Student Agenda

 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 welcomed 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 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 stuff. Please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office, obtain a Visitor's badge and inform the office of the purpose of the visit. 

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 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 help your child pack his/her backpack the night before.
  • Don't let your child stay home unless they are 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 in 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 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 a back-up plan 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.
  • Contact the school if you are planning on taking your child our of school for more than five days as some absences require the permission of the school principal.

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 to report a student absence. Safe Arrival makes it easy for you to report your child's absence, it allows staff to quickly verify student attendance which in turn allows 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 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 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 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 through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations; and
  • 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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