“Advent is a journey towards Bethlehem. May we let ourselves be drawn by the light of God made man.”~ Pope Francis
Celebrating Advent as a Family
One of the most popular ways to celebrate Advent is with an Advent wreath or Advent candle holders. Four candles (three purple and one pink), are used to count down the weeks until Christmas. Each Sunday of Advent one of the candles is lit and special prayers are said. Each Sunday of Advent has a particular theme leading up to the birth of Christ. The first Sunday, November 29th, of Advent symbolizes Hope with the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming. We light a purple candle on the wreath. Read from more about the Advent Wreath Tradition and Meaning (information taken from the Catholic Company).
We will be praying during Advent together as a school community. Our first Advent liturgy will take place virtually on Monday, November 30 as a school community.
Keeping Our School Community Healthy & Safe
As you may know, Halton Region is in the Red Level (Control) of the Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework. It is strongly recommended that residents in the red control zone limit trips outside of their home:
- Stay home, except for essential purposes such as going to work or school, buying essentials such as groceries, and attending medical appointments.
- Maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside their household. Those that live alone may join one designated household.
- Avoid all social gatherings such as play dates, birthday parties, and dinner parties with friends or family.
Checking for Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19
Please continue to check for symptoms of COVID-19 in your children, and remember to conduct a self-assessment for each child every day before sending your children to school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.
NEW! Halton Region Public Health is now asking students to conduct a daily self-assessment EVERY day, even on weekends. Please follow the instructions on the school screening tool.
COVID-19 Test Results
- If your child has been tested for COVID-19, they must stay home and self-isolate until the test results are received. Please do NOT send your children to school while you are awaiting their test results.
- If any member of your immediate family tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the family must stay home and self-isolate, even if they have no symptoms.
Update Contact Information
If there have been any recent changes to your contact information, please update your contact information with the school office.
Up-to-date contact information is important if your child becomes ill at school and needs to be picked up, or in the case that COVID-19 contact tracing needs to occur.
Not Receiving Emails from us or HCDSB?
If you have not been receiving emails from our school or HCDSB, please first check with the school office to ensure your email contact information is correct.
If your contact information is correct, your email provider is marking emails from us as spam/junk. To correct this, please follow these instructions: https://www.hcdsb.org/DropOffLibrary/2019-11-EmailInstructions.pdf
As the winter months are quickly approaching, here are a few reminders about locker use and protocols in place this year:
- Students can use lockers or hooks in the portables to store OUTERWEAR ONLY.
- Personal items such as backpacks, textbooks, writing tools, lunches, etc., will continue to be kept in the classroom at all times.
- To ensure students spend minimal time at their locker, locks are NOT PERMITTED on student lockers.
- Students are assigned an individual locker or hook. Students are not to share a locker or hook unless they live in the same household and are in the same class.
- Physical distancing protocols are in place at our school to avoid congregating in the hallways or the back of the portable.
- All students should have a pair of indoor shoes that are kept at school
Fundraising Update & Holiday Option
The School Council decided to have a Holiday option to help reach our goal for fundraising. Many thanks to all our families for their contributions to date. Through your generosity, we have been able to raise $9,431 so far. This will greatly benefit our students in continuing to support their learning and achievement. Our primary focus this year is to enhance technology by purchasing iPads, Laptops and Smartboards. In previous years, our traditional Halloween Dance-a-thon has raised approximately $22,000. Our goal is to try our best to raise the equivalent amount this year. As the focus of St. Mary Catholic School is on developing the whole child, your participation enables us to focus on two main objectives.
- Support initiatives that enhance our children’s education and increase school pride
- Teach our children the value of investing in their school community and in their future
In the past years, your generous donations have allowed the school to fund many school initiatives across all grade levels. Your support has enabled our school to purchase technology, physical education equipment, materials for clubs, and other school initiatives. This year’s fundraiser will focus on purchasing technology for the school (for example: iPads, Laptops, Smartboards), and Virtual Assemblies for our students that will focus on well-being and new educational experiences or needs that may arise during this uncertain year.
Option 1: Any donation amount is welcome! Even the smallest donation makes a difference, and all donation amounts are confidential. In addition, 100% of your donation goes directly to programs and tools for your child.
Donating is easy! Simply login to your School Cash Online Account:
- At the top right-hand corner, click on “Make a Donation”
- Under “Fund Destination” please ensure you select St. Mary
- A tax receipt will be emailed directly to you.
Option 2: Holiday Choice Fundscript! Families help raise funds for the school by simply spending money on things that they would normally buy using FundScript. This fundraising program allows you to raise funds by purchasing gift cards for your everyday expenses & gifts for the holidays (i.e. grocery stores, retailers, gas stations, restaurants… ). When you purchase a $100 gift card, you receive a $100 gift card, and in addition, a percentage is donated to our fundraising campaign. Please click on the link below to sign up and support our school.
https://www.fundscrip.com/support-a-group/RRAUGU This link can also be shared with family and friends.
Donations made before December 18, 2020 will allow us to plan activities and purchase materials for the school year; however, all donations will gladly be received throughout the year and the link will remain open. Thank you in advance for your contribution!
St. Mary Tips
8 ways to support your child’s Emotional Development
- Let children believe that all emotions are OK
- Forget about your ‘stiff upper lip’- it’s ok to feel different emotions
- Have a meaningful connection with your child
- Show love and affection
- Don’t minimize your child’s emotional experience- acknowledge and empathize
- Let children problem solve
- Be honest with your children
- Negative emotions are OK- Bad behavior is not
Thank you for your ongoing support. Working together, we can help keep our school community safe.
K. Dobbie & D. Comito