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General Information

May 15, 2024

Parent Handbook 2023-2024.pdf


The Entry/Exit times are as follows:

Nursery/Kindergarten a.m.:  8:55 a.m. – 11:30 a.m
Nursery/Kindergarten p.m.: 11:55 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Grades 1 – 6: 8:55 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Students are expected to enter and exit the building in a quiet and orderly manner.  Before school starts, students are expected to wait outside on the intermediate playground side.  Staff supervision is provided at 8:45 a.m.  

Balanced School Day Pilot

The balanced school day schedule breaks the instructional time into three 95-minute blocks, with two 50-minute nutrition and activity breaks separating the blocks. Each nutrition/activity break consists of a 20-minute “eating” segment followed by a 30-minute outdoor recess or activity time. This would replace the two 15-minute recesses and the traditional 60-minute lunch hour.

Starting September 2024, Rockwood will pilot this schedule that promotes a better learning environment, meets the nutritional needs of students in a more balanced way, and provides more quality time for physical activity and play. This organization of the day is called a balanced school day. 

The balanced school day will consist of two nutritional/activity breaks in which children have time to eat and time to play. The new schedule has replaced the system of two recesses and one lunch break. Schools that piloted this new schedule have reported an increase in concentration levels of students, more positive play time, more physically active students, and better opportunities for learning through uninterrupted blocks of teaching/learning time.

Benefits of Balanced School Day Scheduling

  • Academic Performance – Studies on brain compatibility support a balance of learning, physical activity, and nutrition throughout a school day. In our pilot schools and in schools in other boards where it has been implemented, students are better able to focus on their school work for the full day rather than running out of energy towards the end of the day.
  • Balanced Nutrition – Health authorities indicate that children need frequent food breaks each day. This schedule provides two opportunities during the school day when students sit down to eat together, rather than eating on the run at recess. Students who are nutritionally satisfied can concentrate better and learn more effectively.
  • Physical Activity – At a time when physical inactivity and obesity are of increasing concern in school-age children, this schedule will give students two opportunities every day to take part in 20-25 minutes of uninterrupted play. Currently, much of the 15-minute recess is taken up with washroom breaks, eating snacks, and dressing, particularly during the winter months. Children often have little or no time to play. The quality exercise time energizes students, helps them to concentrate better on schoolwork, and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
  • More Time for Learning – To maximize learning for children the new schedule provides a significant block of intensive teaching/learning time without interruption. Under the old schedule, each of the three breaks during the school day results in at least 10 minutes of dressing/undressing. With two scheduled breaks, students will spend less time entering/exiting the classroom.
  • Literacy Program – School schedules have significant blocks of uninterrupted time for literacy programming (reading, writing, oral and visual communication) during each school day. This provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to fine-tune the literacy initiative that they have been developing for a number of years.

Common Questions About Balanced School Day


Why are you making this change?


The balanced school day schedule is organized so that there are longer periods of uninterrupted learning/teaching blocks; it is more nutritionally balanced for students, allowing them to eat more appropriately for the needs of their young bodies resulting in increased concentration and energy levels.


How will longer breaks help students in the classroom?


To learn properly, students need to eat and be energized. The Balanced Day schedule ensures that there is an opportunity to eat/snack during the day and still take part in physical activity. A student who is nutritionally satisfied and physically healthy has better concentration levels, more focus, and more energy. All of these help a child to learn better.


When will my child eat lunch?


The students will have two breaks each day. The breaks are divided into a time for eating and a playtime. Your child will eat during both breaks in the schedule. 


Can my child still come home for lunch?


Our designated “go-home” break is 1:05-2:00 pm for students living close to the school and wishing to go home.


What if my child eats all their lunch during the morning break and then has nothing left to eat for the rest of the day?


Parents can send two snacks in two different containers or they may wish to number them so the children know when to eat them. Students may need help deciding what to eat until they become accustomed to the new school day. Both parents and teachers will need to work with the students in the adjustment phase.



Our number one concern is the safety of our students. Parents should not use the parking lot as a drop off or pick up point for their children. We are concerned for your child's safety when they run into the parking lot and cars are coming and going. Please park on the street and walk your child to the school from there. Please also remember that there is a No Stopping Zone on the East side of Rockwood St. from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on the West side of Rockwood St. there is a No Stopping School Bus Loading Zone in front of the front doors as well as an area designated as a Loading Zone from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Fire Drills and Lockdown Drills

Ten fire drills will be held during the school year. Students will be trained in exit procedures and routes from each classroom in which they attend classes. Students are to move quickly, quietly and in an orderly fashion to exit the building.  Three lockdown drills and one evacuation drill will also be held during the school year.  Students will be expected to follow teacher directions and be silent throughout the drill.



Families are to report absences in the School Messenger - Safe Arrival App.   Students who arrive late are instructed to report to the office for a late slip. When picking up a child early from school, parents/guardians need to check the student out at the office prior to picking up their child from class.

Student Information

It is of the utmost importance for the school to have the proper students address, home telephone number, parent’s cell/business telephone number, and a friend or relative’s telephone number for each child in case of emergencies or illness. Please notify the school of any changes as soon as possible.    

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