At Heritage Park Public School, we believe that keeping our school safe is a collective responsibility, and it starts by encouraging responsible and respectful behaviour at all times. A safe and caring learning and working environment for students, staff and visitors is of primary importance to us at Heritage Park Public School. As part of our ongoing commitment to keeping our school safe, we believe that it is important to review the school and board policies and procedures. We discuss this with our students at an assembly in September and review the following items.
Student Absences and Our Safe Arrival Program
Parents/Guardians must telephone the school if their child will be absent or late. You can call 24 hours a day to leave a message in our safe arrival mailbox regarding your child’s absences. Please follow the safe arrival prompt and leave the information requested regarding your child’s absence. The Office Administrator’s hours are listed below.
From 4:00 P.M. - 8:30 A.M. 396-6207 (leave a message)
From 8:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. 396-6207 (Office Administrator)
As part of our Safe Arrival Program, we will attempt to contact the parent/guardian at home or at work if the reason for a student’s absence is not known. The school has an automated phone service that will call you to indicate that your child is absent if the reason for the absence has not been received by the office before 8:30 A.M.
If students are entering or leaving school during the school day without their parents, they require a note or phone call from the parent. Please sign and date the note accordingly. Students in Grade 5 and under will be required to be picked up by a responsible adult or older sibling. Parents who are picking up or dropping off a student must sign their child IN or OUT at the office. The binder is located in the outer office.
Student Health Concerns
If you are aware that your child is not well, please keep him/her at home and call the school to let us know of the absence. If a child becomes ill or is injured at school, we need to be able to contact parents immediately. When this is not possible, we need the name and telephone number of an available adult relative or friend who will be responsible for the student until the parent can be reached. If immediate medical attention is necessary and his/her parent or emergency contact cannot be reached, the school will arrange to transport the child to a hospital accompanied by a staff member. In the case of extreme medical need, ambulance service will be requested. Please review Student Confirmation Forms, which will be sent home at the beginning of the year to ensure that we have up-to-date and accurate contact information. If you change jobs, babysitters, or home or cell phone numbers during the year, please advise the office of your new number(s).
It is very important that we know about any health concerns. Please ensure that you have informed us of any medical concerns regarding your child. Specifically, we need to know if your child has a serious allergy that is potentially life-threatening; for example, some children have severe reactions to peanuts and nut products. We also need to be aware of medical conditions that may interfere with your child’s learning. If you have not already included this information when your child registered, please contact the school as soon as possible. All staff at Heritage Park Public School will be made aware of the names and faces of these children to ensure their safety.
A Medical Form will also be sent home the first week of school in September. Please notify the office immediately if your child has a life threatening medical condition such as allergies with anaphylactic reactions
**PLEASE NOTE THAT HERITAGE PARK STRIVES TO BE A NUT-FREE SCHOOL. WE HAVE STUDENTS WITH LIFE THREATENING ALLERGIES TO NUTS.
During the course of the school year, situations occasionally arise when parents request the administration of medication for their child on either a short term (i.e., antibiotics) or long-term (i.e., Ritalin) basis. If you find yourself in this position at any time, please contact the school office so we can ensure the proper collection of medical information and clearly label your medication for storage. In order to administer medication, we require a signed note from the doctor and the product/medication to be in its original container with instructions. Students should not be administering their own medication while at school.
Students may only use the school phone for an emergency or at the request of their teacher. Students must ask for permission from a staff member before using the phone. The school phone is not to be used to make social arrangements.
Safety and Security at Heritage Park P.S.
Student safety and security is a priority at Heritage Park P.S. We want to assure Heritage Park parents and guardians that safety and security measures are in place at the school.
During the first few weeks of school, teachers will go over safety tips with students. As parents and guardians of Heritage Park students, please help us to keep your children safe by following these procedures:
Daily Health Screening
The most important thing families can do to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, is to screen their children daily for any COVID-19 symptoms and keep them home from school if they are sick or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. All staff and visitors will also be required to screen themselves before entering a TDSB building. Once staff and students arrive at school, they will enter through the designated doors with a screening station to verify their self-assessment. Learn more about the self-assessment and verification process at www.tdsb.on.ca/healthscreening.
We ask all parents/guardians of students attending school in-person to please review and follow the daily checklist for elementary. This includes daily monitoring of your child’s health and checking for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 , as described by Toronto Public Health.
For the health and safety of students and staff, all students are recommended to wear non-medical masks/face coverings indoors on school property and on school buses and staff are encouraged to wear medical masks (with exemptions and accommodations, as required). While students are encouraged to bring their own, all schools and buses will be equipped with extra masks.
Primary, junior and intermediate students have assigned entry and exit doors; teachers will make sure students know which door to use. Please ensure your child uses his/her assigned door only.
Picking Up and Dropping Off Students
In order to ensure student safety, all school doors are locked during the school day. Parents are encouraged to visit but must contact the classroom teacher for possible times. Upon entry into the building all visitors must identify themselves at the office. Please do not escort students to class.
During instructional time, students arriving late should be dropped off at the office. Parents picking students up can come to the office and the student(s) will be called down to be signed out.
The supervision of every child is a priority. Lateness can be very stressful on a child. Please make sure that you have a regular routine to drop off and pick up your child. Your child’s assigned entry and exit doors are to be used for entry and exit. Please do not use the front doors of the school for entry or pick up.
Child Safety To and From School
We advise that your child walk to and from school in the company of at least one other child or adult. Parents should notify their child’s teacher in writing as to who will be picking up their child and alert us to any changes in this regard. We expect families to have a regular routine in place for pick up. Late parents will need to sign out their child when picked up at the office
Visitors Must Report to the Office
Parents, guardians, siblings who are dropping off or picking up students should always use assigned doors. If you must be in the school, please start your visit to our school at the office. You will be asked to sign in and out and be given a visitor’s pass to wear while in the school if you are volunteering in the building. If you require a meeting with your child’s teacher, please set up a person, phone or virtual appointment as the teacher needs to be attending to students during entry and dismissal times as well as during remedial assistance period at the end of the day.
"Student Only" Washrooms
For the security of the students, school washrooms are designated as “Students Only”. Parents and guardians are reminded that student washrooms are for student use only. Teachers monitor the safe use of these facilities. To locate the adult/staff washroom please inquire at the office. Students in Grade 1 and Grade 2 will use the buddy system when going to the washroom. Students in Kindergarten are able to use the washrooms contained in their classroom. When in the building, adults are to ONLY USE the Adult Washrooms.
Fire Drill/Lockdown/Hold and Secure
All students must wear indoor shoes at all times. In the event of an emergency evacuation, students will walk quickly, quietly and in an orderly manner out the nearest exit to a designated location. School procedures will be practised routinely.
A Hold and Secure usually means the there is an unsafe activity in the community and students need to stay in the building for protection. A Lockdown situation indicates that there is an intruder in the building or an unsafe situation that directly affects the safety of the school. Students and staff are directed by police to remain indoors until the situation has been secured.
Grade 7 and Grade 8 students will use a numbered locker with a special combination lock which can be purchased through the School Cash Online system. Bags, books and clothing not needed for class are to be kept in the locker for safekeeping. Lockers are property of the school, and may be accessed by the staff at any time. They must be kept clean and free of garbage. Students who abuse the privilege of lockers may have their locker taken away. There are designated times when students can go to their lockers.
Safe Use of the Parking Lot
The safest place to stop is the north side of Finch Ave. by the Kindergarten area. Please do not use the school parking lot for picking up/dropping off children. It is very busy and a dangerous vicinity for children.
PLEASE DO NOT USE THE CIRCULAR DRIVEWAY. You will be ticketed. Our spacious one-way driveway is only for those who arrive by bus or require handicapped parking. Your child's safety is critical to us.
Lost and Found
Please check the lost and found box throughout the year. Items are usually on display on interview nights. Unclaimed clothing will be sent to a charitable organization. To avoid losing items, please label all belongings. Students should not bring money or valuable items to school.
Recess / School Yard Boundaries
Students are given specific areas in the yard to play and are expected to abide by these boundaries.
The boundaries are as follows:
- Primary (Grades 1-3) have the use of the pavement near the east side of the building near door 7
- Junior (Grades 4-6) have the paved area in front of the gym area (outside of door 5D)
- Intermediate (Grades 7-8) have the basketball nets near the music room (outside of door 6)
- The field is the only area where all students may play
Please see the major rules regarding recess:
- When the bell rings, all students are expected to stop the games they are playing and assemble in a socially distanced line.
- The Parking Lot is out of bounds.
- West of the path and the City of Toronto Playground are out of bounds.
- The path and playground are out of bounds.
- Picnic benches and the outdoor classroom are open to all students - bark chips are to be left on the ground.
- The greenhouse structure is out of bounds.
- The rock by the ½ doors (Door 7) is NOT to be stood on; students can SIT on it, but not stand.
- Plastic free standing multiple nets and basketball nets are
- Students are not to climb on the limbs of trees or pull branches off of them.
- Washroom access is through Door 5 - Only 4 students are allowed in the washroom at a time.
- No throwing snowballs.
- No sliding on ice.
- No jumping in puddles.
- Large pylons will be put over ice and water areas to mark them out of bounds by staff on duty.
- No visitors in the yard during A.M. and P.M. recess, visitors are to begin their visit by checking in at the office.
- Snacks are NOT to be taken out on the school yard.
Lunchroom supervision is provided for those students whose parents are working and/or attending school and are not at home to supervise their child(ren) during the lunch hour.
Once children are part of our lunch program, they must stay on school property at all times. Students are not permitted to go off school property to pick up lunch. They must co-operate fully with the lunchroom supervisors. The privilege of having lunch at school may be withdrawn if a student does not comply with the rules. Students who are not in the program cannot stay on school grounds during the lunch program.
All students staying for lunch must be supervised in the classrooms or lunchroom. Students who go home for lunch are asked not to arrive back to school until 12:30 p.m. unless arrangements have been made with a teacher for extra help or co-curricular activities.
Students who stay for lunch must have a signed permission form and will be assigned a seating area for attendance. If on occasion, your child requires supervision, please provide your child with a note indicating they will be staying for lunch that day. If you have made special arrangements to take them out for lunch, please provide the lunchroom supervisor a note indicating they will not be in the program.
All students who stay for lunch will be required to come to school with a packed lunch in the morning. Please note that classes will not be interrupted to deliver lunches as it distracts students away from their learning and interrupts instruction. If, in an emergency situation, you must bring a lunch to school for your child, please remember that our lunch period begins at 11:30 A.M. Please visit the office via the front door and fill out the sign-in sheet so your child can pick his/her lunch up at 11:30 A.M. at the office. We do not allow fast food to be delivered to students during lunch as it is unfair to other students. Our policy is that if parents are able to deliver lunches, they are available to take the student home for lunch.
We have a Boomerang Lunch Program which means all containers, wrappers and uneaten food items are returned home. Please send re-usable containers which are the most economical and environmentally friendly.
Peanut Allergies Alert
A number of our students are anaphylactic. Several of these children have severe, potentially life-threatening allergies to nuts/peanut oil. Many experts in the field suggest that prevention is the primary treatment of anaphylaxis. We believe that avoidance is the key to prevention. We ask all those who bring lunches/snacks to school to bring food that does not contain nuts or peanut products. Heritage Park students have been instructed not to share lunches and snacks.
Food and Celebrations:
The Heritage Park Public School community celebrates the birthdays of the students by announcing their birthday over the announcements. We also encourage parents to donate a book to the classroom to honour their child’s birthday and the teacher will read it to the class. We ask that no items be sent to school for distribution to other families. Items sent for this purpose will be returned back to the sender. Many children have allergies to particular food products. Some children are severely allergic to peanut products (e.g., peanut butter). Even a small amount of exposure through touch or air can be fatal within minutes. Nuts, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish, wheat, milk, sesame seeds, and sulphites are also known to cause severe reactions for some students and staff. In addition, many parents like to monitor the diet of their children.
Regular communication between parents and teachers is an important component to your child’s success at school. You are encouraged to contact your child’s teacher whenever you have a concern. Small issues/concerns will often become big issues/concerns when they are left unaddressed. In addition, electronic communication tools, virtual meetings and phone calls can be effective for positive daily communication between the teacher and parents/guardians.
Textbooks & Library Books
Library book borrowing is on hold until further notice.
Students who are assigned textbooks for use for the school year will be expected to return them in June. They are also responsible for any books that they sign out of the school library throughout the year. Students will be asked to cover the replacement cost of any lost or badly damaged textbooks/library books.
Objective: To establish the Board’s belief that homework is an engaging and relevant learning activity. To establish the Board’s commitment to the assignment of homework in a purposefully planned manner that is directly connected to a student’s school program and learning expectations of the Ontario Curriculum
Click here to view the TDSB Homework Policy (2008 PDF)
BYOD (Bring your own Device) – check for policy documents
We allow our Junior and Intermediate students to bring their own personal electronics for educational purposes. It is suggested that students’ use these devices to access the TDSB Board Academic Workspace. Students are expected to use these devises for the purpose of education. The use of social media is unacceptable. Should a student be found using a cell phone at school in ways the compromise our school or board polies, it will be locked in the office and will be returned after communication has happened with the parent or guardian. Your first day package contains agreement forms that outline the guidelines of our BYOD program.
The use of these devices is restricted at Heritage Park Public School during school hours unless it is for instructional purposes. Students are expected to be able to listen to the announcements, fire alarms, and teacher instructions, at all times.