Safe & Secure Schools: Our first priority as a school community

As a school community, we take the safety of your children very seriously. Procedures are developed in classrooms, and the wider school community, to ensure that student safety comes above all else. Some examples include: staff only on the yard for arrival and dismissal, playground rules regarding the safe use of equipment and adequate supervision, restricted traffic flow on school property during arrival and departure time, and compliance with legislation enacted to keep students safe at school, to name but a few.

Staff regularly review emergency procedures and are required as part of their employment to engage in training related to Safe Schools legislation. By making parents and guardians aware of this priority within the school setting we hope there will be a greater mutual trust in the decisions being made during the school day. The staff at St. Agnes take the responsibility of educating your children very seriously, and safety will always be paramount in our planning and preparation. We thank you for entrusting your most precious gifts to our care throughout the school day.

Increasing Enrollment

Many parents have expressed concerns related to the increasing enrollment at St. Agnes over the past week. It is important to note that personnel at the board level are closely monitoring all aspects of enrollment and the associated implications. For example:

  • Facilities continues to monitor the number of students and the associated access to plumbing fixtures (i.e., toilets and sinks). St. Agnes is in compliance with all aspects of the Ontario Building Code.
  • Human Resources closely monitors class sizes to ensure we adhere to Ministry of Education limits. It is important to note that all changes to class assignments are directed by the board office from this point on as a means of compliance with ministry reporting.

Split classes: What is being taught?

Many parents and guardians are concerned when their child is placed in a combined grade class. Often times, the belief is a child in a lower grade of a combined class is being accelerated, or the child in the higher grade of a combined class is being held back. Neither of these is true. Your child will be instructed, and evaluated, according to the expectations of the curriculum for their age appropriate grade. Teachers must differentiate the learning for both grades particularly in subjects such as Social Studies (Gr. 1-6), History & Geography (Gr. 7 & 8), Science and Technology, for which there are very discreet strands based on grade. Teachers are also provided with resources to be shared in order to meet ministry curriculum expectations. Finally, all class excursions must be based on curriculum expectations. This means we don’t take a “class trip” but rather we have a grade level excursion in order to enhance learning related to curriculum expectations. If your child is in grade 3, they will be involved in the same experiential learning opportunities as grade 3 students from a 2/3 combined class, for example.

For more information from the Ministry of Education on combined grades please refer to this document, An Introduction to Combined Grades.

Communicated previously…

Anaphylaxis Policy: APH005

The following information is taken directly from our board’s Anaphylaxis policy:

Look-A-Like Products To Peanut Butter (e.g. SchoolSafe Soy Butter – WOWBUTTER; Sunbutter (sunflower seeds); Golden Pea Butter (peas and Omega 3 canola oil)

School Administrator is to communicate to school community to refrain from sending look-a-like products to peanut butter to school with your child.

  • It is impossible to differentiate between these products and peanut butter; in fact, these products are almost identical in colour, consistency, smell and taste to peanut butter. Therefore, the Board is requesting that parents do not send their children to school with look-a-like products to peanut butter such as “WOWBUTTER”, “PEABUTTER” and “SUNBUTTER” in sandwiches until the products are available in a colour other than tan, the colour of peanut butter. If not already done so, please bring the above information to the attention of your school community via your school newsletter and/or school website. If a student brings this product into the school, an alternative setting to eat their lunch/snack is to be provided.
  • products containing or ‘may contain’ peanuts or tree nuts are not to be brought into the school.

All school staff have been made aware of the severity of this condition and have been instructed in the correct procedures regarding anaphylaxis. Prevention, of course, is the best approach. Although this may or may not affect your child’s class directly, we want to inform you so that you send foods to school with your child that are free from peanuts or nut products. If a product says “may contain nuts” it should not be sent to school. In a school setting, cross-contamination is the greatest risk for this type of allergy. Trace amounts of peanuts/nuts can be left on gym equipment, computer keyboards, pencils, etc. As a school community, we cannot take the risk associated with cross contamination. Children’s lives depend on our due diligence. The staff at St. Agnes endeavor to make the school a safe environment for all students, and life-threatening conditions are paramount to all other issues.

If you require further information about anaphylaxis please contact the school.

Communicated previously…

Parking Lot access

As part of our Safe Schools protocol, the school parking lot on Neilson Avenue is not accessible to parents & family members. The parking lot on Bluevale Avenue will only be accessible to parents who are dropping off/ picking up students as part of the Extended Day program. This drop off/ pick up will be monitored by school staff. It is critical that we have no moving traffic in the parking lot as our students arrive and depart each day. Please park at the church and have your child walk on the sidewalk to the school property. Student safety is our primary concern.

School Website Google calendar

Please note that all important school wide information will be posted on our Google calendar. This information will be updated on a regular basis so it is important to check this school calendar.

Meet the Teacher Open House

Join us Tuesday September 17th from 4:30pm—6:00pm at St. Agnes for our Meet the Teacher Open House.  Please note: we will not be serving any food this year as part of our Open House. Teachers will be available in their classrooms until 6:00pm. You can expect teachers to discuss upcoming events, and share subject specific curriculum highlights. Please respect that this event is an introduction between staff and families, and children will be encouraged to show their family around the classroom. Individual feedback occurs at Parent– Teacher conferences in early November. We are looking forward to seeing you on September 17th.

Picture Day is Monday September 23rd.

St. Agnes Catholic Church news

The Children’s Choir gathers on Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm at the church. We are hoping to recruit more members! For more information please contact Michelle Schill at stagnessacramental@gmail.com

Sacramental meetings are posted on the School Google calendar. Please speak to the church for more information.