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Weekly Update: January 25, 2021

There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

~ Amanda Gordon

Thank you

A sincere thank you to our St. Patrick School community for your continued work remotely as we continue to stay safe at home.

Ministry Updates – Remote Learning EXTENDED

HCDSB schools will remain closed for in-person learning until further notice.  The Ministry has not provided a date when our Halton schools are expected to reopen for full in-person instruction.  

What we know at this time:

  • Elementary and secondary students will continue to learn remotely until further notice.
  • Students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School will continue to follow their established schedules. 
  • The change in learning format between in-person and virtual instruction will be delayed until schools re-open for in-person learning.
  • Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue to receive in-person support during the extended remote learning period.
  • Childcare centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions.  
  • All Before and After School Programs will remain CLOSED until in-person learning resumes.

We will continue to share any new updates as they become available, in the following ways:

Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support as we work with the Ministry of Education and our Public Health officials to keep our school communities healthy and safe for all.

Virtual Class Etiquette

  • Courtesy and Respect are key
  • Students use the designated platform to join meetings that are led by their teacher
  • Recording and/or posting any content from virtual meetings is NOT allowed

Participating in a virtual meeting

  • Know when to join your virtual meeting
  • Wait for your teacher before joining the virtual meeting
  • Always use your real name

When you are in a virtual meeting, you should behave like you are in the classroom…

  • Sit in a well-lit room, facing a light source 
  • Please keep your video on
  • Be fully present, sit still and focus
  • Don’t eat or drink
  • Be dressed appropriately
  • Raise your ‘virtual hand’ and wait to be recognized by your teacher if you have a question or comment
  • Keep your microphone muted unless you are called on to talk
  • Make sure your background is professional
  • Use appropriate language, academic language in spoken and written questions and comment

Using the CHAT feature

  • Use the chat as directed by your teacher
  • Always use appropriate language
  • The chat bar is NOT for posting gifs, pictures, random words or comments

Virtual Meeting Non-negotiables

  • Courtesy and respect
  • Constructive participation
  • Positive intent

Student Attendance

  • During this period of remote learning, we continue to promote regular attendance, as it is important for students to remain engaged in their learning so they can stay on top of the curriculum and feel more connected to their peers while our school is closed. 
  • As noted in PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning, schools are required to take daily student attendance throughout the period of remote learning.  Attendance will be taken twice daily: once in the morning and again after lunch. If your child is not able to attend or participate in remote learning on any given day, please report his or her absence, as you typically would during in-person learning through the SchoolMessenger Safe Arrival System:  https://www.hcdsb.org/parents/report-your-childs-absence/.
  • We will be following our usual process of contacting parents and guardians when student absences are not reported. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Now, more than ever, ongoing communication between home and school is key to your child’s success and well-being. 

Teacher Absences

  • There may be times when your child’s teacher must be absent due to illness or other reasons. When this happens, we do our best to ensure a supply teacher is assigned to cover the class for the day.  Unfortunately, due to ongoing demands across our school district, supply teachers are not always available to cover every absence on any given day.
  • When a supply teacher is assigned, they will take attendance in the morning, and again after lunch, as per our usual practice. Your child will work on the asynchronous activities that have been posted in D2L, and the supply teacher will be available to answer questions and support students through these activities.
  • If a supply teacher is not available, your child will work on the asynchronous activities posted in D2L.
  • Regardless of whether a supply teacher has been assigned to cover the classroom teacher’s absence, your child’s Core French/Social Studies/Arts class will proceed and the FSL/PTM/Arts teacher will be online to provide synchronous instruction, as scheduled.
  • We will communicate with parents and guardians when a classroom teacher is absent, and let you know if a supply teacher has been assigned.  

Thank you for your ongoing flexibility, support and understanding during this period of remote learning.

Advanced Kindergarten Registrations for 2021-22 School Year

To facilitate planning for the 2021-2022 school year, we encourage all families intending to register new children at St. Patrick School (including Kindergarten registrations) by following the guideline posted on the front page of our website: New Registrations 2021-22 School Year. Online registrations are now open. In-person registrations (bringing in your documents) will take place once schools re-open. 

If you have a child who will be attending St. Patrick in September, 2021, we hope you will take advantage of the Advanced Registration process. Please feel free to pass this information along to friends or neighbours with children entering Kindergarten next year. 

Please note: Children currently registered in the Year 1 Kindergarten program are not required to register for the Year 2 program. Placement in the Year 2 program will be processed by the school, unless otherwise stated.

For more information on HCDSB’s Kindergarten program and the advanced registration process, please visit: http://bit.ly/Kindergarten-Program

Holocaust Memorial Day – Wednesday January 27

Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides, which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is “Be the light in the darkness.” It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

– Thursday January 28

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Thursday, January 28 and we are joining in the conversation around mental health to help break the stigma and create a positive change. This year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign shines a light on the actions that we can all take, because now more than ever, mental health matters. Staff and students will be participating in activities and conversations next week to increase their knowledge and awareness on mental health and learn healthy coping skills to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing.

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every FacebookInstagramPinterestSnapchatTikTokTwitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

McCarthy Uniforms

We are pleased to announce that McCarthy Uniforms is our new official school uniform provider. Many of you may be familiar with the reputation for quality and the time-tested McCarthy tradition that will provide our families with exceptional uniform products. In addition to a superior quality garment, this new partnership with also provide our families with more flexibility when ordering, improved availability, and reduced costs. Some of you may recall that McCarthy Uniforms used to be our uniform provider and we are excited to rejoin their program as of February 1st, 2021, with over 60 years of proven, dedicated service to schools across Canada.

We encourage you to register early to be notified of invitations to webinars, access to a ‘launch gift’ and updates on your shopping options. 

If you have any questions about our new uniform program, you can contact the McCarthy customer service team at customerservice@mccarthyuniforms.ca. We look forward to seeing our students in their new attire!

Instagram: @mccarthy_uniforms

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mccarthyuniforms/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9amw1M1-C3CrEUuLUF2PA

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mccarthy-uniforms-inc/

Promoting Well-Being

3 Ways to Reduce Stress and Build Connections During Distance Learning

Relationships: One way to encourage families and kids to stay connected at home is “oxytocin boosters”—it suggests that they pursue activities together, like cooking a family dinner as a unit or calling a grandparent.

Routines: Our brains, writes Cantor, are “prediction machines that like order, and when our environments are orderly, the brain is calmer.” To establish predictable routines at home, families can create weekly schedules that include time allotted for academics, unstructured time for playing or working on projects, and even regular family meetings. Families are encouraged to establish routines like healthy family meals, daily exercise, and mindfulness practices such as deep breathing and journaling.

Resilience: Built over time, the skill of resilience “begins with learning how to regulate emotions and behaviors from role models through a process called co-regulation,” Cantor says. During remote learning, teachers can foster resilience by reminding students that we all “need to manage ourselves and our fears every single day,” and families can help by encouraging teamwork and creative problem-solving, celebrating successes, and modeling healthy strategies for managing anxiety and stress. Guiding kids so they develop the ability to recognize their emotions and strengthen their resilience during distance learning will help prepare them for the return to physical school.

https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-ways-reduce-stress-and-build-connections-during-distance-learning

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Comito, DianaWeekly Update: January 25, 2021