A Message from the STA Administration Team

Good evening Parents and Guardians,

We are inching closer to the opening of school and are really looking forward to having students back in the building with us.  You will continue to receive information from our Administrative Team as we approach the start of school.  Rest assured our Administrative team and teachers have worked tirelessly to get the building ready and safe for our students.  There will be at least a week of adjustment for students and staff to become familiar and comfortable with the many safety protocols and routines in place.

 Secondary students will be returning to an adapted instructional model, in cohorts of 15 or less, starting Wednesday September 9th 2020.  Students in the Life Skills classes will begin in-class instruction at school on Tuesday, September 8th  and attend school daily thereafter.

Under the new Quadmester schedule the school day will begin at 8:20a.m. and end at 2:25 p.m. The new Quadmester schedule is posted on the school Website.  A more comprehensive schedule breakdown will be released shortly.  We will be distributing student cohorting information later today.

Parents and Guardians are currently able to view their son(s)/daughter(s) timetable by logging onto the student information system  https://webapps.hcdsb.org/sis/ .  To view the timetable, you require a student number (not OEN number) and their birthdate.  It is very important that each student access their timetable before the start of class. Students will not be receiving a paper copy of their timetable.  The Guidance Department has attached a parent/student information sheet.

All students attending school in person are expected to be in full uniform. ISW (InSchoolwear) is our official uniform supplier.  Their number is 905- 844-1414.  Students registered in a Physical Education course are required to wear appropriate athletic wear.  Physical Education teachers will provide more direction in class.  For the first few days of class students can wear non-STA physical education shorts and t-shirts until they have the opportunity to purchase the appropriate physical education clothing.  Students must come to school prepared for physical education class because changerooms will not be available.

At STA we will continue to strive to create a “minimized allergen environment”.  Students will be provided a 10-minute snack break each day.  Some of our students have life-threatening allergies to certain food products and all types of nuts.  While we strive for a “peanut-free” school, we hope to enlist your support by helping to make our school as realistically as possible a “minimized allergen environment”. As such, we ask you to bring snacks free of any peanuts or nuts or other identified food allergens in the cohort.  We thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

We will undertake a number of routine safety procedures that will help our school prepare for an emergency situation.  While we cannot predict an emergency, we will do our best to practice and prepare for emergency situations.  Each school year we will hold 6 fire drills.  Evacuation drills and a practice of a “lockdown” drill will be held twice during the year. 

To further ensure a safe and positive learning environment, a uniformed Commissionaire will also be on staff at STA.  The Commissionaire’s main role is to provide visible and active supervision throughout the school day.  The Commissionaire program is in all Halton Catholic Secondary Schools.

STA will continue to offer support to our incoming students through the RAM -mentorship program for the 2020-21 school year.  Mentors are here to represent our student body and support our Raider community. Mentors are students in grade 11 who assist in the smooth transition of our grade 9 students into secondary school. They remain connected to these younger students for the entire school year, ensuring our grade 9s reach their full potential, while also developing important leadership skills and training of their own.   Mentors not only act as role models for all students, but they also act as ambassadors in and around the St. Thomas Aquinas community.  Mentors have a fundamental role in nurturing a cohesive Raider family culture.  We are currently working on a modified Mentorship program, more information to follow.

Buses will run based on the modified dismissal time.  Please check with Halton Student Transportation to ensure your bus route number and eligilibilty.   Times for bus pick up and drop off will be provided to you by the transportation department if this has not already been provided to you.  We have attached a Transportation protocol for students riding the bus as well as drop off process in our parking lot for parents.

Students and Parents/Guardians are invited to download the My School Day App to stay informed of the happenings at STA. This app functions as a virtual student agenda and is linked to our school website and social media accounts. Daily announcements will be posted on the app.

Parents/Guardians are asked to complete updated medical forms for their son/daughter and return them to the following email address: wilsonk@hcdsb.org.  An electronic copy of the medical form will be sent home via email.

At STA, we will continue to promote a safe, inclusive and positive learning environment where all students belong.  We will never knowingly tolerate any form of physical, emotional, verbal or sexual harassment, intimidation or bullying as well as any type of initiation or hazing.  This is also consistent with our Board’s Safe School Policy.

COVID-19 PROTOCOL GUIDELINES FOR STA

 All protocols for safety during the Covid-19 pandemic must be adhered to:

  • Masks must always be worn on transportation and in the building
  • Students must enter and exit the school through the main entry doors
    • Staggered schedules for entry and exit point will be incorpated into the daily schedule
    • Entry into the school building will begin at 8:10 am with staff supervision
    • Bus students and walkers/bikers who arrive prior to 8:10 am will be directed and supervised by school staff to the football field where they can maintain social distancing measures and wear a  mask; during inclement weather students will be directed to gyms A and B to ensure social distancing.
    • Students must line up leaving 2 meters between them as per social distancing protocols
    • Upon entering the building students must sanitize their hands.
    • Students must sign in and out of class if leaving to use the washroom.  Teacher will provide further direction.
    • Students may leave the class with teacher permission and direction.
    • Follow directional arrows on the floor and stairwells
  • All students will accept the direction of all staff  – all adults in the building are considered staff including Custodians, Cafeteria Staff, Cafeteria/Hallway Supervisors, Commissionaires, Librarians, Secretaries, Educational Assistants and all Teaching Staff.  Failure to follow any direction from staff is defiance and will result in Progressive Discipline (this includes failure to give your name or giving a wrong name when it is requested, not handing over items that are requested, including hats, cell phones, skate boards, etc.).  Failure to report to the office when sent will result in school consequences.
  • Uniform code is enforced.  Students must be in uniform at all times when at school during the day.  Masks must be worn at all times.
  • The Office is not responsible for personal possessions (includes confiscated items) – please leave all valuable items at home.  If you insist on bringing them, please ensure they are with you at all times in your assigned classroom.
  • Students are expected to comply with policy I-43 Use of Technology and digital Citizenship and the schools’ Codes of Conduct.  Policy link can be found on STA website
  • Attendance will be taken and recorded by teachers daily during the day for each cohort A/B/C and for each period of the quadmester.
  • When leaving early students must sign in/out of school through the Attendance Office prior to leaving – not signing in/out may be considered truant even if you have a note/parent call after the fact. This is essential for safety and for protocol for contact tracing.
  • In order to limit and control the numbers of visitors to our school doors will be locked at 8:40am each morning, entry into the school building after 8:40am will be based on staff availability.  Don’t be late.
  • If a teacher is not in your classroom, remain in class and send one student to notify the office or contact a teacher in a nearby classroom.
  • Students will not be assigned lockers until further notice due to Covid-19 safety protocols.
  • School cafeteria is closed
  • Library will be unavailable for student access, however library support is available through scheduled virtual meetings with Mrs. Dennis; she can be emailed at dennish@hcdsb.org
  • While on suspension, it is the responsibility of the student to keep up with class work.
  • Any student smoking/vaping on school property will result in a suspension.
  • Food consumed during breaks will be eaten in class and students must ensure their food and drink is nut free/allergen free.
  • Students are not to be congregating in the school and in the hallways. Students must proceed directly to their class and exit directly to go home. This is for safety and to ensure students remain in their cohorts.
  • Students must follow the seating plan on the bus and in the classroom for safety and to follow protocols.
  • Students are not to sit on the floors anywhere in the building at any time.
  • Students must leave the school premises immediately upon dismissal and not congregate on school property.

Notwithstanding the above, the Administration will take immediate and appropriate action in any situation

 involving the welfare of students and staff.

HELPFUL PARENT REMINDERS:

  • Review Parent Opening Guide and STA daily schedule (see attachments)
  • Be aware of which cohort your child is in and follow their schedule accordingly. Check school website.
  • Regular attendance is expected for all in-class and on-line classes;
  • Parents must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for Covid-19 symptoms before leaving for school using a self-assessment checklist found in the attached Parent Guide;
  • Parent and visitor access to the building is limited to appointments only; all visitors who have confirmed an appointment must complete the Visitor Covid form found on the STA website, please return the form electronically to the following contact information: moores@hcdsb.org
  • Parents are advised to drop off their child(ren) as close to start of the school day as possible – 8:25 am; students will not be allowed into the school building until the start of the school day;
  • There will be no drop off opportunties for parents i.e. food or uniform drop off; all school doors will remain locked.
  • No student access to lockers, cafeteria, or library.
  • Please ensure contact information including contact numbers and email addresses are accurate with our Guidance Department, please email  haywardd@hcdsb.org with  updated contact information;
  • Students will be allowed to bring bags into the school and take them to their assisgned class on a daily basis; the bags must remain in a safe classroom location until the end of the day.
Ieraci, JustinA Message from the STA Administration Team