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Weekly Update Sept 14-18

OTHER PICK UP AND DROP OFF NOTES (BEYOND THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL)

As we prepare to welcome students back to school this 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.

  • Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children
  • Parents and guardians will remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol)
  • We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort)
  • Your child’s Kindergarten teacher or your child’s teacher will inform you and/or your child(ren) about specific pick up and drop off locations
  • Students will be able to enter into the building through the back doors beginning at 8:30 am when supervision begins.  Please respect the supervision timelines and note that doors will be opened promptly at 8:30 am to begin our entry process. 
  • 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.

SUPERVISION BEFORE SCHOOL DAILY

A reminder that our warning bell rings daily at 8:40 am with a final bell at 8:45 am.  There will NOT be teacher supervisors on the yard as we have moved to a free entry process this year.  A reminder that no student should be on property prior to 8:30 am.  Once again, as mentioned above, when students arrive on property after 8:30 am daily they must immediately enter the building and make their way to their class.  Teachers will be on supervision in the hallways to ensure students are not congregating in the hallways and adhering to all the safety measures.

Parent Communication

We have decided to not move forward with student agendas.  In order to communicate with staff, we ask that you please use emails, which can be found on the school’s website.  As well, classroom teachers will be communicating the use of D2L or Google Classroom and how to access it.  Please feel free to also call the school and a message will be relayed to the teacher, who will return your call in a timely manner. 

School Messenger App

Downloading and using the School Messenger App is the FASTEST and EASIEST way to report your child’s absence to the school.  If you have not downloaded this app already, we ask that all parents please do this before the start of this school year.  The instructions can be found by clicking on the following link https://bit.ly/2FdKOOd

SCHOOL ITEMS AND LOCKERS

Lockers will not be available for us by students this year.  Students are encouraged to bring MINIMAL items with them to school daily to reduce the clutter in the classrooms.  Less clutter means more space to distance our students apart from one another.  Backpacks will be kept on the backs of student chairs.  Even though we are encouraging minimal items at school, there may be some items that you may want to ensure that your child has (as items cannot be shared from one child to the next).  Your classroom teacher can provide you with some suggestions during the first week of school.

Lunch Time Routines

Our lunch hour for grades 1-8 will remain same this year from 11:40-12:40 daily.  The students will receive roughly half of this time outside playing in their cohorted yard zones and the other half of this time will be spent inside of their classrooms eating their lunch with students only from their class/cohort.  While half of our school will be inside eating, the other half will be outside playing.  In this way, we are reducing the number of students on the yard during our lunch recess outdoor break time. 

As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day.  

Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch in the morning before students enter the school building.  

Allergies and Anaphylaxis

As we begin our new school year, we remind all members of our community that we strive to minimize allergens that pose life-threatening symptoms for students. Keeping our students safe is paramount and we ask that parents carefully pack their children’s lunches.  We have several students in our school who live with severe life-threatening allergies to peanuts, nuts, egg, seafood and other foods (anaphylaxis). All snack and food items should be nut free, as well as any particular items that are identified by the classroom teachers (i.e. sesame seeds). Likewise, we ask that that no substitute nut spreads (peabutter, wow butter, etc.) be sent to school as they smell and look exactly like peanut butter. Please continue to choose items carefully when sending lunches and snacks (from home and restaurants) to school, keeping in mind specific allergies in your child’s classroom. Please be extra vigilant to avoid sending treats from home for the class.  Thank you for your continued cooperation in ensuring the safety of all students.  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. 

 
Parking Lot Safety:

This is a very important reminder to please continue to use caution and be aware as you are driving into/out our parking lots at the school. Please be aware that many students are walking on the sidewalks before and after school. Likewise, we respectfully ask parents to keep their children close by while walking to/from school on the sidewalks and remind them to stop at driveways to check for vehicles about to turn in or out.

Catholic School Council

Parents who are interested in becoming a member of the Catholic School Council are asked to please email Mr. Laratta and Mrs. Pitt. Catholic School Council nomination forms will be emailed out to those interested.  Our council meeting will be held virtually until further notice using Microsoft Teams.  Our first council meeting date and time will be sent out this week. 

Parents and Visitors in the School

This school year, in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, we are limiting visitor access to our school.   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 – e.g. visits by the Fire Marshal’s office or by public health. 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.   Please understand that you may be refused entry into the school.  We encourage you to call the school AND to leave a voicemail if no one answers the phone right away.  The voicemail is checked throughout the day.  This is the best way to get information to our office staff and/or your child’s teacher.  Teachers will be providing you with their email addresses early in the school year and this too is an effective form of communication between parents and staff. 

Use of Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)​ 

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the measures we will have in place in our schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

PPE is protective clothing or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. PPE can include gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, safety shoes etc.  

Wearing of Masks at School 

  • Medical masks will be worn by all teachers and other school staff.   
  • All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. Reasonable exceptions to this requirement will be put in place (see below Exemptions for Mask Wearing).  

Exemptions for Wearing Masks  

Reasonable exceptions to mask wearing will be considered. 

An exemption may be requested for a student in Grades K-12 for the following reasons: 

  • A pre-existing medical condition. 
  • A diagnosis or learning profile that would limit a student’s ability to tolerate or safely wear a mask, including whereby a mask would affect essential communication for a person who is hearing impaired. 
  • Other, as detailed by a healthcare practitioner. 

If any of the above conditions apply to your son or daughter, please contact our School Office.  

What happens 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 ‘isolation room’ and we will contact the parent or guardian to come and pick them up. It is very important that we have current contact information for all of 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. You could call our main office number or email our Secretary, Mrs. Freeze, at freezev@hcdsb.org

Have a great week!!

Upcoming Events:

Sep
14
Mon
ALL students in Grades 1-8 attending in-class instruction will come to school. Remote learning will begin for students learning from home.
Sep 14 all day
Sep
15
Tue
All Kindergarten students in school Tuesday, September 15th.
Sep 15 all day
Sep
30
Wed
Orange Shirt Day
Sep 30 all day
Oct
7
Wed
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion — Gr. 2 @ St. Matthew Parish
Oct 7 @ 6:30 pm
Oct
8
Thu
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion — Gr. 2 @ St. Matthew Parish
Oct 8 @ 6:30 pm
Oct
9
Fri
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion — Gr. 2 @ St. Matthew Parish
Oct 9 @ 6:30 pm
Oct
14
Wed
Confirmation Information Meeting
Oct 14 @ 6:30 pm
Oct
15
Thu
Confirmation Information Meeting
Oct 15 @ 6:30 pm
Oct
16
Fri
Confirmation Information Meeting
Oct 16 @ 6:30 pm
Jan
27
Wed
Celebration of Confirmation @ St. Matthew Parish
Jan 27 @ 7:00 pm
Jan
28
Thu
Celebration of Confirmation @ St. Matthew Parish
Jan 28 @ 7:00 pm
Jan
29
Fri
Celebration of Confirmation @ St. Matthew Parish
Jan 29 @ 7:00 pm
Elementary PrincipalWeekly Update Sept 14-18