Calgary Board of Education

Parent Handbook

Parent Handbook 2015-2016


Welcome to McKenzie Lake School. We are a dynamic and caring learning community. We want you to feel at home. Being part of the McKenzie Lake School community means being actively involved academically, socially, and physically. It also means being respectful, responsible, safe and kind with yourself, your peers, staff and the community. Together we can make McKenzie Lake School an exciting and enriching place in which to learn and grow.


Students who reside within the McKenzie Lake community are eligible to attend McKenzie Lake School. McKenzie Lake has been designated as the Cranston overflow school. These policies help to ensure that classes remain at a reasonable size for the students who are designated to attend McKenzie Lake School.


Assessment is a critical component of good teaching. At McKenzie Lake School a variety of assessment techniques are employed. These include observations, rubrics, checklists, exemplars, written and oral tests, self and peer assessment. Assessment is on-going through the use of IRIS, exhibits, presentations or performances and anecdotal evidence.


Policy # 6020 - The CBE believes that there is a strong positive correlation between attendance and effective education. Therefore, students registered in schools or programs shall attend regularly and punctually. It shall be the responsibility of parents to endeavour to ensure compliance with this requirement and the responsibility of schools to ensure that parents are informed promptly when the attendance of students is not satisfactory.

If your child is unable to attend school due to illness, please email: or call the Absence Line at 777-6500 and dial EXT. 1 before 8:20 am.

Please ensure you call or email our school to report a student’s absence or to indicate that the student will be late, as we are concerned for your child’s safety. If a child is absent and we have not been notified in advance, the office staff will attempt to contact parents at home or work. This is a time-consuming task and your cooperation in phoning will help the system to run smoothly.


Students who arrive at school late are to report to the office for a late slip before going to class. An “excused” late is defined as a medical appointment or other event of that status. All other late arrivals are considered “unexcused”. Parents of students who are frequently late will be contacted by an administrator in order to develop strategies together that will help the student arrive at school on time.


It is requested that appointments be made, if possible, outside of school hours. Children miss instruction that is impossible to make up if they are taken out during school hours. If this cannot be avoided, we ask that a note explaining the reason and time be sent to the teacher. Parents should meet their child at the school office to sign them out.


Please avoid picking up your children before the designated lunch or afternoon dismissal times. The final minutes of the morning and afternoon are important organizational times for the students and teachers.



Students and teachers at MLS utilize electronic communication "Blogs" rather than a paper agenda. You can communicate with your child's teacher by phone calls and email.


The weekly update with a list of important dates/activities is posted on the website each week at


Our school sign is regularly updated with special events and activities within our school.


You can access our Twitter account at MLSCommunityInfo


Phones are to be used by students to contact home when necessary, not for arranging social activities.


Instructional time is extremely valuable. Please do not phone the school to organize play dates. Teaching time can not be interupted.


All McKenzie Lake parents are invited to attend the monthly meetings of our school council. The School Council is comprised of both parents and staff representatives. Our goal is to work together to create a positive learning environment for our children. Through the council, we can strengthen communication between home and school. We discuss and plan for our school’s future. We also support special events, such as Special Lunches, which generate funds for our cultural programs. Highlights, dates and times of future meetings are published in the weekly update and on our website. The minutes are posted on the school website:


Students and staff benefit from the work of volunteers in our school and volunteers benefit by getting to know the staff and school better. Parents are encouraged to volunteer on a regular basis in the classrooms, library, or office and, if possible, on field trips or at other special events. A volunteer interest form is sent home, asking for particular areas of interest/expertise. Each volunteer must then register and have a Calgary police security clearance check done. We can help with this process if you bring one piece of photo I.D. to the school. A name tag for you will be issued once approved and must be worn when you are volunteering in the school. Please consider joining our team!

Please note: Due to insurance obligations, volunteers on fieldtrips are not permitted to bring children who are not McKenzie Lake School students with them on these trips.

MLS Behaviour Expectations

We expect each other to:

On the


In the Hallways

In the Lunchroom

In the Classroom

In the Bathroom

On the Playground

Be Respectful

-listen to

the driver and follow


-respect others’ personal space

-keep the

bus tidy

-make room for others

-remove outdoor shoes/boots

-use a quiet voice

-admire the artwork with your eyes not your hands

-share the hallway

-be polite

-listen to the supervisors and follow directions

-listen to your monitor

-respond to the quiet signal

-use good manners

-follow the rules and routines

-use your time wisely

-take care of property

-respect the right of others to learn

-be positive

-use quiet voices

wait your turn

-use the garbage can

-respect others personal space

-follow the rules fairly

-be cooperative with staff and students

-use appropriate doors

-wait your turn patiently

-share the equipment

-use garbage cans

Be Responsible

-be on time

-sit properly

-keep your




room for


-keep your

hands to


-walk quietly

-be aware of your space

-take the direct route

-be where you should be

-clean up after yourself

-eat all of your food

-follow directions

-pick up your name tag

-be on time

-look after your own things.

-be organized and ready to learn

-pay attention to instruction

-stay on task

-use your time wisely

-use the closest bathroom

-go to the bathroom, flush the toilet and wash your hands

-return quickly

-play safely

-include others

-return equipment

-be responsible for your belongings

-listen/watch for staff signals and follow directions

Be Kind

-use a quiet


-smile and

greet each


-offer an empty spot



people to

sit with you

-offer help

when needed

-stay in your personal space

-enjoy the displays with your eyes

-be considerate of working students

-use your indoor voice

-include everyone

-respect personal space

-wait your turn

-help each other

-be courteous

-stay in your personal space

-say please & thank you

-be a good


-help each other

-respect privacy

-keep it clean for others

-include others

-be fair

-follow rules

-be a good sport

-have fun

-help others

Be Safe

-wait for the bus in the bus area

-wait your


-get on the

right bus

-remain seated

-no eating


-wear indoor shoes

-watch where you are going

-walk to and from the lunch program

-eat only your own food

-ask a supervisor if you need to leave

-sit at the peanut free table if you have allergies

-push in your chair

-use equipment properly

-hang up your coat and back pack

-put shoes on the shelf

-ask permission to leave

-use equipment properly

-report any problems

-learn and follow the rules for the equipment

-eat snacks before playing

-come into the school with your class



McKenzie Lake School is a vibrant and caring community of learners - students, staff, and parents - who are committed to nurturing personal, behavioural, and academic excellence. The safety, dignity and positive spirit of our community are all valued and supported through clear, consistent expectations.


In response to a Dare to Care initiative ( ), MLS staff compiled a matrix of expected student behaviours. We believe that this matrix represents all facets of behavioural expectations at our school (See the table above).


  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Kind
  • Safe


Students from time to time need support to meet our expectations. The support procedure is as follows.

Restitution Fixing what he/she has done

Resolution Preparing a Plan (behavioural statement) to keep the incident from happening again, which is shared with parents. Serious misbehaviour may result in out-of-school or in-school suspension

Reconciliation Making amends with the person he/she has harmed

Administrators judiciously help students choose consequences that fit their developmental level and the transgression that was committed.



All C.B.E. schools are required to practice a minimum of six fire drills and two lockdown procedures. A fire drill is the procedure that students and staff would follow to evacuate the building in case of emergency. A lockdown is the procedure students and staff would follow in the event a potentially dangerous situation arose in or around the school. Teachers will instruct students regarding the calm, quiet and orderly conduct required during these drills and explain why they are necessary to keep everyone safe if or when the unexpected happens.


In case of an emergency, it is very important that the school have phone numbers where parents can be reached. Please ensure we also have the name and phone number of another person to be contacted if a parent cannot be reached. Please ensure that we have a record of these contacts in the office.

If any changes with contact numbers occur during the year, notify the school office immediately. This will help us guarantee locating a parent quickly in case of an emergency.


Nut allergies are present in our school as are other food allergies. Teachers are well informed about the needs of students in their classrooms. Please check with them before sending anything for the class to the school.

Dogs are not permitted on school property (even when leashed) unless they are here for instructional purposes, pre-arranged through the teacher, so that allergy precautions may be taken if needed.


Consideration for other pedestrians is expected when students are on school property. Therefore, students must walk on the sidewalks and may not use/ride equipment such as, heelies, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters and bicycles on school property.


Over 500 families send their children to the school every day. Students all arrive and leave within the same 20 minute window, so it is not surprising that congestion occurs as busses, vehicles and pedestrians jockey for space. City authorities often patrol near schools so please model caution, patience and respect for the crosswalk rules and posted parking signs.


Children who are not feeling well should not be sent to school as it is extremely difficult for them to engage in their work. They may also pass their illness on to other children or staff members and create further absences.

Children who become ill at school will be taken to the infirmary and, if they are too ill to return to class, a parent will be notified. A child is never sent home alone unless permission by a parent is given for them to do so. Please instruct your children that if they are sick or hurt they should inform their teacher or the office.


Parents are asked to ensure that students are well before returning to school. If a child must stay indoors, a dated note must be sent with the child indicating the reason and duration.


If your child has significant medical concerns, please let the teacher and the office know.

When medication must be taken at school, a Medical Release Form is required to be completed by you and kept in the office for reference. Medication must come to school in the original pharmacy container and be clearly marked with the child’s name and teacher. Vitamins, cough drops and other medication that could be taken outside school hours will not be administered at school.



Whether your child is bussed, walks to school or is driven, Calgary’s unpredictable weather can see the temperature change drastically in a very short time. Regularly all children go outs ide to play. Please ensure your children are dressed appropriately to be outside every day whether it is cold, snowy, rainy or sunny.


Students are expected to remove their outdoor footwear upon entering the building. Parents are encouraged to set a good example by removing wet footwear as well. Students require indoor shoes or running shoes for safety reasons . We ask that black-soled shoes be avoided as they leave black marks on our floors. Running shoes must be worn for gym.


‘Blue Day’ signs are posted on the doors on days when the temperature dips below -20C (adjusted with wind chill). On these rare days, the school will be open for students to proceed to their classrooms. Lunch and recess may be spent indoors on 'Blue Days'.


Our curriculum content is mandated in the Program of Studies provided by Alberta Learning.

At McKenzie Lake School we strive to personalize learning. Learning strategies are differentiated and designed to honour individual student needs. In addition, a “Learning Support Team” exists to work with teachers and parents in this regard. The L.S.T. is composed of the principal, the assistant principal/resource teacher, classroom teacher, Area V strategists, nurses and other specialists as required.

Any questions parents have regarding their child’s learning should first be directed to the classroom teacher. When necessary, follow-up meetings can be arranged with the teacher, parent, L.S.T. and/or an administrator by calling 777-6500. Dial O.


Extra curricular activities are determined by the interests and talents of the students and staff, therefore, activities offered will vary from year to year. Dates and times of the various activities are included in the monthly calendar found in the newsletter or may be sent home under a separate cover. Students who join clubs or activities must make a commitment in terms of attendance and active participation. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of the activity if they are withdrawing, and this request must be accompanied by a note from a parent.


Parents and students are encouraged to set aside time each week night for home supported learning.


Parents can help children develop oral language skills by talking about each school day, listening to their stories, and reading to them.

Grades 1 & 2

The motivation which comes from parent interest in children’s school work can be most valuable. Home supported learning at this level might consist of an informal review of the subject under study at school, reading books, viewing programs or visiting areas suggested by the school.

Grades 3 & 4

Formal assignments may be given at the discretion of the teacher. These may be assigned to students who need special attention, to students who have not completed regular classroom work, or may be an extension of the subject under study at school.

Special Note Teachers are not responsible for providing homework for families who choose to travel on student instructional days.



The Calgary Board of Education has mandated an Instructional Supplies and Materials Fee. This fee covers the basic cost of expendable instructional supplies and materials for all courses. Grade 1- 4 Mandatory Instructional Fee $30.00 + Grade 1 - 4 Activity Fee $10.00. Total Grade 1 to 4 fees = $40.00. Please also provide your child with a backpack and indoor shoes.


Kindergarten will collect field trip and off-campus fees one time at the beginning of the school year called “Activity Fee.” Kindergarten Mandatory Instructional Fee $15.00 + Kindergarten Activity Fee $50.00. Total fees for Kindergarten $65.00.


These monies are charged to students to cover the cost of a specific activity or program. All classes will go on field trips during the school year. Parents will be advised of the dates and locations well in advance and requested to provide permission forms and the applicable fee.


McKenzie Lake School is committed to being accountable to parents for all lunchroom fees collected. There are several payment options for full-time and are described on the Lunchroom registration form. Full time fees for students, determined by the CBE annually, will be $255 for the 2015-2016 school year. There is a drop-in fee of $5.00 per day per child.


Students may purchase a milk card in the lunchroom. Currently the cost is $0.75/carton or $5.00/ 7 cartons. When children pick up their milk, the supervisor checks off that they received milk that day. *Pricing subject to change*


There are two lunch shifts, each containing approximately half of the children. The groups switch lunch times monthly. For example, students who start September with an 11:30 lunch will switch to a 11:53 lunch in October.

HOURS OF OPERATION: (Monday to Thursday)

First Lunch
Lunch 11:30 – 11:55
Recess 11:55 – 12:22

Second Lunch
Recess 11:30 – 11:55
Lunch 11:55 – 12:22


Please provide reusable containers for lunch items rather than throw away paper, plastic, or foil. No glass containers please and send utensils from home for your child’s lunch if needed. Hot water is available, but we do not have access to microwaves for warming lunches. Heated lunches, should be sent in a thermos so that your child can carry his/her own hot soup to their respective table. Lunchroom supervisors will help open the thermos if a child needs help. Please send utensils with your child.


On Friday as we will be dismissing for the day at 12:15 pm. Teachers will provide an extended nutrition break mid morning. Please provide your children with a “super snack” to ensure that good learning can occur all morning.


The lunchroom provides a seating area specifically for children with nut allergies. Please let us know if you have particular concerns that require accommodation.


If your child will not be attending the lunch program FOR ANY REASON, a note or phone call to Kathy Lowden (Lead Supervisor) by calling 777-6500, press 4.

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