Well, that’s the first month of 2018 official in the record books – and what a month it was! ICYMI, be sure to check out our In the News section of this website (the tab directly to the right of this one), and our Good News blog, which is loaded with great news about students from across Niagara Catholic. We picked up an impressive number of new followers on our social media sites last month – helped along by the snow on January 30 and Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 31 – but we’re determined to keep those new followers active and engaged and to continue to grow our base of followers. If you haven’t joined us on social media, visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and if you like what we’re doing on there, be sure to tell others to join the conversation to get news and updates from across our system.
As always, be sure to check our social media channels and this website for information about bus delays, cancellations or school closures as we work our way through Winter 2018. Hopefully the worst of it is behind us, but the only thing you can predict about the weather when you are between two Great Lakes is that it will be unpredictable. Ensure your child(ren) are dressed to go outside most days, with warm and waterproof clothing, especially jackets, snowpants, boots and gloves/mittens, as well as a hat and scarf to protect them against the wind and cold. And since water finds a way to find its way through waterproof gear, especially on kiddos, have a backup bag of clothing at the school, just in case someone gets soggy. Niagara Catholic follows Niagara Region Public Health’s initiative on Extreme Cold Alerts. Students are kept inside when an Extreme Cold Alert is in place, but please keep in mind principals have discretion to keep students inside based on the conditions at their school, even when an alert is not in effect. If you have questions about the decision to keep students indoors in the winter, please ask the principal.
Could it be the flu? This year’s flu is especially nasty. Since flu season began, there have been 17 flu outbreaks across the Region, with five still in effect as of February 1. If your child has flu-like symptoms or a confirmed case of the flu, please keep them at home until they are flu-free. it’s not too late to get a flu shot. Click here for a list of flu shot clinics in Niagara.
Aaaand, speaking of shots, many families across Niagara have received notices of suspension from school under the Immunization of School Pupils Act. If you received a notice from Niagara Region Public Health regarding your child’s immunization record, and believe they have current vaccinations, please check with your doctor and Public Health to clear up any discrepancy. If your child requires updated immunizations, either visit your family doctor or one of the General Immunization Clinics hosted by Niagara Region Public Health. A list of clinic dates, times and locations is here.
And now, on to February’s events! The shortest month of the year is one of the busiest across Niagara Catholic! We have lots of things going on, so be sure to check your child’s school calendar for a list of events and activities taking place in their schools.
February 1 is the final day of Semester 1 exams in our Catholic secondary schools. February 2 is a secondary P.A. Day, and Semester Two begins on Monday, February 5.
Niagara Catholic student artwork is available for auction at Seaway Mall February 1-7. Giving from the HeART is a fundraiser for the United Way. Stop by, check out the art, and place your bid to support programs and services in the community.
Niagara Catholic will host a special event for students to learn more about 21st century careers on February 6. The Pathways Speaker Series: Truths Revealed, held in partnership with Brock University, Niagara College and the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, will provide valuable information to students and their parents about the way traditional careers in the trades have evolved over the years, and about new and emerging careers for students to explore. This is a free event at Club Roma in St. Catharines, beginning at 6:30 p.m. It’s ideally suited for students in Grades 6-10, however any interested students outside of that age range or their parents are encouraged and welcome to attend. No need to pre-register, just come by to learn more.
Kids Helping Kids Week begins on February 11, a week when elementary students from across Niagara Catholic participate in a number of fun activities to raise money for the Niagara Children’s Centre. This year will be the 20th year for Kids Helping Kids. Last year’s event raised $30,770 for programs and services at the Centre.
We will also begin our Lenten journey during that week. February 13 is Shrove Tuesday, the final day to enjoy treats (especially ones with fat in it, which explains the term Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday in French). This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. As Ash Wednesday is a day reserved for penance and repentance and is the official beginning of Lent, please note that our schools will hold Valentine’s Day events on February 13 instead. The distribution of ashes will take place in schools and at parishes on February 14. Learn more about Ash Wednesday and Lent here.
Heading into the Family Day long weekend, remember that both elementary and secondary school students will get an extra long weekend, as February 16 is a Professional Activity Day. All schools and sites are closed on Monday, February 19 for Family Day.
We will conclude February with our Winter/Spring Kindergarten Open House and Registration Day on February 28, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. If you haven’t already registered your child for September 2018 at one of our Catholic elementary schools, be sure to attend the Open House at your neighbourhood Catholic elementary school. If you know someone with a child who will turn four in 2018, invite them to bring their child to the open house to discover the joy and wonder of a Catholic education. Online registration is also available through the slide on the front page of this website.
To find out more about the events and activities happening in your child’s school, be sure to check their monthly newsletter or calendar.