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Weekly Update May 24-29

A continued thank you to everyone for your support during remote learning! We want to acknowledge how challenging the move to online learning is for everyone ~ staff, students, and families. We are grateful to our staff for the many extra hours of work they put in, to create engaging and relevant content for the online environment. We are grateful to our students for showing up and demonstrating their own resiliency in learning this way, and to all of our families who support their children any way that they can to keep the learning happening!


  • Attendance! Please note that attendance will be taken daily as per usual. If your child will be absent from their virtual classroom, please report the absence via School Messenger.
  • Main Office May 24-29. The Main Office will be closed this week, phone messages will be retrieved once daily. If you need to contact the Main Office, please email Mrs. Taylor is joining her new school family this week and our tentative secretary will begin next week. Mrs. Riesberry will be handling attendance concerns that are not submitted to School Messenger this week. Best wishes and love to Mrs. Taylor. 
  • Not Returning? If your children will not be returning to St. Michael in September, please email Mrs. Riesberry. If your son/daughter is joining a Early or Extended French Program you do not need to contact me. This information will be helpful to us as we begin to consider our classes for next year.
  • Moving? Families are reminded to contact the school if any of your personal contact information has changed or if you are moving out of our school boundary. Please email Mrs. Riesberry. 


Dress LOUD DayWednesday, May 26, 2021, students are invited to dress in bright colours to raise awareness for the deaf and hard of hearing community in our school!

Graduation for our Grade 8 Students: Plans to celebrate our Graduating Class of 2021 are underway. Graduation details will be finalized in first few weeks of June. Please save Thursday, June 17th as our Graduation Date. Grade 8 parents should continue to look for emails with updated information.  We pray for our Graduates, as we prepare to celebrate them and all their accomplishments.

Special Education Assistive Technology Showcase Evening Details: The information evening will be held virtually on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on the Board’s YouTube Channel. The information evening is open to all parents, students, and staff, and will feature a showcase with students and an opportunity to learn more about assistive technology devices and its impact on education. Watch the session through this link on the day of the scheduled presentation. 

School Climate Survey – Your Opinion Counts! In an ongoing effort to promote safe, inclusive, and accepting schools, we are writing to invite you to complete the School Climate Parent/Guardian Survey. 

About the Parent/Guardian School Climate Survey: School Climate Surveys are conducted every two years to gather information from parents, students, and staff to help us create and sustain safe and welcoming schools. The survey provides feedback to each school about the extent to which parents feel their school supports learning and positive behaviour, and promotes a safe and inclusive environment.

Some important notes about the parent survey:

  • The survey is completely voluntary.
  • You may skip any questions you do not wish to answer.
  • The survey is anonymous and confidential. Names will not be collected, and your responses will be securely stored by HCDSB Research and Development Services staff.
  • Results of this survey will be reported at the school-level and individual respondents will not be identified. 

Parents and guardians are encouraged to access the School Climate Survey online by visiting:

Once you access the website, you will be asked for the following password: ParentSchoolClimate2021 (you need to include the capitals). The survey should take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete. 

Questions? If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Collimore, Chief Officer, Research and Development Services at:

Literacy and Numeracy Summer Programs for Students in Grades 6 – 8

The Halton Catholic District School Board’s Thomas Merton Centre for Continuing Education is pleased to be offering Literacy and Math Summer Programs for Grades 6, 7, and 8 students from July 5 – July 16, 2021 (Session 1) and July 19 – July 30, 2021 (Session 2). Please note that due to the current COVID-19 situation, the health and well-being of our students continues to remain our highest priority. All Session 1 and Session 2 classes will be offered in a distance (e-learning) format this summer.

For program details, please review the following information sheet: Literacy and Math Distance Learning Summer Programs. Online registration is available for Session 1 and Session 2. You may register your child for one or both sessions by filling out the following online form: Summer Distance

The deadline to register is June 24, 2021. No registrations will be accepted after June 24th 

Halton Food for Thought – Support Available for Families

We would like to make you aware of the support available to all families during these uncertain times through Halton Food for Thought and their partnership with Food for Kids. Please see the information below and note the link to access the website.

The Healthy Student Snack Bag program is open to all HDSB and HCDSB students and student families. There is no registration required – families are encouraged to go to the HFFT website Halton Food For Thought for dates, times, and locations to pick up the bags.

Parish Updates 

With the announcement on May 20th that our churches will not be re-opening until July 5, I believe all Sacraments will be postponed until a later date. I have not heard directly from our Church, however the announcement applies to all parishes in the Diocese of Hamilton. While we share your disappointment, we place our trust in the Lord who, we are certain will be even more generous in His blessings of the children who have been so patient through all of this, 

Family Paint Nights

HCDSB families, students and staff are invited to participate in virtual family paint nights to get creative at home and learn about Indigenous art!

The online sessions will be hosted by Indigenous Artist, Moses Lunham, who will provide step-by- step instructions on how to create a painting at home. No prior artistic experience is necessary to get involved! However, those interested in participating can prepare for the art session(s) by collecting the following art supplies, IndigenousArt.pdf

Wednesday, June 9th – Strawberry Being the First Fruit of the Season

The session will take place from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. A link to the live sessions will be available on Grandmother’s Voice YouTube Channel on the scheduled time and day. If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Saevil, Indigenous Education Advisor at:

Mental Health Update

Naming how we feel is good for us on so many levels. Here are some tips for building your emotion-naming muscles:

  • Check in with yourself and come up with just the right words to describe what you are feeling.  Talk about your feelings.  We have them.  And normalizing talking about them is good for everyone.
  • Carve out time to practice. For instance, Dr. Marc Brackett suggests an exercise: watch a movie with a friend. Discuss what the hero was feeling. How did you feel during the movie? How did you feel when it ended?
  • Get beyond “pat” answers when someone asks you how you are. Don’t settle for saying “I’m fine” or “I’m ok.” Chances are, if you investigate a little, you will see you are feeling something more specific. Even if it’s “bored”. Bored is a feeling.
  • Social niceties aside, people may want to know how you really feel. So go ahead and make that assumption. #GetReal with them. Say it out loud, it will help you process it. Plus, sharing it will give the other person the chance to empathize and even help if you need them to.
  • You can build your emotional vocabulary by searching lists of emotion words on the Internet.
  • Write it down. When you express your feelings in writing, it can help you become more self-aware.
  • When your children are struggling with identifying how they feel, you can use your expanded vocabulary to help them express themselves. 

If your emotions are overwhelming, persistent and/or are interfering with your daily functioning, it is important to seek mental health support.

Promoting Well-Being

Free and Fun Challenge Inspires Kids to Get Outside and RUN

There’s no doubt that it’s been a long, tough year for everyone. And while there may be light at the end of the tunnel, right now, kids in many parts of Canada are still unable to participate in the team sports or physical activities that they love. What we could all use now is a little inspiration. And this month, we’ve got it, thanks to a Canadian track star and a 14-year-old Montrealer. A recent CP24 article reported that Canada’s Andre De Grasse and teen Jesse Briscoe have started up an initiative that invites and encourages Canadian kids coast-to-coast to join the RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge. Briscoe said he was tired of sitting at home playing video games after his team sports were cancelled due to the pandemic, so he and his dad reached out to De Grasse. Luckily, De Grasse was up for the task of inspiring kids to get active and to hopefully find joy in getting outside and moving again. As a result, the virtual racing challenge was brought to life. 

Here’s how to participate in the RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge:

From May 1 to June 25, go to your local 400m track and run one lap as fast as you can. Then go back weekly to improve your time. It’s that simple! Siblings and/or parents can record times and capture photos and videos to be shared online. Registration is free, although any donations will go to youth mental health initiatives such as Kids Help Phone. The beauty in this challenge is that running is something we can all safely do, by ourselves or together as a family. If you’ve got a pair of running shoes and some time to get out there, you can take part. But if running isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get active outside during the pandemic, while also gearing up for the excitement of the Olympic games. 

Read more about kids and running:

Fifth Round of Voluntary, Targeted Testing

As you know, for the past few months, HCDSB has offered voluntary COVID-19 testing at school sites for asymptomatic staff and students. 

During this round of testing, all staff and families are able to attend any of the testing site locations (i.e. you will not have to attend the site designated for your family of schools). Click here to view the Testing Schedule.

Who Can Be Tested?

  • Testing is voluntary, and consent will be required from parents or guardians.  
  • Targeted testing is offered only for individuals who are asymptomatic (i.e. not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms). 

NOTE: If you have been deemed a close contact to an individual that tested positive for COVID-19, please do NOT attend one of our Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing hub sites, as you will be turned away. 

Targeted COVID-19 testing is available to the following individuals:

  • All school staff and their household members
  • All students and their families
  • All Child Care staff and their household members 
  • All Child Care families

About the Testing 

The Ministry of Education has arranged for the testing to be provided through a third party, LifeLabs.    

LifeLabs uses a swab similar to a Q-tip that is inserted into the front part of the nostril and rotated for fifteen seconds (per nostril). Their trained staff will perform the test in a designated space within a school.

LifeLabs will ensure that every mobile collection site adheres to the following health and safety protocols:

  • PPE for Droplet Precautions will be worn by all staff working in the location
  • Enhanced hand hygiene will be followed by the staff conducting the testing
  • Hand hygiene for students and staff will be required before and after service is provided
  • Disinfecting of the cubicles and chairs will be undertaken before and after each individual tested
  • Surgical masks will be provided, if necessary

Get Tested

Pre-registration will not be offered for this round of voluntary COVID-19 testing.If you are interested in getting tested, you are encouraged to walk-in for an appointment at any host school during the designated clinic hours.

More Information

Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to work with the Ministry of Education and our public health officials to keep our school communities healthy and safe.

As always, please email me if you have questions or need anything. I miss the students, staff and parents dearly and carry each one in my heart and prayers daily. 

Mrs. Riesberry

Riesberry, JulieWeekly Update May 24-29