“Seeking Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation” – CISVA 2022-23 School Theme
This year’s school theme was developed to not only signify the importance of the work we must do to heal relationships with First Nations, it also speaks to the work we must do to heal any relationship that is fractured.
Sometimes, in my role as principal, I have to meet with students that are not getting along and may have been teasing one another or excluding each other. There are hurt feelings and there is anger. However, every time, without fail, there is blame shifting onto the other person. Seldom do children come in and say it was their fault right away. That is just indicative of human nature. In our faith, the story of Adam and Eve highlights this as Adam is quick to blame Eve when God asks him why he disobeyed his command. I sometimes wonder how the conversation between Adam and Eve went that night. In my line of work, one of the challenges is, especially with our little ones, to actually figure out what happened when I have two students in conflict. It is very difficult to get to the truth of the matter.
The truth usually is that both individuals have done something unkind to one another. I often try to get the children to see the situation from the other child’s point of view. It is only when the children can recognize that they may have hurt the other person that they can move towards mending the relationship. Without acknowledging the truth, without the desire to see the truth, healing and reconciliation will not happen. This is as true for children as it is for adults and for organizations.
It is not easy to see the truth of any situation, and especially when we are in conflict with someone else. We are often blind to how we may have hurt others. To see and acknowledge truth we need to do the heavy lifting of looking outside of ourselves. We need to try to see the situation from the opposing point of view. We need to assume that we do not yet possess the truth. We need to listen to the other person. As simple as that sounds, it is incredibly challenging, especially if we have a defensive mindset.
Our theme then reminds us that no relationship can be healed without an active desire for the truth. This is why the apology of Pope Francis was so important. In his words, he acknowledged the truth of the Church’s role in residential schools and the immense pain, suffering, and trauma this has caused to an entire people. Seeking the truth and admitting the truth of how one’s actions caused pain is an important first and necessary step towards healing.
Theme Visual Explained
Symbols are visual poetry. It is common to discern deeper meaning from an image the longer one views it. Our theme visual for 2022-2023 could be explained this way:
The dove, a symbol of peace, represents the Holy Spirit. It can also remind us of the dove from Noah’s ark that went seeking safety, refuge, and a place for a new beginning. The Holy Spirit reveals all truth.
The cedar branch is a symbol of healing for Indigenous Peoples.
The circle, represents God who has no beginning and no end.
The colours used can represent feelings and emotions. White is often considered a symbol of purity or joy. Red, the colour we use at Pentecost and for the Holy Spirit, symbolizes love. Green for new life and growth. Pink, another colour for joy that is used (at Gaudete and Laetare Sunday) for the third candle of the Advent wreath.
True reconciliation is realized when we are open to the truth and to healing. Let us invoke the Holy Spirit as we seek reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
TEACHERS PARTICIPATE IN KAIROS BLANKET EXERCISE
As part of our professional development the teachers participated in the Kairos Blanket exercise. Sam George (Tsleil Waututh) and his son Samson Whitebear George (Tsleil Waututh) led the staff through this powerful exercise. Our main facilitator, Sam George, spoke with power and honesty about the suffering and trauma that his people have had to endure and specifically his family. In the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it states, “We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to
Aboriginal education issues, including… building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.” In light of this important work, we are working to have our students in Grades 3 to 7 also experience a student friendly version of the Kairos Blanket Exercise.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR SEPTEMBER
To have a successful September and school year, the following tips may prove helpful:
- Create and stick to a routine – children do better with routines
- Eat nutritious food – avoid sugary food as research shows how this negatively impacts children
- Early bedtimes – your child needs at least 9-10 hours of sleep
- Limit the amount of screen time – please ensure there are no screens in your child’s bedroom as it is too tempting
- Instead of, “How was your day?” try, “Tell me about your day!”
- Meet the Teacher is Sept 22 – book that evening off now – more info will be coming
- Check your child’s agenda daily
- Create an environment for reading (set time aside for reading and have books at home)
- Pray as a family – (attend mass on Sundays)
- Email your child’s teacher if you ever have concerns
- Please update the office on any changes to address or telephone
- Please use the drop off lane in the parking lot, instead of dropping off on 15th
- Please inform the office of sickness, early pick ups or planned absences, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please do not linger in the foyer, we need to keep the area clear as it is a fire exit
AFTER SCHOOL CLUB REGISTRATION
Parents are reminded to sign up for the After School Club through our website: https://stjude.ca/after-school-club/
Please note that there has been a very small price increase. You can read more below.
Description of Club: Will run daily Monday-Friday 3:00-6:00 p.m. It will also be in operation from 12 noon to 6 PM on Curriculum Planning (early dismissal) days. It will not operate on professional or conference days or holidays. Students will engage in games, arts and crafts, reading/homework, and outdoor play.
Cost per child is $13.00/day or $55.00/week on regular school days. If the child is picked up before 4:00 pm it will be $6.50. On early dismissal (12 Noon) days the cost will be $25 to 6:00 pm or $13 if the child is picked up before 3 pm. (Those who are attending the whole week and paying $55 a week will not be charged extra for early dismissal days).
SCHOOL UNIFORM REMINDERS
I would like to remind families of the following uniform rules:
- Our uniform policy is found online in the parent handbook.
- Summer Uniform can be worn from now until Thanksgiving.
- Polo Shirts are to be St. Jude School polo shirts purchased through Cambridge Uniforms.
- Cambridge is offering a pants option for girls and this must be purchased through Cambridge Uniforms.
- All sweaters must be up to date (St. Jude Crest on the sweater). Sweater vests or cardigans are a part of our school mass attire.
- Black shoes are required for indoor shoes – if you would like clarification on shoes please see your classroom teacher or the principal.
- Every Friday is Patriots Spirit Wear: (students are not allowed to wear items that are not school issued).
- PE strip is a part of Patriots Spirit Wear.
- Patriots hoodies, sweatpants, and long sleeve warm ups.
- Walkathon shirts.
The first hot lunch day will be September 13, 2022. All hot lunch orders are completed online using Munchalunch. Orders for next week’s hot lunch must be placed by the end of today, September 9, 2022.
New parents click here: Munchalunch for New Families
Existing parents with a Munchalunch account click here: Munchalunch for Returning Families
Please subscribe to our school calendar for a list of important dates.
To subscribe to our calendar feed copy the link below and paste it into your calendar app:
VOLLEYBALL TEAMS GR 5 TO 7
Permission slips for Volleyball have been distributed to interested students.
CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
Permission slips for Cross Country will go out next week. Students from Gr. 2 to Gr. 7 are encouraged to join. Top 3 runners per gender per grade will compete in the CISVA Cross Country Championship on October 5, 2022.
Permission slips for the intermediate choir have been distributed to interested students.
SCHOOL SUPPLY LISTS 2022-23
Parents please go directly to: https://schoolstart.ca/
Then click on the following:
– Parents Shop Here
– Purchase School Supply Kits
– Select Province, then City, then School
– Click Here to Purchase Your School Kits
– Lastly, click on your child’s Grade.
REFER A STUDENT AND GET REWARDED
This past year we handed out $1200 in rewards to parents that referred students to our school. Every student that is referred and enrolls in our school for the year results in a reward of $200 for the the referring family.
We currently have spots available in Kindergarten, Gr. 1, and Gr. 2.
To learn more about the referral program, please click here.