Latest news

Important Information for the First Week of School

We are very excited to have students return to St. Catherine of Alexandra for the September 2021-2022 school year. It is our hope to navigate this process of returning to school with positivity and faith. The staff here at St. Catherine of Alexandria are working hard to ensure the safe return for all, following the guidelines and policies outlined by our Board and Halton Public Health. This is a community-wide effort, so we need your help and assistance as well!

As we head towards the start of this school year, here are a few reminders:

Class Placement Information

All schools are currently finalizing elementary class placements and making adjustments based on new registrations coming in this week. Final placements will be available on Friday, September 3rd after 3:00 p.m.  

·         Parents and guardians will be able to access the class placement for each child, using your child’s Office 365 email and password. You will not require your child’s OEN number.  See step-by-step instructions.

·         Any family who is unable to access your child’s Office 365 account is asked to complete the form. 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=fas3Jb0likmmQnwTV3nm0mho8MOeG5RKhYoAWvPx1XFUMzhCMVFNQ1NEMDFPTkZRREMxSlI2NEROVy4u
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=fas3Jb0likmmQnwTV3nm0mho8MOeG5RKhYoAWvPx1XFUMzhCMVFNQ1NEMDFPTkZRREMxSlI2NEROVy4u
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=fas3Jb0likmmQnwTV3nm0mho8MOeG5RKhYoAWvPx1XFUMzhCMVFNQ1NEMDFPTkZRREMxSlI2NEROVy4u


NOTE: Due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, schools will not be able to accommodate requests for changes to class lists.

What to bring

Students in K-8 are required to wear their own masks. If a student arrives without a mask we will provide one. Students can wear a ‘fanny’ pack if they wish to store their mask while outside. For the start of the year, one pair of shoes is sufficient (indoor shoes not necessary at this point).  Students are welcome to start the year off by bringing in their own pencil case with pencils, pens, eraser, and ruler, but teachers will provide a list of essentials the first day. A reminder that students should bring home all personal items each evening. All personal items will also be stored in each classroom during the day (ie. jackets, backpacks), so we would prefer to limit the amount of items in each class.

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 schools

Tuesday, September 7th        All in-person 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 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. 

Kindergarten Students – In-Person and Virtual
The following dates apply for students entering Kindergarten in one of our HCDSB Catholic elementary schools this September, 2021: 

Year 1 Kindergarten 

  • Orientation interviews for Year 1 Kindergarten students will take place on Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, 2021. 
  • Staggered entry for Year 1 Kindergarten students will take place on Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10, 2021. 
  • All Year 1 Kindergarten students will begin Monday, September 13, 2021.  

Year 2 Kindergarten  

  • Orientation interviews for Year 2 Kindergarten students who are new to the school will take place on Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, 2021. 
  • All Year 2 Kindergarten students will begin school on ThursdaySeptember 9, 2021

Your child’s teacher will be contacting you this week, if they have not already done so. Please contact your child’s school if you require specific details around the orientation interviews or staggered entry process for Year 1 Kindergarten students.  

Before Students Come to School

Daily Confirmation of COVID-19 Self-ScreeningAs 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. 

The following are the instructions that will be provided to parents in an email going out this evening: 

  1. Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Toolfor each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

The screening will indicate one of two results:

  • Students only attend school if a “✅” is obtained.
    • Students with COVID-like symptoms or who receive an “X” indicating “Do not go to school” must remain home and isolate as instructed.

  1. Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher.  Students will be provided with a Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, on the first day of school.  Students will bring the completed form back and forth each day.

Entry Day one

Students will come to school on their designated staggered entry day, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Teachers will greet students on the playground. There will be balloons set up with number grades. Students will go to their grade area and meet their teacher. Parents are asked to direct their children to their grade area. All parents must wait outside the playground area.  Following the guidelines from Halton Public Health, be respectful of physical distancing and avoid congregating. In instances where we cannot remain physically distanced, masks will need to be worn.

At the end of the day, teachers will escort their entire class outside and dismiss them from the playground.  Parents and guardians are respectfully reminded to not come onto school property at the end of the day. Have your child meet you at the gate closest to their dismissal line.

Daily Drop off and Pick up Routines

Drop-off/pick-up procedures should support physical distancing and cohorting using strategies that may include:

  • Only one designated parent/guardian drop-off/pick-up
  • Kindergarten students enter the gated yard upon arrival and go directly into their classroom.
  • Grade 1-8 students will enter the building or their portable immediately upon arrival
  • Outdoor time and lunch recess student enter and exit the building in their cohort
  • Outdoor drop-off/pick-up
  • Staggering entry or limiting the number of people in entry areas
  • Physical distancing ground markings
  • Hand sanitizer available in school entrances and exits, as well as classrooms.

Safe Entry into School

  • ​Designated entry and exit doors will be established in every school. ​
  • Physical distancing window stickers/signs will be posted at all common entrances. ​
  • Students will line up to enter the school after recess.
  • Staggered entry into the school so there are fewer students in the hallway at a time. ​
  • Kindergarten students will enter classroom directly upon arrival in the morning.​

Recess/Nutrition Breaks 

At the recommendation of Halton Public Health and to encourage 2 metres distancing between cohorts as much as possible, students will remain within specific zones on the playground with their cohorts during recess and breaks outdoors. 

  • A.m. and p.m. nutrition breaks are in the classroom.  Students may remove their mask when eating and must replace the mask when finished.
  • Students must not speak when their mask is removed unless it is an emergency
  • All students in a classroom must wash
  • All students in a portable must sanitize their hands before they eat.
  • At lunch recess, all students must wear their mask outside to the assigned zone in the yard. When students go outdoors, they may remove their mask and store it in their pocket
  • Students are not required to wear masks outdoors. (see Mask Breaks for Students
  • Staff are not required to wear medical masks outdoors but should have them available for use if unable to maintain 2m distancing from students/staff.
  • Shared materials are permitted outdoors, with appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Hand washing/sanitizing prior to and following recess will be required. 

Student Transportation Schedules and Important Reminders 

We are writing to you today to share information on student transportation schedules and important health and safety reminders as we move into the 2021-2022 school year.

Student Transportation Schedules

Student transportation will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

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 (ie. 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.

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:

What to bring

Students in K-8 are required to wear their own masks. If a student arrives without a mask we will provide one. Students can wear a ‘fanny’ pack if they wish to store their mask while outside. For the start of the year, one pair of shoes is sufficient (indoor shoes not necessary at this point).  Students are welcome to start the year off by bringing in their own pencil case with pencils, pens, eraser, and ruler, but teachers will provide a list of essentials the first day. A reminder that students should bring home all personal items each evening. All personal items will also be stored in each classroom during the day (ie. jackets, backpacks), so we would prefer to limit the number of items in each class.

Lockers/Cubbies

  • Use of lockers/cubbies is permitted for coats and boots.
  • To ensure students spend minimal time at their locker, locks are NOT PERMITTED on student lockers in elementary schools. 
  • Periods of student movement will be staggered to limit congregating in the hallways.
  • Students will be assigned an individual locker at the elementary level. 
  • Student personal belongings to include essential items only (e.g., backpack, clothing, sun protection, water bottles, food.

What happens if your child feels unwell at school? 

  • It is important for your child 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 ‘isolation room’ and we will contact the parent or guardian to come and pick them up. 
  • It is very important that we have current contact information for all of our families so that we can contact you quickly. Please contact our school office if there have been any recent changes to your contact information.  

Visitor Protocol 

  • This school year, in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, we are limiting visitor access to our school.   
  • 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.  

Lunch Procedures

  • Personal items should be clearly labelled with each student’s name. 
  • Staggered lunch hour schedules will take place at each school.
  • Students will wash or santize hands before eating

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.  

Water Fountains and Reusable Water Bottles: 

  • 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 be wrapped and/or made inoperable.  
  • Although bottle filling stations will be in use, students and staff are not advised to touch any filling station apparatus.  

Medical Update

Last June any families with children who have medical conditions were sent home a package to complete or review.  If you have not returned the updated form to the office, please send it in on the first day your child starts school.  Please remember to include two pictures of your child.  You will not get the pictures back.  If you need to discuss your child’s medical condition with the Vice-Principal, please email fosterj2@hcdsb.org

Curriculum Night-VIRTUAL

Save the date –September 23, 2021.

Updates and Information 

We will continue to share information and updates with parents directly through email. Updates will also be posted on the Return to School Plan website and through the Board’s social media channels:  

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we near the start of this school year. Stay safe and positive and remember to keep the faith as we journey together!

Yours in Catholic Education,

Mr. Vince Monaco and Mrs Judy Foster

Foster, JudyImportant Information for the First Week of School