January Newsletter

Holy Name of Mary Catholic School, January 2020

Happy New Year!

As we return to our busy lives after the peacefulness of the holidays, we are full of the quiet hope, warmth, love and joy Advent and Christmas provided for us. Through this season we have grown in our faith. It has been a time in which the love for God and those people surrounding us has deepened. We are reminded to savor the grace of Advent and the holiness of Christmas as we move through the winter months.
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Catholic School Council Meeting

Our next Catholic School Council Meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 7th at 6:30pm in the school library. All parents and guardians are invited to attend.
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Sources of Strength

During the first two weeks of January, all of our Grade 7 and 8 students will have the opportunity to participate in the Sources of Strength program. Our Grade 8 students will have a full day of training on Friday, January 10th, and our Grade 7 students will have their training on Thursday, January 16th. Michelle Neville, our school board's Mental Health Lead, will lead the training in the library with Ms. Hannigan and Ms. Fitzpatrick.

Sources of Strength is a strength-based comprehensive wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention but impacts other issues such as substance abuse and violence. The program is based on a relational connections model that uses teams of peer leaders mentored by adult advisors to change peer social norms about help seeking and encourages students to individually assess and develop strengths in their life.

Permission forms will be sent home Monday, January 6th. Please sign and return the form to give your child permission to participate in this program.

What is Sources of Strength?

January Assembly

Our January Assembly will take place on Monday, January 13th at 11:30am in the gym. Please note that Mrs. Bowers' class will not be leading the assembly this month, as noted in the January calendar that was sent home. Instead, they will lead another assembly at a later date. All parents and family members are invited to attend!
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Dental Screening

The Dental Screening for JK, SK and Grade 2 students has been rescheduled (hopefully for the last time!) to Tuesday, January 14th.
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Kindergarten Open House

Our Kindergarten Open House will take place on Tuesday, January 14th from 4:30-6:00pm. If you have little ones who are eligible to register for Kindergarten next year, this is a great time to come and meet the staff and take a look around the Kindergarten classrooms.
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Healthy Girls Workshop

On Wednesday, January 15th, the Heritage Fitness Centre will present a one-hour workshop to all our Grade 6 girls. This workshop emphasizes the importance of being active, and discusses ways of increasing self-esteem and peer acceptance. The presentation will also address unrealistic and unhealthy pressures faced by young girls in society today.
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OPP Kids Program

Beginning Friday, January 17th, Constable Joe Tereschuk from the Lanark Ontario Provincial Police will be working with our grade 6 students on a program called OPP KIDS (Knowledge, Issues, Decisions and Supports). This multi-week program has three main purposes:

  • Connect with Kids
  • Reduce self-victimization
  • Prevent Crime

The program covers the following topics:

  • Youth and the Law
  • Peer to Peer Relationships
  • Online and Social Media
  • Drug Awareness
  • Mental Health Awareness

The program covers many expectations in the Ministry of Education Health and Physical Education curriculum document (2010) and the Language curriculum document (2006). Graduates will receive a certificate.

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Ski Club

Our weekly Ski Club at Mount Pakenham will begin on Wednesday, January 15th right after school. Students can bring their equipment to school with them that morning. We will have a designated location for them to store it until after school.

Please ensure that students have lots of extra dry, warm clothes, as they often soak through their mitts and boots at recesses during the school day. It is also important that they have a packed dinner and snacks or money for the cafeteria.

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January Mass

Our January Mass will take place at Holy Name of Mary Church on Wednesday, January 22nd at 10:15am. Mr. Sauve's Grade 5/6 class will be leading the Mass. All families are invited to join us at the church for our monthly celebration.
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Notre Dame Guidance Presentation

On Friday, January 24th at 1:00pm, Ms. McElhone and Mrs. Verge from Notre Dame will come to speak to our Grade 8 students about choosing their high school courses for next year. It is important that all Grade 8 students be in attendance that day.
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Clubs Day

Our next Clubs Day will be held on Thursday, January 30th in the afternoon. Our Junior and Intermediate students have been participating in a wide variety of multi-age monthly clubs that focus on giving back to the school, local and global communities.
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PA Day

Please note that Friday, January 31st is a PA Day. Enjoy your day off!
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From the Office


  1. Please send your child to school on snow days dressed for the weather. Snow days are like any other school day. Children will be going out for morning, lunch and afternoon recess.
  2. There will be no Kiss & Ride in the morning or at the end of day. Please come in to the office to sign your child in & out.
  3. If your child is walking home by themselves on snow days, please write a note in their agenda so that their teacher/office staff are aware.
  4. REMINDER: If your child routinely walks to school, please ensure you call the office on snow days if your child will be staying at home. This is to ensure the safety of all our students.


Thank you to all parents for writing early pick ups or end of day changes in your child's agenda. This greatly helps the office staff ensure that your child is at the right place/right time when you come to pick them up. If you are picking up more than one child, please ensure that you write a note in each child's agenda.


Our Kiss & Ride is working very well and has become very effective in quick departures for students and their families at the end of the day. Parents, please remember to remain in your car, and please move up when a spot becomes available. NOTE: Please do NOT double park or block access to busses that are exiting or entering the bus loop at the side of the school.

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From the Health Unit

Now that the Christmas holidays are over, do you find yourself struggling to get back into a regular routine again? If so, you are not alone! It’s normal for a change in routine to throw everyone off. It can take time to readjust. Our kids may be testing the boundaries a little bit more (which is normal). Be consistent with routines and expectations. It will help kids to adjust more quickly. Sleep, healthy food, physical activity, time for play and one-on-one time with a parent will help your child manage stress better. These things work for parents too!

For more parenting tips, visit www.triplep-parenting.ca, call 1-800-660-5853, or email triplep@healthunit.org. Parenting Matters!

STRESS You and Your Teen

In today’s world many families are experiencing high amounts of stress - and that includes our kids and teens.

How can you, as a parent, help your child/teen navigate stress?

· Tune into your own stress: how you deal with your own stress is linked to how you help teens, how they experience stress, and how they learn to cope with their stress

· Maintain your parent-child relationship: any positive influence you want to have on your teen depends on a good relationship

· Recognize the signs of stress: symptoms of stress include angry outbursts, moodiness, irritability, sadness, anxiety or panic, headaches, upset stomach and difficulty sleeping

· Talk about stress, help with problem solving and provide practical support

· Provide a healthy home base: a healthy diet, enough sleep, physical activity and the time and space to relax are the basic tools for copying with stress

For more information see: A Tool for Parenting Teens , A Tool for Parenting Children, Triple P Ontario

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