Parent Handbook - a guide to the school's routines and organization

Visitors

In an effort to ensure the safety of our students in the school environment, we insist that all parents/visitors to our school register at the school office on arrival. This includes situations such as:

a) bringing children to school
b) delivering lunches, materials or messages to staff or students

Unless prior arrangements have been arranged with a teacher, parents andvisitors must not enter the school beyond the office area, including entry and dismissal time. After checking in at the office, anyone volunteering or visiting for any period of time during school hours will be required to wear a ‘visitor’s or volunteer badge” which will signal to the children that this person belongs at our school. Parents must prearrange times to ‘drop by’ your child’s class by calling the teacher and setting up a suitable time to visit so that instructional time is not disrupted.

Signing Student in and out

All students leaving or returning during the school day must be signed in and out at the office by an adult.

Absences & Lates

Punctual and regular attendance is essential to learning and maintaining effective progress at school.  Students master new skills and acquire knowledge through regular participation in the classroom instruction and discussion of concepts.  When absences or lates from school are above the school norm, a letter will be sent home to parents for information purposes.  Please always feel welcome to discuss any attendance or late concerns with the Principal. 

Illness sometimes makes absence necessary. When a student is absent or late for any reason, parents should contact the absence check line. 

An attendance check system operates at Maplehurst  School  to  help  monitor attendance. If  your  son/daughter  is  going to be absent or late for school, please contact the school before 9 a.m. to enable this  program to work effectively. If a student is absent and no call is recorded, the automated attendance system will contact your home. Please help us to operate this system effectively by keeping the school informed of any changes to telephone numbers both at home and at work.

A student who arrives after 9:10 a.m. is recorded as late. Students arriving after the entry bell, but before 9:30 a.m., are to go directly to class. Students arriving after 9:30 a.m. must must be signed-in at the office. 


Nutrition Breaks

The Balanced Day timetable provides three 100 minute periods of instructional time, divided by two “nutritional breaks” (one 40 minutes and one 50 minutes).  Nutrition breaks allow time for  eating and activity.  The 50 minute break will be designated as the time for students to go home for lunch. Students who will be staying for their nutritional break on a regular basis and wish to order milk, will be asked to pay in advance either by semester or for the full year.  A form outlining the cost of milk will be distributed to all students in Grades JK-6. We expect students to eat at school in the same manner as they would be expected to eat at home.  Please remind your son/daughter that they should conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.  We hope that all students will adhere to lunchroom rules so that they do not lose their lunchroom privileges.

Volunteers

Volunteers are an invaluable resource for our staff and students. They enrich programs and services for our students. Patience, understanding, a sincere desire to help children and spare time are all that are required.

Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles in the path of effective use of volunteers, is the concern on the part of the teachers and principals regarding the possible use of privileged and confidential information. The volunteer will be privy to only that personal information which they need. In some circumstances, the volunteer may require background information on a student to best  understand the particular needs of the student for the purpose of providing proper assistance. The teacher would share only the appropriate information. 

In addition, volunteers are in a position to learn and observe more about staff members than would be learned or observed in a regular parent to teacher relationship. There is nothing wrong with the volunteer possessing such knowledge or having personal opinions. However, in no case should such knowledge or opinions be shared in the community. Likewise, care must betaken to refrain from expressing comments harmful to the reputation of a student or professional. 

A volunteer has every right to expect that his or her participation will be treated with the same confidentiality and respect.

Field Trips

Parent involvement in field trips is another effective way of participating in your child’s learning.  Visiting sites outside the school can provide support to classroom program and extend student understanding and interest.   Details about each trip are sent to the parents of the students involved prior to the event.  Written parent permission is needed before a student can participate to ensure that you are aware of the timing and purpose. Verbal permission will not be accepted. 

Student Dress Code

The standard of dress is set by the good judgement and discretion of our parents. If the school is to be a special place and the students are to develop a sense of dignity and seriousness about learning then it follows that our style of dress should reflect that standard. Students should dress neatly and appropriately for school. Clothing displaying rude slogans is not acceptable for school wear. Students should ensure that their midriff is covered and under garments are not showing. If tank tops are worn, they should fit appropriately and modestly, i.e.  no low cut collar lines, under garments should be worn underneath and not be seen, etc. Students are also asked to remove hats once they enter the school.

Accidents & Illness

Parents are to keep the school updated with their contact information (i.e. work phone numbers and cell numbers) and are to provide the names and phone numbers of two persons to call in case of an emergency when a parent cannot be reached.  Please make your son/daughter is aware of this information.  If the emergency contact person should change, please inform the school immediately.   

Although we try to maintain safety on school property, accidents can happen. Most injuries are minor and can be attended to at school.  However, if an accident should occur that requires medical attention,  a parent or emergency contact person will be notified. If a student becomes ill during school hours and contact cannot be made with a parent or the emergency number, the student will be made as comfortable as possible in the school until a parent can be reached. If your child feels unwell before coming to school, staying at home for the day can speed recovery and prevent spreading the “bug”. 

Student Health Needs

If your child requires medication at school (either on a regular basis or in case of an emergency) or if your child has a serious condition such as asthma or a life threatening allergy (peanut, bee sting, etc.), please contact the office. There are specific forms to be completed prior to the administration of medications. Please be aware that we have a number of students at Maplehurst who have a life threatening food allergies. We are requesting that our families refrain from sending any food with any nut products to school.  In addition, students are not to share food items with others in the school.

Playground

Supervising teachers are on duty 15 minutes before entry time and after the dismissal bell. The  playground is also supervised by staff during each of the nutrition breaks. Children should not be left unattended on school property before teacher supervision starts or after it ends. Students who have parent permission to remain on school property at end of the school day must have a note from their parent each time they will be not going home in the regular manner. Except for days when weather is severe, students will go outside for recesses.  They must dress appropriately for the weather conditions, including having a raincoat and a change of footwear for indoors.  Only under exceptional circumstances, such as serious injury or health factors, will a student be allowed to stay inside for recess. A note must be provided to the teacher in order for a student to remain inside, and the student will come down to the office for recess.

Parking Lot

At Maplehurst School we endeavour to provide a safe environment for our students, staff and parents and we need your help. The parking lot is often an area of concern. Parents must be alert when driving in this area, demonstrate safe practices and be considerate of pedestrians, buses and staff members who are loading  and unloading buses.  If you are dropping off or picking up your child, we would prefer that you do not come into the parking lot.  If it is necessary to come in then you must not pass, block or drive between buses or try to go against the flow of traffic.  Drivers must follow the arrows to exit, and at the end of the day, wait for the buses to leave before your vehicle moves.  You must give way to pedestrians and park in a designated parking spot.  Please share this information with any family member or friend who may be picking up your child.

School Bus

The school bus is an extension of the school; therefore, each student is expected to follow the Code of Behaviour for the Halton District School Board and Maplehurst Public School.  Riding the bus is a privilege and not a right.  Students who have difficulty riding the school bus due to their behaviour may lose their riding privileges. It is expected that students ride their assigned bus to and from school.  The Halton District School Board  Transportation Policy will allow students in grades 4-6 to ride another school bus with certain stipulations: a written parent request must be provided to the principal 48 hours in advance, there needs to be enough room on the bus for additional riders and the student who is requesting the riding privilege must demonstrate positive behaviour at school and on his/her own school bus.  

School Council

The Maplehurst School Council, as defined by the Ministry of Education, is an advisory group of elected parents, educators and appointed community members whose role is to provide ideas and opinions to assist the Principal, and where appropriate, school board trustees in their decision making on educational issues.  The advice given should be based on the general views of the school community and the best interests of all students.  School councils must operate within the Ministry of Education and Training and school board policies and procedures. Maplehurst school council meetings are held monthly and all parents are welcome to attend. Elections for voting member positions are held in September.  


Report Cards

We share with you the responsibility for helping your child grow academically, socially and emotionally.  Parents and teachers need to maintain regular communication about each student’s development. School learning activities are based on each student’s individual abilities,  interests and stage of development, within the framework of the curriculum defined by the Ministry of Education and Training and the Halton District Board. All Grade 1-8 students in Ontario will be bringing home an Elementary Progress Report Card in November and an Elementary Provincial Report Card in February and June. The first Elementary Progress Report Card you receive in November does not contain grades or numerical marks. The focus of this progress report is on six learning skills: initiative, responsibility, organization, independent work, collaboration, and self regulation. These learning skills create the foundation for success and are essential in the preparation for post–secondary education and the world of work. The focus of subject reporting will be on describing a student’s general progress in working toward the achievement of the curriculum expectations. These will be communicated and organized as strengths and next steps. This Elementary Progress Report Card will be followed by a parent/guardian, student (as appropriate) and teacher conference after the report is sent home. An Elementary Provincial Report Card is sent home in February and June, containing letter grades along with descriptive comments. The Elementary Provincial Report Card also contains the same six learning skills as found on the Progress Report. For more information visit: www.edu.gov.on.ca