Good afternoon to all our St. Michael Families!
I do hope that all of you had some family time during our scheduled March Break. Today we find ourselves at the start of the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we face uncertain times, here are a few important reminders to keep you updated and calm as we move through these times together:
Minister of Education Letter – Our Board released yesterday an open letter from Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. In this letter, he reminds us that the foremost priority of the government is to keep all Ontarians safe. For those looking for at home learning to support children during this time, the government has implemented the Learn at Home website. Please refer to this section of the letter to access the site: “While the health and safety of your children is my priority, I also know many of you are wondering how we will ensure students continue their journey of learning while out of the classroom. As a first step to ensure the continued learning of your children, our government has launched an online portal dedicated to curating and providing access to a wide variety of educational resources, for all students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12. This online portal, which is available at www.Ontario.ca/learnathome, enables students at every grade level to continue learning while away from school. These resources are developed by Ontario educators, and resources for all grades are informed by leading instructional guidance.” This year’s EQAO Assessments have been cancelled by the government, meaning that our Grade 3 and 6 students will not have to take part in the assessments scheduled in May. Like you, the staff of St. Michael will await further information from the Minister of Education in terms of the school closures. Please refer to further communication from HCDSB and refer to our websites.
Monday, April 6th – Schools are scheduled at this point to reopen on Monday, April 6th. Please continue to check our School Website, the HCDSB website (www.hcdsb.org), news reports and email communications from the HCDSB in regards to any further information which may affect this date.
Renovation Update – The good news is our construction plans are currently moving forward without any hinderances!
Future Trips – As I stated in our last communication before the March Break, we will be contacting our Lunch Providers for possible make-up dates on the days we will be missing during the school closure. Likewise, any trips that may need to be cancelled or rescheduled will be taken care of in the future. In this time of anxiety, we can only manage things on a day to day basis, so please don’t add stress to yourselves or your children by trying to anticipate what will happen down the road with some of our planned trips. We will keep you posted when we have information about the future and will always ensure that the safety of our students will be the deciding factor on whether these trips will continue. In any event, funds will be reimbursed if necessary, as much as possible. I would advise to hold off on any future payments until further notice.
I have been reading a lot of information online and have attached a page that contains some resources to support your activities at home. I wish to remind everyone that we are all in the same boat in terms of this situation, and when we do return to the classroom everyone will be at the same starting position once again, so please don’t feel that your child is going to fall behind. Our teachers are experts at teaching to where our children are at! During this time of uncertainty, our Mental Health is the most important skill we all need to focus on, not necessarily our students’ academic needs. So please know that we will always be ready to pick up the pencils when we return and teach to the needs of your children. That’s what we have done every day at St. Michael, and we will return with the same goal! Stay healthy, follow the directions of our Provincial government, and we will all return together soon!
I am praying for all our families and staff during this time of crisis and need. Please stay healthy and safe. God bless you all!
Your partner in Catholic Education,