Parent Handbook 2010 2011

Document Sample
Parent Handbook  2010 2011 Powered By Docstoc

                       Robert C. Sweeney

As our mission statement proclaims, Horace Mann School is a nurturing
learning community which offers a challenging academic program, instills
character, and fosters life-long learning in order to develop the whole child.
We work diligently to create a warm and supportive environment in which all
our students develop fully and are prepared for later education and life
experiences. Learning is, of course, the key activity of our school.

We recognize and appreciate the important role you as parents can provide in
helping us achieve our goals. We hope you will be fully cooperative and
supportive in our efforts and, at the same time, guide and advise us in all we

The children of Horace Mann School are a precious asset and a source of great
pride and happiness for all of us. Please let us know how we can work
together for the sake of your children.

The academic work of the Horace Mann School is based upon the New Jersey
Core Curriculum Contact Standards. These standards set high academic goals
for our students and we continually support then as they strive for academic
success. This is our most important teaching and we depend upon your help
and support for their academic progress.

Students of the Horace Mann School are expected to conduct themselves
properly throughout the school day. Their behavior towards their peers and
school employees is expected to be polite and appropriate. We repeat our
detailed expectations to you and your child in our Student Code of Conduct
folder, which you and your child are asked to sign at the beginning of each
school year. For example, students using inappropriate language or actions
will be disciplined. This will always be done in attempt to stop the
questionable behavior and encourage more positive and appropriate conduct.
Such discipline may be administered by the classroom teachers, special
teachers, and/ or the principal. Should the offense(s) be chronic or serious, the
parents / guardians will be contacted. As is true in all aspects of school life,
close cooperation between home and school is necessary. We look forward to
your support and cooperation in this important matter.


Regular Day Schedule 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
   8:55          Students in classrooms
   9:00          Morning Classes begin
  11:30          Morning Kindergarten Students Dismissed
  11:55          1st & 2nd Graders - Lunchroom
                 3rd, 4th, & 5th Graders - Playground
  12:25          1st & 2nd Graders -Playground
                 3rd, 4th, & 5th Graders - Lunchroom
  12:55          Afternoon Classes begin
   1:00          PM Kindergarten begins
   3:30          Dismissal

Two-Hour Delayed Opening              11:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  11:00          Students start their school day
  11:55          30 minute lunch period for 1st & 2nd Graders
  12:25          30 minute lunch period for 3rd, 4th, & 5th Graders
  3:30           Dismissal

1:00 Dismissal Day              9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  9:00 - 1:00     School Day for Grades 1-5 (lunch will be offered)
  9:00 - 11:30    School Day for MORNING Kindergarten
 10:30 - 1:00     School Day for AFTERNOON Kindergarten
A wide range of services are available to all students. Some are part of the
regular instructional program, while others are special services available to
children as needed. These are provided by a support staff including academic
support instructors, a librarian, a nurse, a developmental physical education
teacher, a speech therapist, a guidance counselor, resource room instructors,
etc. On occasion, students may leave their regular classrooms to meet with one
or more of these specialists. There may also be after-school and summer
support services offered to needy students. Should any on-going program
outside the regular classroom be recommended or advised, you will be
notified by the school.

The GUIDANCE COUNSELOR is involved with many aspects of each
student's program. The Counselor coordinates and interprets State test scores,
confers with pupils, teachers, and/or parents regarding student progress,
supervises peer mediation sessions, and assists with classroom assignments
whenever necessary. In addition, the counselor coordinates the child study
team activities with the district's team. Classroom instruction in such areas as
self-esteem, study skills, and peer mediation are also provided.

The CHILD STUDY TEAM consists of a social worker, a psychologist, and a
Learning disabilities consultant. The "Team" meets at least once each month to
deal with special student needs and/or programs.

                   Library Grades K-5
                   Art, Music, Phys. Ed Grades 1-5
                   Chorus, Instrumental Music Grades 4 & 5
                   Computers Grades K-5
                   Spanish Grades 1-5
                   Enrichment for students needing the extra
                    challenge will be done through the
                    designated “Intervention/Enrichment” period
                    in each class schedule. Such children are also
                    challenged by differentiated work in their

Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled annually in the late fall for all
students. However, parents are encouraged to conference with their child's
teacher whenever necessary. Please call the school office or send a note/e-mail
to your child's teacher to set up an appointment at your mutual convenience.
Frequent communication between home and school is crucial to a child’s
success in school.

Homework is a very important part of students learning.

PHILOSOPHY OF HOMEWORK. The intention of homework is:
                    to develop in students the practice of
                     reflecting about newly acquired
                    to extend and deepen knowledge through
                     experience with challenging problems.
                    to provide independent practice and develop
                     automaticity for skills and knowledge.
                    to activate thought in preparation for the next
                    to instill study habits and encourage student
                     planning for long term assignments.
RECORDING ASSIGNMENTS. Homework planners are issued to each student
in grades two through five. It is the student's responsibility to keep an accurate
record of each assignment and the due date. Frequently, teachers and parents
communicate by writing notes in the planner.

AMOUNT OF HOMEWORK. As a general guide, students at all grade levels
are expected to complete their regular, ongoing assignments DAILY. Although
the amount of homework daily will vary, students should expect to plan time
each school day for outside work.
             · Grades 1 & 2 - between 20 - 30 minutes daily
             · Grades 3 & 4 - between 45 - 60 minutes daily
             · Grade 5 - approximately one hour daily
Homework amount will vary with the units of study. As student progress
through the grades, more long-term assignments will be made. These projects
help students learn to budget their time and approach more complex
assignments by breaking them into smaller, more manageable units.

INCOMPLETE HOMEWORK. Incomplete homework assignments may result
in lower grades and will surely hamper a child's ability to learn. If a student
excessively does not complete homework assignments, parents will be
scheduled for a conference with the teacher and/or principal. Students are
usually kept in during the noon recess to make up incomplete homework.
HOMEWORK AND STUDENT ABSENCE. Homework missed because of
sickness, absence, etc., must be made up. This is to be arranged with the
child's teacher upon return to school. When a student is absent due to vacation
plans, work will be made up when the student returns to school. At the
teacher's discretion, a travel-related project may be assigned. Regular
assignments will not be provided in advance of the days that will be missed.

By New Jersey Law, parents/guardians have the responsibility to send their
children to school on those days when it is open, other than for sickness or
religious holiday. When a child returns to school after being absent, a note
explaining the absence is necessary.

When a child is absent from school for illness or any other reason, or if a child
will be late, please call the Office at 428-1144 to report your child's absence
between 8:30 and 9:00 AM, or for PM Kindergarten students, before 1:00 PM. If
you forget to call the school, we will try to call your home, and if there is no
answer, we will call you at work. Furthermore, excessive absence will result in
a conference with the Principal.

Students should be in school at the start of each school day. Each morning,
bells ring at 8:55 AM for students to enter their classrooms. All students
should be present and in line at that time. Pupils who are late miss important
announcements and school work. They are also disruptive to on-going
instruction and other students. Any students arriving after 9:00 AM will be
marked "Tardy". When a child arrives late at school, the child must be brought
to the Office to sign in, and then he/she will be sent to class. Excessive
tardiness will also result in a conference with the Principal.

No student should come to school before 8:45 AM unless they are participating
in the morning SACC program. School busses do not arrive until that time,
and walkers should not arrive until that time. (Safety Patrol members with
assigned posts are excluded from this.) Walkers should remain at home and
leave so that they arrive at 8:45 AM or later. Students who arrive before this
time will be kept in the lobby, and their parents will be contacted.

No student will be dismissed from school without a note from a parent. If at
all possible, please try not to make medical or dental appointments during the
school day. When a student is required to leave school early, a parent must
come to the school office to request the release of the child. Students will be
called and released only from the school office! Do not go directly to your
child’s room. You will be asked to sign out your child in the school office.
Under special circumstances, a phone call from the parent will suffice.
The area of acceptable and appropriate dress is one of personal and
community standards and tastes. It is nonetheless our aim as educators to help
establish and maintain high standards and propriety in this area. The most
sensible guideline to follow in selecting clothing for school is that your child
should be neat, clean, and dressed appropriately for the social setting and
weather conditions. Any type of clothing tending to be extreme or distracting
should be considered inappropriate. It is hoped that parents/guardians will
advise their children that certain clothing is in poor taste for the classroom
setting. If there is any question in your mind about the appropriateness of a
particular piece of clothing, then more than likely, it should not be worn by
your child to school.

Students may not wear hats or caps inside the school building, except for
religious reasons, or a special school celebration. Please be sure your child
understands this rule.

During class hours, all school doors are kept locked for security purposes.
Visitors should come to the parking lot door and buzz the intercom to be
admitted. You then report directly to the school office.

All visitors MUST sign in at the office before visiting any areas of the school.
Visitors will be issued a pass to carry with them as they remain in the
building. When a visitor's business in our school is completed, he/she will
return to the office to "sign out" and return the visitor's pass. This procedure is
the policy of the Cherry Hill Public Schools, and it will be enforced for the
safety of our children. If you are in our school without a pass, you should
expect to b e stopped and questioned.

When delivering lunches, homework assignments, books, etc., please bring
them to the office. Your child will be called at an appropriate time to receive
these items. It is suggested that you encourage your child to become more
responsible for remembering everything needed for the school day, so that last
minute trips are unnecessary. Remember that all visitors to our school MUST
sign in at the Office and receive a pass before visiting any other area of the
Please be advised that upper grade students typically answer the school
phones during the lunch hour. These Office Safeties are usually very
responsible, and they will take your messages well. However, if your call is of
an urgent or sensitive nature, please ask the Office Safety to contact the school
nurse or the principal.

Parents / guardians have the right to review all information in their children's
cumulative folders upon appointment with the guidance counselor. These
folders contain various types of information. Statistical information (name,
address, date of birth, etc.) is completed when you register your child in the
district. Classroom teachers also maintain the folder with the latest test scores,
promotion / retention information, grades, attendance data, and academic
achievement. Health information is filed in the nurse's office. Parents wishing
to update this information are requested to call the nurse.

Each student will have an emergency information card on file with phone
numbers where you, your spouse, a relative, or a close friend can be reached in
an emergency. When listing an "emergency" person, please be sure that that
individual is willing to do just that - help out in an emergency! Also, be sure
that any phone numbers are accurate and up to date! Please call the school
office immediately if there are any changes in any telephone numbers,
especially cellular phone numbers.

The library is one of the hubs of educational experiences for our children. It is
far more than simply signing out books. Through the joint efforts of the
library media specialist and the classroom teacher, it is a place where children
learn the proper use of study and research skills that they will utilize for many
years to come. Please give some consideration to volunteering in some way in
our library media center. Contact Ms. Oesau, our librarian for more

Our school nurse, Lee-Ann Halbert, R.N., handles a wide variety of student
medical concerns during the school day. Each morning, teachers send the
names of absent students to the office. Any student absent from school for five
or more days must present a doctors note AND see the school nurse prior to
returning to class. Also, if your child is late because of a medical appointment,
please bring a note from the doctor. If a child becomes ill during the day,
he/she will be given immediate attention by the school nurse. You may be
called to pick up the child if he/she is too ill to return to class. As previously
noted, we ask that you provide the school with an "emergency" individual to
care for your child if you are unavailable.

The Cherry Hill Board of Education has established policies and procedures
regarding the administration of medication during the school day. Medication
shall include all over-the-counter medication and medication prescribed by a
physician for the particular pupil, including emergency medication in the
event of a bee sting, etc. (N.J.S.A. 45:11-23)

The Cherry Hill Administrative Procedure continues to emphasize that
dispensing medication in the school setting should be discouraged, as it is not
normally a function of education. However, it is recognized that children with
chronic illnesses, specific disabilities, and special needs may require
medication during the school day, and we are desirous of meeting these needs
in the highest professional manner.

In these instances, it is required that a physicians order and a written parental
consent accompany all medication, both prescription and non-prescription or
over the counter medication.

All medication must be in its original container. You can request your
pharmacist to place the medication into two containers: one for the school
nurse and one for home use. Furthermore, IT IS REQUIRED THAT

This policy is consistent with the standards and practices of nursing and the
needs of our school system.

ALL medications -- prescription AND non-prescription -- are to be administered
from the health office by the School Nurse. A parent may choose to come to the
Nurse's office to administer medication to his/her own child.

ALL medication must be labeled clearly with the students name and the name
and dosage of the drug. For your child's well being, he/she should not return
to school until his/her temperature is normal for at least 24 hours and other
symptoms have subsided.
When PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION is administered in school, all of the
following are required:
                    A written order from the physician OR a
                     current label on the medication which should
                     be verified by the school nurse. The
                     following information MUST be clearly
                     indicated on the label: students name,
                     physicians name, and the name AND dosage of
                     the prescribed medication.
                    Written parent/guardian permission form
                     releasing the school district and the school
                     nurse from any liability thereof. This form is
                     available from the school nurse.
administered in accordance to the procedures listed above.

Students will be excluded from school only if live lice are found, or if five or
more nits (egg casings) are found within 1/4 of the scalp. Students will be
readmitted to school after the hair is treated and checked by the school nurse
for nits. (See Nurse for details.)

The Self-Protection in Dangerous Situations strand of the Cherry Hill Public
Schools Health Curriculum will be taught in your child’s class again this year.
Students will receive two lessons focusing on the topic of self-protection in
situations of sexual harassment. If you would like to review the curriculum or
view any of the instructional materials used in teaching the program, please
call the school at 428-1144.
New Jersey Statutes Annotated, Title 18A:35-4.7, provides that
      any child whose parent or guardian presents to the principal a
      signed statement that any part of the instruction in health is in
      conflict with his conscience or sincerely held moral or religious
      beliefs shall be excused from that portion of the course where such
      instruction is being given, and no penalties as to credit or
      graduation shall result there from.
If you have any questions about the excuse policy or the self-protection strand
of the health curriculum, please call the school.

The Cherry Hill Public Schools Family Life Education curriculum is presented
each year to students in all grades. The curriculum will be taught by your
child’s classroom teacher or Mrs. Halbert, the school nurse. If you are
interested in reviewing the instructional materials, please contact Mrs.
Halbert. Furthermore, any parent/guardian who objects to their child’s
attendance during one or more of the instructional periods MUST NOTIFY
THE SCHOOL IN WRITING of their wishes.

New Jersey Statutes Annotated, Title 18A:35-4.7, provides that
       any child whose parent or guardian presents to the principal a
       signed statement that any part of the instruction in health is in
       conflict with his conscience or sincerely held moral or religious
       beliefs shall be excused from that portion of the course where such
       instruction is being given, and no penalties as to credit or
       graduation shall result there from.
Please use these classes as an opportunity for open discussion on these issues
in your homes. It is important that you make your child aware of your feelings
and values. We look forward to a positive experience for you and your child.

Postural screening for 4th and 5th grade students will be conducted by the
school nurse in her office sometime between December and March, in
accordance with New Jersey State Law 18A:40-4.3. The purpose of postural
screenings is to detect signs of spinal curvature at its earliest stages, so that the
need for treatment can be determined.

Scoliosis the most common spinal abnormality is a side to side curve of the
spine. It is usually detected in childhood or early adolescence. Most cases of
spinal curvatures are mild, requiring only ongoing observation by a physician
once the diagnosis has been made. Mild curvatures are often noticeable only to
those trained to detect spinal abnormalities. Some curvatures, however, may
become progressively more severe as the child continues to grow. Early
treatment can prevent the development of a severe deformity that can later
affect the health and appearance of the child.

Scoliosis screening is a simple process. The school nurse will look at each
child’s back while he/she stands and bends forward. Boys and girls will be
seen separately and individually. Boys will be asked to remove their shirts.
Girls will be asked to remove their blouses and wear halter tops, swim suit
tops, or bras. Body suits and one-piece swim suits are not acceptable because
the child’s entire back must be visible to the examiner during the screening
process. In addition, students will be asked to remove their shoes or sneakers.
Parents will be notified only if a medical follow up is necessary for their child.
This screening does not replace the need for regular health care and check ups.
If you do not want your child to have a postural screening in school, please
notify the school nurse in writing.

This information - and much more can be found on the districts website, and then click on "Department Information" and
"Food Services".

Students should NOT bring toys, collectible cards, electronic games, CD
players, or other non-school related possessions to school. Such items often
distract students from studying and can be easily lost or misplaced. This is
especially true for any more valuable items. Have your child keep such
playthings at home for enjoyment before or after school.

In order to safely conduct physical education classes, the following dress
regulations are REQUIRED for each student:

Sneakers: Traditional sneakers - laces or Velcro - are required. Footgear NOT
permitted in physical education class include hiking boots, all weather shoes,
heels, slip-ons or flip-flops, jellies, sandals, or platform shoes.

Clothing: Shorts, slacks, comfortable tops, warm-up or sweat suits, and
weather appropriate attire are acceptable articles of clothing for PE class. Also,
not permitted are loose, dangling earrings or long necklaces.

In order to be excused from a physical education class, students must present a
written request/note from their parents to the physical education teacher who
will honor the request for a short term (one to five days excused from class). A
second request to extend the first request is to be referred to the school nurse
who may grant the extension based on information presented to her, OR the
school nurse may consult the parent. After the nurse consults with the parents
and, as a result, feels that the extension is unnecessary and should be denied,
the parent may then present a doctor's note which will be honored.

For any long term requests of ten days or more, a written excuse from a
physician is required. This excuse is to be reviewed every three months to
determine its continuation. The review shall include a consultation with the
physician issuing the excuse.
Furthermore, any excuse from PE class should be considered as an excuse from
all physical activity, including lunchtime and/or classroom recess. This does
not necessarily preclude participation in non-physical activities such as score-
keeping, etc.

By New Jersey law, all children ages 14 and under must wear helmets while
riding their bikes. This also applies to riding bikes to and from school.
Therefore, no student will be allowed to ride his/her bike to and from school
without wearing an approved bicycle helmet.

School "Safeties" are student volunteers who assist other students when
crossing streets within a two to three block radius of the school. They are not
policemen or crossing guards, and they do not direct or halt traffic. Please
encourage your children to cooperate with and listen to the Safeties. Also,
stress to your child the importance of taking safe routes to and from school. In
addition, for your child's safety, please do not send them to school before 8:40
AM, for there is not supervision on the playground before this time. Likewise,
students should go directly home at the end of the school day.

Many Horace Mann students arrive and depart school daily by bus. We
consider the school bus and the school bus stop to be an extension of the
school. The responsibility of providing safe transportation is shared by both
the school and the parents. Therefore, please review the safety procedures
listed below with your child.
                   Only bus students are permitted to ride
                    school busses. Under no circumstances will a
                    walker be permitted to ride a school bus. A
                    note from home does not give a child
                    permission to ride the bus.
                   Students riding busses are only permitted to
                    ride their own bus. Once a student has been
                    assigned to a particular bus, that child will
                    not be permitted to change to another bus
                    other than for an address change.
                   In extreme emergencies and with a written
                    note, a child may be granted temporary
                    permission from the Principal to ride a bus
                    other than his/her own.
                   Do not let children stand or play in the street
                    while waiting for the bus.
                   By State law, students must wear seatbelts on
                    any school bus that is so equipped.
                   Students should enter and exit the bus
                    without crowding, pushing, or shoving.
                   Students should never board or step from a
                    moving vehicle.
                   Student should never stick their hands, arms,
                    or heads out open windows.
                   Student conversations should never be overly
                    loud or unruly.
                   Students should never throw anything while
                    waiting for the bus, on the bus, or out open
                    windows. Please try to keep the school bus
                    clean and the passage ways clear.
                   Students should be sure the street is clear and
                    always wait for the driver's signal before
                    crossing the street.
School bus safety is a matter of teamwork requiring the constant support and
attention of you, your child, and school personnel. Please keep in mind that
school bus transportation is a privilege and can be withdrawn for continued
inappropriate or unsafe behavior! In other words, any child will be barred
from riding the school bus if he or she is a serious behavior problem or
creating an unsafe situation on the school bus!

Students occasionally miss the announced calls for their school busses at the
end of the school day. When this occurs, the student should come to the office
to call his/her parent. A student who has missed his/her bus may walk home
ONLY AFTER CALLING HIS/HER PARENT, and only if the parent
communicates this to us over the phone at the time of the incident. Under no
circumstances will bus students be permitted to walk home alone unless the
office is advised in writing or by phone that your child may do so.
Furthermore, no student will be permitted to go home with another child
without his/her parents’ consent, which must also be communicated to the
Office. Please stress this procedure with your child.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OFFICER: JIM GALLAGHER                             429-5600