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Weekly Update: December 20, 2021

She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

~ Matthew 1:21

Thank you to all our families for your ongoing support and generosity towards the St. Vincent de Paul, the Good Shepherd and the Salvation Army initiatives this Christmas. We are humbled by our school’s overwhelming kindness and generosity.  Thank you to our intermediate students for their cheery morning announcements and to Mrs. Schroeder for organizing this Advent outreach.

Thank you to our amazing Educators for organizing a beautiful virtual performance to share with families this Christmas!  We are so thankful for the dedication, time and commitment it took to undertake this task with each of your classes, and are so thankful for the lasting memories you have created. Thank you to Mrs. Verardo for your organization and technical expertise!

Thank you to Mrs. Schroeder, Mrs. Verardo, Miss Petruzzi and Mrs. DeMeo for coaching volleyball for our intermediate students. You have given hours of your own time to our students and we thank you for making this opportunity possible.

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE STAFF for all their efforts, energy and commitment in making this school year safe and engaging! We hope you enjoy a well-deserved break!

Celebrating Advent as a Family

In this Fourth Week of Advent, our final days of preparation before Christmas, we ask Christ to forgive us for our sins and, through His grace, to create us anew when He comes. When we look at the fourth candle, we remember God’s promise of peace. We recall the words of Jesus in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” As we approach Christmas, let’s remember that God’s intention is a place of peace.

Kindergarten student outdoor playground Register Your Child for Kindergarten!

Kindergarten is an exciting milestone for your child and for your family! Our school offers a full-day, 2-year Kindergarten program, designed to engage curious early learners through different kinds of play, that help children learn how to reason and problem-solve as they interact with one another.

To register your child to begin Junior Kindergarten (Year 1) in September, 2022, your child must be four years old by December 31, 2022. Children enrolled in Senior Kindergarten (Year 2) must be five years old by December 31, 2022.

For more information, including a link to register your child, please click here.

COVID-19 Youth Vaccination Program 5-11 year olds Vaccines for 5-11 Year Olds

First dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments for 5-11 year olds can now be booked through Halton Region’s online booking system for children five to 11 years of age (or turning five in 2021). Second doses can be booked at a date closer to the recommended eight week interval. Appointments are dependent on paediatric vaccine supply and will be added to the Region’s booking system as supply is confirmed. Please keep checking Halton’s website and booking form as more appointments are added.

Appointments are available at the Region’s new paediatric child-friendly clinics (similar to a doctor’s office) and their four existing community clinics, featuring the Halton Heroes. Appointments are also available at select pharmacies and primary care providers & paediatric offices in Halton. Parents can decide which setting is best for their child, based on age and other personal factors. Information to assist with the decision is available on halton.ca/COVIDvaccines4kids.

Book an appointment

Winter Break Travel

With the holiday season upon us, many families have chosen to continue with their travel plans over the break. We would like to remind families to follow federal directives related to international travel and quarantine requirements.  Please be reminded that although unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who travel internationally with a fully vaccinated adult are exempt from federal quarantine, they are not permitted to attend school or child care for 14 days following their return.

Return to School Plan Daily Screening verification in January

Following the Christmas Break, students (K-Grade 12) will once again be required to provide confirmation that they have taken and passed the daily COVID-19 school screening upon arrival at school. This confirmation of a “pass” screening result can be the green check mark from the online screening, or a parent/guardian signature on the attestation calendar sent home with students last Wednesday. Screening verification will begin on Monday, January 3, 2022, and will be in effect for a minimum of two weeks. Screening verification will be required any time there is a pause in learning, e.g., March Break, as an added measure to protect our students and staff from COVID-19.

Rapid Antigen Test Kits Rapid Antigen Screening Kit

On Wednesday, December 15th, your child(ren) took home a Rapid Antigen Screening Kit for voluntary use over the Christmas holiday.   

The rapid antigen screening kits have been provided by the Government of Ontario for every student who attends in-person learning at a publicly funded school.  These kits may be used by any student, regardless of their vaccination status, however, should only be used when a child is asymptomatic (does not have any symptoms of COVID-19) and has not had any exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  

Please note, your child’s participation in this rapid antigen screening is voluntary and is not a required action for return to school after the Christmas break.  

Thank you for your ongoing support as we work closely with the Ministry of Education and Halton Public Health to help keep our community safe and healthy for all. 

 

The Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude

You may have heard the saying attitude of gratitude. It’s a great little rhyme to remind us that we live a life of gratitude – and practice it! When we practice gratitude on a regular basis, it not only impacts our mental and physical health, but those around you.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation for what we have. At a time when many of us are struggling to adapt to a new normal, practicing gratitude is more important than ever. 

Showing gratitude has the following mental health benefits:

  1. Expressing gratitude can improve your mood. People who regularly express gratitude for the positive things in their life are shown to be happier overall, leading to lower rates of stress and depression.
  2. Showing gratitude can make you more optimistic. Studies show that those who express gratitude regularly appear to have a more positive outlook on life. 
  3. Sharing gratitude can improve social bonds. People have reported feeling more loved and more connected to others in their lives when they routinely practice gratitude or those around them practice gratitude.
  4. Practicing gratitude can improve your physical health. People who actively express gratitude tend to be more engaged in activities to take care of their physical health, like eating well and exercising. This leads to higher energy levels, better sleep and a stronger immune system, or the ability to fight off illness or infection.

How can your family practice gratitude? The first thing is to build gratitude into your daily schedule – and practice it! Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude to improve the overall well-being of your family and those around you.

  1. Start your day by writing down one thing that went well the previous day and why it went well. You can do this while eating breakfast or before you start on work or schoolwork. Writing it down is important because it is a record of what happened that you can refer back to. This allows you to reflect on your actions and continue growing.
  2. Most of us feel frustrated by something in a normal day. When you find yourself feeling upset or frustrated, hit the pause button and reset your thinking. Come up with something positive about the situation or think about something else entirely that you are thankful for.
  3. Go around the dinner table and have each person state something general they are thankful for, and something specific to that day that they are thankful for.
  4. Share your gratitude with others by writing a note to someone you are grateful for.

Practicing gratitude is just one way you can improve your mental and physical health. Find more resources on gratitude at OnOurSleeves.org.

~ https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/05/gratitude

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Comito, DianaWeekly Update: December 20, 2021