Handbook

Introduction

Hillcrest School, which opened in 1972, is nestled in a forested play area at the top of the hill in Salmon Arm.  Not only are the academics pursued, Hillcrest has a full sports, and fine arts program, computer lab and multi-purpose area in which to pursue cooking, career and personal planning programs.

Everywhere there is a caring and sharing attitude.  Children of all abilities are integrated into their peer-group classrooms with modifications made so that all pupils can participate to the best of their ability.  Children are encouraged to get along together with cooperative learning and conflict management skills taught right from their first school experiences in Kindergarten through to Grade five.

Parents are encouraged to come and participate as helpers or observers.  Come and join us at Hillcrest and share in the excitement of your children’s elementary years.

The handbook is intended to be a reference for parents and staff when they require information about Hillcrest policies and procedures.  These are subject to periodic review.  Any suggestions for alteration or changes should be directed to the Principal.


Policies and Procedures

Code of Conduct and Discipline Procedures

CLICK HERE to view the Code of Conduct page on our website.

School Rules

We at Hillcrest would appreciate your support and co-operation on the following school rules and guidelines.

a)    Bicycles: Students who bring bikes to school must keep them locked up on the bike stands during school hours.  Bikes are not to be used between 8:10 am and 2:45 pm.  Bikes are to be walked on the school grounds.  All students must wear a helmet and our very young students are to be accompanied by an adult.

b)    Gym Strip: Grade Five students are requested to wear shorts, T-shirts and running shoes for P.E.  It is recommended that these items are kept in a small gym bag clearly labeled.

c)    Indoor Footwear: Outdoor footwear is not permitted in the school building.  In order to keep our school clean and reduce the damage to the flooring, students are therefore asked to have a pair of slippers or  indoor shoes (non-marking soles) available to wear for safety and health reasons, stocking feet are not advisable.

d)    Permission to ride on the School Bus: Notes are required for those students who wish to ride on a bus other than their regular bus.  These notes are to be given to the Principal or secretary who can grant permission only if adequate seating is available.

e)    Leaving the School Grounds: Students are not permitted to leave the school grounds at any time during school hours unless they have written permission or are on a school supervised activity.   There is a sign-in sign-out sheet for parents to use if they pick their child up for lunch.

f)     Skateboards, Scooters and Rollerblades: The staff at Hillcrest recognizes that skateboarding, scootering and rollerblading are enjoyable and healthy physical activities for all ages.  Rollerblades can be worn to and from school, but not used during regular school hours.  Skateboards and scooters are not permitted to be used on school grounds during school hours.  Helmets are to be worn while travelling to and from school.

g)    GTing is permitted at Hillcrest School and is a great source of fun and excitement for our students.  Due to the speed and potential hazards of this activity, certain behavioural expectations have been established and are enforced.  GTing is only permitted  when weather and snowfall conditions are conductive to safe sliding.  The use of a helmet is required.

 

Social Responsibilities

The staff of Hillcrest School would like to work together with you to reinforce the already established sound behaviour expectations of your children instituted by the home, the family unit and the community.

By its very nature, the school deals with children from sometimes very diverse backgrounds of parental expectations for behaviour.   Because discipline patterns established in the home may differ, the school must be prepared to establish and enforce general and specific expectations for behaviour which are, in themselves, what  any individual can see as being good and meaningful.

It is therefore expected that staff involved in this school will encourage the following guidelines for student behaviour:

  1. Be respectful to self and others
  2. Be respectful to property
  3.  Be responsible for your own learning and work to your full potential
  4.  Be responsible for your own decisions and accept the natural and logical consequence
  5. Demonstrate fair play in all activities at all times
  6. Show support for each other’s efforts – be inclusive of everyone

The intent of these guidelines, of course, obviously applies not only to youngsters but also to all adults.

 

Restitution

Our school believes in the philosophy of restitution which is that  all people/students make mistakes.  We attempt to work with students to identify the mistakes they have made, identify the  reasons, and to find ways to ‘fix’ their mistake or to make it better. This does not mean that there are not consequences for behaviour but it is about students accepting responsibility and making it  right.  The key for restitution lies in each student accepting responsibility for their own actions.  This is usually most successful when this is supported at home.

Restitution involves creating the conditions for students to fix their mistakes and return to the group strengthened, knowing a better way.  It is a form of positive discipline that keeps the dignity of all involved attached.  Restitution is a creative and  individualized way to help children develop into self-directed and  self-disciplined individuals.  Restitution is invitational and is offered as an opportunity for children who have not violated our bottom-line behaviours.

Placement of Students 

The placement of each child is carefully discussed by a group comprised of the child’s present teacher, possible teachers for the coming year and any other teachers involved in the student’s learning, as well as the Principal.  The resulting placement takes into account the whole child.  The following factors are considered when grouping children:

  1. Diversity in development (academic ability)
  2. Unique learning needs
  3. Teaching styles
  4. Social dynamics
  5. Family relationships (e.g. siblings)
  6. Personality
  7. Gender balance
  8. Parent information

Parents with specific educational concerns who may require a special placement for their child/children should make a written request to the Principal by mid-May. The letter should outline the educational reasons for the request. An appointment may be needed to clarify the request.

School Fees

CLICK HERE to view the School Fees page on our website.

Cold Weather Policy

The staff at Hillcrest promotes outdoor activities and under normal circumstances expects students to go outside during recess, lunch breaks, and to remain outside until the first bell rings in the morning.  However, under poor weather conditions, the Principal may announce an inside play break.

Lost and Found Policy

Valuable items that have been lost at Hillcrest School are turned in to the main office. An announcement follows over the school intercom letting students and staff know about these lost items.  People collecting them are asked to provide a brief description to the secretary.

For clothing and footwear items, we also have a large lost and found box located outside the gymnasium.  This is easily accessible to students and parents and personal items can be collected anytime.  Unclaimed items are sent to the local thrift shop at various intervals during the school year.

Student Telephone Use

The school telephones are primarily for school staff business.  For the most part, student use of the telephone is restricted to emergencies or for educational purposes.  Students are asked to get a written note from their teacher to be given to the secretary before using the telephone.  Arrangements such as going to a friend’s house or staying to watch a game, should be made prior to coming to school.


Accident and Medical Procedures   

Accident and Injury Procedures

Essential first aid will be administered by the classroom teacher or supervisory personnel available.  In case of a serious injury, the child will be referred to the staff member with first aid training.

It is very important that changes in home telephone numbers, emergency numbers or family doctor’s numbers be reported immediately to the school secretary.  If the child requires emergency medical treatment parents or guardians will be contacted.

In case of an illness, if necessary, the parents or alternates will be contacted immediately and asked to escort the child home.

Medication

Medication will be administered by qualified personnel and only after a medical request form has been forwarded to and approved by the school authorities.

Head Lice

In the event that a child is recognized as having head lice, parents are contacted immediately and given the proper instructions to deal with the problem.  Prior to returning to his/her class students must be checked and found free of nits (see School District Policy 9070.3.e).

Other Communicable Diseases

From time to time a number of communicable diseases circulate through the school system.  At Hillcrest, we take proper preventative measures to ensure that there is a low incidence of these occurring within our schools.  If they do arise, however, parents are contacted.  The child may return to school after proper treatment.


Special Programs

Safe Arrival Program

To ensure the safety of your children, the Parent Advisory group operates the Arrive Safely to School Program.

If your child will be late or absent, please call the school before  8:00 am.  Our answering machine is left on overnight, so you may call to report your child’s absence at any time.  Those students who are absent and whose parents have not called in to report their absence will be phoned by a parent   volunteer.  Please be sure to leave a work number or an emergency number in case you are unable to be contacted at home.

Computers

Hillcrest has a computer lab with thirty computers, all Internet accessible.  All students from grades K – 5 are scheduled for computer use during school hours.  The lab is also available to students beyond class time for project work and extra-curricular activities.  All computers are networked, which allows student work to be printed on a laser printer.  Each classroom is also equipped with a wireless projector and an iPad to assist with lessons.

Music

All Hillcrest students receive music instruction from a music specialist teacher.  Various methods are used.  “E.T.M.” (Education Through Music) employs song games to encourage singing, creative movement and socialization.  ORFF instruments are used for accompaniment to songs.  Movement to beat is stressed, rhythm and pitch notation, leading to literacy in vocal and instrumental music is a goal of the music program.  Intermediate students learn recorder, ukulele, folk dancing, guitar and African drumming.

Library

Hillcrest’s Library is in the center of the school.  The books are catalogued and checked out on a computer.  Children and parents may borrow the books for a period of two weeks.  The children have a scheduled library period for learning about skills and are encouraged to use the facilities for both recreational and research reading.  Three computers are available for Internet access and CD ROM use.

School District and Community Resource Services

School District:  (1) music/band teacher; (2) speech/language  pathologist; (3) area counsellor; (4) integration facilitator (special needs).

Community:  (1) public health nurse; (2) dental team; (3) physiotherapist

Learning Resource Program

The learning resource program is designed to provide services to the school and its students through assessment, direct instruction and consultation.  The program is intended to support students who have special needs in one or more academic areas.  These students would be receiving the major  part of their education in a regular class with direct/indirect  Learning Resource Teacher support and may require some assistance in the Learning Resource Room.  A request can be made to the Learning Resource Teacher by the teacher or parent when it is apparent that the student is having difficulty.  After some diagnostic testing the classroom teacher, parent, and Learning Resource Teacher will work together to develop a program which will best fit the needs of the child.  During the times of intervention, contacts will be made with the family to keep them informed of progress.  The Learning Resource Teacher will consult and/or involve district specialists as needed.

Swimming Program

Hillcrest School offers a swimming program in the Spring for  primary students.  The school will send home a reminder with a form to fill out prior to the lessons.  Intermediate students will participate in two recreation swims.


Extra-Curricular Opportunities

CLICK HERE to view the Extra-Curricular page on our website.


Year-End Recognition

The year-end recognition program at Hillcrest School consists of the following:

  1. The grade five leaving celebration ceremony is a recognition of students who have been at our school and reached this landmark in their education with good self images, a sense of who they are, and a desire to move forward in the lifelong process of learning.  We celebrate each student’s uniqueness through ceremony, music, and pictures but do not single students out as they have all brought what they can to our school.
  2. The Parent Advisory recognizes those staff members who will be leaving Hillcrest School.  These members may be moving on to another area for personal and professional reasons.
  3. Classroom celebrations and awards are at the discretion of the classroom teacher.

Reporting Periods

Hillcrest is participating in the School District Pilot project of a renewed formal reporting process this year. During this process teachers will share student progress with you, five times during the school year.

  1. November Interim Report – During the week of November 6 to 10, teachers will communicate with you using an interim format.  This may be a written interim, a phone call, a conference or a parent meeting.  The purpose of this first interim, is to provide parents with an early indication of how their child is progressing.
  2. December Formal Report – You will receive the first formal report card during the week of December 18 through 22.  This report will parallel the expectations of the renewed curriculum.  An important part of this process, is student goal setting.  You will see on this report, a section where your child and teacher have worked together to identify learning goals.
  3. January Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews – On January 23, 2018 teachers will have a learning conference with each parent and student.  The focus of this conference will be to focus on your child’s learning goal(s), and to ensure a plan is in place to help them meet these goals. Please note that students will be dismissed early (at 12:05pm) on January 23, 2018 to allow time for the interviews to occur.
  4. April Interim Report 
  5. June Formal Report 

Please feel free to arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss your child’s progress at any time during the school year.


Evacuation Plan

In the event of an emergency some basic provisions are now being stored at the school.

Each classroom will have a Comfort Pail that includes:

  • emergency contact phone numbers   – wet wipes
  • a red ribbon to tag the classroom door if additional help is needed
  • two candles and some matches        – a garbage bag
  • a ziploc bag for each individual in the classroom which contains an emergency
  • blanket, and hard candies.

The pails will be taken out each time a fire drill is run.

In addition, the school is storing drinking water, some candles, matches, a flashlight, a battery operated radio and some batteries.  Several of the staff are trained in first aid and the school is equipped with some first aid supplies.  In addition, several staff members own cellular telephones.  If relocation is necessary, students will walk to the gym at Shuswap Junior Secondary at 832-6031.

Should there be an emergency, it is the school’s desire to:

  • be prepared
  • provide some measure of comfort to students and staff members
  • keep the parents informed of their child’s well being.