BIG VALLEY SCHOOL 

HANDBOOK

2018 - 2019


2017/2018 Big Valley School Staff

Start Right pre-k                - Mrs. Carmen Tizzard

Kindergarten                - Mrs. Tara Switzer              tswitzer@clearview.ab.ca

 Gr. 1/2                - Miss. Larissa Jackson    ljackson@clearview.ab.ca

Gr. 3/4                - Mrs. Melitta Sorensen        msorensen@clearview.ab.ca

Gr. 5/6                 - Mr. Michael Knight         mknight@clearview.ab.ca

Gr. 7/8/9 Math, Social, PE        - Mrs. Jessica Rairdan        jrairdan@clearview.ab.ca        

Principal & 7/8/9 Science & LA        - Miss. Charlee Mappin        cmappin@clearview.ab.ca

Secretary                - Mrs. Cheryl Bartley        cbartley@clearview.ab.ca

Caretaker                - Mrs. Kim Brandon

Bell Times

Doors Open

8:05 am

1ST BELL

8:18 am

CLASS 1

8:18-9:15 am

  CLASS 2

9:15-10:15 am

Recess

10:15-10:30 am

Nutrition Break

10:30- 10:40 am

CLASS 3

10:40-11:30 am

CLASS 4

11:30 am-12:15 pm

Recess

12:15-12:35 pm

Lunch

12:35-12:55 pm

CLASS 5

12:55-1:25 pm

CLASS 6

1:25-1:55 pm

CLASS 7

1:55 pm-2:35 pm

Pack & Stack

2:35- 2:45 pm

Dismissal

2:45 pm

Contact Information

Phone: 403-876-2271

After School Emergency Cell : 403-741-8882

Email: cmappin@clearview.ab.ca

Facebook: Big Valley School News and Events

Message to Parents:

Parents are as important as teachers - successful students have many things in common! There is no set recipe for creating a successful student. However, successful students do seem to have some things in common that parents can influence. Their parents/ guardians: 

1. Encourage and support them.

2. In your child’s presence, speak positively of the school and staff. If you have concerns, share it with us. we can explain or solve the problem together.

3. Limit and monitor TV watching and increase outside activity.

4. Show interest in your child’s schoolwork.

5. Place computers and electronic devices where children’s use can be monitored

6. Read to and with them.

7. Ensure they get enough sleep, nutritious food, and exercise.

8. Expect them to work hard and grow their potential.

9. Expect them to show respect to all adults they meet, including the adults they see in school.

10. Ensure that they attend school regularly.

Students:

Here at Big Valley School, we expect all students to treat other students and adults in the building with courtesy and respect. Students, in turn, can expect the same from the staff and other students. If you want to be trusted, be honest and responsible. If you want to be treated with respect, be respectful. If you want your opinion to be heard, respect the opinion of others.

Student Code of Conduct

A student shall conduct himself or herself so as to reasonably comply with the following code of conduct.  

1.        A student shall be diligent in pursuing the student’s studies.

2.        A student shall attend school regularly and be on time.

3.        A student shall co-operate fully with everyone, all adults in the school including guest speakers and substitute teachers.

4.        A student shall comply with the rules of the school.

5.         A student shall account to the student’s teachers for the student’s conduct.

6.         A student shall respect the rights of others.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Secretary-Receptionist
  2. Disaster Plan
  3. School Newsletter
  4. Student Activities/ Field Trips
  5. Assessment
  6. Late Assignment Policy/ Habitually Missed Tests
  7. Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct
  8.       Student Appeals
  9. Attendance and Lateness
  10. Family Holidays and Homework
  11. Excusable Absences
  12. Inexcusable Absences
  13. Illnesses
  14. Allergies
  15. Lice
  16. Visitors/ Parents in the Hallway
  17. Fire, Bells, Lockdowns
  18. Dress Code and Cold Weather
  19. Playground Behavior
  20. Bullying
  21. Personal Electronic Devices (Cell Phones/ iPods)
  22. Valuables
  23. Contraband Goods
  24. Lockers
  25. Use of Telephone
  26. Skateboards and Roller Blades
  27. Bicycles and Safety
  28. Lost and Found Articles
  29. Bussing
  30. Student Registration Fees
  31. Report Cards and Parent Teacher Interviews

Secretary- Reception

This year, our secretary will be working 4 days per week. She is available to answer questions that may arise during the day. On days which she is not in the office, please be patient if the phone isn’t answered promptly. Either call back or leave a voicemail and someone on staff will get back to you in a timely manner.

Disaster Plan

The Big Valley School has an obligation to protect and ensure the health and safety of students and staff in the event of an emergency or disaster situation. Therefore, it is necessary to have a school disaster plan to be in a state of preparedness that extends beyond normal procedures. Big Valley School has employed the services of Hour Zero to produce and execute a disaster plan for our school.

School Newsletter

Every month our school sends home a parent/student newsletter, we encourage parents to sign up electronically to receive the newsletter.  This newsletter informs parents upcoming events and activities. The newsletter also includes a calendar showing the month’s planned activities.  Your family’s paper copy is sent home with the youngest member of your family attending Big Valley School.

Student Activities/ Field Trips

The school offers many different activities to prompt a well-rounded, balanced learning environment for students. Dances, intramural sports programs, sports teams, and ski trips, are some of the offered activities. These activities are viewed as privileges that are earned by adhering to the Student Code of Conduct, and by supporting the learning environment as positive and active learners who are attempting to achieve their personal and academic potential. Students choosing, through their actions, to not support this learning environment can forfeit these privileges. Student activities are tied to behavior, character, and academic performance.

The primary objective of Big Valley School is to promote academic skills, personal responsibility and independence, and respect for others. On occasion, teachers take students on educational activities where they act as representatives of our school. At times there will be costs associated with the activity or transportation to the activity. These activities do not relieve students of their usual school work. Students participating in these activities must maintain satisfactory effort and achievement in each of their classes. They must attend school regularly, and be on time. They must maintain a healthy respect for the school, the staff, their classmates, and the community. These activities are a privilege given to those who satisfy the criteria stated above.

Students whose academic efforts, attendance, or behavior do not meet these school objectives shall not be granted the privilege of participating until they have demonstrated that they can once again be a positive representative of our school.

Assessment

Big Valley School endeavors to employ a variety of effective strategies to ensure the development of a quality student assessment environment designed to improve learning and teaching. Students are evaluated on their understanding of learning outcomes based on the Alberta Program of Studies. Evaluation of students is an ongoing process, and includes multiple opportunities for informal and formal conferences between students, teachers, and parents/legal guardians. Two formal conferences are provided each year where parents, teachers, and students have an opportunity to meet and discuss a student’s progress. Teachers may use any method of assessment they deem to be in the best interest of students.  

         Late Assignment Policy

Late assignments will not be accepted without prior authorization. Extensions will be granted on a case by case basis at the teacher’s discretion. Students must first meet with their teacher at least two days before their assignment is due to discuss any concerns with their ability to complete the assignment. When a student fails to hand in an assignment on the due date, the student will be expected to meet with the teacher to discuss whether an extension will be granted. The student will be expected to phone home to inform their parents of all late or missed assignments. ALL students will complete ALL work to the best of their ability.  When this does not occur an incomplete or, a grade of 1% will be used for the assignment and:

        

Habitually Missed Tests and Assessments

When a student has been absent from a test, an alternate date will be scheduled between the student and teacher with parents being informed if needed. Students are tasked with the responsibility of scheduling and keeping the appointments they set with their teachers.

Students who habitually and/ or purposely miss tests and assessments will be dealt with on a case by case basis. It is unfair to everyone when students purposely and habitually skip tests. If a pattern emerges where a student is often sick on due dates or exam days, parents will be contacted to discuss the student’s Academic Dishonesty. If your child suffers from exam anxiety or academic stress, please contact your student’s teacher to discuss solutions for your child.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct

Academic integrity is an essential part of our school culture. Academic dishonesty and misconduct will not be tolerated. Actions which constitute academic dishonesty and/or misconduct are considered a serious offence and include:

Plagiarism, which includes but is not limited to:

        

Cheating, which includes but is not limited to:

        Consequences

Plagiarism and cheating often stem from procrastination. As stated previously, students may make prior arrangements with teachers to extend deadlines if they are feeling that they won’t complete assignments on time. It is the responsibility of the student to use class time wisely and take advantage of provided academic supports such as study hall and Academic Support class. Teachers are available at any time to assist a student who asks for extra guidance and help.

Students who are found to be academically dishonest, whether by their own mistake or by making a choice to do so, may be subject to the following consequences. The degree and severity of their dishonesty will also be taken into consideration.

Parents will be notified if their student is suspected of/ found to be academically dishonest.

Appeals

Students have the right to appeal a staff member’s decision to the principal. The appeal process is initiated by the student asking the staff member for permission to see the principal. The principal’s decision is final.

Attendance and Lateness

Regular attendance is a requirement by law for students under 16 years of age, and is a requirement for success in school. If students are absent, or late, it is expected that a parent will communicate the absence to the school as soon as possible. School personnel will attempt to determine the reason for every absence, or lateness. Cooperation and effective communication between parents and school staff allows us to work successfully together.

Students arriving late for classes, or during the lunchtime, must report directly to the office. This procedure must be followed as it allows for successful supervision of students within the school. Lateness interferes with other students’ learning and will be referred to the administration if it becomes persistent.  

Family Holidays Taken While School is in Session 

Students spend a good amount of time in school learning through discussion and hands-on activities. This change from years past makes it difficult to send homework with children while they are on vacation. Travel is a wonderful learning opportunity for children so we encourage parents to help their children learn about the people, economy and geography of the area they are visiting. All of this while having fun of course! The change in teaching along with the learning opportunity offered with travel means that we will not send work in advance of a family vacation. We are happy to help our students catch up on their work when they return from a family holiday taken while school is in session.

Excusable Absences

Students who are away from school due to illness, injury, other emergency or religious holiday may be deemed excusably absent. If it is necessary for a student to be absent or late, a note dated and signed by the parent or guardian should be provided to the school office. Notifying the school provides time for the student to arrange for extending deadlines or exemptions from tests, and/or assignments.  Students who are absent for short periods of time can reasonably be held responsible for the work they miss, but may need time extensions at the discretion of the teacher.

 Inexcusable Absences

If an absence, and the reason for the absence, is not reported to the school it shall be deemed an inexcusable absence. Students will be held accountable for missed school work. Missed work prevents the school from providing a true assessment of a student’s capabilities, and understanding the material being learned.

Illness

Students who become sick during the school day report to their teacher who will send them to the office. Parents will be notified. Students cannot leave the school until picked up by a parent, or a parent has given permission for the student to go home, or to another care provider.

Allergies

Being a safe and caring school, we understand the serious consequences that potential allergens can create for members of the school community.  Unfortunately, we cannot control with 100% certainty what allergens come into our school or when sensitivity to an allergen would affect a member of the community. Big Valley School is a “peanut-aware” learning environment and we communicate how to avoid causing allergic reactions at school.

While the key responsibility lies with the anaphylactic individual and their family to learn to avoid specific triggers, in the case of an anaphylactic student, the school community must also be aware of the student’s needs and assist the student as necessary.  

Students with severe allergies must:

Big Valley Students must:

Lice 

Lice are an unfortunate part of life at any school. They will infest anyone and do not discriminate. Our practice with lice at school is as follows: Teachers will discreetly send students they suspect as having lice to the office where office staff will check their hair. Parents will be notified if we find lice, signs of lice or, lice-like insects and will be asked to pick their children up from the school and keep them home until their hair has been treated. Quick attention to this issue helps reduce the spread of lice. This action is not intended to make students and parents feel bad, it is done to decrease the spread of lice.

Visitors/ Parents in Hallways

Parents and guardians are always welcome in our school. When possible, please call ahead to arrange a meeting with the staff member that you wish to visit as they may not be available at the time you plan to arrive.  All parents and visitors upon entering the school must report to the office or a staff member in the building. If you are bringing in forgotten student items or lunches, we ask that you please drop them at the office and allow our secretary to deliver them to your child at an appropriate time. Please appreciate that delivering a message/ visiting your child’s classroom can disrupt the flow of a lesson.

It is important to remember that the school does not wish to alienate parents or even keep them at a distance. We do however need students to develop independence and comfort in the school setting. If a parent encourages their child to say their goodbyes at the door of the school and proceed to class on their own, the child accepts the idea that school is a “safe and good place to be.” This also gives the child the opportunity to adjust their emotional standing between the front door and the classroom door, rather than as they enter the classroom, with all of their peers watching. You are welcome to enter the school with your child the first week of school to help them find their locker and get organized before and after school. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to meet your child’s teacher. Please help your child develop their independence, after the first week of school, by saying goodbye to them at the outside school door and picking them up at the end of the school day from the same door. This also helps us, as teachers, to build routines with our students. Parents are asked to use the main entrance to the school when they drop-in during the school day.

Fire Bells and Lockdowns

Procedures will be reviewed with all students at the start of the year with their homeroom teachers. Drills will occur throughout the school year and must be treated as serious situations.

Dress Code

Every student is expected to dress appropriately. Clothing that promotes or brings awareness to hate, persecution, intolerance of others, unhealthy lifestyles, drugs, alcohol, racism etc. are not allowed at school. Students are expected to have two sets of shoes at school. One pair is to be worn inside while the other is to be worn outside only. The following may not be worn at school:

a) Items that cover the top of the head or obscure the student’s face

(unless worn for religious reasons)  

                b) Half shirts (shirts which cannot be tucked in)

        c) See-through clothing

                        d) Pants/bottoms or shirts which reveal underwear

        e) Potentially dangerous clothing (spurs, pointed studs)

Violation of the dress code will result in any of the following:

        a) Reversal or change of clothing

        b) Student being asked to change into gym attire

        c) Student being sent home to change

d) Parents being informed of the inappropriate dress.

*Please note, all decisions are based on what the staff deem to be in the best interest of all the students.

Weather 

Please ensure that your child is appropriately dressed for the weather. They are expected to go outside during recess (K-9 go out for first recess, K-6 for second recess) and we want them comfortable at that time. Students may be asked to stay in the classrooms during recess when we are experiencing extremely cold conditions. It may be a good idea to have an extra pair of pants and socks in the locker or student backpack during periods of wet weather.

On days which busses are not running, the school will remain open and continue with a regular school day. School closures are a rare occurrence and will happen only in the most extreme situations. Please ensure your child is dressed for the weather and prepared for unforeseen weather events.

Playground Behavior

Equipment is provided for students to use on the playground and students are expected to return all outdoor items to their appropriate bins. Equipment brought from home is permitted as long as it is deemed safe by playground supervisors. Equipment brought from home is the sole responsibility of the student who brought it. Wrestling, pushing, tackling, and rough play is dangerous and is not permissible. Snowballs are also not permitted to be thrown at any time outside of the areas designated by the principal. It is to be assumed that throwing of snowballs is not permitted at any time unless an alternative announcement is made by the principal. However, for all students’ safety, students are expected to comply with teacher instruction and requests at all times. Students who do not follow playground rules or whose actions are deemed disrespectful or harmful will be required to spend the recess period in an alternative supervised area, or be picked up or supervised by a parent during recess times.

Bullying vs. Teasing

Teasing is positive when: It takes place within a strong relationship with two people who appreciate the teasing as affectionate, the teaser is using a joking (rather than aggressive) tone of voice and smiling, the person being teased does not look distressed.

Teasing becomes bullying when: The content of the teasing turns from affectionate to hostile, there is a power imbalance; the person doing the teasing has more power among peers compared to the person being teased, the teasing occurs repeatedly, the child who is doing the teasing is purposely trying to upset or hurt the child being teased, the child being teased is upset or hurt by the interaction.

Bullying behaviour may include: name-calling, pushing, giggling or making faces when another child talks, excluding a child from a game, ignoring a child, tattling to get a child in trouble, using a child’s name as an insult, making a point not to sit, play, or line up near a certain child, or writing negative messages on the internet.

Bullying is unacceptable at Big Valley School. At Big Valley School we believe in a discipline model that is fair and consistent, that provides a positive, purposeful and safe learning environment, and that promotes student self-discipline, cooperation, and consideration for others. We also believe that an effective discipline system requires the support of parents. 

Consequences

Bullying is seen as a breach of the student code of conduct. Bullying is not done accidentally, it is done with purpose. Therefore, the following consequences may apply given the severity of the circumstance:

Personal Electronic Devices

The use of personal electronic devices will be considered a privilege and will be restricted during instructional time due to their potential for disrupting learning and causing problems due to theft, breakage or loss.  Students who wish to bring them to school are required to keep them in a locker during class time. Personal electronic devices may be used during instructional activities when specifically permitted to do so by the teacher. Confiscation will occur if these expectations are not met.

The first time an item is confiscated, it will be returned to the student at the end of the class time. If the item is confiscated a second time, the student will be required to phone home and have a parent come to collect the item. If the student continues to bring their personal electronic device into the classroom without teacher permission, the student will be required to check-in their device with the principal at the beginning of the school day, each day. The device will be returned at the end of each school day. If the use of a personal electronic device becomes an ongoing issue, parents will be contacted to come up with a solution.

Valuables

The school is not responsible for losses of student property. Valuables and money should be kept in lockers, or left at the office.  

Contraband Goods

These are items which threaten the safe environment of the school, and for that reason, they are unacceptable in our school. Contraband goods include but are not limited to:

a)         Smoking/Tobacco Products/E-Cigarettes

There is no smoking, or use of tobacco products/ e-cigarettes on or near school property. At no time are cigarettes/tobacco products/vaporizers/e-cigarettes to be kept or stored in the school. This includes lockers, backpacks, and jackets. The Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use Act states that it is an offence for any person under the age of 18 years old to be in possession of cigarettes, smoke, or consume tobacco or cannabis in a public place. Violations can result in suspension from school and a fine for the offence. 

b)         Weapons of Violence

Any weapon of violence is not allowed in the school. Any object used to threaten another person is considered a weapon. Toys or replicas of weapons are also prohibited. Flammable or explosive materials such as caps, or fireworks, are not permitted in the school.  Violations can result in a school suspension depending upon the severity of the situation.

c)         Alcohol and Drugs

There is to be no use, or possession of alcohol or drugs on school property, or during school sponsored activities. This includes use of alcohol, or drugs prior to a school activity. Violations will result in a school suspension and a fine for the offence.

d)         Laser Pointers

Because of the potential to permanently damage eyesight, students are not permitted to have laser pointers at school. Violation will result in the laser pointer being confiscated.

Lockers

Lockers are assigned at the beginning of the school year. Students are responsible for maintaining their lockers in a clean, organized manner. Any items being fastened to the locker must be easily removed. There are to be no stickers fastened to lockers as they are difficult to remove. It should be noted that the school retains its ownership rights to the lockers and may at any time inspect the lockers, and confiscate articles which should not be on school premises.

Use of Telephone

A telephone is in the office area for students to use. However, it is not to be used during the school day without the consent of a teacher, or the office staff.

Skateboards, Scooters and Roller Blades

To ensure the safety of students, there will be no use of skateboards, scooters or rollerblades on the school property or sidewalks adjacent to the school. Students must remove roller blades or pick up and carry skateboards prior to coming onto the school property and store them in their locker. Helmets must also be worn while using these on school or adjacent to property.

Bicycles and Safety

A bicycle stand is provided by the front of the school for those bringing bicycles to school. The school is not responsible for the safekeeping of the bicycles. All bicycles should be locked. Bicycles are personal property and therefore, tampering and using another person’s property is not acceptable. Students must walk their bikes on the school grounds. 

Lost and Found Articles

Lost and found items are located in the main hallway area. To increase the chance of recovering lost items, please report any lost items immediately. The school takes no responsibility for lost or stolen items.

Bussing

Riding the bus is a privilege, not a right. We expect students to follow these guidelines. Failure to do so may result in the removal of bus privileges.

- Sit properly and quietly in your seat, facing the front while the bus is in motion

- Always promptly obey orders given by the school bus driver

- Be properly dressed for the weather

- Be at your pick up point on time

School Fees

Beginning of year school fees per student:

General Supplies

Art Supplies

CTS Option

Culture

Additional Bussing

Agenda

Total

K-6

25.00

15.00

x

20.75

35.75

6.00

102.50

7-9

25.00

15.00

25.00

20.75

35.75

x

121.50

As of September 2017, the Government of Alberta has eliminated the “General Instruction Fee”. To allow for more transparency, schools are required to list what each fee is to be used for. All fees must go towards the category that they’re specified for and a profit must not be made. If there are leftover fees in the category at the end of the year, a refund may be issued to parents for the amount remaining or, the funds will be carried over to the following school year and used in accordance with their category.

If you are unable to pay your school fee or, need to make payment arrangements we can certainly accommodate you. Please contact the office for more information.

Report Cards and Parent Teacher Interviews

Parents/guardians will receive three report cards explaining their child/children’s achievement during the school year.  Report cards will be sent home with the students on November 17, March 16, and June 28.  If you wish to have the report card received in the mail or by email let the office know.  Report cards will not be handed out early.