Handbook for Riley Elementary Students and Their Families
Office: (989) 227-5100 Fax: (989) 227-5199
RILEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
5935 W. Pratt Road
St. Johns, Michigan 48879
Dear Students and Parents,
Welcome to the 2008-2009 school year. We are excited about the new school year and we look
forward to providing our students with a quality education.
To assist with our educational process, this handbook has been written to give students and their
families a better understanding of the policies and procedures that are followed at Riley Elementary.
In addition to this, you will receive newsletters from the office and your child’s classroom teacher.
Be sure to visit us online at www.stjohns.edzone.net for news and resources. Throughout the year, I
invite you to attend Open House, parent education nights and other building events as a way to gain
even more information about the service we provide here at Riley
At Riley, we believe parent involvement is a powerful ingredient to student success. We encourage
you, as parents, to sit down with your child to review this information so that we have a common
understanding of programs available and expectations at our School.
If you have questions or concerns throughout the year, please feel free to contact the school. Your
concern and involvement is always appreciated.
Melissa Dawes and the
Riley Elementary Staff
Table of Contents
Board of Education & Administration 4
Riley Staff for 2008-2009 4
Mission Statement 5
General Information 5
Program Information 6
Health and Safety 7
Responsibility and Conduct 8
District Policies 10
Board of Education
St. Johns Public Schools
Bill Tennant Board President
Scott Marier Board Vice-President
Nick Koenigsknecht Board Secretary
Rick Drabek Board Treasurer
Christopher Harris Board Trustee
Philip Schrantz Board Trustee
Rhonda Dedyne Board Trustee
The St. Johns Board of Education has established their regular meetings on the second and forth
Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilson Center Board Room, 101 W. Cass Street, St.
Johns, Michigan. There will only be one meeting held in April and December. For more
information, contact the administration office at 227-4050.
Bob Kudwa Superintendent
Scot Henry Assistant Superintendent
Jim Schultheiss Special Education Director
Ron Patterson Maintenance Supervisior
Mike Andrews Technology Director
Riley Staff 2008-2009
K -- June Black
1st – Lori Womboldt Media Center Mgr. – Loretta Loomis
1st -- Heidi Martens Custodians -
2nd -- Jamie Smith Karen Shuck
2nd – Shannon Kiel Mandy Moore
3rd -- Jackie Brown Cafeteria – Gary Loomis
3rd -- Rachael Post
4th – Kris Ely Music – Shirley Ries
4th -- Dawn Kelly P.E. - Tom Szostkowski
5th -- Kathy Montville Art – Barbara Brearley
5th -- Angie Kirsch
Resource– Sandy Darwin
Counselor–Andrea Gilbert Reading teacher/consultant – Kerri Wilcox
At Risk Support – Deb Quisenberry Secretary – Luana Carlson
At Risk Support – Jan Bryant Principal – Melissa Dawes
Support Staff -
Building upon the unique talents and abilities of each member of our school, we will create a safe,
nurturing and challenging environment. Students, staff, parents and community will be working
cooperatively as an educational team to promote individual academic excellence and positive social
and emotional growth of all students. Through these efforts, we will foster the continuing
development of the whole child.
The school day begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 3:50 PM. Students enter the building at 8:55 am.
Morning Kindergarten: 9:00 am – 12:05 pm
Afternoon Kindergarten: 12:42 am – 3:50 pm
ATTENDANCE AND DISMISSAL
Consistent attendance is important to your child’s success at school, and all students are expected to
attend classes on a regular basis. In order to ensure that each child arrives and departs school safely,
please call the 24-hour attendance line if your child will be absent, 227-5144. Otherwise, the office
will contact you to ensure your child’s safety.
When late for school, please have your child report directly to the office so that we can correct our
attendance records and make provisions for lunch.
Leaving the Building:
Sometimes the end of the school day can get hectic at Riley Elementary. We often have many children
getting picked up for activities, practices, and other types of appointments. With children getting on the
bus and other children leaving with parents/guardians, it is very important that we are able to account
for each child as they leave the building. If you are picking up your child please sign them out through the office.
This helps us to know exactly when the child was checked out and who checked them out.
We also have children inform the office someone will be picking them up at the end of the day; students
whom normally ride a bus home. If you plan on picking your child up at school, please send a note to school with
the child stating that someone will be picking the child up after school. Buses often have left school and the child is
waiting for a ride. Sometimes students may be confused as to which day they were going to be picked
up. School policy states that without a note, the child is to ride the bus home.
If a child is going to be getting off at a different house or is riding with a friend, please send a note
stating that they will be getting off at a different house. We need to see the note first thing in the
morning. To ride a bus to another stop students are required to present a form from the office. If the
child waits until the end of the day, we may have to call you to come and pick up your child because
there will not be time to fill out the information necessary to transport your child to an alternate
location. Safety of our children is our prime concern and we appreciate your help.
Please listen to the local radio and TV stations in cases of inclement weather. The superintendent
has a special code that TV and radio stations use to verify a call for early dismissal. When early
dismissal becomes necessary, the school will follow the parent requests on the “EARLY
DISMISSAL FORMS,” so please inform the secretary throughout the year of any changes in address
or telephone numbers. We can only release students to people designated by you or your child’s
emergency card. During a tornado watch or warning, students will remain in school.
We have many parent/grandparents who volunteer in our classrooms to assist teachers with many
aspects of instruction or to support our students. We ask that all visitors report to the office.
When you visit the office, we will have a visitor badge for you to wear in the building. This will
allow us to keep our students safe. We appreciate your help. Student visitors are not permitted.
Every volunteer will need to fill out a criminal background check before volunteering or going on
field trip. This form can be found on the St. Johns Public Schools Website.
School news is printed in the St. Johns Reminder and the Clinton County News. In addition,
building and classroom newsletters are published on a regular basis. Riley also has a web page. A
letter will be sent home this year asking for parent/guardian written permission for student’s
photographs to be used with any articles reported to the St. Johns Reminder, Clinton County News,
and Riley Web Page.
Students are expected to dress neatly and tastefully in clothing suitable for school activities and a
learning environment. Parents should consider that students sometimes sit on the floors and
frequently fall or slide on grass or blacktop on the playground. Students should dress appropriately
for the weather and outside play. Caps may be worn outside the building. Offensive logos and
extremely short shirts or shorts are considered inappropriate for the school setting. Shoes should be
worn at all times indoors. Students without boots on wet/muddy/snowy days will not be permitted
off the blacktop at recess times. It is also beneficial for students to remember days they have
physical education so that they remember their tennis shoes.
Riley has an elementary counselor who is in our building part time. Mrs. Gilbert provides individual
and small group counseling and teaches many lessons in our classrooms. The counseling program
assists students with problems that interfere with learning and emotional growth, helps students to
make educational, social, and personal decisions and aids students in understanding and
appropriately expressing their feelings.
Referrals for individual and small group counseling come from parents, school staff or students
themselves. Students may be referred to the school counselor for a variety of family, school or peer
concerns. Parent contact is made before students take part in ongoing individual or small group
The counselor teaches lessons in classrooms at all grade levels beginning with kindergarten. In
addition, the counselor acts as a consultant to parents and staff and helps with referrals to community
agencies as needed.
Parent Corner – A Library for Parents:
We have a library for parents called the Parent Corner. There are videotapes, audiotapes, books and pamphlets that may be borrowed
for two weeks. You will find topics such as: homework, school success, friendship, discipline, bedtime, chores, sibling relationships
and parent-child communication. Other subjects such as death, divorce and substance abuse are also included in the library. Please
contact the school office for information about the Parent Corner and how to check out materials.
The purpose of the Riley P.T.O. is to bring parents and teachers together to enhance our school
environment. P.T.O. meetings are held monthly, in the library. Parents will be reminded of
upcoming meetings through the school newsletter. Parents and teachers elect the following officers
at a general meeting each spring: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Hospitality
Chairperson. Officers will serve for one year. All parents are encouraged to attend.
REPORT CARDS AND CONFERENCES
Report cards will be sent home four times per year at the end of each nine-week marking period.
Parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled twice each year. Parents may meet with teachers,
administrators, and counselors any time during the school year. We encourage you to keep in close
contact with the school.
The library contains materials for student enjoyment and enrichment of their educational
All materials must be appropriately checked out.
Students who lose or destroy library materials will be asked to compensate the school in the
amount equal to the value of the item(s) for its replacement.
Positive library behavior includes using quiet voices, using chairs properly, and reshelving
materials in their assigned place.
We have access to state of the art technology at Riley. Students are asked to use these resources
1. Having adult guidance and permission to use any equipment or software.
2. Use technology for school purposes only.
3. Follow adult directions for use.
4. Access Internet only with parent permission and direct staff supervision.
5. Only using the password issued to you.
Health and Safety
EMERGENCY SAFETY PROCEDURES
Fire and tornado drills are held at regular intervals and are an important safety precaution.
In the event of a tornado watch during the school day, a regular schedule will be maintained,
and students will be dismissed at 3:50 PM.
In the event of a tornado warning, all students will take cover. Students will not be dismissed
until the warning is lifted.
Any and all medications a student may need to use at school must be first prescribed by a physician
and written permission given to the school before mediations can be dispensed to the child. This
procedure is in accordance with Michigan Law governing the dispersing of medication to students
and is based on the theory that prescribed medicine, aspirin, cough drops, or ointments might cause a
serious reaction and if the child has self administered a medication and becomes unconscious,
medical treatment would be severely hindered.
PROCEDURE FOR HANDLING MEDICATION
1. Medication should be brought by an adult directly to the office and given to the staff.
2. A written request must be signed by parents to permit school personnel to give the
medication to the child.
3. Medication must be in a prescription container and accompanied by written directions
from the doctor instructing school personnel to give the medicine.
4. The container of medicine must be clearly marked as to the student’s name, content
(name of the drug), dosage and directions for administration.
The medication procedures must be followed for all medications including all over the counter
(nonprescription drugs) such as aspirin or cough drops.
HOT LUNCH PROGRAM
St. Johns Public Schools use a computerized debit accounting system (SNAP) which establishes a
separate account for each student. They system tracks deposits and lunch/milk purchases making
your child’s account accurate to the day. You may pay daily, weekly, monthly. The computer will
track your balance. You will be notified when the balance gets low. Money should be sent in a
sealed envelope with the child’s name, teacher’s name and the amount of money included. Lunches
are prepared by the High School cafeteria and delivered to Riley Elementary by our Maintenance
Hot lunches this year are $1.75 per day or $8.75 per week.
Milk is $.45 per day or $2.25 per week.
A juice/water machine and pencil machine are available for student use immediately before school.
We also have a pop machine located in the gym for after hours use by sports and community groups.
(All schools are prohibited in offering students sweetened, carbonated beverages for purchase during
the school day.) Any profits from these machines are returned to the school for student benefit.
Responsibility and Conduct
The following are some of the expectations we hold to promote the educational environment at Riley
as well as the safety and well being for all students. Please discuss them with your youngster.
Each student has a personal responsibility to:
1. Do his/her best in all areas of school activities.
2. Treat others with respect.
3. Be responsible for personal belongings and those items issued by school.
4. Be respectful of school facilities and equipment, and make an effort to keep items in good
condition. The school may ask to be reimbursed for items that are damaged or lost.
5. Be on time for school and have necessary materials and assignments.
6. Exhibit good citizenship at all times.
GENERAL STUDENT CONDUCT
Remember to follow our Golden Rule: Respect yourself and our community. Riley must be a safe
place for students to learn.
1. Obey the instructions of all school staff at all times.
2. Refrain from fighting, roughhousing, profanity or unkindness towards others.
3. Stay on school property unless given permission to leave.
4. Leave items such as bats, radios, knives, matches, toy guns, water pistols, sling shots and toys
5. Walk quietly in the building.
6. Refrain from throwing objects that may be harmful to other people and/or property, such as
snowballs, sticks, sand or stones.
7. Take pride in your school by helping to keep it clean and attractive.
1. Students are to follow all playground “supervisors” directions and instructions.
2. Be respectful of others.
3. No roughness when playing with others, intentionally hurting others is unacceptable.
4. Follow rules for using playground equipment safely.
5. Touch football only.
6. Stay within designated playground areas.
7. Radios, tape players, musical instruments, electronic games, ball bats, and food are not
appropriate for the playground. We have toys for playground use.
8. Respond immediately when whistle blows.
9. Profanity is disrespectful to us all and will not be tolerated.
10. Stay within designated playground areas.
North end of playground – swings are the boundary
South end of playground – soccer field is the boundary
East end of playground – pine trees are the boundary
West end of playground – blue bars and softball field
Quiet area – picnic area
Blue bars – no sitting on top – no hanging on side
Slide – one at a time, no running up, slide down on bottom
Swing – no side to side, no jumping off
Use quiet voices
Keep hands and feet to yourself
Remain seated except when putting tray in recycling
Be respectful and courteous to others
Raise your hand if you need something
1. Maintain an active interest in your child’s daily work, praising him/her for accomplishments,
and providing support and encouragement.
2. Support the school in requiring students to observe all school rules, and encourage student
responsibility for any misbehavior.
3. Send students to school with proper attention given to health, personal cleanliness, and
neatness of dress.
4. Encourage your child to take responsibility to complete homework and turn it in on time.
Establish homework routines by setting nightly times for your child to complete their work or
5. Attend parent teacher conferences to exchange information on the student’s progress and
planning for improvement.
6. Comply with school requests, including carefully reading all communications, signing and
returning them as needed.
7. Help your child be prepared for all school activities. Read carefully the information included
in the Riley Raccoon folder, which your child will bring home and return to school on a regular
TOBACCO, ALCOHOL AND DRUG FREE ZONE
The St. Johns Public Schools, its buildings and grounds are a tobacco, alcohol and other drug use,
free area. Thank you for respecting this zone and the health of our students.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE POLICY
Possession, use of, sale, transfer or to be under the influence of any illegal or unauthorized substance
or behavior altering drug, including alcohol or substance purported to be illegal, i.e. look alike drugs,
is strictly prohibited on school property or at any school-sponsored function whether at or away from
Search and Seizure:
The school retains ultimate control over student lockers and desks and reserves the right to inspect
lockers/desks at any time without notice and without student consent. School officials may institute
a student search if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the search will reveal evidence that a
student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. Those found violating
the above stated prohibition shall be subject to the following:
Depending on the severity of the substance use or abuse offense, the school administrator in charge
(principal) may elect to issue one or more of the following alternatives on the First Offense and all
1. Parent, administrator, and counselor conference (both parents and/or guardians are requested to
be in attendance).
2. Information concerning available drug education programs and recommendation of student
enrollment in an approved drug education seminar or program.
3. Recommendation of student involvement in outpatient therapy.
4. Suspension from school. The number of days to be determined by the principal according to
the Board’s policy on suspension and expulsion from school.
Students in possession of a dangerous weapon/firearm, or who commit arson or rape on district
grounds, in district buildings or at a district or school sponsored event can be permanently expelled
from school and referred to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system and the appropriate
county department of social services or community mental health agency. The parent, legal guardian
and/or student shall also be notified of the referral. The Board authorizes the Superintendent to
expel students. Students subject to expulsion shall have their situation reviewed by the
Superintendent on a case-by-case basis.
This policy statement is the Board’s assurance that the district is in compliance with both PL
103.382 and MCL 380.1311.
TRUANCY GUIDELINES FOR CLINTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Any pattern of excessive and/or unexcused absences will be referred to the Attendance officer. The
following are the guidelines that all Clinton County Public Schools will follow in reference to
students with excessive absences.
1. After 10 absences, a letter will be sent to the parents encouraging regular attendance.
2. After 15 absences, a registered letter will be sent to the parents explaining the truancy law and
procedure. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Attendance Officer, and the Attendance
Officer will make contact with the parent of the truant.
3. After 20 absences, a registered letter will be sent to the parents. A copy of the letter will be
sent to the Attendance Officer plus he will be notified by phone. The Clinton County
Prosecuting Attorney will be notified by the Attendance Officer and he will make a second
contact with the parents.
4. Upon 25 absences, the county prosecuting attorney will be requested by the Attendance Officer
to issue a warrant.
*Each case will be evaluated individually. Consideration will be given to unusual circumstances
including extended illness, death in the family, prearranged family vacations, and other unusual
*Absences will be accumulated from one school year to the next for the purposes of these
guidelines. These guidelines will include all absences during a consecutive twelve-month period.
*For purpose of these guidelines, absences will be counted from previous school districts for
students new to our district.
It is the policy of the St. Johns School District that no person shall, on the basis of race, color,
national origin, sex or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be
subjected to discrimination under any program or activity and in employment.
Any questions concerning Title IX of the Education Amendments of 972 which prohibits
discrimination should be directed to Carol Beverwyk, District Administration Office, St. Johns
Public Schools, P.O. Box 230, St. Johns, Michigan 48879
Sexual harassment of students by other students or by employees of this district is unlawful under
both Michigan and Federal Law, and is contrary to the commitment of Riley Elementary to provide a
stable learning environment. All contact between students, teachers, and other adult employees of
Riley Elementary will be in a nature that does not make a student feel uncomfortable and will be
conducive to creating a stable learning environment.
If a student has concerns about the nature of any conduct of physical contact by an adult employed
by the district, by a fellow student, or by a member of the public, the student should immediately
report this concern to the building principal or counselor, as well as discussing this concern with the
student’s parent or guardian.
All reports will be investigated immediately by Riley Elementary Staff. If there is an apparent
problem, contact will be made with the student’s parents to inform them of any developing problem.
Local radio and television stations broadcast information concerning school closings
during periods of inclement weather or other unforeseeable events. Stations are as
WSJ 15.80 AM WILS 13.20 AM
WJIM 97.5 FM WLNZ 92.1 FM
WITO 100 FM WUGN FAMILY LIFE STATION 10.10 AM
WFMK 99.0 FM
Q106 106.1 FM CHANNEL 6 & 10 TV
P Practice Responsibility
R Respect Others
I Include Kindness
D Dream Big
E Exercise Safety
IN ALL WE DO!!
Take PRIDE in all you do!!