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School Handbook


Student Safety

If you expect your child to be absent or late, please report this using the SchoolMessenger mobile app (download at Google Play Store or Apple App Store), online at go.schoolmessenger.ca or via telephone by calling 1-833-251-3286.  This is an important part of our Safe Arrival Program which allows us to help ensure that your child is safe and accounted for.  Due to safety concerns it is policy that if your child does not arrive at school, we must contact a parent at home or work. We will also call emergency contacts. 

Please know that students are not permitted to sign themselves out of school.  If your child has an appointment during the day, or if you would like them to come home for lunch please pick them up from the office and sign them out. 

If your child walks to school in the morning unsupervised (which may be the case in the older grades) and is late for school, they will be asked to call parents to explain why they were late.  We've found this to be an effective way of keeping parents informed in real time if their children are late for school, and increasing the accountability of our older students.

Our kindergarten and primary students use the enclosed north yard for recess, and the junior and intermediate grades use the south yards.  In either case, no student is permitted to leave the school yard without a staff member or a parent/guardian accompanying them.  Our supervision schedule is arranged such that there is always a staff member standing by the entrances to the school yard in the morning and at recesses to help ensure student safety.


Anaphylaxis

As we begin this school year, we would like to remind you that St. Denis is an Allergen Aware School. Some children in our school have a severe life threatening food allergy to peanuts and nuts (anaphylaxis). This is a medical condition that causes a severe reaction to specific foods and can result in death within minutes. In order to ensure that our school is a safe environment for all students, we ask that you only send foods with your child that are free from peanuts and other nut products. 

Also, kindly avoid sending food for special occasions (i.e. birthday, Christmas, etc). There is no other way of controlling food which comes from home other than the specific and diligent awareness and action by parents. Please help in ensuring the safety of our children by helping to keep St. Denis a peanut and nut free zone.

Please refrain from using any imitation butters that resemble and smell like peanut butter (e.g., P Butter, Wow Butter).  Unless it is in a sealed container, it is impossible for us to identify these alternative substances and may be upsetting to those with life threatening allergies.  The school is asking for your co-operation in this matter.

All epi-pen forms need to be updated for the new school year.  Your child should have an epi-pen on them at all times and please provide the office with an extra epi-pen.


Student Accident Insurance

The Toronto Catholic District School Board does not provide accident insurance coverage for student injuries that occur on school premises or during school activities. Accidents can and do happen. Some injuries incur medical, dental or other expenses that are not covered by provincial health care or employer group plans. As a parent or guardian, you become responsible for these expenses.

The Board is empowered to make available an Accident and Life Insurance Program for students. Participation in such a program is voluntary and the costs are to be paid by the parent or guardian.

For your convenience, the Board has arranged a Student Accident Insurance Policy exclusively through Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada. This program offers a variety of plans and benefits at affordable prices. Benefits included comprise:

- dental expenses (resulting from an accident)

- total and permanent disability

- paralysis/loss of use

- special disability benefits

- death benefits

If your child participates in co-curricular activities or activities outside the school day, there is a plan tailored to your needs. All rates are one-time annual premiums. Family rates for 3 or more children are also available.

The insurance agreement is between you and Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada. 

You may apply directly at: www.insuremykids.com


Use of Electronic Devices by Students

While the use of personal electronic devices is an increasingly important aspect of student’s lives, the devices themselves offer many capabilities that can sometimes interfere with student learning. The following policy has been developed to respect student privacy, while balancing any enhancements or impediments that such devices may have on student learning:

- Students may bring Personal Electronic Device (PED) such as cell phones and laptops to school, but are not allowed to use them during class time unless allowed by the teacher.  Students are responsible for securing their own devices and must be turn them off and put them away during regular school hours. 

- The teacher may send a student to the office if a PED is used inappropriately during class time.  The administrator may confiscate the device and store it securely until the matter is resolved.

- Board Technical support will be not be provided for any hardware, software or connectivity issues

- Students cannot take pictures or capture video with their PEDs in private areas such as washrooms

or change rooms. 

- Any pictures or videos published electronically and taken on school property or at a school event must have the permission of the individual(s), their parents or the principal/designate.

- Any images or video that negatively impact the school climate must not be captured, transmitted or posted under any circumstances. This includes items that are posted during non-school hours.


School Cash Online

St. Denis uses School Cash Online, which provides you with the convenience of paying online for school items such as trips, club/athletic fees, and spirit wear.  We have found that online payments are more convenient, safe and secure than using cash.  

Please follow the link below to register online. Once you have registered your child, you will be able to see when we post new items for purchase. 

To set up an account and explore the system, please follow the instructions below.

Register Online:

Step 1:  Please click on this link: https://tcdsb.schoolcashonline.com/

Step 2:  Register by selecting the “Get Started Now” and following the steps.

Step 3:  After you receive the confirmation email, select the “click here” option, login in and add each of your children to your household account. 

If you have any questions during the registration process or while shopping online, please select the SUPPORT option in the top right hand area of the screen.

Should you be unable to use School Cash Online for any reason, please contact the school office and we will make appropriate accommodations.


Health

Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students children.  As such, every day it is imperative that parents screen their children for symptoms and risk factors of COVID-19 by using the St. Denis Student COVID-19 Assessment which is emailed to families every school day at 7 a.m.

In order to respect physical distancing, please ensure that your child goes to the appropriate Sanitizing and Screening Station to gain entry to the yard.  All students arriving by bus or arriving late must be admitted through the Front Door.  

Providing safe dismissal is also key to our strategy of keeping children safe and minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  As such dismissal points are numbered as indicated by large coloured signs posted on the south fence by Spruce Hill Road.  Parents of Primary aged students (grades 1-3) are kindly asked to wait by the Spruce Hill entry gate until making vocal or eye contact with your child’s teacher, at which point your child will promptly meet you at the gate.  Grades 4-8 students will be dismissed from the school doors and are asked to leave the yard as promptly as possible to allow for the orderly dismissal of our primary students.  We will be making accommodations for siblings that walk home or are picked up together.  Once all students have been dismissed, the yard will be open for parents and children to use at their parent’s discretion (at approximately 3:15 p.m.)

Your support and cooperation is key to our success and we thank you in advance for your help.  Please note the following which will help us keep our school safe:

Only staff and students are permitted to enter the yard or the school after they complete a screening.  Unfortunately parents cannot be permitted entry until after dismissal.  

After arriving at school, no student may leave the premises without being signed out by a parent.  This also applies to lunch, which students must eat at school with their cohorts.

Please ensure your child arrives at school with their own water bottle, at least two masks, and a cloth or paper bag to store them in for recess.  


Charitable Contributions

The major charities St. Denis supports include ShareLife, and The Angel Foundation.  We also operate fundraisers to supplement our school programs which help pay for a variety of things like technology in the classroom, additional phys ed equipment, or helping local families in need.  No child at St. Denis is kept from participating in anything as a result of a lack of finances.  


School Hours

Opening Bell: 8:30 am (yard is supervised from 8:15 am)

Recess:         10:12 am-10:27 am

Lunch: 11:15 pm-12:15 pm  (11:15-11:55 outside play; 11:55-12:15 inside to eat)  

Recess:                  1:40 pm-1:55 pm

Dismissal:           3:00 pm 

Office Hours:             7:45 am-3:45 pm


Student Dress Code

Dress of students should be clean, neat, and within the limits of good taste and modesty.

Undergarments should not be visible. Spaghetti straps or halter-tops are unacceptable. Proper

footwear must be worn at all times. Winter boots are not to be worn during class, and students are

expected to remove their hats when entering the building. We also follow the TCDSB dress code

policy S.S.0.7. The Appropriate Dress Code consists of any combination of white and navy blue

garments (e.g. plain white top, navy blue bottom or, navy blue top and bottom, no denim).


Student Progress Reports

Parents will have the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress at regularly scheduled interviews (November/February).  Parents are to contact their child’s teacher to arrange a  meeting at a mutually convenient time should the need exist for additional meetings.  Teachers will gladly give you an appointment time to meet and discuss any concerns you may have. Communication between home and school is important for your child’s success.


St. Denis Catholic School Parent Council (CSPC)

St. Denis has an active Parent Council made up of parents/guardians, teachers, and community members.  The Council meets approximately monthly, and encourages the attendance of all St. Denis Catholic School community stakeholders.  Our first CSPC meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, September 22nd at 6:30 p.m.  Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to attend.  A separate confirmation email will be sent out closer to the meeting date.  The St. Denis CSPC can be contacted anytime at cspc.stdenis@tcdsb.org.  






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