“Every single minute matters, every single child matters, every single childhood matters.”
~ Kailash Satyarthi
Welcome to the last week of September. I huge thank you to all for your participation in our Virtual Curriculum Night on Thursday. Hopefully everyone got a better sense of the plans, expectations, and the excitement we all feel for this upcoming year. If you didn’t have a chance to “dropin” the school presentation is on our website, and you can reach out to individual teachers for more information.
On Friday we had the pleasure of celebrating a national icon, in our Terry Fox Day. It was beautiful to see the sea of red and white and Mother Nature certainly favoured us with glorious weather to walk in memory of Terry. As a school we not only met our goal of raising a $1000, we surpassed it and raised $1400!!!!! Way to go St. John!
- Please remember to complete the Ontario Covid School Screening found here before sending your child(ren) to school. While we no longer ask to see a daily log this is an important tool to help keep our school safe and healthy for everyone.
- Thursday, September 30th is Orange Shirt Day and National Truth and Reconciliation Day. The school will commemorate the day with activities that build understanding and support for the truth around the Residential School system and the healing needed for generations of trauma. Please know that while we take this one day to recognize, we understand that as a school and as a community, we must reflect and stand in solidarity with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters and will work to do better, learn better and make a difference every day. Please see below for more information on Orange Shirt Day.
- School Wide Virtual Liturgy at 10:45 on Thursday, September 30th. Thank you to Mrs. Fisher and the grade 7 and 8’s for hosting. A link to the liturgy will be sent to the community should they wish to participate.
- Wednesday, October 6th is our First Catholic School Council Meeting. Names of Council members will be published this week. Thank you to all who have volunteered their time to support our school community.
- Friday, October 8th is a PA Day. Agenda of the day will be published on the school website prior to the day.
- Monday, October 11th is Thanksgiving and therefore there is no school.
Orange Shirt Day: Thursday, September 30th
Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation in British Columbia, was forced to attend St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School, as her relatives before her. She entered the school in 1973, having just turned six years old, wearing a brand new orange shirt her grandmother had bought for her. It was immediately confiscated by the staff and replaced with a uniform. She never saw her new orange shirt again, and began to associate the colour with the traumatic experiences in the school, including the theft of language and cultural identity she endured.
In 2013, Webstad transformed her dehumanizing experiences of residential school into something positive by working with then National Grand Chief Shawn Atleo and the Assembly of First Nations to establish a nationally recognized Orange Shirt Day. Marked annually on September 30th, this day acknowledges the residential school system in Canada, honours those that survived, remembers those who did not, and recognizes the ongoing effects of intergenerational trauma. It is a day to demonstrate, by wearing orange, that all students matter. In the words of survivor and author Larry Loyie, it may also be seen as a day for “the students of today who want to know about the students of yesterday” (Residential Schools: With the Words and Images of Survivors, 2014).
Orange Shirt Day has been marked across Canada in a variety of ways, including Orange Ribbon campaigns, commemorative walks, and wearing orange shirts. Through social media campaigns it has also gone global, reaching as far as Italy and Sweden. Over 6500 survivor statements have been collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which concluded in 2016 after six years of research and testimonies. The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair has stated “reconciliation must fall in the hands of Canadians, not solely with Indigenous peoples.” Ultimately, wearing orange shirts on September 30 is a visual reminder of our shared past as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and provides an opportunity for dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in shaping our shared future.
Visit orangshirtday.org to learn more about this year’s commemorative events.
Rowan’s Law Day – September 29, 2021
On Wednesday, September 29, 2021, our school will be recognizing Rowan’s Law Day to raise awareness about concussion safety, and to share Rowan Stringer’s story.
In May 2013, 17-year-old Rowan died as the result of head injuries sustained in a game of rugby. In March 2018, the Ontario government passed Rowan’s Law, designed to protect athletes and to educate about the dangers of head injuries.
The health and safety of our students is our top priority, and on September 29th, we hope to increase awareness about the dangers of concussions. Together, we can help our students prevent, recognize and respond to concussions.
Wearing of Masks at School
- Medical masks will be worn by all school staff.
- All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. All considerations for mask exemptions must be reviewed and discussed with the school principal.
- Students will have ‘Mask Breaks’ during outdoor time and lunch. Students will be permitted to take their masks off in class while eating and when they go outside for recess/lunch and for outdoor class time. Please note, that students must wear their face mask in the hallway, while heading outside for recess and lunch. Please discuss and practice a routine with your child regarding wear they will keep their mask when they are outside (i.e. pocket, pouch, Ziploc bag) Upon entering the building, after outside recess & lunch, students will sanitize their hands and then place their mask on before entering the hallway. All students must have their mask in place when entering the school building in the morning and for dismissal.
- All students and caregivers are asked to enter school property before and after school masked, as this is a time of high volume when physical distancing may not be possible.
Thank you to all for doing your part to keep everyone healthy and safe!
Have a wonderful week! Stay safe and be well. I pray for every family to stay healthy and safe. Please continue to follow the direction of Public Health so we can safely attend school. Please follow us on twitter @stjburlington to see all the great things happening at school!