Ecole St. Mary's Principal's Message page

Principal's Message

Principal’s Message

This is the first time I can remember where the amount of instructional days coincides perfectly with the amount of months spent in school to reflect the half-way point of the school year. As of February 1, 2021, we will have had five months within the school year and 90 instructional days. We will also have five more months of school, consisting of 90 additional instructional days. I am pretty comfortable in saying we are half way there.

On the last school day of January, Thursday, January 28, 2021, students were given their Eluminate report card. As I indicated in my message on the report card, “Although these are the first written report cards, you will notice that the term is ‘Report 2’….” As had been shared with our community in October, we are looking at different ways to report student’s progress. We do understand that many of our parents/guardians like to have a written record of their child’s achievement, and thought it appropriate to share at the mid-way point. We also understand that many parents/guardians would also like to be afforded the opportunity to further discuss achievement and assessment as it may pertain to the report cards. As such, we will be offering two evenings for parent-teacher conferences: Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11, 2021.

We have set aside two hours each evening, from 4:00 – 6:00, for guardians to book an appointment (virtually or by phone) with their child’s teacher to discuss the report cards and perhaps revisit the goals established earlier in the year. Again, appointments will be booked via the Conference Manager, the on-line booking system. We are hoping to have this open on Tuesday, February 2. Information will be forthcoming to all. As always, should you require any assistance, please feel free to connect with the office.

Another anomaly of this year is that Valentine’s Day does not happen to be during the weekday. This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, which also happens to be in conjunction with the Family Day weekend, and the upcoming week where students do not have school, February 15 -19. A number of staff have expressed their interest in still wishing to have some form of a celebration. I have asked staff to communicate this with their parents/guardians as we will still have to follow restrictions due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, this will mean that students cannot bring food items to share with their classmates.

It is also during the February break that the Lenten season begins. Lent is a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) which comes before Easter in the Christian calendars. It is seen as a time for prayer and penance, allowing Christians to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, who withdrew into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days before His crucifixion. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which this year is February 17, 2021. While our school is not permitted to do a service in advance of the beginning of Lent, I would encourage all of you to share with your child(ren) the importance of this season. Upon our return from the break, we will be having weekly ‘services’ that will be shared with all our classes.

While elementary students are not of the age that requires them to fast, they may choose to recognize the season in a different fashion – is there something they may choose to give up (chocolate, pop, harassing their younger sibling)? Another way that younger children may choose to embrace the season is by looking at things that they may wish to do more (chores, daily prayers, assisting a younger sibling). Finally, all the faithful are asked to observe Lent as a time of penance – there are no age restrictions when it comes to the actions we preform in hopes of making up for our sinful action!

On a final note, I would like to bring to everyone’s attention a change to the calendar that was shared at the beginning of the school year. We had originally scheduled our Divisional Spiritual Development day for Tuesday, March 16 – this would have meant no school for students. This has now been changed to Monday, March 22. Students will be expected to be at school on March 16; however, schools will be closed to students the following Monday, March 22.

God bless!



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