Student Handbook


We pride ourselves on the friendly and inviting atmosphere at our school. Visitors are always welcome at Maitland River Elementary School and we value your input and participation. However, the safety and best interests of all students require careful control of visitors to the school. All visitors to our school must report to the office. Please use the front door. Student teachers and volunteers in our school are issued a visitor identification badge which must be visible at all times. Please note that all exit doors except for the front doors are locked to ensure that visitors sign in at the office. Students returning to school after the bell for any reason must use the front doors and must report to the office. Our school is equipped with a Chubb Security Alarm System.


Our volunteer program is an essential part of Maitland River Elementary School. Volunteers are needed for many tasks. There is a job for everyone. If you have some time to spare or you know of someone who might be interested, please complete the form in our September newsletter and return it to school. Throughout the year, volunteers are gladly welcomed. Simply call our school office and leave your name. All volunteers are required to have a criminal reference check.

Safe Arrival Program

Safe arrival programs are a mechanism that parents and schools can use to account for any pupil’s unexplained failure to arrive at school. Parents are responsible for communicating planned pupil absences, lateness or bus changes to the school on a timely basis. Furthermore, parents, guardians and caregivers are responsible for providing the school with complete and current emergency information to enable the school to make any necessary follow-up contacts.

Attendance is taken each morning at our school. If the school is unaware of why a child is absent the following calls must be made until contact is made to verify the reason for the absence:

  • parents will be called at home
  • parents will be called at work
  • emergency phone number contacted
  • siblings at school will be asked
  • a message will be left on the home/work answering machine

What to do:

Late for school – sign in at the office before going to your classroom.

Absent from school – Parents need to notify the office the morning of the absence. Leave a message on the school answering machine or email at [email protected] if you are unable to make personal contact.

Injured or ill: Tell a teacher of any injury or illness. You will then be referred to a person with first aid training and/or your parents or guardians will be contacted.

Leaving for an appointment – Bring a note to your teacher. The note is to be dated and signed by a parent/guardian. Parents can also contact the school by phone. Sign out of school at the office when you leave.


Visitors to our school should use the parking lot. The accessible parking spot is located by the front door. In the interest of safety for our students, visitors should not park or pull up to our front doors or stop in the bus loading zone to drop off students. This area often has students around it. It is also a fire exit.

Communications and Media Relations

Please visit the AMDSB Communications and Media Relations page for information on communication to families.


Please note the times that our yards are supervised. For families living in the Town of Wingham, please instruct your children to go directly home when they are dismissed. Supervision ends at 3:35 p.m. Problems occur most often at times when students should have left for home. We also want to discourage children from arriving before 8:45 a.m.

Lunch Rooms & Recess Breaks

Students have two 20 minute nutrition breaks and two 20 minute recesses. We have earned a silver medal as an Eco School and encourage litter-less lunches. As well, we run a compost program for staff and students.

Milk, Pizza Sales and Snack Program 

White & chocolate milk are available at 1st break each day. We will also be offering pizza once a week for students who wish to have a hot lunch.  Food orders are organized through the school office.  Orders can be placed on SchoolCash Online

Bicycles and Vehicles

Bicycle riders are to obey all traffic rules including riding on the right side of the street, obeying traffic signs for stopping and yielding, and wearing an approved helmet. If students do not obey the rules of the road and do not cycle safely they may be asked to not ride their bicycles to school. Bicycles should be parked in the bike racks provided on the school yard. Students are not to handle or sit on their bike once it is parked in the bike rack and are not to touch other students’ bicycles at any time. There is to be no loitering around the bike rack at any time during the school day. The use of bicycles, scooters and rollerblades is to be discontinued as soon as the student enters the yard. Persistent opposition to staff on these issues will lead to contact home and individual students will lose their privilege of using these methods of transport to school for a time.

AMDSB Code of Conduct

Visit Avon Maitland District School Board's Code of Conduct page


Care must be taken with school equipment and property. Students are expected to pay for any damage done to school facilities. Students are encouraged not to bring valuable personal items to school. We cannot assume responsibility should they become lost, broken or stolen.

Student Accident Insurance for life’s unexpected events.

Did you know that expenses from your child’s accident may exceed the benefits provided by your government and group insurance plans? Some expenses are not even insured under government and group insurance policies. So whether your child is involved in an accident at school or during non-school hours, insuremykids® helps protect your family’s finances!

The Platinum Plan, our best- selling plan, offers 24/7 coverage against accidental expenses including dental, ambulance, cast, prescription medication, and even out-of- province emergency medical fees.

To learn more or to purchase an insuremykids® plan, visit

Insurance Coverage on Privately Owned Equipment in the School

Insurance coverage on equipment/property that is in “the care, custody or control” of the Board or its agents contains a $10,000 deductible clause. The Board denies the liability for loss/damage of personal equipment.

Oral Medication

Staff is not allowed to administer medication without proper authorization. Parents are asked to phone the school for information about the necessary authorization forms required and to clarify any questions they may have in this regard. Parents are required to deliver medication to and from the school.

Maitland River is a NUT Safe School

Barrier/Scent Free

Please show consideration for those with environmental allergies and refrain from wearing scented products (e.g. perfume, after shave, hair care products). If communication is required in an alternate format or any other considerations are required, please contact the school. This will help us create a barrier free environment.

School Council

The Maitland River School Council is an important part of our school. The Council is available for consultation and advice on school matters. It conducts fund-raising projects to provide school materials and resources, sponsors guest speakers and helps to promote school spirit. All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend School Council meetings. Elections for new officers are held in September. Nomination forms are available in the office. Meetings are held once a month. Please see the newsletter calendar for dates and topics.

Physical Education

Maitland River Elementary School offers a variety of physical education programs both within the curriculum and as extra-curricular activities. We emphasize physical fitness and outdoor activities. The physical activities vary with the grade level. In the interest of safety, our school will be enforcing the OPHEA Safety Standards guidelines for dressing for physical education activities. These include running shoes that have soles that do not leave black marks on the floor for grades 1 to 4 students. If girls wear dresses, they should have a change of clothing that day to allow for active participation. For grades 5 and 6 all students will be required to have a change of clothing – running shoes, tee-shirt and shorts or track pants. Bare feet are not allowed for gym activities. Students may not wear any watches or jewellery during gym activities or intramurals. Any studs or piercings must be taped so they can’t tear the skin with contact. Wrist bands are available for medic-alert bracelets that can’t be removed.

School Newsletter/School Webpage

The Maitland River Elementary School Newsletter is published at the beginning of every month. It is the school’s primary means of sharing information with all parents/guardians. To meet our Eco Schools goals, please provide the school with a current email address in order to receive this newsletter electronically. It will also be posted on our school webpage. Hard copies will be sent home to families who request it. In addition to the School Newsletter, your child’s teacher will be sending regular communication about events that are happening in the classroom. Some staff also post daily or weekly homework on their classroom homepage or blog. Communication is also posted on Maitland River’s Facebook Page

Library / Resource Centre

We are fortunate to have the expertise of a Technical Resource Assistant at Maitland River Elementary School available to assist teachers and students with resources. The Resource Centre contains many items for loan and use including fiction books, easy read books, non-fiction books, encyclopedias in print and in electronic format. Check-ins and check-outs for all books are done electronically. We sponsor book fairs during the year and we encourage parents/guardians to take advantage of this opportunity to purchase quality books at an affordable price. Students are encouraged to borrow books from our library. There will be a replacement charge for lost books.

Field Trips

Class field trips are planned to extend and enrich the classroom experience. All field trips which take place during regular school hours are an integral part of the curriculum and have clearly stated learning expectations following the Ontario Curriculum. There may be a cost levied to each student to cover admissions, bussing, etc.

School Planners

Every student in grades 1-6 is asked to purchase a planner that contains our school handbook. Student planners assist students with organization and time management as well as promote communication between the home and school. Parents and teachers will be required to sign planners according to a schedule set up by the teacher. Students are required to keep a record of homework, tests, assignments and special events. Take time to examine your child’s planner. It contains valuable information. Also visit the classroom web page/blog for updated homework.


Students at Maitland River Elementary School are provided with the necessary textbooks on a loan basis. Students are expected to treat their books with care and are responsible for returning the text in the same condition in which it was lent. Students are responsible for replacing lost books. If a text is damaged, the student will be charged the replacement cost.

Weather/Tornado Emergency Plan

Maitland River Elementary School has a Tornado Emergency Plan in effect. Periodic drills will be held to familiarize students with the proper procedures to take in the event of a drill or actual tornado. Tornadoes have been sighted locally and therefore it is extremely important to take the drills seriously and to move quickly and quietly to the designated areas.

Fire Drills

Everyone must leave the school when the fire bell sounds. It is very important that students note the exit to be used for each area of the school. As a general rule, this will be the closest exit. Since the classroom schedules will take students to many parts of the building, they should become familiar with the routine for each area.

Ignore/Say Stop/Report the H.O.A.P Process

Students are encouraged to help to make our school a better place for everyone. When negative situations occur they are encouraged to follow these (sometimes progress) steps: IGNORE (the little things; things for only one day); SAY STOP (use strong but appropriate word); REPORT (ask a trusted adult for help).

We use the H.O.A. P process to problem solve student-to-student conflict:

  • Honesty (Can we all agree to be honest?)
  • Ownership (Did you make the situation better or worse?)
  • Apology (Is there something that could be said to make someone feel better?)
  • Plan (Let’s work on a plan so that this does not happen again?)

Yard Rules

  • Ask permission from the yard supervisor to enter school for a drink or to use the washroom.
  • Playground safety rules and boundaries are reviewed regularly as weather conditions change.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear on equipment – no flip flops or platform shoes
  • Pylon markers by the equipment indicate the area is unsafe and “Off Limits” i.e. rain, freezing rain, hard frost, snow create
  • slippery surfaces; puddles on or/at the bottom of the slide are hazardous.
  • Stones, sand and twigs stay on the ground. Sweep stones off equipment.
  • Safe and co-operative play is expected of all students, at all times.
  • No “hands on” others or rough play.
  • Stay in designated areas.
  • No tag on or around gardens and rocks.
  • No tree climbing.
  • Do not stand in door alcove areas.
  • Students are to sit on rocks, no climbing, jumping or balance walking on these items
  • No baseball at recess unless a staff person is supervising the game.
  • Proper equipment must be worn for team sports. i.e. back catcher’s mask in baseball.

Code of Conduct for Students on School Busses

Students must comply with all instructions from their Teacher in Charge and the bus driver. Students are responsible for their conduct while travelling on a school bus or other vehicle used for a school trip and are required to:

  • Be at their bus pickup point prior to bus arrival time
  • Respect the property and privacy of homes or businesses adjacent to the bus stop
  • Wait in an orderly fashion well back from the side of the road recognizing that a danger zone exists in the immediate vicinity of the bus
  • Wait until the school bus driver directs them to enter or exit the bus, cross the road to board the vehicle or signals them to cross to the other side of the street
  • Proceed directly to their seat and remain seated for the duration of the trip
  • Refrain from smoking, consumption of food and beverage, fighting, profane, loud and abusive language as well as all forms of
    disruptive behaviour
  • Refrain from opening and closing windows, unless authorized by the driver
  • Respect the bus equipment

Only authorized students are to be on the bus. Buses will not transport students for Birthday Parties, or other personal student arrangements.

Discipline—Student Transportation

  1. Pupil warning by bus driver. If no improvement then:
  2. Pupil warning by principal and notification to parent/guardian. If no improvement:
  3. Pupil and parent/guardian discussions with principal. Advise if student behaviour does not improve, suspension of bus riding privileges will result. If no improvement then:
  4. Temporary removal of bus riding privileges by principal. Notification of student, parent(s) or guardian(s), if pupil is a minor, driver of Board-owned bus, contractor, Transportation Manager and the Director of Education. Principal will also telephone parent(s) or guardian(s) of pupils who are minor, if possible. If no improvement then:
  5. Long-term removal of bus riding privileges by principal. Written notification to parent(s) or guardian(s), if pupil is a minor, bus driver and the Transportation Manager. This discipline will continue until the principal has been satisfied that appropriate bus behaviour will be followed.

NOTE: The principal may proceed to Step #4 immediately depending on the severity of the incident.

How do I know when buses are cancelled and/or my school is closed?

If your child takes the bus, there could be cancellations due to weather (or driver shortage). Download the BusPlanner app, follow your school on social media or monitor the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services website for cancellation details: Bus cancellations are also posted on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Download a Request for Transportation to/from an Alternate Residence:  Click here to view and download the form



  • Take turns
  • Include everyone and not leaving anyone out
  • Share with others


  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • Make promises you can keep
  • Tell the truth tactfully
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Refuse to lie, cheat, or steal
  • Be true to yourself and do what you know is right


  • Reflect on the meaning of things
  • A very close understanding between persons
  • Put yourself in other people’s shoes
  • Forgive others and yourself when you make mistakes
  • Sympathetic, sad, concerned for someone in misfortune


  • Treat everyone and everything with respect
  • Treat others the way I would like to be treated
  • Appreciate all cultures.
  • Honour the thoughts and ideas of others.
  • Clean up after ourselves.
  • Do not litter.


  • Keep your promises
  • Do what you say you will do
  • Be able to be trusted
  • Show good character when no one is looking
  • Know what you stand for and living up to your ideals
  • Be someone others can count on
  • Be honest even when it is difficult


  • Stay strong even when you are afraid
  • Willing to try new things
  • Admit mistakes and learn from them
  • Make amends when you do something wrong
  • Do what is right for you even when it is hard
  • Ask for help when you need it


  • Really care about what you value in life
  • Take action to make your dreams come true
  • Feel good about doing what is right
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Look on the bright side
  • Be confident in oneself and one’s abilities
  • Be willing to take risks


  • Notice when someone is hurt or needs a friend
  • Imagine how they must be feeling
  • Take time to show that you care
  • Ask how they are and listen patiently
  • Forgive others when they make a mistake
  • Be helpful to a person or animal in need


  • Choose your commitments wisely
  • Set goals and stick with them until completed
  • Pace yourself, and take one step at a time
  • Do not let doubts or tests blow you off course
  • Stand by your friends and loved ones


  • Complete what you said you would do
  • Stay on task
  • Take care of your belongings
  • Do your chores without being asked
  • Take care of the earth
  • Be able to work independently
  • Clean up after oneself
  • The ability to respond and the willingness to accept the power needed to take action.
  • Own up to your mistakes and make up for them
  • The habit of doing your duties, whether you feel like it or not
  • Live with the consequences of your decisions and mistakes, including neglect
  • The habit of honouring our promises and commitments even when this involves sacrifice