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Student Safety

Visitors to the School

All visitors (that means parents too) are required to report to the school office and sign in, during instructional time, in order to remain in the building.  After signing in, if visitors will be remaining for more than 15 minutes and visiting a variety of locations within the school, they will be provided with a Visitor Badge to wear during their visit.  If they are staying just for family reading in the morning, they are only required to sign in at the office. Visitors must all sign out at the office upon leaving. 

This is standard protocol at all Vancouver Schools.  Students and staff do not expect to see adults roaming around the hallway throughout the day and may consider there to be a stranger in the school if this procedure is not followed.  We take on the responsibility of caring for each child and ensuring each child’s safety while in our care.  Therefore, we do not expect people in the building without reason or permission.  

If you need to drop something off for your child throughout the school day, please do so at the office and we will be sure to pass the item(s) along to your child. Thank you.

When on site, if you see anything of concern, please tell a staff member who will speak to the child in question.  Visitors in a non-supervisory capacity are not to speak to any child, except their own, when it comes to any issue of concern.  

Public Health Nurse

Public Health Nurse is assigned to each school.  The nurse will make an initial visit to the school in September and leave their contact information with the school office administrative assistant.  Unlike when some of us went to school, there is no school nurse on site.  The school office administrative assistant, who has First Aid training, is the point of contact at the school.  

If you wish to contact public health regarding a concern, please refer to the Vancouver Public Health Website.

The nurse, school staff, parents and caregivers, children and community groups, work together to provide health services, deliver health education and promote healthy environments. 

Health Services

The Public Health Nurse is available to provide information, health education and problem solving assistance regarding health and developmental concerns, promoting a healthy environment, and providing information about community resources. This includes immunizing children in Kindergarten and Grade 6, follow up of communicable disease outbreaks, supporting health screening programs for vision, hearing and dental care for kindergarten children and assisting with healthy public policy (i.e. within schools).

 Medication

If it is necessary for school staff to administer medication to your child, would you please:

1.       Contact the office

2.       Sign a “Request to Administer Medication” form

3.       Provide the appropriate medication

4.       Provide a physician’s written order to be placed on file.

What To Do If Your Child Is Sick

  • Children often have a variety of illnesses throughout the school year and Vancouver Coastal Health provides us with the following helpful advice:
  • Students should not attend school if they are unwell
  • We can not always tell when someone is infectious.  For this reason we should use good infection control procedures all the time
  • Wash your hands properly (soap and water for 20 seconds)
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, throw it out and then wash your hands.  If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hand.
  • In the interest of the best possible overall student and staff health, students who are clearly unwell and contagious should not attend school! 
  • If children are sick at school, the office will phone parents or an emergency contact to request that they be picked up from school right away.

For more information, please refer to the Vancouver School Board's Communicable Disease Plan. This plan also outlines specific measures taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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 would be considered unaccounted for, and the school may identify your child as a ‘missing’ student where a search of school grounds is commenced. 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 welcome bell sounds at 8:57am and a second bell rings at 9:00am to signal the beginning of the school day. It is important to be ready to be in class at the 9:00am bell because this is frequently when the teacher sets the tone for the day and tells the children the structure for the day.

Absences

As outlined above, f your child is sick, please keep them home. 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 (i.e. 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 am and after school until 3:20 pm. 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 pm are asked to go to the school office to wait safely for their parent/caregiver.  Please do not be late picking up your child. 

Supervision Aides

Along with other school personnel, we have three Supervision Aides to specifically supervise children playing during recess and lunchtime.  They monitor who is on the playground, problem solve with students as needed and also help organize some activities for students during rainy days. 


Emergency Procedures

School emergency procedures are consistent with Vancouver Board of Education policies, procedures, and guidelines and are reviewed regularly with staff and 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).

Evacuations

In case of an emergency requiring evacuation, staff and students are trained to assemble on the gravel field. Visitors already in the school should assemble in the same area.

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. 

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.

In the unlikely event that we have to evacuate the school entirely, our off-site emergency evacuation location is Mount Pleasant Elementary School located at 2300 Guelph Street.

Other

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.

Personal Items at School 

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 (i.e. toys, money, electronics, collector cards, etc.). Any items students do bring or use must not interfere with the primary purpose of school (students learning together in a safe and respectful environment). These items must not be taken onto the playground at recess or lunch. If it does interfere with the learning environment, the item will be removed and given back to the student or parent at the end of the school day. 

There is a lost and found box set up in the basement of the school. Having the child's name printed inside clothing and on personal items (e.g. gloves, hats, water bottles, etc.) helps "reunite" students with found items.

Students should park and lock up bicycles when they arrive at school and not use them (as well as skateboards, scooters, etc.) to ride on the grounds when pedestrians are present (typically 15 minutes before or after school or during school hours.

Mobile devices

Many students bring personal mobile devices to school (although students are asked to use the phone in the office to call home for emergency or other purposes). While these items may be allowed at school if they are asked to bring them for specific educational purposes, 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. 

Rainy Days

At Nightingale, we highly value exercise and physical activity. As such, students are expected 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 www.vsb.bc.ca. Please do not call media outlets to determine whether schools are closed.

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