Good morning Celtics,

I hope you are all enjoying a safe and rest filled summer.  While we know the start of school is still a few weeks away, I wanted to touch base with you to share a few details:

 

Ministry of Education Back to School Plan for September 2021

The plan is being reviewed by our senior administrators at the board office and as soon as we have more information, we will share how this will impact our school community.

 

School Start-Up

  • Once the return to school plan is finalized and staff are back in schools on September 1 & 2, St. Brigid will finalize the classroom organization lists and will communicate to you the first day of school plan via Newswire.
  • School Cash Online will be available to complete some of the 2021-2022 Start-Up Forms. If you do not have a School Cash Online account, please visit www.schoolcashonline.com and click Register.

 

Communication

  • Please check the board and school website for further communication about the start of school for September 2021.  As we know, decisions can change and change quickly.
  • Towards the end of August, check your email and voice messaging systems for further communication.

 

WCDSB Updates

As we move through these summer months we want to ensure that families have information at their fingertips about how to support the mental health and wellbeing of their children/teens.  The WCDSB has created a new Mentally Healthy Return-to-school page https://www.wcdsb.ca/return-to-school/ which features resources that might be helpful to promote wellbeing for the entire family in the coming months.

You will find:

  • Tipsheets for teens on recognizing if they need help, how to ask for help with they need it, how to help a friend, etc.
  • Self-care 101
  • Summer wellbeing activity ideas
  • Info about getting sleeping patterns back on track
  • Tip sheets on noticing if your child/teen is struggling
  • A sample Coping Plan and suicide prevention tips (Prepare/Prevention/Respond)

 

Parent/Caregiver Podcast: Finding our Way Back: Understanding and Responding to Post-Pandemic “Back-to-School” Worries:

Presented by: Antonietta Leonardo, Mary Goerzen-Sheard, Caylie Bogdan, Marlene Maddocks, Sharon Porty.
  • How can we start now to proactively build coping skills that will help our kids feel more equipped and confident for the return to school to the school building?
  • What if my child/teen is resistant to going?
  • Where can we access help if we need it?
We also recognize that the pandemic has been hard for many parents/caregivers as well, and have created a selection of new videos focused on your own wellbeing that you may find helpful to watch:

 

Parent Wellbeing Series: 

A series of four 10-20 minute videos focusing on parent/caregiver wellbeing:
  1. Self-Compassion
  2. Recognizing Signs of Internal Struggle
  3. Radical Self-Care
  4. Daily Anchors and Guided Meditation
You may wish to ask your child/teen if they know about the services available through KidsHelpPhone (a free, 24 hour anonymous counselling and support to children/teens who are struggling with a wide range of issues (i.e. mental health, break-up’s, friendship problems, bullying, etc.) https://kidshelpphone.ca/

 

Phone: 1(800) 668-6868
Text CONNECT to 686868
Messenger, and live webchat

 

Let them know it’s okay to ask for help if they are struggling, and check out the Kids Help Phone webpage together to see what kinds of resources and information they have.  Teens may also want to check out the Jack.org Covid-19 Youth resource hub: https://jack.org/covid.

 


Websites & Apps:

On WCDSB’s main Mental Health and Wellbeing Page  you can also find general information about:
  • mental health 101
  • links to age-appropriate videos that can teach your family self-care strategies such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness, etc.
  • recognizing signs that your child/teen is struggling
  • tips for having conversations with your child about mental health
  • where to go for help, including a wide range of local supports

 

Enjoy the remainder of your summer, the staff at St. Brigid are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Stay safe & stay healthy!

Tanya Hunter