Family Handbook

RELIGIOUS AND FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION

It is the policy of the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board to assist parents in their role as those primarily and principally responsible for the faith development of their children.  In partnership with the home and parish, the Board supports the following expectations in religious and family life education:

To provide resources for young people to reflect together on their experiences and systematically explore the Catholic Tradition so that they may attain a knowledge and understanding of Catholic beliefs which will guide their behaviours for daily life.

To provide opportunities for young people to develop a personal relationship with God and others through prayer and community worship.

To encourage an active participation among young people in the life of the Church and promote the challenge of Jesus’ call to service in building the community through Gospel values.

SAFE SCHOOL

Under Provincial Safe Schools Act 2000 our schools have developed a policy that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe, faith-based, learning and teaching environment.  A pamphlet is sent home at the beginning of each school year and additional information about this policy is available through the school office.

FOR STUDENTS:

BUSSES

Board policy provides regular bus service for students residing within established transportation boundaries.   All students who ride on school busses shall adhere to the following Bus Code of Conduct:

  • Be ready at your bus stop  five (5) minutes early.
  • Watch for the driver’s signal before crossing the road.
  • Board quickly using the handrail and go right to your seat.
  • Remain in your seat until your bus stops.
  • No eating or drinking on the bus.
  • Keep the aisle clear.
  • Don’t put anything out the window.
  • No shouting, fighting, or horseplay.
  • When leaving the bus stay off the roadway.
  • If you cross the road, walk ten steps in front of the bus, wait for a signal, look both ways then cross the road.                                                                                                                           

Students who do not adhere to this Bus Code of Conduct may have bus riding privileges removed for a specified period of time.

In order for the school and bus operator to ensure that the Bus Code of Conduct is being followed, it may be necessary that video surveillance equipment be installed on a bus.  Students and parents will be informed by letter or school newsletter of this with the following statement that will also be posted on the bus:

“The use of video surveillance may be in effect.  The personal information is collected under the authority of the Education Act S. 170 and will be used to reduce/prevent property vandalism, theft, violence and to ensure the safety of students.  Questions about this collection should be directed to : FIPPA Coordinator Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board, Catholic Education Centre, 799 - 16th Avenue, Hanover, Ontario, N4N 3A1 (519) 364-5820.

DRESS CODE

Students and parents should decide on what constitutes appropriate dress and the use of make-up taking into consideration:

  • Apparel should be clean and neat.
  • Christian modesty and good taste should prevail.
  • Inappropriate or objectionable sayings/ symbols are prohibited.
  • All students’ necklaces and neck wear (i.e. chokers, chains, whistle straps, neck key-chain holders, etc.) are to be constructed of break away material or preferably, not worn at all.

Before students leave the school premises for a special activity or an excursion, the teacher will inform the students and their parents of the appropriate dress required.  i.e. white shirts, black pants for Music Festival.  We show we care by dressing in a manner which is appropriate for our school setting.

Note:  For September 2004, Saint Peter’s and Saint Paul’s School, Durham has implemented school uniforms thereby setting an alternate Dress Code than outlined above.

GYM ATTIRE

All students using the gym are expected to use their indoor shoes.  Shoes worn for gym are not to be worn outside.  Gym attire appropriate to grade level is also required in order for students to take part in physical education activities.  Generally speaking, all students in the Junior and Intermediate divisions will need shorts or sweat pants and a T-shirt.

SCHOOL SHOES

Students are required to wear indoor shoes(slippers or gym shoes) at all times.  Fire drills may occur unexpectedly and we do not want children outdoors in stocking feet or students having slipping hazards due to not wearing shoes.  Appropriate footwear, for safety purposes, must be considered for the  activity taking part in (i.e. non-marking soles for gym, warm boots during winter recesses).

FIRE ALARM

Fire drills will be conducted in the fall and spring.  When the fire bell sounds, everyone is expected to evacuate the building according to school policy.

HOMEWORK

Suggested Guideline:

The Ten Minute Rule As a general rule students should complete no more than ten minutes of homework for each grade that they are in.

Primary: Grades JK - 3 JK to Grade 1 - students 10 minutes, Grade 2 - 20 minutes, Grade 3 - 30 minutes.  On average, no more than 10 to 30 minutes a night should be spent on homework, at this level.

Junior: Grades 4 - 6 Grade 4 students 40 minutes, Grade 5 - 50 minutes, Grade 6 - 60 minutes.  On average, no more than 40 to 60 minutes a night should be spent on homework, at this level.

Intermediate: Grade 7 & 8 Grade 7 students 70 minutes, Grade 8 - 80 minutes.  On average, no more than 70 to 80 minutes a night should be spent on homework, at this level.

If the amount of time spent on homework seems to be excessive and unreasonable a parent should contact the teacher to discuss ways in which homework can be a positive experience.

PLANNER GUIDELINES

This planner is a very valuable organizational tool.  If used correctly there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises in the classroom and assignments will be complete and in on time.  The skills you develop using this planner will be of benefit throughout the rest of your life.

  • Have your planner with you at every class.
  • Fill it in at the end of each class.
  • Use abbreviations to speed up recording.
  • Be sure to record the page number and the work which needs to be completed.
  • Check over the student planner at the end of each day to use it to help you decide which books to take home.
  • Read over your entries at the beginning of your homework session.
  • Take your student planner home with you every night and have your parents sign it at least once every week.  This helps to keep them informed of what you are doing in the classroom.

STUDENT ILLNESS

We ask all parents/guardians to keep their children at home until they have fully recovered from an illness.  Children are not able to learn effectively when ill.  Furthermore, we try to reduce the possibility of exposing other children to infections.

SAFE ARRIVAL AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

We operate a Safe Arrival Program in our schools.  When your child is going to be absent, please call the school, using the Safe Arrival phone line, leave a message on the answering machine, or notify the school in writing.  Attendance is taken upon students entering the school, in the morning and following lunch. The names of absent students are forwarded to the office.  Students arriving late must report to the office prior to entering class.  This allows adjustments to be made to the attendance register.  Any unexplained absence, is followed up with a phone call home, place of parent’s employment or the given emergency number and if the student is still not located, the police will be notified.

Students may not leave the school property, during the school day, without written permission from their parent/guardian and approval from the office.  Parents/guardians picking their children up prior to dismissal time are to report to the office and indicate that their child will be leaving with them.

Any change in regular routines (busses or walking)  should be accompanied by a note.

Students who normally walk to school are expected to be in school even if the busses are not running.  If a student is not going to be at school their parent/guardian is asked to call the safe arrival number.

As required by the Ministry of Education and Training, children returning to school after an absence, must provide orally or in writing the reason for absence which we then note in the attendance registers.  If you have phoned in to the “Safe Arrival” program and provided an explanation to the school, it will not be necessary to send in a note.

If your child will be involved in an extended leave from school, provincial regulations requires that parents request this in writing.  Please notify the school principal who will advise you about procedures and options.

Should a student be absent more than 15 consecutive days their names are deleted from the attendance registry.  Upon returning, the parent is required to re-register the student.  If you are planning an extended vacation, a letter notifying the school of the dates of your trip and your intent to return to the school will serve to retain your child’s name on the register and not require you to re-register.

Absent students are expected to check with their teacher regarding any work that has been missed.

WALKERS

Early in the new school year, it is suggested that parents walk with their children along their normal route and identify homes or businesses that may assist in an emergency situation.  Students should be encouraged to keep this route and walk in pairs.  Please review Stay Alert, Stay Safe rules.

FIELD TRIPS

Field trips are an extension of the classroom and are planned as an instructional activity.  Students are expected to obey all school rules during field trip activities.  Parents must give written consent on a Board authorized consent form before a student can take part in a field trip. Students who do not have written consent on the appropriate form may not take part in the excursion.

STUDENT USE OF TELEPHONE

Telephone: Students are allowed to use the school telephone with the written  permission of their teacher.  We ask  students and parents to please make their arrangements prior to coming to school, of changes in after school routines.

TELECOMMUNICATION AND INTERNET ACCESS

Computer use and Internet access is a privilege and will be granted only to students who agree to follow the guidelines established by the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board.  Anyone who fails to follow the guidelines will face penalties, ranging from denial of access for a limited time to permanent denial of Internet access, and to criminal action for illegal activity.  Computer and Internet usage contracts will be completed at time of registration or before a student first uses a school computer.  These will require the signature of both students and parents.

SCHOOL PROPERTY

The textbooks, supplies, musical instruments and furniture are on loan to the students without charge.  If school property is lost or damaged beyond usual wear, the student will be billed by the school for the same.  This is in accordance with School Board Policy.

LOST AND FOUND

Students and parents are encouraged to look through our lost and found box on a regular basis.  Please ensure that all items of clothing are labelled with your child’s name or initials.  We always check for identification before placing an item in our lost and found.  Items not claimed are forwarded to community agencies.

FOR PARENTS

STUDENT PROFILE INFORMATION - It is essential that we have up-to-date emergency information.  Each September, we send home the “Student Information Form” that we ask you to complete with current information including an alternate telephone number in case of emergency, (babysitter, friend, relative, neighbour, etc.).  The student profile/information sheet is then maintained at the office and updated as needed through the school year.  If your telephone number or any other information changes throughout the school year, please let us know as soon as possible.

MOVING

If you have moved, it is necessary for taxation purposes that you come and re-register your child.  You may need to redirect your taxes to Catholic School Support since they automatically revert to public school support when you move.

MUNICIPAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PERSONAL PRIVACY ACT (MFIPPA)

During the school year, there will be opportunities for students’ work to be displayed, their special achievements to be publicized, them to be photographed or video taped in a variety of activities for newspapers, T.V., videos or display bulletin boards.  Class lists may be posted occasionally. We make every attempt to exercise discretion and common sense in any publications emanating from our school, but we wish to ensure that parental wishes for privacy are respected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy Act.  If you have any concerns or questions regarding the disclosure of your child’s work and or name in instances such as above, contact the school principal or teacher.  Please be informed that some school buses may carry video-surveillance equipment from time to time.

PROVINCIAL CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES ACT

Each September, every school is expected to inform parents of the Provincial Child and Family Services Act requiring everyone, particularly professionals working with children, to report any suspected child abuse to the Children’s Aid Society.  Failure of the school to report, carries a substantial fine and/or a jail sentence.  The Society is required to investigate every allegation.  We always hope that such reports are the result of some type of misunderstanding rather than actual abuse, but we prefer to err than have a child suffer.

BRUCE-GREY HEALTH UNIT

It is the responsibility of the Parents to provide the immunization history of their child to the Bruce-Grey Health Unit.  Failure to comply will result in suspension from school.  Information and changes should be sent directly to the Health Unit.

MEDICATION POLICY

The following passages are taken from the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board Policy book.  “The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board believes that the administration of medication and the performance of physical procedure for students are primarily the responsibility of their parents/guardians and health professionals.  As partners, the Board expects that staff members will provide assistance to pupils because it recognizes that there may be cases where students must receive some form of physical assistance during school hours to enable their education to continue.

Procedures:

  • The principal shall provide a copy of these provisions to any parent/guardian who requests assistance in the administration of medication.
  • A request for the Assistance of Medication Form shall be completed and submitted to the principal for approval prior to any assistance in a student’s medications.
  • The parent/guardian shall be responsible for the personal delivery of clearly labelled medication in the original container from the pharmacy and for written notification of change relating to the medication.
  • The labelled medication shall be stored in a secure place.
  • A medication log book will be maintained.

Note:  This is a very shortened version of the policy and the whole policy is available to parents/guardians upon request.  Any form of medication including over the counter drugs, must be brought to the school office by the parent and stored there.  Please contact the school office for more information.

HEAD LICE / PEDICULOSIS

In the past, the Public Health Unit was involved in teaching educators and parents, both

individually and in groups, about head lice identification and treatment. This service is no

longer provided. Pediculosis is not a health issue but rather a community concern. Control of

pediculosis is a family responsibility.

Role of the Parent :

a) to be aware of the symptoms which might indicate an infestation.

b) to identify suspected infestations.

c) to notify the school of any infestations.

d) to ensure that proper and full treatment occurs.

e) to indicate to the principal that proper and full treatment has occurred.

Resources

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has developed resource packages regarding the management of head lice. One of the packages is specific for parent use and the other is more specific for teacher and volunteer use. Another resource is the Canadian Paediatric Society at www.cps.ca


HAVE A CONCERN?

Experience indicates that concerns sometimes develop due to incorrect interpretation of information or lack of transfer of information from home to school and vice-versa.  Should you or your child have a concern which your child does not seem able to resolve, please contact the teacher by note,  telephone or arrange an interview through the school secretary.  Teachers try, but are not always aware of each child’s perceptions and feelings, regarding a situation.  Clarifications will frequently resolve the concern in the initial stages before it becomes a major problem.

In seeking resolutions, proper recourse is the following:

1st   Call or meet with the classroom teacher or teacher involved.  If this doesn’t resolve the difficulty;

2nd   Call or meet with the principal.  The principal will involve the teacher in the discussion and may request the parent to put their concern in writing.  If this doesn’t resolve the difficulty;

3rd   Call or meet with the area superintendent.  If this doesn’t resolve the difficulty;

4th   Call or meet with the director of education.  If this doesn’t resolve the difficulty;

5th   Call or meet with the local trustee.

TRUSTEE INVOLVEMENT - While you may contact the local trustee at any time, they will direct you to follow the process as outlined above.  Trustees will facilitate the communication process between the parent(s) and the school.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL COUNCIL

  • School Councils are established to advise the principal on matters such as the school curriculum and the school code of behaviour.
  • Each September there will be an election process for the selection of parent, teacher and non-teacher staff representation on the council according to Provincial Guidelines and Catholic School Council Constitution.
  • School Councils are not forums to discuss individual parent-teacher-student issues.
  • If these matters are brought to any School Council member or any School Council meeting, the concern will be immediately referred to the principal for discussion in the appropriate manner.

NEWSLETTERS

Classroom and school newsletters will be sent home on a regular basis.  They are sent home with the youngest member of the family, unless we are notified of other arrangements.

SECURITY

Our schools maintain a Visitor Log.  All visitors to the school including parents, volunteers, support service personal and contractors are required to report to the office upon entering the school and just prior to leaving.  They are to complete the log which will identify the person, the time of entry, their reason for coming into the school and the time that they leave.  Those who fail to do so will be re-directed to the office or be asked to leave. 

SMOKE FREE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Recognizing that smoking is a health hazard, that the health of both students and staff will benefit from a smoke free environment and that it is the prime responsibility of the school to educate.  While County By-laws prohibit smoking in or around the school building, the Board bans smoking in all buildings and on all property owned, leased and operated by the Board.

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