Dear Parents and Guardians,
We have completed our staggered entry for students, and we hope that you and your child had an amazing first few days of school!
It has been wonderful to see the St. Scholastica hallways, classrooms and playground alive with activity once again. Learning, playing and praying together, our staff and students are building skills and relationships that will be the foundation of a memorable school year! We thank all students and parents for working hard to adhere to our new protocols. We must work together to continue to make St. Scholastica a safe place to learn and play.
Click here for information on how to subscribe and link to our school website calendar for upcoming special events and school activities!
This year, you can expect this Parent Weekly Update in your email each Sunday at noon.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @StScholStorm
Please refer to the information updates below:
RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN
This school year will be different in many respects, but we will all work together to ensure the health and well-being of our students, families and staff.
Please refer to the details in the HCDSB Return to School Plan
To keep you informed, we will continue to share information with parents through our school email system and website on a regular, weekly basis.
MANDATORY DAILY SELF SCREENING AND CONFIRMATION OF SCREENING (NEW!)
Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE arriving at school using the https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/
NEW THIS YEAR – For the first two weeks of the school year, the Ministry of Education has asked us to complete “Confirmations of Screenings” for all students. This means that we must put in place a mechanism for parents to confirm to their child’s teacher that the daily COVID-19 screening has been completed. Your child’s teacher has communicated the process with families. If daily confirmation of screening is not completed for this first two week period, parents will be contacted to complete the screening or pick up their child(ren) from school.
Please note that if a student or staff member does not pass the daily COVID-19 screening, they cannot come to school. They must follow the instructions provided on the daily self screening tool and report their absence to the school.
SEPTEMBER STUDENT NUMBER CHANGES AND POSSIBLE CLASS REORGANIZATION
Incoming registrations, families that have moved away during the summer unexpectedly paired with Virtual School registrations mean that it is highly likely there may be reorganization at the school level. This is especially possible in our Grades 1-3 classes. Parents would be notified this week. We appreciate your continued patience and support!
DROP OFF AND PICK UP PROCEDURES
- GRADE 1-8 ARRIVAL AND END OF DAY THANK YOU!
A huge THANK YOU to our parents for assisting with getting your children to their Grade 1-8 line up spots daily in the morning this past week! Please note that as of Monday, September 13th, parents are not permitted onto the blacktop in the morning. If your child needs assistance, one of our supervising teachers can help. Yard supervision begins at 8:55 a.m. Students must not arrive prior to this time.
To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have received Ministry direction to continue to follow physical distancing measures both inside our school and in outside areas.
Please review with your children about the need to follow physical distancing guidelines and remind your children to refrain from congregating in groups before and after school.
Parents are also not permitted on the black top area at end of day. All parents should remain behind the fences at pick up time. Please arrange for a meeting place with your child. Any parents waiting along the fence area should be masked as it is difficult to remain distanced at this busy time.
Dogs are not allowed on School Property as per HCDSB Policy.
2. NEW STUDENT PLAY AREA
As HCDSB schools continue to have students play in cohorts during outdoor recess, St. Scholastica has moved to split recess model for our Grades 1-8 students. Our pavement has been divided into 14 classroom cohort zones for outdoor student play. To facilitate this increase in zones, we have expanded to include the Kiss and Ride turn around on the Kindergarten side to be a student play area during school day recesses. School staff block the turn around during the school day with bright green pylons.
Our last recess runs from 3:10 – 3:25 p.m. Students will be in this area for free play. Any parents coming to the school to meet their children for end of day pickup must not enter this area of student play.
3. CARS AND KISS AND RIDE:
As St. Scholastica continues to grow, so do the number of cars using the kiss-and-ride in the morning. In order to continue to provide the safest possible method for drop off and pick up, we are making some slight modifications to our kiss-and-ride.
We will be using the main side (side with the main school entrance) for staff parking and bus drop off/pick up ONLY. The main side will be blocked off daily and will be supervised by a staff member. The only vehicles that will be permitted into this lot are the ones mentioned above. The Kindergarten side of the school will be used for the kiss-and-ride in the morning as well as kindergarten parent/guardian parking. We are continuing to ask parents/guardians with children in grades 1-8 to only use the kiss-and-ride for dropping off children in the morning. The few remaining parking spots are available to kindergarten parents/guardians only as these students require more assistance. Please note that as our St. Scholastica School community has grown, our staff has grown with it too and take up most of the available parking spots each day.
As a reference point – Once all of our staff have arrived to work in the morning, there are only 14 parking spots in our lots that are not occupied by our staff! Please consider an alternative to driving your child to school. You can park on a side street and then walk your child to the side walks that line our school grounds or you could even walk or bike if you are able!
If using the kiss-and-ride lane that lines the sidewalk along our Kindergarten yard in the morning at drop off time, we ask that everyone stay in their car. The area where students can get out of the car will be lined with pylons. When you pull up to the area lined with pylons, you will be greeted by two staff members who will be happy to help you and/or your children as they disembark from your car. This new process may take a little more time than what you are used to but we are confident it will be safer and more efficient overall. We are encouraging parents/guardians to walk/bike to school with your children to while the weather permits.
In the afternoon at pick up time, this kiss-and-ride lane will be closed. Our teachers release students to a parent when they see a parent present and once visual contact is made. As our teachers can not see parents sitting in a vehicle that is in this lane, we will have this lane closed in the afternoon for safety and security reasons.
One final ask (which seems obvious but for some is not), is to PLEASE NOT PARK IN ANY AREA THAT IS NOT A DESIGNATED PARKING SPOT. THIS DISRUPTS THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC TRYING TO GET INTO AND OUT OF OUR PARKING LOT AREA.
We ask that you assist us in ensuring that these procedures are followed – Just as you would sit patiently in a busy drive through at McDonalds or Tim Hortons, we are asking for the same patience and respect for one another while in our kiss-and-ride zone.
4. KINDERGARTEN CAR DROP OFF AND PICK UP
As mentioned above, Kindergarten parents MUST park in a parking spot on our Kindergarten side parking lot and walk their child to and from their assigned Kindergarten gate. Kindergarten parents are not to use the kiss-and-ride lane to drop off our youngest students in the mornings. Please remember that parents should immediately leave the property once their child has been dropped off at their assigned Kindergarten yard gate and motioned inside by a staff member.
5. MID DAY DROP OFFS
Parents are reminded to ensure that their child(ren) have everything that they need for their day at school, including lunch items before they leave for school in the morning. Parents are not permitted inside of the school with our heightened COVID protocols and so it is very important to double check that your child has all that she/he needs before they leave in the morning.
GRADE 1-8 STUDENT AGENDAS
Student agendas have been provided to all Grade 1-8 learners. Earlier this week a notification will come to you to indicate that the agenda has been placed as an item for payment on our School Cash Online system. All parents are asked to submit the $8 fee for the student agenda using this cashless collection service. We are asking that all payments for the student agendas be made by September 24th.
We are in the process of finalizing our bus numbers for this year. If your child(ren) are bus eligible but do not take the bus daily (i.e. parent pickup, after-school program) please contact Mr. Cochrane (email@example.com) and complete the Halton Transport electronic Opt-Out form.
For information on bus delays, make sure that you sign up for RSS or email notifications from www.haltonbus.ca
When students who take a bus to school in the morning arrive at school, a staff member will help them get off of their bus and direct them to their line up areas in the Grade 1-8 yard. Kindergarten students who take the bus in the morning will be assisted the bus and then walked to their Kindergarten classroom by a staff member. At the end of the day, bus students will be called down, bus by bus. They will wait, masked and socially distanced, until a staff member boards them on the bus. All students must sit in their assigned seating plan position as part of COVID protocols.
Please ensure that you have sent in an extra EpiPen for your child with anaphylaxis. Our procedures require that all students who are anaphylaxis MUST have two EpiPens at school. One must be worn by the student and the other EpiPen will be stored in the office in their student file. Please look at and record the expiry dates so that you can provide a new one should it expire within the school year.
STUDENT ACCIDENT INSURANCE
HCDSB does not offer student accident insurance coverage. If you are interested in purchasing this for your child(ren), click here for information. Please review this offer.
ORANGE SHIRT DAY 2021
Thursday, September 30th, is Orange Shirt Day. Students are encouraged to wear orange in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters. Uniform bottoms are required on this day and only those students who wear an orange shirt may be out of uniform (top half of their body).
Our Catholic Social Teachings call us in Solidarity with our Indigenous sisters and brothers to honour the human dignity in all. The Canadian Catholic Bishops have urged all Catholics to commit to continuing our walk together with Indigenous Peoples to build a more just society where their gifts and those of all people are nurtured and honoured.
Please consider purchasing an orange shirt from Restyled + Redesigned. They have beautiful tie dyed shirts with the “Every Child Matters” message in either English or French.
50% of the proceeds will be donated to STE (Save The Evidence). The remaining 50% will cover the cost of t-shirt, dye and ink.
Order by Friday, September 17th. The shirts will be delivered to the school on Tuesday, September 28th in time for Thursday, September 30th!
We come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
Once again, we would like to thank all of our families, parents, students and staff for making week #1 at St. Scholastica such a success. We so appreciate your partnership and cooperation in continuing to make our school a safe and fun place to learn and grow.
Yours in Partnership,
Mrs. E. Sweeney-Hurd – Principal
Mr. D. Cochrane– Vice Principal
We are excited to welcome Fr. Jim from St. Benedict Parish to join us in our Opening Mass this year on Monday, September 20th! The mass will be led by Mrs. Leung and Ms. Fernandez’s Grade 2 classes and Ms. Florio’s Grade 2/3 class.
Families are welcome to join our prayer community at 9:45 a.m. The school will email a Microsoft Teams link on Monday morning.