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School Weekly Update April 4, 2020

May the Lord always give us hope for the future and the strength to keep going.”

~Pope Francis

As we embark on this new journey in education together, I thought it would be helpful to return to one part of our normal and provide a school weekly update again.

St. Paul the Apostle Parish Update

Please visit the St. Paul the Apostle Website to read how to celebrate Holy Week at home;  go to the link “Holy Week at Home”

Holy Week

Holy Week begins this week and although it will look very different this year, it can still be a time for pray, reflection and preparedness. Please follow the guide below.

Journey Together Through Holy Week:

This week is Holy Week, a most sacred time of year. We commemorate and remember the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. The season of Lent, the season of sacrifice and self-denial is about to come to an end.

It begins with Palm Sunday ~ Sunday April 5th. On Palm Sunday, we remember Jesus’ triumphant entryinto Jerusalem, which occurred several days before his death. The people of Jerusalem spread palm branches on the road to welcome Jesus as he rode into the city. During this liturgy, palms are distributed to the community and blessed. It continues with the reading of the Passion – the story of Jesus’ suffering and death.

It continues with the Triduum, which is the three-day period marking Jesus’ death and burial. It begins on Holy Thursday and concludes as Easter begins.

On Holy Thursday ~ Thursday, April 9th, we re-enact the Last Supper, the meal Jesus shared with His apostles on the night he was betrayed and arrested. At the Mass on this day, the priest washes the feet of twelve people, just as Jesus did. We also celebrate the institution of the Eucharist, a central sacrament of the Catholic faith.

We observe Good Friday ~ Friday, April 10th, as the day Jesus was crucified and died. It is the most serious and somber day on the Christian calendar. A service is held at three o’clock, the hour he died. It is the only day of the year that we do not celebrate Mass. The communion we receive at this liturgy was consecrated the night before. We also venerate the cross, showing honour and respect for the sacrifice Jesus made for our sake. Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence from meat for Catholics.

Holy Saturday, Saturday, April 11th, is a vigil. It takes place after sundown. We keep watch for the expectant rising of our Saviour. It is the most beautiful liturgy of the entire Church year. It begins in darkness and then there is a lighting and blessing of the new fire. The Easter candle is lit and carried into the church, where it is used to light candles held by the members of the community. The Liturgy of the Word leads us to reflect on the entire story of our faith. On this night, people who have been preparing for months are received through Baptism and Confirmation into the Catholic Church.

This brings us to Easter Sunday ~ Sunday, April 12, the MOST important Christian holiday, surpassing even Christmas.

Online Learning Platforms

HCDSB has approved the following platforms for distance learning:  D2L, Microsoft 365/Teams and Google Classroom.  All classroom educators have established one of these platforms for their class and have already connected with all families.  If you have not received a message from your child’s educator, please try connecting with them via email, Twitter, Remind, etc. which may have already been established earlier in the year.

Teacher-Led Distance Learning for Students

Staff at St. Elizabeth Seton is committed to doing the best they can under the current circumstances in realigning their programs to a simulated environment, allowing students to complete their school year with success. ​ We are in the process of adapting and building staff capacity with this ​new model but do recognize that each staff member is at a different stage with regards to how to deliver teacher-led distance learning for students. Ministry expectations are that educators will prepare assigned work and provide feedback to students on the work they complete. Teacher engagement with students is expected but will vary depending on varying circumstances. When a teacher ​has built capacity in delivering distance learning for students, they will opt to use various communication methods that would be most appropriate for the grades they teach.  According to the Ministry, synchronous (real-time) online interactions are not an expectation for educators. Thank you for your support and continued patience as we all navigate the unknown together.

Communication and Junk Folder

Some of our teacher communication is going to parents’ junk or clutter folders. Please make sure to check your junk and clutter folders so that you do not miss any communication. All staff emails have been added to the school website for your quick reference.

Student Class Placement For September

Although it is only April, preparations are now being made to ensure that our school is organized for the 2020-2021 school year.  As such, in the coming months, teachers will be organizing student class placements.  As you can appreciate, many hours of meetings and consultations go into the class building process to ensure the appropriate placement of all students.  When building a class, teachers look at the following criteria:

  • Balance of ability – academic skills
  • Balance according to gender
  • Learning style – how the learner learns
  • Teaching style – how the teacher teaches
  • Social blending – who gets along with whom
  • Parental input – re: learning style of the student

Please note, that parental input is important to us and is weighed with other criteria.  Specific teacher requests cannot be considered.  Rather, if necessary, parental input, in the form of a letter to the Principal, Mrs. Williams, should focus on the learning style of the student and the type of environment the best learns in.  Letters should be submitted by email to Mrs. Williams by Friday, May 1st. Please remember that many discussions and reflections are put into the class building process.  We will have approximately 400 students in September, and we do our very best to develop classes that will be formed in order to maximize opportunities for each child to learn and be successful! Your trust in our professional judgment is appreciated. All staff emails are posted on the our website under Contacts on the home page.


If you are aware that you will not be returning to St. Elizabeth Seton in September, please let the office know. We are starting preliminary planning for next year and having the most updated information is very helpful when we look at class organization.

Cash Online Updates

Mrs. Biso will be working to provide refunds for Pizza, Milk Orders, trip refunds ~ Thank you for your patience regarding this. Please check your banking to watch for refunds later this week.

Purdys Chocolate Delivery

We want to express our gratitude for your participation in the Purdys Chocolate fundraiser as we were able to raise just over $1200 for our family in need in our own school community!

In order to honour the deliveries before Easter weekend, we have a plan that must follow the health and safety protocols established by public health. The Easter chocolate order will be delivered to the school. The school has been sanitized but remains closed at this time to families and students as directed by the Minister of Education.  

Using social distancing and following all the healthy & safety protocols as outlined by public health, the chocolate will be available curbside at the front of the school on Tuesday, April 7 between 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We ask that only one healthy adult pick up the items following the strict health protocols.

Protocol for Purdys Chocolate pickup

The curbside pickup for the chocolate will take place on Tuesday, April 7 between 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please pull up to the front of the school in the bus lane. Please wait in your car for school personnel to assist.

Anyone accessing the school site must conduct a self-assessment for COVID-19 before visiting the school/site.

Each of the following four (4) conditions MUST apply:

1. You are symptom free of respiratory illness;

2. You are not to be in self-isolation, as advised by Public Health;

3. You have not been outside of Canada within the last 14 days from the date of entry to the school;

4. You have not cared for or had known contact with an individual with confirmed COVID-19 OR COVID-19 like symptoms (fever, new cough, difficulty breathing).

If any of the above conditions are not met, then you MUST NOT visit the school site. Contact Mrs. Williams to discuss alternate arrangements.  

Good Shephard Food Drive

Despite the fact that our food drive ended sooner than expected, we still managed to donate 17 boxes of non-perishable food that were delivered to the Good Shephard Centre. We are grateful to Mrs. Moyer and our grade 3 students for organizing. Thank you to all of you for your generosity during this Lenten season!

Promoting Well-BeingTalking to children About COVID-19

Talking to children about COVID-19 and its impact Coping with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This time may be very challenging for children and adolescents, some of whom might not understand the reasons for school closures and the cancellation of extracurricular activities. In addition, they are likely to be bombarded with information through social media and from their friends that can cause anxiety and alarm. Young people may also sense the anxiety of their parents and worry about their own health and that of other family members. For example, young children may not understand why they can no longer hug a grandparent.  Children need to be reassured in a way that is age appropriate.

As a first step, you may consider a family meeting to:

 • Acknowledge their fears.

• Explain the overall risk of getting the virus and what happens if they do get sick.

• Outline the steps you are taking to keep them and yourself safe during this pandemic. • Reassure them that young children tend to get a mild form of the virus.

• Discuss any questions they may have.

You may also consider:

• Limiting your children’s amount of TV and social media.

• Engaging them in activities that can help them feel empowered.

• Helping your children become better consumers of health information. For example, if they ask you a question, help them to identify credible online sources of information and help them understand the information provided.

• Helping adolescents understand the importance of social distancing, and encourage them to limit their socializing to fewer people who they know well.

 • Encouraging your children not to share drinks, makeup or other personal items during this time.

 • Advising adolescents not to smoke or vape, and assisting them to stop immediately since sharing vapes or cigarettes are fairly common.

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Elementary PrincipalSchool Weekly Update April 4, 2020