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Weekly Update: February 22, 2021

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.”

~ Pope Francis

Thank you to Mr. Giannou and his Grade 4 class for leading the virtual Ash Wednesday Liturgy.

Thank you to all our families for your cooperation as we work through our new arrival and dismissal routines.

Changes to Daily Screening Tool & Isolation Requirements

NEW!: The COVID-19 School Screening Tool has changed. Now, students and staff with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one (1) symptom, must stay home until: 

  • They receive a negative COVID-19 test result.; OR 
  • They receive an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional.; OR  
  • It has been 10 days since their symptom onset, and they are feeling better. 

The new single-symptom screening criteria in the COVID-19 daily screening tool has now been applied and has been in effect since Thursday afternoon.

Parents and guardians are reminded to complete the COVID-19 School Screening Tool for each child every day before leaving home for school or child care: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/. 

NEW!: The Ministry of Health has now indicated that all individuals living in the same household are now required to self-isolate when a family member has COVID-19 symptoms, even if the family member only has one (1) symptom.

The following isolation requirements now apply: 

All members in a household of a symptomatic individual are required to self-isolate until the individual: 

  • Receives a negative COVID-19 test result; OR 
  • Receives an alternative diagnosis by a health care professional. 

If someone in your household tests positive, or is not tested and does not receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care professional:   

  • This individual must isolate (including from others in your household) for 10 days from the date of experiencing symptoms, AND 
  • All members of the same household must isolate for 14 days from their last date of exposure with the symptomatic family/household member. 

Arrival & Dismissal Routines

To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have received Ministry direction to continue to follow physical distancing measures both inside our schools and in outside areas. School staff will be monitoring to ensure that children are not gathering in groups before school starts and after school. Please review with your children about the need to follow physical distancing guidelines and remind your older children to refrain from congregating in groups before and after school. As a reminder, parents are also asked not to gather during drop off and pick up times, and to refrain from carpooling if physical distancing and the use of PPE (masks) cannot be maintained.

Going forward, all students in Grades 1-3 will continue to dismiss early at 3:20 pm, at either the yellow gate or at Door 4. All other grades will continue to dismiss at their usual time.

Report Cards

A friendly reminder that report cards will be emailed to families on Wednesday February 24, 2021. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you would like to discuss your child’s progress.

 PINK Shirt Day – Wednesday February 24

This Pink Shirt Day, our focus is working together and treating others with dignity and respect. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all and shown the importance of helping one another and advocating for those who need it. Students and staff are encouraged to wear a PINK shirt on February 24th (with uniform bottoms) to symbolize a stand against bullying. 

Returning Technology

We kindly ask that all families that haven’t returned borrowed technology already to please do so this upcoming week.  If at all possible, we ask that an adult return the devices to the main office. Please ensure that everything is returned clearly labelled with your child’s name.

Requests for a Change in Learning Environment

The third and final opportunity for parents and guardians to request a change in learning environment for their children will be offered between March 11 and March 18, 2021. The requested changes will take effect on Monday, March 29th, and will remain in effect for the duration of this school year. The link to the online form to request a change will be emailed to all parents and guardians on March 11, 2021.   

Ready, Set, Go! Virtual Information Sessions

This March, HCDSB staff are hosting: Ready, Set, Go! virtual information sessions for parents of children starting kindergarten in September 2021!

Ready, Set, Go! is an interactive presentation offered to help parents better prepare their children for kindergarten.  

Two sessions will be offered: March 9th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and March 11th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  Topics will include: 

  • How to prepare your child emotionally and physically for school 
  • The importance of learning through play 
  • Being able to manage your child’s stress  
  • Fostering secure relationships 
  • Packing healthy lunches 
  • A checklist for starting school 

For more information about the Ready, Set, Go! virtual sessions, visit the Board’s website on the Kindergarten page. A link for parents to tune into the live sessions will become available on the Board’s website on March 9 and March 11, 2021. We hope you are able to join us!

Students with Special Education Needs Entering Kindergarten

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) will be hosting an Information Meeting on March 24, 2021, for parents of students with special education needs entering Kindergarten in the 2021-2022 school year. The meeting will be facilitated by Special Education staff, where they will share information about their individual roles, and supports and services offered by HCDSB. Parents/guardians will also have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with Special Education staff, and learn more about the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).

Event Details: Parents and guardians are invited to join us live on Microsoft Teams on March 24, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. to learn more about special education at HCDSB. See the event poster here! Parents/guardians who have already registered their child for Kindergarten will be sent a link to the meeting via email. If you have not yet registered for Kindergarten, please contact the school for the meeting link.

More Information:For more information on the Special Education Program at HCDSB, please visit the HCDSB website.

Promoting Well-Being

How can I nurture my child’s mental health?

Help children build strong, caring relationships:

  • It’s important for children and youth to have strong relationships with family and friends. Spend some time together each night around the dinner table.
  • A significant person who is consistently present in a child’s life plays a crucial role in helping them develop resilience. This person—often a parent or other family member—is someone your child spends a lot of time with and knows they can turn to when they need help.
  • Show your children how to solve problems.

Help children and youth develop self-esteem, so that they feel good about themselves:

  • Show lots of love and acceptance.
  • Praise them when they do well. Recognize their efforts as well as what they achieve.
  • Ask questions about their activities and interests.
  • Help them set realistic goals.

Listen, and respect their feelings:

  • It’s OK for children and youth to feel sad or angry. Encourage them to talk about how they feel.
  • Keep communication and conversation flowing by asking questions and listening to your child. Mealtime can be a good time for talking.
  • Help your child find someone to talk to if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you.

Create a safe, positive home environment:

  • Be aware of your child’s media use, both the content and the amount of time spent on screens. This includes TV, movies, Internet, and gaming devices. Be aware of who they might be interacting with on social media and online games.
  • Be careful about discussing serious family issues—such as finances, marital problems, or illness—around your children. Children can worry about these things.
  • Provide time for physical activity, play, and family activities.
  • Be a role model by taking care of your own mental health: Talk about your feelings. Make time for things you enjoy.

In difficult situations, help children and youth solve problems:

  • Teach your child how to relax when they feel upset. This could be deep breathing, doing something calming (such as a quiet activity they enjoy), taking some time alone, or going for a walk.
  • Talk about possible solutions or ideas to improve a situation and how to make it happen. Try not to take over. 

https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/mentalhealth/mental_health

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Comito, DianaWeekly Update: February 22, 2021