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Toronto Catholic District School Board

 
ST. MONICA CATHOLIC SCHOOL HANDBOOK AND CODE OF CONDUCT
 
This code is written for all members of the St. Monica Community: students, staff, parents, guardians and visitors.  It is written to conform to Ministry of Education and Training, Toronto Catholic District School Board Policies and Community Directives ST. MONICA’S SCHOOL VISION “Learning and Walking with Jesus”
 
In a school community formed by Catholic beliefs and traditions, the mission of St. Monica, in harmony with the mission of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, is to educate students to their full potential. This is achieved by providing a safe and welcoming learning environment that is an example of a Christian community, by the integration of Gospel Values into the total learning experience and by providing continual feedback on student progress. We seek to provide a Catholic education that will enable our students to become responsible, self-discipline, life-long learners and members of a caring local and global community.
We envision students who:
 
• are formed in the Catholic faith;
• are physically, emotionally and spiritually balanced to be open to and apply Christian values to life’s opportunities, challenges and choices;
• strive for personal academic excellence in literacy, numeracy and technology;
• display self-worth and self-respect;
• display a concern and respect for others;
• demonstrate skills for developing and maintaining personal wellness;
• demonstrate global perspective and community responsibility.
 
Our school community believes that, by demonstrating our faith in God and respect for each other, we can create a safe, caring and collaborative environment that promotes life-long learning and celebrates the uniqueness of all individuals.
 
EXPECTATIONS-STUDENTS
Building upon our existing tradition of excellence, you are asked contribute to this tradition by maintaining high personal expectations for success and by following the expectations listed below. As a student of St. Monica you are expected to:
• Be a contributing member of the Christian climate of the school by taking pride in being an active member of the school community;
• Wear a blue and white uniform everyday (NO LOGOS other than St. Monica School Logo);
• Accept responsibility for your education, decisions and actions;
• Attend school regularly, be punctual and participate fully in class and school activities;
• Demonstrate respect for the building, school equipment and make strong efforts in the conservation of school property and materials;
• Respect and protect self and others by engaging in safe play at all times;
• Complete all assignments on time, to the best of your ability and with academic honesty and integrity;
• To use your agenda to record homework, test and assignment dates;
• Use language that is not profane, demeaning or racist;
• Respect community members and their property while on excursions or in coming to and leaving the school;
• Refrain from bringing dangerous, prohibited or valuable items to school.
 
PARENTS
The parents and guardians at St. Monica play a very important role in their child’s education. They are our students’ first and most influential teachers. The development of positive partnerships will enable each child to progress academically, socially and emotionally. As a parent/guardian of St. Monica you contribute to the personal success of your child when you:
 
• Demonstrate a commitment to Catholic education, Christian beliefs and sacramental preparation;
• Become informed and support school programs, co-curricular activities, rules and routines;
• Insist on good attendance and punctuality;
• Engage in professional, on-going, and open communication with the school;
• Create a supportive home environment where your child is encouraged to practice skills and complete homework on a daily basis;
• Encourage your child to accept responsibility for his/her own learning, behavior, decisions and personal property;
• Work as a team member with the staff in the best interest of your child;
• Model the importance of life-long learning.
 
STAFF
The staff of St. Monica is committed to excellence in education. Together we established these guiding principles as a reflection of our values as professionals and teachers at St. Monica. They represent our shared purpose and our collective commitment which will continuously guide us as educators. Collectively we will:
 
• Demonstrate a commitment to Catholic education and practices, and Christian beliefs and values;
• Provide an inviting, safe and supportive environment for all children to learn by attending to our professional duties;
• Enforce school rules and regulations;
• Respect confidentiality and behave in a professional manner;
• Continue to develop and support positive professional relationships with our colleagues and parents/guardians;
• Demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning;
• Be committed to communicating and to working cooperatively with all staff to contribute to the success of the school’s vision;
• Follow the curriculum and the School’s Learning Plan;
• Develop our existing repertoire of instructional and assessment strategies;
• Hold high expectations for student achievement;
• Provide students with varied experiences to develop the student’s abilities;
• Use the modifications and accommodations outlined in the Individual Educational Plan of identified students to develop success in integrated subjects;
• Listen, be fair and treat all students equally;
• Appreciate and build on cultural diversity.
 
SUPPORT STAFF
The responsibilities of the members of the support staff at St. Monica are very diverse. However, the support staff at St. Monica is committed to fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure the safety, wellbeing and success of every student. Collectively we will:
 
• Demonstrate a commitment to Catholic education and practices, and Christian beliefs and values;
• Promote a safe and nurturing environment that is conducive to development of each student;
• Be committed to working cooperatively to contribute to the success of the school’s vision;
• Carry out our responsibilities in a flexible, dedicated, professional manner;
• Be effective team members by contribute our knowledge and expertise;
• Be committed to life-long learning.
 
CSAC
The St. Monica’s Catholic School Advisory Council (CSAC) plays an important role in achieving the school’s overall vision. Its primary function is as a forum through which parents and members of the school community can contribute to improving student achievement school performance. It does so by working cooperatively with students, teachers, support staff and other members of the school community to raise funds and to consult with the principal to assist St. Monica’s students achieve their ultimate potential. CSAC contributes to achieving these objectives when it:
 
• Demonstrates a commitment to Catholic education, Christian beliefs and sacramental preparation;
• Consults and works cooperatively with the principal to identify and solve problems in accordance with school and board policies and procedures;
• Assumes a leadership role, along with the St. Monica School Foundation, in raising funds to enrich the educational experiences;
• Promotes meaningful parental and community involvement and actively seeks the views of the school community;
• Communicates regularly with the school community regarding its activities.
 
CELEBRATIONS
Part of our on-going commitment to promoting the positive values of a professional learning community, we believe that frequent and regular celebrations will provide living examples of the values of our school. At St. Monica, we will celebrate:
 
• Our Catholic Faith through celebration, ceremonies and daily Christian rituals;
• Individual and collective learning and accomplishments of students, staff and parents who work towards supporting the school’s vision and to continuous school improvement;
• Birthdays, special events and milestones;
• Community and Relationships.
 
OUR CATHOLIC FAITH
The school day reflects our witness to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Gospel values permeate our school environment. The following highlights the Catholic dimension of our school community:

Our Parish
Our school community’s parish is St. Monica Catholic Church. Close communication is maintained throughout the year between the school and the parish so that all of us will benefit from the spiritual guidance and leadership of the parish priest, Father Kelly, and the pastoral assistant, Nora O’Meara.

Liturgical Celebrations
As a Catholic school, our spiritual development is one of our main objectives. In addition to our Religion and Family Life Programs, there will be a series of liturgical celebrations throughout the year. Parents, guardians, family, friends and community members are always welcomed to join us. Please check our monthly newsletter for the dates and times of our celebrations.

Sacraments
The school staff and the church staff will prepare the students of St. Monica Catholic School for the following Sacraments:
Reconciliation……………….Grade 2
Holy Eucharist ……………...Grade 2
Confirmation………………...Grade 8

St. Monica Catholic School Code of Conduct
The purpose of the St. Monica Catholic School Code of Conduct is to develop a sense of self-discipline in our students that comes from a healthy respect for themselves and others around them. Our Code of
Conduct is intended to make clear to students, parents, and staff what will and will not be tolerated. We care deeply about the students in our school and we want them to be safe and happy in our school community so that they can pursue their studies and extra-curricular activities to the best of their abilities at all times.
Our expectations reflect our commitment to supporting the Toronto Catholic District School Board policies on Violence Prevention, Race and Ethnic Relations, Sexual Harassment and Inclusive Language.
Our School Code of Conduct is also reflective of the virtues we focus upon in our Faith and Character Development initiative. All members of our school community are reminded to live by these guiding principles which we hilight through monthly Catholic character virtues.We encourage all students to follow the path of Jesus and live by the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

What is discipline?
• It teaches children responsibility
• It shows children why a particular attitude or behaviour is not acceptable
• It teaches children the relationship between cause and effect
• It helps children to take corrective measures to solve the problems they may have caused
• It teaches children to make appropriate choices in the future
• It teaches children to learn and grow from their mistakes
 
Progressive Discipline
Progressive Discipline is a whole-school approach that utilizes a continuum of interventions, supports and consequences. It includes prevention measures and initiatives; early and ongoing intervention strategies; and strategies to address inappropriate behaviour. Interventions and consequences increase when the concerning behaviour is persistent, the concerning behaviour escalates, or where there is a serious infraction to the Code of Conduct. Teachers will use the progressive discipline approach when dealing with student infractions of the behaviour code.
Examples of the progressive discipline approach include:
ü Discussion between teacher and student
ü Think papers, letters of apology
ü Contact with parent by telephone or in person
ü Loss of privileges
ü Removal from class
ü Guidance or social work support/ referral
ü Progressive Discipline Incident Report
ü Meeting with the Principal
ü Warning of Suspension
ü Suspension
 
*Each student and situation is unique. Compassion and understanding of the student and circumstances are an intrinsic part of progressive discipline.
As of Feb 1, 2008, all schools in the TCDSB are following the same code of conduct with local provisions integrated to reflect the needs of the school community. This code can be accessed at www.tcdsb.org We encourage parents to read this code on line.
Code of Behaviour
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner inside and outside of the school. This includes any activity on school property, and also during school excursions where students are expected to act responsibly as respectful ambassadors of St. Monica Catholic School. Although the following list is not exhaustive, it provides a sampling of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviours that will be addressed using the Progressive Discipline model.
 
• Hands on (e.g. pushing)
• Spreading rumors
• Teasing
• Being disruptive in class
• Not completing homework/habitual neglect of duty
• Rough play
• Malicious/intentional hands on/fighting
• Swearing or use of inappropriate language (verbal or gesture)
• Habitual defiance or non-compliance
• Racist or sexist comments
• Bullying (including cyber/internet)
• Weapons
• Vandalism
• Uttering threats
• Swearing at a teacher or person of authority
• Trafficking illegal drugs; possession of illegal substances at school
• Any other reported incident deemed by administration, TCDSB, or Ministry of Education to be inappropriate or cause harm to one’s self or another individual
 
BUS SAFETY
To ensure that safety of all students who take the school bus to and from school, the following must be adhered to:
• Respect the bus driver and the teacher on duty at all times;
• Line up promptly and quietly, and take seats quickly and remain in them;
• Speak quietly and respectfully to each other, to the driver and to community members;
• Keep hands and heads inside the bus;
• Refrain from throwing objects from the bus;
• Respect rights and safety of others;
• Refrain from eating or drinking on the bus.
 
Transportation privileges may be revoked if a student behaves in an inappropriate or unsafe manner. Where this is the case, parents are responsible to transport their child to and from school in the result of a suspension of privilege.
PLAYGROUND SAFETY
In order to enjoy the adventure playgrounds in a safe and responsible manner students are expected to:
• Stay inside school boundaries;
• Use the play structures in safe, supervised manner;
• Refrain from using the play structures if they are wet or icy;
• Refrain from using hard balls, with the exception of basketballs, in the yard.
• Students are not permitted the use of skateboards, roller blades, or scooters on school property
 
DRESS CODE
In striving to achieve and maintain the values that are represented by our Catholic School Board, our school is committed to standards of neatness, cleanliness, modesty, and good taste. At St. Monica all students from JK to grade 8 are expected to wear a blue and white collared (turtlenecks accepted) uniform on a daily basis. Students are expected to wear navy blue bottoms (pants, skirts, tunic, and shorts) and a white shirt/blouse, turtleneck, golf shirt-short/long sleeved) preferably with the St. Monica logo. www.cololine.com. The uniform is one way to encourage respect, responsibility and safety in our school. It distinguishes St. Monica from other schools and gives our students a sense of pride.White t-shirts are acceptable for physical education classes only. Students can purchase more formal pieces by calling: COLOLINE at 905-761-6999 or by visiting their website.

LUNCH TIME EXPECTATIONS
Students eat lunch in their classrooms under supervision of our lunch time supervisors. Students who stay for lunch must respect the lunch supervisor and the staff on duty at all times. Lunch privileges may be suspended if students behave inappropriately during the lunch hour. All students who are expected to remain at school for lunch must remain on school property during the lunch hour. For safety reasons, no permission will be granted to students to leave the school property during the lunch hour period. If they remain, they are expected to:
• Bring a litterless nutritious lunch;
• Leave their classroom/lunchroom in a quiet orderly fashion under teacher supervision;
• Remain seated, talk quietly, tidy up and recycle.
 
CARE OF SCHOOL MATERIALS AND PROPERTY
In order to minimize losses, and maintain our school and school materials in good condition, it is expected that:
• All school materials are to be returned in the condition that they were handed out to the student;
• Students will treat ALL school property with care and respect.
 
SCHOOL OPERATION

SCHOOL HOURS 9:00a.m-3:30 p.m. Lunch: 12:00-1:00p.m.
Supervision begins at 8:45 AM and ends at 3:30PM upon dismissal. Outside these times there is no supervision in the yard or in the school.

Safe Arrival/Attendance
To ensure the safe arrival of each student parents are requested to:
Inform the school of any absence before 8:45 by telephone or by sending a note to the teacher prior to the absence;
• Ensure that students arrive punctually, beginning their day by lining up outside with their classes.
 
If punctuality or attendance is a persistent concern, communication to the parent will be made prior to initiating a report with the school social worker.

PARKING LOT AND BUS ZONE
Parents/guardians must not enter the school parking lot or park in the bus zone from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This is extremely important for the safety of all children, including the ones being dropped off. Parents may obtain a parking pass from the school office to park at the Church’s parking lot for 15 minutes.
As well, you can drop off your child on Broadway Avenue, at the east side of the school, adjacent to the curb. Please ensure that your child exits from the car directly onto the sidewalk-closest to the walkway which leads to the playground.

DISMISSAL
Unless students have permission to participate in after school activities, it is expected that students will leave the school area at 3:30 p.m. Parents are requested to make a written or telephone request if a student is to be picked up from school early. It is especially important that the school is informed if someone other than the immediate family is picking up the student. All students who are picked up before dismissal, including JK/SK students, must be picked up at the office and signed out.

CELL PHONES
Some students bring their cell phones to school. We are sensitive to our parents’ concerns regarding the safety and whereabouts of their children while travelling to and from school. Cell phones are not allowed at any time during the school day. Cell phones MUST BE TURNED OFF. The use of camera and video features on the cell phone is prohibited at school for safety reasons. Violation of this rule will result in confiscation of the cell phone. Your cooperation and support is greatly appreciated.

PERSONAL PROPERTY
The lost and found box is located in the first floor near the recycling grey boxes. Parents and students may check for lost items. The school will not assume responsibility for lost or damaged cell phones and/or electronic games. In addition, students who bring money to school must be responsible for it.

MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Unavoidably, children do get sick or injured at school. The staff does its best to make the child comfortable and, if possible, staff trained in first aid will attend to injuries. It is crucial that home, work and emergency phone numbers are always up to date. Please call the office immediately after any change.

In emergencies:
• Parents will be notified if their child becomes sick or seriously injured at school;
• Minor injuries will be dealt with by staff and parents will be informed through the agenda or via phone call;
• Serious injuries may result in transportation, by car or ambulance, if parents cannot be reached, to the nearest hospital.
 
Students with illnesses such as colds or a flu which are serious enough to prevent them from participating in physical education classes, recesses, and outdoor activities must remain at home until their condition improves. This will benefit the child and prevent the spread of illness to others.
Medication
• If a child is required to take medication at school, parents must contact the principal directly to ensure that the required documentation is completed prior to any medication is administered.
• All students must have a completed medical history form filed in their Ontario Student Record.
Please be advised that TCDSB staff is not able to dispense non-prescription medication to students.
 
SECURITY AND STUDENT SAFETY
The Education Act includes parents, guardians, clergy and school board members in its definition of visitors. We endeavor to maintain a safe supervised environment for the students the following procedures are in place:
• All doors will be closed during the school day;
• All parents and visitors must enter via the front door, sign in and wear a visitor’s pass
• All parents are asked to pick up and drop off their children at grade appropriate doors;
• Parents are asked to inform the school of any custody issues and provide Legal documentation when available;
• Confidential issues regarding students will only be discussed with parents/guardians and appropriate staff;
• Any suspicion of abuse of the children will be reported to the appropriate authorities as required by law;
• Fire drills and lockdown procedures are practiced on a regular basis. Children are to wear indoor shoes at all times.
 
ANAPHYLAXIS
In our school, as in most others in the city, there are children who suffer from severe and life-threatening allergic reactions when in contact with peanuts or other food products. This means that contact or exposure to these products, even in the most minute quantities, can cause severe life-threatening reactions. No other area of health awareness requires such close cooperation by everyone in the school setting. As a result, we ask that nut products not be used in any form for lunches, snacks or treats. Teachers take specified precautions about foods in the classroom. We urge that all parents, or other care-givers who may prepare lunches or snacks, be aware of this restriction.

EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSURE
The school may be closed or classes may be cancelled for a temporary period in the case of an emergency arising out of severe inclement weather, fire, breakdown of heating plant, the failure of an essential utility or similar emergency when the health, welfare or safety of children are in jeopardy. In such cases the school staff will endeavor to contact the parent or guardian to ensure that the child is picked up. In cases where no adequate supervision can be ensured, the children will remain in the care of the principal and staff until the parent/guardian can assume responsibility for their children.

HOMEWORK
In general, the purpose of homework is to foster effective work habits and develop self discipline, independent thinking and responsible attitudes. It should also encourage good study habits. Throughout the child’s school life, homework should enable the child to practice the skills necessary to succeed in the work place of the future: independent learning, self motivation and time management. The TCDSB suggests approximately 10 minutes each night per grade level as a homework guideline.

REPORTS, INTERVIEWS AND COMMUNICATION
Ongoing home/school communication is vital to the development of the child and the relationship between staff and parents. Provincial Report Cards are sent to parents twice a year; the original is placed in the O.S.R. and parents are asked to return the signed report cards to the school as soon as possible. Interviews will be held to discuss progress at the end of first and second terms. Contact can be made at any time during the school year, by parents or teachers, to arrange a longer, mutually convenient appointment. Student agendas provide an excellent ongoing opportunity for communication.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL
All parents are welcomed and encouraged to attend. CSAC acts as an advisory body to the school in determining community needs and formulating policies that will address these needs. The council is a valuable asset to the school. Dates and times of CSAC meetings for 2012-2013 will be announced early in the year.
 
For complete TCDSB Policies please visit www.tcdsb.org. For updated information on the School Learning Plan, EQAO assessment information, school newsletter, and an update on school events, please visit www.tcdsb.org and select St. Monica Catholic School.