Weekly Memo: January 25th -January 29th

posted Jan 22, 2021, 8:57 AM by Chris Risto
St. Thomas More - STM.png

Monday, January 25th-Friday, January 29th

In this issue:


Principal Message

Week at a Glance

      OSTA Message

OPH Message to parents

      School Council Corner



Quick Links

St. Thomas More 




Hapara Work Spaces

#ocsbHowTo video “Use the Portal to access Student Hapara Workspace.

Virtual Academy

For our families that have opted for virtual learning  here is a blog  to connect with our elementary parents regarding our Virtual Program for Kindergarten and grades 1 to 6.

Parish Links

St. Bernard

Let us pray:                 

                                     Beauty of Winter


God of creation, thank You for the beauty of winter, for snow, icy window panes, evergreen trees, warm coats, sledding and hot cocoa. Let us enjoy Your creation in all its glory, this winter and always. Amen                                        


Principal Message

          Dear WolfPack,  let’s get our school spirit going by being Mental Health champions. It starts with taking care of ourselves. A lot of us are missing things we used to take for granted, especially being in the school and playing with our friends. It’s okay to feel sad or upset about things you are missing because of the pandemic. We can all cheer each other up and feel that sense of togetherness by taking the STM school spirit challenge. Just  follow the chart below and share your school spirit with your classmates on your daily google meets. Dear families if you are tweeting your BE WELL activities, don’t forget to #ocsbBeWell



Week at a Glance

Monday, January 25th

  • Wear Green  #ocsbBeWell

Tuesday, January 26th

  • Be Creative

Wednesday, January 27th

  • Move

Thursday, January 28th

  • Bell Let’s Talk 

Friday, January 29th 

  • Be Kind

Saturday, January 30th

  • Laugh

Sunday, January 31st

  • Be Grateful


OSTA Message

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority will be implementing the Ministry of Education's recent directive regarding student masking as of Monday, January 18, 2021.  

All students from grades 1 to 12 will be required to wear a face mask (cloth or medical),

and students in Kindergarten are recommended to wear a mask, on all vehicles, including school buses, vans and wheelchair buses.  Please note that a neck warmer or scarf is not considered an appropriate face mask on board vehicles.

If your child has a medical condition that does not allow them to wear a mask, or special needs that make mask-wearing difficult, please advise OSTA, the Operator or the school.  We appreciate your continued efforts to keep students and our drivers safe.

Ottawa Student Transportation Authority


Hello. Bonjour. Kwey.

With the recent Provincial announcements placing all Ontario municipalities in a state of emergency, the stay-at-home-order and extension of school closures, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) would like to draw your attention to the mental health and well-being of Ottawa parents. The following provides information, resources, guidance and tips that we would appreciate

your help in sharing broadly with your various networks.


Supporting parents in our community


Given the current Provincial restrictions and school closures, the next month may be challenging for parents and guardians who have children learning from home as they try to balance that with work obligations, projects, deadlines, meetings and so on. OPH is asking all employers to please be understanding of their employees’ needs, including flexible work schedules, particularly if they are parents or guardians. Parents and guardians are encouraged to speak to their employer to ensure they are aware of their situation and to discuss their options.


In addition, OPH is encouraging individuals to check-in virtually on extended family, neighbours, friends and colleagues. Individuals might consider dropping off food or sending a meal, treats, crafts or games to families with children or sending a letter, card or care package to a loved one. Suggestions for connecting virtually and more can be found here: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/SocialWise.


Mental health supports for parents and children


In order to be able to take care of others, parents need to take care of themselves. OPH would like to remind parents that their mental health and well-being are as important as ever and that it’s okay to not be okay. Several free online resources are available for parents and children, including:


In addition to the above resources, OPH would like to promote the benefits of getting outside as an important part of mental health. Parents are encouraged to take breaks during the day to get outside with their children, seeking out safer activities that limit their family’s contact with people from outside their household and allow for physical distancing and mask-wearing as much as possible. More information on keeping active during the pandemic can be found here: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/ActiveDuringCOVID19.


COVID-19 safety reminders for parents


We know parents and guardians are doing their best right now to keep children safe, healthy and entertained. As we try to reduce the currently high levels of COVID-19 in our community, OPH is asking parents to keep the following in mind:


  • At this time, playdates and recreational activities with other households are not recommended. We all need to take steps to reduce transmission of the virus in our community, including limiting close contacts with those from outside our immediate households.

  • Parents and guardians should be limiting their children’s contact with other children except for childcare needs. Licensed centre and home-based childcare remains open with enhanced health and safety measures and emergency child care is available. If required, families would be permitted to have an exclusive contact with another household for the sole purpose of providing support.

  • Daily screening of children for COVID-19 symptoms continues to be important, even if children are not attending school in person. If ANYONE in the home has symptoms of COVID-19, everyone must stay home while waiting for COVID-19 test results. Parents can screen their children for symptoms by accessing OPH’s daily screening tool.

The importance of COVID-19 testing for children


While OPH appreciates parents’ efforts to follow public health guidelines and limit their children’s contact with others, we are still seeing a significant increase in the number of children and youth testing positive for COVID-19. At the same time, we’ve seen a significant decline in the number of children and youth being tested. This decline, combined with the surge in the number of people testing positive, has resulted in an overall positivity rate of 14 percent with 21 percent among children aged 5-12. We know there are likely many more undiagnosed infections in our community and unless we test more, we will not be able to identify them and proactively work to protect others with whom they may have come into contact.

We understand parents and children have many reasons to refrain from testing, including concerns about the long lines experienced earlier in the pandemic, guilt over socializing during the holidays or fear of the Nasopharyngeal swab. However, refraining from testing is adding to the growing risk of community spread, which could lead to added pressures on the healthcare system, delays for needed care, and could ultimately lead to an extension of the lockdown and other restrictions. OPH is strongly encouraging parents/guardians who have children with COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, to please get them tested as soon as possible. Doing so could mean saving a life. For more information on COVID-19 testing for children, please see the attached document in both English and French; we would encourage you to please share it amongst your channels. 

OPH knows parents/guardians are doing their best right now to balance work and home obligations, their children’s virtual learning and their own personal care and well-being. We have data showing that the stress caused by this situation is significant and are asking the community to be compassionate, accommodating, and supportive of parents, guardians and one another during this difficult time.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwetch.

Dr. Vera Etches


School Council Corner   

Supports for Parents

  Mental Health Resources (CSPA)

                                                PLEASE CONTACT:

                                Next meeting:  February 17th,  2021 

Our Virtual Meetings start at 6:30pm. Virtual Meet link 

CSC Virtual Meet Link

  All parents are welcome!



St. Thomas More School
1620 Blohm Drive
Ottawa, Ontario  K1G 5N6

Phone: 613-739-7131
Email: thomas.more@ocsb.ca
Website: stm.ocsb.ca
Twitter: ThomasMoreOCSB