Dear OLF Parents and Guardians,
We welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year! We hope that you and your family enjoyed a safe and happy summer, with many faith-filled and memorable moments. We are so happy to welcome our students and families back to school.
On the September PA Days, staff worked diligently to finalize class placements, clean the school and prepare classrooms, organize start up materials, and review guidelines and protocols to prepare a safe and welcoming environment for OLF students, based on the 2021-2022 School Re-Entry Plan. On behalf of the staff, a special note of appreciation to our parent community for your support and patience as we adjust to our changing environment.
We currently are in the process of hiring staff for the French Immersion program, specifically a Grade 3 teacher, 5 /6 French Immersion English Teacher as well as an Itinerant Phys Ed and Music Teacher. We hope to have teachers in place for these classes as soon as possible.
We would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank our past 2020/2021 Catholic School Council members for devoting their time and expertise to our school community. As we embark on a new school year, please consider becoming a part of our 2021/2022 Catholic School Council.We cannot emphasize the importance of this learning partnership enough, and with that in mind, extend an invitation to our parent community to consider becoming a member of the OLF Catholic School Council. This is an exciting opportunity for parents to become involved in the academic, social and spiritual aspects of school life here at Our Lady of Fatima. The Catholic School elections and first meeting will be held virtually using the Google Meet platform this year, in order to comply with the Ministry of Education and Public Health guidelines. Please note that up to 250 members may participate in a Google Meet. The Principal will record the Catholic School Council meetings and post the recording on the school website. This will be maintained by Google for a period of 30 days.
According to YCDSB Policy 606:3.1.3 we are advising our community that the Catholic School Council election and nomination process and timeline has now begun.
3.1.3 Catholic School Council elections shall be held within the first thirty (30) calendar days of each school year, on a date that is fixed by the current Chair or Co-Chairs of the Catholic School Council in consultation with the Principal (Ontario Regulation 612/00, s. 4(4).
Parents must submit CSC Nomination Google Form to the Principal on or before Monday, September 27, 2021 by 3PM. Confirmation that nominated candidates accept the nomination is done via telephone call by the Principal on Tuesday, September 28th, 2021. Please review the responsibilities and procedures outlined below and submit the form by the indicated deadline. As per Policy 606:3.2.5 only 1 voting candidate per household unless there are less than 21 nominees. We look forward to working with you.
Responsibilities of Catholic School Councils per Regulation:
Conduct yearly elections – within first 30 days
Hold a minimum of 4 meetings a year
Hold meetings in school or in a location accessible to the public (virtual)
Keep minutes of meetings
All financial transactions must be recorded
Publish an annual report; submit to Principal & Board
Consult with parents on matters under consultation by the council
Focus on initiatives that promote student learning and achievement
Foster our Catholic faith and help students to practice and live their faith through council initiatives
May engage in fundraising initiatives as per School Board policy
Catholic School Council Membership:
Parents (minimum 21; to be elected by parents)
Student Representative (appointed by the Principal)
Parish Representative (appointed by Pastor)
Community Representative (appointed by Council)
Non-Teaching Staff (1; elected by non-teaching staff)
Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education (1)
Teacher (1; elected by Teachers)
Principal (automatic member)
We thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working together in partnership. The first CSC meeting this year will take place virtually on Wednesday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. Please note that the results of the election will take place at the first CSC meeting. Please be sure to visit our website https://olf.ycdsb.ca/ for updates.
Here are some more important highlights that should be noted:
VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Teachers will continue to maintain VLEs ( virtual learning environments) in the event we need to pivot to online learning. More information will be shared during our Virtual Curriculum Night Thursday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. Two sessions will be offered: one commencing at 6:30 pm and the other session commencing at 7:00 p.m.
NEW BELL TIMES
Please note the following:
First Recess: 10:10am-10:25am
Last Recess: 2:05pm-2:20pm
YCDSB MENTAL HEALTH
We believe that all students benefit from a mentally healthy classroom! Now more than ever, it is important to connect with our students and families and support inclusion and belonging. We know that students learn best when they know that their uniqueness is celebrated, their voices are heard, they feel safe, they feel valued, and they know they belong.
That’s why we are supporting inclusion and belonging by:
- Posting and relaying positive, hopeful messages that inspire a sense of wellness and belonging;
- Sharing welcoming messages;
- Taking extra time to talk to students and to let them talk:
“What I missed most about school”
“What I learned, or appreciated during the pandemic was..”
“One thing that made me happy was…”
This month and throughout the year, we celebrate the uniqueness of each student– their God given talents, interests and of course their strengths. I am Human: Unique and Imperfect – Beautiful Inspiring Video! If you are looking for a great resource to help you as parents support your child(ren), please read the following: How to Support a Mentally Healthy Back to School For Your Child. In addition, here are some YCDSB links to Mental Health Supports:
Student & Family site: https://sites.google.com/ycdsb.ca/student-mental-health-ycdsb/home
EMERGENCY FORMS, TECHNOLOGY FORMS AND MISCELLANEOUS FORMS FROM THE OFFICE
Forms have been sent home. Please ensure that you complete these forms as soon as possible in order that we may have the most up to date records for your child(ren).
VISITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER THE SCHOOL
Parents must call the school for any concerns. If a visitor has approval to enter the school the COVID screener must be completed, visitors must wear a mask, sign in, sanitize their hands and report to the office.
Parents are kindly asked to report student absences and lates using the Safe Arrival number: 1-855-856-7862 or visit go.schoolmessenger.ca.
ILLNESS AT SCHOOL
If your child becomes ill at school, they will be removed from class and parents will be contacted immediately to pick up the student.
A reminder to bring a refillable water bottle daily and a change of shoes (both indoor and outdoor shoes are required).
Directional arrows and decals have been placed in the school corridors to assist with directionality and flow of traffic within the building.
The York Catholic District School Board recognizes that there are some students within the school system who have a diagnosis of asthma that could be life threatening. The Board also recognizes that asthma management is a shared responsibility among students, parents, caregivers, and the school community. It is the responsibility of parent(s)/guardian(s) to advise the school immediately upon registration and/or when in receipt of a diagnosis of asthma. It is also the responsibility of parent(s)/guardian(s) to ensure that all medical information pertinent to their child’s diagnosis of asthma is always current. If you have not completed your forms or require a form, please contact the office.
ANAPHYLAXIS & ALLERGIES
The YCDSB has an anaphylactic policy to help protect students affected by life threatening allergies. As outlined in the Board’s policy, parents are asked to inform the school of such allergies, and required to fill in S15 and S15a forms which are available in the office. For students whose allergies were previously known to the school, forms were emailed to families in June. Each form must include a passport sized photo so that the student is easily identifiable by staff. Parents are asked to ensure that students for whom Epi-Pens are prescribed have two EpiPens at school. It is strongly advised and encouraged that one Epi-Pen is to be on the student’s person at all times and the other stored in the office for emergency use. We continue to remind and inform our students NOT to share food in our school environment (including on the school grounds, buses, before/after school and in any school sanctioned events for students) and wash their hands. If you are new to our school and your child has an allergy, please contact the office for the appropriate documentation if required. ‘Allergy Safe’ environment signs are posted by the classroom doors. S15 & S15a forms will be reviewed by classroom teachers, itinerant teachers, support staff, and supply staff. Staff have also received training and information on recognizing the signs of an anaphylactic reaction, how to take appropriate action, and how to administer the Epi-Pen.
MEDICATION AT SCHOOL
Whenever possible, we ask that medications be administered at home. However, should your child require medications to be administered at school please pick up the required S16 and S16a forms from the office. Complete the form (including physician’s signature) and return it to school. Students are not to keep medication (aside from inhalers and EpiPens) in their knapsack or in the classroom. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
The YCDSB appreciates concerns related to Pediculosis at the school, community, and regional level. The Board also recognizes that the Ministry of Health does not designate Pediculosis as a communicable disease, and as such, it is not considered a health hazard to the community. Anyone can get head lice, regardless of cleanliness. Head lice is not a public hazard, as it does not cause illness, but they are a nuisance. Please check your child’s head regularly for lice or nits. If yoU find lice or nits, kindly contact the school office. Students will be readmitted to school once treatment has been administered and confirmed by the parent, in accordance with the procedures of this policy.
Students are able to remove their masks at recess. Physical distancing is recommended, however students playing high contact sports such as soccer and basketball MUST wear a mask. If your child would like to bring equipment, please note that only soft sports balls are permitted on the asphalt portion of the yard. Thank you for your cooperation with this matter.
OLF Spirit wear is available for purchase. To access the virtual store please click here.
On a final note, please refrain from emailing Principal Garito as she is on a leave of absence and will not respond to emails. If you have a concern, kindly direct your concern to the office.
Wishing all our OLF Families a great start to the new school year! A special blessing to our Grade 3’s who will receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion on Saturday, September 18, 2021. May God Bless you.
Yours in Catholic Education,