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Welcome Back to School~ Community Update

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

 Pope Francis

Welcome back!

A very special welcome to our new families that are joining our St. Elizabeth Seton school community!

Please join in me in welcoming the following new staff:

Mrs. Dawson- CYC, Mrs. Pezzente- FDK, Ms. D’Angelo Gr. 4, Ms. Robinson Gr. 4/5,  Mrs. Turnbull & Ms. Giudice Gr. 5/6, Mr. Salamaszek Gr. 7/8, Ms. Condron- EA, Ms. Rupnik-p.m. Custodian.

Thank you:

Thank you to our AMAZING teaching staff who have been in all week preparing a safe & special learning space for your child(ren)!

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE office & custodial staff who have been ensuring that we have a smooth start and transition to the school year! The school looks FABULOUS!

Thank you to all of our St. Elizabeth Seton Families who have been so patient & supportive as we begin a new and very different school year!

Gentile Reminders:

The First day of instruction for students in Gr. 1-8, is a gradual return to school and will be based on surname in Alphabetical Order, as indicated in the following chart. Please note, this gradual return to school will help alleviate some of the anxiety in students by providing a calm environment to help students learn the new health and safety routines at school and practice our entry and dismissal procedures in smaller groups.  This is indicated on our school sign:

Date Schedule 
Wednesday, September 9th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters  A-F will come to school 
Thursday, September 10th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters  G- N will come to school  All Year 2 Kindergarten students
Friday, September 11th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters  O-Z  will come to school All Year 2 Kindergarten & ½ Year 1 Kindergarten
Monday, September 14th ALL students in Grades 1-8 attending in-class instruction will come to school. Remote learning will begin for students learning from home.  All Year 2 Kindergarten & ½ Year 1 Kindergarten

On your child’s first day we will have all classroom teachers standing in a designated place outside with a sign. We would ask that your child make their way independently

(without a parent) to their teacher once they have entered the school playground. Please be reassured we will have additional staff to assist your child in finding their teacher/location.

Our KDG students will also have a staggered start.  All Year 2 (SK), both new and returning, will start school on Thursday September 10th and will continue to come to school everyday thereafter. Our Year 1 (JK) students, have had some changes to the staggered entry dates. An email was sent to all Kindergarten parents. Please call the main office if you need further clarification.

Daily Self Screening 

Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Please note that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.  ​ 

Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE. 

  • Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8oC) 
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19 

If any signs or symptoms, student and other household members must stay home, and school must be contacted. 

Please note, that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.  ​ 

Wearing of Masks at School 

Medical masks will be worn by all school staff.   

All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. Reasonable exceptions to this requirement will be put in place (see below Exemptions for Mask Wearing). 

Students will have ‘Mask Breaks’ during outdoor time and lunch, as per the direction of the board’s Return to School Plan.  We would ask that parents take some time to review and practice the routine of washing hands, putting on a mask, then taking off a mask, and washing hands, with your child. Continous handwashing hygiene is key!

Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet  

Exemptions for Wearing Masks  

Reasonable exceptions to mask wearing will be considered. 

An exemption may be requested for a student in Grades K-8 for the following reasons: 

  • A pre-existing medical condition. 
  • A diagnosis or learning profile that would limit a student’s ability to tolerate or safely wear a mask, including whereby a mask would affect essential communication for a person who is hearing impaired. 
  • Other, as detailed by a healthcare practitioner. 

If any of the above conditions apply to your son or daughter, please contact our School Office to arrange for a Mask Exemption request form. 

School Bells:

Note- *Our bell times have been changed to allow for smaller groupings outside.

Yard Duty begins 8:25 a.m.

  • Warning Bell 8:35 a.m.
  • School Entry 8:40 a.m.

Morning Announcements & Christian Meditation-delayed:

Begin at 9:30 a.m.

Morning Recess:

9:35-9:50 am Gr. 4-8

10:15-10:30 am Gr. 1-3

Lunch Recess will take place from 11:50-12:50pm. * (new time)

Gr.1-3, will eat from 11:50 to 12:20 and then go outside for the first last 30 mins.

Gr.4-8, will go outside from 11:50 to 12:20 and then come inside to eat lunch from 12:20-12:50.

Afternoon Recess:

1:30-1:45 pm Gr. 4-8

2:10-2:25 pm Gr. 1-3

Dismissal 3:10

*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.  

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.

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. 

Drop-off and Pick-up 

As we prepare to welcome students back to school next week, we wanted to review the drop-off and pick-up protocols that will be in place to help minimize contacts and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school community.  

Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children. Parents and guardians will remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol). 

Morning Yard Supervision begins at 8:25 am. For the safety of your children we request that your child NOT be on school property until a supervisor is on duty. Children arriving late for school must first report to the office using Door 1. All students should begin to lineup with their class at 8:35 am as our day begins at 8:40 am. Students will have a designated place to line up upon arrival. We would ask that once your child arrives on school property in the morning that they go directly to their “line up” area. All Teachers will be outside the first week of school to meet your child and bring them into the building. We will be implementing an entry plan to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time.  

Kindergarten students will enter the school immediately upon arrival in the morning.  They are not to enter the Kindergarten play yard.

Parents and caregivers are asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their child(ren). No gathering or congregating will be allowed on school property.  

Thank you for your understanding and assistance as we work together to protect our students, families and staff so that we can ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all.  

School Parking Lot

Please be advised, that the main entrance is for bus pick up and drop off only. Parents/caregivers can use either the north & south parking lots for dropping off and picking up students. If you need to park to enter the school for a pre-arranged appointment, please only park on the north side (not the FDK area). New this year, the Kindergarten parking lot (Southside) will be closed and marked with pylons between 9:00 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. to be used as an outdoor play area to assist with social distancing. The north parking lot will be used for staff parking to accommodate this outdoor play space as well.

During “pick up and drop off” for arrival and dismissal, we ask all parents/caregivers to be mindful of our students’ safety and to remain behind the gate and do not enter the playground area. We kindly request that parents not bring pets on to school property, either before or after school. Please note that this is a Board Direction. Thank you for your attention & cooperation with this matter!

Please consider walking your child if possible, the first few weeks of school are typically very busy in all school parking lots. We would ask for you patience & smiles during this exciting time for your child!

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.  

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 ‘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 get in touch with you quickly. Please contact our school office if there have been any recent changes to your contact information.  

Safe and Caring School

School staff will review the school routines and expectations with your child. Please know that these expectations are to help keep everyone safe and learning at St. Elizabeth Catholic School. The Code of Conduct is in the front of the student agenda for Gr. 1-8. We would ask you to review and discuss this with your child(ren).

School Communication

We will provide a Weekly Update, which will be posted to the school website and the link will be emailed each Sunday. The website will be updated frequently, including the Announcements page, where we will share school community news. The calendar on the website can be subscribed to, so notifications can be received as dates are added: https://elem.hcdsb.org/stelizabethseton/

Students will record information in their personal agendas to help them stay organized but please note, staff will not be recording communication to parents in the paper agenda for health reasons. If you have a question or concern please direct it to your child’s teacher by calling the school to leave a message, or sending them an email, and staff will respond by phone or offer a virtual meeting as needed. Staff emails are on the school website under Contacts.

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.   

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all.  

Catholic School Council Nominations

Role of Catholic School Council:  Ontario Regulation 612 states that every school must hold elections for the School Council within the first 30 days of each school year. The term of office is one year.  We want to encourage every parent to consider volunteering to sit on the Catholic School Council this year.  The school needs active and interested parents to maintain the quality of the school community we enjoy and to address the challenges the community will face in the future.  Nomination forms are available through the main office.

If Elections are required, then the names of candidates and a one-page information biography sheet, if available, will be posted on the School Community Bulletin Board located in the front entrance of the school and on the school website. This year, elections for our 2019/2020 Catholic School Council will take place in September according to the following timelines:

Nomination Forms Due:   Monday, September 14th  

Profiles Due (if required): Tuesday, September 15th

Council Elections (if needed): Monday, September 28th

First Council Meeting:  Wednesday, October 7th at 6:30 pm

Meetings will be held “virtually” (using Teams). Dates & times will be posted on our school web page. 

Medical Perils

Please ensure you have returned the necessary medication & forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any updated information for our files. We are aware that Allerject is now available in Canada, and if this your choice of auto injectors please indicate this on the Student Plan of Care.

Please be aware that St. Elizabeth Seton CES 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 for 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 we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter. Your support and attention to this matter is greatly appreciated as we have many students with life threatening allergies.  

Student Accident Insurance

The Halton Catholic District School Board does not provide accident insurance coverage for student injuries that occur on school premises or during school activities. Since accidents can happen, and some injuries result in medical, dental or other expenses that are not covered by provincial health care or employer group plans, as a parent, you may wish to consider purchasing student accident insurance.  

Student accident insurance can provide you with financial peace of mind against the possible expenses that can be incurred if a child is injured at school.  

The Board makes available an Accident and Life Insurance Program for students exclusively through Old Republic/Reliable Life Insurance Company. Participation is voluntary, and the costs for the program are paid by the parent or guardian. The program offers a variety of plans and benefits, which can be tailored to suit your needs. The coverage provided by the policy is comprehensive and reasonably priced ($17.00 to $33.00 per year, depending on the plan chosen).   

The insurance agreement is between the parent or guardian and the insurance company. If you wish to subscribe or for more information, please visit:  or call 1-800-463KIDS (5437)

Community Support!

Thank you for the support that is beginning to pour in for our teacher Mrs. Puglia-Ribeiro in the way of cards, special emails, prayers, and cash online donations.

Please see the Feature story about Mrs. P-R on our school website. She will be missed this school year but always in our hearts!

Twitter:

Please follow us @SetonSt to view learning in our community as well as some great community and parent information!

Looking Ahead:

Elementary PrincipalWelcome Back to School~ Community Update