School Handbook

Welcome To Miniota School

To provide sound educational experiences for children is both challenging and rewarding. The entire staff works as a team to carry out this success, but the ultimate success of any school is determined by how well the school, the home, and the community work together in the best interests of children.

We encourage parents to be involved in your children’s education. It is important that you be familiar with the school, the programs and the teachers early in the school year. This handbook will provide you with the information, which will help you and your children to know and enjoy Miniota School.

The staff wishes you and your children success, satisfaction, and happiness at Miniota School. We invite you to continue to be informed about and involved with your children’s education at our school. Please contact your children’s teachers or the school administration should you have any questions or concerns.

By continuing to work together, we do make a positive difference and your children are the winners!

Mission Statement

As a partner in Park West School Division, Miniota School will provide a safe and caring environment in which all students can grow academically, emotionally and physically.

School Motto

Small School, Big Heart, Achieving Excellence

General Goals

Ø To develop in students an eagerness for learning, thinking skills, problem solving skills and creativity.

Ø To develop competence in reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, representing and computational skills.

Ø To demonstrate through actions of students and staff, sound discipline, self-respect, respect for others and respect for the school.

Ø To develop positive attitudes and good work habits.

Ø To develop in students a feeling of self-worth and pride in their work and achievements.

Ø To develop in students, skills to become physically fit and understand the importance of good health and safety practices.

Ø To involve and inform the school community.

General Information

Miniota School is a K-8 school in the Park West School Division.

Grade K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Enrollment 9 12 7 10 11 9 2 10 2

Total: 72 students

Facilities: Five regular classrooms, library, resource office, kitchen (staff room), gym, main offices, stage and storage room, nursery school room, and daycare room.


Teachers % Teaching Load

Lewis, Trevor 100 Principal, Gr.7-8 Math, ELA, Science & Gr. 5-8 Phys. Ed.

Paull, Stacy 90 Grade 5-6 Math, ELA, Science & Social Studies

Lelond, Tricia 90 Resource/Guidance, Gr. 7-8 ELA, Gr. 1-8 French & K - 8 Music

King, Britta 100 Kindergarten all subjects

Mines, Madison 100 Gr. 1-2 all subjects

Graham, Tynelle 100 Gr. 3-4 all subjects

Walker, Janine Custodian

Sheane, Laurie Secretary/Librarian

Gardham, Shelley Education Assistant

Muir, Courtney Education Assistant

Armitage, Amber Education Assistant

Gurr, Murray Bus Driver

Anderson, Tiffany Bus Driver

Kestirke, Fred Bus Driver

Programs Offered

Miniota School offers all regular Kindergarten to Grade 8 Manitoba Education Curricula. Subjects offered are English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education/Health, French, Art and Music. Our Kindergarten program is a ¾ time program (half time from September to February and then full time for the remainder of the year).

Park West School Division

Weather Related Emergencies

Due to the uncertainty of Manitoba weather and road conditions, the Board of The Park West School Division approves the following precautions and procedures to ensure the safety of all students.

Emergency Billets

  • All parents of transported students shall arrange an alternate place for their children to stay in town should the buses not be able to operate safely. Parents who are unable to locate a billet home should contact the school principal for assistance. In the event of an emergency situation arising, the school will contact billets. The billet home will contact the parents.

  • Parents may choose to make their own transportation arrangements for their children and eliminate the need for a billet home. When this choice has been made the school will contact these parents if buses are unable to operate.

  • Billet information must be filed with the school no later than October 1 of each year and must be updated annually or as required.

Severe Weather Policy

Student safety has the highest priority with Park West School Division. With respect to transported students, the Division, under the provisions of the Public Schools Act and supporting regulations, is responsible for student safety from the time that students board the bus in the morning and are delivered back to their designated stop after school. In the event that bus transportation is deemed unsafe due to weather conditions, policy and procedures will determine the process for cancellation of bus service and related school closures.

With respect to severe weather, the division is divided into 2 regions. The CEO in consultation with the Transportation Supervisor may cancel bus transportation in one or both regions.

The regions are delimited as follows:

North: Binscarth, Inglis, Major Pratt, Rossburn

South: Birtle, Decker, Hamiota, Kenton, Miniota, Shoal Lake, Strathclair

In any unforeseen circumstances, the CEO in consultation with the Transportation Supervisor has the authority to decide whether or not there is a full or partial cancellation of bus service. Severe weather for the purpose of this procedure is classified into 2 categories:

1.) Wind Chill Days

2.) Storm Days

Wind Chill Days

School bus service will be cancelled if the wind chill factor reaches -45 C, as reported by Environment Canada for Shoal Lake weather station at 6:00 a.m.. When the wind chill factor is between -40 C and -45 C, the Transportation Supervisor will consider existing road and local weather conditions to determine the advisability of school bus service. On wind chill days, although bus service may be cancelled, schools are considered to be open and all staff will report for work at their school as usual. Students may attend school at parent discretion.

Storm Days

Storm days occur when weather conditions, warnings, road closures or report of impending weather conditions create visibility and/or road conditions that make travel unsafe or impossible. Adverse weather conditions include reduced visibility due to extreme fog and/or blowing snow and hazardous road conditions or road closure due to snow and/or ice covered sections.

Parents have the fullest knowledge of actual and probable road and weather conditions in their area. They are obliged to exercise discretion in permitting their children to ride the bus when weather conditions are, or expected to become, dangerously inclement. Parents shall call the school if their children will not be attending.

a. Individual Bus Cancellations

The individual bus driver shall decide, in consultation with the area captain, whether or not he/she can safely get students to school that morning. If the bus driver is unable to make the regular run, he/she shall inform the Transportation Supervisor and the parents on the route. The Transportation Supervisor shall inform the principal of the school and the CEO. For individual bus cancellations, school is considered to be open and all staff will report for work at their school as usual. Students are also expected to attend school.

b. Regional or Division-Wide Bus Cancellation or School Closures

The Transportation Supervisor will consult with area captains and recommend to the CEO whether weather conditions are such that bus service is deemed inadvisable for one or both regions. When regional or division-wide bus service is cancelled, schools are considered closed. Staff attendance is discretionary. Students do not attend school. If schools are closed division-wide due to a storm, division office staff, and other non-school assigned staff attend work at their discretion. It is an expectation that staff be available via phone should contact be required. The school principal/head custodian is responsible for the safety and security of the building on all weather related closure days. The principal must also ensure that someone is at the school in the morning to meet any students that may come to school inadvertently. In cases where principals do not live in the community it is expected that the principal will make appropriate arrangements.

c. Afternoon Bus Cancellations

Buses will either leave at their regularly scheduled time or not at all. In order to ensure the safety of transported students, it is recommended that buses do not leave the school at other than regularly scheduled times. If the weather has deteriorated significantly over the day, the buses will not run in the afternoon. This decision will be made by 2:00 p.m. so that schools have ample time to notify parents and/or arrange appropriate billets.

Notification of Wind Chill and/or Storm Days

For a wind chill day and a region or division-wide storm day, the Transportation Supervisor shall:

* Notify CBC Radio One (990 AM and 89.3 FM), CJGX (940 AM), CKDM (730 AM), CKLQ (880 AM), STAR FM (94.7 FM), KX96 (96.1 FM) and The Farm (101.1FM) of school closures and/or bus cancellations by 6:45 a.m.

* Post the announcement on the Park West School Division website

* Notify the principals so appropriate information is available for parents and staff

* Notify the bus drivers, who in turn, call all of the parents on their route

Dress for Transported Students

The Board recognizes the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children are appropriately dressed for weather conditions, but requests that bus drivers report to the Principal, those students who are inadequately dressed for the prevailing weather conditions. If students are not prepared to wear articles of clothing appropriate to the weather conditions they should be requested to bring appropriate apparel in a tote bag.

Students Who Walk

Parents of students who walk to school are expected to use their judgment respecting the advisability of sending their students to school during extreme weather conditions. If parents have any reason to believe that there is a problem, and decide to keep their children home, they are to contact the school.

Resource Centre

Throughout the grade levels, the library program is designed to encourage and stimulate an interest in reading as well as provide additional resource material to support student work in other subject areas. Throughout K-8 the emphasis of the library program includes topics on how to use a library, how to find information in a specific book, how to develop research skills and technology tools.

School Hours

Breakfast Program

8:40 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.


9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

12:50 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.

2:20 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Lunch Hour

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Lunch in home room)

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. (recess outside)


10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

2:05 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Town students are asked to please not arrive at the school in the mornings before 8:20.

School Nutrition Policy

In accordance with the Manitoba Government’s new Health Initiatives, Miniota School will be offering healthy food choices for students as per school and division policy. We encourage parents to do the same.

Administering of Medication in School

The division recognizes that in rare circumstances children may have to be given medication during the school day. The only medication to be given will be that as prescribed by a medical doctor and under the following conditions:

  1. A signed letter from the parents permitting the school to give the medication.

  2. The medical container should carry the official label from the druggist stating the child’s name, the name of the drug, the dosage to be administered and if possible the time of day it is to be given.

  3. A reasonable supply of the medication should be delivered to the administrator’s office.

  4. The medication should be kept in a safe place in the school office and administered by the principal or his/her delegate.

Accident Procedures

The school requests that parents leave the name and phone number of someone to contact in case of an accident or emergency on the registration form. It is important that this information be kept up to date in each student’s file. A child who receives a minor injury such as a scrape, bruise or cut will be attended to by our staff. Should a child receive a more serious injury, please note the following procedure:

  1. Attempts will be made to notify parents or guardians at home or at work. Failing to establish contact, the emergency contact person will be called.

  2. Should no one be available for us to contact, the child will be taken to the nearest hospital for medical aid.

  3. If necessary, the school will call an ambulance. Most accidents that occur in school can be handled by our staff. However, we want parents to know that we will move very quickly to ensure speedy medical attention should a serious accident occur.


The PWSD has purchased accident insurance for every student within the division. This insurance covers any student during school hours and also during any school activity which occurs after school hours.

Parents are encouraged to subscribe to the Student Accident Insurance offered through the school division in September of each year if they want their child(ren) covered during non-school hours, sports, etc.

Indoor Footwear Required

All students should have a pair of non-scuff runners for indoor wear at school in addition to the footwear worn to and from home. The indoor runners remain clean and are worn in class and for Phys. Ed. class. Parents are asked to NOT purchase blue and black-soled runners (unless they clearly state they are non-scuff) as these mark tiled floors badly. Students are required to remove outdoor footwear and place it on the boot trays or in their lockers upon entering the building. This assists in keeping classrooms, hallways and gym floors clean. Students should not walk in stocking feet or bare feet for health and safety reasons (ex. fire drill). Indoor footwear should be labeled clearly and kept in the locker or on the boot trays at the entrance. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Loading / Unloading Bay

Please use the one-way loading / unloading loop in front of the school to drop off and pick up your children except between the hours of 8:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., or in the afternoon between 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. At these times, parents are asked to park south of the loading zone or on the north side of the school, not anywhere on the street in front of the school. Please make anyone else aware of these loading & unloading areas, if they are picking up or dropping off your children.

Communication With Parents

Reporting on Student Progress:

Teachers evaluate student progress on the basis of work habits, behavior, attitude and testing. Staff uses their own individualized reporting style. Written reports are sent home in November, March and June. Conferences with parents are held in November and in March, or any other time if required.

General Communication:

Open House is held in September. Newsletters and memorandums are sent home. A number of electronic communication opportunities are also available such as Remind, email, class dojo and Facebook. Telephone calls are made to parents when serious concerns arise.

School Website:

We have a school website to help parents and students keep up to date with information such as our school calendar, special events and sports schedules and/or results. The address for the website is:

Crisis Management

The Board of The Park West School Division is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in schools in which students, staff, parents, and others feel safe. To this end, the Board shall establish a protocol for responding to student threats/high-risk behaviours. Miniota School has a Crisis Management team in place for such incidences and/or behaviours.

Bus Evacuation Drill

All students are trained for the procedure used in emergency evacuation of a school bus. Drills are held at the school twice a year – once in the Fall and once in the Spring.

School Absence Policy

Parents are asked to notify the school of a child’s absence before or on the day of the absence. If the teacher is unaware of an absent child’s whereabouts and the school has not been informed, a phone call will be made to verify the child’s whereabouts.

Student Phone

Students wishing to use the telephone to call home must first get permission from a teacher. Cell phones are not to be used during school hours. If a student is caught using a cell phone, it will be confiscated for the day plus lose the right to bring the phone to the school. If caught with the phone after the first incident, the cell phone will be confiscated for 1 week, with the parents having to come to the school to retrieve it. Any further incidences will result in further consequences in consultation with the student and parents.

Lunch Rules

Students will sit at tables in the classroom from 11:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Good manners and appropriate conversation are expected.

  1. Students are expected to clean up after themselves.

  2. Town students are welcome to eat lunch at school; however, they are expected to stay at the school for the duration of the noon hour.

  3. If students are indoors because of weather conditions, a suitable indoor activity such as reading, conversing, indoor games, etc. is required.

Recess Policy

Recesses are unstructured times throughout the school day where students are expected to go outside. These times allow the students to “play” and get refocused for the class periods that follow. All students are expected to go outside during recesses throughout the year unless other activities – homework, intramurals, sports practices, student council, discipline, etc. – require them to remain inside. For this reason, it is very important that parents ensure their children are dressed appropriately for the weather. In situations where the weather is extreme – too cold, raining, wind and/or lightning storms – students will be allowed to stay indoors. If parents wish their children to remain indoors due to illness or other reasons, a dated note addressed to the teacher would be appreciated.

Playground Area

  1. Students will play on the school grounds provided they play in an acceptable manner.

  2. Students will not be allowed to loiter in doorways.

  3. Students must come to their classes immediately after the bell.

  4. Students should practice good citizenship on the playground. (Example: no fighting, harassment, swearing, snowballs (division policy)).

  5. Students should have a letter from parents before leaving school property.

  6. Parking lot including bicycle stand is not part of the playground.

  7. The front of the school, although part of school grounds, is not for football or other games.

  8. Students who take equipment outside are responsible for returning it to its proper place. (Gym storage room)

Emergency School Evacuation

The school has an emergency program for emergencies that may arise during the school day. Each year drills must be held to familiarize and reinforce pupils with proper evacuation procedures. The purpose of drills is an exercise in discipline, not speed, although reasonable prompt evacuation is implemented.


Students who ride their bicycles to school are to place them in or near the bicycle racks. The school assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged bicycles. Bicycles are off limits throughout the day unless a student is going home at lunch or after school.

Nut Safe School

We make every attempt to be a nut safe school therefore we ask that no food containing nut products be sent to the school. (Example: peanut butter, peanut oil, any food item containing peanuts, etc.)

Noon Hour Milk Program

Chocolate milk is sold each day during noon hour at the school. Students wishing to purchase milk will require a milk card. Each card costs $20.00 and is good for 20 purchases. A hole is punched out of your card each time you buy a milk. When your card is close to being done, a note will be sent home indicating that a new card is needed. Parents may purchase a card for each child, or one card per family. At the end of the year, milk cards are saved to be used again in the new school year. For students leaving here at the end of Grade 8, or for anyone transferred out during the year, they will be reimbursed for any remaining credits on their card.

Label All Student Belongings

Please make sure runners, winter shoes, gym clothing and outerwear are marked with the student’s name. Check the lost and found boxes at parent/teacher conferences and other times you are in the school.

Dress Code

We expect our students to be neat, clean and to dress in good taste. For inclement weather, students are expected to dress appropriately.


Students in Grade 5-8 are provided a locker for the school year. Students wishing to use a lock can get one from the office or if they have their own lock they are required to give an extra key to a staff member in case they misplace their own. Students should lock their locker at home time. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.

School Entrances

- Students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 enter the school via the south entrance.

- Students in Grades 5-8 enter the school via the main entrance.