Student Agenda

Message from the Principal

The DCDSB celebrates 2020-2021 as a Community of Faith. Here at Father Fénelon Catholic School we take pride in being known as the best school in the Universe! Our facilities are technologically enhanced and our staff are exceptionally gifted. We look forward to working with the home and Holy Redeemer Parish to realize each student's full potential as we continue to build a school culture where relationships are nurtured and our Faith is deepened. Our goal is simple; to provide a safe and welcoming environment that upholds the dignity and well-being of every child.   

I want to ensure that we provide information about our school operations and expectations of students so that they will be successful at Father Fenelon Catholic School. A shared vision and positive communication between the home and school about school expectations and routines are integral in student success.  It is also a tool that aids in the development of learning skills such as organization and responsibility. Please be sure to check EDSBY or D2L nightly as this communication between home and school is vital to your child’s success this year.  

As part of our efforts to reduce the use of paper, we do not publish a monthly newsletter on paper. Instead we send a monthly newsletter and calendar to you via email. To enhance ongoing communication, I encourage you to join the email subscription services on our school website. This will provide you with updated news, activities and weekly reminders. We also use the twitter feed @fatherfenelon

I look forward to working with you and the Parent Involvement Committee for a successful year. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please give me a call.

Yours in Catholic Education,

Mr. Chris Szent-Ivany

 School Hours

8:45 a.m. - Staff Supervision of Yard Begins

9:00 a.m. - Morning Entry Bell

10:25–10:40 a.m. - Morning Recess

11:45-12:45 p.m. - Lunch

2:10-2:25 p.m. - Afternoon Recess

3:30 p.m. - Dismissal

 Parish Information

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church
796 Eyer Drive, Pickering
905-839-9774

Mass Times: Saturday - 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 5:00 p.m.

 Sacramental Preparation

As a Catholic School, our staff works closely with the parish priest from Holy Redeemer Catholic Church – Father Colman. To enhance the faith life of our staff and students our community celebrates masses and liturgies. Our days are enriched by daily prayer, daily Religion instruction and/or Family Life programming. The Rosary Apostolates will be a part of our Religious Education Program in 2020-2021 by offering instruction on the Rosary throughout the year. 

Sacramental preparation is the responsibility of the Parish; however, our classroom teachers assist by providing ongoing instruction and opportunities to practice the Gospel message. Please contact the Parish to register for the sacraments.  First Communion is celebrated in Grade 2 and the Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in Grade 7.

 Dress Code

Students are required to dress modestly and appropriately for a Catholic School. 

  • All dress styles, graphics and logos must be reflective of our Catholic School environment. 
  • Casual beach-type wear (i.e., low cut, strapless tops, basketball tank tops, narrowly strapped tank tops, cut-offs, bandanas, short skirts/shorts) is not encouraged at school. 
  • No undergarments should be visible.
  • Flip flops are not permitted at school.  

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

 Nut Aware Allergy Policy

In order to help protect our students at risk for anaphylaxis, Father Fénelon Catholic School has implemented a “Nut Aware” policy, which states that no peanuts or nuts are permitted into the school. This applies to snacks, lunches and any food items brought in for school events (i.e. Bake sales, birthdays, special celebrations). This policy also applies to products which have a “May contain peanuts/nuts” warning on the label.

There are other students at risk for anaphylaxis in our classrooms who are allergic to other food items or allergens. We strive to help minimize the risk for all children in our school. As per DCDSB policy, all anaphylactic students have an Individual Student Plan which must be completed by parents and sent to school by the end of the first week of school.

 Lunch Hour

Students who remain at school for lunch are expected to follow the guidelines which have been established. The students are supervised over the lunch hour. Students who normally stay at school for lunch are not allowed to leave school grounds.

It is strongly recommended that parents refrain from providing permission for students to independently visit the corner store or nearby plazas as supervision is only provided on the school premises.

Only Grade 7 and 8 students who provide their teacher a written, dated permission note from their parent/guardian will be permitted to leave school grounds. Absolutely no last minute arrangements are allowed.

 Arrival and Dismissal

The SAFE arrival and dismissal of our students is our first priority. We thank you for choosing safety over convenience. We request the following be observed when dropping off or picking up your children:

  • The Kiss and Ride loop on the East side must be used for all automobiles. The bus loop is reserved for buses and must not be used even if there are no buses.
  • You must follow the directions of our kiss and ride supervisors who are wearing red jackets.
  • Absolute care and a very slow speed is to be adhered at all times in the parking lot.
  • Drivers must remain in the vehicle at all times in the kiss and ride loop. If you are choosing to meet your child at the door or go with them inside, you MUST find a parking spot. All drivers leaving the vehicle will be asked to return to the vehicle and directed to a parking spot.
  • We suggest you arrive to meet your child, no earlier than 5 minutes prior to the bell. If you are waiting for your child in your car at the end of the day we will be asking you to keep moving up to the front of the kiss and ride loop. There is no idling or parking along the laneway as it is a fire route at all times.
 School Code of Conduct on School Bus Vehicles

All school bus vehicles are considered an extension of the classroom and all school policies such as Safe Schools, and School Code of Conduct apply to the school bus. All transported students whether on a field trip or home to school transportation are expected to behave in a manner on the bus that ensures that everyone remains safe. Since the bus is an extension of the school, students are accountable to the school principal who has the authority to ensure that student conduct on the school bus is appropriate.

Due to the nature of the activity of riding a bus, the following are expectations for all methods of school transportation as per the School Code of Conduct.

All students must:

  • Respect other people’s property and belongings while waiting for the school bus;
  • Treat the driver with respect and follow his/her instructions;
  • Be courteous and respectful to others on the bus at all times;
  • Act appropriately in a manner that does not endanger the safety of oneself or others including, but not limited to:
    • Not engaging in any activity that interferes with the safe operation of the bus
    • Remaining seated at all times, facing forward while the bus is in motion
    • Keeping hands, arms, feet, head and belongings inside the vehicle until the student has exited at his/her stop
    • Not distracting or speaking to the bus driver except in the case of emergency
    • Refraining from inappropriate behavior on the bus, e.g., throwing items, swearing, fighting, or bullying
    • Not bringing alcohol, drugs or weapons onto the school bus
    • Not touching safety equipment or emergency exits except in the case of an emergency
    • Not eating or drinking on the bus
 DCDSB Safe, Caring, and Healthy Elementary Schools

The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported.

 Access to Premises

Parents/guardians are welcome to visit the school to discuss an issue with teachers or administrators. In keeping with the Board’s Access to School Premises Policy, all doors will remained locked during school hours. Our Safe Welcome Program provides an intercom and camera at the main door of the school for all visitors to communicate with the office prior to entering the school. This enhances the safety of students and staff. 

Please remember that anyone coming into the school must first sign in at the office and obtain a Visitor’s badge. (Parents/guardians are not allowed access to the school yard before school or during recesses and noon hour.) At recess time, the school yard is well supervised and staff will question anyone whose presence is not expected. Each member of staff is wearing photo ID and is identified on duty with a safety vest.

If a parent/guardian needs to pick up his/her son/daughter during the school day, this must be facilitated at the office.  Members of the office staff will call the student down to the office to be signed out. If parents send a friend/relative/designate to pick up their child, please advise the school in advance and ask the designate to provide photo identification at the office. If the student returns to school before dismissal, he/she must sign back in at the office so that his/her attendance can be monitored.

 Make Every Day Count – Attendance Matters

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Now is the time to start building this habit so your child learns right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college or university and in the world of work.

Did You Know?

Absences can add up quickly. A child is considered chronically absent if he/she misses just two days every month!!

Research shows:

  • Children chronically absent in Kindergarten and grade one are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of Grade 3.
  • By Grade 6, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. 
  • By Grade 9, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than Grade 8 test scores. 
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!

What You Can Do:

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpack’s the night before.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. Check with your physician if frequent physical complaints are an issue.  
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, the school social worker, or other parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning. Attending school regularly and arriving on time often helps students feel more comfortable and less anxious in the long run. Chronic absence makes it difficult for a child to feel a part of the classroom community.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbour, or another parent to help.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
  • Communicate with the school and let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they can show up for school on time every day. We want your child to be successful in school! If you have any questions or need more information please contact your child’s teacher, principal or vice principal.
  • Contact the school if you are planning on taking your child out of school for more than five days as some absences require the permission of the school principal. 
Safe Arrival – Automated Attendance

The Durham Catholic District School Board uses an automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance making it easier for you to report your child’s absence and easier for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. Parents are able to report their child’s absence quickly and conveniently using three different methods:

  1. Parents can log into a website: go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.
  2. Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll free number 1-844-288-7628 through which absences can be reported.
  3. Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones.  Search for the keyword:  Father Fenelon Catholic School school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store.  Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that is on file with the school, enter a password. 

All three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments can be reported ahead of time. For more information, please visit the school website.

 Restorative Schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school. 

Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Indigenous communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature. The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. “How do you think your actions had an impact on others?”  “What do you think you need to do to make things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and when needed, to repair relationships
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions
 School Code of Conduct

 Please click here to read the Code of Conduct.

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