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Weekly Update: September 7, 2020

“Where God Guides, He Provides”-Isaiah 58:11

Gradual Return to School

As you know, the first day of instruction for students (originally planned for Tuesday, September 8, 2020) has been delayed until Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

We will transition into the new school year by bringing Grade 1-8 students back to school in smaller groups on September 9, 10 and 11th.  

All Grade 1-8 students will be in school beginning Monday, September 14th. Remote learning will also begin for students learning from home on Monday, September 14th.  

A gradual return to school for our elementary students will help alleviate some of the anxiety in students by providing a calm environment to help students learn the new health and safety routines at school and practice our entry and dismissal procedures in smaller groups. 

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

DateSchedule
Wednesday, September 9thOnly students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-F will come to school
Thursday, September 10thOnly students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters G- N will come to school
Friday, September 11thOnly students in Grades 1-8 with surnames beginning with the letters O-Z will come to school
Monday, September 14thALL students in Grades 1-8 attending in-class instruction will come to school. Remote learning will begin for students learning from home.

For more information, please visit our Return to School Website here: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/2020/08/28/start-of-school-delay-and-gradual-return-to-school/

NOTE: Students registered for remote instruction will not be attending our school in-person on the gradual return days that have been scheduled between September 9 -11, 2020. These days are set aside for students who will be returning for in-class instruction, to review the health and safety protocols that will be in place in our school.

The first day of instruction for students learning from home will be Monday, September 14, 2020.

A number of families have opted to begin the school year learning online. As a result, we have had to reorganize our School. This led to many last minute grade changes and a restructuring of all of our classes from K-8. Many of our class lists are still being finalized.

For those children attending face-to-face in school, parents are able to now log onto the HCDSB website on using their child’s OEN, to check their child’s class placement.

As per Director Daly’s email, due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, we will not be able to accommodate any requests for changes to class placements.

Designated Entry and Exit Doors by Class

To minimized crowding, we will be using all of our available entrance and exit doors. We will have signs posted with the Door numbers for students as they get used to this system. Next week, our teachers will be stationed at the gates on the North and South sides of our parking lot, and at each entrance to assist students. When your child arrives at school, you may escort them to the parking lot gates where they will be met by a staff member. You must then return to your car to avoid congregating. Students must arrive between 8:35-8:50 on their designated day next week.

Teachers’ NamesClass RoomEntry/Exit DoorsNOTES
Mrs Sadowsky1024Kindergarten yard
Mrs Mederios and Mrs Shea1014Kindergarten yard
Mrs Ivancic1045near Kindergarten yard
Mrs Crosson1089Parking lot South Side
Mrs Van Will1069Parking lot South Side
Mrs Mercado1059Parking lot South Side
Ms Palazzese2219Parking lot South Side
Ms Wells2159Parking lot North Side
Mrs Hanson2168Backyard South Side
Ms Watts2178Backyard South Side
Mrs. Budak2188Backyard South Side
Mrs Salisbury2198Backyard South Side
Ms Burgess2136Backyard North Side
Mrs Otshudi2126Backyard South Side
Mrs Mifsud2116Backyard South Side
Ms. O’Brien2101Front door
Mr Biggs2221Front door

Daily Self Screening

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 37.8 C)
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19
  • If any signs or symptoms, student and other household members must stay home, and school must be contacted.

Please note that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.  ​

Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE.

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. Parents will be asked to pick up siblings as well.

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. All parents must provide the school with an Emergency Contact who is available during the day in the event that parents are themselves unavailable.

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).
  • All students will be provided with one cloth nonmedical mask provided by the Ministry of Education. These masks are all identical. Please ensure you label them with your child’s name.
  • Students can wear their own masks from home if preferred.

Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet

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.

Drop-off and Pick-up

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.

School begins at 8:50 AM sharp. It is imperative that children arrive at school on time to avoid congregating in the hallways.

Students are not to arrive at school before 8:35 AM.

Our school doors will open at 8:35 AM. Students are asked to go to their designated Entry Doors upon immediate arrival at school. They will go straight to their classrooms where they will be supervised.

  • Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children.
  • Parents are NOT PERMITTED beyond the school gates. NO PARENTS are permitted on our schoolyard at any time (not before, during, or after school) as we do not want people to congregate and we will be frequently holding classes outdoors.
  • 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) for recesses and end of day dismissal.
  • Primary teachers will escort their classes to the gates for pick up by parents at the end of the day.
  • Bus students will enter via our front doors and go directly to their classrooms.
  • Kindergarten students will enter the school immediately upon arrival in the morning using their Kindergarten entrance.
  • 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.

Visitor Protocol

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. 

Lunches for Elementary Students

For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all K-8 students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods. No student shall be permitted to leave school property during the lunch hour unless in the company of a designated caregiver.

As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop-offs will not be permitted during the school day.

At this time, due to safety protocols, there will be no lunch or milk programs. 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.
  • Consider packing a napkin to be placed on your child’s desk
  • Provide a fork for finger foods
  • Do not give sticky or messy foods that will cause your children to lick their fingers

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.

Transportation

Due to the changes in the school schedules, as well as the enhanced health and safety protocols that will have to be in place on school buses, Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will require some additional time to finalize the transportation arrangements. In light of this, the start of school bus routes will be delayed this year. School bus transportation to and from school will be available beginning Monday, September 14, 2020. If your child is eligible for bus transportation but does not plan on riding the bus to school next year, please complete the HSTS Opt-Out Form online.

We know that many families rely on school buses to get their children to and from school, and we are hopeful that you will be able to make alternative arrangements for your child(ren) to attend school on their assigned staggered entry date.

Once transportation arrangements have been finalized, parents will receive an email to confirm the route number, pick-time and location through the parent portal.

For more information, visit the HSTS website at: https://www.haltonbus.ca/ Courtesy Seats Will Not Be Offered on School Buses for the 2020-21 School Year

Family Consent Forms

A September package will be coming home with your child on the first day of school as per usual. These packages include important information, consent forms for your child to participate in our Physical Education program, Family Consent Forms, and Student Verification Forms. Please read, sign, and return these forms to the classroom teachers by Friday, September 18th.

Parents of Students with Medical Conditions

If your child has a medical condition, the existing Student Plan of Care will be sent home for you to review and update if necessary during the first week of school. If your child has an epi-pen, please ensure that you provide one to the school on or before the first day of school. Our school office will be open on Tuesday, September 8th.

If your child has a change in their condition over the summer, please inform the school in the week prior to students returning. Please contact Our Secretary Mrs Romano romanoc@hcdsb.org in this case.

Catholic School Council

If you interested in joining our Catholic School Council please email Mrs. Romano at romanoc@hcdsb.org to request a form. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 18th at 9:00 am. Please note that no further nominations will be considered after this date and time.

Should a vote be necessary, the community will be invited to do so via electronic ballot the week of September 21st, 2020

Our Catholic School Council plays an active role at St. Marguerite D’youville by determining school priorities and budgeting. We meet approximately one evening per month and it is important to know that we need committed members able to attend meetings. At this time, meetings will be held virtually through an online platform.

Code of Conduct

At St. Marguerite Catholic School we encourage our students to be on their best behaviour ~ always and everywhere. To this end, there is a Code of Conduct that appears in the front pages of each school agenda. Mrs. Cascone Brown will be meeting with students in the first weeks of school in order to familiarize them with the expectations in the Code of Conduct. All adults and students are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct when on school property and in the school building. Please take a moment to discuss the Code of Conduct which can be found on our school website here: https://elem.hcdsb.org/stmarguerite/code-of-conduct/

NEW SCHOOL YEAR!

On behalf of the St. Marguerite Catholic School staff we wish you every blessing for a wonderful school year filled with new discoveries and the joy of praying, learning and serving one another in Jesus’ name.

Elementary PrincipalWeekly Update: September 7, 2020