Russell Elementary School and all John H. Russell
other NY/VA DDESS schools are smoke Elementary School
free. Smoking will not be permitted, at
any time, on school property, including “Reach, Educate, Inspire, and Nurture”
parking lots and playing fields.
3301 Purvis Road
Quantico, Virginia 22134
Visit us at
Pre-K Monday-Thursday ILLNESS AND CONDITIONS
AM Session 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
PM Session 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. WHEN TO RETURN TO SCHOOL
Grades K-3 8:30 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.
Chicken Pox: after all blisters have scabbed over. This usually takes
7-10 days. Student must be cleared by school nurse
before returning to class.
Fevers greater after being fever free for 24 hours without the use of
Home of the Raccoons Than 100º F fever reducers such as Tylenol or Motrin.
Head Lice: following appropriate treatment - all members of the
family should be treated. (Pregnant women should
not receive any treatment without checking with their
doctor.) Bedding, articles of clothing, combs, and
brushes should be treated to prevent re-infestation.
No nits may remain for your child to re-enter school.
He/she must be checked by school nurse prior to
returning to the classroom.
Impetigo: following 24 hours of antibiotics and with a
permission note from the doctor. Infected areas must
Pink Eye: following 24 hours of medication and until eyes are
(conjunctivitis) clear, white, and free from drainage.
Vomiting/ after a 24 hour period of no vomiting or diarrhea.
Ringworm: following appropriate treatment. Patches of ring-
worm on the skin must be covered while at school.
This covering should be removed when your child
Principal: Mrs. Donna O. Kacmarski comes home so the area will heal properly.
Assistant Superintendent: Mr. Gary Gerstner
Superintendent: Mr. Michael Gould Strep Throat: may return following 24 hours of antibiotics and with
a permission note from the doctor and fever free for
John H. Russell Elementary School
3301 Purvis Road
Russell’s technology program maintains up-graded computers and software to Quantico, Virginia 22134-1702
prepare students for success in a technological society. Skills introduced are de-
velopmentally appropriate. Students have access to multi-media computers at (703) 630-7065
least once a week in a lab setting where they are introduced to educational, http://www.am.dodea.edu/ny_va/quantico/russell/
graphic, and desktop publishing programs. In addition, students in the third
grade learn touch typing using the program “Type to Learn..”
VISITORS AND VOLUNTEERS
Visitors and volunteers are welcomed at Russell Elementary School. You are
required to sign in at the office and pick up an identification badge or Welcome to John H. Russell Elementary School. This
sticker, to be worn while in the building. You must present valid identification handbook, in addition to the fall open house and parent orienta-
or car keys in exchange for the badge.
tion, should address most questions you may have concerning
Russell Elementary School and the New York/Virginia Domes-
FREQUENTLY USED SCHOOL ACRONYMS tic Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS).
Russell is accredited by the North Central Association
Community Strategic Plan - The DoDEA Community Strategic Plan is a frame- Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA
work for putting standard-driven reform in place. Thus requiring excellence
from all students.
CASI) a division of AdvancEd. We review our practices, poli-
cies, and school goals annually. Our curriculum is revised on a
DoDEA - Department of Defense Education Activity - DoDEA provides world- scheduled basis. A detailed outline of our curriculum may be
wide education to approximately 276,000 eligible Department of Defense mili- found on our website through the DDESS Home Page link.
tary and civilian family members from the preschool level through the 12th Our dedicated staff invites you to participate in the
school’s programs and activities. Russell Parent Education As-
DDESS - Domestic Dependent’s Elementary and Secondary Schools - DDESS is sociation and our Continuous School Improvement Leadership
the stateside counterpart to the Department of Defense Dependents’ School over- Team welcome you and your involvement.
seas. Thirteen school systems within DDESS serve 38,000 students in 65 We hope your time at Russell is a pleasant and reward-
schools. ing one for you and your children. If you ever have questions,
CSIP - Continuous School Improvement Plan - Each school in DoDEA designs
please contact us at 703-630-7065.
a School Improvement Plan annually with input from the community. This plan
identifies how the school will help all students achieve high standards. Sincerely,
CSILT - Continuous School Improvement Leadership Team - This team is made
up of teachers, parents and the principal. Their goal is to coordinate and plan for
Donna O. Kacmarski
School Staff Additionally, reminders may be sent home to advise you of important dates and ac-
tivities by the classroom teachers. These newsletters should be read carefully as they
Principal - Donna O. Kacmarski contain important information about special events, closures, etc. This important in-
formation is sent home with your child in their Thursday red folder.
Preschool – 3 and 4 year old program
Teacher Educational Assist. Room
Please visit the school’s website by following this link:
Kristen Smith Ellen Leonard 7 http://www.am.dodea.edu/ny_va/quantico/russell. Important information is updated
on a regular basis along with other information and happenings at the school.
Sandra Meehan Debbie Blixt 2
STUDENT ARRIVAL TIME
The arrival time is 8:20 a.m.—8:30 a.m. for students who are driven to school in pri-
Teacher Educational Assist. Room vate vehicles or who walk with their parents. There is no supervision available
prior to 8:20 a.m. Breakfast is served from 8:20 a.m.—8:40 a.m. each morning.
Late arrivals require a tardy slip and must be signed in by a parent in the school of-
Becky Barron 4 fice. Early departures for appointments, etc., require children to be signed out by a
Janet Larsen Gina Shipley 3 parent as well.
Lisa O’Dell Sandra Dulin 1
STUDENT SUPPORT TEAM (SST)
Teacher Room Student Support Team meets periodically to discuss educational concerns of parents
and teachers as they are related to academic or behavior difficulties of a child. The
Diane Angle 8 team makes recommendations related to the child’s academic and/or social growth.
Jeannie Brown 9 The team is composed of the principal, classroom teacher, support personnel, other
teachers of the student, and may include a special education teacher and parent(s).
Susan Cissell 6
Teacher Room If you are PCSing before the end of the school year, please bring a copy of your or-
ders to the school office at least seven (7) days in advance of your departure date.
Linda Anders 14 In addition, the school needs a letter, signed by the sponsor, which includes the last
day your child will be here at RES. Your child’s school records will be ready to be
Patricia Boswell 16 hand carried after 2:40 p.m. of the last day your child attends. If you cannot come in
Gina DeBernard 18 to pick up school records, we will be happy to mail them to your new school.
TARDINESS TO SCHOOL
Teacher Room Parents must bring students to the office to have their name removed from the
absentee slip. Students will be issued tardy slips that are given to the classroom
teachers. The cafeteria will be notified if students are purchasing lunch.
Sharon Mead 15
Ann Toone 13
SAFE DROP OFF AREAS
Please do not drop off your student on Purvis Road. We have two options for safe Resource Teachers
drop off: Stephanie Schoen Art 10
1. Park in the gravel parking lot across from the school and walk your child Laura Fouse Media Information Center (Library)
across the street. John Wright Music 12
2. Park in the school parking lot and walk your child to the sidewalk towards the
Patricia Lyddane PE Gym
Sherry Zysk Reading 11
If your child is arriving after 8:30 a.m., parents must bring the student into Patricia Cerny Gifted Ed 20
the school and sign in at the office and receive a tardy slip. Ann Gerstner Ed. Tech 17
Steve Ricciutti Foreign Lang 21
SAFETY Administrative Personnel
The safety of our children is of utmost importance to all of us—parents and staff. Donna Kacmarski Principal Office
We are making an effort to promote “Safe Schools” and to provide the most secure Kellie Light Secretary Office
learning environment for us all. We ask for your cooperation in this effort. Office Automation Office
Tami Streib Nurse Clinic
The use of “roller-shoes” and “flip-flops” pose safety and health risks to many chil- Karen Murtha Supply Tech Lounge
dren and adults each year. In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment at Cindy Brown Ed. Assist. 5
Russell E.S., “roller-shoes” and “flip-flops” are not allowed at school. Gwen Eaton Ed. Assist. 5
Monica Johnson Ed. Assist. 5
No weapons (play or real), for example explosives, pocket knives, sling shots, etc.
Jennifer Owens Ed. Assist. 5
are allowed at school. This includes “look alike” weapons such as toy guns.
Cecilia Sereseres Ed. Assist. 5
SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION
Pupil Personnel Services
Buses arrive at Russell between 8:20 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Students transported by
bus should not be at their bus stop more than 10 minutes before the scheduled pick- Lisa Byrd Guidance Counselor
up time. This will avoid behavior problems and lessen safety concerns. Aila Camp Special Education Assessor
Guidelines for bus stops Julie Steinhardt Speech/Language Pathologist
Respect the yards of your neighbors. Carmen Marquez Special Education
Stay on the sidewalk, or designated area, until your bus has stopped. Lynn Jolly Special Education
Bring athletic equipment in backpacks or bags. Kathleen Young Psychologist
Use self-control in all situations. Darnell Mason Occupational Therapist
Preschool parents/babysitters are required to be at the bus stop. Lisa Cordova Physical Therapist
Lystra Smith ESL
The school makes a concerted effort to communicate with all our parents.
Throughout the school year, you will be advised of school events through a
Patty Grogg Manager
monthly parent newsletter. An Important Dates flyer will also be sent home
monthly reminding you of important happenings each month. Building and Grounds
Richard Suennan Laborer
Medications for acute illness (such as bacterial infections) are usually pre-
scribed for administration three times a day and may be administered by the
parent before school, after school, and before bedtime.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EDUCATION ACTIVITY
Please contact your school nurse if you have any questions.
COMMUNITY STRATEGIC PLAN (CSP)
MESSAGES TO STUDENTS
Vision Statement The busiest time in the school office is just before the end of the school day.
Please call the office before 2:00 p.m. to allow enough time to pass the mes-
Communities committed to success for ALL students. sage to students before the end of the school day. While we make every
effort, requests received after that time can not be guaranteed to be delivered
before school is out. Please help us by making your plans before your child
leaves for school or by calling in your message as early as possible.
Goal 1: Highest Student Achievement - All students will meet or ex-
ceed challenging standards in academic content so that they are pre- OFFICE INFORMATION
pared for continuous learning and productive citizenship.
Please continue to update your records during the year, i.e., new telephone
numbers (home, duty, cell phone and emergency contact), e-mail address
Goal 2: Performance-Driven, Efficient Management Systems -
and new mailing address. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT in order to ensure the
DoDEA will use performance driven management systems that operate parent/emergency contact is notified in a timely manner in the event your
in a timely, efficient, and equitable manner; place resource allocation child is sick or injured. Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.
and decision-making at the lowest operational level; and facilitate a safe
environment conductive to optimum student achievement.
Goal 3: Motivated, high Performing, Diverse Workforce -The Do- Progress reports are distributed each nine weeks. The evaluation system and
DEA workforce will be motivated, diverse, and committed to continu- grading key is shared with parents at the fall parent orientation. Parents are
ous professional growth and development resulting in exemplary per- required to schedule conferences with teachers to review student folders and
formance and optimum student achievement. report cards. The scheduled conferences are held at the end of the first and
third nine weeks. Additional conferences may be requested by parents or
Goal 4: Promoting Student Development through Partnerships teachers to discuss academic and/or behavior concerns. Teachers and par-
and Communication -Every level of DoDEA will develop, promote, ents are encouraged to work together to ensure academic success and pro-
and maintain partnerships and communications to enhance student de- mote positive attitudes towards learning.
NOTE: Pre-K progress reports are given to parents in February. The last
progress report is mailed. Conferences for Pre-K students are held as
Delayed openings and school closings will be announced through One Call Now. JOHN H. RUSSELL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
One Call Now is a phone messaging service which delivers automated phone
calls and e-mail regarding emergency notifications. Please remember to continue
to update us on your phone numbers and e-mail address changes so we may en- MISSION STATEMENT
sure you get notified by One Call Now when we have delays or closures.
To provide an exemplary education that inspires and prepares all Do-
Also, please remember that the Quantico schools are NOT part of the Prince Wil-
DEA students for success in a dynamic, global environment.
liam or Stafford County School Systems. There may be days we are open but
they are closed.
REMINDER: Emergency plans should be reviewed occasionally with your child
(ren) for unexpected school delays or closures. VISION STATEMENT
Reach, Educate, Inspire, and Nurture
The Information Center is vital to all curriculum areas with over 10,000 re-
sources—books, CDs, magazines, etc. Each class has a weekly scheduled time
CONTINUOUS SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GOALS
for stories, author studies, computer work, as well as check out. During students’
small group time, they have an opportunity to do Reading Counts, drama, listen
to stories, etc. Reading Counts is supported by the Information Center with ap-
proximately 2,200 books. Parents are encouraged to use the resources in the In- Goal 1: All students will improve their writing skills across the
formation Center. curriculum.
MEDICATION AT SCHOOL ESSENCE: At John H. Russell Elementary School, writing skills are
the students’ ability to effectively express themselves in a focus, organ-
The school nurse accommodates parent requests for medication (including pre- ized way.
scription, nonprescription, and over-the-counter) to be administered during the
school day. According to DoDEA Health Service Guide, DS Manual 2942.0, Goal 2: All students will improve their math problem solving skills
school personnel may administer medications when certain criteria are met. across the curriculum.
In order for school personnel to administer medications during school hours, the
Hold Harmless form MUST be provided to the school signed by the parent and a ESSENCE: At John H. Russell Elementary School, students will
physician. The medication will be in the original container and properly labeled gather, organize, solve and reflect upon information to solve math prob-
by the pharmacy. The label should indicate the name of the student and the phy- lems.
sician, the medication dosage, and frequency. The date of the prescription must
be a current date.
The medication will remain at the school for the duration of the prescription.
Any changes in the medication, dosage, or frequency will necessitate a new form
and a new, labeled container.
If a student is not going to attend school on any given day, the parent is ex- The goal of the guidance program is to help each child achieve more in school. Our program
pected to call the school (703) 630-7065. If parents do not call, the school at Russell includes many components. Classroom lessons are held weekly on such topics as
will make every effort to contact the parent at home or work. Please send a friendship, cooperation, study skills, and problem solving. Small groups are held throughout
note when your child returns to school with the reason for absence. All the year dealing with issues such as friends, self-esteem, and deployment. Individual coun-
seling is available to the children through self-referrals or parental requests. Consultation
work missed is required to be made up. If you take your student out of
with parents and/or teachers is available.
school for vacation or emergency trips, the teacher will make the decision as
to whether work is sent in advance or to be made up after the student’s return Throughout the year, a variety of parent workshops are offered on topics such as self-
to school. School policy is after 10 absences, and every five absences after, esteem, homework, or communication.
a letter from the principal will be sent home to keep parents informed.
Character Counts is a program designed and used to help reinforce and expand
John H. Russell Elementary School is accredited through AdvancED. Ad- upon the character qualities taught at home. This is a cooperative effort be-
vancED is the unified organization of the North Central Association Com- tween home and school. The Character Counts program is centered around a
mission on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and Na- “word of the month.” Words such as responsibility, honesty, and respect will
tional Study of School Evaluation (NSSE). AdvancED is dedicated to ad- be used to help teach right from wrong and to help us all work together. Teach-
vancing Excellence in education through accreditation, research, and profes- ers will focus on a new word each month through discussions, use of literature,
sional services. http://www.advance-ed.org/ guidance lessons and other activities. The Character Counts program positively
affects our students at home, school, and in the community.
AFTER SCHOOL DESTINATION
GIFTED EDUCATION (GE)/RESOURCE
Complete the “After School Destination” form and return it to school.
Please notify your child’s teacher in writing of any changes to this plan. The unique worth, ability and dignity of every student should be cultivated.
Even an occasional change of bus or pick up must be accompanied by a The GE/Resource teacher, in collaboration with the classroom teacher, pro-
note. vides an environment to encourage optimum achievement with a variety of
differentiated opportunities matched to the needs of individual students. We
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROGRAM are committed to providing an educational program in which all students can
be fulfilled, productive, and contributing members of society.
DDESS schools participate in the National School Lunch Program.
Information on lunch/breakfast prices will be given to all parents as their ILLNESS/INJURY AT SCHOOL
children are enrolled.
Applications for free/reduced priced breakfast/lunch will be given to all. The school nurse renders first aid and provides nursing care for the student who is
Menus are sent home monthly for you to review with your child. injured or becomes ill at school. The school nurse determines the need for a stu-
Milk may be purchased separately for those students bringing their dent to be sent home or referred for medical evaluation.
lunches from home. If a student needs to be sent home because of illness or injury, one of the following
actions will take place before releasing the student from school:
A responsible parent or guardian is contacted to take responsibility for the stu-
dent’s transportation to the appropriate destination.
The designated emergency person is contacted if the parent or guardian is not
The sponsor’s supervisor is contacted if no one else is available.
See page 19 for specific requirements to return to school after an illness.
Physical education classes are scheduled for two 40-minute periods for kinder- Parents are always welcome to have lunch with their children at any time during the
garten through third grade. Pre-school has one class a week for 30 minutes. Our year. When planning to buy lunch, please let the office or your child’s teacher
theme is “Play Your Way to Fun and Fitness.” We explore and practice the fol- know, so you can be added to the daily count. We encourage you to support our
lowing basic skill areas: body and spatial awareness, manipulatives (balls, bean school lunch program by refraining from bringing “fast food” lunches.
bags, hoops, etc.), rhythms, tumbling , and physical fitness. We also spend a lot
of time working to play safely, being polite, and putting our equipment away.
We work on developing muscular strength and endurance by playing games,
jump rope activities and challenges. Our special activities include seasonal hikes, Students’ behavior is monitored during breakfast and lunch by educational assis-
after school jump rope activities, roller-skating/blading, and Field Day. We are tants. Students are expected to
so fortunate to have parent volunteers who kindly help us with our special activi- sit at their assigned tables.
ties. Tennis shoes must be worn for PE classes. Tennis shoes should really be conduct their conversations in quiet voices.
our school shoes as we have recess every day. They are the safest shoes and raise their hands for assistance.
provide the best support. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. clean the area they occupied for breakfast/lunch.
not leave their seats without permission.
Reading Counts Program (RC)
Instead of lunch tickets, we now have a computerized system similar to a debit ac-
Reading Counts is used primarily in second and third grades to encourage stu- count. You may put money into your child’s account and all food items are paid
dents to read independently. The software, accompanying the program, tests the for from that account. Prepaying of your child’s meals is encouraged, though exact
student’s comprehension of books he/she has read. Several hundred titles, in our cash payments can be accepted. Our school cafeteria staff will continually accept
library collection, are tested by RC. Students select a book to read and answer a money to prepay your child’s meal account. You can also access the website:
series of questions regarding the book. Test points are given for correct answers www.lunchprepay.com to add money to your child’s lunch account. There is a
and for the difficulty of the book read. small fee for this service. When paying by check, please make your checks payable
to VADDESS Cafeteria.
CHAIN OF COMMAND
Parents are to send a note to the student’s teacher, or call the office, if they plan to
take the student from school before the regular dismissal time. Parents should report As in the military, John H. Russell Elementary School has a chain of command.
to the office and sign the student out. The student will then be released to the parent. Parents who have a question or concern should attempt to resolve it at the most
appropriate and immediate level to find a solution.
Complete the “Emergency Contact” form and return it to school. As contacts may Guidance Counselor (if appropriate) - Mrs. Byrd
change throughout the year, please keep the form current by notifying the school of Principal - Mrs. Kacmarski
the changes. Assistant Superintendent - Mr. Gerstner
Superintendent - Mr. Gould
The suggested procedures follow the line of authority from teacher, to the principal
Students with temperatures ≥ 100º F will be sent home. and then, if desired, to the District Superintendent’s Office. All efforts are made to
Students may return to school when fever free for 24 hours without the use of focus on resolution at the lowest and most immediate level. Parents are encouraged
fever reducers such as Tylenol or Motrin. to seek immediate resolution of any problem or concern. Prompt action can fre-
quently prevent complications and more serious problems to occur.
The school nurse, teacher, and office should be informed about any type of health-
related concern your child may have. This information should be included with fill-
ing out emergency cards and medical releases.
CHANGE IN INFORMATION CURRICULUM STANDARDS
Any changes occurring during the school year, please complete the “Change To create a world-class education system, DoDEA has developed rigorous
of Information Form” located on the wall outside the main office. and demanding curriculum standards. The curriculum standards specify
what students should know and be able to do. DoDEA curriculum stan-
CHILD STUDY COMMITTEE (CSC) dards are based on the content standards produced by the National Council
of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of English/
This is a multi-disciplinary team composed of the parent, teacher, guidance The International Reading Association, the National Research Council’s
counselor, speech therapist, special education teacher, school psychologist, National Science Educational Standards and the National Council for
principal, and often times the Coordinator of Pupil Personnel. This commit- Teachers of Social Studies. The complete listing of DoDEA Curriculum
tee discusses continued concerns. A full evaluation may be recommended if Standards can be accessed on the internet at http://dodea.edu/parents/
there is a suspected disability that would qualify a student for Special Educa- parentGuides.cfm.
tion Services. The evaluation may include:
psychological testing Art
Art for the child is a means of expression. It is the purpose of the art
observation of the student in the classroom program to stimulate creative thinking and offer opportunities for artis-
social history tic expression. Children are provided a variety of experiences, pro-
jects, and ideas to explore and investigate.
A student meeting the Department of Defense Education Activity’s criteria
may then qualify for one of several special education programs. Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES)
CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT The Foreign Language program prepares students to meet the chal-
lenges of an interdependent world community by enabling them to
If you are picking up your child after school, you need to sign him/her out in recognize the importance of learning foreign languages, to value learn-
the Raccoon Den. Please wait for your child there. You must present a pic- ing about other cultures, and to develop proficiency in one or more
ture I.D. and sign your child out in the den. If a neighbor, friend, or family foreign languages. Students at Russell in grades Kindergarten through
member is going to pick up your child, please send a note or call the school third grade receive 90 minutes of Spanish instruction weekly.
with the person’s name. This person must present a picture I.D.
Music classes are scheduled for 40 minute periods for Kindergarten
Visits to the classroom are encouraged. Please call ahead and let the teacher through third grade. Music skills and concepts are taught through
know you would like to visit. If you are a visitor/volunteer in the building, song, movement, playing rhythm instruments, listening, and creative
you must sign in at the main office. Please present a photo I.D. or car keys activities. Students are introduced to a varied repertoire encompassing
in exchange for a visitor/volunteer badge. Please do not go to the classroom different styles, composers, and cultures. All students participate in
without the teacher’s knowledge or without arrangements having been made musical productions, and proper audience behavior is emphasized.
prior to the visit.