We hope all of our families have had a blessed and healthy Christmas season and a restful break. As 2022 begins, we want to wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year and pray for the good health of our school community and for all those who continue to serve on the frontlines for our protection and healing during this pandemic. We are grateful for your collective commitment to following the guidelines as laid out by Public Health to do what we can to promote our mutual health and safety. We look forward to seeing all our students on Wednesday!
The Epiphany teaches us that Jesus’ coming into the world was important to the whole world and that the Good News of Jesus Christ is meant for everyone! The word epiphany comes from the Greek Epiphania, meaning “revelation.” It is celebrated on January 6th.
At The Epiphany we recall the visit of the Magi to the newborn Jesus: “And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:9–12)
St. Matthew Catholic Parish News – New Year’s Prayer of Blessing
As we mark the beginning of a new year, it’s important, as people of faith, to spend some time seeking God’s blessing. Resolutions are a helpful, but prayer is indispensable. Consider using the prayer below with your families as a fitting way to start 2022:
God, thank you for a new year.
May everyone in our family be willing to begin anew with a clean slate.
We know that you are always ready to forgive us.
Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.
As we begin a new year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires.
Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do.
Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.
We ask this, and all things through Christ our Lord.
Follow St. Matthew Catholic Church on Social Media and keep up to date with all that is happening in our parish! There are four ways to connect to the parish:
- Website – https://www.saintmatthew.ca/
- FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/saintmtoakville
- Twitter – @saintmtoakville
- YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Af1hB7O-VS5PB1gYvTJhA
UPDATED COVID-19 Safety Measures
As was the case in September, the Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID self-screening for all elementary students attending school in person. This will be in place upon the return from Christmas Break until further notice under the direction of the Ministry of Education.
- Parents and guardians are asked to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school.
- Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to the classroom teacher in one of the following formats:
- Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR
- Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log, which your child(ren) bring back and forth to school each day. A link to the log sheet will be sent to parents in a separate email on Monday.
- Email results to classroom teacher;
- Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;
For the safety and well-being of all students and staff, parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
- Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8C)
- Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19
- Individuals experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 as identified in the screening tool, must not attend school and should follow the guidance provided in the screening tool
When Should I keep My Child Home?
The Ontario Ministry of Health has once again updated its guidelines around Covid-19, testing, and isolation requirements. Please follow the directions of the online School Screening Tool each and every day to determine whether or not you should bring your children to school. Public Health will no longer be administering PCR tests for people who are not considered “high-risk individuals”. If you or your child has cold-like symptoms, assume that you have Covid and that your family must isolate. You can also use these two flowcharts whenever someone in your household exhibits cold-like symptoms or comes into contact with a positive case of Covid-19:
Please note that isolation requirements have changed. Some individuals, as per the guidelines above, may only need to isolate for 5 days. Also, at this time, we have been told that Public Health will no longer be dismissing classes when there has been an exposure to a positive case. For more information about Omicron and testing guidance, please download the following document from the Ministry of Health:Omicron-CCM-Testing-Guidance-V1.0-2021-12-30-FINAL-EN-AODADownload
Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectation
Throughout the month of January, we will focus on what it means to be a reflective, creative and holistic thinker:
We invite you to continue these conversations at home, emphasizing the value of this expectation for all of our students.
Pizza Day will be on Friday
Given the extended break we have rescheduled pizza day to Friday this week. Mark your calendars!
Dressing for Winter Weather
Please ensure your child is dressed each day to play outside at recess. Students are outside for all regular outside activities when it is warmer than -15°C. When temperatures range between -15°C to -20°C, students may remain outside for no longer than 20-minute intervals, once temperatures are colder than -20°C students must remain inside.
As winter weather is fast approaching, parents are reminded to visit our website for important information and reminders regarding our Inclement Weather procedures and the Inclement Weather Transportation Zones map: http://bit.ly/HCDSBInclementWeather
Looking for notifications on bus delays and cancellations?
Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) provides important information for parents and students who ride the bus to and from school. Bus delays and cancellation information can be found directly on the Delays & Cancellations page.
Promoting Well-Being – Take 15-minutes just for you
“Working on our emotional health is just as important as taking care of our physical well-being,” says Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario.
Having good emotional health is a fundamental aspect of fostering resilience. Keep in mind that having good emotional health does not mean you are free from negative emotions. It’s about having the skills and resources to manage the ups and downs of day-to-day life. Here are some ways to tend to your emotional well-being:
Write out your feelings. When we put our feelings into words, we are actively constructing and making meaning of our emotions. Without words for emotions, our feelings might seem unclear to us. Naming and writing about our emotions helps to ease anxiety and decreases our anger or fear response.
Acknowledge your grief. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to everyone experiencing a wave of losses: economic, social, physical and emotional. It’s important to take the time to acknowledge and mourn these losses. For more information on this topic, check out our resource on loss and grief during the pandemic.
Do something small that brings you joy. Take a photo, bake a treat, spend some time in the garden. Whatever works for you and is a healthy way to cope.