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February 5, 2021

Attendance Policy

Hugh John Macdonald School believes that attendance is one of the most important components of academic success. We believe that regular and punctual attendance is essential for all students. Statistics indicate that students who are absent two or more times a month achieve 25% less in their grades than their fellow students and the average student only misses a maximum of six days of school per year.


  1. If your son or daughter is going to be absent from school please call the absence reporting system called SafeArrival. This new system will reduce the time it takes to verify student attendance, make it easy for you to report your child's absence and easy for staff to respond to unexplained student absences.

    With SafeArrival, you are asked to report your child's absence in advance using any of these 3 convenient methods:

    1. Using your mobile device, download and install the SchoolMessenger app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (or from the links at The first time you use the app, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
    2. Use the SafeArrival website, The first time you use the website, select Sign Up to create your account. Select Attendance then Report an Absence.
    3. Call the toll-free number 1-855-278-4513 to report an absence using the automated phone system.

    These options are available 24 hours/day, 7 days a week.  Future absences can be reported at any time.

  2. If the school has not been informed of a student’s absence, our CALL-BACK system will contact parents of all grade 7, 8 and 9 students who have not arrived by 9:30 A.M. & 1:30 P.M. In addition, SynreVoice, our automated calling system will call you in the evening.
  3. If your son or daughter is absent more than two days a month, his or her chances of obtaining a passing grade may be at risk and may result in the repeating of the grade.
  4. If your son or daughter misses more than two days a month, and we have not heard from you, the school will contact the home either by telephone or a letter.
  5. In cases of prolonged illness, the school will provide homework packages for the student, which parents can pick up in the office.


It is our expectation at Hugh John Macdonald that students be on time for school every day. The first bell rings at 8:55AM and morning classes begin promptly at 9:00AM and the afternoon bell rings at 12:40PM and classes begin promptly at 12:45PM.

NOTE:  Students are expected to move directly from one class to the next. Students are NOT to go to the washroom or lockers between classes. They must report to their next class and receive permission from that teacher. Students who are late for class, not only miss out on their learning, they disrupt the lesson, and interrupt the learning of all students.


Truancy means that a student is absent from school without the permission of a parent/guardian or
school.  Skipping out of classes comes under the same term. If a student is truant the school will contact your home.  Parents/guardians may be asked to come to school with the student the next day to discuss the issue with the Counselor or the Principal or Vice-Principal.

NOTE: Students who have appointments must bring a note and sign out before leaving the school.


A suspension is the removal of a student from school for a designated period of time as a result of a serious infraction of a School or Division policy. A suspension may be from one to five days and in serious cases, for a period of six weeks and/or a total removal from the school. It is our hope that we do not need to suspend any student.

There is a Division policy regarding violence towards fellow students or teachers. This may be verbal abuse, verbal threats, or physical in nature. The student will be suspended for a designated period of time depending upon the seriousness of his or her action.

There is a Division policy regarding smoking by students on school property. Students can be suspended for any continuation of this infraction after being cautioned.

Students may also be suspended for vandalism. This is the willful damaging of school property. This may be marking or scratching surfaces, breaking windows or walls, etc. The cost of the damage will be determined and the parents will be required to pay the amount to the Winnipeg School Division.

Parents: If your son or daughter is suspended for whatever reason, you will be informed and required to accompany your son or daughter to the school to discuss the incident with the Principal or Vice-Principal. Students will not be readmitted without this meeting.

Dress Code

The dress code for Hugh John Macdonald is simple and easy to follow… dress in an appropriate manner for school.  Clothing that is fashionable on the beach or worn on a stage by a popular band, is not necessarily appropriate clothing to be worn in the school. Clothing that has improper and/or offensive language, designs or pictures printed on it, is NOT to be worn at the school. The student will be required to change the article of clothing in these cases. If in doubt, check with the office.

HATS, CAPS AND BANDANAS ARE NOT TO BE WORN IN THE SCHOOL. Hoodies are not to be worn with the hoods over the heads. Jackets and coats are to be left in the student’s locker.

Medical Assistance


If a student accidentally receives an injury during a school activity, or on the way to or from school, or for any other reason… a student must report this injury to the office or a teacher immediately. This will ensure that the student will receive assistance, first aid and that the parent/guardian will be informed.

If the injury requires a doctor’s attention, parents/guardians will be notified by the school. The parent/guardian will be asked to pick the student up and have them taken to a doctor.

Parents: If the injury is severe, the school will call an ambulance and your son or daughter will be taken to the hospital. You will be notified immediately about the injury and the hospital to which your son or daughter was taken. A teacher will remain with the student until a parent/guardian arrives or medical attention is provided.

Note: The cost of the ambulance service is the responsibility of the parents.

Field Trips and School Activities

The field trips and school activities during the year will vary from team, grade level, to total school activities.

Team Activities: planned by a grade team for that group of students. These trips are educational and curriculum-related and serve to foster team spirit.

Subject Areas: these field trips will be educational and curriculum related.

Total School: these activities will be organized by staff or the student council… i.e.  dances, spirit days, field day, closing exercises, etc…


Students will share a locker with another student. It is our expectation that both students will respect each other’s personal belongings and will keep the locker organized and clean. The locker is for storing necessary clothing and school related materials. We are strongly recommending that students not bring valuables such as MP3/CD players/iPods/cell phones to school.

NOTE: Students are not to move from an assigned locker into another locker without obtaining permission from the offce.

The school supplies a combination lock for the lockers. It is very important that students NOT give their combination to other students in order to prevent loss of belongings. The school cannot be responsible for items lost from a student’s locker. However, we will do everything we can to help a student find the missing items.

It should be understood that if a student loses the lock, it will be their responsibility to replace it. Students are required to take all of their textbooks, writing materials and gym equipment with them in the morning or afternoon. The only time that students are allowed to go to their locker is if they have the permission of their homeroom or subject teacher. It is important to make this a habit to be organized and the necessity to go to the locker will be reduced

Electronics and Other Equipment

Students are encouraged not to bring cell phones, iPods, game players and pagers to the school. Parents/Guardians are asked to phone the school and speak to a secretary or an administrator if they need to speak with their son or daughter during school hours. Electronic items that go off during class will be confiscated and returned to the student after the first time only. Parents will be asked to pick up confiscated items in the office thereafter.

All types of electronic music/multimedia players should be left at home or in the locker. Head phones are not allowed in class. Again these may be confiscated and returned to the student after the first offence at the end of the day and by the parent thereafter. If students must bring expensive items to school, they should be left in the office until dismissal time.

Laser pens and pointers are not permitted in any school in the Winnipeg School Division. If a student brings these items to school they will be confiscated and returned only to a parent or guardian.

Items that are confiscated by staff will be returned to the student after the first time only. Parents will be asked to pick up confiscated items in the office.

Hugh John Macdonald School assumes no responsibility for lost or missing electronic music/multimedia players/cell phones or other related items.


Textbooks are extremely expensive and necessary resources which the school purchases for student use and learning. It is our expectation that textbooks will be taken care of by the student and returned in good condition.

Computer Use Policy

Hugh John Macdonald School has a computer lab available for instruction and student use. As well, there are computers in the library and in all classrooms. Students are taught to develop the appropriate technological skills, which includes access to the Internet. Each student must sign an “On-Line Information Form” prior to gaining access to the use of the Internet. This form is a commitment by the student to refrain from any activity on the Internet that compromises the school, including inappropriate interaction with other computers, connecting to inappropriate web sites, etc.

Breakfast Program

The Breakfast Program operates out of the school Cafeteria from 8:25AM to 8:55 AM every morning. All students are welcome to come to the school and have a nutritious breakfast to start the day. The Breakfast Program is also important for students who need to be at school for early morning sports, clubs and dance activities. There is no cost to students for the Breakfast Program.

Lunch Hour

Hugh John Macdonald has a Cafeteria and Canteen that are open from 11:45AM -12:10PM for students. Students are able to purchase a lunch at a reasonable cost or supplement their lunch with fruit, dessert or a beverage. Students are also able to purchase treats from the canteen. Only those students who live a far distance from the school stay for lunch. Students who have practices or intramural sports are also allowed to remain for lunch. All lunches must be eaten in the cafeteria.

NOTE: Lunch privileges will be taken away from any student who displays unacceptable behaviour such as running around, not cleaning and throwing out lunch debris or eating in an area other than the cafeteria.

Those students who remain for lunch will be required to leave the Cafeteria at 12:10PM. Students may go outside to get some fresh air, study or play quiet games in the library or participate in intramurals (if available) in the gym before the bell rings at 12:40 PM.


Students are able to access classroom libraries in addition to the main library on the third floor.

Bus Ridership

The “Bus Ridership Program” is a program designed by the Department of Education for the purpose of increasing the safety of the students who travel by bus to and from school and on field trips. The students receive practical training in the Fall and Spring of each school year. Teachers are required to review the program prior to each field trip when a bus is used to transport the students on the activity.

Fire Drills

Fire drills are held during the school year in order to make students and staff aware of the fire exits and the expected behaviour required of the students during these drills. We hold a total of ten practice fire drills throughout the school year. It is our expectation that students walk quietly and quickly in an orderly fashion to the designated fire exit. The safety of all students depends upon the proper response of the students to the fire drill procedures.

Evacuation and Lock Down Drills

We will practice at least one evacuation, lock out, and lock down drill with our entire school per calendar year. Parents will be notified by lock out letter prior to the drill being practiced. If on the rare occasion where there is an actual evacuation or lock down, parents will be informed by letter in a timely manner after the event.​

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