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Weekly Update: May 31, 2021

Thank you to our staff and students for continuing to do your very best during this remote learning period.  We know how challenging this time can be and appreciate everyone trying their best.

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.

COVID-19 Youth Vaccination Program. Update from Halton Region

Beginning Monday, May 31, 2021, Halton youth aged 12 years of age and over who live or attend school in Halton will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination booking appointments through Halton Region’s online booking system.

Halton Region Public Health will offer first doses to all youth aged 12 to 17 years of age in June, and second doses by the end of August. Appointments for the Youth Vaccination Program will be available at Halton COVID-19 vaccination community clinic locations administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that youth must have had their 12th birthday by the date of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. For additional information, please refer to the Halton Region website at: Halton – COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Pride Month 

June is the designated Pride Month in Canada, and throughout the month, we will join other schools in our district in raising awareness, and nurturing our call to build safe and inclusive learning environments where every student and every member of the community is welcomedvalued, and respected

HCDSB Rainbow Day ~ Tuesday, June 1st – We will kick off our Pride Month celebrations with Rainbow Day on Tuesday, June 1st.

Students and staff are encouraged to dress in their most colourful clothes as we celebrate the rainbow – a sign of God’s promise to love us and a symbol of inclusion for all in our community!

On Monday, June 14th, we will hold Pride Awareness Day– a day to reaffirm our commitment to honour the dignity and worth of each member of our community by nurturing safe, welcoming and inclusive schools.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, our school board is co-hosting an information session for parents, students and staff, presented by the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK) Positive Space Network. The presentation will focus on how we can build positive spaces for the 2SLGBTQ+ members of our community. 

The event will be live-streamed on the HDCSB YouTube channel from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

To learn more about our commitment to Equity and Inclusive Education, please take a few minutes to read Responding with Faith, Hope & Love.

June 4th, 2021

A reminder that Friday, June 4, 2021 is a designated Professional Development Day and there will be no classes for students on this day.

Grade 8 Graduation – Save the Date!

Plans are underway to celebrate our Graduating Class of 2021. This year, our Grade 8 Graduation will take place on Thursday, June 24th, 2021.  Details for this event will be finalized in June and emailed directly to grade 8 parents. We pray for our Graduates, as we prepare to celebrate them and all their accomplishments.

Gr. 6-8 Literacy & Numeracy Summer School 2021

This program is back and is intended for students who have completed Grades 6-8. Please see the poster below for more information, including a registration link. 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.

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. 

McCarthy’s Uniforms

As we continue to navigate COVID-19 together, we are pleased to share an update on enhanced options for buying your school uniform in 2021. Our school uniform provider, McCarthy Uniforms, has three enhanced options for shopping:  Updated school e-stores, private appointments and a web-supported call-center. 

You are encouraged to shop early and utilize these alternative channels to avoid late-August line ups. Long wait times will be the reality this year, given that McCarthy’s must adhere to strict social distancing measures and simply can’t accept normal in-store volumes. In some cases, only five customers will be permitted in stores at any one time.

McCarthy’s has informed us that to support families during this time they have implemented an installment payment program (online only), introduced volume discount buying options and invested in a variety of web support tools to make online shopping easy & fast!  All school uniform products can be exchanged for up to a year and returned until September.

There are three ways to shop for your school uniform:
1. Your School E-Store
Did you know your school has a custom e-store, complete with fit videos, uniform guides and specialized advice? Visit your school store by ‘searching for your school’ on McCarthy Uniforms’ home page. McCarthy’s recently launched a handy web chat feature and have staffed their call-centre so that you can have the support you need if you need some help along the way !  Online shoppers can also now enjoy the industry’s first flexible payment plan (interest-free payments over six weeks !) Shop online by ‘searching for our school’ at:  www.mccarthyuniforms.ca

2. Private Appointments Available
When stores are permitted to reopen after June 14th, appointments will be made available for virtual or in store shopping. To manage your time, you can book an appointment on your home store, accessible on the website below.

Book a personalized fitting by choosing ‘book an appointment’ on your home store site accessible on:  https://www.mccarthyuniforms.ca/ (search for your school; appointment booking buttons are located on your school e-store)

3. Your School Call Centre
Your call-centre is open for shopping !  By giving McCarthy’s a shout at 416-593-6900 or toll-free at 1-800-668-8261 Alex and his team would be happy to assist you with your school uniform purchase or questions ! McCarthy’s call centre is staffed with uniform specialists who know the ins & outs of our uniform policy. Call McCarthy’s at: 416-593-6900 or 1-800-668-8261

HCCF Golf Tournament

Being outside……check!  Spending the day at the golf course…..check!  Helping HCDSB students & families in need…..check!  Join HCCF for a fun day of fellowship and fundraising!

All to help HCDSB students in need to succeed in school.

As a Catholic Community, we are called by Jesus to care for others. At the Halton Catholic Children’s Foundation (HCCF), they strive to do this by providing financial assistance to HCDSB students and their families in need – creating Hope, Dignity and Equity so that students can access learning and education without financial barriers to success.

Students at our school have benefitted from HCCF’s financial support in the past. Please consider supporting them so that they can continue to say “Yes” to helping HCDSB students and families with basic necessities (such as food and clothing, school supplies, shoes, eyeglasses, personal hygiene items, and learning technology).

You are invited to support the 10th Annual HCCF Charity Golf Classic on July 20th – Piper’s Heath Golf Club. Golfers, sponsors and prizes are needed.

Not a golfer? Please pass this information along to someone who is, or consider making a personal / corporate donation.

For information about the Golf Classic or HCCF visit their website – https://www.hccf.ca/charity-golf-classic/ , or contact Marc Clare, Executive Director, HCCF at clarema@hccf.ca, 905-802-0918.

3 Useful Mindfulness and Meditation Techniques To Help Your Child

With all the technology at our child’s fingertips, along with the fast-paced lifestyle that comes with living in this type of world, it is no surprise that more and more children report that they feel overwhelmed and anxious.  They are overstimulated all day long with online programs, T.V., video games and never really get the opportunity to disconnect and pause. This is true of us adults as well. Think of how overwhelming it must be for children without any idea of how to handle these stresses. Why not teach them a tool that could help them cope better day-to-day?

Meditation, or the practice of being mindful, is a helpful tool for you and your child. It teaches how to take time to pause and be present in the moment by connecting with our breath. According to the American Psychological Association, consistent mindfulness practice has been linked to better concentration, increased focus, better relationships and even improved working memory (link below).

For many who haven’t practiced before, mindfulness can seem overwhelming at first. It’s best to start with simple breathing exercises. These can be used together as part of your bedtime routine, to help with transitions, or as a break to refocus. Depending on your child’s attention span and/or age, you may want to try one activity at a time.

Here are 3 mediation techniques using breathing.

  1. Take 5 Breathing: Hold out your hand like a star in front of you. Pretend your index finger on your other hand is a special pencil. Start at the bottom of your thumb and trace up and down your thumb, then up and down your index finger and so on. Breathe in as you go up and out as you go down. Go slowly and discuss how you feel after you get to the bottom of your pinky finger. If you need more, take another 5!
  2. Back to Back Breathing: You can choose to be in a quiet area or have some meditation music playing softly during this exercise. Set a timer for 1 minute to start and you can increase the length each time. Sit on the floor back to back with your child. Sit tall and close your eyes. Start by inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly. Your child should feel the expansion of your back each time you breathe in and out. The point of this exercise is to have both you and your child breathing in time together.
  3. Tummy Breathing: Lie on your backs and place a stuffed animal (or stuffie as they are called by many) on your stomach. Breathe in deeply through your nose and feel the stuffie rise, and then exhale softly through your mouth and see it lower. Tell your child to be gentle with their breath to help rock the stuffie to sleep and not wake them. 

See how your child does with these breathing exercises and you can slowly progress to other mindfulness exercises that focus on gratefulness, building relationships, confidence and more. There are also mindfulness educators available who can expand on these activities and create a tailored mindfulness program for your child’s mental health needs. 

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Comito, DianaWeekly Update: May 31, 2021