Let us never set conditions for God; let us instead allow hope to conquer our fears.—POPE FRANCIS
We would like to thank our students, staff and families for a great first week back. We are so proud of our students who are adjusting to our new normal and doing their best to learn our new school routines, procedures, and protocols.
Nearly 20% of our St. Mary students have opted to begin the school year learning online. We will have 700 students returning to in school learning. The Board Motion to Lower Elementary Class Sizes led to a variety of changes and a restructuring of several classes. Please anticipate that after Thanksgiving, we may have more changes and restructuring of several classes based on the number of students who continue or choose to move to learning online or choose in school learning.
New COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
The Ontario government released a new online screening tool for schools – https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. It is extremely important that parents do this self-screening test with their children BEFORE they come to school each day. Staff also do this assessment daily before coming to work. Let’s all do our part to ensure the safety of all!
Staggered Entry & Dismissal Procedures
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with all the new protocols that are in place. 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 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 gate or the Kindergarten Yard.
Parents are NOT PERMITTED beyond the 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.
Duty to Report
Within our school board, every person who has reason to believe that a child is or may be abused or neglected must report his/her suspicions directly to the Halton Children’s Aid Society. You can learn more about this responsibility here: Duty to Report
Family Information Packages
Family Information/Consent Forms and Verification information were sent home this week. Please read, sign, and return these forms to the classroom teachers by Friday, September 25th.
Code of Conduct
At St. Mary Catholic School we encourage our students to be on their best behaviour ~ always and everywhere. Staff will discuss these expectations over the next few weeks. All adults and students are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct when on school property and in the school building. Please take a moment to discuss the Code of Conduct which can be found on our school website here: Code of Conduct
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
St. Mary Tips
- Choose activities that make you happy, reduce your stress level and leave you feeling calm.
- Pay attention to how you are feeling.
- Give yourself small breaks from the stress of the situation. Meditation and other replenishing activities are a great way to de stress. Take a moment to breathe and feel present.
- Be kind to yourself. This is not the time be hard on ourselves for not being the “best” parent. Right now, we need to be gentle with our kids, ourselves and our community.
- Stay connected to loved ones.
- Balance media consumption with other activities you enjoy.
- Eat healthy. Exercise. If you can, get outside.
- You don’t have to have all the answers. It is okay to say, “I don’t know the answer to that but there are many smart, dedicated people working on this, so we just have to do our part and let them do theirs.”
K. Dobbie & D. Comito