Welcome message from Mrs. Sodaro
“Welcome to our School where Young Minds Grow.” I am so excited to welcome our new Kindergarten friends to St. Gabriel Catholic School and be your first elementary school principal.
Kindergarten is a time of new beginnings, of making many new friends, and learning and exploring many new things. Under the guidance of our dedicated staff, your time at St. Gabriel will be filled with many new experiences and learning opportunities. I am excited to get to know you and watch you grow.
I can’t wait for your educational journey to begin at our school. So glad that you are joining our school family, “The Home of the Wings.” Welcome to St. Gabriel.
Introducing Our Early Years Team
Each Kindergarten class includes a certified Kindergarten teacher and registered early childhood educator(s) (ECE). St. Gabriel also provides a before and after school Extended Day program:
Meet Mrs. Tara Castillo (Teacher)
Hi! My name is Tara Castillo and I have been teaching at St. Gabriel for 5 years. I started out here in the Early Years Division and had gradually moved on to Primary, and am now back in Early Years. As it turns out, I must be a FDK educator at heart. I have experience in various settings working with children. I worked as an Early Childhood Educator in London and Kitchener, as well as a Child Life Specialist at Toronto’s Humber River Regional Hospital, before finding my calling as a teacher.
Meet Mrs. Laura Amaral (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Hi everyone! I’m excited to start my fourth year at St. Gabriel and continue to be a part of an amazing Early Years Team! I look forward to meeting all the children who are starting their Kindergarten journey in the fall. I’m glad that I get to be a part of that journey and to be able to meet all the families. It’s going to be a great year full of fun and learning! Have a great summer see you all in September.
Meet Mrs. Maria Pereira (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Welcome to Kindergarten! My name is Mrs. Pereira! I am very excited to meet all of our friends in September. I am working in Kindergarten and also working with the after school program. I can’t wait to meet you all in the Fall! Take care!
Meet Mrs. Brenda Craig (Teacher)
Welcome families! I am incredibly proud to say that I have been a student, parent, and teacher with the WCDSB. I have been a part of the St. Gabriel Catholic School Early Years Team since it first opened its doors in 2014. I am very excited to be welcoming your child to this remarkable school community in September 2020! I look forward to getting to know your family as we begin to create some wonderful new memories this year. We will play, learn, and grow together in Kindergarten!
Meet Mrs. Sarah-Anne Procunier (Teacher)
Hello everyone! I am very excited to embark on my third year at St. Gabriel as part of our Early Years Team. I cannot wait to meet all of our new Kindergarten students and am eager to get to know all of the new families in our Wings community. Although we are not able to meet face-to-face, I would like to extend an invitation to our new students to try a printing activity at home: Can you print your name with all of the colours of the rainbow? (I love rainbows and I really love pictures with lots of colours!). Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you in September!
Meet Chantelle Restoule (DECE, Extended Day Program)
Hi everyone ! I am so excited to be starting my first year at St. Gabriel with the Early Years Team! I am looking forward to all the fun and adventure we will have while learning this year! I cannot wait to meet and get to know all of our kindergarten students and families! I hope everyone has a fun summer – see you in September!
Meet Pauline Williams (ECE Assistant, Extended Day Program)
Hello, my name is Pauline Williams and I have been at St. Gabriel since it opened in 2014. I enjoy using our imagination to come up with new ideas to sing, paint and dance together! I have met many fantastic families throughout the past six years and I look forward to meeting many more! As a mother of three, I enjoy watching your children grow and learn as I have my own. I’m so excited to meet all my new little friends this September. Have a great summer and keep safe!
Meet Vanessa Camara
Hey there families and students! I hope you enjoyed your summer! I feel so blessed to be back for my fourth year at St. Gabriel with our amazing Early Years Team. I’ve been a student with WCDSB from JK to grade 12, and an employee since 2012. This amazing community is a BIG part of my life! I love teaching, but most of all, I LOVE learning! I’m eager to meet you, and can’t wait to embark on this fun filled adventure together!
Introducing Our School Community and Learning Spaces
Make sure to click on the “Settings gear” in the top right corner to turn ambient music and narration on (click both)
Each Kindergarten classroom at St. Gabriel is equipped with a wide variety of learning spaces to foster play-based learning (ex: dramatic play centre, craft table, literacy, and math centres). As part of the St. Gabriel community, students will learn about the Catholic faith and will be provided with opportunities to practice our faith together at our class prayer centre, during Christian Meditation, and at school masses. We will also participate in celebrations throughout the liturgical year to celebrate events such as Advent and Lent. Students also engage in learning outside the classroom– in the gymnasium, library/computer lab, and outside on the schoolyard. Every day students will have the opportunity to learn and grow together as part of our Wings community!
Our Early Years Team works to provide a collaborative and complementary partnership to support children and families. We work together to create learning opportunities that foster the interests of the students, whether it be dinosaurs, space, bugs, rainbows, etc.
Safe Arrival and Dismissal
The school hours are 9:10 am to 3:40 pm. In the morning, there is Kindergarten supervision beginning at 8:55 am in the fenced-in area. Please drop your child off there and feel free to leave once supervision arrives. Your child’s teacher will come and get them when the bell rings at 9:10.
St. Gabriel School has a “Safe Arrival Program.” It is very important that if your child will be late or absent from school, that you call the school, or leave a message on the answering machine; it operates 24 hours a day. Any change in supervision to or from school should be made in writing to the teachers.
At the end of the day, children can be picked up at the same rear door. In order to ensure that each child goes home with their designated person all supervisors/guardians must be on the safe dismissal “pick-up” list that you fill out. Bus students will be safely escorted to their bus.
Personal Hygiene in the Classroom
Each Kindergarten classroom has an individual washroom and classroom sink. We encourage students to frequently use the washroom throughout the day and to wash hands as often as necessary (ex: before snack/lunch, after coughing/sneezing). Unfortunately, we do not have a water fountain close to the classroom for a quick drink, so it is important that students bring a water bottle every day.
With current concerns over COVID-19, we will do our best to implement the cleaning practices shared by the Ministry of Health in order to ensure we protect the health of the students and teachers in our school (ex: increased frequency of hand washing and physical distancing).
- Please help us make our school safe for your child: If your child has any health concerns (ex: asthma, allergies, etc.), please inform the school Principal and our Early Years Team as soon as possible.
- Please note: Our school board has a nut-free policy. Please do not send nuts or nut products with your child. This also includes nut substitutes. Thank you for your understanding.
Cash Online & Newswire
“Cash Online” is a system we use to collect money (for school lunch days, field trips, etc.) and to sign permission forms. Families will be required to sign up for Cash Online in September. Here is the link for Cash Online if your family is not already signed up: https://wcdsb.schoolcashonline.com/
“Newswire” is a mailing list to receive news releases, school updates, activities, and opportunities (ex: fundraising initiatives). To sign up for St. Gabriel Newswire, check out our school website at https://stgabriel.wcdsb.ca/ and scroll to the bottom and click “Subscribe to our news events”.
To sign up for the school board Newswire (WCDSB), check out the WCDSB website at https://www.wcdsb.ca/ .
Suggested School Supplies
- Big school bag
- Lunch box with snacks and lunch (reusable containers ☺)
- Reusable water bottle
- Indoor shoes (Velcro/Slip-Ons, no laces please!)
- Change of clothes
- Label EVERYTHING
Getting Ready for School
Readiness for school refers to the child’s ability to meet the demands of school:
- to interact and work cooperatively with others
- to be able to listen and follow directions
- to be able to share
- to see, hear, speak clearly (hearing and vision check-ups are recommended before September)
- to be independent regarding washroom routines
Talk about school and what it might be like! Get excited! This will be a great experience!
Here are some suggested book links that are suitable for talking with your child about starting school:
- Visit: https://www.tumblebooklibrary.com/
- Login with the following (all lower case):
- Once you’ve logged in, click the following links to read the books:
More detailed information will be shared with families in our August letter and in September.