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Weekly Update – Sept. 14

“Walk hand and hand with me through your life. Together we will face whatever each day brings.”

John 15:13

Preparations for a Safe Start

We all had a very successful “Gradual Return” to School, this past week. We are delighted to see our students back at school! We were able to review all new safety procedures with all the students that attended. Thank you to our St. Mark Staff who did a tremendous job welcoming back all our students and communicating our Safety Plan with care and compassion!

We cannot guarantee that we will not have a case of COVID-19 in our school; but we can and will do everything in our power to limit its spread through Infection Control and Prevention Strategies reviewed with all students this past week. These include – Daily screening for every student, staff member and visitor / proper hand hygiene / respiratory etiquette including the use of face masks while indoors (except when eating and outdoor recesses, gym, daily physical activities -weather permitting)  and physical distancing measures.

Thank you to all the parents and guardians for supporting us as we are working through the different parts of our new routines. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. As you know, we are trying our very best given these new circumstances and working through the pandemic means that while we continue to ensure that we provide the best faith based educational experience, everyone’s health and safety is a priority too. Thank you!

Kindly remember that no parents/guardians are allowed on school property before, during, or after school (8:55-3:40). Also, please remember that NO PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED on any school property during school hours, for the safety of our students. At this time, only essential visitors are allowed in the school (i.e. Lunch Time Supervisors). Please contact the Office if you have any questions or concerns. We ask that if your child is late or leaving early, please inform your child’s teacher and the Office. Parents and guardians are asked to drop off their child at the main entrance and the student will independently enter the Office to receive their late slip. When leaving early, parents and guardians are to wait outside the main doors for students to exit and meet them there.

Daily Self-Assessment of COVID-19 Symptoms

Staff are to monitor self and students for signs/symptoms of COVID-19.  All Staff and students who are experiencing new or worsening symptoms consistent with COVID- 19 must go home/stay at home and seek appropriate medical attention as required, including getting tested for COVID-19. Take the self-assessment https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ and follow the recommendations shared previously. 

Reminder about Lunch and Snacks

Lunch drop off has been suspended until further notice. Please ensure that your child/ren have their lunch / snacks and water bottle packed in the morning prior to the start of the school day. Thank you in advance!! If your child has permission to go home for lunch, please discourage them to go to local establishments or to a friend’s home.

Verification and Family Information Forms

Please ensure your child’s verification form and family information forms are returned to the classroom teachers as soon as possible so that we can update your information.

Parking Lot  / Kiss’n Ride Safety

This week we will have ALL Gr. 1 – 8 students join us who chose In-Class Learning. All FDK students will be attending by Tuesday, September 15. It is imperative that all our students and staff continue to practice the safety entry / dismissal routines set out, this past first week.

We encourage as many students / families to walk to school as much as possible to keep the parking lot less congested. This year, we all must exercise patience like we have never done before. As we are all mandated to follow physical distancing, it is extremely important that we practice this in our parking lot and around the school sidewalks. We will have a staff member on duty at the FDK stairs and schoolyard stairs. No parents / guardians are allowed in the FDK or School Yards.

If you feel that you must walk your child to the FDK / School yard stairs, then YOU MUST PARK YOUR VEHICLE IN AN AVAILABLE SPOT! PLEASE WALK YOUR CHILD TO THE FDK / SCHOOL YARD STEPS, the staff member on duty will direct your child to proceed to the entrance FDK / School yard area, where Support Staff will help direct them to their classrooms.

ALL STUDENTS will be directed to go to their classrooms everyday, upon drop off. Our supervision will begin at 8:55 a.m. No student should be dropped off / arriving on the schoolyard before 8:55 for safety reasons!

Dismissal at End of Day

ONE CLASS AT ONE TIME WILL BE DISMISSED, starting with the closest class cohort to their designated exit door. Parents/guardians please have a plan in place of where your child will meet you after being dismissed from schoolyard.  Parents / guardians are not allowed on FDK / School yards. We have spray painted markings as reminders for parents / guardians to wait on and adhere to physical distancing requirements.

Bus Students

Eligible bus riders / students will be asked to come to the Front Foyer where they will be lined up in the order of their assigned bus seat (keeping physical distancing requirements).

Picture Day

Like all schools Picture Day has been Postponed! Due to COVID 19 precautions – our picture day needs to be postponed until further notice.


Emergency Response Drills

As part of the Halton Catholic District School Board’s safe school protocols, each year our school must conduct a series of Emergency Response Drills. These planned rehearsals are important in ensuring that staff and students are prepared in the event of a real emergency. This year, all drills will be practiced with physical distancing in mind. Scheduled classes will partake in the drills, through out the day,  so that we meet the Public Health requirements. ONLY in the EVENT Of a real EMERGENCY will St. Mark, as all schools follow the preset Fire Plan / Emergency Plans of the school.

The protocol requires the following number of drills in each school year:

  • Six Fire Drills (3 per Term)
  • Two Lockdown Drills (1 per Term)
  • Two Bomb Threat Evacuation Drills (1 per Term)

Please be advised that St. Mark School will have 2 Fire Drills on these following dates:

Wednesday, September 16th and Friday, September 18th (weather permitting). The third Fire Drill will be practiced with the Burlington Fire Department (Date TBD).

Bomb Threat Drill will be on Monday, September 28. We will be walking to Paul A. Fisher Public School, as per our evacuation site.

Lockdown Drill (TBD) will be practiced with our Community Officer Constable Freeland.

Enjoy your weekend with your family and friends. God’s blessings to each of our families for continued good health!

Ms. Pasceri – Principal

Elementary PrincipalWeekly Update – Sept. 14