Student Agenda

Principal's Message

It is with great enthusiasm and hope that I welcome everyone in the community as I look forward to serving you based on the three guiding pillars: Excellence, Equity and Engagement – Rooted in Faith. The pastoral theme of 2022-2023 academic year is “Listening with the Ear of the Heart.” As we focus on this main theme and the Catholic Graduate Expectations during the school year, I will strive to model as well encourage everyone in the school community to listen carefully and share the God-given talents and time in service of each other.

Please take time to review the content of this student handbook with your child/children and explain to them the importance of following the Code of Conduct.

I hope to nurture, support and inspire students on their road to becoming compassionate, confident and responsible Catholic graduates. The School - Parish - Home triad is the crucial determinant in the achievement and well-being of each student. I look forward to working in partnership with you for a successful school year!

Mrs. Paul, 
Principal                                                               

                                                                                                                                                               

 School Day Hours

7:50 a.m. - Yard Supervision begins
8:05 a.m. - School begins
9:30 a.m. - Morning recess
10:50 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. - Lunch
1:10 p.m. - Afternoon Recess
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. 
Parish Information

St. Bernadette Catholic Church

21 Bayly Street East, Ajax, ON L1S 1P2

Phone: (905-683-1533

E mail: office@stbernajax.com

 

Pastor: Fr. Chris Lemieux 

Associate Pastor: Fr. Kevin Adriano

 

Weekend Masses:

Saturday 5:00 PM

Sunday    8:30 AM 10:15 AM 12:00 PM 5:00 PM 7:00 PM
Childcare Partner - P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre

P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre 

15 Fishlock St. Ajax, ON L1Z 1H1
905-626-2147


st.teresa@prydelc.ca

 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.

School Year Calendar - Important Dates

School Holidays

  • Labour Day - Monday, September 5, 2022
  • First Day of School - Tuesday, September 6, 2022
  • Thanksgiving Day - Monday, October 10, 2022
  • Christmas Break - Monday, December 26, 2022 - Friday, January 6, 2023
  • Family Day - Monday, February 20, 2023
  • March Break - Friday, March 10, 2023 - Friday, March 17, 2023
  • Good Friday - Friday, April 7, 2023
  • Easter Monday - Monday, April 10, 2023
  • Victoria Day - Monday, May 22, 2023

Professional Activity (PA) Days

  • Thursday, September 1, 2022
  • Friday, September 23, 2022
  • Monday, October 24, 2022
  • Friday, January 20, 2023
  • Friday, February 17, 2023
  • Friday, June 9, 2023
  • Friday, June 30, 2023

 

Monthly Catholic Graduate Expectations (CGE) and Virtues
  • September - CGE: Welcome/Listening with the Ear of the Heart - Catholic Virtue: Catholic Community Faith
  • October - CGE: A Collaborative Contributor - Catholic Virtue: Building Community
  • November - CGE: A Responsible Citizen - Catholic Virtue: Service
  • December - CGE: Advent - Catholic Virtue: Hope
  • January - CGE: A Discerning Believer - Catholic Virtue: Faith
  • February - CGE: A Caring, Family Member - Catholic Virtue: Love
  • March - CGE: Lent/Stations of the Cross - Catholic Virtue: Temperance (Self-Control)/Prudence (Right Choice)
  • April - CGE: A Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker - Catholic Virtue: Justice
  • May - CGE: A Self-Directed, Responsible, Life-Long Learner - Catholic Virtue: Fortitude (Courage)
  • June - CGE: An Effective Communicator - Catholic Virtue: Celebrating our Gifts and Talents

 

Pick Up and Drop Off

Parents/guardians who are dropping their children off and picking up students in the drive thru lane are asked to keep the line moving.  If you are required to get out of your car, please PARK in a parking spot. Parking in the laneway creates safety issues and a backup of traffic. Please be courteous to others on our school property. Remember that safety comes before convenience. Do not park your vehicle along the sides of the driveways as these are fire routes. 

Supervision outside takes place from 7:50 to 8:05 a.m. We encourage you to try to arrive before 8:05 a.m. to avoid peak traffic times. When students arrive before the bell (morning and lunch) they are to enter the schoolyard and not come through the school. 

For pick up in the afternoons, you are asked to PARK until your child is ready. We ask that you encourage your child to make his/her way to the pick-up area immediately upon dismissal to reduce the amount of wait time. 

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS)

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS)

Office: (905) 666-6295 or 1 (800) 240-6943

Automated Telephone Line: (905) 666-6979 or 1 (866) 908-6578

Website: www.dsts.on.ca

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS) is responsible for the management of all home to school transportation for eligible students in Durham Region. The DSTS automated phone line is the easiest way to obtain accurate information. You will need to have your child’s date of birth and student OEN number (9 digit student number found on your child’s report card).

Safety Expectations:

  • Students who ride on the bus must behave appropriately in order to ensure the safety of themselves and others
  • Students may only get on and off the bus at their designated stop
  • Students need to be at their stop five minutes before their scheduled pick up
  • Bus students will go home on the bus unless a signed and dated note is sent indicating alternate arrangements
  • Any permanent changes to bussing must be arranged through DSTS

Riding a school bus is a privilege. The students must exhibit proper and safe behaviours while riding the bus. If an infraction occurs, a warning letter may be sent home. For repeated infractions, your child may be suspended from riding the bus for a designated period of time. Alternate transportation arrangements will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian during this time.

Cancellations Due to Weather Conditions:

  • Transportation services cancelled in the morning are cancelled for the entire day
  • Where transportation is cancelled, parents are responsible for transportation to and from school
  • Cancellations will be communicated to school communities beginning at 7:00 a.m. or earlier
  • Radio stations include 680 AM and CHFI (98.1); television stations include Global and City TV
Signing Your Child In and Out of School

The safety of our students is of utmost importance. Along with our regular attendance procedures, students are required to be signed in and out of the school, during the regular school day, if they are coming or going outside of the regular entry and dismissal times. To help facilitate this process, we ask that we communicate the message to the classroom teacher vis Edsby so that classroom educators will be aware and send students down to the office at the required time.

Bike Safety

Students may ride their bicycles or skateboards to school with their parent/guardian’s permission. It is required by law that helmets are worn, and this is the expectation for all students who choose to ride their bicycle or skateboard. Once on school property, students must walk for the safety of themselves and others. Bicycles can be locked in the bicycle racks.

 

Lunch Hour Routines

Students will enjoy a recess break outside (weather permitting) from 10:50–11:25 a.m. and a lunch break from 11:25 – 11:45 a.m. For your convenience, lunches may be left on the desk placed in the front vestibule with your child’s name clearly labeled. 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.
Parent Volunteers in the School and Policy Vulnerable Sector Checks

Parent volunteers are welcome and are a vital part of our school community. Volunteers provide valuable assistance in classrooms, during school trips, and support special programs and events in the school. If you are interested in volunteering in the school, a Police Vulnerable Sector Check is required. Once completed, the documentation is good for one year from the date of issue. A letter is available at the office to reduce the cost of this service.

 St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School Council

The purpose of the Catholic School Council (CSC) is to advise the principal on matters set out by the Ministry of Education and the DCDSB. CSC is composed of parent representatives, the principal, and teaching and non-teaching representatives. Elections will be held during the first meeting in September and meeting dates will be posted.

Anaphylaxis Alert

Anaphylaxis is a serious and rapid allergic reaction which can be LIFE THREATENING. Foods are amongst the most common causes of an allergic reaction, but medications, insect stings, latex and exercise can also cause a reaction. Several students in our school have an anaphylactic allergy to various allergens. To help ensure their safety, nuts and products containing nuts are not permitted in the school. For classrooms that have students with anaphylactic allergies, signs will be posted advising of the specific allergies. We ask that you carefully read food labels before sending snack and lunch items with your child. Your cooperation is essential in keeping all of our students safe and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding. 

If your child has an anaphylactic allergy, it is essential that you inform the school and provide updated medical information and medication at the beginning of each school year and if medical conditions change. Please contact the school for more information on the required documents.

Birthdays and Celebrations

In order to maintain the safety of all students and considering the student allergies, the school guideline is that no homemade food is allowed for distribution in the classroom. All store-bought food items must contain the ‘peanut free/nut free” label and individually wrapped. A great alternative to food items is fun pencils, erasers, or books. Permission from the classroom teacher is before sending any loot bags or treats for the entire class.

Medical Concerns and Oral Medications

Parents must notify the school of any exceptional health conditions and the accompanying requirements. Important health information must also be included on the Student Information Forms. If your child has any health conditions or medical requirements, please inform the office and complete the appropriate information and consent forms. In special cases, where a student must regularly have medication during school hours, consent forms must be completed. In most cases, all oral medications will be kept in the office.

Asthma Medication and Ryan's Law 

Ryan's Law, 2015, was recently passed by the Ontario Legislature. This piece of legislation is an important step to support the well-being of students with asthma in Ontario schools. Over the course of the next school year, the Durham Catholic District School Board will be working to implement the requirements of this legislation and developing a more formal process to identify students with asthma and their asthma medication.

 

If your child has asthma, you will be required to complete the “Administration of Oral Medication”. This form provides specific details and instructions on the administration of the required medication for your child and gives parental consent to store and administer this medication at school. With your permission, your child will be allowed to carry his/her asthma medication on his/her person at all times. You are encouraged to provide a fanny pack or pouch to facilitate this. Permission will need to be renewed each school year along with any updates to your child’s medical information.

Dress Code

Health, safety and modesty forms the basis of our dress code policy which will be enforced on a daily basis

Students are expected to:

  • Dress appropriately for the weather
  • Wear clothing that is intact, non-revealing, modest and age-appropriate (no inappropriate messages/pictures/racist/ sexual)
  • Wear shorts, skirts and dresses that are appropriate in length
  • Wear tops, shirts and dresses that cover the shoulders and midriff, even when arms are raised overhead (two-finger rule for tank tops)
  • Undergarments must be totally covered and pants are to be worn at the waist
  • Low-cut tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops and muscles shirts are not appropriate for school wear
  • To have a separate pair of non-marking running shoes for physical education class which can be used as indoor shoes during class time

All Dress Code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect.

 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 

During school hours, all parents and visitors are required to report to the main office. If you are dropping off or picking up your child, or dropping off any items during the school day, you are asked to wait in the main office or front foyer. To maintain the safety of all students and protect instructional time, parents and visitors are not permitted in the school hallways, classrooms or schoolyard unless by special invitation. In this case, you are required to sign in at the office.

 

 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. 

 

Labour Day

First Day of School

Thanksgiving Day

Christmas Break

Family Day

March Break

Good Friday

Easter Monday

Victoria Day

Monday, September 5, 2022

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday, December 26, 2022 - Friday, January 6, 2023

Monday, February 20, 2023

Friday, March 10, 2023-Friday, March 17, 2022

Friday, April 7, 2023

Monday, April 10, 2023

Monday, May 22, 2023

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