Children’s Christmas Prayer St. Matthew Catholic School

St. Matthew Catholic School
75 Waterbridge Lane
Phone (905) 475-0517
Safe Arrival Line: 1-855-856-7862
December 2013 - January 2014
Virtue of the Month
Ms. Christine Kwiatkowski
Mrs. Nancy Di Nardo
Mrs. Carol Cotton
Catholic School
Council Co-Chairs
Ms. Mary Giardina
Ms. Christina Serrentino
Parish Priest
Father Joe Singh
Ms. Kathleen Black
Bus Information
School Website
Children’s Christmas Prayer
Gentle Jesus born this day
In a manger filled with hay.
We your Christmas children beHelp us now your love to see.
Gentle Jesus, come today
Be our shepherd, Lord we pray.
Gentle Jesus, come this hour
Fill us with your love and power.
You fell asleep in Mary's arm
God kept you safe from all alarm.
Gentle Jesus, come today
Be our Shepherd now we pray.
Celebrating Our Faith
Celebrating the Virtue of Hope during Advent and Christmas
This month, we celebrate the virtue of hope, one of the theological virtues listed in
1 Corinthians 13. Hope is very much a spiritual virtue by which we place our trust in Christ’s
promises and rely not on our own strengths alone, but on the help of the grace of the Holy
Spirit. Hope is strongly associated with the Advent Season: the readings from Hebrew
Scriptures and the early Gospels look forward in hope to the coming of Christ. For our
students, hope will manifest itself when children never give up and maintain a positive attitude
and look for the brighter side of situations.
Preparing for Advent and for Christmas
Our school community is actively living the moments of Advent in preparation for
Christmas through prayer, song and charitable deeds. Here’s how we are celebrating
our faith this month and embracing the virtue of everlasting hope:
December 1-17
December 1
December 4
11:15 a.m.
7:00 p.m.
Caring and Sharing for the Needy
Advent Prayer Service
Family Advent Mass at St. Justin, Martyr
Advent Prayer Service – Monday December 2nd at 11:15 a.m.
To begin the season of waiting for our Messiah, our opening Advent Prayer Service for the First
Week of Advent will be celebrated on Monday December 2 at 11:15 a.m. The students in Ms.
Cannistra’s Grade 7 class will help us awaken to the season of Advent through prayer and reflection.
All are welcome to attend.
Family Advent Mass - December 4th at 7:00 p.m. St. Justin, Martyr Church
On the evening of Wednesday December 4 all families are invited to celebrate
Advent as a St. Matthew School community. Father Steven will be our celebrant.
Families will participate in the prayers and as gift bearers, and our choir as well as
our Grtades 1-6 students will sing beautiful songs for the Advent season.
Immediately following Mass, our Catholic School Council will host a reception with
Christmas cookies and refreshments for all our families in the church hall. Please
plan to join us for this wonderful celebration of community and faith.
Grade 8’s to Visit Yellow Brick House – Wednesday December 4th
Our Grade 8 students in Ms. Leung’s class will have the opportunity to visit Yellow Brick
House, an emergency shelter for women and children who are victims of abuse and
violence. The students will learn about abuse and violence and will also assist in helping
to prepare Christmas baskets for the women and children who are residents of Yellow
Brick House in Richmond Hill. This promises to be an eye-opening experience for our
students as they begin to reflect on the dignity and rights of women and children who
expereince violence and abuse in their lives.
Grade 3/4 Students Experience“Full of Character” Presentation – Wednesday December 4th
The students in Ms. Giliberto’s and Ms. Paulo’s classes will have the “Full of Character”
workshop where students will learn to better develop their character by making great
choices. Through hands-on experiences and activities, the students will learn a set of values
that they can exercise on a daily basis to become people of character.
Old Tyme Christmas Parade – Friday December 6th
St. Matthew School will continue its lovely tradition of participating in Unionville’s Old
Tyme Christmas Parade and Candlelight Walk. This year, we are very excited to
continue our theme, “St. Matthew’s Little Angels”. A very special thank you to Mrs.
Kim Jacobs for her wonderful efforts in planning for our float, the decorations and for
preparing for the children’s participation. There will be a prize for the best float in the
parade which we are hoping to win! We encourage all our St. Matthew’s families to join
us for this wonderful community evening. The parade begins at 7:00. Students who will
be riding on our float will meet at 6:30 across from the Varley Gallery.
Caring and Sharing to Help the Needy –December 1st – 16th
St. Matthew Catholic School will continue to help families in need to have a more enjoyable and
fulfilling Christmas. Our Caring and Sharing program will be helping 9 families.
In order to facilitate the equitable distribution of gifts, each class has been assigned a family, and
that class will be responsible for donating gifts and funds toward grocery gift certificates which will
all help to create a memorable Christmas for those less fortunate. We thank families in advance
for their contributions to help us keep “Christ” in Christmas through our good works and deeds.
All gifts need to be sent to school by December 17 . We also would appreciate any donations of gift wrap or gift bags
to wrap the presents in. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Christmas Concert- Tuesday December 17th at 6:30 p.m.
A highlight of the Christmas season is the annual Christmas Concert at St. Matthew.
This year, our concert will be held on Tuesday December 17 at 6:30 p.m. Students
in Grades Kindergarten to 6 will perform songs and skits that they have been working
on over the past month. This promises to be a delightful evening and all are
welcome to attend. More detailed information will be coming home to parents
shortly. A reminder to all – due to the Privacy Act, parents are asked only to
photograph their own children and to avoid, as much as possible, photographing an
entire class.
Grade 8 Parent Meeting for Confirmation – January 7th , 2014
A meeting has been scheduled for parents of Grade 8 students who will be receiving the Sacrament of
Confirmation. On January 7 at 7:00 p.m. parents are invited to St. Justin. Martyr Church to meet with
Father Joe and to receive the package for Confirmation. Information about the sacrament as well as
the upcoming Confirmation classes will be discussed at this time. Confirmation classes will begin the
week of January 14 .
New Year Prayer Service – Wednesday January 8th at 10:45 a.m.
Please join us for our New Year Prayer Service on Wednesday January 8 at 10:45 a.m.
Ms. Giliberto’s and Ms. Paulo’s classes will be preparing the prayers and songs to welcome us
back to school through prayer to a new year, 2014. All are welcome to join us.
First Communion Meeting for Parents of Grade 2 students – January 9, 2014
Parents of Grade 2 students who will be receiving First Communion this year are invited to a
meeting with Father Derek on Thursday January 9 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Justin, Martyr Church. All
aspects of the sacrament and the dates for First Communion will be discussed at this meeting.
If you are wishing First Communion for your child who is in an alternate grade, please attend this
meeting as well.
Confirmation Classes Begin for Grade 8 Students – Tuesday January 14, 2014
Parents are remined that Confirmation classes begin on Tuesday January 14 at St. Augustine Catholic High School
for all students who are intending to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The sessions run from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Creating a Quality Learning Environment
Gr. 5 Students to Visit Queen’s Park – Monday December 9th
Students in Mr. Yu’s Grade 5 class will visit Queen’s Park on Monday December 9 as part of
their studies of Local Government. The students will have a tour of Queen’s Park, learn about
the provincial governement system and they will hopefully meet our MPP, Michael Chan.
VIP – Values, Influences and Peers Program
In partnership with York Regional Police, the very informative VIP program (Values, Influences and
Peers) will be delivered to our grade 3, 7 and 8 students. Officer Chen has been meeting with Ms.
Renieris’ Grade 6 students weekly for the last 5 weeks to discuss topics such as drugs,
cyberbullying, the Youth Criminal Justice law and other related topics. On December 13 , Officer
Julie will be meeting with the Gr. 8 students to discuss youth and the law in more detail. She will
also be meeting with the Gr. 3 students on December 18 . The Grade 7 presentation will take
place on January 20 . Parents are encourged to speak to their children about the topics covered
during these sessions with Officer Julie as they are most informative and timely for our adolescents
and youngsters given the many pressures they now face in our society.
Last Day of School – Thursday December 19th
Parents are reminded that the last day of school for the Christmas Holidays for the children will be
Thursday December 19 . Under the recent Memo of Understanding from the Ministry of Education,
Teachers are being required to take an unpaid day which will be Friday December 20 . Educational
Assistants, Custodians, Secretaries and Principals will be working on December 20 but there will be
no school for Teachers or students on that day.
Full Day Kindergarten Information for January 2014
In September 2014, our school will continue to offer Full Time Kindergarten for all of our Junior
and Senior Kindergarten classes. This program is called the “Full Day Early Learning
Kindergarten Program” by the Ministry of Education. A Baptismal certificate, proof of citizenship
and proof of residency (driver’s licence, tax bill) documents are required for registration.
Registration begins in January 2014, and we look forward to working with our new students in
this exciting program.
Assessment and Evaluation Day – No School for Students on January 17th
On Friday January 17 , our teachers will be involved in assessment and evaluation of
student progress. Report cards will be going home to parents on Tuesday February
4th. There will be no school for students on January 17 .
Parent Breakfast Meeting – Monday January 21st 8:40 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Our Catholic School Council invites all parents to a “Breakfast with Council” on Thursday
January 21st from 8:40 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.. We particularly welcome Kindergarten parents
and parents new to our school to come and meet one another and our Council members.
Once your drop off your children, come in from the cold and share some coffee and pastries
with us.
We look forward to getting to know one another in this very casual setting before you head
off to work!
Catholic School Council Meeting – Wednesday January 22nd, 2014
Please join us for the January Catholic School Council Meeting on Wednesday January 16 at 7:00
p.m. in the school library. All parents are encouraged to come and share information and ideas with
our Council members. Plans for the Annual Family Bingo Night and a review of the Council budget
will be items for discussion.
We are very pleased to have qualified for the Artist in the School program for our Primary
students this year. Though it is an expensive program, funds from our school’s Enhanced
Educational Plan (EEP) have been used to provide this outstanding arts program for our
Primary students. This year, Grade 1,2, 3 and 4 students will receive a 6 week program of
both dance and drama through this subsidized arts education program. The first session for
students will be on January 25 .
Brock’s Youth University Trip Meeting for Parents of Grade 7 Students – January 30th
On Wednesday January 30 , parents of Grade 7 students are invited to hear a presentation by
representatives from Brock University speak about our planned Science Camp trip in May.
The experience makes science fun through hands-on learning experiences and one-of-a-kind
opportunities to work in real university labs. This hands-on science adventure has been a
popular choice since 1992!
Safe, Caring and Inclusive Learning
New buzzer access systems - Update
The launch of the provincial government’s Safe Welcome Program at all YCDSB
elementary schools has been delayed slightly and is now scheduled to begin in January.
Once the program is implemented, the front doors of our school will be locked during the
school day and visitors will have to request entry, during school hours, by pressing a
buzzer. Office staff will be able to see and speak with the visitor through a video/intercom
system and will remotely unlock the front doors once the visitor has identified themself.
A letter from the Board will be sent home in the New Year to inform all parents of the date
when schools will start using this system. Thank you for your support.
Enhanced Education Plan Fundraising Results
Our Enhanced Education Plan fundraising campaign has officially come to an end. The
2013-2014 Catholic School Council identified a $10,000 budget to support enhanced initiatives
for their children. Out of the 146 families at St. Matthew, 63 families or 43% contributed to the
EEP. The total amount raised to date is $6374, a shortfall of approximately $4600. As a
result of this shortfall of funds, Council members will revisit the budget to determine which
items and initiatives will need to be scaled back or removed. If you have not yet made your
donation to enhance your child’s education at St. Matthew, you may still do so online at Every child benefits from every dollar raised.
2nd Annual Pasta Night a Huge Success!
The best pasta dinner in town was found at St. Matthew School for the second year in a row
at our 2 Annual Pasta Dinner Night on November 22 . With over 140 people in
attendance, a simply delicious meal of pasta al forno, fresh rolls and butter, yummy Italian
cake, coffee, espresso and biscotti were served by our awesome parent volunteers! Raffle
prizes and games topped off a perfect evening of fun, friendship and sharing a meal
together. We are so very grateful to the following ladies who made the evening perfect for
the St. Matthew community: Mrs. Giardina (Chair of the committee), Mrs. Serrentino,
Mrs. Callaway, Mrs. Kerr, and Mrs. Agia and the many clean-up volunteers who helped out that evening. We are
also very appreciative of our sponsors for their generous donations.
Santino’s Catering in Concord
No Frills on Highway #7 (just west of #48)
Heroes World
Shoppers Drug Mart
Unionville and Co. Restaurant
Starbucks on Main Street Unionville
Main Street Chiropractic Centre
Raymerville Bakery
Shoppers Drug Mart on Highway #7 (just west of #48)
Brick Door
Mastermind Toys
Mother’s Deli
Carlaw Music School
Carlton Cards
Silpada Jewellery from Ms. Levac
A special thank you to our school’s families:
Blachier Family
Sgandurra Family
Sharma Family
Stormont Family
Strike Family
Perry Family
Santilly Family
Giardina Family
Ziol Family
Gina Bianchi
Expectations for Schools on Snow Days
Before we know it, winter conditions will be upon us. We ask you to pay special attention to the
following procedures when deciding whether to send your children to school on a day when buses
are cancelled. First, listen to one of the radio stations listed below to determine if buses for York
Region have been cancelled. If the York Region District school buses are cancelled, then York
Catholic District School buses are also cancelled as we share the same buses. Once cancelled,
buses will not be running in the afternoon. Schools rarely close, even though buses are
Please do not call the school to inquire if the school is open. Radio stations will provide the
necessary information beginning at 7:00 a.m. If you decide to drive your child to school, please
consider that over the course of the day, weather conditions could worsen, and retrieving your child at the end of the
day may be particularly hazardous.
CBC-740 AM AM 640 CHIN-100.75 FM CHAY 93.1 FM NEWS-680 AM CKDX-88.5 FM The New VR-Ch. 20
CJEZ-97.3 FM CHFI-98.1 FM CISS-92.5 FM City TV-Ch. 7 CFRB-1010 AM CKFM-9.9 FM CHIN-1540 AM
Winter Clothing and Safe Play
Please ensure that your children have appropriate clothing for wintertime fun. Children should come to school with
boots, hats, mittens and proper outerwear, such as waterproof jackets and snow pants.
Unless it is raining, or the temperature reaches -15° C, students will be going outside to play and
get some fresh air. Lunch recess is 40 minutes and the morning and afternoon recesses are 15
minutes each in length, therefore it is important that your child is dressed properly for the
outdoors. Students who are not well enough to play outdoors during recess/lunch time should
remain at home until they feel well enough to fully participate in a school day.
Exceptions are made on an individual basis for children who may need to remain
indoors for an extended period of time because of a physical condition, such as a
broken arm/leg, or recovery from a serious accident or illness. In such cases, a letter from the doctor is required.
For Primary children, we encourage parents to send an extra pair of socks, pants and mittens, which can be kept in
their backpacks, in case they get wet during outdoor recesses.
We are trying to keep our schoolyard safe and we remind the students regularly to play safely, by obeying some basic
 No physical contact – keep hands and feet to yourself
 No contact sports
 Use soft balls only, such as tennis balls, Nerf balls.
 Keep the snow on the ground – no throwing of snow, NO SNOWBALLS
 Respect the snow forts built by others
 No sliding on the ice or hills
 Stay within the school boundaries, stay out of the ditches and ravines (teachers cannot see these areas and it
is not possible to properly supervise students in these areas)
 Play co-operatively
 Use your words to solve conflicts
 Call the teacher on duty when you need assistance
 Always use kind words and kind actions
Parents: we ask that you assist us by reviewing these rules with your child on a regular basis.
Message from Our Superintendent
Dear parents and students,
As we approach the Advent Season I pray,
God grant you and your loved ones
The light of Christmas, which is Faith,
The warmth of Christmas, which is Love,
The radiance of Christmas, which is Purity,
The righteousness of Christmas, which is Justice,
The belief in Christmas, which is Truth,
The all of Christmas, which is Christ.
Sincerest best wishes for a peaceful and joy-filled Christmas Season,
Nancy Di Nardo
Superintendent of Schools: Student Learning for Area 2
Merry Christmas!
From the St. Matthew Family to Your Family….
We wish you Christmas blessings, peace, joy and love.
Happy New Year 2014!
St. Justin, Martyr Parish
3898 Highway 7 East - Unionville, ON L3R 1L3
December 2013 School newsletter
Advent, Christmas, a New Year!
December is an eventful month! The word Advent comes from
the Latin word, Adventus, which means “a coming”.
For four Sundays before Christmas, and the days in between, the
Church celebrates what God has done by sending Jesus to the
earth, what He is doing in the Church today, and what He will do
when Jesus returns. Actually, the Church’s new liturgical year
begins with the first Sunday of Advent! Consider having an
Advent wreath at home to celebrate each of the rich days of the
season. The more we celebrate the days of Advent, the more
meaningful Christmas Day will be for us.
Merry Christmas from your pastoral team at St. Justin, Martyr!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Christmas Mass Schedule
Dec. 24
5 PM, 9 PM, 12 Midnight
(Christmas Eve)
Dec. 25
8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM
(Christmas Day)
Dec. 26
9:10 AM
Mary, Mother of God (New Year’s)
Dec. 31
Jan. 1
5:00 PM
8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM
Feast of Epiphany of Our Lord
Jan. 4 & 5
8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM
Caring and Sharing Day! (Dec. 14)
If you have donated item(s), please drop
them off downstairs in the parish hall
between 10 AM and 11 AM.
Feel free to stay and watch as St. Justin,
Martyr gives backs to our community in a
very special way!
What’s Happening?
December 1 Caring and Sharing Sign-up
December 8 6th Parish Advent Concert
December 19
Advent Reconcilation Service
As in previous years, we will be organizing
Christmas baskets for families who are struggling.
Share your festive joy with them by donating food,
clothing or gift items, to an individual or family.
Please sign up in the church lobby after all Masses.
3 PM. This event will feature the talents of all of
our choirs, including the Children’s Choir. We are
also looking for children to participate in our
Good Ole Fashioned Christmas Pageant, which
will take place during the concert.
Tickets are $15 per adult and $5 per child
(12 years and under) and $35 for a family of four.
Proceeds will go to supporting our parish HOPE
7 PM. Nine priests available to hear confession.
This is your last major chance before Christmas.
Legacy of Faith Tree
Consider a lasting gift to St. Justin, Martyr Parish
this Christmas season. There are still many
leaves available for sale on our Tree of Life!
York Catholic District School Board
New French
site for
Sept. ‘14
French Immersion programs are designed to provide non-francophone children with
a high degree of proficiency in the French language. While any exposure to a
second language is beneficial, French Immersion broadens and deepens that
Blessed John XXIII CES will be hosting a parent information night on December 3,
2013, to explain its Grade 1 French Immersion Program. Online applications for
September 2014 will be available from December 3, 2013 to February 6, 2014, at
Transportation will be provided to French Immersion students and their siblings
living within the Blessed John XXIII French Immersion boundary;
• JK to Gr. 3 students who live beyond 1.2 km and within the Blessed John
XXIII French Immersion boundary qualify for transportation
• Gr. 4 – Gr. 8 students who live beyond 1.6 km and within the Blessed John
XXIII French Immersion boundary qualify for transportation
Students are required to walk a short distance to and from centralized bus stops.
Parents considering French Immersion are welcome to attend a meeting on
December 3, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.
at Blessed John XXIII CES
125 Kreighoff Ave., Unionville (between Warden & Unionville By-Pass North of Hwy #7) off
Village Pkway.
Please note: Where the number of applicants exceeds the number of available placements in the
program, a public lottery will be held on February 11, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. at Blessed John XXIII
For more information contact the principal at Blessed John XXIII CES at 905-477-3288
French Immersion Boundary Map
for 2014 - 2015 School Year
Secondary School
French Immersion
Municipal Boundary
Elementary School
Highway 4
Elgin Mills
Major Mackenzie
Main Mark
Highway 7
Highway 407
York Catholic District School Board
320 Bloomington Road West, Aurora ON L4G 0M1
Tel. 905-713-1211 · 416-221-5051 ·
School Locator:
2 Km
Produced by Planning Services, November 2013
K:\Projects\Board Approved Boundaries\French Immersion
© York Catholic District School Board
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