Weekly Memo: September 7th-11th

posted Sep 15, 2020, 9:52 AM by Chris Risto   [ updated Sep 15, 2020, 9:53 AM ]

St. Thomas More - STM.png

Monday, September 7th-Friday, 11th

In this issue
School Update 


Student Agendas


School Cash Online

Parent Portal Sign Up

Medical Consent 

OPH Updates  

Virtual Academy

Hygiene Routines

School Safety Measures

Student Supplies

Quick Links

St. Thomas More 




Parish Links

St. Bernard

Prayer to Begin a School Year

God of wisdom and might, we praise you for the wonder of our being, for mind, body and spirit. Be with our children as they begin a new school year. Bless them and their teachers, staff, parents and caregivers. Give the strength and grace as their bodies grow; wisdom and knowledge to their minds as they search for understanding; and peace and zeal to their hearts. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

School Update 

       Just a few more sleeps before the first week of school. Our STM staff have been in the school this past week setting up classrooms , preparing lesson plans, and reviewing the safety measures that have been outlined in our Back to School plan. At the same time, our Kindergarten team has welcomed our newest wolf pack members by providing our new Junior Kindergarten families with a meet and greet and a brief tour of their new classrooms.  Many hands definitely  make light work! I feel so very blessed to be part of the wolfpack and I am very sure you already know how amazing our STM staff is. 

We are ready everyone! By now all families have received a personal email from their classroom teachers indicating your child’s door number indicating their entrance to the school. STM staff will be at their entrance location ready to receive their students between 8:15am-8:30am. The links below will provide you with a sneak peak of STM school. Have a fantastic extended weekend and we will see you very soon. 

Back to School Booklet for STM

2nd floor hallway, bathroom, fountain


Junior classroom

Kindergarten Classroom

Primary Classroom


Week at a Glance

Monday, September 7th

  • Labour Day -no school for students

Tuesday, September 8th 

  • First day of school for Kindergarten and Grade 1-Grade 3 students. Don’t forget to meet your teacher at your designated entrance to the school between 8:15am and 8:30am. Pick up time will be between 2:45pm-3pm.

Wednesday, September 9th

  • First day of school for our Grade 4-Grade 6 students . Don’t forget to meet your teacher at your designated entrance to the school between 8:15am and 8:30am. Pick up time will be between 2:45pm-3pm.

Thursday, September 10th

Friday, September 11th

  • Have a restful weekend



 Students in Grades 4 to 6  are required to wear non-medical cloth masks indoors in school, including in hallways and during classes. STM staff will allow opportunities for breaks from wearing a mask where appropriate. For students who do not have their own cloth mask, the school staff will provide a cloth mask. As per the Ministry’s direction, students in kindergarten to grade 3 are encouraged but not required to wear masks in schools. STM staff will teach and reinforce the proper use of masks. At this time we are asking parents to have a strategy for students to hold on to their masks while outside for lunch and recess times. Some examples would include a bracelet or lanyard to clip a mask to the wrist, or a fanny pack /pouch that can be worn on the student while outside at play. The student may also place the mask in a ziplock bag and place it in a pocket if other options are not available. ___________________________________________________________________

School Agendas

Parent-School communication is the cornerstone of student success. Again this year, your child(ren) in Grades 1-6 will receive a student agenda on their first day of school. The cost of the student agenda is $9.00 and we have ordered enough copies of the student agenda for our Virtual Academy students as well. We can arrange a curbside pick up for our virtual wolfpack students that have purchased a student agenda. As per usual you will receive an email from School Cash Online to make your payment. This item is available to purchase online until Wednesday, September 30. Students will receive their agendas from their homeroom teacher on their first day of school. School Cash Online is the preferred method of payment; please note STM is no longer accepting cheques. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the office. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

We are still encouraging parents to use a Chromebook for their children if they can. This simplifies cleaning procedures and will result in equitable access for the students whose families would struggle with the expense.  We continue to have an arms length partnership with Staples https://www.staples.ca/a/content/byod-ottawa. However, parents should be encouraged to shop anywhere that they can find a fair price.  We recommend 4GB and a touch screen. Any current models will have sufficient specifications. Reminder to parents that there are no areas to lock student devices as all personal items will be kept at the students desk or backpack when not in use. 


School Cash Online

We will continue to use the convenience of online payments for  parents for all upcoming school activities, Student Agendas,  and Wolfpack Wear. For safety and efficiency reasons, we want to continue to reduce the amount of cash and cheques coming into our school. If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to register, by following the steps below. A brief clip below will give you an overview of the registration and online shopping experience. http://www.kevsoftware.com/movies/ParentRegEnglish/

Register  Online:

       Step 1: Please click on this link: https://ocsb.schoolcashonline.com

       Step 2: Register by selecting the “Get Started Now” and following the  


       Step 3: After you receive the confirmation email, please select the ‘click  

                        here’ option, login in and add each of your children to your  

                        household account.  Convenient,Safe and Secure PLEASE 

                        NOTE: If you have any questions during the registration process  

                        or while shopping online, please contact the Parent Help  

                        Desk by calling 1-866-961-1803 or by e-mailing   


Presently, we are collecting Student Agenda fees, which is $9.00 per student. You will see the agenda fee item of $9..00 on your School Cash Online (SCO) account. We will continue to make a commitment to give fair notice should we be requesting money on School Cash Online.


Parent Portal Sign-up

If you haven’t signed up for the parent portal already, you can find the instructions to sign up on the OCSB website at ocsb.ca/parentportal.  Student and Teacher portals are coming.


Medical Consent & Student Health Portal

If your child requires the use of an epipen, inhaler and/or other medication to be administered at school. In order to ensure that we have all appropriate measures in place for the first day of school, , PLEASE complete the NECESSARY form(s) and return them to the school the week of September 8th, 2020. The forms must be dropped off or left at the office prior to the first day of school. Consent to Administer Medication Form is MANDATORY and therefore, MUST BE FILLED IN FOR THE SAFETY OF YOUR CHILD. Without proper medical consent, we cannot administer any medication to your child at school.  Proper consent is required each new school year. Once we receive proper consent, information will be shared with OSTA for those students who travel  by bus. If your child has a medical condition that requires a Plan of Care please see our  Student Health Portal for more information. 


OPH Updates: Provincial Health & Safety Protocols 

What will be the screening process to allow children each day to enter the school?

All staff and students must self-screen every day before attending school. OPH has  provided parents with a checklist to perform daily screening of their children before arriving at school. 


Outbreak Management in Schools This document was produced in collaboration with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

FAQ's : Responses from OPH 

OCSB Back to School Update

Please see our  Back to School Update for our parent community and a companion blog. The letter and blog contain much of the information sent to you by our Director of Education this past week. A School and School Board FAQ.pdf document prepared by Ottawa Public Health is included in the blog.

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.

Hygiene Routines 

Board video with helpful tips and techniques on hygiene routines for our children.

School Safety Measures

The entire school day has been looked at, and all the student’s transitions will be organised in a way that St. Thomas More School is following the OCSB and the Ottawa Public Health plan for a safe return to school. Some of the things we are doing are:

  •  Student entry at the beginning and end of the school day will include utilizing all 8 perimeter doors.

  • Washing of hands when students enter the classroom. There would also be set times for students to wash their hands.

  • Desks in the classroom will be assigned and 1M apart from others. 

  • Students will have their own learning materials so that they are not sharing.

  • Set bathroom procedures and student tracking for the student assigned bathrooms.

  • A double  recess schedule that keeps  students in their designated cohort in their designated area in the  school yard.

  • In the hallways, there will be directional arrows that the students will follow to keep them 2M apart. There will also be signs indicating where to stand on the floor in strategic locations around the school.

  • Only students and staff will be allowed in the school at this time. If a parent needs to enter the school, it will need to be arranged by the office ahead of schedule.


The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) announced that they would not be starting yellow school bus service until September 14th. They have provided us with a St.Thomas More Walk-a-block map . Considering all the different logistics with the safe arrival and dismissal of students, this would be a great resource to use. Until September 14th, parents will be responsible for getting their children to and from school. If you are looking for information regarding your school bus stop, drop off and pick up times, please go to the OSTA Website. You will note in the picture above that we have created ample room for students to lock their bicycles if they plan on riding to school.

Safe Arrival and Dismissal

This September, there will be some changes to the safe arrival and dismissal procedures here at St. Thomas More. Most of these changes affect the students who are walkers or who are dropped off and picked up here at the school. We have 8 perimeter doors for students to enter the school. Parents are asked to have their students at their assigned entrances between 8:15am and no later than 8:30am as teachers will be walking their classes directly into the school using their designated entrance. Parents will be asked to pick up their students at the same designated school entrance between 2:45pm -3:00pm. You will receive your school entrance door number next week. All entrances are clearly marked with a number from 1-8 for easy reference.  

Students who are dropped off or picked up:

In keeping with the OCSB Return to School Plan, parents are encouraged to park away from the school and walk their children to St. Thomas. Please make sure to look at St.Thomas Walk-a-block map that OSTA’s has created.

Bus Zone

When yellow bus service begins for St. Thomas More on September 14th. Our busses will have to be unloaded and loaded at the front of the school. This means that the ‘Bus Lane’ in front of the school will not be used for pick-up and drop-off before or after school. The parking lot will also be closed to all cars during these times. There are two exceptions: 1) Special Transportation Vans for our students and 2) parents with a valid accessible parking permit.

When talking about coming back to school, make sure to discuss with your child where you will meet them at the end of the day. Setting up a consistent place and talking about it will help everyone get into the daily routine.

Student Supplies

Here are some suggestions of what you can purchase to get your child ready for back to school. We have had many parents asking and hope that this gives you an idea.

Kindergarten: We know that kinder parents have questions about items. When your child’s teacher reaches out to you they will communicate with you what you need to bring to school

Teachers of individual classes in Gr. 1-6 will certainly provide you with any other items. 


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