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Weekly News April 6

April 04, 2020

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Dear Thunderbolt Families!

We are so looking forward to a week of school!  Although it is distance learning school, we have felt so blessed this week to reconnect with our students and families.  We are all called to be disciples of Jesus but teachers fulfill this calling through our service to our students.   Our virtues shine most when we are able to help students develop emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.   Being able to hear from the students has brought tears of emotion to many of us this past week.  We look forward to journeying with our families to provide learning and support until we are able to come together physically again.

This week is Holy Week and today is Palm Sunday.  This is such a special time in the church.  While we recall Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for us, it is a reminder that his sacrifice brought us eternal life.  We pray this week for continued strength as Jesus showed on his journey to the cross.  May our solidarity this week in prayer with our fellow Catholics and Christians also help us to feel our common strength - even as we all stay physically far apart.  We put our fears, worries, and anxieties at the foot of the cross for Jesus.

"Blessed is  He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

Matthew 21:9


Weekly News

  • Supplementary Learning Plans
  • Our staff have been working hard to make our learning plans for our students.  Here are some points that we want to share with you regarding these plans as we begin our first week this Monday.   Keep in mind that our first priority continues to be building positive relationships and to encourage student learning.  These guidelines for supplementary learning were outlined by the Ministry of Education.
    • Supplementary learning is optional but we strongly encourage participation.  Families are welcome to complete whatever they are able throughout this time.  So if you have a week that you cannot participate, join again the next week.  
    • Teachers are trying to be flexible to provide different ways to engage.  For health and safety, we are not able to provide print materials directly to you yet.   This will be revisited after Easter as a school division and would only be considered if we could safely provide these materials to families.  At this time, all our materials will be sent by email.  We are trying to share activities that may not need technology to complete so you will have different ways to interact with the learning.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.
    • The timelines for the learning varies for different grades.  We are not trying to overwhelm families as we know that mental and physical health are the top priority.  Most teachers are trying to send a week at a glance so that you can also be flexible in when you complete the activities.
      • Kindergarten and PreKindergarten:  3 hours/week
      • Grade 1 - 2:  5 hours/week
      • Grade 3 - 5:  7 hours/week
      • Grade 6-8:  10 hours/week
    • Essential learning is the focus of the lessons.  The Supplemental Learning Plan provides the guidelines for each grade but the focus is on language/literacy and math/numeracy.  Other subject areas may be reflected in these activities such as social, science and health.    Arts Education is important to build the creative mind and Physical Education is critical but especially now with our current situation.  These may be integrated also with the subject areas. 
    • Assessment is focused on feedback, not grades.  The Ministry of Education stated that marks would not go down as of March 13, 2020 and that all students would progress to the next grade in elementary schools.  Teachers will be focusing efforts on providing feedback for key learning tasks to build the essential skills that our students will need for the next grade.  Progress reports will not go out until the end of June.  More to come on assessment in the coming weeks.  If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact me.
    • Online reading resources are available from both our library and the public library.  The app is called Sora.  Please click here for all information needed to help you and your child connect to this resource.  There are books for all ages.
  • Stronger Together is our key message.  We are available for support.  The office phone is checked regularly so please reach out.  Our school email is also monitored daily as well as our individual email accounts.   If you need help with school work or are struggling with other needs, please connect to us.  We have people and resources that we can try to assist depending on the need.   We may not be able to get back to you immediately but we will do our best to always reply within 24 hours.  By working together and being compassionate, we will be the Bolt of Light that is needed to get through this.
  • Spirit Days are important to build school community.  Even in remote learning, we can show spirit.  Thunderbolt Thursday remains and I have not yet missed one from my home!  Ms. Nicolson and our student leadership team have created a weekly spirit focus as well.  These are listed below and on our main webpage as well.  We are inviting families to submit their pictures of these challenges to stgregory@rcsd.ca.  These will be used to create a weekly slideshow.  The details are included in the poster below.  Let's make our Thunderbolt pride shine bright!St. Gregory Virtual Spirit Days.png
Parent Corner

Our goal is to continue to support our families physically, mentally and spiritually.  We hope our little tips each week will provide a little "Bolt of Light" for your families health and safety.

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Homework Tip
Give Choices: This is especially relevant with younger children.  As with any non-preferred task, the more a child feels in control of the situation, the more successful he/she will be.  "Would you like to start with this Math activity, or your spelling words?"
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Holy Week Triduum
Stations of the Cross:  Watch the Stations of the Cross as a family to pray them.  This is a great activity to reflect on Holy Week.  This is one version  that will lead you in prayer.
Triduum CraftThis site has a beautiful activity to remind your children about the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday.  This year you can watch these special masses from your computer.  This is also a little activity you can do each day.
Holy Week Masses:  Remember to watch the Holy Week masses from the ArchDiocese webpage.  Click here for the links.
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Mental Wellness Tips for Quarantine
From Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D.:
1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.

2. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to have a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.

Click here for help links to connect to other mental health supports.
Click here for a great visual to use with your children to build mental wellness.

Upcoming Events   

  • Easter Holidays begin on Friday, April 10.  Distance learning will resume on Monday, April 20.  
  • Remember to watch the webpage and our emails for our upcoming Spirit Days!  We will take your pictures during Easter Vacation of your Easter theme photos and activities.
  • We are looking for volunteer families to highlight on our webpage each week.  Please email Mrs. Forrest at l.forrest@rcsd.ca if you would like to participate.

Weekly Prayer - Palm Sunday

Loving God,
I am just beginning to realize how much you love me.
Your son, Jesus was humble and obedient.
He fulfilled your will for him by becoming human and suffering with us.
I ask you for the desire to become more humble
so that my own life might also bear witness to you.
I want to use the small sufferings I have in this world
to give you glory.
Please, Lord, guide my mind with your truth.
Strengthen my life by the example of Jesus.
Help me to be with Jesus in this week
as he demonstrates again his total love for me.
He died so that I would no longer
be separated from you.
Help me to feel how close you are
and to live in union with you.


Growing in God's Grace

Leanne Forrest

St. Gregory Principal