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Welcome Back to the 2020-2021 School Year!

“And suddenly you just know it is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”.

Welcome back St. Mary Families! We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer.  We are looking forward to re-connecting with our students, whether in-person or through remote learning.  We know that this year will present us with various challenges; but we remain optimistic, confident that with the grace of our Lord, we will find many creative and innovative ways to work through this “new normal.”  We thank you in advance for your continued partnership in Catholic education.

The office will be open to phone calls (please, no in-person visits at this time) as of Monday, August 31st, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Please note that information regarding class placement is not available at this time.

Preparing for a Safe and Healthy Return to School

We are working diligently at St. Mary to ensure that the Board directives, as outlined in the Return to School Plan, are implemented. Prior to the start of this new school year, St. Mary parents will receive information specific to our site related to new routines (entry, dismissal etc.) through the Weekly Update.  One suggestion for parents is to consider having children try on their masks to gradually get used to wearing them for an extended period.  As per the Return to School Plan, masks are required, and it should be noted that face shields are not a substitution. 

Our staff is working very hard to limit the risks of transmission of COVID-19. This week, we will have extensive training on infection control measures such as hand washing, respiratory etiquette, social distancing and the use of medical and non-medical face masks.

We are also developing plans to ensure that each of our students who are returning to school will have a smooth and positive transition back. We miss all of our students and are very much looking forward to being together again!

On Tuesday, August 25th, at 7:00 pm, Dr. Meghani, our Medical Officer for the Halton Region conducted a live webinar for all parents. For more information see here: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/2020/08/22/webinar-preparing-for-a-safe-and-healthy-return-to-school/

On Friday evening, parents would have received an e-mail from the Board (HCDSB) regarding a “gradual” return to school.  Please note that no students will be at school on Tuesday, September 8th.    We will be easing into the new school year by bringing students into school in smaller groups, on September 9, 10 and 11.

For Grades 1-8, the following schedule will apply for all elementary schools:

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

For parents of children attending Kindergarten (Year 1 and 2), please note the following:

Tuesday, September 8thKindergarten orientation interviews with parents and children, by scheduled appointment
Wednesday,September 9thKindergarten orientation interviews with parents and children, by scheduled appointment
Thursday, September 10th.All Year 2 (“Senior” Kindergarten, or “SK”) students will begin  
Friday, September 11thAll Year 2 (“Senior” Kindergarten, or “SK”) students attend Year 1 (“Junior” Kindergarten, or “JK”) students staggered entry
Monday September 14thAll Year 2 (“Senior” Kindergarten) students attend Year 1 (“Junior” Kindergarten, or “JK” students) staggered entry
Tuesday, September 15thALL Kindergarten students will begin instruction with their full class

Parents of Kindergarten students will shortly receive updated communication directly with information about the staggered entry process (what this will look like), and about interview times and protocols from the Kindergarten educator team. 

New to the Community or Leaving?

If you are registering or moving out of our school community, please let our office know as soon as possible so we can ensure our class lists are accurate.

If you did not complete the Return to School Survey, please let our office know your intentions for the school year (online or face-to-face) as soon as possible. Thank you for your co-operation!

Bussing

Transportation information for bus students will be 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.

Medical Concerns

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 as of Monday, August 31st. You may drop off any medications in the drop off bin located at the front doors of the school.  Please ensure that the epi-pen is labelled clearly with your child’s name.

If your child has had change in their condition over the summer, please inform the school in the week prior to students returning.

Uniforms

A reminder that students are expected to be in full uniform for their first day of school. More information can be found here: ISW Uniforms

St. Mary’s Tips

As summer comes to an end, and back-to-school season begins, getting back into routines is important for children and families.  Some tips to help with a smooth transition:

  1. Have a positive attitude (especially important this year) and reinforce the positive aspects of going back to school to help build your child’s excitement for school.  
  2. Establish routines that provide consistency and structure at home. Consistent bedtime and wake up time, morning and nighttime routines decrease stress for children so that they know what to expect.
  3. Let your child do what they are capable of doing for themselves. Children are capable of handling more responsibility as they get older.  Delegating tasks that they can handle helps children become more independent later.

(Source: kidshealth.org)

Thank you for your continued support.

K. Dobbie & D. Comito

Principal/ Vice Principal

Follow us on Twitter @StMaryOakville

Elementary Vice-PrincipalWelcome Back to the 2020-2021 School Year!