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School Policies and Procedures

Reporting Student Absences at Laura Secord:

Student safety is of paramount importance at the Vancouver School District and Laura Secord Elementary.  Ensuring student safety is a shared responsibility.  In order to assist our school, we ask parents to notify the school of student absences. If your child will be away from school, please phone us to report this absence as early as possible. Parents should leave a message on a dedicated answering service by calling (604)713-5159 ext 74. Messages will be received before the office is open. School offices are busy places: consistently notifying the school in advance of your child’s absence will significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Safe Arrival Morning Routine.

To Report Your Childs Absence – Please Call (604)713-5159 ext 74 prior to 9 am on the first day of the absence.


Student Sign Out Procedure

When you pick up your child during the school day, please ensure that you sign them out at the school office. If you do not sign out your child, they will be unaccounted for, and the school will identify your child as a ‘missing’ student and will commence a search of school grounds. If the school staff do not locate the child, and are unable to reach a parent promptly, the school will call the Vancouver Police Department. Therefore, clear communication is essential for ensuring the safety of your child and to prevent unnecessary searches.

Punctuality: Students should arrive to school on time. A warning bell sounds 5 minutes before the start of class (8:55 a.m.). Students should line up outside at that bell so that they are ready to learn when the second bell rings (9:00 a.m.). It is important to be in class at that time because this is frequently when the teacher sets the tone for the day and tells the children the structure for the day.
Absences: If your child is sick, please keep her/him home. If your child will be absent, please contact the school and leave a message with the child’s name and their teacher’s name or division as outlined above. Because children cannot receive the curriculum if they are not at school, lengthy absences are a concern. If your child will miss considerable school due to illness, please let your child’s teacher know so we can help. If frequent or lengthy absences interfere with the child’s learning, parents will be contacted. If your child is going to be away for personal reasons (e.g. a trip or vacation), teachers cannot be held responsible for preparing work during the absence. If a lengthy absence means the child misses a lot of school and consequently prevents the teacher from adequately evaluating the child’s progress in a specific area, a comment of this nature may be made on the child’s report card. Planned absences for non-emergency reasons (ie travel) of more than 20 days must be discussed well in advance with the teacher and school Principal, as space may not be available upon the student's return. 

Dropping Off / Picking Up your child

School staff provide limited outside supervision before school at 8:40 a.m. and after school until 3:20. Parents are asked to ensure their child clearly understands their family’s drop-off and pick-up arrangements. Children who are not picked up by 3:20 are asked to go to the school office to wait safely for their parent/caregiver.  Please do not be late picking up your child. 
Line up areas
Students line up by division before entering the school at 9am, after recess and after lunch and their  teachers escort them in. In order to avoid congestion in the hallways, parents are asked not to pick up their children in the hallways but to pick them up at their child's division's designated line up area. Additionally, we ask parents not to gather under the covered areas as this often makes it more challenging for staff to see, account for, and supervise the children.

Drive safely
All drivers are urged to exercise particular and extra-special caution and care when driving in and around school zones:
  • Watch for children and families crossing streets, both in and out of intersections.
  • Remind your children about safe walking practices (look both ways  before crossing streets; cross only at intersections, etc)
  • SLOW DOWN!  The speed limit in school zones is 30 km/h.
  • The area in front of the school on Lakewood Drive becomes very congested, please consider using 10th Avenue instead. Avoid U-Turns or 3-point turns as these are particularly dangerous. 
Please respect street signage when dropping off or picking up your child.  Best is to park away from the school and walk in with your child.   

School emergency procedures are consistent with Vancouver Board of Education policies and guidelines and are reviewed regularly with staff and with students.
Medical Emergencies:
  • Students should come to the office for medical attention. We always have a first-aid attendant on site.
  • Please ensure the office is made aware of any specific medical needs your child may have (e.g. allergies).
Laura Secord School is a nut allergy aware school. While we cannot prevent or eliminate allergens in the school, we remind everyone that we have students and staff in the school who have severe allergies to certain foods, especially peanuts, peanut butter and other nut as well as sesame seed products. We encourage families to take this into account when bringing snacks and foods into the school.

  • ​In case of an emergency requiring evacuation, staff and students are trained to assemble along the track in the back field on the meter number that corresponds to their division. Visitors to the school should assemble near the amphitheatre at the back of the field.
  • Fire drills are held regularly.
  • Earthquake drills are held as well. The school has equipment and provisions to adequately care for children until their parents can pick them up. In such an emergency, parents are directed to carefully follow the instructions of staff so we can ensure the proper accounting and safe dismissal of children to their parents or emergency designates.
  • In case of a real emergency, we can anticipate that children and parents both will be worried about their family members’ health and safety. The school has specific student release procedures in place to ensure that families are re-united as quickly and safely as possible, and to ensure accountability and tracking of each student’s safe release.
To this end, we must ask for parents’ cooperation during a real emergency:
  • Students and parents will likely be quite excited and anxious to be together. Parents MUST follow the directions of school staff.
  • Parents arriving to pick up their child(ren) should go onto the field to their child’s class(es) where a staff member will release the child to you. Please DO NOT simply take your child with you without reporting to the teacher first. Please explain to your child that, even if they see you, they are not to run to you—you’ll be reunited soon enough.
  • Please ensure you keep your “emergency contact” information current. This includes people who have your permission to take your child in the case of an emergency.
Staff and students also rehearse what to do in the unlikely event of a dangerous intruder either on the school grounds or within the school. During a "LOCKDOWN" drill, we lockdown the school: “Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown” is announced over the school PA system in the unlikely event that there is a dangerous intruder in the school. All students gather in their classroom (or closest room), lock the doors, turn out the lights and remain quietly with their teacher until they are directed that it is safe to come out.

In the unlikely event of a lockdown situation, we will be turning off and collecting cell phones from students, as using them at such a time poses potential additional risks: we do not want phones to sound at times when quiet is essential. Additionally, texting, tweeting, etc risks sending out inaccurate information that could hamper police efforts to resolve the incident. Parents are asked not to attempt to contact the school or their children directly.

As the school cannot be held responsible for loss or damage, students are discouraged from bringing personal items to school that are dear, precious or valuable to them (ie toys, money, electronics, collector cards, etc). Any items students do choose to bring or use must not interfere with the primary purpose of school (students learning together in a safe and respectful environment). If it does, the item will be removed and given back to the student or parent at the end of the school day. 
  • Students should not engage in the trading, buying or selling of personal property as this may lead to unintentional conflict.
  • There is a lost and found box set up in the lower lunchroom. Having the child's name printed inside clothing and on personal items (eg gloves, hats, water bottles, etc) helps "reunite" students with found items.
  • Students should park and lock up bicycles once they arrive at school and not use them (as well as skateboards, scooters, etc) to ride on the grounds when pedestrians are present.
  • Mobile devices:  Many students bring personal mobile devices (ie cell phones, smartphones, iPods, etc) to school (although students are welcome to use the phone in the office to call home for emergency or other purposes). While these items are allowed at school, devices that interfere with the primary purpose of school (learning and socializing safely and respectfully) will be removed and given back to the student at day's end or to the parent. 
    • While at school, there is little legitimate need for students to use a personal device to make a phone call; there are phones available in the main office for student use for emergencies or to call home.
    • Using a device to text or communicate with other students or to play games during the school day is not appropriate unless it is part of a teacher-directed lesson. 
    • Social Media apps:  Parents are reminded that most social media apps (ie FaceBook, Text Plus, Twitter, etc) have Terms of Use that require users to be 13 years of age or older to use.  It is assumed that students would not be using these apps at school.
  • Some sports equipment is restricted during school hours (wooden and full-length hockey sticks, bats, etc).  Feel free to call the school if you have questions about items. 
  • Weapons (or anything that can be used as a weapon to intentionally harm) are expressly forbidden on school grounds.
  • Parents bringing dogs onto school grounds are reminded to ensure they are leashed.
At Laura Secord School, we highly value exercise and physical activity. As such, students are encouraged to be outside before and after school and during recess and lunch, and are discouraged from being inside the school or hallways.
On rainy days, students should make sure they are dressed appropriately. (Younger students may wish to keep a bag of extra dry clothes in their classroom in case they get too wet.)

School Closures
Information regarding school closures in the event of snow or other emergency situations, will be provided to the following radio and television stations by 6:00 a.m. on the morning of the closure: CKNW (980 AM), CKWX (NEWS 1130 AM) and CBC Radio (690 AM, 105.7 FM), FAIRCHILD Radio (CJVB AM 1470/CHKG FM 96.1), BCTV/Global (cable channel 11), CITY TV (cable channel 13)”   School closure information is also available online at  Please do not call media outlets to determine whether schools are closed.

Under provincial Ministerial Order, schools are permitted to charge students certain fees including annual supplies fees and fees for certain student-personal-use items. Fees that are typically requested at Secord School include:
  • School fees - $25 per student
  • Personal use planners/agendas - $8
Other possible fees may include:
  • Project Chef Program ($20 est.)
  • Workbooks ($10 per book)
  • Field trip costs (transportation, entrance fees)
  • Special programs (workshop, special materials)
Please contact the office if you have any questions or are in need of financial assistance.
The Vancouver Board of Education has a policy that no student will be denied an educational opportunity or service for reasons of financial hardship. If you require a subsidy for any school program, opportunity or material, please contact the Principal or Vice Principal at the school either in person or by phone (604-713-4996). All requests are completely confidential.

Parents who take their child out of school early during the day (e.g. for a dental appointment) must sign their child out of school in the office, and then sign them back in when the child returns. This is done to ensure the safety of the children. Students may sign themselves in and out but must have the written permission of a parent.
Students who occasionally go home for lunch need to provide a note to their teacher. If a student goes home daily for lunch then their parent needs to provide the school office with a note outlining this. For safety reasons, students without parental permission are not allowed to leave the school ground at any time.
Student Supervision
Students are supervised outside at recess and lunch times by supervision aides who are identifiable by their reflective vests. If you would like to visit the grounds during these times, we ask that you please report to the office and then identify yourself to one of them. 

School staff provide limited outside supervision before school at 8:40 a.m. and after school until 3:20.

At the start of the school year, a “verification sheet” is sent home to parents/guardians asking them to verify that the contact, safety and health information we have on file for their child is accurate and correct. It is extremely important that the school always have the most current information for all students. If any information about your child should change over the course of the year, please contact the office immediately. It is especially important to have as many phone numbers as possible for parents, guardians, caregivers and any other adults who have parents’ permission to pick up their child in case of an emergency.

Student Internet Use
Students are reminded that the school will take action against inappropriate use of the internet or of social media that has a negative impact on themselves or others even if their use occurs outside of school hours. If students' personal use of the internet or social media outside of school hours affects the safety of students back at school, the school feels a responsibility to take action.

Social Media apps: Parents are reminded that most social media apps (ie FaceBook, Text Plus, Twitter, Instagram, etc) have Terms of Use that require users to be 13 years of age or older to use. It is assumed that students under 13 should not be using these apps at school.

Parents are asked to review with their child the difference between personal and shared devices and ensure that their daughter/son understand that changing settings on shared devices is not allowed.

The Vancouver Board of Education has a policy that no student will be denied an educational opportunity or service for reasons of financial hardship. If you require a subsidy for any school program, opportunity or material, please contact the Principal or Vice Principal at the school either in person or by phone (604-713-4996). All requests are kept confidential.