“Peace begins with a smile!” ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Monday, September 21 is the International Day of Peace~ let’s do our part to promote peace and bring peace to our school community. Thank you: Thank you, parents & guardians for your support in ensuring that your child is wearing their mask when they enter the schoolyard each morning and modeling social distancing for our students. Thank you to our students for following our safety protocols both inside and outside the building ~ you have been doing an AWESOME JOB! Thank you to our virtual learners and their parents for your continued patience with the launch of the virtual school that begins on Monday! Virtual teachers should be reaching out to you soon. Thank you to our AMAZING staff for their work to support our students to create a sense of community & belonging! Thank you to our entire community for believing in our staff and your faith and commitment to Catholic education~ and working to build a caring community where everyone can feel they belong! Welcome to our new Catholic School Council for 2020 2021 We are excited to announce that we have both new and returning parent volunteers for our St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School Council for 2020-2021. We are grateful for the commitment of our parents and their call to serve our Catholic school community. Welcome to: Kim Debon, Fanny Deval, Kristy Dickinson, Alexandra Guest, Kelly Lindsay, Brian Machan, Paula Pimpinella, Marijana Shannon, Daniel Thanos, and Isel Thanos. . Terry Fox Tuesday~ “Anything’s Possible if you try!” It’s the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope! The official Terry Fox run is being held virtually this year on Sunday, Sept. 20th but you can set any date in September to honour him. Many schools will do something on September 30th but that is Orange Shirt Day for us, so we don’t want to conflict with that special day. Seton will be doing our part to honour Terry by making next Tuesday, September 22: TERRY FOX TUESDAY! This is our first community event and we are having students celebrate with the option of wearing red and white civvies to celebrate our pride for our Canadian Hero- Terry Fox! Follow us to see photos of this event @SetonSt, follow our hashtag #tryliketerry Gentile Reminders: St. Paul the Apostle Parish Update: First Holy Communion If your child was supposed to participate in the Sacrament of First Holy Communion last Spring, please refer to the following link from the Parish containing important information about Make up Dates: First Communion Make Up Information NEW COVID-19 SCHOOL SCREENING TOOL On Thursday, September 17, 2020, the Ontario government released to school boards an online screening tool available for families, school staff and essential visitors to meet their obligation to screen themselves or their children for symptoms of illness each day before going to school. School boards and local health units have been asked to align the criteria in their screening tools with this new screening tool for schools. The COVID-19 School Screening tool has been posted on our Return to School (RTS) website under Daily Screening, and is easy to use and accessible here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. Parents or guardians (and students 18 years of age or older) must complete this new COVID-19 School Screening tool before leaving for school each day. Please use this screening tool moving forward, as the one that was provided at the start of the school year is no longer applicable. Based on the new criteria in the school screening tool, the following changes to our previous screening protocol will now apply: Household members and close contacts of a symptomatic individual are no longer required to self-isolate unless they have symptoms. This means that unless otherwise directed by Public Health or a health care provider, siblings are not required to stay home or miss school while awaiting test results for the symptomatic student. However, if a household member (including siblings) has COVID-19 symptoms, they are required to self-isolate while awaiting test results. In cases where an individual tests positive for COVID-19, all close contacts and household members (including siblings) will be required to self-isolate and will require clearance from Halton Public Health before returning to school. The attached chart ( Return to School Protocol for Students with COVID-19 Symptoms.pdf) outlines the revised Return to School Protocol for Students with COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 ADVISORY BOARD The HCDSB has posted a COVID-19 Advisory Board on our Return to School site that provides the number of active confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in connection to HCDSB schools. Please note that this chart will track any active confirmed positive COVID-19 cases connected to one of our school communities, but it does not necessarily mean the individual was exposed in our school. A link to this advisory board has been posted on the landing page of each of our school websites, and you may also access it directly through this link: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/covid-19-advisory-board/. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we navigate through this period of time. The health and well-being of our students, staff and families continues to be our highest priority as we work closely with our Public Health Officials to ensure a safe school year for all. Lunch Time Safety 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. As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop-offs will not be permitted during the school day. We would ask that parents and guardians provide their child(ren) with lunch in the morning before students enter the school building. Additionally, students will not be allowed to walk to neighbourhood restaurants with friends at lunchtime, to help prevent possible risk of exposure to COVID. Dogs Not Allowed On School Property Though we love our four-legged friends, some of our children have severe allergies and are frightened by an encounter with a dog. Our school board prohibits dogs on school property for the protection of your children as well as for the protection of your pet. Please be advised that from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm our students may be out and about with the YMCA and after-school activities in the yard, so we ask your cooperation in not walking your dog through the property during these hours. Family Information Packages We will be gathering our Family Information/Consent Form and the Registration Verification information as we do annually. Please complete and return the Family Information /Consent Form to the school as soon as possible. They will be sent home early this week. We need to have up to date information in order to contact you in case of an emergency. Medical Perils Please ensure you have returned the necessary forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any medication needed so we can update our files. Please be aware that St. Elizabeth Seton 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 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 well since we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter. Concussion Protocol Recent research shows that a concussion can have very serious implications on a child`s cognitive and physical abilities. Parents and guardians are reminded that a comprehensive protocol, based on current research and best practices, has been developed to help parents, students, and staff prevent, recognize, and respond to a concussion. More information, including a Parent Fact Sheet, can be found on the Board`s website at: https://www.hcdsb.org/Parents/safeandhealthy/Medical/Documents/Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents.pdf 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 book an appointment and complete an online screening form prior to arriving at our school. Once inside, all visitors will be required to wear masks and sanitize their hands. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all. Community Support We have currently raised $750 for Mrs. P-R to help support her current needs. Thank you for your continued prayers, and positive messages. They mean a lot! Promoting Well-Being: Back to School Transition The back-to- school transition is always an important one for working parents and families. But this year’s return to classes, amid the safety questions and uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be like no other in recent memory. The specific concerns and decisions facing individual families across the nation will vary depending on numerous factors. But one factor all parents will be dealing with is the extra stress of uncertainty. The Psychology Foundation of Canada has been at the forefront of efforts to acknowledge and address the stress of children and families for over 20 years. Please refer to the following for some words of advice and strategies developed by experts on how to manage the stress of this year’s transition to school. Learn to accept uncertainty and be prepared to learn and adjust as the year progresses. Challenging situations feel less stressful when we think that we understand what is going on. That helps us prepare and figure out what we can do to make a situation less stressful. Right now we cannot possibly understand all the implications of this year’s return to school this fall. While it is a good idea to be well-informed, recognize the possibility that trying to eliminate uncertainty may actually be stressful. We are all going to learn and adjust as we go along and that is just the way things are right now for communities world-wide. Problem-solving won’t always be the answer Another of our go-to ways of managing stress is to solve the problem that is causing the stress. Solve the problem and our stress goes away. Right? Not so much in this case. While there are decisions and actions you will need to take, parents cannot solve all the problems related to re-schooling children in the midst of a pandemic. This fall it may be more helpful to focus on coping with, and recovering from the stressors we are unable to avoid. Try to decrease your stress When we are overstressed, some of our responses to stress can actually increase our stress in the long run. So, in a quiet moment, reflect on what you are doing in response to stress. Might any of them be increasing your stress in the long term? How do you come across to your loved ones? Be mindful of how you think about stressors The stressors that bother us are, almost by definition, negative. But when we dwell excessively on negative thoughts about the stressor we can get into a pessimistic loop that feeds our bad feelings, and interfere with our communication with others. Changing the way you think about a stressor involves learning to: • accept and adapt to stress you can’t change, without giving up • recognize when negative thoughts are increasing our feelings of stress • challenge our negative thoughts, so we can think about stressors in less negative and more flexible ways • plan small steps for self-care • remind yourself of your blessings amidst the daily challenges Try not to add to the stress of others Let us keep in mind that everyone else is experiencing extra stress these days, especially front-line workers in schools. You can be sure your child’s teacher and principal are doing their best to handle a lot of pressure, new demands, and new worries. When communicating with educators, remember that your partnership will help your child’s transition back to school. Help your kids cope Most parents do this instinctively. But there is more to it than just getting kids to act bravely, or trying to explain things in ways that ease their worries. It is important to give kids constructive ways to “reset” into a more relaxed and happy state. Play is one of the best coping mechanisms for children (and not just electronic play). Kids need unstructured, active, and outdoor play. Play with them age-appropriate family games. Recreational activities are good for you, too, and help you stay connected with your children. Be a role model Given the unknowns of the current situation, it is natural for parents to have some worries about sending their kids off to school. However, whether you choose in-school or at-home learning, it is important to model confidence and optimism to your children. Kids pick up on and pay attention to parents’ facial expressions and non-verbal cues. Our anxiety can affect them, but so too can our confidence and courage. Keep doing things you enjoy One of the most important ways to manage the negative impacts of stress is to do enjoyable, healthy things that make us feel good. Coping with stress requires energy. Doing things we enjoy, even in small steps, helps us get back into a positive frame of mind and replenishes the energy we use in coping with stress. Practice a stress-busting lifestyle Lifestyle habits like getting enough rest, physical activity, good nutrition and social contacts bolster our ability to manage stress. Reach out for support Getting (and giving!) social support from others is an important strategy for relieving stress. In fact, our brains are wired for this coping strategy. But some kinds of social contact can add to our stress. Focus in getting support, in safe ways, from people who understand and care about you and can help you feel hopeful and more calm. Most important of all: the parent-child connection A positive daily relationship with a parent is one of a child’s best buffers against stress. So with everything else you have to attend to this fall, be sure to do things to stay connected with your kids in order to help them strengthen their resiliency. The Psychology Foundation of Canada has many free online stress resources including: Resources for Parents Stress Strategies: our interactive, online stress management tool Thank you to Workplace Strategies for Mental Health for their support of 24/7: A resource for working parents. The Psychology Foundation of Canada Twitter: Please follow us @SetonSt Looking Ahead:
The Ontario Fire Marshall expects schools to practice various drills – 3 times in the fall and 3 times in the spring. The OFM is allowing the school to adjust our drills and allow the evacuation to be conducted in stages instead of all classes evacuating at the same time. However, if an alarm sounds outside the scope of a planned fired drill, the total evacuation of the school shall proceed as per the procedures outlined in our school fire safety plan.
The 40th Celebration of Terry Fox Marathon of Hope for Canada is Sunday, September 20th. We look forward to celebrating it here at St. Elizabeth Seton on Tuesday, September 22.
Students are welcome to come in Civvies wearing Red and White to celebrate being a proud Canadian and proud of our Canadian Hero, Terry Fox!
Classes will schedule a time and to honor the 40th celebration our school goal is 40 laps our school.
Follow us on Twitter @SetonSt #tryliketerry
Students and staff are encouraged to wear orange to promote awareness in Canada about the Indian Residential Schools and the impact on our Indigenous communities. The message is we are all God’s children and “Every Child Matters”. Together we can work to increase anti-racist beliefs and behaviour.
World Cerebral Palsy Day, which occurs annually on October 6, reminds us that there are over 17 million people impacted by this disorder. CP is one of the most common disabilities affecting the most vulnerable among us- children. There is currently no cure. Help us create awareness by wearing a green shirt, and/or green ribbon!