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Parent Weekly Update – Week of December 7th, 2020

This Advent, make yourself, small, make yourself a servant of others, and the Lord will give you the ability to understand how to make peace. ~ Pope Francis


Last weekend we celebrated the arrival of the season of Advent, which also marks the beginning of the liturgical year. Advent is a season of devout and joyful expectation. Its four Sundays highlight our desire and longing for peace, justice and unity. The Season of Advent

Celebrating Advent as A Family:

One of the most common ways to celebrate Advent is with an Advent wreath or Advent candle holders. Four candles – three purple and one pink, are used to count down the weeks until Christmas.

Each Sunday of Advent one of the candles is lit and special prayers are said. It is important to note that there is a particular theme each week leading up to the birth of Christ. The increase in light from week to week is meant to symbolize the coming of the light of the world.

The second Sunday of Advent, December 6th, symbolizes PEACE and the prophecies of a coming of a Saviour. Read from more about the Advent Wreath Tradition and Meaning.

Holy Rosary Parish Advent Message & Liturgy:

From the desk of Father John Van Hees…

Preparing our Hearts and asking for Grace:

We prepare this week by stepping up the longing.  We move through this week by naming deeper and more specific desires.

Each morning this week…if even for that brief moment at the side of our beds, we want to light a second inner candle.  We want to let it represent “a bit more hope.”  Perhaps we can pause, breathe deeply and say,

Lord, I place my trust in you.

Each day this week…as we encounter times that are rushed, even crazy, we can take that deep breath, and make that profound prayer.  Each time we face some darkness, some experience of “parched land” or desert, some place where we feel “defeated” or “trapped,” we hear the words, “Our God will come to save us!”

The grace we desire for this week is to be able to hear the promise and to invite our God to come into those real places of our lives that dearly need God’s coming.  We want to be able to say:

Lord, I place my trust in your promise. Please, Lord,

rouse your power and come into this place in my life.

Each night this week…we can look back over the day and give thanks for the moments of deep breath, that opened a space for more trust and confidence in God’s fidelity to us.  No matter how difficult the challenges we are facing – from the growing realization of our personal sinfulness, to any experience of emptiness or powerlessness, even in the face of death itself – we can give thanks for the two candles that faithfully push back the darkness.  And, we can give thanks for the graces given us to believe that “Our God will come to save us” because we were given the courageous faith to desire and ask boldly.

Come, Lord Jesus. Come and visit your people.

We await your coming. Come, O Lord. 



As you know, Advent begins on Sunday, November 29th, 2020. Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”.

The 1st Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope with the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming. The following three Sundays highlight our desire and longing for peace, justice and unity. While Advent expresses the deep longing of all humanity for God, it also celebrates the events that surrounded the Lord’s coming long ago, his coming among us today, and his final coming in glory.

In an effort to recognize Advent, St. Peter CES Student Parliament will be hosting four Joy-filled Friday Civvies’ Day. Please see the list of dates and themes below. Don’t Miss Out tomorrow – show your school spirit!

Friday, December 11th – Wear a Festive Christmas Sweater Day

Friday, December 18th – Dress Like an Elf Day


Students are encouraged to bring in non-perishable food items between December 14th – 18th, 2020 that will be donated to a local food bank. Storage containers will be set up at each door of entry and students will be able to place their food items in the container on their way into school in the morning.

Once the items have been properly quarantined, we will deliver them to the food bank. Thank you for your support and generosity.


As you know, the opportunity to switch between learning environments will be offered again after Christmas. If you wish to change your child’s learning environment, the online request form became available on Monday, November 30th, 2020. Families received an email with a direct link to the online request form to change your child’s learning environment.

If you wish to change your child’s learning environment by switching from remote learning to in-class instruction, or vice versa, you are asked to complete an online request form.

 Important notes before you complete the online form: 

  • You are asked to submit a separate form for each child
  • You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) to submit this request. The OEN can be found on a recent report card
  • This online request form applies to elementary students ONLY. Requests for changes in the learning environment at the secondary school level should be sent to directly to your child’s secondary school Principal 
  • This form does not apply to home schooling. If your child is currently being home schooled and you would like to request a change to either in-class instruction or remote learning, please contact your Family of Schools Superintendent. 

NOTE: Please do not complete this form unless you want to change your child’s current learning environment – i.e. your child is currently attending in-class instruction and you want to switch to remote (online) learning in a virtual classroom. 

CLICK HERE to access the online form to request a change to your child’s learning environment.  

Next Steps:

Once the online form has closed, our staff will begin to work through the rescheduling process. 

  • Parents and guardians will receive confirmation of the changes to their children’s learning environment by Friday, December 18th, 2020
  • The changes to your child’s learning environment will come into effect as of Monday, January 11th, 2021 
  • Your child’s current placement (in-class or virtual) will continue to be in place for the week of January 4th – 7th, 2021

Additional Information:

  • CLICK HERE to learn more about in-class instruction in our HCDSB elementary schools
  • CLICK HERE to learn more about remote learning in our HCDSB Virtual Elementary School
  • We will keep sharing information with parents directly via email, as well as post updates on our Return to School Plan website and through our social media channels: 
  1. Twitter: @HCDSB
  2. Instagram: @HaltonCatholicDSB 
  3. Facebook: Halton Catholic District School Board 


As you may know, Halton Region is in the Red Level (Control) of the Provincial COVID-19 Response Framework. It is strongly recommended that residents in the red control zone limit trips outside of their home:

  • Stay home, except for essential purposes such as going to work or school, buying essentials such as groceries, and attending medical appointments
  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside their household. Those that live alone may join one designated household
  • Avoid all social gatherings such as play dates, birthday parties, and dinner parties with friends or family

Checking for Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19:

Please continue to check for symptoms of COVID-19 in your children, and remember to conduct a self-assessment for each child every day before sending your children to school:

NEW! Halton Region Public Health is now asking students to conduct a daily self-assessment every day, even on weekends. Please follow the instructions on the school screening tool. 

COVID-19 Test Results 

If your child has been tested for COVID-19,they must stay home and self-isolate until the test results are received. Please do not send your children to school while you are awaiting their test results.

If any member of your immediate family tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the family must stay home and self-isolate, even if they have no symptoms.

Reminder: Use of Face Masks

As per the HCDSB Return to School Parent Guide

  • Students are to wear non-medical grade or cloth masks while indoors and riding buses
  • Students are encouraged to bring 2 masks to school along with a storage bag/container
  • It is suggested that students replace their mask with a new one after eating their lunch and store their soiled mask to take home for cleaning

Please remember that the mask offers your child the best protection when:

  • It fits snuggly over the nose and chin and is not drooping below the nose
  • It is washed daily.  Moisture and bacteria build up on the mask with saliva from talking and sweat from the face

Each evening, engage your child in learning how to hand wash their masks with soap and warm water. Hang to dray and re-use the next day.


On Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, the Halton Catholic District School Board – HCDSB held its annual election of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board. Patrick Murphy, Milton Trustee was elected as the new Chair, and Marvin Duarte​, Milton Trustee was acclaimed as the Vice-Chair of the Board for a second consecutive term.

Read more in the online News Release.


Friday, December 18th, 2020 is the final day of school before the Christmas Break. The school board has confirmed that this will be an Early Dismissal Day for students.

St. Peter CES students will be released 90 minutes early on December 18th, 2020 (2:05pm). Bus drop off times will be adjusted accordingly. Please ensure that your family has a plan in place for after school care for your child.

If you have not been receiving emails from our school or HCDSB, please first check with the school office to ensure your email contact information is correct.

If your contact information is correct, your email provider is marking emails from us as spam/junk. To correct this, please follow these instructions:


Our School Board is in the process of redesigning the HCDSB website and are looking for feedback from staff, students, parents and members of our HCDSB community to help them better understand the ways in which they can improve their current website. 


Please take a few minutes to share your experiences with our current website ( and provide suggestions for improving our site.


The survey will remain open until 11:59pm on Friday, December 11th, 2020

The feedback gathered will be used to help guide the design and function of our new HCDSB website.  


Out of all the National Days this week, which one is your favourite? Which one(s) are you going to celebrate?

The National Days for this week are…

December 6th:  National Microwave Oven Day, St. Nicholas Day, National Miners Day & National Gazpacho Day which is a cold tomato vegetable soup

December 7th: National Cotton Candy Day (yay, now that is something to celebrate!)

December 8th: National Brownie Day & National Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day

December 9th: National Pastry Day & National Christmas Card Day

December 10th: Human Rights Day, Nobel Prize Day & National Dewey Decimal System Day

December 11th: National App Day, National Noodle Ring Day & National Salesperson Day

December 12th: National Poinsettia Day, National Gingerbread House Day, National Ding-A-Ling Day which encourages you to call someone who have haven’t talked to in a while & National Ambrosia Day

Have a joy filled week everyone!


With the second Sunday of Advent upon us, we reflect on the word ‘PEACE’.  This is a time where we can look for situations in which we can be peacemakers. 

Our challenge is to notice people who are not getting along and to think of one thing that we might do that could help them get along better. It is a time to reflect on how we respond in challenging situations and to always act as Jesus has taught us. We need to pray for peace at home, at school, at work, in the nation and in the world. 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” ~ Matthew 5:9


As winter weather is fast approaching, parents are reminded to visit our website for important information and reminders regarding our Inclement Weather procedures and the Inclement Weather Transportation Zones map  

Looking for notifications on bus delays and cancellations?
Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) provides important information for parents and students who ride the bus to and from school. Bus delays and cancellation information can be found directly on the Delays & Cancellations page.

PROMOTING WELL-BEING: Feeling Good About the Inside & Out

With messages from media that put pressure on young girls to be thin and on boys to be strong and muscular, there can be a lot of questions from parents and children as to what is a healthy body.

Children of all ages, shapes, and sizes need parental support and positive role modelling to help them make healthy lifestyle choices.

Tips to help your children eat healthy, be active and feel good about themselves:

  • Use Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide for shopping and meal planning.
  • Help children recognize their hunger cues: eat when hungry and stop when full.
  • Encourage children to be active every day. Health Canada recommends 90 minutes of physical activity per day for children.
  • Try to be active as a family. Choose structured and unstructured activities that are fun.
  • Recognize that healthy bodies come in a variety of weights, shapes and sizes.
  • Let your child know that gaining weight is part of growing, especially during puberty.
  • Be aware of your own attitudes about food, weight and exercise. Be a good role model, your children are watching!

Check out our Halton Parents blog: Mars, Venus, Sugar and Spice and Puppy Dog Tails.


We will continue to share information and updates with parents directly through email.

Updates will also be posted on the Return to School Plan website and through the Board’s social media channels:   

You can also review our FAQs online for more information about the return to school.


Follow us on Twitter @stpetersmilton

Demeris, TrevorParent Weekly Update – Week of December 7th, 2020