expectations with your child. Please know that these expectations are to help keep everyone safe and learning at St. Bernadette Catholic School. The Code of Conduct is in the front of the student agenda. We would ask you to review and discuss this with your children during the first week of school. Safe School Divisional Virtual Assemblies will be held the second week of school for students in gr. 1-8.

School Communication

We will provide a Weekly Update, which will be posted to the school website and the link will be emailed each Friday. The website will be updated frequently, including the Announcements page, where we will share good news stories. The calendar on the website can be subscribed to, so notifications can be received as dates are added.

Catholic School Council Nominations

Role of Catholic School Council:  Ontario Regulation 612 states that every school must hold elections for the School Council within the first 30 days of each school year. The term of office is one year.  We want to encourage every parent to consider volunteering to sit on the School Council this year.  The school needs active and interested parents to maintain the quality of the school community we enjoy and to address the challenges the community will face in the future.  Nomination forms will be emailed out upon request and will be posted on our school website beginning Wednesday, September 8th.

Nomination Forms Due:  Friday, September 24th

Election (If needed): September 28th

First Council Meeting:  Monday, October 4th at 6:30 pm

All parents are welcome to attend regular Council meetings.  Meeting dates will be posted on our school web page.  The meetings will begin at 6:30 pm. and will be held virtually via Teams online. 

Medical Perils

Please ensure you have returned the necessary medication & forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any updated information for our files. We are aware that Allerject is now available in Canada, and if this your choice of auto injectors please indicate this on the Student Plan of Care.

Please be aware that our school strives to be a nut free environment. We have students with life threatening allergies to nuts and other allergens. No peanut butter or other nut products are allowed. Please check labels before sending items in school lunches and for snacks. Even a trace of nut oil from one child’s fingers to a desk surface can cause a deadly reaction. Please note that Wow Butter (soy product) is not allowed as we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter. Your support and attention to this matter is greatly appreciated as we have many students with life threatening allergies.  

Student Accident Insurance

We all know that accidents can, and do, happen. While your provincial coverage or your employee benefits plan may cover some medical, dental or other expenses related to these accidents, they may not cover all of them. Student Accident Insurance helps to protect your family from these unexpected costs if your child is injured on school property or during school-sponsored activities.

Since the Halton Catholic District School Board does not offer student accident insurance, you, as a parent/guardian, have the option to buy this coverage for your child or children. While participation is voluntary, it is highly recommended. All students, up to 26 years of age, are accepted.

Coverage is available in three affordable plan options, for as low as $13/year (that’s just over 3 cents a day!) in Lite, Plus and Premium.Benefits include:

  • Dental treatment
  • Damage to eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Braces, casts, crutches, hearing aids, prosthetics and splints
  • Counselling, physiotherapy and tutoring
  • Prescription drugs
  • Accidental death, total and permanent disability
  • NEW! Hospital cash allowance for costs associated with extended hospital stays such as parking, television or Wi-Fi in your room, parking, cafeteria meals or babysitting expenses for family members.

Discounts are available for families with 3 or more children, with additional savings for multi-year plans of three and five years when buying online. For more policy details or to buy a plan, please visit or call 1-833-560-0527 (toll-free) or 416-916-1588 (local).

Please note that the insurance agreement is between you and Student Accident Insurance.

Promoting Well Being

How to Support a Mentally Healthy Back to School for Your Child (

Please follow us on Twitter @stbernhcdsb, to view learning in our community as well as some great community and parent information.

Looking Ahead:

First Day of School for Grades 1-8 with surnames A-K
Sep 7 all day
New to Kindergarten Interviews
Sep 7 all day
First Day of School for Grades 1-8 with surnames L-Z
Sep 8 all day
New to Kindergarten Interviews
Sep 8 all day
All Grade 1-8 students attend
Sep 9 all day
First Day of School for All Year 2 Kindergarten (SK)
Sep 9 all day
Staggered Entry – Group One of Year 1 Kindergarten (JK)
Sep 9 all day
Staggered Entry – Group Two of Year 1 Kindergarten (JK)
Sep 10 all day
All Year 1 Kindergarten (JK) Attend School
Sep 13 all day
Rowan’s Law Day
Sep 29 all day
DeLuca Malette, RitaUpdate September 3, 2021