This week the Premier of Ontario announced that all Ontario elementary and secondary schools will remain closed for in-person learning for the rest of the school year. See the Press Release here. The news that schools will remain closed until the end of June will likely raise a number of questions regarding access to schools to pick up personal belongings, report card distribution, etc. We will be sharing more information to address these and other matters as they become available. We will continue to provide updates as they become available, and will share information in the following ways:
- Email to Parents/Guardians and Staff
- Updates to our Return to School Plan website
- Twitter: @HCDSB
- Instagram: @HaltonCatholicDSB
It has been a difficult year, and we cannot overlook the impact this extended period of remote learning has had on our families – most especially on children and youth. Our Board Mental Health leadership team have developed a number of resources to support students and families and they are posted on our website at: https://www.hcdsb.org/students/mental-health-well-being/. Please continue to follow the advice of our Public Health officials to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
The Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus – June 11th, 2021
Friday June 11th, 2021 is the Feast of the Scared Heart of Jesus. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost. On this day, we are reminded of the devotion God asks from humankind and His desire to spread love into our hearts, homes, cities, nation, and the entire world. This feast day is a wonderful opportunity for families to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their home, by renewing their commitment to the covenant of love.
National Indigenous History Month
In June, we commemorate National Indigenous History Month 2021 to recognize the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in Canada.
We are committed to the work of Truth and Reconciliation in our HCDSB schools. We do this by prioritizing engagement with Indigenous parents and community partners while supporting the delivery of Indigenous education in an inclusive and equitable manner. It is crucial that First Nation, Métis and Inuit histories and perspectives continue to be taught in our Catholic schools so that we can rebuild and reconcile the relationship with Indigenous communities.
Medical Student Plans of Care
Families of students who are supported at St. Matthew with medical ‘Student Plans of Care’ will be notified this week regarding year end medication pick-up. We will also be reaching out to these families with instructions for updating our files for the September 2021.
St. Matthew Parish – From the Pastor’s Desk…
Registration began last Sunday for upcoming celebrations of First Communion and Confirmation in our parish. Preparation for these sacraments has remained ongoing throughout pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. Communication with families has been constant, and we’ve offered a variety of options. Many will proceed with celebrations in July and August (spaces are still available), while others will wait for alternate dates in the Fall. Please keep the children and their families in your prayers.
Sunday, June 6 is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Everything about the weekend’s liturgy points us to the mysterious gift from on high that stands at the very centre of our faith: the Eucharist. Christians the world around have longed for a return to our celebrations of this sacrament, limited by the pandemic. God sees that longing.
Please click on the following link for Parish information and the Parish YouTube channel.
HCDSB Virtual Elementary School for the 2021-2022 School Year
In light of the current Public Health situation in Ontario due to COVID-19, the Halton Catholic District School Board will continue to offer a virtual school setting for Kindergarten to Grade 8, together with those awarded placements in our optional virtual programing for French Immersion (Grade 1 to 8) and Extended French Grade 5 to Grade 8 for 2021-2022 school year. Understanding that the health situation would continue to evolve over the next few months, we told you that we would come back to you again in June to confirm your decision.
Specifically, we are asking you to confirm your plans for September 2021:
- Will your child(ren) attend school in-person, with enhanced health and safety protocols in place; OR
- Will your child(ren) attend the Virtual Elementary School and participate in remote learning.
At this time, we are asking that you confirm your decision by completing the online form linked below if you would like your child to attend the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School.
Complete the Online Form Now to Register Your Child in the HCDSB Virtual Elementary School
Please complete this form ONLY if you would like to register your elementary child in the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School for the 2021-2022 school year. If you would like your child to attend school in-person, no further action is required.
Some important notes before you complete this online form:
- If you would like to register more than one child in the HCDSB Virtual Catholic Elementary School, please fill out a separate form for each child.
- If you do not complete this online form, we will plan as though your child(ren) will be attending in-person instruction in September 2021.
- An opportunity to change the learning environment for your child(ren) will take place through a Change of Learning Environment Form in January 2022 with an effective change date of Tuesday, February 22, 2022.
This online form will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Please direct any technical questions regarding this form to: email@example.com.
School Bus Courtesy Seat Application Process on Hold
Each year, in accordance with HSTS Procedure HS-1-004 – Courtesy Seats, families with children who are not otherwise eligible for school bus transportation to and from school are allowed to apply for courtesy seats on school buses.
Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will not be able to accommodate courtesy seats as we move into the 2021-2022 school year. However, as information becomes available from public health, this decision may be reconsidered, and the Board will communicate any changes. As a result, the courtesy seat application process is on HOLD for the 2021-2022 school year. For more information about student transportation services in Halton, visit the HSTS website at: www.haltonbus.ca/
SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH ONTARIO – “WITH CARE” Tip Sheet
How do you know if you should be concerned about your child/teen’s mental health and well-being? (Please note this Tip sheet is not a replacement for a consultation with a regulated Mental Health Professional but offers some guidance to parents/caregivers about how you might know when to access professional supports)
This pandemic has lasted longer than many of us anticipated. While we have adapted and coped as best as we can, many parents or caregivers may be concerned about the mental health and well-being of their child or teen. For many children it has been a long time since they have seen their friends, participated in social and recreational activities, especially if they have continued to learn remotely. Mental health professionals, have reassured us that children experiencing some sadness, worry, or even anger is natural during these challenging times. But some parents are worried that their child or teen may be suffering more – so how do you know? Do not forget you still know your child/teen best. You have the most important role to notice when your child is experiencing distress that can result in changes in their thoughts, their feelings or the way they behave. Check out this tip sheet – How Do You Know if You Should Be Concerned – https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Tip-Sheet-How-Do-You-Know-If-You-Should-Be-Concerned.pdf