“Lest we forget.”
As we approach November 11, 2021, Remembrance Day, I find myself reflecting on all the things I take for granted. If life teaches us anything though, it is that there is very little in this world that is for certain and we really should not take much, if anything, for granted.
When I look at global affairs over the past 100 years, I can see that very few locations in this world have not had a war or conflict on their soil. Most of us, more than likely, have either direct experience of war or are only one person removed from war. For myself, my wife was a child during the Salvadoran Civil War. My grandparents were all involved in World War II. If I am correct, that we are all closely connected to someone who experienced war of some sort, then there are two important lessons for us in advance of Remembrance Day.
One is that we need to be grateful for the freedoms we have in our country. The fight for freedom and the fight against the spread of hate that was Nazi Germany, was at the heart of the conflict that was World War II. While Canada is not perfect, and no country is, I would argue that we do have many freedoms in this country and that we should be grateful for it. A second lesson is that we must learn from the past and to not repeat history. Hence the phrase that so often accompanies Remembrance Day, “lest we forget.” We must not forget that the world can descend into violence. We must not forget that human rights and dignity are cast aside by countries on their quest for power. We must not forget that many men and women have sacrificed their lives so that we can live more freely today.
We can ensure we do not forget by wearing a poppy. We can honor the fallen soldiers by showing our gratitude in how we live our lives today. In wearing a poppy and in acting with kindness and compassion for our fellow human, we show others that we will remember the brave and heroic actions of the soldiers who died for our freedoms.
COVID-19 AND SPECTATORS
I would like to take this opportunity to explain why CISVA administrators have decided to not allow spectators to our sporting events and why many of us are moving towards virtual Christmas Concerts. As you are well aware, many indoor gatherings have resumed without restrictions on size provided that people show their proof of vaccination before gaining entry. This is true for restaurants, for hockey games, and for your child’s community sporting events. For example, when I go watch my son play basketball for Drive this weekend in Richmond, I have to show my proof of vaccination to gain entry.
For school events it is much different. We are not allowed to check for vaccination status. Because we are not allowed to check for vaccination status we feel that it is unwise to allow for spectators at our events. We ask for your understanding and support in this as we continue to navigate COVID-19.
We are grateful that our students can play sports. For the upcoming basketball season, the school will look to stream the games much like we did for our school masses last year. If you have any questions about our school and COVID-19, please feel free to contact Mr. Chris van der Pauw at firstname.lastname@example.org
WE WELCOME MISS BIANCA MATTAROLLO
We are very happy to welcome Miss Bianca Mattarollo to our school as an Educational Assistant. Bianca is a recent graduate of SFU where she studied Education with a focus in disabilities. She has also worked with the Canucks Autism Network for the past year. A graduate of Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary and Notre Dame Regional Secondary, Bianca is very excited to be back in a Catholic School. In her free time she enjoys reading. Welcome aboard, Miss Bianca Mattarollo!
RAIN OR SHINE WE GO OUTSIDE
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Roger Miller
West Coast Recess at St. Jude School
I understand that the recent decision to move to a “West Coast Recess” (going outside in the rain for recess) has raised some questions and concerns among some of our parents. I want to take this opportunity to address some of the questions I have received. In order to answer your questions I have researched other schools and their recess procedures and I have read numerous research articles on the subject.
Some initial findings:
– the vast majority of public schools in British Columbia support outdoor recess in all weather conditions with indoor recesses only happening in extreme weather conditions – Vancouver Schools are all outdoor recess schools
– a growing number of CISVA elementary schools have also moved to a West Coast Recess
– research supports outdoor recess time as being healthier and better than indoor – in fact Queen of All Saints in Coquitlam reported that moving to a West Coast Recess produced less illness in students (less students were marked as sick compared to previous years)
– our own observations are that students perform better academically when given outdoor recess times (this is supported by academic research)
– our own observations are that students behave better when they go outdoors (this is also supported by academic research)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my child wear boots to school and leave their school shoes at school?
Yes this is acceptable. Students can leave school shoes in their gym bags or another alternative location as specified by the classroom teacher. Wearing boots to school is a great way to keep feet dry and warm. Boots can be left at school as well provided that they are labelled and stored neatly. Teachers will work on creating a system for this.
Can my child change clothes if they do get wet during outdoor times?
Yes this is acceptable. This has always been permitted. Sometimes, students will slip and fall and their uniform will be muddy or completely soaked. In these situations, students will change into their PE strip or into a change of clothes. It would be a good idea for kids to pack extra socks and other extra clothing in their bags or PE bags so that they can change if ever the need arose.
I am worried that my child will get sick from being out in the rain. Can they not stay inside?
It is not the cold that makes us sick but rather viruses. People get sick more often in the winter because they are exposed to each other more indoors in the winter than in the summer. When it is cold outside people tend to stay inside and are more likely to spread germs to one another. Getting outdoors is more likely to protect our kids from illnesses than keeping them indoors. The most important thing to remember during cold and flu season is to protect yourself and your child against these germs when you or they are around other people. Be sure to wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can’t get to a sink. At our school we have both hand washing and hand sanitizer and this greatly reduces the spread of communicable diseases.
The cold virus can be transmitted in the following ways:
Through the air: If a person with a cold sneezes or coughs, small amounts of the virus can be released into the air. Then, if your child breathes in that air, the virus will adhere to the membrane inside your child’s nose.
Direct contact: This means that your child has directly touched a person who was infected. It is easy for children to spread a cold, because they touch their nose, mouth, and eyes often and then touch other people or objects. It’s important to remember that viruses can be spread not just from person to person but from object to person through objects like toys that have been touched by someone with a cold.
My child has been sick but is now returning to school. Can she/he stay inside today?
We are quite reluctant to allow this for a couple of reasons. First, if your child is still not quite better it would be better to keep them at home until they are 100% ready to function fully at school. If she/he is too sick to go outside, she/he is also probably too sick to get through the day’s work successfully – give her/him another day of rest. Secondly, we have very limited supervision inside so if more than a couple of students are requesting this it becomes problematic. We do make exceptions to this based on special circumstances so if you want to chat about your child’s specific health conditions please phone me and we can talk about your concerns. Any specific health conditions will need to be supported by medical recommendations by a health professional.
Why don’t you keep them in – they would be far more comfortable – it doesn’t seem fair! My child is complaining and we think they should stay inside. Will you be able to accommodate?
We are concerned that if we set things up for our kids to avoid inclement weather by staying indoors we are teaching them that they need to protect themselves from it. The habits we set up with our kids as they grow up tend to last into adulthood. Rather than feeling that they need to stay indoors we want to encourage them to find ways to enjoy the rain.
Won’t going outside more mean that more children will get sick and Covid19 cases go on the rise?
The BCCDC and Vancouver Coastal Health have always stressed the importance of being outside more regularly. Our decision to go outside for rainy day recesses is in alignment with best practice. Admittedly, it is something we should have been doing long ago.
If the benefits of going outside are so good, why is this only being implemented now?
This is a fair question. Over the past weeks we have noticed that student behavior on indoor days was more troublesome and focus was down. Perhaps the combination of indoor days and continued Covid19 restrictions such as wearing a mask all day for K to 7 students meant that students were finding school more challenging and as result more behavior problems were arising. The last week of indoor recess brought this issue into even more focus as a staff we talked about going outside. The staff were in agreement that students need fresh air and need to move freely outside. The research supports their claims. When the data was examined, the best course of action was to implement this decision right away.
My child complains of being cold. Can they wait inside?
As the old saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing decisions. We have noticed that some students are only wearing a school sweater outside. They need to wear proper coats. Some of the students are wearing indoor dress shoes. They should wear boots. Some students have a jacket on but not the hood so their hair gets wet. They should wear the hood. In essence, there are many students that make poor choices with clothing. Make sure you talk to your child about wearing proper clothing. My own children are no different. One of my sons refuses to wear a rain jacket despite us buying him a nice coat that repels water. He absolutely refuses. As such, we had to tell his teachers that this is a decision not to fight him on and to not listen to any complaining. He is smart enough to know that if he has a jacket and does not wear it he only has himself to blame.
Will there ever be a situation in which students will be inside for recess?
Only in extreme weather situations. What is extreme? Picture wind gusts and torrential heavy rain where not even umbrellas will make a difference. Picture -25 degrees celsius in the winter. Picture lightning storms. Picture our parking lot frozen as a sheet of ice and unsafe to walk or run on. These occurrences are rare. Maybe 3 to 5 times a year but could be more. For weather to be extreme it will be rare. The school administration will make a decision based on the extreme nature of the weather and whether the conditions are actually unsafe. If conditions are unsafe then students will not go outside.
My child does not have enough time to eat their lunch. What can be done?
In reading the research, the recommended eating time is 20 minutes for school aged children. We have now implemented 20 minutes for eating. We moved our Angelus prayer earlier so that students can now have 20 minutes to eat. Students still go outside at 12:15pm for outdoor recess.
NATURE CLUB EMBRACES THE RAIN AND THE WONDER OF FALL
STUDENTS SHOW THEIR ARTISTIC SKILLS
PATRIOTS SPIRIT WEAR
The following items are part of the Patriots Spirit Wear:
- current PE strip (shirt and shorts)
- Patriots hoodie
- Patriots sweatshirt
- Patriots sweatpants
- Patriots long sleeve warm up shirt
- 2021 Walkathon Shirt
- Patriots hoodies and long sleeve shirts online as of Monday October 25th until November 7th. The items would be removed online as of November 8th.
- Orders can be completed online through the Cambridge Uniform website – click here for more info
- The approximate turnaround time, after the cut off date (November 7th), is 4-5 weeks. Timelines are subject to change.
- Sweatpants are unavailable at this time due to continued supply shortages
Updated as of October 22, 2021.
The gray Patriot’s Gear is available for order. Please click here to order.
KINDERGARTEN SIBLING REGISTRATION FOR 2022-2023
We are excited to welcome kindergarten sibling registration for children born in 2017, turning 5 in 2022. These children will begin kindergarten in September, 2022. We ask that you complete this form to hold a spot for the sibling.
CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS
A valid Criminal Record Check (CRC) must be on file for parents who will be volunteering in our school in any of these parent participation categories:
- Coaching Assistance / Refereeing / Extra-Curricular
- Playground / Parking Lot Supervision
- Hot Lunch helper
- Classroom / Office helper
For existing families: the office will email you if your CRC is expiring or expired.
New families: If your parent participation involves any of the above, you will need to complete a Criminal Record Check as soon as possible. This check is free and can be completed online. Simply click on the link below and follow the on-screen instructions. You will need to enter the Access Code to be identified as a volunteer at St. Jude School.
Online Link: https://justice.gov.bc.ca/criminalrecordcheck
Access Code: KVLB9GCYEW
We currently have the following items available for sale in our Consignment:
All items have been sold. We currently have no stock in consignment.
If you would like uniform items to be sold in consignment, they must be in good to excellent condition. They need to be the current uniform and not the old one. You will need to set a price and fill out a form. Please contact Mr. van der Pauw if you would like an item to be sold. From time to time we will post what is available for sale in consignment.
Reminder of Uniform Schedule:
Monday to Thursday – Uniform
Fridays – Patriot Spirit Wear