Memo: To Parents

                        From: Hanhalas Hayeshiva

 

                        Dear Parents,

The Yeshiva Gedola Merkaz Hatorah Tiferes Mordechai of Montreal strives to provide a thorough and well-balanced curriculum in both Torah and general studies. However a Yeshiva is more than a mere institution. Within its walls our children are taught a “Derech Hachaim” - a way of life.

As partners in Torah’s parental obligation “ V’sheenan - tam L’vonecha” -  the Yeshiva serves as an extension of the home, and must therefore reflect the religious observance, moral norm, and ethical standards of a Torah household.

Standards of kashrus, modesty, in behavior and dress, and values to be encouraged or rejected must be in accordance with halacha, as interpreted by our Gedolei Yisroel.

Our goals are one and the same: To produce fine, upstanding children possessing great character and scholastic achievement. By establishing a close relationship, parent and school can work together to achieve our goals.

The purpose of this parent handbook is to provide and guide our parents with the expectations we have of our students. It is our fervent wish that through our combined efforts we will reap the harvest of pride and nachas from our children.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

            Arrival Time

            Attendance

            Breakfast

            Bus/Carpool

            Calendar

            Class parties

            Communication Parent/School

            Communication Parent/Child

            Conduct

            Daily Schedule

            Dismissal

            Dress Code

            Health Care

            Homework

            Lunch

            Messages

            Money

            Peanut/Nut free policy

            School Cancellation

            Speech Screening/JFS Services

            Television

            Trips

            Approved Items

            Visiting School

ARRIVAL TIME

 

            Students should arrive no sooner than fifteen minutes before class begins. The Yeshiva assumes no responsibility for children who are brought to school before this time. Classes will begin at 8:00 for grades four through six, and 8:30 for grades kindergarten through three. Children from grades K-3 should enter the middle entrance and wait in the lobby until 8:20 to be escorted to the gym.

 

ATTENDANCE

 

            All absences must be explained by a note from home. Without this note a student will not be admitted to class. Children returning from a prolonged absence should bring a doctor’s note.

           

            The office should be notified prior to taking a child out of school for any reason. If your child will be absent for any length of time, please notify the office so that homework assignments may be sent home.

 

            Advanced notice for a planned absence must be given to the school office. The office will then inform the rebbe/teacher to provide the student with advance assignment to be completed and handed  in upon his return. Failure to obtain advance assignments, or failure to promptly return them will affect your child’s grade, and could result in an incomplete grade. All required work must be made up.

 

            Family trips should be taken during designated vacation days.

           

            The school seeks parents’ cooperation in impressing on the children the importance of being on time at school. Lateness will be noted on the report cards and detention assigned if tardiness is frequent or unexplained. A note will be required giving a valid reason for any lateness. Sunday lateness is unacceptable.

 

            If lateness becomes persistent, that child will not be permitted to enter class. REMEMBER ... PUNCTUALITY IS AN AREA THAT NECESSITATES FULLEST PARENTAL COOPERATION.  

BREAKFAST

 

            We strongly urge parents to provide their children with a nutritious breakfast.

 

BUS/CARPOOL

 

            An adult must await any child from pre-school or kindergarten at the door or at the classroom. If the bus driver sees that no one is around to greet the child, the child will be put back onto the bus and brought back to school. Parents who carpool should please make an effort to bring children to school and pick them up on time. The MUC police have requested that parents please refrain from honking their horns as it disturbs everyone.

 

CALENDAR

 

            The school calendar should be retained and be referred to for all monthly activities. You will be notified of any changes in the schedules through the school newspaper or memo.

 

CLASS PARTIES

 

            Parties in grades pre-Nursery to first grade may be arranged after consulting with the rebbe/teacher, either by written note or through the office. Please limit parties to your child’s class only. Homemade baked goods are not allowed and of course only cholov yisroel items are permitted. Please refrain from bringing loot bags and other presents.

 

COMMUNICATION PARENT/SCHOOL

 

            Student report cards will be sent home three times per year by the hebrew department and five times per year by the secular department. Updates on progress in a particular area will be issued between reports when necessary. Two parent/teacher conferences are scheduled each year.

            Keep in touch with your child’s rebbe/teacher. Contact the rebbe/teacher immediately  when you see a problem developing. Discussing it with other parents will not improve the situation.

            Parents should not telephone rebbeim/teachers at home. If you need to speak to your child’s rebbe/teacher, please call the school office and leave a message for your child’s rebbe/teacher to return your call.

            For special needs or problems that may arise, parents should communicate with the yeshiva as follows:

            * Any problem should be discussed with the rebbe/teacher first.

            * If any further communication is needed, parents should contact the principal.

 

            Understand the need of a close relationship between the school and home. WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM-THE ONE THAT WANTS THE BEST FOR YOUR CHILD!

 

COMMUNICATION PARENT/CHILD

 

            ENCOURAGEMENT: Encourage your child to show an interest in what he is doing in school. Let him know that you care and appreciate his work.

 

            RECOGNIZE: Help him recognize his strengths and weaknesses in a realistic way. Recognize your child’s efforts.

 

            AWARENESS: Be aware of your child’s problems and find ways to help him.

 

            PATIENCE: Be patient. Success at school is the result of much work and effort on your child’s part.

 

            Try to avoid      * nagging

                                    * Expecting a child to achieve as well as you did.

                                    * Comparing one child to another

                                    *Making a child feel you think that you reject or think less of him                                               or love him less if his grades are not up to expectations.

                                    * Letting a child feel that his efforts must always win a material                                       reward.

 

            It is better to reward than to punish. Give praise for success and give help to overcome failure. Accentuate the positive without losing sight of the negative.

CONDUCT

 

            Each student has the right to learn and each rebbe has the right to teach without being disturbed by any physical or verbal disruptive behavior.

 

            Students will be expected to.

            * Raise their hands and be recognized before speaking.

            * Remain seated except when given permission to leave their seats.

            * Have respect for school property - This includes proper use of chairs, desks, tables, paper, pencils, crayons, and all school books and supplies.

            * Be responsible for keeping their rooms clean and neat, e.g. use wastebaskets, recycle paper.

            * Respond promptly without argument to a request or instructions from a rebbe/teacher or other adult in charge.

            * Maintain acceptable posture at all times.

            * Respect the property of others

            * Keep hands and feet to themselves

            * Drinks and snacks should be handled only at recess. There will be no eating or drinking in the classroom during instruction time.

            * Assume the responsibility for their own behavior with a goal towards self-discipline.

            * Use common words of courtesy when speaking, such as “please”, “thank you”, “excuse me”, “I’m sorry”, etc.

 

DAILY SCHEDULE

            Sunday:

Grades K-2 = 8:30a.m. - 1:00p.m.

            Grade 3 = 8:30a.m. - 1:30p.m.

            Grades 4-6 = 8:00a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

            * Please note That during the months before Succos and after Pesach Mincha will be mandatory, at 1:30p.m. and dismissal for grades 3-6 will be a t 1:45p.m.

            Monday - Thursday:

            Grade K = 8:30a.m. - 3:00p.m.

            Grades 1-3 = 8:30a.m. - 4:30p.m.

            Grades 4-6 = 8:00a.m. 5:20p.m.

            * Once a week grades 1-3 have gym from 4:30p.m. - 5:10p.m. and grades 4-6 have gym from 5:20p.m. - 6:00p.m. A gym schedule will be sent home with your son during the first week of school.

            Friday

            All students are dismissed at 2:00p.m. the weeks between Succos and Pesach, and at 4:30p.m. on all other Fridays. (Kindergarten students are dismissed at 3:00p.m. on these Fridays.)

            You will be notified of any schedule changes through a school memo.

DISMISSAL

 

            Students who ride in carpools on Sundays must be picked up by their parents at dismissal time. We strongly urge all parents to be punctual in picking up their children at the end of school, as their is no supervision after school hours. Parents of pre-school and kindergarten children who are not picked up on time will be charged for baby-sitting services, at $10 per half hour. Students are not to be on school grounds or in classrooms without official permission. The Yeshiva assumes no responsibility after fifteen minutes of dismissal time.

 

DRESS CODE

 

            The Yeshiva is a Mikdash Me’at and should be treated with reverence due a makom kodosh. Proper dress plays a very important role in maintaining an atmosphere of dignity in Yeshiva. The dress code must be adhered to at all times. We reserve the right to inform a boy’s parents if his attire is deemed unacceptable.

            Acceptable Attire:

            Trousers: Semi-dress pants. This excludes jogging pants, jeans or sports uniforms.

Shirts: Plain shirts, T-shirts, knit or cotton shirts, solid colour sweatshirts or sweaters. All shirts must be warn tucked into trousers at all times. ( No writing or pictures except the Yeshiva logo.)

            Shoes: Leather shoes or sneakers. However trousers must cover the tops of sneakers.

            Yarmulkas: Every student must wear a full size cloth yarmulka. The size should be such that the yarmulka should adhere to the head.

            * children who arrive in clothing that does not conform to the dress code will be sent home to change and will not be allowed into class until they have done so.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

            All medical forms must be completed and returned. Each student is required to be in compliance with provincial immunization regulations. The school should be notified if your child has been exposed to or is ill with any contagious disease. We ask for your complete cooperation in keeping your child at home in the instance of inflamed throat or eye, rash or fever in the past 24Hrs.

Lice or nits: Head lice is a nuisance which must be caught immediately so that epidemic conditions do not occur. Please take the following precautions:

                        * Check your children regularly for head lice.

                        * If you find any head lice, shampoo your child’s head with RID shampoo (or any other specialized shampoo) and comb out nits completely.

                        * Check other people in the house to be certain that they are free of lice.

                        * Children who come to school with head lice will be isolated until a parent picks them up.

 

            Minor injuries such as cuts and bruises will be handled by the office. However the office is not authorized to hand out medication of any type. In the event of an emergency, parents will be called. It is vital that parents supply the school with a telephone number where they can be reached.

            If your child has special health needs please notify the office at the beginning of the year.

            We have a very strict policy with regard to pink-eye and impetigo. These are highly contagious conditions that require simple treatment. Any student who has or is suspected of having these conditions will be sent home and not be allowed to return until a doctor’s note is presented.

 

HOMEWORK

 

            Our homework policy is set by the principal and the faculty in accordance with the specific needs of the class. Late or missing homework will affect a student’s grade.

            A students who misses a homework assignment will be given the opportunity to complete it by the next day. Parents will be notified on the second occurrence if homework is late or not turned in at all. The third time will result in detention.

Students who are absent must obtain assignment from classmates, rebbe or teacher. They will be excused from only  one day’s lack of work following their return to school.

The following are guidelines for your involvement with your child’s homework.:

* Take a sincere interest in your child’s homework. Emphasize that doing homework with care and neatness is important.

* Help in a positive, caring manner.

* HELP with homework; do not do it yourself.

* When your child objects your help and becomes upset, the time has come to stop.

* Do not berate the school in front of your child for giving too much homework. If your child has too much work, speak to the rebbe/teacher or administration about it.

* Look for things to praise: A neatly written paper, an improvement in spelling, an hour of quiet concentration. Give praise when an assignment is completed.

* If your child comes home regularly with the report “I don’t have any homework”, or “I did it all in school” check with his rebbe/teacher.

* If the work consistently seems too difficult, discuss it with the rebbe/teacher.

 

LUNCH

 

            All snacks, food items, etc. brought to school must have a hechsher or else they are not acceptable. Students are responsible for bringing their own snacks and lunch, the office can not lend money to students.

            Lunch cards for school lunches are available through the office. The cost is $7:50 for a lunch card and $2:50 for a milk card.

            Please send Fleishig (meat) lunches on Mondays and Thursdays ONLY. Please do not send glass and bottled drinks. Gum is not permitted in school.

            Kindergarten students must bring lunches from home.

            PLEASE REMEMBER THE YESHIVA IS A PEANUT/NUT FREE INSTITUTION.

 

MESSAGES

            Our staff has been instructed not to accept messages for students during school time unless it is an emergency. The student, likewise will not be permitted to use the school phone. All after-school arrangements (including car pool arrangements) must be made before the start of the school day. Please do not arrange to have your son call you.

 

MONEY

 

            Please do not send money to school with your child, unless it is for a specific reason. Kindergarten children especially are not responsible with money, and often lose it or give it away.

 

PEANUT/NUT FREE POLICY

 

            The Yeshiva is a peanut/nut free school. We have several children in our school who are SEVERELY allergic to peanuts/nuts. (Even the smell of nuts can trigger a severe allergic reaction.) Therefore we ask that any and all food items brought to school be peanut/nut free. (e.g. peanut butter, chocolate bars with nuts, Nature Valley granola bars, etc.,) Any boy who mistakenly brings an item containing nuts will be asked to give or turn it into the office in exchange for another item. Please keep this policy in mind when choosing birthday cakes etc.

 

SCHOOL CANCELATION

 

            If there is unusually inclement weather necessitating in the closing of the Yeshiva, announcements will be made on CJAD 800 AM radio. Parents can call the school after 7:30 , but are requested not to call administration personnel. If no announcement is made on the radio, school is open. If, for any reason school must be canceled during the day, parents will be notified by telephone.

 

SPEECH SCREENING / JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES

 

            Screening for potential speech problems is done soon after the beginning of the school year. This screening is conducted by a licensed speech therapist and is sponsored by the Baron de Hirsch foundation. Parents of children with speech problems will be notified. There is no charge for this screening service. It is part of our package of school services provided by Jewish Family Services, which also includes a social worker twice weekly.

 

TELEVISION

 

            Yes, there is life without television! Studies have consistently shown the detrimental effects of even non-violent shows on the minds of children. Children who watch television lose valuable time that could be better used to develop or create their own thought processes and interpersonal relationships. Television watching creates a shorter attention span. We urge parents to provide our children with activities other than television. Such viewing is detrimental to children’s growth.

 

TRIPS

 

            Before any projected trip, a notice will be sent home with the student to be signed and returned the next day. Without parents’ written consent, children will not be permitted to participate.