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Monday, September 14, 2015


Dear Families:

It is always good practice to review our safety expectations at the beginning of each year.  For families that are new to our learning community, we welcome you and hope that you find this information helpful in your planning and understanding.


It is important that we have in place safe practices during entry and dismissal times.  The presence of extra adults in the building while 370 students are arriving or leaving makes our roles more difficult.  Too many extra adults can create a visual barrier to a clear line of sight, and confusion to ensuring that children with different pick-up arrangements (busses, day care, parent pick-up) are all taken care of appropriately.

I’d like to outline for you our safety practices which come directly from the Ontario Safe Schools Act which states that all visitors to the school must come to the office, sign in, and wear a visitor’s badge.

During the morning arrival time, staff supervision begins at 8:45 a.m.  Staff wearing brightly coloured orange vests, are on the yard to welcome students.  Students arriving between 8:45 and 8:55 a.m. can safely enter through the fence and move to the supervised yard to wait for the bell. Families who arrive after the 8:55 a.m. entry bell must bring their children to the school office for the student to be signed in.  A staff member will make sure that the child reaches their classroom safely.

At the end of the day, students are dismissed through their assigned doors.  We ask that parents wait outside these doors for their child.  In the case of Kindergarten students, the teachers dismiss students once they have made visual contact with the parent/guardian who has the responsibility of pick up at the end of the day.  Many families have designated a pick-up spot at the front of the school, and this system works well for families with more than one child and more than one dismissal door involved.


When dropping/off and picking up before and after school, parents often park along Balaclava Street.  The bus drivers are having difficulty safely entering and exiting our property due to congestion caused by this practice.  Our primary concern is to keep the children and their families safe during this transition time.  Happily, we have a large upper parking lot.  Should you choose to drive your child(ren) to and from school, please follow the following procedures.

Lower Parking Lot Morning:  Traffic flow is one-way from North to South.  Families who are choosing to use the morning valet service will pull forward and their children will be greeted by school personnel and safely crossed to the yard.  NO PARKING OR STOPPING FOR EXTENDED PERIODS is permitted.  Should you wish to walk your child to the school yard please park in the upper parking lot or along Dunn Street.

Lower Parking Lot Afternoon:  For safety purposes, vehicles are not permitted in the lower parking lot from 2:45-3:45 PM.  At this time the parking lot at the front of the school is reserved for busses only.

Upper Parking Lot Morning:  Should you wish to walk your child to the school yard, parking is available in the upper parking lot or along Dunn Street.  Parents of older children may also wish to use this as a morning drop off zone for their children.  Children can access the school yard via the ramp to the back yard.

Upper Parking Lot Afternoon:  Staff wearing brightly coloured vests, will be present in the Upper Parking Lot after school to assist parents and students in being reunited at the end of the school day.  In order to keep the traffic moving, parents are asked to park in a designated parking space and not in the driveway.  Parents who wish to greet their child(ren) at the front of the school, are asked to park in this lot or along Dunn Street and walk to the front of the school.


If you find that you are running behind or have a need to make changes to your regular pick-up routine, please contact the Office as early as possible. Our staff will relay this information to classroom teachers and to your child(ren).

We all want the safest possible environment for our children.  The above practices help to ensure the safe arrival and dismissal of students.  We thank you for understanding how important the safety and security of our learning environment is for all of members of our school community.


Jane Austin