“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. ‘” Luke 3:4
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.
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 and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.
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.
Bringing Christ into our Homes this Christmas
An email from HCDSB went out to all families on Friday about this event. Bringing Christ into our Homes this Christmas with Bishop Lobsinger. Join us on Thursday, December 9 at 7:30 PM for the virtual Advent session! Please see the email for more information on how to access this event.
In his Angelus address on the First Sunday in Advent, Pope Francis called on Catholics to “be vigilant” and to persevere in prayer. “The secret to being vigilant is prayer,” he stressed, saying that prayer always keeps the lamp of our heart lit, bringing us back to God, and allowing us to focus “on what matters, on the purpose of existence.” During these next weeks leading up to Christmas, we invite you to the visit the Diocese’s Advent Resources for Families and, as a family, carve out a special time for prayer.
Family Paint Night – December 7th – Big Spirit Moon
Free Online Painting Session with Indigenous artist Moses Lunham. All information is posted on the HCDSB website. The session will take place on Tuesday, December 7th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm and will be available on Grandmother’s Voice – YouTube.
If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Saevil, Indigenous Education Advisor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture Re-Take Day
Any students who wish to have their pictures re-taken or missed the first date, picture re-take day will take place on Friday, December 10th.
Daily Screening verification
Following the Christmas Break, students (K-Grade 12) will once again be required to provide confirmation that they have taken and passed the daily COVID-19 school screening upon arrival at school. This confirmation of a “pass” screening result can be the green check mark from the online screening, or a parent/guardian signature on the attestation calendar. Screening verification will begin on Monday, January 3, 2022, and will be in effect for a minimum of two weeks. Screening verification will be required any time there is a pause in learning, e.g., March Break, as an added measure to protect our students and staff from COVID-19.
Families who travel during the Christmas Break must follow federal testing and quarantine requirements upon their return. Please be reminded that although unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who travel internationally with a fully vaccinated adult are exempt from federal quarantine, they are not permitted to attend school or child care for 14 days following their return.
Christmas Theme Days
With picture re-take taking place on December 10th, we have adjusted the date of our 3rd Theme Day. Christmas Clothing Day will now take place on Thursday, December 9th. Also, on December 9th we will celebrate JOY DAY. Students will be participating in Joy Activities in their classroom on this day.
Christmas Dance Workshops
This year, Grade 1-8 students will be participating in a Christmas Dance Workshop with ‘Show To Go’ Productions. These workshops offer a fun activity to get students up and moving, and into the Christmas Spirit! Each class will learn a short dance routine to an upbeat Christmas song in their 40-minute workshop. Workshops will be led by Ms. Jackie, who has directed our primary Christmas Musicals in recent school years and will run the last week of school on December 15th and 16th. Social distancing measures will be in place to ensure student’s safety.
Lunch Box Orders
Please remember if you are ordering from Lunchbox, all orders have to be completed by Sunday at noon! Any orders after this deadline will not be accepted.
Human Rights and Equity Advisory Council
Our HCDSB schools are committed to creating safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environments that support student achievement and well-being in our Catholic schools. Human Rights and Equity are guiding values that are consistent both with Catholic Social Teaching, reaffirming the dignity of every individual, as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code, which safeguards students and staff from discrimination based on the protected grounds.
The Board’s Equity and Inclusive Education Steering Committee is in the process of forming a Human Rights and Equity Advisory Council (HREAC) to engage community stakeholders including parents, students and community organizations.
The purpose of the HREAC is to assist in identifying community needs and to provide advice and guidance on addressing systemic barriers and supporting historically underserved members of the 2SLGBTQ+, racialized and Black communities in the HCDSB.
Parents/guardians and students in Grades 7-12 interested in serving on the HREAC are invited to submit an application online through the HREAC Membership Application Form.
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
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Angel Tree – Only One Week Left!
Like last year, we will once again support the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP). The SSVP at Mary Mother of God currently serves 105 families in need, including 150 children, who live within our parish boundary.
This initiative will run until December 10th.
Mary Mother of God Church is hosting four wonderful events for families during Advent and Christmas that you don’t want to miss!
1. THE PEACELIGHT FROM BETHLEHEM: The Peacelight, which was lit from the grotto where Jesus was born in Bethlehem will be burning at MMoG throughout Advent. Families will be welcome after all the Masses the weekend of December 18 and 19 to receive a candle with Peacelight and bring it home for Christmas.
2. GRANDPARENTS MASS: Our December Mass with Grandparents is back on December 9th at 7:00 pm. Children and grandparents attend together and will both receive candles with the Peacelight to bring home and share with others. We also invite attendees to send us their favorite photo with their grandparents and we’ll show them on our screens during Mass. Seating is limited. Eventbrite tickets are required. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/advent-mass-with-grandparents-and-receive-the-peacelight-from-bethlehem-tickets-204735668897
3. BLESSING OF BABY JESUS: Bring baby Jesus from your nativity scene at home and Fr. Jerry will bless him before you put him in the manger of Christmas Eve. The blessing will take place during all Masses on December 18 and 19.
4. CHRISTMAS EVE MASS FOR KIDS: 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve, we invite all children to be a part of our Christmas procession. Dress up as your favorite character from the nativity (an angel, a shepherd, St. Joseph, etc.). You will process into the church with Father Jerry and surround the manger scene on the altar while Father Jerry blesses it. This is our most popular Mass of the year. Eventbrite tickets will be available on Nov. 25, get your tickets by visiting www.mmogp.ca.
All Covid safety protocols including masks and social distancing are in place. For more information email Debbie Frey at email@example.com. Also, visit the parish website at www.mmogp.ca for our Christmas Mass schedule.
Dressing for Winter Weather
With the arrival of winter like weather, we kindly request that parents ensure your child is dressed each day to play outside at recess. Students are able to be outside for all regular outside activities when it is warmer than -15 C. When temperatures range between -15C to -20C, students may remain outside for no longer than 20-minute intervals, once temperatures are colder than -20C students must remain inside. Thank you for your support with this!
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:
- COVID-19 School Screening Tool for 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.
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.
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Thank you for your support and patience, we look forward to seeing your child back at school next week.
D. Attardo D. Fitzpatrick