West Sechelt Elementary School is proud to be the centre for learning within the West Sechelt community located on the un-ceded territory of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation.
Our key words reflect our values and are intended for all in our school community: please be Safe, Kind, Responsible, and Respectful!
We strive to keep you updated about important events and pertinent information, but if you find we are missing something, please let us know.
GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION
8:40 AM: Warning Bell
8:45 AM: First Learning Block (100 minutes)
10:25 AM: Outside Recess Break
10:40 AM: Nutritional Recess Break
NOTE: This schedule may change.
10:55 AM: Second Learning Block (100 minutes)
12:36 PM: Outside Lunch Break
12:55 PM: Nutritional Lunch Break
NOTE: This schedule may change.
1:15 PM: Third Learning Block (100 minutes)
2:55 PM: School ends
The school office hours are from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. You will be welcomed by Christine Clayton, who is the school administrative assistant.
The school is closed to students before 8:45 a.m. Outside supervision begins at 8:30 a.m. Students that arrive to school early must remain outside on the school field until the morning warning bell rings. They will then go to their class muster area where their teacher will escort their class into the school to sanitize their hands upon entry.
We teach students to be on time for school. Please support us by ensuring your children leave home early enough to get to school on time. If students are late, they must enter the school through the front door and report to the office before they go to their classroom.
Our PAC and Community School Association kindly provides food for students who require breakfast or extra food.
CALL BACK PROGRAM
We have a call back program at West Sechelt Elementary. This allows parents/guardians to be assured that students have arrived safely at school.
If you know that your child will be away for the day, please call the school office before 8:45 a.m.
PLEASE NOTE: if by chance you do not call, we will call you or your work and/or emergency numbers, to let someone know that your child did not arrive at school.
Please ensure your child’s after school plans are arranged prior to the start of the school day and contact the office before 12:30 p.m. if your child will be picked up after school by someone who the school staff is not familiar with or is not on your emergency contact list.
If students will be away for a school day, part of a school day or on a planned vacation / scheduled series of absences, please phone the office or let us know by way of a note to your child’s teacher or by email. Teachers can provide students with learning materials for lessons that are missed if they receive adequate advance notice.
If your children will be away for an extended period of time (ex. for a sports tournament or a family vacation) we can suggest activities designed to help you plan your own educational pursuits while you are away. Please know, however, that the varied daily classroom activities cannot be duplicated through worksheets or workbooks and teachers will not be asked to provide personal study packages. Activities they might suggest often include journal writing, keeping a scrapbook or dealing with money while you are away. Upon your return, teachers will be happy to see what your children have accomplished, but they will not grade or otherwise evaluate the work. It is our district policy that during extended absences the responsibility for your children’s education shifts to you.
Nevertheless, at times there may be ongoing projects or other in-class activities that students may be given to do during their trip or that they may be required to complete upon their return so that gaps do not occur: these arrangements will be class specific.
HOME FOR LUNCH
If your child returns home for lunch (either every day or now and then) please write a note to the office giving your permission for them to do so for the school year. Children who leave the school at lunch must sign out at the office and sign back in at the office when they return. This is done to ensure the children are safe.
NUT AWARE SCHOOL
Within our school community there are students who have a potentially life-threatening allergy (anaphylaxis) to peanuts.
The best way for these students to reduce the risk of accidental exposure is to respectfully ask for your co-operation in not sending peanut butter or other products with peanuts listed in the ingredients. Thank you for your continued support in this matter.
All classes have weekly scheduled outside learning activities and walking field trips to the neighbourhood parks. Our climate in fall and winter often brings rain and cold, but only during extreme weather conditions will students be kept inside. For this reason, it is important that children arrive to school dressed for the weather. It’s also helpful if students have extra footwear and a change of clothes at school for mishaps that would otherwise force us to call home and have you drop off replacements.
PARKING AND TRAFFIC
Space at West Sechelt is tight! The driveway and parking area in front of the school are very congested at drop-off and pick-up times. Our driveway has one lane marked for pick-up and drop-off ONLY and another lane marked for drivers who have completed their pick-up/drop-off and are exiting the school property. DRIVERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO LEAVE THEIR VEHICLES UNATTENDED IN EITHER LANE: if you wish to escort your child inside, please park your vehicle and walk onto the school property. Also, parking spaces inside the school fence are reserved for staff. Drivers and pedestrians are asked to not block the driveway entrance and exit and to use extreme caution when backing out of the spaces outside of the fence and onto Mason Road. Please note that the school property is a no-idle zone.
BICYCLES, SCOOTERS ROLLERBLADES AND SKATEBOARDS
Bicycles, scooters, rollerblades and skateboards must not be ridden on school property between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (“Heelys”, or shoes with retractable wheels attached, fall into this category.) If your children ride their bikes to school, please insist that they wear their helmets as it is the law.
SCHOOL TELEPHONE USE
We attempt to protect instructional time from unnecessary disruptions. Phone messages will be passed to students at break times. Students are expected to make their after-school plans prior to coming to school: they will not be permitted to use the office phone to make social arrangements. With staff permission, students will be permitted to use the phone in urgent or emerging situations.
Most of our families are responsible to arrange the transportation of their children to and from school (only a few of our students ride a school bus at the end of the day). After dismissal, students should leave the school grounds promptly unless other arrangements have been approved by parents and staff.
Children are generally not permitted to carry medication to school due to the potential danger for themselves and other students (this includes Aspirin and Tylenol).
The administration of medication is only recommended for students in the school environment where no other options are available and where designated staff members have received complete information from parents about use, dosage and administration.
If we are requested to store medication for your child to self-administer, it should be brought to school in a properly labeled prescription container. We will store it in a secure space designed to be inaccessible to students.
If your child requires staff to administer medication on a regular basis, or if there is a likelihood that medication will be administered in an emergency (for example, an EpiPen for Anaphylaxis) our policies require a Request for Administration of Medication at School form to be completed before we can do so. Further information on SD46 Regulations 3220 – Student Health: https://sd46.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/3220-Student-Health.pdf
Further information on SD46 Regulations 3020 – Anaphylaxis: https://sd46.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/3020-Anaphylaxis.pdf
Students who become ill during the day should inform their teacher directly. Because we at school are not equipped to give extended support to students who become ill, we will call you and request your child be picked up as soon as possible. For this reason, it is important that parents keep work and emergency contact numbers up-to-date.
Please do not send children to school if there are definite signs of ill health overnight or in the morning. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season, we are advised that children who are ill and vomit should wait until they are cleared by their family doctor / free of all symptoms before returning to school. Good health is necessary for effective learning and to do otherwise puts our school staff and other healthy children at risk of becoming sick.
PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION
Children at school or in any public environment can be affected by conditions such as lice/nits, scabies, fifth disease, or scarlet fever, etc. If we become aware of a child with any of these conditions, we will send a Public Health informational letter home stating that we suspect there is a case in your child’s classroom. When this happens, we ask that you watch for any signs in your own children.
Please note that lice, while unpleasant, do not constitute a health risk. Under the direction of Vancouver Coastal Health, it is our district policy that if a student is found to be affected by lice/nits they will not be sent home but their parents/guardians will be called so that treatment can be started.
Further information on SD46 Regulations 3110 – Head Lice: https://sd46.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/3110-Head-Lice.pdf
SAFE INTERNET USE
Occasionally we have to resolve problems between students because of the misuse of social media. Here are a few guidelines that we would like families to consider implementing to help children get the most out of their online experiences:
1. Help your child choose a screen name that does not reveal anything personal about them (example: age, sex, hobbies, the school they attend, etc). Inform them that you require their password and that you will monitor their use: Internet and social media/chat access should be a privilege that they earn and maintain through responsible use.
2. Put your home computer in a common area such as the family room, kitchen, or other room that is easily supervised. We advise against giving your child Internet access in their bedroom. Use over the shoulder supervision to monitor your child’s online activities. As an aside, there is strong evidence that digital devices in bedrooms are having a significant impact on healthy sleep routines in both children and adults. In children over use affects the wiring in their developing brains!
3. Engage your child in discussions about their cell phone and Internet use and express an interest in what they are doing and learning, while using their cell phones and Internet. Remember that you are their most important teacher and role model.
4. Enter into a contract with your child (either written or spoken) that establishes guidelines for use of the Internet. An excellent site to review is: https://www.missingkids.org/NetSmartz
ELECTRONIC DEVICES POLICY
NO cameras, electronics or handheld game systems are to be brought to school.
We understand that some families may require their children to have cell phones at school for communication purposes. Some teachers permit the use of cell phones and other digital devices for use as educational tools. However, cell phones can be a distraction and so the Bring Your Own Device Agreement form must be signed by students and parents / guardians prior to students’ devices arriving at school. Please understand that we must protect everyone’s digital security as many of our students have a media block in place. The school will not be responsible for any loss or damage that occurs to students’ digital devices while they are at school.
Please review SD46 Regulation #1170 Internet Appropriate Use and District-Wide Network: https://sd46.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/1170-Internet_Appropriate_Use_and_District-Wide_Network.pdf