2023-24 School Opening Information

School Opening Newsletter – August 2023

Principal’s Message

I hope that this message finds you well and enjoying a long and energizing summer break. And like me, I hope that you too are looking forward to an exciting year of learning at South Delta Secondary School!

A new school year brings an energy, anticipation, and optimism unlike any other time of the year: the opportunity to re-connect with friends and colleagues, to share summer stories and hopes for the year ahead. New beginnings bring possibilities of new connections and new learning and a fresh commitment to achieving one’s personal best.

To our returning students, I encourage you to approach the new school year with determination, focus, and commitment. To our new students, including those who are approaching their first year of high school, I extend a warm welcome. It is our hope that you will soon view South Delta as your school, where your contributions will serve to enhance the positive culture that exists at SDSS.

At SDSS, we are fortunate to work with the many supportive, committed and hard-working parents in our school community. All parents including those involved with the Parent Advisory Council have the opportunity to positively impact the tone and direction of our school. I invite and encourage all parents to be involved.

One way that parents can help improve school-home communication is to ensure that the school has your current, correct email address. While email will continue to be our primary means of communication, we also encourage you to familiarize yourself with Parent Connect, MyEdBC and read the monthly newsletters posted to our website.

The Delta School District has streamlined the annual permission forms required for participation in various activities like demographic information, student emergency release, walking field trip permission and the BC Fruit & Vegetable Program. All these important permission forms can be accessed on Parent Connect. Thank you for your assistance in gathering this important information for us at school.

Please take the time to review the contents of this school opening newsletter, highlighting many of the key dates and details that will assist in supporting a successful start up for your student. It’s also a good idea to monitor the school website for changes and additional start-up information. In the days and weeks ahead, I encourage you to help your student create a mental picture of their success this year, to listen and offer advice as they draw up a strategy to achieve their goals and support them as they put their plan into action over the course of the school year.

In the past, we’ve offered this advice on how parents can help support their child’s education. I think they are always good reminders:

  • Set high expectations for your student and encourage them to not accept minimum effort or indifference to quality work;
  • Contact teachers directly when you have a question or concern regarding your student’s progress;
  • Ensure good attendance;
  • Provide a quiet place in your home for study;
  • Insist that your student accept responsibility for their learning and their conduct;
  • Model the importance of life-long learning;
  • Encourage a strong work ethic and promote good time management skills;
  • Encourage your student to maintain healthy eating and sleep habits.

Best wishes to all for a safe and happy year of learning. If at anytime you have any comments or questions, please contact me at the school (604-943-7407) or by email, tainge@deltachools.ca

 Grade 8 Family Night

We are excited to be hosting a “Welcome to SDSS Evening” for Grade 8 students and their families on Wednesday, August 30th at 6:00 pm in the Theatre. Come and meet the School Administration, the Counsellors, collect your course schedule, explore the school, find your classrooms, check out your locker, and mingle with your new classmates!

International Student Orientation Day

An orientation for new international students will be held on Thursday, August 31st. International students new to South Delta this year should arrive at the school’s main office at 9:00 am and expect to stay until 2:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. We are looking forward to welcoming our new international students to Canada and SDSS!

Opening Day Schedule – Tuesday, September 5th

We look forward to welcoming all students back to school on Tuesday, September 5th. To accommodate the start of the school year, and assist in our organization students will attend for an introduction to their Block A class. Here is the schedule:

Grade 8                        9:30 am – 10:30 am students will report directly to their Block A class

Grades 9 & 10             11:00 am – 12:00 pm students will report directly to their Block A class

Grade 11 & 12             12:30 pm – 1:30 pm students will report directly to their Block A class

Students not assigned to a Block A class should report to the Library at the time designated for their grade. The first day of class is a short day for students. Regular classes begin on Wednesday, September 6th. Schedules will be available for viewing on MyEDBC and Student/Parent Connect prior to September 5th.

International Students – First Day of School Schedule – Tuesday, September 5th

If you attended the new student orientation on August 31st, please attend your Block A class at your appropriate grade time as per the schedule for all SDSS students.

Grade 8                        9:30 am – 10:30 am students will report directly to their Block A class

Grades 9 & 10              11:00 am – 12:00 pm students will report directly to their Block A class

Grade 11 & 12             12:30 pm – 1:30 pm students will report directly to their Block A class

If you were NOT able to attend the August 31st orientation, please report to the main office at 10:00 am on September 5th. You will be directed to Room 131 to meet Mrs Adamson (the International Student Coordinator) before you will attend any classes.

Student Course Schedules

This year, SDSS will offer a hybrid timetable. Most courses will be year long (linear) and there will be some senior courses (grades 11 and 12) that will run from September to January and February to June (semester).

Student schedules will be available for viewing on MyEdBC prior to September 5th.

While every effort is made to design the school timetable to avoid course conflicts, some students, because of their chosen combination of courses, may not have all courses scheduled. During the first week of school, our counsellors will be assisting new registrants and students with incomplete schedules.

Students with incomplete schedules should report to the counselling office during the unassigned block.

Requests for changing courses should be emailed to counsellors who will consider changes as space is available up until Friday, September 15th.

Bell Schedules

Our school day runs from 8:30 am until 2:45 pm. Our schedule is an alternating Day 1 (ABCD), Day 2 (EFGH) schedule. There are different schedules for the days when we have flex time and for the days when we don’t have flex time, as well as a different schedule for Wednesdays (Collaboration Day – 9:30 start for students). Students and parents should follow the My School Day App and the school website for up to date schedule information.

Flex Time at SDSS

Flex Time is instructional time for all students 4 days a week (every day except Wednesday).  It allows students to increase in their academic success by taking a more pro-active role in their learning.  During Flex Time students have 35 minutes of time to access curricula, teachers, peers and facilities.  Flex Time allows students to determine their priorities for learning and to act on these in a timely fashion. The goals for students during Flex Time include improving time management and student responsibility as well as encouraging self-regulation and the pursuit of passions.  On Wednesdays, students will start school at 9:30 providing collaboration, preparation and administration time for staff between 8:30 and 9:30.

During Flex Time students are expected to:

  • be in a designated learning space,
  • arrive in their flex class on time and stay in the class for the whole period,
  • go to classrooms of teachers with whom they are presently enrolled,
  • complete past due work/tests, as requested by their teachers (or other designated learning space such as library, cafeteria or gym), or
  • work on school work (either individually or in groups), special interest (passion) projects,                        silent reading during Flex Time.

Flex Time is introduced with a series of lessons on topics like executive functioning,  time management, goal setting, self-awareness/self-regulation, and growth-mindset that will help students to productively use their time.

Parent and Student Information at SDSS

Our school uses two separate student information programs, Parent/Student Connect (a program that is unique to Delta) and MyEd Parent/Student Portal (the standard program used by BC Schools). Students will also have a DeltaLearns Account which will connect them to Google Classroom and it’s various applications.

Parent Connect https://cimsweb.deltasd.bc.ca/schoolconnect/parentsignon.aspx

Student Connect https://cimsweb.deltasd.bc.ca/schoolconnect/stuconsignon.aspx

Parent/Student Connect is used for:

  • Reviewing student schedules (what they are studying and when)
  • Review attendance history (daily attendance recorded in MyEd)
  • View Report Cards (a copy of the MyEd report is uploaded)
  • History of marks/transcripts for all previous years’ final marks
  • View/pay school fees
  • Forms (please especially sign off on the Google Apps form which is used to create a Delta Learns account for your student this requires an overnight upload!)

    SDSS Permission Forms Information

MyEdBC https://www.myeducation.gov.bc.ca

MyEdBC is used for:

  • Attendance Reports
  • Marks and/or assignment feedback if the teacher publishes their gradebook to the portal
  • Contacts
  • Course Requests
  • Schedule
  • Transcript records

Step by step information on how to login, set up new accounts, recover passwords, etc. is posted to the SDSS website. https://sd.deltasd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2022/08/New-Student-Information-for-web.pdf

Reporting Student Absence

To report a student absence please:

  1. Contact the school office by phone (604-943-7407) or
  2. Notify the school by email southdelta.sec@deltaschools.ca or
  3. Send a message through Parent Connect.

Absences should be reported as early as possible on the day of the absence to allow a Parent Advised code to be entered into the system. Any unreported absences will result in an automated email from the student system, which will email a message by default.

Guidelines For Student Illness at School

School is a place where students come to actively participate in learning, to engage in physical activities and to socialize.  In the course of the school year, students often become ill and then parents must make a decision as to whether their student can or should attend school.  The following are some guidelines in determining when a student should not be at school:

  • If your student is developing an acute cold or influenza with fever, runny nose and/or eyes, and sore throat
  • If your student has a persistent cough
  • If your student has a fever over 38 degrees centigrade (100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • If your student has diarrhea or vomiting
  • If your student has a communicable disease, e.g. Covid-19, chicken pox, measles, rubella, mumps. If your child contracts a communicable disease, please notify the school so that other families can be alerted.

Students who have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea should be free of these symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school.

Extended Absences

Our school staff try to provide to support students who are absent due to health reasons.  In some cases a visiting teacher may be assigned. However, it should be understood that schools are not in a position to support students while they are absent for extended vacations or other family matters.

While schools are not in a position to grant or deny permission to any student to leave school early for family holidays, the consequences of missing classes for an extended period should always be considered.

Important learning is missed during any absence, and all absent students are at a disadvantage compared to those in regular attendance.  Providing assignments for the student to complete while on an extended holiday is for the most part an ineffective substitute for attending classes.  Therefore, there can be no guarantees regarding the student’s progress and final standing.  It is important to recognize that the first priority for a teacher is to help those students who are in regular attendance.  Teachers are not obliged to provide homework in advance for students to take with them on vacation. Generally, students are expected to make a sincere effort to catch up on learning missed for any reason.  If you wish further clarification of this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the school.

Locker Assignments

Students that selected a locker during course selection will be before the start of the year. The locker number and combination will be posted to Student Connect prior to the first day of school. Any available lockers will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. Lockers can be requested at the office or through the Google Form emailed to students. Students should have their own lock for the PE change rooms in order to properly secure their belongings.  The school is not responsible for the loss of any items from their locker in the hallway or in the PE change rooms.

My School Day App

The SDSS App is a school communication and organizer app available to students and parents. The app provides access to important school information, a calendar of events, push notifications, school news and announcements, subscribed channels as well as a daily planning calendar that students are encouraged to use to record homework, assignments, and test dates. The app can be set up on a smartphone or tablet. You can download the app free through the App Store. https://sd.deltasd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2022/08/MySchoolDay1Page-app.pdf

Textbooks

The school lends textbooks to students for use during the school year. Students are held responsible for their textbooks and are required to pay replacement costs for lost texts and repair costs for damaged texts.

Photographs

SDSS students will have their photographs taken on Tuesday, September 12th.  Photos are required for Transit ID, yearbooks, and certificates.  If you would like to purchase a photo package please logon to www.artonagroup.com to choose your package and pay for your selection.  Appropriate attire is required for photographs and hats are not to be worn.  Retakes are scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, October 17th.

Cafeteria

SDSS has a wonderful teaching cafeteria program. However, routines and procedures in the teaching kitchen take some time to establish. There will be no cafeteria services available during the first week of school and limited services during the first few weeks of September. Regular service will likely commence by the end of the month.

Protocol for Parent Concerns at South Delta Secondary

If parents have concerns about general school procedures or issues stemming from their student’s classroom, there is a procedure for raising those concerns.

If the concerns originate in the classroom, the first and most important person to communicate those issues with is your child’s teacher with a phone call, email, or with making an appointment to meet with the teacher. If in this discussion you continue to have unresolved concerns then it is appropriate to be in contact with your student’s counsellor.

If your concern is not addressed to your satisfaction after the counsellor has intervened, then please come directly to the administrator of your student’s grade. If there is still an outstanding concern, contact the principal.

We are always willing to speak with parents to explain how and why particular decisions have been made and to listen openly to suggestions that might make our school community a better place. We will do our best to work along with you to solve problems.

We want South Delta to be a community that supports student learning and nurtures the hearts of students and families. To maintain a positive working relationship, please follow the protocol as outlined when difficulties arise. Sharing difficulties in more round about ways (eg. classroom e-mail lists, social media sites that are public forums or have open pages, or sideline discussions, etc.) in isolation of school staff does not support a positive school community and in fact leads to misinformation and hard feelings.

It is imperative that we remain respectful in our interactions and solve problems in a way that benefits everyone. Our students are watching our examples.

Parking and Pick Up/Drop off Areas

With nearly 1,500 students and staff coming to South Delta Secondary School every day, the traffic before 8:30am and after 2:45pm is quite congested. To ensure the safety of all when traffic is busy, please use the designated areas when dropping off or picking up your student(s) from SDSS. The preferred place to pick up or drop off students is in the parking lot off of 8A Avenue. It is not the closest to the school, but the lot has the most area to ensure everyone is safe. Please do not enter the staff parking lot. Happy, safe driving!

Academic Integrity (Plagiarism)

The staff of South Delta Secondary School shares a concern about plagiarism in the various assignments and projects submitted by students.  A common misconception is that rewriting something is not plagiarism because the student is “putting it in their own words”; however, the majority of plagiarism is a result of text manipulation.   Plagiarism, according to the American College Dictionary is “copying or imitating the language, ideas and thoughts of another author, and passing off the same as one’s own original work.”  If the source is not officially acknowledged, it is plagiarism.  Plagiarism is dishonest.

The following is the policy of South Delta Secondary School concerning plagiarism:

  • Whenever students use any idea derived substantially and directly from a published work, from a fellow student, or from any other source, they must explicitly acknowledge the nature and extent of the indebtedness.
  • Whenever students borrow three or more words, an original term, or a distinctive turn of phrase from a published work, from a fellow student or from any other source, they must enclose the borrowed element in quotation marks and explicitly acknowledge their indebtedness.

Appropriate Dress for School

SDSS recognizes the importance of teenage clothing styles and understands that not all of the current styles are appropriate attire to wear to school.

Our school is not unlike a place of business, where there are appropriate standards of dress that communicate respect for self and others. At all times, we expect that students will avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing and informal. We ask students to be mindful of others and respectful of their sensitivities. Delta School District is obligated to provide a safe and comfortable work environment for all its employees and a suitable learning environment for all students. We ask parents and students for their support. Please speak with your student(s) about the necessity of wearing work-appropriate clothing to school. If you wish further clarification of this matter, please contact the school at 604-943-7407.

Class of 2024

We’d like to give a special welcome to the members of this year’s graduating class, the class of 2024. For most of you (and your parents), this year has arrived very quickly. This is clearly an exciting and important time in your life and if you apply yourself and commit to maintaining a healthy balance in your life and in your schooling, you will be rewarded. At the completion of this school year, you will be moving on to post-secondary studies or to careers in the world of work.

It is important, therefore, that each of you have as successful a year as you can. By doing your best you will be able to put yourself in a good position for next year and be able to keep many options open. You’re also exercising your “learning muscles” and developing the habits that you will need in post-secondary. So don’t shy away from challenges!

As the graduating class you also have a key role to play in the life of South Delta Secondary School. You can be expected to provide both leadership and a sense of purpose to the rest of the student body. Make this year a positive one!

As individuals, and as a collective, you have tremendous potential. Set goals for yourselves and, with the help of your teachers and parents, go after them. Have a great senior year!

Grad Fees

At the beginning of the school year the grade 12’s are assessed a $40.00 “Grad Fee”. This fee goes towards the cost of the Valedictory Event. There will be additional costs for various events and activities throughout the year.

Graduation Requirements

It is the responsibility of the students to ensure that graduation requirements are met. Please refer to the Course Planning Guide or check with your counsellor regarding graduation requirements. For the most up to date post-secondary requirements it is absolutely necessary to check your program with a counsellor or the Career Information Advisor.

Career Life Connections

Career Life Connections is a non-enrolling required course required for graduation. The course includes an online component and a Capstone Project that is a significant requirement of the grad plan. All Grade 12s will be invited to join the CLC Google Classroom.

Respectful Behaviour

In recent years, there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour from some youth in the community at certain times of the year. In Tsawwassen, this has been a concern at the start of the school year and more recently on Halloween. This type of behaviour varies widely from school to school, from community to community, and even from year to year. Concerns include incidents of alcohol and drug use, vandalism and other property damage, and reckless and dangerous behaviour such as directing fireworks at other students and even first responders. Such incidents often lead to conflict with community members and put a drain on the time and resources of the Delta Police Department and City of Delta. They also have the potential to fuel division within the school community and to impact relationships, feelings of trust and good will in the wider community.

We would appreciate all parents/guardians having regular conversations with their child(ren) regarding the need to respect our community and to remind them that actions have consequences, even as a bystander. Vandalizing property, setting fires, fighting, underage drinking and more, can have serious and potentially lifelong consequences including suspension from school, criminal charges, a criminal record, and injury, not to mention the financial cost for those who are forced to clean up. We would also request that parents/guardians don’t enable students to engage in such behaviour, for example, by hosting social events for students that involve alcohol.

At the start of each school year, we remind students of the expectations included in the District and School Code of Conduct https://sd.deltasd.bc.ca/our-school/sdss-code-of-conduct/, and the importance of reporting concerns to a trusted adult and/or by using the anonymous online ERASE Reporting website. We encourage all parents/guardians to review these Codes of Conduct with their child(ren).

Students who are unable to meet the District and School Codes of Conduct may suffer from a range of repercussions, including:

  • Loss of privileges to participate in school-initiated events and activities, for example,
    • school sports teams
    • musical productions
    • competitions
    • Grad Events such as Grad Boat Cruise, Dances, Red Carpet and Grad Banquet
  • In or out of school suspension
  • Criminal charges

Please note: These repercussions apply to student conduct while at school, and also to student conduct in the wider community where it negatively impacts the school.

To help ensure a safe, positive environment, we are asking students and their parents/guardians to read the information below. In addition, before the new school year begins, the Expectations for Students below will be added to the documents on Parent Connect for you to review and acknowledge.

Expectations for Students

  • Abide by the School and District Code of Conduct.
  • Regular attendance in all classes.
  • No involvement in the harm or discrimination of others based on: race, religion, gender, physical or intellectual disability, sexual orientation, age, etc.
  • No involvement with drugs, alcohol, smoking, vaping or restricted substances during the school day or during any school-sponsored events, activities or field trips.
  • No involvement in threatening, bullying, harassing, intimidating or interfering with the emotional and physical well-being of others, including by electronic means.
  • No involvement in physical violence or gang-related behaviours.
  • No involvement in theft or damage to school property or the property of others.
  • No possession of dangerous articles or items that could be used as a weapon.
  • No involvement in any activity deemed a “prank” in the school or community that jeopardizes the safety, well-being, security of others and/or property. This could include:
  • Damage to school property or to property in the community.
  • Actions that result in a financial cost to individuals, the District or businesses in the community.
  • Behaviours that damage the school’s reputation.
  • Actions that negatively impact the physical or emotional well-being of students, staff and/or the community.
  • Actions that disrupt the teaching and learning environment.

I hope that you will take the time to talk with your child about making responsible choices. We are all part of this amazing community of Delta, and we all share a responsibility in keeping property and each other safe.

 

SDSS 2023/2024 School and Course Fees

Notification of the fees owed by your student according to the courses in which he/she is enrolled will be viewable on Parent Connect in early October. Fees are payable online or in-person at the school office. In order for your payment to be applied correctly, please include your student’s five digit student number.

No fees will be charged for regular courses or programs. However, legislation has clarified areas where school fees may be charged. Fees must be paid in advance of participation in extra-curricular activities including overnight field trips or grad events. In accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines, fees will be charged in certain courses for various activities and/or materials as outlined below:

Student Activity Fees: All students are required to pay their student fee which covers the cost of the My School Day App and helps with Athletics, Student Council, Assemblies, Guest Speakers, Awards and Earthquake Preparedness.

Grad Fee: Grade 12 students will be required to pay a Graduation Fee to help defray costs associated with the purchase of caps, tassels, gowns and facility rental for Valedictory.

Athletics: Students playing on any school athletic team will be expected to pay a sport specific athletic fee to help offset the cost of transportation, officials, registration, etc. Fees vary according to the expenses incurred by the particular sport and league.

Technical Education: No fees will be charged for any projects in Grade 8, however, in Grades 9 – 12 students will be charged the cost of materials for any take home projects and/or where enhanced materials are selected (e.g. higher grade of wood from the basic quality supplied by the school).

Home Economics: No fees will be charged for any projects in Grade 8 or ingredients for any Foods and Nutrition class meals. However, in Grades 9 – 12 students will be charged the cost of fabric for any take home projects and/or where enhanced materials are selected (e.g. student selects and purchases their own fabric). Due to the differences in thread qualities which can affect proper sewing machine function, a $20 fee is charged for bulk purchase of consumables like thread, needles, snaps, etc. Students wishing to participate in the optional “Gifts from the Kitchen” Christmas baking will be expected to pay for costs of the ingredients.

Art: No fees will be charged for any projects except where students choose to paint on canvas rather than paper. Students in some courses will be expected to have a sketchbook, which are available through the school at cost.

Music: Guitar students have the option of bringing in their own or paying $20.00 for the rental and use of in-house, school-supplied guitars. Rental fee also includes one set of strings and a pick. Choir students have the option of purchasing a music folder and/or black shirt at cost.

Physical Education: Particularly in P.E. 11 and 12, students will have the opportunity to participate in off campus field trips and activities at cost. Students will be given the opportunity to complete the Emergency First Aid certification at cost. In accordance with Ministry guidelines, a fee will be charged for Superfit.

Cook Training: In accordance with Ministry guidelines, students are charged $25.00 to pay for the cost of purchasing a uniform/apron and having it freshly laundered each day. Impeccable laundry hygiene must be adhered to in order to prevent food contamination from day to day.

Work Books: No fees will be charged for any textbooks; however, in some courses students will be offered the option of purchasing a supplemental student workbook. These books may be taken home, written in, and used at the students’ discretion. School copies of the workbook will be available to students not wishing to purchase their own, but student must not write in them and must return them at the end of the school year in good condition. In some cases a deposit will be collected for school supplied work books.

Field Trips: Throughout the year, in various courses, students will be invited to participate in course related field trips at cost. Although these trips are designed to enrich students’ learning experience, participation will be optional.

Accommodating Hardship: Where economic hardship is a barrier to participation, the school will work with parents and students to find alternate means to allow the student to participate. Questions regarding this process should be addressed to the Principal or your child’s counsellor.

Yearbook: Optional purchase. All other schools fees much be paid before a yearbook can be purchased.

 Important Dates to Note

Grade 8 Parent and Student Night – Wednesday, August 30st   6:00 pm

New International Student Orientation – Thursday, August 31st   9:00 am – 2:00 pm

School Opens – Tuesday, September 5th

School Photos – Tuesday, September 12th

Meet the Teacher Evening – Thursday, September 21st @ 6:00 pm

Non-Instructional Day – Friday, September 22nd

Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Monday, October 2nd

For a complete calendar of events, check out the SDSS website:

https://sd.deltasd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2023/06/CALENDAR-APPENDIX-II-23-24-1-1.pdf

Contacts

Administration

Mr. Terry Ainge, Principal (Grade 12s) – tainge@deltaschools.ca

Mr. Kevin Dalgetty, Vice-Principal (Grades 9 & 11) – kdalgetty@deltaschools.ca

Mrs. Terri Farnden, Vice-Principal (Grades 8 &10) – tfarnden@deltaschools.ca

Counsellor Assignments

Ms. Val Hayes – Grade 12 and Grade 8 (L-Q) – vhayes@deltaschools.ca

Ms. Karen Kilpatrick – Grade 9 and Grade 8 (R-Z) – kkilpatrick@deltaschools.ca

Ms. Leah Masse – Grade 10 and Grade 8 (A-D) – lmasse@deltaschools.ca

Ms. Kristy Abel – Grade 11 and Grade 8 (E-K) – kabel@deltaschools.ca

Click here for a complete SDSS staff directory.

Mental Wellness Resources

From time to time, we all need additional support. Students are encouraged to contact their counsellor for support and/or access the resources below:

CRISIS HOTLINES

 

RESOURCES

 

Parents are also encouraged to access the Teen Mental Health Parent Resources.