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Weekly Update: Week of April 13th – 17th, 2020

Easter is the holiest day of the year as it is a celebration of Jesus Christ returning from the dead.  As Saint Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” Without Easter – without the Resurrection of Christ – there would be no Christian Faith. Christ’s Resurrection is the proof of His Divinity. We wish all our families in the St. Peter CES community a blessed Easter. 

SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE

As you know, the Ministry of Education announced that schools will remain closed to students until Monday, May 4th, 2020. While our school remains closed to help limit the spread of COVID-19, it is important for you to know that student learning will continue to take place. This week we moved to teacher-led distance learning for all our students.

What is Teacher-led Distance Learning?

Distance learning is learning that takes place outside of a traditional classroom setting. While some of the instruction may be conducted online, students will not be expected to be on a device for all their learning. Our goal is to encourage students to read, communicate and engage in learning experiences.

It may look different for each class, but in general, distance learning:

  • is flexible and can be done at any point during the day
  • does not always require online access
  • requires minimal parent/guardian support

Hours of Work and Focus on Learning

The Ministry of Education has provided the following guidelines for hours of work and focus of learning.

Kindergarten – Grade 3: 5 hours of work per student per week. Focus on: literacy and numeracy

Grades 4 – 6: 5 hours of work per student per week. Focus on: literacy, numeracy, science and social studies

Grades 7 – 8: 10 hours of work per student per week. Focus on: core numeracy, literacy, science and social studies

Hours refers to the approximate amount of time your child/ren would spend on the work assigned by teachers/Early Childhood Educators. This does not mean the amount of time your child should be online or in front of a screen. Your child’s teacher may engage with students in a variety of ways. As a Catholic school, our focus will also include Religion and Family Life, and our teachers will continue to integrate our faith and Gospel values in all subject areas.

Assessment at the elementary school level – your child’s teacher will use formative assessment to gather evidence of how he/she is progressing in their learning. Your child’s teacher will provide feedback on student’s progress, and he/she will receive a final report card.

The Days and Weeks Ahead

Our teachers and educators have been busy preparing a plan for distance learning that will work for their classes and they are excited to connect with students in the weeks ahead through distance instruction. We know that the learning experience will feel different for students, families and educators alike. As with anything new, the transition will bring its challenges, but please know that our teachers and educators are working hard, and we are all doing all we can to keep meeting the needs of our students.  Our goal is for all students to successfully complete this school year. You have our commitment and assurances that we will continue to find innovative ways to create conditions that support the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional well-being of our students.

KIDS QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

WATCH NOW: PM @JustinTrudeau and Dr. Theresa Tam answer kids’ questions about coronavirus, on: @cbckidsnewshttps://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews/post/watch-justin-trudeau-answers-kids-questions-about-the-coronavirus

MINDFUL BREATHING EXERCISE

Take a moment to do some mindful breathing with your family. Here is a great video using 5 fingers to help you focus and calm while deep breathing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSgOW879jjA

HOME – SCHOOL COMMUNICATION

Now more than ever before the relationship between home and school is key to your child’s success, and we will continue to keep the lines of communication open with our parents. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any concerns around their learning. All our teacher emails are listed on our website: https://elem.hcdsb.org/stpeter/staff-directory/

PARISH UPDATE

Families are encouraged to go to the parish website for up to date information and instructions on how to watch live streaming of Masses: http://www.holyrosaryparish.ca/

Please see the attached letter from the Diocese of Hamilton. A directive has been given from Bishop Crosby that all First Communion celebrations after Easter will be cancelled: Diocese-of-Hamilton-Cancellations-due-to-COVID-@-Apr.-2-2020Download

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/

STUDENT CLASS PLACEMENT FOR SEPTEMEBER 2020

Although it is only April, preparations are now being made to ensure that our school is organized for the 2020-2021 school year. In the coming months, teachers will be organizing student class placements. As you can appreciate, many hours of meetings and consultations go into the class building process to ensure the appropriate placement of all students. When building a class, teachers look at the following criteria:

  • Balance of ability – academic skills
  • Balance according to gender
  • Learning style – how the learner learns
  • Teaching style – how the teacher teaches
  • Social blending – who gets along with whom
  • Parental input – re: learning style of the student

Please note, that parental input is important to us and is considered in the decision-making model along with other criteria. That being stated, specific teacher requests cannot be considered but parents/guardians can send an email to Mr. B. McCauley – mccauleyb@hcdsb.org and Mr. T. Demeris – demerist@hcdsb.org focusing on the learning style of the student and the type of environment that best suits their child. Emails requests should be submitted by Friday, April 17th, 2020.

Please remember that many discussions and reflections take place in building classes. Currently we will have approximately 700+ students registered for September 2020; our goal will be to do our best to develop classes that will maximize opportunities for each child to learn and be successful! Your trust in our professional judgment is appreciated.

MOVING?

If you are aware that you will not be returning to St. Peter CES in September, please let the Main Office know by emailing Mrs. E. Champoux at champouxe@hcdsb.org. We are starting preliminary planning for next year and having the most updated information is very helpful when we look at class organization.

GRADE 7 & 8 OVERNIGHT TRIPS & DAY TRIPS UPDATE

Due to the current COVID-19 health situation, our school board has made the decision to cancel all school field trips that were planned for the remainder of this school year. Although schools are scheduled to re-open for students on Monday, May 4, 2020, given the current uncertainty and the rapidly changing developments of this health situation, the decision to cancel all trips was made in the best interest of student and staff safety and well-being.

We are in the process of determining the best way to reimburse families that have paid through School Cash Online – more information to follow. If you paid through cash or cheque, we will issue a reimbursement once our school re-opens.

CASH ONLINE UPDATES

We are presently working to provide refunds for pizza orders and field trips. We appreciate your patience as we work to find the best means to reimburse families. Please stay tuned for more details in the coming days.

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

Community Resources

In addition, parents may want to further explore the following resources in our community:

Thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding and support during this time. We continue to hold all our students and families in our thoughts and prayers. Please keep following the advice of our Public Health professionals as you care for yourselves and your families.

Easter is the time to rejoice and be thankful for the gift of life, love and joy. Stay safe at home. Have a blessed Easter! ~ The Staff of St. Peter CES

Demeris, TrevorWeekly Update: Week of April 13th – 17th, 2020