And suddenly you just know it is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. ~Unknown
Welcome back for the 2021-22 school year!
A warm welcome to new and returning St. Timothy Families! We hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer.
Staff are looking forward to re-connecting with our students. We know that this year will present us with various challenges, but we remain optimistic, confident that with the grace of our Lord, we will find many creative and innovative ways to adapt. We thank you in advance for your continued partnership in Catholic education.
On a personal note, I am thrilled to begin my journey with the St. Timothy community and wish to express my deepest gratitude for your warm welcome and patience as we prepare for another unique year.
Important Updates about the Return to School Plan
We are working diligently at St. Timothy to ensure that the Board directives as outlined in the Board’s Return to School Plan (www.hcdsb.org/return-to-school/) are implemented. On Tuesday, August 31st, parents would have received an e-mail from the Board (HCDSB) regarding a “gradual” return to school. Please note that we will be easing into the new school year by bringing students into school in smaller groups:
|Tuesday, September 7th||All in-person Grade 1-8 learners with surnames beginning with the letters A-K will come to school.|
|Wednesday, September 8th||All in-person Grade 1-8 learners with surnames beginning with the letters L-Z will come to school.|
|Thursday, September 9th||ALL in-person learners Grades 1-8 will come to school.|
For Kindergarten parents, please note that as per our usual practice, a staggered entry schedule for Kindergarten students continues to be implemented. Year 1 and 2 entry interviews will take place on Tuesday, September 7th, and Wednesday, September 8th. All Year 2 students will begin on Thursday, September 9th with half of the Year 1 students. The second half of our Year 1 students, along with all Year 2 students will attend school on Friday, September 10th. ALL Kindergarten students will be learning in-school beginning Monday, September 13th.
Kindergarten orientation interviews will take place virtually, through the Microsoft TEAMs platform. Please keep abreast of your e-mails as a TEAMs link will be sent to you shortly from your child’s teacher. If you do not receive a message or a TEAMs link by noon on Friday, September 3rd, please reach out to us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elementary Classroom Placements
Please be advised that you will be able to access information about your child’s class placement on Friday, September 3, 2021 after 3:00 p.m. The process to access your child’s classroom placement has been recently updated. Details on how parents can access this information will be shared by the Board.
As we are transitioning our student information system any student placement information available before Friday, September 3 at 3 p.m. may change. Thank you for your support and understanding as we update our student information platform.
As we have experienced, please understand that class placements can change depending upon Ministry of Education or Board Directives, and fluctuations in school population. With your trust in our professional judgment, we will continue to provide all students with the best possible learning environment.
Health and Safety Protocols
We will continue to have robust health and safety protocols in place this year at St. Timothy School. The Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Operational Guidance plan provides the baseline for school boards and local public health officials to develop a specific plan for the school board.
With this plan as a foundation, some of the protocols that are in place to begin the school year include:
- Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms BEFORE leaving for school using the COVID-19 School Screening Tool
- All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the Halton Catholic District School Board continued to be required to wear a properly fitted non-medical or cloth masks during classes and while in the hallways. Masks may be removed during outdoor learning time. Please refer to the Use of Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in Schools – Tip Sheet for further information and guidance.
- All classes will continue to remain in their classroom cohort, and assigned a specific zone on the playground during recesses and lunch.
- We are kindly asking that all families who are able to walk to school create this routine for our students. The footprint of our school is not designed to have numerous cars parking to drop off children.
- The following drop-off and pick-up protocols continue to be implemented this year to help minimize contacts and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school community.
- Only one parent or guardian will be permitted on school property to drop off and pick up children.
- Parents and guardians will remain outside and will not be permitted to enter the school (unless there is an extenuating need, and prior approval has been obtained as per the Visitor Protocol).
- When your child arrives at school, they must have their mask on and enter through designated doors. We have established designated entry and exit doors for your child’s class (cohort). Staff will be on duty to direct students to the appropriate doors.
- Kindergarten students will arrive with their mask on, and enter the school immediately upon arrival in the morning.
- Parents and caregivers are asked to leave the school property as soon as they drop off their child(ren). No gathering or congregating will be permitted on school property to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Further details regarding the Return to School Plan will be finalized and shared in our Sunday morning Weekly Update.
If your child qualifies for bus transportation, you can now review their bus details through the Halton Student Transportation Services online Parent Portal at https://haltonbus.ca/sign-in/
You will need your child’s 9-digit Ontario Education Number (OEN) to access the parent portal. This can be found on a copy of any of their report cards.
If your child has not yet been assigned an OEN (ie. Kindergarten student) and is eligible for transportation, you will receive a phone call with busing information from Halton Student Transportation Services between August 23 and 27. If you do not receive a phone call, please contact Halton Student Transportation Services between 8:00am and 4:30pm at 905-637-4009 or Toll-Free: 1-888-803-8660.
For specific information about COVID-19 Safety Protocols that are in place for students while travelling on the bus, please visit www.haltonbus.ca/covid-19-return-to-school-transportation/
This school year we will continue to limit visitor access to our school in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
All visitors, including parents and HCDSB staff who are not assigned to our school, will require approval and pre-screening before entering our building. Only visits that are deemed absolutely essential will be approved – e.g. visits by the Fire Marshal’s office or by public health. Where possible, meetings or visits will be conducted virtually.
Visitors who are granted approval will be required to complete an online screening form prior to arriving at our school. Once inside, all visitors will be required to wear masks.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all.
For the health and safety of our students and school community, it is strongly recommended that all elementary students remain at school for the full duration of their lunch periods.
We are working through the health and safety protocols in order to be able to offer a lunch program this year. More details will be shared when available.
As we are limiting visitors to our school, we aim to limit lunch drop offs as much as possible. Parents and guardians are asked to provide their child(ren) with lunch and snacks in the morning before students enter the school building.
Considerations for lunch preparations:
- Lunches should be prepared as individual meals and snacks.
- Sharing food items will not be permitted.
Each student is required to bring their own drinking bottle to school that is labeled, kept with them during the day, and not shared with other students. All water fountains will continue to be wrapped and/or made inoperable. Although bottle filling stations will be in use, students and staff are not advised to touch any filling station apparatus.
Medical apparatus and updated paperwork
In July a pre-populated Student Plan of Care for the 2021-2022 school year was provided to those families who require medication and/or medical care or apparatus to be available at the school. Please ensure that:
- the information provided on these forms is reviewed and verified.
- any revisions or additional pertinent information is changed directly on the form.
- these forms are returned to the school anytime during school hours on Thursday, September 2nd or Friday, September 3rd.
- accompanying these completed forms, is updated medication for the 2021-2022 school year in a Ziploc® bag that is clearly labeled with your child’s name.
Please understand that at the beginning of the school year, parents assume complete responsibility for the administration of the medications their child(ren) require until such time as all requirements of the Student’s Plan of Care are satisfied in full. Thank you in advance for your cooperation regarding the safe provision of medication and the information pertaining to your child. Their safety, and the safety of all other students, is our first priority.
St. Timothy Tips
As summer comes to an end, and back-to-school season begins, getting back into routines is important for children and families. Some tips to help with a smooth transition:
- Have a positive attitude (especially important this year) and reinforce the positive aspects of going back to school to help build your child’s excitement for school.
- Establish routines that provide consistency and structure at home. Consistent bedtime and wake up time, morning and nighttime routines decreases stress for children so that they know what to expect.
- Let your child do what they are capable of doing for themselves. Children are capable of handling more responsibility as they get older. Delegating tasks that they can handle helps children become more independent later.
(Source: kidshealth.org http://kidshealth.org)
Thank you for working with us in partnership to ensure a safe, healthy, and happy return to school for all. 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