School policies

Back to School Packet 2017-18

 BACK TO SCHOOL LETTER:

 

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to another exciting school year at Menorah Academy!  We hope your summer has been productive, restful, and rejuvenating, and we look forward to welcoming you and your children at school again next week, Tuesday morning, September 5!

  • Registration – Please ensure the office has received your registration forms for your children for the new school year, along with any required and updated fees or financial arrangements. Please contact the office or visit our website if you need to review the fees or registration packet. Students will be admitted to classes and served lunches only after all fees, documents, and arrangements are submitted. 
    • Tuition – Note that tuition is an annual commitment based on student registration for the school year. Payments may be submitted in a lump sum at a discounted rate, or on a monthly basis, but the monthly rate will not be adjusted for absences.
    • Lunch fees may be waived for a month if notice of the student’s absence is provided.

 

  • Daycare – Our afternoon daycare program will run once again this year for preschool children ages
    two to four. Please be sure you have registered for daycare and made payment arrangements with the office, as well as filled out our secondary registration forms specifically for daycare as required by Alberta ECS.  If you have not completed daycare registration forms or payment yet, please contact us immediately IN ADVANCE of the start of school to ensure their enrollmentNOTE: Register for daycare MON THROUGH THURS and save $250 (only $255/month)! Additionally, there will be daycare offered on long Fridays at the standard fee of $70/month.

 

  • Educational Resource Fee – A one-time $100 fee will be required without exception at registration for ALL families. This allows the school to purchase new resources such as iPads, books and toys to enhance our students learning experience. This amount should be submitted as a separate cheque.

 

  • Scholarships –A NEW APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED THIS YEAR FOR ANY SCHOLARSHIP. To be considered for tuition reductions, regardless of previous arrangements:

APPLY FOR 2017-18 SCHOLARSHIP by:

  • Completing the “Assistance Request” form on our website
  • Submitting your most recent tax filing and last 3 pay stubs for both spouses.
    Note that hot lunch costs are not included in any scholarships.  All scholarship applications and information are completely confidential, and are accessible only to the administration and scholarship committee.
  • Schedule an appointment with Rabbi Sass via Sylvia in the office at 780-451-1848 or office@menorahacademy.org to review the committee’s decision following submission.
  • Save $500 – Refer a New Family & impact a Jewish child’s life! Get $100 back when a new family you refer to Menorah Academy tours our school, and another $400 when they register!

 

  • Parent Communication
    • We want to hear from you! If you would like to meet with Rabbi Sass during school hours, please feel free to schedule an appointment any time.  Alternatively, leave a message with the office and we will call you back hopefully within 24 hours, usually after school.  If it is urgent, please let the office know.

 

  • Parent Council – Our parent council is actively looking for new members to volunteer and assist with school initiatives to benefit our students and our school. Please contact Shira Sheckter at shira123@telus.net.

 

  • Emails and Contact Information – Please make sure you and your spouse are receiving regular email communications from both administration and your child’s teachers.
    • Contact the office from 8-3:45 daily at 780-451-1848 or info@menorahacademy.org
    • Class group email lists are separate from parent-wide email lists, so it is important you notify the office if you are receiving some communications but not others. Please let the office know if you do not receive a class-wide office email AND a grade-specific email from each of your child’s teachers by our first day of school, Tuesday, September 5.   You can email Ms. Scheelar at info@menorahacademy.org
    • If your email or other contact information has recently changed, please be sure to confirm the office has it recorded. If you have absolutely no email option, be sure to notify the office so we can provide printed communications when possible.

 

  • After School Clubs– We will once again be offering after school clubs for interested families, from 4:00-5:00 pm, including an increased range of diverse activities. If you have any questions, ideas or would be willing to share a skill or expertise for a club, please contact Shira Sheckter at shira123@telus.net. 

 

  • Uniforms 

  • Cell Phones & Electronics – May not be brought to school at any time and are subject to confiscation.

 

  • Birthday Parties:
    • Students in grade 1 and up may not participate in birthday parties, although parents may leave something in the office from a preschool sibling’s party for older siblings to pick up at lunch or dismissal.
    • Parents who wish to celebrate a child’s birthday Kindergarten or below in school may arrange a time with the classroom teacher most convenient for the class schedule, and notify the office in advance.
      • “Loot” or “party” bags should not be distributed.
      • Please restrict party food to juice and individual cupcakes or cut donuts. Creative healthy alternatives are welcome! As always, food must be packaged with approved kosher symbols. 
    • Parents in ALL grades are strongly encouraged to donate a “birthday class gift” on the occasion of their child’s birthday, such as books, toys, class/gym equipment or games. We will be happy to provide you with a custom label if you contact Ms. Scheelar in advance.

 

 

  • Nutrition – Healthy Snacks:
    • In maintaining our strict health snack policy, all snacks sent to school should be healthy snacks only, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. Students will not be permitted to consume candy or high sugar content processed foods for snack in school. 
      • Items such as soda, puddings, chocolate bars, snack chips, or cookies should not be sent.
        • See the Healthy Snack List for more information.
      • Teachers will also be limiting donuts or other sweet baked goods or candies to once a year for an appropriate classroom celebration or rare school-wide special occasions.
      • Our daily lunch program will also offer fresh fruit or vegetables for students to enjoy during the meal beyond the standard main course portion.
      • More information on health & nutrition is available from Alberta Health at:

http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/nutrition.html

 

  • FOOD & ALLERGIES
    • Snack – Please send nut-free (i.e. no traces of nuts, including pistachios, peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, tree nuts, etc.) and healthy morning and afternoon snacks with your child each day.
      • Please send closable containers for any leftover food students keep in class.
      • Please have your child bring a reusable spill-proof plastic water bottle or cup daily
      • Any disposable cutlery/napkins needed for snack time must be sent from home
    • BreakfastPlease make sure to feed your child a healthy breakfast before coming to school each day. Research shows that children do better nutritionally, academically, and socially when they start their day with a proper breakfast and energy for the day. Boys over bar mitzvah will be allowed to eat personal food items following davening at school (see “Tefilah”).
    • Meat Days – Tuesdays & Thursdays are meat days. Please do not send dairy afternoon snacks with your child on these days.
    • Kosher Requirements – Please do not bring foods to school without an approved kosher symbol. Any food to be shared or for public consumption must be packaged. 

 

 

  • Late Notes
    • Please ensure students arrive at 8:05 in the gym or their respective preschool class before 8:15 daily. If extenuating circumstances prevent your child from arriving until after 8:25 a.m., the accompanying adult must escort the child to the office for a signed late note to be submitted to their 1st period teacher.  Three unexcused late notes will count toward a grade reduction for their first period class.

 

  • Illness: Please notify the school office of any fever, strep, or potentially serious or contagious illness.

 

  • Vacations, Absences, Lateness & Truancy – Please ensure that your child attends school on a regular and punctual basis. Lateness and excessive and/or inappropriate absences influence the tone of learning within our program and impact upon classroom instruction for all students. 
    • Planned medical or dental appointments should be made for non-school hours, such as Friday afternoons following early dismissal.
      • If an appointment or personal matter must take place during class time, sending an email to office@menorahacademy.org AND be sure to discuss with your child’s teachers at least one week in advance.
    • Vacation schedules should please be arranged when classes are not in session, or discussed in advance with Rabbi Sass for extenuating circumstances.
    • If your child is ill, please save our busy staff from additional burdens and notify the office first thing in the morning if they will be absent, so we can adjust accordingly. If it is desired that work be sent home with another child, the office should be called between 8:15 and 10:00 a.m. and we will attempt to make the necessary arrangements. 
    • Absences / Truancy – Any child missing by 10am without notification will be considered truant. Office staff will attempt to contact caregivers if possible. Alberta’s Compulsory Education Act requires private schools to report students who are regularly truant, and families may be subject to fines of up to $1000 by Alberta’s Attendance Board (School Act, 15, 2).
      • Research shows that truant students often experience isolation from peers at school, suffer from low self-esteem, or failure in school learning (National Center for School Engagement, 2007). Students who have attendance concerns in the early years of school are also more apt to drop out of school later (Jay Smink & Reimer, 2005).  For more information, see: http://education.alberta.ca/media/6656680/student-engagement-and-attendance.pdf

 

 

  • Calendar – Attached you will find our school calendar for this year. Please review the dates carefully, and plan your year accordingly.
    • Website / Google Calendar – Our website, menorahacademy.org, continues to display our updated Google Calendar, which will contain “live updates” to school-related events on a regular basis.
    • Important upcoming events: Our Welcome Back BBQ has been cancelled. Please reserve Wednesday evening, September 13, 6pm for Parent Orientation at school.

 

  • Photos & Social Media
    • As in the past, student activities and events will be included in school newsletters and our website for promotional material, as a means to share the great things happening at Menorah Academy. As a matter of school policy, no student will ever be identified by name or singled out in individual promotional photos without explicit prior parent authorization.

 

  • Note that our Twitter and Instagram channel are not intended for photos. It will be used for text updates for parents who opt in, for schedule or event reminders and changes, and the like.  Our Facebook site will be used for sharing information or pictures of flyers or school events, not individual students. If you further wish to exclude your child beyond this, feel free to fill out the attached form.

 

  • School Hours –
    • 8:15 start – STUDENTS MUST ARRIVE BEFORE 8:15 am, beginning with our first day of school, Tuesday, September 5th. Doors open at 8:05, with morning lineup in the gym for Grade 1 and up.  Preschool students may be dropped off directly to their classrooms upon arrival.  Please ensure a teacher is on hand and supervising your children before leaving them (in the gym or a preschool room).  

 

  • Parent Visitations – All parents are requested to come directly to the office upon arriving at school, unless escorting preschool children to/from class.
    • To avoid disrupting classes, parents are requested to leave their child’s classroom as quickly as possible after dropoff.
    • Please also avoid entering other classrooms or discussions with teachers during school hours.
      • If you have a particular need to see one of your children or a teacher during school hours, or to observe a class, it must be arranged and approved through the office first.

 

  • TEFILAH – Shacharis morning prayers will be held daily in our school beis medrash at 8:20 am promptly, with Mincha at 3:45 pm daily.
    • Boys over 13 years of age should please bring a light breakfast (e.g. non-sugar cereal or yogurt and thermos with milk) for after davening. A few minutes will be provided to eat before class begins.

 

 

  • DISMISSAL for grades K-12 & Daycare runs 4:00-4:10. Please arrive promptly at 4:00 to pick up your children for dismissal from grades K-12 or Daycare. Be sure a staff member on duty signs out your child before you leave.
    • To avoid schedule disruption, students will not be let out of the building until 4:00 unless an early pickup was scheduled in advance.

 

  • Office staff may not be available to answer phones from 3:45-4:10. Calls regarding dismissal should be made before 3:30.

 

  • Early pickup – Please avoid taking your child out of school during scheduled class times. If you must take your child out early on a school day, please be sure to provide the office with advance notice, to allow teachers time to prepare them with missed work and adjust as needed.  Please also be sure to sign your child out in the office before you leave!

 

  • Alternate pickup arrangements – If you wish to have another parent or adult pick up your child from school, we must have authorization from you in advance. Please email info@menorahacademy.org BEFORE 3:30 with any alternate pickup arrangements.

 

  • Your Role and Voicing Concerns– As parents, you are the ambassadors for our school. Every person you speak to, including each other, is influenced by your attitude and feelings about our school.  If you ever have any concerns, from school programs and policies, to teachers and your own child, please be sure to speak to the parties directly involved to find out the facts and address issues in a positive and productive manner. 
    • PROCESS: The first step with any classroom concern is always to speak with the teacher first directly, and only then the administration. Always confirm facts first directly.  We sincerely do want to hear and address your concerns as best as possible.  Please always remember to be courteous to facilitate positive communication and productive results.

 

  • Keep in mind that administration, teachers, and staff have the best intentions, but we can all make mistakes. We also value positive feedback and encouragement too! Keep in touch so we can work together to make our school the best environment possible.  Remember, you play an important role in the success of our school!

 

  • Our Partnership – As partners in our children’s education, we can achieve our mutual vision for Menorah Academy, as a school which truly impacts the children of our community. We continue to strive for outstanding Torah, middot tovot, and academic learning, to make a meaningful difference for our entire Edmonton community.  We look forward to continuing to partner with you in preparing and inspiring our children for life.

 

Sincerely,

Rabbi Dovid Sass

Head of School