Back to school information

Back to school information
Posted on 01/09/2018

Hello Churchill Families!

Here’s hoping that you have had a relaxing and fun-filled summer with loved ones! We are gearing up to head back to another enriching and exciting school year.

For those of you new to Churchill Alternative, my name is Erin Paynter, and I have the privilege of being the Principal of this wonderful school. This will be my second year at Churchill, and I look forward to continuing to learn alongside this great community of staff, students, and families.

Here is some start-up information that you should find useful.

Our school office will re-open on Monday, August 28th at 8:30am. At that time, we will be available to answer any questions you may have, or facilitate any registrations. Please note that the first morning is always very busy, and our office staff will be attempting to return messages and serve families as promptly as possible.

Our Open House will be on Thursday, August 31st from 10:00am-11:00am. At this time, families may see class lists, and visit their child’s classroom(s). Please note that not all staff may be present during this time, but that classrooms will be open. If your child’s teacher is not available during the Open House, please be respectful of the classroom space and leave items and furniture where it is during your visit. Please note that students must be with an adult during the Open House.

Transportation information can be found at the Ottawa School Bus Transportation Authority (OSTA) website at There is a Parent Portal button at the top left where you may access bus stop information.

Purchasing school supplies is completely optional as the school will be providing everything necessary for your child to learn. Traditionally, we collect a voluntary fee in order to purchase common supplies for the classrooms. If there are any unique items particular to a specific learning activity, your child’s teacher will communicate that to you. More information about voluntary fees and supplies will come home during the first week of school.

Our school is fortunate to work alongside an amazing School Council team. The Churchill Alternative School Council, or CASC, is a team of parents who meet once a month to discuss and provide input on a variety of school issues, such as learning goals, assessment and evaluation, technology integration, anti-bullying and other equity issues, and in our particular case, the alternative tenets. CASC is in the middle of an ambitious fundraising initiative to rejuvenate our school yard, and we are well on our way thanks to a strong partnership between staff, parents and our community at large. There are many ways in which parents can get involved -as little or as much as you want or can – and more information will come home at the beginning of September. We hope to see new and returning families!

Our school communicates to families in a variety of ways. Teachers may use phone calls, emails, blogs, or Facebook pages to share the learning that is happening in the classroom. Your child’s teacher will share their communication plan with you at the beginning of the year. The school has a website at where you can find information, events, and updates, as well as a Twitter account (@churchillalt) and a Facebook page. We encourage you to subscribe and follow on these platforms. We also send emails through the School Connects platform, and through a weekly email newsletter combined with CASC. Needless to say, there are many ways to stay connected to the school. Media permission forms will be available to families the first week of school.

The first day of school for students in grades 1-6 is Tuesday, September 5th. Yard supervision begins at 7:45am. Please do not leave your child unattended on the yard before this time. Please note that there is no access to Ravenhill Drive between 7:45am-8:15am, and again at 2:15pm-2:45pm as it becomes a bus loading area. There will be staff directing traffic, and Ottawa by-law does enforce this with fines and tickets. We encourage students to walk, or wheel to school as much as possible. If you must drive, please use Edision, or other nearby street to drop your child off. Please do not bring dogs onto the school yard, or inside the school – they are to remain on their leashes on the sidewalks. Bikes, skateboards, and scooters must be walked on the sidewalk in front of the school as this area gets very congested before and after school.

For students in kindergarten, the entry process will be as follows (please note that Year 1 refers to what was previously known as JK, and Year 2 refers to SK):

Day 1 (Sept.5/17): In-take Interviews/Welcome for Year One and first time parents and students

Day 2 (Sept.6/17): In-take Interviews/Welcome for Year One and first time parents and students

Day 3 (Sept.7/17): All Year Two kindergarten students attend PLUS the portion of Year 1 students who have registered for EDP.
All students registered for EDP attend both the core day and EDP on Day 3.

Day 4 (Sept.8/17): All Year One and Year Two students attend

Kindergarten families with students entering Year One would have received a letter with their intake times in June. If you are not sure of your intake time, please contact the school.

Our school day is 8:00am to 2:30pm. Regular and punctual attendance is fundamental to school success, and families are key to helping set the right habits for school attendance. From your child’s first day of schooling, the family can set the
expectation that school attendance matters, and model being on time on a daily basis. We understand that from time-to-time your child will be sick, or something will happen in your morning routine that results in your child being late, but chronic absenteeism and lateness can impact on student performance, and we appreciate you ensuring that students arrive on time for school. If you are facing tough challenges that are impeding this, the school can help. Please reach out to us so that we can support you and your child.

Please feel free to contact the school should you have any questions. I can be reached via email at We are excited to welcome everyone on September 5th! Here’s to a great year of learning!

Take good care,

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