September 13th, 2021
Dear Sunnyside Families,
Thank you to all of you for your contribution to a fantastic start to our school year. It has been so nice to see the students, hear the excited voices and feel the energy of a full school. We know that it isn’t quite business as usual, and we still have many safety protocols in place to keep us safe, but the optimism is undeniable!
We wanted to let parents know a few things about Sunnyside, to help them understand our procedures and help support their students to navigate a successful year.
8:20 – start of day
10:20-11:00 – First Nutrition Break
12:30-1:10 – Second Nutrition Break
2:40 – Dismissal
Please note that students are kept in cohorts during indoor and outdoor portions of nutrition breaks. While outside in their cohorts, they can remove their mask if they would like. Students are not permitted to leave school property during break. Staff are outside supervising students for 15 minutes before and after the school day, as well as during both breaks.
Students and parents are asked to complete the daily COVID screening and send in the initial verification form. If your child tests positive or comes in contact with an individual that has tested positive, please keep them home and let us know. We will follow the procedures outlined by Waterloo Region Public Health and the WRDSB’s COVID Response team to deal with any positive cases that occur.
Attendance is taken twice during the day. Once at the start of the day and again after the second nutrition break. If your child is going to be away, please call 519-896-1130 and let us know their name, class, date and reason for absence. If your child arrives late, please have them buzz at the main door and report to the office for a late slip before going to class. If your child needs to leave early for an appointment, please call the office and let us know, or send in a signed note with the date and time of departure. If your child will be away for more than 5 consecutive days, please call the office and request a prolonged absence letter.
Cell Phones and Personal Devices:
Students are allowed to bring cellphones to school, but between 8:20 and 2:40 they must be turned off and out of sight. No phones or personal devices are allowed during class time or during nutrition breaks. If you need to speak to your child during the day, please contact the main office, though we do ask parents to limit these interruptions and only call if absolutely required. If students need to use the phone, they need to ask a teacher or the office to use the phone and we will help them. Cell phones used during the day will be confiscated and kept in a secure location in the office until the end of the day. Repeated occurrences will be communicated with parents.
Communication between home and school:
We value our relationship with families and appreciate your support and engagement. If you need to speak to a teacher, please call 519-896-1130 and leave a message for the teacher and they will call back. You can also reach all staff through email. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a question, feedback or a concern.
We use School Day as our main communication tool. Please make sure you have an account set up. Teachers all have Google Classrooms set up. Ask your child to show you them. You can also follow us on Instagram @sunnysideps, Twitter @sunnysideps or on our website sun.wrdsb.ca
Outdoor breaks will continue, unless the weather gets very bad. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the cold during the winter. In the case of a school closure due to inclement weather, instruction will be done online.
We are very fortunate to have 1:1 Chromebooks for our students this year. A Chromebook Agreement must be signed by parents, and we ask that you review the WRDSB Responsible Use Policy. Chromebooks will stay at school and only go home under very special and specific circumstances (family need to isolate, inclement weather, prolonged absence etc…)
Appropriate School Clothing
We appreciate our students’ evolving need to express their individuality through their clothing. We ask that they dress in an appropriate manner that is respectful of a school environment. We ask that clothes do not have graphics or writing that is profane, inappropriate or gang related. We also ask that clothing covers undergarments and does not reveal excessive skin. When a student arrives in clothing that is deemed inappropriate a phone call will be made to parents and students will be asked to change into something more appropriate.
We do have several students with life threatening allergies. Please do not send food items with nuts or nut products. Please also refrain from wearing or sending heavily fragranced and perfumed sprays.
Learning Priorities and Expectations
We pride ourselves in providing learning opportunities to help students reach their academic potential and acquire skills to be responsible citizens and to participate effectively in society. At Sunnyside Senior Public School, we strive to achieve this in a number of safe, smooth, caring and learning ways:
- Set personal goals and high expectations for learning – ALL students can learn
- Help students to be able to articulate what they are learning and why
- Embrace diversity and inclusion
- Engage in technology, inquiry-based and active learning opportunities
- Learn about global issues impacting our world
- Ensure students are actively involved in and responsible for their learning
- Make wise and safe choices for healthy living and daily functioning
- Resolve conflicts peacefully and cooperatively
- Understand and follow school expectations and procedures
- Show respect for themselves, others and school property
- Adhere to all COVID safety precautions and procedures
- Provide meaningful and varied curricular and co-curricular opportunities
- Engage students, families, staff and communities
- Foster wellness and well-being
- Contribute to and maintain a positive learning environment for all students
- Teach students to be accountable and responsible for their behaviour
- Maintain a positive attitude, positive growth mindset by students and staff
Behaviour Infractions and Consequences
The Ministry of Education has stipulated that certain misbehaviour of students must be reported to the police when a serious violent incident has occurred. These incidents involve physical assault causing bodily harm requiring medical attention; sexual assault; criminal harassment; weapons’ offenses; and drug offenses. In some cases, extreme bullying, cyber bullying or on-line misconduct can also become a reportable offence requiring police involvement.
The WRDSB has added other types of misbehaviour that will not be tolerated in our schools and will lead to progressice discipline consequences, including but not limited to suspension and/or police involvement. These activities are specifically:
- The use, possession or sale of alcohol, cigarettes, vapes or drugs of any kind
- The possession or use of weapons or items that are intended to be used as weapons;
- Any physical assault, threats of assault or intimidation;
- Any sexual, religious, ethnocultural, and/or racial abuse, jokes, slurs or harassment;
- Any non-physical abuse including verbal, cyber, emotional and psychological abuse, social exclusion, bullying;
- Any hate-motivated violence (incidents involving racism, homophobia, etc.);
- Vandalism causing extensive damage to school property or property located on school premises.
Parents play an important role in the education of their children and have a responsibility to support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Parents fulfill this responsibility when they:
- show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress
- communicate regularly with the school
- help their child be neat, appropriately dressed and prepared for school
- ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time
- promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival
- become familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules
- encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour
- assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues
- Adhere carefully to all COVID-19 safety, screening and reporting protocols
Use of the WRDSB “DIRECT TOOL” for Discriminatory Behaviour
Incidents of discrimination will be taken very seriously. Such incidents will be dealt with using the policies, guidelines and procedures outlined by the WRDSB’s DIRECT tool by stopping, interrupting, naming, and reporting discriminatory behaviour. (D – Dialogue I – Identify R – Reinforce E – Educate C – Communicate T – Transform)
Riding a bus is a privilege and adherence to proper behaviour on the bus is an expectation and a safety necessity. Progressive Discipline processes will be followed to deal with behavioural issues on the bus. Repeated or severe infractions will result in removal from the bus for a period of time. If you become aware of issues occuring on the bus, please call the school to report it.
Student Support and Mental Health:
At Sunnyside we have a very capable and caring staff, including Special Education, Guidance Teachers, and a Child and Youth Worker. It is important to remember that these are education professionals, and not licensed mental health professionals or psychologists. If your child is experiencing difficulties and needs help, we are happy to help direct you to the appropriate support. Some options are listed below.
Kids Help Phone – www.kidshelpphone.ca 1-800-668-6868
Crisis Centre of Waterloo Region (24/7) – (519) 744-1813
Youth Support Line – (519) 745-9909
Distress Centre – (519) 745-1166
K-W Counselling – (519) 884-0000
Mosaic Counselling – (519) 743-6333
Front Door – www.frontdoormentalhealth.ca