School Holiday Message to Families

Posted On Wednesday December 16, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On behalf of the entire team at Julie Payette PS, thank you for your ongoing efforts which have made the school re-opening process possible, and for adhering to public health and safety measures that have ensured schools remain a safe place for our students and staff. We are truly appreciative of everything you are doing.

As the holiday season quickly approaches and with the last day of classes on Friday, we hope families will have the opportunity to pause for some rest and relaxation.

The holidays are going to look a little different this year. We understand that there may be challenges as the winter break approaches but we encourage all families to consider what we can all do to make the return to school in January 2021 as safe as possible. We have included some important items below that all families must be mindful of.

Taking Items Home Over the Holidays

While we do not currently anticipate a closure or a shift to virtual learning in the new year, please ensure your child brings home all personal belongings and necessary items (i.e. students with SEA laptops or Chromebooks for students in Grades 7 and up) prior to leaving for the holiday break. In the event there are sudden changes, we will have contingency plans in place so that students can continue learning virtually but access to the school could be restricted.

Staying Safe During the Break

Although a vaccine being approved and distributed is good news, current federal projections indicate that widespread vaccination won’t be completed until the end of the third quarter of 2021, at a minimum. Therefore, we must still be alert and resist the urge for “pandemic fatigue” to set in. Please review the holiday reminders from the Durham Region Health Department on what we all should be doing and some alternative ways to celebrate this year. 

We understand that the restrictions are difficult and frustrating, especially on younger ones and those who enjoy the company of others this time of year, but we encourage everyone to spread holiday cheer virtually this year. The decisions that all of us make over the break will have an impact. It is our hope that through collective action, we see a reduction of overall cases after the holidays.

Reminders on Travel Restrictions

COVID-19 restrictions have required that many of our traditional holiday plans to change and we want to take this opportunity to remind families of travel restrictions currently in place. The Government of Canada has advised all travellers to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Should some families still decide to leave the country, it is the law that anyone arriving from international travel must quarantine for 14 days.

When students return to class in January, please remember that anyone feeling ill should not attend school. All children, students, staff, and visitors must be screened for symptoms of illness every day before attending school or child care. To help meet this requirement, you can use the provincial COVID-19 school screening tool. As a school, we will continue to implement our enhanced health and safety protocols, reinforce the use of masks and hand hygiene, as well as cohorting and physical distancing with students and staff.

We encourage you to follow the advice of the Government of Ontario to protect your family, the school community and the public so that a year from now, we can all do the things we love with our families again.

On behalf of everyone at Julie Payette PS, we wish you a joyous holiday season and to enjoy the festivities with your household. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!



Andrea Williams

Proud Principal of Julie Payette PS- Home of the Stars