I am pleased to have the opportunity to rejoin the West Sechelt learning community. As a parent of four former West Sechelt students, I know how much value is placed in the involvement of parents and extended family members and look forward to working with students, parents, staff, and other community partners to provide a quality, well-rounded education for your children.
These pages are intended to provide you with useful information regarding the school's organization, policies and procedures.
I encourage you to engage with your children's school planners to learn about assignments and other important information. The planner can also be used to facilitate communication between home and school. Your children's online digital portfolios (FreshGrade - used instead of traditional report cards) also allow for three-way (student - parent - teacher) communication but are intended to focus on communicating their learning and should not be used in place of e-mail or phone calls to address your questions or concerns.
We value your input and hope for an open line of communication between home and school.
We strive to be accessible but remind you that teachers are often busy after school with appointments, meetings, coaching and planning for the next day so if you wish to consult with a staff member, please call in advance to make an appointment. Please also note that it is policy in our district to have you contact staff members directly with your concerns or questions before contacting the principal; please give them a chance to satisfy your needs or respond to your concerns first. After doing that, if your concerns or questions remain, or if you do not feel they were addressed satisfactorily, then I invite you to contact me so that I can help.
You may also contact the office to ask that someone return your call after school. If there are immediate concerns, please feel free to stop by the office to see if I am available.
I look forward to working with you and anticipate having a successful year.
GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION
Main Office 604-885-2825
The school office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. You will be welcomed by Christine Clayton who is the school administrative assistant.
Supervision begins at 8:30 a.m. Students may enter the school upon their arrival.
We have a breakfast program for students who would like to access it.
We teach students to be on time for school. Please support us by ensuring your children leave home early enough to get to school on time. If students are late, they report to the office before they go to their classroom.
CALL BACK PROGRAM
We have a call back program at West Sechelt Elementary. This allows parents/guardians to be assured that students have arrived safely at school.
If you know that your child will be away for the day, please call the school office to let Christine know. PLEASE NOTE: if by chance you do not call, we will call you or your work and/or emergency numbers, to let someone know that your child did not arrive at school.
If your child is not taking his/her usual bus home and/or if someone who the school staff is not familiar with is picking up your child, please contact the office to let us know.
HOME FOR LUNCH
If your child returns home for lunch (either everyday or now and then) please write a note to the office giving them permission to do so for the school year. Children who leave the school at lunch must sign out at the office and sign back in at the office when they return. This is done to ensure your children are safe.
NUT AWARE SCHOOL
Within our school community there are students who have a potentially life-threatening allergy (anaphylaxis) to peanuts.
The best way for these students to reduce the risk of accidental exposure is to respectfully ask for your co-operation in not sending peanut butter or other products with peanuts listed in the ingredients. Thank you for your continued support in this matter.
If students will be away for a day on a planned absence, please phone the office or let us know by writing in the planner. Teachers can provide students with copies of materials that are missed.
If your children will be away for an extended period of time (ex. for a sports tournament or a family vacation) we can suggest activities designed to help you plan your own educational pursuits while away. Please know, however, that the varied daily classroom activites cannot be duplicated through worksheets or workbooks and teachers will not be asked to provide personal study packages. Activities they will suggest often include journal writing, keeping a scrapbook or dealing with money while they are away. Upon your return, teachers will be happy to see what your children have accomplished, but they will not grade or otherwise evaluate the work. It is our district policy that during extended absenses the responsibility for your children’s education shifts to you.
Nevertheless, at times there may be ongoing projects or other in-class activities that students may be given to do during their trip or that they may be required to complete upon their return so that gaps do not occur: these arrangements will be class specific.
All students benefit from fresh air and movement during their breaks. Our fall and winter climate often brings rain and cold but only in extreme weather conditions will students be kept inside. For this reason, it is important that children arrive to school dressed for the weather. It’s also helpful if students have extra footwear and a change of clothes at school for mishaps that would otherwise force us to call home and have you drop off replacements.
PARKING AND TRAFFIC
Space at West Sechelt is tight. The driveway and parking area in front of the school are very congested at drop-off and pick-up times. Our driveway has one lane marked for pick-up and drop-off ONLY and another lane marked for drivers who have completed their pick-up/drop-off and are exiting school property. DRIVERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO LEAVE THEIR VEHICLES IN EITHER LANE: if you wish to escort your child inside, do not use this driveway. Parking spaces inside the school fence are reserved for staff. Drivers and pedestrians are asked to not block the entrance and exit and to use extreme caution when backing out.
BICYCLES, SCOOTERS ROLLERBLADES AND SKATEBOARDS
Bicycles, scooters, rollerblades and skateboards must not be ridden on school property between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; shoes with retractable wheels attached (Heelys) fall into this category.
If your children ride their bikes to school, please remind them that wearing helmets is the law.
We attempt to protect instructional time from unnecessary disruptions. Phone messages are passed to students at break times. Students are expected to make their after-school plans prior to coming to school; they will not be permitted to use the phone to make social arrangements. With staff permission, students will be permitted to use the phone in urgent or emerging situations.
Most of our families are responsible to arrange the transportation of their children to and from school (few ride school busses). After dismissal, students should leave the school grounds promptly unless other arrangements have been approved by parents and staff. A supervisor is on duty only until 3:10 p.m.
Children are generally not permitted to carry medication to school due to the potential danger for themselves and other students (this includes Aspirin and Tylenol).
The administration of medication is only recommended for students in the school environment where no other options are available and where designated staff members have received complete information from parents about use, dosage and administration.
If we are requested to store medication for your child to self-administer, it should be brought to school in a properly labeled prescription container; we will store it in a secure space designed to be inaccessible to students.
If your child requires staff to administer medication on a regular basis, or if there is a likelihood that medication will be administered in an emergency (for example, an Epipen) our policies require a Request for Administration of Medication at School form to be completed before we can do so. More information can be found on the District website: [Link]http://www.sd46.bc.ca/files/regulations/1000-admin/1820.pdf
Students who become ill during the day should inform their teacher directly. Because we at school are not equipped to support students who become ill, we will call you and request they be picked up as soon as possible. For this reason, it is important that parents keep work and emergency contact numbers up-to-date.
In fairness to all, please do not send children to school if there are definite signs of ill health overnight or in the morning. Especially during flu season, we are advised that children who are ill and vomit should wait 48 hours after the last occurance before returning to school. Good health is necessary for effective learning and to do otherwise puts other healthy children at risk.
PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION
Children at school or in any public environment can be affected by conditions such as lice/nits, scabies, fifth disease, or scarlet fever, etc. If we become aware of a child with any of these conditions, we will send a Public Health informational letter home stating that we suspect there is a case in your child's classroom. When this happens, we ask that you watch for any signs in your own children.
Please note that lice, while unpleasant, do not consitute a health risk. Under the direction of Vancouver Coastal Health, it is our district policy that if a student is found to be affected by lice/nits they will not be sent home but their parents/guardians will be called so that treatment can be started. Further information on this subject can be found in the SD46 Regulations: http://www.sd46.bc.ca/files/regulations/1000-admin/1590.pdf
SAFE INTERNET USE
Occassionally we have to resolve problems between students because of the misuse of social media, MSN and other chat sites. Here are a few guidelines that we would like families to consider implementing to help children get the most out of their online experiences:
1. Help your child choose a screen name that does not reveal anything personal about them (example: age, sex, hobbies, the school they attend, etc). Inform them that you require their password and that you will monitor their use: Internet and social media/chat access should be a privilege that they earn and maintain through responsible use.
2. Put your home computer in a common area such as the family room, kitchen, or other room that is easily supervised. We advise against giving your child Internet access in their bedroom. Use over the shoulder supervision to monitor your child's online activities. As an aside, there is strong evidence that digital devices in bedrooms are having a significant impact on healthy sleep routines in both children and adults. The problem with children is that it affects the wiring in their developing brains! https://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/screen-time-and-young-children
3. Engage your child in discussions about their Internet use and express an interest in what they are doing and learning, while using the Internet. Remember that you are their most important teacher: we adults must ask ourselves what lessons we teach through our own actions. https://www.teensafe.com/blog/parents-digital-role-models-children/
NO cameras, electronics or handheld game systems are to be brought to school.
Devices for intermediate students (grades 4-7) may be brought to school, but ONLY once the Bring Your Own Device Policy is signed by the parent and student. Teachers will manage these.
If a cell phone must be at school, it is to be turned off from the time the student arrives at school until the last bell of the day (in the interest of everyone's safety, the camera must not be used on school property)
iPods, mp3 players and such devices should not be brought to school. We cannot be responsible for any items lost or stolen.