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HWDSB Building

School Information

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At Balaclava, our school motto is “When we look after ourselves and we look after one another, we all succeed”.

We strive to promote responsibility, respect, citizenship and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment.

Attendance and Punctuality

Good attendance is essential for success at school. Lateness and absenteeism have an adverse effect on student achievement. Students are expected to attend on time and on a regular basis.

Parents, guardians & caregivers have the primary responsibility for the safety of their children. Please call the Balaclava Safe Arrival Line at (905) 659-3398 to report all student absences on a daily basis.  An answering machine is always on, so please call anytime and leave a message with the student’s name, class, and reason for absence.

If an absence is unexplained, you will be contacted at home or work.  Please ensure that all telephone numbers, emergency and family contact numbers are updated and correct.  If your family is planning a holiday during the school year, please contact the office for information about required forms and proper procedures.

Once the morning bell has rung, students arriving late must enter by buzzing in at the front doors of the school, check in at the office and obtain a late slip.  All school doors are locked during the school day.

Students are to take the responsibility of speaking with their teacher(s) to determine any missed work that needs to be completed.

Early Dismissal Note:

When a student needs to leave early (e.g., for an appointment) a note written and signed, by the parent/guardian in the Student’s Agenda, is required. Prior to leaving, the student must report to the office.  Adults picking their child up are to report to the office. If someone other than a parent/guardian is picking up a student, the parent/guardian must contact the school to indicate who will be picking up the student.  They may be asked to show ID.  All absences and excused early should be reported using School Messenger which is found on the parent portal.

HWDSB Code of Conduct

The HWDSB is committed to making each and every one of its schools a caring place that is safe for learning.  The Code of Conduct establishes standards of behaviour that are consistent with the Provincial Code of Conduct and applies to all members of the school community. The Code of Conduct promotes respect within the learning and teaching environment, and sets clear Board and school standards of behaviour. HWDSB believes that all individuals attending on Board or school property, on school buses, or at school-related events or activities, should be treated with dignity and respect. The Code of Conduct promotes a positive school climate which is a contributing factor to a safe and orderly environment. It also supports HWDSB’s commitment to Character Education.

School Climate

School climate may be defined as the sum total of all of the personal relationships within a school. These relationships must be founded in mutual acceptance, inclusion, respect, responsibility, and civility, and must be modeled by all. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. For further information, please refer to www.edu.gov.on.ca/safeschl/eng/ssa.html.

Roles and Responsibilities

Principals – will hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful/responsible behaviour and will take a daily leadership role in the school by:

– Demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence in a safe teaching and learning environment

– Holding everyone, under their authority, accountable for their behaviour and actions

– Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community

– Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community

– Modeling respect, responsibility, and civility and ensuring these are taught as part of the curriculum

– Maintaining consistent standards of behaviour for all students

– Modeling the character attributes of HWDSB

Teachers & Staff – will hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful/responsible behaviour by:

– Helping students work to their full potential and self-worth

– Empowering students to be leaders in class, school and community

– Communicating regularly and meaningfully with parents

– Maintaining consistent standards of behaviour for all students

– Demonstrating respect for all members of the school community

– Promoting positive citizenship

– Modeling the character attributes of HWDSB

Students – demonstrate respect and responsibility when they:

– Come to school prepared, on time, and ready to learn

– Show respect for themselves, others and those in authority

– Refrain from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of self or others

– Demonstrate responsibility for actions or behaviour on or off school property or outside of the school day that would have an impact on the school climate

– Follow the established rules and take responsibility for their own actions

– Model the character attributes of HWDSB

– Demonstrate appropriate participation in the civic life of the community

Parents & Guardians – support a safe and respectful learning environment when they:

– Show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress

– Communicate regularly with school Administrators

– Help their child be neat, appropriately dressed and prepared for school

– Ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time

– Promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival

– Become familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules

– Encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour

– Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child(ren)


Physical Education – clothing must be appropriate for participating safely in physical education classes. Running shoes are to be worn.  Shorts or sweat pants and t-shirts are examples of appropriate clothing. For safety reasons, students may be asked to remove jewelry.

Footwear – suitable footwear should be worn at all times. A second pair of shoes to be worn inside the school, especially during the winter and inclement weather may be left at school.

Accessories – hats and sunglasses are not to be worn in the building.  Jackets and outerwear are to be left on your coat hook or in your locker.


If as a parent you allow your child to bring a device to school, please remember that Balaclava School assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen property (including personal electronic devices) or the content of devices. Student use and storage of personal electronic devices is at their own risk.

At times, devices may be permitted in class for instructional purposes. We have iPads and computers for students to use during this time. Bringing a device from home is never mandatory. As a school we will continue to model the use of electronic devices for instructional purposes.  When not directed for learning purposes in class, devices should be turned off and put away. Students are reminded that appropriate use (e.g., following the Code of Conduct) will be enforced.


Parents and students are asked to review the “Bus Code of Conduct” rules and return the tear-off portion to the school. Should your child be reported for a disciplinary reason by the bus driver, you shall be notified. Should this happen twice, the privilege of riding the bus will be removed for a minimum of 3 days. In the past, if bus privileges were removed, a student-paid taxi has proven to be the most effective method of assuring co-operative behaviour in the future.

Homework Guidelines

(as developed by the HWDSB)

Parents’ attitudes about homework have direct, positive effects on their children’s outlook on homework. In Kindergarten and the early primary grades, homework usually means reading stories, playing games and talking with your child about what he/she is learning. Around Grade 3/4, effective homework becomes more independent. Parents can still clarify, encourage and help when needed, but they should not be too involved in the assignment so the student can develop his/her own independent work habits.

The amount of time a student spends on homework depends on the student’s needs, age and grade, subject, tests and project due dates. Teachers follow the suggested guidelines of 5 to 10 minutes per grade per night as a general rule but times may vary from individual to individual, at various times within a school year.

 Grade  Most Evenings (excluding Friday and weekends) 
JK – Gr1 5-10 minutes per night (including home reading) to a maximum of 30 minutes per week
Gr 2 – 3 5-30 minutes per night (including home reading) to a maximum of 60 minutes per week
Gr 4 – 6 20-60 minutes per night to a maximum of 180 minutes per week by Grade 6
Gr 7 – 8 35-80 minutes per night to a maximum of 240 minutes per week by Grade 8

If you’re noticing that your child regularly spends more time on homework than outlined in the guidelines, his/her teachers will want to know.  Your child may be receiving more homework than their recommended time or may need more time to review to better understand the concepts.

Updated on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
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