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Weekly Update – Opening Week!

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

Welcome Back!!! We are excited to welcome back all of our students this week and extend a very special welcome to our new students and families. Likewise, we would like to welcome the following staff members to St. Dominic Catholic School: Ms. Neo (DECE), Ms. Bertolino (Gr. 6 Teacher) and Mrs. Babic (Vice Principal). Thank you to our wonderful staff who have returned enthusiastically and have worked hard to prepare for your child’s return to school. As with any change, the beginning of any school year can bring upon anxious feelings for students and families. We look forward to working together, in partnership with you to ensure we have a positive start to our school year.

Class Placements – The HCDSB is using a new student information system (PowerSchool) this year and as a result we have had some technical issues with our email system. We tried our very best to email all parents about placements, in addition to the PowerSchool posting, however some class codes are still not linked to our email system. If you are still wondering about your child’s class placement for this week, please check their Power School profile by using their Office 365/D2L email/username and password (please click here for instructions). Staff will also be present on Tuesday and Wednesday morning to help direct you if necessary.

Our First Week of School (September 7th – 10th)
The staggered will assist to establish our routines again with all community members, to ensure we safely welcome and dismiss our students in these first few days and each day moving forward. Please see below for the schedule and other important information.
Tuesday, September 7th        Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters 
A-K will come to school.
*Virtual orientation interviews for Year 1 (JK) Kindergarten Students and NEW Year 2 (SK) Kindergarten Students
Wednesday, September 8th   Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters 
L-Z will come to school
*Virtual orientation interviews for Year 1 (JK) Kindergarten Students and NEW Year 2 (SK) Kindergarten Students
Thursday, September 9th ALL students in Grades 1 – 8 attending in-person instruction will come to school.
·        All Year 2 (SK) Kindergarten students begin school 
·        First half of Year 1 (JK) students begin school
Friday, September 10th Second half of Year 1 (JK) students begin school

September 7th & 8th Entrance and Dismissal (Staggered Start)

Please click here to read more about our entrance and dismissal routines for our first 2 staggered days.

September 9th & Moving Forward

Please click here to read more about our entrance and dismissal routines starting on Thursday, September 9th.

Daily Screenings & Confirming With Staff
The Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID self-screening for all elementary students attending school in person. This confirmation will be in place for the first two weeks of the school year and perhaps beyond that point. Parents and guardians are asked to complete the mandatoryCOVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teachers for tracking in one of the following formats: 
1.) For students’ first day of school only: a written confirmation note, printed copy of “pass” from the screening tool, or email the results to classroom teacher.
2.) After students’ first day of school: Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log (provided by the school), which your child(ren) bring back and forth to school each day.
*We will inform parents if this practice will be mandated beyond the first two weeks of school

What happens 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 the parent or guardian can pick them up. Parents or emergency contacts must be available to pick up their children if they become unwell at school.
It is very important that we have current contact information for all of 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.
Lunch Routines For Students
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. If necessary, students may be picked up (Notes/notice for teachers must be provided). However, students may not leave the school to visit local eateries and return to school.
As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day.
Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch in the morning before students enter the school building.
Considerations for Lunch Prep:
· Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
· Sharing food items will not be permitted.
· Reusable water bottles are encouraged (refill stations will be open and working)
Thank you for your understanding as we limit the number of visits and contacts to our school community to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.
Use of Masks & Personal Protective Equipment
All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. 
Students are expected to bring their own masks to wear on student transportation and at school. Non-medical 3-ply masks will also be made available by schools for students if needed. Students should bring an additional mask (or more) to school in the event that their mask gets wet, damaged or soiled.
Masks must be worn indoors, including hallways, during classes, on school buses, and in the Before and After School Program.
Masks may be temporarily removed indoors for eating and drinking at lunch or break times. Mask breaks will also be provided as needed. We ask parents to please send a small open container, bag or magnetic hook with their children to safely store masks as they are removed for eating.
Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, but 2m distancing should be maintained between cohorts as much as possible.  Masks can be placed in their pockets, fanny pack or similar while outside at recess. Hand sanitizer has been placed at all doorways for use as students leave and enter the school.

Medical-grade masks will be worn by all teachers and other school staff while in the school building. All staff must follow protocols for wearing appropriate PPE throughout the day.
To read more about our school protocols and practices, please see our Return to School Plan below.
ST. DOMINIC – RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN 21-22

Medical Information and Apparatus (Epi-pens, etc.)
Thank you to those parents who have submitted Student Plan of Care packages and medical apparatus this past week.  Please be reminded that we must have both the forms and devices, such as Epi-pens in a Ziploc bag that is clearly labeled with your child’s name.  A reminder for students with anaphylaxis, they must wear a valid Epi-pen on their person at all times and have an extra in the office (kindergarten teachers can store Epi-pens for JKs/SKs). If anything has changed with your child’s medical condition or profile, please contact us at the school and we will be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss further.
Family Information and Forms
Family information forms, allowing you verify all information we have on file, will be sent home electronically this year. Two important forms regarding HCSDB duty to report and attendance can be found below.
Letter to Parents: Attendance      Duty to Report
School Communication
Weekly Updates
In an effort to communicate timely and pertinent information, we will send weekly updates (just like this one!) on Sundays at approximately 1:00 pm, for the exception of some holidays. In this case, your weekly update may arrive on the holiday Monday. You will receive an email each Sunday with a link provided, however, they will also be available on our website (homepage or in the “news” tab at the top). This update is much longer than usual as we are including all information regarding our start/new protocols.
School Calendar
We will be updating events happening in the school on our website calendar. You are able to subscribe to this calendar by visiting the calendar tab on our homepage. Please follow the directions to subscribe and events will be synced to your phone/device. To start the year, we will not have as many events as usual given the circumstances of many programs still not running as they used to. Regardless, we will begin to enter additional events as the weeks go on.
School Emails
In an effort to limit the number of emails you receive each week, we will strive to communicate most information to you in our weekly updates on Sundays. However, occasionally we will send dedicated emails for information pertinent to our entire community or particular groups of students.
Classroom Communication
Student agendas were purchased for students in grades 1-6 for students to write in each day. Parents may write a note for teaching staff if necessary. Teaching staff will not be writing in the agendas and will continue with electronic means of communication (email and classroom D2L).

For further updates and school announcements, please also follow us on Twitter – @domihcdsb
Updated School Day
Supervision Begins – 8:05 (Students will enter directly into the school building/portables upon arrival)
Morning Bell – 8:18 am
School Starts – 8:20 am
Morning Recess – Gr. 1-4 – 9:50 – 10:05 am /Gr. 5-8 – 10:30-10:45 am
Lunch – 11:25 am – 12:25 pm
Afternoon Recess – Gr. 1-4 – 1:25-1:40 pm/ Gr. 5-8 –1:45-2:00 pm
Dismissal – 2:50 pm (2:40 pm for Kindergarten students)
Bussing & Halton Transportation
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). Students will be assigned seats for the 2021-2022 school year. Seat assignment information are available through the parent portal, and bus drivers will have copies of seating charts available for confirmation. For Parent Portal instructions, please click here.

Please note that the initial seating assignments may change, and that, initially, the afternoon seating may not mirror the morning seating.  Please be patient as we confirm dismissal plans, and do ensure that you have filled out the OPT-out form if you are not planning to use the bus this year: OPT-out form.
Courtesy Seats –
Please note that courtesy seats for ineligible students will not be considered this year.
Parish Update
We look forward to working with Fr. Ranjan once again, in leading our faith development and engaging our community in prayer and liturgies. Fr. Ranjan will visit classes virtually and physically at the school throughout the year.

St. Dominic Parish reached out to the families of last year’s grade 7 students, who were scheduled to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, to provide new days and times. Please see below for that information:

Wednesday September 15 at 7:00pm – Mrs. Park’s Class
Thursday September 16 at 7:00pm – Mr. Condotta’s Class
Friday September 17 at 7:00pm – Miss MacNamara’s Class and Catechumens
Updates and Additional Information 
The Board will continue to share information and updates with parents directly via email. Updates will be posted on the Board website at: www.hcdsb.org/return-to-school/.  
Updates will also be shared through the Board’s social media channels: 
Twitter: @HCDSB
Instagram: @HaltonCatholicDSB 
Facebook: Halton Catholic District School Board 
Student Accident Insurance for 2021-2022:
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. Please CLICK HERE for more information.
Chininea, VinceWeekly Update – Opening Week!