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Community Update: October 12, 2021

 Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

~ William Arthur Ward

Thanksgiving Day

  • Monday October 11 is the Thanksgiving Holiday. We wish all our families a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Reminder about Lunch and Snacks

  • We have several children in our school who live with a severe life-threatening food allergy to peanuts and tree nuts (anaphylaxis). Please choose items carefully when sending lunches and snacks to school. Please be extra vigilant to avoid sending those treats that contain nuts or traces of nuts. (REMINDER: Alternate “peanut butter” spreads are difficult to differentiate from the real product and make monitoring student safety a challenge. Please do not send “peanut butter” look-alike products to school.) Thank you for your continued cooperation in ensuring the safety of our anaphylactic students.

SafeArrival Student Absence Reporting

The safety and wellbeing of our students is our highest priority. Please use the automated student attendance management system SafeArrival to report your child’s absence.

The SafeArrival system is available 24/7, allowing you to report your child’s absence in one of three ways:

  1. using the SchoolMessenger® mobile app
  2. by logging into the SchoolMessenger® web site
  3. by calling into an interactive toll-free phone line

SafeArrival enhances our existing student attendance procedure, making it more convenient for parents to report a child’s absence, and more efficient for our school office staff to follow up sooner on unexplained absences.

SAVE THE DATE – Halloween Fun Day – Friday October 29th

When: Friday, October 29th, 2021

Where: St. Matthew Gymnasium  

Who: All of students under the leadership of our student ambassadors/teachers             

We will be inviting our students to come to a scheduled visit in our school gymnasium for dancing and Halloween fun. All students are welcome to wear costumes. Students may decide not to wear a costume. Anyone so inclined may want to wear orange and black as an alternative. Our student ambassadors with their teachers will be leading our school in activities to enjoy Halloween. Look for more information to be coming in the next few weeks.

Costume considerations to be safe at school:

Costumes must not:

– Impair vision or breathing, there are no masks as students will be wearing masks for COVID-19 protocol;

– Present a trip hazard to the wearer or the bystander;

– Represent disfiguring injury or, to put it bluntly, “blood and guts”;

– Promote themes or activities inappropriate for a Catholic elementary school;

– Be revealing or suggestive;

– Include weapons or replica weapons;

– Require staff to apply or remove costume pieces and/or make-up

Costumes must:

– Allow the student easy, independent access to the washroom. This is especially important for students from Kindergarten to grade 2.

– Allow the student to wear sufficiently warm clothing over or under the costume as weather/temperature dictates for outdoor recess.


Our major fundraiser will be a “Donation Campaign” – more information to follow next week.

Promoting Well-Being

Mental health is an essential component of overall health. Learning about mental health from a young age and developing skills to support positive mental health throughout their lives will help students to be healthier and more successful.  

The SMH-ON read aloud videos can be enjoyed at home, or classroom use, as part of integrated learning supporting the Elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum lesson plans, the virtual field trip series, or can be adapted in your own planning.

See a selection of Read Aloud books at

Update from our Parish:


Please be reminded that the selection of dates for our current program of Sacramental Preparation (Gr. 2 and Gr. 7) began online this past Saturday, October 2. Spaces are still plentiful; register online if you missed it.


Sunday, October 10 is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time and our readings from Scripture will be: Wisdom 7:7-11 Psalm 90 Hebrews 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30

The text of the First Reading is exquisite in its form and content. Wisdom, a divine attribute of God, is personified in this book of the Old Testament, allowing all who read and meditate upon these words the opportunity to better glimpse how God guides our understanding. “Beyond health and comeliness, I loved [Wisdom], and I chose to have her rather than the light.” We all yearn to see the world and the human condition from God’s divine point-of-view. The Book of Wisdom beautifully expounds they why of this mission.

Media Awareness and Safety

We strongly encourage all parents to monitor devices and social media/web use, that their children may be using. Our student Code of Conduct assemblies and the visit from our Police liaison officer(Grades 5-8)  discussed appropriate expectations with students, informing them of appropriate strategies and possible consequences for inappropriate behaviour. We will continue to remind our students through school and classroom messaging and working with our partners (Halton Police, expert speakers, etc.) to educate our students about the dangers of inappropriate use of technology.

Mind Up

We are excited to participate in a school wide initiative to support our students well-being and Mental Health. Our students will be taking part in a social-emotional learning and mindfulness curriculum program called MindUP ™ during this school year. MindUP ™ is an evidence-based curriculum that fosters mindful awareness and self-regulation; enhances empathy, optimism and well-being; and promotes kindness and positive relationships. (

Over the past few years, the MindUP ™ program has been implemented in 133 classrooms (in Kindergarten up to Grade 8) throughout the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) and will continue in several classes this year. We are very excited to have MindUP ™ school- wide at St. Matthew Catholic elementary this year.

Please be sure to ask your child about what they are learning and how it is impacting their ability to focus and be in the present moment. We also encourage you to try the ‘Core Practice’ breathing exercise with your child.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Ms. Woods, Child and Youth Counsellor or your child’s classroom teacher.

Gojmerac, AnnieCommunity Update: October 12, 2021