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Parents Handbook






I PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE………………………………………..1

II PHILOSOPHY…………………………………………………….3




VI HOMEWORK POLICY………………………………………….11


VIII REPORT CARDS POLICY……………………………………...13

IX CULTURAL DIVERSITY……………………………………….14


XI LUNCH INFORMATION………………………………………...15



PRINT-OUT FORM FOR PARENTS…………………………………………..18



Principal’s Message

Dear Students and Parents,

This handbook will serve to clarify the policies and procedures that guide us here at school. It is important that parents and students take the time needed to read the handbook together and discuss its contents.

Communicating with parents and students is very important. This is the first of many notes, calendars, newsletters and messages that will be sent home during the course of the up-coming year. It is our expectation that students will bring all notices home in a timely fashion.

Effective collaboration between home and school is crucial to a successful education. As a staff, we look forward to working with all our parents and students in realizing this goal.


School Administration


After Principal’s Message

1. Addressing Parents, Staff and Teacher

Now that we are established we will be setting a professional workplace tone in our day to day communication. All adults are to be addressed by their formal name as an example to our students. Parents can expect to be addressed as MR. or Mrs. By teachers, staff and students alike. Students are expected to address parents, teachers and staff with Mr. or Mrs. or Madam.



Parent/Client and Teacher/Provider Relationship

As Principal(s) and teaching team members of UMCA Rich Tree Academy we view the parents of our children as worthy of our utmost courtesy and respect. The entire teaching staff at UMCA Rich Tree Academy has been specifically selected on the basis of competence, dedication the teaching profession, and interpersonal skills.

Learning Environment

UMCA Rich Tree Academy enjoys exceptional harmony on all levels of involvement, from the teaching team, (made up of teachers and administration) to the learning team, (made up of students and their families). Similarly, at all levels we are fostering attitudes and skills to prepare our students to work well in a team, in preparation for the Canadian, and also the Global, workplace.

Conduct and Expectations

This inevitably highlights the necessity of successful conflict/resolution, when differences arise. At all levels, conflict most often arises out of differences in points of view on expectations. UMCA Rich Tree Academy has a very reasonable, considerate and fair Code of Conduct. This Code is based on Bill 212: “Progressive Discipline and School Safety”. The consequences of inappropriate student behavior are consistent with the progressive discipline approach.

UMCA’s Expectations and Approach to Discipline

If behavior occurs which is outside of UMCA Rich Tree Academy’s framework of expectations, we will consult with the parents. Because we value and respect the parents of the UMCA Rich Tree Academy students, our approach is both professional and sensitive to each situation. In return, we would ask that parents share our commitment to harmonious relations at all times and respond in kind, should a sensitive matter arise concerning the behavior of their child, while in the UMCA Rich Tree Academy learning environment

At no time does UMCA Rich Tree Academy presume to be authoritarian in matters of enforcing its Code of Conduct. At no time would UMCA Rich Tree Academy expect to have a parent react to non-existent lack of sensitivity, mutual respect and reciprocity, from our side. We also would like parents to be mindful of how often children will mimic behavior to act out real or imagined underlying issues they perceive are taking place in their life outside of school. For example, negative behaviors such as; verbal abuse, swearing at peers or adults, bullying, physical aggression, destructive behavior, throwing objects, or vandalism, is entirely beyond the scope of UMCA Rich Tree Academy’s on private/independent school behavior expectations.

We would, however, approach instances like this with insight and compassion, wherever possible. We can not ensure that a student with unresolved issues about authority, can necessarily remain in, or be admitted to UMCA Rich Tree Academy the following year.

Suspension and/or Expulsion

The most serious consequences of suspension and expulsion are reserved for incidents of very serious misconduct. Consistent with the Education Act’s legislative changes, UMCA Rich Tree Academy also takes in to consideration “mitigating and other factors”. Mitigating factors are as follows, and as a result of the amendments to the Education Act.

Education ActMitigating Factors

l. The pupil does not have the ability to control his or her behavior;

2. The pupil does not have the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behavior;

3. The pupil’s continuing presence at the school does not create an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person.

By “Other Factors” is meant:

Factors which would mitigate (balance out judgment) on the seriousness of the activity for which the pupil may be or is suspended or expelled:

Other Factors

l. The pupil’s history;

2. Whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the pupil;

3. Whether the activity for which the pupil may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to any harassments of the pupil because of his or her race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation, or to any other harassment;

4. How the suspension or expulsion would affect the pupil’s ongoing education;

5.The age of the pupil;

6. When an Individual Education Plan (IEP) has been disability identified in the pupil’s individual education plan has been developed for the pupil;

  1. whether the behavior was a manifestation of a disability identified in the pupil’s individual education plan,

  2. whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and

  3. whether the suspension or expulsion is likely to result in an aggravation or worsening the pupil’s behavior or conduct.

Expectations for Positive Behavior in the Classroom

UMCA Rich Tree Academy uses a team approach in both our teaching and our learning environments. Our education program is delivered in an enriched environment where all students enjoy the same advantages. Our expectations in the preschool and early primary years is that children will experience well rounded development by the use of social as well as academic guidance and training.

Progressive Discipline and School Safety:

If a child has difficulty or unwillingness to make the social adjustment necessary for enriched education to take place, UMCA Rich Tree Academy teachers have recourse available to carefully initiate the following steps as part of “Progressive Discipline and School Safety”:

  • Flag negative or counter-productive behavior

  • Teacher/ peer teacher/ consultation

  • Teacher/student/ consultation

  • Teacher/parent/student /consultation

  • Teacher/parent/principal/student/consultation

  • Student suspension /from class

  • Principal suspension/ from school

  • School Board suspension and dismissal/ from school

In keeping with Bill 212, “The Education Amendment Act”, the legislative changes (see Page 1) make amended provision for:

  • Allowing Principals to discipline a student for off-site misconduct that impacts on school climate;

  • Permitting Principals to suspend students, not to expel (only a committee of three Trustees can expel a student)

Categories of Behavior Leading to Suspension

For parent information there are two categories of Suspensions. The first category leaves the length of suspension to the principal’s discretion from a 1-19 day time period and whether or not to notify the Police. The second category leaves the length of suspension to the principal’s discretion from a 1-19 day period, and whether or not to notify the Police, but in four instances mandates the Principal to notify the Police. (See Page 3, Chart, “Suspensions” Education Act, Part Xiii, subsection 306(1), and “Suspensions” Board Policy made under the Education Act, Part Xiii, subsection 306(1)7.

However, consistent with Bill 212, the following misconduct would merit suspension, not involving police, from 1-19 days:

l. Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority

2. Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property on the premises…

3. Bullying

4. Fighting

5. Inappropriate use of electronic communications or media devices

6. An act considered by the school principal to be a breach of the… school code of conduct.


Suspensions Pending Expulsion and Involving Police:

Suspensions pending expulsion or possible expulsion under Education Act, Part XXI, Subsection 310, would necessitate calling police, be effective 1-20 days, and be of a very serious nature. Only the following are in any way potentially relevant to the Code of Conduct at UMCA:

  • Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner

  • Committing robbery

  • Possession of an explosive substance

  • An act considered by the principal to be a serious breach of the….school’s code of conduct.

Attendance – Safe Arrival Program

Ensuring the safety of your children is our priority. Our Safe Arrival Program is in place so that we can account for the whereabouts of absent students. It is for this reason that we ask all parents to inform their child’s school of the child’s absence. Where it is possible, we ask that this be done in advance. Call the school and leave a message on the answering machine or with the school secretary. Also, whenever a child is dropped off or picked up please make sure that the staff member on duty is notified. The children are supervised at all times and are never out of the care of the staff. The only one who will be dropping off or picking up your child will be you or your designated persons. We can not allow a breach in this system of safety at any time.

If you have not informed the school of your child’s absence in advance, the following steps, in order from l to 5 will be implemented by the school to ensure your child is safe:

Step 1 – We will call your home.

Step 2 – If we are unable to reach you at home, we will call your place of employment and/or cell phone.

Step 3 – If we are unable to reach you at your place of employment and/or cell phone, we will next call your Emergency Contact Person.

Step 4. – If we are unable to reach all of the above, and your Emergency Contact Person does not have any information on the whereabouts of your child, we will ask your child’s sibling, if one is in the school.

Step 5 – If we are still unable to reach you, or obtain information from the above sources, we will check with a friend of your child.

Bus Safety

Students riding the school bus must observe the following procedures:

  1. Be at the bus stop five minutes early.
  2. Keep well away from the road until the bus has stopped. Do not move toward the bus until it has stopped.
  3. Watch for the bus driver’s signal before crossing the road. Look both ways and then cross the road.
  4. Board the bus quickly. Use the handrail. Go directly to your seat.
  5. Remain seated while the bus is in motion.
  6. Do not eat or drink on the bus. It is not allowed.
  7. Keep the aisle clear of books, knapsacks, lunch bags and other items.
  8. Keep windows closed unless the driver permits you to open them. Never put hands, arms, legs or head out of the window.
  9. Never throw anything out the window.
  10. Talk quietly. Do not disturb the attention of the driver. 

All shouting, horseplay, fighting are forbidden at any time. Students will be suspended for doing any of the above.



NO BUS” DAYS: If road conditions force cancellation of bus services, we will post it on the Website as early as possible. Parents must check the Website. The school will not be calling any parents regarding this information.

SCHOOL OPENING/’NO BUS” DAYS: On days when busses are cancelled due to extreme weather, the school may or may not still be open. Parents must check the Website. The school will not be calling any parents regarding this information.


The school is open from 8:00 a.m. Classes start at 9:00 a.m. Make sure that Administration or a Teacher knows that your child has arrived before leaving the building.


Dismissal on “No Bus” days is the same if the school is open.

PICK UP PROCEDURE: Dismissal and Sign Out

Dismissal is from 5 - 6:30 p.m. You will be required to use the Sign Out book.


Sign Out: must take place before a child leaves. Only a parent, Grandparent or a designated person known by the school may sign out a student. Parents must leave the name of the designated person(s) with the Office in writing.

Pick Up Waiting Area: Parents, Grandparents or designated persons are asked to wait at the front door reception area for a staff member to get your child. Please do not walk in to the building with boots on (seasonal footwear). The school must know exactly who every adult is / where every adult and child is, within the building at all times.


Drivers must make a RIGHT TURN ONLY –NO LEFT TURNS—when exiting the school parking lot. LEFT TURNS are against the by-law and are prohibited by the town for traffic and safety reasons. Consider it a small investment of time to eliminate any risk of accident.



Our belief is that school is a place of learning and, to be successful, students must focus their attention and energy on school-related matters. For this reason, it is important to minimize any distraction that clothing could cause. Clothing which demonstrates respect for oneself and for others is expected at all times.

In all school boards, the school’s code of conduct, has a section for dress code which is established at the school level. The following section gives an overview of what would not be considered acceptable wear at UMCA:

  1.  students studying in grades 1-12 must wear the UMCA's white sweatshirt on assemblies or special occasions.
  2. The preschool students must wear the UMCA's white sweatshirt on assemblies or special occasions.
  3. Language or graphics on clothing will not display provocative, suggestive sexist or racist slogans, or reference to smoking, drugs, alcohol, or anything unsuitable for a minor.
  4. Clothing must cover midriffs and undergarments, shorts and skirts should be mid-thigh or longer, clothing should not be sheer/flimsy or extremely tight. Tube tops, halter-tops, and other tops with narrow shoulder straps or “spaghetti straps” are unacceptable.
  5. Except for religious or medical reasons, head coverings of any description will not be worn inside the school.
  6. Pajama-like clothing will not be worn at school.
  7. Appropriate gym clothing must be worn during gym.
  8. Shoes must be worn at all times, or sandals in the hot weather. No shoes with wheels are permitted on campus property. 

Dress Code non-compliance:

Those who choose to wear clothing that does not conform to the code may be asked to:

  1. Turn the piece of clothing inside out.

  2. Wear something over the inappropriate clothing.

  3. Change into other clothing

  4. Give the article of clothing to the teacher or administrator

  5. Possibly go home and change.


Homework serves the purpose of reinforcement, fostering of self-discipline, and involving parents in an overview of progress. It can be either an accommodation of the curriculum for your child, or an additional supplement to classroom work. All homework is considered necessary. It is given out with the expectation that it will be returned completely done, with parent signature. 


Homework is sent home with your child. All parents need to check both their child’s Agenda and the Website postings every week, for homework information and other important announcements. Parents always have two sources of information regarding homework.



In all cases there is a spirit of cooperation between school and home, in order to fulfill the goal of maintaining excellence in your child’s education. There is no assumption by the school that a parent has to teach or re-teach material. All homework is based on material the Teacher has already taught to your child. The parent fills the role of encouragement, approval and support. It is the responsibility of the student only, to do the actual homework.


As a general rule, for every day a student is absent, the student needs a day to make up the missed work. It is considered the responsibility of the student to take initiative to find out about the assignments missed. This is the case regardless of whether the absence was due to a sports event, music tour, medical visit or illness, or any other factors. The teacher is the resource person there to help and provide material.

In the case of a planned absence such as a vacation, all work that will be missed must be obtained beforehand. It is expected that the parent will return the homework signed, and on the first day of the child’s return to school. Teachers require notification of an upcoming planned absence at least 2 weeks prior, for the best accommodation to take place.



There will be two Report Cards per school year. The first card will be in December and the second will be in June. There will be two parent/teacher interviews as well.

Dates, quiz & test marks, and comments will always be posted on your child’s private on-line profile on a continuous and timely basis.


May is Exam month. We request that you do not plan major events such as moving to a new residence, or taking holidays at this time, in order to put Exams and Study as a priority.


UMCA will be open for extra activities during annual March Break. If you plan to take your child on vacation, this is the next best time of the school year to do so.


Each grade have its Home Room Teacher. All questions, comments, etc. regarding your child may be directed to the Home Room Teacher via the Website or as a school phone message. The school administrator will pass the message directly to the teacher. Phone messages will be returned during school hours only, unless there is an emergency.

IX Cultural diversity in a multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment.

We believe that self-esteem and self worth are enhanced by incorporating each child’s cultural heritage into the curriculum and that all children benefit from a multicultural, multilingual education. Multicultural approach is made fully effective in that we offer multilingual teaching staff.

A curriculum that values equality of the sexes and promotes a non-sexist point of view.

We believe as our student members are not only a team, but a family. There is no better educational setting with a non sexist curriculum in order for students to understand equality, than to be immersed in a non-gender biased atmosphere.



On occasion when teachers use an education/information website, no child shall be left unsupervised on the internet. Our student computer technology is limited to supervised use. Where there is a proven attempt to breach this condition, the person(s) who do so shall be suspended fro using the internet on the UMCA campus and meeting will be scheduled between the school and the parents.



We serve a tasty, nutritious, hot lunch meal daily. Two adult staff supervise the luncheon meal. One staff person is in charge of food served from the kitchen, the other is a Teacher supervising students.

Eating together is also regarded by our school as a social activity. Cleanliness, manners and pleasant conversation are expected. Students are invited to the table with washed hands ready to eat their food while it is warm. They are encouraged to finish the portion they are served and are free to ask for a second serving if they wish.

Playing, throwing, or wasting of food is not acceptable at our school. Shouting, horseplay or aggressive behavior at the meal is not acceptable. Parents will be notified if a student does not adhere to the above guidelines.



In order to avoid multiple check collections for our educational mandatory excursions, (8 trips at $ 27 per trip) the school shall provide all parents and/or guardians with the following payment options:

  1. Please pay all trips in one payment in the amount of $216 (Two Hundred and Sixteen Dollars).
  2. Please pay all trips in two installments, one in October 2017 and one in January 2018, in the amount of $108 (One Hundred and Eight Dollars) each.

Please also be advised that since these trips are pre-paid well in advance, should the students miss any one of those trips, only those with the valid medical reasons and medical notes shall be excused and fully reimbursed.

We thank you for your understanding and hope that our students will gain outstanding enrichment experiences throughout the U.M.C.A excursions schedule.




The only materials students should bring to school are those related to school studies, sports and nutrition. Exceptions require prior permission from a teacher or from the school office.

Student cell phones and camera phone use is banned on school property. If any students are found using their cell phone or taking photographs without permission, they will have their cell phone and camera taken away and their parents will be asked to come in to the school office to retrieve them.

The following items are not allowed on any UMCA school campus:



Fireworks Laser Pointers

Lighters/Lighter Fluid Knives (also penknives)

Valuable belongings Matches

(electronic devices)



Nuts and nut products are banned from UMCA campuses. Parents of children with nut allergies are required to leave an epi-pen kit in the office for their child, in case of a rare, unlikely emergency.



Each parent and student must:

Respect school property:

  • Books and notebooks;

  • Walls;

  • Outdoor equipment;

  • Use washrooms appropriately:

Make sure to: flush, wipe toilet seat, put used paper towel in the garbage.

  • Absolutely do not throw any garbage at the school parking lot, neighbours lot or background;

  • Do not throw anything over the fence.


Students should take pride in themselves, their personal belongings, and their school.

Respect for others, safety and property is consistent with a schools moral code. It is the students responsibility to replace or pay for damage done by the students to the school or someone else’s property.

Each parent must:

  • Check our web site weekly;

  • Check her/his child’s school bag weekly;

  • Please remember: the school is not responsible for any belongings;

  • Do not sent any money or food unless you were asked to do so;

  • Respect parking rules;

  • Remember no left turns when leaving the school.

Radios, CD players and CDs, cassette players and cassette tapes, electronic games, videos, computer software and other electronic media may not be brought on school or activities unless they have been approved by the faculty and administration for that event.


Discipline, when needed, will be designed to direct the student toward a more meaningful acceptance of UMCA RICH TREE ACADEMY rules of conduct. Generally, procedures for directing students toward resolution shall include:

  • Teacher works with student on a one-to-one basis

  • Teacher works with parents and student.

  • Teacher works with principle, parents and student.

  • Teacher suspends student from class.

  • Principal suspends student from school.

  • After reviewing the situation, the School Board may dismiss the student.


Communication and cooperation between parent and teacher.

Role of the Parent

To provide the student with a quiet space where assignments may be completed

To monitor the student’s work by reading the Agenda every night to ensure completion as required and to communicate with teachers as concerns arise.

I have read, understood and explained to my child all the school rules from the Parents and Students Handbook. I constantly remind the rules listed in the Handbook to my child.


Child’s name: ________________________

 Date: ________________________


________________                   __________________

Mother’s  Signature                   Father’sSignature



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