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November 13, 2020 Update

COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention

A reminder that all parents/guardians are required to self-screen your child each day before sending them to school. It is recommended that you use the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 school and child care screening tool. This tool can be accessed here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

If your child is sick, regardless of the symptoms, please do not send them to school. Seek medical advice or contact public health for further direction. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort and we must work together to keep all of our students safe at St. Francis of Assisi School.

Anti-Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed a resolution to recognize the week beginning on the third Sunday of November as Anti-Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. The purpose of the week is to heighten the awareness of our students as to what constitutes bullying and the impact it can have on the overall school environment.

Is Conflict the Same as Bullying?

Source: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/multi/english/BullyingEN.pdf

People may sometimes confuse conflict with bullying, but they are different. Conflict occurs between two or more people who have a disagreement, a difference of opinion or different views. Conflict between students does not always mean it’s bullying. Children learn at a young age to understand that others can have a different perspective than their own, but developing the ability to gain perspective takes time and the process continues into early adulthood (Stepping Stones: A Resource on Youth Development, page 26).

In conflict, each person feels comfortable expressing his or her views, and there is no power imbalance. Each person feels able to state his or her view point. How people deal with conflict can make it positive or negative. Conflict becomes negative when an individual behaves aggressively by saying or doing hurtful things. Then the conflict is an aggressive interaction. Conflict only becomes bullying when it is repeated over and over again and there is a power imbalance. Over time, a pattern of behaviour may emerge where the person who behaves aggressively in the conflict may continue or even make it worse. The person who is the recipient of the aggressive conflict may feel less and less able to express his or her point of view and feel more and more powerless. That is when negative conflict may turn into bullying.

A school will respond to bullying and conflict differently. For example, in the case of a conflict, a school staff member may try to have the students come together to tell their side of the story and help them resolve the situation together.

The chart below helps to further differentiate between behaviours that lead to a conflict, are rude or mean, or can be considered bullying.

Next week, our school’s Child and Youth Counsellor Ms. Misener, will be leading virtual sessions with each of our classrooms that are designed to:

  • Help students become more aware of what constitutes bullying and where and when it may be happening.
  • Help students know where to turn for help if they experience or know about acts of bullying.
  • Help students succeed — research shows that a healthy school environment helps to support student success.

Our school has a comprehensive Bullying Prevention Plan in place which is updated and shared with our Catholic School Council each year.

Life Threatening Medical Conditions

As a school, we can never guarantee an allergen free environment, but we have strategies in place to provide a “minimized allergen environment.   One of those strategies is to remind parents, guardians and caregivers to ensure that you send your child to school with peanut-free/nut-free food products to school. For this same reason, we cannot accept treats for birthdays or celebrations and monitor this very closely. We also do not allow any food or drinks on the playground for the protection of all children, especially those with allergies to bees.

Look-A-Like Products to Peanut Butter

Parents / Guardians are reminded to not send their children to school with look-a-like products to peanut butter.  These products claim to be so close in smell, taste and texture to peanut butter, that it is nearly impossible for students and staff to distinguish between a look-a-like product and authentic peanut butter.  We appreciate your cooperation in keeping the look-a-like products at home and preventing a mix-up of the two products, where the results could be life-threatening.

Progress Report / Kindergarten Communication of Learning / Interviews

The Elementary Progress Report for grades 1 – 8 students, and the Kindergarten Communication of Learning: Initial Observations will be issued on November 24, 2020. The reports will be sent home to parents / guardians via email using our School Messenger service.

Parents / guardians will be able to schedule an interview with your child’s teachers during the evening of Thursday, November 26, 2020 and during the day on Friday, November 27, 2020 which is a designated Professional Development Day. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all interviews will be offered virtually via Microsoft Teams or through a phone call. To book an interview, please follow the instructions provided here:  Interviews. Please note that all students have received a paper copy of these instructions which contains the access code needed to book an appointment. You can learn more about the purpose and importance of the Progress Report and Kindergarten Communication of Learning: Initial Observations here: Understanding Your Child’s Report Card.

Virtual Book Fair

St. Francis will be holding its very first virtual book fair November 23 – 30, 2020! Books will be shipping straight to student’s homes, just in time for Christmas. 

Poinsettia Sales

The Catholic School Council has partnered with Terra Greenhouses in Milton to offer families the opportunity to purchase a Christmas poinsettia arrangement this year. Poinsettia sales are available from Monday, November 2, 2020 to Sunday, November 22, 2020 and will be available for pickup from from Thursday, December 10, 2020 to Thursday, December 17, 2020.  Learn more here: Poinsettia Sales

School Cash Online Update

As you know, we have made several modifications to how we operate to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. As part of those modifications, we ask you to use our online payment system to purchase school items when possible.   Cash can play a significant role in virus transmission, and we are working toward following the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to use contactless payments to mitigate virus spread. Learn more here

Lunch Protocols: Reminder

For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch period. Considerations when preparing your child’s lunch:

  • Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
  • Sharing food items will not be permitted.

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.

Upcoming Calendar

Jan
27
Wed
International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jan 27 all day
Feb
4
Thu
Waste Free Lunch Day
Feb 4 all day

According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, the average student‛s school lunch creates about 30 kilograms of waste per year. This means that the average school can produce over 8,500 kilograms of waste every year just from student lunches!

Often our lunches contain single-use plastics, which we put into the garbage. These end up sitting in our landfills.

Waste free lunch days are when we don’t make any garbage from our lunches/snacks.

How do we do this?

  • Use tupperware containers, thermoses, water bottles, reusable utensils (forks and spoons).
  • Make sure we recycle properly (pop cans, yogurt cups)
  • Make sure we compost correctly (food scraps)
Virtual Liturgy – Who is the Holy Spirit?
Feb 4 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Feb
5
Fri
Professional Development Day: Report Card Writing
Feb 5 all day
Feb
15
Mon
Family Day
Feb 15 all day
Feb
16
Tue
Shrove Tuesday
Feb 16 all day
Feb
17
Wed
Ash Wednesday – Lent Begins
Feb 17 all day
Mar
3
Wed
Virtual Liturgy – Who is God?
Mar 3 @ 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Mar
4
Thu
Waste Free Lunch Day
Mar 4 all day

According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, the average student‛s school lunch creates about 30 kilograms of waste per year. This means that the average school can produce over 8,500 kilograms of waste every year just from student lunches!

Often our lunches contain single-use plastics, which we put into the garbage. These end up sitting in our landfills.

Waste free lunch days are when we don’t make any garbage from our lunches/snacks.

How do we do this?

  • Use tupperware containers, thermoses, water bottles, reusable utensils (forks and spoons).
  • Make sure we recycle properly (pop cans, yogurt cups)
  • Make sure we compost correctly (food scraps)
Mar
15
Mon
March Break
Mar 15 all day
Witter, MarkNovember 13, 2020 Update