Welcome to Burford District Elementary School

At Burford District Elementary School, we are proud to offer programming in English from Kindergarten to Grade 8, and in French from Kindergarten to Grade 5. We exemplify the Bobcat Character Traits of Compassion, Perseverance, and Positive Role Modelling in our academic work, on our teams and in the community.

Balanced Day Timetable

The “Balanced School Day” timetable divides the school day into three blocks of 100 minutes of instructional time. Two nutrition breaks are provided, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each of our nutrition breaks is 40 minutes long, with a 20 minute eating time and a 20 minute time to play outdoors.

Your child will need to bring two small nutritious lunches to eat during the two twenty minute nutrition breaks. For younger children it may be helpful to label the lunches as “one” and “two”.

Picking up your child during school

A parent wishing their child to be excused from school early, the first choice is to send a note to the classroom teacher through the agenda. Alternately, parents must call the school office to make this request since changes sometimes arise during the school day.

When picking up your child from school for an appointment, you must report to the office and have the secretary call your child out of class via our intercom system. This will ensure that we know where each child is and who they are leaving with for safety reasons.

Children leaving in the middle of the day must sign out at the office (parents may sign out a younger child) and sign back in at the office when they return.

Children leaving and returning in the middle of the day may leave and return via the front doors of the school.

Inform the school if you wish someone other than a parent/guardian to pick up your child from school. If the person is not named in our computer system, you will receive a call to confirm.

Please under no circumstances should you remove your child from the play ground without notifying the person on duty and signing your child out at the office.


Accepting responsibility for being punctual is an important life skill. Students are expected to arrive promptly for school. Late students interrupt classes, distract others and often miss routines and announcements.

If your child will be late for school, please call the secretary (519-449-2457) in advance. Students, who arrive late at school for any reason, should enter through the front door, and then they must report to the office to sign in, before going to class.


If a child will be absent please phone the school (519-449-2457). We do have an answering machine. If you leave a message please remember to tell us your child’s name, your child’s teacher’s name and the reason for the absence. Regular attendance is necessary if a student is to achieve satisfactory progress in school. Plenty of rest, good nutrition and physical activity are key ingredients for a healthy lifestyle along with a good attendance pattern.

Illnesses or family emergencies occasionally can prevent a child from attending school. To ensure a full recovery and to avoid spreading germs to others, we respectfully request that parents keep children at home until they are feeling well enough to participate fully in all school activities. Under normal circumstances, children who are well enough to attend school are expected to participate in outdoor play and other activities. If your child has a medical condition which requires them to stay indoors, we require a doctor’s note.

If a student will be absent for an extended period of time due to a planned family commitment or vacation, please contact the school.

Dress Code

Students, staff and volunteers are required to wear attire that demonstrates respect for themselves and others.

  • Hats must be removed when inside the school, unless for a specified activity.
  • Safe footwear must be worn at all times, both inside and outside. Inside shoes are required. No foot wear with a soft sole are allowed due to safety reasons.
  • Clothing must be appropriate to a school setting:
    • Shirts must be at least waist length and overlap pants during all activities.
    • Shoulder straps on shirts must be at least 3 fingers wide.
    • Necklines, shorts and skirts should fit appropriately and reflect modesty.
    • Pajama tops, bottoms and night shirts are not acceptable clothing at school.
    • Appropriate undergarments are necessary and must not be visible.
  • Clothing with inappropriate language/graphics or messages are unacceptable at all times. (e. g. profanity, promoting drugs, tobacco, alcohol or violence.)

Please label all of your children’s clothing, gym outfits and personal belongings.

Bobcat Trait Assemblies

On the last Monday of each month there is a K-4 and a 5-8 assembly to recognize students who have exemplified the Bobcat Character Traits. At this time students may also be recognized for sports participation, extracurricular involvement, volunteer activities. Parents are welcome to attend the assemblies.

Kindergarten Registration

Children who will be four years old on or before December 31 of that calendar year may register for Junior Kindergarten for September. Children who will be five years old on or before December 31 of that calendar year may register for Senior Kindergarten for September. Registration will open in early January followed by a Kindergarten orientation session scheduled before June 30. If you have any questions or if you would like a registration package, please contact the school secretary.

Peanut Allergy – Reminder

Students with severe peanut allergies are in danger of a life threatening reaction in seconds. In some cases, just the peanut oil left on a chair or desk could trigger a reaction.

We appreciate the cooperation of all families in keeping peanut products out of the school. We ask for your support by voluntarily not sending:

peanuts in any form

peanut butter or any Nut Butter or peanut butter substitute

peanut oil

baked items containing peanut products

food cooked in peanut oils such as home style potato chips.

Also, all food brought into the school to be shared (classroom treats) must be made on an inspected premise.

Bicycles, Roller Blades, Scooters and Skateboards


Parents who give permission for their child to ride a bike to school are encouraged to review the traffic safety rules with their child. Storage racks are provided for bicycles, but the school cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to a bicycle. It is strongly recommended that students lock up their bicycles with a combination lock. Bicycles cannot be brought into the school for storage.


If students ride their bicycles to school they must dismount and walk their bike on and off school property. Roller blades, skateboards, scooters and shoes with wheels “heelies” are not permitted on school property or school buses.

Inclement Weather


On days when weather is unsuitable for outdoor activity, we advise students who walk to school to arrive no earlier than10 minutes before classes begin and go directly to their classrooms.

Students benefit from active play during outdoor recesses and should come dressed appropriately for a variety of weather. In case of rain or freezing rain, students will have their break indoors.

In extreme weather conditions, parents should listen to CKPC 1380 AM, CKRZ 100.3 FM, SPIRIT 91.7 FM, CKPC 92.1 FM, CHAM 820 AM Hamilton, CHML 900 AM Hamilton, CKOC 1150 AM Hamilton, Y108 FM Hamilton, 107.9 FM Hamilton or 102.9 FM Hamilton early in the morning for announcements regarding the delay or cancellation of bus transportation or school closings. Remember that bus cancellations will be according to “zones”. We are zone 3. You may also check the Grand Erie Board website at www.granderie.ca as it will be updated by 6:30am. Please do not call the school to inquire about bus cancellations. We do not make this decision and we also must get our information from the school board.

Should the School Board decide to dismiss students early due to deteriorating weather conditions; a phone fan-out system is used to notify parents.

Please note that if the buses are cancelled, the school will be closed.

Telephones/Cell Phones


We are most willing to pass along an essential message from a parent to a student during the school day. Use of the school office telephone by a student is limited to important circumstances and approval must be given by a staff member.

We encourage families to make arrangements for after school activities, babysitting or transportation, in advance. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Please note that students may bring their own device to school. However, the student is responsible for the safety and the appropriate use of the equipment. Cell phones, MP3s,IPods may be used at school under the supervision of the teacher for instructional purposes and for students to access curriculum. Students will be asked to take the device to the office to be kept until the end of the school day if the device is being used other than appropriate times.

School Newsletter


We want you to be informed of the special events, programs and many activities occurring at our school. Watch for the newsletters, which are distributed at the beginning of each month. They are sent home via email. A printed copy is sent home with the youngest or only child in each family. If you are not receiving your newsletters each month, please call us at the school as communication is very important. All newsletters will be posted on the school website.

In addition teachers may prepare a monthly calendar and/or classroom newsletter on their website. Please take time to review this information with your child.

School Entry


All students should enter the school through their assigned door, except:

  • when it is raining (come in the closest open door)
  • when arriving late and requiring a late slip - signing in at the office
  • when returning from an appointment and signing in at the office

At these times students should enter through the front doors.


All visitors are required to sign in at the office and wear proper identification.



An illness or an injury can happen at any time and our first concern is to give immediate attention to the student. If the injury is minor, the student receives first aid and when ready, returns to class. Parents will be contacted to pick up a student who is not feeling well enough to participate in the classroom program.


For serious injuries, emergency personnel will be called and parents will be notified immediately. If a child has fallen and is in obvious distress, an ambulance will be called. Parents will be responsible for the cost of the ambulance. This emphasizes the importance of accurate and current information being kept on file in the office. Notify the office as soon as possible if there are any changes in your family such as telephone numbers, employment, emergency contacts or guardianship.

Emergency Drills and Fire Drills


Three fire drills are held in the fall and three in the spring. There are two lock down practices a year. It is imperative that students wear shoes at school at all times. Leaving an extra pair of shoes at school is required. In an emergency dismissal, there may not be sufficient time for students to put on boots and coats.



Students eat lunch in their classrooms and are supervised by staff. All students will follow clear expectations for positive behaviour during nutrition breaks and assist with clean-up.


All students will stay at school during the first nutrition break.


If a student who usually stays at school for lunch, plans to go to a friend’s home or an alternate location during the second nutrition break, the student is required to give the classroom teacher a note from a parent advising of the change in routine. In this way both the parents and school staff are aware of where the student will be during the break. If a note is not received your child will not be allowed to leave school property. Your assistance with this is greatly appreciated. The student will sign in at the office upon return, when the entry bell rings.

Administration of Medication


From time to time, a physician will prescribe oral mediation that needs to be taken during the school day. In these cases, The Grand Erie District School Board procedures require that a form be completed by the doctor authorizing the administration of medication at school. The form must include the name of the drug, the dosage, the time it should be administered and be in the original container. This form is available to parents from the office.


Medication is kept in a locked cabinet in the school office and administered by the educational assistant staff. All medication must be brought to school in a pharmacist’s container and clearly labeled with the name of the patient and the name of the drug. It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that medications, such as inhalers or epi-pens have not expired and that we have sufficient medication.


School personnel cannot administer non-prescription medication, including Tylenol or cough syrup. Students must not keep any medication in their desks or knapsacks.

Bus Transportation


Riding on a school bus is a privilege, not a right. Improper conduct may result in the withdrawal of this privilege. Restoration will be at the discretion of school officials, after consultation with the student and parent.

Clear expectations are outlined at the beginning of each school year with bus students and their parents. These include:

· Respect private property when waiting at your designated bus stop.

Hold books, knapsacks and lunch boxes in your lap.

Sit facing forward, keeping your feet out of the aisle.

Keep your hands and head inside the bus windows.

Know that the use of profane language or gestures is unacceptable

Accept responsibility for damage done to the bus resulting from improper behaviour.

Students should be at their bus stop at least ten minutes earlier than pick up times indicate.

When waiting to board or get off the bus students should wait for a signal from the Bus Patrol or driver.

When boarding the bus, students are to remain in a single line and refrain from pushing.

Do not throw anything inside or out of the bus.

Avoid excessive noise and rowdiness, which may distract the driver and thus endanger all other persons on the bus

Keep aisles clear at all times

If your child normally takes the bus, a note must be sent or a phone call received at the office before 2:00 if for any reason (parent pick-up) your child will not be going on the bus.

Lost and Found


Take the time to clearly label all of your children’s clothing, gym outfits and personal belongings. The Lost and Found Box is across from the kitchen. You are urged to check it often! Items remaining in the collection at the end of each term are donated to a local charity.

Head Lice


Even though it is very common, many parents never have dealt with head lice and are not sure what to look for. You may be frustrated and confused by the myths and not know how to treat it.


Head lice are tiny, grayish insects, which live and breed on human hair. Nits or eggs appear as tiny white specks attached to the individual hair shafts. Head lice prefer to live on clean, healthy hair. They are most likely spread by head to head contact and sharing of clothing. They cannot jump, fly or be spread by pets or animals.


Please check your child for head lice and/or nits (eggs) regularly, especially before they return to school after a holiday period. If you discover head lice, information about the best treatment can be obtained by contacting your doctor or pharmacist. Public Health Nurses no longer inspect or treat children who have head lice as the lice present no health risks.


Please notify the school office if you find that your child has head lice. We understand parents’ and students’ need for confidentiality but we are obliged to inform parents of other students in the same class of the presence of head lice.


Once head lice have been found, students may not return to school until they have received proper treatment. All the nits must be removed from the hair.


Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Brant County Health Unit.

Children are checked on their return to school after treatment. Children will not be allowed back into the class if nits or lice are found.

Extra Curricular Sports and Activities


Students are encouraged to get involved with the many different sports teams, intra mural sports activities and clubs that are provided by teachers in our school. We have an active student council, bus patrol, eco club and lunch time helpers as well as many sports and club activities. Parents who wish their children to participate in any extra-curricular activity must complete a GEDSB “informed Consent/Permission form for participations in extra-curricular activities. Students without signed consent will not be able to participate.


Lock Down, Hold and Secure and Shelter in Place


The Grand Erie District School Board is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for all students and staff. All schools have protocols for lockdown hold and secure and shelter in place

Lockdown is used when there is an incident or threat of school violence within the school. Although lockdown events are very rare in elementary schools, all schools are expected to have a specific lockdown plan and to have two recorded lockdown drills during the school year. During a lockdown or a lockdown drill, classroom doors are locked and closed, windows are covered and students sit quietly on the floor away from the windows and doors until they are released by the principal or police officer.

Hold and secure is used when it is desirable to secure the school due to an ongoing situation outside the school. During this time the students are not let outside but life inside the school proceeds normally. All outside doors remain locked and no one except police are let in or out of the building. During Shelter in Place students remain indoors due to an environmental or weather related situation.

Everyday all of our outside doors are locked and visitors to the school must enter through the front door, to report to the office. Those who are volunteering must have valid police clearance with a vulnerable sector check. Volunteers must sign in and out at the office and wear appropriate identification. Classroom doors are also locked throughout the school day but they may remain open or ajar.

At times, some students may exhibit behavior that puts them in harm’s way. When this happens, our first obligation is the safety of all students. A code may be announced over our PA system to alert the staff to shut their classroom doors in order to minimize disruption.Students may also be asked to remain in their classrooms until the hallway is clear.It is important to note that students with special needs are supervised by an adult at all times and when problems occur, the child’s parents are always contacted.


Safe Schools

The Ministry of Education Violence Free Schools policy indicates that the following actions are unequivocally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in schools:

Physical abuse

Verbal abuse (both oral and written)

Sexual abuse or harassment

Psychological abuse

Discrimination on the basis of race, culture, religion, gender, language, disability, sexual orientation or any other attribute

Vandalism causing damage to school or school property


In addition the following will also not be tolerated:

Use or possession of alcohol, tobacco products, lighters, matches or other contraband substances

Clothing which advertises drugs, alcohol, tobacco products or has inappropriate language or messages

Clothing which exposes the midriff or undergarments

Hats are expected to be removed in school


The police will be called for any of the following incidents occurring on school property:

Possession of weapons

Threats of injury involving weapons

Physical assault causing bodily harm

Robbery or extortion

Vandalism causing damage to the school or school property

Possession or suspected possession of drugs or alcohol

Our Discipline Process


A problem-solving process will be followed when students do not follow the rules for safe conduct. We use the TRIBES model, which means we operate under the four TRIBES agreements of Mutual Respect, No Put-Downs, Attentive Listening and The Right to Pass. Teachers will model the agreements for students and logical consequences will be chosen to help students remember appropriate behaviour.

Consequences may include:

Time out

Removal of privileges (outdoor play or special events)

Extension room time to complete unfinished work or write an apology.

Behaviour contract

In school exclusion (removal from class)

Formal suspension

Police involvement


Expectations for Behaviour at BDES


Here at BDES we have high expectations for behaviour.

Students have the right to:

Be treated with respect, courtesy and kindness

Learn without interruption

Be safe at school

Enjoy their time at school

Help decide the consequences for unacceptable behaviour

Receive encouragement and assistance with their work

Express themselves politely

Question the things of which they are not certain

Attend school regularly


Students have the responsibility to:

Treat others with respect and courtesy

Work cooperatively in class without disrupting the learning of others

Solve problems peacefully

Use appropriate language

Be punctual

Come to school with appropriate materials

Show respect for school property

Accept the consequences for inappropriate behaviour

Complete their work to the best of their ability

Dress appropriately for the weather, activities and safety

Playground Behaviour and Safety


We are fortunate to have a large playground. Students of all ages enjoy a variety of recess activities such as square ball, soccer, sand ball, basketball, tag, playground structure equipment and imaginative play.

During outdoor play there are 4 teachers on duty in the areas of our yard.

General playground expectations include:

Playing safely: No body contact

Leaving the snow, sticks and stones on the ground

Lining up promptly when the entry bell rings

Staying within designated play areas

Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy


Computer technology is a powerful tool for teaching and learning when employed in an appropriate manner. Computers will be used to enhance educational programs and as tools to assist students in achieving the expectations of the Ontario Curriculum.

Students will be given access to the Internet for research purposes. In order to make the best use of the Internet, students need to be aware of proper etiquette and potential risks.


Students have the responsibility to:

Only use the computers and Internet under the supervision of an adult

Use only their own log in and password

Keep their personal log in and password confidential

Use computer hardware and software without causing damage

Work on the computer without disturbing others

Use only polite, appropriate language

Respect copyright and refrain from software piracy

Refrain from illegal access to computer systems.

Use the computer and Internet for educational purposes only.

Keep personal information (name, address, phone number) confidential.

Refrain from using the network or Internet for commercial gain.

Refrain from subscribing to mailing lists or services through the Internet.

Refrain form downloading information or pictures without teacher permission.

Refrain from printing excessively large documents

Only surf the web within teacher approved parameters


Should students encounter inappropriate materials on the computer monitor they should:


Refrain from responding to pictures or messages that are cruel, abusive, profane or in any way make them feel uncomfortable

Immediately turn off the monitor

Inform the adult in charge that a situation has occurred.



The Internet has created a whole new world of social communications for young people who are using e-mail, Web sites, instant messaging, chat rooms and text messaging (STM) to stay in touch with friends and make new ones. While most interactions are positive, increasingly kids are using these communication tools to antagonize and intimidate others. This has become known as cyber bullying. Under the Ontario Safe Schools Act Cyber-bullying by students could result in suspension or expulsion.


What can parents do about bullying?


  • Communicate with your child about the problem. Find out if they are experiencing or witnessing bullying at school and in the community.


  • Communicate with your child’s teacher. Keep in regular contact with the school and work on solutions together, involving your child as appropriate.


  • Help your child with strategies. Teach your child assertiveness skills and problem solving skills. Encourage your child not to be a bystander. Reporting to others what they see is a key in battling bullying.


  • Encourage your child to seek support from trusted friends and adults, and report incidents that happen in the school.


  • Build your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Provide opportunities for positive socializing, and encourage participation in activities your child enjoys. Help your child to see his/her own strengths.

PAWSS School Council


Our School Council is an advisory body of elected volunteers who work together to maintain good communication among the school, parents and community.

All interested parents are most welcome to attend all School Council Meetings. Meeting times will be in our monthly school newsletter, on our sign and posted on the website.

Elections for School Council positions are held in September.


Parents on the council strive to facilitate a variety of special events and programs throughout the year, which meet the needs and interests of the families in our school community. Some of these activities and events include:

Grade 8 Graduation

Nutrition program

Fun Fair

·Strong Start Program

· Teacher Appreciation

· Fundraising to raise funds for the above (and other) activities.



Volunteers contribute greatly to our school. We appreciate the many parents and members of our community who help in the classroom, accompany students on class trips, prepare learning materials, supervise at lunch, organize special events, publish students’ books, listen to children read …. The list is endless!

All volunteers require a valid vulnerable sector police check. Letters for police checks can be obtained from the school. Completed checks are kept on file in our school office and are valid for two years.

It is now mandatory for all volunteers to complete the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (A.O.D.A.) training. To accomplish this, go to granderie.ca, community, volunteers, training and click on the link.

When volunteering please sign in at the office and obtain an identification from our school secretary. All adults in the school are required to wear a valid school ID.

Transportation by Volunteers

We appreciate the many parent volunteers who provide transportation for our students to various school functions. It is the requirement of the Grand Erie District School Board that volunteer drivers have a minimum of $2,000,000 public liability and property damage insurance.

The Board has prepared a declaration form that must be completed and filed in the school office before a volunteer is permitted to transport students. This form needs to be completed only once during the school year. Please notify us of any subsequent change to your coverage.

Online Payment System


Grand Erie has introduced School Cash Online. The expectation is that all schools will use the cashless system to manage the day-to-day expenses including school activities, field trips, sporting events. Staff are available to assist with the set up for accounts in the system. Please contact the school for more information. This was new to Burford in 2016 and we appreciate your persistence and patience.