WCDSB Mission and Vision
WCDSB Code of Conduct:
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of the individual. All individuals concerned with the school system -trustees, staff, students, parents, visitors to schools –are subject to the following code of conduct; a code of conduct that will be implemented within the Catholic faith life experience of each school community and consistent with the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations, the Safe School’s provisions of the Education Act and Regulations and the constitutional right of Catholic school boards to manage their schools as stated through section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867. APC 018 Code of Conduct
Attendance – “Safe Arrival Program”
Students are expected to regularly attend and be punctual for all classes. Should a student be absent due to illness or another acceptable reason, it is the parent’s responsibility to inform the school prior to 9:10 a.m. Generally, the secretarial staff is in the office by 8:10 a.m. to receive the message; however, for the convenience of parents, the school also has an answering service. Therefore, parents can easily leave their messages at any time.
Should the school find that a child is absent and the parent has not telephoned the school, we will attempt to contact the parent at home and/or work. If we fail to reach the child’s parent, the school may contact the regional police to investigate the absence of the pupil.
If a child will be absent for an extended period of time (e.g., family vacation), there is a form available at the school office. It needs to be completed and filed in the office prior to the absence. Every effort should be made to schedule appointments outside of school hours. Parents/guardians must notify the school if a student is required to leave during the school day.
Any student arriving late for class must report to the main office upon arrival.
Absences over 15 days, repeated truancy or habitual lateness may be reported to the Board’s Attendance Officer.
Students should not arrive at school prior to 8:55 a.m. unless requested by a staff member.
In promoting the concept of holistic education, Our Lady of Grace School attempts to provide a range of activities for students. All students are encouraged to participate in the various activities that are offered in Our Lady of Grace School’s co-curricular program. Students may also volunteer for various jobs (e.g., bus patrol). Students participating in co-instructional activities or jobs are expected to consistently demonstrate a high level of personal effort and commitment to their daily schoolwork and model positive behaviour. Students who quit or are removed from a team, club or job are not permitted to participate on the next team, club or job.
Our students and staff enjoy opportunities to share some of their activities with parents and the school community through teams, clubs and special events. Many of these are “memory making” for families and as such photographs are often taken. We ask that families exercise their discretion when taking photographs or videos at school events and consider the privacy of other students who may also be present in those pictures. We would appreciate if families not upload images of students other than their own to the internet (e.g., YouTube or Facebook). Your cooperation is appreciated.
Parents, students, and staff have a right to receive affirmation for what they are doing and the right to know when concerns arise. Communication must recognize the dignity of the individual. All people deserve respect, dignity, fair treatment and inclusion. As part of respecting the dignity of an individual, everyone has a right to know firsthand of a concern.
If you, as a parent/guardian have a concern, please follow this procedure:
Step 1: Speak to the staff member…(issue resolved)…(issue not resolved…proceed to step 2).
Step 2: Speak to the principal. If you have not spoken to the staff member, the principal will ask you to do so.
The Role of the School Council:
School Council is not a forum to discuss parent-teacher-student issues. If these matters are brought to any School Council member or any School Council meeting, the concern is to be referred immediately to the principal.
The effective use of these communication guidelines by all concerned will result in affirmation for individuals and in the quick resolution to concerns.
The Role of the Trustee:
Parents may contact the trustee at any time. The trustee will direct the parent to follow the process outlined above.
- Gang related clothing, colours and paraphernalia is strictly forbidden at all times.
- Clothing with derogatory / disrespectful writing, pictures and/or logos is prohibited. Messages that are racist, profane, promote substance abuse or are sexually suggestive shall not be worn at school or school-related activities.
- The length of machine finished/hemmed shorts, skirts and dresses should be no shorter than mid-thigh (e.g., with staff discretion).
- Wide-strapped (minimum 4cm), sleeveless tops are permitted. Tube tops, see through shirts and blouses, spandex tops, halter tops, low cut tops and midriff tops shall not be worn to school or school-related activities.
- A shirt or top must be worn at all times, even when outside in hot weather.
- Undergarments should not show.
- Caps, hats, visors, and toques are not to be worn inside the school or at indoor school-related activities.
Students who violate the ‘Dress Code’ will be given a warning and their parent/guardian will be notified. They will be directed to change into available clothing.
Subsequent violations may result in the student being sent home to change.
Third and additional consequences:
Repeated offences could also lead to a suspension.
Students and parents are requested to remember the following when choosing clothing and dressing for school:
- To maintain the cleanliness of the building, it is requested that students have a pair of non-marking running shoes for use in the classroom and gymnasium. A second pair of shoes / boots should be worn when outside.
- For safety reasons, each pupil must wear shoes at all times.
- Each pupil should dress appropriately for the weather conditions (e.g., warm clothing for outdoor play during the winter months).
- For safety reasons and the desire to avoid injury, the school strongly discourages pupils from wearing flip-flops and sandals.
Misplaced articles will be placed in the school’s ‘Lost and Found’ bin. Once per term (November, February and June) the articles will be displayed on a table and students will be advised to look for missing items. Leftover items will be donated to a local charity.
The Our Lady of Grace School staff believes that many valuable learning experiences can and need to occur away from the usual classroom. On all school excursions, behaviour expectations are the same as the expectations at Our Lady of Grace School. Students who do not behave appropriately while on a school excursion may not be allowed to participate on the next excursion. It is imperative that parents/guardians sign the proper consent form sent home by the teacher. Handwritten notes and verbal permission are not acceptable forms of permission for school excursions. If the form is not returned, students will not be permitted to participate in the excursion. In most cases, there are costs involved for trips for transportation and admission. All efforts are made to keep these costs to a minimum. Occasionally, teachers will require parents to drive students. Volunteer drivers must fill out an Offence Declaration Form and one stating they have a minimum of $1,000,000.00 public liability insurance. Students must not occupy a vehicle seat if there is a functioning air bag in place for that seat. If parents/guardians have any concerns, they should contact the teacher or principal directly.
Our school library offers students a great selection of reading materials to assist them in their studies and encourage in them a lifelong love of reading. Primary students may sign out one book at a time and Junior and Intermediate students may sign out two books at a time. Books are loaned for a period of two weeks and can be renewed once for an additional two weeks. If a book is lost or returned damaged, the student will be asked to pay a replacement fine for that book. The student will not be allowed to sign out another book until the replacement fine has been paid. By following these rules, all students will have the best possible access to the wonderful resources our library has to offer.
Social Media in the Classroom
As part of the 21st century learning, students will be participating in a variety of social media tools via the internet in the classroom. Some of the social media tools that may be used in the classroom include the following: Wikis, blogs, Podcasts, video conferencing, surveys, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other sites deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher in accordance with Ministry of Education curriculum.
Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and is a form of fraud. It is the student’s responsibility to know the school’s policy pertaining to the correct citing of sources. Plagiarism is defined as any of the following:
- Copying and using someone else’s work, such as words, drawings, essays, photos, notes, artwork, ideas or information, etc., in whole or in part, without proper citation of the source, and claiming them as your own.
- Citation made up (non-existent) information and sources.
- Allowing another student to use your work and claim it as their work.
- Buying and selling of essays or assignments.
- Electronic piracy of essays, assignments, papers, etc. in whole or in part from the Internet.
Students who plagiarize will be asked to resubmit their work, and assigned an appropriate consequence.
Recess and Lunch
It is expected that all students will go outside during the recess breaks and the lunch hour. Please do not request that your child stay inside because of a particular condition.
During lunch, children are supervised and eat in their classroom. Students are expected to use quiet voices and demonstrate respectable behaviour. At 12:15 p.m., the students are dismissed from the rooms after cleaning up and spend the remainder of the lunch hour outside on the playground. Adult supervision is provided throughout this time. During inclement weather, students are supervised inside the school. Students who remain at school for lunch are not allowed to leave the school property at any time. Written parental permission is required each time a student who regularly stays wishes to leave school property for lunch. If a student is having lunch at another student’s home, written permission is required from both families. If a student leaves school property without written parental permission, a consequence will follow.
It is important for the children to bring nutritious lunches. We participate in “boomerang” lunches and encourage your child to bring home the food not eaten, so the contents and quantity can be adjusted to meet your child’s needs.
A student is welcome to bring personal sports and play equipment for use during their recess and lunch breaks. All items should be labelled with the child’s name.
Certain items are considered unsafe and not permitted at school. They include:
- skateboards and scooters
- roller blades and roller skates
- hard balls
- toy weapons of any type.
Students are also discouraged from bringing electronic and music equipment or cherished items to school.
Telephone Access and Cell Phones:
During the school day, the office is very busy and the telephone lines are in use. As a result, we limit the use of the phone by students to “real need” situations. Please encourage your child to make prior arrangements for after school or social activities. Students must receive written permission from staff for use of the telephone.
Although not encouraged, for safety reasons, parents/guardians may sometimes choose to send a cell phone or other communication device to school with their child. It is understood in these cases that these devices must be turned off while students are in class and outside of class. The school cannot be responsible for the loss of these items while at school; therefore, it is not recommended that these devices be brought to school. In the case of misuse, the device will be confiscated until a parent/guardian is able to pick it up from the school office.
Reporting Student Progress
The Provincial Report Card will be sent home two times throughout the school year (winter and June), as well as a Progress Report in the fall. These are occasions to celebrate the successes your children have experienced and to set some realistic goals as they continue their progress.
We will be arranging fall interviews for which you can sign up to discuss your child’s progress. Parent interviews can also occur at various times throughout the school year. We encourage parents to contact your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns.
Safety of our Students and School
If a child rides her/his bike, the following rules must be observed:
- the bicycle must be walked when on school property
- the rider must wear an approved bicycle helmet
- the bike will be parked in the bicycle rack during the day and secured with a strong lock or security chain.
The school is not responsible for any vandalism while the bicycle is on the premises.
Code of Conduct for Students
Here is what students are expected to do at school:
- Be honest and act responsibly
- Respect the differences in people and their rights with no exceptions
- Treat everyone with respect at all times, but especially when there is a disagreement
- Take care of school property and the property of others
- Do whatever you think is right to help those in need
- Always respect people in positions of authority
- Ask a school staff member to help if you need support in settling a disagreement with someone
- Tell a school staff member if you see someone breaking school rules
- Respect and obey the laws of the school, the local community, the province of Ontario and Canada.
Here is what students cannot do at school:
- Chew gum
- Possess or bring any weapon to school
- Use any object to threaten or frighten another person
- Injure another person with any object
- Possess or provide others with any form of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs
- Use or be under the influence of any form of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs
- Hurt another person, or encourage someone else to hurt another person.
Here is what could happen to students who break the rules:
If students break any of the rules, they could be either suspended or expelled from school. Both of these consequences are very serious.
Emergency Evacuation and Fire Drills:
Should the school need to evacuate due to an unforeseen emergency, the emergency shelter is Alpine Public School.
A minimum of six fire drills will be conducted during the year by school staff or fire department officials. During the drills, all students and visitors must leave the school, in an orderly and quiet fashion, through the designated exits. We also conduct practice “lockdown” procedures and tornado drills twice per school year.
Health of Students:
If for any reason a child requires prescription or non-prescription medication while at school, the parent or guardian must complete a consent form. Medication may not be administered to or taken by a child unless the proper consent form has been accurately completed and filed in the school office. For safety reasons, any medication brought to school by a student MUST be given to a staff member.
Sensitivities and Allergies:
Some of our students and staff have severe sensitivities to peanuts and peanut products, and to environmental odors such as perfumes. Their sensitivities are so severe that exposure could be life-threatening for some.
Please do not bring nuts or nut products to school, or wear perfumes or colognes at any time.
Sickness and Accidents:
If a pupil becomes ill or injured at school, the school staff will endeavor to contact parents. In the event that the parents cannot be contacted and depending on the severity of the illness or injury, school staff may transport the student to hospital or arrange for an ambulance.
It is expected that parents immediately inform the school of any changes that may affect our ability to reach them in an emergency (e.g., change of work; change of day care provider or emergency contact; change of residential address, etc.).
Good health is important for learning. Students who are ill should receive proper medical attention and rest and should not attend class until their health is restored. In fairness to all, parents are requested not to send a child to school if there are definite signs of ill health in the morning. The school does not have the facilities or the personnel to care for sick children. Furthermore, if it is the parent’s opinion that a child is too sick to go outside for the recess break, then the child is probably too ill to be at school.
Physical education is a mandatory part of the JK – Grade 8 curriculum and all students are required to participate. Prolonged absences from P.E. require a medical certificate. Students from Grade 4-8 are required to change for P.E.
Safe Schools Act
The Safe Schools Act was replaced by an amendment to the Education Act focused on Progressive Discipline and School Safety (Bill 212). The new act allows schools to continue working with students, families and agencies in helping our young people who have violated school rules. Serious offences leading to criminal charges will continue to be dealt with through the School Board/Police Protocol.
What does the new Act mean for students and schools:
Schools will continue to work with families and students to ensure a safe and inviting learning environment.
Schools will continue to use a full range of options to find the most effective way to help student correct behaviours that get in the way of their learning or that of other students.
Schools will continue to focus on “progressive” discipline (that is, starting with the lower end of consequences and working up to more serious ones, depending on the offence).
Bullying (including cyber bullying on the Internet) is now an infraction for which suspension must be considered.
Students can be consequenced for actions or behaviours that take place off school property and outside of the regular school activities if they impact the climate of the school.
Students must be offered a program if they are suspended for 6 days or longer (maximum of 20 days). The program must have an academic component and, if it is for 10+ days, a component that helps the student with social-emotional issues.
Students must be offered (and must complete) a program for expelled students before they can return to regular school attendance. Our expelled students will participate in an expulsion program in partnership with the WRDSB.
For further information on the Progressive Discipline and School Safety Act you can connect to the Ministry of Education website (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/safeschools.html) or learn more at http://www.wcdsb.ca/info/safe/safe_schools.html regarding our board programs.
For the safety of all students, parents/guardians are prohibited from stopping their vehicle in the school parking lot and between the “NO STOPPING” signs on both sides of Gracefield Crescent. When dropping off or picking up your child(ren) before school, during the lunch hour, or after school, please stop your car past the “NO STOPPING” signs on Gracefield Crescent. This municipal bylaw must be adhered to at all times during the day. City Bylaw officers regularly patrol the area and issue $80 tickets. Students are asked to enter the school yard from Gracefield Crescent along the sidewalk by the JK/SK enclosure. Students are not to be in the parking lot area.
There are two handicapped parking spots in the school parking lot for those individuals with proper identification.
Gracefield Crescent is a “school zone”. Students may sometimes run on to the street unexpectedly; therefore, extra caution (e.g., driving at a reduced speed and a heightened awareness of the presence of young children) must be exercised by all people who are driving a vehicle. To reduce the amount do exhaust gasses emitted, please refrain from idling your vehicle when picking up your children.
Visitors and Volunteers:
All visitors and volunteers must sign in at the main office upon arrival at school.