Student Agenda

A Message from the Principal and Vice-Principal

At St. Bernadette Catholic School, we are committed to providing a safe, caring and rich learning environment for all students. In partnership with St. Bernadette Catholic Church and our parent community, student well-being and achievement are our top priorities. We encourage every student to reach his or her full potential in an inclusive setting. We hope to nurture, support and inspire students on their road to becoming compassionate, confident and responsible Catholic graduates. 

Students from Grades 1-8 will no longer be receiving an agenda, as EDSBY is now our school board’s primary communication tool between home and school. Checking daily on Edsby, looking at student and classroom work, and making note of important dates will help foster good organization and time-management skills.

Our office door is always open and we welcome you to come in and discuss any ideas, questions or concerns that you might have. We look forward to working in partnership with you for a successful school year!

Mrs. P. Delaney, Principal
Mrs. J. Principe, Vice-Principal

 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 Schedule

Entry Bell - 8:55 a.m.
Recess - 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Lunch - 11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Recess - 2:05 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
Dismissal - 3:25 p.m.

  • Students are expected to arrive on time
  • Please note that supervision in the morning begins at 8:40 a.m. – do not leave students unattended at any time before supervision begins
  • For all students' safety, students are expected to leave school property promptly at 3:25 p.m., as there is no supervision after this time
 School Prayer
Blessed St. Bernadette let our hearts and minds find peace in you. Lead us, the members of your school community, as we strive to follow your loving and serving ways. Your life was founded on faith and compassion, which guided you in all that you did. May your graces strengthen us so that we may follow your example in our thoughts, words and actions every day. Amen.
 Important Contact Information
 
 Parish Information

St. Bernadette Catholic Church

21 Bayly Street East, Ajax, ON L1S 1P2

Phone: (905) 683-1533

Fax: (905) 683-0022

Pastor: Father Chris Lemieux

 Childcare Information

P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre

41 Bayly Street East, Ajax, ON L1S 1P2

Phone (905) 999-1549

Supervisor, R.E.C.E.: Wonda Angus

 2021-2022 School Year Calendar

Sept. 1 - P.A. Day

Sept. 2 - P.A. Day

Sept. 6 - Labour Day

Oct. 8 - P.A. Day

Oct. 11 - thanksgiving

Nov. 12 - P.A. Day

Dec. 20 – Jan. 31 - Christmas Break

Jan. 21 - P.A. Day

Feb. 21 - Family Day

Mar. 11 – Mar. 18 - March Break

Apr. 15 - Good Friday

Apr. 18 - Easter Monday

May. 23 - Victoria Day

June 3 - P.A. Day

June 30 - P.A. Day

 Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations and Season

September – A Collaborative Contributor
October – A Discerning Believer
November – A Reflective, Creative, and Holistic Thinker
December – Advent
January – A Self-Directed, Responsible, Life-Long Learner
February – A Caring Family Member 
March – Lent
April – Easter
May – A Responsible Citizen
June – An Effective Communicator

 Catholic Virtues Celebrated Monthly

September – Building Community
October – Faith
November – Justice
December – Hope
January – Fortitude (Courage)
February – Love
March – Temperance (Self-Control)
April – Prudence (Right Choice)
May – Service
June – Celebrating Our Gifts and Talents

 Kiss 'n Ride
Parents/guardians who are dropping off or picking up their children must use the Kiss ‘n Ride loop and the marked “Drop Off Zone”. The exception to this rule is made for our Kindergarten students who can be picked up from the gated area at the front of the school, and primary students may be picked up at the west gate. If you are parking, please park in a designated parking spot at the school or church. For safety, cars are to use the right lane only and park in designated parking spaces. The 3 accessible parking spaces at the front of the school are for drivers with valid Accessible Parking Permit that is clearly disabled.

 

For pick up in the afternoons, you are asked to circle the loop until your child is ready. It is unsafe for students to be picked up in the parking lot or in the bus lane – students found waiting in this area will be directed to the Kiss ‘n Ride loop.

Breakfast Club

Due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, we are no longer running the morning breakfast program on the stage.

All students are welcome to healthy snacks (fruit, nut-free nutrition bars, etc.) that are now provided for their classrooms each day instead.

Financial Assistance

All students will be given every opportunity to fully participate in school events, trips and activities. If there is ever a need for discreet and confidential financial assistance, please contact the office.

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS)

Office: (905) 666-6395 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 you inform the teacher of any scheduled appointments via Edsby, 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 have their lunch from 11:40-12:40 and also enjoy a recess break outside (weather permitting). Lunch times are divided so that only half the school population is out at a time, and in their designated play areas. Parents and Guardians are asked to NOT drop off lunches at the school; please ensure your child’s lunch is packed for the day each morning.

 

Due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, intermediate students will no longer be permitted to go off school property at lunch times, unless they are being picked up by their parent/guardian.

Access to School Premises and Instructional Zones

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no parents and/or visitors are permitted to enter the building. If you are dropping off or picking up your child, you are asked to buzz the main office from the front door, and someone will come out to meet you. Any visitors or parents/guardians who come to the school by special appointment or exceptional circumstances are required to sign in at the office.

Parent Volunteers in School and Police Vulnerable Sector Checks

Parent volunteers are a welcome and 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. Please note field trips or excursions are not permitted to occur at this time.

Catholic School Council (CSC)

The purpose of the Catholic School Council (CSC) is to advise the administration on matters set out by the Ministry of Education and the Durham Catholic District School Board. CSC is composed of parent representatives, the principal, vice-principal, teaching and non-teaching representatives, a parish representative and a community representative. Meeting dates will be determined and communicated in early October. All parents and guardians are welcome!

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.

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 “Prevalent Medical Condition – Plan of Care” forms (available at the office). 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 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.

If your child has asthma, you will be required to complete the “Prevalent Medical Condition – Asthma (Plan of Care)”. 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.

Birthdays and Celebrations

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, NO food or treats can come into the school to be shared with students. Other items (birthday pencils, etc. cannot be distributed, either. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with this during these unusual circumstances this year.

 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 hats and sunscreen in warmer weather.
  • Wear appropriate attire that demonstrates modesty and respect for others.
  • 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 (three-finger rule for tank tops).
  • Wear tops and shirts that do not have objectionable logos/messages.
  • Wear pants that reach the waist.
  • Wear a separate pair of non-marking running shoes for physical education class which can be used as indoor shoes during class time. (NO FLIP FLOPS permitted during phys ed class)

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
Parents/guardians are welcome to visit the school to discuss an issue with teachers or administrators.  In keeping with the Board’s Access to School Premises Policy, all doors will remained 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 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.
  • Contact the school if you are planning on taking your child out of school for more than five days as some absences require the permission of the school principal. 
Safe Arrival – Automated Attendance

In June 2018, The Durham Catholic District School Board adopted a new automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it takes 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: 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 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 three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments can be reported ahead of time. For more 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
 School Code of Conduct
 Please click here to read the Code of Conduct

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