Parent Handbook

September, 2012
Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
Bert Ambrose Elementary School is very proud of our teachers and support staff. We have an awesome Parent Advisory Council and a very supportive learning community! Everyone always wants the best for the students of Bert Ambrose.
For 2011/2012 we will continue to follow our Mission, which is outlined below:
“ Children, Teachers, and Parents, creating a Learning Partnership! “
In 2010/2012 we will continue to do our best to provide a successful learning environment, with opportunities for all students. We will strive to improve academic achievement and focus on improving social responsibility every day. We will try to do everything possible to make Bert Ambrose Elementary the best place it can be for your child to get an education.
Bert Ambrose Elementary
School Vision
Our vision for Bert Ambrose Elementary is one where there is a focus on success, on self-respect, and the appreciation of others. Educationally we will focus on the principles of learning, in a safe, secure environment. Our school community will continue to focus on being: Respectful, Responsible and Resourceful.
Bert Ambrose Elementary
G. Growing
A. Achieving
T. Together
O. Opportunities for all, being
R. Respectful, Responsible, and Resourceful
Doug McCracken
School District No. 60 (Peace River North)
SCHOOL NAME: Bert Ambrose Elementary School
DATE: 2011- 2012
SCHOOL CONTEXT: Bert Ambrose Elementary is located in the northeast corner of Fort St. John, close to Northern Lights College, the Community Forest and Kinsmen Park. Our elementary school serves both an urban and rural community with a student population of 330 students. Our First Nations students make up about 9% of our student population. Our student population is balanced with 165 boys and 165 girls.
Bert Ambrose places a high priority on helping students to become aware of all forms of diversity. Our parents are actively involved and support our school in a variety of ways, everything from our meals program to our Christmas concert, the year book, to extra curricular athletics. Many of our parents volunteer in both our primary and intermediate classrooms.
Bert Ambrose School has a staffing compliment of fourteen divisions, 18 teachers and 9 support workers as well as a principal, vice principal, reading recovery teacher, aboriginal support worker, school counselor, .8 learning assistant and a .5 librarian. Together as a staff, we prioritize our greatest needs for learning and allocate the available resources in a collaborative manner.
(PAC)Our Parents Advisory Council plays an active role striving to make Bert Ambrose Elementary the best it can be. We have monthly meetings and share information from all of our fourteen divisions. Our Ambrose parents support many initiatives. This year they are supporting Missoula Theatre “The Tortoise & the Hare”, and singer songwriter Paul Hann who performs with our students in an annual special concert.
(SPC)Our school’s planning council is involved with the molding of the School’s Improvement Plan. They are active participants all year long and share this information at our parent advisory meetings.
The most recent results of the Ministry of Education’s Foundation Skill Assessment for our grade 4 continues to be above the 85 percentile. Bert Ambrose students are above both the provincial and our school district’s average in all areas (Reading, Writing and Numeracy).
The participation of our students in extra curricular activities continues to be outstanding. In 20011/2012 our school has five soccer teams, last year we had four volleyball teams, a cross-country running team, four basketball teams, a badminton team, two bowling teams, three slow pitch teams, a track and field team and a wrestling team. We are very proud of this participation and our coaches who volunteer their time!
School Vision: We focus on success, on respect, and the appreciation of others. Educationally, we will focus on the principles of learning in a safe, secure environment. Our school community will focus on being: Respectful, Responsible and Resourceful.
Mission Statement: Bert Ambrose Elementary: “Children, Teachers, and Parents, Creating a Learning partnership.
Our school motto is G.A.T.O.R.
G rowing
A chieving
T ogether
O pportunities for all, focusing on being,
R espectful Responsible and Resourceful
Legend of Terms
Phrase or Word Acronym Meaning
Positive Behavior and Intervention Support PBIS This is a concept which encourages the use of preventative and pro-active strategies to develop a positive culture in the school. PBIS principles: model and actively teach expected behaviors, recognize and reward positive behaviors, support for students who need more instruction, reminders, attention regarding appropriate behavior. Developing a school-wide system of behavior expectations reflects the core values identified by the school community. The goal of our school-wide behavior expectation system is to promote a safe and caring school climate where the focus is on learning and teaching.
Individual Education Plan IEP Students who are struggling to meet the learning outcomes for their grade level, especially in the areas of reading, writing or numeracy have a plan that has individualized outcomes that they can achieve.
Foundation Skills Assessment FSA These are annual provincial assessments in grade 4 and 7 in the areas of reading, writing and numeracy.
Kindergarten Phonological Processing KPP Pre-reading knowledge skill including letter sound recognition, rhyming (recognize and say and example, e.g. teacher says pop and student says cop), separating a beginning sound of a word. (e.g. m-an), putting sounds together (e.g. pop-corn saying popcorn).
Parent Advisory Council PAC The Parent Advisory Council that meets monthly to support Bert Ambrose Elementary
School Planning Council SPC The School Planning Council is an elected body that works together with the administration throughout the school year
School Improvement Plan SIP The School Improvement Plan is a living document that guides the focus for improvement throughout the school year.
Quartile Q Level at which a student is performing divided into four categories. For example the scoring 0-15=1st Quartile, 16-30=2nd Quartile, 31-45=3rd Quartile, 46-60=4th Quartile. We want students to be performing in the 3rd or 4th Quartile.
Targeted Levels Indicating the desired improvement for students from one year to the next.
GOAL 1: To continue improving Social Responsibility, solving problems in peaceful ways.
1) We have 4% of our students who are not yet meeting the expectations, as outlined in our BC Performance Standards.
2) Using Easy Discipline: We see that six of our students still make up 39% of our referrals. (We are supporting them.) We also see from Easy D, where we need to focus on teaching the skills. Our focus will be to get students to report immediately when a problem arises.
3) Feeling safe at school: From the Ministry’s student satisfaction Survey, at the Gr. 4 level. Target to improve above 90%.
Objective(s) Performance Indicator/Evidence Target Results Summary of Progress
Using the performance standards rubric in social responsibility, solving problems in peaceful ways, we want to reduce the NYM expectations B.C. performance standards solving problems in peaceful ways
Jun 09 – 3%
Jun 10 – 4%
Jun 11 – 4% To reduce NYM expectations
To: 0% 11/12
Recording data three times Nov, Mar, June School wide data: NYM
Baseline data:   Jun 09 – 3%      Jun 10 – 4        Jun 11 – 4%
Jun 11 –  4% Using the B.C. performance standards quick scales rubric: The data is maintaining a steady rate.
To reduce the number of office referrals
Easy Discipline
data referrals:   240 07/08 —–  280 08/09 ——— 240 09/10 ———- 200 10/11
To reduce the number of recorded office referrals: To less than 200 in 11/12
Recorded office referrals: 240 07/08 —– 240 08/09 —– 200 09/10 —– 150 10/11
Total referrals:
June 08 (240 referrals)     June 09 (240 referrals)     June 10 (200 referrals)     June 11 ( 150)
New focus: a) new students vs. b) repeat students
To target high risk students to reduce their referrals Easy Discipline data 70 out of 150 referrals six students= 46% target to lower this to 20%.
To increase the % of students who feel safe at school to 95% Student survey data from Gr.4  Ministry satisfaction survey:
Gr. 4’s Feeling Safe at School:
83%  08/09
91%  09/10
90%  10/11           % of Gr. 4  students feeling safe at school
2011 Parent Survey indicated 90% feel their children are safe at Bert Ambrose School.
• Continue to teach, model and review our school’s code of conduct, which is based on the three R’s (Respectful – Responsible – Resourceful), on an ongoing basis. We are looking for school wide consistency with all the staff and adults in our school community.
• We will continue to use (PBIS): Positive Behavior Intervention Support.
• At staff meetings we will review our consistency with our code of conduct. We will post our code of conduct specifically dealing with location.
• We will review our athletic code of conduct
• All teachers will address the virtues in their classroom.
• Teachers will be responsible for presenting a virtue at a school assembly. Teachers will buddy with another class for one presentation each term.
• Paul Hann, a professional singer and song writer, will again visit in the new year to write songs with a maximum of six classes. The songs will be about the school’s virtues and will be performed by the students at a celebratory assembly.
• Every teacher will use the performance standard rubric for solving problems in peaceful ways. This assessment will be done after each reporting period. Administration will record this and share results.
• S.O.S. (Save One Student) A strategy to target specific students, especially those at risk.
• We have established a Student Leadership Team that will focus on all school functions, particularly the Virtue Assemblies in our gymnasium.
• Easy D will be made available for each classroom teacher. (We will investigate the advantages and effectiveness of using this in our classrooms.)
• Focus on getting students to report immediately when a problem occurs.
• The student agenda has outlined the virtues to be studied this year. This resource will be used in every intermediate classroom. The agenda contains all information pertinent to Bert Ambrose Elementary, including our school code of conduct.
• Our school counselor will establish groups to target students who require social skills.
• From Northern Health and Addiction Services we will continue to have them come to our school to talk about “Bullying”, “Peer Pressure”, “Self Esteem” and “Smoking.”
• Our Intramural Program will continue to provide opportunities for students’ leadership and sportsmanship.
• Leadership Teams has been established at the school level (Grade 6 and Grade 7 students) to support school wide initiatives, ie: canteen, recycling, office duties, and social functions.
GOAL #2 Literacy: To continue to improve reading ability and comprehension on  a school wide basis.
1.) The development Reading Assessment (DRA) in Sept provided us with direction for Gr.4 (Higher Level Comprehension Skills and Strategies). This will be addressed in classrooms.
2.) The Ministry of Education’s FSA : (Over the last three years.) The percentage of our Grade 4 students meeting or exceeding expectations are: Grade 4: 95% – 92% – 91%.
2.) From the Ministry’s provincial student satisfaction school survey: Are you improving in reading? The Grade 4 three year trend 97%, 85%, 93%. We will strive to maintain this trend.
3.) The early literacy data, gathered from PM Benchmarks in June 11, showing the percentage of students meeting the year end target. Gr. 1 (L16), 9% – Gr. 2 (L22) – 81% – Gr. 3 (L25), 76%.
Objective(s) Performance Indicator/Evidence Target Results Summary of Progress
To improve the QCA results at the Intermediate Grade levels QCA results at Gr. 4  level meeting or exceeding expectations
Gr4      Gr5      Gr6
90%      93%     87%   June 11
90%     90%      90%   June 12 New Targets
To improve our FSA results in reading at both Gr. 4  FSA Reading Meet/Exceed
Gr. 4  91%    Target 95%
Improve our student survey satisfaction results. Gr. 4  Ministry of Education student satisfaction survey; meeting or exceeding expectations          Gr. 4  June 2011 91%
The student survey for 10/11 has shown us that we did meet our targets at the gr. 4 level.
Improve the reading ability in our primary classrooms Benchmarks data:
90 % at target
Jun 11
Gr.1 L16 75%
Gr.2 L22 96%
Gr. 3 L25 73%
Also a heads up for our Gr. 1 teachers with the kindergarten students in the 2nd and 3rd quartiles
K Phonological data
4th Quartile   2010  50%
3rd Quartile              24%
2nd Quartile             19%
1st quartile                07%
• Intermediate teachers will continue to work with Smart Reading
• Our school literacy team will work collaboratively with the District to develop a consistency with assessment.
• Our intermediate teachers will continue with the Developmental Reading Assessment, utilizing the assessment to improve classroom instruction, (October and May). (Grade 4 and up)
• Our staff will continue to use the strategies from Words Their Way.
• School -wide cold writes will continue twice this year, using the performance standards and quick scales.
• Our staff will utilize the District’s literacy mentoring program.
• Scheduling collaborative time for all teachers, Intermediate teachers focus for collaboration will be twofold: working with Smart Reading and also working with performance standards and the Literacy IRP, Primary teachers will continue to work with Balanced Literacy
• Success Maker, (Computer Base Programs in our Learning Assistant Room) will be utilized to support reading comprehension. Our Learning Assistant teacher has set up individualized programs for identified students and in consultation with the homeroom teacher will devise a schedule.
• The computer-based program Earobics, in our Learning Assistant Room, will be used to support phonological awareness skills for students in need. Our Learning Assistant, along with classroom teachers, will identify students with phonological awareness needs to put together a schedule for usage.
• We will continue to expand our guided reading collection in our bookroom, with a focus on increasing the number of primary home reading books, primary 1 – 10 and intermediate short stories.
• We will explore a set structure for using the assembly times (buddies) to free up time for collaboration.
GOAL 3: To improve the critical thinking skills of all our students using our own designed rubric to be measured at each reporting period!
RATIONALE FOR THE GOAL: 1.) From the critical thinking rubric from Nov 07 to Mar 08 we see the following:
NYM Meeting Fully Meeting Exceeding
Nov 07 Prim 8% (9) students 40% (48) 52% (61) 0% (0) Total 156
Mar 08 Prim 4% (5) students 26% (31) 65% (78) 3% (3) Total 120 excluding K’s
Jun 08 Prim 4% (5) students 26% (31) 66% (77) 3% (4) Total 117 excluding K’s
Nov 07 Int 18% (35) 32% (62) 42% (82) 07% (14) Total 196
Mar 08 Int 12% (24) 29% (56) 40% (78) 18% (36) Total 196
Jun 08 Int 08%(16) 33% (67) 39% (80) 20% (40) Total 203
Our focus will be to address the students who are NYM.
Objective(s) Performance Indicator/Evidence Target Results Summary of Progress
To decrease the number of students who are NYM expectations Students, both primary and intermediate who are not yet meeting expectations:
Nov 07 Mar07 Jun 07
Prim (9) 8% (5) 4%
Int. (35)18% (24) 12% New targets 08/09
Primary 5%
Inter. 5%
School 5% Nov 07 Mar 08 Jun 08
Prim (9) 8% – (05) 4%
Int (35) 18% – (24) 12% Just developing baseline data!
• Teachers will work collaboratively designing questioning techniques that will enhance critical thinking. ie. Utilizing Smart reading strategies.
• The plan is for every classroom teacher to design their own rubric, so that the rubric is classroom-based.•
Code of Conduct For the school Community
School Expectations Respectful Responsible Resourceful
• All settings before , during and after school • Be on task
• Be kind
• Give your best effort
• Keep hands and feet to self
• Use appropriate voice level, tone and words • Clean up after yourself
• Share
• Help others
• Have all materials needed here at the right time
• Use agenda to help plan
• Wear appropriate shoes and clothing • Recycle
• Use only what you need to use
• Demonstrate ability to plan, set and reach goals
• Get help when needed
• Work as part of a team to reach goals
• Use time wisely
• Be a problem solver
• Hallways • Walk quietly in the hallway
• Remember hallways are traffic areas
• Leave the hallway clean and clear for others • Push in chairs
• When working in the hall leave a clear path for others
• Walk so that it is safe for yourself and others • Anticipate the needs of others in the hall and help
• Safely use hallway as workspace
• Playground • Be kind
• No put downs
• Be a good role model for others • Play safely
• Share equipment
• Put garbage in cans provided
• Remain on the school ground and in a visible area
• Wear clothing appropriate to weather conditions • Bring food that is appropriate for the playground
• Find the garbage can
• Bathrooms • Be quiet on the way to, from and while in the bathroom
• Respect privacy of others
• No peeking or climbing in the bathroom
• Wash hands • Wear shoes to the bathroom
• Wash hands • If additional paper towel toilet paper is needed, let the office know
• If there is a problem in the bathroom, let an adult know
• Lunch Eating Time • Sit down and eat in your own classroom
• Use quiet voices
• Clean up and put garbage away • Wash hands before eating
• Eat lunch within the given time
• Follow microwave rules and carry hot items on a tray
• Keep food away from computers
• Do not waste food • Bring environmentally friendly lunches
• Bring lunches that can be eaten quickly
• Library • Quiet voices • Handle books with care and clean hands
• Clean up the area
• Push in chairs
• Return books by the due date • Learn the library system
• Find information to solve problems and answer problems
• Computer use • Quiet voices
• Have permission to use the computer • Clean up area
• Push in chairs
• Put away disks
• Look after equipment
• Follow school internet policy • Use computers as a learning tool
• Use computers safely
• Assembly • Sit in one spot
• Performers and audience respect each other
• Leave toys in the classroom
• Face the speaker • Actively listen
• Appropriate applause • Use washroom before coming to the gym
• If you need to leave, go quietly at a break in the assembly
• Gym • Treat equipment properly
• Be encouraging of others
• Show good sportsmanship • Put equipment back in the proper location
• An adult must be in the gym before you enter
• Get an adult’s permission before leaving the gym • Act safely
• Foresee danger
• Buses • Speak quietly
• Stay seated • Obey bus rules • Act safely
• Waiting for the bus at school or the home bus stop • Be kind to others
• Keep hands to self
• Line up single file well back from the bus stop
• Behave in a way that does not distract motorists • Be aware of what the traffic is doing
• Watch where you are going
• Look both ways before you cross the street
• Stay off the school fence
• At school do not enter the bus loading area until the bus has come to a complete stop
• Wait in a visible area
• Leave pets at home
• Use talking voices in line up
• Keep the bus loading area safe and clean • Be aware so you can respond to unsafe situations
• Assist others if needed and get help if needed
• Off site activities • Be prepared to listen
• Make sure others know where you are going
• Make sure you thank people appropriately
• Be ready to participate and do the work
• Be patient • Remember you represent the School – leave the place the way you found it
• Follow the site rules
• Assist with carrying of equipment • Be flexible and adapt to the situation
• Look for an adult if you need help
Freedom of Information
A verification sheet is sent home in September that updates your child’s school
information. A Freedom of information consent form is also sent home. These forms must be signed as well as the information updated before it is sent back to the school.
School Website
The week ahead is included in Mr. McCracken’s information on our website.
School Dress Code Bert Ambrose School has a dress code. Only clothing appropriate to an educational setting should be worn.
In/Out Days
Students are expected to be outside at recess and noon on most days. If the temperature is minus 17degrees Celsius with no wind the students will be outside. If the weather is unpleasant, students are allowed to stay in their classroom and are expected to occupy themselves with quiet activities.
Winter guidelines: students must dress for weather conditions at all times.
The school day:
8:30 Playground supervision begins
8:45 Warning Bell
8:54 Classes begin
10:30 Recess begins
10:43 Recess Warning Bell
10:45 Recess ends – students return to classes
12:00 Lunch bell – students who stay at school for lunch are expected to
eat in their classrooms
12:20 Students go outside
12:40 Warning bell
12:45 Classes begin
2:45 Classes end
3:05 Playground supervision ends
Kindergarten Bell Schedule
8:54 Morning Kindergarten begins
11:20 Morning Kindergarten ends
12:15 Afternoon Kindergarten begins
2:43 Afternoon Kindergarten ends
Students who regularly eat lunch at school are not allowed to leave the school grounds at noon unless they have a note for each occasion from a parent or guardian giving permission to do so. Students who will not follow school rules during noon hour may be asked to go home for lunch.
Parking Lot The parking lot area is out of bounds to students unless they are helping or waiting for a ride.
Skating Occasionally students visit the ice area for skating. It is important that the skates have skate guards to protect the blades.
All students must have an indoor pair of running shoes. We would appreciate if
the shoes could have light soles as the black soles leave marks on both carpet and
gym floors which are difficult to remove. Indoor shoes are important for hygiene
and safety reasons. We occasionally have fire drills when it is minus 15 to 20
Administering Medicine
In cases where a child must be administered medication, parents are requested to
contact the teacher. Teachers do not administer any medication (including
Aspirin, Tylenol, cold remedies, etc.)
Accidents at School
When minor accidents occur that do not appear to require medical attention,
parents are contacted by phone to make them aware of the incident in case of
complications. If the accident appears more serious, the parents are contacted
and requested to come to the school. It is then their responsibility to seek medical
attention. If parents are unable to be reached, the principal or his designate will
arrange for medical assistance as it is necessary. If a student becomes ill at
school, the parents will be contacted to take their son/daughter home. If parents
are unable to do so, the student will remain in the sick room. If the illness appears
to be severe, the principal or designate will make a decision as to whether
medical attention is required.
School Pictures
Jostens will be taking individual school pictures. All students will have their pictures taken, but only those students that pay will receive a picture package. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the pictures, retakes are scheduled later in the school year. Parents are welcome to bring their preschoolers to the school to have pictures taken.
Clothing and Lost and Found
If your son/daughter is missing any items, please have them check the “Lost and
Found” box which is located by the school office. Please ensure that your
son’s/daughter’s clothing and footwear are labeled clearly with their name inside
the garment. This is especially important for shoes and boots as so many of them
look exactly the same.
School Supplies
School supplies are provided for Kindergarten to grade three at a set fee. The
Intermediate grades are charged a cultural fee and agenda fee.
Fees for this school year are as follows:
Kindergarten $15.00
Primary $32.00
Intermediate $27.00
Provincial regulations for the reporting of student progress require that you be provided with a minimum of:
• Three formal written report cards. The formal written report will be on a form approved by the Minister or School Board and will follow the requirements for the specific grade and program as stated in legislation. One of the formal reports shall be made at the end of the school year. Formal reports provide documentation of student progress and are placed in the Permanent Record file.
• Two informal reports each school year. At least two informal reports must be provided to parents or guardians each school year. Teachers determine how they will communicate informally with parents.
Formal reports will communicate to you significant aspects of your child’s progress in learning. They describe, in relation to the curriculum, your child’s intellectual, social, human and career development.
Written comments will describe, in relation to curriculum:
• What the student is able to do
• Areas of learning that require further attention or development
• Ways the teacher is supporting the student’s learning needs (and, where appropriate, ways the student or you might support the learning)
• Include written comments to describe student behavior, including information on attitudes, work habits and effort.
Interviews will be arranged following the first reporting period. We feel that ongoing open communication is essential between home and school and if you have questions or concerns at any time, please phone, write a note or arrange to meet with your child’s teacher.
Please note that final report cards cannot be issued before the last day of school in June. Students who are leaving early are requested to provide us with a forwarding address so that we can mail the final report cards.
Letter Grades
Criterion-referenced letter grades in Grades 4 to 7 indicate students’ levels of performance as they relate to the expected learning outcomes set out in provincial curriculum guides for each subject or course and grade. No letter grades are required for Kindergarten to Grade 3. Letter grades will appear on report cards in Grades 4 to 7.
Although the school likes to see students review their work, the Ministry of Education points out that Kindergarten to Grade 3 is not bound to a “homework” program. Each teacher is in charge of his/her own program and of communicating that program to you.
Suggested Time Guidelines
Kindergarten 5 minutes
Grades 1 to 3 5 minutes
Grades 4 to 5 15 minutes
Grades 6 to 7 20 minutes
Please help by ensuring that your son/daughter
• Has a specific place to do his/her homework
• Has a specific time to do his/her homework
If you have any concerns regarding homework, please contact the teacher involved.