Student Agenda

Students holding signs

Student Agenda

Welcome to St. Christopher Catholic School! 

The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint you with the routines and programs at St. Christopher Catholic School.  This handbook will be used for reference during the school year. 

We, the staff, are excited about the opportunities this year to equip our pupils with the expectations of the Ontario Curriculum.

With the support of you, as parents, our highly competent staff and the St. Christopher community, we look forward to a rewarding year.      

Sincerely,

Carolyn Bartlett, Principal  and Michael Neubauer, Vice-Principal

Address 

431 Annapolis Avenue,
Oshawa, Ontario L1J 2Y5
Phone (905) 725-7672
Fax (905) 725-3361
Email: stchristopher.dcdsb.ca
Twitter: @St_Chris_dcdsb

Please take some time to review the contents of our student agenda listed below with your child. Thank you.

Durham Catholic District School Board's Mission
We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.
St. Christopher - Patron Saint of Motorists/Travelers 

There are many legends concerning St. Christopher often confusing and contradictory.  One of the most popular legends holds that St. Christopher was a giant who helped people across a raging stream.  It is believed that he carried the Christ Child across this same stream hence, his name Christopher, Christ-bearer.  He is the patron of travelers, and is invoked against storms, plagues, etc.  He died a martyr during the reign of Decius in the 3rd century.  The Feast Day for St. Christopher is July 25th.

School Prayer

God our Father keep us safe at St. Christopher Catholic School.  Help us to use our special gifts to grow in knowledge and to make our school a place where peace, love, caring and friendship can be seen and felt in all our words and actions so that we can be faithful followers of Jesus and good examples to others.  Amen.

 
Religion and Family Life Program 

The distinctiveness of a Catholic education is especially evident in two closely connected programs:  Religion and Family Life. 

 

 Born of the Spirit/Believe in Me/Stand by Me
These religion programs are developed and approved by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and builds on the essential faith education that families provide. The program is an initiation into a lifetime of growing in faith.
 Fully Alive
Fully Alive is the Family Life program that is taught from Grade 1-8.  Fully Alive is organized into five major themes: Created and Loved by God, we are created in the image of God and loved as special creations;  Living in Relationship, the bonds of family and friendship are central to our identity and development; Created Sexual Male and Female, the gift of sexuality is intended for love and life and is an integral part of our identity and development; Growing in Commitment, we are called to be faithful and fully human in our promises, choices and decisions; Living in the World, we are members of human society and have a responsibility to care for each other and our World. 

  

 Our Parish - St. Mary of the People
Our school's parish is:

St. Mary of the People Parish
570 Marion Avenue
Oshawa, ON L1J 3B9
Tel: (905) 728-2212 
Fax: (905) 728-2242 
Email: stmaryofthepeople@rogers.com     

    

 Masses

Parish masses are held on the following dates: 

Saturday: 5:00 p.m.

Sunday:   9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

 Letter from Priest
Dear Students, Parents and Staff,

Welcome back after a restful and enriching summer!  The new school year that lies before us holds out potential and possibilities for so much growth, change and development in our lives.  Instead of just continuing where we had left off, we now have the opportunity for a new beginning.  Things are not just going to be different…they are going to be even better. 

Our education never stops.  Each person we meet, each and every opportunity and challenge that comes our way, offers us an insightful way of looking at things.  Our relationships and experiences are constantly changing us: enriching us, making us improved versions of our former selves. 

Our friendship with God is key.  He journeys with us every day.  He is constantly calling us to fuller growth, greater knowledge of self and others and deeper love.  He believes that there is nothing so wonderful that he will not give it to us.  St. Paul says: “Is it possible that he who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for the sake of us all, will not give us all things besides? (Romans 8:32).  We can always count on him for his never-ending help. 

The faith that is being nurtured in our hearts through our separate school education is the compass that God is giving us to navigate our way into a future in which loving service, in imitation of Jesus, sets us apart from others.  Guided by the Holy Spirit, let us use the weeks and months of this new school year to grow in knowledge, wisdom, age and grace, so that we might become leaders before God and all his people.

Sincerely, 

David Bollo (Rev.)
Parish Priest

 

 Spiritual Development

 

 Growing in Faith
 

The Staff of St. Christopher Catholic School facilitate the child’s spiritual development in partnership with the family and the church.  At all times every effort is made to integrate the Religion and Family Life programs, and the sacraments within the total curriculum. Integral to the students’ growth in faith are the celebration of school masses, special liturgies and the preparation for reception of the sacraments.

In addition, we support community charities with a variety of activities including: ShareLife, Christmas Stars & Angels and food drives.

 Preparation and Reception of Sacraments
 

It is the responsibility of parents, assisted by catechists and by our parish priest, to assess their child’s readiness for the Sacraments. 

Since parents are the primary educators of their children, their responsibility is to nourish faith growth within the family context.  The local parish, members of the home and school become partners in the faith journey of our students.  

Consequently, it is essential that all sacramental celebrations be centred within the parish community.  Children in grades Two and Seven will need to show proof of Baptism in the Catholic Church, prior to receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation.

 

 2019-2020 School Year Calendar
 The school will be closed on the following holidays and professional activity (PA) days:

 

  • August 29 - P.A. Day
  • September 2 - Labour Day
  • October 14 - Thanksgiving
  • October 11 - P.A. Day
  • November 15 - P. A. Day
  • Dec. 23 – Jan. 3 - Christmas Break
  • January 17 - P.A. Day
  • February 17 - Family Day
  • March 13 – 20 - March Break
  • April 3 - P.A. Day
  • April 10 - Good Friday
  • April 13 - Easter Monday
  • May 18 - Victoria Day
  • June 5 - P.A. Day
  • June 26 - P.A. Day
 Reporting Schedule
 

NOVEMBER
Kindergarten: Communication of Learning: Initial Observations, Parent/Teacher Conference
Grades 1-8: Progress Report and Parent/Teacher Conferences

FEBRUARY
Kindergarten: Communication of Learning
Grade 1-8:  Report Cards
Parent/Teacher conferences when requested by parent or teacher                                       

JUNE
Kindergarten: Communication of Learning
Grade 1 - 8: Report Cards
Parent/Teacher conferences when requested by parent or teacher

 School Procedures
 

Our school hours are as follow: 

8:50 a.m. - Supervision Begins

9:05 a.m. - Entrance Bell

10:30 a.m.  - Morning Recess

11:50 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.  -Lunch Hour    

2:15 p.m.  - Afternoon Recess

3:35 p.m.  - Dismissal                                          


Entry/Exit Procedures
 

All bus students and walkers are required to enter and leave the property through the paved walkway at the extreme north and west side of the school property or from Fernhill Blvd. 

If you are driving your child to school, please ensure that your child walks through the school yard to their designated play area.  Children and parents are not to be using the front door to gain access to the playground. 

Following our Access to Premise policy, parents are asked not to be on the school yard at any time during the school day as well as during school arrival and departure times. 

When you feel your child is responsible enough to walk to school, make sure he/she knows to:

  •   always walk with a friend, a group of friends, or another parent they know;
  •   be careful to look all ways before crossing the street;
  •   recognize safe strangers such as police, crossing guards, school bus driver. 

Please note that any changes in your child’s routine need to be reported to the office. 

Where a Safe Crossing Area is designated, all students are required to cross under the direction of the Crossing Guard.

 Inclement Weather
Any decision to withdraw school bus service or to close the school will be made by the Director of Education or designate.  When this occurs, radio bulletins will commence from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the local television and radio stations. If you require further information you may visit Durham Student Transportation website at www.dsts.on.ca, call 905-666-6940 or simply follow the school on Twitter: @St_Chris_dcdsb
 

In the event that weather and/or road conditions force the cancellation of transportation services in the morning, it must be understood that services will be considered cancelled for the day.  Parents who elect to transport their children to school in the morning are responsible for providing transportation home.        

 Allergies
 

We encourage parents to discuss any food allergies that their children may have with their child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year.  Please provide the school with any pertinent medical information and physician’s protocol for treatment which would assist us in your child’s health and safety.  Please encourage your child to eat only foods prepared and packed at home for school to avoid any potential allergic reaction.  

Classroom teachers will be in contact with those parents of children who need to restrict their own child from bringing certain foods due to particular students in the class who are extremely allergic to those foods.

 

 Nut Allergies

We ask that parents ensure that all lunches and snacks are checked for peanut content.  Please ensure that your child brings food that does not contain nuts.  Even the smallest traces of nuts or nut products, could be fatal to a child that has a nut allergy.  Several of the children in our school have severe allergies which can cause anaphylactic reaction. Treatment involves an immediate drug injection (i.e. an Epi Pen), and an emergency trip to the hospital.  The school staff have been alerted to these serious allergies and have been instructed in the administration of an Epi Pen. 

As repeated allergic reactions become more severe each time, we must do what we can to provide these children with a safe learning environment.  As we have at least one student, in each eating area, with this life-threatening allergy, we respectfully request that you not send snacks/lunch to school that contain peanuts, nuts, or nut oils.                                      

Scent Allergies 
Some students and staff are reporting sensitivities to various chemical-based or heavily scented products.  Scented products such as some hair sprays, perfumes and deodorants can trigger reactions such as respiratory distress and headaches.  Staff and visitors are asked to not use heavily scented products when visiting the school. We ask for everyone’s cooperation in our efforts to accommodate these health concerns.

Administration of Medication

 

The responsibility for the administration of medication for students is primarily that of the parents and/or guardians. 

There will be special cases and circumstances where a student must have medication during regular school hours.  The principal or school staff is authorized, if requested in writing on the appropriate Board form by the student’s parent or guardian, to administer medication. 

All prescribed medication to be administered at school must have the qualified medical doctor’s statement for documented use and the instructions clearly stated. The medication should be kept in original containers.

Lunch Hour

It is encouraged, when possible, that children who are within walking distance are able to go home for lunch. This provides a change of pace in their day and serves as a refresher for their afternoon program. We realize, however, that in some cases, it is necessary for students to remain at school.            

Students who must stay for lunch are expected to observe and follow the guidelines which have been established and clearly explained to them.

Children eat their lunch in designated classrooms from either 11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. or from 12:30 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. depending on what class they are in.  Students are expected to remain in the playground area (weather permitting) when outside for lunch recess.  No child staying for lunch can leave the school yard unless accompanied by a parent/guardian and is signed out at the office.

 
School Information 

We are a PLATINUM Certified Eco-School!  As such, all school information that was previously sent home via monthly newsletters and calendars will be exclusively available through our school website: http://www.christopher.dcdsb.ca or will be emailed directly to parents/guardians. Visit the website to subscribe to the monthly calendars and various news items. 

It is essential that the school has the most current and valid email address for every family as the school will often use email to communicate with families rather than sending home notices on paper. Also, for the most up to date information, families are encouraged to follow the school on Twitter: @St_Chris_dcdsb 

 
 School Cash Online

SchoolCashOnline is the preferred method of submitting payments to the school, including paying for this agenda.  Please register online at the following link: http://durhamcatholic.schoolcashonline.com 

You will need your child’s OEN number which can be found on his/her report card.

 
School Bus Safety

As outlined in the DCDSB Transportation Policy and Procedures, bus privileges may be removed by the Principal, if student behavior warrants.  Each student shall:

  • show courtesy and respect to drivers and passengers;
  • remain seated when bus is moving;
  • remain seated in an emergency and follow adult directions;
  • refrain from eating, drinking, or littering;
  • refrain from distracting the driver;
  • assume cost of malicious damage;
  • keep aisles clear;
  • keep belongings on the lap (no bulky or sharp items carried);
  • remain quiet at railway crossings;
  • be responsible to the Principal for his/her conduct while traveling on a school bus.
Homework

Research supports that homework done and evaluated, reinforces what has already been taught in class, helps students develop self-discipline, responsibility, organizational skills, and improves achievement.  Parents are the key to making homework a positive experience for their children. If you notice your child is having difficulty with assigned work, please share this as soon as possible with the teacher.  Homework does not need to be written work.  Time spent reading with your child, or discussing what was learned in class, is invaluable. 

All students from Grades 1-8 will use their personal agenda again this year.  Each night, homework, reminders, upcoming test dates, or special communications will be written down, either by the students or an assistant.  A plastic pouch at the front will carry important notices (e.g., excursion notes to be signed).  Timelines for projects, book reports, presentations, etc. will be recorded in the agenda.  Your child’s classroom teacher will require you to sign this agenda nightly indicating that you have seen the agenda and have ensured that the work was done.            

Catholic School Advisory Council

Working as partners, members of the council include: parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, clergy, community representative, vice-principal and principal.  They meet regularly to support school/parent activities that enhance student learning and build home/school/parish ties.  The more parents are involved in our school, the greater the benefit to our students.  Please refer to our school website to keep informed and to get involved.

 
Program Support 

The staff of St. Christopher Catholic School believe that each student is an individual with unique strengths and needs.  Our Board policy of inclusion means that students with special needs participate in age appropriate placement and activities.  The program support staff work collaboratively with the Principal, classroom teachers and parents in planning for individuals or small groups in an inclusive manner.  If a teacher or parent has a concern about a student, a school team meeting may be called to include the Principal, parent, classroom teacher, the program support teacher, and support personnel. 

Parent Volunteers

Parent volunteers are always welcome at St. Christopher School.  They provide assistance in classrooms, in preparing materials, in the Learning Commons, and on excursions.  

If you are interested in volunteering, please speak to the Principal or to a member of your Catholic School Council. 

Please note a Police Background Check is mandatory for all volunteers.

Nutrition Guideline

St. Christopher Catholic School recognizes that food served in school should reinforce healthy nutritional practices emphasized in the Ontario Curriculum and in educational programs. The Durham Catholic District School Board provides an administrative procedure to assist principals, teachers, students, volunteers, and parent groups to make informed decisions regarding the selection of nutritious foods.  It is available at http://www.dcdsb.ca under policies & administrative procedures.

The school administrator and/or designate(s) shall endeavour to provide the support and resources necessary for the implementation of this guideline. The school community supports staff and parents in providing an environment in which students are encouraged to avail themselves of healthy food choices on a regular basis.

Dress Code

Appropriate dress defines the standard of student dress that meets the school community’s expectation of modesty, decency, neatness and promotes a safe and respectful learning environment.
 

Students are expected to attend to personal grooming and cleanliness. Safety in dress should also be kept in mind.  This means wearing a hat, putting on sun screen and covering up when outside.  Our children are out in the yard during the day when the intensity of the sun’s rays is highest from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

During the winter, students will be outside according to acceptable temperature norms and should dress appropriately (hats, mitts, boots).  

Students are expected to:

  • Dress appropriately for the school environment which includes function and safety. Clothing should be
        comfortable to allow students to focus on learning. Clothing that is ripped, worn too low, too short, too
        long, too large or too tight/loose is not permitted;
  • Wear appropriate attire that demonstrates modesty and respect for self and others;
  • Wear shorts, skirts and dresses that are appropriate in length. Shorts should have an inseam of at least 5
        cm;
  • Wear tops, shirts and dresses that cover the shoulders, chest area and midriff, even when arms are raised
        overhead (no spaghetti straps, low cut tops, big arm jerseys and undergarments must be covered at all
        times);
  • Wear tops and shirts that do not have objectionable logos/messages/images;
  • Have a separate pair of non-marking running shoes for physical education class, which can be used as indoor
        shoes during class time. Flip flops should never be worn at school;
  • Refrain from wearing head covering such as baseball caps, kerchiefs, etc. inside the school.

 

All dress code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect. Students who dress inappropriately will be asked to change their clothing.  Parents will be notified. Teachers will review this section of the agenda at the beginning of the school year with students so that this policy is clearly understood.
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 welcome to visit the school to discuss any concerns 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 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.

Attendance Matters - Make Every Day Count

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 one are much less likely to read at grade level by the
        end of grade three.
  • By grade six, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. 
  • By grade nine, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than grade eight 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 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. 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
 Code of Conduct
 Click here to read the Code of Conduct.

 

 

 

 

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