Monthly Archives: September 2020

Today is Orange Shirt day!

Today we are honouring ORANGE SHIRT DAY. We are wearing Orange shirts today and have shared a wonderful slide show with the students to teach everyone more about this important opportunity for LEARNING & CARING.  Orange Shirt Day is a day of remembrance and an act of reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day is an annual Canada-wide event to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools. It grew out of a gathering of survivors held in Williams Lake, British Columbia in 2013, where Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph Mission residential school, shared her experience of having her new orange shirt taken on her first day.

It is an opportunity for communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. Orange Shirt Day officially takes place on September 30th each year. The date was chosen for two reasons: First, it’s the time of year when First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were typically taken from their homes to residential schools, and two, because it helps set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying discussions.

Last call for any learning mode changes!

Last call for any learning mode changes! Parents looking for a change from Remote to face to face learning or vice versa for their children, you have until 6:30pm today, September 28th. Follow this link if interested:

The next possible changes will not be until mid-November and early February.

If you are not looking for a change you do not complete this survey.

Also please note that parents must choose one mode or the other at this time, Either Remote Learning or Face to Face;  there will not be a Hybrid Model. 

Have a great day!


Remote and Face to Face Learning Changes

Dear Parents/Guardians:

When we started the school year, we announced that the first transition point for families to switch their children from virtual learning to face to face learning (or vice versa), would be the Thanksgiving weekend.

In Elementary Schools: families/students may transition after the Thanksgiving weekend — but after that, it will be only at Progress Reports in November and the first Report Card in January.

To assist in planning to accommodate the needs of families, interested families with students in elementary schools will find the transition form on the school board’s main webpage from Sept 24th  at 9 a.m. to Sept 28th at 6 p.m.  Requests must be made within this window of time.

Please note that we are asking for all families to make a clear decision to select either ATTEND FACE-TO-FACE LEARNING OR REMOTE LEARNING during this window.  We are not able to accommodate students who are not registered for remote learning but who choose not to attend. Only families looking for a change need to access this process; if you have no interest or desire for a change you do not need to do anything.

You can not access the Transition Form until Thursday morning. The form will be available starting tomorrow at 9:00am, September 24 on our board’s main webpage in the spotlight section –

If you have any questions or concerns, or any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the main office.

Thank you Thunder!


Mr. Paul Gladding


COVID Updates, Online and Face To Face Learning, Chromebooks and The Umbrella Project

Good evening Parents,

I am writing with some updates about life at school, dealing with Illness, The Umbrella Project and Remote Education/face to face changes.

We would describe life at school as “So far so good”. The students are doing a good job of following our safety guidelines and protocols. Please continue to reinforce this at home and remind your children to keep their masks on at school and maintain social distance spacing as they move around the school.

Managing COVID and monitoring Student Illness

Parents are asked to complete the COVID self-assessment for their students before sending them to school:  Please note that if a child is kept home or sent home because of COVID Symptoms, all siblings need to be at home as well. Students can return to school after being cleared by a doctor or Public Health and are symptom-free for 24hours.

Face to Face and Remote Learning
Currently, we have two options for how our students can receive education t  his year and the choice was made via the survey that was sent out by the WCDSB during the summer.  If you have chosen face to face learning at St. John’s but have changed your mind and do not want your child to attend, we want you to know that we respect your decision. Your child has still been placed in a classroom and assigned a classroom teacher.  If they do not attend, they will be marked absent each day.  Phone calls have gone out to check on student safety and family intentions. If you are keeping your children at home, we would ask you complete an “Intent to be Absent” form. This form will ensure your child stays registered and will allow access to the classroom’s Google Classroom so they can access useful resources.
This web page: will be the best place to find all relevant updates including timelines (e.g. when you can switch to remote learning or face to face). For those that missed the original opt-in window, the next chance to select St. Isidore or switch back to Face to Face at St. John’s happens starting September 24th. It is only a 4 Day window, the next opportunity to switch in or out happens in mid-November. It is important to note that there is a very specific timeline for those families looking to make a change in direction, you will have from 9am September 24 and until the registration window closes on September 28 at 6pm

Updates from St. Isidore

61 students from St. John are currently enrolled at St. Isidor, the remote learning school for WCDSB – the following is some key information for St. Isidor students and parents:

St. Isidore has their own webpage. It can be found at

An important Newswire Message from the team can be found here. You should follow them on Twitter. Their Twitter page can be found at



If you were loaned a Chromebook back in the spring for your child to use at home, you are welcome and encouraged to have your child bring that Chromebook back and forth to school. They can use it in both locations; for COVID safety reasons they will be the only student that uses that particular device when at school.

The Umbrella Project
Welcome to the Umbrella Project! September is a time of many mixed feelings as kids head back to school, routines are re-established, and warm summer days cool into fall. While many parents relish the structure of the school year, it also comes with a ramping up of activities, homework, friend dynamics, new teachers and many other things that require our parenting energy.
The Umbrella Project is dedicated to helping families better navigate the ups and downs of life while building 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.
Please take 2 minutes to watch this quick video that will help you understand how your child’s wellbeing grows and develops through practice.
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.
Watch this video from Dr. Jen as she welcomes you to the Umbrella Project.


Have a great evening,

Mr. Paul Gladding                                Mrs. Sherry MacDonald

Principal                                                Vice-Principal


St. John’s School Council and a Road Closure notice

Good afternoon Everyone,

I will be sending 2 parent notices today, the second one will come a little later and will contain COVID related updates, this one is about School Council and Strange Street Construction.

St. John’s Catholic School Council

Each year we have a group of eager and helpful parents join and participate in School Council, each September we let all parents know about this opportunity and invite you to participate.  School council is a group that stays current on matters connected to the school, discusses ways to improve life and achievement for students, organizes events and does fundraising.  The time commitment for participants is about 15 – 20 hours during the school year(6 evening meetings and some help at school events). The first meeting for this year will be this Thursday evening, September 24th at 6:30pm, we will meet virtually over a Microsoft Teams Meeting. Please send me an email if you are interested in joining us for the meeting and joining School Council:

Strange St. Construction and Road Closure

As a result of the new construction across from the school, Strange St. will be closed for about one week. The closure starts next Monday, September 28th and will run through Friday October 2nd, 2020. The sidewalk on the school side of the street as well as the crosswalk by Cherry Park will still be available for our use. Strange Street will only be closed directly in front of 98 Strange Street; basically the roadway between our two driveways off of Strange St.  Access to both parking and bus drop areas will be maintained.  As the construction is progressing please use the sidewalk on the school side of the street to avoid the construction site.

Thank you and have a good evening!


Mr. Paul Gladding



Thanks for a Great week, T-Shirts and an Assembly

Thank you to everyone in our community for their patience and flexibility! We had a great week and the children are doing a good job of learning and following all of the safety routines.

Check out this video from our virtual assembly today:

All of the children are coming home with a new T-shirt today. These T-shirts were designed and distributed to celebrate our new community since the boundary review. All students at the 4 schools are receiving a shirt as they create new communities and friendships.

Have a great weekend!!


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