Hello Thunderbird Families:
It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of September! The students have transitioned very well and have found their groove! Way to go, Thunderbirds!
At the beginning of each month, we will send out a large community Thunderbird Update. In these updates there will be several items for you to read and respond when appropriate. Throughout the month we will send out additional updates that cannot wait for the large monthly communication. So you are in the loop, we hope you take some time to read our communications. As always, thanks so much for all you do to support our Thunderbird Community!
Contact Information Update/Forms:
In order to keep our community safe, we need to have your most current contact information. Please call the school at 519-893-8803 if your phone number or address has changed.
Also, please take a moment to fill out all the very important forms on each child’s School Cash online account. It is essential that we have these completed.
Below is the list of forms that need to be read and completed by you:
- Catholic School Advisory Council (CSAC), Nomination of Parent Candidate
- Concussion Code of Conduct – Parent/Guardian
- Concussion Code of Conduct – Student-Athlete
- Critical Medical Alert
- Emergency Dismissal
- Walks Around the Neighbourhood-Education Excursion Consent
- Lunch Arrangement
- Responsible Use of Technology & Electronic Data Access, Students Grades JK to 3
- Responsible Use of Technology & Electronic Data Access, Students Grades 4 to 8 Consent
- Student Image, Video or Voice Recording Including Media Use – Consent
- Student Personal Information, Collection/Use/Disclosure Notice (Read Only)
- Violence Threat Risk Assessment (Read Only)
Hi families, it is super important that you call the school when your children will be away. When calling the school, 519-893-8801, speak clearly, and loudly, identifying your child’s first and last name, teacher’s name and the reason for the absence. If your child is sick, please list the symptoms your child is having and follow the COVID protocols as outlined below. Thanks!
In a school setting, we have designed our environment to allow students and staff to safely self-monitor by providing adequate physical distance, hand hygiene routines and the wearing of masks.
Children experiencing symptoms where there is not a known alternative diagnosis (allergies etc.) will still be asked to stay home and go through the options outlined previously:
- See a healthcare professional and return 24hrs after symptoms resolve.
- Get a COVID-19 test with negative results and return 24hrs after symptoms resolve.
- Self-Isolate for 14 Days and return 24hrs after symptoms resolve.
Healthy individuals in your household do not need to be tested unless directed to by Waterloo Region Public Health or your healthcare provider.
Please see this link with further details: https://www.wcdsb.ca/important-new-guidelines-for-siblings-of-ill-students/
Link to Public Health Guidelines: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o2qulFnt0-ny5cIAg0h50mnEmt63kSoz/view?usp=sharing
The Terry Fox Run has been a very important and meaningful event at St. Daniel for the past years. Although we are not able to participate in an actual “RUN” this year, we will still do what matters: raise donations for Cancer Research. Classes will be participating in the Terry Fox Walk throughout this week as part of their Physical Education time. Donations can be made on your child’s Cash Online Account or using the following link: https://secure.terryfox.ca/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?TeamID=908449
We understand that the past 6 months have been very challenging financially for many families. Please give what you are able to this important cause, as every dollar counts! The fundraiser is open until October 2nd.
Medical Plans of Care:
Thank you to all families of students with life threatening conditions (anaphylaxis, asthma, etc.) for completing the Plans of Care and returning these to school in a timely manner. Please note that students with anaphylaxis require two current Epipens for school. Please label the Epipens, send to school with your child(ren), or drop off at the office. If your child has a life threatening condition and you have not completed a Plan of Care, please contact the school. If you have any questions, please let us know.
For safety reasons, children are prohibited from bringing any form of medication to school without prior approval from the office. If medication is determined to be necessary, there is a form that must be filled out by parents/guardians to indicate that the medication must be taken during school hours. The medication must be in the original container and clearly labeled with names (child, parent/guardian, doctor), phone numbers and directions. All oral medications will be stored and administered in the school office. Parents/guardians are asked to contact the school to address individual student needs in this regard. The WCDSB Student Medication form is available from the office or on the school board website.
While we recognize the right of parents and students to express themselves through their clothing, we must reserve the right to have the final say regarding appropriateness of any clothing worn at school. The dress of all students must be clean, neat, and within the limits of good taste and modesty.
Guidelines for choosing clothes that promote a positive educational environment:
- Tops must be modest (wide straps) and torso (overlap the waistband)
- Shorts, skirts, and dresses must be mid-thigh or longer in length
- All clothing will be free of derogatory or inappropriate print or graphics
- Leggings/ skinny jeans must be covered by shirt/ sweater that is mid-thigh length
- Undergarments are not to be visible (e.g., boxers, bra straps)
- Hats, caps or hoods are to be removed when inside the school
- All clothing will be free of association with youth or street gangs (including bandanas)
- Outdoor wear (boots, hats and jackets) will be removed prior to entering the classroom
- An indoor pair of shoes should be at school always
Teachers have been emailing and inviting parents to join their child’s Google Classrooms/D2L. PLEASE accept the invitation. All classrooms will have an online component as a way of communicating and supporting classroom learning. Please become familiar with the D2L/Google Classroom platform as it is imperative that you know how to use this to support your children.
Families please remember to call the school before 3:00 or notify the teacher if your child will not be taking the bus home at the end of the day. We have a responsibility to put your child on the bus. As of late, many of our junior and intermediate students have been asking their families via text message if they can go to a friends house after school and we have received no notification of this from the parent/caregiver. Please contact the school if your child will not be taking the bus after school.
Also, be sure to sign up for the STSWR subscription service which allows users to receive notices about delays and cancellations to their email address or via SMS text. https://www.stswr.ca/parents/ (scroll to bottom of page for subscription service link)
Remote Learning Families:
At this time the opportunity for remote learning has passed. There will be another chance to either switch from remote to face-to-face or switch to remote in November. For those families that are currently “waiting at home” to see how things go, this will not be an option moving forward. It is expected that you are choosing to return to school face-to-face, homeschool or have already selected St. Isidore as a remote learning option. Remaining on the class list at St. Daniel but NOT actually attending is no longer an option. If you have chosen home schooling there is an application package you must fill out. Please contact the office if this is the option you have decided upon, thanks.
Please refrain from parking or dropping your child(ren) off at the community center parking lot or standing and waiting on the community center walkways. They do have programs running and need their patrons to have easy access to both their outdoor and indoor facilities/grounds.
If you are looking for parking, feel free to use the large church parking lot or park along Midland Drive observing the city road signs and fire hydrants. If you or your child has mobility concerns and need parking accommodations please let us know, we are here to help. If the path is difficult for you to navigate please feel free to arrange a meeting spot with your child(ren) on the city sidewalk along Midland Drive.
If you are picking up your child early or would like to have your child come off the bus at the end of the day for you to pick up at school please give us ample notice so we can have your child waiting and ready for you. Thanks so much!
We need your help with reminding your children that they need to continue to maintain their distance when playing on the school yard. We especially need help with our students in Grade 7 and 8. Children of this age are developing their independence, finding and exercising their voice, all of which we support. However, with this comes the challenging of the rules in place to keep our community safe. This has been the case with many of our older students.
Our goal is to keep all of our community safe. It is becoming increasingly difficult to do so when the children refuse to follow the distancing rules in place. Can you please regularly sit with your child(ren) and review that they need to keep the 2-meter social distance rule when at school in the yard during recess. We recognize that the children are just having fun and we want them to, but at a safe distance. The staff have been reviewing all sorts of fun distanced games such as Simon says, running races, hide-n-seek, hopscotch, wax museum just to name a few. Thanks for your support!
Cell Phones at School:
For safety reasons, parents/guardians may choose to send a cell phone or other communication device to school with their child. It is understood in these cases that these devices must be turned off while they are in class and outside of the class or on the bus. In the instance of misuse, the device will be turned off and confiscated using protective equipment and returned to the student at the end of the day. In some serious cases, you the parent/guardian will be asked to pick it up at the office and the student will not be able to bring the device to school. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen personal technology devices.
We are super excited to begin year 2 of the Umbrella Project. The Umbrella Project is dedicated to helping families and schools better navigate the ups and downs of life while building the important skills that help us thrive in all types of weather. We call these skills Umbrella Skills because much like an umbrella, they help to protect us when life is rainy and challenging. We want children to feel empowered in all kinds of weather instead of spending their lives trying to avoid the rain.
Each month we focus on providing practical parenting and classroom tools to build a different skill that the research shows us is an important piece of our umbrella of wellbeing. We are excited to provide you with lots of options and ideas to support these important skills at home. We recommend you choose the ideas that fit best with your unique family. Parenting energy is precious and we really can not do it all. What we can do is recognize our children’s strengths, the holes in their umbrellas and the parenting tools that will best help us support them as individuals to become stronger and more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.
Our Umbrella Project Theme for October is… Gratitude!
Tip 1: What is Gratitude and how will it help my child?
This month your child will be learning all about Gratitude in their classroom.
Gratitude is the skill that helps us recognize all the things we have, instead of focusing our energy on the things we don’t have or the things we can’t control. Our brains naturally pick up and focus more on threats and negatives than positives. This deeply rooted survival mechanism helped our ancestors dodge danger and avoid life-threatening situations.
Unfortunately, this bias to the negative can work against our day to day mental health and to counter this we need to make sure we help our children see the positives as often as possible. Practicing gratitude is a great way to accomplish this positive focus and prime our brains for a happier outlook. It also helps us show our appreciation and return kindness given to us. Teaching your children to be thankful for what they have, what others do for them and expressing these feelings is a powerful, positive coping strategy that can get them through many of life’s difficult days, strengthen their relationships and protect against anxiety and depression.
Make gratitude visible and easy to express
Watch this week’s video for some tips on how to make gratitude accessible in your home.
Tip 2: Focus your mental efforts on the positive using gratitude.
Does your child struggle with more of a focus on the negatives than the positives? Daily gratitude can help set a more positive tone, boost self-esteem and improve their mood and outlook
Check out our video this week to learn more about how this can be applied.
Tip 3: Advanced gratitude
Now that we have been working on our gratitude for a few weeks, it’s a great time to introduce what can be thought of as a more advanced form of gratitude called ‘connective gratitude’.
As parents, we do a pretty good job of training our children to demonstrate so-called ‘expressive gratitude’. Expressive gratitude means saying thank you and verbally expressing our gratitude. However, many children are so conditioned to say thank you that they rarely think twice about it. Showing that we are grateful goes much deeper and gets into the realm of connective gratitude.
Connective gratitude means offering something meaningful to another person as an expression of gratitude, something that they would like to receive. This is a level up when it comes to being grateful and takes into account more fully the feelings and wishes of the other person. This also helps us to build empathy.
Here’s an example: You go back to school shopping with your child and buy them some new outfits for school this year.
Expressive gratitude: Your child says “Thank you so much, I love them”
Connective gratitude: Instead of throwing their clothes on the floor at the end of the day, they take care of them by folding and putting them away as you have been asking them to do for months.
In the connective gratitude example, they are thinking about what you might appreciate and doing that as a way to show their gratitude. This example is certainly pulled from my own life and what connective gratitude would look like for me but it is different for everyone. The big idea is that you are thinking about what the other person would like to receive.
Helping your children reflect on these opportunities to show their thanks in a connective way is a great way to build and advance their gratitude skills.
Tip 4: Have your child reflect on their network of supportive adults
One great way to help kids build gratitude is to help them reflect on the network of supportive adults they have around them. This could be teachers, parents, caregivers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, coaches or anyone your child can turn to for advice and strength when facing challenges. Helping your child visualize all of the umbrellas of support around them will help them to practice gratitude and recognize who they can trust to help them when they need a little extra shelter and support.
Step 1: Have your child draw a picture of themselves in the centre of a page.
Step 2: Next have them write the names of all of the supportive figures in their lives around the outside of the page and connect them to the centre with a line. This can be through a combination of reflecting on those who have helped them in the past and other people who care about their wellbeing.
Step 3: Have a conversation with your child about how they felt when they received support in the past to deepen the practice of gratitude.
Watch this week’s quick video to learn more about this exercise.
Tip 5: Grateful parents raise grateful kids
Gratitude takes practice!!! The more children practice gratitude, the more likely they are to build and use this important skill. One significant way to build this part of our child’s umbrella is to practice gratitude ourselves.
The more grateful we are as parents, the more opportunities we will naturally put in front of our children to practice gratitude. If gratitude is a skill in your umbrella that could use a little more practice that’s okay. We all have strong coping skills and skills that could use some nurturing and practice. Set the intention to find more opportunities to express your own gratitude. By doing this, you will create more chances for your child to practice too.
Unsure about your coping strengths and which umbrella holes you could work on? Complete your own umbrella assessment to get a picture of your umbrella. Wellbeing is a family journey and in my experience, children respond and participate best when the whole family is working towards bigger umbrellas.
Watch this week’s video all about the importance of modeling gratitude.
Interested in learning more? Here are a couple of great articles you could read.