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Weekly Update: September 7-10

The countdown is on! Time to get back to school! We’re excited to welcome all new and returning students back to school for the 2021-2022 school year! As we prepare for the week ahead, we wanted to take the opportunity to send out a few important reminders.  
Staggered Entry for Students in Kindergarten – Grade 8   

As communicated by our school board on August 31, 2021, we will be staggering student entry into our school in smaller groups on September 7 and 8.   
Most of our students have not been in school since April 2021. There are also a large number of students returning to in-person instruction who were learning remotely last school year and have never experienced the health and safety protocols in a school setting.    
The gradual return to school will help to ensure a smooth transition for all by allowing us to review new and existing health and safety routines at school, and practice our entry and dismissal procedures in smaller groups.  
The following schedule will apply:   


Tuesday, September 7th         Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school.  
Wednesday, September 8th           Only students in Grades 1 – 8 with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school. 
Thursday, September 9th                 ALL students in Grades 1 – 8 attending in-person instruction will come to school.  

Kindergarten Students:
The following dates apply for students entering Kindergarten: 

Year 1 Kindergarten :

  • Orientation interviews for Year 1 –  Kindergarten students will take place on Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  
  • Staggered entry for Year 1  – Kindergarten students will take place on Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10, 2021.  
  • All Year 1 Kindergarten students will beginMonday, September 13, 2021.  


Year 2 Kindergarten:

  • Orientation interviews for Year 2 Kindergarten students who are new to the school will take place on Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  
  • All Year 2 Kindergarten students will begin school onThursday, September 9, 2021.  

Class Lists :
Class placements are now accessible online and parents/guardians should be able to access class placements for each child, using your child’s Office 365 email and password. You will not require your child’s OEN number.  See step-by-step instructions 

If your family is new to HCDSB, your child(ren) will not yet have an Office 365 email. In this case, you should have received an email from our school with your child(ren)’s class placement(s). If you did not receive an email, please let us know.  

NOTE: Due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, our school will not be able to accommodate requests for changes to class lists. 

Daily Confirmation of Student Screening :
The Ministry of Education has directed all schools to implement daily confirmation of COVID-19 self-screening for all students attending school in-person. This will be in place for the first two weeks of the school year, unless otherwise directed by the Ministry of Education.   

  • Confirmation of the daily screening must be provided to your son or daughter’s classroom teacher in one of the following four (4) formats:   
  1. Email results to classroom teacher;    
  1. Show “pass” confirmation on a personal device;  
  1. Show printed copy of the screening tool indicating the current date and a “pass”; OR   
  1. Complete Confirmation of Daily COVID-19 Student Screening Log.   


Hard copies of this form will be coming home with your child(ren) after their first day of school. Please contact our school’s main office if you require an additional printed copy of this log sheet.  

Drop-off and Pick-up: 

A reminder of the drop-off and pick-up protocols that will be in place at our school this year: 

  • Only one parent/guardian/caregiver will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children. 
  • Parents/guardians/caregivers are to remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol). 
  • We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort). 
  • Signage will be in place to help your children identify the name of their teacher. 
  • Students will line up to enter our school, and we will be implementing a staggered entry into school to limit the number of students in our hallways at one time. 
  • Parents and caregivers are asked to leave the school property as soon as you drop off your child(ren). No gathering or congregating will be allowed on school property. 
  • You are encouraged to use the ‘Kiss and Ride’ as your children become more comfortable and familiar with the new routine. 

The safety of your child(ren) is our number one priority and it is for that reason that we are seeking
your assistance at the end of the day when picking up your child(ren). Parents/Guardians, we ask
that you please stay off the pavement/blacktop area at the end of the day when picking up your child(ren).
This will help us to ensure the safety of our students. Kindly wear a mask and social distance when picking up your child. It is important for everyone’s safety not to congregate around the school and
give students access to pass through to meet parents.

Thank you for your understanding and assistance as we work together to protect our students, families and staff so that we can ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all. 

Reporting Your Child’s Absences:  
Parents and guardians should continue to use the Safe Arrival system to report their child(ren)’s absences, whether they have an illness, a medical appointment, or other important event.  
This year, we have updated our Student Information System to PowerSchool, which offers an improved database system for our school board. This updated system has changed the student numbers that were previously assigned to each student. 
As a result, all parents and guardians who will be reporting their child’s absences through the SchoolMessenger website ( or mobile app this year are required to sign up with a new account to sync the student profiles for the 2021-2022 school year.  
It is recommended to use a desktop/laptop computer to create a new account on SchoolMessenger. Follow the instructions below to create a new account: 


  1. Using an internet browser, visit and click SIGN UP on the menu in the upper right-hand corner. 
  1. Enter your email address (the same email address that you provided to your child(ren)’s school). 
  1. Enter a password. Your password must contain the following: 

·         One or more lowercase letters 

·         One or more uppercase letters 

·         One or more numbers 

·         Must be at least 6 characters 

  1. Make sure your location is set to Canada 
  1. Click Sign Up 

After you sign up, an email will be sent to the email address you provided. Click on the link in the email in order to activate your account. Your new SchoolMessenger account will then be created and will be ready for use.  
NOTE: Parents and guardians may continue to use the phone number (1-844-445-4505) to report their child(ren)’s absences. You are not required to set up a new account in order to report absences using the toll-free number.  
For more information, please visit our website: Report Your Child’s Absence 

We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may create.  

Family Information Consent:

At the beginning of each school year, parents and guardians are asked to complete a hardcopy information/consent form for each child enrolled in our school. 

Beginning this year, we will be collecting this information electronically, and are asking parents/guardians to complete the form online. 


Parents are asked to complete the form, which may be accessed HERE.  

  • The form will take about 10 minutes to complete. 
  • If you have more than one child enrolled in an HCDSB school, please complete a separate form for each child. 
  • Only one parent/guardian is required to complete a form for each child. 
  • You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) to submit this form. The OEN can be found on a recent report card. 
  • The form can be completed using a computer, smart phone, or tablet. 

Thank you for taking the time to read through the list of reminders. To review the Return to School Plan for the coming school year, please visit our school board website at:  

Use of Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)​:

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the measures we will have in place in our schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

PPE is protective clothing or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. PPE can include gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, safety shoes etc.  

Wearing of Masks at School:  

  • Medical masks will be worn by all teachers and all school staff.   
  • All HCDSB students (Kindergarten – Grade 12) are required to wear non-medical masks/face coverings at school
  • Students are expected to bring their own masks to wear on student transportation and at school. Non-medical 3-ply masks will also be made available for students if needed. Students should bring an additional mask to school in the event that their mask gets wet, damaged or soiled. 
  • Masks must be worn indoors, including hallways, during classes, on school buses, and in the Before and After School Program. 
  • Masks may be temporarily removed indoors for eating and drinking at lunch or break times. Mask breaks will also be provided. 
  • Students are not required to wear masks outdoors, but 2m distancing should be maintained between cohorts as much as possible.  
  • Where they can be worn safely based on the activity, masking is encouraged for engaging in physical activity. 
  • Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet   


Exemptions for Wearing Masks:   

With reasonable exceptions, a student may be granted an exemption from the requirement to wear a mask or face covering.  

An exemption may be requested for a student in Kindergarten –  Grade 12 for the following reasons:  

  • A pre-existing medical condition.  
  • A diagnosis or learning profile that would limit a student’s ability to tolerate or safely wear a mask, including whereby a mask would affect essential communication for a person who is hearing impaired.  
  • Other reasons, as detailed by a family physician or nurse practitioner.  

Parents and guardians requesting an exemption from mask wearing for their child(ren) during the 2021-2022 school year are asked to contact the School Principal. All mask exemptions expire on the last day of the school year.  
For more information on the Use of Masks and Personal Protective Equipment, visit: Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

We are excited to welcome your children back to school, and look forward to a successful 2021-2022 school year. Have a great week back everyone!

N. Costa and the St. Paul Staff

Looking Ahead:

1st Day of School: Grades 1-8 Students
Sep 7 all day
Kindergarten Interviews – JK and New SK Families
Sep 7 – Sep 8 all day
1st Day of School: ALL SK Students
Sep 9 all day
1st Day of School: Half of the JK Students
Sep 9 all day
Kindergarten Staggered Entry
Sep 9 all day
1st Day of School: The Other Half of the JK Students
Sep 10 all day
ALL JK and SK Students in School Together
Sep 13 all day
Catholic School Council Nominations Due
Sep 24 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Rowan’s Law Day
Sep 29 all day
Orange Shirt Day – Uniform bottoms please
Sep 30 all day

Every Child Matters – September 30th has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually. We come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

Virtual Curriculum Night
Sep 30 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Costa, NelsonWeekly Update: September 7-10