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Weekly Update September 13-19, 2020

Welcome to St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School

The first week of our return to school is complete.  Tomorrow we begin a new adventure with all our returning students to attend at once. 


I would like to thank everyone for your patience. Technology is great when I have access to all the necessary sites. As of today I think I do! Some parents/guardians have been trying to reach me through email. Here is my email address: Just a reminder that if we have to meet, it will be virtually through TEAMS. Thank you.

Please read below to assist our team in ensuring a smooth entrance for all students.  There will be a schedule difference for the foreseeable future. Students will remain in their classrooms for their nutritional break from

10:25-10:40am        2:25-2:40pm 

Students will be outside for DPA once per day (weather permitting)Students will be outside for a staggered lunch – (weather permitting)

12-12:30 – Junior/Intermediate                     12:30-1:00 – Primary

Daily COVID-19 Screening

Self-screening must be completed each day before a student attends school. If a student does not pass the self-screening, they are to remain home. Any student or staff who exhibits symptoms will be removed from their class, taken to a designated isolation room in the school, and must be picked up immediately. Please ensure that your contact information is up to date and there is a family plan for an immediate pick-up if you are contacted by school staff.

Suspected Cases of COVID-19:

Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms may undergo testing at an Ontario assessment centre. If the results of a test are negative and/or student is symptom free for 24 hours, they may return to school.  

Confirmed COVID-19 Case:

Halton Region Public Health (HRPH) will be notified immediately and the school will respond based on HRPH recommendations. Please contact the school directly if your child develops any symptoms outside school. All absences should be reported through the Safe Arrival Program.


Grades K-8 students are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks in school, including hallways and during classes.

  • Outdoor times will be used as opportunities for students to take a break from wearing masks if they are within their cohorts.
  • Students are to use a zip-lock or paper bag, labelled with their name, to store their mask while outside.
  • Once students return from outside, they practice hand hygiene and resume wearing their masks
  • Mask design: Keep it simple, please.
  • Masks must be compliant with our school dress code and not display any inappropriate logos, sayings, or pictures.
  • Practice safely putting on and taking off the mask

COVID-19: How to safely use a non-medical mask or face …

Academics and Technology

In school: The academic program will continue to be robust while reflecting the expectations that support enhanced health and safety measures. The program delivery will be adjusted to ensure health and safety protocols and wellness have increased attention. Students are encouraged to bring their own devices as all communication/agendas will be through the D2L platform.  Please be patient with us as we get everyone up and running.

Distance Learning: If families opt for online learning, communication will be emailed directly from an HCDSB virtual school staff. Students participating in online learning will be assigned to a virtual school.

Entering and Exiting the School

In accordance with Halton Region Public Health recommendations, students and staff will practice physical distancing as much as possible. Signage will be posted throughout the school to ensure we are maximizing physical distancing and best hygiene practices are maintained. Travel routes between classrooms and common areas will be clearly marked, with travel protocols practiced and reinforced. Students will be provided with an individualized workspace and will remain with their homeroom teacher throughout the day with access to designated entrance and exit doors, washrooms, and outdoor spaces. Students will be expected to travel through the school with their cohort at all times

Hand Hygiene Etiquette

Hygiene education and routines will be explicitly taught and reinforced regularly. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in each classroom and in washrooms. All students and staff will be expected to wash hands and/or sanitize frequently. Breaks will be scheduled to allow students to wash their hands at appropriate times during the school day.

Physical Distancing

Students will remain with their designated cohort (classmates) throughout the day. The cohort group will apply inside the school and in the schoolyard. The before and After School Program will be a different cohort. The staggered lunch hour will ensure students can social distance as much as possible in the schoolyard. Students will be assigned a designated area on the pavement with their cohort for recess time. There will be NO mixing of class cohorts. In the classroom, students will have a designated workspace (desks or table) and will be distanced as much as possible.

Health and Wellness

The staff priority with the return to school will be on student and staff health and wellness. Our heating/cooling system will be controlled to maximize the amount of outdoor supply air while still maintaining thermal comfort. Additional ventilation is not required however, classroom staff may opt to open windows at their own discretion. Classes will utilize outdoor teaching opportunities as much as possible. Physical Education and DPA classes can also be taught outdoors, weather permitting.

Student Washrooms

  • Students will be reminded to wash/disinfect hands before and after washroom visits
  • Classes have developed a schedule for classes to go to the washrooms together.
  • If students need to go to the washroom throughout the day, they will go one at a time to the general washroom.  If a class is at the washroom, the student will go to the accessible washroom and let their teacher know that they used the designated washroom.
  • Physical distancing markers will be placed outside washrooms for students who are waiting to enter

Snacks and Lunches

  • Pizza, lunchbox and milk programs will be suspended until further notice. Phasing in of lunch programs will be considered at a later date. Delivery of lunches throughout the day will not be permitted; therefore, please send your child with lunch and snacks at the beginning of the school day.
  • Students are NOT allowed to leave the premise at lunch.
  • Snacks and lunches will be eaten with designated cohorts and in the classroom. To reduce movement in the classroom, we will ask the following, food not consumed, wrappers, containers will go home. ALL FOOD MUST BE NUT-FREE. In keeping with our healthy eating practices, please ensure your child brings nutritious snacks and lunches that are packed in reusable containers.
  • Each student is required to bring a labelled water bottle.
  • “No sharing” – this includes food, water bottles or personal items.

School Visitors

As a school community, we pride ourselves on creating a welcoming environment. Due to COVID-19, access to the school will be limited to HCDSB employees and service providers only. Access to the school by any other member of the community must be pre-approved by the school administration in accordance with the HCDSB Essential Visitor Protocol.

Enhanced Cleaning

Enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented. Daily cleaning protocols include disinfection of high-touch points in common areas throughout the building twice daily and increased cleaning in classrooms and washrooms. Nightly deep cleaning is also enhanced.

Drop Off and Pick Up Etiquette

  • 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.
  • 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.

Please let all relatives know this information that will be doing drop-offs so the message is consistent. We appreciate your support in following the expectations while using our parking lots.

COVID-19 Management in Schools Guidance Document

For those of you who did not have an opportunity to watch the webinar with Dr. Meghani on Tuesday, August 25th, we have attached a reference document from the Ministry of Health to support safer schools. This document is available online here: Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools. You may also want to view her presentation here: Preparing for a Safe and Healthy Return to School

For additional information: see HCDSB Return to School Plan

Cashless School

To maintain our safety protocols, we are no longer accepting cash payments. Please make sure to sign up or update your Cash OnLine account in order to be ready for any school activities or fundraisers.  You can access the Cash OnLine system from our school’s website.

Pets on school property

For the safety of all students, pets are not permitted on school grounds.  If you are walking your pet, please plan to drop off and meet your child at the end of the day on our city sidewalks.

This also includes allowing pets in our fenced off play area before and after school.  Please be respectful that students do use this area and for health and safety concerns it should not be used as a leash-free area.

Daily Self Screening

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

  • 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, students 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. 

School Lunches and Snacks

As posted on our School Website under “Medical Conditions,” we have several children in our school who live with a severe life-threatening food allergy to peanuts and nuts (anaphylaxis).  Please choose items carefully when sending lunches and snacks to school. Please be extra vigilant to avoid sending those treats that contain nuts or traces of nuts. (REMINDER: Alternate “peanut butter” spreads are difficult to differentiate from the real product and make monitoring student safety a challenge. Please do not send “peanut butter” look-alike products to school.) Thank you for your continued cooperation in ensuring the safety of our anaphylactic students.

Comuzzi, Mary-CatherineWeekly Update September 13-19, 2020