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St. Ambrose Catholic Elementary School

"Igniting the Spirit"

 

181 Louise St., Stratford, Ontario N5A 2E6 Phone: (519) 271-7544     Fax: (519) 271-1867


 Welcome to St. Ambrose Catholic School! 

Our school motto "Igniting the Spirit" originates from our team name the Flames. Like the apostles who were filled with the Holy Spirit during Pentecost, our students will feel the spirit of Christ in the prayer, studies, games and most importantly, the personal relationships they experience in this Catholic school. The symbol of the dove depicts our pursuit of peace in relationships. Our staff is proud to provide a faith-filled learning experience that is well balanced with opportunities to enrich the mind, body and soul. Please use this handbook to assist your child(ren) in their daily studies. Information about the rules and routines of the school and a calendar of school events are included here. We ask that parents take time to review the rules and expectations of the school and to sign the last page of the inform​ation section. The most significant support we can give our children is to co-operate in their learning about the responsibilities that lead to successful lives as Christian adults. Please call your child's teacher if you have a question or concern. The spirit of respectful communication is the most important modeling we can provide to our children. We hope to have a chance to meet with each of you many times the year!

 

With Respect,

 

St. Ambrose Staff

 

SCHOOL HOURS

8:35-9:00~ Students assemble in yard (supervised entry)

9:00-10:20~Instructional Time

10:20-10:35~Recess

10:35-11:55~Instructional Time

11:55-12:10~Lunch

12:10-12:50~Lunch Recess

12:50-2:10~Instructional Time

2:10-2:25 ~Recess

2:25-3:25~Instructional Time

3:25~Dismissal

 

PARISH STAFF

Pastor:  Father D. Bester

 (519) 271-6722

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Mon. September 4th     Labour Day

Tues. September 5th     First Day of Class

Fri. September 29th     PD Day

Mon. October 9th         Thanksgiving Holiday

Fri. November 3rd        PD Day

Fri. December 1st         PD Day

Dec. 26th  to  Jan. 8th     Christmas Holidays

Fri. February 2nd            PD Day

Mon. February 19th       Family Day

Mar. 12th to Mar. 16th    March Break

Fri.  Mar. 30th                Good Friday

Mon. April 2nd              Easter Monday

Fri. Apr. 27th                   P.D Day

Mon. May 21st             Victoria Day Holiday

Fri. June 8th                   PD Day

Thurs. June 28th           Last Day of Classes

Fri. June 29th                PD Day

 

 SAFE ARRIVAL

It is a parent/guardian responsibility to ensure the safe arrival of their children. Please do not send your children before 8:35 am. Our yard supervision begins at 8:35 am. At 9 a.m. each morning, 

the classroom teacher records student absence. If for any reason, your child is going to be late/absent, please call the school before 9:00 and leave a message in the attendance message recorder. 

If a child arrives late, he/she must report to the office before heading to the classroom. We have a Safe Arrival Policy at St. Ambrose. Unexplained absences are responded to by a telephone call to 

the parent/guardian (please be sure that we have accurate information regarding home, employment and cell phone numbers). Our answering machine is in operation each night so messages may

be left concerning absences or lateness.

​SAFE DISMISSAL

Dismissal is at 3:25 p.m.  Bussed students will depart first followed by the walkers.  For younger students please be sure there is an adult to meet them every day at the bus stop. For walkers, kindly inform the office who will be meeting your child if they are walking home with an adult. Children walking home must go directly home. 

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

​Do not send your child to school if they are feeling ill.  Students showing any of the following symptoms should be kept comfortable and resting at home; Earache, vomitting, diarrhea, fever, severe cough, runny nose, etc.  

ACCIDENTS

In all cases of serious accident, the parents/ guardians will be notified immediately. 

ALLERGIES/MEDICAL NEEDS

Our school is a "peanut sensitive school." Please let us know if your son/daughter has an allergy (e.g., peanuts, bees, citrus fruit, etc) or medical need. We keep up-to-date, detailed records on hand for all staff. Your co-operation in this area is most appreciated. 

MEDICATION

The school will administer prescription medication  providing all requirements of the Board policy are met. Medication must be in the original  container  supplied  by  the  pharmacist, and written authorization from the parent/guardian and physician must be on file at the school (forms are available through the office). All prescription medication will be kept locked up when on site. At no time are school personnel allowed to distribute non-prescription drugs (e.g., Tylenol, Aspirin, etc)​. 

INCLEMENT WEATHER

The closing of the school due to inclement weather conditions is determined by the Board of Education. Generally speaking, our  buses may be cancelled but St. Ambrose remains open to those staff and students who can get to and from school safely. For those students who come on one of our First Student buses, please check for​ cancellations on our Board's website: http://www.ourschoolbuses.ca/delaysandcancellations.htm.  A message is posted to this web address after receiving the information from First Student, our bus carrier. Please be sure to check your email as well as an email blast will be sent.

 

DELIVERIES/DROP OFFS

We ask that labeled lunches, book bags, clothing etc., be brought into the office for delivery to the students. This really helps to minimize interruptions in the classrooms and to maximize the learning time. We really appre- ciate your co-operation. 

HOT LUNCH PROGRAM & ANY OTHER PAYABLE ITEMS (excursions, etc.)

 All parents must register. If you do not have the technology to do so, please drop by the school and use one of the library computers to register your child. All orders must be submitted on-line. There will be no more paper copies and payment must be made using the SchoolCashOnline ordering system.

Log in to https://huronperthcdsb.schoolcashonline.com and select the "GET STARTED TODAY" Option. 

 

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

Parents/guardians are asked to contact the school if your child has a communicable disease (e.g., head lice, pink eye, measles, and chicken pox). This will assist us in taking prompt action to control the spread. 

MASSES/LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS

Our goal is to build a community through the celebration of our faith. Liturgical worship is an essential element in our Catholic Schools. We observe regular school masses and liturgies. The students help to plan these  masses.  As well, students in grade 2 receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Grade 7 students receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. You will receive our Liturgical Calendar in September.

 

PARENTS/GUARDIANS/VISITORS

Visitors to St. Ambrose are welcome! Note that the safety and well being of your child(ren) are of foremost importance to us. As a result, we ask that all visitors report to the office upon arrival. You will be asked to sign in, indicate the purpose of your visit and wear a School Visitor Badge.

 

HOMEWORK

All students from grades 1 to 8 should anticipate having homework on a regular basis. The purpose of homework is to reinforce and enrich concepts taught in class and to complete unfinished assignments. The classroom teacher assigns homework to thei​r students as they see fit.   A general rule of thumb for assigning  homework  is 10 minutes per grade level  (e.g., grade  three  -  thirty  minutes).  These times may vary.

 

-Children in elementary school are at a period when lots of energy is expended in physical development, and consequently they must have time for rest and relaxation.

-The school wants children to have sufficient time for sleep, play or the time to participate in home activities.  Homework takes the form of practice from the day's lessons. It is a reasonable expectation that as children grow in age and grade, the length of time spent on homework will increase, but should take no more than one hour at the elementary level. New material will not be introduced as homework.  Projects that are assigned at school, will be completed and evaluated at school.  There may be times when research or parts of a larger task must be completed at home, but this should be a rare occurrence.


 

-We ask that parents check the Student Planners daily and encourage their child(ren) to complete all homework assignments to the best of their ability in a quiet area where the student can concentrate on the task.

Some successful strategies for success with homework include:

-Agree on a regular time

-Have a regular place without distraction

-Turn off the TV and radio

-Talk about homework

-Review student planners on a daily basis

-Parents are asked to sign the planners nightly after viewing the completed homework.

Children should also be encouraged to read for enjoyment on a daily basis at home. Your interest and positive support will give your child the message that their schoolwork is important and coming to school prepared for the next day shows responsibility and ownership in one's learning.

 

TEXTBOOKS & LIBRARY BOOKS

It is the shared responsibility of the teacher, pupil and parents/guardians to see that textbooks and school materials are treated with respect and care to maximize lifespan. The teacher numbers and tracks the texts that are assigned to each student. Teachers will instruct pupils not to write in or deface the text in any manner. Parents/guardians are asked to reinforce this with their children. Replacement of lost and damaged texts and/or library books will be the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian.

 

INTERNET USE

Internet access through our school network is a privilege and will be granted only to students who follow our guidelines. At no time are students permitted to transmit unacceptable  material,      use offensive language, download or display inappropriate material, or provide personal information about themselves or others  through the internet. 

 

FIELD TRIPS

Throughout the year, classes plan excursions outside the school environment to extend and enrich units of study. The Ontario Curriculum encourages and supports this practice. Educational research shows learning is more meaningful when reinforced by a variety of experiences. Teachers review community programs and select ones that offer an excellent learning experience at a reasonable cost. Students/parents/Guardians shall be advised of the trip's objectives and made aware of the expectations prior to  leaving  the  school. For safety reasons, it is understood that the Principal may refuse participation in a field trip because of a student's prior or anticipated risk. In such a case, the Principal will notify the student's parent/ guardian of the decision. In the event of serious student misconduct during a field trip, the teacher in charge shall have the authority to contact the parent/guardian who will be responsible for picking up their son/daughter at the field trip site.

 

REPORTING STUDENT PROGRESS

We will be using the Provincial format for reporting. Initial progress will be reported in the Fall using the Elementary Progress Report Card. Following this, all achievement will be reported using the Elementary Provincial Report Card. Please note that the classroom teacher can be contacted at any time. Direct contact with the appropriate staff member is the proper approach. Teachers want to hear your ideas, concerns and answer your questions. They can only provide you proper attention when they are aware of any needs, suggestions or concerns regarding our students. Should you need to discuss matters of a short duration, the best time to do that is at the end of the school day. If you wish to visit your child's classroom, for any reason, please schedule a time to do so with the teacher.  REMINDER: Checking into the main office is required before going into any classroom.

 

ASSISTING YOUR CHILD

The following suggestions are made to encourage you to help your child (ren) do their school work.

  • Communicate with us if you know something is bothering your child
  • Encourage your child to seek out their teacher if difficulties are met
  • Insist on punctuality and regular attendance
  • Encourage the formation of good study habits
  • Attend school functions whenever possible to learn about our school program
  • Encourage stick-to-it-ness in your children 
  • Encourage the development of a co-operative spirit in the classroom
  • Read, talk, sing, and laugh with your child!
  • Insist your child helps with chores at home

     

STUDENT SUPERVISION

No student will be left unsupervised in any room. All students need to go outside for the recess break. During recess periods, house league activities are designed to foster co-operation and co-ordination skills.

 

RECESS

Students are asked to go to the washroom prior to leaving the building for recess. Re-entry is discouraged. If a student needed to use the washroom they must ask the monitor for a hall clip. For safety and environmental reasons, eating outside is not permitted. When the bell rings, students are asked to come inside  promptly, holding on to all play apparatus.   Students must play in their grade designated zone.  Classroom teachers meet their students at designated entrance points. Our school is a: NO CONTACT ZONE Remember – recess is a time to have fun outside! BE SAFE

 

DRESS CODE

Students are expected to dress in a manner appropriate for our Catholic school. Clothing should be neat, comfortable and modest. Clothing should allow the student to participate safely in the full range of activities during a typical school day. In warm weather, clothing should protect the child from harmful ultraviolet radiation. On special occasions (e.g., sacraments and school celebrations) students are encouraged to dress in fitting attire.

Some examples of unacceptable clothing are:

  • articles   of   clothing   sporting   offensive logos, sayings and pictures
  • revealing clothing (e.g., halter tops, short shorts, string straps)
  • bare midriffs
  • visible undergarments
  • oversized trousers

    *SHOES MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES AT SCHOOL

 

PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT SAFETY

We ask that students use the playground equipment in the way that it was designed to be used. Sit while sliding,  feet  first;  no walking up the slide; no playing on the top of the slide; before sliding, be sure that the landing area is clear; respect the rights and space of others playing on the equipment; avoid unsafe behaviour (pushing, running, perching) while on the equipment; do not throw stones, sticks or other objects; leave the gravel on the ground. Do not hang upside down on any school equipment. Reminders: Long scarves and clothing with drawstrings must not be worn on the play equipment. The playground equipment is inspected regularly. Damaged equipment should be reported to the yard supervisor or principal immediately. Equipment may be off limits in rainy, snowy or icy weather. Students who ignore safe practices on the play equipment will lose the privilege to use.

 

BICYCLES/ROLLER BLADES/SKATEBOARDS

Encourage your child to ride his/her bike safely when traveling to and from school. Although we offer supervision in the schoolyard at specific times during the day, we cannot ensure the safety of the bicycles while they are parked. Helmets must be worn for all students riding a bike. We strongly recommend a bicycle lock and chain to secure the bike. For the safety of all, roller blades, bikes, scooters and skateboards are not to be ridden on school premises. During the instructional day, we cannot ensure the safety of the bicycles while they are parked. Helmets must be worn for all students riding a bike. We strongly recommend a bicycle lock and chain to secure the bike. For the safety of all, roller blades, bikes, scooters and skateboards are not to be ridden on school premises.

 

CATHOLIC SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL

The Catholic School Advisory Council (formerly the Parent Council) is a vital part of our school family. Members assist with home/school communication. One of the primary goals of  this council  is  to  support school improvement. They work with the staff to make your child's experience at school a very positive one. Fundraising through hot lunch and a variety of drives results in resources that benefit our children. In addition, involvement in CSAC can provide opportunities for networking, socialization and good citizenship. Everyone welcome!

 

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are always needed for school activities and fundraising events (i.e. Hot Lunches). New volunteers will require a Police Background Check which includes a Vulnerable Sector Screening. Please contact the office  if you are interested in volunteering in our school. Many hands make light work!

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

Work done by students are regularly displayed in the school, local buildings, Board Office, etc. As well, school staff,   parents   and   community media personnel, using both still, digital and video cameras periodically take pictures. Please notify the principal if you do not wish your child to be photographed or identified in these types of displays.

 

Our Code of Conduct

"This is what Yahweh asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God."Micah 6

Purposes of the Code

St. Ambrose Catholic Elementary School is committed to working with families,  parishes, and community partners in maintaining safe and orderly Christ-centered  learning  environments. We believe that safe schools are a prerequisite for student achievement and that students should feel safe and be safe in school and on school grounds.

St. Ambrose School promotes a positive school climate where all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and appropriate interactions among all members of  the  school  community.    A  whole-school approach, which involves all members of the home-school-parish community, is necessary to ensure that schools are safe, inclusive, and accepting. Building and sustaining a positive school climate is a complex challenge requiring evidence-informed solutions. We embrace the diversity of our school which includes, but is not limited to: (staff or) pupil of any race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, physical and intellectual ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status. With this right to be safe and feel safe comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate and:

    • to ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are treated with dignity and respect
    • to promote responsible citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community
    • to maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility.
    • to encourage the use of non-violent means to resolve conflict
    • to promote the safety of people in the schools
    • to discourage the use of alcohol and illegal drugs
    • to prevent bullying in schools

       

      Promoting and Supporting Positive Student Behaviour

      St. Ambrose Catholic Elementary School realizes the non-negotiable need to provide a safe, caring and inclusive school environment. A faith-filled positive school climate will ensure that the dignity of every person in the school community is being honoured and respected. Maximizing students' learning potential and ensuring a positive school climate for ALL members of the school community can only occur through the implementation of proactive, positive practices, program modifications or accommodations. They may include, but are not limited to:
    • class placement
    • positive encouragement and reinforcement
    • support from various community agencies

      i.e. Perth District Health Unit, Huron Perth Centre, Big Brothers-Big Sisters


 

    • conflict resolution
    • student leadership programs
    • school-based team and/or club involvement
    • bullying prevention programs
    • student success strategies
    • school, Board and community support programs
    • Safe and Healthy School Committee

       

      Roles and Responsibilities (as found in Provincial Code of Conduct PPM No. 128, Dec 2012)

       

Principals, under the direction of their school boards, take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by: 

  • Demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe, inclusive, and accepting teaching and learning environment;
  • Holding everyone under their authority accountable for his or her behaviour and actions;
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their schools and community;
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.

 

Teachers and Other School Staff, under the leadership of their principals, teachers and other school staff maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour. As role models, teachers and other school staff uphold these high standards when they:

    • Helps students work to their full poten- tial and develop their sense of self- worth;
    • Empowers students to be positive leaders in their classrooms, school and community;
    • Communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
    • Maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students; 
    • Demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers and other members of the school community;
    • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.

 

Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour. Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student: 

  • comes to school prepared, on time and ready to learn;
  • shows respect for himself/herself, for others and for those in authority;
  • refrains from bringing anything to school that may put the safety of others at risk;
  • follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his/her own actions;
  • Uses technology according to the expectations and rules of the Board (3B:5), specifically the electronic transmission or posting of photographic images of a person or persons on school property, at school events, and during school activities and/or hours is prohibited;
  • Uses communication technology according to the expectations and rules of the Board (3D:7), specifically deliberate behaviour by an individual or a group that is intended to harm others or has a negative impact on the school climate.

 

Parents play an important role in the education of their children and can support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Parents fulfill this responsibility when they:

  • show an active interest in their child's school work and progress;
  • communicate regularly with the school;
  • make sure their child is neat, properly dressed and prepared for school;
  • ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
  • inform the school promptly about their child's absence or late arrival; 
  • become familiar with the provincial code of conduct, the board's code of conduct and school rules;
  • encourage and help their child follow the rules of be
  • haviour

ion of Progressive Discipline (adapted From Board Police 3D:10)
 

Progressive Discipline is a whole-school approach that utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports, and consequences to address inappropriate student behaviour and to build upon strategies that promote positive behaviours. In everything we do in our school, we are led by our Faith and a conscious effort to model the Beatitudes while responding as a caring Catholic community. It includes a response to misbehaviour which shifts the focus from punitive to corrective and supportive. It also includes a range of responses that include learning opportunities for reinforcing positive behaviour while helping students make good choices in the future.

Range of Responses

The components of an in-school progressive dis- cipline continuum include but are not limited to:

  • verbal or non-verbal messages from teacher or adult in authority
  • re-location within the classroom or learning environment
  • private consultation with student, to cause student to reflect (orally or in writing), to develop alternative behaviours and to reprimand if necessary
  • collaboration with parent or guard
  • ian
  • detention or loss of privileges
  • collaboration with other school personnel (for instance, principal, special education resource teacher)
  • referral to other school personnel
  • peer mediation
  • restitution, restorative justice, or community service
  • suspension (principal shall consider mitigating circumstances as per Board Policy 3D:1)
  • expulsion (principal shall consider mitigating circumstances as per Board Policy 3D:1)

Student & Parent Agreement

Student: I have read the information and rules in the student planner and I agree to follow the rules. I understand it is my responsibility as a student to follow the direction of my teacher, principal and all staff at St. Ambrose.

 

Signed:                                                 

 

Parent: My child and I have reviewed this information and agree that these guidelines will be followed during the coming school year.

 

Signed:                                                           Parent email address:

#1                                                                         

 

#2                                                                        

 

On an annual basis, the principal will review the School Code of Conduct with the School Advisory Council members and with all staff members. Annually, the Code of Conduct will be communicated to all students, parents and staff. All staff, in dealing with incidents of student misbehavior, will act in accordance with the definition of progressive discipline and its range of responses. As a staff, we believe that home and school must share the responsibility for teaching our young adults appropriate behaviour.