“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
We had a fantastic week at St. Mary, welcoming our students back to school each day. Thank you to our parents, students and staff, who did a fantastic job following the new routines and protocols to ensure everyone’s safety. This coming week, we look forward to having all our students who have chosen in school learning back at school every day.
Students wore their masks and followed the safety protocols we have in place. Our staff did a fabulous job in preparing and educating our students on the health and safety procedures.
To our parent community, we thank you for your patience and support as we introduce and implement new routines for dropping off your children to school and picking them up at the end of the day. Parents did a great job with the Kiss and Ride in our North Parking Lot by staying in their cars and keeping the area safe. These new procedures were shared with you last week in our St. Mary Return to School Plan . We will have nearly 700 students returning to in school learning every day this week and we will need everyone’s help and support to ensure a smooth entry and dismissal each day. Working together, we will create a safe and happy place for our students to learn!
Daily Self Screening
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.
- Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8 C)
- Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19
- If there are any signs or symptoms, the student and other household members must stay home, and school must be contacted.
Please note that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.
Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE.
What happens 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 ‘isolation room’ and we will contact the parent or guardian to come and pick them up. Parents will be asked to pick up siblings as well.
It is very important that we have current contact information for all of 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. All parents must provide the school with an Emergency Contact who is available during the day in the event that parents are themselves unavailable.
Staggered Entry & Dismissal Procedures
Everyone’s help, support and co-operation are needed in order for our students to enter and dismiss in an orderly and safe manner, respecting the new health and safety protocols. We need to avoid any lingering or social gatherings during both entry and dismissal times. In an effort to do so, we have adjusted our entry and dismissal routines as follows:
8:40 AM- Duty Begins on our school yard.
Students should arrive at school between 8:40- 8:55 AM.
We need your help and assistance to ensure that all students arrive at school on time prior to 8:55 AM.
Please note that staff will be on the playground and at the school doors directing children into their classroom in the building or their zone on the playground if they are a Gr.4-6 student whose classroom is in the portables this year.
The North Parking Lot is a Kiss and Ride Parking Lot Only- Parents are not permitted to get out of their cars.
Parents who are walking their children to school in the morning must drop them off at the yellow gate in the South Parking Lot.
|Morning Entry Procedures from 8:40- 8:55 AM|
|Kindergarten Students||Will go directly to their classroom via the Kindergarten Playground area upon arrival between 8:40-8:55 AM using either Door 3 or 4.|
|Gr.1-3 Students||Will go directly to their classroom upon arrival between 8:40-8:55 AM using the Door 6 or 7 if they are dropped off in the Kiss and Ride- North Parking Lot or Door 5 if they are dropped off in the South Parking Lot.|
|Gr. 4, 5 & 6 Students in the Portables||Will go to their designated zone on the back playground upon arrival between 8:40-8:55 AM and wait there until the entry bell at 8:55 AM. At 8:55 AM students line up, are greeted by their teacher and proceed to their portable. On inclement weather days, students go directly to the portable upon arrival.|
|Gr.4, 6,7&8 Students whose classroom is in the Building||Will go directly to their classroom upon arrival between 8:40-8:55 AM using the Door 6 or 7 if they are dropped off in the Kiss and Ride- North Parking Lot or Door 5 if they are dropped off in the South Parking Lot.|
|All Bus Students||Will go directly to their classroom in the building through the front doors or their zone on the playground if they are in a portable classroom.|
|Dismissal Procedures 3:10- 3:25 PM|
|3:10 PM||All Kindergarten students who are being picked up will be dismissed from the Kindergarten Playground area in the South Parking Lot. Gr.1-8 siblings of Kindergarten students who are being picked up will also be dismissed at this time from the yellow gate in the South Parking Lot.|
|3:15 PM||Gr.1-8 Families with 2 or more children, who are only being picked up in the Kiss and Ride North Parking Lot, will be dismissed to the back playground where they will wait until their ride arrives.|
|3:25 PM||Gr.1-8 Students who are walking home will be dismissed from their designated doors.|
|3:25 PM||All remaining Gr.1-8 Students will be dismissed who are being picked up in either the Kiss and Ride in the North Parking Lot or in the South Parking Lot from their designated doors.|
|All Bus Students||Will be loaded onto the buses as they arrive at the end of the day from their classrooms/portables.|
|Designated Pick- Up Areas|
|Kindergarten Students||Dismissed from the gate in the Kindergarten Yard in the South Parking Lot via Door 3 or 4.|
|Mlle Chabot’s Gr.1 FI Class||Dismissed from the gate at Door 4 in the Kindergarten Yard in the South Parking Lot.|
|Miss Andrade’s Gr.1 Class||Dismissed from the gate at Door 2 in the Kindergarten yard in the South Parking Lot.|
|Mlle Martone’s and Mme Quinn’s Gr.2 FI Classes||Door 7– Parents/Guardians must wait on the sidewalk at the front of the school.|
|All Gr. 1-8 Students who are not taking a bus home or being pick up at the Kiss and Ride in the North Parking Lot||Dismissed from the Yellow Gate in the South Parking Lot.|
The North Parking Lot is for Kiss and Ride Drop Off in the morning and Pick up only at the end of the day. Parents/ Guardians must remain in your cars.
When using the South Parking lot, caregivers are to park in the appropriate spaces, and come to the gate to pick up children. Once the parking spaces are filled, caregivers must find alternative parking and walk up to the school to retrieve children.
Parents who are walking onto the school property to either drop off or pick up children must do so at their designated areas in the South Parking Lot Area by the yellow gate or the Kindergarten Yard.
Parents are NOT PERMITTED beyond the yellow gates or in the Kindergarten yard. NO PARENTS are permitted on our schoolyard at any time (not before, during, or after school) as we do not want people to congregate and we will be frequently holding classes outdoors.
Please ensure that you are social distancing and using the red lines marked on our sidewalks. We kindly ask that once you drop your child/ children off in the morning or pick them up at the end of the day that you exit the school property as soon as possible. We need your help and support in order to ensure everyone’s safety.
Family Information Packages
We will be sending home our Family Information/Consent Form, Registration Verification Form and Physical Activity Form this week. Please read, sign, and return these forms to the classroom teachers by Friday, September 25th.
School bus transportation to and from school will be available beginning Monday, September 14, 2020. Students will be assigned a bus number and the bus driver will give this seat number to your child on the first day of riding the bus. We also have a record of the seat numbers for our students. It is imperative that you discuss with your child the importance of remaining in their assigned seat so we can keep everyone as safe as possible!
For more information, visit the HSTS website at: https://www.haltonbus.ca/ Courtesy Seats Will Not Be Offered on School Buses for the 2020-21 School Year
Parents of Students with Medical Conditions
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 coming week of school. If your child has an epi-pen, please ensure that you provide one to the school if you have not already done so.
Recent research shows that a concussion can have very serious effects on a child’s cognitive and physical abilities. Parents and guardians are reminded that a comprehensive protocol, based on current research and best practices, has been developed to help parents, students, and staff prevent, recognize, and respond to a concussion. More information, including a Parent Fact Sheet, can be found on the Board`s website at: http://bit.ly/HCDSBConcussion
A reminder that students are expected to be in full uniform for the first day of school. More information can be found here: ISW Uniforms
Safe Arrival Program
The Safe Arrival program has been established to ensure that your child arrives safely at school. Parents are encouraged to use the School Messenger app to record absences or the toll free line 1- 844-445-4505.
St. Mary Tips
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, you can arrange a phone-call with your child’s classroom teacher.
- Be specific about your concerns so you and the teacher can figure out the best way to help. Share any information you think may be helpful to the teacher–for example:
- approaches that seem to help your child
- specific behaviours you’ve noticed
- Ask the teacher what they’ve noticed at school. Some children may seem fine at school, but display different behaviours at home.
- Ask about available community resources that could also help your child cope.
Educators aren’t mental health professionals. They do, however, play an important role in the circle of support for students and are often the first step in getting your child the support they need.
Our sincere thanks for your patience and understanding as we work together to navigate through all the new routines and procedures. Your partnership is valued and appreciated.
K. Dobbie & D. Comito