Sioux Mountain
Public School
Phone: (807) 737-3480 Fax: (807) 737-3486

Barbara VanDiest, Principal
Gabby Landheer, Vice-Principal
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Family Handbook
Family Handbook


This Handbook has been developed by the Staff and School Council to enhance the home-school communication that is necessary for student success. This handbook should answer many of the questions that you may have about the programs, services, and routines at Sioux Mountain Public School. Please feel free to contact the school at (807) 737-3480 if you have any questions. Our fax number is (807) 737-3486.

The handbook is divided into the following sections:


Visitors are always welcome in the school. For safety and security reasons, we ask that all visitors sign-in at the office and pick up a Visitor’s Pass. You will also be required to use our intercom security system when entering the building.

Facilities & Programs

Our facility is relatively new, providing students with a comfortable learning environment, and access to a variety of technologies. We offer a number of programs to assist our students in the development of their academic skills. We are a technologically advanced, 21st-Century school in which students utilize various technologies as a learning tool.

Our Facility

  • Aesthetically pleasing environment with natural lighting throughout the building
  • Large gymnasium
  • Library with a large variety of recently purchased resources
  • Bookroom containing an extensive collection of reading materials for student learning
  • SMART Boards in all classrooms
  • Google Chromebooks for all students in Grades 4-8
  • iPads in K to 3 classrooms
  • Access to sports facilities including baseball diamonds, soccer pitch, tennis courts, golf and curling club, cross-country ski trails, and bocce
  • Best Start Program
  • Daycare Program

Academic Programs

  • Outstanding Full Day, Every Day, Early Learning Kindergarten Program with a focus on inquiry-based learning and reading skill development
  • Curricular program that focuses on the development of crtical thinking skills
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engingeering and Mathematics) focus
  • Native Language (Gr. 4-8)
  • French as a Second Language
  • Anishnaabemowin Bimojigewin (Native Language program integrating the Arts for students in Gr. 1-3

Physical Education Program

  • Hockey Canada Skills Academy for students in grades 1 to 8
  • We also offer competitive sports including soccer, baseball, basketball, track and field, and volleyball

Social Skills Programs

  • Classroom strategies that focus on the seven attributes of good character (i.e. kindness, respect, humility, responsibility, bravery, honesty, wisdom)
  • Self-regulation programming helps our students to become responsible for their learning and successful in school.


***Consistent daily attendance is critical to your child’s success!***

Notes are requested for the following:

 If your child is to be late or absent.

 If your child must leave early for an appointment.

 Permission for your child to leave the school grounds

 Permission for your child to be picked up by someone other than parent/guardian

Notes should have the date, time of absence, reason for absence, and parent’s signature. Extended absences must be approved through the office. If you need to make alternate arrangements for your child after school, please let us know as early in the day as possible.

Helping Your Child Succeed at Sioux Mountain Public School

When your child begins school, your role as a parent becomes even more important. Your child will need your encouragement and will be more motivated if you take an interest in his/her school work. Regular communication with the teacher is helpful because you can provide valuable insights and support for your child’s development. You may want to help your child at home with basic skills required in the classroom. There are a number of practical ways for you to do this including:

  • reading aloud to your child or listening to your child read a variety of books and talking about them
  • helping your child with homework, reviewing math with brief & fun math drills and games, revising a first draft in writing
  • finding practical ways of applying academic skills at home (i.e., reading recipes, writing a short note, etc.).
  • helping your child develop social skills through cooperative play, membership in groups or clubs and assistance to learn how to solve problems.

As a parent, you should regularly discuss what is being done at school and ask questions to get a full understanding of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Children flourish under care, guidance and ongoing support from parents and teachers.

Balanced Day

Sioux Mountain Public School runs on a “Balanced Day” schedule as follows:

8:50 a.m.: Entry Bell

8:50 — 10:30 a.m.: Learning Block

10:30 — 11:00 a.m.: 1st Nutrition Break 30 min. (15 min. snack/15 min. break)

11:00 — 12:40p.m.: Learning Block

12:40 — 1:40 p.m.:  2nd Nutrition Break (30 min. lunch/30 min. break)

1:40— 3:20 p.m.: Learning Block

Pick-Up and Drop-Off Areas

Parents may use the two turnaround areas located south of the school for student drop-off/pickup (signs are posted).

Upper turnaround area: Kindergarten only.
Lower turnaround area by the soccer fields: Grades 1 to 8 students only.

Please do not use the bus lane for drop-off and pick-up of students.

Student Dress & Belongings

Children should be encouraged to dress to suit the weather. Nutrition breaks are outdoors and children should be dressed appropriately. Children must remove their outdoor footwear when they enter the building and must have a pair of indoor shoes with non-marking soles. Students may also use their indoor shoes for gym class. Each year an incredible number of mitts, t-shirts, lunch containers, etc. are misplaced. We urge parents to write their children’s name or initials on all their belongings. We have a lost and found box but many of these articles are never claimed. We encourage you to check the lost and found whenever you are visiting the school. At year end we send unclaimed articles to community charities.

School Supply List

Students are provided with the essential materials for daily learning.  All children are required to have a pair of indoor non-marking running shoes for use in the school.

Parents may also consider purchasing the following supplies:

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3

• book bag

• 1 box Kleenex Grades 4 to 8

Grades 4 to 8

• 30 cm ruler

• pencil case/supply box

• pencils

• pens, blue and red

• pencil crayons

• 3-ring paper, lined & plain

• backpack

• calculator

• geometry set

• 1 box Kleenex

Student Transportation

Student transportation is a privilege, not a right. Responsibility for the safety of bus passengers rests not only with the driver, but also with the student rider, their parents/guardians and school staff.

Students are expected to observe these rules:

  • Remain seated while the bus is in motion
  • Keep the aisles clear and keep hands and arms inside the bus
  • Sit in the designated seat if it has been assigned
  • Keep the bus free of litter
  • Fights, excessive noise, the use of obscene language, throwing objects, tampering with the bus or equipment are prohibited
  • Be at the designated stop on time
  • Follow proper procedures crossing the road
  • Consumption of food is prohibited on the bus

Drivers will inform the school office of student misconduct, and repeat offenders will lose the privilege of riding the bus. Students who damage the bus will be required to pay repair costs. The Board follows a Visible Parent policy for Kindergarten children. If there is no parent/guardian visible at the bus stop, the child(ren) will be returned to the school and the parents will be responsible for picking them up. In an extreme emergency, changes in ridership may be allowed by contacting the Board office at 807-223-1256 with a minimum of one day’s advance notice.

Additional Information may be found at:


Bicycles Students may ride their bicycles to school, but must walk them once on school property. They are to be locked on the bike rack in the designated area. Students who ride their bikes on school property will lose the privilege of bringing them to school. Skateboards, in-line skates, roller shoes and scooters are not allowed on school property during the school day.

Emergency Procedures at Sioux Mountain

On occasion, it may be necessary to evacuate the school because of local emergencies (chemical spills, forest fire, etc.). If sufficient time is available, school buses will be called and students will be dismissed to go home. Announcements will be made over the local radio station.

Evacuation Procedure
Where immediate action is necessary, the students will be led by their teacher to Queen Elizabeth District High School. In this case, parents are advised not to try to reach the school, as the school will be attempting to evacuate all students in a safe and orderly manner.

Temporary (Emergency) Closure of School

Occasionally, it may be necessary to close the school prior to normal dismissal times because of snow storms, fires, etc. The success of the school’s evacuation plan requires your co-operation. Please make alternative plans for sheltering your children in anticipation of such early and unexpected dismissals and make your children aware of your arrangements. Announcements will be made over the local radio station and parents will be contacted by telephone.

Fire Drills and Lock Down Procedures

Staff and students at our school will participate in fire drills in the fall and spring. Lock down procedures will be reviewed and practiced with students on at least two occassions during the school year.

First & Second Nutrition Breaks

You can boost the learning power of your child(ren) by providing nutritious food for lunch. Milk is sold on a daily basis. It is recommended that parents provide a drink and food for each of the two nutrition breaks.

Sioux Mountain Public School does not have a lunch room facility. Students eat in a designated classroom. Students who live within walking distance may go home during second nutrition break.

For safety reasons, students who stay in school for second nutrition break are not allowed to leave the school without written permission from their parents/guardians. Notes are also requested for students who need to leave school on alternative nutrition break arrangements. Students enjoy a break from classroom routines during which time they can get some fresh air and enjoy unstructured time with their friends.

Teachers occasionally receive notes requesting that a child stay in during nutrition breaks. Students who return after a brief illness also benefit from breaks. Fresh air and exercise are not detrimental to individuals recovering from the flu or a cold, especially when a student is properly dressed for the weather.

Exceptions to this practice will be in very special cases (i.e., a child recovering from a physical injury) but we do expect our students to participate in nutrition break activities. During inclement or extremely cold conditions, our nutrition breaks are held indoors.

Last 15 minutes of the day

The last 15 minutes of the day is an important time for finishing up work, giving out notes, updating school journals, homework assignments, clean-up etc. It is necessary for students to be present at this time of the day. Dismissal time is 3:20 pm.

Classroom Visits

We welcome all parents at our school, and ask that you report to the office so that the teacher can be contacted of your intention to visit your child’s classroom.


Each child is unique with different qualities, talents, and needs. Recognizing this, teachers use a variety of assessment tasks to determine the academic skill level of students. Some of these tasks include:

  • projects, assignments and daily work
  • teacher/student conferences
  • presentations
  • formal and informal testing
  • co-operative work groups
  • observations, demonstrations
  • reading level assessments

The comments on the report card provide a summary of the information gathered from all assessments.

When a student receives an ‘R’ (remedial) in a particular curriculum area, they may be placed on an ‘Individual Education Plan’. The teacher, in consultation with the student, parents/guardians, and the support staff, will determine the program modifications and/or accommodations that will enable the student to achieve the outcomes and experience success.

A Progress Report is sent home in November while Report cards are sent home at the end of each term. Teacher-parent interviews will be held following the completion of the Progress Reports. Conferences involving the teacher, parent and student will be scheduled following second term report cards. Parents/guardians are encouraged to schedule an interview time with the teacher whenever they have a concern about their child’s progress.

Progress report

November 6, 2015

1st Report Card

February 16, 2016

Final Report Card

June 24, 2016

Our students continue to demonstrate a significant improvement in their literacy and numeracy skill levels.  We have high expectations of ourselves and our students, while ensuring that we provide quality programming for all of our children. We want to ensure that our learning program is both challenging and interesting to students, while preparing them for a lifetime of learning.

Homework & Assignments

All students, particularly those in the intermediate division will be expected to complete homework on a regular basis. Homework can include projects, unfinished work, extra practice of critical lessons and participation in our home reading program.

Lockers & Valuables

Students in Grades 7 and 8 are assigned lockers and are supplied with combination locks. Lockers must be kept clean and locked at all times.

Students are expected to obtain all needed materials from their lockers during class breaks.

Valuables such as electronic games, digital cameras, and collectible items (such as trading cards) are not to be brought to school. In the interest of student learning and safety, students are not permitted to use personal listening devices (CD/MP3 players, IPods, etc.) or cell phones during instructional time.  The school is not responsible for any loss of valuables brought to school.

The Library at Sioux Mountain Public School

The library is open to all school community students and parents. In the library, there is a large variety of books, ranging from primary picture books to intermediate fiction and non-fiction.

The library is equipped with computers, used by the librarian for locating books and conducting research. The purchase of many of the books in the library is funded through book fairs that take place throughout the school year. Each student is given a library card and is responsible for any book they have signed out. Parents will be asked to provide the replacement costs for any books that are lost or damaged.

School Council

The School Council is comprised of parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, community  members and the Principal. The Council's role is to provide a forum in which to promote school enrichment, successful learning, and increase parent's/guardian's participation in the education of their children. Meetings are held on a regular basis. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Light snacks are provided.


The participation of volunteers to support our school programs and activities is extremely important to the success of our students. We welcome volunteers to assist with student reading activities, hot lunches, extracurricular activities, sports, fundraising activities, school council, classroom activities, etc. If you are able to volunteer, we would greatly appreciate your time. Please contact the office or your child’s teacher if you can volunteer to make our school a better place to learn. For special class projects or field trips, forms requesting assistance will be sent home.


We raise money each year to support school programs and activities.  School programs and activities supported through fund-raising include: grade 7/8 Toronto trip, field trips, playground equipment, library books and special events for all classes. Fundraising activities include: lunch time sales, book fairs, magazines, skate a-thons, etc.. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Sioux Mountain Children’s Centre

Partners in Learning

Located in Sioux Mountain Public School, Sioux Mountain Children’s Centre is a licensed, non-profit facility owned and operated by the Municipality of Sioux Lookout. It is overseen by a Parent Advisory Board who are parents of the children in the centre and/or members of the community.

Sioux Mountain Children’s Centre offers full day programs for JK/SK children on an alternating day basis and an afterschool, school-age program 10 months of the year. The centre is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and operates year round.

Programming is designed and implemented by Early Childhood Educators who have a strong understanding of early development and who provide a positive and stimulating “hands-on” learning environment for all children. Some routines include outdoor play, art activities, and science discovery, as well as nutritious meals and snacks.

For more information

Please contact the Centre at (807) 737-2055 or Kelly Negus, Day Care Manager, at 737-2131.