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Community Update: December 13, 2021

Celebrating Advent as a Family

The 3rd Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. On this day we celebrate that our waiting for the birth of Jesus on Christmas day is almost over. Rose is a liturgical color that is used to signify joy, so we light the single pink candle on the third Sunday of Advent. The 3rd Sunday of Advent symbolizes Joy with the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus. Read from more about the Advent Wreath Tradition and Meaning (information taken from the Catholic Company).

St. Matthew Catholic Parish NewsFarewell to Father Patrick…

Many thanks to Fr. Patrick, who has been ministering here since the summer months. With his reassignment to St. Benedict Parish, Milton coming closer and closer, we certainly wish him well as a community and assure him of our prayers. Fr. Patrick jumped eagerly into the role of Associate Pastor here, and has proven himself a devoted, capable, and generous priest. Any community that receives him will be blessed indeed. He’ll be with us for one more weekend, giving us all an opportunity to express our gratitude, but moving day is December 13.

~ Father Allen Varlaki

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Rapid Antigen Tests

Next week, your child will be taking home a Rapid Antigen Screening Kit for voluntary use over the Christmas holiday.   

The rapid antigen screening kits have been provided by the Government of Ontario for every student who attends in-person learning at a publicly funded school.  These kits may be used by any student, regardless of their vaccination status, however, should only be used when a child is asymptomatic (does not have any symptoms of COVID-19) and has not had any exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  

Please note, your child’s participation in this rapid antigen screening is voluntary and is not a required action for return to school after the Christmas break.  

Thank you for your ongoing support as we work closely with the Ministry of Education and Halton Public Health to help keep our community safe and healthy for all.

Holiday Travel

With the holiday season approaching, it is anticipated that many staff, students and families will choose to make travel plans over the break. We would like to remind families to follow federal directives related to international travel and quarantine requirements

Early Dismissal

Students will be dismissed 90 minutes before the regular end of our school day. This means that our students will be leaving for Christmas holidays at 1:40pm on Friday, December 17, 2021.

Confirmation of Screening upon Return-Use of Log

Starting January 3, 2022 students will be using a ‘confirmation of screening log’ similar to the start of school in September. This will be found in the front pouch of your child’s agenda. This will happen for the first two weeks of school in January.

Christmas Spirit Week at St. Matthew

St. Matthew’s will be celebrating Christmas Spirit week from Monday, December 13th to Friday, December 17th.  

Monday: Christmas hair or Christmas hat day (students in uniform)

Tuesday: Wear red, white, and/or green accessories day (students in uniform)

Wednesday: Wear red, white, and/or green accessories day (students in uniform)

Thursday: Pajama day

Friday: Christmas sweater and Spirit Day!

Winter is here!

Please ensure your child is dressed each day to play outside at recess. Students are outside for all regular outside activities when it is warmer than -15°C. When temperatures range between -15°C to -20°C, students may remain outside for no longer than 20-minute intervals, once temperatures are colder than -20°C students must remain inside.

Inclement Weather

As winter weather is fast approaching, parents are reminded to visit our website for important information and reminders regarding our Inclement Weather procedures and the Inclement Weather Transportation Zones map  

Promoting Well-Being – Dealing with Holiday Stress

While the holiday season can be a fun and happy time of year it can also be a stressful time for families. With all of the preparation, it can easily become overwhelming. Some families may also find this time of year difficult due to change, loss, or uncertainty about the future. Knowing how to minimize stress can help make this holiday season more enjoyable.

Tips to help you deal with holiday stress:

  • Remember to pace yourself. Set realistic goals about what you can achieve. We all have ideas of what would make the “perfect” holiday season but remember – change can be good. Every holiday will inevitably be different, so remember to be flexible.
  • When you are feeling stressed, take the time to sit back and evaluate why you’re feeling this way.
  • Be aware that the holidays can be stressful for the whole family – including children.
  • Try to find a balance. Remember the importance of healthy eating, staying active, and getting enough sleep.
  • Make time to relax. Laugh, have a bath or take a walk to help wind down.


Gojmerac, AnnieCommunity Update: December 13, 2021