Student Agenda

Principal's Message

The information found in this agenda is intended to introduce you to the various aspects of our school operations.

Parents/guardians, students, staff, and the clergy are looked upon as partners in the process of education. We hope that this agenda will be informative and helpful as we work together in helping our children grow spiritually, academically, and socially.

Please take the time to become familiar with this information. A mutual understanding of our school routines and a clear definition of our expectations will form the basis of a positive relationship between the home and school.

Best wishes for a successful year.

Sincerely,

Mr. Neil Boland, Principal

 School Day Hours

7:50 a.m. - Staff begins yard supervision

8:05 a.m. - Morning classes begin

10:50 a.m. - Lunch

11:45 a.m. - Afternoon classes begin

2:30 p.m. - Dismissal

 St. Teresa of Calcutta – Our Namesake and Inspiration
In 1948, St. Teresa became the first Catholic nun in 300 years to be allowed to work outside the convent. St. Teresa began her missionary work amongst India's poor and homeless. In her long life of service St. Teresa was responsible for the creation of more than 445 Missionaries of Charity houses, providing shelter for the homeless, food for the starving, medicine for the sick, and comfort for the dying in nearly one hundred countries worldwide. She was beatified on October 20, 2003. St. Teresa's feast day is celebrated on September 5. Her legacy inspires us as we work together to support students as they develop in body, mind, and spirit. She was canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.
St. Teresa of Calcutta School Prayer 
Mother Teresa,
Lead us to understand who we truly are through God's words.
Inspire us to believe in ourselves and others.
Guide us to care for each other by our actions.
Help us to accept one another as one family, and
Teach us the full meaning of "Sharing our Love."
Amen. 
 Student Illness

Parents are required to complete the Covid-19 screening each morning prior to sending children to school. The Covid-19 screening tool can be found on the DCDSB website. 

In fairness to all, please do not send your child to school if there are definite signs of ill health in the morning. We have neither the facilities nor the personnel to care for sick children. Good health is necessary for effective learning. Students who are ill should receive proper medical attention and should not attend school until their health is reasonable.

Students who are ill should tell their teacher immediately. It is important that students who are ill go home as soon as possible. Our practice will be to call parents/guardians and ask that students be either picked up or given parental/guardian permission to go home. For this reason, it is important that parents/guardians keep work and emergency numbers current in the school's family information form.

 Life Threatening Food Allergies

A number of students have severe life threatening allergies to peanuts, peanut butter, peanut products, eggs, seafood, nuts, and kiwi fruit. Please help us to protect the safety of children by not sending food items containing these products.

We  are a scent restricted school. Please do not wear perfume, cologne, or clothing washed with strongly scented soap products in the school.

Administration of Medication 
According to DCDSB policy, the responsibility for the administration of medication for students is primarily that of parents/guardians and they are encouraged to have this medication administered outside of school hours. In special cases, where a student must have medication during regular school hours, an SS-18 Form: "Administration of Oral Medication – Parent's Consent and Instructions" is to be completed and signed by the parent/guardian before any medication is sent to school with the child. The forms are available at the school office. Please note that a new form needs to be completed each school year. All prescribed medication to be administered must be clearly marked with the child's name and have the qualified medical doctor's statement for prescribed use clearly stated.
 Lunch Hour

It is expected that all children who are within walking distance will go home for lunch if possible. This provides a change of pace in their day and serves as a refresher for their afternoon program. We realize, however, that in some cases it is necessary for students to remain at school.

Students who have to stay for lunch are expected to observe and follow the guidelines which have been established and clearly explained to them.

No child staying for lunch is allowed to leave the school yard.

 Co-Curricular Activities
Our school has a wide range of co-curricular activities. Most of these programs are conducted during the lunch hour in order to allow for maximum participation. Although there is an accepted degree of competition, the emphasis in our co-curricular activities is on participation. We encourage all students to take part in an area of interest to them.
Lost and Found 
 A lost and found box is located by the gym. Students are encouraged to place any found articles in this location. Likewise, students are advised to look in the lost and found box for any lost articles. Periodically, lost articles are placed on tables in the hall to encourage and aid students in claiming their possessions. Any items that remain unclaimed at the end of each term are packaged and given to the Diabetes Association. Please encourage your child(ren) to check the lost and found when an article has been misplaced. Labeling all personal items also assists in locating the owner of found items.
Volunteers 
Parent/guardian volunteers are always welcome at the school! They provide assistance in classrooms and the Library Resource Centre, act as chaperones on trips, and help prepare materials for students to use in their studies. Please contact the school if you would like to become a member of this very valuable group in our school. A mandatory police check is required for all parent volunteers at the school (including school day trips). Please see the school secretary for a letter to take with you for the police check.
 St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School Council
St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School provides advice to the Principal on matters set out by the Ministry of Education, Training, and the Durham Catholic District School Board. Regular meetings are held throughout the year and are open to all members of the school community. Being involved in any capacity with the school council is a great way to be informed and involved in your child's education.
 Dress Code

 We encourage all parents to monitor how their children dress for school each day. Often, our young people have no had enough experience to determine how weather conditions may change during the day, and as a result they may come to school ill-prepared for these conditions. Only with constant guidance can our students learn to dress properly for the weather and the learning environment.

  • All students must be dressed in a modest and non-provocative fashion.
  • Clothing must be suitable for ordinary student activity (e.g. clothing does not restrict movement; too large or too tight).
  • Undergarments must remain covered at all times.
  • Tank top straps must be 5 CM wide (3 fingers wide) with decent coverage at the armpit.
  • Shorts and skirts must be of conservative length (mid-thigh length).
  • Shorts, skirts, and pants must be properly hemmed (e.g. no cut offs, frayed, or ripped jeans).
  • Clothing must represent the ideals of our Catholic educational system (e.g. clothing that endorses alcohol or illegal activities, uses profane language, or contradicts the teachings of the Church must not be worn).
  • All students are required to wear indoor shoes with non-marking soles.
  • Wear proper clothing for the physical education program. A change of clothes is recommended for Grades 4-8.
  • Clothing and jewelry worn during Physical Education classes must maintain the safety of the students (e.g. hoop or dangly earrings, watches, necklaces, etc. must be removed during gym class).
  • All caps, hats, and bandanas must be removed upon the entry to the building.

In all matters related to appropriate clothing, the principal will make the final decision. Consequences for infractions of these expectations will be clear and fair in order to promote positive problem solving and encourage students to take responsibility for their actions. Consequences will promote the Gospel values and will be in accordance with provincial and Board safe school policies.

 Electronic Devices
Students should not bring electronic devices to school unless directed by a teacher. These items are a distraction to learning and tend to be very expensive. The school cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items should they be brought to school. Students who use these devices during the school day will have them taken away and returned at the discretion of the principal or vice-principal.
 Cell Phones

The staff is committed to providing a safe, healthy environment and it is our responsibility to communicate with parents/guardians if your child has a serious concern. Similarly, students have access to the phones in the office should an emergency arise. Cell phones are not to be used during the instructional day nor used on school property.

Some parents/guardians want their child to have a cell phone for safety reasons. (e.g. walking home alone, at a bus stop alone, etc.) If this is the case, please be aware that the school cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. During the school day the cell phone is never allowed to be turned on when on school property, which includes the bus, school yard, or any school buildings unless the teacher is allowing students to use it as a learning tool. Should your child use the cell phone on the bus or at school the cell phone will be confiscated, the parent or guardian will be responsible to pick up the cell phone at school and that student will lose all privileges that pertain to the cell phone. Staff may collect cell phones at the beginning of the day and return them to schools at the end of each day.

Cameras 
In order to protect the privacy rights of all of our students, we ask that students refrain from using cameras at school without the expressed permission of the teacher. This includes camera phones. 
 Homework Policy

Part of the nightly homework routine should include time for reading, whether it has been directly assigned or not. Ongoing review of concepts and studying for quizzes or tests is also appropriate and necessary.  

In order to ensure that we continue to have assessment for and as learning, homework will only be work that should otherwise have been finished in class and the end stages of in-school assignments, projects, or practice activities. (A good rule of thumb is that homework should not be any longer than 10 minutes times the grade level.) Students may be assigned incomplete work due to planned absences.

Children need time to be children and to have the opportunity for family time. Consequently, homework will not be assigned during holidays. Weekend homework will be kept to a minimum (unless assigned and due earlier in the week).

 DCDSB Safe, Caring, and Healthy Elementary Schools
The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported.
Access to Premises 

Parents/guardians are welcome to visit the school to discuss an issues with teachers or administrators. In keeping with the Board's Access to School Premises Policy, all doors will remain locked during school hours. Our Safe Welcome Program provides an intercom and camera at the main door of the school for all visitors to communicate  with the office prior to entering the school. This enhances the safety of students and staff.

Please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office and obtain a Visitor's badge. (Parents/guardians are not allowed access to the school yard before school or during recesses and noon hour.) At recess time, the school yard is well supervised and staff will question anyone whose presence is not expected. Each member of staff is wearing photo ID and is identified on duty with a safety vest.

If a parent/guardian needs to pick up his/her son/daughter during the school day, this must be facilitated at the office. Members of the office staff will call the student down to the office to be signed out. If parents send a friend/relative/designate to pick up their child, please advise the school in advance and ask the designate to provide photo identification at the office. If the student returns to school before dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the office so that his/her attendance can be monitored. 

 Make Every Day Count – Attendance Matters

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school–and themselves. Now is the time to start building this habit so your child learns right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college or university, and in the world of work.

Did You Know?

Absences can add up quickly. A child is considered chronically absent if he/she misses just two days every month!!

Research Shows:

  • Children chronically absent in Kindergarten and Grade 1 are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of Grade 3.
  • By Grade 6, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.
  • By Grade 9, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than Grade 8 test scores.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!

What You Can Do:

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Don't let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. Check with your physician if frequent physical complaints are an issue.
  • If your seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, the school social worker, or other parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning. Attending school regularly and arriving on time often helps students feel more comfortable and less anxious in the long run. Chronic absence makes it difficult for a child to feel a part of the classroom community.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbour, or another parent to help.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
  • Communicate with the school and let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for school on time every day. We want your child to be successful in school! If you have any questions or need more information please contact your child's teacher, principal, or vice-principal.
 Safe Arrival – Automated Attendance 

The Durham Catholic District School Board uses an automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it take to verify student attendance making it easier for you to report your child's absence and easier for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. Parents are able to report their child's absence quickly and conveniently using three different methods:

  1. Parents can log into a website. dcdsb.schoolconnects.com to access a Safe Arrival Parent Portal where an account can be set up to report absences; or
  2. Parents can call into an automated interactive telephone system via a toll free number 1-844-288-7628 through which absences can be reported; or
  3. Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones. Search for the keyword "safearrival" in the Google Play store or the Apply App store. Use district code DCDSB (or you can search for Durham Catholic District School Board). Use your Safe Arrival Parent Portal username and password to authenticate your account. Parents are encouraged to use the confidential PIN to gain access to their account. 

All three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor's appointments can be reported ahead of time.

 Restorative Schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff, and parents. To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school.

Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada's Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practices engages students in a fair process that responds to behaviour in a way that strengthens and repairs the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature. The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while resorting and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. "How do you think your actions had an impact on others?" "What do you think you need to do to make things right?"
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and when needed to repair relationships.
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions.
 School Code of Conduct
Please click here to read the Code of Conduct. 

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