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Communication Bulletin

Dear Parents,

Thank you for another wonderful week at St. Gregory.  On behalf of all the staff at St. Gregory the Great we would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  We wish you a blessed weekend with your family.  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.

An Important Letter to Families from Dr. Meghani ~ Fall Gatherings

As we head into this Thanksgiving long weekend, it continues to be important that we work together to follow public health measures so that we can ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all students, families and staff in our school community.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Chief Officer of Health for Halton Region has provided the following letter to parents and guardians: Fall & Winter Gatherings 2021.

As Dr. Meghani noted in her message, we must remain vigilant as we look forward to celebrating the many holidays, seasonal gatherings, festive occasions, and other events in the fall and winter months to help keep our community safe. 

Please continue to follow the advice of our Public Health professionals to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community and to protect your loved ones. 

Crossing Guard Recruitment

We are looking for new applicants to join our crossing guard team. Please find the electronic version of the Crossing Guard Postcard attached for further information.

Kids Safety First Aid Courses

If you are interested in signing up your children for a First Aid course, babysitting course, or first aid/home alone course, please click the link for further information on cost and how to register.

Parish News

Please visit Mary Mother of God Catholic Church – Oakville, Ontario (mmogp.ca) for Parish information

FOOD, BOTTLE AND CELL PHONE DRIVE: Our Knights of Columbus are hosting a food, bottle and cell phone drive. Non perishable foods and refundable bottles welcome. Please drop off at Mary Mother of God On Saturday, Oct. 9 from 9 to 3 or Sunday, October 10 from 9 to 1.

Grade 3 Students Celebrating First Communion

We would like to extend a congratulations to our Grade 3 students celebrating their First Communion.  Throughout the month of October, our Grade 3 students will be celebrating their First Holy Communion at Mary Mother of God Parish. We wish them all the best and continue to pray for them and their families.

School Pictures – Save the Date

We have booked school pictures for Friday, November 5th for our students in Grades K-8. We will only be taking individual photos at this time.  Our photographer will follow our public health protocols to help keep our students safe.

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.

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.

Promoting Well-Being – 10 Growth Mindset Questions to ask your child at dinner table

  1. What did you do today that made you think hard?
  2. What challenge or problem have you worked on today?
  3. Can you think of something new you tired today? What was it?
  4. Was there anything that made you feel stuck today? … Great! What other ways might there be to solve this?
  5. What did you learn today outside of school?
  6. Can you think of a mistake you made today? … Great! How can you use this mistake to do better next time?
  7. Is there anything you are struggling with? … Excellent! What new strategies can you try next?
  8. Can you think of something you could have done better today? … Great! Who can you seek feedback from to make it better?
  9. What would you like to become better at?
  10. Did you do anything today that was easy for you? … How can you make it more challenging for you?

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 Bulletin