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Weekly Update January 10, 2022

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean

January 9th – The Baptism of our Lord

“Epiphany” means to show or reveal.  In last week’s gospel, Jesus was revealed as the Saviour and Light of the World.  This week is another epiphany as Jesus’ baptism by St. John in the River Jordan reveals God’s power and presence in and through the person of Jesus.  We hear in today’s gospel, “A voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” (Luke 3:22).  These same words are spoken at our own baptisms.  Let us appreciate and recognize the power of these words.  Each of us is personally created and loved by God.  We are “called by name” and are precious in God’s eyes. 

Thank You!

Thank you to all our staff, students and parents for a very successful first week of online learning for all! We want to acknowledge how challenging the move to online learning is for everyone ~ staff, students and families. We are grateful to our staff for the many extra hours of work they put in to create engaging and relevant content for the online environment. We are grateful to our students for showing up and demonstrating their own resiliency in learning online, which is never ideal, and to all of our families who supported their children any way that they can to keep the learning happening. We pray that this period of remote learning is short-lived; we want nothing more than to be all together in the school building again!

A special thank you to our Library tech – Mrs. Shaver – who organized our tech so quickly and effortlessly and thank you to Mrs. Cormier, Mrs. Peninno and Mrs. Sitas for helping with the distribution.


We are excited to announce that the week of January 10th-14th – will be a virtual spirit week.  Please see the poster below created by students from Mr. Largy’s Lakehouse 6FI:

Catholic Parent Council Meeting

We will be having our first Catholic Parent Council Meeting of the new year on Monday, January 10th @ 6:30.  The meeting will be virtual, parents are invited to join us.  The link is below:


During this period of remote learning, we continue to promote regular attendance, as it is important for students to remain engaged in their learning so they can stay on top of the curriculum and feel more connected to their peers while our school is closed. 

Our school day begins at 8:55 AM and again after lunch 12:05  PM(grades 5-8) and at 1:05 PM (grades 1-4) with whole class group meetings. Our teachers will be taking attendance during these meetings. If your child is not in attendance at these meetings, they will be marked as absent. Please continue to use our School Messenger Safe Arrival to report your child’s absence. We will be following our usual process of contacting parents and guardians when student absences are not reported.   If your child is unable to attend class meetings for reasons relevant to your family situation, please contact your child’s teacher. We recognize how difficult this time is for families and know that each family situation is unique. We would like to work with you to adapt the learning environment to meet your family’s individual needs and in special circumstances can adapt our attendance protocols for your current situation.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. Now, more than ever, ongoing communication between home and school is key to your child’s success and well-being. 

Communication with School Staff

As office staff will be working remotely whenever possible, secretaries will not always be available to answer school phones. If you need to contact any of our staff please use our email addresses.

Please connect with your child’s/children’s teachers regarding any concerns you may have regarding your their learning. The best way to reach the teachers is via email.  Please note that teachers will be engaged in their virtual classroom during the instructional day and may not be able to respond immediately to inquiries. Please allow 24 hours for them to respond. Please send your emails during working hours to respect teachers’ time with their own families.

Accessing Your Child’s Online Learning Platform

If you are having trouble accessing the log-in page to the online learning platforms using the new HCDSB website, the access points for all three learning platforms – D2L (Brightspace),  Office 365 and Google Classroom, are available on themain page of the Board’s website and also on the HCDSB Learn at Home link.

For more information about how to support your child’s learning at home, please refer to: Remote Learning

Focus on School Etiquette

School is all about learning academics, but whether we are online or face-to-face, it is also a place where we learn to socialize with others. Manners are a crucial part in anyone’s life; school etiquette teaches children how to behave in a way that is kind and respectful to everyone. In our global society, it is important that we learn how to get along with others. Effective communicators are able to present their ideas, their needs, and information clearly, honestly and with sensitivity to others. A responsible citizen promotes equality, democracy, and solidarity for a just, peaceful and compassionate society that respects and affirms the diversity of the world’s people and cultures. Teaching etiquette will equip students with the tools that will help them interact in the professional world.   Below you will find a few items that we will be reviewing with our students.  We ask that you also review them as a family to support a safe, welcoming and inclusive experience for all during these challenging times. 


  • Be dressed and ready to participate.
  • Be seated at a desk or table, if possible.
  • Be finished with snacks and meals so you are not chewing/drinking or distracted.
  • Remind family members you are going to be online and background noise can be heard when your mic is on.  You might make your own “On Air” or “Do Not Disturb” sign to cue others in your home.
  • Put away cell phones so that you can refrain from “outside” chats and participate fully in the lesson.

BEFORE you click “Join”:  Check your background on screen/  test your michrophone

DURING a Meet:

  • Mute your microphone when your teacher is speaking or it is not your turn.
  • Try to be on camera, unless asked to turn it off.  It is encouraging for your teacher and class to see your positive “body language” on screen (e.g, nodding, thumbs up, smiling, hand up)
  • If you need to step away, put it in the chat or make a “T” to with your hands to indicate “time out,” instead of interrupting with your voice. 
  • In Breakout rooms or whole group discussion, remain on topic.  Use a notepad to remind you of the question being asked or to jot down something to help you remember what you would like to say.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions (out loud/in Chat, if accessible).  This is how we learn!
  • Everyone appreciates manners (e.g., please, thank you, excuse me, raising a hand)
  • Understand that it is not the time to conduct personal conversations with classmates/friends.  These conversations interrupt and distract from learning time.
  • Participate!

AFTER a Meet: Look ahead to know what you will be working on next or when you need to meet again. Then…

  • Step away from all devices and the TV.
  • Take a body break. Walk away from your workspace.
  • Bend. Stretch. Get some fresh air.
  • Have something to eat.  Drink some water.

Change in Learning Environment

Information with regards to changing your child’s learning environment from in-person learning to the virtual school, or vise versa, was emailed from the HCDSB to families this past week. Please note, if you do request a change of learning environment to the virtual school, your child will be demitted from St. Mary School and registered at the virtual school, St. Clare of Assisi, with new teachers. Families who register their children at St. Clare of Assisi will no longer receive communication from St. Mary School (please note, this is different from the process last year). If you are interested in changing your child’s learning environment, the deadline to apply is January 14th please 


The requested changes will come into effect on Monday, January 24, 2022, or once schools re-open for in-class instruction if the period of remote learning is extended.  
The information is also available in other languages on our Board website. Please use the following links:

Advanced New Registrations for 2022-2023 School Year

To facilitate planning for the 2022-2023 school year, we encourage all families intending to register new children at St. Mary School (including Kindergarten registrations) to do so by following the guideline posted on the front page of our website: New Registrations 2022-23 School Year. Online registrations are currently open. Once you’ve registered online, the office will contact you for further instructions to complete your registration.

Sneyd, RoryWeekly Update January 10, 2022