Student Agenda

St. Monica Catholic School mascot and logo painted on gym mats in the school gym.

Welcome to St. Monica Catholic School

On behalf of the staff, I extend a warm welcome to everyone attending St. Monica Catholic School. We are looking forward to working together with you as we begin to build our community of faith. At St. Monica Catholic School, we will make every effort to provide an atmosphere of respect and co-operation which is built on our belief that Jesus and His teachings are central to the life in our school.

Parents, our community partners and our school parish are welcome partners as we work towards this goal. We will share liturgies, community prayer, and rededicate ourselves to the service of others. We encourage each member of our community to accept, nurture and celebrate individual uniqueness and collective diversity. Please take time to become familiar with the information contained in this handbook. A mutual understanding of our school routines and a clear definition of our expectations will form the basis of a positive relationship between home and school. We hope that you find this a useful tool. Best wishes for a successful school year.

Sincerely,

L. Wardle,
Principal

 

Student agenda

Parents are encouraged to review the student agenda with their child. Please see the items listed below.

Board's Mission Statement
The Durham Catholic District School Board's mission is:
We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student, as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.
 
Prayer to St. Monica 

St. Monica, Help our school to become a more loving community, To show friendship as Jesus did. Help us to live the way of the Lord. To understand the power of God, and to be kind to others in a peaceful way. Pray that those who are challenged receive courage and strength, And others the insight to recognize that challenge. St. Monica, we ask for your prayers for our families, Our friends, our homes, our school and our staff and our school. Amen.

Prière à Sainte Monica Chère Sainte Monica, Aidez notre école à devenir une communauté Remplie d'amour et à montrer L'amitié comme notre Seigneur Jésus l'a fait. Aidez-nous à vivre l'enseignement de Jésus, À comprendre la puissance de Dieu Et à être gentils vers les autres Dans une façon paisible. Priez que ceux qui sont défiés de faire Comme les autres qu'ils reçoivent le courage Et la force, et que les autres reçoivent L'aperçu de reconnaitre ce défi. Sainte Monica, nous vous demandons Vos prières pour nos familles, nos amis, Nos foyers, notre école et pour nos professeurs. Sainte Monica, priez pour nous. Amen.

School's Hours

Our school hours are as follows:

  • 8:00 a.m. - Office opens
  • 8:20 a.m. - Supervision begins at this time
  • 8:35 a.m. - Classes begin
  • 10:00 a.m. - Morning recess
  • 11:20-12:20 - Lunch hour
  • 1:45 p.m. - Afternoon recess
  • 3:05 p.m. - Dismissal
  • 4:00 p.m. - Office closes

Students who arrive late must report to the office and receive a late slip before they proceed to class.

2019-2020 School Year Calendar 

The school will be closed for the following holidays and professonial activity (PA) days:

  • October 11 - PA Day
  • October 14 - Thanksgiving Day
  • November 15 - PA Day
  • December 23, 2019  - January 3, 2020 - Christmas Holidays (Classes resume on January 6)
  • January 17 - PA Day
  • February 17 - Family Day
  • March 13 - March 20 - March Break (Classes resume on March 23)
  • April 3 - PA Day
  • April 10 - Good Friday
  • April 13 - Easter Monday
  • May 18 - Victoria Day
  • June 5 - PA Day
  • June 26 - PA Day
Allergies

St. Monica “Nut Aware” Allergy Policy

In order to help protect our students at risk for anaphylaxis, St. Monica has implemented a “Nut Aware” policy, which states that no peanuts or nuts are permitted at the school. This applies to snacks, lunches and any food items brought in for school events (i.e. birthday, special celebrations). This policy also applies to products which have a “May contain peanuts/nut” warning on the label.

Only nut free products are allowed. There are other students in our school who are at risk for anaphylaxis who are allergic to other food items or allergens. We strive to help minimize the risk for all students in our school. As per the DCDSB policy, all anaphylactic students have an Individual Student Plan which must be completed by parents and sent to school by the end of the first week of the new school year.

Lunch Hour 
The students in Grades 1-8 go outside for recess from 11:20- 12:00. They return to their classrooms at 12:00 to eat their lunch. Students who normally stay at school for lunch are not allowed to leave the school grounds without giving their teacher written permission from their parent/guardian on each occasion. Absolutely no last minute arrangements are permitted 
Catholic School Council 

The purpose of the Council is to advise the Principal on matters set out by the Ministry of Education and the Durham Catholic District School Board. The St. Monica Catholic School Council is comprised of parent representatives, the principal, teaching and non-teaching staff, parish representative and community representative.

Elections are held in September and meetings are held throughout the school year. Meeting are advertised on our website. All parents and guardians are welcome to attend any Catholic School Council. 

 Bus Transportation

Many St. Monica Catholic School students take the bus to and from school. Only those students whose names appear on the Passenger Manifest Lists will be eligible for transportation. Students are not permitted to travel on a bus other than the one to which they have been assigned. Students must load and disembark the bus from only the assigned stop. Parents/caregivers are advised to have their children at the designated stop no more than 5 minutes prior to the estimated scheduled pickup time.

Parents/caregivers are responsible for their children’s behaviour at the bus stop. Some bus stops may be located on private property. In the event that the property or the residents are not respected, it may become necessary to relocate to a stop which may be further away from homes. Parents are encouraged to sign up for DSTS updates.

 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 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 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 our Code of Conduct.

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