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Communication Memo

Dear Parents,

Thank you for another wonderful week at St. Gregory.  The teachers were very excited to have their classes filled with students.  Thank you to all families for following our COVID protocols on the school property.  Together, we will continue to keep one another safe.

Daily Self Screening

All staff and students must self-screen every day before attending school. The province will continue to provide a screening tool for use by all school boards and may update this throughout the school year. All staff and students who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 as identified in the screening tool, must not attend school and should follow the guidance provided in the screening tool, which may include seeking appropriate medical attention as required, and/or getting tested for COVID-19.

Parents will no longer be required to provide Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Screening for their child, however, the daily self-screening will need to be completed each day.  Any child that experiences symptoms while at school, will be required to be picked up.

Family Information / Consent Forms

If you have not done so already, please complete the electronic consent forms.  Remember, you will need to complete one form per child.

Please use the following link to complete the Family Information/Consent Electronic Form!

https://lf.hcdsb.org/Forms/parent_consents

Parents are asked to complete the form, the form should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

If you have already completed the form, no further action is needed.

Important Notes Before Completing the Form:

If you have more than one child enrolled in an HCDSB school, please complete a separate form for each child.

Only one parent/guardian is required to complete a form for each child.

You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) to submit this form. The OEN can be found on a recent report card.

Please ensure you are submitting your child’s preferred name or the name you provided at registration.

The form can be completed using a computer, smart phone, or tablet.

INFORMATION ACCESS AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) is committed to protecting the right to privacy for students, staff, and families. Personal information is collected under the authority of the Education Act and in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA

Orange Shirt Day

On Orange Shirt Day, marked every year on September 30th, we recognize the harm residential schools did to children’s self esteem and well-being.  This day also honours those that survived, remembers those that did not, and recognizes the on-going effects of intergenerational trauma.  Wearing an orange shirt is a visual reminder of our shared past and provides an opportunity for dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  It is an opportunity for schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.  On Thursday, September 30th, we encourage all staff and students to wear an orange shirt.

Catholic School Council Nominations

Role of Catholic School Council:  Ontario Regulation 612 states that every school must hold elections for the School Council within the first 30 days of each school year. The term of office is one year.  We want to encourage every parent to consider volunteering to sit on the Catholic School Council this year.  The school needs active and interested parents to maintain the quality of the school community we enjoy and to address the challenges the community will face in the future. Please email attardod@hcdsb.org and a nomination package will be sent to you electronically.

If Elections are required, then the names of candidates and a one-page information biography sheet, if available, will be posted on our school website. This year, if required, elections for our 2021/2022 Catholic School Council will take place in September according to the following timelines:

Nomination Forms Due: Friday September 24th

Profiles Due (if required): Tuesday September 28th

Council Elections (if needed): Thursday September 30th

First Council Meeting:  Monday October 4th at 6:30 pm

Meetings will be held “virtually” (using Teams). Dates & times will be posted on our school web page.  All parents are welcome to attend regular Council meetings.  Meeting dates will be posted on our school web page.  The meetings will begin at 6:30 pm. and will be held virtually via Teams online. 

Family Paint Night in Recognition of Orange Shirt Day

HCDSB families, students and staff are invited to participate in a virtual family paint night in recognition of Orange Shirt Day.

The online session will be hosted by Indigenous Artist, Moses Lunham, who will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create the painting at home. No prior artistic experience is necessary to get involved. However, those interested in participating can prepare for the art session by collecting the following art supplies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

A link to the live event will be available on the scheduled time and day of the presentation on the Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel.

For more information, visit the HCDSB website.

School-based Immunization Program Gr. 7-12

The Ministry of Health has provided a school-based immunization program for students (Gr. 7-12) that is delivered by the local health departments. Due to pandemic-related disruptions, students have missed the opportunity to receive these vaccines over the past two school years.

Halton Region Public Health will be offering the school-based vaccines by appointment to eligible students in Grades 7-12 (born in 2004-2009) at community clinics throughout Halton. There will also be appointments available for students born in 2002-2003 to catch-up on vaccines that they may have missed.

The following vaccines will be offered at community clinics:

  •       Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  •       Meningococcal Disease
  •       Hepatitis B

Please note: COVID-19 vaccines are separate from the School-Based Immunization Program.

Book an Appointment

To book an appointment, or learn more about clinic eligibility, locations, and schedules, visit Halton’s Grade 7 School-based Immunizations web page or call 311. 

Please bring any immunization records you may have for your child to the appointment, where Public Health staff will fully assess their vaccination history and obtain consent.

St. Gregory Terry Fox Walk

“Anything is possible if you try”  

Terry Fox’s words still resonate with us today and his legacy lives on in the annual run in his honour. Terry was only 18 when he was diagnosed with cancer and needed to have his leg amputated. Moved by the struggles of those he encountered who were also battling cancer, he set out on his epic Marathon of Hope with the goal of raising $1 for each Canadian, in support of cancer research. Sadly, his cancer worsened and he was not able to complete his Marathon. But he inspired millions and continues to do so today.  

This year, our school will be taking part in the National Terry Fox School Run Day on Wednesday, September 29. Our students will take a walk around the neighbourhood in support of cancer research in Canada, honouring the legacy of Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope, which marked its 40th anniversary last year.

Morning Drop-off and Afterschool Pick-up

In an effort to keep all our students and staff safe, we appreciate your assistance in our parking lot procedures.  We know the morning can be rushed at times, but we want to ensure our parking lot is a safe space for our children.  Our East Parking Lot is used for our bus students.  No car access will be available, we encourage you to park and walk to the school.  Thank you so much for your help.

Parents, please remember that if you are walking onto school property to drop off your child(ren), we kindly ask that you wear a mask.  If you are on the soccer field and can maintain a 2 metre distance from others, a mask does not have to be worn.

Please no dogs!  Though we love our four-legged friends, some of our children have severe allergies and are frightened by an encounter with a dog. Our school board prohibits dogs on school property for the protection of your children as well as for the protection of your pet.  Thank you for your assistance with this.

Children arriving late for school (after 9:10 am) must first report to the office using Door 1

We continue to ask that once you have dropped your child off at their appropriate door, you make your way off school property to avoid congregating at the fence.

Health and Safety Protocols

The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Operational Guidance plan provides the baseline for school boards and local public health officials to develop a specific plan for the school board.

With this plan as a foundation, some of the protocols that are in place to begin the school year include:

  • All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Halton Catholic District School Board are required to wear a properly fitted non-medical or cloth mask during classes and while in the hallways.  Masks may be removed during outdoor learning time.  We appreciate your assistance with helping us with this protocol!
  • All classes will continue to remain in their classroom cohort and assigned a specific zone on the playground during recesses and lunch.

Walk to School Initiative

We are kindly asking that all families who are able to walk to school create this routine for our students. We would like to lessen the traffic in and around our school as well as the parking lot in the morning and afterschool. When your child arrives at school they must be wearing a mask.  We will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time. Kindergarten students will enter through the Kindergarten gate and go directly to their classroom.  Our Kindergarten staff will be communicating with parents outlining any other specific details.

Parents and caregivers are kindly asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their children. Public Health has advised that there will be no gathering or congregating permitted on school property to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Medical

Please ensure you have returned the necessary forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any medication needed so we can update our files.  Please be aware that ALL HCDSB Schools strive to be a NUT FREE environments. 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 well since we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter.

Visitor Protocol

This school year we will continue to limit visitor access to our school to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. We are hopeful that we will be able to revisit and once again and have our valued volunteers back in our school building. If you are interested in being a volunteer please note that a police check with vulnerable sector screening is required. If you have not submitted one to the school, you can reach out to Halton Police Services online or in person. The school is in the process of updating our records for those previously on file.

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. 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.

Lunch Protocols

For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all elementary students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods.

We are working through the health and safety protocols and may be able to offer a lunch program this year. More details will be shared when available.

As we are limiting visitors to our school, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day. This includes vendors such as Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, etc. Parents and guardians are asked to provide their children with lunch and snacks in the morning before students enter the school building.

Considerations for lunch preparations:

•            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 continue to be closed. Bottle filling stations will be available for all students and staff to use.

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 a parent or guardian can pick them up.  Any student who enters our Isolation room will be sent home with a letter indicating the necessary steps to take before re-entering school.

It is very important that we have current contact information for all 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.

STUDENT ACCIDENT INSURANCE

We all know that accidents can, and do, happen. While your provincial coverage or your employee benefits plan may cover some medical, dental or other expenses related to these accidents, they may not cover all of them. Student Accident Insurance helps to protect your family from these unexpected costs if your child is injured on school property or during school-sponsored activities.

Since the Halton Catholic District School Board does not offer student accident insurance, you, as a parent/guardian, have the option to buy this coverage for your child or children. While participation is voluntary, it is highly recommended. All students, up to 26 years of age, are accepted.

Coverage is available in three affordable plan options, for as low as $13/year (that’s just over 3 cents a day!) in Lite, Plus and Premium. Benefits include:

•            Dental treatment

•            Damage to eyeglasses or contact lenses

•            Ambulance transportation

•            Braces, casts, crutches, hearing aids, prosthetics and splints

•            Counselling, physiotherapy and tutoring

•            Prescription drugs

•            Accidental death, total and permanent disability

•            NEW! Hospital cash allowance for costs associated with extended hospital stays such as parking, television or Wi-Fi in your room, parking, cafeteria meals or babysitting expenses for family members.

Discounts are available for families with 3 or more children, with additional savings for multi-year plans of three and five years when buying online. For more policy details or to buy a plan, please visit www.studyinsuredstudentaccident.com or call 1-833-560-0527 (toll-free) or 416-916-1588 (local).

Please note that the insurance agreement is between you and Student Accident Insurance.

Uniforms

As you know, our uniform provider again this year will be McCarthy.  Please visit their website if you require more information regarding uniforms – https://www.mccarthyuniforms.ca/.

As of January 1, 2021, for elementary school uniforms, parents and guardians will no longer have to purchase bottoms from the Board authorized school uniform vendor. All bottoms, regardless of where they are purchased, must be navy blue.

Thank you for your support and patience, we look forward to seeing your child back at school next week.

D. Attardo        D. Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, DavidCommunication Memo