To those families celebrating Hallowe’en on October 31st, we wish you all a safe and happy Hallowe’en.
Please note that on October 31st, the focus of the day remains on instruction, any Hallowe’en related activities are optional, and students will have a choice to participate in alternative activities. We also want to share that there is no expectation for students to bring a costume that day nor do we not want families to feel pressured to spend money on costumes. Students celebrating this occasion in costume at our school on October 31st must comply with the Caring and Safe School’s policy. Costume accessories including, but not limited to, toy guns, knives, axes, swords, etc. are not in compliance with York Region District School Board’s Safe Schools Policy #668.0. Should your child bring a costume to school on October 31st we would ask that no replica weapons (ex. Swords, guns) be brought to school if they are part of the costume. We also ask that students not wear masks to ensure they can see clearly. Costumes should be respectful of others. For example, if something is representative of a person’s culture or religious beliefs, then it should not be worn as another person’s costume. Further, in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, it is important that costumes do not trivialize and devalue the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We also ask that no food be sent into the school from families (ex. cupcakes for a classroom to celebrate the day).
For some members of our community, Hallowe’en brings memories of dress -up parades, costume competitions, and classroom parties whereas for others it bears a very different meaning. As with each of our traditions and ways of doing things, it is valuable to revisit our practices to ensure that we, “demonstrate equity and inclusivity in all we do”. It is important for us to recognize that not all families celebrate and participate in Halloween. The reasons for not participating are varied, and they include cultural beliefs, faith, socioeconomic status, and personal reasons. As part of our ongoing work in demonstrating equity and inclusivity in all that we do as a school and as a school board, we have started to rethink our own tradition of a Hallowe’en parade at our school. We are seeking your feedback as well as we move forward. For this school year, we will continue our tradition of having families who wish to join us for our sharing parade at 2:00 p.m. We ask any families joining us who wish to take pictures to please only take pictures of your own child to ensure we do not violate privacy laws.
Many of our students will enjoy treats over the next few weeks. As always, we wish to promote healthy eating at our school, and discourage students from bringing candies that are in abundance around Halloween to school. Many candies and treats, especially the small chocolate bars that the children receive during Trick or Treating contain peanuts and other nuts. These are great to enjoy at home. Given the variety of allergies we have throughout our building, we would ask all families to continue to be vigilant when selecting which snacks to bring to school. It is also important that students don’t trade snacks with each other.
Your continued support of student safety is greatly appreciated.