Roadmap to Re-Opening
We are so excited that September 2021 will start with a full school of HNMCS students!
As we launch into a year that will thankfully look and feel differently from last year, and with the return to sport, co curriculars and all girls in the school, it will again begin to feel more like what we know and love about HNMCS. There will be more information coming around Student Life at HNMCS in the 2021-22 school year. Please see the Family Handbook for more information about lockers, textbooks, and the uniform.
Although 2020-2021 was another year of change and adaptation, we are happy to announce that the strategic plan - Route 2026 and the upcoming announcement of the Campus Master plan will put a new focus and excitement around the campus. The Family Handbook allows all of our families to have one place to find what they need about the school - and if it is not in there, please, let us know. With our 2021-2022 school theme of opportunities, we are really excited by what is yet to come - Imagine all of the opportunities.
With the new announcement from the Ministry of Education on the updated health and safety protocols for schools, we feel confident in welcoming our girls, the teachers, and staff back to a caring and safe community. Please find our latest updates in the document below.
Stay safe and see you soon.
Head of School
Mission & Vision
HNMCS empowers young women to transform the world through intellectual curiosity and personal growth as grounded in the Catholic traditions of the Felician Sisters and Basilian Fathers.
Our Vision is to build a Connected Community dedicated to developing Curious, Courageous and Compassionate young women
cu·ri·ous /ˈkyo͝orēəs/ adj
Young women making a difference in the world with their unwavering intellectual curiosity, a confidence to question, the patience to listen and the ability to evaluate the information received.
cou·ra·geous /kəˈrājəs/ adj
Nurturing young women in an environment that encourages them to take risks, embrace change, cultivate positive relationships and bravely stand by their convictions.
com·pas·sion·ate /kəmˈpaSHənət/ adjGraduating girls who exhibit empathy through active, caring service towards others, while understanding the need for spiritual self-care throughout their lives.
Our regular schedule begins on Wednesday, September 8th. The school day begins promptly each day at 8:30 am and students are required to be at school by 8:15 am so they have adequate time to prepare for class. We do understand that sometimes buses are late and traffic happens, so please just check in with the office upon arrival.
The day ends at 3:30 on Monday-Thursday and 3:00 for Middle School and 3:10 for Senior school on Fridays.
There is good news about music classes and students being able to sing and play selected instruments, Physical Education classes - including use of change rooms and fewer masking requirements, and travel is a possibility as long as girls are cohorted and rules around vaccinations are yet to be determined. We will update classes/trips with information as necessary and as it is made available.
Further information can be found in the August 2021 mailout and the calendar is accessible through PowerSchool on the information tab.
Holy Name of Mary College School is committed to the safety and well-being of all of our community members and are therefore staying the course as planned by our leadership team and as directed by the provincial government, and strongly suggested by CIS and BLG. Filters were upgraded in the 2020-21 school year to the highest level available to our system.
Please note that it is our expectation that all students born in 2009 and earlier, receive their COVID 19 vaccines. This is the best way to keep our community strong and safe.
The Ministry has mandated that all students disclose if they have had the COVID-19 vaccination. Please add this information in PowerSchool by filling out the COVID-19 Vaccination Record form.
COVID-19 Rapid Testing
We are working with the CIS and Creative Destruction Lab’s (CDL) Rapid Screening Consortium on what at-home screening would look like for students that are not vaccinated. Individuals who do not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be asked to undertake regular antigen testing. The recommended testing is twice a week and the tests will be supplied at no cost to individuals. To reduce the chain of transmission it is important to have the most amount of unvaccinated people screened regularly. Public Health recommendation for screening frequency is every 72 hours or less, and it is important to keep to this schedule. Testing more frequently than every 72 hours may be necessary if you have been reported as a possible close contact of a positive case of COVID-19.
What is the test?
Administering the test involves using a swab, similar to a Q-Tip, placed inside the nose. This is used to collect a specimen which will allow for testing of the COVID-19 virus. The tests do not replace Public Health measures and are being offered in addition to our existing safety protocols (masking, social distancing, sanitizing, disinfection of surfaces). As a reminder, should these tests have a positive COVID-19 reading, there is an obligation to report to Public Health as well as Holy Name of Mary College School. Upon reporting, it is required to follow strict isolation guidelines, as mandated by Public Health.
There will be a parent meeting in September with more information for families where the student is not vaccinated.
Please note that all students must have at least two (2) non-medical grade masks with them at school every day. Masks must be worn in the foyer, hallways, stairwells, washrooms, and when visiting the office. Students are also asked to wear a face mask when in a classroom although mask breaks may be given if students are working alone at a desk, participating in PE class and music classes.
- Desks will be spaced as far apart as we are able for safety and class size, as there is no distance requirement for desks this year and all girls are back at school.
- Two stairwells will remain designated up and the other two down.
- Hallways will remain one directional.
- We will monitor the number of students in the washrooms.
- Designated entrances for Senior School (via the front door) & Middle School (via the door off the parking lot at the Red stairs) students will also remain in place.
Hand Sanitizing is required upon entering the school building. There will be hand sanitizing stations at student entrances, stairwells, outside of the chapel and other strategic places around the school. All classrooms will also have sanitizer, but please send your daughter with a sanitizer of your choice for her to keep in her backpack or at her desk.
Water fountains will not be available, but the water bottle fill stations will be. Please ensure that your daughter has her own water bottle to use daily when in school.
Servery & Cafeteria
Students will be allowed access to the servery; however, they will be required to wear a mask and stay physically distanced. The cafeteria is open for use at lunch; middle school and senior school students will eat at separate times and will be asked to eat in their cohorts when inside. Options to eat outside are also available while the weather is cooperative.
Parents are required to complete a daily screening each morning before your daughter leaves for school which will report your child’s information. If your daughter has any of the symptoms that indicates a possible illness that may decrease her ability to learn and also put her at risk for spreading illness to others, she will be asked to stay home.
Effective September 22 with Ontario’s Vaccine Passport, any student who doesn't meet any requirement of proof of double dose of vaccination (plus 14 days after), will not be able to participate in these activities. On these days students will be required to remain at home as supervision will not be available. These restrictions are set by each individual private business or public location.
PowerSchool ECollect forms will indicate whether or not the trip venue requires proof of vaccination.
As an independent school, we are able to create practices that are above and beyond those of the region and the province. We are asking our athletes that are on traveling teams to be fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others as we are playing several sports that are deemed high contact and eventually we will be playing indoors. (Please note for the 2021 fall term girls can be partially vaccinated - 1 dose or not yet 2 weeks post 2nd dose- but this needs to be communicated to us as these girls must be antigen tested, as well, full vaccination - 2 weeks post second dose- needs to be confirmed on or before November 11th to play in the winter or spring terms.)
Anyone with a legitimate exemption is allowed to play with regular antigen testing (2x/week). Antigen tests will be available once these students have been identified. Please submit the exemption paperwork.
To quote Peel Region, “To preserve the continuation of high contact school sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, Peel Public Health strongly recommends that all eligible coaches and students participating in high contact school sports are fully vaccinated”. It is because of this and our strong commitment to our student and coaches health and safety that we are mandating all those involved in athletics be vaccinated. According to Dr. Anita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer, TPH, “Vaccinations in the school setting will protect our school community and help build on our progress towards ending this pandemic.” And finally from Dr. Fatima Kakkar, "We really have to look at the total well-being of the child: what will allow them to have a normal life, to do activities, to play sports, to see friends? It's vaccination." (CBC, Sept 27th, 2021)
We thank you for your continued support as we keep HNMCS and the entire community safe.
Drop off by 8:15 am in the parking lot. No drop off, waiting or parking in the driveway lane closest to the building. This is exclusively for the school buses. We ask that no parents stay in the parking lot without proper masking and social distancing.
HNMCS has continued the services of Attridge Transportation as our primary service provider. Routes for the 2021-22 school year are currently being developed and will be circulated late August/early September by Attridge.
We will follow all provincial restrictions and COVID-19 protocols. Once determined, we will share with our families. We will meet and/or exceed all provincial expectations around masking, seat selection and driver’s requirements.
Attridge anticipates having 2 students to a seat in the bus. Student masks are a requirement and must be worn from the time they board the bus, till they disembark. It is also recommended that students have hand sanitizer as well.
Seating plans: Grade 5 & 6 students will sit in the first available row (leaving 1-2 rows free) behind the driver. The other students (grades 7-12) start seating from the back to the front, so first one in sits right at the back. When exiting the vehicle (i.e. at school or drop off location) it would work the opposite way with students seated at the front exiting the vehicle first. This should help minimise contact while on the bus.
All Attridge drivers will wear Masks/Face Coverings. Face Shields will be used while loading and unloading at stops/school only. Each bus will be provided with Hand Sanitizer for driver use (and for students in emergencies), Disinfectant spray (no wiping needed) as well as gloves for spraying down the bus. Sanitization of the bus will be done twice daily
At this time, anyone who is not essential is asked not to enter the building. This is to keep our contacts down and traceable. Anyone deemed essential needs to have an appointment, must complete the screening form prior to arrival, wear a medical grade mask and sign in at the office.
On August 11, 2021, the Ministry of Health released updated guidance on school case, contact and outbreak management.
This guidance provides information to support the management of cases, outbreaks and suspected outbreaks associated with elementary or secondary (K-12) school settings. Key updates for the 2021-22 school year include:
We will keep up to date with Peel Regional Health Unit policies on all COVID matters. PHUs may also implement additional measures that are not outlined in this guidance, based on local circumstances and/or PHU investigation and risk assessment.
1. SchoolMessenger & Safe Arrival
It is our goal to implement a new method of communication, School Messenger. This system will allow you to select different methods of communication, such as email, phone or SMS and choose what type of messages go to which communication method. As part of School Messenger we would also roll out Safe Arrival, a tool that allows you to notify the school of any planned absences your daughter may have. This system will also contact you automatically should your daughter be marked as absent at the start of the school day. Again, the method of communication can be chosen by yourself. Both of the above can be managed through a web page or an app. The school will continue to use its existing systems until both of the above products are fully implemented. More details will follow, along with instructions on using these new systems.
2. Monthly Update
The school also sends out a regular newsletter, The Stargazer, that celebrates the activities and achievements of our students & community. It also, on occasion, contains timely reminders about important events.
3. PowerSchool Portal
The PowerSchool Portal is an important resource for the HNMCS Community. Within the “School Information” navigation button there is a “Getting Started” guide with a quick information overview. The following is a sample of information you will find on the Portal:
We advise parents to access the portal on a regular basis.
4. HNMCS Website COVID 19 Update Centre and News tab:
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 that involves a student or employee at the school, an update will be posted here. No identifying information about students or employees will be shared. Notice of any closures of classes, cohorts or schools will also be posted here.
5. Social Media, etc.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn (links at the top of this page) for our updates. We also have a Head of School Blog (enCOURAGE: the name comes from the core values and our vision statement enCOURAGE communicates how we at HNMCS help our girls live our values.) with 1-2 posts a month.
HNMCS is excited to offer a full range of dining options available through our food service provider, Just Catering.
Just Catering will provide a healthy vegetarian or non-vegetarian entrée for anyone on the meal plan, that will be accompanied by selected sides. Anyone not on the meal plan who wants to order lunch will be asked to look at the published menu the week prior and order in advance, through an online ordering system they hope to implement shortly.
Although the servery will be open for same day selections, there will be no cash option available and students must be prepared to pay by debit or credit card. Ordering in advance is the easiest way to ensure your daughter receives the meals that she is interested in. More information available here.