“It is in humility that we build the future of the world.”
Welcome back St. Mark Families! We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer. We are looking forward to re-connecting with all our students who are returning in-person and those new to our school community!!! Welcome! We know that this year will present us with various challenges; however, we remain optimistic, that with the grace of our Lord, we will find many creative and innovative ways to continue to work through this pandemic. We look forward to creating and maintaining a strong Catholic community, where we are all welcome, belong and feel included.
Thank you to our tremendous St. Mark Staff for all your work this past week as we prepare for our students returning to class. Thank you for your amazing collaboration, dedication and support!! We are excited to return to school and are very much looking forward to being together again with our students and school community!
Thank you to ALL our parents and guardians for your continued support, as we start this new school year. We appreciate your understanding, assistance, and cooperation.
Staff Updates – Please Welcome:
Mrs. D. Cerqueira (Head Secretary)
Mrs. V. Hurley (SERT)
Mrs. C. Monteiro (Empower Support)
Mr. J. Skinner (LTO EA)
Miss M. Tessari (LTO FDK)
Mrs. Traina (PTM)
Mrs. Bell CYC was reassigned to another school….We will miss you!! – CYC TBD
Preparing for a Safe and Healthy Return to School
We have been working diligently at St. Mark Catholic School to ensure that Board and Public Health directives, as outlined in the https://www.hcdsb.org/return-to-school/ are implemented.
One suggestion for parents is to consider having children try on their masks to gradually get used to wearing them for an extended period of time. As per the Return to School Plan, masks are required, indoors.
Students will have mask breaks imbedded throughout the day, specifically when they are out for recess and DPA. Please review with your child how best to store their mask while outside (i.e. quick release lanyard, put in pocket, place in pouch etc.) Students will be required to sanitize upon reentry and put on their masks again.
St. Mark will again have staggered recesses and lunch blocks. The School Yard will be divided each day into Zones for every recess. Pylons will be arranged each day to section the yard according to classes / cohorts.
Student / School Entry
Please look out for a separate email that will be sent out to all parents, on Monday, which will detail school entry, starting on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021.
This past week, parents would have received an e-mail from the Board (HCDSB) regarding a “gradual” return to school. We will be easing into the new school year by welcoming students back to school in smaller groups, on September 7 and 8.
For Grades 1-8, the following schedule will apply for all elementary schools:
Tuesday, September 7th – All in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school.
Wednesday, September 8th – All in-person learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school.
Thursday, September 9th – ALL in-person learners (Grades 1 – 8) will come to school.
For parents of children attending Kindergarten (Year 1 and 2), please note the following:
Tuesday, September 7th– Virtual Kindergarten Orientation interviews with parents and children by scheduled appointments
Wednesday, September 8th– Virtual Kindergarten Orientation interviews with parents and children by scheduled appointments
Thursday, September 9th– All Year 2 (“Senior” Kindergarten, or “SK”) students will attend- staggered Year 1 (“Junior” Kindergarten, or “JK”) will attend
Friday, September 10th– All Year 2 (“Senior” Kindergarten, or “SK”) students will attend- staggered Year 1 (“Junior” Kindergarten, or “JK”) will attend
Monday, September 13th– ALL Kindergarten students will begin instruction with their full class.
Parents of Kindergarten students will receive updated communication directly from their Kindergarten Educator Team.
Parents and guardians are now able to access the class placement for their child, using your child’s Office 365 email and password. You will not require your child’s OEN number.
If your family is new to HCDSB, your child(ren) will not yet have an Office 365 email. In this case, you would have received a phone call for child(ren)’s class placement(s) information. If you still require assistance, please email Ms. Pasceri – (email@example.com)
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, schools will not be able to accommodate requests for changes to class lists.
Access to School
We will continue to operate like last year in a virtual format. All meetings and assemblies will be conducted and facilitated in that manner. NO visitors are allowed inside the school, only essential visitors are allowed with advanced request and permission from school administration team.
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
NEW this year– Family Information Packages are online- More information will follow, first week of school.
Transportation information for eligible bus students is available at www.haltonbus.ca. To access this information, you will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN). Please note that there will be no option for Courtesy Seats this year. If your child (eligible to ride the bus) will not be taking the bus this year, please access the “Opt Out” https://form.jotform.com/hsts/hsts-opt-out-form option on their website. Please note that students will be required to wear a mask, while on the bus.
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).
Daily Self-Assessment of COVID-19 Symptoms Update
As we prepare to welcome our students back to their in-person classrooms, please note that all students (K-Grade 12), staff and visitors are required to complete the https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ daily before the start of school, as directed by the Ministry of Education and Halton Public Health Services.
Additionally, all students will be required to provide confirmation that they have taken and passed the assessment upon arrival at school. Verification will be conducted by the homeroom teacher during morning attendance.
Our PARENTS of Intermediate Students will be provided an Electronic Form Link that must be completed daily (will be sent by Intermediate Teachers).
Our Primary and Junior Classes will be provided a Verification Form for the first 2 weeks of school that will allow for daily parent confirmation that their child has taken and passed the self-screening. The form will be included in our Entry Procedures Email that will be sent to all families on Monday. If you are unable to print this form, we will accept a written note that states and includes parent signature:
- My child has completed the Covid-19 School Screening Tool Today.
- Today’s COVID-19 School Screening Result indicates that my child CAN GO TO SCHOOL.
Staff will continue 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.
Mandatory self-screening and verification will begin on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
If your child has a medical condition, please return their Student Plan of Care Package that was sent home in June, first day back at school. If your child has an epi-pen, please ensure that you provide two to the school, one for the student to carry and the second to be stored in the Office. If your child has had a change in their medical condition over the summer, please inform the school as soon as possible.
Peanut / Tree Nuts Allergies
Please remember that St. Mark School is an ALLERGEN REDUCED environment. For the safety of all students, please refrain from sending any peanut/tree-nut/nut products with your child. Please understand that TIM HORTON’S and McDONALD’S advises that ALL their food products may have come in contact with these allergens. Please refrain from bringing any Tim Horton’s / McDonald’s food products into the school. Please note that Wow Butter (soy product) is not allowed as well since we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter.
A reminder that students are expected to be in full uniform for their first day of school. A new change to our Board Policy II-41, School Uniform Dress Code/School Dress Code, which has been in effect since January 1st, 2021, stipulates that for elementary school uniforms, parents and guardians will no longer have to purchase bottoms from the Board authorized school uniform vendor. All bottoms (shorts / pants) –regardless of where they are purchased, must be navy blue (jogging pants and leggings are not uniform items).
For more information, please visit: https://www.mccarthyuniforms.ca/home/index
Save the DATE! – Virtual Curriculum Night – Meet the Teacher – Wednesday, Sept. 22
More information to follow, closer to the date.
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On behalf of the St. Mark 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.
Enjoy your time with your family, this long weekend!
Ms. Pasceri – Principal