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Communication Bulletin #1

Communication Bulletin #1

Education- It might look like it never has before.  It might feel harder.  It might be a struggle.  But, it still can be good. There still is learning.  There still is discovery.  There still is connection.  Have patience.  Perhaps this is the year we look at education with new eyes. 

–Rachel Marie Martins  findingjoy.net

A Warm Welcome!

A very special welcome to our new families that are joining the St. Gregory the Great school community!

Please join us in welcoming Mrs. J Commisso our School Secretary. We extend a special thank you and congratulations to Mrs. C Palucci who took a position at the board office in our planning department for this school year.

Welcome to Ms. E Coluccio as Designated ECE, Mrs. M Marchesano in grade 1 (LTO), Mrs. M Goncz in grade 1, Mrs. L Nasato in grade 2, Mrs. T Amoruso in grade 7, Mrs. D Henein our French teacher, Mrs. N Assettino our Special Education Resource Teacher, Mrs. T Pilon, Mrs. D Texeira, and Mr. D Rivera our Educational Assistants.

Thank you!

Thank you to our AMAZING teaching staff and support staff who have been in all week preparing for a safe return to school for all our students.  They have prepared welcoming and safe learning spaces for all our students and we are grateful to be working with such amazing Educators.

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE office & custodial staff who have been working to ensure that we have a smooth start and transition to the 2020-2021 school year! The school is ready to receive our students.

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

Back to School Reminders

The first day back to school, even under ‘normal’ circumstances, can be very stressful for students, families and staff. We recognize that this year, these feelings may be heightened given our current circumstances and the new health and safety protocols that will be in place as our schools re-open. As communicated by HCDSB, the first day of school will be delayed by one day.  This will allow our staff to rehearse the new health and safety protocols, and adapt our practices to ensure an organized transition for students. It will also facilitate the set-up of the learning management systems and resources for remote learning. A gradual return to school for our elementary students 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.

 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 Year 1 Kindergarten students (JK) who schedule their entry interview on Wednesday, September 9. 2020 will attendPractice new health and safety protocols
Student well-being
Monday September 14School staff Students in Grades 1-8 All Year 2 Kindergarten students and Year1 Kindergarten students (JK) who schedule their entry interview on Tuesday, September 8, 2020Regular in-class instruction and remote learning begin.
Tuesday September 15School staff ALL Students (Kindergarten – Grade 8)All Kindergarten students begin in-class instruction.
Return to School Staggered Start

Our Kindergarten 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- please refer to the chart. Our Kindergarten Educator Teams will be emailing you directly with an invitation for a Virtual Meeting. 

On your child’s first day of school, we will have all classroom teachers standing in their designated zones 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 support staff to assist your child in finding their teacher/location. 

Please see the attached map with Teacher/Zones.

Class Placements

Please be advised that you will be able to access information about your child’s class placement on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 after 12:00 p.m.  This information will be available on the Board’s website at: www.hcdsb.org.

On the Home page, please click on the “Schools” tab and then on the “School Listing” tab in the drop-down menu.  You will be directed to the school listing page. Once you have arrived on this page, please click on “Class Placements”, beside the appropriate Elementary school name.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to access this information, you will require your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN), which can be found on his/her report card. We look forward to welcoming our students this upcoming week.

Students Learning from Home  

Some of our families have opted to keep their children home to participate in remote (online) learning.  Remote learners will be part of a virtual classroom, in a virtual school.  Online classes are currently being organized. Once finalized, parents with students in the virtual classrooms will receive communication directly from their children’s classroom teachers.  

NOTE: Students registered for remote instruction will not be attending our school in-person on the gradual return days that have been scheduled between September 9 -11, 2020. These days are set aside for students who will be returning for in-class instruction, to review the health and safety protocols that will be in place in our school.   

The first day of instruction for students learning from home will be Monday, September 14, 2020.  

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. 

Use of Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)​ 

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the measures we will have in place in our schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

PPE is protective clothing or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. PPE can include gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, safety shoes etc.  

Wearing of Masks at School

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the measures we will have in place in our schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

PPE is protective clothing or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. PPE can include gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, safety shoes etc. 

  •  Medical masks will be worn by all teachers and other 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).  

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-12 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.  

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 designated ‘isolation room’ where they will be cared for and supervised until the parent or guardian can 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.  

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 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.      

Starting the School Day

Our 9:10 a.m. bell time will remain the same, however students will enter the building using a staggered entry plan.

Morning Recess:

10:20-10:35 am Gr. 4-8

10:50-11:05 am Gr. 1-3

Lunch Recess will take place from 11:55-12:55 pm.  

Gr. 4-8, will eat from 11:55 to 12:25 and then go outside for the first 30 mins.

Gr.1-3 will go outside from 11:55-12:25 and then come inside to eat lunch from 12:25-12:55.

Afternoon Recess:

2:15-2:30pm Gr. 4-8

2:35-2:55pm Gr. 1-3

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 9:00 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 be in their designated zone with their class at 9:10 am as our bell will ring at 9:10 a.m. We would ask that once your child arrives on school property in the morning that they go directly to designated zone. All Teachers will be outside daily to meet your child and bring them into the building. We will be implementing a staggered 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.  

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.  

Transportation 

Due to the changes in the school schedules, as well as the enhanced health and safety protocols that will have to be in place on school buses, Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will require some additional time to finalize the transportation arrangements.  In light of this, the start of school bus routes will be delayed this year.  

School bus transportation to and from school will be available as follows: 

  • special education classes, and secondary students in our Life Skills classes, transportation to and from school will be available beginning Friday, September 11, 2020
     
  • . For all other students (Kindergarten to Grade 12), school bus transportation to and from school will be available beginning Monday, September 14, 2020

We know that many families rely on school buses to get their children to and from school, and we are hopeful that you will be able to make alternative arrangements for your child(ren) to attend school on their assigned staggered entry date.  

Once transportation arrangements have been finalized, parents will receive an email to confirm the route number, pick-time and location through the parent portal. 

For more information, visit the HSTS website at: https://www.haltonbus.ca/  

School Parking Lot

Please be advised, that the East Parking Lot is for bus pick up and drop off and walkers ONLY. We ask parents/caregivers to use the West parking lot only for kiss and ride drop off and picking up. During “pick up and drop off” for arrival and dismissal, we ask all parents/caregivers to be mindful of our students’ safety and remain in the vehicles to ensure a safe and smooth kiss and ride system.

Please consider walking your child if possible and setting up a meeting spot.  The first few weeks of school are typically very busy in all school parking lots. Walkers will be dismissed on the East side of the building.  We would ask for you patience & smiles during this exciting time for your child!

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.   

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.

School Communication

We will continue to provide a weekly Communication Bulletin, which will be posted to the school website and the link will be emailed each Friday evening. The website will be updated frequently. The calendar on the website can be subscribed to, so notifications can be received as dates are added.

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 as soon as possible.  Forms will be sent home for returning students.  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. Gregory the Great 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)

Student Code of Conduct

As Digital Citizens, users recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, in which they act in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.  Students are required to demonstrate digital citizenship through the appropriate use of technology as outlined in our code of conduct.  Our school’s Code of Conduct can be found on our school website here and will be reviewed in class by classroom teachers and daily over the announcements.

Update Contact Information 

If there have been any recent changes to your contact information, we are reminding Parents and Guardians to update this information with the school office.

Up-to-date contact information will be very important if your child becomes ill at school and needs to be picked up, or in the case that COVID-19 contact tracing needs to occur.  

Uniforms  

A reminder that students are expected to be in full uniform for their first day of school. More information can be found here: https://www.iswuniforms.com/our-locations/

The Sacrament of First Holy Communion

The First Communion Masses that were postponed last Spring are tentatively being rescheduled for the last week of September. Logistics are being worked out at the Church to hold these Masses within the new Covid safety guidelines. We will keep you updated as soon as things firm up with the parish.  If you have any questions, please email Debbie Frey at youth.mmogp@bellnet.ca

You are invited to visit our Virtual Chapel! 

As a Catholic school community, our faith is integral to all that we do. While we know that the 2020-2021 school year will feel very different from previous years, as always, we will begin the new year with a sense of hope and optimism that is founded in our Faith.​ 

As we transition into the new school year, we will be very intentional about creating and promoting opportunities to celebrate our Catholic faith, both in person, and remotely. ​ 

We are excited to welcome families and staff to visit our interactive HCDSB Virtual Chapel, where you will find a number of resources, including prayers, sacrament information, daily readings, an online rosary website available in various languages, a spot to leave your prayer intentions, and more. You are invited to explore this virtual space, as well as other Catholic faith resources that are available on our Return to School Website here.

Follow us on Twitter @StGregoryHCDSB

Upcoming Events and Activities at St. Gregory the Great

Sep
8
Tue
Kindergarten Year 1 and 2 Orientation Virtual Interviews
Sep 8 – Sep 9 all day
Sep
9
Wed
Students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-F
Sep 9 all day
Sep
10
Thu
All Year 2 Kindergarten students attend school
Sep 10 all day
Students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters G- N
Sep 10 all day
Sep
11
Fri
All Year 2 Kindergarten students and Year 1 Kindergarten students (JK) who schedule their entry interview on Wednesday, September 9. 2020 will attend
Sep 11 all day
Students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters O-Z
Sep 11 all day
Sep
14
Mon
All Year 2 Kindergarten students and Year1 Kindergarten students (JK) who schedule their entry interview on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Sep 14 all day
Students in Grades 1-8 Attend School
Sep 14 all day
Sep
15
Tue
ALL Students (Kindergarten – Grade 8) Attend School
Sep 15 all day
Sep
30
Wed
Orange Shirt Day
Sep 30 all day

   

Elementary Vice-PrincipalCommunication Bulletin #1