We have come to the end of our first week of distance learning. The goal this week was to welcome everyone into the virtual classroom and re-establish the connection between our teachers and students. It was not the kind of ‘back to school’ reunion we have always enjoyed following a break. There were no smiling faces in our hallways, no sounds of laughter by the lockers. It was not what we might hope for, but the best we can do in the circumstances, and it was great to see our staff and students come together again, if only virtually.
We want to thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding and support during this period. We know this is a challenging time. Many of our parents are balancing working from home, while also caring for loved ones, and now helping your children transition to distance instruction. This is also true of many of our staff who are caring for their own children and loved ones while learning new ways to support student learning. As with anything new, we know it will take some time before we fully adjust to this new way of teaching and learning, but as we all become more comfortable, it will get easier. We are in this together, and we will all keep doing the best we can to meet the needs of our students.
As we head into the Easter long weekend and look forward to the greatest celebration of our Catholic faith, we are reminded that even in our darkest hour, there is hope.
Easter will feel different this year. We will not gather as a community at Easter Mass, and we will not be able to share a meal with extended family and friends. We will find new ways to celebrate this holiest of days at home.
HCDSB Families are invited to participate in the rituals of Holy Week. View the “Holy Week at Home” resources for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter at https://t.co/07PW5OK20j?amp=1 Thank you Gillian Federico, System Chaplain & Faith Formation Lead, HCDSB
Having Trouble Logging in Multiple Children on D2L?
In households where multiple children need to log into D2L on one device, there are options that will allow two or more students to be logged in to their class portals at the same time. This will help reduce the number of sign-ins needed and make accessing D2L classes easier and faster for students. For detailed instructions, visit the HCDSB Learn at Home website and access the following page: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/d2l/
Grade 8 Year End Trip and Graduation
In light of the current COVID-19 health situation, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our Grade 8 year-end trip. We will also be postponing our Grade 8 graduation ceremony until further updates are made available. Although at this time, schools are scheduled to re-open for students on Monday, May 4, given the current uncertainty and the rapidly changing developments of this health situation, the decision to cancel and postpone these activities was made in the best interest of student safety and well-being. The year-end trip and graduation from elementary school are special events in the life of a student and his or her family. It is a time to celebrate the successful completion of their elementary school education, and the transition to secondary school. We know our students and parents will be very disappointed. We share in your disappointment and are committed to exploring alternative ways to celebrate your son or daughter’s Grade 8 graduation.
Mental Health Tips & Resources for HCDSB Families
Ongoing news coverage about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may be upsetting for many children, youth and families in our community. Our HCDSB Mental Health Leadership Team has compiled a list of tips and resources to help you and your child feel safe during this time of uncertainty.
Speaking with Children about COVID-19
Key messages for supporting children include:
- Reassure your child(ren)that they are safe
- Provide extra emotional support (attention and affection).
- Minimize their exposure to media coverage of the events.
- Talk calmly about the events and answer any questions they might have at a good level for their age (not too much detail, especially for younger children).
- Look for signs that your child is struggling (e.g., nervousness, irritability, problems eating or sleeping), and check in with a professional if you are worried.
In addition, parents may want to further explore the following resources in our community:
- Halton ADAPT: https://haltonadapt.org/
- Halton Multicultural Council: http://hmcconnections.com/
- Halton Region: https://www.halton.ca
- Kids Help Phone: https://kidshelpphone.ca
- Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK): https://rockonline.ca
- School Mental Health Ontario: https://smho-smso.ca/
- Telehealth Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-medical-advice-telehealth-ontario
- Woodview: https://woodview.ca/
We wish you all a very blessed Easter.
Your partner in Catholic Education,