School News

Website Changes March 2019

posted Mar 3, 2019, 4:09 PM by Kimberley Phillips   [ updated Mar 3, 2019, 6:34 PM ]

If you were to come to this website, you would think that we are not an active school, what with the last principal message dating from September of 2018. However, as general member of the public, what you wouldn't know is that since October of 2018, we have been communicating more effectively with our parent community through our weekly Sunday Summary which fills in parents on everything that is happening in the school, provides links to important resources, and gives insights into how our students are feeling about school through links to information from our "Have Your Say" survey. What you also won't see here in the principal's message are the almost 3000 tweets that are made up of pictures, links, and shout-outs about the amazing work that happens inside our building.

The reality is, websites are fairly static entities and the energy that goes into keeping our website up to date on a weekly basis, is already channeled into our Sunday Summary. Therefore, over the summer (of 2019), we are going to re-vamp this website so that it provides a service for the casual viewer. We know that websites are where people go to see who to contact, the hours of operation, basic background information, and other static pieces of information that change rarely or maybe only from year to year. The new, re-vamped website is going to have our staff information, our school address and office hours, our behaviour expectations, as well as our policies around cell phone use, inclement weather, and progressive discipline. Basically, it will be a place to check in on information that rarely changes. Day to day, week to week,and important or urgent information will continue to be posted to the Sunday Summary and to our Twitter account (@MCKSmithBennett) so if you are looking for up to the moment information, those will be the places to find it. If you are just looking for basic information about our school, the website will continue to serve you well.

Thanks for your understanding and please do not hesitate to contact us at the school should you have any questions. We always love to hear from our community.

MSB's Acceptable Use Guidelines for Technology in our School

posted Aug 16, 2017, 3:10 PM by Kimberley Phillips   [ updated Apr 26, 2018, 8:07 AM ]

You will be receiving a hard copy of this document in the first day packages that get sent home with your child.  However, it is easier to connect to the links mentioned in the letter if they are shared in electronic form.  Therefore, we have posted the entire document here.  If for some reason you don't get the paper copy, please print it from here and return only the bottom half to the school for record keeping.  If at any time, you want to review the policy, and you did not keep the original paper copy, please review it here.  Thank you for all your support in helping keep our classrooms digitally connected but also a place where students interact personally and learn from each other without the distractions of inappropriately used technology.

Acceptable Use Guidelines for Technology (phones and devices) at MSB


We are aware that many individual schools and school districts are banning cell-phones and personal devices from classrooms.  At MSB, we do not believe that banning cellphones for all students is the path to appropriate use for our students.  We know that there are benefits and drawbacks to our connection to technology. Technology connects us with people around the world; it supports collaborative problem solving; it helps us to see the effects of our actions a world away; and it helps us to learn from each other.  On the other hand, many studies show that it is addictive; it can create barriers between people as we reduce actual face time; and it makes it easy for us to say hurtful, thoughtless, or in-the-moment things that we instantly regret...but can’t take back.  Instead, education about digital citizenship and personal awareness is what will help us make better and healthier use of our technology.  To this end, we have created very clear expectations about the use of personal devices here at MSB for students, educators, and parents so that everyone in our school uses personal devices appropriately and at the appropriate times.

If you can, take a moment to look at the following videos to gain some insight into what is happening to people when they are constantly connected to their devices.  

The first is a stand-alone. (4 minutes)

 The following are excerpts from a single programme on the topic of social media: (4 minutes) (4.34 minutes) (5 minutes)

 If you don’t have time, please just read our school policies below, discuss them with your child and sign off on the bottom.


Grades K-5:      Students in Gr K-5 are not to bring any electronic devices to school.

With the high level of access to technology for our primary and early junior students, and the early stages of their digital literacy, students in these grades do not need personal devices for any academic reason. However, sometimes they do arrive with personal devices.  If they do, the following will occur:

Students will be asked to:

1.    Lock them in their locker and return them home at the end of the day

2.    Give them to the teacher who will hold on to the device and send it home with the student at the end of the day (if they do not have a locker)  

3.    Leave their devices in a safe space (locker, teacher’s desk) during outside break time. This ensures that they do not lose, break, or misplace a personal device.

4.    Go directly to a teacher and/or another adult in the school if they are experiencing a social problem. They are not to use their devices to contact home.


Grades 6-8

There may be times due to class size or shared access to the school devices, when teachers may encourage students to use their own devices for academic purposes such as research, calculating, translating, and/or coding.  These devices will only be allowed in the classroom when expressly requested by the teacher. We understand that some students do not have personal devices.  At school, we will ensure that they will have appropriate access to all the school technology needed in order to complete any assignments.  At all other times, personal student devices must be away and inaccessible in order to reduce distraction from the teaching and learning.  


Students in Grades 6 - 8 may bring devices to school only under the following circumstances:


1.    Have their devices turned off and in their lockers at all times

2.    Secure their lockers so that no other student has access to it. This means a lock must be on the locker and the combination has not been shared with any other student.  

3.    Understand that personal devices brought to school are their own responsibility.  Administration and teachers will attempt to solve the problem of lost, broken, or stolen phones however,  replacement costs are the responsibility of the student who owns it.

4.    Only use personal devices during nutrition breaks (if they want to and if in Grades  6-8) but they must adhere to the acceptable use guidelines described below which are as follows:

a)   Students can only use them outside in the designated intermediate areas on the playground (under supervision)

b)   Students can only use them inside during the designated lunch time and in their designated eating area (under supervision)

c)   Students are not to be using their devices in unsupervised or less supervised areas (i.e., halls, stairwells, links, change rooms, bathrooms)

d)   Never, at any time, are students to take pictures, video, or audio recordings of students or staff during the school day unless prior approval has been set up as part of an assignment during which the teacher will supervise.


Parents, you can help us by supporting and modelling appropriate use as well in order to encourage your child to focus on academics in school.

During class time, parents are requested to:

1   Contact your child by calling the office number 519-853-3800 to speak directly to an adult in the office who will pass the message on to your child at an appropriate time (i.e., not disrupting the class) or get your child directly to the phone if needed.  Do not text your children during class time.


2)   If your child texts you during class time, please respond with “please go to the office, talk to an adult there, and use the office phones.” Trust us.  When you text your child during class time and/or accept texts from them, you are implicitly telling them that they do not have to pay attention in class.  In addition, if there is a problem, texting your child is not helping them.  As parents, we know how devastating it is to get an emotionally upset text from a child, however, encourage them to talk to an adult.  Allow us to get the full story from all students involved in the moment rather than trying to deal with it after the fact or several days later. In this way, we can ALL support the students in their independent problem solving.


3)   Encourage your children to keep their personal device locked/secure when at school and to not share their combinations or passwords with anyone else


4)   Counsel your children that devices brought to school are their responsibility.  If items are lost, broken, or stolen, the school will do everything it can to help find it and/or solve the problem, but in the end, the replacement cost rests with the student who owns it.


5)   Sign off on the “media allowed” or “no media allowed” forms from the first day.  At MSB, we share pictures of the amazing learning we do every day.  Sometimes we post it on the wall, sometimes we post it on the closed TV system, sometimes we post it on Twitter or our school Website, and sometimes we share with “The Tanner”.  We never attach names to students’ pictures unless we get direct permission from parents first.


6)   Remind grade 6-8 students that the only time they are allowed personal access to their device is during nutrition breaks (10:55-11:35 am or 1:15-2:05 pm).


Consequences:  At MSB we follow a progressive discipline model which encourages teaching and learning as the basis for changing behaviour.  However, if students continue to make inappropriate use of their devices despite clear expectations being outlined, the following consequences will apply:

First offense:  Teacher will direct that the device be put away (in a desk or backpack) 

Second offense:  Teacher will direct that the device be put away by either placing it on the teacher’s desk or in the student’s locker 

Third offense:  Teacher will direct the student take it to the office to be held in a secure location.  Teacher will call home to indicate that device use in the classroom is becoming a problem. 

Fourth offense:  Teacher will direct the student take it to the office to be held in a secure location.  Administrator will call home to indicate that the device in the classroom is a problem and will recommend that the device not return to school for a period of time. 

Fifth offense:  Teacher will direct that the student take it to the office to be held in a secure location.  Administrator will call home to indicate that the device will not be returned to the student and instead needs to be picked up in the office by a parent.  During this time, a discussion will be had with student and parents about further offenses (i.e., removal of device from school for a set time or possible suspension for defiance of authority).

As you can see, this is quite a number of offenses where a student has had a personal device out in contradiction of the school code, therefore, any further offenses following these will result in the student’s personal device no longer being allowed at the school.

General Policy About Technology Use For All Students 

Outside of the use of personal devices (such as phones) which we dealt in the above few pages, every student at MSB will have contact with and use of instructional technology devices (such as chromebooks, spheros, laptops, iPads, etc.).  From the moment they enter our school, we will be building their digital citizenship skills.  If we work together to be on the same page, we can raise technologically smart children who can interact successfully on the global stage.  In order for that to happen, teachers, administrators, and parents need to be involved in and responsible for helping our students to understand and be aware of the challenges of working with technology.  To that end, all of us together will teach students to:


  1. Not engage in plagiarism or downloading illegal content
  2. Represent their online identity truthfully and only access account(s), information and systems for which they are authorized.
  3. Safeguard their passwords, account information, personal equipment and personal information (i.e. home address, telephone number, work address/telephone number of parents/guardians, or other identifying information such as video, images or the school’s name or address) from unauthorized users - basically don’t share your passwords!
  4. Not post, publish or knowingly download any inappropriate content (e.g., illegal, dishonest, offensive, swearing, racially offensive, sexual, threatening material or content that promotes hatred or harm against any group or person) in the form of text, video, images or music
  5. Not use any device to record audio or to take images or video of staff, students or any person during school hours (including nutrition breaks)                                 
  6. Not engage in social texting or use of social media apps / websites during the school day to connect with peers and/or family using any device

Want to know more?  Check out this link on copyrighting media:    



Please return this last page to the school with your signature and your child’s signature.


We know this was a lot of information but as technology use increases in the world around us, we are finding that appropriate use of technology and the ability to own and understand a student’s own role in it is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday discipline issues. You may keep all the information above at home for future reference and we encourage you to please take the time to review all of the above with your child to be sure that there are no misunderstandings about the expectations.  Together we can help our children become successful digital citizens who understand the power of their decisions.

I have read this and reviewed it with my child.  We both understand the expectations as outlined in the Acceptable Use of Technology Guideline of MSB for 2017-2018.

Your Child's Teacher's Name:                                                                                        Your Child's Grade:

Parent Signature:                                                                                                            Date:

Child's Signature (or printed name):                                                                               Date:

(all students in grades 6-8 need to sign, however, if they are younger and can sign, this is an opportunity for them to make a commitment to good learning practices)

Reminder about Class Building for September 2018

posted Apr 3, 2017, 10:59 AM by Kimberley Phillips   [ updated Apr 8, 2018, 9:12 PM ]

Yes, believe it or not we are actually beginning our staffing and class building processes

for next year. One of the most significant tasks we will take on over the next few months is building

our classes for September 2018. This is a process that takes many hours of work reviewing the learning

profiles of our students. Our goal is always to find the best placement for each student and a number of

factors are considered when we are building classes such as:

 Academic achievement  Learning styles  Social groupings  A balance of boys and girls This information, combined with our knowledge of the teaching styles of staff members is utilized to create classes that we hope will permit each student to be successful.

As parents, you know your child from a different point of view and may be able to provide us with additional information about the learning environment you feel would be most suitable for your child, and about the teaching style that is most successful with your child. PLEASE DO NOT request specific teachers. Staffing changes occur continually right up until

September therefore such requests cannot be honoured.

Parents/Guardians are invited to write to Mrs. Phillips stating factors they feel should be considered when

placing their child(ren). We request your input no later than Friday, May 4, 2018. We will not be accepting

any input after this date. When this input comes in after classes have been built it upsets many

careful decisions that have been made for the entire group. For this reason we will only be considering

requests that are made in writing to the Principal (Mrs. Phillips) prior to the deadline.

Please remember that the school reserves the right to make final placement decisions.

MOVING? If your address has changed recently or will be changing over the summer, please notify Mrs. Tania Spill ( as soon as possible.

Criminal Record Checks

posted Oct 18, 2016, 5:45 AM by Kimberley Phillips   [ updated Oct 18, 2016, 6:01 AM ]

As of September, 2016, residents of Halton aged 21 and older can apply for Police Information Checks and Police Vulnerable Sector Checks for employment and volunteer purposes ONLINE 24 hours a day, seven days a week without having to attend one of our police locations. T​his will allow the parents easier access to applying for a Police Record Check, that is a necessity for volunteering within our school. ​Halton Region Police Services has prepared a letter to parents of Halton Schools to help promote their new online service and hope to provide a quicker, more efficient way for parents to get a Police Record Check. This information is also available via our Board website at  Thank you for wanting to volunteer in our school.  We look forward to having you work with us.

Behaviour Expectations

posted Sep 21, 2016, 4:35 PM by Kimberley Phillips

Each year, as a school we practice routines and drills to ensure that our students are safe here at the school.  We have 6 fire drills a year, 2 lockdown drills, and one evacuation drill.  We have our doors locked with entry provided through a buzzer system which our secretaries run.  Please be patient if you are buzzing in as often they are dealing with bumped heads, scraped knees, phone calls, and "can I just ask you a quick question" queries.  Sometimes you will see students or teachers walking past the doors.  They are not ignoring you to be rude, but instead are following the protocol that the control of entry into the school is through the office.  This helps to ensure the safety of your children so we thank you for your understanding.  

In addition, we take seriously the safety of our classrooms and do everything we can to maintain discipline and acceptable behaviour.  All of our students started this year with a behaviour assembly, outlining the school expectations and the role that progressive discipline plays in the consequences.  Students who were absent on the assembly day, were invited into the office to hear the message in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  

There are times though when students are having serious difficulty in class or in the hallways.  When this happens we respond to ensure the safety of every student in this situation.  These situations are very rare but it could mean, clearing a classroom, or clearing the hallways to maintain a safe and positive atmosphere.  In addition, we can develop a VTRA (Violence Threat Risk Assessment) to respond to situations where students are a threat to themselves or others.  Please see the attached "Fair Notice" which describes the situations in which we would implement a VTRA and the process we would follow.

We do take the safety and security of our students very seriously and we look forward to a positive, healthy, and productive year here at MSB.

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