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Weekly Update: September 27-October 1st, 2021

It took cancer to realize that being self-centered is not the way to live. The answer is to try and help others.” ~ Terry Fox

“Virtual” Curriculum Night on Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

A reminder that Curriculum Night at St. Timothy will be held on Tuesday, September 28th.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event will take place virtually this year.  Parents will have an opportunity to access a live presentation hosted by their child’s classroom teachers, through Microsoft TEAMs, followed by a Q & A format.  Please note that to access a TEAMs presentation, parents need only click the provided link: there is no requirement to download any program.

We will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a Welcome, Prayer and Principal’s Message. This will be followed by 2 presentation times for each teacher.  The times are as follows: 7:00 – 7:30 pm or 7:40 – 8:00 pm.  Links to the live TEAMs meetings will be shared by your child’s classroom teacher via their D2L homepage.

Uniform Swap & Sale – rescheduled to Wednesday, September 29th!

St. Timothy Catholic School Council is pleased to host their annual “Uniform Swap & Sale” event on Wednesday, September 29th.  At this physically distanced event, parents will have opportunity to purchase donated uniform items for $5.00 per item, or to swap gently used, outgrown uniform pieces. 

We will have an a.m. opportunity, from 9:00 until 10:00 and a p.m. opportunity, from 3:45 until 5:00, to accommodate various schedules.  Please arrive no earlier than 9:00 a.m. and no earlier than 3:45 p.m., to avoid clustering and congestion.   Participants are asked to line up, as per the signage, outside of Door 9, and kindly follow the direction of Council members.  A special thank you to Council Members for volunteering their time to support this event.

Please note that although McCarthy’s is the Board’s current authorized Uniform Vendor, ISW uniform pieces will still be accepted for swapping.  A few key reminders:

  • The uniform colours at all elementary schools will consist of a combination of navy blue and white only. 
  • Any clothing item worn under uniform pieces, but still visible, must be in compliance with school dress codes, and generally, will be in the school uniform colours or white.
  • Bottoms may be purchased from the Board’s authorized uniform vendor, or another source of the parent’s choosing.  All bottoms, regardless of source, must be navy blue, and must match the school uniform dress code.
  • Students will be expected to observe all aspects of the dress code.  School staff and parents will be expected to support its consistent implementation.

Learn more about school uniforms here: School Uniform Dress Code Policy

Orange Shirt Day – September 30th!

As previously noted, we will be highlighting our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation through Indigenous Education, by hosting Orange Shirt Day on September 30th. We recognize the harm residential schools caused to our Indigenous people and we honour those that survived and remember those that did not. We recognize the ongoing effects of intergenerational trauma caused by residential schooling and we wear an orange shirt in support of those who have been impacted by the harm of residential schools.   Students will participate in a variety of age-appropriate learning opportunities to build our understanding of and connection to our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

Toonie for Terry!  St. Timothy Terry Fox Walk – Red & White Day on October 1st

As previously noted, St. Timothy will be hosting a Terry Fox Walk on Friday October 1st – students/staff will be walking together that day, staying in cohorts and respecting social distancing protocols. Families can make a $2 online donation using our School Cash Online program – beginning today!   All funds collected will be forwarded to the Terry Fox Foundation. Students are encouraged to wear Red & White on October 1st as we honour the great Canadian Terry Fox!  We thank all our families for their support with this important initiative.

October 6th is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day!

On Wednesday October 6th, the students at St. Timothy School are invited and encouraged to wear green in celebration of World Cerebral Palsy Day.  Cerebral Palsy, also known as CP, affects more than 17 million people worldwide.   We are excited to support our friends and those living with Cerebral Palsy to gain an awareness and embrace diversity.  Together we can make a difference.

Grab and go Healthy Food Boxes

Our school board has approved our continued partnership with Halton Food for Thought to provide students with access to additional snacks at school to fuel a full day of learning.  As such, Halton Food for Thought will provide Grab & Go Healthy Food boxes to our school. This will give students access to a snack when needed throughout the day.

Information about the Grab & Go Healthy Food Box:

  • Grab & Go Healthy Food Boxes will contain pre-packaged, non-perishable food items such as granola bars and applesauce cups.  All items are peanut and tree nut free.
  • In accordance with provincial guidelines, teachers can distribute snacks from the Grab & Go Healthy Food Box as needed. This is not a self-serve model for students.
  • Halton Food for Thought programs are free of charge to all students, universal, and non-stigmatizing

Hallowe’en Spirit Day – October 29th

Many adaptations to school have been made thus far this year, considering the particular challenges of life during a global pandemic.  Some of our traditional Hallowe’en festivities may also need to be adapted.  Further details and guidance will be shared out shortly, but please rest assured that children (and staff!) will be welcome to wear costumes, and that we will continue to plan fun activities to mark the day and to create those special school memories. 

School Drop-offs and Pick-Ups

Thank you to parents and caregivers for your continued observance of safety in our parking lot.  Please note that parents and caregivers are welcome to use any valid parking spot in our lot, including the “pen” which is available in the morning and in the afternoon.   Parents who have parked are asked to walk children along the sidewalk, rather than walking between moving vehicles in the Kiss & Ride lane.      We see many parents using the sidewalks to escort their little ones to and from the kinder gates and we very much appreciate your efforts to model and develop these habits in our children.

One thing we have noticed is crowding at the top of the Kindergarten stairs. This poses a safety risk for our youngest of students when navigating the stairs. To address this concern, we have painted two yellow lines on each side of the stairs to create an access lane for the students. At drop off and pick up, please stand behind these lines, socially distanced, to keep this access clear. This clear path will help ensure that our little students reach their destination safely.  Their safety is our top priority, and we greatly appreciate your partnership in ensuring this.

St. Timothy Tips:

Promoting Well Being: 5 Tips for Limiting Screen Time Without Conflict

No matter how busy and active your family is, there’s something about screen time that is endlessly tempting to kids. It doesn’t matter if it’s television, video games, or watching YouTube on a tablet—screens are a big draw at every age, and most parents have fought a fair number of battles with their children over when, where, and how often various screen devices are allowed. 

Every family is different and not all screen time is created equal, so it’s important to figure out rules that work for your family. For example, an hour of educational online games that support literacy or math skills isn’t the same as an hour spent watching Paw Patrol, so be sure to factor that into your decision-making.  That said, if you’re trying to reduce your kids’ screen time while avoiding a family feud, here are some tips to help get you started.

1. Out of sight, out of mind

Sometimes, technology is extra tempting because it’s right there in plain sight. If you have tablets, laptops, or other devices at home, consider storing them in a cupboard or an area of the home your kids don’t use regularly (for example, a parent’s home office). Video game systems and handheld gaming consoles can be tucked away when not in use. Want to take things a step further? If space allows, avoid having a television in your kids’ main play area in order to separate play time and screen time. (Think of this like a throwback to when our parents had a “computer room” in the ‘90s or early 2000s!)

2. Offer fun alternatives

A lot of kids default to screen time when they feel bored, so get ahead of the game by offering a variety of engaging options for off-screen play and activities. It may help to have open shelving or other easily accessible storage for books, puzzles, board games, Lego, and other hands-on toys. (Bonus tip: rotate toys in and out of storage every couple of months to keep things interesting!)

You can also create an art space with craft supplies that inspire, keep a basket of fidget toys or musical instruments, and encourage more backyard play with balls, chalk, and other outdoor activities. A lot of kids will enjoy planting a vegetable garden or potted herbs, and older kids can have fun with science experiments at the kitchen table. What screens?

3. Set a family plan and routines for screens

You likely have family routines for mornings, dinnertime, and bedtime, so why not develop routines for screen time? Involve your kids in creating a family media plan around when screens are appropriate (for example, after school and in the morning on weekends) and when they’re not (right before bed maybe). Or link screen time to the completion of age-appropriate responsibilities. Kids will have an easier time following the plan if they feel they’ve been involved in the decision-making.

Maybe your kids have to finish their homework before playing video games, or perhaps tablets are only allowed once chores are done. These expectations won’t be the same for every household, so make rules that reflect your specific needs, boundaries, and daily schedule. Remember, some parents might allow cartoons before school while others don’t, and both approaches are totally okay! Just be clear and stick with it.

4. Use an app to monitor and restrict usage

If your kids continue to struggle with following rules around screen time, parental controls may be the solution. Consider using an app that monitors and/or limits screen time use on a variety of devices. While each app is different, most are able to lock devices after a set length of time, forcing kids to adhere to whatever daily limit has been set by their parents. This means no more calls for “five more minutes” or sneaky tablet use. If this is the direction you’d like to go, here are some more great recommendations from Consumers Advocate. 

5. Be consistent

No matter how your family decides to manage screen time, hold your ground and be consistent. Kids will naturally test limits, so when you give in to demands for more video games one day, they’ll expect the same result next time. That’s not to say you can’t let them watch an extra episode of cartoons on a rainy afternoon or lazy Sunday, but it does mean making a conscious effort to follow the rules you’ve set as a family and have consistent, dependable routines.

It may be hard in the beginning, but the more consistent your approach is, the more quickly your kids will adapt. Good luck—you’ve got this!

Read more about managing screen time:

Why parents should be mindful of their own screen time
Setting a summer screen time plan for your tween
5 ways to get your kids off their screens and active

(Source: Erin Pepler, July 30, 2021)  

We continue to draw on our faith and offer prayers for the safety and well-being of those who are sick, and those who are working on the frontlines to care for them.  

Anna Marie Toltl/ Susan Jack
Principal/Vice Principal

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Toltl, Anna MarieWeekly Update: September 27-October 1st, 2021