September Newsletter

Holy Name of Mary Catholic School, September 2019

Dear Holy Name of Mary Families,

The beginning of the school year is here! We are thrilled to welcome both our new and returning students. We hope that you had an excellent summer and that you are excited for the year ahead. Our staff has been very hard at work getting the school ready, and we can't wait for our hallways and classrooms to be filled with children again!

As you will see below, we have several changes to the first day of school, bell times, and transportation procedures. Please read through these carefully and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Here's to a fantastic school year!

New Bell Times

Please note our NEW bell times for the 2019-2020 school year:

9:05-9:20 Student Arrival & Breakfast Program (starting Sept. 23rd)

9:20 Classes begin

10:50-11:05 Morning Recess

12:05-12:55 Lunch Recess

*Kindergarten students & Alternative Recess go outside from 12:05-12:25, then come inside to eat from 12:25-12:55. Grades 1-8 eat inside from 12:05-12:25, then go outside from 12:25-12:55.

2:25-2:40 Afternoon Recess

3:40 Dismissal

New Bus Loop

Students who take the bus will now board and get off the bus at our NEW Bus Loop, located at the north side of the school. Staff will be on duty to assist students first thing in the morning and at the end of the day.

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New Kiss & Ride Zone

Our NEW Kiss & Ride Zone provides a safe way for parents to drop their children off in the morning (between 9:05-9:20) and pick them up at the end of the school day. The Kiss and Ride Zone is intended for parents who are dropping off or picking up their child(ren). It is NOT intended for individuals who want to leave their vehicle to walk their child(ren) to the door or to assist their child(ren) to leave the car. If you want to accompany your child to the door, you must park your vehicle in a legal parking spot and walk with your child into the school.

If you are using the Kiss & Ride Zone, please follow these rules:

  • Drive up to the Kiss & Ride Zone along the curb at the front of the school.
  • Please do not block the entrance/exit to the Bus Loop.
  • The first car in line should stop at the stop line by the front door where staff are standing. All other cars should line up behind the first car.
  • Students should enter/exit on the passenger (right) side of the vehicle. Staff will assist students in getting in/out of the vehicle if necessary.
  • Please drive slowly. No faster than 5km in the parking lot please.
  • Do not park in the Kiss & Ride Zone. If you need to exit your car, you must park in a parking spot.
  • Respect the direction from staff who have been asked to enforce these rules.

NOTE: In our new student agendas we stated that students in Grades 4-8 should be picked up at the car gate at the back of the school. For the first week of school, we are going to try having all students who are being picked up use the Kiss & Ride at the front of the school. If all goes well, we will continue to have all students picked up at the front of the school. If we run into too much traffic congestion, however, we will go with our plan to have grades 4-8 picked up at the car gate at the back of the school.

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September Professional Activity Days

Please note that Tuesday, September 3rd and Friday, September 27th are both Professional Activity Days for teachers. Please note that this means that the first day of school is Wednesday, September 4th.
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Welcome Back Assembly

We will kick off the school year with a Welcome Back Assembly on the afternoon of Friday, September 6th. This will be the first time we gather as a whole school to celebrate the start of the new year. It will also be the launch of our new theme for the 2019-2020 school year!
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Purple Band & First Time Rider Programs

STEO's Purple Band Program provides an efficient means to help protect our tiniest travelers – our junior and senior kindergarten passengers. Simply, the purple band is placed around the handgrip on the top of the kindergarten student’s backpack. This band, in conjunction with an awareness program for school staff, parents/guardians and school bus drivers, helps to ensure that our kindergarten students will be met at the bus stop. All Kindergarten students will receive their purple bands on the first day of school.

STEO's First Time Rider Program is especially designed for children who will be riding the school bus for the first time in September. The program reviews bus safety rules and gives children an opportunity to ask questions about school bus safety. Students will watch the Buzzy the Bee Safety Video with their classes on Monday, September 9th. All Kindergarten students will then participate in the First Time Rider program at school on Tuesday, September 10th.

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Scholastic Book Fair

Our first Scholastic Book Fair of the year will take place in the school library from September 17th-19th. Students will have an opportunity to view books during the week with their classes. Books can be purchased all three days during regular school hours, as well as on the evening of Thursday, September 19th during our Back to School BBQ & Open House.

  • Tuesday, September 17th: 9:30am-3:30pm
  • Wednesday, September 18th: 9:30am-3:30pm
  • Thursday, September 19th: 9:30am-3:30pm and 4:30-6:30pm
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Back to School BBQ & Open House

All Holy Name of Mary families are invited to our Back to School BBQ and Open House on Thursday, September 19th from 4:30-6:30pm. Come meet your childrens' teachers and see all the beautiful work that has been done in the school over the past year!
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September Mass

Our September Mass will take place at Holy Name of Mary Parish on Wednesday, September 25th at 10:00am. All students except our Kindergarten students will walk together with their classes to church. Family and community members are invited to join us!
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Terry Fox School Run

Terry Fox o­ften said that it was the youth who would carry forth his efforts and work towards a world without cancer. Millions of students across Canada take part in the Terry Fox School Run every year raising funds for cancer research, making it one of the largest fundraising events in Canadian history and one of the largest displays of solidarity this planet has ever seen! By participating you will help share Terry’s example of courage, strength and hope.

Our Terry Fox School Run will take place on Thursday, September 26th, 2019. Mrs. Russell will send home more information closer to the date of the event.

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Catholic School Council Meeting

Our first Catholic School Council meeting has been set for Tuesday, September 24th at 6:30 pm. If you are interested in being part of this year's Catholic School Council, nomination and self-nomination forms can be picked up at front office. Please complete your form and bring it to the first meeting, which will be held in the school library. Additional forms will also be available at the meeting that evening.

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Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

We will wear orange shirts throughout our school board on Monday, September 30th to remember the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
Phyllis Webstad Orange Shirt Day Presentation

School Cash Online

School Cash Online is a convenient, easy to use and safe method for families to access to pay their children’s various school fees (food orders, agendas, field trips, athletic events, spirit wear, etc.). A letter will go home with your child(ren) shortly, with instructions on how to register for School Cash Online. Please contact the school if you have any problems registering your family.

NOTE: As School Cash Online is the preferred method of payment, we will not accept cash or cheques. Even if an event costs less than $5.00, we ask that you pay for it using school cash online.

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Food Orders

School Cash Online will be available to families shortly to order Subway sandwiches for the month of October and Milk and/or Pizza Slices for a 3-month period beginning September 30th. New this year, we are asking families to place pizza orders for one month at a time instead of weekly as we have in the past. As there were very little fluctuations in the orders on a weekly basis, this will significantly cut down on administrative time in organizing weekly pizza lunches.

NOTE: A reminder that as food order forms are no longer sent home with students, the email notification you receive through School Cash Online will be the only manner in which you will be informed of new items for purchase. Please follow the instructions documented in the school cash online letter sent home with your child(ren) at the start of the school year.

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The Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario's guideline booklet is designed to be a helpful resource for students and parents, providing valuable information about bus safety, student safety, programs, responsibilities and inclement weather. Please consult the online version of the guideline booklet for more information.

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Agendas will be given to all students on the first day of school. Parents will be able to pay for the agendas through School Cash Online as of September 7th, 2019.

We encourage families of students in all grades to use the agenda as a means of communication between yourselves and your child’s teacher. Questions, comments, upcoming appointments, change in end of day pick up times and locations should all be documented in the agenda. This will ensure that the teacher and office staff are aware of any upcoming absences/lates or end of day changes.

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We encourage all families to use their child’s agenda to inform staff and the office of any appointments or end of day changes. This will ensure that your child is in the right place at the right time at the end of the day.

Please keep in mind that calls into classrooms regarding early pickup or changes to end of day routines are disruptive to the teacher and to other students. Where possible, we ask that students remain in class right until the end of day. Calls to the school regarding end of day changes should only be of an emergency nature and should be made before 3:00 pm.

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If you are interested in participating in class field trips or assisting with other school programs and activities this school year, we must have a current Vulnerable Sector Check on file at the office. Please ask for a form at the office and you will be able to get it completed at the Lanark County OPP free of charge.

We recommend completing your Vulnerable Sector Check early in the year. These can be obtained at the Carleton Place Detachment of the Lanark County OPP. Office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The administration office is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Social Justice Squad Success!

For two decades, WE Villages has been engineering an international development model to end poverty. It’s not a handout or a single solution, but a combination of key interventions that empower a community to help themselves. WE Villages has five Pillars of Impact that lead villages to true independence: education, water, health, food and opportunity.

Holy Name of Mary's Grade 7/8 Social Justice Squad did an amazing job of fundraising for three of these pillars throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Funds raised for WE Villages last year by Holy Name of Mary students were:

Health Pillar: $513.00

Food Pillar: $508.39

Water Pillar: $669.25

Thank you so much to all of our Holy Name of Mary families for supporting our Social Justice initiatives!