Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year! We are both very excited to begin this new school year in this vibrant school community. We feel very fortunate to be part of the dedicated Holy Spirit School Team that focuses on the development for the whole child through their commitment to high expectations and collaboration.
A warm welcome to those families with children beginning school for the first time, those new to our school and those who are returning. We trust that the summer has given you time for relaxation and renewal. We look forward to a wonderful year with many opportunities for learning and growing. We hope you will feel comfortable and involved with your child’s learning throughout the year. We welcome your presence at school, encourage you to become active partners in the education process, and invite you to volunteer at the school whenever and wherever possible.
Many thanks are extended to the staff who spent countless hours getting the classrooms ready for students on the first day. A very special thank you is also extended to our Administrative Assistants, Linda Thompson and Kathleen Lirusso, who went above and beyond to ensure that we are ready in the office to begin this new school year. As well, a thank you to Tony Camara and Maria Silveira who worked countless hours ensuring that our school sparkles and looks beautiful.
May God bless all of us who work, pray and learn together with new friendships, successful learning, good health and happiness.
Mr. Dinner and Mr. Hunt
Prayer for the Beginning of the New School Year
As our children leave for school,
We pray that you will keep them in your care.
Send Your Spirit to open their minds
to all that is true and beautiful and good.
Help them to see the gifts and talents
You have given them and to use them well.
Help them to grow in knowledge and wisdom.
Help them to be kind to others
and lead others to be kind to them.
Give their teachers patience and understanding
and help them teach what is just and true.
Send your angels to guide and guard our children and to keep them from all harm.
Open their young hearts to Your presence
and enfold them in Your peace and protection.
Hold them in the palm of Your hand
and bring them home safely at day’s end.
Welcome New Staff
With a new school year comes some change. We would like to welcome back and introduce the following new staff members to the Holy Spirit Community:
Teachers: JK/SK Nichole Winslow, Gr 2/3 Sarah Caprio, Gr 3 Kyla MacDonald, Gr 6 Stephanie Da Costa, Gr 7 Lizzie Sartoretto, Gr 7/8 Elsa Lemos
Educational Assistant: Holly Morrison
Welcome Back: Angela Ianni, Eden Andary
Calendar of Events
We are working hard as a staff team to keep our website calendar up to date. If you want to be aware of important school-wide dates, please check the calendar on the website.
You can also add the calendar to your phone by using the following link:
Greening Celebration and School Mass
Parent council and their community partners have worked hard to create several natural play areas. These beautiful new green learning environments facilitate a space for our youngest learners to develop their sense of inquiry and wonder in the world. To celebrate this step forward in our journey as a school, we will be hosting a community celebration and mass on September 21st. We hope you will be able to join us. All are welcome.
TRANSPORTATION: Check the Student Transportation website at: www.stswr.ca (you can subscribe right on their website & receive emails directly!) OR check the board’s website at www.wcdsb.ca and click on Delays/Cancellations.
SCHOOL FORMS: The first weeks of school are hectic! We as a school need to send home many pieces of literature for parents to read. Some paperwork needs to be filled out and returned to school. ALSO, Some forms are now online. We ask that you please pay close attention to this request and be prompt in completing the required information and return it to school as soon as possible. We need to have current information on each student, so that it will facilitate matters in keeping the lines of communication open between school and home and when trying to contact parents in cases of emergency.
STUDENT ABSENCES: It is very important that we know where your children are for their safety. If your child is going to be absent or late, please call the office at 519-621-8973 and leave a message on the attendance line, please select “1” for the attendance line and leave a message. If we have not heard from you, we will call you at home and/or at work. If we are unable to locate anyone in regards to the whereabouts of your child, our next step may be to phone the police.
DOGS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY: Dogs are NOT permitted on school property. If you need to bring your dog to pick up or drop off a child please ensure you do this OFF school property. Dogs must always be on leashes and kept under control. Please consider the safety of our children at all times.
BIKES: If your children are bringing their bikes to school, they MUST have and use their BIKE HELMET and a LOCK to ensure their safety. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen bicycles. Bicycles must be walked on school property.
VOLUNTEERS IN THE SCHOOL: We welcome and encourage volunteers in our school. As a Catholic school system, we value the additional expertise and the positive school/community partnerships fostered by volunteers. Our school requires a police record check every year for regular volunteers. See the office for a letter to assist with the cost.
SCHOOL AGENDAS: All students from Grades 1-8 have received a Student Agenda. The cost of the agendas are $3.00 per agenda. The student agenda enables the student to learn valuable organizational skills and it is often used as an important communication tool between parents and teacher. It also contains our School Handbook, Dress Code, Code of Conduct and other important information. Please review the school handbook pages at the front of you child’s student agenda so that we can work together to promote a positive and safe school environment for all. Parents are asked to sign the first section in the planner to indicate they have read this book with their child(ren).
PICKING UP STUDENTS EARLY: If you are picking up your child early from school, please ensure there is a note in your child’s agenda. Your child will then meet you at the office. Remember, adults picking up children MUST sign them out of the office.
SAFE AND SECURE SCHOOLS: To ensure the safety and well being of all students, visitors, parents, guardians and others MUST report to the main office and obtain a Visitor’s ID badge if you wish to proceed beyond the main office. A pass can be obtained by signing in at the office. Remember, parents and visitors, etc. are NOT permitted to be on the school yard during recess and lunch breaks. Please report to the office.
PEANUT AND NUT FREE ENVIRONMENT: We have students and staff who suffer from anaphylaxis. We ask that you DO NOT send any food items that contain peanuts or nut products to school OR any peanut butter substitute. While there are products that look like peanut butter, smell and taste like peanut butter but are not made of peanuts or nuts, we ask that you DO NOT send these products to school. We are not able to differentiate between real and “fake” peanut butter therefore are not allowed at school.
YARD SUPERVISION: We will continue to have supervision on the yard at 8:40 am. Please have your children arrive at the school AFTER supervision begins in the morning. The safety of your children is our prime concern.
Pizza Days & Exciting New Meal Options!
We are continuing our hot lunch program, and we have decided to provide this service through lunchboxorders.com. We piloted the company in the Spring and found the service and quality to be exceptional. The website is user friendly and allows families choice and flexibility when it comes to which meals you would like to have provided. We will still be doing Pizza on Fridays and then a variety of other hot meals on Wednesday. A full calendar is provided on their website when you sign up. Please sign up this week so you don’t miss out when we begin our hot lunch program next week. Thank you for supporting our community.
Holy Spirit BBQ & Meet the Teacher Night Tuesday, September 19th from 5:00-7:00
Please join us on Tuesday, Sept. 19th for our annual BBQ and meet the teacher night. Our BBQ will be from 5:00-6:00 pm. Hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks will be available. Parents/guardians and students are then invited to visit their classrooms from 6:00-7:00 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and to connect with other wonderful community members.
Busing, Parking and Safe Access to School Property for our Students and Families
The SAFETY of our STUDENTS is always our TOP PRIORITY! Our parking lot and access lane continues to be a busy hub for our school. Like most schools, our parking lot will remained closed in the morning and at the end of the day. We currently have 4 large buses that access the school parking lot daily to start and end our day. We also have a booked a number of specialty buses and/or taxis that are needed to drop off students who require alternative or wheel chair transportation.
Throughout the school year, the WCDSB Health and Safety Departments, the City of Cambridge, School Council, and our Staff Team will continue to be included in our analysis and decision making as we maintain the safe arrival and departure of our students. Again, thanks for your patience and the steps you take to ensure the safety of our students each day!
For now, please consider the following strategies to ensure safety:
Walking to School – Students who live greater than 1.6 km are bused directly to the school – all other students live within walking distance and walking to and from school is a great healthy lifestyle habit to encourage
Bike Racks – We have bike racks to lock student’s bicycles for those who chose to ride to school
If Dropping-off and Picking-up – Create a family routine – If driving your child, Please Park or Drop off a safe distance from the school and walk the children onto school property – this will avoid unnecessary traffic directly in front of the school where safety is key
Crossing Guard – Our Crossing Guard ensures safe crossing at Myers Rd. and Gatehouse.
Kindergartens at Front Gate – Our Kindergartens will be received or picked up at the front gate – allowing smooth flow of our students and parents walking before and after school along the sidewalk.
Students and Parents accessing or leaving the school yard – Please cross at the walk-way or side walk where our staff wait each morning and end of day – this leads to the sidewalk where parents can drop off.
Kindergartens at the front gate and/or walk students safely to the back school yard – OR – Use the long walkway that runs along our parking lot directly to the sidewalk on Gatehouse Dr. – Note: We want to maintain safety and have “safe access points” so that we can avoid walking through the parking lot or between buses arriving or departing.
Please observe Parking Signs to avoid ticketing – there are some side streets nearby that have one side clear for parking or dropping off (if absolutely needed) but there are some areas where you cannot pull over at all and/or stop or drop off – please observe these zones and signs.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!
Holy Spirit TERRY FOX Cancer Walk/Run- Sept. 28th (PM) … Rain Date Sept. 29 (PM)
Cancer has touched our lives and we stand together as a community to support those we love and fight for a cure. On Thursday, Sept. 28th, we will walk/run as a whole school community to show our support for a cure and show how AWESOME our school community is- putting our faith into action. As well, we will come to know and honour such a wonderful Canadian Hero – Terry Fox. His legacy of courage and compassion will live forever.
Our challenge is $2.00 per student/staff/volunteer.
We plan to raise over $1,200.00 for this great cause! Way to go Flames!
School Council Meeting – October 4th
We are looking for new members to support our Council. Please join us and learn more about our school and community! A letter and sign-up form will be sent home next week. Our first meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 4th at 6:30 pm. Thanks!
Holy Spirit School COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS
- Sign up for Newswire at our school website – the link is https://newswire.wcdsb.ca/HolySpirit.html to allow you to receive monthly newsletters, updates from Council, reminders about what is happening at the school (e.g., hot lunch days, pizza days, spirit wear deadlines, etc.). Signing up is EASY! Enter your email and you will receive a confirmation that you are connected! We are trying to reduce our ecological footprint by reducing paper and copying – but if a paper copy is needed, just send your child or stop by the office. Thanks!
- Register for School Cash Online at http://wcdsb.schoolcashonline.com. There are many updates, permissions forms and opportunities for you to pay online securely with a credit card or an e-cheque. If you are hesitant about paying online, we would ask that you register to receive the updates and information. We are shooting for 100% participation! CASH is also accepted for any school events.
- Follow us on Twitter! @HSFlames
We often post pictures or news items “in the moment” or as soon as possible – to keep you up to date with what is happening in and around our school community! We have an AWESOME COMMUNITY and we want to share great moments as they happen.