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Weekly Update- May 3-7, 2021

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31)

We All Belong in Our Catholic School


“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8.

At St. Mary School, we believe that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and we honour the dignity in each person by treating one another with care, compassion and respect

We are committed to nurturing a safe, welcoming and inclusive learning environment for all of our students – regardless of their race, gender identity, gender expression, disability, sex, sexual orientation, creed, or age. As a school we will continue doing all we can to ensure the 2SLGBTQ+ members in our community experience a positive sense of belonging and well-being.

To learn more about our commitment to Equity and Inclusive Education, please take a few minutes to read Responding with Faith, Hope & Love.

Catholic Education Week – May 3-7th

This year our theme for Catholic Education Week is “Nurturing Hope”. Our staff will be engaging in various activities with their students throughout the week to celebrate the excellent and important work we do in our Catholic schools. Please visit your child’s learning platform to see the amazing learning taking place!

Check out the suggested family activities for Nurturing Hope that you can do as a family to celebrate Catholic Education Week at home!

In honour of Catholic Education Week, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, will be celebrating a province-wide mass on Wednesday, May 5th @ 11:00 am – https://www.stmichaelscathedral.com/live/

The theme for Catholic Education Week 2021, Nurturing Hope, was inspired by the following considerations:

  • Recognition of the special Year of Laudato Si’ which will run through May 24, 2021 and announced by Pope Francis on May 24, 2020, the fifth anniversary of his papal encyclical, “On Caring for Our Common Home.”
  • In the face of the ongoing reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong desire by the planning committee, along with those consulted, and supported by feedback from the survey, for continuity with the theme for Catholic Education Week 2020, Igniting Hope, which has served so well during the spring recess from in-school instruction.
  • The challenges to personal and spiritual well-being, posed by the uncertainty and physical isolation of the current global crisis, makes the timing and the concerns of Mental Health Week, which takes place during the same week as Catholic Education Week, all the more relevant.
  • Ongoing recognition of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the relevance of Indigenous culture and spirituality to the spirit of Laudato Si’.

A Prayer for Catholic Education Week

Gracious and generous God, creator of the earth, our common home,

With each new day, we prepare the earth of our lives by sowing seeds of gratitude for all you have given.

Inspire us to cultivate relationships with all living beings.

May we harvest new fruit and marvel in the wonder at the beauty around us.

Nurture us in hope. Amen.

Walk with Jesus as a Family- May 6th

In light of our recent transition to Virtual Learning, we are inviting families to continue to participate in one of our traditional Catholic Education Week activities, our Walk with Jesus which honours the meaning and message of our solidarity in faith.  We invite our St. Mary Families to walk together at a time that works for you with family members/caregivers as appropriate on Thursday, May 6th.  Families can share their participation in the Walk with Jesus by taking pictures along the way and posting on Twitter using the hashtag #HCWWJ.

The Live Kick -Off Event for all community members will take place via HCDSB YouTube channel on Thursday, May 6th @ 10 am. All community members can access the link to this event via www.hcdsb.org or our school website via https://elem.hcdsb.org/stmary/

Mental Health Awareness Week May 3- 9th

This year’s theme is #GetReal about how you feel.

CHMA & SMHO have created wonderful resources for families that remind us that

 “Heavy feelings lighten when you put them into words. When we name our emotions, the pain gives way.”

Our week at St Mary will focus on specific strategies that our students can use to protect their Mental Health. Topics will include:

Monday: Naming our Emotions & Keeping it Real

Tuesday: Compassion for Self and Others

Wednesday: Positive Mindset

Thursday: Kindness is Contagious

Friday: Reaching Out

Our amazing Joy Club has created a Virtual presentation that will be shared with all the classes entitled “Life is Tough but SO are We”

Our staff is also working on a little segment that we hope will bring a smile

to our students’ faces and remind them that while we all struggle, we can persevere.

https://mentalhealthweek.ca/

https://smho-smso.ca/

Free Family Paint Nights- May 5th

The HCDSB Indigenous Education Advisor has organized three free on-line paint nights with Indigenous Artist Moses Lunham. Please see this flyer for more information regarding this week’s session on Wednesday, May 5th.

HCDSB Help Desk for Remote Learners

Attendance during Remote Instruction

In the event that your son/daughter is unable to attend remote instruction for any reason, please report their absence using School Messenger. Staff will take attendance twice daily as always – at the start of the day and after lunch. Please note that if your child is late signing on, you will receive a notification from the school. We appreciate your help with ensuring this information is reported accurately and efficiently. Each grade level will follow their regular scheduled recess and lunch time breaks.

Looking Ahead-2021/2022 Student Class Placement

Although we are not in the building, preparations are now being made to ensure that our school is organized for the 2021/2022 school year. Normally our teachers would ask your child/ren who are their LEARNING FRIENDS that they would like to have in their class next year. Every effort is then made to ensure that your child is placed in a classroom with one or two LEARNING FRIENDS.

This year, we are asking for your help to complete this form together with each one of your children, so that we can collect this valuable information. Please ensure that you complete one form per child by May 21, 2021.

Teachers will be working hard on student class placements in the coming months.  As you can appreciate, many hours of meetings and consultations go into the class building process to ensure the appropriate placement of all students.  When building a class, teachers look at the following criteria to develop heterogeneous groupings:

  • Balance of ability (academic skills)
  • Balance according to gender
  • Learning style (how the learner learns)
  • Teaching style (how the teacher teaches)
  • Social blending (who gets along with whom)
  • Parental input (re: learning style of student only)

Please note that parental input is important to us but must be weighed with the other criteria. Specific teacher requests cannot be considered.  Rather, if necessary, parental input, in the form of an email to the Principal, should focus on the learning style of the student and the type of environment in which he/she learns best. Emails should be sent to Ms. Dobbie no later than Friday, May 21, 2021 dobbiek@hcdsb.org

Remember, once again, that as a staff, many discussions and reflections are put into the class building process.  We will have over 800 students in September.  We do our very best to develop classes that will be formed in order to maximize opportunities for each child to learn and be successful!  Your trust in our professional judgment is appreciated!

Moving?

If your child(ren) will not be returning to St. Mary in September, please email Mrs. DaSilva at DaSilvaO@hcdsb.org to let our office staff know as soon as possible. This information is helpful to us as we begin to consider our classes for next year. We appreciate your help and support.

Oakville Public Library Learning Resources

As we navigate 2021, Oakville Public Library (OPL) continues to offer a wide variety of programs and services that help to promote learning and literacy for all ages. All students need is an OPL library card to access our vast collection of free resources and library materials. Connect with our skilled and enthusiastic library staff in one of our virtual learning programs, or use one of our contactless pickup services to safely borrow library materials. For more information, please see this flyer.

St. Mary Tips

Stop, Think and Go Problem Solving

Step 1: Make a model of a Traffic light with your child. Draw one, build one or print a picture of one.

The traffic light symbol will be used to help with problem solving. Explain the three colours:

Red means stop! When they have a problem, they Stop • Take a breath • Talk about it 

Yellow means think! • Slow down- take deep breaths • Think and talk about solutions 

Green means go! • Try out your solution 

Talk about some problems your child might face and how the traffic light might help (e.g. fight with a sibling, I want the toy, I want a snack now, I want to watch tv now). 

Put the traffic light you created somewhere visible, like on the fridge. Help your child use the visual and this process each time there is a problem or a conflict.

Find more amazing tools & resources like this at School Mental Health Ontario

https://smho-smso.ca/parents-and-families/

We thank you for your continued attention to crucial Public Health Measures at this critical point in the fight against COVID-19:

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

Principal/Vice Principal

Follow us on Twitter @StMaryOakville

MacLeod, StephanieWeekly Update- May 3-7, 2021