School Handbook

1.  Anaphylaxis

We have a number of students who have severe allergies.  In particular, we have students who are anaphylactic.  Anaphylaxis is a life - threatening allergy.   Some students are allergic to all peanut and nut products.  It is imperative that no items containing peanut or nut products are in the school.  Please check all food labels for a list of ingredients.


2. Appearance and Dress

Students are expected to be, at all times, neat, tidy, and clean in their manner of personal appearance and dress.   No inappropriate language/symbols on clothing.    Tube tops and spaghetti strap tops are not permitted.  Clothing should not reveal underwear. Students are to remove caps/hats when in the building.

Students are to change footwear upon entering and leaving the building.  Please keep in mind that children play outdoors at recess and noon most days. In the winter most children wear snow pants, a warm jacket, boots, scarves and mittens. It is advisable to have the student’s name on most articles of clothing, especially hats, boots, sneakers, coats and scarves.

Students will need a pair of sneakers for gym. He/she may also wear them in the school.  Please ensure that indoor shoes have non-marking soles.


3. Attendance

It is critical that children attend school regularly.  If students are unable to be at school, parents are requested to call the school and inform Safe Arrival of their absence (896-5798 Ext. 100).   It is also extremely important that students arrive on time.  Students who arrive late disturb others who have settled in to their work.


4. Bicycles, Skateboards

Bicycles are to be parked in the bike rack during school hours. It is law that bicycle helmets must be worn.  Skateboards, roller blades, wheelies and heelies, are not permitted.


5. Breakfast Program & Snacks

Our breakfast program has begun.  It will run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.  There is no cost for this program and any student is welcome.  Donations are gratefully accepted.  Remember that all children can either purchase a snack at school or are to come to school with a recess snack daily as free snacks are not provided by the school.  Many thanks for your cooperation. 


6. Buses

School buses provide a very important service for parents and students. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, students must conduct themselves in an orderly manner while riding on them. Parents can assist by stressing the importance of proper conduct to their children.  Students are required to return home on their regular bus and use their assigned bus stop, unless the homeroom teacher receives a note from the parents to indicate otherwise. Parents should note that students are not permitted to change buses unless it is an emergency and permission is conditional on the number of students on the requested bus. Students are not permitted to change buses for visiting reasons, however, changes for babysitting will be allowed provided there is room on the bus. All requests for bus changes must be approved by the principal and forwarded to the bus driver.


7.  Cafeteria Services

Our cafeteria provider will be the Cobequid Catering Society (CCS).  Our head cook is Cara Woodworth and the assistant cook is Tanya Wood. 

Due to the short length of lunch (45 minutes), all students will be permitted to stay for lunch.   Being able to stay for lunch is a privilege and we expect proper behavior at all times.  Unacceptable behavior could result in the loss of this privilege.  Students will be supervised in the lunchroom and on the playground by noon supervisors.  Students are expected to be respectful and mindful of the supervisors.  If your child will be going home for lunch, please send a note to the teacher so that we will be able to check following lunch with our Safe Arrival program.  Please note that we will have Safe Arrival in the morning as well.

We are very fortunate to have a hot lunch program offered daily at a very reasonable price. A menu goes home at the beginning of the month with the prices. Milk is available at a minimal cost for those students who wish to bring their lunch. Children are not permitted to bring pop to school.  CCRSB has new Foods in School policy.  Please visit CCRSB website for complete details.


8. Communicable diseases

Parents are asked to inform the school if their child has measles, impetigo, chicken pox, scabies or any other communicable disease. The school will notify parents of confirmed cases of some communicable diseases. Parents should also communicate if their child has head lice so that a note can be sent home with the class to help keep a check on the spread.  If a child is found to have live head lice, they will be sent home to be treated.


9. Communication book

Again this year, teachers and students will be making use of a Communication Book for keeping track of homework, communications and memos.  Please let us know if your child has appointments or different after school arrangements. Rather than calling, the communication book can be used for a written excuse or bus note.  If you have major concerns, please contact the teachers by telephone, preferably after school.


10. Communication plan

Students will be receiving a communication plan on the first day of school, one from school, phys.ed, music, learning centre and one from the classroom teacher.  Parents are asked to keep them and to refer to them as necessary.


11. Contacting the School\Teacher

There are many times during the school year when parents have concerns about their child’s welfare or questions about school related activities.  Please share these with the classroom teacher so we can act on or respond to your concerns.  A note to the teacher or a phone call can help us stay well informed so that we are better able to work together to meet the needs of your child.  Teachers will indicate their phone and extension number in their class communication letter. If you need to contact the teacher during the day you may leave a message and they will get back to you when they are free of teaching responsibilities.

Parents are encouraged to contact the teacher if they have any concerns or questions. Teachers will do their best to assist in any way possible and may bring your concern to the principal’s attention, if deemed necessary.  If you have concerns of a more general nature or if you have met with the teacher and wish to discuss the matter further, please feel free to contact Mrs. Vautour, the school principal or Mr. Lockhart the school vice principal.

The school has secretarial service 7 hours a day beginning at approximately 8am. We ask that parents not make a habit of calling the school for us to relay messages to their children about where they are to go after school. This should be an exception and only asked of us in emergency situations.


12. Early Dismissal

When school is cancelled for any reason, it will be announced on the Truro radio stations 100.9 FM (CKTO) Big Dog and 99.5 FM Cat Country.  This information will also be posted on the CCRSB web site. As school may be dismissed early due to poor weather conditions, or for other reasons, parents are asked to make arrangements in advance to prepare for such situations and advise their children and the school accordingly.  


13. Extra Curricular Activities

Extra curricular activities may be carried out by either staff or volunteers.  With regard to after school events, only students belonging to the group will be allowed to stay. In the event of sports games after school, other students will not be permitted to watch unless under the direct supervision of a parent.


14. Fire Drills / Code Blue / Code Black

The purpose of fire drills is to ensure efficient and safe use of all exit facilities. Our school practices a minimum of 6 fire drills throughout the year with several being in the month of September so that new and returning students will know their way out and panic will be avoided.  We also will be practicing Code Blue (Lockdown) and simulating Code Black (Evacuation and Relocation) as per CCRSB policy.


15. Homework

The nature and frequency of the homework will vary with the grade of the child. Homework is independent practice time for students.  If it is taking an excessive amount of time to complete the assignment, parents may end the work session and send a note of explanation to the teacher.  Teachers will indicate homework requirements in their communication letters.


16. Illness

Sometimes we have a request to have a child stay in at recess or lunch because they are ill.  We are requesting that if your child is not well enough to go out at recess or lunch that they remain at home.  This will help reduce the transmission of colds and flu and prevent the unscheduled supervision of children at these times.  Thanks for your support.


17. Library

Our school library has a growing supply of books for teacher and student use. The students, with the assistance of their teachers and volunteers and librarian are welcome to use the library on a weekly basis to borrow books of their choice.


18. Lost and Found

Found items are stored in a clothes hamper in the front lobby. Items are put on display occasionally, sent to various classes to find owners, and set up on Parent / Teacher Interview times. Parents are encouraged to check for lost belongings. All unclaimed items are sent to a charity at Christmas, March Break and in July.


19. Medication at School

If your child has to take any prescription or non-prescription medication during school hours, an authorization for medication form must be filled out for medication to be administered on a regular basis.  Medication must be presented in a container which carries a prescription label specifying the medication, the dosage, method of storage, the frequency and method of administration, the dates for which the authorization applies and the possible side effects if any.  Contact the Principal should you have questions or concerns.


20. Music Program

Music is taught to all grade levels twice per week.  We hold a Christmas Concert that all students participate in.  Some of our students participate in the Music Festival in the spring.


21. Newsletters

Monthly newsletters are sent home at the beginning of each month. Newsletters contain a menu and a monthly calendar of events.


22. Parent Teacher Group (PTG)/School Advisory Council (SAC)

We have active PTG and SAC organizations which meet monthly.  The date and time will be put on the monthly calendar.  Look for PTG or SAC news in the monthly newsletter.   A School Advisory Council is a legally recognized body composed of the principal and representatives of parents, teachers, support staff, and community members who work together in an advisory capacity to enhance the quality of education provided by the school.  The fundamental purpose of the School Advisory Council is to ensure that all students receive the best possible learning opportunities by engaging all partners in an ongoing process of shared decision-making related to student learning.  The primary responsibility of the council is to support the school improvement plan in collaboration with the school staff.


23. Parking\Drop off and Pick up

All teachers, parents and visitors are to park in the parking lot off Cedar Drive There is to be no parking in the bus loop in front of the school during the day when students are present. Parents are asked to be aware of the drop off loop in the parking lot area.  This is for morning drop off only.   Parents are not permitted to park and/or wait for children in the drop off loop.  Please do not leave your vehicle unattended in the drop off loop. After school, most of our students go home on school buses.  For safety reasons, walkers are dismissed last out of the P -2 end doors. If parents are waiting to drive their children home, those children are dismissed with the walkers.  Parents/guardians are expected to pick up students promptly at dismissal.


24. Phys Ed

Physical Education is taught to all grades twice per week.  Children should wear comfortable clothing for phys.ed classes, preferably shorts or jogging suits.  Indoor sneakers with non-marking soles are required for gym and for classroom.


25. Picking up children

We ask parents who are picking up children after school to wait until after the busses leave (approximately 5-8 minutes after 2 p.m.)  before taking their children out of the school.  This will help to avoid confusion and congestion in the halls right at dismissal time.  Students who are being picked up are to wait until after the busses leave and then are dismissed with the walkers.  Walkers will be dismissed out the north end of the building daily.


26. Safe arrival program for morning and lunch time

Harmony Heights Elementary School has a Safe Arrival Program in place for the benefit of all students.

Parents are asked to please phone the school in the morning before 8 a.m. (voice mail) if your child will be absent from school or late for school that day.  Please leave a clear message on the voice mail 896-5798.   If your child goes home for lunch, please call the school if your child will not be returning to school after lunch. Please send a note with your child the next day your child attends school, stating reason for being absent.  When it is busy in the office we may not be able to call, so it is very important that parents inform the school of absences.


27. Secure Site

To keep our school secure we ask that all parents/visitors report directly to the office upon entering the school at the front entrance.  Students who need to leave for appointments thru the day will be picked up at the office.  Students leaving for appointments etc. must sign out and back in at the office.  Also, if students are late for school please check in at the office upon arrival.  If visitors remain in the school, they must sign in and sign out.


28.  Sick Children at School

We ask that parents not send sick children to school as we do not have facilities to accommodate them. We keep an emergency information sheet on file. We ask parents to supply us with information so we can contact them during the day should their child become ill or injured. In the event that parents cannot be reached, we request the name(s) of others who could be contacted to come pick up your child.


29. Smoke Aware/Scent Aware

Parents are reminded that all school board buildings and vehicles are smoke free.  Harmony Heights Elementary is a scent aware environment.  Perfumes, colognes, and after shave are not to be used by employees, students or visitors.  Our goal is to limit the use of scented products and we will engage in a discussion with people who are non-compliant and provide them with a paper copy of the benefits of the scent-aware program.


30.  Supervision of Students

Supervision of students is not provided before the arrival of the first bus at 7:40 a.m. in the morning. Please refrain from dropping your child off before supervisors have arrived. Students are supervised at all times during the day by school staff.    


31. School Supplies

Parents send in the money for school supplies by the end of June so that the teachers can purchase the supplies for the students.  These supplies will last the school year.  The school will provide a school supply list in June to families that wish to purchase the supplies on their own.


32. Telephone

All students must have permission from their homeroom teacher or principal to use the classroom or office phone.  With respect to activities after school, schedules are sent home indicating dates and times of events so parents can be informed. Students will be given permission to phone home if an event is changed that day. We encourage all students to know before they get to school how they will be getting home afterwards and at what time their drive is to arrive.


33. Toys and electronic devices at School

Students are discouraged from bringing toys to school as they are distracting to many children in a classroom. Some toys are very costly and we cannot be responsible for them.  Any exceptions will at the discretion of the teacher (Show & Tell and Friday Fun days).   Trading paraphernalia (cards etc.) are not to be sent to school.


34. T-Shirt Day\School Spirit Day

About once a month, we have t-shirt day where we encourage students and staff to wear a school t-shirt. If they do not own an official school shirt, one can usually be ordered in September or they can wear any blue t-shirt.  An assembly is held in the gym where different students are recognized for various reasons. Children wearing school or blue t-shirts are recognized also.


35. Trips

We send home a permission form for you to sign giving your permission to allow your child to go on school trips. Signing this form will allow your child to participate in activities outside the school. We will also send, for your information, a notice describing each event or trip with a form to be signed and returned. This will assure us that you have received that information and know in what activities your child is participating.


36. Vandalism

Students must pay for any damage they cause to the school whether accidental or intentional. The Principal will notify parents of damages. The school in not responsible for damage to clothing, glasses, or other belongings that is a result of vandalism, fighting, theft, etc. We will, however, do our best to help resolve the situation.


37. Visitors

All visitors to the school are to report to the office. We will not release children to anyone other than the parents, so if you have someone coming to the school to pick up your child, you must send a note in the morning to the child’s teacher. If an emergency arises during the day and it is necessary for someone to come and pick up your child, we ask that you phone the school and speak directly to the principal, the secretary or the child’s teacher.


38. Volunteers

Harmony Heights Elementary School is very appreciative of the many volunteers who offer assistance to our students and staff.  Their contribution greatly enhances the opportunity for education enjoyed by our students.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to assist teachers working with students (individually and small groups), referee or coach sports, work in the library, help with computers, in organizing clubs or whatever your interests are, please contact the Principal by phoning 896-5798 or send a note with your child.  All volunteers who work directly with students are required by the Chignecto Central Regional School Board to have a Criminal Reference Check and a Child Abuse Register Form filled out.  Please contact the office for these forms.


39. Code of Behavior and Conduct

Harmony Heights follows the CCRSB Code of Conduct Policy which can be reviewed on the school board website.  Our school has developed a matrix of expected behaviors which can be seen on our website.