Eagles - Simonsdale Elementary School - Portsmouth Public Schools

241kB Size 177 Downloads 28 Views

Drivers should not at any time go around and pass vehicles in front of them .... are encouraged to wear bicycle helmets and must obey all traffic regulations.


4841 Clifford Street Portsmouth, Virginia 23701

Student/Parent Handbook

2014 - 2015


Principal Darlene Bright

Assistant Principal Tammy King


Welcome to Simonsdale Elementary, home of the Eagles. We are pleased to provide this school handbook to our students and parents. It contains important information about the daily operations, procedures, and expectations of our school. We encourage parents and students to read this handbook carefully and refer to it when necessary.

The staff, faculty and administration wish you a productive and successful school year. We look forward to working with our students and parents to make your educational experience at Simonsdale Elementary both positive and memorable.

Respectfully, Darlene F. Bright, Principal

SCHOOL CREED At Simonsdale I’m proud you see Studying hard is good for me Reading, math and all the rest Striving to always do my best Good citizenship and attendance too Will help to make my dreams come true I pledge each day to learn and achieve With Simon behind me I will succeed.

SCHOOL MASCOT Simon the Eagle



The staff, families, and volunteers of Simonsdale Elementary School accept the challenge to cooperatively teach, guide, and encourage all students to master the essential skills as they build on their pasts, maximize their presents, and plan their futures.


• Our students will meet or exceed assessment and grade level requirements.

• Our students will be socially accountable citizens who regularly attend school and arrive on time.


Simonsdale Elementary School prides itself in the basic goal of providing a quality education to all students. The Goals of Public Education included in the Standards of Quality for Public Schools in Virginia serve as the foundation for our endeavors to develop the academic and social skills of each student to the highest possible degree.

• We will continue to improve student achievement.

• We will encourage families to take a more active role in their child’s education.

• We will provide staff development opportunities for all members of our faculty and staff.

• We will develop school/community partnerships to meet the needs of our students.


Our School Improvement Plan identifies indicators that address: data collection and analysis, academic achievement and student progress, classroom instruction, and professional development. Our School’s Leadership Team identifies and creates tasks for each of the identified indicators and monitors the school’s progress throughout the year. An outline of our School Improvement Plan can be viewed on our school website.


Portsmouth Public Schools has adopted the following grading scale for grades K-6:

Grades K – 2 Marking Key: O Outstanding: Consistently exceeds grade level standards and objectives. S Satisfactory: Consistently meets grade level standards and objectives. N Needs Improvement: Experiences difficulty meeting grade level standards and objectives. U Unsatisfactory: Does not meet grade level standards and objectives. Not evaluated at this time.

Grades 3-6 90 - 100 = A 80 - 89 = B 70 - 79 = C 64 - 69 = D 63 & below = F


Mastery of skills in each core area is essential for students to meet academic success as they move through each grade level. Student mastery of essential skills is monitored throughout the year using weekly grade level and quarterly benchmark assessments. Student progress in grades 3 – 6 is also determined by Virginia State Standards of Learning Assessments (SOLs) at the end of the school year. Parents should encourage students to prepare for these assessments and support them in their efforts to do their best.

Assessment results are used to plan for instruction and remediation to support student learning. Remediation is provided at each grade level during their scheduled Core/Extension period built into their daily schedule. Our Before-School Academic Recovery Program is offered to all students needing additional support in Reading and Mathematics in grades 3 – 6. In addition, students can continue to review and strengthen academic skills by attending summer school. It is a proven fact that when parents are actively involved in their student’s schooling, the student has a greater chance of meeting academic success. We ask parents to:

• Review your child’s school agenda book daily and ask questions about what your child learned each day. • Review, sign, and return weekly progress reports, quarterly progress reports and report cards. • Set aside a time and a quiet place for doing homework and studying. • Review your child’s homework for completion and accuracy. • Read and review school papers and memos sent home in the Eagle Folder weekly. • Initiate contact with teachers regarding any academic/behavior concerns. • Limit television viewing and promote reading (20 minutes daily) • Encourage your child to always do his/her best. • Review benchmark and basal reader Unit Test scores sent home quart


Student Accident & Extended Dental Insurance is offered each year. A brochure outlining the various plans and coverage fees are sent home the first week of school. Parents are encouraged to take out this supplemental insurance on their child (ren). Parents must mail completed applications and fees directly to the insurance company when purchasing this coverage.


Parents are asked to show they value our instructional time as much as we do, by limiting appointments to before and after school. If it is necessary for a student to leave school during school hours, the parent should send a note that morning stating the time the student has to leave. Parents picking up students for appointments must do so through the main office. Students will be called to the office when parents arrive. Teachers will make every effort to have students ready when parents arrive.


1. Student arrival time is 9:00 a.m. 2. Students dropped off for breakfast can arrive between 8:40 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Breakfast ends at 9:00 a.m. 3. All students must be in homeroom by 9:15 a.m. 4. Students arriving after 9:15 a.m. are considered tardy and must report to the office to sign-in and obtain a pass to class. 5. Drivers are expected to use caution and drive safely when dropping off students in the morning. 6. Drivers should not at any time go around and pass vehicles in front of them when dropping off students.

P.M. Pick-Up Procedures Students are dismissed in the following order: Parent pick-ups/bus riders following afternoon announcements at 3:45 p.m., then walkers & Six-to-6 students.

1. Persons picking up students for regular dismissal should not arrive prior to 3:30 p.m. 2. All persons picking up students must have an “Eagle Card”. 3. Persons parking or walking to pick up students are to meet them by the exit doors closest to the river. (These students are released first.) 4. Drivers arriving early or waiting on students are expected to remain with their cars. 5. School staff will collect “Eagle Cards” and escort students to the appropriate cars in the order they are received. 6. Drivers are expected to use caution and drive safely when picking up students in the afternoons. 7. Drivers should not at any time go around and pass vehicles in front of them when picking up students.


Regular attendance is essential to the success of our students in school. This includes coming to school on time and remaining for the entire instructional school day. Academic subjects are taught in sequence requiring students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts in the order they are presented. Persistent absenteeism/tardiness creates a genuine hardship for students and is regarded as a serious problem the school will address.

The BYLAWS, POLICIES, AND PROCEDURES OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, CITY OF PORTSMOUTH in Section 6.05 STUDENT ABSENCES states: “A student absent from a class or from school for twenty (20) or more days (excused or unexcused) may be denied credit for that school year.” We know this will not be the case for most of our students; however, we do ask parents to assist us by:

1. Making sure students attend school regularly for the entire day and arrive on time. 2. Completing the Student Authorization and Emergency Forms and providing current and accurate telephone numbers so parents or another responsible adult can be notified of absences. 3. Sending a note to the student’s teacher in advance if he/she will be late or absent due to a scheduled appointment.

In the event a student is absent from school, parents will be notified through the Connect Ed Calling System. Parents no longer need to call the school to report student absences.

When a student returns to school it is absolutely necessary to send a note with the following information:

1. Date of note 2. Reason for absence

3. Date(s) of absence(s) 4. Signature of parent or guardian

All absences are unexcused until a note is received. Students who attend school every day for a full day will receive recognition for perfect attendance each nine weeks.


Excessive tardiness is taken seriously since valuable instructional time is lost when students arrive late to school. All students must be in homeroom by 9:15 a.m. Students arriving after 9:15 a.m. are considered tardy and must report to the office to sign in and obtain a pass to class. Students arriving late without an adult escort must provide a written note of explanation.


Visitors are asked to park in designated parking areas only. Additional parking is available in the front and to the side of the school. Parents using the ball field parking area should escort their children to the bus ramp crosswalk opposite the covered sidewalk and follow the path to the front entrance of the school. For the welfare and safety of all students, cars are not permitted in the bus ramp at any time. Cars are not permitted to pass each other in the front school driveway during the arrival and dismissal of students. Cars are not permitted to park or drive through the service area behind the school. Cars are not permitted to park in the parent pick-up driveway or in the bus ramp.




Please remember that our city code ordinance requires the registration of all bicycles. In addition, we suggest that students retain a record of their bicycle serial number. When traveling to and from school, students are encouraged to wear bicycle helmets and must obey all traffic regulations. The school assumes no responsibility for bicycles; however, provisions have been made to safeguard bicycles by requiring them to be properly parked and locked in the bicycle racks. All students riding bicycles to school must secure them with a lock. Students are to walk their bikes on school walkways during the arrival and dismissal of student.



Students who live 1/2 mile or more from school are eligible to ride the school bus. We encourage students eligible for bus transportation to ride the bus. Students are assigned to a bus and a designated bus stop. Students are not to ride on any other bus and must go to the bus stop closest to their homes unless a note is sent to the school requesting a change and a reason the change is needed.


It is a privilege to ride a school bus. Students are required to follow all safety rules when riding the bus which include the following:

1. Bus students are under the supervision of the bus driver and the school staff while loading, unloading, and riding the bus. 2. Bus students are to use only the bus and bus stop assigned. 3. Bus students are to remain seated, facing the front when the bus is in motion. 4. Bus students are to keep their head and limbs inside the bus at all times. 5. Bus students are not to play, push, or make loud noises on the bus. 6. Bus students are not to litter the inside of the bus or throw objects at, out of, or on the bus. 7. Bus students are to stand in an orderly, single file line, several feet from the curb before boarding the bus.

Please contact the school administrators regarding any problems related to the buses. Infractions of the above rules will be brought to the attention of parents through Bus Contact Notices. Students are allowed only one warning, which will be sent home by way of a letter. The second offense is an automatic suspension from the bus. Serious infractions will result in immediate suspension regardless of whether or not the student has received a previous notice. Students who continually abuse their bus privileges will have their bus transportation privileges revoked.


Our cafeteria staff provides well-balanced meals. Prices are indicated on the monthly menus. Breakfast is free for all students. Breakfast is served from 8:40 – 9:00 a.m. Charged lunches are approved only in cases of emergency and are payable the following day. Applications for free and reduced price lunches must be filled out each year. Lunch applications must be approved before students can receive free or reduced lunch. Without an approved lunch application on file, students will be charged regular price for lunches. Parents are responsible for covering this cost prior to getting the lunch application approved. If you did not receive a lunch application in the mail prior to school starting one can be obtained in the school’s main office. Parents are encouraged to use the online My School Bucks to manage student’s lunch accounts. Please refer to the Simonsdale School web-site to access this online service.


For the safety and welfare of our students, it is imperative that the school has an accurate address and telephone number(s) for each student. Parents are required to inform the school of any address, home/work telephone number, or cell number changes during the school year. Should your address change, you will be required to provide a current proof of residency (gas, electric, or water bill). Please designate an additional emergency contact person to be called in the event the school is unable to contact the parent or guardian.


Our staff makes every effort to maintain communication between home and school to inform parents regarding student progress and other school activities. Parents and school staff can communicate with each other via student agendas, telephone conferences, written correspondence, face-to- face conferences and e-mails.

Since we are a “green” school, a limited number of flyers and memos are sent home throughout the year. Much of our communications to parents are sent through the Connect Ed telephone messaging system and the digital marquee located on Clifford Street. The telephone numbers used by our Connect Ed system come from our student data base. The Connect Ed system calls one primary number per household. Please provide an accurate land line or cell phone number for the Connect Ed system to call. Parents can find additional school and district information needed on our Simonsdale Elementary and/or Portsmouth Public Schools websites (http\\www.pps.k12.va.us).


Conferences can be scheduled before or after the school day or during teacher planning time. Teachers are unable to be available for conferences during our instructional time. Please send a note/email to your child’s teacher or call the school at 465-2917 to arrange a conference.


Simonsdale Elementary School has high expectations for its students. Each student is expected to be respectful and courteous to fellow students and staff members at all times. Certain behaviors will not be tolerated and students who do not follow the school guidelines will be disciplined based on the severity of the offense and the consequences recommended in the Student Code of Conduct. Please review the behavioral expectations and rules sent home during the first week of school in order to become familiar with the required procedures and expectations. Teachers will make every effort to handle discipline problems in the classroom by implementing a classroom management system appropriate for their grade level. It may be necessary however, to refer students to an administrator for serious discipline problems: disruptive behavior, fighting, stealing, and destroying school property, disrespecting teachers, using vulgar language, or repeated violations of rules. If this occurs, an administrator will make every effort to contact the parent via telephone call, message or written notification in order to discuss the problem and the resulting outcome of the incident.

Consequences 1. Warning

2. Time out in class

3. Time out in another room

4. Suspension until conference with parent (ST-5)

5. Out of school suspension

6. Recommendation for alternative placement

7. Recommendation for expulsion

Out of school suspensions will be administered to students who are repeat offenders or are guilty of serious rule violations. Students will be required to remain out of school for the time period indicated by an administrator, and each day missed by the student will result in an unexcused absence from school. In order for a student to be reinstated to school following a suspension, contact with a parent must be made and a satisfactory conference with an administrator must take place. Students are not allowed on school property for any reason while on suspension.


A written note is required whenever a change in a student’s normal dismissal procedure is necessary. Phone calls regarding dismissal changes cannot be honored since they cannot be verified. A pictured ID is always required when signing out students. Persons signing out students must be 18 years or older.


All students and visitors to Simonsdale Elementary are expected to dress in a manner appropriate for the promotion of learning and in accordance with the Portsmouth Public Schools Dress Code. Appearance shall not be disrespectful, indecent, dangerous to the health and welfare of students, or disruptive to the school environment. Specific dress code standards are as follows:

1. Shoes are required; either hard sole or tennis shoes are acceptable. Strapless flip flops and heelies may not be worn by students. Tennis shoes are required for participation during Physical Education classes.

2. Shorts, skirts, and dresses of an appropriate length are acceptable. (Use the finger tip test to measure.)

3. Clothing which overexposes the body is unacceptable.

4. Lewd, suggestive, or offensive attire may not be worn.

5. Apparel which advocates, advertises, or symbolizes any illegal substance or substances illegal for use by minors may not be worn.

6. Hats and scarves may not be worn in the building.

7. Any item of jewelry or clothing that might create a hazard to a student’s safety may not be worn.

8. Students wearing clothing/accessories that do not meet “Dress Code “ guidelines will be required to contact a parent to receive an appropriate change of clothes. For more information, please refer to the Portsmouth Public Schools “Code of Student Conduct”.


All students are required to have an Eagle Folder. Graded papers and weekly progress reports will be sent home with students in the Eagle Folder on Wednesdays or on the days Interim Progress Reports or Report Cards are scheduled to go home. Parents are asked to review the contents of their child’s folder carefully and communicate with teachers if further information or clarification regarding its contents is needed. Parents must pay a replacement cost for lost/destroyed Eagle Folders before a new one can be issued.


The office must be able to contact parents/guardians at all times. If you do not have a telephone you must give the school the current number of a neighbor or closest relative in case of an emergency. We must also have your work telephone number on file in case of an emergency. The school cannot make emergency medical decisions for students without parental consent. All students must return the Student Emergency Form to their teacher during the first week of or immediately upon enrollment.


There may be times when the opening of school is delayed, when students are released early from school, or when schools are closed due to inclement weather or other emergency situations. When such situations exist, Portsmouth Public Schools will announce changes through local television and radio stations. A list of the stations for these services can be found on the PPS website. It is the responsibility of the parent/caregiver to provide appropriate supervision during such closings/emergency situations. Please set up an emergency plan in advance to avoid confusion if school should close unexpectedly.


There are a number of students and school staff with serious food allergies. Food allergies can be potentially fatal, and there is no cure. Any outside food brought into the school not only puts those with food allergies at risk, but also puts the school staff responsible for the safety of our students, at risk of liability. Traditionally, we have allowed the celebration of birthdays and other special occasions with special treats. Since the safety of our students and staff have to be our primary concern, parents and school staff are encouraged to celebrate with non-food items such as stickers, pencils, themed erasers, or other appropriate items other than food.

Peanut allergies are most common. Peanuts and peanut products can be fatal when ingested or from just touching a surface that has peanut product residue. Please avoid sending all peanut products with your child if at all possible. If your child’s lunch includes peanut products, please send a note to your child’s teacher. This will allow the teacher to take appropriate precautions.


Please review the Student Homework Guide pamphlet developed by Portsmouth Public Schools. This pamphlet is sent home each year when school opens.


Medication will be administered to students only when the parent provides the school with a Medication Release Form signed by the child’s physician. This form can be obtained from the school nurse. Students are NOT to bring medication of any kind to school. The parent, guardian, or other responsible adult must bring the medication to school and give it directly to the school nurse. The school is not permitted to administer over-the- counter medications or any medication not prescribed by the child’s doctor.


Opportunities for parents to volunteer their services are available and welcomed through the year. If you are interested in helping with various activities, please make this known to your child’s teacher and complete the Volunteer Form given out at the beginning of the school year. The school’s volunteer coordinator and classroom teachers will be responsible for determining the parameters for school and classroom volunteers. Volunteers are asked to attend a Volunteer Workshop and adhere to the guidelines provided in our Volunteer Handbook. As outlined in our School Safety Plan, ALL, volunteers are required to report to the office to sign-in and pick-up a “Volunteer Pass” whenever they come to volunteer at school. Volunteers, who tutor/mentor students or those who work in classrooms three or more days a week, must be cleared through Portsmouth Public Schools Human Resources Department.

We are fortunate to have parents who want to volunteer as Room Parents each year. Room Parents may assist homeroom teachers with organizational tasks and special classroom or seasonal activities. Any parent who would like to become a Room Parent should ask his/her child’s homeroom teacher. Homeroom teachers make the final selection regarding Room Parents. Room Parents will receive guidelines to assist them in planning for activities with homeroom teachers. Room Parents are expected to adhere to these guidelines since they correlate with several district and school policies. Room Parents must get prior approval from the homeroom teacher and building administrator before planning or purchasing items for classroom activities.


Students will not be excused from Physical Education activities unless a note is received from a parent stating the reason. A note from a physician is necessary for long-term exclusion from Physical Education.


The schedule for progress reports and report card can be found on the PPS Website: http//www.pps.k12.va.us. Remember Eagle Folders will go home on the scheduled day progress reports and report cards are issued.


The PTA is highly involved in our school. All parents are urged to become members and to actively participate. Membership dues are announced at the beginning of each year. PTA meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise announced. Each year the PTA sponsors several fund raising projects. With the help of all parents, these projects can be very successful. They allow the PTA to fund many important activities at the school. The PTA Executive Board meets monthly prior to regular PTA meetings. Dates are subject to change as a result of holidays.


Students should know the route their parents want them to take to and from school. Parents should expect students to take the same route every day. Students should be reminded to walk on the sidewalk and to cross the street only at the corners monitored by the crossing guards. It is important to follow the directions of the school crossing guard and to cross only when he/she gives permission to do so. Students will be held accountable for not following the directions of the crossing guards.


School hours are 9:15 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. Students should come directly to school in the morning and go directly home at the end of the day unless they are attending the before and after school program. Please do not send students to school prior to 9:00 a.m. unless having breakfast (see “Cafeteria” section) or leave students at school after 3:55 p.m. We are unable to provide supervision except during school hours.


All students are required to have appropriate school supplies and textbooks daily. Each child will receive one homework agenda book and an Eagle Folder at the beginning of the year. These are required and students will be expected to purchase a new one if the original is lost.

Homework Agenda Books $6.00 Eagle Folders $2.00


1. Students are under the supervision of the school during school hours and while riding the bus to and from school. Parents are responsible for their child/children from the time they leave home until the time their child reaches school (walkers) and from the time they leave home until they board/disembark the bus (bus riders). The same is true for the trip home. Parents are encouraged to supervise their children when they are at the bus stop. 2. All students will commit themselves to the Steps to Success process and discipline guidelines as written in the Portsmouth Public Schools Student Code of Conduct Handbook. These documents are sent home during the first week of school. Parents must acknowledge receipt of these documents by signing and returning them to school the next day. 3. Students will respect and cooperate with their teachers, obey all school rules and regulations, and refrain from destroying school property or the property of others. 4. Students will complete all assigned work on time. 5. Students will leave all chewing gum and candy at home. 6. Students will remain on school grounds until dismissal or given permission to leave. 7. Students will walk quietly in the corridors, take pride in our building, and assist in keeping the grounds and facilities free of paper and other debris. 8. Students will avoid physical contact, such as, hitting, pushing, fighting, or wrestling other students at school or on the way to and from school. 9. Students will be honest, truthful, and courteous to others, and practice good citizenship at all times. 10. Students will avoid behaviors that are identified as “bullying” such as name calling, physically or verbally harassing others, or deliberately excluding peers. It is recommended that parents monitor their children at home regarding “cyber bullying” on social networks.


The school telephone is reserved for official school business. Students are permitted to make calls using the school telephone in an emergency situation only with permission from school staff. Elementary students should not bring cell phones to school. If a student has to bring a cell phone to school, the cell phone must remain off and in his/her book bag during school hours. Students may not make calls or send text messages during school hours. Students using their cell phones in school without authorization will have their cell phones confiscated and suspension from school may result. Please review the PPS Student Code of Conduct for more information regarding cell phones in school.


Textbooks are provided for student use free of charge; however, students who lose or damage books are financially responsible for their replacement or repair.


If it becomes necessary to withdraw from Simonsdale Elementary during the school year, notify the school at least 24 hours in advance. This will allow for a smooth and timely transfer process. Teachers are unable to interrupt their instructional day to complete transfer papers. A minimum of one school day is needed to complete this procedure. Library books and textbooks must be returned and all cafeteria charges and other school related debts must be paid prior to students transferring.


Anyone entering the building must check-in through the main office. Parents are invited to visit the school; however, policy does require visitors to obtain permission from the office before going to any classroom. All visitors must wear a visitor’s badge.


In recognizing the connection between a healthy life style and student achievement, Portsmouth Public Schools has adopted a Wellness Policy focused on Nutrition Education, Physical Activity, Nutrition Standards, and Other School Based Activities. Parents are asked to view and become familiar with the district’s Wellness Policy. A copy of the district’s Wellness Policy can be found on the district’s website or use the link associated with the Wellness Policy found on our school website. Parents, who do not have access to internet, may submit their request for a hard copy of the Wellness Policy in writing to the main office and one will be provided for you.


Portsmouth Public Schools

Schedules for Issuing Progress Reports and Report Cards for the 2014-2015 School Year

| | | | |Progress Report |Number of Days |Progress Reports Go Home | |September 2 – October 8 |27 |October 10 | |November 10 – December 12 |22 |December 16 | |January 30 – March 6 |25 |March 10 | |April 13 – May 15 |25 |May 19 |

| | | | |Report Card Period |Number of Days |Report Cards Go Home | |September 2 – November 7 |47 |November 17 | |November 10 – January 29 |44 |February 2 | |January 30 – April 3 |45 |April 13 | |April 13 – June 16 |46 |To be mailed by June 19 |

➢ If the schedule for issuing progress reports and report cards must be changed for any reason, ample notice will be provided.

Portsmouth Public Schools

Early Release Schedule 2014-2015

September 24, October 29, November 26, December 19, March 9, June 15 and June 16 have been designated on the Portsmouth Public Schools Instructional and Holiday Calendar as early release days for all schools. Listed below are the dismissal times for schools on these dates.

|Churchland High School |I. C. Norcom High School | |Woodrow Wilson High School |

|Churchland Middle School |Douglass Park Elementary School | |Cradock Middle School |William E. Waters Middle School |

|Brighton Elementary School |Hodges Manor Elementary School | |Churchland Academy School |James Hurst Elementary School | |Churchland Preschool Center |John Tyler Elementary School | |Emily N. Spong Preschool Center |Olive Branch Preschool Center | |Park View Elementary School |

|Churchland Elementary School |New Directions Center | |Churchland Primary and |Simonsdale Elementary School | |Intermediate School | | |Lakeview Elementary School |Victory Elementary School | |Mount Hermon Preschool Center |Westhaven Elementary School |

➢ High school students will be released early during midterm and final examinations according to the examination schedule for Secondary Schools. ----------------------- Grades K – 12 Progress Report Schedule

Grades K - 12 Report Card Schedule

11:45 a.m. Dismissal

12:20 p.m. Dismissal

12:55 p.m. Dismissal

1:30 p.m. Dismissal