Student Agenda

students in a classroom

Welcome to St. André Bessette Catholic School 

On behalf of the staff, I extend a warm welcome to everyone attending St. André Bessette Catholic School. We are looking forward to working together with you as we continue to build our community of faith. 

At St. André Bessette Catholic School, we are committed to providing a safe, caring and rich learning environment for all students.  In partnership with St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church and our parent community, student well-being and achievement are our top priority.  We encourage every student to reach their full potential in an inclusive setting.  We hope to nurture, support and inspire students on their road to becoming compassionate, confident and responsible Catholic graduates. 

Please take the time to become familiar with the information contained in this handbook. A mutual understanding of our school routines and a clear definition of our expectations will form the basis of a positive relationship between home and school. We hope that you find this a useful tool. Consistent use of the daily agenda will support and assist students in developing solid organizational skills. 

My office door is always open and I welcome you to come in and discuss any ideas, questions or concerns that you might have.  I look forward to working in partnership with you for a successful school year!  

Sincerely, 

Mrs. L. Stewart,
Principal

Agenda

Below is our student agenda. Please review this information with your child.

Board's Mission Statement
We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.
St. Andre Bessette Catholic School Prayer 

St. André,

Your devotion to St. Joseph is an inspiration to us.  You gave your life selflessly to bring the message of his life to others.  Pray that we may learn from St. Joseph, and from You, what it is like to care for Jesus and do His work in the world.

Amen

School's Vision

Our vision as a Catholic School Community at St. André is to facilitate learning by providing students with a supportive, nurturing environment where everyone works together and celebrates the joy of learning.  We do this through sharing the message of the Gospel values to our students and unify the goals of the church with those of the school, home and community.  Thus ensuring a positive environment where all students, parents and teachers can reach their full potential physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 
History of St. André Bessette

St. André was born in Saint-Gregoire d’liberville in Quebec on August 9th, 1845.  At the age of twenty-two, he moved to the United States, where he worked in manual jobs, one of which included a weaver.  After three years, André returned to Canada.  On advice of his parish priest, he applied to join the Brothers of the Holy Cross, in which he was clothed on December 28th, 1870.  He made his first profession in 1872 taking his final vows on February 2nd, 1874.  André was appointed janitor at the College of Our Lady of the Snows, near Montreal, where he was to spend the next forty years performing the humblest of tasks – janitor, barber, gardener, infirmarion – with the greatest of patience and charity.  He took St. Joseph as his model, spreading devotion to him with those whom he came in contact.  André acquired a reputation as a healer through St. Joseph’s intercession.  In 1904, on the eve of his sixtieth birthday, André was allowed to move into Montreal to help with the building of the Oratory of the Holy Cross.  He remained there until the age of ninety, living to this venerable age despite bouts of ill health from which he suffered throughout his life.  In his final months, André was moved to the convent of Our Lady of Hope, where he died on January 6th, 1937.  Pope John Paul II beatified him in St. Peter’s piazza on May 23rd, 1982. Brother André was canonized on October 17, 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI.

 
School Hours

 8:00 am          Office Opens

 8:25 am          Yard Supervision begins

 8:40 am          Morning Classes begin

10:05 am         Morning Recess

11:25 am         Lunch

12:25 pm         Afternoon Classes begin

 1:50 pm          Afternoon Recess

 3:10 pm          Dismissal

 3:25 pm          Yard Supervision ends

 4:00 pm          Office Closes

 
2019-2020 School Year Calendar
 

There will be no school on the following dates due to holidays and professional activity days:

  • September 2 - Labour Day    
  • October 11 - Professional Activity (P.A.) Day
  • October 14 - Thanksgiving
  • November 15 - Professional Activity P.A. Day
  • December 23 - Christmas Vacation begins (Classes resume on January 6, 2020)
  • January 17 -  Professional Activity (P.A.) Day
  • February 17 - Family Day
  • March 13 - 20 - March Break (Classes resume March 23)
  • April 3 - Professional Activity (P.A.) Day
  • April 10 - Good Friday
  • April 13 - Easter Monday                       
  • May 18 - Victoria Day
  • June 5  - Professional Activity (P.A.) Day
  • June 25 - Last day of school
 Reporting Schedule
 

Students will receive their report cards on the following dates:

  • Progress Reports - October 28, 2019          
  • Term 1 Reports - February 3, 2020                    
  • Term 2 Reports - June 24, 2020                

Conferences are scheduled for all students in November to share information about your child’s progress. 

Additional conferences may be scheduled in February to review progress in second term.  

Parents are encouraged to contact classroom teachers to discuss any questions and concerns between reporting periods.

Punctuality and Attendance
 

Regular class attendance is very important for student well-being and achievement, please help to develop good attendance habits in your child early.

Classes begin promptly at 8:40 am for the morning and 12:25 pm for the afternoon. 

Students who arrive late MUST report to the office before they can be admitted to class. 

If your child must be absent for the day due to illness, please report this absence using the SchoolMessenger App or call the Toll-Free Number 1-844-288-7628. 

Parents are asked to contact the school if you are planning on taking your child out of school for more than 5 days as some absences require the permission of the school principal.

Parent Volunteers in the School and Vulnerable Sector Checks
 

Parent and grandparent volunteers are always welcome to assist with library, trips and special events. 

If you are volunteering at school or on a field trip, the school requests that other siblings are left at home on that day to ensure that the volunteer’s attention to the class is completely undivided. All volunteers require a current Vulnerable Sector Check.  Letters are available at the office to reduce the cost of this service.  Vulnerable Sector Checks are provided by Durham Regional Police Service. 

Kiss 'N Ride Program
 

Arrivals and Departures: “Safety Over Convenience” 

Safe and Orderly Drop-off and Pick-up of Students at St. André Bessette Catholic School 

Student safety and well-being is our first priority.  This is a reminder of the routines for daily arrivals and departures from school for students being dropped off and picked up in vehicles. 

Please remember that the front Loop is for Bus Drop Off and Pick Up only.  Cars are to use North lot only. Vehicles should not be entering through the south exit or parking in the fire route/bus loop at the front of the school.

  Arrivals – Supervised Drop off from 8:25 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. in the North lot.

  1. Proceed through the lot in turn, and pull up to the curb on your right.
  2. Staff will be present to help direct students to their appropriate locations.
  3. Proceed to merge with the through traffic safely. 
  4. Be patient.
  5. Please do not drop off children before our supervision begins at 8:25 am in the morning.

Departures – 3:10 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.  – from the North lot.

  1. Proceed through the lot in turn, and pull up to the curb on your right (marked with stripes).
  2. Staff will be present to help direct students to their appropriate vehicle.
  3. Once passengers have been loaded, carefully proceed to merge with the through traffic safely. 
  4. If you don't see your child ready, you must proceed out of the loading zone and re-enter the
       queue.  Do not wait in the loading zone.
  5. Be patient as some students require car seats and must be secured in their vehicle by the driver.
  6. Load children from the passenger side of the vehicle only.
  7. For drivers who want to walk with your child to the door or gate, you must use a parking space.  Parking in
        the middle of the lot, curbside or in traffic lanes is not permitted.  You must walk with your child to the
        designated crosswalk at the east end of the parking lot.  A Staff member is present and will assist you.
        Crossing the driveway is unsafe and will not be permitted for adults or children. 

Please note:  Children must be accompanied by an adult in the parking lot.  There will be no unattended drop-offs in the parking area.

Remember, if you are really in a hurry to go elsewhere after dropping off or picking up your child then our Kiss and Ride routine is not for you.  It will take some time to get through the loop.  The safety of our children, our staff, and our visitors is our priority. We will not rush drivers or children through this process.  The responsibility for ensuring the safe operation of motor vehicles belongs to the driver, this includes ensuring that children are properly secured with seatbelts. Our staff is present to supervise students while they are waiting to be picked up.

Staff and volunteers will be visible and accessible to you during the morning and afternoon should you have any questions. Our goal is to help to educate everyone so that all are able to safely follow the new routines.

Please be aware of these unsafe practices:

a)  The "BUMPOUTS" adjacent to the park on the other side of Seggar Avenue may seem convenient, but are clearly posted by the Town of Ajax as NO PARKING zones.  Tickets are being served to drivers.  In addition, it is extremely unsafe to expect young children to cross the busiest part of the road, with or without adults. Teach your child how to cross safely with a Crossing Guard at the front of the school.

b) CURB SIDE DROP OFFS.  Again, these may seem convenient but place children and drivers in unnecessary unsafe situations.  If you want to drop your child off, use the Kiss and Ride or stop at a side street and teach your child how to cross safely with a crossing guard in front of the school.

c)  ILLEGAL PARKING on the street impedes the flow of traffic, placing children and drivers in unnecessary unsafe situations.  The parking Bylaw office is enforcing this law. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-619-8021 if you have any questions or concerns.   Let us work together to keep our children safe.

 

Bus Transportation 

Bus Transportation is provided by the Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS)

Office:  (905) 666-6295 or 1 (800) 240-6943

Automated Telephone Line:  (905) 666-6979 or 1(866) 908-6578

Website:  www.dsts.on.ca 

Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS) is responsible for the management of all home to school transportation for eligible students in Durham Region.  The DSTS automated phone line is the easiest way to obtain accurate information.  You will need to have your child’s date of birth and student OEN number (9 digit student number found on your child’s report card).

Bus safety is a priority for all students.  For those students who ride the bus on a daily basis, please be aware of the following: 

  • Students may only travel on their normal bus to and from school.  Drivers are unable to transport students
        not listed on their manifest list.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • Bus rules do not permit “part-time” students using transportation. If your child is designated to be on the
        bus, they are to be on the bus each day unless absent from school.
  • At dismissal time, should a student miss the bus, he/she must report to the office where a call will be placed
        to the parents.  Students are instructed to report directly to their bus line-ups following dismissal. 
  • Students should be at their bus stop at least 5 minutes before their designated pick-up time.  Expect a longer
        wait for the bus when there is inclement weather.
  • For younger children riding the bus, if for any reason the parent or guardian is not able to be at the bus stop
        to meet your child, the driver will return your child to the school.
  • Bus transportation is a privilege.  Students must follow the school code of conduct on the bus.  Students are
        not allowed to eat or drink on the bus. 
  • For safety reasons, large items, items that cannot be stowed under the seat, are not allowed on the bus (ex.,
        large projects, large bags with skating equipment, large musical instruments).  Parents are expected to
        provide transportation for their children when these bulky or large items must be taken to and from school.
  • Visit the Durham Student Transportation website www.dsts.on.ca for further information and to sign-up for
        automated messages regarding transportation services.

 

Cancellations Due to Weather Conditions:

  • Transportation services cancelled in the morning are cancelled for the entire day
  • Where transportation is cancelled, parents are responsible for transportation to and from school
  • Cancellations will be communicated to school communities beginning at 7:00 a.m. or earlier.  Radio stations
        include 680 AM and CHFI (98.1); televisions stations include Global and City TV as well as the DSTS website. 
 
Washroom Safety

The outer doors of all student washrooms will remain open throughout the day in the interest of safety.  This practice will respect the privacy of students while maintaining visibility.  For your safety and the safety of our students, Parents and/or visitors are required to use the washroom in the Office. 

 
Student Illness
 

Please do not send your child to school if there are definite signs of ill health in the morning.  We have neither the facilities nor the personnel to care for sick children.  Good health is necessary for effective learning.  Students who are ill should receive proper medical attention and should not return until their health is reasonable. 

Students who are ill at school should tell their teacher immediately.  It is important that students who are ill go home as soon as possible.

Our practice will be to call parents and ask that students either be picked up or given parental permission to go home or to their daycare provider. 

It is important that parents keep work and emergency numbers current in the school’s Student Verification Form.  Please contact the office as soon as possible when changes need to be made on the form.

Playground
 

In order to avoid potential problems, students should go home immediately after school instead of staying at the playground.  The playground is not supervised after school.  

Administration of Medication
 

According to Board policy, the responsibility for the administration of medication for students is primarily that of parents/guardians and they are encouraged to have this medication administered outside of school hours.  In special cases, where a student must have medication during regular school hours, a Form 8202: “Administration of Oral Medication – Parent’s Consent and Instructions” is to be completed and signed by the Parent/Guardian before any medication is sent to school with the child.  The forms are available at the school office.  Please note that a new form needs to be completed each school year.  All prescribed medication to be administered must be clearly marked with the child’s name and have the qualified medical doctor’s statement for prescribed use clearly stated.

Life Threatening Food and Additional Allergies

We have students who have severe, life-threatening allergic reactions to certain foods and/or chemicals.  The items include (and are not limited to) peanuts, peanut butter, nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, kiwi fruit, sesame, latex, rubber, lanolin, fragrances, balsam of peru and bee/wasp stings.  Parents complete a Plan of Care form and provide the school with an Epipen to provide rapid, temporary first aid in case of allergic reaction.  However, each reaction that occurs can worsen a child’s condition. 

Please do not send any food products to school for your child’s snack, lunch or class treats that contain nuts, peanut butter, shellfish, lentils, sesame, and kiwi fruit.  In order to keep the presence of bees to a minimum, no food/drink is allowed in the schoolyard.  In addition, no food/drink is allowed on school buses.

 Lunch Hour

We encourage parents to arrange for their children who are walking distance to school to go home for lunch.  This provides a change of pace for students and serves as a refresher for the afternoon program.  However, we realize that work schedules can make this challenging.  It is expected that if your child stays for lunch at school, that he/she remains on school property at all times.  

Students should not be leaving the school property to go to a friend’s house, the playground or retail plazas unless they are accompanied by their parent or designated caregiver.  Students who stay for lunch may not leave school property for any reason. Parents must sign their child out at the office and accompany their child if leaving.

Children eat lunch for the first twenty minutes of the lunch hour break in their designated classroom.  They are expected to remain seated at all times.  Weather permitted, students will go outside for the remaining forty minutes. 

Please assist your child in preparing a nutritious snack and lunch for their day that is brought to school in a reusable container.  We encourage students to bring in healthy snacks that follow Canada’s Food Guide.    

Our school participates in a Boomerang Lunch program as part of our Eco-schools initiative.  This means that all waste will go back home in a reusable container and drink boxes; bottles and cans will be recycled at school.

 
Inclement Weather

Students are expected to go outside for recess unless they are involved in extra-curricular activities or they are receiving extra help.  Please encourage your child to dress according to the weather conditions.  The only time that students are kept indoors during recess is when there is a high wind chill or it is raining. 

 
Lost and Found
 

Please assist your child in labeling their bags, coats and shoes.  Students are encouraged to place found articles in the lost and found boxes located on both floors.  Periodically, we will put the lost and found articles on display near the foyer and remind students and parents to come by and look for lost items.  Any items that remain unclaimed by the end of each term will be donated to a charity. 

School Programs 

It is our goal to provide an educational program that is based on Catholic beliefs and values that will meet the individual needs of each of our students. 

Classroom programs represent a variety of teaching styles and there is a high degree of student integration.  St. André Bessette Catholic School closely adheres to the philosophy outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Durham Catholic District School Board. 

Parents are encouraged to contact classroom teachers when questions arise about curriculum expectations and assessments.  Parents can also obtain valuable information from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s website and our own school website.

 
Homework

Part of the nightly homework routine should include time for reading whether it has been directly assigned or not. Ongoing review of concepts and studying for quizzes or tests is also appropriate and necessary.   Homework will only be work that should otherwise have been finished in class and the end stages of in-school assignments, projects or practice activities.

Students may be assigned incomplete work due to planned absences.

Children need time to be children and to have the opportunity for family time. Consequently, homework will NOT be assigned during holidays.

Group projects, when assigned are expected to be completed at school. Assessment and evaluation requires that the teacher observe students engaged in the learning process during projects and other assignments in order to assess student learning. Homework is considered practice and review only and may be used to assess progress, but is not intended to provide summative evaluation of student progress.

 

Faith Development and Catholic Graduate Expectations

Our students learn about their faith through partnership with home, and church.  Faith development occurs not only in religion class, but is also integrated across all areas of the curriculum.  Students can practice their faith through liturgies, daily prayers, masses, restorative practices, and social justice activities.

Catholic Graduate Expectations
 

Catholic education views human life as an integration of body, mind and spirit. Rooted in this vision, Catholic education fosters the search for knowledge as a lifelong spiritual and academic quest. The expectations of Catholic graduates, therefore, are described not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but in terms of values, attitudes and action (Institute for Catholic Education).  

  • A discerning believer formed in the Catholic Faith community 
  • An effective communicator 
  • A reflective, creative and holistic thinker 
  • A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner 
  • A collaborative contributor 
  • A caring family member 
  • A responsible citizen

 

 Sacraments
 

The Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist are a focus in the Grade Two religion program.  We work together with our parish, St. Francis de Sales to prepare your child for these Sacraments.  Parents who wish to have their children receive these sacraments must register their children for Sacramental preparation classes through the church.  Students in Grade 7 prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation and families must also register at the church for additional classes, if your child wants to receive this Sacrament. 

Please contact your parish to enquire about these Sacraments.  At St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, information regarding registration for classes will occur in the fall through the weekly bulletin.  

 

Our School's Parish
Our school's parish is St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church

1001 Ravenscroft Road, Ajax
Phone:  905-683-1403
Website: https://www.stfrancisdesales.ca/

Mass Times 

Weekday Celebration of Eucharist

Monday to Thursday - 9:00 am

Friday - 7:00 pm

 

Sunday Celebration of Eucharist

Saturday @ 5:00 pm

Sunday @ 8:30 am | 10:15 am | 12:00 Noon |  7:00 pm

 

(In the event of any changes, the revised timings will be published in the Parish Bulletin and on the Parish website.)

Extra-Curricular Activities
 

The students at St. André Bessette Catholic School are provided with a wide range of extra-curricular activities.  Most of these programs are conducted during the lunch hour to allow for maximum participation.  

Although there is an accepted degree of competition, the emphasis will be on participation. 

Our school has Junior and Intermediate teams for inter-school competition (e.g. volleyball, basketball, flag football, Tchouckball).  Our primary students are involved in clubs and intramurals (in-school sports).  

Our coaches meet with all students interested in participating on school teams.  They must obtain parental permission and may require permission from rotary teachers and/or French teacher to ensure that they are working on their academics to the best of their ability. 

In addition to athletic skills, ongoing respectful student behaviour and homework completion are factors for team selections.  

Please note that when a student participates in extra-curricular activities before and after school, parents/guardians must arrange transportation. 

 Catholic School Council

Our school understands the importance of our partnership with our parents and other members of our school community.  The Ministry of Education mandates that our Catholic School Council is comprised of parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, the parish priest, a community representative and the Principal. The function of the Council is to advise the Principal on matters set out by the Ministry of Education and the Durham Catholic District School Board.  Regular meetings are held throughout the year and are open to all members of the school community.  Elections are held yearly and meet the requirements of the Ministry of Education and the Durham Catholic District School Board policies regarding School Council. 

Dates for all the meetings are posted on our school website.  Parents are encouraged to attend these meetings.  Working on the Catholic School Council also gives our parents an opportunity to get to know other parents and staff members.

 Code of Conduct

At St. André Bessette Catholic School, it is expected that every child will demonstrate good Christian behaviour that will result in maintaining a positive, safe learning environment that promotes each student’s self-esteem and academic success.  All members of the school community are treated with respect and dignity, especially persons in positions of authority. 

The School Code of Conduct is subject to the rights and authority of the Church, the Ontario Ministry of Education Code of Conduct, and the Board Mission Statement. 

Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict. Physically aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.  All forms of abuse and/or discrimination are unacceptable. 

 
School Dress Code

The students of St. André Bessette Catholic School are expected to demonstrate a respect for all fellow students and staff by dressing appropriately. Students are expected to: 

  1. Dress modestly, neatly and appropriately.
  2. Wear skirts and shorts of appropriate length (no higher than tips of fingers with arms at sides).
  3. Wear tops that meet the waistband of pants/shorts/skirt, even when arms are raised overhead (no bare
        midriffs).
  4. Clothing worn must reflect Catholic values, i.e., media message on shirts/jackets.
  5. Sleep pants are not to be worn to school.
  6. Students must come equipped with appropriate clothing, footwear for physical education classes, and
        personal hygiene products where appropriate.
  7. No hats/headgear to be worn in the school.
  8. Wear a separate pair of non-marking running shoes for physical education classes which can be used as
        indoor shoes during class time. 

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

 
School Cash Online

School Cash Online is used to pay for all trips, lunches, agenda, yearbooks and much more. Parents are to register at http://durhamcatholic.schoolcashonline.com/ and select “Get Started Today”.

You will need your child’s OEN number to register. The OEN number is found on your child’s report card. A link to School Cash Online is available on the homepage of our website entitled Online School Purchase. (Under the rotating banner on the homepage) 

Childcare Information - YMCA

We are proud to partner with the YMCA to offer before and after school child care.
We also offer programs through Ontario Early Years program. For more information, please call:

YMCA - 60 Seggar Avenue, Ajax, ON L1S 1P2

Supervisor:  Alyson Plitz 
Phone (289) 200-3217

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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