Student Agenda

A Message from Administration

Welcome to a new year at St. Bernard Catholic Elementary School. We look forward to a year filled with promise and many learning opportunities for your child. The staff of St. Bernard Catholic Elementary School wishes to work co- operatively with you in a partnership between home, school and parish. The growth of each child’s spiritual, intellectual and emotional self is at the core of the partnership.  

We look forward to your involvement in your child’s education. Close communication with the staff is encouraged. Your child’s agenda book is only one of the vehicles you may use to communicate with the educators or the administration. You may also wish to become involved in our Catholic School Council or as a volunteer at the school. 

You will find our school philosophy, code of conduct, dress code and other pertinent information in the following pages. Please review the school policies with your child. Details about upcoming events and school activities will be contained in our school’s monthly newsletters and/or sent to you by individual classroom educators. 

Christ being our model, we move forward in hopes of creating a truly Catholic environment -striving for new goals and accepting new challenges in the spirit of Christ.  

Yours in partnership,                                         

J. Harvey, Principal 

Email: StBernardCS@dcdsb.ca 
Twitter: @STBernardDCDSB

St. Bernard
St. Bernard, whose feast day is August 20, was a monk and a priest who often had to leave the solitude of his monastery to fight heresy, to reconcile quarrelling cities, to defend the Pope, and to help the Church in his turbulent 12th century.

Born in 1090 at Fontaines, France, Bernard was the third of seven children of noble parents in Burgundy.  He found court life empty and longed for a life of prayer, study and recollection. At the age of 22 he went to the Benedictine Abbey of Citeaux and surprised them by bringing along his uncle, four brothers and 25 friends to enter this Order.

At 25, he was chosen to be the first abbot of Clairvaux, a place which was to become well known as the centre for the reformed monastic rule. He started with 12 men, but this group later grew and spread to 700, as he founded numerous houses in Europe and as far away as England, Spain, Sweden and Ireland.

He often had to travel in various causes, defending the rights of the Church against kings and princes, urging bishops to reform their diocesan clergy, defending the Pope against those in schism, denouncing abuses and disorders in the Church. He defended the Jews when they were attacked, saying: "The Jews are for us the living words of Scripture."

Bernard wrote profusely, including 530 letters, 332 sermons, 14 treatises and a life of St. Malachy. It was his writing that earned him the title later as Doctor of the Church.  His advice and deep spirituality helped many. His devotion to Mary is well known. He died in 1153 and was canonized 21 years later, the first Cistercian monk to be placed on the calendar of saints. His life and writing influenced thousands after him

School Prayer

God is a peace-filled presence in our midst;

Make us instruments of your peace.

Grant us the grace to see Jesus in all people.

Peace comes with forgiveness;

Help us to take the first steps of forgiving.

Holy Spirit help us to be a people of love, joy and peace.

 

Amen.

School and Parish Community

St. Bernard Catholic School is a vibrant school community of approximately 300 students and 23 teachers and support staff. We are supported in our educational efforts by the parish of Holy Family Catholic Church and Father Leo. J. Austin Catholic Secondary School. These partnerships are consolidated with open and regular communications and the sharing of numerous events and celebrations. Home, school and parish cooperate in forming the heart and spirit of our school community. 

 

At St. Bernard Catholic School, every day begins with prayer. School Masses and Liturgies are scheduled regularly throughout the school year to celebrate the gift of our school and its uniqueness as a Catholic community of living and learning. 

Parish Information

St. Bernard Catholic School’s home parish is Holy Family Catholic Church. The Parish invites you to come celebrate the Sacred Liturgy each weekend and to take part in all Parish social events. In this way, we will become a truly caring, Christian community.

 

Holy family Catholic Church

91 Ribblesdale Drive

Whitby, ON L1N 6Z3

(905) 665-6470

Pastor: Fr. Laszlo

 

Mass Schedule:
Saturdays - 5:00 p.m.
Sundays - 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.

School Information
 School Schedule 

Morning Bell - 8:30 a.m.

Recess - 9:55 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.

Lunch - 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Recess - 1:40 p.m. - 1:55 p.m.

Dismissal Bell - 3:00 p.m.

Supervision of Students

Supervision on the yard begins at 8:15 a.m. After school, the bus zone is supervised until approximately 3:10 p.m. There is no formal yard supervision after 3:10 p.m. as those students who walk to school are expected to leave for home immediately after school.

St. Bernard Communication

The youngest child in each family is designated the courier for school information that goes home to every family. Each month, we will send an electronic copy of the school calendar highlighting the month’s events. We invite families to subscribe to our online calendar posted on our school website to receive a weekly update on upcoming events. St Bernard also uses School Messenger to send out emails of important events and reminders. Please ensure the school has up-to-date emails for parents.

Emergency Contact Forms

A parent and guardian information and emergency contact form (Permission Click form) is sent home at the beginning of each school year. Parents and guardians are asked to carefully review and update the information we have on record to ensure that the information the school has on file is correct (i.e. phone numbers, email addresses and emergency contacts). Please complete this email from Permission Click as soon as possible.

Should your contact information change during the school year, please notify the office immediately.

 2021-2022 School Year Calendar

Sept. 1 - P.A. Day

Sept. 2 - P.A. Day

Sept. 7 - School Begins

Oct. 8 - P.A. Day

Oct. 11 - Thanksgiving

Nov. 12 - P.A. Day

Dec. 20–Jan. 3 - Christmas Break

Jan. 21 - P.A. Day

Feb. 21 - Family Day

Mar. 11–18 - March Break

Apr. 15 - Good Friday

Apr. 18 - Easter Monday

May 23 - Victoria Day

Jun. 3 - P.A. Day

Jun. 29 - Last Day of School

Jun. 30 - P.A. Day

Parking

The parking lot on the south west side of the property is our visitor parking. The parking lot to the north of the school is staff parking.

Inclement Weather Conditions

If weather conditions force the cancellation of transportation services or classes for our students, notification will be given by all local radio stations. Please note that when only the transportation has been cancelled, the school will remain open and classes will proceed. If buses are cancelled in the morning, they are cancelled for after school as well. Please check the local radio stations (KX96, CKDO 1350, CFRB 1010, CHUM 1050 or 680 News). Cancellation information will also be posted on the Board’s website at www.dcdsb.ca. Parents are encouraged to subscribe to ‘Track Your Child’s Bus on the transportation website www.dsts.on.ca to receive notification of delayed or cancelled buses. St Bernard is in Zone 4.

Lunch Procedures

Lunch Break is 11:15 to 12:15 with outdoor recess from 11:15-11:50 and inside to eat lunch 11:50-12:15. 

All children who are within walking distance are expected to go home for lunch if able. This provides a change of pace in their day and serves as a refresher for their afternoon program. We realize that in some cases, it is necessary for students to remain at school. Students who must stay for lunch are expected to observe the following guidelines, which have been clearly explained to them. Staff members and a Lunch Hour Supervisor supervise students during the lunch hour.     

Students who remain at school during the lunch hour are expected to stay on school property for the entire duration of the school day. Children normally staying for lunch are not allowed to leave the schoolyard without written permission from the parent/guardian given to the child’s teacher. 

A note must be provided to the child’s teacher each time permission is given for the child to leave the property at lunch. Only students in Grade 7 and 8, with written parent permission, will be permitted to leave the school for lunch without an adult signing the child out. This greatly assists the staff in safeguarding the students and provides accurate information as to the whereabouts of all students in our care. 

We highly discourage parents from allowing their child to leave the school grounds to go to the store or other areas around school during the lunch hour period. The schoolyard is the safest place for your child during the lunch hour.

In our attempt to reduce the amount of garbage we generate at the school, we would encourage all students to bring a “garbage-less” lunch to school daily.

Anaphylaxis – Reactions to Allergies

An anaphylactic reaction is a severe, sudden, possible life-threatening allergy to such items as peanuts, nuts, bee stings, shellfish, latex, etc. When a student or adult is diagnosed with anaphylaxis, it is important for the school to take extra precautions to ensure the person’s well-being. 

Due to severe allergies, St. Bernard Catholic School has Nut Free Classrooms to help protect some of our students from experiencing anaphylactic seizures as a result of severe allergies to peanuts and peanut based products. It is highly recommended that parents refrain from sending any food with nuts to school. Parents are asked to check that all food items do not contain any trace of peanut or peanut oil products. 

Administration of Oral Medication

The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that it will occasionally be necessary to administer oral medication to students at school. Under these special circumstances, parents/guardians will be asked to sign a consent form giving permission for school personnel to administer the medication. (This includes over the counter and prescription drugs). All medication must be brought to the office. 

No student is EVER to keep mediation in his/her possession while at school.   

Bicycles, Skateboards, and Roller Blades

Students are encouraged to walk to school. Bicycle racks are provided at the north side of the school for those who wish to ride their bikes. Please remind your child that riding his/her bike to school is a privilege.

Tampering with or damaging other students’ bicycles is prohibited. Bicycles are to be walked once on school property (this includes the front and back of the school). The bike should then be brought to the rack and locked immediately. Skateboards, scooters and roller blades are not to be ridden on school property.

The storage and safe keeping of skateboards, scooters and roller blades is not the responsibility of classroom teachers. Students should be reminded that helmets are mandatory and that they are bringing these items to school at their own risk. 

Curricular Information
 Curriculum
At St. Bernard Catholic School, all programs are designed to teach the knowledge, skills and expectations contained within the Ontario Curriculum and the Catholic Graduate Expectations. Religious Education and Family Life are taught daily, and Catholic values are imbedded in all areas of the curriculum.  French as a second language is taught in Grade 4 to Grade 8.
 Homework/Agenda
Students from Grade 1 to Grade 8 use the classroom Edsby page to track homework and other important information each day. Incorporating daily check ins to the class Edsby page teaches our children the importance of being responsible for their learning. To assist students in learning this skill, teachers and students will input the “homework” onto the Edsby page together. 

 

The Durham Catholic District School Board has produced homework guidelines to ensure that each student receives homework appropriate to his/her grade level and stage of academic development.  Homework will consist of work not finished in class or tasks assigned to practice a skill. Regular nightly reading should be included whether it has been explicitly signed assigned or not. The quantity of time devoted to daily homework should be approximately 10 minutes times the grade level, with the nightly reading requirement folded in to this time. 

If parents have any questions or concerns about the type or quantity of their child’s homework, they should contact their child’s teacher directly.

 Reporting to Parents
Students are assessed on an ongoing basis using a variety of methods and tools. A progress report is completed in November and teachers complete the Ontario Provincial Report Card in February and June for Kindergarten to Grade 8. Parents are invited to call or use the agenda book to communicate to teachers any concerns or questions regarding their child’s progress.
 Extra-curricular Activities
At St. Bernard Catholic School all students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities. Students in all grades have an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as the Battle of the Books, Junior and Intermediate sports teams, and various clubs just to name a few. Many of the extra-curricular activities take place during the school day, although some take place before or after school. In these cases, parents need to make appropriate transportation arrangements.
Parent Community Involvement
 St. Bernard's Catholic School Council

St. Bernard Catholic School Council is a group of dedicated, hardworking parents, community members, and staff who devote much time and energy in making our school community a better place to be. 

Discussions at monthly meetings focus on community faith development, review of Durham Catholic District School Board policies and procedures, development of school based codes, and the planning of special projects and celebrations including fundraising and special events. Elections for the Catholic School Council are held each September. 

All parents are welcomed to attend all meetings whether they are a member of the Council or not.

Parent Council Elections are September 29, 2021.

 Volunteers

St. Bernard Catholic School is fortunate to have many dedicated parents who willingly give of their time to support our programs. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be having volunteers in the school building.

However, you can still be involved through our Catholic School Council as well as keeping abreast of your child’s education through Edsby and conversations. 

 Dress Code

We encourage all parents to monitor how their children dress for school each day. Often, our young people have not had enough experience to determine how weather conditions may change during the day and, as a result, they may come to school ill-prepared for these conditions. Only with constant guidance can our students learn to dress properly for the weather and the learning environment. 

  • All students must be dressed in a modest and non-provocative fashion.
  • Clothing must be suitable for ordinary student activity (e.g., clothing does not restrict movement; too large or too tight).
  • Undergarments must remain covered at all times.
  • Tank top straps must be 5 cm wide (3 fingers wide) with decent coverage at the armpit. 
  • Shorts and skirts must be of conservative length (mid-thigh length).
  • Shorts, skirts and pants must be properly hemmed (e.g., no cut-offs, frayed or ripped jeans). 
  • Clothing must represent the ideals of our Catholic educational system (e.g., clothing that endorses alcohol or illegal activities, uses profane language or contradicts the teachings of the Church must not be worn). 
  • Clothing and jewelry must maintain the safety of the students (e.g., heavy belt or neck chains, studded bracelets or other sharp objects must not be worn).
  • All students are required to wear indoor shoes with non-marking soles.
  • Clothing and jewelry worn during Physical Education classes must maintain the safety of the students (e.g., hoop or dangly earrings, watches, necklaces etc. must be removed during gym class).

 

In all matters related to appropriate clothing, the Principal will make the final decision.

All Dress Code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect.

The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported.

 Access to Premises

Parents/guardians are welcome to visit the school to discuss an issue with teachers or administrators.  In keeping with the Board’s Access to School Premises Policy, all doors will remain locked during school hours. Our Safe Welcome Program provides an intercom and camera at the main door of the school for all visitors to communicate with the office prior to entering the school. 

This enhances the safety of students and staff. Please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office and obtain a Visitor’s badge. (Parents/guardians are not allowed access to the school yard before school or during recesses and noon hour.) At recess time, the school yard is well supervised and staff will question anyone whose presence is not expected. Each member of staff is wearing photo ID and is identified on duty with a safety vest. 

If a parent/guardian needs to pick up his/her son/daughter during the school day, this must be facilitated at the office. Members of the office staff will call the student down to the office to be signed out. If parents send a friend/relative/designate to pick up their child, please advise the school in advance and ask the designate to provide photo identification at the office. If the student returns to school before dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the office so that his/her attendance can be monitored.

Make Every Day Count – Attendance Matters

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Now is the time to start building this habit so your child learns right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college or university and in the world of work.

 

Did You Know?

Absences can add up quickly. A child is considered chronically absent if he/she misses just two days every month!!

Research shows:

  • Children chronically absent in Kindergarten and Grade 1 are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of Grade 3. 
  • By Grade 6, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.
  • By Grade 9, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than Grade 8 test scores.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

 

School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!

 

What You Can Do:

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. Check with your physician if frequent physical complaints are an issue. 
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, the school social worker, or other parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning. Attending school regularly and arriving on time often helps students feel more comfortable and less anxious in the long run. Chronic absence makes it difficult for a child to feel a part of the classroom community.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbour, or another parent to help.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
  • Communicate with the school and let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for school on time every day.  We want your child to be successful in school! If you have any questions or need more information please contact your child’s teacher, principal or vice principal.
  • Contact the school if you are planning on taking your child out of school for more than five days as some absences require the permission of the school principal. 

 

 

Safe Arrival – Automated Attendance

In June 2018, The Durham Catholic District School Board adopted a new automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance making it easier for you to report your child’s absence and easier for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. Parents are able to report their child’s absence quickly and conveniently using several methods:

1. Parents can log into a website: go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.

2. Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll free number

1-844-288-7628 through which absences can be reported.

3. Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones. Search for the keyword school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store. Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that is on file with the school, enter a password. 

4. Parents can call the school phone number and press option 3 to connect to the Safe Arrival system.

All methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments can be reported ahead of time. For more information, please visit the school website.

Restorative Schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school.  Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature. The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

 

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. “How do you think your actions had an impact on others?”  “What do you think you need to do to make things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and when needed, to repair relationships
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions

 

Code of Conduct

Please click here to read the Code of Conduct 

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