School Newsletter September 2023
Posted on 09/08/2023


September 2023 


SCDSB launches updated character education program for 2023-24 school year 

This year the SCDSB will begin implementation of the updated character education program. Rather than focus on one attribute each month, the program has been changed to reflect that character is a fluid concept that includes a variety of attributes.  


The updated character attributes are: 


























For more information on the updated character education program, visit the character education page on the SCDSB website: 



September PA Day

Please note that Friday, Sept. 22 is a PA Day for all SCDSB students. Please refer to the 2023-24 School Year Calendar on the SCDSB website for more information:


Below is a summary of the activities planned for the Sept. 22 PA Day:


Length:                                     Full day

Topic:                                        Reading and Literacy, Social Studies, Assessment

Host:                                         Simcoe County District School Board

Presenter(s)/facilitator(s):         School board staff and school administrators

Educators will participate in person to review the newly revised Language Curriculum, The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, Language, 2023, and new de-streamed English, Grade 9, and Français, 9e année courses and explore resources to support their implementation with students. Through group discussions and hands-on activities, elementary educators will learn about early reading instruction and the use of screening tools to help ensure that students with reading difficulties are identified and supported early. They will also explore and plan for literacy instruction across the curriculum, including the new Holocaust Education curriculum in Grade 6. Secondary educators will also engage in assessment activities and the collaborative planning of student tasks and opportunities to inform both course instruction and evaluation.



Days of Awareness 2023-24

Please review the Days of Awareness (NM1)



New absence reporting system for SCDSB schools – call 1-888-885-8065 to report an absence The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is implementing a new absence reporting system at secondary schools. This system will support us in continuing to improve our home-to-school

communication process and streamline absence reporting. To report a student’s absence, call 1-888885-8065. Callers will be prompted to identify the school before leaving a message. Parents should include the student’s name, teachers’ name, dates, and reason for the absence. If you have questions about the new system, please contact the school office.



Universal Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) screening process

The OLSAT is a standardized group test of ability. The results of this test will help us gain a better understanding of students’ areas of relative strength and needs as related to their verbal and non-verbal abilities so that we can plan our programs and supports accordingly. Results may also be used to inform identification (e.g., Intellectual: Gifted).

Students who display an advanced degree of general intellectual ability may require additional program support to reach their educational potential. This support may be through enhancing the curriculum, differentiated instruction, and through providing program extensions and enrichment. This type of programming is important to engage, motivate, and challenge students who are identified as gifted in either the regular classroom or in an elementary gifted classroom placement.

A consent form examining the universal OLSAT screening process in greater detail will be sent to parent(s)/ guardian(s) of students in Grade 3 via School Cash Online in September. If you require further information about the universal OLSAT screening process, please contact the school.



Keep connected with our school and with the SCDSB

It’s important to get accurate information about what’s going on at your school and at the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB). Here are some ways to do that:

  • Sign up to receive SCDSB media releases by clicking the ‘Subscribe’ button at
  • Follow the SCDSB on X (@SCDSB_Schools),


School council nominations for 2023-24 school year

School council is a committee made up of elected parents/guardians, community representatives, staff, and sometimes students that help to provide the community voice and parent/guardian perspective on important school topics. School council is a good way for parents/guardians to get involved in their child/children’s education while playing an important role in the partnership between home and school. 


School council nominations take place every fall. If you are interested, please watch your email for upcoming communication and for more information visit 




Annual notice to adult students or parent(s)/guardian(s) of students under the age of 16 A completed Student Medical Form (FORM A1420 - 1) is required each school year, or when a medical need is identified, or when the student transfers to another school, in order to authorize medical response plan development and the administration of prescribed medication to students who require it during school hours, or when the medication and/or dosage requirements change. Specific to asthma, every student is now permitted to carry their asthma medication if the student has their parent’s/guardian’s permission. Parent(s)/guardian(s) and adult students are responsible for ensuring that a current, completed Student Medical Form is on file at the school. Parent(s)/guardian(s) and adult students are also to complete a Plan of Care for students with prevalent medical conditions such as anaphylaxis, asthma, type 1 diabetes, or epilepsy/seizure disorder.

Some students may experience severe life-threatening allergic reactions to bee, hornet, wasp, or other flying insect stings or to certain foods or food ingredients such as peanuts. The best way to reduce the risk of accidental exposure for these students is to respectfully ask parent(s)/guardian(s) to avoid sending peanut butter or products with peanuts and/or tree nuts listed in the ingredients to school. For students with life-threatening allergies, it is recommended that two doses of an epinephrine auto-injector are available on site at school. Please do not hesitate to contact the school with any questions you may have.



Standard acknowledgment and permission form/student information computing technology appropriate use agreement 2023-24

The 2023-24 Standard Acknowledgment and Permission Form and Student Information Computing

Technology Appropriate Use Agreement are required forms for all Simcoe County District School Board

(SCDSB) students. The forms have been made available electronically through School Cash Online until Oct. 16. School Cash Online is our preferred method for forms. If you are unable to submit these forms electronically, please contact the office for paper copies.



Student Accident Insurance 2023-24

Student injuries at school during school events, extra-curricular activities (e.g., athletics, clubs, etc.) and out-of-province/out-of-country trips are not covered by the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) or its insurance company. While every precaution is taken to provide a safe learning environment, accidents can and do happen.

A variety of plans and benefits at reasonable annual prices can be found through either:


Participation in extra-curricular activities (e.g., athletics, clubs, etc.) and/or out-of-province/ out-of-country trips require the purchase of this insurance, or other extended health and dental coverage.





Volunteering in schools during the 2023-24 school year

Volunteers are an important part of what makes our schools great places to learn and grow. We value and appreciate the support of our volunteers. Volunteers have various roles at our schools including:

  • School event volunteer
  • Field trip supervisors


Please contact your local school’s office if you are interested in volunteering and would like to know more about the opportunities available.

To become a volunteer in a Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) school, you must complete accessibility training and submit a current (dated within six months) Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC). Schools require all VSCs to be in their original form and emailed directly to the school for processing.  Please note, volunteers are unable to upload VSCs directly to the volunteer portal. Each potential volunteer must create an account within the volunteer portal. Please remember to choose the school you wish to volunteer with.

If you do not have a computer or require assistance, please contact the school.

Current volunteers

Current approved volunteers must keep their Community Apps account/Volunteer Portal information upto-date with email address changes. Communication is sent throughout the year to the provided email address with respect to timelines, necessary requirements, etc. regarding your volunteer status. Instructions on how to change your email address in Community Apps can be found here. Updating your email address in your Community Apps account will automatically update your email address in your Volunteer Portal.

If you are also a parent, check out our Parent Portal.









  • Complete an annual offence declaration through the SCDSB Community Apps – Volunteers page for up to four years to continue volunteering.
  • Submit a new VSC at the beginning of the fifth year.
  • Be responsible for the cost of the VSC.
  • Be responsible to the principal and work under the supervision of teaching staff.
  • Work co-operatively as part of a team to support and supplement school programs.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the relationship to the school, ensuring that staff issues and student work and behaviour issues are held in confidence.
  • Adhere to established SCDSB and school procedures.
  • Communicate regularly with staff.
  • Be prompt, dependable and regular in attendance, and give advance notice to teachers when unable to attend.



Procedures help keep our school safe

We have a number of procedures in place to keep our school safe. You can help your child understand and feel safe by:


  • talking to them about the situations below
  • reminding them that emergencies are rare
  • telling them it’s important to follow staff instructions in these situations


    Parents/guardians should talk about the following emergency drills with their children:


  • Shelter in place is used when there is an environmental or weather-related situation, like a chemical spill outside the building, or a major storm. Activities continue inside the school. Students and staff are not allowed to leave the building. The ventilation system may be shut off temporarily.
  • A hold and secure is used when there is a situation in the community, not related to the school, like a bank robbery nearby. Activities continue, but all exterior doors are locked. No one is allowed to enter or exit the school.
  • A lockdown is used when there is a major incident, or a threat of violence related to the school. Students and staff move to secure areas, away from doors and windows. Interior doors are locked, lights are shut off and blinds are drawn. Students and staff remain quiet. We practice lockdown drills at least two times per year. In the unlikely event of an actual lockdown situation, police ask that parents/guardians do not go to the school. Information will be communicated through the school board social media sites ( and and website (, through local police and local media.
  • All schools have evacuation plans in case of gas leaks, bomb threats or fire incidents that would require everyone to leave the school. We hold drills to practice our evacuation plan. In a real evacuation, students and staff may go to the evacuation site, depending on the situation. Parents/guardians will be informed about pick-up procedures by the school, school board and local media.




    When parents/guardians are at school during a drill or emergency event, they must follow direction from school staff, police, fire, and/or emergency personnel. Parents/guardians may not have immediate access to their children during drills or emergencies. They may need to wait until the situation is resolved and school staff and/or emergency personnel release students into parent/guardian care.


    It’s important for you to know we’ll always take whatever precautions are necessary to keep our school and students safe. 


    Please note the following:

  • Elementary school main doors are locked during the school day. Visitors must use the intercom system and wait for assistance. Staff may not be available to answer the door immediately, so please be patient.
  • Staff must complete a criminal record check before having contact with students.
  • We ask parents/guardians of elementary students to contact us when their child will be absent from school as part of our Safe Arrival program. When we don’t hear from a parent/guardian and a student is absent, we will call home to find out the reason for the absence.
  • At least two staff members in every school are trained in first aid and CPR. All SCDSB schools have automated external defibrillators (AEDs).



Student dress code

Our board’s dress code is one way that we embed the principles set out in the SCDSB and Ministry of Education documents, Caring and Safe Schools in Ontario, and Equity and Inclusive Education to ensure safe, inclusive and equitable learning environments for all of our students. In SCDSB schools, we believe that students should be able to learn in a safe and caring space that is free of bias and discrimination. When making choices about what to wear to school, we respect your individuality. To ensure that our learning environments are safe and respectful spaces, our board has consulted with students and staff to develop a set of shared standards for student dress.


The SCDSB dress code is available on the SCDSB website at If you have questions about the dress code, contact your school principal.