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Update January 14, 2022

Thank you to our students for your efforts & energy during the period of remote learning ~ We are excited to see you Monday morning and welcome you back in person!

Thank you to Mr. Daniels, Mr. Costanzo and Mr. Vasquez for ensuring our school is ready for the return to school on Monday January 17th.

Thank you to our school staff and families for your ongoing support & patience during remote learning.

Pita Pit, Little Caesars Pizza and Cookie Days will begin again this week – we will ensure COVID safety measures are in place for safe distribution.

Thank you to the HCDSB Strategic Communications Department for their endless support in keeping the HCDSB community up to date!

Thank you to our parents for taking the time before school each day & ensuring that you complete your child’s daily screening and confirming the screening  in their Agenda on Monday January 17th ~ Please see additional information below.

School Technology Returns

Thank you, families and students, for taking special care of devices that went home to support our students during remote learning. Please know that this equipment is instrumental in supporting all our students during in person learning and we need to ensure that our students will be able to successfully utilize this equipment upon their return to in person school. 

All equipment can be returned to the school beginning Monday morning either with your child or parents may drop it off at our front doors between the hours of 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.

Please return the devices as you received them – labelled laptop, labelled charger and box (in some cases) Thank you for your attention & support with this!

St. Matthew Catholic Parish News

From the Pastor’s Desk…

With the conclusion of this weekend’s Masses, we pass from Christmastide into the liturgical season that occupies most of the church’s year—Ordinary Time. We’ve all heard the quip that there’s nothing ordinary about it, a ‘preaching joke’ rooted in the many meanings of the word ordinary. There’s certainly some truth to the observation that spending the year focused less on Christ’s Nativity or Passion and more generally on our need to journey through life with him as pattern and guide is never mundane or uneventful. It’s easier to find time for matters of faith at Christmas and Easter, when reminders and religious observances are all around us. Much harder is living each other day of the year still caught up in the realities celebrated during festive seasons. The Nativity we’re just finishing celebrating—God’s coming to us—happens, in a sense, daily through his offerings of grace, the promptings of his Spirit, the opportunities we receive to witness. It’s for us to remind ourselves, constantly, of this fact. The careful, methodical journey through the events of Jesus’ ministry which will shape the Liturgy of the Word at Sunday Masses will help us glimpse the many facets of life in Christ. Since the very beginning, the world has never been without struggle or difficulty, but neither has it been without the love and help of God our Father. The miracles and words of preaching that make up the life of Jesus Christ teach us where and how to find him at work in our own lives. Let’s stay tuned!~Father Allen Varlaki

Follow St. Matthew Catholic Church on Social Media and keep up to date with all that is happening in our parish! There are four ways to connect to the parish:

UPDATED COVID-19 Safety Measures

Please take time to complete your child’s Daily COVID 19 screening each morning.

The Government of Ontario daily self-screening tool can be accessed here:

Once you have completed the screening for your child each morning, we are asking all parents to confirm screening ~ please see a tracking sheet in your child’s agenda and revise the dates or initial the student agenda for Monday January 17th.

This needs to be completed by a parent daily until further notice. Please note this is a directive from the Ontario Ministry of Education and Ontario Ministry of Health. A new form will be added to your child’s agenda on Monday January 17th.

Dress for the Weather

Students will be outside for all regular outdoor activities when it is warmer than -15°C. When temperatures range between -15°C to -20°C, students may remain outside for no longer than 20-minute intervals, once temperatures are colder than -20°C students must remain inside.

Change to Learning Environment for Elementary Students – Closes Friday January 14, 2022

Planning on switching your child’s learning environment (from in-person to virtual or vice-versa beyond the Government mandated period). Given the Province’s temporary move to Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopening in order to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, HCDSB has revised the plan to provide greater flexibility for families.

Families will now be offered two (2) opportunities for request a change to learning environment for elementary students. The first opportunity to request a change in learning environment for elementary students is now available. The online request form will be open from Wednesday, January 5th until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 14th

The requested changes will come into effect on Monday, January 24, 2022.  


  • Schools resumes for in-person instruction on January 17th. Families who wish to keep their children home until the switch occurs on January 24th will be able to access asynchronous resources for their children through their current class on the D2L platform during the week of January 17-21.  
  • Parents/guardians requesting a change for their children to the virtual elementary school (St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Elementary Virtual School) will be asked to choose whether they want to keep their children enrolled in virtual learning until the final change in Learning Environment opportunity after Easter OR until the end of the school year. 

The final opportunity to request a change in learning environment for elementary students will be released after March BreakThe requested changes will come into effect after Easter on Tuesday, April 19th.

Request to Change Learning Environment
If you wish to change your child’s learning environment by switching from in-class instruction to the virtual school, or vice versa, please complete the online request form below. Please complete this form ONLY if you would like to make a change to the learning environment that your child was in prior to the Christmas break. If you want your child to remain in the same learning format they were in before the break, no further action is required.

Important notes before you complete the online form:

  • Please submit a separate form for each child.
  • You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) to submit this request. The OEN can be found on a recent report card.
  • This online request form applies to elementary students ONLY. Requests for changes in the learning environment at the secondary school level should be sent directly to your child’s secondary school.

This online form will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Next Steps

Once the online form has closed, our staff will begin to work through the rescheduling process.

  • Parents and guardians will receive confirmation of the changes to their children’s learning environment by Wednesday, January 19th.
  • The changes to your child’s learning environment will come into effect as of Monday, January 24, 2022.
  • Your child’s current placement (in-class or virtual) will continue to be in place for the week of January 17-21. Asynchronous instruction will be posted for students, should parents/guardians decide to keep their children home while awaiting the switch to the virtual school.

Family Literacy Day – January 27th – How Are You Celebrating?

Are you familiar with Family Literacy Day? Since 1999, schools, libraries, literacy groups and families have all celebrated this awareness initiative that aims to encourage reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

This year’s Family Literacy Day theme is Learning in the Great Outdoors.  Spending time in nature provides many benefits, not just for bodies, but for minds too. This year get outside and exercise both your mind and body together as a family. You can make outdoor time fun family learning time all while enjoying the wonders of Canada’s Great Outdoors! To learn more about Family Literacy Day, visit

Save the Date ~ Grandmother Moon Paint Night

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

A link to the live event will be available on the scheduled time and day of the presentation on the Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel: Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel

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

The online session 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.

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

Kindergarten Registration

Please see the following link regarding Kindergarten Registration for the Fall of 2022:

Coming Soon ~ Student Census 2022

In February 2022, HCDSB will be collecting identity-based student data through a board-wide Student Census. This census will help our school board better understand and support our students and their experiences in school and will help promote equitable and inclusive learning environments.

NOTE: Parents of students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be invited to complete the online survey on behalf of their child. For more information about the Student Census, please visit the HCDSB website:

Promoting Well-Being: Sleep: Benefits and recommended amounts

~By SickKids staff

Learn how sleep improves brain function and mental health and how much sleep your child needs each night.

Key points

  • Lack of sleep causes irritability, increased stress, forgetfulness, difficulties with learning and low motivation. Over time, it can contribute to anxiety and depression.
  • Sleep time guidelines depend on a child’s age. Every child is different, so take time to figure out what works best for your child.
  • If your child’s sleep routine is disrupted, return them to a healthy sleep schedule as soon as possible.
  • See your doctor if you have concerns about your child’s sleep patterns.

Sleep is a very important part of your child’s mental and physical health because it allows your child’s mind and body to rest and recover. There are many things you can do to help your child or teen get good quality sleep as often as possible.

Benefits of sleep for mental health

Your child’s brain needs sleep to restore resources that were used up during the day. A well-rested brain can solve problems, learn new information and enjoy the day a lot more than a tired brain. Some areas of your child’s brain are even more active while they sleep.

Children who consistently get a good night’s sleep:

  • are more creative
  • can concentrate on tasks for longer
  • have better problem-solving abilities
  • are better able to make positive decisions
  • are more able to learn and remember new things
  • have more energy during the day
  • can create and maintain good relations with others.


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Looking Ahead:

DeLuca Malette, RitaUpdate January 14, 2022