Monthly Archives: October 2020

October Check-in: Message & Invitation from the Director of Education

October 27, 2020

Hi Panthers,

Please see the link below for an important message from the Director of Education Loretta Notten, regarding the current school year, transition dates and an invitation to participate in a new Thought Exchange. In the message you will see the following,

“…at the October Board meeting last night we brought a series of important updates in relation to our ongoing operation of schools in our new COVID-19 reality. We shared that it is our intention to eliminate the November transition window in elementary. We have been listening to our stakeholders – parents, teachers, administrators and students, and while we know that it can be attractive to provide flexibility to accommodate changes between face to face and virtual, we also know that it takes a toll on everyone when there is disruption to pre-established classes.”

October Update and Thought Exchange Invite Oct 27th

Have a great day!

 

Panthers’ Week At A Glance, October 26-30

October 25

Hello Panthers,

On October 28 we celebrate the Feast of St. Jude.

St Jude was one of Jesus’s 12 disciples, and he is known as a patron saint of lost causes. He is a reminder to us that all things are possible with God, and that we are called upon to be people of Hope no matter our circumstances. “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. “ (Romans 8:24-25).

Most holy Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus, I place myself in your care at this difficult time. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please join me in my need, asking God to send me: consolation in my sorrow, courage in my fear, and healing in the midst of my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fill me with the grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me and my loved ones, and to strengthen my faith in God’s healing powers. Thank you, Saint Jude Thaddeus, for the promise of hope you hold out to all who believe, and inspire me to give this gift of hope to others as it has been given to me. Amen.

This week we are looking forward to celebrating Halloween with our students on Friday, October 30. We have consulted with other schools and staff to make the following decisions regarding our Halloween celebration;

  • children wear costumes or orange & black clothing
  • if they are wearing costumes for part of the day, the classroom teacher will communicate the process and time, so they can change while observing social distancing and mask protocols
  • children are not to bring any weapons or accessories to school and must wear appropriate costumes
  • medical masks must be worn – no costume masks
  • children can bring in Halloween treats/candy for themselves, but they are not to share with others (as we can’t guarantee their safety)
  • treats/candies should not contain any nut products
  • we will not have any assemblies, dances, etc. – children will participate in appropriate activities in their classroom or portable

This week, we distributed one black mask and 3 grey masks for each student (provided by the Ministry and the Board). With this distribution, there is the potential for a lot of confusion and safety concerns as every student will have the same mask and may inadvertently wear a mask that was used by another student. Please label your child’s mask before they start wearing them at school and remind them to verify that they are wearing their personal mask and not one that belongs to someone else.

Outside is the safest place for physical activity so weather permitting, physical education classes are encouraged to take place outside whenever possible. The added benefit is that it also allows students to take a break from wearing masks. Students are encouraged to come to school each day prepared with appropriate clothing. This may include wearing warmer clothing to participate in outdoor activities.

Health and Safety

On October 19, we met with student transportation services, school council members, city and board staff to examine measures to increase student safety at the Birchcliff crosswalk.

Below are some of the things we discussed;

  • The city is responsible for patrolling the street for speeding cars and by-law infractions.
  • We are on the watch list for bylaw infractions. Unfortunately, the city has limited staff and they can only come 1/week.
  • Student safety is a collective responsibility. If you observe a speeding car or bylaw infraction, please record the license plate and report it to bylaw (519-741-2345).
  • Based on daily traffic volume we likely do not qualify for a city crossing guard.
  • When staffing permits, the school will have a staff member in a safety vest on the school side of the crosswalk (8:05-8:20 am – 2:50-3:00 pm), to identify gaps when it is safe for students to cross the road. The school will provide a safety vest for a crosswalk volunteer on the other side of the road (coordinated by school council). We are not permitted to hold flashing stop signs.
  • Cars are not required to stop at the crosswalk (i.e. pedestrians do not have the right of way).
  • It is unlikely that the kind of crosswalk can be changed to one with overhead flashing lights.
  • We need to continue to ask caregivers, parents and students who are not ready to cross, to stay clear of the area at either side of the crosswalk”.  Please see the St. Paul’s parking map for pick up and drop off locations.
  • Parent council will create a traffic safety sub-committee and consider the following measures;
  • Implementing a program to educate drivers of the proper drop off/pick up locations/procedures
  • Resident-led traffic calming grant in collaboration with student transportation services to create bumps out and increase the visibility of the crosswalk
  • Walking school bus program at Giant Tiger Plaza or other locations to reduce traffic in front of the school

We have proposed the following ideas to the city for their consideration; mount flashing signs that indicate the speed of the oncoming vehicle and photo radar. Below is the response from the city with respect to a photo radar camera in front of the school.

We are working closely with the Region of Waterloo on their Automated Speed Enforcement program. Using speed data as the basis for evaluation we have prioritized schools within the City of Kitchener. While St. Paul’s is not a the top of the priority list based on speed data, we will continue to monitor speeds along Birchcliff Ave and update the ranking as new data becomes available. Using this priority list we will recommend school locations for future phases of ASE.

We will continue to include Birchcliff as a potential location for seasonal traffic calming for the 2021 Seasonal Traffic Calming Program.

We have worked with various schools in the past to implement Resident-led Traffic Calming measures where students and parents can get involved. There is grant money available and the City assigns a liaison to guide the process. Providing a link below if you’re interested: https://www.lovemyhood.ca/en/tools-money/traffic-calming.aspx

Aaron McCrimmon-Jones, Manager, Transportation Planning| Transportation Services | City of Kitchener

St. Francis Parish

Parish Calendar November 2020

St. Francis Bulletin October 25, 2020

Panthers’ Week At A Glance, October 19-23

October 18, 2020

Hello Panthers,

Last year, when the Board launched Called to Belong, we could not have foreseen what the future held. Yet the Spirit was with us, guiding our theme and moving us to create a deep sense of BELONGING and connection during such a difficult journey. We feel the same about the second year of our three-year Pastoral Plan, Gathered to Become. In John 6:35, Jesus proclaims “I am the bread of life.”

May this year of Becoming truly be a year of Transformation. As the Eucharist transforms us, so let us be the “Bread of Life” to all we encounter. May we experience transformation this year – from the challenges of new learning situations, platforms and teaching environments – to allow us to emerge from our chrysalis healthy and strong and to successfully be able to spread our wings and soar.

Loving Father you call us to belong to your family so that we may be gathered to become.

You constantly speak your word to us to call us to right relationship with yourself and with one another.

In the fullness of time you sent your only Son, Jesus to be your Word made flesh.

In the very being of Jesus there is perfect integrity between who he is and what he speaks. 

Though your Word and Sacrament you provide opportunities for us to grow in that same integrity.

As you raised Jesus to new life from the tomb, you also transform the caterpillar into a butterfly in the chrysalis.

So too, loving God, shape and form our becoming according to your divine plan in the image of your Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit in our gathering as a Christian Community.   Amen.

Fr. Joseph de Viveiros C.R.

 

This week Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will be sent home. Please see the IEP checklist and letter from the WCDSB Special Education Advisory Committee.

Safe arrival/ departure

A gentle reminder that, Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for communicating planned pupil absences or lateness to the school on a timely basis. This is an important part of the Board’s safe arrival/departure policy. If you are calling or emailing to report your child’s absence due to illness, please leave your child’s name and a description of ALL the symptoms they are experiencing.

On October 19, we will be conducting a walkabout with various stakeholders (student transportation services, city officials, members of parent council and staff) to review traffic issues in front of the school in order to make recommendations for improving student safety.

St. Francis Parish – Oct 4 – 60th Anniversary Celebration for St. Francis of Assisi Church

Parish Calendar October 2020

St. Francis Bulletin October 18, 2020

Panthers’ Week At A Glance, October 13-16

October 12, 2020

 

It has been said that a thankful heart is a sure-fire way to increase one’s blessings. All the more reason to celebrate this special time of year – Thanksgiving! This very special holiday gives us an opportunity to pause and take stock of all God has given us, and to express our heartfelt gratitude to God and each other. (Source: Let’s Begin With A Prayer, Sally Macke)

O God,
who love all you have created,
we are struggling in these unusual times.

Struggling to see the good,
struggling to have hope,
sometimes struggling to even survive.

But today is a day when Canadians give thanks,
so today we have consciously decided
to put aside worry and fear,
and really Give Thanks.

Thank you for our families and friends,
those who have stayed in contact
through even the hardest days of pandemic.

Thank you for our jobs and for our government,
for ensuring we have food to eat and a place to stay safe.

Thank you for the frontline and healthcare workers
who bravely go to work despite the risks
and strive to make the world safer for everyone.

Thank you for the faith you have given us
which sustains us when the world seems particularly dark.

God, you know how we are suffering,
and we know you love us and are taking care of us.
So today we ask for nothing,
today we simply say
Thank You.

Health and Safety

Our Catholic School Advisory Council has established a safety committee to look at ways we can increase the safety and security of students arriving at/leaving school. They would like, “to ask caregivers, parents and students who are not ready to cross, to stay clear of the area at either side of the crosswalk“. We will try and have a staff member and parent volunteer on either side of the crosswalk to identify gaps in traffic when it is safe to cross the road (vehicles are not required to stop at the crosswalk).

Please keep these City of Kitchener bylaws in mind if you choose to drive your children to school.
Parking is not permitted:

Within 1.5 metres of a driveway
Within 3 metres of a fire hydrant
Within 9 metres of an intersection
In a bike lane
In a school bus loading zone

Note: Please also be aware of all the no parking/no stopping areas around our school.

Please consult the map below for areas where you can park or drop off your child.




 

 

 

The Government’s COVID-19 school screening tool was updated on October 1st and offers the best guidance to help our families/students decide if they should or should not go to school each day by completing the questions in the assessment.

There are now 2 levels to the screening process. If your child does not experience symptoms displayed on the 1st screen, select ‘none of the above’ to see a second level of symptom screening.

The assessment results provide a green checkmark (i.e. go to school) or an orange screen or red screen (do not go to school) and specific next steps for you to follow. Parents should notify the principal if their child does not pass screening.

The Government of Ontario requires families, “to screen for COVID-19 every day before going to school.”

Please read the WCDSB Newswire regarding Important New Guidelines for Siblings of Ill Students.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in keeping students and staff at St. Paul healthy and safe.

St. Francis Parish – Oct 4 – 60th Anniversary Celebration for St. Francis of Assisi Church

Parish Calendar October 2020

St. Francis Bulletin October 11, 2020

Thank you to; St. Francis Parish for the shawls, blessings and support to comfort us during these challenging times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panthers’ Week At A Glance, October 5-9

October 4, 2020

Hello Panthers!

As the weather turns colder, please ensure that our students are properly dressed and have coats and hats/gloves (when necessary).

Harvesting New Fruit

God our Creator,
We see signs of your love for us every year when the crops ripen for harvest. We are thankful for the gifts of the earth. Yet so often we see pollution in the water, air and soil. Teach us to take better care of our world, so that it will always be green, fruitful, and a good home for all your creatures.
St. Paul pray for us. Amen.

Health and Safety

The government has recently updated the COVID-19 school screening tool (October 1st). It offers the best guidance to help our families/students decide if they should or should not go to school each day by completing the questions in the assessment.

The results have been greatly simplified to provide a green checkmark (i.e. go to school) or OR a red screen (do not go to school) and specific next steps.

Important Events This Week

Rowan’s Day (Oct 7) – We are asking everyone to wear purple: In 2013 Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old high school student from Ottawa, lost her life to Second Impact Syndrome; a brain injury caused by suffering a concussion before fully recovering from a previous concussion. In March 2018, the Ontario Government passed Rowan’s Law. Teachers will be taking some time to share and discuss some key messages on how we can all help to recognize and prevent concussions in the future. As a result of this law, the Board has new Concussion Procedures. Everyone’s at risk of head injury and concussion – not just athletes. Know the signs and symptoms of concussion.

Friday, October 9 – PD Day (NO SCHOOL)

Catholic School Advisory Council

On September 29, we had our first virtual council meeting to elect member for our executive positions. Here are the minutes from our meeting.

St. Francis Parish – Oct 4 – 60th Anniversary Celebration for St. Francis of Assisi Church

Parish Calendar October 2020

St. Francis Bulletin October 4, 2020

People can drop off non-perishable food donations for St Vincent de Paul at the church for distribution. Just call ahead and let Alice know you are dropping them off.

Congratulations to St. Francis of Assiss Church on their 60th Anniversary!

 

Francis of Assisi lived in simplicity and in love and inspires us to do the same. Though born to wealth, he left everything behind to follow Christ. Wholehearted in his desire for truth and goodness, he had a huge impact on the people of his time and was canonized shortly after his death.
(Source: Let’s Begin With A Prayer, Sally Macke)

 

 

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