St Edmunds Newsletter – September 2021
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. It is my prayer that this newsletter finds your well and that you’ve had a blessed summer break with time to reconnect with family and friends.
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 2021-2022 school year meaningful and fulfilling.
Archdiocesan Theme: “One Family One Hope in Christ”
This year’s spiritual theme certainly speaks to our St. Edmund’s family. As we continue to face challenges related to COVID-19, there is a new sense of hope for all of us. There is the hope that the wide-spread use of the vaccine will help keep our communities and our loved ones safe. There is the hope that we can once again be with those we care about and celebrate the important occasions in our lives. But above all, as we return to celebrate the Mass in our parishes, there is the hope that only Christ can give overflowing in our hearts. Our faith unites us not only as brothers and sisters in Christ, but as a family that comes together to celebrate with each other, to support each other and to pray with each other.
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.
Communicable Disease Plan
Following the recent announcement from the Minister of Education and the Provincial Health Officer regarding the opening of school, we are no longer required to maintain a COVID-19 Safety Plan and instead have moved to Communicable Disease Prevention strategies. This plan will be found on our school website.
Communicable disease prevention focuses on reducing the risk of workplace transmission of COVID and other communicable diseases and includes both ongoing measures (e.g. hand hygiene, cleaning) and additional measures to be implemented as advised by VCH and the Ministry of Education. Moving into the 2021-22 school year, we will continue to follow the direction and guidelines of VCH, the PHO Ministry of Education, the BCCDC, WorkSafeBC and CISVA.
What stays the same?
- Parents/guardians are to do daily health checks of their children – Do not send children to school if they are sick or show symptoms of cold or flu
- Students will continue to enter through the Mahon gate and will practice regular hand hygiene
- All visitors, staff and students in Grades 4-7 are required to wear a mask while indoors
- Students in K-3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask indoors
- At dismissal, students are to leave the school grounds promptly – For safety reasons, the playground is closed before and after school
- Visitors to the school will continue to be limited. If you need to come into the school, please make an appointment and follow established guidelines upon arriving to the main entry.
- School cleaning and sanitizing protocols will continue along with high touch areas being cleaned at least once during the school day and at the end of the day
- Bathrooms will be cleaned during the school day
- Staggered recesses and lunches will continue, giving the children more room to play
- School exposure notification will continue to be issued by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Authority
What has changed?
- No option for transitional learning (i.e. learning from home)
- No cohorts – all students can attend assemblies and other school events
- Students are not required to wear masks when outdoors or during high intensity sports activities
- Sports and extracurriculars will happen under the directions established by the CISVA Elementary Athletic Commission
- Even though public health is no longer recommending strict physical distancing of 2 meters, schools will work on strategies to respect personal space and maximize distance
- Whole school will attend Mass together in the church
- Fieldtrips are permitted
- Staff and other adults must complete a daily health check BEFORE entering the school
- Visitors coming into the school must sign in and out of the school (this is not a health assessment, it is a way for health officials to conduct contact tracing if necessary).
As a family, we take care of one another. This school year, we continue to be faced with the challenge of keeping each and everyone of us healthy and safe. If your family at home remains healthy, then our family at school has a better chance of remaining healthy as well. It is documented that “Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools and communities. The vaccines used in B.C. remain highly effective against COVID-19, including among variants of concern” (from Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease guidelines for K-12 settings). We strongly encourage all your family members who are eligible to be vaccinated and we thank everyone in our community who have made a commitment to keep us all healthier and safer.
Kindergarten Gradual Entry
The gradual entry schedule for Kindergarten students begins on September 8th. Please refer to the schedule sent out in June for the exact times your child will attend. Beginning Monday, September 20th, all Kindergarten students will attend for the full day from 8:45 a.m. – 2:50 p.m. The school schedule/hours of instruction are as follows:
|12:00-12:45 p.m.||Primary Lunch Recess (Play first)|
|12:15-1:00 p.m.||Intermediate Lunch Recess (Eat First)|
|2:50 p.m.||Primary Dismissal|
3:00 p.m. Intermediate dismissal
Drop-off and Pick up Procedures
Please note that similar to last year, all children will be entering from the Mahon Street lower gate in the morning and exiting from the McEvoy Park & 6th Street gates. Please follow the drop-off/pick up procedures that were in place last year.
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 neighbourhood. Please refer to our Safe Routes Plan which was developed over the past 3 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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 uniforms 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.
- New: Girls now have the option to wear pants
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. Please ensure we have your correct email address as well as updated contact information for all correspondence. You may contact the office at email@example.com
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. For parents who are interested in ordering lunch, please see the Hot Lunch Link on our school website.
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.
Parent Participation & Volunteers
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 to make our students’ safety a priority.
St. Edmund’s is blessed to have a dedicated team of educators and support staff. We extend a special welcome to our newest staff: Mr. Embuido, Ms. Salituro, Ms. Shipley, Ms. Miiller, and our custodian Mr. “Dodds” DelaCruz:
Fr. Steny Mascarenhas Pastor
Fr. Cannio Cardozo Assistant Pastor
Ms. Diana Silva Principal
Miss Nikki Bruschetta Kindergarten
Miss Taylor Grace Grade 1
Mrs. Maria Salituro Grade 2
Mrs. Daniela Oman Grade 3
Mr. Fernando Aguirre Grade 4
Mr. Michael Embuido Grade 5
Mrs. Frankie Lorezca Grade 6
Mr. Adam Grossi 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)
Ms. Melinda Jozsa Education Assistant
Ms. Elena Koutorjevskaia Education Assistant
Mr. Kelvin Lee Education Assistant
Ms. Megan Littlejohn Education Assistant
Ms. Rhonda Manson Education Assistant
Ms. Mary Miiller Education Assistant
Ms. Taylor Shipley Education Assistant
Ms. Adrianna Szpak Education Assistant
Ms. Nicole Wong Education Assistant
Ms. Kaitlin Wu Education Assistant
Mrs. Rosa Dente Education Assistant (Monday, Wednesday)
Secretary (Tuesday, Thursday)
Mrs. Alexis deFreitas Office Administrator / Bookkeeper
Mr. Ernie DelaCruz Custodian
Meet the Teacher Night
On Tuesday, September 21, 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 20th
Calendar of Events
Tues, Sept. 7 First Day of School (Half-day for Gr. 1-7 8:45 – 12:00)
Wed. Sept. 8 Full Day of School (Grades 1-7)
Kindergarten Gradual Entry begins
Wed. Sept. 15 School Mass
Tues. Sept. 21 Meet the Teacher Evening (7 pm Virtual)
Wed. Sept. 22 Gr. 7 Class Mass
Wed. Sept. 29 Gr. 6 Class Mass
Thurs. Sept. 30 No –School: Statutory Holiday – Truth and Reconciliation
With Appreciation & Gratitude
- Thank you to all our parents and parishioners who volunteered their time over the summer to water, weed and take care of our front courtyard garden.
- We are also grateful to Fr. Steny, Mr. LeBreche, the CWL and Knights of Columbus who put their time, treasures and talents into clearing and refreshing our gym loft for an extra space for learning activities.