Student Agenda

Message from the Principal

Welcome to yet another great school year at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School! 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 main theme of 2021-2022 academic year is "A Community of Faith" and in addition to focusing on the Catholic Graduate Expectations and the virtues, I will be encouraging everyone at our school to share their talents and time in service of each other at school and to the community to bring hope.

I hope to nurture, support, and inspire students on their road to becoming compassionate, confident, and responsible Catholic graduates. The School – Parrish – 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!

Sincerely,

Mrs. Paul

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

Mission Statement
We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.
School Prayer

Father in Heaven, You prompted St. Francis de Sales to become all things to all people. May his example inspire us to serve our brothers and sisters lovingly. St Francis de Sales help us imitate your compassion and gentle charity through our everyday encounters with others. Amen.

Parish Information - St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
Our school's parish is:

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
1001 Ravenscroft Road
Ajax, ON L1T 4X1
Tel: (905) 683-1403
Fax: (905) 683-2301

Pastor: Rev. Fr. Joe Singh

Associate Pastor: Fr. David Twaddle

Parish masses are held on the following dates: 

Saturday: 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 12:00 p.m.

Childcare Information
P.R.Y.D.E learning Centre

72 Church St. S., Ajax, ON L1S 6B3

TEL: (905) 686-6236

Supervisor: RECE, Angela Humphrey

2021-2022 School Year Calendar
The school will be closed on the following holidays and professional activity (PA) days:

 

  • September 1 - P.A. Day
  • September 2 - P.A. Day
  • September 6 - Labour Day
  • October 8 - P.A. Day
  • October 11 - Thanksgiving
  • November 12 - P.A. Day
  • Dec. 20 – Jan. 31 - Christmas Break
  • January 21 - P.A. Day
  • February 21 - Family Day
  • March 11 – 18 - March Break
  • April 15 - Good Friday
  • April 18 - Easter Monday
  • May 23 - Victoria Day
  • June 3 - P.A. Day
  • June 30 - P.A. Day
Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations and Catholic Virtues Celebrated Monthly
      
Catholic Graduate Expectations/Monthly Focus
September - Welcome/A Community of Faith

October - A Collaborative Contributor

November - A Responsible Citizen

December - Advent

January - A Discerning Believer

February - A Caring Family Member

March - Lent/Stations of the Cross/Easter

April - A Reflective, Creative, and Holistic Thinker

May - A Self-Directed, responsible, Life-Long Leaner

June - An Effective Communicator

Monthly Catholic Virtue of Theme
September - Catholic Community/Faith

October - Building Community

November - Service

December - Hope

January - Faith

February - Love

March - Temperance (Self-Control)/Prudence (Right Choice)

April - Justice

May - Fortitude (Courage)

June - Celebrating Our Gifts and Talents

 

Drop Off and Pick Up
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 8:15 to 8:30 AM. We encourage you to try to arrive before 8:30 AM 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)

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

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

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 you record any scheduled appointments in your child’s agenda so that classroom educators will be aware and send students down to the office at the required time.
Bicycle and Skateboard 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 and skateboards should be dropped off in the office until the end of the day.

Lunch Hour Routines

Students will enjoy a recess break outside (weather permitting) from 11:15–11:55 AM and a lunch break from 11:55 – 12:15 PM. For your convenience, lunches may be left at the front office with your child’s name clearly labeled.

The privilege of going out for lunch is reserved for intermediate students. Intermediate students leaving school property for lunch must have a dated and signed note, for each occasion, indicating that they have parent or guardian permission to leave school property during the lunch hour. Students will not be allowed to call home to make arrangements and verbal permission will not be accepted.

All food bought must be consumed before they return to school. There is no food allowed in the school yard. Students are expected to be back on time for the start of class at 12:15 PM.

Access to School Premises and Instructional Zones

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. 

Parent Volunteers in the School and Police 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.

Catholic School Council (CSC)

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.

Birthday 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.

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 (no higher than tips of fingers with arms at sides)
  • 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.

 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

Visitors (parents, guardians and community members) are only allowed in the school by appointment. 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.

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 child 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.
DCDSB Student Safe Arrival

Safe Arrival Parent website: go.schoolmessenger.ca

Parent Toll Free #: 1-844-288-7628

Smartphone Application:  school messenger

                                     

The Safe Arrival website, smartphone app and toll-free number have changed. Please update your existing Safe Arrival information for reporting an absence.    

 

1. Parents can log into a website: go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.

2. Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll-free number

1-844-288-7628 through which absences can be reported.

3. Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones.  Search for the keyword school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store. Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that is on file with the school, enter a password

All 3 methods will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences may be reported ahead of time, i.e.; Doctor’s appointment.

 

For additional information please visit the school website.
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 practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature. 

The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring 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

Code of Conduct

 Please click here to read the Code of Conduct

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