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Student Handbook

Westbrook School Handbook

Tradition, Community, Strength

2023 - 2024

Mr. Earl Castiglione
Principal

Mrs. Hana Hooper
Assistant Principal

HOME OF THE WILD CATS

School colours: Dark Blue & White

Changes to this handbook may occur throughout the year.  It is parents and students responsibility to check the handbook periodically for any updates.

WELCOME TO WESTBROOK SCHOOL

This document, along with our website, are key resources for when questions arise. They provide information that will assist in understanding the programs, operations and policies of our school community. For questions regarding School Board Policy, please consult the Rocky View Schools web page. For questions regarding specific classroom or course expectations, please consult with the subject teachers.

Westbrook School is child-centred. It is our belief that every child has a right to the best education we can provide. Although we will always work from an academic base, we believe it is also important to help our students develop a positive self-image. This will involve academics and athletics (extra and co-curricular) as well as the development of a well-defined value system compatible with community expectations.

We endorse the concept that education is a process that involves the students, parents, and school, and that only through co-operation can the best learning situation be established. We also believe that the total community has a stake in the educational process at Westbrook and that we must be responsive to the expectations and desires of our community, while at the same time providing educational leadership with their support.

As an integral part of the Rocky View School Division, we accept and support the policies set out by the elected Board of Trustees. We recognize the need of the School Board to make decisions based on the good of the School Division as a whole and fully support them in their commitment to ensuring the continuation of excellence in all Rocky View Schools.

Regular and punctual attendance is important for the success of students. We urge parents to ensure that their child is only absent when necessary, and that they develop habits of punctuality.  Minimum attendance requirements are set by Alberta Education.

It is important that parents/guardians communicate students absences using School Messenger, or by calling the attendance line (403)932-5443.

Students are expected to arrive to class prepared and on time. Students arriving late must sign in at the office. An automated phone system will call daily to inform parents if students are absent without it being excused.

Overall attendance is reviewed regularly at the school and supports are provided to families struggling with attendance. In cases where attendance becomes a chronic concern, the school provides documentation to families to ensure they are aware of their students absences. The school and family will work collaboratively to support improvements in attendance, which has a direct correlation to learning. 

We understand the desire to take extended time off school. Teachers will do their best to support students before and after the leave, but there is no requirement for teachers to support students ‘working ahead’ or to create a specific package of work to complete while away. Some teachers have online work available, such as Google Classroom, but it is the responsibility of the student and family to ensure they are trying to keep up. Teachers will work to support the student once they return to reconnect with the course content.

PBIS

POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR INTERVENTION STRATEGIES AND SUPPORTS (PBIS)
PBIS is a process for creating safe and effective schools through positive connections and pro-active strategies. The process focuses on improving a school’s ability to teach and support positive behaviour for all students.  To start, we created a PBIS Matrix, with the support of our school students and community, which we refer to as the 'Westbrook Way' (shown in the picture attached). Through daily student recognition and a series of classroom and whole school lessons, we ensure consistency of expectations and responses. 

When problems arise, first steps include a trusted adult working with the student(s) to reflect upon the incident and how it relates to the 'Westbrook Way'. When actions progress to physical or emotional safety concerns, school staff and administration will contact and work with the student and family.

Also supporting our Westbrook Way is the guidance of Alberta Learning and the Student Code of Conduct.

Clean Shoes & Dress Code

All students, parents & staff are required to remove dirty/wet footwear upon entry to the building. Proper athletic footwear, that will not mark the floor surface, must be worn for all Phys. Ed. activities, and are also great to be worn as their indoor shoes during all class times (no street shoes allowed in gymnasium). It is best to ensure your child’s name appears in all footwear.

Students and staff are expected to wear school appropriate and respectful clothing, which does not include clothing that shows excess skin, such as halter/tube tops or short shorts or clothing that show cases hate or illegal substances. Hats are permitted so long as they are not a distraction to learning or toy during recess.  Students are expected to remove their hats during certain times throughout the week/year, such as Remembrance Day and O'Canada. 

Entrances for School

Students have designated doors to enter and exit at the beginning and end of the school day.  Generally, students in kindergarten through grade 3 enter at the east doors, grade 4's use the main/office entrance, and grades 5 through 8 enter at the west doors. Shortly after the beginning and end of the school day, the doors are locked as a safety precaution.  Students arriving late, or parents/visitors arriving throughout the day, must use the main entrance and enter into the school office for sign in and out.Parents who are dropping off or picking up their child during regular bell times can wait in their vehicles. To avoid congestion and confusion, please do not enter the school at this busy time, unless through the office doors. 

No supervision is provided before or after school, so please avoid dropping off your child early and communicate with the office or your child directly if late for pick-up.

Field Trips

Field Trips enhance the learning experience at Westbrook School. All sites we visit must be approved by Rocky View Schools. During off-site learning, team-building and collaboration among participants is fostered and encouraged. As our students head into middle school, the trips begin to focus on careers of interest, as the students/staff interact with experts in various fields.
Planning and teacher responsibility

Parent volunteers are key to providing off-site learning experiences.  Contact the school office if volunteering for a field trip is a possible interest for you.

Field Trip information and forms will be communicated to grade level families week(s) before the actual trip and parent approval must be received before students can participate in these trips. 

Field trips are an extension of the school environment. While attending school sponsored trips, students act as ambassadors for Westbrook School and the community. School expectations apply to offsite learning events. 

In accordance with Rocky View Policies;
o Payments of field trips are through School Cash Online.
o Signed permission forms are required for attendance.
o All Volunteers MUST have a police check and have attended the parent volunteer
orientation before they can attend.

Home & School Communication

Each month, the office sends our an electronic newsletter summarizing learning events from the past month and upcoming events. Throughout the month, brief notices may be sent home keeping everyone informed of upcoming events, field-trips, etc. Our website is also updated monthly to keep it current with upcoming events and happenings.

If your phone number(s), address, email or emergency contact information
change, please update it in PowerSchool & notify the school office.


Phone calls:
- All calls for staff will be forwarded to their voicemail and will respond in a timely manner.  Email is a common form of contacting teachers.
- Students may use the office phone to contact home, but this is not for social arrangements.
- If a parent needs to get in contact with their child, they can contact the office and a message will be delivered to the child.

Personally Owned Devices

Students are expected to use technology in a responsible and safe manner. This includes the physical device as well as the platforms and online tools that may be used for learning. Here is the RVS Responsible Use of Technology (AF
140-A) that students review and must agree to at the beginning of each school year.

Cell phones are in lockers during instructional time.  On the rare occasion, cell phones may be used in class upon request of the teacher. 

Assessment & Homework

Communication of Student Learning (CoSL) is essential for student growth and achievement. PowerSchool for parents is a very effective way to check on your child’s recent assignments, curricular outcomes and competencies. Teachers will update PowerSchool every 2-3 weeks with descriptive and evaluative feedback.  PowerSchool can be accessed here.

Teachers commonly have digital learning platforms, such as Google Classroom, myBlueprint, Google Calendar, etc.  It is important to engage with your son/daughter's classroom teacher by reading monthly updates/e-mails, attending Meet the Teacher nights and Three-Way Conferences, or by setting up a meeting if concerns arise.

Reading with or to your child is a great way to increase a child’s love of reading and enhance literacy skills. Practicing numeracy skills through games and using manipulatives can help boost a child’s mathematical confidence. Formal
homework may be necessary in order to complete projects, catch up on missed assignments or if students did not use appropriate use of class time. No new work would be assigned as homework. We understand that many children have
after-school commitments and therefore homework time should not take an extensive amount of time and be age-appropriate.

Westbrook School Council

The Westbrook School Council is the parent advisory body for our school. The School Council is actively involved in all aspects of school life. Most policies and procedures are presented to School Council for support and ratification. In 1995, the government mandated the formation of school councils in order for parents to have a forum for input into their child’s education. One indicator to your child that education is worth your time is to be actively involved in School Council. Elections for directors are held each September and notices of all Executive and General Meetings are posted on the school’s website.

Lost & Found

Lost and found articles of clothing and other items are left on display beside the student washrooms in the main hallway. Students are reminded to check the Lost & Found regularly. Three times a year, the unclaimed items are packed up and donated to local charities. Smaller items, such as keys, money and jewellery should be handed into the office. If your child's belongings are LABELLED, it is likely that their items will be returned. 

Lunchtime & Nut-Aware School

All students eat their lunch at school. Students in grades 4-8 have access to microwaves.  Students in grade 7&8 have choice to eat throughout the hallways or in their classrooms. 


NUT AWARE SCHOOL
We make every effort to keep students from being exposed to allergens, but we can not guarantee it will never occur.  Students are not permitted to share snacks or lunches.

Being Nut Aware means you are:

  • Aware that nut allergies can cause serious injuries and can kill
  • Aware that some of our students have life threatening nut allergies
  • Aware that it is everyone’s right to be safe at school
  • Aware of the signs and of anaphylaxis, and what to do if you see it
  • Aware that great alternatives to nuts and nut butters exist
  • Aware of our rules:
  • foods for sharing (celebrations, etc) among classes with students who have allergies must be prepared in nut free facilities (sorry, that usually means no home cooking)

It is everyone's responsibility to help keep all of our students safe.  

Parents of any child with allergies must inform the office and provide appropriate, up to date, medication in case of exposure.  Again, while we make every effort to to keep students from being exposed to allergens, we can not guarantee it will never occur.

Land Acknowledgment

Rocky View Schools would like to acknowledge the land and recognize all the Indigenous Peoples whose footprints have marked these lands from time immemorial. Together, we can learn and honour the Ways of Knowing of Indigenous Peoples for all future generations.