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February 2021 Newsletter

By February 1, 2021 No Comments

COVID UPDATE! – MORE OF THE SAME! – IMPORTANT!
Unfortunately, as reported by Dr. Bonnie Henry last week, it does not seem like much will change as the number of new cases and deaths have plateaued. This is becoming very discouraging to all of us, parents, staff, and students, including Fr. Richard and our parish community. These restrictions have begun to manifest in our classroom behaviors as well. Students are experiencing more emotional and behavioral stresses, similar to “cabin fever”.  This has been exacerbated by the last 2 months of rainy weather as well.

Our school has been dealing with an increase in complaints of poor behavior and of negative student interactions, especially since our return in January. Therefore, we ask all parents to continue to contact the classroom teacher with any concerns with your child(ren)s emotional or social issues.

All classroom teachers have been made aware of the increase tension within the cohorts. With the lack of outside activities both at school and in the community, children are experiencing greater stress and disappointment. This is being witnessed as bullying and mean behaviors or children being more restrictive and excluding others at recesses within their cohorts.

As a school we will be addressing the increase in poor behaviors amongst our students and within each cohort. This is a difficult time for all of us; socially, emotionally, mentally and physically. Again, the best way to deal with the increased stress on peer-to-peer interactions is to inform the classroom teacher and contact the principal at the office for a meeting if you feel it is of a more serious safety, or recurring issue. We STRONGLY ADVISE parents NOT to deal with these issues directly with other parents, as extending these issues into the parent community usually ends poorly and can sever family-family relationships forever.  Kids will forgive and move ahead but parents make the process more difficult when they are sending different messages than the school.

Although, it is difficult to deal with your children’s issues from a distance, it is best to allow the “at school behaviors” to be dealt with by the classroom teacher and school administration. All of our children are human beings who are also born to make mistakes. We must use these negative interactions to learn from, and to help make them grow into stronger and respectful adults. Learning how to deal with these types of emotions and issues now, will definitely help them when they continue to have these peer challenges beyond elementary school.  Parents must continue to support, model, and encourage the correct responses no matter how difficult it is to see your child feeling hurt or upset. Feel free to contact the school for resources for supporting your child emotionally at home and through these difficult times.

We are also seeing MUCH MORE NEGATIVE student interaction through social media, gaming, and texting outside of school environments. These interactions can also serve to create anxiety and negative consequences within the classroom environment. We are asking all parents to limit and screen these interactions so that NO negative attacks are brought into their peer groups at school as well. We must prepare children to know not all interactions are good when they are limitless.

This is a very difficult time for everyone. We must continue to act with Kindness and Respect. We, as a school, will be initiating a reset of the expectations of all student interactions as we will be continuing with the same closed cohorts until the end of the year. Teachers do have resources on how to deal with unhappy or anxious children at home. Feel free to contact your classroom teacher to discuss. Be calm. We will continue to deal with all issues as needed.

We must remember that we are a Catholic School, not because all our students are saints, but because it is a close community of similar expectations and Christian values. It is important that we all work together to encourage the proper responses from our children when they are disappointed or hurt by others. We do not excuse any bad behavior. We will always deal with the bullying or physical safety of our students first! However, we will also strive to create a peaceful resolution for all students so that they will learn on how to deal with disappointment from friends and families in the future. We do believe in Jesus Christ, His message of love and mercy, His forgiveness of sins, and His message of how we are to treat one another. This is always the goal of our Catholic School. We are to act with respect and kindness and believe all children are inherently good. None of our children are evil as they all come from good families and are supported by Christian values. We must continue to use these negative experiences as learning opportunities for growth.

Thank you for your trust of our teachers and school programs. Even if there are occasional challenges among our students’ peers, we all want our students to be feel safe, be happy, and to enjoy their years here at OLS. We will continue to work with our parents to allow these challenges to be revolved in a Christian way.

TRAVEL ADVISORY- UPDATE!
Again, unfortunately, all travel outside our local areas have been limited and restricted. As many families do have houses outside of our local city areas, like Whistler, or the interior, we are asking that if you decide to travel to your recreational homes during a weekend, like family day weekend, or during other times, we ask that you keep students’ home for 72 hours upon return. Once the students or families have completed the 72 hours without any COVID symptoms, you are free to return to the school as per our daily screening checklist form.  Again, the incident of cases around these recreational areas have been concerning. As per Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Ministry of Health restrictions, we are not to travel during this outbreak of new strains of COVID-19.

Thank you to all our parents and families that have kept our school exposure and outbreak free. Our new goal is to continue to stay safe until March and Spring break. Your diligence of keeping sick children at home has made the greatest impact of keeping all our staff, students and families safe.

Please continue to follow all Public Health guidelines (www.bccdc.ca), notices on the Vancouver Coastal Health website (www.vch.ca) continue with daily screening (also found on OLS’s website) and thank you for NOT sending your children to school ill.

FEBRUARY 2 – 9, 2021 – LICE CHECKS
With the colder and wetter weather upon us, the students are indoors more, and our Lice Nurse Volunteer has reminded us to continue checking for lice at home on a weekly basis. The next school-wide lice check will be conducted on the following dates:

Grade K and 1 – Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Grade 2 and 3 – Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Grade 4 and 5 – Thursday, February 4, 2021

Grade 6 and 7 – Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Thank you to Mrs. Kraljevic for doing this once again.

FEBRUARY 8-12, 2021 – CATHOLIC SCHOOLS’ WEEK
Monday, February 8th is the start of Catholic Schools’ Week.  This week is designed to promote the many aspects of the Catholic school community.  This community helps guide its people in their devotion to the Faith.   By celebrating different facets of Our Lady of Sorrows School, we continue to strengthen the bonds that are the foundation of this Catholic Community. The school will be having a variety of activities.   Please have your child bring $5.00 to participate in these activities. The donations will be divided up between a variety of charities.

  • February 8th (Monday) – Jersey Day
    • Students may come dressed in their favorite jersey.
  • February 9th (Tuesday) – Twin Day
    • Students may come dressed in matching outfits.
  • February 10th (Wednesday) – Kindness Day
    • Students may come dressed in Valentine colours (i.e., red, pink, white and purple).

FEBRUARY 11 and 12, 2021 CATHOLIC EDUCATOR’S CONFERENCE – NO SCHOOL
All teachers will be attending the Catholic Educator’s Conference on Thursday, February 11th and Friday, February 12th.  The school will be closed for these two days.

FEBRUARY 15, 2021 – FAMILY DAY – NO SCHOOL
There will be no school on Monday, February 15th due to the Family Day holiday.

FEBRUARY 17, 2021 – ASH WEDNESDAY
The students will receive Ashes on this day. More information will follow.

FEBRUARY 21, 2021– FIRST COMMUNION ENROLLMENT MASS
There will be an enrolment Mass for all Grade 2’s on Sunday, February 21st at 11:30 a.m.

2021-2022 SCHOOL REGISTRATION PACKAGES
Registration packages will be going home with students at the end of February 2021. Registration packages are to be returned March 10th – 12th between the hours of 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Cash Payments will also be accepted during this time by appointment only. Please email or call the office to schedule a time. Further details will follow by email.

2020 INCOME TAX RECEIPTS
The 2020 school income tax receipts are in the process of being prepared.  The income tax receipts will be going home with students in the registration packages at the end of February 2021.

FEBRUARY HOT LUNCHES

February 4, 2021 (Thursday) Wrap
February 18, 2021 (Thursday) Pizza
February 26, 2021 (Friday) Pizzette

REMINDERS:

SCHOOL SUPPLIES & LUNCH DROP-OFF REMINDER

We would like to remind you that due to the current COVID 19 restrictions, we wish to restrict calls home for supplies and lunches, so please have your child review daily routines and help them to prepare for their day prior to bedtime. We encourage your children to bring all necessary items, including lunches, to school daily. Every time a lunch or school supplies are dropped off at the office, we increase our risk to exposure. Thank you.

WEATHER UPDATE

Please note, as the weather gets colder and rainier, we are asking parents to ensure students have proper Jackets and shoes, as well as NOT sending students who have gym in the morning only with PE strip! Students MUST stay outside until 8:35 a.m. as we have to ensure adequate supervision in the school while teachers are in staff prayer. Also, students may have to be outside throughout the day for recess or movement between the buildings (gym and Church). Please send jackets with hoods for your children to school daily, as well as ensuring proper uniform. Thank you.