Welcome to Dorothea Walker Elementary School! The purpose of this handbook is to provide students and parents with some general information concerning the organization and operation of our school. We hope that you will keep this book handy for the balance of the school year as a point of reference.
This handbook is updated yearly, and we welcome any feedback or suggestions from parents and students. We trust that you will enjoy your year at our school.
SCHOOL PHONE NUMBERS
Speech Pathologist 250-979-0029
School Board Office 250-860-8888
STUDENT SCHOOL FEES
Parents and students have the option of purchasing school supplies (pencils, pens, notebooks, etc.) directly from the school. Fees for these supplies should be sent at the start of the school year. All students are expected to pay a cultural fee which covers the cost of various performances at the school throughout the year. Student fees for the 2013-2014 school year have been set by School District 23 as follows:
Supplies Fees Total
$30.00 10.00 $40.00
We encourage you to register with School Cash Online to pay for school fees, field trips, etc. Please go to School Cash Online and register.
Alternately, you could pay by cheque (payable to Dorothea Walker Elementary School). We ask that you do not send cash to school. Thank you.
Student agendas will also be provided for all students. Thank you to our PAC for subsidizing this cost of this valuable planning and learning tool.
A Request for Administration of Medication form is required to allow the administration of medication at school. This form is picked up at the office and must be signed and approved by the physician before medication can be administered. PLEASE NOTE: non-prescription medication cannot be administered at school.
Students who require administration of medication due to allergic reactions must have a Medical Alert Planning Form completed and filed at the office. Parents must supply the appropriate medications to the school office school.
If you have any questions or require further clarification, please contact the office.
PEANUT AWARE ZONE
A reminder that we have a number of children in our school who are HIGHLY allergic to peanuts and/or peanut products. In the interest of their health and safety we would ask that you avoid sending to school foods containing peanuts. Thank you.
STUDENT ACCIDENT INSURANCE
Please note that School District No. 23 does not insure expenses for student injuries that happen on school ground or during school activities.
It is possible for parents/guardians to purchase private accident insurance voluntarily at a reasonable cost. Application forms for Student Accident Insurance will be sent home with students at the beginning of each school year. The insurance carrier is Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services.
Supervision is provided for students before school (8:15 - 8:30 AM), at lunch (11:00AM - 12:00PM), and after school (2:30 - 2:45 PM). Please note that, unless specifically arranged, there is no supervision before 8:15 or after 2:45.
COMPUTER LAB USE
The Computer Lab occasionally is open for students to use before school (8:15 - 8:30 AM), at lunch (11:00AM - 12:00PM), and after school (2:30 - 3:00 PM). Students using the lab during these times must follow the guidelines. Students who fail to comply with these regulations may have their lab privileges suspended.
Throughout the year, teachers and parents volunteer their time to run extra-curricular activities for the students of our school. We appreciate the efforts of our coaches, and the support shown by parents. Notification of these activities will be announced at school and/or included in our newsletters and on our website. NOTE: Students who sign up for extra-curricular activities are expected to attend practices regularly in order to represent Dorothea Walker Elementary at School District events.
Every elementary school in S.D. #23 presently provides a counsellor on staff on a part-time basis. The counsellor supports students who are experiencing emotional, social, or behavioural problems at school or at home which affect their learning and personal well-being. The counsellor is available for consultation with staff, administration and parents who wish to discuss concerns about students so that strategies for improvement can be implemented. Students can refer themselves to the counsellor or they can ask their teacher or parents to make a referral. Teachers may refer a student following discussions with parents and attempts at intervention at the teacher / student level. Parents may refer their children following consultation with the counsellor and/or teacher. The counsellor provides referral to community agencies if the student or family requires long-term counselling or therapy. The counsellor can offer information related to parenting issues, emotional and social growth issues, and any subjects which pertain to the healthy development of children.
Dorothea Walker Elementary School has developed a homework policy,
- to help foster academic achievement
- to assist students in developing routines of good work habits
- to assist students in developing a sense of responsibility that will benefit them in their future years of school.
Homework can be assignments that are,
- specifically assigned to be completed at home;
- work not completed during the regular classes;
- review of class work;
- studying for upcoming test;
- silent or shared reading.
It is recognized that some students may have more homework than others based on how much they are able to accomplish in class, how skilled they are at the task or how well they can concentrate during the completion of the homework.
The primary program document does indicate that there should be no formal homework assigned to students in the primary grades (grade K-3). Therefore primary home practice is at the discretion of the parents. The following are recommendations of the teachers at Dorothea Walker and are considered average amounts.
- Primary 10-15 minutes of shared reading, spelling or basic review at the parents’ discretion
- Grade 4-6 30 minutes
- Grade 7 45 minutes
Please note that if the homework load becomes frustrating a conference should be arranged with the classroom teacher to discuss possible solutions. Your assistance in helping us establish healthy homework habits is much appreciated and will be of great benefit to your son / daughter.
REPORTING TO PARENTS
The Ministry of Education mandates that parents and students receive five reports during the school year. In addition to three formal reports, parents and students are to be provided with two informal reports. By definition, these can be phone call interviews, informal interviews (at the parent or teacher request throughout the year as the need arises) or formal parent / teacher / student conferences.
VOLUNTEERS IN OUR SCHOOL
Individuals wishing to volunteer services to help students must contact their local school principal who is responsible for:
- Ensuring that all volunteers are advised that they will be required to submit to a criminal record check every five years;
- Ensuring that all volunteer drivers have completed a Driver’s Declaration Form,
- Providing for the safety of students in the care of volunteers;
- Monitoring the activities of the volunteers;
- Effecting the appropriate provisions of the collective agreements.
This policy is designed to provide both clarity of role and an additional safety check for those adults who work with our most precious resource. Additionally, as the Board is interested in expanding and strengthening the activities of volunteers in the schools, all criminal record checks will be conducted at Board expense and have to be completed every 5 years.
Please note that all parents assisting with school related activities must submit to a criminal record check prior to assisting. All forms must be filled out at the school and follow the strict policy set our by the district. It could take several weeks to have the criminal record check completed and if you match for fingerprints this process could take much longer. Start the process early to be sure that it will be completed prior to an important field trip event.
SHOES AND GYM STRIP
In an effort to preserve the finish on the gym floor and the cleanliness of our school, students are asked to bring a separate pair of runners for use within the school. These shoes will be used in the gym and throughout the school on days when outside footwear is wet or unsuitable (boots, etc.). These “inside shoes” should have non-scuff soles so that they don’t mark our floors. Students are also asked to bring a change of clothes (shorts/sweatpants and shirt) for use in their Physical Education classes. This set of clothes should be taken home regularly for cleaning.
Teachers may take their classes on co-curricular field trips throughout the year. It is our school’s policy to use School District No. 23 buses whenever possible, but in some cases teachers may choose to take students on public transit or arrange for parent drivers. Limited funds for buses are provided through our operating budget, and we are fortunate to be supplemented with funds provided from our Parent Advisory Council. Please note that the inability to pay cannot be a barrier to student participation. Please contact your child’s teacher if these circumstances exist.
In the event that parents are asked to drive, School District No. 23 policy requires that the vehicle carry a minimum of $2 million of third party insurance. Parents using their own vehicles to transport students are asked to report to the office prior to the field trip date where a form is to be completed. As part of this process, we must photocopy your driver’s license and insurance papers. Note : Students are not to be seated in the front seat in vehicles equipped with air bags. The drivers Declaration Form is to be completed each year or whenever your drivers license or insurance is altered. Legislation in BC states that all children under the age of 9 years and not yet reaching a height of 145 cm must seated in an approved booster seat.
LOSS/DAMAGE TO PERSONAL PROPERTY
Parents/Guardians are asked to note that the School District cannot assume responsibility for the loss of and/or damage to personal property which is brought onto the school property. In the event your child does bring personal property of value such as a musical instrument, to school on a regular basis you may wish to have the article/articles insured. Please consult your Homeowner Policy Insurance agent for further details.
There is no obligation to use a locker (which is school district property). If students choose to use a locker, they do so on certain conditions, including that the locker may only be used for school purposes, and that the locker is at all times subject to search by school officials. Locks must not be placed on lockers at any time.
Students wishing to stay at the school to eat lunch are welcome. Students are to eat politely and quietly. Repeated disruptive behaviour during this period will result in a loss of these privileges, and parents will be responsible for making alternate arrangements for their child.
HOT LUNCH PROGRAM
The Dorothea Walker Parent Advisory Council sponsors a voluntary Hot Lunch Program at our school. Parents prepay for meals which are delivered each Wednesday. A variety of healthy choices are available for students. Orders are placed online at dwepac.hotlunches.net. You will receive notices from the PAC with ordering details, payment options and deadlines. We thank the coordinators and the volunteers (in advance) for their hard work in ensuring the success of this program. Any profits from this activity are used by the PAC in support of school activities.
Students will be permitted to use the phone if circumstances are deemed important, and they have gained permission from their classroom teacher. Parents wishing to talk to their child / children may phone the school and leave a message, which will be delivered to the student as soon as possible.
STUDENT CELL PHONE POLICY
realize cell phones are a valuable tool for communication between
parents and their children; however, please note Dorothea Walker
Elementary's cell phone policy: Cell phones are permitted at school for
use by students AFTER SCHOOL only. Cell phones are
not to be used during school hours, including lunchtime or recess.
Should a student need to contact a parent, they are to request
permission from their teacher and go to the office to use the student
telephone. Cell phones are to be stored in backpacks during
the school day. Please note: Students taking cell phones to school do
so at their own risk - DWE is not responsible for lost or stolen cell
phones. Should a student be found using a cell phone during school
hours, it will be confiscated and a parent will
need to come to the school to claim it
STUDENT PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF
Parents are asked to please refrain from using the staff parking lot and bus zone as a pick up or drop off area. Many students walk through the parking area before and after school. Unnecessary traffic in and out of the parking lot can create a very dangerous situation. We thank parents for their compliance with these safety guidelines to protect all our children, staff and community members.
CALL HOME / SAFE ARRIVAL PROGRAM
This program is in effect to ensure the safe arrival of students at the school. Unreported absences are followed up. This sometimes means that we have to phone work numbers as well as home numbers to find the information that we require. Cooperation in notifying the school is appreciated and simplifies the process that we go through at the school.
Students are eligible for bus transportation if they live 4.8 km from the nearest school at which they could be registered for an education program (4.0 for Kindergarten through Gr. 3). Students must also be registered as a rider with the transportation office prior to using the bus service. If there is a space available on the bus, students living closer to the school may also be able to ride the bus as courtesy riders. If the number of eligible riders increase and extra seats are needed, courtesy riders will receive a week’s notification. To check on eligibility for transportation, please use the “Rider Eligibility/Web Query” link on the transportation department website at http://www.sd23.bc.ca/transportation/.
School newsletters are published monthly and distributed via our e-mail service. If you have not done so, please sign up to receive newsletters on the homepage of this website. Not only do we send newsletters via email, but other important announcements or bulletins.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF PRIVACY
It is a tradition in our school district to allow district staff and the media to photograph individual students and groups of students to commemorate events and to promote various educational, sports and cultural events taking place in the district. While photographs add to the community life of our school, they are not required for education purposes. Students’ names, photographs and comments may be published in the school yearbook or newsletter, and on occasion, in the school district calendar, annual report, or in the news media. If you do not want your child’s name or picture published/displayed please complete a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy form at the school office.