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Weekly Update – May 4-8, 2020

“Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself, not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do.”

~Pope John XXIII

We’re Are All In This Together

This week we want to share a special message to our wonderful students and familes who have been so supportive during this time of distance learning. During these challenging times we need to continue to connect and support one another. Our dedicated staff at St. Mary’s School want everyone to know how much they miss everyone and look forward to being together again! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZwT_nOoamc&feature=youtu.be

Catholic Education Week

The week of May 3rd – 9th marks Catholic Education Week. This is a time where we celebrate Catholic Education by highlighting all the wonderful learning that happens in our schools. It will definitely look different this year, and we will miss the opportunity to invite our community into our classrooms.

The theme this year is Igniting Hope, and our staff will be recognizing this important event by posting activities on their distance learning classrooms. Together we can unite from a distance in recognizing the importance of Catholic Education and ways in which we can Ignite Hope! We invite you as a family to participate in a Province-wide Mass. We are pleased to announce that His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins will be celebrating the province -wide Catholic Education Week Mass scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. All families are invited to participate “virtually” in this celebration of the Eucharist by clicking on the following link at the scheduled time: CEW MASS STREAM

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week we also celebrate Mental Health Awareness week.  The theme is Self-Care. Self-Care is an important part of wellness. Each day we will be looking at ways to use Self-Care as a means of improving our mental health. The outline for the week is:   Movement Monday Thankful Tuesday Warm Wednesday Try Something New Thursday Focused Frid​ay   Students are encouraged to participate & share the activities that help their body & mind feel good and recharged! Here are some hashtags you can tweet out during the week to share how your family is staying positive!               #HCDSBSelfcare #HCDSBMentalHealthWeek **Remember strong social connections are key to our happiness. Make sure you are reaching out to others by phone or virtual chatrooms to help cope during these difficult times. 

Looking Ahead-2020/2021 Student Class Placement

Although we are only at the beginning of May and not in the building, preparations are now being made to ensure that our school is organized for the 2020/2021 school year.  In preparation for this, teachers will be working hard on student class placements in the coming months.  As you can appreciate, many hours of meetings and consultations go into the class building process to ensure the appropriate placement of all students.  When building a class, teachers look at the following criteria to develop heterogeneous groupings:

  • Balance of ability (academic skills)
  • Balance according to gender
  • Learning style (how the learner learns)
  • Teaching style (how the teacher teaches)
  • Social blending (who gets along with whom)
  • Parental input (re: learning style of student only)

Please note that parental input is important to us but must be weighted with the other criteria. Specific teacher requests cannot be considered.  Rather, if necessary, parental input, in the form of an email to the Principal should focus on the learning style of the student and the type of environment he/she learns best in. Emails should be sent to Ms. Dobbie no later than Friday, May 22, 2020 dobbiek@hcdsb.org

Remember, once again, that as a staff many discussions and reflections are put into the class building process.  We will have over 850 students in September.  We do our very best to develop classes that will be formed in order to maximize opportunities for each child to learn and be successful!  Your trust in our professional judgment is appreciated!

Moving?

If your child(ren) will not be returning to St. Mary in September, please email Mrs. Paveo at paveol@hcdsb.org to let our office staff know as soon as possible. This information is helpful to us as we begin to consider our classes for next year. We appreciate your help and support.

School Cash Online Refunds

A note to parents and guardians who are due a refund for the costs of field trips, food programs, or other school-related items purchased through School Cash Online. Due to the high volume of refunds currently being requested, School Cash Online is experiencing processing delays. This means that it may take longer than usual for funds to be deposited back into your accounts. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Staff Appreciation Day – May 8th

Friday, May 8th has been designated as Staff Appreciation Day. We have such wonderful and dedicated staff at St. Mary, and we know our community would love to share their appreciation for everything they do. Once we can be together safely again, we will celebrate our wonderful community of volunteers and staff!

St. Mary Tip

Some words of reassurance:

 • This is uncharted waters for everyone and it will take time for us all to adjust to “the new normal.” There’s no prescribed framework because we’ve never been here before. It’s a work-in-progress for all of us. Use some positive self-talk (“We will survive,” “Perfect is not the goal here”), and as you fall into bed at night, pat yourself on the back for getting through the day.

 • Your job is to be a parent, not a teacher. If you provide a place for your children to work and some structure to help them spend some time productively, then you are doing your job. 

• Keep in mind that stress shortens fuses and undermines our ability to access skills and strengths that under normal circumstances we may have in some abundance. On top of that, kids pick up on the stress level of the adults around them even when those adults are trying to hide that stress. If everyone in your house seems to be “out of sorts,” this is a normal response to an abnormal situation.

 • If you feel like things are coming apart at the seams, give yourself permission to let some things slide. If you have in your head an image of the “perfect parent” and you don’t fit that description (and NO ONE DOES), then set it aside.  At the end of the day just try to take a few minutes to debrief with your child.

” What worked well today? What didn’t work? What should we do differently tomorrow?’ 

Peg Dawson “SMART BUT SCATTERED” Strengthening Executive Skills in Children & Adolescents 

We continue to draw on our faith and offer prayers for the safety and well-being of those who are sick, and those who are working on the frontlines to care for them.

K. Dobbie & D. Comito

Principal     Vice- Principal

Follow us on Twitter @StMaryOakville

Elementary Vice-PrincipalWeekly Update – May 4-8, 2020