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School Update- Sept 7-10, 2021

And suddenly you just know it is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

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Welcome Back!

As we prepare for this new beginning, we are excited to welcome new and returning St. Joseph families! We hope you have all enjoyed a safe and relaxing summer with loved ones. Staff are looking forward to reconnecting with our students and showcase for them all the renovations that have taken place over the summer months. We are incredibly grateful for the investment made to our school community!

Thank You

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE teaching staff and support staff who have worked diligently this past week to prepare for a safe and exciting entry for all our students. Thank you to our OUTSTANDING office and custodial staff who have been working tirelessly to ensure our school is prepared for a safe, smooth transition back.

Please join us in welcoming new staff joining our St. Joseph’s School Team: Ms. D’Emilio ~ DECE, Ms. Caleca ~ Grade 4, Ms. Araman ~ Grade 4/5, Ms. Tymczyna ~ Grade 5/6, Ms. Moniz ~ PTM/Arts, Ms. Marajh ~ Child and Youth Counsellor, Mr. Tennier ~ Educational Assistant

Personally, I want to thank all of the St. Joseph Families for their warm welcome and for being so supportive as we embark, in collaboration, for this new school year.

Staggered Entry for Students in Grades 1-8, Learning in Person

We are working diligently at St. Joseph to ensure that the Board directives as outlined in the Board’s Return to School Plan (www.hcdsb.org/return-to-school/) are implemented. 

As communicated by HCDSB, the first day of instruction for students was originally planned for Tuesday, September 7, 2021. To help ease the transition for our students and staff, and ensure a safe and healthy return for all, we will be implementing a gradual (staggered) return to class for our elementary students who will be learning in person on September 7th and 8th.

The following schedule will apply for all schools: 

Tuesday, September 7th        Only students in Grades 1 – 8, 9-12 with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school.
Wednesday, September 8th          Only students in Grades 1 – 8, 9-12 with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school
Thursday, September 9th                ALL students in Grades 1 – 8, 9-12 attending in-person instruction will come to school.

On Tuesday, September 7th and on Wednesday, September 8th, the following entry procedures will take place:

Grades 1 = will meet classroom teachers by Door 5, on the playground. Teachers will be standing in their zones, with a clearly labelled sign ready greet the students.

Grade 2-4 = Direct entry via Door 5. Support staff will be available to assist your child to find their teacher and classroom.

Grades 5-8 = Direct entry via Door 4 (at back of school). Support staff will be available to assist your child to find their teacher and classroom.

On Thursday, September 9th, all students from Gr. 1-8 will directly enter the school upon arrival. Staff will be available to support students as they continue to familiarize themselves with their morning entry routine.

Kindergarten Students Entry

Please note as per our usual practice, a staggered entry schedule for Kindergarten students continues to be implemented.

Tuesday, September 7th and Wednesday, September 8th

  • Orientation interviews for Year 1 and NEW Year 2 Kindergarten students will take place virtually via TEAMS. Please monitor emails as a TEAMS link will be sent by your child’s teacher.

Thursday, September 9th

Entry for all Year 2 students and half of Year 1 Kindergarten students (as communicated by educator team) via Door 2 where they will be greeted by staff.

Friday, September 10th

Entry for all Year 2 students and other half of Year 1 Kindergarten students (as communicated by educator team) via Door 2 where they will be greeted by staff.

Monday, September 13th

Full entry for all Year 1 along with Year 2 students via Door 2 where they will be greeted by staff.

Health and Safety Protocols

The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Operational Guidance plan provides the baseline for school boards and local public health officials to develop a specific plan for the school board. 

With this plan as a foundation, some of the protocols that are in place to begin the school year include:

  1. COVID-19 School Screening Tool
  2. Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log. For the first day of school, we ask that you print this Student Screening Log form and send it with your child. If you are unable to print this form, please send a handwritten note indicating that the screening is complete for each child. We appreciate your assistance with this in working together to keep our community safe.
  3. Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet for further information and guidance.
  • 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).
  • When your child arrives at school, they must have their mask on and enter through designated doors.  We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort). Staff will be on duty to direct students to the appropriate doors.
  • Kindergarten students will arrive with their mask on, and 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 permitted on school property to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If Your Child Feels Unwell at School

It is important that your son or daughter 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 designated isolation room where they will be cared for and supervised until a parent or guardian can pick them up.

It is very important that we have the current contact information for all 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.

Visitor Protocol

This school year we will continue to limit visitor access to our school in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

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.

Lunch Protocols

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.

As we limit visitors to our school, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day.  Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch and snacks in the morning before students enter the school building.

Considerations for lunch preparations:

  • Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
  • Sharing food items will not be permitted.

Each student is required to bring their own drinking bottle to school that is labelled, kept with them during the day, and not shared with other students. All water fountains will continue to 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.

Thank you for your understanding as we limit the number of visits and contacts to our school community to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. Please know that we will continue to work through health and safety protocols to be able to offer a lunch program this year. More details will be shared when they become available.

Medical

Any students with a medical peril plan for allergies or other medical conditions are asked to send epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g. EpiPen/Allerject/Emerade), puffers, medications and updated medical information to the office by the first day of school. Families are reminded to please send a 2nd epi-pen with their child to give to the homeroom teacher. Please ensure that the epi-pen is labelled clearly with your child’s name. If your child has had a change in their condition over the summer, please inform the school upon their return to school. Your assistance with this is greatly appreciated.

Bus Transportation

If your child qualifies for bus transportation, you can now review their bus details through the Halton Student Transportation Services online Parent Portal at https://haltonbus.ca/sign-in/

You will need your child’s 9-digit Ontario Education Number (OEN) to access the parent portal.  This can be found on a copy of any of their report cards.

If your child has not yet been assigned an OEN (ie. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you will receive a phone call with busing information from Halton Student Transportation Services. If you do not receive a phone call, please contact Halton Student Transportation Services between 8:00am and 4:30pm at 905-637-4009 or Toll-Free: 1-888-803-8660.

For specific information about COVID-19 Safety Protocols that are in place for students while travelling on the bus, please visit www.haltonbus.ca/covid-19-return-to-school-transportation/

If your child is eligible for transportation and isn’t planning on riding the bus, please complete Halton Bus’ Opt-Out Form to help us finalize seating plans for all riders.

As the Ministry of Education recommends reducing the number of students on the bus where possible, courtesy seats will not be offered for the 2021-2022 school year.

Lunch Time Supervisors Position

Our school is in need of lunchtime supervisors.  This is a paid position that involves supervising our students, inside and outside, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm daily.  If you or someone you know is interested in a part-time employment opportunity, please contact the school office.

Catholic School Council

If you are interested in becoming a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic School Council, nomination forms will be sent out the first week of school. We value our volunteers and look forward to working with new members as well as those we can always count on.

Returning of Borrowed School Items

If you have any school resources (textbooks, library books, etc) remaining at home, please ensure items are returned to school by Thursday, September 9th.

Looking forward to working in partnership to ensure a safe and successful school year for all members of our St. Joseph School Community.

We continue to draw on our faith to guide us as we navigate these challenging times.

S. MacLeod

Principal

Follow us on Twitter @stjoesacton

MacLeod, StephanieSchool Update- Sept 7-10, 2021