God of wisdom and might, we praise you for the wonder of our being, for mind, body and spirit. Be with our children as they begin a new school year. Bless them and their teachers and staff. Give the strength and grace as their bodies grow; wisdom and knowledge to their minds as they search for understanding; and peace and zeal to their hearts. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lunch Time Routines
Our lunch hour for grades 1-8 will remain the 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. Grade 6, 7 and 8’s are no longer allowed to leave the school for lunch, unless with a parent or guardian. 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.
Considerations for Lunch Prep:
- Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
- Sharing food items will not be permitted.
- Reusable water bottles are encouraged.
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, 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 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.
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 or email our Secretary, Mrs. Freeze, at email@example.com.
School Messenger App – Absence Reporting
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
We would like to remind parents/family members that there are NO DOGS ALLOWED on school property or on our playground as these areas are for students and staff only. Thank you for your cooperation.
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.
We will provide a Weekly Update, which will be posted to the school website and the link will be emailed to families. The website will be updated frequently, including the Announcements page, where we will share good news stories. The calendar on the website can be subscribed to, so notifications can be received as dates are added. In order to communicate with staff, we ask that you please use emails, which can be found on the school’s website. Information will also be posted on Twitter and we encouraged all families to follow us @Sjoa5. 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.
Catholic School Council Nominations
Role of Catholic School Council: Ontario Regulation 612 states that every school must hold elections for the School Council within the first 30 days of each school year. The term of office is one year. We want to encourage every parent to consider volunteering to sit on the School Council this year. The school needs active and interested parents to maintain the quality of the school community we enjoy and to address the challenges the community will face in the future. Nomination forms will be emailed out upon request and will be posted on our school website under the Council heading beginning Wednesday, September 8th. https://elem.hcdsb.org/stjoanofarc/about-our-school-council/agenda-minutes/
Nomination Forms Due: Friday, September 24th
Election (If needed): September 28th
First Council Meeting: Monday, October 4th at 6:30 pm
All parents are welcome to attend regular Council meetings. Meeting dates will be posted on our school web page. The meetings will begin at 6:30 pm. and will be held virtually via Teams online.
Orange Shirt Day –September 30, 2021
Orange shirt day is recognized annually on September 30th to remember the harm residential schools did to children of Indigenous descent. Students are encouraged to wear an orange shirt on this day to continue to raise awareness of Truth and Reconciliation.
Parish information and Sacraments
Father Allen has updated our website with information outlining easy-to-follow steps for parents for online registration. Please access the parish website www.saintmatthew.ca to register your child for the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. The direct links are: