Student Agenda

Staff Message

The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint you with the routines and programs at St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School. This handbook will be used for reference during the school year.

We, the staff, are excited about the opportunities this year to equip our pupils with the expectations of the Ontario Curriculum.

With the support of you, as parents, our highly competent staff and the St. Josephine Bakhita CS community, we look forward to a rewarding year. 

 DCDSB Mission Statement
We are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ.
 St. Josephine Bakhita

St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita, F.D.C.C., was born in the village of Olgassa in the Darfur region of Sudan in 1869 and died in Schio, Italy in 1947. She was a member of the Daju people, and her uncle was a tribal chief. As a result of her family lineage, her childhood was happy and prosperous. However, in later life she was kidnapped, forced into slavery and was forced to undergo great mistreatment. After traveling to Italy with her captors, she discerned a call to follow Christ. She was eventually freed and became a Canossian religious sister, living in Italy for 45 years.

During World War II, the people of the village of Schio regarded her as their protector. And although bombs fell on their village, not one citizen died. Despite the horrible suffering she faced, she was known for her cheerfulness and gentleness. She had great faith in God’s ability to bring good out of terrible circumstances. Her last words before dying were “Our Lady!”. After her death, crowds gathered to see her body and ask for her intercession from heaven. In 2000 she was declared a saint by the then Pope John Paul, the 2nd.

St. Josephine Bakhita is known as the patron saint of the Sudan, victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. Her Feast Day is on February 8, also known as the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking.

 St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School Prayer

Loving God, rewarder of the humble, you blessed St. Josephine Bakhita with charity and patience.
May her prayers help us, and her example inspire us to carry our cross and to love you always.
Pour upon us the spirit of wisdom and love with which you filled St. Josephine Bakhita.
By serving you as she did, may we please you by our faith and our actions.
Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives an reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

 Religion and Family Life Program

The distinctiveness of a Catholic education is especially evident in two closely connected programs: Religion and Family Life.


 Born of the Spirit/Believe in Me/Stand by Me
This religion program is developed and approved by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and builds on the essential faith education that families provide. The program is an initiation into a lifetime of growing in faith.
 Fully Alive

Fully Alive is the Family Life program that is taught from Grade 1-8. 

Fully Alive is organized into five major themes:

  • Created and Loved by God, we are created in the image of God and loved as special creations
  • Living in Relationship, the bonds of family and friendship are central to our identity and development;  
  • Created Sexual Male and Female, the gift of sexuality is intended for love and life and is an integral part of our identity and development;
  • Growing in Commitment, we are called to be faithful and fully human in our promises, choices and decisions;
  • Living in the World, we are members of human society and have a responsibility to care for each other and our World.
 Spiritual Development

The Staff of St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School facilitate the child’s spiritual development in partnership with the family and the church. At all times every effort is made to integrate the Religion and Family Life programs, and the sacraments within the total curriculum. Integral to the students’ growth in faith are the celebration of school masses, special liturgies and the preparation for reception of the sacraments.

In addition, we support community charities with a variety of activities including: ShareLife, Christmas Stars & Angels and food drives.

 Preparation and Reception of Sacraments

It is the responsibility of parents, assisted by catechists and by our parish priest, to assess their child’s readiness for the Sacraments.

Since parents are the primary educators of their children, their responsibility is to nourish faith growth within the family context. The local parish, members of the home and school become partners in the faith journey of our students. 

 School Hours

8:25 a.m. - Supervision Begins

8:40 a.m. - Entrance Bell

10:05 a.m. - Morning Recess

11:25 a.m. - Lunch Hour

1:50 p.m. - Afternoon Recess

3:10 p.m. - Dismissal

 Entry and Exit Procedures

All bus students, walkers, and Kiss & Ride students are required to enter and leave the property through their designated stairwell doors. Kindergarten students enter and leave school property through their designated Kindergarten classroom doors.

If you are driving your child to school, please ensure that your child walks through the designated door for immediate entry upon arrival.

Following our Access to Premise policy, parents are asked not to be on the school yard at any time during the school day as well as during school arrival and departure times.

When you feel your child is responsible enough to walk to school, make sure he/she knows to:

  • always walk with a friend, a group of friends, or another parent they know;
  • be careful to look all ways before crossing the street;
  • recognize safe strangers such as police, crossing guards, school bus driver.

Please note that any changes in your child’s routine need to be reported to the office.

Where a Safe Crossing Area is designated, all students are required to cross under the direction of the Crossing Guard.

 Inclement Weather Procedures

Any decision to withdraw school bus service or to close the school will be made by the Director of Education or designate.  When this occurs, radio bulletins will commence from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on the local television and radio stations. If you require further information you may visit Durham Student Transportation website at

In the event that weather and/or road conditions force the cancellation of transportation services in the morning, it must be understood that services will be considered cancelled for the day. Parents who elect to transport their children to school in the morning are responsible for providing transportation home.


We encourage parents to discuss any food allergies that their children may have with their child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year. Please provide the school with any pertinent medical information and physician’s protocol for treatment which would assist us in your child’s health and safety. Please encourage your child to eat only foods prepared and packed at home for school to avoid any potential allergic reaction.

Classroom teachers will be in contact with those parents of children who need to restrict their own child from bringing certain foods due to particular students in the class who are extremely allergic to those foods.

 Nut Allergy

We ask that parents ensure that all lunches and snacks are checked for peanut content. Please ensure that your child brings food that does not contain nuts. Even the smallest traces of nuts or nut products, could be fatal to a child that has a nut allergy. Several of the children in our school have severe allergies which can cause anaphylactic reaction. Treatment involves an immediate drug injection (i.e. an Epi Pen), and an emergency trip to the hospital. The school staff have been alerted to these serious allergies and have been instructed in the administration of an Epi Pen.

As repeated allergic reactions become more severe each time, we must do what we can to provide these children with a safe learning environment. As we have at least one student, in each eating area, with this life-threatening allergy, we respectfully request that you not send snacks/lunch to school that contain peanuts, nuts, or nut oils.

 Administration of Medication

The responsibility for the administration of medication for students is primarily that of the parents and/or guardians.

There will be special cases and circumstances where a student must have medication during regular school hours. The principal or school staff is authorized, if requested in writing on the appropriate Board form by the student’s parent or guardian, to administer medication. 

All prescribed medication to be administered at school must have the qualified medical doctor’s statement for documented use and the instructions clearly stated. The medication should be kept in original containers.

 Lunch Hour

Students who stay for lunch are expected to observe and follow the guidelines which have been established and clearly explained to them.

Children eat their lunch in designated classrooms from either 11:25 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. or 11:55 am – 12:25 pm. Students are expected to remain in the playground area (weather permitting) when outside for lunch recess. 

No child staying for lunch can leave the school yard unless accompanied by a parent/guardian and is signed out at the office.

 School Information

It is essential that the school has the most current and valid email address for every family as the school will often use email to communicate with families rather than sending home notices on paper.

Weekly email will arrive from the email address:  

 School Cash Online

SchoolCashOnline is the preferred method of submitting payments to the school.

Please register online at the following link:

You will need your child’s OEN number which can be found on his/her report card.

School Bus Safety

As outlined in the DCDSB Transportation Policy and Procedures, bus privileges may be removed by the Principal, if student behavior warrants. 

Each student shall:

  • show courtesy and respect to drivers and passengers;
  • remain seated when bus is moving;
  • remain seated in an emergency and follow adult directions;
  • refrain from eating, drinking, or littering;
  • refrain from distracting the driver;
  • assume cost of malicious damage;
  • keep aisles clear;
  • keep belongings on the lap (no bulky or sharp items carried);
  • remain quiet at railway crossings;
  • be responsible to the Principal for his/her conduct while traveling on a school bus.

Research supports that homework done and evaluated, reinforces what has already been taught in class, helps students develop self-discipline, responsibility, organizational skills, and improves achievement.

Parents are the key to making homework a positive experience for their children. If you notice your child is having difficulty with assigned work, please share this as soon as possible with the teacher. 

Homework does not need to be written work. Time spent reading with your child, or discussing what was learned in class, is invaluable.

 Program Support

The staff of St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School believe that each student is an individual with unique strengths and needs. Our Board policy of inclusion means that students with special needs participate in age appropriate placement and activities.

The program support staff work collaboratively with the Principal, classroom teachers and parents in planning for individuals or small groups in an inclusive manner. If a teacher or parent has a concern about a student, a school team meeting may be called to include the Principal, parent, classroom teacher, the program support teacher, and support personnel.

Edsby is our teachers’ primary communication tool. Homework, reminders, upcoming test dates, or special communications will be communicated through Edsby. The school also uses email to communicate with parents, so please check your mailbox frequently and ensure school communications are not in your ‘junk’ folder.

 St. Josephine Bakhita Catholic School Advisory Council

Working as partners, members of the council include: parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, clergy, community representative, vice-principal and principal. 

They meet regularly to support school/parent activities that enhance student learning and build home/school/parish ties. 

The more parents are involved in our school, the greater the benefit to our students. Please refer to our school website to keep informed and to get involved.

 Parent Volunteers

Parent volunteers will be limited this year due to covid restrictions. Any essential volunteer must be double vaccinated as well as complete a mandatory police background check.

 Appropriate Dress for Pupils

Appropriate dress defines the standard of student dress that meets the school community’s expectation of modesty, decency, neatness and promotes a safe and respectful learning environment.

Students are expected to attend to personal grooming and cleanliness. Safety in dress should also be kept in mind. This means wearing a hat, putting on sun screen and covering up when outside. 

During the winter, students will be outside according to acceptable temperature norms and should dress appropriately (hats, mitts, boots).          

Students are expected to:

  • Dress appropriately for the school environment which includes function and safety. Clothing should be comfortable to allow students to focus on learning. Clothing that is ripped, worn too low, too short, too long, too large or too tight/loose is not permitted;
  • Wear appropriate attire that demonstrates modesty and respect for self and others;
  • Wear shorts, skirts and dresses that are appropriate in length. Shorts should have an inseam of at least 5 cm;
  • Wear tops, shirts and dresses that cover the shoulders, chest area and midriff, even when arms are raised overhead (no spaghetti straps, low cut tops, big arm jerseys and undergarments must be covered at all times);
  • Wear tops and shirts that do not have objectionable logos/messages/images;
  • Have a separate pair of non-marking running shoes for physical education class, which can be used as indoor shoes during class time. Flip flops should never be worn at school;
  • Refrain from wearing head covering such as baseball caps, kerchiefs, etc. inside the school.

All dress code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect. Students who dress inappropriately will be asked to change their clothing. Parents will be notified. Teachers will review this section of the agenda at the beginning of the school year with students so that this policy is clearly understood.

School Code of Conduct
Please click here to read the Code of Conduct.