Absences / Lateness
Regular, full day attendance is essential for providing your child(ren) with a complete educational program. It helps with continuity and program delivery if lessons, appointments, etc. are scheduled after school hours. If you need to drop your child off late or pick your child up early we ask that you do so through the office rather than interrupting classes already in progress.
Watt Public School has a SAFE ARRIVAL system that ensures the safe arrival of all students. Please notify the school when your child(ren) will be away by sending a note in advance to your child(ren)’s teacher or by calling the school office at 705-769-3643. If a child is absent when the morning attendance is taken at 8:45 a.m. and no notice has been given to his/her whereabouts, we will attempt to determine where he/she is by contacting you or your emergency designate by telephone. Safe arrival calls will not be made for bussed students on inclement weather days because it is assumed at that all bussed students will be at home unless parents/guardians choose to drive their child(ren) to school. In this case, please be sure to come in to the office and notify us of your child’s arrival and confirm a pick-up time for the end of the day. The safety of our students is very important and your co-operation with these procedures is much appreciated.
For safe arrival purposes and other student safety reasons, it is important that the contact information we have on file for your family is accurate and up-to-date. If changes occur to your own contact information or your emergency contact’s information, the school office should be advised as quickly as possible so that these changes may be recorded in our records.
Drop-off / Pick-up
The school day begins at 8:45 am. We request that students do not arrive before 8:30 am because yard supervision begins at that time. Students who arrive before 8:30 am are to sit on the bench outside the school office until yard supervision begins. Parents wishing to pick their child(ren) up early from school are asked to send a note to avoid confusion at bus time. If someone other than an immediate parent is picking up students, it is essential that the classroom teacher and the office be notified in writing, in advance. Without written permission from parents, students will be sent home on his/her regular bus route. When dropping your child(ren) off in the morning or picking your child(ren) up after school, enter the building via the front doors and announce your arrival at the school office. Your child(ren) will be taken to or retrieved from class for you. This request is being made for the safety and security of all students.
Visitors in the School
We encourage parents to visit our school. If you have any concerns about your child(ren)’s progress, we urge you to get in touch with your child’s teacher and arrange a suitable time for a meeting. There are many special occasions during the year when we welcome parental involvement – class trips, winter activities, assemblies, etc. Visitors to the school are requested to report their presence to the office.
Watt welcomes the assistance and support of many parent and community volunteers.
We invite you to become involved in our school. We have a wide variety of roles to be filled by volunteer helpers.
Volunteers are expected to demonstrate the following qualities:
- A genuine interest in children (caring)
- A commitment to a specific schedule (reliability)
- An ability to maintain confidentiality and respect the rights of staff and students (confidentiality)
Please note that our volunteer program is operated in compliance with the Trillium Lakelands Board Policy: Volunteer Helpers in Schools. As such, all volunteers are required to provide a criminal reference check for our records (including attending class field trips and driving students to events) before they begin their role at school. Each year thereafter parent volunteers will be required to complete an Offence Declaration.
For many years, Watt students have benefited from the creative and tireless fundraising efforts of parents. Parents have initiated and maintained the Christmas Sale, silent auction, as well as countless other successful fundraising initiatives. Over the years, thousands of dollars have been raised to support computer purchases, classroom learning materials, student agenda books, sports equipment upgrading, library purchases, playground equipment, and a variety of other needs of the school. The Watt Fundraising Committee is separate from the Watt School Council. If you are able to help with fundraising, please contact the school office.
There are two nutrition breaks that take place daily. The priority for these breaks is to provide students with an opportunity to relax and eat some nutritious food to help them function and learn through the rest of the day. To assist with this goal, the following rules for nutrition breaks are in place in each classroom:
- Students are sitting at desks or tables. One student per seat. Chairs are to remain in one spot.
- School computers and other school electronics are not to be used during nutrition breaks.
- The supervising teacher will dismiss the class for recess.
All desktops and tables must be cleaned.
Boomerang Lunches are also promoted at school which means that all lunch items which are brought to school will be brought home from school. This helps reduce the number of containers that are thrown away or placed in our school’s recycling bins. It also provides parents with firsthand knowledge of the eating habits and preferences of their children. All leftovers can be carried home at the end of the day so that parents can see what has or has not been eaten.
Food is not permitted on the school yard and gum is not permitted in the gymnasium at any time for safety and cleanliness reasons.
The purpose of the Watt School Council is to enhance students’ learning through co-operative efforts of parents, students, staff members and the community. The Council works collaboratively with the school community to identify and respond to the school community’s educational needs. The Council provides a forum for parents, students and other community members to discuss education-related issues, be involved in developing strategies and solutions, and participate in making recommendations to the Principal. It functions to encourage parents and school community members to participate in education, thereby enhancing the development and experiences of students and others involved with Watt Public School. The goals of the Watt School Council are outlined in its Constitution that is available at the school.
Parents wishing to have items discussed at a Council meeting should contact the chairperson, any Council member or the school Principal prior to the meeting, if possible.
The membership of the Council is comprised of parents/guardians of any student presently enrolled in Watt Public School, school representatives and other community members.
Meetings of the School Council are held once a month and are open to all members of the school community. Dates and times are posted in each monthly newsletter and on the school’s website.
Students are permitted to use the telephone in the school office to make important phone calls during the school day. Students are expected to obtain permission from their teacher and the school secretary before making phone calls. It is expected that arrangements for after-school activities will be made outside of school hours and not on the phone during the school day. Cell phones are not to be used to make phone calls or send / receive text messages during the school day.
All students are provided with a list of school supplies that they are expected to have at the start of the school year. It is also the expectation that as these items are consumed, lost or broken throughout the year they will be replaced. It is a good idea to check with your child periodically to make sure they have the necessary school supplies on hand.
We have computers in every classroom that support our classroom programs. Students are expected to adhere to the Appropriate Use of Information/Communication Technology and Technology Services Policy (available on the TLDSB website and at your child’s school). Parents are required to sign a form upon registration at school allowing their child to access the Internet and to use technology / technology services (whether owned or licenced to the TLDSB) while at school. By giving permission the parent understands that their child’s use of technology is subject to the requirements and terms of the Policy indicated above.
Electronics / Cell Phones
With the growth of personal technological items such as iPods, cell phones, digital cameras, and tablets, we as a staff at Watt have recognized that they can be a valuable resource in a student’s learning experience. If parents allow their children to bring technological devices to school, the student must assume full responsibility for their use and care. The school is not responsible for loss or damage to such items. These devices may only be used in school with the consent of the teacher / EA / supervising adult and may not interfere, in any way, with their learning or the learning of others.
Cell phones, in particular, must not be used during school hours. If students need to make a phone call, they are expected to check with their teacher first and make the call using a phone in the office. Without explicit direction from a teacher / EA / supervising adult, text messages must not be sent during school hours. Failure to follow these expectations may result in students having their cell phones taken from them during the time they are at school.
If any technological device causes distractions in school, violates the student code of conduct, or fails to observe the appropriate use of technology guidelines as laid out by TLDSB, it will result in the removal of the technological device(s) and the loss of future privileges for the student(s) in question. The technological devices will remain in the possession of the principal until parents or guardians can pick them up.
Field trips provide an excellent opportunity for students to participate in experiential activities that support and enhance classroom learning. From time to time, teachers take students on field trips that may require being out of the school for part of a school day (i.e., a walk in the woods behind the school or a trip to various facilities within the Muskoka area, etc.) or may take students on field trips that require being out of school for a full day including hours that extend beyond the school day (i.e., trips to Toronto to see Medieval Times, theatrical plays in Toronto, national and historical sites in Ottawa, etc.), therefore we strongly encourage all students to take full advantage of these excellent learning opportunities. Every effort is made to make these trips affordable for all students to attend and we never want the cost of a trip to be a deciding factor in student participation. Please feel free to contact the school office in these situations. Taking a group of students off school property holds a certain level of increased risk as a result of many unknown factors. Therefore, it is essential that student responsibility, behaviour and cooperation be high. School staff and administration may deny students the opportunity to participate in such trips if their behaviour and conduct within the school causes us to question their ability to manage themselves appropriately off school property where they may cause unnecessary risk to others. These decisions will be made on a case by case basis and will be communicated to parents.
We require that most classes change their clothing for physical education classes and related activities. Running shoes are a minimum safety requirement of the OPHEA Ontario Safety Guidelines that we follow. Shorts or athletic pants and T-shirts are listed as examples of appropriate clothing for physical education classes. Individual teachers will communicate with parents about the expectations for their students at each grade level. If students are storing gym clothing at school, an appropriate storage bag is recommended. Lockers may be used to store gym clothes only.
In partnership with the Simcoe-Muskoka Health Unit, dental screenings and immunizations are done routinely with specific grades. Vision and hearing screenings are not done routinely. If parents have concerns regarding their child’s vision or hearing, they should contact the appropriate medical professionals.
Healthy Snack Program
The Healthy Snack Program provides all students with the opportunity for a healthy snack at the beginning of the school day. The Healthy Snack Program follows all health and safety guidelines outlined by the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit. We have a wide network of scheduling, shopping and duty volunteers that make this program a huge success. The Watt Healthy Snack Program is funded from a variety of sources, some of whom include the Trillium Lakelands District School Board, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services through the North Bay Association for Community Living, and many local service clubs, businesses and individuals.
Fire drills are practised three times in the fall and three times in the spring at Watt Public School. These drills are monitored by the Township of Muskoka Lakes Fire Department. Watt Public School also practices a Lock Down Drill three times per year under the supervision of the OPP. During these procedures we expect an orderly routine to be followed. Each family should also develop a plan for their use at home so that each family member knows what to do in the case of an emergency and that children know their civic address for 911 purposes.
From time to time accidents occur. When an accident occurs, it is to be reported to the nearest adult. When the severity of the accident has been ascertained, action is taken. Each incident requires judgement from the person involved. Teachers have been instructed to contact the office to report each accident. In most instances minor first aid (e.g., reassurance, ice, band-aids) is applied and the child assumes a normal program. In more serious incidents, parents are contacted and asked to secure further medical assistance for their child. On rare occasions, emergency assistance is summoned or the child is taken to the hospital at the same time parents are being contacted. If your child has any special medical conditions, the school should be informed.
Occasionally it is necessary for students to receive medication while attending school. If the medication cannot be administered at home or at school by the parent or guardian please send a note with instructions as well as the labelled medication to the teacher or to the office.
If your doctor prescribes long term medication that must be given at school, it is necessary to complete an Administration of Medication form, which is available through the school office. This is Board Policy established in August 2000 and the policy requires that these forms be filled out each school year.
If your child needs to wear eyeglasses while at school please let the teacher know so we may ensure that the child’s glasses are in fact being worn.
There are several students at school who have life threatening allergies to various foods and other items such as bee stings. Key medical information relating to these allergies is available in the school office and all staff are made aware of the precautions and medical treatments, if necessary. Important information regarding these allergies is regularly communicated to all members of the Watt community through the school newsletter. Your compliance and understanding is essential in order to provide a safe environment for all of our students.
Board Head Lice Policy
Periodically throughout the school year, we will be having school-wide head lice checks at Watt Public School. Trained parent volunteers will be checking all students in the school, class by class.
It is the Trillium Lakelands School Board Policy that any child found to have head lice will be excluded from school until the first shampoo treatment has been completed and all nits are removed. You will be called to remove your child from school if your child is found to have nits or active lice. An information video on head lice is available to borrow from the school along with information brochures on head lice and how to treat them.
Please help us out by regularly checking your child’s head for nits. Finding and treating head lice early will stop the spread of head lice in children.
Bicycles should be parked at the front of the school. Bicycles are out of bounds to all students until dismissal time. Those students who bike must wear a helmet and should plan to arrive at 8:30 a.m., when yard supervision begins. Students must wait until all buses are gone before leaving school property on their bicycles.
Lost and Found
Each year hundreds of dollars worth of clothing is left unclaimed at the school. In order to avoid the problem it would be very helpful for you to remember to take the time to label your child’s clothing and other school belongings. This will greatly increase the chance of lost articles getting back to their owners.
Students and parents are encouraged to check the lost and found area for lost items on a regular basis. Items are laid out several times per year to hep them be returned to their owner. At the end of each term, items not claimed will be donated to a local charity.
School newsletters will be sent home (one per family) monthly and posted on the school website.
Teachers may periodically send home notices regarding the class program, individual projects, home reading and field trips. It is extremely helpful to the teachers when forms are returned promptly.
Each student in junior kindergarten to grade eight will receive a student agenda planner for the school year to assist them in becoming successful learners. The agenda is an effective time management tool which helps students organize themselves and plan their time effectively. Sections on assessment, including self evaluation and record keeping are also included.
Code of Conduct
At Watt Public School we aim to create an environment where students can live and learn in a safe and caring community. We promote an understanding of and appreciation of the rights and responsibilities of all members of the Watt PS community which includes students, parents, staff members, volunteers and other people associated with the school.
One purpose of a code of behaviour is to help students become better decision-makers. Students are expected to become responsible for their actions and to be respectful of the needs, rights and property of themselves and others.
We know that certain behaviours are never acceptable in a safe and caring school community.
Progressive discipline is essential for an effective teaching-learning environment. Parents, students and teachers working together will effectively promote the development of these ongoing, positive life skills.
At Watt Public School, we promote an understanding of and appreciation of the rights and responsibilities of all members of the Watt Community. We expect that staff and parents will model these rights and responsibilities and will work together to encourage the development of these ongoing, positive life skills.
We are clear that in our school community these are the skills we need to learn and practice:
All MEMBERS OF OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY must:
- Be honest and fair
- Show respect for people’s differences and opinions
- Treat each other kindly – especially during disagreements
- Respect the rights of others
- Care for school property and the property of others
- Notice and help those in need
- Seek help from school staff if necessary to resolve conflicts
- Obey all laws
- Respect and obey persons in positions of authority
- Try to make the school a safe and healthy place
- Keep all language respectful and courteous
In addition, all STUDENTS must:
- Be honest young citizens
- Attend school on time
- Have good personal hygiene
- Wear clothes that are appropriate for school as defined in the dress code
- Show verbal and physical self-control
- Use courteous and respectful words and actions with everybody
- Show respect for all school property
- Return school property on time and in reasonable condition
- Pay for school items that were lost or damaged
- Behave appropriately and safely on school buses
- Participate in class and complete assignments
- Complete tests and exams honestly
- Obey all school staff including supply teachers, educational assistants, secretaries or custodians
- Follow all school policies and routines
- Follow all the classroom policies and routines set by teachers
- Avoid public arguing with staff about treatment that seems unfair. Instead it is expected that student will ask for a private talk with teacher or school counsellor or administrator
- Accept responsibility for their actions and the consequences for the choices they make
- Accept disciplinary actions from staff to correct student behavioural mistakes
- Obey the board policy on use of internet in schools
- Avoid bringing cell phones and electronic devices to school except with special permission from teachers
- Be responsible for personal belongings, including electronic devices, in the event of loss, theft or damage
- Be personally responsible for passwords – including internet accessed by their passwords
- Be accountable for content of any memory storage devices (i.e. USB memory sticks), staff have the right to request to see the content
- Alert a staff member if they know of harmful or harassment types of behaviours targeting any of their classmates via use of electronic devices or internet sites
- Be accountable for off-school property use of internet sites or electronic devices which may have a negative impact on the school environment
We know that certain behaviours are never acceptable in a safe and caring school community.
We agree that all of the following are unacceptable and subject to progressive disciplinary actions by school staff.
All MEMBERS OF OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY must not:
- Use bullying
- Commit sexual assault
- Be in possession of any weapon – including firearms
- Traffic weapons or illegal or restricted drugs
- Be in possession of, be under the influence of, or give to others – alcohol or illegal or restricted drugs
- Give alcohol to a minor
- Commit robbery
- Cause injury to anyone or encourage others to do so
- Use a weapon to threaten or intimidate
- Cause injury to another with an object of any sort
- Promote hate propaganda or act in any way motivated by hate or bias
- Vandalize and cause damage to school property or property located on school grounds
- Cause a disturbance anywhere on school property which interrupts learning or school operations
In addition, all STUDENTS must not:
- Use swear words or improper rude language
- Use threatening words, gestures or physical assault against a person or their belongings
- Use displays of affection that are inappropriate for school setting (kissing, fondling, embracing)
- Harass by any means (verbal, physical, electronic device/internet) any member of school community
- Use drugs, alcohol or tobacco on school property or at school events
- Smoke or use any other tobacco product on school property, busses or events
- Have, use, sell or give alcohol, illegal drugs or restricted prescription drugs (sold illegally for non-medicinal purposes) on school buses, field trips, school property
- Be on school property if the use of alcohol or illegal drugs is still detectable
- Steal or vandalize the property of others
- Use camera capable electronic devices in areas others expect to be private (washrooms, change rooms) or where there is a known objection to taking pictures
- Connect PDA’s and other electronic devices with internet capabilities to TLDSB network
- Use internet or electronic devices to threaten, harass or demean any other member of the school community especially when those actions interfere with that member’s ability to function in the school
- Access inappropriate websites
We know that progressive discipline is essential for an effective teaching-learning environment and teaches students proper behaviour, responsibility and corrects unacceptable behaviour. Use of progressive discipline demonstrates that we value a safe and caring school community.
In our school, this is the philosophy and plan for progressive and supportive discipline.
Three key questions will frame our key behavioural expectations, promote student learning of expected and appropriate behaviours and serve as a prompt for reflection:
- Is it safe?
- Is it kind?
- Does it promote learning?
At Watt Public School, the following steps frame our discipline process and are used across the school:
- Admit it
- Accept the consequences
- Learn from it
Watt Public School has a discipline procedure that is used progressively over time based on the frequency and/or severity of misbehaviours.
- Discipline will be used when any classroom or school rules and/or routines are violated
- Discipline will be used when student behaviour impacts negatively on the school climate of Watt Public School – even if that behaviour does not occur on school property
- It is the goal of the staff to take into consideration the individual student and circumstances before making decisions about what type of discipline is most appropriate
- While parental input is welcomed and considered, it is the responsibility of school staff and ultimately the school administration to make final decisions about discipline
Strategies used with infrequent and minor behaviour issues may include:
Problem solving meeting
Note in agenda
For more frequent behaviour issues discipline strategies may include:
Detention/repayment of time
Follow up task or assignment
Withdrawal from class
Referral to office
Loss of privilege
Consultation with parents
Strategies used when a chronic pattern is identified may include use of restorative practices and further logical consequences
- Analysis of the difficulty + behaviour contract/plan made by staff /student
- Analysis of the difficulty+ behaviour contract/plan made by staff/parent/student
- Analysis of the difficulty +behaviour contract/plan made by staff/parent/support staff/administrator/student
NOTE: For specific misbehaviours – suspension may or must be considered. Except for students for whom the suspend-able behaviour is a first offence, it is expected that evidence of progressive discipline has been documented.
Used when severity and frequency identify a need for more long term and targeted intervention
- Mandated participation in small group sessions (examples: small group interventions, guidance counseling -individual or group, restorative practices/justice circle)
- Significant restrictions/substitutions – (examples: class or school transfers, revised timetable, reduced levels of freedom/increased allocation for supervision, loss of privilege)
Used when severity and type of misbehaviour means consideration of suspension.
See list below.
- Consideration of suspension (progressive discipline options may be substituted)
- Consideration of suspension pending expulsion (Suspension may be substituted)
Suspension for the following MAY be considered by Principal
- Uttering threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person
- Possessing alcohol or restricted drugs
- Being under influence of alcohol
- Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority
- Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property located on the premises of the pupil’s school
- Any act considered by principal to be injurious to moral tone of the school
- Any act considered by principal to be injurious to physical or mental well-being of any member of school community
- Any act considered by the principal to be contrary to Board or School Code of Conduct
Suspension pending Expulsion MUST be considered by Principal
- Possession of a weapon, including possessing a firearm
- Use of weapon to cause or threaten bodily harm to another person
- Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by medical practitioner
- Committing sexual assault
- Trafficking in weapons or illegal or restricted drugs
- Committing robbery
- Giving alcohol or illegal/restricted drugs to minor
- An act considered by principal to be significantly injurious to moral tone of the school and/or to the physical or mental well-being of others
- A pattern of behaviour that is so inappropriate that the pupil’s continued presence is injurious to the effective learning and/or working environment of others
- Activities engaged in by the pupil on or off school property behaviours that cause the pupil’s continuing present in the school to create unacceptable risk to physical or mental well-being of other person(s) in the school or Board
- Activities engaged in by the pupil on or off property that have caused extensive damage to the property of the Board or to goods that are/were on Board property
- The pupil has demonstrated through a pattern of behaviour that s/he has not prospered by the instruction available to him or her and s/he is persistently resistant to making changes in behaviour which would enable him or her to prosper.
- Any act considered by the principal to be a serious violation of the Board or School Code of Conduct
- Conduct which is so refractory as to demonstrate that the student is unwilling to respect or respond to authority and/or respect the rights or dignity of other school community members, despite having been given a reasonable opportunity to do so.
Conduct of Students on School Buses
Every student using a bus is responsible to the Principal through the Operator for his/her conduct on the bus.
It is the responsibility of the student to:
- abide by the bus driver’s instructions; and
- remain in your seat while the bus is in motion; and
- respect the safety of others; and
- speak in a quiet voice and use acceptable language; and
- respect other students’ property; and
- refrain from eating and drinking on the bus; and
- keep all parts of the body inside the bus at all times.
The Watt Public School Code of Conduct also applies to buses. Parents are asked to reinforce these expectations since failure to comply may result in the suspension of bus riding privileges.
Transporting Articles or Equipment
Items to be transported on a school bus should not be so large that they may not be safely stored inside a backpack and under the seat. They should be wrapped and secured in order not to become a safety problem. It is not permissible to transport skis, hockey sticks, skateboards or any other long pointed objects. Bus drivers may refuse to transport items that they believe would cause a safety problem.