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Weekly Update – August 31 – September 4

We choose hope over fear. We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort” – Barak Obama

Welcome Back!
St. Gabriel CES staff members are eager and excited to welcome students back to the school in September whether that be within the conventional school setting or through remote learning! Although students will be returning to school under new parameters and safety protocols, we remain dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming, and faith-centered school environment that meets the needs of all of our students.

Whose House? Our House!

Ms. E. Carey – Vice-Principal        Mr. C. Tilley – Principal

HCDSB Return to School Plan
Parents looking for information on the Board’s Return to School Plan can find it on the HCDSB website or by clicking here
To access the HCDSB Return to School Parent Guide please click here Both are great resources for parents in understanding the new policies, protocols, and increased safety precautious surrounding the reopening of schools.

Preparations for a Safe Start
Staff members have been working diligently preparing the school for our physical return. We will have new protocols for lining up, for going to the washroom, for students who arrive late, and for recesses. These new protocols may seem a bit different at first, but we are confident that children will become accustomed to them quickly and that the joy of being back together will make it all worthwhile. More information to follow prior to school commencing.

Gradual Return – Staggered Entry for 2020-2021
The information below was shared with all parents in an email from our Director of Education – Mr. Pat Daly on Friday, August 28th:

At the elementary level, we will be easing into the new school year by bringing Grade 1-8 students back to school in smaller groups on September 9, 10 and 11th.  All Grade 1-8 students will be in school beginning Monday, September 14th.

As per our usual practice, we will implement a staggered entry for Kindergarten students. Year 1 and 2 orientation will take place on Tuesday, September 8th, and Wednesday, September 9th. Year 2 students will begin on Thursday, September 10th. Year 1 staggered entry will take place on Friday, September 11th, and Monday, September 14th. All Kindergarten students in school beginning Tuesday, September 15th.

Students in the self-contained Community Living, Essential Skills, and Structured Teaching special education classes in our elementary schools will begin in-class instruction on Wednesday, September 9 and attend school daily thereafter. 

The following schedule will apply for all elementary schools:

 DateWho attends?Focus
Tuesday September 8School staff ONLYRehearse new health and safety protocols. Set up learning management systems and resources. Co-ordinate the use of space in the school and on the school yard. Kindergarten Year 1 and 2 Orientation Virtual Interviews
Wednesday September 9  School staff Students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames
beginning with the letters A-F Students in self-contained Special Education classes
Practice new health and safety protocols
Student well-being Kindergarten Year 1 and 2 Orientation Virtual Interviews
Thursday September 10  School staff Students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters G- N Students in self-contained Special Education classesAll Year 2 Kindergarten studentsPractice new health and safety protocols
Student well-being
Friday September 11  School staffStudents in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters O-Z Students in self-contained Special Education classes All Year 2 Kindergarten students and half of Year 1 Kindergarten studentsPractice new health and safety protocols
Student well-being
Monday September 14School staff Students in Grades 1-8 All Year 2 Kindergarten students and half of Year 1 Kindergarten studentsRegular in-class instruction and remote learning begin.
Tuesday September 15School staff ALL Students (Kindergarten – Grade 8)All Kindergarten students begin in-class instruction.

Main Office Open
The St. Gabriel Main Office will be open the week of August 31st – September 4th, as well as Tuesday, September 8th.  Office hours are from 8:30am – 11:30am and 12:30pm – 3:30 pm. Parents are reminded that we as a school are trying to minimize the number of outside visitors to the school the prevent the spread of Covid-19. If parents have questions, they are asked to not come to the school but instead, kindly call the school office at 905-332-3333 to speak with our Head Secretary – Mrs. Mulligan. 

New to FDK Interviews
Many of our parents of Year 1 FDK students are likely been wondering when their entry interviews will take place for the upcoming school year. Finalization of school organization and class lists will take place this week and our classroom teachers and ECE’s will be reaching out to all parents of students new to FDK at St. Gabriel by 12:00 pm on Friday, September 4th. Parents will be contacted via email and phone and given a time to conduct a “Virtual Meeting” via Microsoft Teams on either Tuesday, September 8th, or Wednesday, September 9th. If parents do not receive contact with an interview date and time by noon on Friday, September 4th, they are encouraged to call the school office at 905-332-3333. 

Parents of Students with Medical Conditions
If your child has a medical condition, the existing Student Plan of Care will be sent home for you to review and update if necessary, during the first week of school. If your child has an epi-pen, please ensure that you provide one to the school on or before the first day of school.
If your child has a change in their condition over the summer, please inform the school in the week prior to students returning. Please contact the main office in this case.

Covid-19 Symptoms at School
Should a student at St. Gabriel CES exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, they will immediately be brought to the Conference Room. This will be our designated ‘Isolation Room’ where students will be cared for and supervised until a family member can pick them up. Any siblings will also have to go home. Parents will be advised to have the child tested for COVID-19. Students will not be able to return to school until they are symptom-free or until they provide a medical note saying that they do not have COVID-19 and are safe to return to school.

Students in that class will be moved to another area (e.g., outside, gymnasium) so that an immediate deep clean of the room can be complete. Should there be a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 at school, we will be alerting Halton Public Health and following their direction for containment and communication with our parent community.

If, at the direction of the Public Health Department, a child needs to isolate at home for 14 days, their regular classroom teacher will be responsible for providing them with schoolwork so that they will not fall behind. This may be done through a digital Learning Management System, or through regular resources (e.g. textbooks, worksheets).

For more information please see here: COVID-19: Reopening Schools

Children Attending School Online
A portion of our students have chosen to participate in online learning. Once online classes have been organized, you will receive more information from your classroom teachers. For more information about the online delivery model please see here:

Families that did not complete the Intention to Return to School Survey are asked to contact the Main Office as soon as possible so that we are able to complete our school organization and re-opening plans. Thank you in advance!

Change in Daily Scheduling at St. Gabriel CES for 2020-2021
In the interest of student safety and to adhere to the guidelines of the Return to School Policy, St. Gabriel will be on a daily A and B scheduling system. To reduce the number of students on the school yard at one time, the following scheduling system will be implemented:

Schedule A – Gr. 1 – 4/5Schedule B – Gr. 5-8
Supervision Begins: 8:05Supervision Begins: 8:05
Morning Bell: 8:20Morning Bell: 8:20
Period 1: 8:20 – 9:00Period 1: 8:20 – 9:00
Opening Exercises: 9:00-9:10Opening Exercises: 9:00-9:10
Period 2: 9:10-9:50Period 2: 9:10-9:50
Recess:  9:50 – 10:05Period 3: 9:50-10:30
Period 3: 10:05-10:45Recess:  10:30 – 10:45
Period 4: 10:45-11:25Period 4: 10:45-11:25
Lunch Inside:  11:25 – 11:55Lunch Recess Outside: 11:25 – 11:55
Lunch Recess Outside: 11:55 – 12:25Lunch Inside: 11:55 – 12:25
Period 5: 12:25- 1:05Period 5: 12:25- 1:15
Period 6: 1:05- 1:45Period 6: 1:15- 2:00
Recess:  1:45 – 2:00Recess:  2:00-2:15
Period 7:  2:00 – 2:50Period 7:  2:15 – 2:50
Dismissal:  2:50Dismissal:  2:50

The schedules above are in draft form and are subject to change prior to September 14th. FDK students are on a separate schedule than students in Grades 1-8 and as part of the FDK program, have opportunities for outdoor play and learning throughout the school day.

Student 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 an Accident and Life Insurance Program for students exclusively through Old Republic/Reliable Life Insurance Company available on a yearly basis. 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.

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

Information for bus students will be available at www.haltonbus.caTo access this information, you will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN). Please note that there will be no option for Courtesy Seats this year.

Bus Expectation
School bus transportation is a privilege and we need to work together to keep everyone safe. If bus behaviour is poor or dangerous, the bus driver will issue a warning slip and riders may be refused bus service. For more information visit:

To ensure your safety, the following rules have been established:

  1. All students need to wear a mask and stay in their assigned seats at all times.
  2. Line up and board the bus in an orderly manner, while maintaining social distance.
  3. Remain seated; keep arms and head and belongings inside the bus.
  4. Respect the driver at all times. You are not to distract the bus driver.
  5. Do not eat or drink on the bus.
  6. Only ride on the bus to which you are assigned. You may not ride on another bus.

New Year, New Logos
School staff worked very closely with the HCDSB’s Creative Design Officer – Rob De Franco last year to design and create both a new school crest and sports logo. We hope the new designs will instill a sense of school spirit and pride for all our students! The school’s uniform logo will remain unchanged at this time and both the new logos are featured below: 

Promoting Well-Being – Helpful Resources related to COVID-19
Please see the resources below, many of which are applicable to our younger students:

Resources to Support Handwashing   Sesame Street Hand washing resourcesHand Washing Heros (kids are humming not singing)Wiggles Handwashing Song Videos to support Physical Distancing   While We Can’t Hug  Two Meters Away Grover Social DistanceWhen You Can’t Shake HandsIf You Can’t Bear Hug, Air HugSocial Distancing GreetingsAdditional Resources   Cough/Sneeze into your ElbowHands Off your FaceLucy’s MaskHelping Children Understand Emotions When Wearing Masks 10 Days of School and Beyond

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Main Office Open – 8:30am-11:30am, 12:30pm-3:30pm – Call: 905-332-3333
Aug 31 @ 8:30 pm – Sep 4 @ 3:30 am
Labour Day – No School
Sep 7 all day
New to FDK Year 1 Virtual Interviews – (Interviews for Year 2’s if new to St. Gabriel)
Sep 8 – Sep 9 all day
School Staff Only – No Classes for Students FDK – Gr. 8
Sep 8 all day
Main Office Open – 8:30am-11:30am, 12:30pm-3:30pm – Call: 905-332-3333
Sep 8 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Staggered Entry Gr. 1-8 – Family Last Names A – F
Sep 9 all day
Staggered Entry Gr. 1-8 – Family Last Names G – N
Sep 10 all day
Year 2 FDK Students Begin School
Sep 10 all day
Half of Year 1 FDK Students Attend
Sep 11 all day
Staggered Entry Gr. 1-8 – Family Last Names O – Z
Sep 11 all day
Full Entry – Grades 1-8
Sep 14 all day
Half of Year 1 FDK Students Attend
Sep 14 all day
Virtual Learning Begins – Grades 1-8
Sep 14 all day
Full Entry – FDK (Year 1 and 2) to Grade 8
Sep 15 all day
Virtual Learning Begins – FDK
Sep 15 all day

Elementary PrincipalWeekly Update – August 31 – September 4