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St. Edmunds Newsletter – September 2020

A warm welcome back to all students and families of St. Edmund’s Elementary School, with a very special welcome to our new families who are joining our community this year. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer holiday and took the opportunity to spend time together with your close ones. Our entire world has faced many changes and challenges over the past six months, but with faith I continue to look to the future with hope and optimism.

We are truly blessed to be working with you to nurture your children in their spiritual, social, emotional, academic and physical development. St. Edmund’s is a true partnership of home, school, parish. As a community, we look forward to supporting all our children to reach their full potential. Let us continue to foster an environment in which children will be encouraged to be creative thinkers and problem solvers as well as advocates of social justice, with Jesus as their inspiration and role model. It is my hope that each member of our school community reflect about how we can connect, care and contribute to make the 2020-2021 school year meaningful and fulfilling.

Daily Health Check

Please review our school’s Safety Plan that was sent out last week and also posted on our school website. It contains important information about the procedures and expectations for keeping our students, staff and parent community safe. Parents will be required to do a daily “Health Check” (see last page) with their children each morning before coming to school. Print out the form and keep it on your fridge or in a place convenient for you so it can be used daily.

Kindergarten Gradual Entry

The gradual entry schedule for Kindergarten students, which begins with family interviews on Tuesday and Wednesday, was sent out in June. Please refer to the schedule for the exact times your child will attend. Beginning Monday, September 21st, all Kindergarten students will attend for the full day from 8:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. The school schedule/hours of instruction are as follows:

8:45 a.m Primary classes begin
9:00 a.m Intermediate Classes begin
10:15-10:45 am Primary Recess
10:30-10:45 a.m Intermediate Recess
12:00-12:45 p.m Primary Lunch Recess (Play first)
12:15-1:00 p.m Intermediate Lunch Recess (Eat First)
2:45 p.m Primary Dismissal
3:00 p.m Intermediate Dismissal

Please note that we are staggering our entry and dismissal times. All children will be entering from the Mahon Street lower gate and exiting from the 6th Street gate. Please follow the drop-off/pick up procedures that were outlined in the Restart Plan that was sent home last week.

We ask that you be respectful of the rules that have been established for the safety of all and that you obey the parking/no stopping signs in the neighborhood. Please refer to our Safe Routes Plan which was developed over the past 2 years. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Regular attendance and prompt arrival at school is important if your child is to gain full benefit from the school program. Please do your best to ensure your child arrives to school on time each day. If your child is going to be late or absent for any reason, please call or email our school office at Students who are late must report to the office for a late slip. If we do not receive a call or email or notification and your child is not at school, we will call to ensure his/her safe arrival.

Archdiocesan Theme: Walk with Jesus Our Living Hope Christ

This year’s spiritual theme is “Walk with Jesus Our Living Hope”. Our dedicated staff has been working hard to prepare for an amazing school year. We hope that students and the community at large will put our faith into action in the classroom, on the playground and at home as we look towards recognizing God’s truth, beauty and goodness in our world.


St. Edmund’s is blessed to have a dedicated team of educators and support staff. We extend a special welcome to our newest Tbirds: Mr. Aguirre, Mrs. Wass (formerly Miss Quiambao who was married this summer!), Miss Grace, Ms. Montan, Miss Wong, Miss Tustin, and Mrs. Dente. Our staff for the 2020-2021 school year:

Fr. Steny Mascarenhas Pastor Fr. Cannio Cardozo Assistant Pastor
Ms. Diana Silva Principal Miss Nikki Bruschetta Kindergarten
Miss Taylor Grace Grade 1 Mrs. Bernadette Wass Grade 2
Mrs. Daniela Oman Grade 3 Mr. Fernando Aguirre Grade 4
Mr. Adam Grossi Grade 5 Mrs. Frankie Lorezca Grade 6
Mr. Mark Dotto Grade 7 Miss Kelsey Singer Learning Resource
Mrs. Karen Dy Library (Tuesday, Thursday) Miss Jessica Cheung French (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
Ms. Maryna Prysyazhnyuk Music (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) Miss Aryanna Chartrand Education Assistant
Miss Jessica Diego Education Assistant Mr. Kelvin Lee Education Assistant
Ms. Rhonda Manson Education Assistant Ms. Stephanie Montan Education Assistant
Miss Adrianna Szpak Education Assistant Miss Sarah Tustin Education Assistant
Miss Kaitlin Wu Education Assistant Mrs. Alexis deFreitas Office Administrator / Bookkeeper
Mrs. Rosa Dente Secretary (Tuesday, Thursday)

School Uniforms:

As we begin the school year, it is appropriate to be reminded that the school uniform be worn with pride and with attention to detail:

  • Sweaters should be in good condition. Holes should be repaired or patched, or the sweater should be replaced.
  • Footwear: all black, non-marking shoes. Navy blue dress socks should be worn with dress shoes.
  • Hair should not be dyed or coloured in any way. Hair accessories that tie back long hair should be subdued in nature. (Plain black, blue or tartan pattern)
  • Jewelry must be subdued in nature. Only stud earrings are permitted.
  • Nails should be clear and make-up is not to be worn.
  • PE uniform can be purchased from the school. Other uniform pieces are to be purchased at Cambridge Uniforms. Please ensure all uniform pieces are labelled with your child’s name.

Thank you for supporting our uniform policy and keeping our students looking their best.


In order to assist with the communication between home and school, a monthly newsletter will be published and other school updates will be emailed home as events arise. It is important that you read these communications in order to be informed about school policies and procedures as well as notable accomplishments and upcoming events. In an effort to be environmentally friendly, the newsletter and bulletins will be emailed to you. A paper copy will be available at the school office and posted on the Parent Information Board in the school entrance. Please ensure we have your correct email address as well as updated contact information for all correspondence.

Email Communication:

Over the summer Mrs. DeFreitas has collated the emails families listed in the registration forms. These emails have been organized by grade in order to help communication between the school and parents. Families can expect to receive school newsletters, announcements, and program information through email. If your email has changed since March, please notify the office of the change.

Teacher email is for general communication purposes. This form of communication is not a replacement for parent-teacher conferences. The office email can be used for absentee notes or other items relevant to the office staff. You may contact the office at

Visitors in the School

As outlined in the Restart Safety Plan, visitors in the school will be limited. If for any reason you need to come into the school, please notify us first by making an appointment. When you arrive, please ring the school buzzer and follow the established safety guidelines. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Student Lunches

Please ensure that your child brings a healthy recess snack and healthy lunch to school each day. Reusable water bottles should also be brought daily and should be labeled with your child’s name. In the interest of being stewards of the Earth as well as not having the ability to handle large amounts of food waste in our garbage, we will continue to ask students to bring all leftover food back home so that it can be put into the compost. Please send school lunches in reusable plastic (no glass) containers, helping to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill.

Medical Alerts & Allergies

Ensuring a safe and healthy school environment is a responsibility shared by students, parents and staff. We have a number of students in our school who have serious, life threatening allergies to peanuts and nut products. This means that any contact with peanuts, nuts or nut products, in even trace amounts, may endanger a life. We are requesting the assistance of all families to keep our school a peanut and nut aware environment. Please do not send snacks and lunch items that contain nuts or nut oils. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Leading Our Kids Back to School

In these times of uncertainty, it is very easy to get swept up in the hysteria of fear and caution. Dr. Deborah MacNamara, well respected child psychologist and counsellor states how we need to ensure that we balance serious safety measures with the emotional/social health of our children as we approach the start of the new school year. Please click on the link for Dr. MacNamara’s article:

Sign In / Sign Out & Afterschool Exit Procedures

Students leaving early during the school day for an appointment must be signed out at the school office and signed in when they return back to the school. Please remember that all students will be dismissed at the end of each day from the back school doors that lead into the playground. Please be on time to pick up your children and leave the grounds immediately in order to practice social distancing and to keep everyone safe.

Parent Participation & Volunteers

We are in the process of making adjustments to some of the parent participation positions due to the COVID protocols. Please go to our website Parent Participation Login to check for opportunities to fulfill your participation obligation. If you require assistance with your login, please contact the office.

Note: All volunteer positions that are directly involved with students require a Criminal Record Check. If you have previously applied for a CRC, it is valid for 5 years. If you are unsure or are new to the school and would like to volunteer, please see Mrs. deFreitas in the office. Thank you for helping making our students’ safety a priority.


Our athletics program will continue with some adaptations to meet our safety protocols. Intermediate students will have the opportunity to develop their skills within their learning group cohorts. While there won’t be any formal competitions or tournaments against other schools, we plan to provide a well-developed school-based program. Stay tuned for further information later this month.

With Appreciation

  • Over the summer the upper classrooms and library got a fresh coat of paint and new flooring was installed in the grade 7 classroom. We are also grateful to have an additional outdoor learning space in our front garden. Thank you to the Brisco Family for their donation that initiated this wonderful project. We also appreciate donations from our parishioners that enabled the purchase of picnic tables, benches and extra planters. Many thanks to our PEC for their support, especially Fr. Steny & Mr. Serafino Vignone for their leadership in coordinating these maintenance projects.
  • Thank you to Mr. Ruben Sarabia and his maintenance team for their continual T.L.C. over the summer to help us get ready for the start of the school year.
  • To our teachers, education assistants and office support staff for all their efforts, dedication and commitment in these days leading up to our first day back to school.
  • We are grateful for Mrs. Natalia Sharp’s dedication and commitment in our office over the past three years. We wish her many blessings in her future goals.

Meet the Teacher Night

On Tuesday, September 22, parents are invited to “virtually”’ meet their child’s teacher and hear about the curriculum and goals for the school year. This is an important opportunity for you, as parents, to learn how you can support your children in their learning. Information will be shared about class expectations, routines, and important dates. It is an expectation, as outlined in your parent statement of commitment, that every family is represented at this important meeting. Please note that this 30 minute meeting is for parents/guardians only. Classroom teachers will be sending home information prior to the meeting and will send the “Zoom” invitation link to your email by Monday, September 21st.