Student Handbook

Morning classes begin at 8:35 a.m.

First Nutrition Break: 10:35 – 11:15 a.m.

Second Nutrition Break:    12:45 – 1:25 p.m.

School ends at 2:55 p.m.

 

Student Planner

To be successful learners and caring, productive citizens, we need to develop excellent planning, organization and study skills.

This planner will be used to promote learning and to facilitate communication with parents.  Consistent, responsible use of the planner promotes:

  • independent learning
  • study habits and organizational skills
  • homework completion
  • academic performance
  • realistic goal-setting
  • time management

Students are expected to take their planners home daily and return with them each morning. You are permitted to buy your planner on your own to purchase this planner that is made available through the school.

Waterloo Region District School Board Statement of Expectations

The Learning Environment

Schools are expected to provide a secure and nurturing environment in which the social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth of each person may flourish in an atmosphere of shared responsibility, mutual respect and appreciation.

Student Behaviour

Within a school environment, students are expected to develop the self-discipline and the social skills necessary to progress academically and to act in ways that respect the needs, feelings, heritage and rights of all.  Inappropriate behaviour includes any behaviour that disrupts the positive school climate and/or has a negative impact on the school community.  A model of progressive discipline will be used to support students along a continuum of corrective and supportive interventions.  To keep parents informed of issues, phone calls and/or “Think Sheets” are sent home as a means of communication.  This allows parents to become actively involved in the progressive discipline approach as we work together to make Sandhills a great place for everyone.

Suspensions may occur for:

  • Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol, illegal and/or restricted drugs;
  • Being under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs;
  • Swearing at a teacher or at another person in authority;
  • Committing an act of vandalism that causes damage to school property;
  • All forms of bullying, which by definition is repeated, intentional and hurtful behaviour directed at an individual or individuals;
  • Any conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school or the physical or mental well being of others in the school;
  • Any conduct considered to be contrary to the Board or school Code of Conduct.

Attendance

Consistent attendance is important to your child’s overall progress and continued absence undermines the benefits that a school experience can provide.  Regular attendance enables an active participation in school activities that enhances learning and promotes personal development.

If your child must be absent from school, please contact the school’s attendance line at 519-570-8125 OR 519-744-4430 option 1 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  and give the student’s name, classroom teacher and reason for absence. You may also send in a note to the teacher and also inform the office.

If you require to pick up your child/ren early, please contact the office ahead of time and we will have your student waiting for you in the office.  It would also be helpful if you also wrote a note to the teacher in the planner in the morning, so they can remind your child closer to the appointment time. Please remind your child that morning if you will be picking them up for an appointment.   This will alleviate many interruptions into the classroom.

All students are expected to be punctual and adhere to scheduled school hours.  Attendance is taken twice daily. Late students must report to the office. Persistent lateness or absences from school will result in discussions and consultations or involvement with the school board’s attendance and social worker.

Safe Welcome Program

The Waterloo Region District School Board and Sandhills Public School are committed to creating a safe and welcoming learning environment for our students and staff.  Schools province-wide have implemented the Safe Welcome Program. All visitors to Sandhills are asked to press the intercom by our main entry door by the office in order to enter. Students and staff will use access cards to enter and exit the building throughout the day. We will do our best to keep the wait time to a minimum but please give yourself lots of time if you have an appointment. We will be educating the students about not opening the entrance doors for visitors. Please be respectful of this protocol and do not request or expect students to allow you entry to the school as this puts them in a difficult situation. Please follow the proper protocol and request entry through the intercom at the front entrance.

Playground Expectations

Students should enjoy fair play and be safe on the playground.  The playground is supervised from 8:20 – 8:35 a.m., 2:55 – 3:10 p.m. and throughout the two nutrition breaks.  Our expectations include:

  • no activities involving body contact or encouraging others to inflict harm on another;
  • stay within the defined play areas and on school grounds at all times;
  • throwing hard balls, snow, sticks or stones is not allowed;
  • respond to and obey nutrition break supervisors;
  • obtain permission before entering the school during recess breaks;
  • resolve conflicts using words first and if that doesn’t work, seek assistance from a teacher who is on duty;
  • be punctual – abide by the recess bells and line up quickly.

To ensure your child’s safety, please avoid sending them to school prior to 8:20 a.m.

Homework

Homework is one means parents have of maintaining a day-to-day connection with their children’s education.  When parents and teachers work in an educational partnership, a difference is made for our students.  Studies show that students perform better in school if their parents are involved in their education (Ontario Curriculum, 1998).

At the grade 3, 4, 5, and 6 level, most homework assigned by teachers would be the completion of work that was not finished in the allotted time during class. Students may have projects and written assignments that may be completed at home but evaluated for presentation purposes only.  It is a good idea to set aside a consistent time each evening to review the events of the day and to complete any assigned tasks.  Reading with or to a parent, or reading alone, is an excellent activity.  A common practice is for a student to complete 5 or 10 minutes of homework for each grade that the child is in (e.g., Grade 3 – 15 to 30 minutes per night).

Home Activities

  • Reading
  • Practicing Arithmetic facts
  • Studying and reviewing spelling words

Sandhills Dress Code

Students dress must complement the learning environment.  In accordance with the Waterloo Region District School Board, guidelines have been established to foster a positive learning environment and encourage responsibility, self-esteem, and a sense of school pride.  Acceptable clothing will include:

  • wide strapped tank tops;
  • tops should cover upper body with no bare midriff;
  • undergarments should not be visible;
  • writing and graphics on clothing must be appropriate;
  • shorts and skirts will be a respectable length;
  • hats are to be worn outside only and removed upon entry into the school
  • indoor shoes (white or non-marking black soles) are to be worn at all times;
  • a change of clothes for physical education is recommended

Students who are not following the dress code will be asked to change or, if appropriate clothing is not readily available, be asked to call home for a change of clothing.  Where a misunderstanding arises, the administration will decide on the appropriate course of action to ensure fairness and respect for all students.

Library

The library will be open every day for students to exchange books.  We strongly encourage daily reading for all of our students.  Please be sure that books are returned by the due date.  It is recommended that students carry books in a plastic bag away from lunch or drink items. Students are responsible for their library books and will be required to pay for any lost or damaged items.

Protection Against Loss of Valuables/Money/Cell Phones

Please

  • do not bring valuables to school;
  • students who choose to bring cell phones (and other electronic devices) to school are responsible for their devices under the supervision of staff;
  • lock bicycles and scooters in bicycle racks provided;
  • check at the Lost and Found area as well as the office immediately after a loss has been discovered;
  • label all indoor and outdoor clothing, boots and items brought to school.

Bicycles, Scooters, Skates and Safety

  • Bikes and scooters must be walked on school property.
  • Rollerblades are not to be worn on school property.
  • Students must walk on sidewalks or on Park pathways and cross the school parking lot at the front of the school with the traffic patrol or at the back of the school.

Inclement Weather/Emergency Closing             

If the school is closed unexpectedly for any reason, please

  • Listen to the radio (CKKW – AM109, CHYM – FM96.7, KOOL – FM105.3) since it will be your ONLY source of information.
  • Do not call the school because our lines must be open to receive emergency information.
  • Staff will attempt to call you or your emergency contact to get instructions
  • Keep the office informed of any changes in contact numbers or changes in addresses so that you can be easily reached in the event of an emergency.
  • Sandhills has bussing for some kindergarten students.  If the buses are cancelled, it will be on the above radio stations.  If the announcement says that busses are cancelled, but schools are open, that means students are expected to attend if the parents can get them here and pick them up again.  If the bus is cancelled in the morning it is cancelled for the whole day.

Responsible Use of Technology

At Sandhills Public School, we believe that technology can be a powerful tool to support and enhance learning and to enable students to learn to think critically as responsible citizens in the global community. We believe that it is our role as educators in the 21st century to teach our students to be responsible users of technology and demonstrate good digital citizenship. The use of school and personal devices (Bring Your Own Device -BYOD) in classrooms will be carefully planned, guided, and supported by teachers. An important component of the device policy will be education about appropriate online behaviours and compliance with all class and school rules while using all devices. Students using wireless devices are expected to follow the guidelines in the WRDSB Code of Digital Conduct and the WRDSB Responsible Use Policy.

This policy does NOT permit students to bring devices to school all the time and to use them freely. The use of personal devices in the classroom is at the discretion of individual teachers. Teachers may choose to invite students to bring devices to class on designated days and for specific purposes. The use of personal devices by students is always optional, and students who do not participate will have access to school-supplied computers and wireless devices when needed. (Please see the Responsible Use policy form to be signed by parents)

Nutrition Breaks

During each nutrition break students will have 20 minutes to eat a nutritious snack and 20 minutes to play. Hot lunches will be delivered for the second nutrition break.   Appropriate behaviour is expected at all times during lunch.

Lunchtime Procedures

  • Students will remain seated while eating lunch.
  • Before dismissal each student is responsible for cleaning up his/her desk area. Students then line up and wait to be dismissed.
  • Students will play outdoors during their playtime, inclement weather being an exception

Recycling

Sandhills is an EcoSchool. Students are asked to bring food in reusable or recyclable containers for their snacks and lunches. We have recycling and composting bins available to help reduce waste. Students are asked to bring re-usable water bottles and can fill up their bottles at the schools hydration stations.