BES Parent Resources

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Lunch
  • Reports
  • Standards
  • Well Being
  • Volunteer
  • Weather

No Nuts
Please be aware that some of our students have severe, life-threatening allergies. For this reason, we need your help as we strive to be a NUT-AWARE SCHOOL ! Please read ALL labels before sending in lunches and be sure that your child washes hands thoroughly before coming to school. Dangerous food for students includes all types of nuts.

Parents/guardians or students (if age appropriate) are responsible for:
  • Informing the school Principal that their child is at-risk for an anaphylactic reaction
  • Completing the health information on the Student Registration Form
  • Considering the merits of their child wearing medical identification such as MedicAlert ®
  • Immediately informing the Principal if there is a change in medical diagnosis (i.e. if there are additional allergens of concern or the student is no longer at-risk for anaphylaxis)
Students are responsible for:
  • Wearing medical identification e.g. MedicAlert® (, if available
Our Emergency Plan includes:
  • Asking parents/guardians/students to supply information on life-threatening allergies
  • Identifying students at risk for anaphylaxis to staff
  • Posting the Anaphylaxis Student Posters in prominent but discrete locations accessible by employees
  • Making Epi Pens accessible to staff
  • Providing staff training
Posting an emergency response protocol

Signs and Symptoms
  • Face: itchiness, redness, rash, swelling of face and tongue
  • Airway: trouble breathing, swallowing or speaking
  • Stomach: stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Total-Body: rash, itchiness, swelling, weakness, paleness, sense of doom, loss of consciousness

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can appear alone or in any combination and not necessarily in the order listed above.


Students who stay for lunch
Students who stay for lunch are to remain in their designated lunch classroom, display good manners and cooperate with teachers. If a student fails to do so, the privilege of staying at school for lunch may be withdrawn.

Students are urged to bring a 'litter-less, boomerang lunch' and snacks. A litter-less lunch means there is no throw away materials at the end of lunch and in cases where disposable packaging is unavoidable, litter comes right back home in that student's lunch bag.

Nut and Scent Alert
Several of our students, if exposed internally or externally to food containing nuts or peanuts, could get very sick or die. This allergy is not something our school regards lightly. To ensure the safety of these students, we ask that you do NOT send any food containing nut products to school with your child.

We are also a scent-free school; please respect our fragrance-free policy to provide a healthy environment for all members of the school community.

Healthy Lunches
Your child's school lunches and snacks are a major source of the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and develop over the years. The foods you pack for your child will give them the energy and nutrients they need to learn and play at school. Without enough energy from food, they may feel tired and find it difficult to concentrate in class. Just like adults, if tasty healthy foods are not available when your child is hungry, the chances that he or she will reach for unhealthy junk food is greater.

Healthy Eating.jpg




Report Cards
Report cards and progress reports are sent out using the following schedule:
  • Progress Report – Sent home mid November
  • Parent Interview Day - Mid November
  • First Provincial Report Card – Sent home early February
  • Second Provincial Report Card - Sent home at the end of June
Six Learning Skills and Work Habits:
Report cards focus on six essential learning skills and work habits students need to succeed. Each skill is reported as Excellent (E), Good (G), Satisfactory(S) or Needs Improvement (N). The six skills and habits are:
  • Responsibility
  • Organization
  • Independent Work
  • Collaboration
  • Initiative
  • Self-regulation

​​​​​Preparing for Parent-Teacher Interviews:
Parent-teacher interviews are a great opportunity for parents and teachers to communicate with each other to help each child succeed in school.

Here are some of the things you can do to prepare for the interview:
  • Read your child’s report card
  • Make a list of questions
  • Talk to your son or daughter about the report card and their learning goals
  • Ask the teacher how students can set learning goals
Ask the teacher how students can understand and use criteria for success

Progress Reports
The Progress Report provides an opportunity to conduct and provide feedback related to the assessment for learning and assessment as learning. It helps to establish a positive relationship among teachers, parents, and students, while involving parent(s)/guardian(s) as partners in a conversation about learning and assessment; helping by informing what they can do to support their child's learning.

Learning Skills and Work Habits are on the front page of the Progress Report to communicate the importance of these skills as being central to student progress. The comments on Learning Skills address the student's strengths and next steps for improvement where appropriate. Please review Learning Skill successes and areas for improvement at home.

The Ministry of Education requires all School Boards in the Province of Ontario to provide a fall checklist Progress Report. Changes to DDSB reporting practices align with the Ministry of Education’s document:

The Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession are:
Commitment to Students and Student Learning
Our teachers are dedicated to the care and commitment to students. They treat students equitably and with respect and are sensitive to factors that influence individual student learning. Members facilitate the development of students as contributing citizens of Canadian society.
Professional Knowledge
Our teachers strive to be current in their professional knowledge and recognize its relationship to practice. They understand and reflect on student development, learning theory, pedagogy, curriculum, ethics, educational research and related policies, and legislation to inform professional judgment in practice.

Professional Practice
Our teachers apply professional knowledge and experience to promote student learning. They use appropriate pedagogy, assessment and evaluation, and resources and technology in planning for and responding to the needs of individual students and learning communities. Members refine their professional practice through ongoing inquiry, dialogue, and reflection.

Leadership in Learning Communities
Our teachers promote and participate in the creation of a collaborative, safe, and supportive learning communities. They recognize their shared responsibilities and their leadership roles in order to facilitate student success. Members maintain and uphold the principles of the ethical standards in these learning communities.

Ongoing Professional Learning
Our teachers recognize that a commitment to ongoing professional learning is integral to effective practice and to student learning. Professional practice and self-directed learning are informed by experience, research, collaboration, and knowledge.
Student Wellbeing
Active Living
Canadian schools are criticized for contributing to the rising rates of childhood obesity by promoting a deskbound existence. At our school, physical activity and healthy eating are promoted. It is a concern for educators because physically active students are not only healthier and happier but also learn better.
Healthy Eating
Brock Elementary School supports and encourages healthy foods and snacks in school. We work closely with Durham Regional Health to provide information to parents and students on healthy eating.

Eating healthy meals and snacks can help children to:

  • Have energy all day long
  • Be more settled, attentive, and ready to learn
  • Meet the recommended number of food guide servings for each food group, especially vegetables and fruit

When packing healthy lunches and snacks, be sure to:

  • Try and involve your child in choosing, preparing, and packing lunches and snacks. Children are more likely to eat food they have helped prepare
  • Pack a reusable water bottle that can be refilled throughout the day
  • Try and pack fruits and vegetables. They make great grab and go snacks!
A Scent Sensitive Workplace
Due to the health concerns arising from exposure to scented products, staff and visitors are asked to be considerate in their use of such products when reporting in or visiting; they may be asked to refrain from using such products should this be required.
Can scents cause health problems?
Allergic and asthmatic patients report that certain odours, even in the smallest amounts, can trigger an attack. In addition, those persons with "multiple chemical sensitivity" may also be affected. The severity of symptoms can vary. Some people report mild irritation while others may be very severely affected and/or must give up 'normal' activities in order to avoid exposure to certain odours. When scented products have been blamed for adversely affecting a person's health, some or all of the following symptoms may be reported:
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Depression
  • Dizziness 
  • Upper respiratory symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Nausea
  • Weakness 
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Numbness
  • Confusion 
  • Insomnia
What types of products contain scents?
Scents can originate from a very large range of products including:
  • Shampoo & conditioners 
  • Potpourri fragrances & perfumes
  • Lotions & creams soaps
  • Colognes & aftershaves
  • Deodorants 
  • Oils 
  • Air fresheners & deodorizers
  • Hair sprays 
  • Candles industrial & household chemicals
  • Cosmetics 
  • Cleaning products

It is important to remember that some products which claim to be 'scent free' may have only masked the scent by use of an additional chemical. We remind all visitors, students, and staff to limit their use of products with heavy scents.

The Durham District School Board recognizes that although concussions and head injuries may occur outside the purview of the District School Board, the return to play decisions for the students are to be guided by Board policy. Any student suspected of, or diagnosed with a concussion or head injury, will be given appropriate time to heal prior to returning to physical or cognitive activities. It is the practice of our school that:

  • Staff, students, and parent(s)/guardian(s) will use appropriate information to help them identify the symptoms of a concussion or head injury
  • Students participating in DDSB events are to be properly evaluated by a health care professional for concussions if exposed to a head injury
  • All students who appear to have sustained a concussion, whether at a DDSB event or not, will be encouraged to seek the advice of a health care professional who is experienced in evaluating and treating concussion injuries
  • DDSB staff will respond in a way that removes a student from further potential harm when he/she has been diagnosed with or is suspected of having a concussion or head injury, and will require that a student receive clearance from a physician before returning to academic or athletic activities

Our school recognizes our parent volunteers and want them to keep returning to help in the classrooms. Students value parent contributions, no matter how small or how involved.

Our school's mission is to create an educational environment in which students are given the opportunity to reach their full potential and see that the academic, social, and developmental needs of each student are met. We are looking for volunteers to help us with these goals.

We recognize that a parent's time is at a premium, but we hope this invitation will empower you to come in and volunteer. Please feel free to contact a teacher and provide them with a time to volunteer that is convenient for you. Before you start your volunteer experience, have a clear idea of what your personal boundaries are. Children ask adults a lot of personal questions in an attempt to bond and learn. Because children are developing social skills, they are still learning the difference between appropriate and inappropriate questions. If a child asks a question that you don’t want to answer, let him/her know in a polite way. Refer concerns to the staff.

Here are some ways you can help in your child’s classroom or school:

  • Reading with students who need extra help
  • Arts and crafts activities
  • School plays or concerts
  • Arranging material in the library
  • Coaching sports activities
  • Supervising children on field trips
  • Serving as a speaker on topics related to the classroom program
  • Serving as a skilled mentor to a student who needs extra support
  • Collecting community materials for a classroom project
  • Producing the school newsletter or handbook
  • Participate in meetings and activities of the School Council
Volunteers in schools cannot be used to perform activities that are the responsibility of teachers or other Board employees and must be limited to extra support activities.
Parent tutors
Parent tutors in classrooms can support the academic success of our students. All tutor activities for our schools are performed under the direct supervision of a teacher. Parent tutors in classrooms can:
  • Work with students
  • Work with small groups
  • Aid students with special needs
  • Assist with technology
  • Reading with students who need extra help
Volunteer Application Form | Click here to download

Severe Weather

Regardless of the season, weather can have an impact on the school operation, staff, and students. Whether it is cold and snow or extreme heat, the Brock Elementary School Board has several practices and policies in place to manage the impact of this weather on the school.

Hot Weather

At times during the year, in the City of Pickering we experience days of extreme heat that can prompt Environment Canada to issue Heat Advisories. These temperatures can and do have an impact on students and staff.

Humidity, Heat and Smog Alerts:

The City of Pickering issues heat alerts and heat emergencies based on the daily forecast from May to September. Alerts are posted on the BES website. Staff and students should be vigilant about their level of activity and should take frequent breaks for water to remain adequately hydrated.

Students with a particular susceptibility to heat or medical concerns should speak with staff, who will do their best to accommodate.

Why don’t the School Board close the school during extreme heat? 

This decision would put many parents in a challenging position of having to find childcare with truly short notice — something we know will not be possible in every case. It is with that in mind that the School Board do not typically close schools due to heat. As always, parents may also choose to keep their children at home during extreme weather.

Are there any resources available with regards to sun and heat safety?

Yes, there are. More information on beating the heat, including heat and sun safety tips can be found in the following links.

Sun Safety - Children Fact Sheet


Sun Safety - Outdoor Sports and Recreation Fact Sheet

Sun Safety - Sunscreen Fact Sheet


Snow/Cold Weather

When temperature and/or windchill factor indicates -28C or lower children will remain indoors due to risk of frostnip and frostbite.

When an extreme cold weather alert is issued or when temperatures and/or windchill factor indicates –20 to –28C, recesses may be shortened to 10 minutes and lunch recess be 20 minutes depending on local conditions. Children should be monitored closely for signs of frostnip, frostbite or difficulty breathing.

From time to time, it is necessary to cancel classes and/or programs due to severe weather. On rare occasions, severe weather makes it necessary to close schools and administrative offices. 

With grand number of students in our school each day, any decision to cancel classes and/or programs or to close the school can have a significant impact on many families across Durham Region. This decision is not taken lightly. When schools remain open on days with inclement weather, parents/guardians make the final decision on whether to send their children to school and they can keep children home from school if they so choose. 

Please note that Virtual Schools will not operate, and we will not be providing remote learning on days when schools are closed due to severe weather.

How does the BES Board make snow day decisions? 

Several factors are considered on days where severe weather is (or could be) an issue. Early in the morning, a team made up of the Director of Education, Associate Board Members, and communications staff look at various pieces of information including current and forecasted weather conditions and road conditions. Should a cancellation or closure be necessary, information will be posted on the BES website and social media by 6:00 a.m.

Early Closure of the school and administrative office, during the school day because of severe weather conditions.

The decision to implement early closure of the school will be made by 11:00 a.m. by the Director of Education in conjunction with the Associate Board Members.

The communication to close schools will be completed by 12:00 noon. All parents and guardians will be notified from the school office, and by announcing the closure through all sources of media.

No student will be sent home until parents have been notified and the principal is assured that suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s supervision.

Teachers and Principal will provide supervision for all students whose parents or guardians have not been contacted and remain in the school until every student have been picked up.

How are decisions made for school recess being inside or out? 

From time to time, it is necessary to hold indoor recess or a shortened recess due to inclement weather (rain, extreme cold or heat, severe icy conditions). This decision is typically made at the school-level depending on local conditions which can vary widely across the city.

Children need an opportunity to get exercise and free play time outdoors, however, weather conditions sometimes warrant that indoor recesses, lunch periods and pre-entry periods be considered necessary for student and staff safety.

The following are the possible conditions warranting indoor recesses:

  1. rain
  2. thunderstorms
  3. lightning
  4. hail
  5. extreme winds
  6. extreme cold
  7. extreme heat

Other conditions:

Weather conditions change during the day. When necessary and if the weather is questionable, the school principal will consult the Environment Canada’s or Toronto Public Health Web sites for information.