“Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” ~Luke 2:10
This weekend we light the third candle on the Advent Wreath. Happiness is an emotion that can disappear as quickly as it rises to the surface. Joy, however, is a choice. We have a choice. God gives us a joy that is unconquerable. Joy is trusting when you want to doubt. As Christ followers we aren’t pressured to do it all for everyone. We trust in Jesus to do the heavy lifting. The key is trust. Joy is receiving what you want to reject. Joy is celebrating when you want to fear. What are some small things that we can do to bring joy to our lives and the lives of others?
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 want to acknowledge a change of role for Ms. Caruso at St. Gregory the Great. Ms. Caruso has now been assigned as SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher) taking over the role from Ms. Dorigiola who has gone on her leave for the remainder of the school year.
We would like you to join us in welcoming Ms. M. Proctor who will join the St. Gregory community as the PTM teacher replacing Ms. Caruso. You will love the SGG community!
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.
Thank you to Mr. Hogervorst’s class and our Grade 2 classes for preparing our Advent Liturgies this past week. Our school will be celebrating our third Advent liturgy on Monday led by our Grade 3’s and on Friday, led by Mr. Klutt’s class.
Early Dismissal – December 17th
The school board has confirmed that December 17th will be an early release day for students. St. Gregory students will be released 90 minutes early this day, dismissal time will be 2:10 pm. Bus drop off times will be adjusted accordingly. Please ensure that your family has a plan in place for after school care for your child.
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.
Rapid Antigen Screening Kits
On Wednesday, December 15th, your child will be taking home a Rapid Antigen Screening Kit for voluntary use over the Christmas holiday.
If your child will be leaving school for Christmas break prior to Wednesday, December 15th, please let your child’s teacher know and we will distribute the kit to your child before they leave.
The rapid antigen screening kits have been provided by the Government of Ontario for every student who attends in-person learning at a publicly funded school. These kits may be used by any student, regardless of their vaccination status, however, should only be used when a child is asymptomatic (does not have any symptoms of COVID-19) and has not had any exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Please note, your child’s participation in this rapid antigen screening is voluntary and is not a required action for return to school after the Christmas break.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we work closely with the Ministry of Education and Halton Public Health to help keep our community safe and healthy for all.
School Volleyball and Intramurals
We are so pleased to announce that sports and clubs are back up and running at St. Gregory. We thank our dedicated staff who volunteer their time before and after school and during lunch to support these clubs and sports teams.
Our Boys and Girls volleyball team for grades 7s and 8s have begun their regular season play.
Our Primary students are participating in skipping club weekly
Our Grades 4 and 5 students are participating in Intramural Dodgeball
Our Grade 6 students are participating in outdoor intramurals
Safety measures are followed and are in place for all our clubs and sports teams.
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.
Virtual Kindergarten Christmas Concert
St. Gregory Kindergarten students have been practicing special songs and are very excited to perform them for their families! Parents are invited to attend our Virtual Kindergarten Christmas Concert. Please check your child’s class D2L for information and to view the recorded performance on Wednesday, December 15th!
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.
As we approach the snowy weather, please note, any day where schools or buses are cancelled, hot lunch will be cancelled on that day. A credit will be placed on your account for that day.
Terra Cotta Cookie Sales
Once again we will be selling Christmas themed Terra Cotta cookies. Cookies can be purchased through School Cash Online and cost $2 each. There are a limited number of cookies so please order them before they are gone.
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
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.
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