“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
We are grateful to our families for the care and support you have demonstrated as we experienced a positive COVID-19 case this week in our St. Mary school community.
This is a very stressful time as we live through a global pandemic, and as parents, you naturally have concerns when it comes to the health and safety of your children and your family. We want to assure you that we are working very closely with our Public Health officials. We have a very comprehensive plan in place in our school that was developed by our school board in consultation with Halton Region Public Health and we are doing everything we can to make sure all health and safety protocols are maintained.
You have our commitment that we will continue to be transparent in our communications and share whatever information we can. We will provide updates by email as soon as they become available. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly.
Changes to Daily Screening Tool and Isolation Requirements
As was communicated to parents in an email from the Board, the guidance received from the Ministry of Education includes:
1. Updates to the COVID-19 School and Child Care Screening Tool.
The COVID-19 School Screening Tool has been changed and will now require students and staff with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one (1) symptom, must stay home until:
- They receive a negative COVID-19 test result.; OR
- They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.; OR
- It has been 10 days since their symptom onset, and they are feeling better.
Parents and guardians are reminded to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school or child care: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.
2. Self-Isolation Requirements for Families in a Household
The Ministry of Health has now indicated that all individuals living in the same household are now required to self-isolate when a family member has COVID-19 symptoms, even if the family member only has one (1) symptom.
The following isolation requirements now apply:
- All members in a household of a symptomatic individual are required to self-isolate until the individual:
- Receives a negative COVID-19 test result; OR
- Receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.
- If someone in your household tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional:
- This individual must isolate (including from others in your household) for 10 days from the date of experiencing symptoms. AND
- All members of the same household must isolate for 14 days from their last date of exposure with the symptomatic family/household member.
Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding as we continue to adapt our health and safety protocols to meet Ministry of Education and Public Health requirements so that we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Pink Shirt Day- Feb. 24th
Our students are invited to wear Pink shirts with their uniform bottoms on Wednesday, February 24th to support our goal of creating a Peaceful & Bully Free school.
In 2007 David Shepherd & Travis Price supported a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. They took a stand against bullying by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school to wear. More than 10 years later their act of standing up to bullying has grown into a worldwide movement called ‘Pink Shirt Day’!
The focus of this year’s Pink Shirt Day is working together and treating others with dignity and respect. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all and taught us the importance of helping one another and advocating for those who need it. This year’s theme is ‘Lift each other up’
Students will be brainstorming ways to show kindness and friendship.
The Joy Club will be creating a Kindness Tree displaying all the student’s contributions. We look forward to seeing all the Pink shirts on Wednesday to support Anti-bullying!
Christian Mediation as a Family
This week as we continue the journey of Lent, we invite you to continue the practice of Christian Meditation at Home. For this week’s meditation, you only need a smartphone or computer with internet access to play the audio of the meditation and a quiet space. You are welcome to light a candle during your family meditation. You can debrief your experience as a family and write up any reflection in a family journal. The following links have the audio and instructions for meditations between 2 and 5 minutes. https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/christian-meditation/
Whether you are worshipping at home due to the pandemic or just looking for a way to boost your family’s life of faith, you won’t want to miss this brand new series. Yes, Lord! is a 25-minute show, structured as a Liturgy of the Word, aimed at children, ages 6-9, designed to help prepare children for Sunday Mass, or, in some cases, to replace the viewing of Mass on TV or the internet. Please see this flyer for more details.
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!
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.
Dress for the Weather
The cold weather has arrived! The best way to stay warm is to dress in layers, but when layers are removed, they often get lost! Please make sure that all of your children’s clothing is clearly labeled so that if it is lost, it can be returned to them. Also, we are outside for all recesses unless the temperature drops below -20 degrees Celcius, so make sure your children have dressed appropriately with mittens, hats, scarves, boots, and snow pants if necessary! Please note any information regarding bus cancellations or school closures will be posted on the Board Website: www.HCDSB.org.
St. Mary Tips
50 Outdoor Things To Do With Your Kids In Winter
It is often challenging to come up with creative ideas for outdoor play. Please see the following website for a variety of ideas: https://www.cbc.ca/parents/play/view/50-outdoor-things-to-do-with-your-kids-in-winter
We continue to draw on our faith and offer prayers for the safety and well-being of those who are sick and those who are working on the frontlines to care for them.
K. Dobbie & S. MacLeod