Family Handbook - St. Michaels University School

Page created by Ray Reid
Family Handbook - St. Michaels University School
Family Handbook

               Dates are subject to change. Please refer to the website for updated information.
August 25 - September 7            Virtual New Boarding Orientation and Quarantine Program
Monday, September 7                Labour Day Holiday
Tuesday, September 8               Boarders begin moving in
Thursday, September 10             First full day of classes (Grades 2-12; half day for K-1)
Monday, September 14               First full day for Grade 1
Thursday, September 17             First full day for Kindergarten
Thursday, October 8                Classes end at lunch; professional development afternoon
                                   School closes at end of day for Thanksgiving Holiday
Friday to Monday, October 9-12     School closed
Tuesday, October 13                Classes resume
Tuesday, November 10               Junior School Remembrance Day Service
Wednesday, November 11             Remembrance Day Service; School closes at lunch for Mid-term Break
Thursday to Sunday, November 12-15 School closed
Monday, November 16                Classes resume
Thursday, December 10              School closes at end of day for the holiday
Friday, December 11                Professional development day

Monday, January 4                              Classes resume
Thursday, February 11                          School closes at lunch; professional development afternoon
Friday to Monday, February 12-15               School closed
Tuesday, February 16                           Classes resume
Thursday March 18                              School closes at end of day for Spring Break
Friday, March 19                               Professional development day

Friday, April 2                                Good Friday
Sunday, April 4                                Easter Sunday
Monday, April 5                                Easter Monday
Tuesday, April 6                               Classes resume
Thursday, May 20                               School closes at end of day for Victoria Day Holiday
Friday to Monday, May 21-24                    School closed
Tuesday, May 25                                Classes resume
Monday to Thursday, June 14-17                 Senior School Final Assessment Week and Closing Assembly (schedule TBA)
Thursday, June 17                              Junior School Closing Ceremonies (afternoon)
                                               Middle School Closing Ceremonies (evening)
Friday, June 18                                Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony
                                               Grade 12 Dinner Dance
Please note that all Senior School students must be available until all their exams are completed. Arrangements for travel should
be made well in advance so that students do not miss important school time.

                                                              ABSENCES AND LATENESS
                                                                Report absences before 8 am

                Junior School                                          Middle School                                             Senior School
              Call 250-598-3922                                      Call 250-592-3549                                         Call 250-370-6133
     Email:                             Email:                            Email:
                    (page 9)                                                (page 14)                                               (page 21)

     This publication was last updated: August 7, 2020. All information is subject to change, and parents and students
     should continue to stay in contact with school directors and ensure their contact information is up-to-date.
Family Handbook 2020-21
   Table of Contents                                    1        Absences and Lateness                            15
   General Information                                  2        Family Holidays                                  15
       Recognition of Indigenous Peoples                2        Completing Work When Away                        15
       Policy of Community                              2        Timetables                                       15
       Change of Address                                2        Health Centre                                    15
       Examination of Student Records                   2        Cellphones                                       15
       Weather Closures                                 2        Charges to Student Accounts                      15
       Bicycles and Skateboards                         3        Communication of Student Learning                16
       School Bus                                       3        Teacher Advisor Group (TAG)                      16
       Respecting Our Neighbours                        3        Homework Purpose and Policy                      16
       Supporting Social and Emotional Development      3        Student Agenda                                   16
       Student Safety                                   3        SMUS Student Email Use Policy                    16
   Academic Information                                 4        Computer Lab and Homework Club                   16
       Foundations of Learning                          4        Lockers                                          16
       Assessment Philosophy at SMUS                    4        Learning Skills                                  16
       Communication of Student Learning                4        Music                                            17
   Learning Resource                                    5        Outdoor Education                                17
   School Counselling Program                           5        Extracurricular Athletic Program                 17
   Chapel                                               6        Clubs and Councils                               17
   Student Life                                         6        House System                                     17
       School Uniform                                   6        Student Council Dances                           17
       Campus Shop                                      6        Service Days                                     18
       Clothing Labels                                  6        Year-End Calendar and Events                     18
       Lost, Misplaced and Stolen Items                 6   Dress Code for Middle School Students                 19
       Lunches and Snacks                               7        Dress and Grooming                               19
       Student Accounts                                 7        School Uniform                                   19
       Responsible Network Use                          7        Used Uniform Sales                               20
       Social Media Code of Conduct                     7   Senior School Parent and Student Information          21
   Parent Involvement                                   8        Drop-Off and Pick-Up                             21
       Lines of Communication – Questions and Issues    8        Parking                                          21
       SMUS Parents’ Auxiliary                          8        Absences and Lateness                            21
       St. Michaels University School Society           8        Health Centre                                    22
       Advancement                                      8        Smartphones                                      22
   Junior School Parent and Student Information         9        Bring Your Own Device                            22
       Academic Information                             9        Communication of Student Learning                22
       Drop-Off, Dismissal and Pick-Up                  9        University Counselling Centre                    23
       Parent Pick-Up Information                      10        Academic Advisors                                23
       After-School Care Program                       10        The Snowden Library                              23
       Absences and Lateness                           10        Academic Support                                 23
       Family Holidays                                 10        Councils, Clubs and Activities                   23
       Parent Visitors and Student Sign-In/Sign-Out    10        Senior School Workload Guidelines                24
       Parent Volunteers                               10        Late Assessment Policy                           24
       Parents as Partners                             10        Advanced Placement                               26
       Completing Work When Away                       10        Behaviour and Discipline                         27
       First Aid Room                                  10   Dress Code for Senior School Students                 28
       Nut-Free School                                 10        Dress and Grooming                               28
       Cellphones                                      10        School Uniform                                   28
       Communication of Student Learning               10        Used Uniform Sales                               29
       House System                                    11   Boarding Community                                    30
       Student Agendas                                 11        Campus Life, House Allocation and Houseparents   30
       Homework Policy                                 11        Telephone Calls and Messages                     30
       Extracurricular Clubs, Activities and Sports    11        Community Expectations                           31
       Behaviour and Discipline                        11        Behaviour and Discipline                         32
   Dress Code for Junior School Students               12        Boarding Curriculum                              33
       Dress and Grooming                              12        Personal Effects                                 33
       Junior School Uniform                           12        Leave Guidelines                                 35
       Used Uniform Sales                              13        Submitting Leave Requests - REACH                36
   Middle School Parent and Student Information        14        Services Available to Boarding Students          37
       School Values                                   14   External Programs                                     39
       Behaviour and Discipline                        14   Privacy Policy                                        39
       Peer Conflict, Mean Behaviour and Bullying      14   St. Michaels University School Privacy Principles     40
       School Year Start-Up                            14
       Middle School Schedule                          14
       Drop-off and Pick-up                            14

St. Michaels University School                                                      Family Handbook 2020-21 | 1
General Information
ST. MICHAELS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL (SMUS) sets high                         Change of Address
standards for its staff and students. We offer a very active,
enjoyable and rewarding life for those who appreciate the               To maintain school records, parents are required to update
opportunity to stretch themselves academically, artistically,           immediately any changes to their contact information.
athletically and culturally. A great deal of personal freedom           You can do this by logging into the Parent Portal of SDS at
and responsibility abounds, which satisfies the needs of our   and clicking on “Update My
developing leaders of the future. Being part of such a dynamic          Information.” Once you click on “Submit the Data Update
and successful institution is a privilege, and we expect everyone       Request,” the system automatically notifies the school’s Data
to contribute positively to the school.                                 and Finance departments of your new information, and the
                                                                        changes will be processed shortly afterward. The school must
The school does not have a long list of rules, regulations or           also have current emergency name and contact numbers for
restrictions. Our underlying philosophy is one that will develop        each student. Please contact the Data Centre at 250-370-6156
courteous, responsible and caring young adults. A basic rule            or if you have questions.
of good manners is to never make personal remarks, unless
complimentary, about other people. Having gone through                  Examination of Student Records
a door, students should look behind and hold the door if
someone is following. On meeting adults in a doorway or a               In the event of any concern over the right to access student
staircase, it is customary for a student to step aside and allow        records, the school will respond in a timely fashion.
the adults to pass. On noticing visitors to the school, students        A student and the parents/guardians of a student of school age
are expected to ask if they need help and to take them to the           are entitled, on request, to “examine all school records pertaining
appropriate place or person.                                            to the student while accompanied by the Director or person
St. Michaels University School is not for those who need the            designated by the Director to interpret the student records.” The
security of rules backed by harsh sanctions or those who need           Ministry of Education also notes that “records to which student
discipline. We expect our students to treat others as they              and parents have access should only contain information that
would wish to be treated, to do nothing against the dictates of         cannot be used to the detriment of the student.”
conscience and good sense, and to act at all times in a way that        Access to permanent student records is available only to
will do credit to the good name and reputation of the school.           “parents or guardians, administrative officers and teachers,
                                                                        and persons providing health services, social services or other
Recognition of Indigenous Peoples                                       support services as required to carry out their services.”
One of the four Values of St. Michaels University School is             Provision for release of student records to a board’s insurer to
respect. With this in mind, we acknowledge that our school              the extent necessary to meet any claim being made against the
rests in the heart of Straits Salish territory, a living culture with   insurance provided to the board by that insurer may be made.
its own rites, ceremonies and unfolding history. We honour the          The insurer receiving such records shall, subject to paragraph (b),
Esquimalt, Songhees and W    _ SÁNEĆ peoples, whose homelands           keep all student records confidential, and subject to the order
we share and whom we recognize as our neighbours.                       of a court of competent jurisdiction, ensure the privacy of the
                                                                        student and the student’s family with respect to all matters
Policy of Community                                                     disclosed in the records, and not use such student records for
                                                                        any purpose other than litigation with respect to the claim,
Both SMUS and the British Columbia Ministry of Education
                                                                        threatened litigation with respect to the claim, or investigations
have extensive and well-established policies on situations of
                                                                        with respect to the claim.
harassment or abuse in the school environment. The school’s
policy is to maintain a respectful school environment, and
we will not tolerate harassment or offensive behaviour by or            Weather Closures
towards any member of the school community. Copies of the               Families seeking to determine if classes have been cancelled
school’s and Ministry’s policies are available through the Office       due to severe weather should check the school’s social media
of the Head of School.                                                  sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) or website, listen to CFAX
The school also has clearly stated review procedures, which are         (AM 1070), The Q (FM 100.3) or CBC Radio One (FM 90.5), or
outlined in this handbook and can also be obtained through the          watch CTV Vancouver Island. We advise checking more than
Office of the Head of School.                                           one source, in the event that a power failure has occurred that
                                                                        prevents updates on the website or prevents contact with radio
                                                                        and television stations.

St. Michaels University School                                                                      Family Handbook 2020-21 | 2
Bicycles and Skateboards                                                • Do not make U-turns, three-point turns, or use driveways
                                                                          to turn around during pick-up and drop-off when it
On arrival at school, students, staff and visitors must lock their        interferes with the flow and access of other traffic.
bicycles in the racks provided. The law requires helmets for all
                                                                        • Do not idle your car engine while you’re stopped at a curb.
SMUS students riding bicycles. Boarding students must keep
their bicycles locked in the appropriate storage area. SMUS takes       • Do not exceed the posted speed limit and, when traffic is
no responsibility for loss or damage.                                     heavy or conditions are wet or icy, please drive slower than
                                                                          the posted speed limit.
Students using skateboards are also required to wear safety
equipment.                                                           Do your part to minimize the impact of vehicles on
School Bus                                                              • Use alternative modes of transportation such as walking,
                                                                          cycling, and school or city buses.
The school offers morning and afternoon school bus pick-
                                                                        • If you are walking, use sidewalks wherever they are available.
up and drop-off daily, starting Thursday, September 10. The
routes are provided for your convenience at a very reasonable           • If you are driving, park further away from the school and
cost and cover a wide range of areas, from Langford to North              enjoy the walk.
Saanich and points in between. Students can ride the bus                • Plan your route so that you can avoid making unsafe
using their student cards, which are scanned each time they               reverses and U-turns.
board the bus. The cost for each ride is then automatically
                                                                     Respect our neighbours’ privacy and property:
charged to their student account.
                                                                        • Don’t allow your children to run on lawns or play on
You may access our up-to-date bus information, including                  swings in front yards.
schedule, route and pricing information, at
transportation. We try to accommodate all of our ridership, so
changes in the route structure may be made over the summer,          Supporting Social and Emotional
according to demand. If you have routes you would like us to         Development
consider or if you have questions or comments, please contact        St. Michaels University School supports the social and emotional
our Transportation department at 250-370-6150, or email              well-being of students through a variety of programs that                                               address harassment, mean behaviour, social cruelty and bullying,
Please note that all bus route times are subject to change           while promoting ethical behaviour and our school Values of
due to road and weather conditions.                                  respect, courage, honesty and service. Details of the school’s
                                                                     policy supporting the social and emotional development of
                                                                     students can be found at
Respecting Our Neighbours
Teaching students to respect the rights of others is a SMUS          Additionally, we are committed to establishing a safe, inclusive,
objective. We ask students to be mindful of the privacy and          and equitable learning environment for all members of
rights of neighbours who live close to the school grounds.           the community, including those who identify as lesbian,
We expect parents to model this behaviour for their children.        gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer, and those who may be
                                                                     questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
In this way, we can maintain amicable relationships with our
local community.                                                     Student Safety
Like most schools, SMUS generates large volumes of non-              Student safety is a central element of everything we do at
resident traffic that can adversely impact local residents in many   SMUS. Staff training, emergency drills and risk assessments are
ways, especially at peak times such as pick-up and drop-off.         all examples of practices in place to reduce the frequency and
When you are dropping off or picking up your child, you must         severity of accidents and injuries. The school recognizes that all
obey local bylaws and provincial traffic laws. Violations of the     school activities involve some degree of risk and that a thorough
following traffic laws and bylaws can be ticketed:                   risk management and training system prepares and protects our
    • Do not park closer than one metre from the edge of             entire community. In keeping risk management and student
      a residential driveway.                                        safety as priorities, we allow our students to take full advantage
                                                                     of the opportunities at SMUS.
    • Do not park in neighbours’ driveways, even for very
      short periods.

St. Michaels University School                                                                   Family Handbook 2020-21 | 3
Academic Information
Foundations of Learning                                                Assessment Philosophy at SMUS
St. Michaels University School believes that every one of our          The Ministry of Education organizes courses around common
students has the ability to excel. We also recognize that the path     learning standards. At SMUS, our curriculum, instruction,
to excellence differs for each of us, which is why we’ve made          assessment and reporting are all referenced against these
personalized learning a guiding principle in our program.              standards. The standards make it clear what every student
                                                                       is expected to know, understand and be able to do. When
We offer an academic program that is demanding, stimulating
                                                                       standards are reported on individually, they highlight a
and engaging. It challenges students intellectually and
                                                                       student’s strengths and areas for growth within a course.
encourages them to reach their full academic potential as it
provides them with rich learning experiences in a wide variety             • Assessment practices serve many purposes and are age
of subject areas.                                                            and stage appropriate. Students do not receive percentage
                                                                             grades until the Senior School. Rather, a proficiency
Beginning in Kindergarten, the academic program is designed                  indication in relation to the learning standards will be used
to deepen foundational skills in literacy and numeracy and                   to provide specific feedback during the learning process.
foster creativity, critical thinking skills, and personal and social         Some assignments and assessments may be formative
responsibility.                                                              and not include any specific achievement score but they
At the Junior School, teaching and learning is inspired by                   provide great value in helping students and teachers guide
the Reggio Emilia approach, which values the child as strong,                further learning. Feedback for students around how they
capable, resilient, and rich with wonder and knowledge.                      are meeting the learning outcomes is ongoing and clear.
At the Middle School and Senior School, our academic                       • Both students and teachers strive for improved
program is enhanced with project-based and inquiry-                          performance over time. In the Senior School, term results
based approaches to learning with experiential learning                      reflect the most recent evaluation in the learning process.
opportunities connected throughout our program. In addition,               • If one or more assessments indicate a gap in
toward the upper senior years, students have access to a                     understanding, where appropriate and at the discretion
variety of Advanced Placement courses which are equivalent                   of the teacher, another assessment may be provided
to first year university level studies.                                      to determine whether the student fully demonstrates
                                                                             understanding and application of the learning standards.
SMUS is a leader in personalized learning. The school seeks to
fully understand individual potential, strengths and weaknesses            • For more detailed assessment information specific to
through the development of the seven characteristics of The                  the Senior School, please see the relevant section later
Portrait of the Learner: Curiosity, Resilience, Integrity, Balance,          in this Handbook.
Initiative, Collaboration, and Empathy. Students take ownership
and responsibility for their own learning through articulation of      Communication of Student Learning
individual learner pathways.
                                                                       Reports, STeP Conferences, and
Highlights of the BC Curriculum within our                             Parent-Teacher Conferences
SMUS Academic Context
                                                                       We continue to examine the process for how we communicate
   • Indigenous Knowledge and Perspectives: Indigenous                 student learning and achievement to our parents. Our goal is
     culture and perspectives are integrated throughout all            to provide key information about student learning on a more
     areas of learning. For example, place-based learning and          consistent basis of how your child is progressing through their
     emphasis on Indigenous ways of knowing reflect the                program of studies.
     First Peoples Principles of Learning within the curriculum.
     Indigenous resources and community connections are                Communication of student learning at SMUS includes formal
     intentionally and thoughtfully integrated in the curriculum.      term reports, Student-Teacher-Parent (STeP) Conferences,
                                                                       parent evenings and other tools such as Google Classroom and
   • Flexible Learning Environments: Our teachers embrace              Freshgrade Portfolios. The directions we have taken to share
     flexibility in creating learning environments that are            student learning and achievement aligns with the directions of
     relevant, engaging and responsive.                                the redesigned BC curriculum to emphasize competencies, skill
   • Interdisciplinary Learning Opportunities: The                     development and application of deeper learning.
     curriculum redesign allows for greater flexibility in
                                                                       Details specific to Junior, Middle, and Senior School students are
     planning learning experiences across disciplines through
                                                                       provided in this handbook’s specific school-division sections,
     concept-based inquiry and curricular competencies.
                                                                       as well as at the parent information evenings at the start of
     Designing a learning experience and incorporating various
                                                                       the school year, and by email. Please check the calendar for
     perspectives and deeper skill development in the learning         the information evening relevant to you. Parents of boarding
     process are key elements of our program.                          students may contact the school office to arrange a meeting
   • A Personalized Learning Environment: Our program                  with teachers when you know you will be in Victoria. We ask
     inspires a personalized, student-centred approach, which          that you provide advanced notice so that we can arrange the
     addresses the diverse needs and interests of our students.        necessary meetings with teachers ahead of time.

St. Michaels University School                                                                     Family Handbook 2020-21 | 4
Learning Resource
At SMUS, we strive to meet the needs of our learners. We offer        • an effective balance between remediation and in-class
an excellent learning resource program at all three campuses.           assistance (Junior and Middle schools), with an increased
The learning resource program consists of educators – most of           focus on compensatory strategies and self-advocacy as
whom have master’s degrees specializing in Special Education –          students progress through the school
with specific training in areas of remediation, enrichment,           • a focus on schoolwide outreach, including a wide
collaboration, educational coaching and assistive technology.           range of Middle and Senior school seminars on
We work closely with families, teachers and directors to provide        learning strategies, and supports for learning and
support for the students in our program. We strive to meet the          organizational skills
needs of all our learners by offering the following:                  • close collaboration with teachers, administrators,
    • programming and accommodations for students with                  counsellors and psychologists to support students with
      Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs)                           academics, executive functioning and social/emotional
    • collaboration with teachers in the areas of curriculum,           well-being
      assessment, adaptations, differentiation and learning           • assistance during key transitions – Junior School to Middle
      strategies                                                        School, Middle School to Senior School, and Senior School
    • training in, and access to, assistive technology                  to post-secondary

 School Counselling Program
Our team of highly trained and certified school counsellors        Contact information
is available to provide confidential counselling to individual     Carole McMillan, Head of Personal Counselling Program (K-12)
students and in small groups. Counsellors make presentations               250-213-6524 or
in classrooms, participate in grade programs, and co-teach
with teachers to deliver curricular competencies in social-        Theresa Hogg-Jackson, Senior School Counsellor
emotional learning.                                             
Personal counsellors help students develop skills and strategies   Lauren Mavrikos, Senior School Counsellor
to deal effectively with challenges that interfere with their   
achievement and well-being. Examples of issues addressed by
counsellors include problem solving, conflict resolution, stress   Allison Peace, Middle School Counsellor
management, anxiety and maintaining life balance.                 
When appropriate, counsellors also consult with faculty,           Tessa Lloyd, Junior School Counsellor
parents and medical staff. If more extensive therapeutic         
intervention is required, referrals are made to certified
professionals in the community.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the counsellors at the Junior,
Middle, or Senior Schools.

St. Michaels University School                                                               Family Handbook 2020-21 | 5
If chapel didn’t exist at the school, we would need to invent         religious. Our approach does not centre on a single world view
it. Every community that strives to be intentional in its work        or tradition. Rather, we base our gatherings on Values that are
requires a time and place to gather as a whole. Especially in the     true to the school’s aspirations and upheld within most cultures:
context of cultural, economic and geographical diversity, we          respect, courage, honesty and service. While chapel at the Junior
need regular reminders of our common aspirations and foibles,         School is largely driven by staff, more than half of the Senior
along with the values that hold us together. Each time we give        School gatherings are led entirely by students. Everyone attends
these ideas voice through a wisdom story, a nuanced question          chapel once a week, with additional gatherings for Boarders
or a student reflection, we further strengthen our ability to         being held twice a month.
discover our individual and collective promise – which is exactly
                                                                      Our school overflows with the stuff of life: academic, artistic and
what chapel is about.
                                                                      physical opportunities. In the midst of all this activity, chapel
The program mirrors the students who attend our school,               offers an intentional pause, encouraging our community to
some of whom are devout, some of whom identify with faith             consider what a meaningful life entails.
communities but aren’t active, and some of whom are non-

 Student Life
School Uniform                                                        Clothing Labels
All school uniform items from the Campus Shop on the                  It is very important that each clothing item be labelled. Name
Richmond Road campus or through the Parents’ Auxiliary used           labels for clothing can be ordered through the Campus Shop.
uniform sales. We expect all students to feel pride in being          Expect a delivery time of six to eight weeks. We recommend that
members of St. Michaels University School and to wear their           you order labels in June for the following September to ensure
uniforms proudly. Each school section of this handbook outlines       they will be ready for pick-up at the start of the school year.
the specific dress code requirements for SMUS students.
                                                                      Name labels for all boarding students are automatically ordered
                                                                      and can be sewn on by the school’s seamstress. Alterations
Campus Shop                                                           can also be arranged with the seamstress through the school
The Campus Shop offers everything necessary for the school            laundry. For the correct sizing of uniforms, please bring your
uniform, including blazers (with the school crest), pants, shirts,    child into the shop for fitting.
kilts, sweaters, fleeces, summer uniforms, ties and athletic
clothing. School supplies, transit bus passes, stamps and a           Lost, Misplaced and Stolen Items
variety of other SMUS-crested gift and alumni-related items
                                                                      Students are expected to lock all belongings in lockers or their
are also available.
                                                                      boarding rooms. The school will not be held responsible for
The Campus Shop is on the ground floor of School House and is         items that go missing. There are lost-and-found locations at each
open from 10 am to 1 pm, and from 2:30 to 4 pm on all regular         campus. Small, valuable items (watches, cellphones, glasses, etc.)
school days. Students are required to purchase their full school      are held in the school office. All other found items are sent to
uniform at the Campus Shop or the monthly Parents’ Auxiliary          the lost-and-found bins.
used uniform sales. Items can be charged to a student’s account
                                                                      These lost and found bins are emptied periodically, and the
or be paid for by cash, personal cheque, and American Express,
                                                                      contents are donated. Students are notified in advance of this
Visa, Mastercard, or debit card. During the school year, orders for
                                                                      process. SMUS will not be responsible for lost or stolen items.
Junior School uniforms can be placed by phoning the Campus
Shop at 250-370-6152 or by emailing
Items ordered prior to noon can generally be delivered to the
Junior School in the afternoon of the same day.
The Campus Shop can be reached by telephone (250-370-6152)
or email (

St. Michaels University School                                                                    Family Handbook 2020-21 | 6
Lunches and Snacks                                                  Responsible Network Use
To encourage good nutrition, we ask that your child’s lunch         SMUS is pleased to offer access to its network facilities to all
include healthy foods instead of junk foods, pop or candy. A        students. Access to the internet and email is a privilege and,
high-energy snack such as fruit may be brought from home to         because we have a limited number of network resources, we
be eaten at recess. Lunches should be sent to school in reusable    have implemented responsibilities and policies. All students are
containers. We encourage that garbage be kept to a minimum.         expected to respect and sign the rules included in our Network
                                                                    Use Policy Agreement.
Junior School students eat their lunches in their homeroom
class, where they are supervised by a teacher.
                                                                    Social Media Code of Conduct
At the Richmond Road campus, students have access to the
Sun Centre dining hall and The Howard Café. At the Middle           All students are expected to follow these personal statements
School, students should eat their snacks outside during             related to social media conduct:
morning recess and dispose of their garbage in the containers          • I will keep my password private.
around the school.                                                     • I will protect my personal information, such as my name,
At lunch time, students can either bring food and eat in the Sun         address, and telephone number.
Centre dining hall or the Student Commons where microwaves             • I will always post to social media sites using my own
are available or they may use their student card to charge meals         account – I will not impersonate a friend or peer.
to their student account. Please determine with your child how         • I will use appropriate language.
often they have permission to charge lunch.                            • I will post appropriate content that reflects well upon
The Parents’ Auxiliary also organizes Pizza Days during the year.        myself and the school.
We will email you at the start of each term about this program.        • I understand that I am accountable for my postings and
                                                                         electronic communications.
Student Accounts                                                       • I will avoid discussions involving hateful, racially offensive,
                                                                         or obscene topics or images.
Parents will receive an email each month notifying them that
                                                                       • I will inform my teacher right away if I come across any
the monthly statements are available. The detailed statements
                                                                         information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
are located on the Parent Portal at
Payments are due 30 days from the statement date and we                • I will report any messages sent directly to me that are
thank you in advance for keeping accounts paid to current.               mean or make me feel uncomfortable.
Please note that Finance Charges will be applied monthly to            • I will respect copyright laws.
overdue balances. Payments can be made to the school using
the following payment methods:
    • Personal Cheque (drawn on Canadian or US bank)
    • Bank Draft or Money Order
    • Cash
    • Bank Wire Transfer
    • Internet Banking Online Bill Payment (Canadian banks only)
    • Credit Card Payments (Visa, Mastercard and American
    • Pre-Authorized Payments – forms available on the
      Parent Portal
Please feel free to contact the Finance department
if you have questions regarding student accounts at or 250-370-6166.

St. Michaels University School                                                                  Family Handbook 2020-21 | 7
Parent Involvement
Lines of Communication – Questions and Issues

           TYPE I                            TYPE II                              TYPE III                            TYPE IV
  If teacher/staff member or             If school-level issue                  If overall SMUS                   If Society, Board, or
      student-in-class issue                                                   operations issue                  Head of School issue

    Teacher/Staff Member
        Advisor Group

        School Director

   Deputy Head of School/
      Head of School
                                                                 Review Committee
                                                                 A parent who has exhausted these lines of communication may
   Chair, Board of Governors                                     contact the Board Chair. The Chair has the option of referring
                                                                 decisions to the Board Review Committee. Decisions of the school
                                                                 may be referred, finally, to the Ombudsperson of the Independent
                                                                 Schools Association of British Columbia, contacted through the
         Final Decision
                                                                 Executive Director of the ISABC. This information is available through
                                                                 the Office of the Head of School.
     Independent Schools’
                                                                           St. Michaels University School Society
                                                                           Welcome to the St. Michaels University School Society. Our
SMUS Parents’ Auxiliary                                                    school is run by a society that is registered and operates within
Parents Working Together to Support Excellence in Education                the Societies Act of British Columbia. The Society’s bylaws reflect
                                                                           how it wishes to conduct its affairs as a leading independent
The SMUS Parents’ Auxiliary (PA) is a volunteer organization               school. Our school is owned by the Society and is governed by
dedicated to supporting and enhancing SMUS and its                         a Board comprising 14 governors, 12 of which are elected by
community. An independent non-profit society and registered                members of the Society, as well as the presidents of the SMUS
charity, the PA is governed by an elected executive, with                  Alumni Association and the Parents’ Auxiliary.
membership comprising all SMUS parents and caregivers. The PA
president sits as a representative on the SMUS Board of Governors.         For information about the Board, visit
                                                                           board. Here you will find an email link to the Board Chair, a
The PA is an integral part of SMUS. It organizes events and                list of Board committees and their membership and recent
raises funds for the school. A formal allocations process is used          communications from the Board.
to decide which annual projects are funded. Other activities
include used uniform sales, Halloween campus fireworks, parent
education events, weekly pizza lunches, birthday cakes for
boarders service, the Boarders Without Borders dinner, teacher             The Advancement department includes all aspects of fundraising,
appreciation lunches, PA scholarship fund, Quiz Night, coffee              marketing and communications, alumni relations and archives
parties, parent socials and more.                                          at the school. Advancement works in close collaboration with
                                                                           the Parents’ Auxiliary, the SMUS Alumni Association and the Vivat
The 2020-21 executive includes: Elisa Djurickovic, President;
                                                                           Foundation to support the school. As a charitable entity, the
Jenn Trottier, 1st Vice-President; Karen Power MacKay, 2nd Vice-
                                                                           Advancement department is responsible at the Board’s direction
President; Clare Vincent, Secretary; and Kevin Cuddihy, Treasurer.
                                                                           to develop a culture of philanthropy at SMUS. The Director of
All interested parents are welcome to attend regular                       Advancement & Campaigns is Adrienne Davidson, and the Board
PA meetings throughout the school year. Watch for the                      of Governors appoints a volunteer committee to support the work
membership e-newsletter for information on events, volunteer               of Advancement, which is Chaired by current parent and alumnus,
opportunities, and other important news. Volunteers are always             Ann Glazier Rothwell ’85. More information on Advancement
welcome! For more information, visit                  and the Advancement department can be found on the school’s
or email                                                   website at or by contacting Adrienne Davidson at

St. Michaels University School                                                                         Family Handbook 2020-21 | 8
Junior School Parent and Student Information
820 Victoria Avenue, Victoria, BC, V8S 4N3                               • When the bell rings, students line up, and teachers
Phone: 250-598-3922, Fax: 250-592-0783                                     come to accompany their students inside. Parents are
                                                                           encouraged to stay outside to encourage their child’s
Becky Anderson, Director of Junior School
Kathleen Cook, Assistant Director of Junior School
Delina Squire, Assistant to the Director of Junior School             After-School Routine
A strong start to school sets an ideal foundation for the future         • When students are dismissed, they must exit through the
at SMUS and beyond. Our focus on an intentional, rigorous and              side gate so that they are seen exiting by the gate duty
engaging curriculum, an inquiry-based approach to learning,                teacher.
and an ideal environment encourages children to learn, grow              • Students are not permitted to exit through the front doors
and thrive in a joyful setting.                                            except when they are signing out during the school day or
We have been inspired by the key principles of the Reggio                  if they are leaving school after the gates have been locked.
Emilia approach: seeing each child as capable and full of ideas,         • Families are encouraged to make their after-school
recognizing the importance of partnering with parents, and                 arrangements (sports, clubs, play dates, etc.) in advance, as
creating inspiring environments for learning.                              students may only use the phone during the school day if
                                                                           an urgent matter arises.
Academic Information                                                     • There is a duty person at the gate to ensure all children
                                                                           are picked up.
The Junior School provides a program that includes homeroom
                                                                         • All students not picked up by a parent at dismissal should
teachers who teach the core subjects. Specialist teachers
                                                                           wait near the gate area. If no one has picked them up,
provide instruction in other areas of learning.
                                                                           students go to After-school Care.

Drop-Off, Dismissal and Pick-Up                                       Transportation: Students who travel to school by the SMUS
                                                                      bus are given a student card that the bus driver scans each
We ask that all parents read the section titled “Respecting           time the student boards the bus. Cards can also be used in the
Our Neighbours” on page 3 of this handbook, as the Junior             Campus Shop. For complete details regarding buses, please visit
School drop-off and pick-up area is on a road in a residential
                                                                      Express Pick-Up
At morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, duty teachers
oversee this process. While some families choose to park and          The express pick-up lane is at the front of the school. Students
accompany their children into the playground area, many others        are required to wait here with a supervising teacher for parents.
choose to drive to the loading zone in front of the school and        When parents arrive in the pick-up area, the child will be sent to
drop off their child. If you are using the loading zone before or     the vehicle once students are dismissed. Parents are asked not
after school, do not leave your vehicle unattended.                   to sit in their vehicles in the bus zone waiting for their child to
                                                                      come out of the school or to have the children go to the other
All children travelling to and from school should use the
                                                                      side of the street. Do not leave your vehicle unattended in
crosswalk in front of the Junior School. Due to safety concerns,
                                                                      the express area. If your child is not yet in the line, please circle
children are asked to not cross the street in other areas.
                                                                      the block and return.
Student safety is our priority. It is important that the person
picking up a student is on the school’s approved list.                Parent Pick-Up Information
Morning Routine                                                       Students must tell their teacher each morning how they will be
                                                                      getting home that afternoon: taking the bus, getting picked up
   • A duty teacher is outside before school and children are
                                                                      in the express lane or in the regular pick-up lane, or attending
     supervised until the bell rings.
                                                                      the After-School Care Program. It is important that the after-
   • The crosswalk and vehicle passenger drop-off area are            school plan is communicated to the teacher at the beginning
     supervised to ensure students arrive safely.                     of the day, because it is sent with the attendance form and
   • Kindergarten to Grade 3 students must enter through the          recorded in the school office.
     side gate and remain outside until the bell rings. Grade 4
     and 5 students may enter through the front door, put their
     instruments in the music room, hang up their backpack, and
     go directly outside. Students are not permitted to go to their
     classrooms or linger in the hallways before the bell rings.

St. Michaels University School                                                                    Family Handbook 2020-21 | 9
After-School Care Program                                                 Completing Work When Away
The Junior School After-School Care Program is offered daily.             When there is a planned absence due to a family holiday or a
Special day camps are also offered for professional development           commitment to an outside sports team, parents often request
days. This licensed day care provides quality service by experienced      that work is provided for the student to do while absent.
SMUS staff. The staff seek to reinforce SMUS school philosophy,           This is a challenging request for teachers to address in a
and provide a fun, safe environment for students to complete their        meaningful way, because most curriculum requires instruction,
homework, play outdoors or in the gym, and do arts and crafts.            engagement and process time. Junior School teachers will
                                                                          often suggest an experiential activity that extends the learning
Drop-in attendance is offered if staff can adhere to childcare
                                                                          while the child is away.
ratios set by Island Health. To attend this program at any time, a
child must be fully registered and have all the necessary forms
completed. For information, email                First Aid Room
                                                                          The Junior School has a small, basic supply of first-aid products,
Absences and Lateness                                                     sufficient to take care of minor scrapes, cuts, aches and pains.
                                                                          Medication is administered with written permission only. If
We expect all students to be on time. If a student arrives late, he
                                                                          children do not feel well during the school day, they can rest in
or she must report to the school office or use the sign-in/sign-
                                                                          the first aid room, and we will call you to come pick up your child.
out sheet located there.
Parents are asked to phone 250-598-3922 or email                          Nut-Free School before 8 am if your child is
going to be late or absent on a school day. If students are               We have several children for whom exposure to even fumes
late, you must sign your child in at the office on arrival.               from peanuts could prove fatal. We have, therefore, banned nut
                                                                          products from the Junior School. While these prohibitions may
                                                                          cause some inconvenience to a few students, they will help to
Family Holidays                                                           ensure a safe and happy environment for everyone in our Junior
School holidays are generous, and we appreciate adherence                 School community.
to the specified dates. Please request holiday extensions in
writing and submit them to the Director of Junior School well             Cellphones
in advance.
                                                                          Students at the Junior School are not permitted to carry
Parent Visitors and Student Sign-In/Sign-Out
All parents visiting the school during the school day are asked to        Communication of Student Learning
sign in at the office for security purposes. If your child arrives late
or is picked up early for an appointment, you must sign them in           Effective communication between home and school is essential
or out in the blue binder inside the office door.                         for student success. We provide and maintain on-going, regular
                                                                          communication about your child’s progress. In order to do
                                                                          this most effectively, we have scheduled numerous meetings,
Parent Volunteers                                                         reports and other communications with parents through the
The Junior School environment is enriched by the many parents             school year. In addition, teachers are available to meet with
who share their time and talents. Many opportunities are                  parents at any time.
available for you to become involved at the Junior School on a            September: Junior School Curriculum Evening
formal or informal basis. Working in the library, accompanying
classes on trips, giving career talks, and serving as a grade             October: Personal communication for new students
representative or on the welcome committee are some of                    November: Student-Teacher-Parent (STeP) Conferences /
the ways in which you can contribute to the school and gain               Parent-Teacher Conferences with specialist teachers
satisfaction and enjoyment from working with the children.                December: Formal written report

Parents as Partners                                                       February: Ongoing sharing of Digital Portfolio
                                                                          March: STeP Conferences
Parents play an important role at our school, especially in the
Junior School, as you are viewed as partners in your child’s              May: Ongoing sharing of Digital Portfolio
educational journey. You are invited to attend regularly                  June: Formal written report
scheduled meetings such as the Curriculum Evening and
Student-Teacher-Parent (STeP) Conferences. You are also invited
to attend Monday morning chapel, be present at special
events during the year, and to volunteer in the Junior School
community. We encourage you to communicate regularly with
your child’s teacher. You are most welcome in the Junior School.

St. Michaels University School                                                                      Family Handbook 2020-21 | 10
House System                                                           Behaviour and Discipline
Students entering the Junior School are assigned to a house:           Junior School teachers focus on supporting the social and
Parkyn, Quainton, Symons and Tolson, each named after                  emotional development of their students, and they expect
committed masters who taught at St. Michael’s School.                  responsible and kind behaviour. Using the language of the
                                                                       virtues, all children are encouraged to make good decisions in
Student Agendas                                                        their daily life at school.
All students in Grades 1-5 are given a student agenda for use          Students are expected to adhere to the Junior School General
throughout the school year. The agenda is to go between home           Principles of Behaviour:
and school and is a useful tool for helping students with their            • Respect for one’s self – promoting our personal well-being
homework organization and communication. You are encouraged                  and taking responsibility for our actions and appearance;
to check this agenda regularly for notes from school.                      • Respect for others – being careful with others’ emotional
                                                                             and physical well-being and being accepting of each
Homework Policy                                                              other’s differences;
The Junior School teachers promote the practice of a reasonable            • Respect for the community – maintaining an attractive
amount of daily homework on Monday to Thursday evenings.                     and orderly environment and striving for cooperation with
Homework will not be assigned on the weekend or school                       one another.
holidays. Children are encouraged to read, practise their              Students are taught to use strategies when they find themselves
instruments, and complete some type of other homework. As              in challenging situations. Should a child make an error of a serious
a general guideline, children receive 10 minutes of homework           nature, they are referred to the Assistant Director or Director of
per grade (for example, Grade 2 students would have about              Junior School who will make it a priority to help the child learn
20 minutes of work that includes reading and another task).            from the experience and who will also ensure that the parents
Junior School teachers believe that family time in the evenings        are informed.
and on weekends is a priority. A good balance of work and play
is always encouraged.

Extracurricular Clubs, Activities and Sports
A variety of clubs, activities, and sports is offered throughout the
year. More information on extracurricular offerings is available on
the community section of the school’s website.

St. Michaels University School                                                                    Family Handbook 2020-21 | 11
Dress Code for Junior School Students
Dress and Grooming                                                      Junior School Uniform
Students wear school uniforms every day. The Number One                 Please purchase all school uniform items from the Campus Shop
dress uniform is required on Mondays, for special occasions, and        or through the Parents’ Auxiliary used uniform sales. We require
when students are representing the school.                              that all uniform items be labelled with your child’s name and
                                                                        recommend using name labels for this purpose. Name labels
We expect students to respect themselves and be proud of
                                                                        may be ordered through the Campus Shop.
their school. This respect and pride should be reflected in their
general appearance.                                                     We encourage all students to feel pride in being members of
                                                                        St. Michaels University School and wear their uniforms proudly.
The table below refers to “crested” items, which means the SMUS logo or name.

                                        Number One Uniform                                     Number Two Uniform
                                  (worn Mondays and at SMUS special events)
   Kindergarten            Red crested polo shirt                                   Red crested polo shirt
                           Navy crested cardigan or sweater                         Navy crested cardigan or sweater or vest
                           Choice of:                                               Choice of:
                           • Tartan tunic (black bike shorts underneath)            • Tartan tunic (black bike shorts underneath)
                           • Grey pants                                             • Grey pants
                           Choice of:                                               • Grey shorts
                           • Navy knee socks or tights with tunic                   • Navy culottes
                           • Grey socks with pants                                  Choice of:
                           Plain black dress shoes (buckle or Velcro)               • Navy knee socks or tights with tunic
                                                                                    • Grey knee socks (with shorts only) or grey dress
                                                                                      socks (with long pants only)
                                                                                    • White ankle socks with culottes only
                                                                                    Plain black dress shoes (buckle or Velcro)
      Grade 1-4            White crested dress shirt                                White crested polo shirt
                           Junior School tie                                        Navy crested cardigan, sweater, or vest
                           Navy crested cardigan or sweater                         Choice of:
                           Choice of:                                               • Tartan tunic (black bike shorts underneath) –
                           • Tartan tunic (black bike shorts underneath) –            K-3 only
                             K-3 only                                               • Kilt (with pin and black bike shorts underneath) –
                           • Kilt (with pin and black bike shorts underneath) –       Grade 4 only
                             Grade 4 only                                           • Grey pants
                           • Grey pants                                             • Grey shorts
                           Choice of:                                               • Navy culottes
                           • Navy knee socks or tights with tunic                   Choice of:
                           • Grey socks with pants                                  • Navy knee socks or tights with tunic
                           Plain black dress shoes                                  • Grey knee socks (with shorts only) or grey dress
                                                                                      socks (with long pants only)
                                                                                    • White ankle socks with culottes only
                                                                                    Plain black dress shoes

St. Michaels University School                                                                   Family Handbook 2020-21 | 12
Number One Uniform                                      Number Two Uniform
                                   (worn Mondays and at SMUS special events)
       Grade 5             White crested dress shirt                                   White crested polo shirt
                           Junior School tie                                           Navy crested cardigan, sweater or vest
                           Crested blazer                                              Choice of:
                           Choice of:                                                  • Kilt (with pin and black bike shorts underneath)
                           • Kilt (with pin and black bike shorts underneath)          • Grey pants
                           • Grey pants                                                • Grey shorts
                           Choice of:                                                  • Navy culottes
                           • Navy knee socks or tights with kilt                       Choice of:
                           • Grey knee socks (with shorts only) or grey dress          • Navy knee socks or tights with tunic
                             socks (with long pants only)                              • Grey knee socks (with shorts only) or grey dress
                           Plain black dress shoes                                       socks (with long pants only)
                                                                                       • White ankle socks with culottes only
                                                                                       Plain black dress shoes

Other uniform information
Hair must be natural colour, and all adornments such as hair bands, ribbons and barrettes must be in school tartan or in solid school
colours of black, navy, red or white. Nail polish is not permitted. A single pair of ear studs or small hoops is permitted.
Students can wear Number One uniform on Number Two days, but the uniform must be worn properly.

Junior School Additional Clothing
                                                               Outerwear for Recess
  Kindergarten to          • Outdoor jackets: a solid-coloured navy blue or black jacket
      Grade 5              • Navy crested fleece jacket or vest (crested fleece is only worn as outerwear
                             and may not replace the pullover or Grade 5 blazer)
                           • Rubber boots (left at school) – in navy blue, black or red
                           • Navy or black rain pants (left at school – Grades 1-5)
                           • Navy or black rain jacket (left at school – Grades 1-5)
                           • Muddy buddy in school colours – red, black or navy (Kindergarten only)
                           • Toques, gloves in school colours
                           • Spare pair of socks
                           • Sun hat /school ball cap in school colours
                           • Backpacks in neutral school colours (school backpacks preferred)
Please note that the navy crested fleece and navy crested outdoor jacket will become mandatory items in 2020-21.

Junior School Gym and Art
                                                                    Clothing Items
      Grade 1-5            •   SMUS mesh gym bag
                           •   Royal blue crested hoodie
                           •   Black sweat pants
                           •   Royal-blue crested gym shirt (Grades 1-5 only)
                           •   Black crested gym shorts (Grades 1-5 only)
                           •   Runners with non-marking soles
                           •   Art shirt (large oversized T-shirt) (Grades 1-5 only)
                           •   Plain white sport socks (Grades 4-5 only)

Used Uniform Sales
As a service to all parents and students, the SMUS Parents’ Auxiliary offers a used uniform sale at the beginning of the school year.
Please check the calendar for dates, times and locations.
The Parents’ Auxiliary also operates a used uniform shop at the Derby facility on Shelbourne Street (3410 Shelbourne St.) on the
first Tuesday of every month when the school is in attendance (please check the calendar). Hours are 2-5 pm.

St. Michaels University School                                                                      Family Handbook 2020-21 | 13
Middle School Parent and Student Information
3400 Richmond Road, Victoria, BC, V8P 4P5                                 School Year Start-Up
Phone: 250-592-3549, Fax: 250-592-3942
                                                                          The new school year begins on Wednesday, September 9. On
Richard Brambley, Director of Middle School                               that day, all Grade 6 students attend school from 8 am to 3 pm.
Susan Vachon, Interim Assistant Director of Middle School                 New students in Grades 7 and 8 attend school from 10 am to
Tara Toller, Assistant to the Director of Middle School                   3 pm. Returning students in Grades 7 and 8 attend school from
On behalf of the staff at the Middle School, we welcome                   1 to 3 pm. The Number One uniform is worn that day.
students and parents to the 2020-21 school year. We also extend           The full-day schedule (8 am - 3:15 pm) begins Thursday,
a special welcome to all students who are either new to SMUS or           September 10.
who are transitioning from the Junior School. We are committed
to working with you and your child to make this a successful              Please refer to the school website at for
school year.                                                              more information on the first days of school, including
                                                                          a school supply list. Also, check the September calendar in
For those of you who may not know us, feel free to drop by                this publication.
the school so that we can meet one another before the new
school year or as the year gets underway. Parents of boarders are         Middle School Schedule
encouraged to contact our teachers and boarding staff by email
or phone at any time of the year.                                          Teacher Advisor Group (TAG)                 8-8:10 am
Together, as staff and parents, we can form a partnership that             Period 1                                  8:11-8:58 am
will support the best interests of your child.                             Period 2                                  9:01-9:50 am
                                                                           Recess                                    9:50-10:10 am
School Values
                                                                           Period 3                                 10:10-10:58 am
We set high standards for staff and students, and we expect
                                                                           Period 4                                 11:01-11:50 am
everyone to contribute positively to the school. The school Values
of respect, courage, honest and service guide our expectations for         Lunch                                  11:50 am - 12:40 pm
student behaviour and are at the heart of all discussions.                 Period 5                                  12:40-1:28 pm
                                                                           Period 6                                  1:31-2:15 pm
Behaviour and Discipline                                                   Period 7                                  2:20-3:05 pm
When students make a mistake, we strive to help them rejoin                Teacher Advisor Group (TAG)               3:07-3:15 pm
the path laid down by the Values, which are the basis of all
discipline discussions. The school believes in helping to change
thoughtless or irresponsible behaviour rather than punishing by
                                                                          Drop-off and Pick-up
suspension or expulsion. However, in cases where warnings are             Traffic becomes congested at the Richmond Road campus
not heeded or where there has been a serious breach of school             during peak drop-off and pick-up times for Middle and Senior
rules, students may be suspended or expelled.                             School students. Two entrances to campus exist: one on McRae
                                                                          Avenue and one on Knight Avenue. We encourage Middle
Peer Conflict, Mean Behaviour and Bullying                                School parents to consider arriving from Knight Avenue and,
                                                                          keeping right, travelling around the Monkman Athletic Complex.
The school has a comprehensive policy, “Supporting the Social             Please avoid stopping in the middle of the roadway or driveway,
and Emotional Development of our Students,” that details our              as this impedes traffic flow. We also encourage parents to drop
response to situations involving peer conflict, mean behaviour,           off on Knight Ave with children walking through the campus to
and bullying. Please go to to find this policy.              the Middle School.
While conflict is considered a normal part of peer interaction
and a student’s academic discourse, SMUS views conflict that
includes mean behaviour or bullying as unacceptable and will
respond accordingly.
We use language that includes peer conflict, mean behaviour,
and bullying to educate our students on the topic of social
conflict, as well as to help guide us towards an appropriate
response. As each situation is unique, the school has a variety of
responses that it uses to help resolve conflicts. These responses
seek to rebuild relationships first; only if a situation warrants it is
a more punitive approach considered.

St. Michaels University School                                                                     Family Handbook 2020-21 | 14
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