2009/2010 Elementary Student-Parent Handbook
WELCOMEWe welcome you to the Northeast Hamilton Elementary School. The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint you with the policies governing our school. You will be held responsible for this information so it is important to read the entire handbook and know its contents.
MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of the Northeast Hamilton Community School District is to provide an environment for each student to achieve his or her highest potential and to foster a desire to pursue lifelong learning.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTSWhen school is canceled because of inclement weather prior to the start of the school day, students and parents are notified over the following radio stations: KQWC (1570 & 95.7), WHO (l040), KWMT (540), KKEZ (94.5) and KLMJ (104.9), and the following television stations: WOI -TV Channel 5, KCCI-TV Channel 8, and WHO-TV Channel 13. The missed day may have to be made up at a later date. If school is dismissed because of inclement weather after the school day has begun, parents are notified by the same means. Parents need to have a plan in place for their child(ren) in the case that school has been dismissed. If relevant to the situation, the superintendent determines whether buses will follow the regular routes. If the buses do not follow the regular routes, they follow emergency routes or the parents are responsible for picking up the students at school. Longer range announcements, such as School Board meetings, will be broadcast over KQWC and published in the Webster City Freeman Journal and the Iowa Falls Times-Citizen. Minutes of the meetings are also made available in/over the Webster City Journal and KQWC.
Extra-curricular activities or practices scheduled for the day or evening of a day when school is canceled or dismissed early are canceled and re-scheduled. The principal may determine whether to hold extra-curricular activities or practices. If the extra-curricular activity is to be held that day, students and parents are notified in the same manner as the notification that school was dismissed.
ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATIONStudents may need to take prescription or non-prescription medication during school hours. Students may carry medication only with the permission of the parents/guardian and principal. The school must know the medications a student is taking in the event the student has a reaction or illness. Students must provide written instructions for administration of the medication as well as parental authorization to administer the medication. Medication is held in a locked cabinet and distributed by trained staff members. Medication must be in the original container with the following information either on the container, in the instruction sheet or in the parental authorization: name of the student; name of the medication; directions for use including dosage, times and duration; name, phone number and address of the pharmacy (if applicable); date of the prescription (if applicable); name of the physician (if applicable); potential side effects; and emergency number for parents.
ASBESTOS NOTIFICATIONAsbestos has been an issue of concern for many years. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) was designed to determine the extent of asbestos concerns in the schools and to act as a guide in formulating asbestos management policies for the schools. The school district facilities have been inspected by a certified asbestos inspector as required by AHERA. The inspector located, sampled and determined the condition and hazard potential of all material in the school facilities suspected of containing asbestos. The inspection and laboratory analysis records form the basis of the asbestos management plan.
A certified management planner has developed an asbestos management plan for the school district facilities which includes: notification letters, training for employees, a set of procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials, and plans for regular surveillance of the materials. A copy of the management plan is available for inspection in the office.
ASSEMBLIESThroughout the year the school district sponsors school assemblies. Attendance at these assemblies is a privilege. Students must act in an orderly fashion and remain quiet on their way to an assembly, during an assembly and on their way back to the classroom after an assembly. Students attend assemblies unless, for disciplinary reasons, the privilege is taken away. Students who are not attending assemblies shall report to an assigned location during assemblies.
ATTENDANCEIf your child becomes sick and will not be going to school, it is very important that you call the school and let us know. A secretary will begin taking calls at 7:30 a.m. The number to call is 325-6234 or 1-800 435-7104. If we do not hear from a parent or guardian, we will attempt to make contact with you to verify the student’s whereabouts. So please call if you have a child that will not be in attendance of school.
BUS CHANGE PERMITSUnless other arrangements have been made by the parents, students will be dropped off the busses only at predesignated points, generally the farm driveway or town park. If other arrangements are needed on a temporary basis, the parents must notify the school office in writing so a temporary "bus change permit" may be issued. The written notification must be brought to the office by the student before the permit is issued and for final processing. In case of emergencies, the school secretary can fill out the permit after a phone call from the parents has been received.
BUS RIDER RULES (Parents, please discuss the following with children)
CHARACTER COUNTS PROGRAM
Northeast Hamilton Community School district is determined to prepare students to contribute to society. All students achieve their highest potential through mastery of educational outcomes with an emphasis on lifelong learning. Northeast Hamilton has adopted the “Character Counts” program and will be actively involved with this program. Northeast Hamilton’s Character counts Program will:
CLASS OR GROUP GIFTS TO SCHOOL
Student groups may give gifts to the district after obtaining their principal's recommendation and the approval of the superintendent. Gifts may be accepted and acknowledged by the superintendent or his designated representative acting for the Board.
COMMUNICATIONS TO AND FROM SCHOOL
When sending a note or money to school, the student should receive clear instructions from the parents about who is the appropriate person to receive the money. Also, the school sends notes and papers home with the students. Parents need to remind their children to notify them of notes or papers from school for the parents. Parents are responsible for knowing the contents of the notes or papers sent home.
Periodically the school holds emergency fire, tornado and bomb threat drills. At the beginning of each semester, teachers notify students of the procedures to follow in the event of a drill. Emergency procedures and proper exit areas are posted in all rooms.
In certain classes, field trips and excursions are authorized and may be taken as an extension of the classroom to contribute to the achievement of the educational goals of the school district. If a field trip is required for a course, students are expected to attend the field trip. Absences in other classes or school activities due to the attendance on field trips or excursions are considered excused absences. While on field trips, students are guests and considered ambassadors and representatives of the school district. Students must treat employees, chaperones, and guides with respect and courtesy.
Wednesday evening has been reserved as community night and no activities will take place after 5:30 p.m. unless scheduled by an organization outside the control of the school. All students are to be out of the building by 5:30 p.m. except those accompanied by a parent.
The purpose of the guidance program is to help each individual student achieve his or her highest growth mentally, emotionally, and socially. We try to do this in several ways:
Harassment, bullying and abuse are violations of school district policies, rules and regulations and, in some cases, may also be a violation of criminal or other laws. The school district has the authority to report students violating this rule to law enforcement officials.
Sexual harassment may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Harassment or bullying on the basis or age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status or familial status includes conduct of a verbal or physical nature that is designed to embarrass, distress, agitate, disturb or trouble persons when:
Throughout the year, the school district sponsors health screening for vision, hearing, scoliosis and height and weight measurements. Students are automatically screened unless the parent submits a note asking the student be excused from the screening. The grade levels included in the screening are determined annually. Parents are notified prior to the health screenings. However, upon a teacher's recommendation and with parental permission, students not scheduled for screening may also be screened.
HOT LUNCH PROGRAM
Each student will receive a lunch picture ID card with his or her lunch number on it. Each middle school and high school student will be responsible for their own card. Teachers will be responsible for elementary students’ cards. Each student may receive one card during the year at no charge.
Prior to starting school or when transferring into the school district, students must present an approved Iowa Department of Public Health immunization certificate signed by a health care provider stating that the student has received the immunizations required by law. Students without the proper certificate are not allowed to attend school until they receive the immunizations or the student makes arrangements with the principal. Only for specific medical or religious purposes are students exempted from the immunization requirements. Students may also be required to pass a TB test prior to attending school. Parents who have questions should contact the office.
Students will be able to access the Internet once they and their parent/guardian have signed the Ethical Use Policy. Each student will have a folder on the server for storage. This folder will be erased at the end of each school year. Emails will not be issued to students. It is a goal to allow teachers and students access to the rich opportunities on the Internet, while we protect the rights of students and parents who choose not to risk exposure to questionable material. The use of the network is a privilege and may be taken away for violation of board policy or regulations. As a user of the Internet, students may be allowed access to other networks. Each network may have its own set of policies and procedures. It is the user’s responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks. All students are subject to the regulations set forth in the NEH Ethical Use Policy.
If a student is put under discipline as stated above, the principal will send an email to all staff indicating the dates that said student is not allowed on the Internet/Computer. Said student will be unable to access the Internet during the time set. If a class requires computer use, said student may have access to a computer in that teacher’s classroom only and only for instructional purposes – no Internet use will be allowed.
The second Wednesday of each month school will start at 10:00 a.m. for professional development. Some months the late start dates may be changed due to conflicts. Please check your newsletter, school calendar, or call the school if you are unsure. These times will be used for general staff meetings, in-service meetings, and work on school curriculum and materials. The school breakfast program will not be served on late start days. Bus routes will run approximately 90 minutes later on these days, so please plan accordingly.
LOAN OF EQUIPMENT
School equipment is not to be loaned out to individuals or organizations without prior authorization from the administration. Please get prior permission before using any school equipment.
LOST AND FOUND
A “lost and found” department is maintained in the principal’s office. Students finding unclaimed articles about the building are asked to turn them into the office. There may also be gym clothes and shoes located in the locker room areas which have been lost. There will be lost and found tables set up at both Parent-Teacher Conferences. Unclaimed articles after those conferences will be taken to goodwill.
It is the policy of Northeast Hamilton Community School not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, creed, age, martial status, or physical disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies as required by Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Iowa’s open enrollment law allows students residing in one school district to request transfer to another school district upon the parents’ request. Students wishing to open enroll to another school district must apply for open enrollment by March 1 of the school year preceding the school year in which they wish to open enroll unless there is good cause. Open enrolled students from low-income families may qualify for transportation assistance. Open enrollment may result in loss of athletic eligibility for students open enrolling. Students interested in open enrolling out of the school district must contact the superintendent’s office for information and forms.
Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held in the fall and spring. Elementary teachers will hold conferences in their rooms and appointments will be made.
Each family will be allowed one returned check. After the second returned check, the family will be on a cash only basis through the remainder of that school year. A family with two returned checks in one year will be allowed one returned check in year 2 and subsequent years, before dealing strictly on a cash only basis for the remainder of each school year. The Northeast Hamilton School District will seek reimbursement through the court system if payment is not rendered for the returned check amount.
The school nurse is available part of each day to assist when the students become ill or injured. The nurse assists with classes in personal cleanliness and grooming, personality improvement, human growth, and maturity. At the request of the teacher, the nurse works as a consultant in health classes and programs. Her office is located in the elementary school.
SCHOOL OFFICE AND SCHOOL DAY
The central office and principal’s office are open from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day. It is advisable for parents to call the building principal to arrange conferences with faculty members. Generally students, staff, or faculty will not be called to the telephone unless they have an open period of time or in case of emergency. A message will be forwarded to the individual to return the call when she/he has an open period. Students may be present on school grounds before 8:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. only when they are under the supervision of an employee or an extra-curricular activity sponsor. If school is dismissed early, students are expected to leave the school grounds within 10 minutes of dismissal. The normal school day hours are 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. After 4:00 staff voicemail will be available.
SEARCH, SEIZURE AND VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
School officials have the right to search student lockers, personal possessions, and automobiles in order to protect children, or the property of the school district. Students need not be notified before their lockers, personal property, or automobiles are searched. Searches of student's clothing can be done as a last resort and only when there is clear and imminent danger to the student or to other students. Strip searches of students shall not be permitted. The Northeast Hamilton CSD also uses video surveillance on its grounds and school busses to assist and ensure in the safety and proper behavior of the students, staff and patrons of the district.
Kindergarten: Mrs. Janelle Oakland At-Risk: Mrs. Kim Schimp
STUDENT ABUSE BY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES
The school district does not tolerate employees physically or sexually abusing or harassing students. Students who are physically or sexually abused or harassed by an employee should notify their parents, teacher, principal or another employee. The Iowa Department of Education has established a two-step procedure for investigating allegations of physical or sexual abuse of students by employees. That procedure requires the school district to designate an independent investigator to look into the allegations. The school district has designated school officials according to board policy and the Level I investigator(s) can be reached by calling the office at 325-6234.
STUDENT CONDUCT RULES
As the "Golden Rule” says - TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED BY THEM.
Violations of these rules are to be reported to the violator's homeroom teacher. The homeroom teacher should treat these violations as if they occurred in the classroom. The homeroom teacher will take whatever steps are appropriate as if the violation occurred in the classroom. If the rules continue to be broken and are of a serious nature then the student will be taken to the principal's office and appropriate measures will be taken.
DUE PROCESS: All students are entitled to:
1) be given oral and/or written notice of the charge.
STUDENT’S EDUCATIONAL RECORDS
Student records containing personally identifiable information, except for directory information, are confidential. For a complete copy of the school district’s policy on student records or the procedure for filing a complaint, contact the board secretary, in the central administration office.
STUDENT FEE WAIVER AND REDUCTION PROCEDURES
The school district charges fees for certain items, such as field trips, class materials, fines, and class dues. Students whose families meet the income guidelines for free and reduced price lunch, the Family Investment Program (FIP), Supplemental Security Income (SSE), transportation assistance under open enrollment, or who are in foster care are eligible to have their student fees waived or partially waived. Students whose families are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty may be eligible for a temporary waiver of student fees. Parents or students who believe they may qualify for temporary financial hardship should contact the board secretary at registration time for a waiver form. This waiver does not carry over from year to year and must be completed annually.
STUDENT INSURANCEStudent health and accident insurance is available to students at the beginning of the school year. Parents may purchase insurance for their children at their discretion. Parents who would like more information about student health and accident insurance should contact the office.
STUDENTS WHO ARE SICK OR INJURED AT SCHOOLA student who becomes ill or is injured at school must notify his or her teacher or another employee as soon as possible. In the case of a serious illness or injury, the school shall attempt to notify the parents according to the information on the emergency form. If the student is too ill to remain in school, the student will be released to the student’s parents or, with parental permission, to another person directed by the parents. While the school district is not responsible for treating medical emergencies, employees may administer emergency or minor first aid if possible. The school will contact emergency medical personnel, if necessary, and attempt to notify the parents where the student has been transported for treatment.
SUCCESS TEAMThe Northeast Hamilton Success Team is comprised of the principal, guidance counselor, at-risk coordinator, Title 1 teacher, special education teachers, regular education teachers, school nurse, parents, and an AEA representative. Students who are not identified as special education may be considered at-risk. They may have difficulties meeting standards and benchmarks, exhibit behavior problems, and/or are in some other way significantly at-risk. These students are served through the Success Team. Teachers may bring a student up for problem solving at any time during the year. The Success Team will go over relevant data provided by the teachers and prescribe applicable interventions to help the students meet success. Student progress is monitored and evaluated throughout the year.
VISITORSVisitors to the school grounds must check in at the main office and state their intentions for their visit. Office staff will assist them as needed. Students will not be allowed to bring visitors to school as this causes a disruption to the educational day. Exceptions may be granted by the building principal but only in an extra ordinary situation.
WEAPONSThe Board of Education believes weapons and other dangerous objects and look-a-likes in the school district facilities cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district.
Students bringing firearms to school or knowingly possessing firearms at school shall be expelled for not less than one year. Students bringing to school or possessing dangerous objects or look-a-likes, including firearms, will be referred to law enforcement authorities. Parents will be notified of any such violations of this policy. The superintendent shall have the authority to recommend this expulsion requirement be modified for students on a case-by-case basis. The term "firearm" includes, but is not limited to, any weapon which is designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion or other force, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, a muffler or silencer for such a weapon, or any explosive incendiary or poison gas.
Students may not use normally non-destructive objects such as pencils, rulers, compasses, books, etc. in a threatening way or assaultive manner. The use of any object in a dangerous way will be treated as if the item(s) used were a dangerous weapon.
Students shall not possess toy weapons or "look-a-like" weapons at school, except with the knowledge and permission of a teacher, coach, or administrator and then only for educational purposes. Violation of this policy will result in confiscation of the "weapon” and detention or suspension will be given depending on the student’s disciplinary history.
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERNTake your concern to the person closest to the problem. Regardless of where the problem is, take your concern there first. Whether in the classroom, on the bus, on the practice field, or on the playground, the quickest and easiest solution is usually always with the staff member most directly involved.
Present your concern to the next level. The Principal is directly responsible for supervision of staff. The Director of Transportation oversees all school bus drivers. These are examples of the next level of school personnel in the school district you should contact if the staff member closest to the problem hasn't been able to resolve the difficulty to your satisfaction.
Talk with the Superintendent of Schools. Sometimes all the best intentions can't solve a problem. When you believe you've worked hard with those closest to the problem, and you've also taken the problem to the next level but still haven't achieved a satisfactory outcome, the Superintendent of Schools is the next place to go.
Contact your school board members. School board members are elected to represent the interest of all parents and district residents, and you should always feel free to tell them your point of view. However, school board members do not have direct authority. All authority in day-to-day school operations is the result of official actions by a majority of the board members at meetings open to the public.