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Community Update: January 10, 2022

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. That’s the beauty of being alive. We can always start all over again.”

~St. Bernadette Soubirous

Thank you to all our amazing students, staff, and families for all your support as we switched to Teacher-led Remote Learning this week.

Thank you to our School Team for all of your work in preparing devices and problem solving tech issues.

Reporting students’ Absences

Although we have made the switch to Teacher-led Remote Learning, we are still mandated by the ministry to continue tracking students’ attendance. If your child is away, please promptly report the absence through the Safe Arrival Program. If your child is away for multiple days, please connect with your child’s teacher to ensure that there is a plan for missed work. 

Planning on switching your child’s learning environment (from in-person to virtual or vice-versa beyond the Government mandated period)

Given the Province’s temporary move to Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopening in order to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, HCDSB has revised the plan to provide greater flexibility for families. Families will now be offered two (2) opportunities for a request a change to learning environment for elementary students. The first opportunity to request a change in learning environment for elementary students is now available. The online request form will be open from Wednesday, January 5th until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 14thThe 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.  


  • If schools resume in-person instruction on January 17th, families who wish to keep their children home until the switch occurs on January 24th will be able to access asynchronous resources for their children through their current class on the D2L platform during the week of January 17-21.  
  • Parents/guardians requesting a change for their children to the virtual elementary school (St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Elementary Virtual School) will be asked to choose whether they want to keep their children enrolled in virtual learning until the final change in Learning Environment opportunity after Easter OR until the end of the school year. 

The final opportunity to request a change in learning environment for elementary students will be released after March BreakThe requested changes will come into effect after Easter on Tuesday, April 19th.

Important notes before you complete the online form:

  • Please submit a separate form for each child.
  • You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) to submit this request. The OEN can be found on a recent report card.
  • This online request form applies to elementary students ONLY. Requests for changes in the learning environment at the secondary school level should be sent directly to your child’s secondary school.


This online form will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Next Steps

Once the online form has closed, our staff will begin to work through the rescheduling process.

  • Parents and guardians will receive confirmation of the changes to their children’s learning environment by Wednesday, January 19th.
  • The changes to your child’s learning environment will come into effect as of Monday, January 24, 2022, or once in-school instruction resumes, if it extends beyond January 24th. 
  • If in-class instruction resumes on January 17th, your child’s current placement (in-class or virtual) will continue to be in place for the week of January 17-21. Asynchronous instruction will be posted for students, should parents/guardians decide to keep their children home while awaiting the switch to the virtual school.

Promoting Well-Being: How to support your child’s mental health through the pandemic

During these changing and challenging times, you may be worried about your child or teen’s mental health and well-being, especially as the pandemic persists over time. Many children and youth have struggled to adjust to all of the changes that have happened over the past many months as a result of COVID-19.  So, you may notice that from time to time your child or teen may seem worried, sad, lonely, or unsettled. They may be confused or angry that usual activities continue to be disrupted or they may be disappointed to miss something that they were looking forward to for a long time.  Many students are concerned that they have missed important schoolwork and feel nervous about what will happen this school year.  All of these feelings are to be expected at this uncertain time.  

And we know that some students and families/caregivers have experienced significant hardship and loss throughout the pandemic.  Perhaps your child or teen has had more to carry than others, and you wonder if they are okay.

How can you help your child or teen to maintain good mental health as the pandemic evolves?  How will you know if your child or teen is experiencing a mental health problem that requires more support?  Select this link for answers –

St. Matthew Catholic Parish News NEW YEAR’S PRAYER OF BLESSING

As we mark the beginning of a new year, it’s important, as people of faith, to spend some time seeking God’s blessing. Resolutions are a helpful, but prayer is indispensable. Consider using the prayer below with your families as a fitting way to start 2022:

God, thank you for a new year.

May everyone in our family be willing to begin anew with a clean slate.

We know that you are always ready to forgive us.

Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.

As we begin a new year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires.

Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do.

Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.

We ask this, and all things through Christ our Lord.


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:

COVID-19 Safety Measures:

  • The province will be updating the COVID-19 school and child care screener ahead of the return to school on January 5 as well as updating COVID-19 reporting requirements for school boards and child care in January.
  • The province will be supplying three-ply cloth masks for students in January.  These masks will be distributed to families once we have received them from the Ministry.
  • Families who have travelled outside of Canada over the Christmas break are reminded to monitor updates to federal travel directives and mandatory isolation periods for students. Please refer to the Government of Canada’s instructions for travellers from outside Canada for more information.  *Please continue to monitor your emails for updates from the school and the Board.

UPDATED COVID-19 Safety Measures

For the safety and well-being of all students and staff, parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.

The Government of Ontario daily self-screening tool can be accessed here:

Visions of Turtle Island Performance

On Wednesday, January 12, 2022 @ 1:00pm our school community will participate in a Multimedia school show “Visions of Turtle Island” includes live singing and dancing in Powwow & Haudenosaunee styles, ending with the ever popular Hoop Dance.This is being offered by the Oakville Performing Arts Centre and we are grateful for this opportunity to learn more about one of First Nations Communities.

Lunchbox updates

Our Lunchbox program dates scheduled up to and including January 14 will be cancelled.  The lunch schedule will resume delivery the week of January 17.

Lunchbox has cancelled all lunch orders placed January 5-14.  Parents who have orders placed will receive a credit for their cancelled orders.  An email notification will be sent to parents when the cancellation is complete and the credit is applied to their account. Lunches will resume upon our return to in-person learning, unless otherwise advised.  In the event of cancellation, orders will be refunded.

 Promoting Well-Being – Take 15-minutes just for you

“Working on our emotional health is just as important as taking care of our physical well-being,” says Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario.

Having good emotional health is a fundamental aspect of fostering resilience. Keep in mind that having good emotional health does not mean you are free from negative emotions. It’s about having the skills and resources to manage the ups and downs of day-to-day life. Here are some ways to tend to your emotional well-being:

Write out your feelings. When we put our feelings into words, we are actively constructing and making meaning of our emotions. Without words for emotions, our feelings might seem unclear to us. Naming and writing about our emotions helps to ease anxiety and decreases our anger or fear response.

Acknowledge your grief. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to everyone experiencing a wave of losses: economic, social, physical and emotional. It’s important to take the time to acknowledge and mourn these losses. For more information on this topic, check out our resource on loss and grief during the pandemic.

Do something small that brings you joy. Take a photo, bake a treat, spend some time in the garden. Whatever works for you and is a healthy way to cope.


Gojmerac, AnnieCommunity Update: January 10, 2022