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Weekly Update: May 17, 2021

“Faith does not make things easy. It makes them possible.”

~ Luke 1:37

Thank you to our families that participated in last week’s Virtual Kahoot! Night.  We enjoyed sharing part of your evening with you and are so appreciative to all of you that came out to play along!  A big shoutout to Ms. Swietek, Mrs. Hurley and Mrs. McLaughlin for your help in organizing the game and to our sponsors Molly Cake, That Pie Place and Laila’s Cheesecake for their generous donation of prizes. 

Thank you parents for monitoring your child’s online presence especially during the school day. Students should not be on their phones during the school day and lessons, just as we would expect at school.

Thank you to our families for your efforts to stay home and stay healthy.  We miss you all so much and can’t wait to see you again in person!

Gr. 6-8 Literacy & Numeracy Summer School 2021

HCDSB’s Thomas Merton Centre for Adult and Continuing Education is currently accepting registrations for Literacy and Math Summer School courses for students in Grades 6-8.

When is Summer School?
Summer school will begin on July 5, 2021 through July 30, 2021, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 

Some important notes about summer school:

  • Both session 1 and 2 for the 2021 Summer School courses will be offered in a virtual/remote format.
  • Each day, students will participate in both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) lessons provided by their instructor.
  • Students cannot miss more than 3 days within one session, which is a total of 10 days.

It should be noted that participation in summer school is completely voluntary and is not a mandatory component of regular track programming.

Which Courses Will Be Offered This Summer?
For program details, please review the following information sheet:

Register Now!

Online registration is available for our summer programs to help make the registration process more convenient for parents! You may register your child for one or both sessions by following these instructions:

  1. Click HERE.
  2. Hit ‘Sign in‘ on the top right-hand corner.
  3. Press the green button to ‘Create an accountor sign in with your existing account.

Once you have created an account, you will be able to log on with your username/email and password and complete the form.

The online form to register your child is due by Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Late applications will NOT be accepted. Please be advised that all HCDSB student registration submissions must be approved by your child’s home School Principal before students can be officially enrolled in a summer school course.

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. 

Access the Survey Here! 

Parents are encouraged to access the School Climate Survey online by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/MZNKRVV

Once you access the website, you will be asked for the following password: ParentSchoolClimate2021

The survey should take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete. 

For more information about the School Climate Survey for Parents, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions – see attached:

Questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Collimore, Chief Officer, Research and Development Services at: CollimoreL@hcdsb.org

Free Family Paint Nights

Our HCDSB Indigenous Education Advisor has organized three free on-line paint nights with Indigenous Artist Moses Lunham.  This is a wonderful way of engaging staff, parents, students and family members to come together in community, to be creative and learn more about Indigenous Art.  All information for the paint nights, pictures and supplies will be posted on the HCDSB webpage.

Each session will have a different theme based on the natural cycle of the environment.  All sessions will be on the HCDSB YouTube Channel from 6 pm – 8 pm.

  • Wednesday June 9th, 2021 – Strawberry being the First Fruit of the Season

Moses Lunham will provide step-by-step instructions, provide encouragement and has agreed to leave the live video up for a period of one week between each session. 

Remote Learning Expectations

As the weather outside starts to improve, we wanted to remind parents and students of the expectations we have with respect to remote learning.  Students should be reminded that work must continue to be completed and submitted for feedback/assessment, just as it was during our time together in-person.  Wherever possible, we recommend that students find a quiet and comfortable workspace.  A table, countertop or desk is more conducive for a live learning session than a bed or couch.  We also ask that our students remember to mute their microphones unless they are sharing something with the  class, that they use the “Hand Up” feature if they would like to share something or ask a question and that the chat box only be used to engage in discussion/ask questions about the topic.  Thank you for your help with this!

Faith & Well-Being Resources

We recognize that the extension of remote learning will create additional burdens on our families.  Here is a list of supports for families to access during this difficult time: 

 

Try simple, but helpful methods to manage mental health during this stay-at-home period

April 7, 2021

With news of the new stay-at-home order, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division reminds people that they can take some simple and basic steps to help them manage their mental health during these challenging times.

“The next month of stay at home is necessary to maintain physical health, but it will no doubt be hard on everyone’s mental health.  It will add stress, worry, anxiety and other mental health issues they may be facing during this pandemic,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario.

“While these tips may seem basic, we encourage Ontarians now more than ever to try some of these simple tools that may help,” Quenneville said. “If you can build them into your daily routine you may get some relief, if even for a brief period.”

  •  It’s normal to feel anxious. Try not to avoid, ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you’re feeling anxious in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective, notice and challenge your thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
  • Only read, watch or listen to news when you want to. That means turn off push notifications on your phone and set aside only an hour per day to stay informed from credible, balanced sources.
  • While you can’t be together physically, stay socially connected with friends and family by phone, text or virtually.
  • Do something good or helpful. Research shows that doing things for others strengthens our own mental health. Check on your neighbours, elderly parents and friends to see how they’re doing and if they need help picking up groceries, medications and other important household items.
  • Stay connected with the outdoors. If you’re able to do so safely, consider going outdoors for a walk, run or bike ride to enjoy the scenery and fresh air. If you’re worried about crowds, consider going out at off-peak hours (early morning, late evening) to avoid proximity.
  • Routines can help reduce mental fatigue, so getting up at your usual time, showering and getting dressed as you normally would for work can be helpful. Eating healthy, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep are also important factors.
  • Continue to exercise or do the things you would typically do to support your health and be sure to use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while doing them. Housework, walking up and down stairs, and outdoor activities like raking leaves, cleaning the yard, or prepping the garden are also sources of physical activity.
  • Try accomplishing tasks at home. Take time to organize your pantry, cupboards or closets, or do something you’ve been putting off for a while, such as sorting through your basement or garage for unwanted or recyclable items. Accomplishing such tasks may reduce stress and anxiousness and give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation or yoga to help you stay grounded and focused when you begin to feel stress and worry in your body. There are plenty of resources online and it’s not as hard as you think.
  • If you’re noticing that your symptoms of anxiety (related to COVID-19 or otherwise) are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, consider participating in Ontario’s Structured Psychotherapy Program, which offers a mix of services, including CMHA’s BounceBack program. BounceBack is a free skill-building program for adults and youth 15+ who want to gain practical life skills to help them better manage their symptoms of low mood, mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. For more information or to see if the BounceBack program may be right for you, visit bounceback.ca.

“The stay-at-home order is necessary but it won’t be easy for many Ontarians who are already struggling. Mental health and addictions resources are needed, so we encourage the government to continue supporting the mental health and addictions sector so that we may be able to serve people who are coming forward seeking help.”

If you’re in need of support, contact your local CMHA (cmha.ca/find-your-cmha), or call or visit Connex Ontario (connexontario.ca; 1-866-531-2600). 

https://ontario.cmha.ca/news/try-simple-but-helpful-methods-to-manage-mental-health-during-this-stay-at-home-period/ 

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Comito, DianaWeekly Update: May 17, 2021