West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021

West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021
West Northfield Elementary School
        Parent Handbook

                    6 Victoria Acres Drive
                West Northfield, Nova Scotia
                           B4V 5C7
                    Email: wnes@ssrce.ca
             Website: http://www.wnes.ednet.ns.ca

    West Northfield Elementary School: a community where all
             learners are challenged to do their best.
West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021

Page 1    Table of Contents
Page 2    Staff
          School Hours
Page 3    School Board Calendar
Page 4    September Notices
          Telephone Calls to the School
Page 5    Life Threatening Allergy
          Scent Reduced Environment
Page 6    Change of Address/Telephone
          School to Home Communication
          School Visitation / Picking Up Students
Page 7    Safe Arrival Program
          Attendance and Academic Success Link
Page 8    Teacher Communication
          Fire and Isolation Drills
          School Advisory Council (SAC)
Page 9    Extra Curricular Program
          Accident or Illness at School
          Physical, Medical Problems and Serious Illness
Page 10   Recess and Noonhour
          Internet Policy
          Student Pictures
          Toys, Electronics, and Cell Phones
Page 11   School Closures Due to Inclement Weather
Page 12   Early Dismissal Plan for Your Child
          Parent Teacher Association
          Telephone Usage
          Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Page 13   Cafeteria
Page 14   Breakfast Program
          Bus Drivers and Route Numbers
Page 15   Bus Stops
          Bus Stop Safety Rules for Students
          School Bus Safety Rules for Students
Page 16   Volunteers

West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021
2020-2021 Staff
Grade Primary              Meghan Nauss Donat
Grade One                  Heather Jeffers
Grade One/Two              Eva Comstock / Karen Covey
Grade Three                Kimberly Mayo / Adam Macdonald
Grade Four/Five            Melissa Nichols-McConnell
Grade Five                 Adam Macdonald / Adam Hallett
Grade Five/Six             Peter Millett
Resource Team              Ryan Sperry / Adam Macdonald / Karen Covey
Reading Recovery           Eva Comstock
Literacy Intervention      Kimberly Mayo
Music                      Alison Sheffield
French                     Ryan Fraser
Physical Education         Adam Hallett
Guidance                   Karen Covey
Library Clerk              Lisa Bond
Teacher Assistants         Lisa Wile/Tracy Baker/Courtney Conrad (on leave)/
                           Shelley Meisner/Katrina Sarty
Noonhour Supervisors       Linda Rafuse / Katrina Sarty
Custodians                 Douglas Daniels/ Yvonne Daniels
Cafeteria Staff            Fran Reid
Pre-Primary                Kathy Sebek / Leah Seamone / Crystal Fox
Administrative Assistant   Nancy Eisnor
Principal                  Deanna Rawding

8:00                       Classes in session

9:35-9:50                  Recess (Grades Primary—3)
9:55-10:10                 Recess (Grades 4-6)

11:20 – 11:50              Noon Time—Playground (Primary—Grade 3)
12:05—12:25                Lunch in Classroom (Grades Primary—3)

11:55—12:25                Noon Time—Playground (Grades 4-6)
12:25—12:40                Lunch in Classroom (Grades 4-6)

1:50                       First Dismissal Bell
1:55                       Second Dismissal Bell
2:00                       Busses dismiss

West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021
South Shore Regional Centre for Education

                           2020-21 CALENDAR

    *See our weekly newsletter for a list of Important Dates each month.

September 8             First Day for Students
September 25            No school for students-Professional Development Day

October 12             Schools closed - Thanksgiving Day
October 29             Dismissal at 11:00 a.m. – Parent Teacher

November 11            Schools closed - Observation of Remembrance Day
November 23            No school for students – Marking Day

December 4             No school for students – Professional Development Day
December 22            Last day before Holiday Break

January 4              Students return
January 11-15          Early Primary Registration

February 15            Schools closed - Heritage Day

March 15-19            Schools closed - March Break
March 26               No school for students – Marking Day

April 2                Schools closed – Good Friday
April 5                Schools closed – Easter Monday
April 8                Dismissal at 11:00 a.m. - Parent Teacher
April 30               No school for students – Professional Development Day

May 24                  Schools closed - Victoria Day

June 29                No school for students - Marking Day
June 30                Dismissal at 11:00 a.m.- Last day of school

West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021
During the month of September, a number of items will be sent home, including:

Consent for Publication of Student Personal Information and Student work

Early Dismissal Information

Student Accident Insurance - Accident insurance for students is available to parents through
The School Insurance Program. The school district carries liability insurance but does not have
accident policies that cover student injury. The School Insurance Program website is
www.sip.ca and contains valuable information for parents such as how to make a claim, claim
forms, and a copy of the actual insurance policy so parents can determine what benefits are
available to them. Our website also contains a link entitled “Insurance” to give you direct ac-
cess to the SIP website.

                              CONTACTING THE SCHOOL
                              The school email is wnes@ssrce.ca The school telephone number
                              is 902-541-8220. The school fax is 902-541-8221. Please feel
                              free to call the school with any problems or information which
                              you may have. The Administrative Assistant is in the office from
                              8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. daily. The school also has voice mail.
                              With this system, if someone at the school is on the telephone, you
                              will still hear the telephone ring; however, voice mail will auto-
                              matically pick up. Please do not leave a message regarding
                              emergency matters or matters concerning after school ar-
                              rangements for your child. We recommend that you speak di-
                              rectly to a staff member.

Children are busy learning while in school. Students are not to use
texting/messaging during school hours unless given permission by the
teacher. If you need to reach your child during school hours, we
would ask that you contact the school directly, rather than via text
messages to your child. We will be happy to deliver a message when
classes are not in session to limit disruptions throughout the day. We
thank you for understanding and appreciate your cooperation in this

West Northfield Elementary School Parent Handbook 2020-2021
Currently, we DO NOT have anyone in our building with life
threatening allergies so there are no restrictions on food items at
this time.

At West Northfield Elementary School, we accept and appreciate
the diversity of our students and, with the support of parents,
strive to provide a safe environment for all students.

There has been an increasing number of staff and students sensitive to scents such as cologne,
perfume, hair products, etc. Exposure to perfumes and other scented products can trigger seri-
ous health reactions in individuals with asthma, allergies, migraines or chemical sensitivities. A
scent reduced environment will promote a healthy and safe environment for all members of the
school community. At West Northfield Elementary School, we ask that you respect this and
refrain from wearing scented products when visiting our school.

For your child’s safety, please inform the school whenever
you have a phone or address change or if your alternative
emergency contacts change during the school year. A reminder to
please make the individuals you list as emergency contacts for your
child aware that you will be using their names. Please inform us if you
will be temporarily out of town and your child will be staying with
someone else.


In order to promote a more environmentally friendly and paperless community at our school,
we use the internet to communicate with families so you are able to find daily, weekly & month-
ly information online. Follow us on Facebook for updates.

We post a Friday newsletter every week on our website. You may access this newsletter
through the school board’s website:

Go to “Schools”
Select “West Northfield School”, Newsletters, and pick the newsletter date.

                      Parents also have the option of receiving newsletters and notices via
                      email directly to your inbox. Simply email the school at
                      wnes@ssrce.ca to request a newsletter and we will be happy to add
                      you to our mailing list.

                      If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the office and we
                      will make sure you receive a paper copy of this newsletter.


All doors of the building will remain locked at all times. WNES has a
camera/intercom system located on the left hand side of our main en-
trance. Anyone, other than staff, required to enter the building will be
buzzed in through this system and will sanitize and sing in at the table
located in our foyer.

When picking up a student throughout the day, parent will wait outside in a designated area for
the student to be dismissed . The school should be notified that you are picking up your child
either by a note to the teacher, a phone call to the office, or when you arrive by the front door
intercom system. Parents will remain outside.

For parking purposes, please note that Victoria Acres Drive is a private road. We ask that you
please observe all no parking signs when attending events at our school and avoid parking along
the sides of Victoria Acres Drive. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Please do not drop students off at school prior to 7:40 a.m. There is
no access to the building and no staff supervision before this time.

Also, we would ask that you please contact the school at 902-541-8220
or via email at wnes@ssrce.ca to report when your child is absent. If we
do not receive a phone call or note from you indicating your child will be
absent or tardy, the school will call your home. This is to check on your
child’s whereabouts and make sure nothing has happened on the way to

It is very important that students arrive on time to begin their school day. Here at West North-
field, classes begin at 8:00 a.m. South Shore Regional Centre for Education policy specifies
that all students absent from school must, upon their return, bring a note written by their parent
or guardian. The note must state the date, the reason for the absence, and be signed by the par-
ent. It is most important that this note be sent to the school the day the student returns.
Absences which are not verified by notes are considered inexcusable. A number of inexcusable
absences are reported to the SSRCE’s attendance review committee. If your child will be out of
school for an extended period of time, please notify the child’s teacher in writing or by phone.
In accordance with SSRCE Policy 3925, “it shall not be the responsibility of staff to prepare
homework packages for students whose parents/guardians permit their child to be absent from
school for extended holidays”. Please note: Students that are absent from school due to ill-
ness do not participate in any extra-curricular activities on that day.

Any cases of contagious diseases or conditions must be reported to the school. We inform par-
ents when any cases of contagious diseases or conditions are reported.

                        It is very important that students attend school regularly. There is a
                        powerful link between attendance and academic success in school.
                        When students are tardy or absent, they miss valuable learning and so-
                        cial experiences that cannot be replaced. Students who miss occasional
                        time because of illness usually do not have trouble keeping up with the
                        work. Students are expected to be on time for school at the start of the
                        school day and for their classes throughout the school day. In addition
                        to missed learning opportunities for the tardy student, tardiness to class
                        or school causes disruption to the learning environment for all            7
In September, a Meet the Teacher / Curriculum night video will be shared with our families.
This allows parents to have a chance to meet their child’s teacher, learn about the curriculum,
and the teacher’s expectations.

Teachers will communicate with families their plans for this academic year, providing an
overview of the instructional program. Also, teachers will send home, in collaboration with
students, a Classroom Rules and Expectations & Behavior Plan.

Two VIRTUAL Parent-Teacher conferences are held during the school year scheduled for
October 29th and April 8th.

All West Northfield Elementary School parents are encouraged to meet with their children’s
teachers. Parents help teachers to understand their children. Teachers provide information
about how children are progressing.

If you have a question about your child’s work, it is best not to wait until report card
time. A call or note to your child’s teacher may be helpful. Parents can request a confer-
ence at any time by calling classroom teachers before or after school to set up an appointment
at 902-541-8220.

In accordance with Fire Safety Regulations and SSRCE policy, all students and staff are to
participate in fire (evacuation) drills and isolation drills periodically throughout the year.
These drills are for the safety of all students and staff in the event that our school needs to be
evacuated immediately or when a person/animal enters the building or school grounds that
poses a possible threat to persons or property. Repeated practice helps to ensure that students
and staff remain calm and informed in the unfortunate event that the building needs to be
evacuated or persons isolated for real reasons. Students and staff are sometimes aware when a
drill will be practiced but most times, it is without prior notice. Please feel free to contact the
school with any concerns or questions you may have.

School Advisory Council brings partners together to help make decisions and solve problems
in the interest of student learning. Our SAC is composed of the Principal and representatives
of teachers, support staff, parents and community members, working together in a supportive,
advisory capacity to help increase the quality of education that is being provided by the
school. The fundamental purpose of the School Advisory Council is to help ensure all stu-
dents receive the best possible learning opportunities by engaging all partners in an on-going
process of problem solving and shared decision-making. If you would like to know more
about the SAC or would like to become involved, please contact the Principal .

Meetings are held at 2:15 p.m….at least six times/year, here at the school.

                       We are unsure at this time about extra-curricular activities for students
                       this year. Specific details of extra-curricular activities are communicated
                       to students at school and to parents through newsletters and notes. Stu-
                       dents absent from school due to illness do not participate in any extra-
                       curricular activities on that day. Volunteers transporting children to ex-
                       tra curricular activities should request the necessary paperwork from the
                       office to be an Authorized Driver. Drivers must also have up-to-date
                       volunteer paperwork which includes a Criminal Record and Child Abuse
                       Registry check.

If a child is injured, every attempt is made to contact the parent immediately. For this reason, it
is very important that we have a telephone number where you may be reached. If the problem
is serious, the child is taken to the doctor or hospital, and the parents notified as soon as possi-
ble. If a child becomes sick during the day, parents are called and asked to pick up the child
right away. Contact 811 if your child develops any symptoms consistent
with COVID-19.

If your child has a serious illness or physical/medical problem, please let us
know. This will enable us to take steps to meet the child’s needs.

         If you have a child who requires medication during school hours, please contact the
        school as soon as possible to obtain the necessary paperwork.

 There will be a lot of use of our outdoor spaces beyond recess time. Please have your child
 dress appropriately for the weather conditions. A change of clothing that the student can
 bring to school is always recommended.

 It is suggested that students please not wear “short” shorts, bicycle shorts, or “crop” tops,
 tops with spaghetti straps, clothing with inappropriate logos/wording, etc., at school.

 We ask that each child have a complete change of clothing to keep in their bookbag or at
 school “just in case”. There are many unexpected times when children need a clothing
 change such as getting wet on the playground from puddles, rain, wet equipment, mud or
 snow, a food or drink spill in in the cafeteria, a washroom accident, or illness. It is nice to
 have a quick change of clothing to use, rather than having to try and reach someone and wait
 for these items to be delivered from home. Remember to label all your child’s belongings.

The children are expected to play outside, weather permitting, under
the supervision of the duty teacher or non-professional help. Any
child, who is required to stay inside due to health problems, is
required to bring a note stating the reason.

Recess is a 15 minute break. All students are to proceed outside as quickly as possible. This
block of time is provided so that students can use the washroom facilities if needed, have a mid-
morning snack and get a bit of fresh air and exercise.

Noon hour, weather permitting, students are to proceed to the playground areas for the lunch
break. They are supervised at this time by a noon hour supervisor. This year, all students eat
lunch in their classroom under the supervision of the classroom teacher.

Students are able to use the internet under direct teacher
supervision and following our SSRCE’s internet use policy.
If a child does not follow our internet policy their privileges
of using the computer or device will be removed.

                Information on the date for individual student pictures will be provided. Proofs
                will be taken home the same day that the pictures are taken. Photos are taken by
                Harvey Studios. We will again have a school yearbook available for purchase.

We would ask that students do not bring toys, electronics or cell phones to school for use during
school hours. We wish to promote active participation in activities and interaction with others
while children are in school. These items are usually small, expensive, and may be easily lost,
misplaced or stolen, may cause arguments, or could potentially be dangerous. The school is not
responsible for missing items. If such items are brought to school, students must bring them to
the office upon arrival in the morning and pick up the item at the end of the day at dismissal on
their way to the bus. These items are not permitted in the classroom or on the playground. We
thank you for your understanding and appreciate your cooperation with this matter.

Early Morning Cancellation
The decision to cancel school is made by the Regional Centre for Education and will normally
be made by 6:30 a.m. The following radio stations are immediately notified of cancellations:
CKBW (98.1 FM in Lunenburg County, 94.5 FM in Queens County), Hank FM (100.7 FM)
and CBC Radio One (90.5 FM, 97.1 FM, 102.7 FM, or 106.5 FM). Cancellations will also be
posted on our board’s web site at http://www.ssrce.ca Please note that cancellations are not
publicized on all radio stations.

Late Morning Cancellation
It may be necessary to close schools during the day in order to
ensure students are home before weather conditions become se-
vere. In such cases, the provincial road report is carefully moni-
tored, as well as Environment Canada’s Weather Service. When
a decision is made by the Regional Centre for Education to close
schools early, announcements will be made on the radio stations
listed above and on the school board web site. Furthermore, the
school will use the automated calling system SwiftK12 to contact
homes or designated alternates. Please make sure your child
knows what arrangements you have made for him/her if school is
cancelled early.

Late Bus Runs
There will be times when a school bus is running late. When this is the case, an announcement
will be aired on CKBW and CBC Radio One that a bus has been delayed for a specific amount
of time. For example, if a bus is delayed by thirty minutes, students are expected to meet the
bus thirty minutes later than they would normally.

Suggestions for Parents
1. Please listen to one of the radio stations listed between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. if there is
any question that schools will open.
2. Please do not call the Regional Centre for Education office or radio stations, or the school,
as too many calls jam the telephone lines that are needed for emergency use.
3. Please do not drop your child off at school unless you are certain that school is operating
that day.
4. Please make alternate arrangements for your children in the event of mid-day school clo-
sures and ensure that your child is aware of these arrangements. You may also wish to share
this information with your child’s homeroom teacher.
The most important consideration in determining the operation or closure of schools is the safe-
ty of our students. When conditions are questionable and schools are open, the final decision to
have your child attend school remains with you, the parent and/or guardian.

The communication system SwiftK12 is used to inform parents of any necessary unscheduled
early dismissals. SwiftK12 will send a message through contact home phones, parent cell
phones, and email addresses noted in PowerSchool from the student registration forms. It is
imperative that you inform the school of any changes to student information and parent
contact information throughout the year. Every attempt is made to contact parents through
SwiftK12 but, due to unforeseen circumstances, some parents are unable to be reached prior to
buses departing the school or at all. Parents should not rely solely on this system but have an
emergency plan in place in case their child arrives home without an adult. SwiftK12 is not acti-
vated if school has been cancelled before students arrive at school in the morning and/or school
has been cancelled before staff arrives at school.

It is very important that you make an early dismissal plan for your child.
Please make sure your child knows what to do if he/she is sent home early
and no one is home. Your child needs a plan in the event of an early dismissal
and must know what to do.
It is the policy of the SSRCE that, if school is closed, all after-school activities are automatical-
ly cancelled.

The West Northfield Parent/Teacher Association meets several times a year with interesting
programs, and to assist the school. Parents are encouraged to support and become involved in
the Parent Teacher Association. Please see newsletters for meeting dates.

Students must have permission from a staff member to use the school phone. Arrangements for
after school activities with friends, etc. are to be made at home and not during school hours.

We are asking your assistance to reduce-reuse-recycle. Snacks packaged in plastic containers
such as pudding cups, yogurt, dunk-a-roos, etc., need to be washed out before being recycled.
Due to time constraints, limited facilities, personnel, etc., students are not able to do this at
school. We ask that students please take these items home to wash properly and recycle, or bet-
ter yet, encourage them to pack a “litterless” lunch. A “litterless” lunch is a packed lunch that
creates no waste—no wrappers, no single use disposable containers, no cans, no baggies, no
plastic wrap. It involves the elimination of disposable products and encourages the use of reus-
able containers. The goal of a litterless lunch is to reduce waste production,
and therefore help reduce our impact on the Earth. Even a small change can
make a significant impact on our school’s waste production. Please help us do
our part and thank you for your support.

We are excited to be able to provide the nutritious and delicious meals everyone has
come to enjoy. This year, students will be eating all snacks and lunches in the class-

To minimize the handling of money and personal contact, we will be offering a weekly
menu which will be sent home each Friday with students. This can be filled out and re-
turned the following Monday, along with payment. Students will order for one week at a
time in advance. Forms will be dated so you will know which week you are ordering
for. Forms will allow for the pre-ordering of recess snacks, lunches and milk. It will be
important to remember to send back order forms on time as this is how we will be deter-
mining quantities for ordering purposes.

There will be a place in each classroom where students can drop off their order forms
and payment. These will then be collected by cafeteria staff.

We will do our best to make sure your child has food if a lunch has been forgotten at
home. Please note that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate “day
of” requests.

Just a few items to note concerning the school cafeteria.

   If at all possible, please provide the correct change so orders may be processed
    quickly. If paying by cheque, please make payable to West Northfield School Cafe-

   No heating up of meals this year.

   Meals will be delivered to students in the classroom.

   The cafeteria has a separate telephone line. 902-541-8229

   Order form will be posted each FRIDAY for the week and will need to be returned
    on MONDAY.

Research suggests that a good breakfast is of key importance in student well-being and success.
For many reasons, students are not always able to have breakfast before they leave for school in
the morning. We are continuing to assist students in that all-important step through a nutrition-
al support at the start of the day. A nutritional breakfast will be delivered to the classroom to
students who require that extra boost before class. The Breakfast Program is FREE and open to
all students. Any individual interested in helping out with this program, either by volunteering
or making a donation, is asked to please contact the school.

Bus route numbers are assigned to school buses. Beside the front door, all buses are equipped
with a route number. Students are assigned to buses based on a particular route number. When
there is a substitute driver or a replacement bus, that driver and bus will still be labeled with the
regular route number. This is to alleviate confusion for students when looking for their bus
when a replacement is being used. Please teach your child the route number. We refer to buses
based on the route number.

Following is a list of bus route numbers and the drivers which serve West Northfield Elemen-
tary School.

Bus Route 282—Amanda Trethewey
Bus Route—284—Michael Zwicker
Bus Route—285—Kevin D’arcy
Bus Route 286—Robbie Fillmore

If you have questions or concerns regarding bussing, please contact the
Bus Garage directly at 902-541-8252.

The Transportation Department has added an extra layer of safety for every student in P to 2
that takes the bus by providing a purple tag to attach to their backpack. Basically, if a child has
a purple tag on their backpack that means a parent needs to meet them when they are getting off
the bus. This will also help spare bus drivers who are not familiar with the students on a regular
basis on their route, or how old they are, if they need a parent to meet them, etc. This would not
include students in P-2 that have signed a waiver allowing the child to get off the bus with an
older sibling or to walk from the bus stop on their own. Tag distribution date TBA.

As part of the SSRCE Transportation Department’s ongoing dedication to student safety, buses
do not drop off children (if younger than 8) unless someone is at the bus stop to meet the child.
If the parent/guardian gives the Transportation Department written authorization to drop their
child off at the stop without a parent/guardian present, they will accept this. The Bus Garage
and the bus driver must receive a copy of the written authorization. Contact Denise Crouse,
Transportation Coordinator 902-541-8248, or email dcrouse@ssrce.ca

If, for any reason, your child needs to travel on a bus other than his/her usual one, or get off at a
different stop for custodial reasons only, - a request in writing must be sent to the school.
Please include bus route #, driver, name of child, and bus stop location. The teacher will sign
the note and the child will give it to the bus driver. This assures that both the teacher and parent
will know where the child is at all times. Bus drivers are not allowed to drop a child off at an
unscheduled stop. Please remind your child before leaving for school in the morning where the
bus note is located in their book bag and to give it to the teacher immediately when they arrive
at school.

   Be on Time for the Bus.
   Never Run to or from the bus.
   Stand back from the road when waiting for the bus.
   Don’t push or shove at the bus stop.
   When it is necessary to cross the road, always cross in front of the bus, walk 3 meters (10 ft)
in front of the bus to a point where you can see the driver; wait for the driver’s signal to cross.
Then proceed to the centre of the road, STOP, LOOK & LISTEN and cross the road when it is
safe to do so.
 If there is no sidewalk, walk well over to the right side of the road/shoulder when walking
    to and from the bus stop.
 Do not stand or play on the road while waiting for the bus.
 Never crawl under a school bus.
 Know the danger zones around the bus.
 Never cross behind the bus.

  Obey the driver’s instructions; he/she is in full charge of the bus.
  Do not talk to the driver unless it is necessary.
  No yelling or whistling on the bus, too much noise distracts the
 Keep the seat assigned to you by the driver.
 Do not stand or move about the bus while in motion.
 Never put your hands, arms, feet or head out of the bus window.
 Ask the driver for permission before you open the bus windows.
 Do not throw anything inside of the bus or out of the windows.
When the bus is in motion, keep the aisle of the bus clear at all times.
Misconduct on the bus may result in a loss of bus privileges.                                    15
We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to those parents, grandparents,
family and community members, who give of their time and talents to help make our school a
better place. If you have time available and would like to work with children, please let us
know as early in September as possible. We have jobs for volunteers who would like to read to
children; jobs for volunteers who have special artistic talents; jobs for volunteers who would
like to help. Help your children and us…


All volunteers must complete a RCMP Criminal Records Check and a Child Abuse Registry
check as required by the South Shore Regional Centre for Education for every person coming
into our school system. These checks are to be updated every three years. If you have had
these checks completed for another agency, we simply require a copy for our records.

We appreciate that your time is valuable and realize the more volunteers we have, the more suc-
cessful the system will be. If you would like to become a volunteer, please contact the office for
the necessary paperwork.

You can also read