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Community Update: October 25, 2021

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.

Thank you to our Early Childhood Educators for all the wonderful work they do each and every day in support of our Kindergarten students – we are blessed to have Mrs. Pereira and Mrs. DaSilva at our school.

Thank you to our bus drivers as we recognize School Bus Safety Week – follow @haltonschoolbus for safety tips!

Thank you and welcome to Ms. Alton our new Library Technician !

Thank you to Mr. Belerique and Mr. Liparoti for all your work keeping our school clean for staff and students!

Thank you to Mrs. Stollberg and Mrs. Boisvert for all their work with staff to update the Individual Education Plans for our resource caseload. Parents please review the IEP and return the envelope and the IEP waiver form to the Special Education Resource Teachers’ attention.

Halton Public Health Update:

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, has released a new video outlining five things you need to know about breakthrough COVID-19 cases and why getting fully vaccinated provides the protection you need against COVID-19 and its variants.

For parents:

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) webpages.

Equity and Inclusion Education: Halloween Costume selection

We look forward to celebrating Halloween with our students on October 29th, 2021.  As noted in our previous Weekly Update, while our observance of Halloween may look different this year, we still invite our students to wear a costume (or orange and black clothing), on this day.  While we want to enjoy the day, we still must follow Public Health protocols by wearing our usual masks and exercising appropriate hand hygiene.

Halloween is a great time to have fun with costumes. There are endless possibilities from which to choose: a wizard, a clown, a crime-fighting cartoon puppy, a giant hot dog, a Minecraft character, even a velociraptor!  However, another person’s culture should never be our costume.

St. Matthew is a place where students not only learn about diversity but also experience it. We strive to ensure that our students see themselves and their classmates reflected in their studies. Our students and families should expect their interactions within our school community to leave them feeling accepted for who they are.  As you select a Halloween costume for your child(ren), we encourage you to reflect critically, to be mindful of cultural appropriation and to support the creation of a welcoming school environment for all.

The following are suggested questions to reflect on with your child when choosing a costume.  Your conversations at home on this topic directly help to support our school’s efforts to create and maintain an equitable and inclusive learning environment:

  • Is my costume making fun of a group of people, their culture or religion?
  • Does my costume reinforce jokes and stereotypes about certain groups, cultures or religions?
  • Am I altering my skin colour, facial/body features to make them more like a particular race, ethnicity, or cultural group?
  • Am I dressing up as a culture or borrowing from a religion that is not my own or is not part of my background?
  • Do I understand and respect the history or tradition of the culture that I am borrowing my costume from?

To learn more about the Halton Catholic District School Board’s commitment to Equity and Inclusive Education, please visit https://www.hcdsb.org/Board/Equity/Pages/default.aspx.  To learn more about Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, click here.

 Harvest Food Drive

We will also be collecting canned goods and non-perishable items for those in need.

Our Catholic School Council and student ambassadors will be coordinating the collection and drop-off at the local food banks. This will begin collecting items from Monday October 18th2021 and run until Friday October 29, 2021. Some students may choose to bring these items in the day of our Halloween extravaganza.

Halloween Extravaganza Day

​Each classroom will be escorted to a Halloween inspired experience in the gym. Student ambassadors will lead each cohort in a few dances with the big screen projecting “Just Dance” moves for the students to follow along with. All safety protocols will be followed and a cookie treat will be provided for students on this day. Thank you to our Student Ambassadors and staff for the preparation for this event.

Halloween Student Treats

On Friday, October 29 our school will be offering each student a chocolate chip cookie.

The cookies are nut free and purchased from Terra Cotta Cookie Co.  

If you do not want your child to receive a cookie, please inform the school office. 

Picture Day is November 1st 2021!

We are excited to announce that we are able to have our photographers back in our school buildings following health and safety protocols. The date is set for November 1st 2021 . Please see attached the brochure from Edge Imaging. Individual photos will be taken for all of our staff and students. Please rest assured that Edge Imaging has confirmed that they have a vaccination disclosure policy in place and have advised that the photographers scheduled for school photo days will be able to provide Administration with validation of their vaccination status. As with any visitor to the school, photographers are required to complete the Visitor protocols in the HCDSB Return to School Plan.

ST. MATTHEW CATHOLIC SCHOOL  INTRAMURAL VOLLEYBALL

A big thank you to Mrs. Guerin and Ms. Donovan for organizing our first intramural program of the school year. The philosophy of the St. Matthew Intramural Volleyball Program is to provide the grade 7/8 students an opportunity to participate in non-competitive sport activities and to develop or refine their skills. The intramural program adds a new dimension to your child’s education by improving self-esteem, stimulating other interests, and providing students the opportunity to achieve individual and team goals.  Masks and distancing will be used as per the Ministry of Education Covid 19 Health, Safety and operational guidelines. Students will be coming home with permission forms shortly.

Reading Rocks Club

We are excited to share that our reading support program, Reading Rocks, is beginning in the next few weeks. Grade 8 students are partnered with primary students to help support their reading abilities. This weekly mentorship program has proven to be beneficial to both groups of students and allows for relationship building across the school. Masks and distancing will be used as per the Ministry of Education Covid 19 Health, Safety and operational guidelines. Thank you to Mrs. Miller who will support this important school club.

St. Matthew Catholic Parish News

Follow St. Matthew Catholic Church on Social Media and keep up to date with all that is happening in our parish! There are four ways to connect to the parish:

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Welcome Aboard! We’re pleased to welcome Cathie Orlanski to our parish staff as Pastoral Assistant – Coordinator of Sacramental Preparation. You may not know this, but Cathie’s been doing the job for several years (since well before the pandemic) as a volunteer, backing up the Pastoral Team with all the organization, recordkeeping, and documentation that make it possible for us to celebrate First Communion and Confirmation with more than five hundred young people annually. With some administrative duties added to this part-time position, it made sense to hire someone formally, and we were thrilled when Cathie applied. A dedicated and active member of the community, she’s also instrumental in our parish St. Vincent de Paul Society and our programme of volunteer screening. Our only real concern was that another parish might scoop her up before we had room on our team and in our budget!

~ Father Allen Varlaki

Mental Health Update

As we continue to adjust to changes in routines, we understand that some parents and families may be experiencing stress or anxiety. CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health hospital and research centre and has compiled resources informed by clinical and research expertise about youth mental health, many of which have been co-developed by youth, for youth. We hope these will be helpful in starting discussions at home about mental health and the pandemic and can provide support for your families and children.  If you or a loved one are concerned about your child’s mental health, please see a family doctor. 

For more information about COVID-19, or resources related to managing mental health during the pandemic, visit the CAMH COVID-19 Hub.

Resources for Parents:

Helping Children with Anxiety – https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/camh_covid19_infosheet-backtoschool-children-anxiety-pdf.pdf 

Tips for parents’ wellbeing – https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/camh_covid19_infosheet-backtoschool-parents-wellbeing-pdf.pdf

Talking to children about covid-19 – https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/camh_covid19_infosheet-talking_to_kids-pdf.pdf

Gojmerac, AnnieCommunity Update: October 25, 2021