Start-of-School “Procedures Tour”

For the past three years my elementary school has conducted a “School Procedures Tour.”  In the first year we conducted it in the spring––as a response to what teachers felt was some poor behaviour around the school at that time.  Following that, we became more proactive;  we started our school year with our tour.  By planning ahead like this we were able to anticipate possible problems before they happened and then simply created procedures that would avoid the problems altogether.

On the Procedures Tour ,students are introduced to, or reminded of, school procedures and expectations that all teachers hold for all students in four shared areas in the school.  We have about 250 students in our school of nine divisions.

On the first Friday afternoon of the school year, all the students are divided into four groups.  With the younger students, teachers write a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) on their hands (in washable felt pen) to indicate their group number (and starting station,) so they won’t forget.  For the very youngest students (K and 1,) big buddies from grade six come to collect the kids in their groups.

Two teachers escort each group around to four stations, where four more teachers are waiting to explain or lead a discussion of procedures in that area of the school.  Every ten minutes, our school secretary rings the bell to indicate that groups should move to the next station.  Teachers at the stations lead the kids through the expectations and procedures, often by asking the kids to suggest common sense procedures or ones that they remember from years past.

Here are our four stations and the types of things that we discuss at each.

1. Neighborhood Center Areas/Office/Hallways

  • Quiet activities are appropriate for this area
  • Students have access to this area before school and after school only.
  • Front doors of the school are for adults to enter the school, students
  • enter through the Neighbourhood Centre
  • Students may enter the other hallways when the bell rings
  • Bathroom etiquette
  • When walking in the halls, quiet respectful behaviour is important
  • If you want to run in the mornings, please run around the field rather than close to the school buildings
  • Ice packs should be kept at the office, please stay there (with an ice pack,) until you feel better
  • In poor weather, an announcement will be made to come inside
  • Phone calls are to be made by adults or with the permission of a teacher
  • Gym and change rooms are used only with the supervision of a teacher


2. Library/Computer Lab


  • Library is closed at recess but open at lunch
  • Library side door is for fire exits only
  • Behind the library desk is for adults only
  • We keep food and drinks in the classrooms, rather than the computer lab or library
  • We use the library rather than the alcove at lunch times
  • When leaving the library, clean up tables and push in chairs
  • Quiet voices in both library and lab
  • We walk in these areas
  • In the computer lab, volume should be kept low or use headphones
  • Grade six leadership volunteers are always available at lunch times in the lab
  • When leaving the computer lab, log out, line up mouse beside keyboard and push in chair
  • Internet use is only available under the supervision of a teacher
  • We use the printer during class times rather than during lunch times

3. Playgrounds/Swings

  • We don’t “save” swings
  • Safe swinging strategies!
  • Playground apparatus––watch for people under the monkey bars when going across
  • Respect should be shown to all adults on the playground
  • Keeping hands to self is expected
  • Appropriate language is expected
  • We stay down from dumpsters and earthquake kiosks
  • Garbage belongs in the garbage cans
  • Only sports equipment such as balls should be thrown
  • If a ball goes over the fence, get an adult to supervise the retrieval
  • Sticks can be used for digging
  • On poor weather days, we stay in the classroom
  • Please take toys and jackets when you first go out for recess/lunch play


4. Parking Lot/ Bus Line-Up Area

  • When on the bus, the driver is in charge.  General bus safety should be followed:  Stay in seat, speak in quiet voices, the aisle should be kept clear
  • Two or three students can sit on one seat
  • When getting ready to board the bus, students line up in grades, with grade sixes closest to the fence
  • Use sidewalks to walk near the parking lot––but not through it
  • Road safety
  • Bus students should stay nearby the bus area while waiting so they don’t miss bus when it comes
  • Planters are for plants––we play elsewhere