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School Update October 25 – October 29

Autumn is like a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.

Albert Camus

We would like to thank our St. Joseph community for their generosity in supporting our Terry Fox Walk and our Thanksgiving Food Drive. We were truly overwhelmed by all the donations!

We are proud to announce that together we donated 994 pounds (WOW!!!) of food to the Acton Food Share and raised $545.00 for the Terry Fox Foundation. Thank you for supporting our efforts to help those in our greater community of Acton and beyond.

Change in Dismissal Routines & Early Pickups

Thank you to all of the parents who have diligently emailed to let us know of early dismissals and pickups for their children. While we realize that last-minute situations happen occasionally, we respectfully ask that if possible, you let the classroom teacher know of any early pickups before noon. This gives the teacher an opportunity to check their email over the lunch hour and have your child ready at the office for the designated time. In the rare situation of a last-minute pickup, please email the teacher and Mrs. Aguiar at the office to ensure your child is ready. Things work smoothly when we all work together!

Lunch Time Supervisor Positions

Our school continues to be in need of lunchtime supervisors to help supervise our main school area and our kindergarten area.  This is a paid position. If you are interested and are available Monday to Friday, from 12:00am-1:30 daily, please contact the school office for more details.

2021 Halloween Spirit Week

The time has come…we are SO EXCITED to share in spirit throughout our 2021 Halloween Spirit Week starting this Monday, October 25th! Throughout the week, students will have an opportunity to participate in a school-wide spirit theme EVERY DAY. Thank you to everyone for their enthusiasm and involvement in collecting pledges and making donations for our Spooktacular Dance-a-Thon Fundraiser!! Anyone still wishing to donate a prize for our students are asked to please contact the office by Monday, end of day.

Loads of fun activities are planned!! Please view our Halloween Spirit Week Flyer below for themes taking place each day. This Monday, we can’t wait to see our school community showcase their creative hats, hair and accessories (e.g. hair ties, bracelets, necklaces, glasses, earrings)!

Hallowe’en Dance-a-Thon Details

Weather permitting, our Halloween Dance-a-Thon will take place on our schoolyard throughout the day on Thursday, October 28, 2021. Our Catholic School Council and Staff are working together to organize a fun-filled event for students. Each Kindergarten-Grade 6 class cohort will be provided with a 30-minute timeslot to dance their hearts out, while each Grade 7 & 8 class cohort will dance for 45 minutes. Each student will be provided with a Terra Cotta Halloween Cookie and Juice Box. All health and safety protocols will be maintained to ensure our school community stays safe while enjoying some Spooktacular fun!

Get your GLOW NECKLACES!! Now available for purchase on SchoolCashOnline to help light our Dance-a-Thon Fun. Purchases can be made until Tuesday, October 26th (Limit of 2 per student). All glow necklaces purchased will be distributed on Thursday, October 28th prior to the dance-a-thon.

Please note, that due to COVID-19 protocols we are unable to accommodate any visits from extended family or friends, on or near school property, even from a distance, during the Hallowe’en dance. For privacy reasons, photos cannot be taken of students, even from a distance. Your support and understanding are appreciated.

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes!

Every student will receive one complimentary ballot to use towards our prize raffle. Additional ballots will be provided for each $5 earned in collected pledges. Students will place their ballots towards prizes of interest on the day of the Dance-a-Thon. All prizes won will be awarded on Friday, October 29, 2021.

Halloween Costume Reminders

Halloween is a great time to dress up and have fun with costumes. A reminder that in our Catholic education community, we want to promote respect, inclusion, and empathy for all individuals. As we celebrate our Halloween Dance-a-Thon, students are invited to wear a costume or orange and black clothing. 

As students select Halloween costumes, we encourage everyone to reflect critically, be mindful of cultural appropriation and create welcoming school environments for all.

The following are suggested questions to reflect on when choosing a costume to avoid being disrespectful or offensive:

  1. Is my costume making fun of a group of people, their culture or religion?
  2. Does my costume reinforce jokes and stereotypes about certain groups, cultures or religions?
  3. Am I altering my skin colour, facial/body features to make it darker or like a particular race, ethnicity, or cultural group?
  4. Am I dressing up as a culture or borrowing from a religion that is not my own or is not part of my background?
  5. Do I understand and respect the history or tradition of the culture that I am borrowing my costume from?

Please remember that this Halloween, due to COVID-19 safety protocols within the school, costume props and masks cannot be brought or worn to school this day. While we want to enjoy the day, we still must follow Public Health protocols by wearing masks and exercising appropriate hand hygiene. If you have specific questions about the day or the costumes, please connect with your child’s teacher.

Halloween Treats

A reminder that we encourage our students to celebrate the spirit and fun of Halloween, however we cannot accept any food or candy items at schoolThank you for your understanding.

Volunteer Protocols

Volunteers willingly give their time and talents as valued members of our school community. Volunteers support our school staff by enhancing student learning activities and school events. We love our volunteers and look forward to having them back in the school. 

We are currently looking for parent volunteers to support our pizza lunch program on Wednesdays from 11:30am – 12:30pm.

For the purposes of ensuring the safety of our students, each school volunteer:

  • Must provide a Criminal Reference Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening dated within the last six months of the date it is shared with the school (for new volunteers); AND
  • Complete an annual Offence Declaration that states the you have had no convictions under the Criminal Code of Canada since your last Criminal Reference Check (for returning volunteers with a previous check on file at the school)
  • Must show proof of full vaccination (as per Health Canada guidelines and Reopening Ontario Act, 2020) against COVID-19 to Board personnel (i.e. the school Principal), with a final dose administered at least 14 days prior to entering the school;
  • Volunteers that are unable to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 must complete regular rapid antigen testing, must show Board personnel verification of negative test results, and must also complete a COVID-19 vaccination educational program prescribed by the Ministry of Education.  Any costs associated with regular rapid antigen testing are the responsibility of the volunteer.  A regular rapid antigen testing program includes:
    • Twice per week testing;
    • Testing should be implemented consistently on a weekly bases with at least 3 days between tests and conducted Sunday to Friday, and
    • Testing should not take place more than 48 hours before entering a Board facility.

Criminal Reference Check and Annual Offence Declaration

For the purposes of ensuring the safety of our students, each school volunteer must:

  • Provide a Criminal Reference Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening dated within the last six months of the date it is shared with the school (for new volunteers); AND
  • Complete an annual Offence Declaration that states the you have had no convictions under the Criminal Code of Canada since your last Criminal Reference Check (for returning volunteers with a previous check on file at the school)

Please note, that only Criminal Reference Checks / Vulnerable Sector Screening filed in the school since September 2019 are valid.

Online Criminal Reference Checks

Police Record Checks are now available ONLINE. Residents of Halton Region, aged 21 and older can apply for Police Information Checks and Police Vulnerable Sector Checks for employment and volunteer purposes online 24 hours a day, seven days a week without having to attend one of our police locations.  Please see the document below for further details.

Parking Lot Safety

Safety is first! We appreciate everyone’s vigilance in observing all our parking lot safety procedures to keep our community safe at all times. Parents are reminded to:

  • park only in designated areas
  • proceed with caution while reducing speed
  • cross using crosswalk and remain on sidewalks
  • not drive or walk through bus loading zone
  • follow instructions from staff

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

Follow us on Twitter @stjoesacton

MacLeod, StephanieSchool Update October 25 – October 29