Walnut Grove PS
Walnut Grove’s Daily Schedule
Entry Bell 9:15
Period 1 9:15 - 9:55
Period 2 9:55 - 10:35
Period 3 10:35 - 11:15
Nutrition Break A 11:15 - 11:35
Nutrition Break B 11:35 - 11:55
Period 4 11:55 - 12:35
Period 5 12:35 - 1:15
D.P.A. 1:15 - 1:35
Nutrition Break C 1:35 - 1:55
Nutrition Break D 1:55 - 2:15
Period 6 2:15 - 2:55
Period 7 2:55 - 3:35
All parents and visitors entering the school during school hours must be buzzed in through the front doors and sign in and out at the office.
You are also reminded to wear a visitor’s badge while you are in the school. For safety reasons, it is important that we know who is in the school at all times.
Your child’s safety is very important to us, for this reason please make sure to call the automated attendance line at 1-855-209-6155 for each day that your child is going to be absent from school or will be coming in late.
An attendance call can be made at anytime however you need to call before 9 a.m. for the current school day. Safe arrival calls will be made each day for students that have an unexplained absence.
If a student arrives late to school, after the 9:15 a.m. entry bell, they must report to the office to sign in and receive a late slip before going to their class. Please help your child arrive to school on time up establishing and encouraging morning routines
If your child will require to take or have any medication (eg. Epi-pens, inhalers) while at school due to asthma, allergies or other medical conditions please inform the office. You will be given a medical form that will need to be completed by your family doctor and returned to school with the medication. No medication can be administered at the school without having a current medical form completed and on file at the school.
There are several students and staff who have severe food allergies in our school. For that reason, we ask to you please do not send any food items as a treat for a birthday or special celebration. If you wish to celebrate, sending materials to support learning in our school such as pencils, crayons, books, etc. would be appropriate. Thank you for your understanding.
Kiss and Ride
We understand that there are a lot of cars in the morning and after school using the Drop Off lane. We are asking for your patience and understanding and to follow the guidance of the teachers on duty.
Please note that children should never exit from the driver's side and even if they are seated behind the driver they should exit from the curbside.
Thank you for helping us in making Walnut Grove a safe school for all of our students
Nutrition Break Routines
We encourage all students to remain at school during both Nutrition Breaks, to participate in the variety of extra-curricular activities offered. However, we recognize that some families want their children to come home for lunch. In order to ensure student safety at all times, we have established some expectations for Nutrition Break Routines:
· parents/guardians will be asked to complete a form indicating their wishes for daily routines for lunch for their children – these will be kept on file to ensure that routines are being followed
·anytime that those routines are changed, parents/guardians will be required to contact the school (by phone or in writing) indicating the change in routine
· if students go home for lunch, they are expected to remain home for the entire break (40 minutes)
· students are expected to return ON TIME for next period
STUDENTS WILLL NOT BE PERMITTED TO LEAVE SCHOOL PROPERTY AT NUTRITION BREAKS EXCEPT TO GO HOME FOR LUNCH WITH PARENT PERMISSION. Students will not be allowed to go to the plaza across the street, nor are they allowed to go to a friend’s house for lunch.
Help protect students with severe allergies by keeping lunches, snacks
Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that affects some children. We ask that you help us take care of these students by sending lunches and snacks for your child that are free from peanuts or nuts, because these foods are the leading cause of anaphylaxis.
Please read the label of any food you plan to send to school with your child. If the label says, "May contain nuts or peanuts," please do not send it to school.
You can get a complete copy of the Peel board's anaphylaxis guideline from the school office.
Supervision in Yard
Yard supervision for students begins at 9:00 a.m. Students should not be dropped off, or be arriving on school property, prior to 9:00 a.m. When outside, students need to play in their designated area and remain visible to the supervisor in the schoolyard.
Parents play an important role in the development and education of their children and in the success of the school community. At Walnut Grove, we welcome and encourage the participation of parents and community members, and are grateful for the countless hours our volunteers contribute throughout the school year.
To volunteer at our school, you must complete a short interview and a criminal record check. This Criminal Record Check must have been completed within the last 6 months, must include a Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) and must be an original copy. A police background check is required for all school volunteers in Ontario. Even if you want to accompany your child on a field trip, you need this background check.
Once you have completed the process, you are on file with the Peel District School Board as being a school volunteer. All returning volunteers will be mailed an Offence Declaration Form that must be filled out and returned to the board office each year. You will not be able to volunteer with the Peel board until you have returned this form.
If you have any questions about criminal record checks or the offence declaration form, please call the board office at 905-890-1010 ext. 2832.
Bring Your Own Device (B.Y.O.D.)
Walnut Grove students are welcome, with the permission of their parent/guardian, to bring a device from home to use at school for educational related purposes only. Students are expected to demonstrate good digital citizenship through the appropriate, responsible, legal and ethical use of technology. Parents are asked to sign a BYOD contract around the safe use of technology at school as outlined in the school’s code of conduct. Parents please look for this contract in your child’s agenda within the first few weeks of September.
If a student does not have access to a personal device, a school device (e.g., Net book, Chrome book, I Pad), may be made available for their use while on school property.
I would like to thank our wonderful Walnut Grove school community for such positive feedback on Student Led Conferences held on November 17-18. As this was a new school-wide initiative, your feedback was important. Your comments were overwhelmingly supportive of students playing an active role in sharing their learning with their families, and articulating their strengths, needs and next steps. Based on the feedback from parents, students and staff, we will implement suggestions for next year's Student Led Conferences, and continue to move forward in ensuring highly effective communication between home and school, using modern communication strategies.
December is promising to be a very exciting month at Walnut Grove! Some of the highlights include: Junior Volleyball teams playing in their tournaments, our Kindergarten students working with the artist on their murals, 2 nights of Winter/Holiday concerts, Inquiry Hour "Shark Tank", Eco Team kick-off assemblies and our Character assemblies. All of this is on top of the many, many extracurricular activities and clubs that run on a daily basis each day. I continue to be amazed and thankful for the staff who oversee these activities that make a child's day so fully enjoyable through a balance of academics and activities.
On behalf of our Vice Principals Mrs. Bineesari and Ms. Dell, I would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. We wish you good health and happiness in the New Year ahead, and we look forward to seeing all of you in the new year.
Message from the Trustee
It’s hard to believe that winter break is almost here! Time certainly flies and it’s hard to believe that we are already in the month of December. As we wind down for the winter holidays, it’s important to reflect on how much has been accomplished so far in the 2016-17 school year.
In my role as board trustee, I have had the pleasure of visiting schools and seeing how staff and students inspire hope. From fundraising for the Terry Fox Run, United Way Giving Day and Hurricane Matthew to coming together to share how we #ChooseAction, we all have the ability to unite for common cause and help others in need. I am proud to see how many students and staff working together to inspire success, confidence and hope, each and every day. This holiday season, I encourage you to lend a helping hand, whether it is a kind gesture, a simple hello or a random act of kindness. These small actions can make a huge impact on those around us.
Thank you to students, staff and community members for your hard work during the first few months of school. Have a safe, fun-filled and relaxing winter break!
Wards 7/8 Trustee
Character at Walnut Grove
Monthly Character/Social Justice Focus
The character focus for the month of December is Cooperation. The Social Justice focus is Building Supportive Communities.
Cooperation is working together with others for one goal.
You show COOPERATION when you:
· Participate with your best effort.
· Assume positive intentions in others.
· Follow the rules made by the group.
· Respect the ideas and feelings of others.
· Value the contributions of others.
Building Supportive Communities involves thinking about others as well as yourself. For many cultures,
December is a month of giving. What can communities do to help support each other during this and other times of the year? How can students be supportive of each other within the classroom, and in the larger school? How can the school help support the larger community? This theme helps students to reflect on ways in which we can support and care for each other throughout the year.
Monthly Character Trait Winners
Kindergarten: Aneesa P., Gurshan R., Ojas S., Angel M., Evan T., Kyi C., Saihaz K., Preston R., Kaden G., Vaikhan W., Guneet S., Samaira M., Kamsika T., Jayson S.
Grade 1: Pari S., Jugaad S., Jenis W., Rhea M., Aarav M., Aman N., Nikhil S., Simran K., Zakir S., Rym N., Jaibir, Harshini T.
Grade 2: Himmat D., Ikam S., Nyziah P., Jasleen S., Gaurav P., Prisha S., Manroop T., Karam D., Noah R., Alayna Q.
Grade 3: Jonathan G., Ria S., Tsana M. Harveer S., Keishore G., Ola N., Nyasa C. Jasman R., Agam S., Elina D., Krish G., Ava E.,
Grade 4: Athavi J., Rahan U., Biranavi V., Matthew S.,Manav K., Harmanpreet P., Sian M. Arpit K.,
Grade 5: Fina G., Harjot R., Taran P., Hazeeqa M., Tanya A., Harbir S., Manisha S., Harkaran S., Iknoor S., Eric T., Ayuk A., Nathaniel J., Sajan M., Asia A.
Grade 6: Lisa D., Jishika, Tarsam, Amjot, Nana W., Vatsh D., Mekak, Karan, Bethanai B., Japnam D.
Grade 7: Devang M., Musharafa Y., Sohum S., Mauli P., Nia D., Raman J., Tia B., Deepika H., Nicholas W.,
Grade 8: Saira S. ,Inthujaa S., Tahir N., Jasmine T., Jatinpal C., Simran G., Sami R., Dhir P.
School Council News
The School Council met on Nov. 9, and we discussed and decided upon several upcoming activities for our school community. Some things to look forward to are:
- January 26 - Family Movie Night (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
- February 8 - Beyond the Hurt Presentation for School Council -Topic: Bullying (6:30 - 8:00 pm)
- March 8 - Arts Express Presentation for School Council- focus on Mental Health and Wellness (6:30 - 7:30 pm)
The Council also discussed awards for students. This will coincide with our Monthly Math Mania - selected students will be awarded a "Growth Mindset" award, for their attitude and work ethic as they work through problem solving activities
Our next meeting will be on December 8, and the meeting will focus on a required yearly process of consultation between School Council and Administration.
What's Happening at Walnut Grove
Enrolment cap at Walnut Grove PS
As you know, enrolment at our school continues to grow and is reaching capacity. On Nov. 22, 2016, trustees approved an enrolment cap of 46 classes at Walnut Grove for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year. The enrolment cap will increase to 47 classes, effective July 1, 2017.
Students already registered at Walnut Grove are not affected by this enrolment cap.
However, if you have other children entering the school system in September 2017, you can register them at any time for Kindergarten, during regular school hours—just visit the school. There is an enrolment cap on the number of kindergarten classes for the 2017-18 school year. To secure your child’s spot, register as soon as possible.
A letter was sent home with all students on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 to inform families of the changes. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact a school administrator at 905-451-2862.
Toys for Tots and Hat & Mitten Drive
Runs from December 1st to December 16th.
The season of giving is upon us. Walnut Grove is excited to continue participating in The Toys for Tots program, which helps financially disadvantaged families in the region of Peel. We are looking for our wonderful community to consider donating a new, unwrapped toy so that all children have something special to wake up to during the holidays.
Spread the Warmth
Walnut Grove is proud to be continuing the hat, mitten and scarf drive. Please donate new or gently used items that will be sent to a Peel organization to assist those in need.
Candy Grams are back at The Grove!
Student Government will be selling Candy Grams from December 5-9 for just $1 each.
They will be on sale during 1st NB in the forum and will be delivered Friday, December 23.
Send a Candy Gram to your friends and spread the Holiday cheer!
Monthly Math Mania
This year we have started a Monthly Math Mania challenge for all students at Walnut Grove. Each month, a question will be given to all students. If students wish to participate, they answer the question and submit it to the office.
This month the question was: The answer is 100. What could the possible question be?
The winners for this month were:
Kindergarten: Riya B.
Grade 1: Oshar W. Jenis W. and Baani B.
Grade 2: Kyra P.
Grade 3: Asath Y.
Grade 4: Komlica J.
Grade 5: Subha R.
Grade 6: Nitish J.
Grade 7: Amareen S.
Grade 8: Jessica T.
Congratulations to our winners for this month. We look forward to seeing next months' winners!
News from the Wolf Den
Galvin (45F), Silas (5FA), Jessica (6FA), Rayjeanee (7FA), Nayaab (7C), Jaskaran (8B), and Jatinpal (8B). Congrats and remember Wolves: a good athlete isn’t someone who is only talented in sports, but it’s someone who shows sportsmanship in many ways. A good athlete respects their opponents, teammates, coaches, and referees. They also remember that winning the game isn’t everything. Having fun, improving skills, and trying your best is what makes you a winner. Don’t forget, “ You never lose, you either win or you learn”.
See you in 2017!
The Wolf Pack
News from the Music Department
Clubs – Mlle Li’s Grade 2-5 students are preparing for their “Swinging Holiday Concert” which will be on Wednesday, December 14th. Mrs. Locke’s grade 3-5 classes are working hard on the Winter Musical “Flakes!” which will be the day after, on Thursday, December 15th.
TICKETS WILL SOON BE MADE AVAILABLE. COST OF ADMITTANCE IS A FOOD DONATION FOR THE KNIGHT’S TABLE.
In other news, we also had 24 students participate in CBC’s nationwide Music Class Challenge! The students met during their lunch hour for weeks to prepare a rendition of a pre-cleared Canadian song from a list provided by CBC. In the end, they chose to perform the song “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes. Stay tuned to mlle_li_musique (twitter) for the video performances by “The Stars” and “The Singing Wolves”. Check out CBC Music’s youtube channel for all of the other video performances featuring music programs across Canada!
Units – This month Mrs. Locke’s grade 6-8s will continue playing xylophones and glockenspiels. We are exploring Jazz and improvising through a partnership with Castlebrooke Secondary School!
Mlle Li’s grade 6’s are exploring composition and performance through the use of bucket drums.
This month, Miss Leaton's grade 1 classes will be learning about rhythm, specifically quarter notes (ta) and eighth notes (ti-ti). We will also be learning how to clap and play simple rhythms.
Save the dates:
December 14 (Mlle. Li’s Winter Concert)
Matinee performance - 12:00 pm, Evening Performance 6:30pm
December 15 (Mrs. Locke’s Winter Musical)Matinee performance - 12:00 pm, Evening Performance 6:30pm
News from the Handicraft Club
The handicraft club welcomes community members to the Library Learning Commons every Friday from 1:15-2:15 for Crochet and Knitting Club. If you would like to participate, please join us!Mrs. Puscas, Mrs. Kaur and Mrs. Locke
Walnut Grove School Success
Student success and achievement is at the heart of everything that we do at Walnut Grove. We set high expectations for staff and for students. We continue to refine our goals and set achievable expectations for our entire school community.
Our academic focus continues to be on further developing and deepening Numeracy skills. Students will continue to be engaged in problem solving, making meaningful connections and applications to the world around them, and to communicate their mathematical thinking and reasoning. Literacy skills also continue to be a focus and are integrated in meaningful ways throughout all areas of the curriculum.
21st Century Teaching and Learning at Walnut Grove incorporates Inquiry-based learning, collaboration and the responsible and effective use of technology, to help further develop critical thinking skills in our students.
We continue to focus on and build upon our Bullying Prevention and Intervention plan, with student-led committees and activities, aimed at raising awareness and reducing/eliminating any instances of bullying at Walnut Grove. We have numerous extracurricular activities and programs aimed at developing positive student behaviour and effective problem solving skills. We work toward ensuring that our school is a safe, positive healthy place to learn and work.
Power of One : Words You Can Use with Your Children
On Monday November 8th, students enjoyed the Power of One assembly focusing on anti-bullying messages.
Bullying is "hurtful, purposeful and repeated behavior by one person towards another where the intent is to cause harm and isolation."
In our work with students about bullying, we use the following terminology:
Physical Bullying - The Target faces unwanted physical contact, physical threats, extortion, verbal assault, and nonverbal intimidation.
Exclusion Bullying - The Target is left out of school games, not invited to a party, and not allowed to sit down on the bus ride home.
Cyber Bullying - The Target receives nasty emails, which are then distributed to the entire school, then beyond to the greater community; unseemly photos of the Target taken by cell phone are spread on the Internet.
Other terms are: bystander, bully, target.
If students, teachers and parents all use these same terms, it will be easier for students to identify and understand bullying behaviour. You may, for example, use these terms in communication notes to teachers or the office when you are supporting your children in problem solving.
Thank you for your support.
News from the Peel District School Board
Bus Cancellation and Closing Schools due to Bad Weather
During the winter months, we may need to cancel buses or close schools because of inclement weather.
Information regarding details of cancellations or closures will be announced on radio and television stations listed below and will also be available on Twitter @Peelschools, Facebook at www.facebook.com/peelschools, www.peelschools.org and www.stopr.ca or by calling 905-890-1010 or 1-800-668-1146.
VIRGIN RADIOFM99.9 CHUM AM1050 CFTR AM680
CFNY FM102.1/AM640 CJCL AM590 CHFI FM98.1
NEWSTALK1010 AM EZ ROCK FM97.3 CJBC (FR) AM860
FM Z103.5 FM93.1 FM Q107
CHIN FM100.7/AM1540 CBC99.1 CITYPULSE
GLOBAL NEWS CTV BREAKFAST TELEVISION
One of the following messages will be announced (highlighted text only):
Peel District School Board buses are cancelled.
This means that schools remain open for students and staff, but buses are cancelled. Bus cancellations could occur in all or parts of municipalities. Buses will remain cancelled all day. All activities that require busing will also be cancelled. Permits, night school classes, child care and other activities in schools will operate as usual.
All Peel District School Board schools and board offices are closed.
This means that all schools and Board offices are closed to students and staff. All activities in schools and board offices are also cancelled, including child care, night school and permits.
All evening programs and permits at the Peel District School Board are cancelled.
This means that all activities in schools and Board offices are cancelled, including continuing education courses and events. The buildings will be closed.
All weekend programs and permits at the Peel District School Board are cancelled.
This means that all activities in schools and Board offices are cancelled, including continuing education courses and events. The buildings will be closed.
Help your family stay warm this winter
Canada Safety Council recommends the following tips for staying comfortable and preventing hypothermia when working or playing outdoors:
- Wear a warm hat—most body heat is lost through the head. Children should keep an extra hat at school.
- Wear layered clothing. Layers allow warm air to stay trapped around the body.
- Protect your feet and hands. Wear loose waterproof boots. If the boots have liners, carry an extra pair to replace damp ones or take an extra pair of socks. Invest in thick socks to keep your feet warm. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Carry an extra pair of mittens to school, on outings, etc.
- Prevent dehydration and exhaustion, which can lead to hypothermia. Drink plenty of fluids and pace yourself when doing vigorous activities.
- Stay fit by exercising and eating well—people who are fit are less susceptible to hypothermia.
- If you stay indoors, avoid moving from a hot environment to a cold one. Excessive sweating caused from an extreme change in temperature increases the risk of developing hypothermia.
- Eat high-energy food such as nuts and raisins. A balanced diet will also help keep you warm and healthy in the winter.
- If you are travelling (on the road or in the wilderness) carry emergency supplies.
Winter bus safety
The following winter school bus safety tips will help to keep your child safe throughout the winter months.
Allow extra time to get to your bus stop.
Wear bright clothing so the bus can see you in the early morning and late evening.
Stand away from where the bus stops. Buses need extra room to stop when there is snow and ice.
Use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus to prevent slipping on wet or icy steps or road surfaces.
Dress properly—winter clothing, hats, and boots will keep you warm.
Don't throw snowballs at the bus or other children waiting for the bus.
Don't slide on the snow or ice patches in driveways or on the street.
Don't push or shove around the bus. Someone could fall down on the ice and get hurt.
On very rare occasions, buses are late because of weather conditions or mechanical problems. Talk to your child about what to do if the bus is late. Here are some suggestions:
When possible, wait with your child for the bus.
Make sure your child knows a phone number where he can reach you or another trusted adult.
Teach your child how and where to get help. Talk to your child about what a "safe" stranger is.
Help your child set up a bus stop buddy system so your child has someone to wait with for the bus.
It's time to register children born in 2013 for kindergarten
We inspire success, confidence and hope in each student…and it all starts in kindergarten! If your child was born in 2013, he or she can start kindergarten in September 2017. You can register your child at any time during regular school hours—just visit the school he/she will be attending to register.
Peel schools will also hold a Kindergarten Registration Week with special registration activities during Feb. 6 to 9, 2016. Visit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 6, 7, 8 and 9 and from 5 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 9.
What you will need to bring to registration:
Proof of child's age (one of the following)
Canadian birth certificate
Permanent Resident Card
confirmation of permanent residence
Proof of address (one of the following)
Ontario driver's license
bank statement/client slip (directly from financial institution)
credit card statement
federal government forms (e.g. Social Insurance Number, Service Canada documents)
Proof of custody – children must live with their parent(s) unless provided documentation supports an alternate living arrangement
Proof of immunization – proof that your child has been immunized/vaccinated
Apply for Extended French by Jan. 27, 2017
If your child will be starting grade 7 in September 2017, one of the important choices you will make is whether you want to consider Extended French (EF). To find out more about the program, visit www.peelschools.org/French
The application form for Grade 7 EF for the 2017-18 school year will be available online at www.peelschools.org/French as of Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 at 1 p.m.
The deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 at 4 p.m. Applications received after the deadline will be placed on the school’s waitlist.
The EF school for our area is Sir John A. MacDonald. The phone number is 905-457-5535
How to get more information
Apply for French Immersion by Jan. 27, 2017
If your child will be starting grade 1 in September 2017, one of the important choices you will make is whether you want to consider French Immersion (FI). To find out more about the program, visit www.peelschools.org/French
The application form for grade 1 FI for the 2017-18 school year will be available online at www.peelschools.org/French as of Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 at 1 p.m. The deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 at 4 p.m. Applications received after the deadline will not be included in the random selection process and will be placed on the school’s waitlist.
The FI school for our area is Walnut Grove. The phone number is 905-796-4582.
Enrolment cap and random selection process
As there is a grade 1 FI enrolment cap in place, there are a limited number of spots available for students entering the program. The cap is set at 25 per cent of all Peel students enrolled in grade 1.
Spots are not assigned on a first come, first served basis. A random selection process system is used to identify students gaining entrance into the grade 1 FI program.
All students who apply by the deadline will be assigned a rank using a computerized random selection process. Once students have been assigned to all available spots, remaining students will be placed, again in rank order, on the school's waitlist. Each school has its own waitlist.
How to get more information
Special technology offers for Peel board students, parents and staff
Does your child need a computer or tablet for school? Equity of access to technology is a key priority for the Peel board. That's why we've worked with a number of technology companies to offer discounted devices to Peel families and staff.
Renewed Computer Technology (RCT) offers low-cost, quality refurbished computers to families with a low-income. Qualified applicants can purchase:
desktop for $60
laptop for $150
Prices include software, a two-year warranty and tax. For more information, contact RCT directly, call 905-795-0627 or visit their website at www.rcto.ca.
Peel families now have access to the following exclusive offers from VIG Solutions:
· Intel Dual Core, 2GB, 160GB computer with a 17-inch LCD monitor -- $110
· 10-inch netbook with 1GB ram, 160GB hard drive, Wi-Fi capability and Windows 7 -- $60.
Taxes and shipping will be applied to product costs, and all items come with a six-month warranty. To purchase products, visit www.refurbitstock.ca/peel and enter peelregion before proceeding.
Microsoft offers reduced pricing on select products. For more information, visit http://pdsb.me/1X2RtMF.
The Peel board’s initiatives are part of the ongoing effort to create greater equity of access to technology for Peel students, parents and staff and do not represent an endorsement of any company or product. For all BYOD information, visit www.peelschools.org/aboutus/21stcentury/byod.
Time for school - A parent’s guide to regular school attendance
Elementary school is a wonderful time in the life of a child, a time of great strides in learning and in social and emotional development. Many things affect your child’s success, from the quality of his or her teachers, to the makeup of the class. One of the most important factors is your child’s regular and timely attendance.
Getting to class on time, and avoiding absences, are critical if your child is to get the most out of school. It seems obvious. But the fact is that elementary students tend to miss and average of eight or more school days during the year. What can you as a parent do to help ensure your child’s proper attendance?
First, understand that getting to school–every day and on time–matters at every level, perhaps even more so in elementary school. That’s because important learning occurs daily, right from the start of class. And because you establish patterns early on. By being punctual and responsible, children are acquiring positive habits about school attendance. Some other things to consider:
By being late, children miss important social time with their peers before school begins.
Students who are late often feel embarrassed or self-conscious.
Late arrivals can disrupt the routine of the classroom.
A last-minute rush can be stressful for the child, and get her to school in the wrong frame of mind.
Missing even five or 10 minutes of the day can make it harder for the student to understand the material being taught.
Frequent absenteeism leads to gaps in a child’s skills and knowledge base, cause the child to fall behind his peers and hurt his self-esteem.
Too many missed school days can increase isolation, as the child stands out from her classmates and misses opportunities to develop socially.
Absenteeism makes it tougher for the child to develop a good rapport with the teachers.
When Time is Ticking
Few homes run like clockwork. The morning routine, especially, can be a mad scramble. But there are effective strategies for getting your little one up and out the door on time.
Get your child to bed at a reasonable hour.
Set realistic and consistent schedules and rules at home. Getting ready for school should be part of the child’s overall routine, something that’s expected of him every day.
The night before school, do whatever is necessary to shave time in the morning, such as setting out clothes, packing lunch, and setting schoolbags at the door.
Have a set morning routine that the child can easily follow, i.e. washing hands and face, going to the bathroom, dressing, making the bed, brushing teeth, and eating a healthy breakfast.
Avoid any distractions that can slow the child down, like TV or games.
If you’re running late regularly, set your alarm to get up earlier.
Is it a sick day?
Children do get sick sometimes – they are still developing natural resistance to certain infections, their hygiene behaviours are still developing and germs spread more easily in a classroom. So some missed school is unavoidable, for the child’s own well-being, and the protection of her classmates. But there are ways to cut down on sick days.
Teach your child about proper handwashing, after going to the bathroom, playing outside or wiping his nose.
Follow other healthy habits, from eating nutritious food to getting enough sleep.
Some symptoms make school attendance uncomfortable, like a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. But if you’re unsure whether your child is sick enough to miss school, talk to your doctor.
Some children pretend to be sick to avoid school. Ask yourself is the child’s symptoms are vague, (i.e. a headache, upset stomach, fatigue), if your child tends to miraculously recover just after school starts or ends, or if the illness is happening during stressful times at school or at home. Allowing your child to remain home when there’s no real illness sets a bad pattern.
If you decide to keep your child home, please report your child’s absence via the SafeArrival system quickly and conveniently in one of the three ways:
Call an automated, interactive toll free number – 1-855-209-6155
Report absences online by accessing the SafeArrival parent portal on pdsb.schoolconnects.com
Download the SafeArrival mobile application for Apple and Android devices
Once you have reported your child’s absence, keep the child in bed or doing quiet, low-key activities. A day off from school shouldn’t be a holiday, it should be a time to recuperate from illness, so the child can return as soon as possible.
Set the right example
Children follow the lead of their parents. If you place an importance on regular and prompt school attendance, so will your child.
Show interest in your child’s education by asking about the school day, celebrating school successes, attending school events and parent-teacher interviews, volunteering at school, and communicating with your child’s teacher. The more you value school, the more your child will.
Provide a home environment that encourages learning and curiosity.
Treat the school hours with respect. If you have to make an appointment for your child, arrange it before or after school or, if that’s not possible, at the very beginning or end of the day.
When it comes to planning family trips, some parents will factor in the schedule in the higher grades, but think little of pulling their child out of school. If anything, younger students can be affected more when they miss an extended period, finding it tough to relearn classroom routines and rejoin their peer group. Learning is cumulative, building on the skills and concepts that were introduced before. And this process is ongoing. Family trips can be wonderful learning experiences themselves. But if they must occur during the school year, please save them for scheduled breaks.
If your child resists going to school, for no apparent reason, talk to him or her about any possible problems with the school, teacher or other kids. However, don’t give in to coaxing, pleading or threatening and keep the child at home. That creates a bad precedent.
Need more information?
If you have any questions regarding any of the issues raised here about lateness or attendance, or if you’re looking for other tips on getting your child to school, please talk to us. By working together, we can help support a more successful school experience for your child. Visit our website at www.peelschools.org.
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