Thunder News Flash – January 23, 2021

January 22, 2021
  • Valentine's Day

    This year, Valentine’s Day falls on the Family Day long weekend, and so we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at the school on Wednesday, February 10th.  While not much is known to be true about St. Valentine, he is widely considered to be the patron saint of love and happy marriages.  Let’s remember this as we celebrate his feast day with a special day at the school.  This day will include:

    • the sharing of Valentine’s Day cards for those who choose to participate in this.  The school rule regarding Valentine’s Day cards is that if you are planning on sharing cards you must give one to all students in the class
    • the sharing of treats – if you plan to bring a treat for all the students in the class they must be individually packaged, and store bought. Unfortunately the health and safety rules do not allow for homemade treats to be shared at this time.  Non-food related treats such as pencils, erasers and bookmarks are a great choice, as they also help to avoid any food allergies in the class
    • a dress down day.  The theme of this day will be jeans and Valentine’s Day colours, and will also be our fundraiser for the RCAV charities, so each student is required to bring a dollar or two to participate in this day.  If you would like more information about the charities that are supported by the RCAV, please click here 

    Since we know that many people quarantine items before they bring them into their homes, and therefore may be uncomfortable with their children bringing home cards and treats, each child will be provided with a large Ziploc bag to hold these items.  The cards and treats will be distributed by the students at school, and then the bag will be sealed.  Students will not eat any treats at school, and the sealed bag will be sent home at the end of the day.  Therefore families may follow these same quarantine practices when their child brings home these cards and treats, and parents can make the choice about what their child may eat or not eat.  

    We hope that these protocols are considered appropriate by parents, and we are sharing them with you early so that there is plenty of time for you to send in any additional concerns that you may have so that we can address them before February 10th.  

  • Seats on the Regional Education Committee (REC)

    There continues to be two seats available on the Regional Education Committee (REC) for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, and for the 2021-2022 school year.  The Board of Directors has given St. James & St. Ann’s School permission to make these seats available to parishioners of St. James Parish, St. Joseph’s Parish and St. Ann’s Parish.  Currently the positions to be filled are in the Maintenance and Vice-Chair portfolios.  If you feel that you would be a good fit for one of these positions, and are interested in being involved in the governance of our school, please contact your parish priest no later than Monday, January 25th to put your name forward.  Depending on how many people are interested, these may either be appointed or elected positions.  Remember that being a member of the REC fulfills your Parent Participation commitment for the year, and is a wonderful way to be involved in the school.  

  • Parent Survey - Parent/Teacher Conferences vs. Student-led Conferences

    As you are aware, the Parent/Teacher Conferences that were scheduled in November were replaced with Goal Setting Progress Reports.  Now, looking ahead in our school calendar, we have Student-led Conferences scheduled for Wednesday, March 3rd.  Concerns related to COVID-19 and the health and safety protocols that we would have to put in place for these conferences in March are leading us to wonder if we should replace these conferences with Parent/Teacher Conferences via Zoom instead.  So, we need your input to help us make a decision that will have the biggest impact in informing you about your child’s progress this year.  The link to a Survey Monkey survey will be emailed out to all parents in the next week so that you can have your say in the decision that we make.  Please watch your inbox, or your spam and junk folders, and complete the survey by the deadline to ensure that your voice is heard.  While we won’t be able to satisfy everyone, we will do our best to schedule conferences that are truly meaningful, and safe for everyone.

  • Health and Safety Guidelines

    There seems to be some confusion right now regarding the Health and Safety Guidelines for schools.  Some of this confusion stems from the fact that there are very different rules and guidelines to follow for public places, private businesses and schools.  Please be assured that we are following the most up-to-date guidelines for schools published by the BC Ministry of Education.  Revised guidelines for schools are currently being worked on by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the BCCDC, and those are scheduled to be released during the first week of February.  They are reported to contain some very minor revisions to our current practices, and we will implement those as soon as we receive them.

    We have also just received a letter from Dr. Ariella Zbar, Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health, which is to be distributed to school parents.  You can read this letter by clicking here.

  • Local Businesses Wanted To Help The School Raise Money!

    Do you, or does anyone you know, own a business that would be willing to sell gift cards to our school families, at a discount, in order to help the school raise money?  We are looking for businesses that have gift cards or gift certificates available, and who would be willing to sell them to our fundraising committee for between 5-30% less than their face value.  Those cards will then be sold to our families at 100% of their face value, with the difference representing our fundraising profits.  Grocery stores, restaurants, fuel, hairstyling/spa service and home improvement are among the kinds of businesses we can partner with, though we are open to hearing from you to see if gift cards from your business could be offered to our families.

    As most of you already know, a fundraiser was held in November, 2020, during which gift cards were sold to parents of both St. James and St. Ann’s and St. John Brebeuf schools.  The profits from those sales averaged about 3-4 per cent per card.  Efforts are being made now to prepare a list of businesses, some of which are local, and which will again provide our parents with the option of purchasing gift cards.  The campaign will begin in February and run monthly until June, 2021.  Local businesses are willing to offer us returns of between 10-30%, which will greatly increase the profitability of this fundraising effort.

    If you own a business, or know of someone who would like to participate, please send an email by clicking here, with your name and the type of business you have, by Thursday, January 28, 2021, or contact Elizabeth Ocon at (778) 752-9176.

  • Snow Day Procedures

    The current forecast is for the weather to get much colder over the next few days, and that brings with it the possibility of snow.  Of course we also know that the weather in the Lower Mainland is very unpredictable and can change from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, depending on elevation.  This is a good opportunity to remind you of our snow day procedures:

    • as a regional school, we have students who come to our school from many different locations.  It is very difficult to determine the safety on the roads in all areas, and so our school, in conjunction with SJB, has to make a decision that takes many factors into consideration.  While we do our best to make a decision about school closures as early as we can, that is not always possible.  In the event of a school closure, the information will be posted on the homepage of the school’s website, hopefully by 6:00am.  Please do not call the school
    • if the decision to close the school is made later than usual, an email will also be sent to all school families
    • if it were to begin to snow heavily during the school day and the decision was made to close the school, we would then activate the process we have in place where the classroom phone out parents would make the necessary calls for parents to come and pick up their children.  Administrative staff would remain on site until all children are safely picked up from the school  
    • if the school is open, but you believe that the driving conditions are too dangerous in your area to bring your children to school, please keep your children at home – the safety of your family is far more important than their schoolwork, which will be waiting for them when they return to school

    We do our best to make the best decision possible during these challenging situations, but please know that the safety of the students, staff and parents is our primary concern.

  • St. John Brebeuf's Open House

    St. John Brebeuf High School will be holding their Virtual Open House in early February.  Staff and students are presently working hard to put together an online experience that will showcase SJB as a great place to grow faithfully, academically, physically and emotionally.  Please stay tuned to our school and to SJB’s website at for more information in the coming weeks.  They hope to see you there.

  • Fundraisers: What are we raising money for?

    Fundraising is an essential part of every Catholic school’s budget in an effort to keep tuition at an affordable level for all families.  In addition, fundraising enables St. James and St. Ann’s to complete projects and purchase items that are needed and benefit all students.  The Parent Fundraising Association (PFA) of St. James and St. Ann’s Elementary has been at work to replace some of our traditional in-person fundraising events, which have been cancelled due to concerns about COVID-19 transmission.  Check out our next Fundraiser:

  • Berryhill Frozen Blueberry Case Fundraiser in February:

    A new fundraiser is coming – buy 10lb cases of local frozen blueberries for $25/each!  Order forms will come home at the beginning of February.  Pick-up of orders will be on Friday, February 19th.

  • Daily Health Check

    Parents are asked to complete a Daily Health Check of their children each morning before they come to school.  Please assess your child for the following symptoms:

    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea and vomiting

    If your child has one of those symptoms, excluding fever, they should stay home for 24 hours from when the symptom started.  If the symptom improves, they may return to school when they feel well enough.  If the symptom persists or worsens, seek a health assessment.  If your child has two or more of the symptoms, or they have a fever, you should seek a health assessment for them.

  • upcoming-events

  • Sports
    There are no upcoming events at this time.
  • Parent Participation Program

    Thank you for your support!