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Welcome Back!

Dear Parents,

We are very happy to welcome back all our returning students and those new to our school community!  We also welcome some new staff to St. Gregory the Great.  Staff are excited to be able to work in person with your children and can’t wait to hear the sound of children fill our hallways & classrooms once again! Please know we are committed to providing a quality Catholic education that is flexible and engaging. We look forward to creating and maintaining a strong sense of community and welcoming spaces in our school.  If you have not done so already, please review the information posted on our school website HCDSB Return to School Plan for further information.

Elementary Classroom Placements

The process to access your child’s classroom placement has been recently updated.

We are currently finalizing elementary class placements and making adjustments based on new registrations that have come in over the summer.  Final placements will be available on Friday, September 3rd after 3:00 p.m. 

Parents and guardians will be able to access the class placement for each child, using your child’s Office 365 email and password. You will not require your child’s OEN number.

If your family is new to HCDSB, your child(ren) will not yet have an Office 365 email.  In this case, when you arrive at the school on September 7th or 8th, one of our staff members with an orange vest, will be happy to assist your child in getting to their necessary class.

Kindergarten

Orientation meetings take place on September 7th and 8th for all our Year 1- JK students and those new to Year 2- SK. Information regarding these meetings was emailed to parents at the end of June.  At the current time, all meetings will be virtual.

All Year 2 – SK students will begin on Thursday, September 9th with half of the Year 1- JK students. The second half of our Year 1 -JK students, along with all Year 2 students will attend school on Friday, September 10th.  All Kindergarten students will be learning in-school beginning Monday, September 13th.

St. Gregory the Great First Day Procedures

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.

We ask that to avoid large number of people in and around school property, one parent accompany their child to the school playground.

To assist you in finding the area your child’s teacher will be located, please see the attached Insert Location Map

Please see this chart to help you determine which side your child will be dropped off.

Classes Entering from the East Side (closest to the Soccer Fields) will be:

  • Structured Teaching
  • K. Cerio, M. Goncz, A. Rutherford, L. Browne
  • K. Young
  • N. Wirkowski, R. Copeland, M. James
  • A. Klutt, B. Hogervorst
  • D. McKay. G. Ferri

Classes Entering from the West Side will be:

  • A. Baker, L. Nasato
  • K. Andrade, J. Thomas, D. Couture
  • K. Toste, C. Cerminara
  • A. Spurrell, A. Hyde

Although our school day begins at 9:10, to ensure the safety of all students and staff, we will implement a staggered entry plan to limit the number of students entering the building at one time.

Please see the COVID screening document (link below) which will be used to verify (see Health and Safety below) that your child has completed the screening.  For the first day of school, we ask that you print this copy and send it with your child.  If you cannot print this form, please send a handwritten note indicating that the screening is complete for each child.  We appreciate your assistance with this.

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.  

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 (after 9:10 am) must first report to the office using Door 1.  For the first couple of days, students should meet their teacher in their designated zone.  Teachers will be outside 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. 

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:

  • Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Toolfor each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.  Parents must provide proof to their child’s teacher that the assessment was completed.
  • 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

Any students with a medical plan for allergies or other medical conditions are asked to please drop off updated plans, EpiPen, medications etc. to the office by the first day of school.  Your assistance with this is greatly appreciated.

Bus Transportation

If your child qualifies for bus transportation, you can now review their bus details through the Halton Student Transportation Services online Parent Portal at https://haltonbus.ca/sign-in/

You will need your child’s 9-digit Ontario Education Number (OEN) to access the parent portal.  This can be found on a copy of any of their report cards.

If your child has not yet been assigned an OEN (i.e. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you should have received a phone call with busing information from Halton Student Transportation Services this past week. If you did not receive a phone call, please contact Halton Student Transportation Services between 8:00am and 4:30pm at 905-637-4009 or Toll-Free: 1-888-803-8660.

For specific information about COVID-19 Safety Protocols that are in place for students while travelling on the bus, please visit http://www.haltonbus.ca/covid-19-return-to-school-transportation/

Courtesy Seats are on hold for now – a request for courtesy seat list will be reviewed once protocols allow.

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.

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.

Gradual Return to School

We will be easing into the new school year by welcoming students back to school in smaller groups, on September 7 and September 8. 

The following schedule will apply for all schools

Tuesday, September 7th        All in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school. 
Wednesday, September 8th          All in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school. 
Thursday, September 9th                ALL in-person learners (Grades 1 – 8, 9 – 12) will come to school. 

Students in the self-contained Life Skills, Community Living, Essential Skills, and Structured Teaching special education classes will begin in-person instruction on Tuesday, September 7 and attend school daily thereafter. 

We will continue to keep you up to date with school messenger emails and updates to the website.  We are working diligently to ensure student and staff safety as we return to school.

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.

Online Consent Forms

For this year, the forms that we would typically send home to be completed will be done online.  You will receive an email on Tuesday, September 7th with instructions and a link to complete these forms. Please note, one online form per student in your household.

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

D. Attardo          D. Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, DavidWelcome Back!