Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past month, the good along with the hard things, which has reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every day.
Remote Learning Update
Transition Day for All In-Person Elementary Schools
- Monday, April 19th will be a transition day to allow for the distribution of technology to families and prepare for the move to remote learning.
- There will be no instruction (synchronous or asynchronous) for students currently enrolled in in-person learningat an HCDSB elementary school.
- Remote instruction for elementary students who have been learning in-person will be begin on Tuesday, April 20th.
- In–person instruction for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will resume on Tuesday, April 20th.
Virtual Elementary School
- Instruction will resume on Monday, April 19th, as per the established schedule for all students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School.
- To support remote learning for all special education students, school staff (Teachers, Educational Assistants, etc.) as well as board professionals (e.g. Speech and Language Pathologists) will continue to provide ongoing support and services virtually.
- For students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning, we will provide in-person support during the remote learning period commencing Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
- Parents with children in the Community Living Class, Structured Teaching Class, Essential Skills Class and Life Skills Class will be contacted directly and asked to share their intentions for the remote learning period.
- Most students with special education needs will be learning remotely during this period. In-person learning should be reserved for those students with special education needs, who cannot be accommodated through remote learning.
- If your child is not in one of the specialized classes noted above but has special education needs that cannot be accommodated through remote learning, please contact your School Principal.
Technology Support for Students
Once again, families have been able to request a device and/or internet connectivity to support student learning during the period of remote learning. Requests for technology support were made and separate emails will be send to families who have requested technology.
During this next period of remote learning, student transportation services will only be provided for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning, based on student needs.
Child Care/Before and After School
- Child care centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions.
- All Before and After School Programs will be CLOSED when elementary schools are closed to in-person learning.
Faith & Well-Being Resources
Recognizing that the extension of remote learning will create additional burdens on our families and staff. Here is a list of supports for families to access during this difficult time:
- School Mental Health Ontario: www.smho-smso.ca.
- Kids Help Phone at 1 (800) 668-6868 or visit KidsHelpPhone.ca for 24/7 support.
- Faith & Well-Being Resources: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/faith-well-being/
St. Matthew Parish
From the Pastor’s Desk… Together with many in the province, I eagerly awaited news this week of additional pandemic restrictions which were rumored to affect houses of worship. Even though we follow all public health directives and our Pandemic Preparedness Team does amazing work keeping gatherings safe and orderly, I think it’s important for us to cooperate with grace in ongoing efforts to reduce the general mobility of people at this critical time. In the coming days, we’ll transition back to online-only worship, then we’ll reshuffle and reschedule a busy roster of liturgies currently planned for May. It would be easy to get trapped in the inconvenience and uncertainty of it all, but we can do better than that. During previous hard lockdowns, many made use of our online spiritual care option. It’s not much, but if you think a video chat with me would be of any help to you, don’t hesitate to book one. A small but mighty group in the parish just finished watching and discussing a beautiful spiritual series called The Search, and one of the things that came out of our conversation was the idea to pair our eventual reopening with a new study of the Eucharist/Mass; something to look forward to. Rest assured, the work and life of the parish continue always, even if not in an ordinary way.
Please click on the following link for Parish information and the Parish YouTube channel. https://www.saintmatthew.ca/
Updates to the COVID-19 School Screening Tool
The COVID-19 School Screening Tool https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ has been changed and will now require students and staff with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one (1) symptom, must stay home until:
- they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.; OR
- they receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.; OR
- it has been 10 days since their symptom onset, and they are feeling better
The new single-symptom screening criteria in the COVID-19 daily screening tool has now been applied and is in effect as of Friday, February 19th, 2021.
All staff and students are required to complete the daily screening prior to attending school. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
Register your Child for Kindergarten
Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for your child and for your family! Our school offers a full-day, 2-year Kindergarten program, designed to engage curious early learners through different kinds of play, that help children learn how to reason and problem-solve as they interact with one another. When Can My Child Begin Kindergarten? To register your child to begin Junior Kindergarten (Year 1) in September 2021, your child must be four years old by December 31st, 2021. Children enrolled in Senior Kindergarten (Year 2) must be five years old by December 31st, 2021. For more information on how to register your child: Register Your Child
Attendance will be taken twice daily: once in the morning and again after lunch. If your child is not able to attend or participate in remote learning on any given day, please report his or her absence, as you typically would during in-person learning through the SchoolMessenger Safe Arrival System: https://www.hcdsb.org/parents/report-your-childs-absence/.
We will be following our usual process of contacting parents and guardians when student absences are not reported. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. Now, more than ever, ongoing communication between home and school is key to your child’s success and well-being.
Stay Healthy and Safe!
Mr. N. Laratta