1. Q: Is there a waiting list, and if so, how does that work?

A: Students usually start in the APPLE Program in Junior Kindergarten (JK). If families are interested in the program, we ask that they put their name on a list with the Registrar well in advance of the school year. Families are contacted in the Spring in order of signing up, to confirm their interest in the program. Some years we are unable to accommodate everyone on the list, in the FDK Program. We also have limited opportunities for students to start in the program in later years.

2. Q: When will I know if my child is accepted?

A: Families who previously signed up with the Registrar are contacted in the Spring.

3. Q: Is transportation provided?

A: Families are required to provide their own transportation to and from Arthur Ford School Public School unless you live within the regular school boundaries and qualify for transportation based on the criteria established for all schools by the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB).

4. Q: Does the entire school operate under the APPLE Program?

A: No. Currently approximately half of Arthur Ford Public School is APPLE.  The rest of the school is made up of children in the regular school zone. However, approximately half of the students in APPLE tend to also come from the regular school zone for Arthur Ford School.

5. Q: What are the class sizes?

A: The APPLE Program operates within the TVDSB and therefore must adhere to maximum class sizes mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The school Principal ultimately decides on the class size, but to contribute to TVDSB’s overall cost efficiency, APPLE classes tend to be close to the maximum, just like most classes in TVDSB.

6. Q: How is class duty scheduled?

A: A Duty Scheduler is assigned for each class at the beginning of the year. They are responsible for receiving requests for duty each month from each family in the class and scheduling families to “Duty Days”. The Duty Scheduler tries to accommodate as many requests as possible from each family.

7. Q: What if I can’t do class duty?

A: There are many other ways to participate in the program. Attendance at General Meetings, Enhancement Meetings, other committee work, other classroom duties, and classroom preparation can all be accomplished after hours. See the section of this website entitled “Volunteer Hours” for more information.

8. Q: What happens if I can’t make my 10-hour commitment?

A: The APPLE Program asks for an average commitment of 10 hours each month over the course of the year. Some months may be less, some may be more. Exceptions can be made for extraordinary circumstances but this should be communicated to the Program Chair. Families not reaching their commitment will receive communication from the APPLE Program Executive and potentially from the School Principal.

9. Q: Can family members do my hours?

A: Yes, other family members can help out and contribute to duty hours but duty time in the classroom will be balanced across all families who request hours. Anyone doing duty hours must have a police check completed and submitted through the Principal’s office.

10. Q: Do both parents get hours by attending meetings?

A: Yes.

11. Q: Who should I contact to find extra hours?

A: Your Class Chair or the Vice-Chair of Participation can provide ideas for extra hours.

12. Q: Do the classes go on more field trips?

A: Definitely! Parents assist with planning field trips and volunteer to drive students in grades four through eight to and from the destination, so APPLE classes can take more field trips. Fundraising activities also contribute funds to each classroom to subsidize the cost of these trips.

13. Q: How do they get to the field trips?

A: Parents may volunteer to drive students in grades four through eight to and from the field trip destination and in most cases help supervise the students during the activity. Parents who are available on the day of the field trip offer their assistance and then are assigned a driving list. In order to volunteer as a parent driver on field trips, the TVDSB insurance must be filled out and signed off by the Principal.  The vehicle used to transport APPLE students must be listed on the insurance form and the driver must have 1 million dollars liability on their vehicle.  All parents in APPLE who participate in the classroom or on field trips must submit a police records check to the school Principal.

14. Q: Can I bring my other children on the field trips?

A: No.  Board insurance regulations do not allow parents to bring other siblings if they are driving other students on a field trip.

15. Q: Why is attendance at Enhancement Meetings mandatory?

A: Enhancement Meetings are an important part of participating in your child’s education. During these meetings, teachers discuss the curriculum, current areas of study, areas of difficulty, field trips, and other classroom activities. A strong showing at these meetings is critical for demonstrating to the teacher that the parents want to be involved.

16. Q: What happens at a General Meeting?

A: General Meetings are an opportunity for the Parents’ Association to come together and discuss issues that affect the APPLE experience. Members of the Executive will provide an update and answer any questions from the Parents’ Association. The school administration will provide clarification on matters pertaining to the APPLE Program as they relate to the policies and procedures of the Thames Valley District School Board and any other matters that are the responsibility of the School Administration. The School Council Chair will update the Parents’ Association on matters pertaining to the global school community. Upcoming events and items related to our Vision, Mission statement and Beliefs may be reviewed and discussed. The General Meeting is an appropriate forum to discuss questions and concerns from the Parents’ Association.

17. Q: Can I bring my children to the meetings?

A: Discussions at Enhancement and General Meetings would not be as productive if students were allowed to attend. However, parents are welcome to bring infants if baby-sitting is difficult to arrange at their very young age.

18. Q: Why do you fundraise?

A: APPLE does fundraising to support the operating budget. The majority of the funds are put back into the classroom through a class budget that the teacher and parents are encouraged to spend on supplies for the classroom and class trips. Additional funds are required for Family Fun Nights and administration of the program.