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Communication Bulletin

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Dear Parents,

Thank you for another wonderful week at St. Gregory.  Thank you to all families for following our COVID protocols on the school property.  Together, we will continue to keep one another safe.

We would also like to take this opportunity to say good bye and best wishes to Ms. Shaw, our Office Assistant at St. Gregory. We will greatly miss her presence in the office and wish her good luck as she prepares for her next adventure with the Diocese of Hamilton. Thank you for all your hard work Ms. Shaw!

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.

Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week

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!

Lunch Box Orders

We apologize for the numerous emails send out last week.  Some families were able to access the information and some could not.  You should be able to access all our vendors for Lunchbox orders using our school cash online.

Purdy’s Christmas Chocolate Campaign – ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT!!

If you have not placed your orders yet, you only have 1 week left.

Remember, 25% of all orders will come back to the school to directly support students!

Order Deadline: Monday, November 22nd

Delivery to School: By Wednesday, December 8th

Take home: Friday, December 10th

Parent/Teacher Interviews

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.  If you were not able to access the email that was sent out by School Messenger, please check your child’s D2L page to access the instructions on how to set up your interview.

Please see the following link for some parent teacher interview tips

School Book Fair

The Scholastic Book Fair is returning to our school! This year, our fair will run concurrently in-person for students during school hours, and virtually for families to shop from the comfort of home. The fair will run Monday, November 15 to Friday, November 19, ending online at midnight on Friday.

Items can be purchased online at: virtualbookfairs.scholastic.ca/pages/5158888. Items purchased online will ship for free and will be delivered to school in a sealed envelope November 22.

Coming Soon ~ Student Census 2022

In February 2022, HCDSB will be collecting identity-based student data through a board-wide Student Census. This census will help our school board better understand and support our students and their experiences in school and will help promote equitable and inclusive learning environments.

NOTE: Parents of students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 will be invited to complete the online survey on behalf of their child. For more information about the Student Census, please visit the HCDSB website: https://hcdsb.info/StudentCensus2022

Parish News

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

Registration for this year’s confirmation closes on Wednesday, November 17th, if you have not registered already with the link above please do so as soon as possible.

2022 FIRST COMMUNION/CONFIRMATION: First Reconciliation and First Communion for students in grade 2 and the Sacrament of Confirmation for students in grade 7 will take place at Mary Mother of God Church in May of 2022 and March of 2022, respectively. If you are interested in enrolling your child for the sacraments, you MUST enroll them through the Church. Our school is happy to assist with the preparation for the sacraments, but it is the Church that administers the sacraments. The church has its own process for enrollment which can be found here: www.mmogp.ca/first-eucharist or www.mmogp.ca/confirmation

Please communicate DIRECTLY with Debbie Frey, the Sacramental Coordinator at Mary Mother of God at this email address: mmog.sacraments@gmail.com  with any questions, concerns, or special requests.

We are proud to work closely with our friends at Mary Mother of God to make this important time in your child’s life meaningful. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist as well.

A message from Halton Transportation Services

Courtesy Seats:

Courtesy Seats will be reinstated for the 2021-22 school year at a reduced capacity.

The capacity to accommodate courtesy requests will be reduced to accommodate potential remote learning and continued growth in the region. As per public health guidance, school bus capacity will be limited where possible to reduce risk of COVID exposure. Courtesy Seat applications will be available online at www.HaltonBus.ca until Friday, November 26th. Courtesy seat assignments for approved applications will be effective January 3rd, 2022.

All applicants will be notified by HSTS to check on the status using the BusPlanner Web parent portal upon completion of the review process. HSTS will provide each school with a list of applicants requesting their assistance to indicate students who require prioritization for any available seats. School Administrators will have the opportunity to review applications between November 29th and December 8th, with HSTS staff finalizing the requests from December 9th to the 24th.

Communication to families regarding application for courtesy seats had been sent out last week.

Interior Cameras:

HSTS will be implementing a school bus internal camera pilot from November 29th, 2021 to February 25th, 2022. This pilot has been contemplated before the COVID pandemic, however, was put on hold.  All of our school buses are equipped with interior cameras, and as part of the review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), a pilot is required to be completed before the cameras can be turned on.  This will impact 12 bus routes and 48 schools in total between the HDSB and HCDSB. This pilot will involve 19 HCDSB schools (5 secondary schools and 14 elementary schools). Additional information will be sent next week to the schools involved in the pilot. 

Communication to families impacted by this pilot will be sent the week of November 15th.

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.

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.

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @StGregoryhcdsb, 1,100 followers and counting!

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