Dear St. Nicholas families;
Prayer for a new School Year
Lord Jesus, we ask for Your help as we begin this new school year.
Allow us to experience Your presence in the many blessings You put before us.
Open our eyes to the new challenges and exciting opportunities
that this new school year brings.
Open our hearts and minds to new friends and new teachers.
Give us a generous spirit to be enthusiastic with our studies
and courage to accept new opportunities.
Help us to be attentive to one another and let us experience
Your presence in our new friends.
To support our return to school we have outlined some useful information to help families with both first day return and new protocols at St. Nicholas.
First day of instruction has been staggered for all students to ensure a safe and healthy return for all.
- Wednesday, September 9th – family surname A-F
- Thursday, September 10th – family surname G-N
- Friday, September 11th – family surname O-Z
- Monday, September 14th – Grade 1-8 full entry for in-class instruction
Kindergarten Staggered Entry In-Class Learning
Kindergarten students will have a staggered entry that is different from the Grade 1-8 students.
- Tuesday, September 8th – Interviews
- Wednesday, September 9th – Interviews
- Thursday, September 10th – All current SK students 1st day of school
- Friday, September 11th – 1/2 of the JK’s and ALL SK’s
- Monday, September 14th – the other 1/2 of the JK’s and ALL SK’s
- Tuesday, September 15th – All SK and JK students attend school together
First day of Instruction for Remote Online Learners
Monday, September 14th – online instruction begins for those who opted for remote learning (more info to come)
Drop-off and Pick-up
As we prepare to welcome students back to school next week, we wanted to review the drop-off and pick-up protocols that will be in place to help minimize contacts and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school community.
- Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children.
- Parents and guardians will remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol).
- We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort).
- Signage will be in place to help you identify the drop-off/pick-up location for your child(ren).
- Students will line up to enter our school, and we will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time.
- Kindergarten students will enter the school immediately upon arrival in the morning.
- Parents and caregivers are asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their child(ren). No gathering or congregating will be allowed on school property.
- Parents and caregivers are encouraged to use the ‘Kiss and Ride’ as students become more comfortable and familiar with the new routine.
First day/Morning Arrival Procedures
Students will make their way onto the blacktop area looking for their assigned class line. All lines have a painted number or letter that correspond to a specific homeroom class. Teachers will be outside to greet students upon their arrival – students are asked to stand in their lineup and follow teachers’ directions. We have attached a MAP for your reference. Just a reminder that families should not access the blacktop area -thank you for your understanding and assistance.
In order to maintain distancing guidelines, we will be dismissing students as they entered in the morning. Primary students – teachers will wait with them until they are directly given to an adult listed on his/her pick up list. If you have an older child, please ensure that they know how they are getting home and with whom.
Kiss N Ride
Please be reminded NOT TO PARK OR STOP your car for an extended period in the Kiss & Ride lane at any time. Please observe parking signs and practice extra patience after school as the kiss n ride is a very busy area – this is a short-term issue and the safety of students/staff/parents is our priority.
Reporting an Absence
The purpose of the Safe Arrival Program is to ensure that your child arrives safely at school.
When your child is going to be absent or late please report the absence by 9:00 am. To report an absence or late arrival use: School Messenger Mobile App, the website: go.schoolmessenger.ca or call the toll-free number 1-844-445-4505.
We are concerned when your child is not at school and we have not received notification. We will attempt to confirm the whereabouts of your child by calling and emailing home/workplace/emergency contact numbers/emails (please keep us up-to-date). If an absence continues to be unexplained, the Board policy requires that the Principal determine whether the police department should be made aware of the unaccounted absence. Please help us to save valuable time and ensure the safety of your children by calling or emailing in all absences.
Daily Self Screening
Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the Ontario’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment.
- Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8oC)
- Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19
- If any signs or symptoms, student and other household members must stay home, and school must be contacted.
Please note that if a student or staff member shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or has come into close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they cannot come to school. They must self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19.
Parents are able to access the Daily Screening Checklist for HCDSB students HERE.
What happens if your child feels unwell at school?
It is important for your son or daughter to let their teacher know if they are feeling unwell at school.
Students who show signs/symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be taken to our school’s ‘isolation room’ and we will contact the parent or guardian to come and pick them up.
It is very important that we have current contact information for all of our families so that we can get in touch with you quickly. Please contact our school office if there have been any recent changes to your contact information.
Use of Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the measures we will have in place in our schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
PPE is protective clothing or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. PPE can include gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, safety shoes etc.
Wearing of Masks at School
- Medical masks will be worn by all teachers and other school staff.
- All HCDSB students (K- 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/ face coverings at school. Reasonable exceptions to this requirement will be put in place (see below Exemptions for Mask Wearing).
Exemptions for Wearing Masks
Reasonable exceptions to mask wearing will be considered.
An exemption may be requested for a student in Grades K-12 for the following reasons:
- A pre-existing medical condition.
- A diagnosis or learning profile that would limit a student’s ability to tolerate or safely wear a mask, including whereby a mask would affect essential communication for a person who is hearing impaired.
- Other, as detailed by a healthcare practitioner.
If any of the above conditions apply to your child, please contact Mr. Cacciola or Mrs. Spotswood.
Lunches for Elementary Students
For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all elementary students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods.
As we limit visitors to our school throughout the day, lunch drop offs will not be permitted during the school day.
Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch in the morning before students enter the school building.
Considerations for Lunch Prep:
- Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
- Sharing food items will not be permitted.
- Reusable water bottles are encouraged.
Thank you for your understanding as we limit the number of visits and contacts to our school community to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.
Students and staff will be able to bring reusable water bottles and refill them at designated refill stations in our school. For the health and safety of our students and school community, the use of water fountains for drinking will not be permitted.
Water Fountains and Reusable Water Bottles:
- Each student is required to bring their own drinking bottle to school that is labeled, kept with them during the day, and not shared with other students. – No glass bottles are permitted
- All water fountains will be wrapped and/or made inoperable.
- Although bottle filling stations will be in use, students and staff are not advised to touch any filling station apparatus.
Due to the changes in the school schedules, as well as the enhanced health and safety protocols that will have to be in place on school buses, Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) will require some additional time to finalize the transportation arrangements. In light of this, the start of school bus routes will be delayed this year.
School bus transportation to and from school will be available as follows:
- For elementary students in the self-contained Community Living, Essential Skills, and Structured Teaching special education classes, and secondary students in our Life Skills classes, transportation to and from school will be available beginning Friday, September 11, 2020.
- For all other students (Kindergarten to Grade 12), school bus transportation to and from school will be available beginning Monday, September 14, 2020.
We know that many families rely on school buses to get their children to and from school, and we are hopeful that you will be able to make alternative arrangements for your child(ren) to attend school on their assigned staggered entry date.
Once transportation arrangements have been finalized, parents will receive an email to confirm the route number, pick-time and location through the parent portal.
For more information, visit the HSTS website at: https://www.haltonbus.ca/
Please ensure you have returned the necessary medication & forms for any medical perils (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes, etc.) to the office along with any updated information for our files as soon as possible. Forms will be sent home for returning students. We are aware that Allerject is now available in Canada, and if this your choice of auto injectors please indicate this on the Student Plan of Care.
Please be aware that St. Nicholas is a nut free environment. We have students with life threatening allergies to nuts and other allergens. No peanut butter or other nut products are allowed. Please check labels before sending items in school lunches and for snacks. Even a trace of nut oil from one child’s fingers to a desk surface can cause a deadly reaction. Please note that Wow Butter (soy product) is not allowed as we cannot distinguish between it and peanut butter. Your support and attention to this matter is greatly appreciated as we have many students with life threatening allergies.
Wishing our families, a great start to a new school year!
Please follow us on Twitter @StNicholasHCDSB
Mr. Cacciola & Mrs. Spotswood