Elementary School Policies
- Religious Education
- Elementary School Resources
- Elementary School Extracurricular Activities
- An Elementary School Parent's Role
- Elementary School Regulations Related to the Code of Conduct
Vancouver College is a Catholic School. All students are expected to fully participate in all aspects of our
Religion Program. The Catholic tradition forms the basis for the life and work of the school. The Religious Studies program is at the core of the curriculum and life of the school. Through the explicit curriculum of the Religion courses and the retreats and liturgies, which are part of the daily life of the school, the students are exposed to the rich traditions of the Catholic Church to assist them in their growth as children of God.
A student is expected to pass Religion at each grade level in order to continue into each subsequent grade and to graduate from Vancouver College and participate in the Graduation Ceremonies. The Religious Education program is one facet of the Christian education process. Creating a Christian community is the task of faculty, students, and parents alike; all are encouraged to enter fully into the spiritual life of our school. A respectful presence is expected from all students at liturgical celebrations. “Christ Our Life Series” (School Sisters of Notre Dame) is a sound program; a series that proclaims God’s goodness, centers on Christ, includes the entire Christian message, follows Church documents, flows from Scripture, relates life experiences to the Good News, recognizes modern developmental theories, ministers to the family, involves the parish community, and stresses topics of concern for today’s Church.
Throughout the year the Elementary School journeys with the whole Church by celebrating a monthly Mass and each liturgical season. There are other liturgical services that celebrate other changes and events that take place in the lives of our students. The Elementary Religion program is designed to build on the faith developed in the student’s home. The student text has a number of pages for parents to help them guide the student through a review of what has been examined in each unit. Other family-oriented activities are suggested at the completion of each theme to help the student grow in faith in the context of the family. God’s invitation in Baptism is examined at each grade level.
Students are called upon regularly to make offerings out of their own pockets to the Missions. The funds raised are sent to help support our mission schools in Antigua and Dominica. Students are informed periodically of the improvements made due to their efforts.
Students are encouraged to develop and contribute to a prayerful atmosphere in the school, especially in their homerooms. Daily prayers have a special relevance for both students and teachers, giving meaning to all their activities. In general, every class should begin with prayer.
First Communion is a very important sacrament in the lives of our elementary students. In Grade 2, the students are prepared by parents and teachers for the reception of this sacrament. Since Vancouver College is not a parish school, the students receive this sacrament in their own parishes. Parents must register their children at their parish in early September of their Grade 2 year.
For most people, formal education in an academic environment ends in early adulthood, but learning continues throughout life, and the staff of Vancouver College approach their responsibilities with this in mind. In all areas of study, the attempt is made to teach students to teach themselves.
Students are encouraged to probe, to investigate, and to develop the ability to learn on their own whenever possible.
- Communicating Student Learning
- French Program
- Homework Requirements
- Honour Roll
- Instructional Hours
- Kindergarten Classes
- Music Program
- Physical Education
- Self Assessment of the Core Competencies
- Student Awards
- Student Evaluation
The Elementary French program is based on the communicative method of language acquisition, with small differences between the primary and intermediate grades.
At the primary level, the principal aim is to develop the student’s comprehension of French, because the listening and understanding stages are indispensable in second language learning. This communication-based program associates the learning of a second language with pleasant experiences in order to foster a positive attitude towards French.
At the intermediate level, more advanced skills are included. In addition to comprehension, reading, writing, and student-initiated conversation is all part of the program. The students set their goals at the start of each unit.
Homework is considered an integral part of the educational program. It may take the form of private study or written assignments.
- Kindergarten: At the teacher’s discretion
- Grade 1: Home Reading Program and Spelling Review
- Grade 2: 20-30 minutes (4-5 nights/week)
- Grade 3: 30-45 minutes (4-5 nights/week)
- Grade 4: 30-45 minutes (5 nights/week)
- Grade 5: 60 minutes (5 nights/week)
- Grade 6: 60 minutes (5 nights/week)
Students in Grades 5 and 6 have the ability to achieve Honour Roll status if they meet the following criteria:
Honour Roll -The student achieves 79.5% average or above in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Religion.
Effort Award - The student has not met Honour Roll criteria, however, has shown significant effort in all academic areas.
Classes in the Elementary School are in session from 8:30 AM to 2:40 PM.
Students are permitted to be dropped off by car in the designated drop off zones, no earlier than 8:15 AM. Students who arrive on campus before, must be supervised by the parents in the Vancouver College Courtyard.
In order to ensure the safety of the students it is essential that parents pick up their sons at the designated times, from the Vancouver College Courtyard.
If your son is consistently left unattended on the school property, his re-registration will be withheld for the following year unless we are certain that arrangements have been made for proper pick up, day care, or supervision.
School will begin at 9:30 AM on Wednesdays, with students able to enter their classroom at 9:15 AM.
Elementary School students are involved in an active music program, which includes both instrumental and choral components. Students participate musically at school assemblies, Masses, and concerts.
Music in Grades K-2 includes songs, games, movement, and the playing of rhythm and keyboard instruments. Students explore basic musical concepts including beat, rhythm, pitch, form, and tempo.
Music in Grades 3-6 further develops musical skills and appreciation with the introduction of recorder playing, part-singing experiences, and continued development on the keyboard, guitar, and rhythm instruments. Related music theory and history are incorporated into the lessons.
All Elementary classes participate in the Physical Education program. Classes are predominantly held in the Lannon Hall gymnasium but may take place on the field, playground, Alumni Gym, Christian Brothers’ Gym, or wrestling room. Students wear the school PE strip, consisting of an “Irish” or school-approved event T-shirt, or Spirit-Wear, and school-approved black shorts. Running shoes must be worn in any of the school gymnasiums.
Core Competencies are foundational to our new British Columbia curriculum, ensuring students are always mindful of their growth in their communication, thinking and personal/social responsibility. Self-reflection is an important component of learning and gives students ownership and responsibility that becomes a natural part of the educational process. With teacher support each student from K-9 at Vancouver College will take part in a self-assessment report that intentionally identifies, connects and reflects upon the Core Competencies and the learning process demonstrated throughout the year. The self-assessment piece and demonstration of student learning may be reported to parents/guardians in many forms from a recorded interview accessible via a hyperlink to a summary document that highlights the year’s growth. Most important is the opportunity to empower students to reflect upon their own growth as it relates to the Core Competencies and actively engage them in the learning process. For more information of the redesigned British Columbia curriculum and the Core Competencies please go to https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/.
Governor General Award - A literature award presented to the students in Grades 4 to 6 who score the highest in poetry, children’s narrative, and short story.
Mitchell Ho Memorial Award - Given annually to a Vancouver College Elementary student who meets the following criteria:
- care and concern for others,
- qualities of honesty, respect, and compassion;
- courage, commitment, and perseverance to overcome adversity;
- Christian leadership and demonstration of Faith;
- participation in extracurricular activities, primarily in school sports;
- academic achievement; and
- fellowship with students and staff.
Nancy Herb Growth Mindset Award - Given annually to the student(s) who demonstrate growth mindset and resiliency.
Norah Sendall Award -This award is presented annually to a Grade 6 student who best exemplifies the Christian ideals of Vancouver College, who has high academic standing and who demonstrates strong school spirit. It is named after Norah Sendall, who served as the Elementary Librarian for over 25 years. This award was developed in honour of her outstanding service and commitment to the school.
Sharon Kavelac Award - Presented annually to an Elementary Student who best exemplifies the love of literature.
Year-End Class Awards -Students will take part in a year-end award ceremony in their classes, where each student will be presented with a certificate which will recognize every individual for academic accomplishments, talents, or service to the school.
The marking system is based on results obtained from quizzes, assignments, projects, tests, discussion, participation, and self- reflection. Both oral and written work is considered in the formative and summative evaluation. Teacher comments round off the evaluation and offer constructive advice and an elaboration of the student’s progress. It is an expectation that the teacher return tests, assignments, and projects within one week of the due date.
Technology continues to play an increasingly important role in modern society. Integrating technology into the school helps students succeed in a rapidly changing world.
It is expected that students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 will have use of iPads for learning across the curriculum through communicating, inquiring, decision-making, and problem solving in core subject areas. Chromebooks will also be utilized in the intermediate grades.
Learning Resources and Approval
Vancouver College follows British Columbia’s Ministry of Education Prescribed Curriculum and uses appropriate learning resources (texts, videos, software, and instructional materials) that align to this prescribed curriculum. Learning resources used in the classroom are evaluated and approved by Vancouver College with consideration given to curriculum fit, pedagogy, social considerations, age, developmental appropriateness, conformance with Church teaching and Vancouver College’s mission and purpose. Learning resources are selected by faculty members in consultation and with the approval of the appropriate Academic Department Chair and by the school’s Administration (Assistant Principals and/or Principal). There is an expectation of all teaching staff that any supplemental materials introduced for use in the classroom support the above criteria. This includes online resources. Teachers have the unique responsibility to ensure such materials serve and reinforce these objectives. It is critical that learning resources be periodically reviewed to ensure continued relevancy to the curriculum being taught.
Questions or Concerns to Approved Learning Resources
Parents wishing to challenge or raise a concern regarding the use of recommended learning resources must follow the school’s academic conflict resolution procedures (Please see Conflict Resolution Procedures in the Student and Parent Handbooks). Should the issue not be satisfactorily resolved, the school’s Appeal Procedures are to be followed.
The Learning Centre
A Part-Time Learning Resource Teacher is available for Grades K-3 and Grades 4-6. Students who, in the opinion of their teacher(s), appear to be having some minor or more serious difficulties in schoolwork are selected for support on the basis of performance on tests and in consultation with the Learning Assistance teacher. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Informal Learning Plan may be set up in accordance with the student’s needs.
The Elementary Library serves Grades K-6 and offers a large collection of books, periodicals and audio-visual materials suitable to primary/elementary levels. A part-time teacher-librarian conducts scheduled classes for primary and intermediate students to stimulate an interest in reading as well as enhance their basic library and research skills.
Co-operative teaching promotes and connects the library to the classrooms so that it becomes a focal point for all learning. The annual Library Book Fair takes place during the fall.
There is a varied sports program, which includes volleyball, basketball, track and field, cross country, wrestling, and flag football. Initial skills are taught at Grades 4, 5, and 6, with emphasis on personal improvement and enjoyment of the sport. Our teams compete in the Catholic Youth Association League under the guidance of their coaches. It is our belief that all aspects of school life are intertwined directly or indirectly as we strive to educate the whole child. Each student will be required to meet the standards expected of all students in the Elementary School. If at any time, in the opinion of the teachers, coaches, or principal, any student violates these standards, then his extracurricular privileges may be temporarily or permanently withdrawn.
Throughout the year, families are asked to participate in donation days in preparation for the annual Mayfair.
Projects and Work Displays
When a student does work that is “outstanding” in terms of his own ability, his work may be displayed on the Excellence Board. The classrooms of the Elementary School are our regular place for displaying good work. Parents are encouraged to view these works before or after school hours.
The annual Walkathon, usually held in October, is the major fundraising effort of students and staff of the whole school. All students are expected to participate.
By enrolling their sons in Vancouver College, parents accept the school philosophy with further Elementary School specifics below.
Some of our students have severe allergies to nuts and in order to provide a safer school environment for them, we ask that no nut products be sent to school at any time. (No peanut butter sandwiches, no granola bars containing nuts, no cookies with nuts, etc.)
It is the policy of the Elementary School that no medications will be administered by the staff. If a student must personally take a prescription medication while at school, then he is to bring a note from the parents stating that he is permitted to administer the medication to himself. It is vital that any medical concerns be reported to the classroom teachers and to the Administration.
Large sums of money are not to be brought to school. A student may bring enough money to pay for lunch and bus fare; however, anything above this amount is considered excessive.
Students are not to bring personal items, trading cards, toys, electronics, or any other items to school that do not directly have to do with their instructional program. These items detract from the instructional day, take away from the sense of community, and are targets of theft.
Student invitations to private parties such as birthdays or other celebrations are not to be distributed in the school. Parents are asked to distribute the invitations through the mail or by some other method. Parents are welcome to send a small treat to school to celebrate their son’s birthday. Parents are asked not to send individual treat bags to school on birthdays or holiday celebrations, as the candy distributed to students should be minimal.
Although today’s society is more tolerant of pets in public areas, Vancouver College upholds the following policy: All pets brought to Vancouver College campus must be on a leash at all times.
Student Drop Off and Pick Up
Elementary School Students may be dropped off in designated zones by their parents no earlier than 8:15 AM. All Elementary School Students who arrive prior to 8:15 AM must wait, and be supervised by their parents, in the School Courtyard.
All students in the Elementary School, from Kindergarten to Grade 6, will be dismissed directly from their classrooms. All parents are required to pick their son(s) up from the Courtyard at 2:45 PM. We understand that this does mean that parents must park and walk to the campus, and suggest parking along West 37th Avenue.
We ask that parents respect our neighbours, keep driveways clear, and follow our traffic guidelines found online.
At the end of the school day, parents are required to arrange for their son(s) to be picked-up unless they are enrolled in after school care or under direct supervision by a staff member in a co-curricular activity.
Absence without an excuse for any part of the school day is a serious breach of school discipline, as is frequent lateness. If a student is absent or late with reason, it is the parents’ responsibility to e-mail the office by 9:00 AM.
Please note, if you do call the school to report a late or absence, an emailed note must still be sent as per government requirements. Please include your son’s full name, grade, and date of absence in the note.
If your son arrives late, he must report to the Main Office to check in.
If your son is leaving campus for an appointment, a note is also required, and he must check out, and then back in upon his return at the Main Office.
The office will notify families whose child is late or absent but who have not yet informed the school. Medical and dental appointments should be made after school hours if at all possible. Absence from school for such reasons as family holidays is discouraged, and requires prior notification of the administrator. Attendance records appear on each report card.
The purpose of a Dress Code is to encourage students to be neat and clean at all times, to foster them in a sense of community and to create an atmosphere of gentlemanly behaviour and serious study.
The official supplier of Vancouver College clothing is Top Ten School Wear Inc., 1638 SE Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC. Telephone: 604-322-1626.
The Vancouver College Dress Code is as follows:
- White long sleeved dress shirts
- School tie (purple/black)
- Regular black dress shoes (with leather uppers, cut beneath the ankle)
- Socks extending beyond the ankle (dark dress socks recommended),
- Dress quality, black or brown belt.
- Grades 7 to 11 – Grey Dress Pants;
- Grade 12 – Creased suit quality Dress Pants (Grey or Black)
- Slacks are available from Top Ten but may also be purchased elsewhere provided their quality is as specified above.
- School-Issued Sweater
- K-Grade 6 - purple Elementary School Sweater.
- Grade 7-12 - one of the following:
- Black, monogrammed Vancouver College sleeveless vest
- Black, monogrammed Vancouver College V-neck sweater
- Traditional purple Letterman sweater
- Traditional navy blue Edmundian sweater
- Traditional beige Student Council sweater
- Approved Grade 12 Graduation sweater
- Grey Crew-Neck Irish Sweatshirt Sold by Top Ten
Optional Summer Uniform for Grades 7-12:
- From the day after Mother’s Day Mass (mid-May) to the day after Thanksgiving (mid- October), students have the option to wear the summer uniform also available at Top Ten. This includes:
- VC golf shirt
- VC shorts or dress pants (per above)
- Regular socks
- Black dress shoes or sandals
- Hair should be clean, well groomed, of moderate length no longer than the top of the shirt collar, and not radically styled or coloured.
- Modest jewelery, no piercing, no earrings and no tattoos.
- Dress Code will be effective everywhere on campus, throughout the school day. Removal of Dress Code during or at the end of the school day is permitted only if the student is engaged in supervised school sponsored sports.
- All clothing and shoes should be clearly labelled with your child’s name.
- Parents are asked to ensure uniforms are clean, neat, and in good condition - holes in pants and tattered sweaters will not be permitted.
- On specific occasions the Dress Code may be relaxed for suitable reasons, to be announced by the Administration.
Violations of Dress Code and Grooming Policy
The success of the Dress Code depends upon the cooperation of the entire Vancouver College community - students, parents, staff, and Administration.
- If a student appears in class or in the hallways and common areas out of Dress Code, teachers will make every effort to ensure the student is compliant with the Code (i.e. remove outer garments, tuck in shirt, draw tie to the neck, etc.) If a student remains non-compliant (i.e. no tie, running shoes) he should be referred immediately to an Administrator. A student may not be in class out of Dress Code without a note from an Administrator.
- If there are repeated breaches of the Dress Code Policy, consequences will become more serious consistent with our practice of Progressive Discipline. Consequences include contact with parents, counseling, suspension, withholding of re-registration, or expulsion.
Out of Bounds
The following areas are out of bounds to the students unless for a school or class function and are supervised by a teacher:
- Faculty/Staff lounge
- All office areas
- Photocopier room
- The Lannon Hall Gymnasium, Blessed Edmund Rice Hall, Alumni Gymnasium, and the Christian Brothers’ Gymnasium
Use of any school facilities outside school hours requires the prior permission of the Administration.
The gyms may be used by the students only with supervision.
Textbooks (non-consumables) are the property of the school, and are to be returned to the school in good condition at the end of the school year. The student shall reimburse the school for any textbooks which are lost or destroyed.
All visitors to the school campus, including parents, are to first register with the Main Office to obtain a
“Visitor’s Pass” which should be worn at all times while visiting the school. Students of Vancouver College are responsible for ensuring that their friends follow this procedure.