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Welcome Back – weekly update Sept 1, 2021

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” ~ E. Roosevelt

Welcome Back

We are excited to welcome everyone to St. Marguerite’s school for the 2021-2022 year.  This is going to be a year filled with new learning, new adventures and new opportunities.  We are grateful to all the staff who have worked hard this past week to get the school ready for all the students and eagerly awake their arrival on Tuesday. We can’t wait to hear the sound of children fill our hallways & classrooms once again! Please know we are committed to providing a quality Catholic education that is flexible and engaging. We look forward to creating and maintaining a strong sense of community and welcoming spaces in our school.

Classroom Placements

On Friday, September 3rd after 3:00 pm, student class placements will be available on the system website. Students, please have your office 360 email and password ready.  More information to follow.

Staggered Entry for Students in Grades 1-8, 9-12 Learning in Person

We will be easing into the new school year by welcoming students back to school in smaller groups, on September 7 and 8.

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 the first week of school, students will meet their teachers outside on our blacktop. Please make sure to have your COVID screening ready. Staff will be available to help support any needs.

  • Grades 1, 6/7, 7-8 = Enter door 6
  • Grades 4-6 = Enter door 8
  • Grades 2-3 = Enter door 9

Daily COVID Screening

The  Ministry is requiring school boards and schools to implement the daily on-site screening for all elementary and secondary students for the first two weeks of the school year  (i.e.,  September  7  –  17,  2021).

  • Parents/guardians/students  must  complete  the  Ontario  School  Screening  Tool  each  morning  prior  to or  upon  arrival  for  each  student. 
  • Daily On-site  Confirmation  of  Screening  for  Students  Attending  In-Person  
  • Students  will  be  required  to  show/provide  their  classroom  teacher  confirmation  of screening  in  one  of the  following formats:
    •  Email results  to  classroom  teacher  
    •  Download  pdf of results  and  provide  to  classroom  teacher  
    •  Students  can  show “pass”  confirmation  on  their  personal device
    •  Printed  copy of the  screening  tool indicating  the  current  date  and  a  “pass”
  • Students  only  attend  school if a  “✅” is  obtained.   Students with  COVID-like  symptoms  or  who  receive  an  “X”  indicating  “Do  not  go  to  school” must remain  home  and  isolate  as  instructed.
The  screening  will  indicate  one  of  two  results

Kindergarten

Orientation meetings take place on September 7th and 8th for all our Year 1- JK students and those new to Year 2- SK. Information regarding those meetings was mailed to parents in July. At present, all meetings will be in person in the naturalization area. Details will be emailed to families this week.

All Year 2 – SK students will begin on Thursday, September 9th with half of the Year 1- JK students. The second half of our Year 1 -JK students, along with all Year 2 students will attend school on Friday, September 10th.  All Kindergarten students will be learning in school beginning Monday, September 13th.

Returning of School Items

If you have any school resources (technology, textbooks, library books, etc) that haven’t been returned in June, please make sure to return them to school by September 8th.

Twitter

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @MargueriteHCDSB.  We will be highlighting all the wonderful things we do here at St. Marguerite’s.  We cannot wait to see all the first day of school selfies.  Make sure to mention us!

Walking/Parking Etiquette

We are kindly asking that all families who are able to walk to school create this routine for our students. Walking, biking, scooting are good for the body, mind and soul. When your child arrives at school they must be wearing a mask. 

Should you need to drive, please follow our parking lot expectations to keep staff, students and community members safe.  The use of the kiss and ride is for quick drop-offs only, so please use the parking spaces needing more time.  We want to make everyone feel welcomed, so please ensure you do not block our handicap spaces.

Lunches/Snacks

For the health and safety of our students and school community, all elementary students will remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods. Families are asked to provide their children with lunch and snacks in the morning before students enter the school building.

We are working through the health and safety protocols and may be able to offer a lunch program this year. More details will be shared when available.

As posted on our School Website under “Medical Conditions,” we have several children in our school who live with severe life-threatening food allergies such as peanuts and nuts (anaphylaxis).  Please choose items carefully when sending lunches and snacks to school. Please be extra vigilant to avoid sending those treats that contain nuts or traces of nuts. (REMINDER: Alternate “peanut butter” spreads are difficult to differentiate from the real product and make monitoring student safety a challenge. Please do not send “peanut butter” look-alike products to school.) Thank you for your continued cooperation in ensuring the safety of our anaphylactic students.

Lunch Time Supervisors

We are in need of Lunch Time Supervisors. If you are interested, please contact the office. Please make sure to have a vulnerable screening check in order to help out. Note that this is a paid position.

Catholic School Council

If you are interested in becoming a member of the St. Marguerite’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.

Health and Safety Protocols

The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Operational Guidance plan provided 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:

  • 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.
  • All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Halton Catholic District School Board continued to be required to wear a properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks during classes and while in the hallways.  Masks may be removed during outdoor learning time.  Please refer to the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet for further information and guidance. We understand that for many this will be an adjustment with schools being closed for the last 5 moths. We recommend that this week, for your child to take some time to “practice” wearing masks again to reacquaint everyone with the feeling. Thank you for your assistance!
  • All classes will continue to remain in their classroom cohort and assigned a specific zone on the playground during recesses and lunch.

We are kindly asking that all families who are able to walk to school create this routine for our students. The footprint of our school is not designed to have numerous cars parking to drop off children. When your child arrives at school they must be wearing a mask. We will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time. Kindergarten students will enter through the KDG gate and go directly to their classroom. KDG staff will be communicating with parents outlining further specifics.

Parents and caregivers are kindly asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their children. Public Health has advised that there will be no gathering or congregating permitted on school property to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Medical

Any students with a medical plan for allergies or other medical conditions are asked to please drop off updated plans, EpiPen, medications etc. to the office by the first day of school.

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 (i.e. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you will receive a phone call with busing information from Halton Student Transportation Services between August 23 and 27. 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.

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 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 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.

If you did not have the opportunity to view the live webinar hosted by our Director of Education, Mr. Pat Daly, and Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region, a copy of the webinar can be viewed on the HCDSB YouTube page here.

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort. Working together, we will ensure a safe, healthy and happy return to school for all.

We will continue to keep you up to date with school messenger emails and updates to the website.  We are working diligently to ensure student and staff safety as we return to school.

Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to work through this challenging time.

St. Marguerite Tips

Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher. Point out the positive aspects of starting school to create positive anticipation about the first day of class. They will see old friends and meet new ones. Talk with them about positive experiences they may have had in the past at school or with other groups of children. Also, make sure to establish routines for a successful year.   For more tips visit https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx

Snyder, SoniaWelcome Back – weekly update Sept 1, 2021