Scenario 1: In-school classes resume

Please see RDCRS COVID-19 information.

Parent Communications

Gr. 8 Staffing Update

November 4, 2020

Dear Parents,

Please be advised that effective Monday, November 16, Mrs.Raylene Wimberley will be returning from her maternity leave and will be replacing Mr.Carlos as your child’s grade 8 homeroom teacher.  Mr.Carlos will be remaining at STA as part of our Physical Education team. He will conduct parent teacher interviews on the evenings of November 9 and 10 from 4:30-7:30pm. 

We thank Mr. Carlos for all of his efforts to support our students as a member of the grade 8 team and we look forward to his continued work with our PE team. 

If you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to reach out.

Yours in Christ,

Ian Stang
Principal

November 9 and 10 School Interviews

Dear parents, 

Parent/Teacher/Student digital interviews will be held on November 9 and 10, from 4:30-7:30pm. Interviews are strictly 10 minutes and spaces are limited. If you require more time with a particular teacher, please arrange a separate meeting with that teacher. 

Go to www.schoolinterviews.ca and enter the code  j4fnf

* Enter your details
* Select the teacher(s) you wish to see
* Select the appointment times that suit your family best

When you click FINISH your selected bookings will be emailed to you immediately. If you do not receive your email, please check your junk-mail, or enter the event code again and check your email address spelling. Update your details if the email address is incorrect. DO NOT DELETE the email you receive. Keep it somewhere safe. You may need to refer back to it at a later date.

REMEMBER TO ADD YOUR APPOINTMENTS TO YOUR CALENDAR - reminders will not be sent home. Bookings must be finalised by November 8 at 12:00pm.

If you need to view, cancel, change or print your bookings:

  • Click on the link in the confirmation email you received after you made your bookings
  • OR return to www.schoolinterviews.ca and enter the code and the email address you used when making your bookings.

  What to expect on the day of your interview:
At your interview time, please have your phone with you.

  1. A number will come up, that isn’t a Red Deer area number, as we are using Google to make the call.
  2. When you answer you will be given simple instructions on how to manage your call, such as muting your phone if you need to. 
  3. If you require a Google meet, you will need to arrange this with your child’s classroom teacher prior to your assigned interview time.

We appreciate having the opportunity to connect with you to discuss your child’s progress.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.

 

Grade 8 Social Media Presentation

Dear Grade 8 Parents:

On Friday, November 6, 2020, Constable Derek Turner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will be presenting to our grade 8 Religion classes about the appropriate use of social media.  He will be discussing social media, appropriate online behaviours, as well as long term consequences of using various digital platforms.  He will address serious issues relative to the Criminal Code of Canada, and will specifically reference Section 163.1 - Criminal Code of Canada.  This section of the Criminal Code of Canada will be used to teach students the connection that exists between breaking the law and students sharing sexually explicit material.  We believe that this is an important message for many reasons. As a Catholic community we believe that we are created in the image of God and our body is a temple where God dwells. The Church teaches that all are created equally and deserve shared dignity and respect. Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be treated. As parents and educators of vulnerable youth we want this generation to understand responsible use of technology.  Constable Turner will also discuss the dangers associated with vaping including the city by-laws pertaining to vaping.  

Religion teachers will briefly discuss the presentation with their students prior to it taking place.  Following the presentation, those students who may require more information, resources or support will be provided with the opportunity to connect with one of our counsellors or to speak to a trusted adult.

If you have any questions regarding this presentation or if you require any further clarification, please feel free to contact Collette Groenen or Ian Stang.



Yours in Christ,

Ian Stang
Principal

Grade 9 Social Media Presentation

Dear Grade 9 Parents:

On October 28, 2020, Constable Derek Turner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will be presenting to our grade 9 Religion classes about the appropriate use of social media.  He will be discussing social media, appropriate online behaviours, as well as long term consequences of using various digital platforms.  He will address serious issues relative to the Criminal Code of Canada, and will specifically reference Section 163.1 - Criminal Code of Canada.  This section of the Criminal Code of Canada will be used to teach students the connection that exists between breaking the law and students sharing sexually explicit material.  We believe that this is an important message for many reasons. As a Catholic community we believe that we are created in the image of God and our body is a temple where God dwells. The Church teaches that all are created equally and deserve shared dignity and respect. Jesus taught us to treat others the way we would like to be treated. As parents and educators of vulnerable youth we want this generation to understand responsible use of technology.  Constable Turner will also discuss the dangers associated with vaping including the city by-laws pertaining to vaping.  

Religion teachers will briefly discuss the presentation with their students prior to it taking place.  Following the presentation, those students who may require more information, resources or support will be provided with the opportunity to connect with one of our counsellors or to speak to a trusted adult.

If you have any questions regarding this presentation or if you require any further clarification, please feel free to contact Collette Groenen or Ian Stang.



Yours in Christ,

Ian Stang
Principal

Halloween at STA

October 22, 2020 

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

We want to inform you that we will be celebrating Halloween here at STA on Friday, October 30th.  Teachers will be planning and delivering activities within their homeroom classes.  These activities will take place in the afternoon and will be designed to provide students and staff with the opportunity to have fun and build community outside of regular classroom activities.

 

Students are invited to dress up in their costumes or to wear black, orange or purple for the full day. This year we are asking that students arrive at the school with their costume on rather than changing at school.  Please remember our school/division guidelines pertaining to Halloween costumes:

 

  • We ask that students do not wear masks as part of their costumes; makeup is acceptable as it will allow students to wear this component of their costume for the duration of the day as needed.  
  • Students are not allowed to bring any type of weapon to school.
  • All costumes must follow our school dress code expectations. 

 

As always, if you have any questions or require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out.



Yours in Christ,

 

Ian Stang

Principal

AHL Home Alone

At Home Learning Program:
Considerations for Students who are Home Alone

 

The age at which children in Canada can be left at home alone for reasonable and short periods of time varies from province to province, ranging anywhere from approximately 10 to 12 years.  There is no legislation in Alberta that determines an age at which a child may safely be left home alone. Child Safe Canada states that “no child under the age of 10 should be left alone for any period of time”.

 

Alberta’s Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act explains that if a child’s safety is endangered by not having adequate care of supervision (being left home alone), then that child may be considered neglected. Neglect is determined by assessing the length of time the child is left alone, the frequency with which it occurs, and the degree of isolation in conjunction with the child’s age, maturity level, knowledge, responsibilities, and available resources. Teachers have a duty to report information to designated authorities.

 

All parents/guardians hold the responsibility to make a responsible and safe choice of when their child can safely begin staying home alone.

 

Considerations for parents/guardians:

  • How does my child feel about being left alone?
  • Does my child understand and follow household safety rules? 
  • Does my child have access to a basic first aid kit and knowledge of how to use it?
  • Does my child have access to a telephone to seek assistance in frightening or emergency situations?

 

Being home alone should be a gradual, supervised process to ensure your child has the skills, maturity, and confidence necessary to be safe and act responsibly if faced with an emergency situation. An often overlooked aspect of home alone safety is the focus on your child’s comfort and confidence. If a child is nervous or scared, they will not react safely in an emergency. 

 

Child Safe Canada offers a ‘Home Alone Safety’ course for youth at least 10 years of age that teaches safety, first aid, and comfort skills. Please visit https://childsafecanada.com/programs/youth_ages_8/home_alone_safety_plus_first_aid_10 for more information and to register. Online options are available. 

Athletic Letter to Parents

After working in collaboration with our school division’s senior administration team to carefully consider the guidelines set out by the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA), we are extremely excited to announce that we will be moving forward with providing our students with the opportunity to participate in STA Athletics.  Our athletic programming will take place both before and after school and will be called STA Intraschool Athletics.  Our students will be provided with the opportunity to develop their athletic skills by practicing and scrimmaging against one another.  At this time, it has been decided that there will be no game play that will take place between STA and any other school.  Having said that, our programming will officially begin with Volleyball tryouts on Tuesday, September 15.  Coaches for all of our Intraschool Athletics teams will select enough players so that intrasquad games can take place.  Once teams are made, practice and game times for all sports will be scheduled and advertised on the STA Gym Calendar.

 

All students wishing to try out for our Volleyball teams need to pre register by clicking on the link posted below and by completing the Google Form.

 

Volleyball Registration Form

 

The following COVID related rules and expectations will be adhered to on an ongoing basis and until further notice.

  • Participant tracking will take place.
  • Guidelines stating a maximum number of 50 people attending an indoor event will be strictly enforced throughout the tryout process and season play.
  • Students will be required to sanitize their hands prior to entering the gym and following their session.
  • Students will be required to wear a mask while changing into the appropriate athletic wear and when directed by their coach.
  • Equipment will be sanitized at the end of each session.
  • Until our tryout process is complete we will not be allowing people to enter the gym to view practices and scrimmages.  This decision has been made in an effort to adhere to physical distancing expectations.  This expectation will be relaxed once the season begins and we will communicate this change to parents when it is appropriate to do so.

 

If you have any questions about this information, please feel free to reach out to me at gerry.doll@rdcrs.ca or to any member of our school administration team.

 

Sincerely,

 

Gerry Doll

Athletic Director

August 27 Message from STA Administration

August 27, 2020


Dear Parents,


As the first day of school approaches, we want to make you aware of a few final details
regarding school start-up:


1. You will receive a brief introductory email from your child’s homeroom teacher on
Friday, August 28th. This email will also be sent to your child’s RDCRS Google email
account. Our staff have invested significant time and attention into creating each of our
class lists for the 2020-2021 school year. If you do not receive this email, please ensure
that your child reports to their designated entrance by 8:30am on their assigned
staggered entry date. A STA staff member will be present at each entrance to direct
them to the appropriate teacher and location.


2. Thank you for not contacting our staff this weekend, as we want to give them time to
spend with their families and prepare for the first day of school.


3. Please send your child with a mask that they can wear into the school.


4. Our cafeteria will be open starting on August 31st, but will be offering limited
breakfast/lunch menus.


5. Lifetouch Studios will be present at the school to take individual student photos on
September 3 and 4th. Appropriate COVID protocols will be followed.


Thank you for your attention to these items and we look forward to welcoming our students back to our hallways and classrooms starting on Monday, August 31st.


God Bless,


STA Administration

August 2020 Greetings and Start Up Information

Dear Parents,

Aug. 24, 2020

Greetings parents and students of St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School (STA).  My name is Ian Stang and I am extremely excited to be joining you all as the new principal of STA.  Although I am familiar with the STA community, I recognize that I have much to learn about the Saints traditions and best practices.  I look forward to working with you all in an effort to learn from you and alongside you so that together we can continue to proudly proclaim our Catholic christian faith and continue to achieve academic excellence.  I have spent the past five years working as a high school vice-principal, and have had the distinct privilege of serving both St. Joseph High School and Notre Dame High School in this capacity.  Prior to working as a vice principal, I taught for 13 years at the middle school level.  I am honored to be returning to STA;  I attended STA as a student and spent time here working as a student teacher back in 2002.  

Myself, Mr. Mike Kelly and Mrs. Kristie McCullough will make up our school administration team for the 2020-2021 school year.  Mike is very excited to be returning to the hallways and classrooms of STA.  He will be entering his 5th year as vice principal of STA and his 10th year as an administrator with Red Deer Catholic.  Kristie will be joining us for her first year at STA, but will be entering her 6th year as a vice principal with Red Deer Catholic.  I have no doubt that the wealth of experience and the energy that our Admin team will bring to the halls of STA will serve our community well as we work alongside you to navigate all of the challenges that school re-entry will bring.

The information below is designed to provide you with details associated with school start-up in an effort to help ensure that our transition back to full time classes is a smooth one.  As we move closer to the first day of classes, more information will continue to be provided.  We look forward to meeting you all in person next week, and we wish you all continued safety and rejuvenation as the first day of school approaches.

May God Bless you and Keep you,

STA Administration Team




If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to read the Parent/Student Re-Entry Handbook which will hopefully help to answer many of your questions.  This handbook, created by our school division, provides roles and responsibilities that we all need to take to ensure we have a safe transition to school.

What safety protocols have been put in place?

All protocols being enacted are based on safety guidelines developed by Alberta Health Services and the provincial government.

  • Signage and floor markings 
  • Assigned entrances for each grade
  • Hand sanitizing stations and mask expectations
  • Parents need to COVID screen students before sending them to school. 
  • If your child has a pre-existing condition, such as allergies, please contact your child’s teacher.

What are the staggered entry dates?

Staggered Entry Dates

What does the first day of school look like?

Your child’s teacher will communicate with you on August 28 with respect to their TAG and where to meet on the first day.  Please see attached map for TAG meeting spaces and entry doors. Entry Doors Map

Can I bring my child to school on the first day?

You are more than welcome to drop off your child on the first day, but we are asking that you say your goodbyes at the vehicle and have your child proceed to their TAG gathering area for attendance.

What supplies does my child need?

We are asking that all students bring minimal supplies to school, as they will need to keep everything in their backpack.  Supply List

Will my child have a locker?

Students will not have access to a locker, so they will need to ensure that their supplies are all kept neatly in their backpack.

If my child forgets his/her lunch or supplies can I drop them off?

At this time, the division has mandated that parents are not permitted to come into the school, unless a prior appointment has been made.  Although this will not be easy, it is critical to minimize the amount of people in the building to maintain safety for our staff and students.  

Will the cafeteria be operating?

Yes.  We encourage pre-ordering of lunches to help minimize students needing to gather to get food.  More information to follow.

What will lunch recess look like?

Lunch recess will be staggered to minimize the number of students congregating.  The Grade 6/7 students will go out first followed by the Grade 8/9.

What safety measures are in place in the classrooms?

Teachers have physically distanced student workspaces in the classrooms.  Students will be taught proper handwashing, sanitizing and masking procedures on a regular basis.  Masks will be worn by staff and students at all times when physical distancing can’t be maintained.

Will my child still have options?

The delivery of option classes will be modified in an effort to reduce the number of cohorts that students are a member of while at school.  Option classes will not begin until after our staggered re-entry dates.

What does PE look like?

PE class will be offered both in the gym and outside.  At this time students will not be required to change for PE class; however, proper footwear must be worn.

Will there be a Meet the Staff evening?

This evening will be replaced with individual teacher-parent conversations.  These conversations will begin the first week of school.  Moving forward, your child’s classroom teacher will communicate the process that they will use for scheduling these conversations.

 

This year’s division theme could not be more fitting, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.”  As we continue to navigate this unprecedented time, may we all find comfort in knowing that we can place our trust in God.  We are excited to see students in the hallways again. Even though there are many questions, we feel that we are safely ready to welcome your children back through the doors of St. Thomas.  

Thank-you for taking the time to read this lengthy communication and as previously mentioned, further details regarding the 2020-2021 school year will continue to be provided as the first day of school approaches.  We look forward to working alongside you to meet the needs of our students and to successfully navigate all of the unique challenges that this school year will bring.

Sincerely,

 

STA Staff