This week we begin our Lenten journey. Disciplined by penance, strengthened by our spirituality, we come to know that Lent is a time of the Lord’s favour, a time of conversation and growth. As a Christian community, we embrace that time, with a deep desire for conversation, a true longing for holiness, and a looking forward to the sacred days of Easter.
Family Day Holiday- Feb. 15
A reminder that tomorrow, Monday, February 15th, is Family Day. There is no school for students. We wish you all a wonderful day spending time with your family.
Celebrating Black History Month
During this month, we are recognizing the important contributions of Black Canadians in our history while connecting the past with the present. With the current light shed upon Black Lives Matter and the amazing contributions of young and influential advocates, students will engage in activities and conversations to better understand the role society has in making positive change. Thank you to all our wonderful presenters who shared their experiences and encouraged our students to have a voice and celebrate diversity this past week. We are proud of the many great achievements of Black Canadians in our history!
Shrove Tuesday- Feb. 16
As we prepare to move into Lent, we recognize that our school has traditionally held Shrove Tuesday celebrations and served pancakes to our students and staff. Given the current circumstances with all of the health and safety protocols in place, we will be unable to serve pancakes to staff and students this year. We encourage you as a family to celebrate the tradition of Shrove Tuesday with this pancake recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/dishesbeverages/pancakes/
Ash Wednesday- Feb. 17
Our Ash Wednesday Liturgy will be virtual this year. Due to COVID public health protocols, the ashes will not be distributed. The Hamilton Diocese has prepared a wonderful resource for families to celebrate Ash Wednesday. The resource includes a video of Bishop Crosby reading the Gospel along with a short reflection by Bishop Crosby. Please share this with your community and encourage them to celebrate and pray with their families at home. The resource is found at this link: https://hamiltondiocese.com/lent2021/.
Christian Meditation as a Family
Every Friday all students at St. Mary have been praying through Christian Meditation at School. We are glad to bring this form of prayer to your home for you and your family to pray together during this season of Lent and share the benefits of this practice. Starting this week, we will be sharing HCDSB’s Christian Meditation Resources, including audio and instructions for meditations between 2 and 5 minutes. We hope you enjoy meditating with your child at home, as much as they do in class. https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/christian-meditation/
Daily Ontario School Screening Tool
An important reminder to continue monitoring your children for symptoms of COVID-19 and complete the Ontario School Screening Tool for each child each morning, before sending them to school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.
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.
Thank you for reinforcing at home the importance of wearing masks with your children. We would also kindly request that parents wear masks if they are dropping off or picking up their children, or when getting out of their cars or coming to the front doors of the school. Please ensure that you avoid congregating in groups while picking up or dropping off your children. We appreciate your co-operation in keeping everyone as safe as possible!
We kindly ask that all families who borrowed technology from the school during this period of virtual learning please return the technology this coming week. Please either send the technology e.g. chrome book and chargers back to school with your child or drop it off at the front doors of the schools. Please ensure that all items are returned in a clearly labelled bag with your child’s name.
Students are welcome to start reserving a weekly library book now that we are back at school. An error message has been popping up now and then when using the library reserve system; the best method to reserve a book is to go directly to our database website using google chrome at https://hcdsb.insigniails.com/LibrarySSO/Home. Once on that site, students will be asked to log in with their Office 365 credentials. If you experience any problems with the reserve system, please e-mail Mrs. Shaver at email@example.com
Reserved books are delivered to classrooms on Tuesday for rooms 201-215; on Wednesdays for rooms 101-112; and on Thursdays for portables 1-10.
Please also check out our St. Mary virtual library using this link for some excellent read-aloud stories: https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fpresentation%2Fd%2F1dkjHqn8KRDJTQhQkk1QiEmKnSPdwYYVybv2oPsPJneM%2Fedit%23slide%3Did.ga89189e810_1_0&data=04%7C01%7CDobbieK%40hcdsb.org%7Cba964c806385484670c508d8cf745419%7C2537ab7d25bd498aa6427c135779e6d2%7C1%7C0%7C637487445831931146%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=F29M4VNt5f7PDb9u%2BY5ZfON0F44RBWoCMzpvMqRrGzY%3D&reserved=0
Term 1 Report Cards – Feb 24th
Term 1 report cards will be emailed electronically to parents on February 24th. You will need your child’s OEN to access the report card. This number can be found on their previous report cards. It is important to take the time to review the report card with your child and have them set learning goals for the next term. Please return the third page to indicate that you have reviewed the report card.
March Break Postponed
The Ontario government provided an update on the timing of March Break for the 2020-2021 school year earlier this week. The announcement indicated that March Break will be postponed until April 12-16, 2021, as a health and safety precaution to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our school communities.
St. Mary Tips
It is truly a blessing to cherish moments spent together with loved ones. Here are some great ideas to do together as a family.
- Have a reading marathon.
- Write stories together.
- Paint or draw together.
- Create a fort in your living room out of blankets or cardboard boxes.
- Go on a hike.
- Play board games.
- Play kickball.
- Go to a playground.
- Play hide-and-seek.
- Have a pillow fight.
- Build structures.
- Rent a movie and make popcorn.
- Tell stories.
- Have a scavenger hunt around the house.
- Make mazes or puzzles for each other to solve.
- Play card games.
- Bake cookies (let the kids help).
From our St. Mary family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Family Day surrounded by loved ones. It is a truly a blessing to cherish moments spent together. “Time spent with family, is time well spent.”
K. Dobbie & S. MacLeod