SCHOOL POLICY & PROCEDURES

Safe Arrival
Parents are requested to phone the school in advance to relay student name, teacher’s name and reason for absence.  Please use the answering machine (613-267-2865) between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.  You may also call this number to speak directly with one of the secretaries during the day.  Normally parents are telephoned at home by 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. if the school has not been informed and the student is absent.  Parents will be contacted at work if there is a concern.  Students who enter the school after 8:40 a.m. or are late for classes after their lunch, will be sent to the office for a late slip.  Habitual lateness will be brought to the attention of the office.

Leaving School
Students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 may only leave school grounds in the company of a parent/guardian or designate (16 years of age or older). 

School Visits
In conjunction with the Ministry of Education Safe Schools Policy, all doors are locked during the school day.  Visitors are asked to please ring the doorbell and come to the office upon entry to the school to sign in and pick up a visitor’s tag.  Staff have been directed that adults not wearing a tag have not been approved to enter the school. Students may enter the building when they hear the bell at 8:40 a.m.  If your child walks or is being dropped off, please ensure that he/or she does not arrive at school prior to 8:30 a.m. at which time supervision begins.

Illness
We are concerned about the comfort and safety of all of our students.  Therefore, we ask that any child who is vomiting, has diarrhea or a fever, remain at home until he/she is symptom free for 24 hours.  As well, in the interests of all, please inform us if your child has a communicable disease such as chickenpox, impetigo or pink eye.  If your child, for medical reasons, is not allowed out for recess, please arrange this with the principal or vice-principal only.   Students who become ill during the day are to come directly to their teacher.  Our policy is to get students who are ill home as soon as possible.  Our practice will be to call parents and ask that the students be either picked up or given parental permission to go home.  For this and many other reasons, it is important that parents keep work and emergency phone numbers current.

Allergies (Nuts, Bees, etc.)
From time to time we have children with allergies to nuts.  Other children in those classes will be requested to find substitutes for peanut butter for lunch.  We realize that this may be inconvenient, however, this allergy (even touch or smell, let alone ingestion of peanut butter) is life threatening.  Your co-operation is appreciated.  If your child has any allergy (especially to bees or food) we need to be aware of it.  Please let us know.  Students who require Epipens must wear them on their person at all times.

Head Lice (Pediculosis)
Head lice can be controlled with your co-operation to minimize as much as possible the spread of this community nuisance.  Parents should examine their child’s head frequently.  The eggs (nits) are identified as being oval in shape and grayish in colour.  They are laid along the hair shaft close to the scalp and often at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.  They may resemble dandruff but cannot be easily removed because they are attached to the shaft.  The adult louse is 2-3 mm long and black in colour.  If you detect head lice in your family, consult a pharmacist for recommended products, including special shampoo for pregnant women and children under 2 years of age.  Please inform the school office if your child becomes infested.

Field Trips/Permission Forms
Our teachers plan a variety of class trips throughout the school year.  In order to enhance the curriculum and to broaden the perspective of our students, St. John classes participate in a wide variety of in-town/walking trips.  In September you will be provided with a permission form for going on such in-town trips.  When parents sign this form, it will allow their child to attend all out-of-school (in-town) trips for the school year unless the school is informed otherwise.  A note of information about each individual trip will be sent home prior to the event.  No new permission form will be required.
For out-of-town trips involving bus transportation, permission forms will be sent home for each trip.
While after-school trips are elective (e.g. skiing), day experiences are planned for all students.  All students are expected to attend and participate.

Inclement Weather/Recess Time
In the event weather conditions prohibit the safe transportation of students to school, radio stations        JACK FM 92.3 and LAKE 88.1 FM will be contacted by the appropriate personnel to announce the cancellation of bus services.  The school will be OPEN, but it will be the parent/guardian’s responsibility to arrange for a student’s transportation to and from school.  Attendance of students not requiring bus service will be left to the discretion of parents/guardians.  Any announcements regarding cancellation of buses for the Perth Family of Schools will apply to our school.  You can also check the Board website at www.steo.ca.

Cold Weather
Our winter weather has been unpredictable ranging from unusual highs followed by rapid drops in temperature.  Please be sure that your child is dressed warmly.  In the event of cold temperatures/wind chill we follow our Board procedures to ensure that the children are safe.  When the wind chill approaches -20 to -25 we reduce the length of time outdoors or keep the children indoors for recesses and lunch hour.  In any extreme weather situations (freezing rain, extremely high winds, extreme cold weather in excess of -25) the students remain indoors.  We monitor the Environment Canada and Weather Channel sites throughout the day to guide decisions.

Bus Behaviour
Students travelling to and from school on a bus (and students going on field trips) must observe all established safety rules and must be courteous and co-operative.  Expectations have been explained to all students.  School bus transportation is a privilege.  Bus riding privileges may be suspended for misconduct.  Students who live in busing areas must ride the bus home every day unless we have been informed in writing by the parents.  Since our buses are operating at near capacity on most runs, and for liability reasons, we cannot allow children to take a different bus.

Bicycle/Skateboard Safety
Parents are asked to review bicycle/skateboard safety with their children.  Cyclists must always ride single file with the traffic when they are on the road and they must know and follow the rules of the road.  All students using bicycles and skateboards must wear CSA approved safety helmets.  Skateboards and bicycles may not be used on school property.  Students who bring skateboards to school must bring them to the office upon arrival and pick them up again at the end of the school day.  Bicycles brought to school should always be left locked in the bike racks provided.

Picking Up Students
To ensure student safety, students will not be permitted to leave with anyone other than the parent/guardian unless we have been informed in writing.  For security reasons and to avoid disruptions, parents/guardians are to report to the office to pick up their children, deliver forgotten lunches, etc.  Your child’s safety is of paramount importance.  Arriving and departing times are busy and safety becomes even more important.  It is a help to have parents/guardians introduce themselves to supervising teachers.  This ensures that no mistakes are made.
Note: At the 3:00 p.m. dismissal bell, students who are walkers or being picked up must be signed out near the flag pole gate (Grade 1 – 3 students).  Kindergarten students must be picked up in their classrooms.

Valuables
It is strongly recommended that no items of value be brought to school.  If items are lost or broken, the school staff cannot be held responsible.  Students are not permitted to use electronics during the school day, except with direct staff permission. This includes cell phones, cameras, MP3 Players, etc.  Students using these items will have them confiscated.
The use of cell phones are for emergency use only and any texting/calling from school must be done with direct staff approval. Otherwise, these devices are not to be used during the school day.
Students may use technology to assist with learning provided clearance has been given by staff. For example, students with special needs may use an electronic device to assist in their reading and writing skills. These items must be clearly labeled with a student’s name. Students are responsible for their own safekeeping of any scholastic/electronic devices used at school.

Lost and Found
Frequently, items such as hats or sweaters are mislaid.  If items are labeled with names, it greatly assists in their speedy return.  A lost and found bin is kept outside the office for unclaimed items.  We encourage students and parents to check here if something has been misplaced.  Smaller items, such as keys, are normally kept in the office.

Supplies and Textbooks
All students are responsible for providing their basic school supplies as requested on the supply list.  In addition, students are loaned textbooks during the year.  Students often have individual books worth $40 to $60 dollars.  Students are asked to treat these books with care, as they will be charged for textbooks that are damaged or not returned.  Writing in books is vandalism and will have a consequence.

Phone Calls
As anyone who has tried to phone the school knows, the telephone lines are extremely busy.  As such, it is important that they are reserved for school business.  Students, therefore, need to make their travel, lunch and social arrangements on their own time.  Students are only allowed access to the school phones in an emergency and with the written permission of staff  (usually their teacher).
Likewise, parents are asked to contact students at school only in cases of emergency Classroom interruptions disrupt important student learning.

Homework
The staff at St. John’s supports the assignment of homework as a means of reinforcing and furthering classroom instruction and learning.
Primary students should not exceed 15 minutes per night.  Students in junior grades should not exceed 30 minutes of homework per night.
These statements summarize the reasons for the necessity and importance of homework in assisting a student’s educational progress at St. John’s.

1. Homework reinforces material presented in the classroom, supplementing and building on classroom experience.
2. Homework creates readiness for learning by providing background knowledge.
3. Homework provides practice drill in specific skills areas.
4. Homework provides follow-up to classroom activities.
5. Homework provides students with activities for individualized learning.
To ensure co-operation between students, teachers and parents in the assignment of homework, the following expectations are to be collectively employed:

A. Student’s Role
Students are expected to complete homework assignments on time in order to develop self-discipline, time management skills and to enhance their knowledge of each subject.
B. Teacher’s Role
Teachers are expected to evaluate homework promptly and to assign meaningful homework that will be evaluated using a variety of techniques.  Teachers will check and sign agendas regularly.
C. Parent’s Role

Parents are expected to provide students with an environment that promotes good study habits and to enrich the student’s learning through their support and encouragement.   Parents have an opportunity to be informed about the materials students are studying through regular classroom newsletters, by direct contact with the teacher/or by viewing the agenda.  It is expected that parents will sign the agenda daily in primary, and regularly in junior.

6. Parent-Teacher Interviews
Close liaison between the home and the school is an important ingredient for school success.  Parent-teacher sessions are scheduled following first term report cards.  If a parent/guardian wishes to meet with a teacher at any other time an appointment can be made by contacting the teacher through the agenda or main office.

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

Staff, students, parents – we all work hard to make St. John’s a safe and caring environment.  Together we urge you to bring your energy, enthusiasm and generosity to the task of building a Catholic community with our school and the Board to shape the vision of Catholic Education so that we can achieve a safe, secure learning environment.
St. John Catholic Elementary School strives for academic excellence and the development of a strong caring community.  Our vision is for people to think clearly, act wisely, feel deeply and live responsibly through respect for our faith, others, the environment and ourselves.
The building of character begins at home and continues through the school and church communities.
Our school community is here to serve you and to encourage interaction between school and home.  We will do this by assisting you to solve problems and protect your child’s right to learn.  We are excited and happy to have the opportunity to work with you!

Philosophy of Discipline
Discipline is an educational process that develops and promotes the growth of student’s self control, encourages and reinforces responsible behaviour.  Discipline involves reasonable rules, logical consequences and consistent application of these rules and consequences.  At St. John School, we implement a Progressive Discipline Model:  Called to Care – reminder, reflection;  Called to Action – resolution, restitution;  Called to Rebuild – removal, reconciliation.

Beliefs

  1. Discipline encourages positive choices, co-operation and ownership of problems.
  2. Discipline offers the opportunity to grow in responsibility, providing students with logical consequences for their mistakes.
  3. Discipline is a shared responsibility involving students, teachers, parents, guardians and community.
  4. Discipline must be fair, equitable, and yet flexible without undermining the credibility of the policy.

Parents, Teaching and Support Staff are partners in educating their children.

Parent Rights

  • To expect that classes and extra curricular activities are conducted in a purposeful, safe and caring environment
  • To expect that their children will be treated fairly and honestly in all aspects of their education
  • To be kept informed through newsletters/interviews/reports about the education and achievement of their children

Parent Responsibilities

  • To respect and support the Catholic nature of the school
  • To sign permission forms to approve school requests
  • To co-operate with the school if the student’s program or performance requires special attention
  • To ensure that students attend school punctually and regularly
  • To inform the school prior to 9:00 a.m. of absences
  • To work with school staff to resolve any behaviour problems which may arise

Teaching and Support Staff Rights

  • To expect appropriate and respectful behaviour from students and to discipline students who are disruptive to the class
  • To expect students to take an active part in the classroom program to the best of their ability
  • To receive parental co-operation in all aspects of student behaviour

Teaching and Support Staff Responsibilities

  • To provide all students with the best possible Catholic education as we educate the whole child
  • To honour the trust parents give us to treat their children in the same manner as would a “kind and judicious parent”
  • To employ many means of communication to keep parents informed and involved in their children’s education
  • To provide a safe, happy and enjoyable atmosphere for all to learn and achieve their potential

Student Rights

  • To be safe at St. John Catholic Elementary School and when travelling to and from school
  • To receive a quality Catholic education free from bias, prejudice and intolerance
  • To be treated with respect and courtesy by peers and adults
  • To express their point of view in an appropriate place and time
  • To have a school environment free from litter, graffiti and defaced school property

Student Responsibilities

  • To encourage others to follow Jesus’ example
  • To help develop an atmosphere of safety
  • To allow others to be happy by according them kindness and respect
  • To allow others to express themselves
  • To listen to the views of others
  • To take ownership of their education by paying attention to instruction, working co-operatively, completing assignments and following established classroom guidelines

Expectations for All

  • Courteous thoughtful behaviour towards others
  • The use of language appropriate to a Christian community
  • Respect for authority
  • Awareness and consideration of the rights of others
  • Care and respect for personal and school property

Yard Rules

  • Keep your hands and feet to yourself.  No body contact, fighting or play fighting
  • Do not throw rocks, stones, sand, snow, ice, etc. at others
  • Use appropriate language and gestures
  • Do not spit
  • Listen respectfully to supervisors.  Comply with their directions immediately
  • Stay in designated areas
  • Take care of the environment and property
  • Do not litter
  • No baseball bats, hard balls, hockey sticks, pucks etc.
  • Do not enter the school without the permission of a supervisor

Dress Code
Students and staff will dress appropriately for the world of work, which is school.  Dress is expected to be conducive to learning for all in our Catholic school.  Our dress code is based on respect, dignity, fair treatment, inclusion and safety.  Students in the junior division are expected to change for gym classes and wear indoor shoes for gym activities.

Good taste and common sense are the best guidelines to observe.  Styles of dress and grooming are unacceptable when they distract or are offensive to others.

Short shorts and short skirts/dresses are not appropriate.
Bicycle pants, pajamas and skater pants are not appropriate.
Bathing suits, tank tops, spaghetti straps, muscle shirts, mesh shirts, sleeveless t-shirts and halter-tops are not appropriate. All tops should be modestly fitting under the arm and cover the abdomen.  A good rule of thumb is if you can’t tuck it, don’t wear it.
Clothing bearing indecent, risqué, satanic wording or violent slogans is not acceptable.
Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times.
The wearing of make up is discouraged.
Hats/caps are not worn in the school.

PARENT OPPORTUNITIES

School Council:  To promote and support education and to contribute to a sense of school community at       St. John.
Classroom Volunteers:  To provide an opportunity for you and the students to strengthen school/family/community relations.  Volunteers assist teachers with non-teaching duties and tasks.
Hot Lunch Volunteers:  To provide a hot lunch once a week to our students.

ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION

All medication provided to the school for administration to students must be prescribed by a doctor and a “Request for Administration of Medication” form fully completed and appropriately signed by both parents and doctor, must accompany the medication.  This includes “over the counter” medication.  All medication is to be stored in the front office.  Students are not to keep medication on themselves.
It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that any and all special requirements are fully explained to school staff.
The Request for Administration of Medication form can be picked up in the school office.
It must be completed annually.

CODE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY USAGE

A signed “Acceptable Use Guideline for Internet Access by Students” must be signed by student and parent prior to use by student.  A “Release Form for Electronically Displayed Work” must also be signed before student work is electronically displayed.

Students have the right to:

  • Use technology in their learning
  • Students may use technology to assist with learning providing clearance has been given by staff
  • Learn to use a wide range of tools in technology
  • Access resources in research

Students have the responsibility to:

  • Use school equipment carefully and respectfully
  • Learn to use the network properly
  • Follow all school, district, provincial and federal rules
  • Use the Internet only under staff supervision
  • Report any student who breaks the rules
  • All equipment must be labeled with the student’s name. Students are responsible for the safekeeping of any scholastic/electronic devices used at school

Students may not:

  • Damage or disrupt equipment or the system
  • Interfere with another’s use of the equipment
  • Waste paper by printing unnecessary pages
  • Use the equipment without staff permission and/or supervision
  • Read someone’s mail without permission
  • Use someone else’s account or address or trespass in another person’s folders, work or files
  • Use foul or inappropriate language
  • Send offensive messages
  • Allow offensive materials to enter the school network
  • Go into areas which are “off-limits”
  • Violate copyright laws

If at any time a student is unsure about his/her use of the network system, he/she should ask a staff member for help immediately.

STUDENT USE OF AGENDA

If this student agenda is to be helpful for you, a few items should be kept in mind when using it:

1.  Treat the agenda as if it were a text.  Do not rip out pages, etc.
2.  For writing in upcoming assignments, write in the assignment twice – once on the day it is given and once the day before it is due.
3.  You may wish to abbreviate subjects for writing day-to-day homework.
4.  Use paper clips or bookmarks to highlight important dates.
5.  Use your agenda for:

  • day to day homework
  • long-range/short range assignments
  • reminders (for example: items to bring to school the next day)
  • social events/birthdays
  • important phone numbers (for example:  class partner when you are absent, group members for a group assignment)
  • extracurricular activities (team games, student council activities)

6.  Put your agenda into a binder that will be with you throughout the day.
7.  Check your agenda every day to ensure nothing is forgotten.  On Fridays, look ahead to the following week.

Why do we issue each student an agenda?

St. John Catholic Elementary School issues agendas to all students in Grades 1 to 6, helping them to learn to manage their time, to plan their days, and to keep you as parents and guardians informed of your child’s school activities.
St. John Catholic Elementary School requires that students keep their agendas with them throughout the school year.  Individual teachers may ask parents to sign or initial the agendas on a daily or weekly basis.
Your child can also carry home his or her schoolwork in the envelope provided for this purpose at the front of the agenda.  Please check this envelope daily for other communications from the school (such as our newsletter, notes from your child’s teacher, etc.)