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Donwood Elementary School
River East Transcona School Division

Policies

General Information

To the parents of Donwood School

It has been said that without ideals, without effort, without scholarship, without philosophical continuity, there is no such thing as education. To that we link two simple expectations for students and staff, behaviour motivated by social responsibility and "being the best that we can be". On this rests the operation of our school, its policies, procedures, and daily routine. We believe it is important for us to communicate this to our parent community.

As you move through the pages of our website, you will appreciate the challenge a school has of harmonizing the variety of expectations that come with different children, different families and different backgrounds. Regardless, curriculum, teaching methodologies, rules and regulations at Donwood will all focus on:

1. Maintain a safe and caring environment.
2. Promotion and support of intellectual, physical and social/emotional growth.

These goals are consistent with the River East Transcona School Division’s mission statement which states its commitment "to educating all students to become thoughtful and responsible citizens, through inclusive, innovative practices and relevant curriculum provided by knowledgeable, skilled staff".

Please do not hesitate to call 204-668-9438 for further information or clarification.

Hours of operation

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily
School Hours: 8:55 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
12:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Students enter at specified door.

All RETSD schools, including Donwood School, operate on a six day cycle.

Daily time schedule:

a.m. entry bell:  8:55 a.m.
classes begin:    9:00 a.m.
a.m. recess:      10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
lunch:                11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
p.m. entry bell: 12:45 p.m.
classes begin:   12:50 p.m.
p.m. recess:     2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
dismissal:          3:30 p.m.

Entry/exit doors

East entrances (Parking Lot): Upper elementary & kindergarten
West entrances: Primary grades
Students are to enter and exit the building at their designated doors.

Arrival at school

Children should not arrive earlier than 10 minutes before school opening. The playground is unsupervised prior to this time. Students who arrive at school early are expected to remain outside until the entry bell rings. Exceptions are made during inclement weather and for extracurricular activities. Students are expected to go home directly after school.

Opening exercises

Donwood School begins every day with the playing of our national anthem followed by our morning messages with student involvement, adhering to the Education Administration Act and the Public Schools Act regarding patriotic observances.  Religious exercises are run by parent volunteers before school at 8:50 a.m.; these are voluntary and parent permission is required.

Recognition gatherings and social groups

Every second cycle, with occasional exceptions, we assemble all our students in the gym to celebrate our successes and build a sense of school community. Parents are welcome to attend these assemblies, particularly on those occasions where we include one or more special items on the program.

Field trips

Besides being fun, field trips are an important part of the educational process! Field trips will be planned throughout the course of the school year to compliment the learning in the classroom and school. Permission notes sharing information and details will be sent home in advance of an outing. Parental permission is required for students to leave the school for any such activity. The permission letter in the school agenda covers trips in the local community where students may walk with their class. Any trip or activity that requires transportation will require parental permission for each specific trip.

Early dismissal

Early dismissal times are set by the RETSD. These days are co-ordinated with all the divisional schools. Students will be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. on these days unless otherwise noted on the calendar. See the dates for early dismissals on the school calendar.

In-service days

All schools in Manitoba are granted, through the minister of education, a total of ten administration and professional development days. Administration days are used to prepare report cards, hold student involved conferences  or are used for purposes of collective staff and administration organization. Professional development days provide teachers with the opportunity to stay current in teaching methodology and curriculum content.

Absentee call-back

As a safety measure to our students, a "call back" program is in place at Donwood School. We request that families use the following procedure:

If a child is going to be absent or late, parents are to notify the school before 9:00 a.m. or before 12:45 p.m. Our office phone number is 204-668-9438. If a child is absent, but the school has not been notified of the absence, we will call the parent as soon as possible. Please feel free to call the school during off hours and leave a message on the answering machine.

Our school has a very large student population, and we sincerely hope all parents will participate in this program and call the school if a child will be late or absent.

Students absent from school

On occasion, we have parents requesting to have their children absent from school. The reasons range from an extended vacation trip to weekly period absences for music lessons. Depending on the child or circumstances, absences from class can detrimentally affect the child’s academic progress. Although we recognize that school is not the only place where children learn, we want to encourage parents to make every effort to avoid scheduling holidays, music lessons, etc. during school time.

Before the appointment or once a child returns to school following an absence, whether it be just one day or a week in length, we would sincerely appreciate it if parents would send a note to the classroom teacher explaining the reason for the absence. At times, a medical certificate may be requested, especially if adaptations will be required in the school day.

It is difficult for a child to concentrate and learn when he/she is not feeling well. Please keep your child at home during a serious illness to facilitate a speedy recovery.

It is our policy that all students go out for fresh air during recess and lunch, except in inclement weather. We expect all students to participate in recess, and students will only be kept inside for extreme medical circumstances. Exceptions may also be made for disciplinary reasons.

Communication

Communication between the school and home is important for the success of a student. There is a variety of information that the school needs to share with parents, and parents should have the opportunity to respond or to ask questions related to the welfare and/or education of the student. The school uses the following methods to make contact with parents:

1. Student agenda book - The students in grades 1-5 have agenda books to record daily homework assignments record up coming class and school activities as well as communicate between home and school. Please support your child by checking and signing their agenda daily.

2. Newsletters/E News- The school publishes 3 newsletters that are sent home, as well as posted on this website, intended to keep parents informed of student activities, upcoming events, important dates, etc. The school also sends out information as needed, E News, via email.

3. Open house - Held during September, is an evening to give parents the opportunity to meet staff and learn about your child's new classroom, expectations for the year, curriculum and teaching methodology.

4. Parent-student-teacher conferences - 'Celebration of Learning'. In November/December and March, student involved conferences are held to share student growth and progress as well as set learning goals for the next term.  Report cards are sent home prior to these conferences.

5. Winter concert - A time when we highlight the musical and dramatic talents of Donwood students. The concerts are held during the later part of December.

6. Family nights - Several opportunities take place for the community and school to get together socially or to promote partnerships. Some of these events are movie nights, Family Literacy Olympics and Nutrition nights.

7. Other - When necessary, teachers or the administration will contact the home by note or telephone.

8. Parental concerns - From time to time a parent may have a question or concern with respect to an academic or behavioural issue. We recommend that a parent goes to the teacher first. Should the contact with the teacher fail to resolve the problem, the parent is advised to contact an administrator. In almost all instances, problems are resolved where communication is immediate and direct.

9. Website - Donwood School's website has school and classroom information as well as newsletters, current calendar and an e-mail address to contact the school.