Allandale Heights September Newsletter 2023
Posted on 09/21/2023

Principal’s Message:

Welcome Back!

We are excited to be starting a new year of learning for the 2023-2024 school year! Every year, Sep-tember means new beginnings, and this year we are especially excited to have so many new students and staff joining our school family. As you may know our school is a holding school for the area of Mapleview Drive just east of Yonge street. Our busses are much fuller this year as new families move into the area and join our school.

September is a time to renew connections with friends and teachers and focus our energy on having a good year. Allandale is a school where there will be exciting opportunities for your children to learn, grow and flourish, full of caring adults and new friends to be made. We hope to work together as a school-home team to support all our learners to have a successful year both inside and outside the classroom.
As you may remember, our school continues to be the school that hosts virtual students and staff for all of Simcoe county. We welcome all our virtual learners and their families as Allandale Knights in the castle. Our staff continues to grow and we have had many new additions to the staff this year. We welcome each one and trust they will have a great year of learning and teaching with their students.
Our classrooms, hallways and washrooms look fabulous, and the school is spotless. Our staff have been busy making classrooms ready to receive students and they have had a good start getting to know their students. We would like to say a special thank you to Mrs. Shanahan, Mrs. McMinn and Ms. Barclay for all their efforts to make our school beautiful. Let’s do our best as a school community to help them keep it beautiful both inside and out. As well, Ms. Holder and Ms. Barber have worked tirelessly in the office to ensure a smooth start. We appreciate everyone’s patience as the office has been extremely busy adjusting to the changes taking place at our school this year and following up with questions and inquiries.

We encourage you to review the rest of this newsletter to keep yourself updated and well in-formed. Keep a close eye on your email as we will send out regular updates through our electronic school messenger system. Keep an eye on the school website and calendar for upcoming events as well. In particular, we want to remind you to keep October 5 from 4:30 - 6:30 pm on your calendar as an opportunity to meet the educators who are working with your child this year. We look forward to welcoming you into the castle.

Thank you to all our families for entrusting us with your children this year. We look forward to learning together with them and participating in many great learning experiences throughout the school year.

Character Attribute of the Month
We show kindness towards each other.

Dates to Remember
Sep 22 PA Day
Oct 2 School Council 5 - 6 pm
Oct 5 Meet the Teacher Open House
4:30 - 6:30
Oct 9 Thanksgiving Monday

Keep connected with our school and with the SCDSB
It’s important to get accurate information about what’s going on at our school and at the 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 Twitter (@SCDSB_Schools), Facebook ( and Instagram

New Safe Arrival system for SCDSB schools – call 1-888-885-8065 to report an absence The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) has a new Safe Arrival system at elementary schools. This system will support us in continuing to improve our home-to-school
communication process and streamline absence reporting. To report a student absence, call 1-888- 885-8065. 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. When schools do not hear from a parent/guardian, and a student is absent, the school will call home to find out the reason for the
absence. If you have questions about the new system, please contact the school office.

Allandale Heights Meet the Educator Night

We’re looking forward to having everyone come visit the school to meet our educators on Thursday, October 5 between 4:30 -6:30 PM. This is an opportunity for you to come to the school with your child(ren) and tour the school and visit the classroom and meet the teacher. This is simply an opportunity to meet and greet and see the learning space. An opportunity for formal parent teacher conferences to discuss your child’s progress will be made available to you in November at the time the first progress report is sent home. We look forward to having you visit the Allandale Knights castle on October 5.

School Council 2023-2024
Are you interested in participating in School Council this year? This is a great opportunity for you to participate in an advisory council with school administration to discuss matters pertaining to the school. School council traditionally has been involved in initiating and supporting various community events and fundraisers within the school community. We meet a minimum of 4 times per year. Our first meeting will be held in the school library on October 2nd, 2023 at 5:00PM- 6:00PM. If you would like to self-nominate, or nominate someone else for School Council please contact the office and we can forward a School Council nomination form to you. You may also download and submit to the
office prior to October 2nd, 2023.

Please also find the Universal Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) screening process
School Council Nomination Form
School Council Responsibilities
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 in-sect 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
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:
StudyInsured at or by calling 1-833-560-0527; or,
Insure my Kids through at or by calling 1-800-463-5437.
Participation in extra-curricular activities (e.g., athletics, clubs, etc.) and/or out-of-province/ out-of-country trips re-quire the purchase of this insurance, or other extended health and dental coverage.
School bus ‘Bus Tag’ program helps students get to and from school safely

The Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium’s Bus Tag program supports safety for JK/SK and other school-identified students. The program helps match students to their assigned afternoon school bus and identifies that they must be met by a parent/guardian at their afternoon bus stop. The program provides a colour coded bus tag with the assigned p.m. route number, to be attached to the student’s backpack, and a colour-coded route card with route number in the windows of the school bus that the bus tag is matched to. The program can also provide tags for students who are walkers and/or who remain at an on-site childcare centre to make sure they don’t get on a bus in error. For more information, visit
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.

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
• Hot lunch day organizers
• Field trip supervisors
Classroom helpers
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 up-to-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 out-side 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 com-municated 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 emergen-cy 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 stu-dents 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.
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.