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Weekly Update – September 9-13

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.
~ Coretta Scott King

Sincerest Thanks

Dear St. Gabriel Parents,

The 2019-2020 school year is off to a wonderful start! Even though we are still dealing with some construction/renovation challenges, these short-term issues are well worth it. Significant positive changes have been made to the school facility that will reap benefits for the staff, students and parents for years to come.

Mr. Ceelen and Mr. Tilley want to personally thank you for welcoming us with open hearts. The kind words of support and encouragement are very much appreciated. We are excited about building a partnership with you based on mutual trust so we can provide your child with an outstanding Catholic education.

In the first week, the staff has worked extremely hard establishing routines and expectations. The students are responding very well. Their behaviour on the playground, during entry into the school and at the divisional assemblies has been excellent. All the staff are very proud of them.

Looking forward a terrific year!

Mr. Tilley – Principal        Mr. Ceelen – Acting Vice-Principal

Uniform Swap

Last Thursday, September 5th a Uniform Exchange was held in Gym A after school and was hosted by our dedicated St. Gabriel volunteers. The event was well attended and ran very smoothly. Additional Uniform Swaps will be held later in the school year so make sure to check our website for future dates. Thank you again to our volunteers for organizing!

Safe and Caring Schools Assemblies

On Friday, September 9th, Mr. Tilley and Mr. Ceelen hosted a series of “Safe and Caring Schools” assemblies to review procedures, routines, and school code of conduct. Separate gatherings were held for Primary, Junior, and Intermediate Divisions and all 3 audiences listened attentively. Some of the common themes that were shared at these assemblies are as follows:

  • Gabriel School is “our house”. We will treat it with respect and pride.
  • We will love one another and take care of each other.
  • It is by far easier to be kind to someone than it is to be mean.
  • Students will be good listeners – using eye contact and positive body language when being spoken to by others.

    Family Information Packages

    Thank you for completing and returning family information packages and updated student verification forms.  If you have not already done so, please return your forms to the classroom teacher as soon as possible.

    Medical Perils
    If your child has a medical condition such as anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy, please return the medical conditions package and appropriate medications. We want to keep your child safe by having the correct information and medications on hand. If you need a new package, please contact the office.

    Supervision – Friendly Reminders

    Supervision begins at 8:05 am. For the safety of your children we request that your child NOT be on school property until a supervisor is on duty. For safety, please see that your children leave home with ample time to ensure that they are in the schoolyard when the bell rings. Encourage your children to use appropriate crosswalks and walkways. Establish routines at home that will assist your child to arrive on time. Please be aware that the volume of traffic in the parking lot increases significantly just prior to the entry bell.  Children arriving late for school must first report to the office for a late slip. We would like them to be in line with their class at 8:18 am.

    During the first week of school it can be difficult for some of our younger students to come to school and be apart from their parents and guardians. As a staff we recognized this last week and allowed some parents and caregivers to come onto the schoolyard during drop off and pickup. Moving forward, we would kindly ask that parents of Gr. 1-8 students drop their children at the gate in the morning. If a child is having difficulty, a staff member will be more than willing to take them by the hand and comfort them. For parents of FDK students, you are welcome to come to the front of the school each morning to hand your children off to our Kindergarten staff. At the end of the day, we ask that parents remain in the parking lot. Teachers will make eye contact with you to hand your child over. Your cooperation in this matter is in the interest of student safety and we thank you for your support!

    Interruptions to the School Day

    We would like to keep interruptions to the children’s school day to a minimum. Please make every effort to book medical appointments and extra-curricular activities outside of the school day. When that is not possible, and you need to pick up your child from school at a time other than the regular dismissal time, we kindly ask that you write a note in your child’s agenda that day. Also, make sure your child knows what time you will be picking him/her up. When our office staff need to call a student down from the classroom, we are interrupting instructional time for the entire class. letting the teacher know about early dismissal through the agenda helps us to minimize distractions and allow students to maintain their focus on their learning. We thank you for your assistance with this request.

    PA Day – Mark Your Calendars!

    Please note that our staff will be involved in Professional Learning on Monday, September 16, 2019, and there will be no school on that day. An agenda outlining the learning for the day will posted on the website soon.

    Curriculum Night – Mark Your Calendars!

    Curriculum Night takes place on Thursday, September 26th from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm at St. Gabriel School. More details to follow.

    First School Mass – Mark Your Calendars!

    St. Gabriel School will acknowledge the Feast Day of the Guardian Angels and of our patron saint St. Gabriel by attending mass for Grades 1-8 on Friday, September 27th at 10:00 am. Parents and guests are most welcome to attend!

    St. Gabriel Parish Request – Altar Servers Needed!

    St. Gabriel School has a long-standing partnership with our neighboring parish. The church needs young people to serve as altar servers in our parish community. If your child is in Grade 4 or above and they are interested in serving on the altar, please contact the parish office.

    Little Jammerz Assemblies

    This Friday afternoon, September 13th, Gary Gotleib from Little Jammerz will be presenting in separate assemblies for both Gr. 1-3, and Gr. 4-6. Little Jammerz is an outside company that runs guitar lessons over the lunch hour 1 day per week. Your child will come home with a flyer on Friday and you may enroll them in the program if you wish. Payment for Little Jammerz is done through a third party, is separate from the school, and is not available through our cashless system. More details to follow.

    Terry Fox Event

    Terry Fox lives at St. Gabriel. On the afternoon of Friday, September 27th the entire school will participate in a walk to support the “Marathon of Hope”. It will be a non-uniform day as students will be encouraged to wear read and white clothing and to donate a “Toonie for Terry”. The walking route will be within proximity to the school and will begin at 1:00 pm.

    Catholic School Council – 2019-2020

    St. Gabriel Catholic School Council nomination forms are available for you to pick up in person from the main office. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 13th at 9:00 am. Please note that no further nominations will be considered after this date and time.

    Our Catholic School Council plays an active role at St. Gabriel by determining school priorities and budgeting. We meet approximately one evening per month and it is important to know that we need committed members able to attend meetings.

    If this is not possible for you, there will be many other opportunities and committees through which you can assist the school. If you are unable to come to all the council meetings, please consider coming to volunteer at our school instead.

    Our first Catholic School Council meeting will be Thursday, October 3rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Library. The first meeting is an inaugural one to determine roles, meeting dates and priorities.


    Thank you for your patience with bussing as drivers adjust to their new routes. Halton Bus has let us know that we can expect another week or two of delays as everyone adjusts to new schedules. You can check for delays at or subscribe here:

    Volunteers Needed!

    Our volunteers are very important to us! In so many ways, our volunteers are the heart and soul of our school. Do you have some free time during the day? Please consider volunteering. A volunteer sign-up desk will be set up inside the school during Curriculum Night on September 26th.

    Please note that all our volunteers are required to have a Police Records Check on file at the school. These police checks can now be done online: at

    Interactive School Calendar

    Our website features an interactive school calendar, which allows parents to view the calendar right within our school site, but also offers the ability to subscribe to the calendar and add it to your Apple, Google, and/or Outlook calendars. To subscribe to this feature, click on the CALENDAR tab, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. In the bottom right hand corner, you will see a button that says ‘SUBSCRIBE’ and when you click on this button, you will be prompted to select a calendar option.  View the How-To Guide

    Follow us on Twitter @stgabrielhcdsb

    Masses at St. Gabriel Parish (English)
    Sep 8 all day

    8:00 am and 11:00 am Masses

    Full Entry for all FDK Students – Year 1 and 2
    Sep 9 all day
    Mass – Gr. 8 Classes
    Sep 10 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am
    Visit from Lorrie Naar – Superintendent of Education HCDSB
    Sep 11 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
    Gr 7 Immunization Forms Due
    Sep 13 all day
    Little Jammerz Assembly – Gr. 1-3
    Sep 13 @ 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
    Little Jammerz Assembly – Gr. 4-6
    Sep 13 @ 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
    Catholic School Council Parent Nomination Packages – Due to Office
    Sep 13 @ 3:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Mass at St. Gabriel Parish (English)
    Sep 14 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
    Masses at St. Gabriel Parish (English)
    Sep 15 all day

    8:00 am and 11:00 am Masses

Elementary PrincipalWeekly Update – September 9-13