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Parent Weekly Update – Week of January 25th, 2021

From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. ~Pope Francis

Big thanks…to all of our amazing students, staff members, and families for making Remote Learning successful again this week. We could not have done this without working together as a team!

Thank you…to everyone for participating in our Pajama Spirit Day. It’s great to see all of you virtually! Thanks to our Student Parliament members for continuing to plan exciting events for the school.

PANTHER PRIDE ‘POINTATHLON’ UPDATE

During the time period of January 12th to 25th 2021, Student Parliament hosted its first annual Panther Pride Pointathlon! The response was overwhelming with several families earning many spirit points!

Families showed their school spirit by participating in five activities: the Building Challenge; the Art Challenge; a Scavenger Hunt; sharing an Act of Kindness; and, participating in our virtual Spirit Day – Pajama Day!

Student Parliament members and leaders have had the opportunity to tally all the spirit points and we are thrilled to announce the following winners:

Kindergarten Division – Andres Family

Primary Division – Sullivan Family

Junior Division – Checchia Family

Intermediate Division – Daddabbo Family

Congratulations to all of our winning families! We will be in contact with you this week to set up your pizza dinner prize – delivered by Mr. McCauley and Mr. Demeris!

MINISTRY UPDATES & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 the Ontario school boards received a Memo from the Minister of Education that provided an update on the period of school closure and teacher-led remote learning. The Memo indicated that in-person learning will resume next week in schools that fall within 1 of the 7 public health units listed in the Memo. 

Halton Region was not on this list, and therefore, HCDSB schools will remain closed for in-person learning until further notice.  

The Ministry has not provided a date when Halton schools are expected to reopen for full in-person instruction.  

What we know at this time..

  • Elementary and secondary students will continue to learn remotely until further notice
  • Students enrolled in the Virtual Elementary School will continue to follow their established schedules
  • The change in learning format between in-person and virtual instruction will be delayed until schools re-open for in-person learning
  • Students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning will continue to receive in-person support during the extended remote learning period
  • Child care centres will remain OPEN for the duration of these time-limited public health actions 
  • All Before and After School Programs will remain CLOSED until in-person learning resumes

Updates & Additional Information:

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

Virtual Class Etiquette

  • Courtesy and respect are key
  • Students use the designated platform to join meetings that are led by their teacher
  • Recording and/or posting any content from virtual meetings is NOT allowed

Participating in a virtual meeting

  • Know when to join your virtual meeting
  • Wait for your teacher before joining the virtual meeting
  • Always use your real name

When you are in a virtual meeting, you should behave like you are in the classroom…

  • Sit in a well-lit room, facing a light source 
  • Please keep your video on
  • Be fully present, sit still and focus
  • Don’t eat or drink
  • Be dressed appropriately
  • Raise your ‘virtual hand’ and wait to be recognized by your teacher if you have a question or comment
  • Keep your microphone muted unless you are called on to talk
  • Make sure your background is professional
  • Use appropriate language, academic language in spoken and written questions and comment

Using the CHAT feature

  • Use the chat as directed by your teacher
  • Always use appropriate language
  • The chat bar is NOT for posting gifs, pictures, random words or comments

What if a student does not follow virtual class etiquette?

  1. Teachers teach and review expected virtual etiquette.
  2. If a student does not follow expectations, teachers give corrective feedback.
  3. If behaviour continues, teachers will conference with student and contact family.
  4. If behaviour persists without good faith effort to correct, student is removed from the online environment.
  5. Student may return to online environment after conference with administrator and family.

Virtual Meeting Non-negotiables

  • Courtesy and respect
  • Constructive participation
  • Positive intent

COIN FRANCAIS

Bonjour tout le monde! Aujourd’hui commence le début de notre coin français. On aimerait célébrer la culture française qui existe dans notre pays. Donc, chaque semaine on partagera un élément de notre culture. 

Aujourd’hui, on partage le drapeau Franco-Ontarien. On vous encourage à colorier le drapeau! Le drapeau représente notre fierté. Le drapeau réussit à représenter un sentiment d’appartenance à l’Ontario. Ses couleurs et l’utilisation du trille évoquent le domaine physique et symbolique de la province. La fleur de lys symbolise non seulement le fait français, mais aussi sa pérennité depuis l’ère de la Nouvelle-France.

STUDENT 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 his or her 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 and 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 must be 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 district, 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.

HOLOCAUST AWARENESS DAY – Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 is Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide. Be the light in the darkness is an affirmation and a call to action for everyone marking HMD. This theme asks us to consider different kinds of ‘darkness’, for example, identity-based persecution, misinformation, denial of justice; and different ways of ‘being the light’, for example, resistance, acts of solidarity, rescue and illuminating mistruths. We can all stand in solidarity and choose to be the light. Our lights are more powerful when we work together with others. Everyone can step up and use their talents to tackle prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance wherever we encounter them. 

FAMILY LITERACY DAY – Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Every year on January 27th, 2021 ABC Life Literacy Canada hosts Family Literacy Day, the largest national family literacy event in Canada. Literacy organizations, schools, libraries and media groups will coordinate numerous literacy-themed events and activities across the country in honour of this special initiative.

Family Literacy Day® is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family. News Media Canada is a proud supporter of Family Literacy Day, distributing public service announcements and editorial resources from ABC Life Literacy Canada to our members.

For more information, visit the Family Literacy Day website or download resources from the CommunityWire website at www.communitywire.ca/en/org/abc-life-literacy-canada.

BELL LET’S TALK – JANUARY 28th, 2021

Bell Let’s Talk Day is Thursday, January 28th, 2021. On Thursday, St. Peter CES will join the conversation around mental health in an effort to help break the stigma and create a positive change. This year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day campaign shines a light on the actions that we can all take, because now more than ever, mental health matters. Staff and students will be participating in activities and conversations on Thursday to increase their knowledge and awareness on mental health and learn healthy coping skills to take care of their own mental health and well-being.

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every FacebookInstagramPinterestSnapchatTikTokTwitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION WHILE LEARNING ONLINE

As much as possible, and while respecting individual student needs and family circumstances, students will be learning across all areas of the curriculum, including Health and Physical Education, while online. As educators plan instruction for the next week, please review the information in the attachment about how to prepare your child and the learning environment so that he or she can participate in physical education successfully and safely while at home. Remote-HPE-Parent-Guardian-Informaiton-and-ChecklistDownload

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.

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

CATHOLIC SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING

Our next Catholic School Council Meeting will be taking place virtually on Monday, February 1st, 2021 at 6:30pm. If you are interested in attending, please email demerist@hcdsb.org or mccauleyb @hcdsb.org to request the meeting link.

STUDENT CORNER – NATIONAL DAYS

The National Days for this week are…

Hello St. Peters, can you believe that January is almost over?

The National Days for this Week are…

January 24th: National Compliment Day & National Peanut Butter Day

January 25th: National Irish Coffee Day, National Bubble Wrap Day & National Opposite Day which is a great day our entire families to play along – maybe have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner!

January 26th: National Green Juice Day, National Peanut Brittle Day, National Spouses Day & National Plan for Vacation Day – I might skip out on this one!

January 27th: National Chocolate Cake Day & National Library Shelfie Day

January 28th: National Data Privacy Day, National Have Fun At Work Day, and National Kazoo Day & National Blueberry Pancake Day which is what I’ll be having for breakfast!

January 29th: National Corn Chip Day, National Puzzle Day & National Big Wig Day where it doesn’t matter our job title we can make a difference and improve the lives of others.

January 30th: National Croissant Day & National Seed Swap Day

Have a marvelous week everyone and stay safe!

ST. PETER CES TIPS

Stressors associated with a pandemic will affect people differently. We can be affected psychologically (e.g., feeling worried), as well as physically (e.g., sleeping poorly). Stressors that are beyond our personal control are especially difficult to cope with.  Taking care of yourself is important to helping you cope with stress.  Here are some ways to help cope:

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • Focus your energies on what you can control rather than worrying about what you can’t
  • Ask for help. There are many resources for kids: https://kidshelpphone.ca/ https://mindyourmind.ca/

PROMOTING WELL-BEING: Self-Care 101

Self-care is an important part of wellness. Take time and discover what helps you to feel good and recharge. Eat, Sleep, Hydrate, Move, Enjoy, Connect, Pause, Recognize, Reflect, Repeat!

Self-care is like saving up for a rainy day! It’s about nurturing yourself so that when difficult situations happen, you will have energy and strategies to help you get through it! It can feel hard to practice all the self-care tips that we know are important, pick a few to focus on and congratulate yourself on what you’re able to accomplish and continue to set goals for yourself.

See more information at: https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Self-Care-101.pdf

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 25th, 2021