Parent/Student Handbook

Parent Involvement

There are different ways that parents support their children’s learning at Highland Park Elementary.  Some of these are:

  • Talking to children about learning and valuing education
  • Assisting in school activities, field trips, sports events, etc.
  • Providing a quiet place and time for homework
  • Keeping in touch with teachers through the student planner
  • Reading to/with their children every day
  • Helping in the classroom

Parent Volunteers

All parent volunteers agree to abide by the following Code of Ethics:

  • Respect the confidentiality of the teacher and the children and refrain from discussing them outside the school situation
  • Practice tolerance and understanding towards the children and teachers with whom you come in contact. Be sensitive to the teaching role. Strive to be accepting of all children.
  • Be dependable.  If you agree to undertake a task, follow it through by attending on the dates and times arranged.  Be realistic about the amount of time you can spend. If you must be late or absent, please contact the teacher.
  • Be sensitive to the needs of your own child and, with the teacher, decide whether or not it is advisable to volunteer in your own child’s classroom.

Communication Between Home and School

  • a school PAC Facebook page “Highland Park Elementary PAC” has regular updates of school activities.
  • our website which is updated frequently:
  • For special events, detailed information is sent home directly
  • Monthly newsletters are sent home (paper copy or via email) and posted online
  • We have an “open door”. Please do not hesitate to call your child’s teacher, the administration, or any staff member if you have a question, concern or praise!

Reporting Periods

Pilot Project Communicating Student Learning
The BC Ministry of Education and our School District are in the midst of implementing the renewed curriculum and improving reporting documents to better meet the needs of families. Our goal is to provide parents with a better way of understanding where their children are at on their learning journey.

Written report cards will look different this year. There will be a new scale used that will inform parents and guardians on their child’s achievement in subject areas. The new scale will be: emerging, developing, applying and extending. Descriptions of the four-point scale are as follows:

Work does not yet meet grade level expectations;
Student may show evidence of progress toward relevant learning standards;
Requires on-going support.

Work meets grade level expectations at a minimal level;
Student can understand the learning standards at a basic level or in familiar situations;
Requires some support.

Work meets grade level expectations;
Student consistently applies understanding and demonstrates learning in a variety of situations;
Student generally works independently.

Work exceeds grade level expectations;
Student demonstrates superior performance of learning standards;
Student independently takes initiative to extend their own learning and understanding.

Part of better meeting the needs of students and families involves increased opportunities for parents to meet formally with teachers to discuss their child’s progress and agree on a goal(s). To accommodate this change, the district will schedule, for schools participating in the pilot, two consecutive one hour early dismissal days.

At SCHOOL the plan is to have 20-25-minute parent/student/teacher conferences much like we have done over the past few years. In January, we will send home a notice advising that parents can go online and book conference times with their children’s teachers. If you are unable to make it to the school on February 7 or 8, please book an alternate time with your child’s teacher.

These conferences will provide an opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s report card and their child’s areas of strength and needs and set a learning goal(s) for their child’s continued academic and behavioral growth. There will be a suggested goal(s) included on the written report that goes home in December. At the conference in February the goal(s) will be discussed and modified if required.

We know that community-building and establishing strong relationships between home and school promotes and supports student learning.

Please see important timeline information below. At the next PAC meeting this will be shared as part of the Principal’s Report.

Timeline for Reporting Student Progress to Parents 2017-2018

Highland Park Elementary Timeline for Reporting Student Progress to Parents (2017-2018): 2 formal written reports; 1 formal reporting conference; 2 informal      interim reports
September Open House/Meet the Teacher events
(NOT part of the reporting process)
October/November Interim reports
(paper; text; phone; skype; conference; student led)
(informal report #1)
October 30-Nov. 8
December Formal Written Report Sent home
(formal report #1)
Week of December 11
January/February Reporting conferences district wide
(2 days X early dismissal)
(formal report #2)
Feb. 7 and 8 dismissal at 1:05
March/April       Interim reports
(paper; text; phone; skype; conference; student led)
(informal report #2)
April 16-20
June Formal Written Summative report sent
(formal report #3)
June 28

Curricular Support Services and Activities

Library Services
All students are encouraged to use the library and its facilities throughout the school day for research and leisure reading. The library offers a variety of reading levels. Students in grades 1-5 are permitted to sign out three library books at a time, while kindergarten students are limited to one book at a time. The loan period is one week.

Learning Resources Department
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 areas. These students receive the major part of their education in a regular class with direct or indirect Learning Resource Teacher (LRT) support. Students may require some assistance in the Learning Resource Room.

Counseling services are offered to students through one-on-one counseling, small group, and classroom sessions.

The services provide counseling for prevention and crisis situations. Parents may contact the school counselor via the classroom teacher, LR teacher or Principal for services for their child.

Gifted Program
Staff recommends students for testing as early as grade 3. Students who meet the criteria for our district’s gifted program are offered enrichment opportunities in their area(s) of strength. Programs and activities offered vary from year to year based on need, student areas of interest and the resources available.

HPE has laptops on carts for use within classrooms as well as one laptop computer for student use in each classroom. We have a knowledgeable staff that enjoys using computers to enhance student learning. In order for students to access the Internet from our computers, students must be supervised by a staff member. However, students are expected to exercise responsible and respectful use of internet services at all times.

Field Trips
Educational field trips form an important component of the instructional programs at HPE. They are an exciting and different way for students to meet the learning outcomes in the curriculum. Parent volunteers and fund raising are essential for the continued success of our field trips.

Co-Curricular Activities

Different activities are offered from year to year. In the recent past the following activities have been offered as part of Highland Park’s Physical Education Program:

Ice Skating Program
– Primary and Intermediate classes
– Helmets and gloves are mandatory
– Located at our local arena

Swimming Program
– Recreational swim sessions for all grades
– Swimming lessons for all grade 3 students
– Located at our local outdoor swimming pool

Triathlon Program
– A swim/bike/run event for grade 4 – 5 Students
– Training May to mid-June
– Triathlon day is in June
– A variety of distances to accommodate the abilities and ambitions of every student

PE Specialists
Gymnastics, dance, archery, karate, cycling, and a variety of other opportunities for specialized PE instruction are provided each year through PAC funding or at a minimal cost to students.

Extra-Curricular activities at HPE

There are many extra-curricular activities offered at Highland Park School. In any given year, the activities may vary according to which staff members and/or parents are able to be involved. Past activities have included:

Sports Programs
A variety of recess and lunch hour activities are offered in the winter months.

Leadership Program
This program is offered to students in grades 4 and 5 to give them an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Different groups organize spirit days, assemblies, PE activities, office helpers, lunch hour monitors, etc.

HPE Policies and Procedures

Lost and Found
– Valuable items are turned in at the office
– Clothing and footwear are put into the lost and found box located in the west hallway
– Unclaimed items are sent to the local thrift shop three times per year. Parents are encouraged to check the lost and found regularly.

Telephone Use
– Phones are primarily used for school business
– Students may use the phone for important messages only, not for making social  arrangements
Students require a phone pass from a staff member before using the phone

Cold Weather Policy
– Students are expected to play outside before school, at recess, and at lunch
During very poor weather, students are permitted to play appropriately inside.   Please note – If a child is “too ill” to be outside to play at lunch and recess, he/she should not be at school. This policy is in place to protect the health of all students, staff and guests at HPE.

Dress Code
The staff of Highland Park Elementary School appreciate your support with regards to the “School Dress Code”. The “Dress Code” applies to all students and staff of the school. At Highland Park Elementary, clothing and appearance need to be appropriate for school, which is our working and learning environment. Please discuss the following guidelines with your children and perhaps review the dress code a few times during the year as the weather changes. Students, staff and parents are expected to support a safe and inclusive learning environment where clothing is appropriate and not distracting or offensive to others. Clothing worn at school or at school activities should be appropriate for the weather, allow freedom of movement and not contain inappropriate printing or pictures. Inappropriate messages are those that promote alcohol, cigarettes, violence, drugs or contain sexual innuendoes, unsuitable language or racial slurs. Clothing needs to be suitable for the learning environment – skimpy tops, low riding pants or short t-shirts that bare the abdomen, chest, back or underwear are not appropriate. Students who wear clothing that is considered to be inappropriate will be asked to change or cover up. Hats and other headwear will be removed at the door. This does not apply to religious or cultural headwear. Outdoor shoes should be removed at the door and indoor shoes should be worn inside the school. Dress code will be expected from all regardless of gender, age or size. While we recognize the rights of parents and children to express themselves through their clothing, we must reserve the right to have the final say regarding the appropriateness of any clothing worn to school. Thank you for your co-operation in working with the staff to support a positive and safe learning environment for all Highland Park Elementary School students.

Accident and Injury
– Serious first aid will be administered by staff with First Aid Training
– Threatening disease, allergy, or serious illness must be brought to the attention of the classroom teacher and the school office.
– Please advise the office promptly of any changes in phone numbers for home, doctor, or emergency contacts. In the event of an injury or illness, the parents or the “emergency contact person” will be notified.

Medication will be administered by the staff only if a proper office form has been signed by a doctor (forms are available at the office.)

Head Lice
We ask that parents please inform the school when a child is first noticed to have head lice. Once a child has been treated with the recommended agent or protocol, they will be able to return to school; please check in at the office for a final check before returning to class.

Inside Shoes
Part of respecting property at HPE involves taking off outdoor footwear at the door and putting on clean inside footwear. Students are asked to have a pair of inside shoes left at school at all times which usually serve as footwear for P.E. classes. Why?

    1. Provides a more hygienic atmosphere
    2. Keeps the school cleaner
    3. Provides safety for children’s feet
    4. Shows respect for others, property, and self

Planners are an excellent communication tool between home and school. A planner is supplied to every child in grade 1 – grade 5. The cost of planners is covered by Student Fees. In order to help your child have a successful year, please check your child’s homework daily, before signing the planner. Using planners is a skill required in high school and adult life, and allows students to stay current with work.

Morning, Breaks, and After School
Upon arrival in the morning, students play outside until the warning bell. There is also a daily breakfast program in Room 1 open to all students. At recess and lunch, students from grade K to one, play only at the front of the school. Students from grade 2 – 5 may choose to play at the front or the back of the school. After school, all students must depart the school grounds quickly, and may only play at the front of the school while waiting for parent rides. Bus students are expected to line up immediately after the second bell.

P.E. Expectations
– If a student has a chronic health condition, please inform the classroom teacher with a doctor’s note.
Indoor non-marking running shoes are mandatory for the gymnasium.
Intermediate students require gym strip

– Bus students waiting for the bus after school must remain off the sidewalk for safety reasons
– The teacher on duty will direct students to the bus once the driver has come to a complete stop. Students are required to follow bus guidelines. Failure to do so may result in loss of bus privileges.
– The first sounding of the bell after the dismissal bell is the signal that all bus students must be in their bus line up.

School Boundaries and Student Responsibility
Once students arrive on school property, they must stay on the school grounds unless they have a note from home. The entire school property is fenced for student safety. A rack is provided for students who ride a bike to school. We have a “walk your wheels” policy at the school. Bicycles and scooters must be walked between the roads surrounding the school and the bike racks. After bikes have been parked, the bike rack is out of bounds. If students ride their wheels on school property, the wheels will be stored at the office until a parent can come to the school to pick them up..

Parent Parking and Drop-off /Pickup of Students
Parents and students can help ensure a safe and efficient parking area by:

– Parking in designated spots only. Please keep all bus areas clear and give buses the right of way; there is no parking in the bus compound
– Respecting our “Kiss and Ride” policy, keeping pick-ups and drop-offs to under one minute in the “Kiss and Ride” zone (this is a yellow curb)
– Not idling at the curbside – “young lungs at work!”
– Pedestrian traffic should use the sidewalks and avoid walking in vehicle traffic areas

Regular attendance is a vital factor in the success of students at school. If your child is going to be absent from school, the parent or guardian should notify the office by telephone (546-8723) before 8:00 a.m. Our Safe Arrival Program will attempt to contact each home where there is an unexplained student absence in the morning

Early Departure/Late Arrival
If it is necessary to leave school while classes are in session, please bring a signed note indicating the time your child must leave. Show the note to your child`s classroom teacher and then present it to the office. Under no circumstances are children permitted to leave school without being attended by a parent or guardian. Please sign your child out when leaving the school. Late arrivals must also sign in at the office before going to class.

Student Discipline Procedures (see our “Code of Conduct” link)

Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)
Our education system values parents and includes them in a variety of ways. All parents are members of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) by virtue of being a school parent or guardian. PAC gives parents a voice in the educational decision-making process on local, district, regional, and provincial levels. The more parents involved, the stronger the voice when it comes to educational issues that affect our children. Highland Park’s PAC has been very instrumental in shaping school decisions. As well, the PAC has been hugely supportive by providing our school with materials, equipment and programs through their consistent fund raising. All parents are encouraged to be active in the PAC and attend at least one meeting each year. Briefly, the role of the PAC is to:

  • Advise the school administration and staff on parental views about school programs, policies and activities
  • Communicate with parents about programs, policies, and activities
  • Assist with the School Growth Plan
  • Co-ordinate hot lunch days
  • Organize PAC activities and events
  • Coordinate the Safe Arrival Program
  • PAC meetings are held once a month during the school year. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
  • PAC Executive: Please check our “PAC” link for current information

Parent support is extremely important in the creation of a positive, creative school climate. The school appreciates all the help parents give in volunteering for a wide variety of activities. If you are interested in volunteering, contact your child’s teacher.

Social Responsibility at HPE

At Highland Park we approach social responsibility using 3 strategies: Restitution, Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), and the Social Responsibility Performance Standards. The cornerstone of Highland Park’s behaviour policy is a strong belief in RESPECT.




Restitution builds, improves, and maintains relationships between people. It is recognition that it’s OK to make a mistake, and offers students the chance to fix their mistake and return to the group strengthened. We teach that all behavior is purposeful, and is based on trying to meet one or more of the 5 basic human needs: freedom, fun, love and belonging, power, and survival. Restitution helps encourage students to become the person they want to be, and students learn to be self-directed and self-disciplined. It is a philosophy that is based on beliefs and not merely rules. Restitution moves beyond consequences and rewards, and encourages students to “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.” It does not ignore “bottom line” behaviours such as violence, direct defiance, and theft, to name a few.

Positive Behaviour Support is a school wide approach to teaching, reinforcing, and keeping record of student behavior. Students receive appropriate and specific instruction about behavioural expectations, and celebrate together when school behaviour goals are reached. It is a consistent approach that offers time for practice, reflection, discussion, and celebration.

Social Responsibility Performance Standards
This framework provides our teachers, students, and families with a common set of expectations in four categories: Contributing to the Classroom and School Community, Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways, Valuing Diversity and Defending Human Rights, and Exercising Democratic Rights and Responsibilities. Students are directly taught the four levels of performance for each of these categories, and learn to describe specific behaviours in each level. The levels are described as ‘Not Yet Meeting Expectations – 1’, ‘Minimally Meeting Expectations – 2’, ‘Fully Meeting Expectations – 3’, and ‘Exceeding Expectations – 4’. At Highland Park we “Aim to be a 3”!