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Weekly Update Sept 6th to 10th

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gift of my child/children You have entrusted to my care. Please watch over them as they begin a new school year. Bless their teachers, school administrators, bus drivers, school support staff, friends and classmates.

Keep them safe every day. I pray they may feel Your presence and know that You are always with them. Help them recall my loving words of support for them. Give them wisdom to make good choices, and an openness to learn new things. Fill them with knowledge and positive thinking. Help them overcome obstacles and shield them from negativity. 

Surround my child/children with good friends who also know and love You. Help them treat each other with kindness, fairness, and respect. May they treat each person they encounter as another child of God. Grant them the Grace to place their trust in You so they may know Your peace. Amen

Teaching Staffing

GradeTeacher
JK/SK  Mrs. Wade-Battersby and Mrs. MacLellan
JK/SK  Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Ferraro
1/2Mrs. Csikesz
1/2Mrs. Kolic
2Ms. De Chellis (LTO) for Ms. Ferrelli
3Mrs. Fairfield
3Ms. Murdock (LTO) for Mrs. Long
4Mrs. Soares
4/5Mrs. Allman
5/6Ms. Connor (LTO) Mrs. Hyde
6Mr. Sabatelli
7/8Mr. Francisco
7/8Mrs. Fox
8Mrs. Bento
5EFMlle Trott
6EFMrs. Yates
7EFMlle Cattafi and Mrs. Movre

Daily Screening for students attending in-person learning

As per the direction from the Ministry of Education, all students returning to in-person learning must complete the daily self-screening.  Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Toolfor each child every day before leaving home for school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher.  On September 7th and 8th, we ask all parents to please either email or write a note to the teacher indicating the self-screening was completed, your child received a “pass” and the date.

Beginning on September 9th, all students will be given a QR code to scan at home which will be linked to their child’s class.  The QR code must be completed for every day your child attends in-person learning. 

Gradual Return to School for Elementary Students 

The following schedule will apply to Grade 1-8 students:  

Date Schedule 
Tuesday, September 7th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school 
Wednesday, September 8th Only students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school 
Thursday, September 9th ALL students in Grades 1-8 attending in-class instruction will come to school.
Monday, September 13th  All Kindergarten students attend in-class instruction

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PROCEDURES GR. 1-8

The following details must be noted, and procedures followed on the first day of school for your Gr. 1-8 child.  Please remember that parents who do not model and follow the rules lead to children who don’t follow the rules – and this year, more than ever, we need EVERYONE’S COOPERATION

  • Staff will be in the yard assisting with getting students to their correct locations
  • Only one parent will be permitted to enter onto our main school yard to assist their child in finding their teacher on your specific day one only
  • Teachers will be holding up a sign with their name on it
  • Once your child has found their teacher the parent who entered the main yard area with their child must leave this area immediately
  • Parents are reminded to MODEL and encourage social distancing expectations
  • Parents are asked not to congregate
  • Parents are asked to leave the school property immediately after their child has found their teacher and line up area
  • Once the teacher has all his/her alphabetical group for that first staggered day they will lead the class into the school and immediately conduct hand hygiene upon enter the classroom

We know that this will not look like a NORMAL first day of school that many of you are used to.  The best thing that you can do to prepare your child for this “different” looking first day is to tell them that once the one parent passes them to their teacher, they will be immediately leaving as instructed by the Principal.  We want to make sure that we can keep all students, staff AND parents healthy.  After this first staggered entry day, parents are NOT permitted on the main schoolyard.  When students arrive prior to our 8:45 bell, they will immediately be heading to their line-up areas and lining up socially distanced with peers from their class/cohort.  There will be no free walking or play in the main yard prior to school.  These procedures will be reviewed with students on their first school day. 

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

As we prepare to welcome students back to school next 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 line up to enter our school, and we will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time.  This will mean that entries and exits by the children will take longer
  • Kindergarten students will enter the school immediately upon arrival in the morning
  • 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 in the yard as we have established a free entry policy at SJOA. Beginning on Thursday, September 9th, between 8:30 am and 8:45 am students will immediately enter the school using the doors at the back of the school.  Staff will be on supervision in the halls to ensure all students enter their school and classrooms safely.  No students should be on school property prior to 8:30 am. 

Kindergarten

To help our youngest students make a smooth entry into SJOA, we have a staggered entry for Kindergarten:

  • Year 1 and 2 orientation will take place on Tuesday, September 7th, and Wednesday, September 9th.
  • Year 2 students will begin on Thursday, September 9th.
  • Year 1 staggered entry will take place on Thursday, September 9th, and Friday, September 10th.
  • All Kindergarten students in school beginning Monday, September 13th.
  • Orientation interviews will be set up by the Kindergarten educators either virtually or in-person (outside in the Kindergarten Yard) for all students, regardless if you have opted for the online learning. 
  • Parents of students entering their first year of Kindergarten (Junior Kindergarten) and students in their second year of Kindergarten (Senior Kindergarten) will have a short interview with the classroom educators on Sept. 7 or Sept. 8. 
  • Thursday, Sept. 9th is the first day of school for all returning second-year students (Senior Kindergarten).
  • All first-year Kindergarten students (Junior Kindergarten) will have a staggered entry which will begin on Thursday, September 9th.  Your entry date will be given to you during your scheduled interview. 
  • All Kindergarten students will be in school for a full day on Monday, September 13th.

SCHOOL ITEMS AND LOCKERS

Lockers will be available for use 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.

LIBRARY AND GYMNASIUM

Our library will be available for students to use this year.  Information regarding book exchange and general use will be sent home in the coming days. 

All physical education lessons will be conducted both inside and outside while students remain in their same classroom cohorts.  When possible, classes are encouraged to participate in physical education outside using both the blacktop and field area.   Outdoor physical education is greatly encouraged as it is a great opportunity for both physical exercise and a mask break. 

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 in the yard during our lunch recess outdoor break time.  Grade 6, 7 and 8’s are no longer permited to leave 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. 

Medical Perils

Please ensure you have returned the necessary medication & forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any updated information for our files. We are aware that Allerject is now available in Canada, and if this is your choice of auto-injectors please indicate this on the Student Plan of Care.

Water Bottles 

Students and staff will be able to bring reusable water bottles and refill them at designated refill stations in our school. For the health and safety of our students and school community, the use of water fountains for drinking will not be permitted.  

Water Fountains and Reusable Water Bottles: 

  • Each student is required to bring their own drinking bottle to school that is labeled, kept with them during the day, and not shared with other students.  
  • All water fountains will be wrapped and/or made inoperable.  
  • Although bottle filling stations will be in use, students and staff are not advised to touch any filling station apparatus.  

Mandatory School Uniforms

St. Joan of Arc is a full uniform school.  All students must be in full uniform as purchased from our uniform provider McCarthy’s.  Please visit their website for information or for booking your shopping appointment: https://www.mccarthyuniforms.ca/

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 or email our Secretary, Mrs. Freeze, at freezev@hcdsb.org

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

School Communication

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.  Information will also be posted on Twitter and we encouraged all families to follow us @Sjoa5.

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.

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. 

Student Accident Insurance

We all know that accidents can, and do, happen. While your provincial coverage or your employee benefits plan may cover some medical, dental or other expenses related to these accidents, they may not cover all of them. Student Accident Insurance helps to protect your family from these unexpected costs if your child is injured on school property or during school-sponsored activities.

Since the Halton Catholic District School Board does not offer student accident insurance, you, as a parent/guardian, have the option to buy this coverage for your child or children. While participation is voluntary, it is highly recommended. All students, up to 26 years of age, are accepted.

Coverage is available in three affordable plan options, for as low as $13/year (that’s just over 3 cents a day!) in Lite, Plus and Premium. Benefits include:

  • Dental treatment
  • Damage to eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Braces, casts, crutches, hearing aids, prosthetics and splints
  • Counselling, physiotherapy and tutoring
  • Prescription drugs
  • Accidental death, total and permanent disability
  • NEW! Hospital cash allowance for costs associated with extended hospital stays such as parking, television or Wi-Fi in your room, parking, cafeteria meals or babysitting expenses for family members.

Discounts are available for families with 3 or more children, with additional savings for multi-year plans of three and five years when buying online. For more policy details or to buy a plan, please visit www.studyinsuredstudentaccident.com or call 1-833-560-0527 (toll-free) or 416-916-1588 (local).

Please note that the insurance agreement is between you and Student Accident Insurance.

Parish information and Sacraments

Father Allen has updated our website with information outlining easy-to-follow steps for parents to complete the 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:

First Communion

https://www.saintmatthew.ca/communion

Confirmation

https://www.saintmatthew.ca/confirmation

Upcoming Events:

Sep
7
Tue
New to Kindergarten Orientation/Interviews
Sep 7 @ 8:45 am – 3:00 pm
Staggered Entry for Grade 1-8 Students — Surnames beginning with A-K
Sep 7 @ 8:45 am
Sep
8
Wed
New to Kindergarten Orientation/Interviews
Sep 8 @ 8:45 am – 3:00 pm
Staggered Entry for Grade 1-8 Students — Surnames beginning with L-Z
Sep 8 @ 8:45 am
Sep
9
Thu
All Students in Grade 1-8 attending in-person instruction come to school
Sep 9 @ 8:45 am
Sep
21
Tue
International Day of Peace
Sep 21 all day
Student Achievement Evening — Virtually via MS Teams
Sep 21 @ 6:30 am – 7:30 am
Sep
24
Fri
Catholic School Council Nomination forms due
Sep 24 all day
Sep
28
Tue
Catholic School Council Elections
Sep 28 all day
Sep
29
Wed
Terry Fox Walk
Sep 29 all day
Thanksgiving Treat Orders Due
Sep 29 @ 1:00 pm
Sep
30
Thu
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Sep 30 all day
Oct
2
Sat
Thanksgiving Food Drive
Oct 2 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Oct
4
Mon
Catholic School Council Meeting
Oct 4 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Oct
5
Tue
World Teachers Day
Oct 5 all day
Laratta, NickWeekly Update Sept 6th to 10th