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Parent Weekly Update – Week of January 18th, 2021

“In worship, we make it possible for the Lord to transform us by His love, to kindle light amid our darkness, to grant us strength in weakness & courage amid trials” ~ Pope Francis

ST. PETER CES ACT OF KINDNESS CHALLENGE

THANK YOU!

Thank you…to our students for all their work online – it is great seeing and learning alongside of you during class visits!

Thank you…to our families for your support and wonderful feedback. Please email your child’s teacher if you have any questions as we continue to work together in remote learning and check out the board link https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/  for Learning at Home.

Thank you…to the HCDSB Strategic Communications Department for their endless support in keeping the HCDSB community up to date!

WORLD RELIGION DAY – January 17th, 2021

The third Sunday in January is annually observed as World Religion Day. This year, it falls on Sunday, January 17, 2021.

World Religion Day was established in 1950 to recognize the commonalities that different faiths share, and to promote inter-faith understanding and unity. On this day, members of all faiths are encouraged to share their religious beliefs and listen to others about theirs. For more information, please visit the following link: http://World Religion Day

CHECKING FOR SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

Please continue to monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, and remember to complete the self-assessment tool each day before leaving for work: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/.

Halton Region Public Health is asking to continue to conduct a daily self-assessment everyday, even on weekends. Please follow the instructions on the school screening tool.

MINISTRY UPDATES & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

As communicated by the Ontario government, teacher-led remote learning will be extended until January 25th, 2021 for elementary students in Southern Ontario. This decision was made to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across our province. Read the News Release here.

We will continue to share any new updates as they become available, in the following ways:

Thank you for your ongoing patience, understanding and support as we work with the Ministry of Education and our Public Health officials to keep our school communities healthy and safe for all.

ACCESSING YOUR ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM

Many students and families were having trouble accessing the log-in page to the online learning platforms on our new HCDSB website.

The access points for all three learning platforms – D2L (Brightspace),  Office 365 and Google Classroom, are available on the HCDSB Learn at Home website here: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/remote-learning-platforms/

ATTENDANCE

During this period of remote learning, we continue to promote regular attendance, as it is important for students to remain engaged in their learning so they can stay on top of the curriculum and feel more connected to their peers while our school is closed. 

As noted in PPM 164: Requirements for Remote Learning, schools are required to take daily student attendance throughout the period of remote learning.

Attendance will be taken twice daily: once in the morning and again after lunch. If your child is not able to attend or participate in remote learning on any given day, please report your child’s absence, as you typically would during in-person learning through the SchoolMessenger Safe Arrival System: https://www.hcdsb.org/parents/report-your-childs-absence/.

We will be following our usual process of contacting parents/guardians when student absences are not reported. 

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. Now, more than ever, ongoing communication between home and school is key to your child’s success and well-being. 

TEACHER ABSENCES

There may be times when your child’s teacher is absent due to illness or other reasons. When this happens, we do our best to ensure a supply teacher is assigned to cover the class for the day.  Unfortunately, due to ongoing demands across our school board, supply teachers are not always available to cover every absence on any given day.

When a supply teacher is assigned, they will take attendance in the morning, and again after lunch, as per our usual practice. Your child will work on the asynchronous activities that have been posted in D2L, and the supply teacher will be available to answer questions and support students through these activities.

If a supply teacher is not available, your child will work on the asynchronous activities posted in D2L.

Regardless of whether a supply teacher has been assigned to cover the classroom teacher’s absence, your child’s Core French/Social Studies/Arts class will proceed and the FSL/PTM/Arts teacher will be online to provide synchronous instruction, as scheduled.

We will communicate with parents and guardians when a classroom teacher is absent, and let you know if a supply teacher has been assigned.  

Thank you for your ongoing flexibility, support and understanding during this period of remote learning.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR PARENTS

The Ontario government has made financial support available for families during this temporary remote learning period through the Support for Learners program. Starting on January 11th, 2021, an expanded Support for Learners program is providing $200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12 and $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs. Applications will be open until February 8th, 2021.

Apply for Support for Learners Funding here: https://www.iaccess.gov.on.ca/SupportForLearnersWeb/public/index.xhtml

UPDATE CONTACT INFORMATION

If there have been any recent changes to your contact information, please update it with the Main Office. Up-to-date contact information is important if your child becomes ill at school and needs to be picked up OR in the case that COVID-19 contact tracing needs to occur.

DON’T MISS OUT ON THE PANTHER PRIDE ‘POINTATHLON’!

Catholic Student Parliament Presents…

From January 12th to 25th, Student Parliament invites you to earn as many Panther Pride Points as possible!  Usually, these points are awarded to classes who take part in activities like spirit days. 

To earn points virtually, you can take part in the five activities we have planned over the next nine virtual school days!

Check Twitter to see what each challenge is – we’ll be posting every other day to ensure that you have time to complete it! You can show us that you’ve completed a challenge by tagging us in a tweet @stpetersmilton and adding #Pointathlon OR you can email your photo to callaghanme@hcdsb.org!

Each time you participate, your name will be entered into a draw.  On the last day we will draw the name of the winning family in each division – and deliver a pizza to your house for dinner! 

Here is an outline of each challenge. We’ll post an example each day to go along with our explanation!

January 12th – Building Challenge: Create a replica of St Peter School using toys, blocks, Lego, recyclable items, or random household objects.

January 14th – Art Challenge: Draw a portrait of your teacher (or EA / principal / custodian / secretary).  Use any art supplies you have at home!

January 18th – Scavenger Hunt: Take a photo of the items on our checklist.  It will be posted in the morning on the 18th.

January 20th – Act of Kindness: Complete an act of kindness, ex:  write a prayer with your family, make a donation to the food bank, call an elderly relative, drop a nice note in a neighbour’s mailbox

January 22nd – Spirit Day: Take part in our favourite spirit day of the year: PYJAMA DAY!

We can’t wait to see you show your Panther Pride!

FAITH & WELL-BEING RESOURCES

We recognize that the extension of remote learning will create additional burdens on our families and staff.

Here are a list of supports for families to access during this difficult time:

School Mental Health Ontario: www.smho-smso.ca

Kids Help Phone at 1 (800) 668-6868 or visit KidsHelpPhone.ca​ for 24/7 support.

Faith & Well-Being Resources: https://learnathome.hcdsb.org/faith-well-being/

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Originally, Advanced Kindergarten Registration was to take place from Monday, January 18th through Thursday, February 4th, 2021. Due to the extension of the remote learning period, Part 2 of Advanced Kindergarten Registration will be rescheduled after schools reopen for in-person learning.

Parents are still encouraged to complete Part 1 of the registration process, which can be done online.

Part 1 – Online Registration

  • Online registration is available as the first step of the registration process.
  • Once signed in, parents will need to fill out an online registration form for their child.

Part 2 – Complete Registration In-Person

Following the completion of online registration (Part 1), parents will be contacted directly through email. 

NOTE: You will be contacted by our office staff to complete Part 2 of your child’s Kindergarten registration when schools re-open for in-person learning.

What do I Need to Register my Child?

To complete part 2 of the registration process, parents must bring the following documents to their home school (required documents):

  • ​Birth Certificate (required for Year 1 and Year 2) 
  • ​Year 1 children are required to be 4 years of age on or before December 31st, 2021.
  • Year 2 children (new to the school) are required to be 5 years of age on or before December 31st, 2021.​
  • Roman or Eastern Rite Catholic baptismal certificate. If your child has no Roman/Eastern Rite Catholic baptismal ​certificate, your child may be admitted if one parent can provide a Roman/Eastern Rite Catholic baptismal ​certificate. Please refer to the ​Board’s Operating Policy I-22 for more information.
  • Proof of address

If you have a child who will be entering Year 1 Kindergarten in September, 2021, we hope you will take advantage of the Advanced Kindergarten Registration process. Please feel free to pass this information along to friends or neighbours with children entering Kindergarten next year. 

Please note: Children currently registered in the Year 1 Kindergarten program are not required to register for the Year 2 program. Placement in the Year 2 program will be processed by the school, unless otherwise stated.

More Information

For more information on HCDSB’s Kindergarten program and the advanced registration process, please visit: http://bit.ly/Kindergarten-Program

STUDENT CORNER – NATIONAL DAYS

The National Days for this week are…

January 17th: There are no National Days to celebrate, so make up your own!

January 18th: National Peking Duck Day, National Thesaurus Day, National Winnie the Pooh Day & Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

January 19th: National World Quark Day & National Popcorn Day.

January 20th: National Buttercrunch Day, National Disc Jockey Day & National Cheese Lovers Day.

January 21st: National Granola Bar Day, National Hugging Day, National Squirrel Appreciation Day & National Get to Know Your Customers Day.

January 22nd: National Blonde Brownie Day & National Celebrate Life Day which is in honour of the kids and grandkids who bring joy to everyone’s lives.

January 23rd: National Handwriting Day and National Pie Day – did you know the first pies appeared around 9500 BC in the New Stone Age!

Have a wonderful week everyone!

ST. PETER TIPS

Social media is a big part of the social and creative life for many teenagers and children. Social media benefits include connection, learning and creativity. Although there are many benefits, there are also some risks. They include exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying and data breaches.

Talking is the best way to protect your child from social media risks and ensure their internet safety. Talking gives you the opportunity to help your child:

  • Work out how they want to treat other people and be treated online – for example, you can encourage your child to make only positive comments
  • Understand the risks involved in using social media – for example, your child might be tagged in an embarrassing photo taken at a party
  • Learn how to navigate the risks – for example, if your child posts an identifiable selfie, they can reduce risk by not including any other personal information
  • Learn what to do if people ask for personal details, are mean or abusive online, post embarrassing photos of your child, or share information that links back to them.

PROMOTING WELL-BEING: How can parents help students learn online?

With schools across the country dismissing for weeks due to COVID-19, parents and students have been thrust into the world of online or virtual learning. While not every student is a fantastic candidate for online learning, this will be the “new norm” for many. If you have never experienced online learning before, you may have some questions and fears. Here are some tips for parents to facilitate online learning in their homes.

Create a workspace – Your student needs a workspace that is comfortable and is free from distractions. Be sure things like lighting, internet connection, and supplies are readily at hand. Keep the workspace consistent to develop the “I’m in school now” mindset.

Post a calendar – Put a calendar on or near their workspace to track assignments and due dates. It is easy to get confused when multiple teachers have multiple assignments and due dates. This also minimizes the chances they miss an assignment and you can assist with time management.

Determine your technology supplies/needs – It’s best to have a desktop or laptop computer and a printer available. However, you may have to be flexible and utilize tablets or personal devices to complete assignments. It’s possible you may have to redesign some of your space at home to give your student access to the technology they need. Other helpful accessories would be headphones, flash storage drives, and an ethernet or “hard wire” internet connection.

Communicate with the teacher(s) – Unlike being in the classroom, teachers cannot read body language so they cannot see a student nod in agreement or a face of confusion. Your student is going to have to communicate with the teacher in ways other than speaking. Allow your student to communicate with the teacher, but feel free to guide them in that communication. It should not read like a text message using abbreviations if it is an email. If you have trouble with technology, an assignment, or understanding a concept, contact the teacher immediately!

Allow for breaks – Online learning takes tremendous focus and brain power, so you are going to need to allow for breaks. These breaks should provide some physical activity. Activity can be simple, such as stretching, going for a walk, or using one of OPEN’s Active Home or Active Classroom activities! Remember younger students will need more frequent breaks.

Eliminate distractions – Keep the learning environment free of as many distractions as possible. Cell phones, personal devices, pets, televisions, and other potential disruptions should be kept to a minimum.

Be flexible – This opportunity allows students to explore how and where they learn best. If the weather is nice, think about an outside learning day. Younger students may enjoy “pajama day” for school. Think creatively to keep the learning fun and engaging! https://openphysed.org/

GENERAL INFORMATION

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.

TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter @stpetersmilton

Demeris, TrevorParent Weekly Update – Week of January 18th, 2021