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Weekly Update – November 15 – 19

“Let all that you do be done in love.”

1 Corinthians

Thank you to our Grade 7EF classes and teachers for organizing our beautiful virtual Remembrance Day Liturgy.

Thank you to Mrs. Cadet and Mlle. Muvrin for leading our FIAT – Faith in Action Team

Thank you to our Grade 8 FIAT members for organizing the events for Bullying Prevention & Awareness week this week

Thank you our Parent Council and AGF Sub-Committee for organizing our Advent Giving Fair activities and events

Thank you to the parents who volunteer their time for Pizza Wednesdays

Thank you to our Lunchtime Supervisors for their care of our students each day

Thank you to our staff coaches for starting Volleyball this week

Thank you to our Head Custodian – Ms. Pineda for her tireless work in keeping our school clean, safe, and organized!

Bullying Prevention & Awareness Week – Pink Shirt Day
The St. Gabriel FIAT – Faith in Action Team has organized Anti-Bullying events. Each class will have the opportunity to participate in our school-wide “peace walk” and our announcements each day this week will feature information and tips to promote Bullying Prevention and Awareness. We will cap the week off with Pink Shirt day and show our solidarity as a school to stand up to bullying on Friday, November 18th.  

Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week – Bullying Defined

Bullying Prevention and Awareness week begin on Friday, November 12- Friday, November 19.

  • Bullying is defined as a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance – Pepler & Craig (2014)

Types of Bullying:

  • CYBER: The targeting of someone using technology, it is quickly outpacing the traditional forms of bullying.
  • SOCIAL: Sometimes referred to as Relational Bullying. This involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationship.
  • VERBAL: Saying or writing mean things
  • PHYSICAL: Involves hurting someone’s body or possessions
Critical QuestionTeasingAggressionBullying
Is this behaviour reciprocated?Usually The teasing is shared equallyUsually Not There is usually only one aggressorNo There is a person who bullies and a person who is victimized
Do both people look like they are having a good time?Usually It takes place within a strong, positive, relationshipNo One person is the aggressorNo One person is in distress or being harmed
Is the behaviour fun?Usually Both people enjoy the banterUsually Not It can alienate and be embarrassingNo The person bullying intends to cause fear
Has this happened before with these individuals?Yes It occurs when there is a familiarityPossibly It may be a one-time eventYes Bullying is typically repeated behaviour
Is there a power differential?No It illustrates closeness and affectionPossibly It can happen within a weak relationshipYes There is always a power imbalance

Throughout this week, we as a school community, will be discussing strategies to promote a safe school environment! Whose House?!!!!

Tuesday Lunchbox Trial Program at St. Gabriel CES
In cooperation with Catholic School Council, St. Gabriel will be offering an additional lunch day on a trail basis beginning on Tuesday, November 23rd. Families will have the option to order from Subway and Boston Pizza on alternating weeks. Lunchbox orders are connected to SchoolCashOnline and the trial will run until the end of January. Parents can expect an email this week with more information.  

Parent/Teacher Interviews

“We know that parents have an important role to play in supporting student learning. Studies show that students perform better in school if their parents or guardians are involved in their education. This is the basis for the principle that students and parents should be kept fully informed about the student’s progress.” ~ Growing Success, page 8.

Progress Reports will be coming home on Wednesday November 24th. We will be holding Parent-Teacher Interviews for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students virtually during the evening of Thursday November 25, 2021, and during the day on Friday November 26, 2021.  This year you will once again be able to schedule your Parent-Teacher Interviews online. An email will be sent to all parents on Wednesday, November 17th with instruction on how to book your child’s interview. Parents may begin scheduling interviews on Thursday, November 18th. If you have any questions, please contact the main office.

Message from Halton Transportation – Courtesy Seats
We are happy to inform you that courtesy bus seats will now be offered at a reduced capacity, beginning January 3, 2022.

In accordance with HSTS Procedure HS-1-004 – Courtesy Seats, families with children who are not otherwise eligible for school bus transportation to and from school are allowed to apply for courtesy seats on school buses.

Courtesy seats will be offered at a reduced capacity for the health and safety of our students, and to accommodate continued growth in the region of Halton. 

HSTS Courtesy Seat Application Form 
The HSTS Courtesy Seat online application form will be open for submissions at: from Monday, November 8 through Friday, November 26th, 2021 until 5:00 p.m.

Upon completion of the application review process, parents and guardians who submitted a courtesy seat application will be notified by HSTS via email by December 31, 2021. Families will be able to check on the status of their application using the BusPlannerWeb portal. 

Visit the HSTS website for more information: 

Indigenous Awareness Month
November marks Indigenous Awareness Month. Several events are planned for the month and the following significant dates are in November including Inuit Day, Louis Riel Day, and National Aboriginal Veterans Day. Parents are encouraged to visit the Board website for updates.

Virtual Opening Exercises
Mr. Caunce’s Grade 6EF class will lead our Friday Virtual Opening Exercises this week. Each week, a different class from Grades 3 – 8 will lead the school in Opening Exercises.

Masks on School Property
We kindly ask that parents wear a non-medical mask during drop off and pickup times before and after school. As parents gather on school property, a 2M physical distancing is not possible. Please continue to do your part in avoiding the spread of COVID-19. Your cooperation in this matter is most appreciated.

Daily COVID-19 Screening
For the safety and well-being of all students and staff, 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.

The Government of Ontario daily self-screening tool can be accessed here:

Halton Public Health Mask Guidelines Update
Halton Public Health has updated their Public Health Recommendations for Schools 2021-2022 to Version 1.4. Regarding masks that are worn by students, the following are not to be used as substitutes for a properly fitted mask:

  • Face coverings such as a bandana, neck gaiter or any other material;
  • Mingle masks
  • Mesh masks
  • Clear masks are not recommended for routine use, however, they can be used in certain situations where it would strongly aid communication, such as for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

The mask must cover the mouth, nose and chin without leaving a gap in order to limit the spread of respiratory droplets.

Dressing for Winter Weather

With the arrival of winter like weather, we kindly request that parents ensure your child is dressed each day to play outside at recess. Students are able to be outside for all regular outside activities when it is warmer than -15 C. When temperatures range between -15C to -20C, students may remain outside for no longer than 20-minute intervals, once temperatures are colder than -20C students must remain inside ~thank you for your support with this!

The Use of Technology at School

When relevant to curriculum and instruction, teachers may permit the use of any board owned or personal electronic device in a manner that meets the current policy as a classroom learning device, and to develop competency with the following learning strategies:

  • Becoming a Digital Citizen;
  • Understand Technology Operations and Concepts;
  • Creativity and Innovation;
  • Research and Information Fluency;
  • Communication and Collaboration;
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making

In the event that a student needs to contact their parent, they can do so, with teacher permission and supervision, using their own cell phone. However, we kindly ask that parents / guardians refrain from attempting to contact their child during the day through their child’s cell phone. In the event of a family emergency, the appropriate method to contact your child during the school day is through the school office.

Cobs Bread – Raise Some Dough Fundraiser
Throughout the school year families at St. Gabriel CES will have the chance to raise funds that will be donated directly back to school.

How does it work?

  • Each time the families of St. Gabriel CES purchase a product at COBS Bread Maple Mews and they mention they’re raising dough for St. Gabriel, our staff will process a 10% donation of the total sale back to your school.
  • The donations to the school will be presented at an agreed upon time. Running totals can be provided after each school term to let families know how much has been raised.

Families are asked to participate in this fundraiser by purchasing items at the Maple Mews COBS location situated at 1235 Fairview St, Burlington, ON L7S 2K9. Upon purchasing baked goods at this COBS location, kindly mention St. Gabriel and 10% of your purchase will be donated to our school!

We look forward to this continued local community partnership!

MindUP Program at St. Gabriel CES
Children in Grades 1-3 will be starting lesson three, The Core Practice this week.  The Core Practice is the signature daily routine of The MindUP Program.  Teaching to focus on and control breathing can help become less reactive and more reflective when feeling anxious or stressed.  This short daily activity of listening and breathing capitalizes on neuroplasticity, the brain process that creates and strengthens nerve cell (neuron) connections through practice or repeated experience.  As your child/children practice controlled breathing, their brains develop and reinforce the “habit” of responding to anxiety by focusing on their breathing.  This leads to reflective rather than reactive responses.  The more controlled breathing is practiced, the more self-managed and mindful your child/children can become.  The Core Practice puts them in control of their mental and physical energy.   Take some time to go over the Core Practice exercise with your child/children.

Promoting Well-Being – Anxiety 101: What You and Your Child Need to Know About Anxiety

  1. Anxiety is normal. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. It alerts us to threats, protects us from danger and helps us reach important goals. For example, it is normal to feel anxious when encountering a bear on a hike, or before taking an important exam.
  • Anxiety is not dangerous. Although anxiety feels uncomfortable, it is temporary and will eventually decrease. The sensations we experience in an anxious situation are designed to alert and activate us. They are normal and part of our body’s natural response mechanism. Our body is smart enough to know when to “amp up” and when to “calm down.”
  • Anxiety is adaptive. Anxiety helps us prepare for real danger, such as crossing a busy street. It can also help us perform at our best and motivate us to study for an exam or practice for a big game. When we experience anxiety, it triggers our “fight-flight-freeze” response, and prepares our body to react. For instance, our heart beats faster to pump blood to our muscles, so we have the energy to run away or fight off danger. Without it, we would not survive. We need some anxiety.
  • Anxiety is part of life. Trying to eliminate anxiety from your child’s life is almost impossible, and even if it were possible, we are not sure you will have created a life worth living for your child. As a result, this website has been designed to provide you and your child with information, tools, resources, and more, to help your child become an expert on coping with anxiety. Since anxiety is everywhere, one of the greatest gifts you can give your anxious child or teen is the confidence and skill to tolerate anxiety whenever it occurs, and to continue living his/her life anyway!
  • Anxiety can become a problem. Small doses of anxiety in certain situations are useful. However, when your child is worrying much of the time, avoiding fun activities, or refusing to go to school because s/he is scared or worried, anxiety has become a problem. Think of anxiety like fog: if it covers everything, makes it hard to see, stops you from doing what you usually do, and generally gets in the way, then it has likely become a problem.

For more information on how to explain anxiety to your child, see “How to talk to your Child about Anxiety”


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Indigenous Awareness Month
Nov 1 – Nov 30 all day
Bullying Prevention & Awareness Week
Nov 15 – Nov 19 all day
Louis Riel Day
Nov 16 all day
Milk Program begins Today
Nov 16 all day
Pizza Day
Nov 17 all day
Thu Opens Today
Nov 18 all day
Pink Shirt Day – Bullying Prevention & Awareness
Nov 19 all day
Virtual Prayers/Opening Exercises
Nov 19 all day
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Nov 21 all day
Lunchbox – Subway
Nov 23 all day
Pizza Day
Nov 24 all day
Terrific Storyific Virtual Event – K – 3
Nov 24 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Parent/Teacher Interview Evening
Nov 25 @ 3:10 pm – 7:30 pm
PA Day
Nov 26 all day
Parent/Teacher Interviews
Nov 26 all day

Tilley, ChristopherWeekly Update – November 15 – 19