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					               Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
                                 Table of Contents
Faculty and Staff                         1   In-service Days & Early Dismissal on
2008-2009 School Calendar                 2    Wednesdays                               15
Daily Schedule                            3   Instructional Council                     16
Welcome To Mitchell E. S.                 4   Library                                   16
Mitchell Mission Statement                4   Lost & Found Items                        16
                                              Medications                               16
General Information & School Policies         Mitchell Boundaries & Residency           16
Abbreviated Day Schedule                  4   Nightly Reading & Nightly Writing         17
After-School Instructions                 4   Open House                                17
Alternative Language Services             4   Parent-Teacher Conferences                17
Arrival Time                              5   Parent Interaction Policy                 17
Asbestos Re-inspection                    5   Redirector Program                        17
APS Attendance Policy and Absences        5   Registration                              18
Balanced Literacy                         6   Section 504 & ADA                         18
Bicycles, Skateboards, Roller Blades,         Standards-based Education                 18
   Skate Shoes, and Scooters              7   Standards-based Progress Reports          19
Cafeteria                                 8   Student Assistance Team                   19
Mitchell’s Character Counts Philosophy    8   Student Placement Policy                  19
Costume Parade                            8   Redistribution Policy                     19
Crossing Guards                           8   In-School Transfer Policy                 20
Custody Issues                            8   Student Retention/Remediation             20
Discipline                                9   Student Transfers                         20
   Mustang Pride                         9   Technology/Internet Policy                21
   Students’ Bill of Rights              9   Timely Pick-up                            21
   Discipline Procedures for Offenses   10   Visitor Badges                            21
   Ticketed Offenses                    10   Mitchell’s Parent-Teacher Organization
   Guidelines for Student Behavior      10    Hospitality                              22
   Safety Rules                         11    Liaisons                                 22
Dismissing Students During School        12    Room Parents                             22
Dress Code                               12    Safety and Health                        22
Drop-off, Pick-up & Parking Lots         13    School to Home Communication             22
Drug Policy                              13    Ways and Means                           22
Emergency Information                    13
Emergency Procedures                     13   Community Support
Family Nights                            13   Join-A-School Partners                    23
Field Trips                              14   Playground Recreation Program             23
Guidance and Counseling Services         14
Harassment Policy                        14   Extra Curricular Activities
Health and Wellness Education            14    Basketball – Boys/Girls                  23
Holiday Practice/Religious Policy        15    Chess Club                               23
Illness and Injury                       15    Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts                   23
Indian Education Plan for APS            15    Great Outdoor Adventure & Bicycle Club   24
Informed Consent                         15    Music Programs                           24
                                               Tutoring                                 24
           Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
This Page for Notes, Phone Numbers, and Other Important Information
                    Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
                                  Faculty and Staff
Mitchell Principal – Debbie Garrison          Literacy Teacher – Joan Weninger

Secretary – Carmen Vanderpool                 Health & Wellness – Laurie Aragon

Clerk – Bernadette Burr                       Counselor – Marty Glenn

Kindergarten                                  Instructional Coach – Susan Coopersmith
  Romaine Dunn
  Ronda Schripsema                            Nurse – Anne Marie Hornyak
  Lynda Torres
  TBA                                         Nurse’s Assistant – Rocki Munger

1st Grade                                     Library Assistant – Debbie Sprague
   Delise Hoy
   Jamie Kassetas                             Technology Coordinator – Christy Snell
   Karen McElroy
   TBA                                        Cafeteria Manager – Bev Elks

2nd Grade                                     Redirector – Liz Kathrein
  Ina Collins
  Judy Gumble                                 Evaluation Specialist – April Steffens
  Todd Stewart
                                              Special Education & Support Staff
3 Grade                                        Christine Bauer
  Lesley Botz                                  Ed Browitt
  Leanne Clark                                 Deb Diller
  Michelle Sandoval/Lindsay Szwed              Shannon Hicks
                                               Thor Spangler
4th Grade                                      Barbara Strongin
   Kari Casias
   Erica Encinias                             Educational Assistants
   John McNett                                 Shirley Baca
                                               Poornima Behl
5th Grade                                      Cathy Crites
   Marlene Baca                                Susan Davis
   Cindy Kuebler                               Janet Gagliano
   Lisa Tschida                                Carla Irwin

                                               Joey Archibeque
                                               Steve Saenz Jr.
                                               Paul Zamora

                 Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
                            2008–2009 School Calendar
July 30                    New Student Registration – 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
July 31                    New Student Registration – 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
August 8                   Meet Your Teacher – 9:00–10:30 AM
August 11                  District-wide In-service – Teacher Preparation (NO CLASSES)
August 12                  First day of Classes – 1st –5th Grades
August 12-13               Kindergarten Home Visits
August 14                  First day of classes for Kindergarten
September 1                Labor Day (NO CLASSES)
September 9                Open House – Kindergarten–5th Grade (6:30–7:30 PM)
                           English Language Learners Parent Orientation (7:30 – 8:30 PM)
September 11               School Pictures
October 10                 Fall Break (NO CLASSES)
October 17                 Eldorado Cluster In-Service (NO CLASSES)
October 24                 Fall Festival
November 4                 Election Day – (NO CLASSES)
November 5                 End of First Trimester
November 11                Veterans’ Day (NO CLASSES)
November 17-21             Parent/Teacher Conferences (1:00 PM dismissal all week)
November 27-28             Thanksgiving Break (NO CLASSES)
December 22-January 2      Winter Break (NO CLASSES)
January 13                 Eldorado Cluster In-service (NO CLASSES)
January 19                 Martin Luther King Day (NO CLASSES)
January 22                 Group Pictures
February 16                President’s Day (NO CLASSES)
February 18                End of Second Trimester
March 2-6                  Parent/Teacher Conferences (1:00 PM dismissal all week)
February 23-March 13       NMSBA Testing
March 23-27                Spring Break (NO CLASSES)
April 9                    District-wide In-Service (NO CLASSES)
May 22                     Last day of classes
May 25                     Memorial Day (NO CLASSES)
May 26-29                  Make-up for snow days is necessary

New Mexico students are required to have 181 days of instruction each school year. This
equates to 996 hours of instruction for grades K-5 (excluding 30 minutes for lunch but
including 30 minutes for recess each day). The hours of instructional time each school offers
in its schedule and calendar are reviewed each year by the Public Education Department of
the State of New Mexico. Mitchell consistently meets these requirements.

                 Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
                  Daily Schedule – Kindergarten–Fifth Grade
8:54 AM                 Warning Bell – Students go to their classrooms
8:58 AM                 Start of school day
10:15-10:30 AM          Recess 3rd, 4th and 5th Grades
10:30-10:45 AM          Recess 1st and 2nd Grades
                        Kindergarten determines own recess time & late morning snack time
11:30-1:00 PM           Lunch and Noon Recesses
                        11:30–12:00      4th Grade
                        11:45–12:15      5th Grade
                        12:00–12:30      3rd Grade
                        12:15–12:45      2nd Grade
                        12:30–1:00       1st Grade
                        12:45–1:15       Kindergarten (11:15 –11:45 AM on Wednesdays)
1:00 PM                 Wednesday Early Dismissal - Students are dismissed at 1:00 PM
2:00-2:15 PM            Recess 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades
2:15-2:30 PM            Recess 1st and 2nd Grades
                        Kindergarten determines own recess schedule
3:40 PM                 Dismissal

NOTE: Grounds supervision begins at 8:45 AM each day. Please plan
for your student(s) to arrive at school no earlier than 8:45 AM unless
they are eating breakfast in the cafeteria at 8:30 AM. Students on
campus prior to 8:45 AM must be accompanied by an adult and cannot
be in the patio area.

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
                       Welcome to Mitchell Elementary School
Educating our youth is a cooperative venture involving the home as well as the school. Mitchell
Elementary has been a partner with parents throughout its distinguished history. That history
began when Mitchell Elementary was built to relieve overcrowding at Sombra Del Monte
Elementary. It was dedicated on November 4, 1962 and named after the great Albuquerque
educator, George F. Mitchell, who passed away five years earlier. Mr. Mitchell was known for his
genial and gentle manner, but most of all for his life to educating the children of Albuquerque.

Children come first at Mitchell, just as they did for George Mitchell 100 years ago when he first
started teaching. Please know that everything we do at Mitchell Elementary is done with the best
interest of the children in mind. Knowing that communication between school and home is an
essential element in the educational success of children, we prepared this information guide for
you. This guide should acquaint you with the Mitchell Mission, schedule, calendar, rules and
policies. Please keep it handy. We hope you will find it useful and informative.

If you have any questions, or if you seek information not included in this guide, please feel free to
call the school office at 299-1937.
                                 Mitchell Mission Statement
Recognizing that all children can learn, Mitchell teachers, staff, and parents will provide a nurturing,
safe, and stimulating environment. We will provide a positive environment conducive to learning in
which each child can reach his potential academically, socially, and emotionally. Children are
taught according to their needs and abilities and we maintain high expectations and provide tools
that will prepare them for the demands and opportunities of the 21st century. We strive to develop
responsible and productive citizens of the future.
                       General Information and School Policies
Abbreviated Day Schedule
In case of bad weather, check the evening news broadcast or 6:00 AM radio news for the
Abbreviated Day Schedule announcement. All classes K-5 will begin at 11:00 AM with dismissal at
3:40, including Wednesdays. **Breakfast is not available on abbreviated days**
After-School Instructions
Before your child leaves for school in the morning, it is very important that they know where they
are supposed to go after school. Also:
      No children are allowed on school grounds after 3:45 PM unless they are accompanied by a
       parent/guardian, or are enrolled in the Camp Fire after school program.
      Any child left unsupervised or not picked up by 4:10 PM will be referred to APS Police.
      If you have an emergency and must change your previously arranged plans, you may call
       the office and they will attempt to reach your children to let them know of the change.
      Although every attempt will be made to forward your information, we cannot guarantee that
       the change in plans will be relayed to your child.

Alternative Language Services – English Language Learners
A Mitchell staff member using the Language Assessment Scale (LAS) or New Mexico Alternative
Language Proficiency Assessment (NMALPA) will assess students who speak a language other
than English. Depending upon the results of this screening, students will receive English as a
Second Language (ESL) services and/or Sheltered Instruction unless exempted or services are
refused by the parent. If you have any questions about our Alternative Language Services, please
contact our counselor Marty Glenn or our ESL Advocate Lynda Torres at 299-1937.
                     Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook

Arrival Time
Children are not to be in the playground area before 8:40 AM, as no adult supervision will be
available until that time. If a parent is accompanying a student before school, the student and
parent must be on the playground and not in the patio area.

Asbestos Re-inspection Survey
According to requirements of the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA 1987),
the Board of Education completes mandatory re-inspections on a three-year cycle. In addition,
surveys are conducted every six months of all buildings within the APS district.
In the past, asbestos was widely used in building construction. Since AHERA was enacted, APS
has implemented an Operations and Maintenance Program to train maintenance personnel with
proper handling and safe procedures for asbestos containing materials. As EPA has suggested, it
is APS’ policy to remove asbestos only when a damaged condition dictates, or maintenance
remodeling or demolition is involved. In these instances, precautions are taken to ensure the safety
of our staff and students.
Accredited environmental inspectors visit our school to re-inspect the condition of material with
asbestos or assumed to contain asbestos and complete a re-inspection survey. The asbestos
management plan for our school is filed in the mail office and is accessible to parents at any time.

Attendance Law
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that states, school districts and schools be held
accountable for ensuring that all students meet high academic standards. On time, daily
attendance is a critical component of this educational process. New Mexico law dictates that:
        Students between the ages of five (5) and eighteen (18) years of age are mandated to
         attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution.
        The Albuquerque Public School District reports habitual truants to the Children’s Court
         Liaison office and to the State of New Mexico.

APS Attendance Policy and Absences
   APS students are allowed no more than 5 unexcused absences per semester, and no
         more than 10 unexcused absences per school year.
        The parent/guardian must notify the school each day that the student will be absent, in
         accordance with the notification procedure established by the school.
        Absences may be excused for the following reasons with appropriate documentation:
           Doctor’s appointment
           Illness
           Death in the family
           Family emergency
           Religious commitment
           Diagnostic testing
An unexcused absence is any absence that does not fit into the above guidelines for excused
absences, is not school-related, or is not reported within two school days of the absence.
        In the event that the school has not received notification of absence by a parent for three (3)
         consecutive days, the school must make an attempt to contact the parent/guardian.
        Excessive absences may result in further inquiry from the principal and request for
         additional documentation.

                    Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
       Family vacations are considered unexcused absences, and it is expected that parents
        will schedule vacations during periods of time when school is not in session
       Students who are signed out before the end of the instructional day must have written
        documentation of the reason (as defined under excused absences) or be subject to the
        same consequences as tardy.
It is the parents’ or guardian’s responsibility to call the school when the student is absent.
On the day of the absence, a parent or guardian calls the school office (299-1937) to leave a
Absences resulting from short-term suspensions or authorized absences, such as those approved
for participation in extracurricular or co-curricular events will not be included when evaluating
excessive absences.
Arriving on time for class is expected and essential. Tardiness impacts the student and school in
four ways:
    1. Academic time is lost. Directions and introduction of new concepts are missed.
    2. Classroom instruction is interrupted when a student is late. Information needs to be
        repeated for the latecomer.
    3. A child may be embarrassed by the late arrival.
    4. Increased record keeping and the issuance of admit slips take additional time.
If a child arrives after the bell, he/she is to report to the office for an admit slip before going to class.
The staff may note a pattern of tardiness, in which case the parents of the child will be contacted for
a conference. A plan to eliminate tardiness will be developed.
Parents who remove a child from school early must sign the child out on a log sheet in the office.
Parents may be asked to show a picture I.D. before they remove the child from school. We do this
in order to insure the safety of your children. When the child reenters school on the same day, the
parent comes to the office to sign the child back into school.

Balanced Literacy
The Albuquerque Public Schools define literacy as the development and use of reading, writing,
speaking, listening, and thinking skills to construct meaning in order to communicate effectively with
a variety of individuals and for a variety of purposes. Mitchell has adopted a balanced literacy
approach to insure that the APS Literacy Standards are being met. The staff has studied and
worked together to develop school wide definitions for each of the components of balanced literacy.
The components and definitions are:
     Read Aloud. Reading aloud to children is a valuable part of a balanced literacy program.
        Reading aloud models fluent reading and expands access to books beyond the child’s
        abilities. It exposes children to a variety of books, encourages children to respond and think
        aloud, and allows for mini-lessons on various reading strategies. Reading aloud creates a
        positive attitude about reading.
     Shared Reading/Writing. The teacher guides shared reading/writing with the students. This
        involves the teacher modeling the reading and writing process. In shared reading/writing the
        teacher selects the text/topic to teach the reading/writing strategies. The whole class
        discusses, responds, and extends the meaning of the text/topic.
     Guided Reading/Writing. Guided reading or writing is the process in which the teacher
        facilitates and instructs through mini-lessons and conferences. Strategies and skills are
        modeled to assist the students in becoming confident readers and writers.
     Independent Reading/Writing. Independent reading is the reading of a “just right” book by
        the student, supported and monitored by the teacher. The student chooses the book to read.

                    Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
       The student utilizes previously taught writing skills to develop his/her independent writing
       piece. The student feels confident with the skills and the writing process. During writing time
       the student demonstrates the independent writing process by choosing topics and
       responses of his/her own. During independent reading and writing, the student is afforded
       time to practice the skills previously taught under the guidance of his/her teacher.
      Modeled Writing. Teacher and students collaborate to write text. During modeled writing,
       the students will 1) help select the topic and 2) give ideas for the piece of writing. The
       teacher will 1) model writing, 2) give ideas as a part of the group, 3) write down the piece as
       it is developed, 4) add ideas to the writing, and 5) model the writing process
Six Traits of Effective Writing. The Mitchell Elementary writing curriculum focuses on integrating
writing into all of the curricular areas. This will be done through the use of the Six Traits of Effective
Writing process. The Six Traits incorporate the following qualities: voice, word choice, ideas,
organization, conventions, and sentence fluency. You can help your child by reviewing and
discussing his/her writing development. As you review your child’s written homework, have them
ask themselves these questions:
     Voice:
         Does this writing sound like me?
         Did I say what I think and feel?
         Will my reader be interested?
     Word Choice:
         Did I use words I love?
         Do my words make sense?
         Did I try not to repeat words too many times?
     Ideas:
         Is my message clear?
         Do I know enough about my topic?
         Did I try hard to make everything interesting?
     Organization:
         Does my paper have a good beginning?
         Did I tell things in the best order?
         Does my paper have a good ending?
     Conventions:
         Did I use paragraphs?
         Is it easy to read my spelling?
         Did I use periods and question marks?
         Did I use capital letters in the right places?
     Sentence Fluency:
         Is my paper easy to read aloud?
         Do my sentences begin in different ways?
         Does it sound smooth as I listen to it?

Bicycles, Skateboards, Roller Blades, Skate Shoes, and Scooters Policy
If students ride bicycles to school, they should follow proper procedures for their safe use. It goes
without saying that a helmet is considered essential for safe biking. Dismount and walk bikes when
on school property. Bikes must be stored in the bike racks and will not be permitted in the
administration building or in classrooms. Students are responsible for locking their bikes to the
racks to prevent theft. The school is not responsible for loss or damage. Skateboards, roller
blades, shoes with wheels in the soles, and scooters are not allowed on APS property.

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook

Parents are welcome to eat with their children. If buying meals, we encourage the purchase of
lunches in advance to avoid lost or forgotten money. Meals may be purchased in the cafeteria
before school. Breakfast is served from 8:30-8:50 a.m. each day. Meal prices:
     Breakfast - $1.15
     Lunch for students – $1.75, for parents - $3.00
     Milk –$. 40
     Questions? Call Beverly Elks at 299-3821.
We are asking all families to please complete a Program Eligibility form at the beginning of the year.
The school is entitled to additional funding based on the percentage of families qualifying for free or
reduced lunches. Forms will be passed out at Meet the Teacher and Open House and are
available in the cafeteria and the office.
Due to the new Health and Wellness guidelines developed by the State of New Mexico elementary
schools are only allowed to sell water in our vending machines. We would like to ask parents to
refrain from sending soda pop in lunches. We are also asking for no candy for snack, send healthy
choices instead.

Mitchell Character Counts Philosophy
Children are our greatest natural resource. It is the job of adults and social institutions to prepare
children for their future by teaching them to make wise and moral decisions that will, in turn, affect
the future of our society. Reading, writing, and math are vital to curriculum, yet academics alone
are not enough to ensure that students will have the basic values and abilities needed to become
caring, responsible world citizens.
We believe in the importance of fostering student attitudes toward self and others based on six
universally held values. Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Trustworthiness, Fairness and Citizenship
are the core pillars of the APS Character Counts Program. The core pillars determine who we are
and how we interact with others in our highly complex world.
The staff and parents at Mitchell Elementary School believe that Character Counts and core values
are so important to our students and their future that character education must be a part of each
student’s school experience. Therefore, we are continuing the Character Counts Curriculum that
we implemented in 1994. Students will receive Mighty Good Mustang Awards (MGMs) when they
exhibit one or more of the Character Counts traits. Upon receiving five MGMs, students’ names will
be read over the intercom during Morning Announcements recognizing their good character.

Costume Parade
At the end of October, Mitchell holds a short annual Fall Costume Parade. Children are asked to
avoid wearing frightening or inappropriate costumes. Students choosing not to participate in the
parade will be offered an alternate activity.

Crossing Guards
The City of Albuquerque makes two crossing guards available for the safety of our students. These
guards are here to assist students in crossing Comanche Street and Morris Street. Children should
obey the crossing guards at all times. It is imperative that children stay on the sidewalk until given
the signal to cross by the guard. Children should leave school promptly at dismissal time so that
they can proceed with the help of crossing guards. If a child is to be kept after school, the teacher
will notify the child’s parent(s).

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
Custody Issues
The office and classroom teacher should be notified of any custody issues involving your child. This
notification should be written court documents, which clearly state who has custody, whom may
have access to your child, and any changes in the situation. The school cannot deny access to a
custodial parent unless there are court documents prohibiting such contact. Please update the
documents each year in the office. Any questions please contact our counselor, Marty Glenn at

Mustang Pride
The Mitchell Instructional Council comprised of parents, teachers, educational assistants, and
administrators met with the Discipline Committee in the summer of 2007 to revise our Discipline
Policy and recognition procedures for Mitchell students. Please read and discuss the School Rule,
Rights, Responsibilities, Policies and Procedures with your student. Read, sign and return to
school the Parent and Student Contract, when it is sent home in August.

What Mitchell MUSTANG P.R.I.D.E. Looks Like
       I come to school prepared to show respect and integrity, am dedicated to
       learning and empathic to others.
P    Preparedness
     I come to school ready to learn.
R    Responsibility
     I am accountable for everything I do.
I    Integrity
     I am trustworthy and make good choices.
D    Dedication
     I pledge to be the best I can be.
E    Empathic
     I care and am accepting of others.

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
Students Bill of Rights                           Student Responsibilities
1. You have a right to be treated with dignity    1. Students will show respect to all people and
   and respect.                                      property at all times.
2. You have the right to a positive learning      2. Students will abide by school and classroom
   environment.                                      rules and will follow directions the first time
                                                     they are given. Students will also follow the
                                                     school dress code. (Parent Handbook page 9)
3. You have a right to be safe on the             3. Students will only:
   playground and school grounds.                    - Play in designated SAFE AREAS
                                                     - Use playground equipment properly and will
                                                       not play with dangerous objects
                                                       (See Playground Rules).
                                                     - Walk quietly in all areas designated QUIET
4. You have a right to move about the             4. Students will use polite and respectful language
   campus free of abuse or abusive                   all times and with all people.
5. You have a right to eat and enjoy your         5. Students will behave calmly in the cafeteria
   lunch with your schoolmates.                      and will leave the environment clean for others.
6. You have a right to a distraction free         6. Students will be allowed to sit with others, in an
   learning environment.                             assigned seat, unless they are interrupting
                                                     learning, in which case they will be moved to a
                                                     seat away from the group.
7. You have a right to a full day of learning.    7. Students will line up immediately at the bell and
                                                     will enter the classroom prepared and ready to
Discipline Procedures for Offenses
Offenses will be documented in writing to the principal, teacher and parent on Behavior Tickets.
Tickets will note whether the offense was observed by an adult, confirmed by witnesses, and/or
admitted by the student. All students K-5 will receive tickets for ticketed offenses, as well as safety
offenses. Offenses will be cleared at the end of each trimester.
Tickets will have the following consequence(s):
1st: Notification and Time Out
2nd: Notification and Time Out
3rd: Notification, Time Out and Reminder of ISS on next offense
4th: Notification, call to parents and In-School Suspension
Additional tickers will result in In-School or Out-of-School Suspension, at the discretion of
the administration.
When a student receives a ticket, they must serve a Time Out. Time Out is a quiet time, supervised
by the Mitchell staff during the next recess period to reflect on the ticketed offense. If the student
does not return the signed ticket, the student will report to the Time Out classroom to call a
parent/guardian to verify that the ticket was taken home and has been seen by the parent/guardian.
In-School Suspension takes place in the administration office or Time Out classroom. There is
constant supervision by the Mitchell staff and students are required to reflect upon their behavior
through rule and essay writing. For students in kindergarten through second grade, In-School
Suspension lasts for half a day. For students in third through fifth grade, In-School Suspension
lasts for one full day. A conference with parents may be necessary before the student returns to
                    Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
class. It is the discretion of the administration to assign ISS for offenses deemed more serious or
dangerous even if it is not the fourth offense.
Ticketed Offenses include:
  Bullying: Threatening physical/emotional harm to another; included are threats, intimidation,
   gestures, and verbal abuse.
  Defiance: Refusing to comply with any reasonable demand or request by any school official or
   sponsor at places and times where school personnel have jurisdiction.
  Disruptive Conduct: Conduct that disrupts the educational process constitutes a health or safety
   hazard, is in violation of state or municipal law, or is in violation of specific school rules.
  Drugs/Alcohol Possession and/or Use – See Parent Handbook page 9
  Fighting: Employing hostile contact in which at least one party has contributed to a situation by
   verbal action and/or bodily harm.
  Vandalism: Deliberately or maliciously destroying, damaging, and/or defacing school property or
   the property of another individual.
  Profanity: Using language that is crude, offensive, insulting or irreverent; use of coarse words to
   show contempt or disrespect; swearing.
  Weapons: Possessing or using a weapon or “look-alike”.
  Lying: Telling an untruth or failure to tell all of a story.
  Stealing: Taking something that does not belong to you.
  Cheating: Talking, passing notes, or looking at another student’s answers on an assignment or
Guidelines for Student Behavior
 No toys, including collectible cards and electronic devices, are to be brought to school with the
  exception of basketballs, footballs, tennis balls, and jump ropes. Parents must pick up any
  confiscated items from the office. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
 Follow directions, without arguing, the first time you are told.
 Treat other students with respect. We do not allow fighting, kicking, punching, name calling,
  pulling clothes, or throwing objects such as rocks, snowballs, and sand.
 Objects that could possibly cause injury to you or other students may not be brought to school.
  Such objects will be removed and returned only to the parent.
 Students are not permitted in the administration building or library without a pass from a Mitchell
  staff member. Children are not permitted in the teachers’ lounge or administration
  building restrooms for any reason, even if accompanied by an adult.
 Students are permitted to play only in the playground area. Classrooms, portables, and the patio
  areas are off limits before school or during recess, unless a teacher sponsored activity is in
  progress or an adult accompanying them. Playing between buildings, near the fence on
  Comanche, or in any school parking lots is not allowed.
 Once a student arrives at school he/she is not to leave campus. Students are to remain on
  school grounds before and during school hours.
 Students are to come to class promptly when the bell rings.
 Students must use the sidewalks around the parking areas. Students and parents are not
  allowed to walk through the parking lots.
 There will be no littering on school grounds (this includes graffiti). Students caught littering will be
  assigned campus clean-up detail for an appropriate amount of time.
 Students are to leave school promptly at dismissal time so they can have the help of the crossing
  guards. Always obey crossing guards.
 Any child left unsupervised or not picked up by 4:10 p.m. or within ten minutes of the end
  of an after school activity will be referred to the APS Police Department for pick-up.
Safety Rules

                     Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
   Throwing rocks, wood chips, snowballs, or sand is not allowed.
   Walk in patios and on sidewalks. Running in the Quiet Zone is not allowed.
   Respect our neighbors’ property. Do not climb walls or fences, throw items over walls or fences,
    or aggravate their pets.
   When playing Wall Ball, keep the ball below the windows.
   Play safely and courteously. Tackling, tripping, pushing, hitting, grabbing, or pulling on others is
    not allowed.
   Use the equipment properly and safely.
     o Jump Ropes are for jumping only. They should never be tied or looped around equipment
          or other students.
     o Swings:
           Jumping out of swings is not allowed
           Twisting, swinging side-to-side, or throwing the swings is not allowed
           Swing in a sitting position, one person to a swing
     o Slides:
           Slide on your bottom, feet first
           Flips or jumping off the slide is not allowed
     o Tetherball: Students must adhere to the tetherball rules presented by Coach Aragon in
          Health and Wellness. Creating new rules is not allowed.
     o Bars:
           Cherry drops or flipping off bars is not allowed
           Walking or standing on top of the bars is not allowed
   Randomly kicking, throwing, or hitting playground balls after the bell rings is not allowed.
   Students should never be in the parking lots of the school.
   If the safety rules are not followed, your right to play may be removed.
Play Day is a fun filled day with field activities, relays, a movie and more. It is held during the final
two weeks of the school year. Any student, K-5, receiving 4 or more tickets during the last trimester
of the year will NOT be permitted to participate in Play Day. Denial of Play Day is also at the
discretion of the staff.

                            CHARACTER EDUCATION
                   R            R           C          T           F           C
                   E            E           A          R           A           I
                   S            S           R          U           I           T
                                P                      S
                   P                        I          T
                                                                   R           I
                   E            O           N                      N           Z
                                N                      W
                   C                        G          O           E           E
                   T                                   R           S           N
                                I                      T           S           S
                                B                      H
                                I                                              H
                                                       I                       I
                                L                      N
                                I                      E
                                T                      S
                                Y                      S

             Student                      Staff Member
             Date                        Time
             Classroom Teacher
                                       Observed Confirmed
              Bullying      Disruptive Conduct   Fighting
              Defiance     Drugs/Alcohol     Vandalism     Weapons
              Lying        Stealing            12
                                          Cheating      Safety
              Disrespectful            Running in Patio       Misuse of Property
              Tardy after Recess       Not Following Directions
                    Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook

Dismissing Students During School Hours
Children will not be dismissed from school during school hours unless a parent or authorized adult
comes to the office to sign-out the child. Families are encouraged to try to arrange doctor, dentist,
and other appointments at times that will not interfere with the school day. Students are not to
leave the playground during recess.
Dress Code
Students’ dress may not present a health or safety hazard, violate municipal state law, or present a
potential disruption to the instructional program. Attire or accessories that advertise, display, or
promote any drug, including alcohol or tobacco, sexual activity, violence, disrespect and/or bigotry
towards any group are not acceptable. Unacceptable clothing and accessories include, but are not
limited to, gang-related attire, excessively tight or revealing clothes, short shorts or skirts (above the
end of the students’ fingertips when arms are at their sides), spaghetti straps, bare midriff, low-cut
and/or off the shoulder blouses, spiked jewelry, chains, belts with more than 2 inches excess.
“Sagging” (the wearing of pants below the waist and/or in a manner that allows underwear or bare
skin to show) and “bagging” (the wearing of excessively baggy pants with low hanging crotches) are
Drop-off, Pick-up, and Parking Lot Procedures
 The East parking lot on Comanche can be used for student drop-off and pick-up only if you
    are parking your car and walking your child onto campus.
   The Southeast circular drive on Comanche is for buses and child care vans only.
   The Southwest circular drive on Comanche will not be used as an entrance; student will use
    this area to access the crosswalk.
   Inca Street will be used for student drop-off and pick-up. Parents should access Inca from San
    Gabriel headed south, enter the parking lot using the north entrance, drop-off and pick-up
    students is designated area near cafeteria and exit back on to Inca headed south. Parents
    should NOT park in this parking lot or in the north parking lot at any time.
Please assist in the smooth flow of traffic by pulling your car forward as far as possible when
picking up or dropping off students. DO NOT DROP-OFF OR PICK-UP YOUR CHILD ON
COMANCHE STREET. You may drop them off on Inca, south of Comanche and they can use
the crosswalk to access campus. Please DO NOT drop-off/pick-up or park in the fire lanes.
Fines for misuse of the Fire Lane can reach $500.
At no time should children be in the staff parking area, located on the north or east side of the
school. Students are asked to walk on the sidewalk and go around the parking area. Walkers
approaching the school from Inca Street are encouraged to use the crosswalks and walk on the
sidewalk as closely as possible to the North wall area of the parking lot. Students walking on
Comanche Street will obey the directions of the crossing guard and enter the school from the front.
                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook

Drug Policy
Mitchell Elementary School is a drug free zone. The use or possession of a controlled substance or
“look-alike” substance by students is prohibited. A controlled substance is any narcotic drug,
hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, cigarettes, chewing
tobacco, inhalant, or intoxicant of any kind. “Look-alikes” are prohibited and specifically included in
the Mitchell drug policy whether or not they are capable of producing a change in behavior or altering
a state of mind. Drugs prescribed for health reasons are permitted on campus. Parents are
responsible for providing the school with a written permission form indicating that drugs will be taken
at school for health reasons. (Please refer to the Student Behavior Handbook for more information.)

Emergency Information
At registration, you will be asked to fill out an emergency information card for use by the school
nurse. It is imperative that the information in this card be up-to-date and accurate. Current
telephone numbers are of special importance in case a child becomes ill or is injured at school.
Please inform the school office as soon as possible if there are any changes.

Emergency Procedures
In case of a school-wide emergency, Mitchell Elementary has a Safe School Response Plan which
outlines procedures for early school dismissal, evacuation, lock down and shelter-in-place. Fire
drills are held monthly and safety drills are held at regular intervals. Student safety is a priority at
Mitchell Elementary. In case of emergency please refer to APS website or local news
for instructions. Our goal is to keep your child, and you safe. Do not come to the school to
get information.

Family Nights
Mitchell will host three family nights this year. These evenings are used to celebrate the progress
and creativity of our students. The first evening, November 7, 2008, is dedicated to Literacy, the
second evening, February 19, 2009 is dedicated to Math & Science, and the third evening, held in
late April or early May, is dedicated to Fine Arts. Family Nights are a Mitchell tradition and we
always have wonderful participation from our families. Our PTO will also host Fall Festival on
October 25, 2008 and Mitchell Community Day on April 25, 2009.
Field Trips
Sometimes field trips can be used as a way of enhancing the curriculum taught in the classroom.
Field trips will emphasize curriculum and clearly support classroom instruction. They are not a
required component and are left to the discretion of the teacher. Parents must sign a permission
form allowing their child to go on a class field trip.
The Eldorado Cluster requires parents who wish to chaperone students on field trips have a
thorough background investigation (fingerprinting) conducted by APS. (Call 889-4862 to schedule
an appointment.) Booster seats are mandated and must be used for every child being transported
under the weight of 60 lbs. In addition, for safety reasons parents are asked not to bring younger
siblings on the field trips.
Parents who volunteer to drive on field trips must:
      Have a complete background check (including fingerprinting) done by APS
      Have a valid driver’s license
      Insure their vehicle is in safe operating condition
      Carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage as required by State Law
      Obey all traffic laws
      Have available and use seat belts (over 60 lbs.) and/or child booster seats (under 60
       lbs.) for all persons being transported

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
      Sign a certification of compliance for the above that will be kept on file at the school.

Guidance and Counseling Services
Guidance and Counseling services are provided by a licensed mental health professional.
Students, parents, teachers, and staff may consult with the counselor on a confidential basis. If a
student is not feeling happy or successful at school, the counselor may be of help.
In addition to consulting with members of the community, the counselor may see children in
individual counseling sessions. When a child is referred for counseling services, the counselor will
contact the parents/guardians before counseling sessions begin. Small group counseling may
focus on issues such as family changes, friendship development, and grief issues.
Classroom guidance lessons are provided (at teacher request) and follow the APS Developmental
Guidance curriculum. At the upper grades, the focus is on conflict resolution, utilizing the mediation
curriculum as well as the newly adopted “Bully proofing” curriculum. Parents are invited to attend
guidance sessions in their children’s classrooms.
The counselor serves as the liaison between community mental health agencies and the school.
Additionally, the counselor is a member of the student assistance team, the health/mental health
team, and serves as the contact person between the school and the Indian Education Unit.

Harassment Policy
Our school prohibits harassment of any kind including harassment based on gender, ethnicity,
religion, and an individual’s disability. School personnel who become aware of harassment
concerns and/or issues will promptly and effectively act to end the harassment and prevent it from
recurring. Any concerns related to harassment should be reported to the principal.

Health and Wellness Education
Health and Wellness Education is a regular part of our curriculum and all children are expected to
participate. On days when your child has Health and Wellness class, please make sure they are
dressed for physical activity, including wearing tennis shoes.

Holiday Practice/Religious Policy
While parents have the ultimate responsibility for the development of their child’s belief system, the
staff at Mitchell Elementary is dedicated to showing sensitivity to the needs of each individual
student and respect for individual beliefs. Communication between home and school is essential.
Parents are encouraged to take personal responsibility for communicating with their child’s teacher
and other school staff about specific concerns and needs. In the case of a student who wishes not
to take part in a specific school or classroom activity, an alternative will be offered. While holiday
activities are permissible, they will not be drawn out over excessive periods of time and will have an
instructional/curricular focus. Religious or cultural symbols may be used when teaching about
holidays. Any discussion of religion will be academic and not devotional.

Illness and Injury
Children who become ill at school are not allowed to go home by themselves. They must be picked
up by a parent or authorized adult. Parents will be asked to pick up their child when there is:
vomiting/severe diarrhea, temperature above 100 degrees, skin rash, injury, and other causes for
concern. Please make sure that we have all of your current telephone numbers and
emergency contact information on file in the office.

Indian Education Plan for Albuquerque Public Schools
    Curriculum Goal. All students in Albuquerque Public Schools will be presented with district
       curriculum and instructional materials that include culturally relevant, authentic and
       meaningful American Indian perspectives across the content areas to improve student
                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
      Staff Development Goal. American Indian students will be instructed by staff trained to
       provide culturally relevant, accurate and meaningful learning experiences to improve student
       achievement as measured by State and District standardized assessments.
      Communication Goal. Home/school and community communication with parents of
       American Indian students will improve as measured by increased parental input and
       involvement in their student’s education.
      Assessment Goal. Alternative assessments will be researched, piloted in selected schools,
       and implemented in classrooms to improve American Indian academic performance as
       measured by State and District standardized assessments.

The District Indian Education Plan is for all schools to implement, mandated by the 1994 NM State
Accreditation Review Process, approved by APS Instructional Cabinet (SY 96-97) to help schools
(and districts) meet NM Statutes 22-2-2 and 22-2-1 through 22-2-13, Policy Statement on Indian
Education, adopted by the NM State Board of Ed., November 28, 1994.

Informed Consent
There may be circumstances when it is necessary to release confidential information regarding a
student. State law requires that any suspicion or evidence of child abuse/neglect, elder abuse, or
knowledge of a minor engaging in dangerous or illegal behavior be reported to the appropriate child
protection agencies and/or legal authorities. Furthermore, if a student poses a serious danger to
him/herself or is a substantial danger to others, any individual (including school personnel) with
knowledge, evidence, or suspicion of said danger, is required by law to intervene. The intervention
may include informing family members, identified victims, and/or the proper authorities to provide
for the safety of the student and others.

In-service Days & Early Dismissal on Wednesdays
This year, Mitchell Elementary will have several in-service and parent/teacher conference days.
The students will also be dismissed each Wednesday at 1:00 PM. Have you asked the question:
“Is my child in school the right amount of time, considering all of these early dismissal Wednesdays
and non-school days?” The answer is: “Yes!”
New Mexico students are required to have 181 days of instruction each school year. This equates
to 996 hours for grades K-5 excluding lunchtime, which is 30 minutes. Parent/Teacher Conference
days and Kindergarten home visits are included in instructional time. The hours of instructional time
each school offers is reviewed yearly by the New Mexico State Department of Education to assure
compliance with these requirements. Mitchell’s schedule exceeds the required instructional time.
That consequently qualifies the school staff in-service days and allows for the 1:00 dismissal time.

Instructional Council (IC)
Instructional Council is a decision-making body of Mitchell staff and parents. IC evolved from an
APS district-wide emphasis on site-based management, and now every school in APS is required to
have an IC. The Mitchell IC is composed of administration, teachers (grade level and Learning
Community chairpersons), staff and parents. The by-laws state how members are to be selected.
To learn who is on the present IC, you may ask in the office. The IC meets the first Friday of each
month. There are also extra meetings as needed. Items that come before the IC include:
      Planning and evaluating teacher in-service and professional development opportunities
      Grant opportunities for teachers
      Reviewing the Quality of Education survey results
      Monitoring our goals from the Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS)
      Other educational issues that come up during the school year
The minutes of each IC meeting are available for anyone to read.
                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
The library is located on the west end of campus. Students visit the library with their class once a
week. During that time they learn about the library, listen to stories, and check out books. Students
use computers to search for and locate the books that they need. The students are permitted to
check out 1 or 2 books per week, depending on their grade level. All books must be returned on
the date due before the students may check out any new books. The child must pay for lost and/or
damaged books. Our library currently has over 13,000 books checked out per month.

Lost & Found Items
Please clearly mark your child’s name inside all items. Often very nice items go unclaimed because
we are unable to identify the owner. The Lost & Found box is located in the school cafeteria.
Unclaimed items will be given to the APS Clothing Bank. The school is not responsible for lost

NO MEDICATION is administered at school without authorization from the child’s parents
and physician.
The child’s physician must fill out medication forms, which can be picked up in the nurse’s office,
before any medication can be administered at school. Forms may also be available at your
physician’s office. APS policy stipulates that any prescription medication to be given during school
hours must be in the original container. Please contact our school nurse for further information
regarding the complete APS Medication Policy.

Mitchell Boundaries and Residency
Mitchell Elementary serves students who live in the area North of Candelaria, South of Spain, East
of Eubank, and West of Juan Tabo. To ensure that only students living in this area attend Mitchell,
we will ask you for proof of residency at registration, and we may request it at any point during the
school year. Please note that for our purposes, proof of residency will be an original recent utility
bill (gas, electric). Documentation must have your name and address. This is the only
documentation that we will accept.

Nightly Reading and Nightly Writing Program
Recognizing that reading is an essential part of everyday life, all Mitchell students will participate in
a Nightly Reading and a Nightly Writing program. Each grade level has developed specific criteria
to best meet their needs. The general components of the Nightly Reading and Nightly Writing
program include reading and writing, parent monitoring of these activities and periodic parent
response. In order to improve fluency and comprehension in reading, we recommend each student
participate in daily oral reading with a parent or sibling.

Open House
On Tuesday, September 9, 2008 Mitchell will hold Open House night to give parents an opportunity
to visit their child’s classroom, meet the teacher(s) and learn more about materials and resources
used at their child’s grade level. The Mitchell Discipline Policy will be presented and PTO will
introduce their officers. Reminders will be sent home ahead of time through fliers and teacher

Parent-Teacher Conferences
At the end of the 1st and 2nd trimesters (12 week period), time is set-aside in the school day for
Parent-Teacher Conferences (see School Calendar on page 2 for dates). Students are dismissed
at 1:00 PM each day of that week. Your child’s teacher will send home information on scheduling a
conference with you. At the time of the conference, you will be given your child’s Progress Report
and have an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with the teacher.

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
If your child participates in the after-school recreation program, the program will begin at 1:00 PM
each day of Parent-Teacher Conference Week.
Parent Interaction Policy
The staff at Mitchell encourages parents to be involved in the education of their child. There are
many opportunities for parent involvement:
     Provide educational support at home
     Maintain on-going communication with staff regarding the educational needs of your child
     Assist in learning activities in the classroom
     Attend school functions
     Provide input to staff that would assist in classroom placement
     Assist in before/after school activities
     Assist in PTO-sponsored activities
There is an open-door policy at Mitchell. Teachers welcome parents of their students to observe
and/or assist in the classroom. The administration asks for 24 hours notice if you will be visiting the
classroom for a purpose other than providing pre-arranged assistance to the classroom teacher. It
is also requested that observations in the classroom be kept to a maximum of 20 minutes. Being
aware of the student’s classroom schedule, and planning ahead, will ensure a more productive visit
and minimize classroom disruptions. Teachers are available by appointment before and after
school for discussion of programs and/or student progress for individual students. Please call our
school office to make an appointment.
Redirector Program
The Redirector Program was implemented at Mitchell in November 1998. It is a behavior
intervention strategy that is an adaptation of the traditional Time-Out and Live Space Interview
models. Students who are interfering in the educational process or who break a rule anywhere at
school are candidates for a referral to the Redirect room. The school Redirector, Liz Kathrein,
helps students investigate, in a positive way, how their behavior is inappropriate, and facilitates the
formulation of a written plan for alternative acceptable behavior. The process can be completed in
as little as 15 minutes so that each student can return to class to put the plan into practice. The
redirection process:
      Provides an immediate and consistent intervention in the cycle of inappropriate behavior
      Intervenes early in the behavior cycle, before the behavior becomes seriously disruptive
      Shortens the time that students are out of the classroom due to inappropriate behavior
      Helps the student plan for more appropriate and effective behavior
      Returns the student to the classroom as soon as possible to implement the behavior plan
      Is positive and is supportive
The redirection process is NOT:
    Counseling
    Punishment
The administration handles behavior serious enough for immediate consequences.

Returning students should have registered for school during the previous spring trimester. Any
changes in addresses, telephone numbers, etc. should be reported to the school office. New
students will register at the beginning of the school year on the designated date. Parents of
students registering at Mitchell after the first day of school are asked to start their children the
following day. That gives the office time to make the necessary preparations to welcome the new
student. This policy is also applicable to in-school transfers.

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook

Section 504 & the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The following information is in regards to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Section 504 and the ADA are federal laws that prohibit
discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving Federal financial
assistance. The Acts define a person with a disability as anyone who:
      Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more activities such as
       caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking,
       breathing, learning and work;
      Has a record of such impairment; or
      Is regarded as having such impairment.
In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504 and the ADA, Albuquerque Public Schools
recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel
and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in
any of the programs and practices in the school system.
The school district has specific responsibilities under Section 504 that include the responsibility to
identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to
appropriate education services. Parents or staff members who feel that a student may be eligible
for 504 services should notify the Student Assistance Team and request a 504 Conference to
consider eligibility. An eligible student will have an Accommodation Plan developed based on
his/her educational needs and upon the least restrictive environment necessary to meet those
needs. Parents will receive written notification of the school’s decisions concerning the student’s
identification, evaluation or educational placement. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the
determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has the right to a hearing
with an impartial hearing officer.

Standards-based Education
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has brought to the forefront the importance of creating
content and performance standards in each subject area. These standards provide a foundation for
what students need to learn and do at each grade level. The teachers and staff at Mitchell have
been diligently working on teaching and assessing the national, state, and district standards in our
classrooms. The following terms and definitions are used frequently in our school:
      Academic Content Standards. General statements of what students should know and be
       able to do in each content area at certain grade levels.
      Performance Standards. The levels of performance of tasks that students must reach to
       demonstrate that they have met the content standards. Performance standards have levels
       (exemplary, proficient, progressing, not meeting).
      Power Standards. Represent the essential or core knowledge and skills that students must
       have to move to the next level of instruction. Power standards are more specific and are the
       most important aspect of the Standards framework.
      Performance Assessment. An evaluation used to determine a student’s progress toward
       meeting content standards.
      Rubrics and Scoring Guides. The documents used to determine whether the student’s
       work is exemplary, proficient, approaching the standard, or not yet meeting the standard.

Standards-based Progress Reports
The staff at Mitchell has worked closely with the district to develop a standards-based progress
report to replace the more traditional report card. The standards-based progress report was piloted

                    Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
during the 2002-2003 school years. The standards-based progress report will be used in APS
schools with some adjustments to reflect parent and teacher feedback and input.
The standards-based progress report will be sent home three times a year, at the end of each
twelve-week period.

Student Assistance Team
The Student Assistance Team meets on a weekly basis to discuss children’s progress and to
develop action plans for meeting individual differences. The Student Assistance Team’s
membership includes the classroom teacher, principal, nurse, counselor, and volunteer teachers
from general and special education. Parents are notified of the meetings and are invited to be
active participants on the team.
Parents or teachers may request that educational screening of academic achievement be conducted.
Children are screened and assessed to determine their areas of strength, need and academic
progress. If a parent has concerns regarding their child’s progress in school, they may contact their
child’s teacher or the counselor, and a Student Assistance Team referral may be initiated.
Student Placement Policy
There are many factors that are taken into consideration when students are placed in a new
classroom setting at the beginning of the school year. Heterogeneous groups are created with
equity in class size, dates of birth, and boy to girl ratios. In addition, previous year’s classroom
teachers and support staff play a very important role in student placement. They provide data
about current academic levels of performance, work habits and behavior.
Mitchell Elementary has a policy by which disruptions to classroom learning are kept to a minimum.
For this reason, spring parent visitations of classrooms, other than their child(ren)’s classroom(s),
will not take place.
All classroom placements are tentative until the 20th day of school. At this time the district makes a
final teacher allotment, based on the school population for the first 20 days of school.

Redistribution Policy
If at or before the 20th day we are required to open a classroom, close a classroom, or formulate a
combination class, the students that are in the effected classroom or grade level will be equitably
distributed among the other teachers at that grade level, placed in a new class, or in a combination
class. Volunteers (parents and children) will be given the opportunity to move to the new classroom.
Using the placement method, the rest of the class will be formed. Heterogeneous groups will be
created. This is always an extremely stressful and emotional time for all. It is the goal of the school
that the Redistribution Policy will not have to be used. Unfortunately, there are times when
enrollment numbers are unpredictable and do not solidify until the actual start of school.
In-School Transfer Policy
Research indicates that children need a minimum of three weeks to adapt to a new classroom
environment; therefore, there will be no parent-initiated transfers during the first three weeks of
school. After the first three weeks of school, the following procedure will be followed:
     If a parent has a concern about a child’s classroom placement, the parent must first speak
       directly with the child’s teacher about the concern. The parent and the teacher will formulate
       an informal agreement or action plan to address the concern.
      If after this initial conference, the parent continues to have concerns, the parent must notify
       the principal who will then arrange a formal conference with the parent, teacher, counselor,
       and principal. At this conference, a formal action plan will be written and distributed to those
       involved. A minimum of three weeks must pass before the next step occurs.

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
      If the parent continues to believe the child’s needs are not being met, then a final
       conference will be held in the principal’s office. The counselor, parent(s), the child’s present
       teacher, and if necessary, the teacher who may potentially receive the child will attend. At
       this conference, the needs of the child will be discussed and a record of the conference will
       be kept in the principal’s office. Children will be moved into new classes on a space-
       available basis only and will be moved to the classroom with the lowest pupil-teacher ratio.
Student Retention – Remediation Legislation
The New Mexico State Legislature has passed legislation related to educational standards,
remediation programs and promotion policies. This new legislation requires APS to identify and
provide remediation for all students who are performing below the state levels for proficiency.
Parents/guardians of students who have been identified, as not meeting required proficiency levels
must be notified before winter break. At this time, the teacher(s) will meet with the student’s
parents to explain specific academic deficiencies and work together to develop an Academic
Improvement Plan. Any student completing Grades 1-5, who had an Academic Improvement Plan
and has not attained the required level(s) of proficiency by the end of the school year, may be
referred to an APS Summer Literacy Program.
If by the start of the next school year, a student in Grades 1-5 has failed to attain the required levels
of proficiency, one of two options may be exercised:
      The student will be retained in the same grade for no more than one year with an
       Academic Improvement Plan developed by the Student Assistance Team.
      The student will be promoted to the next grade level if the parent refuses to allow their child
       to be retained and signs a required waiver. A parent may refuse retention only once in
       grades 1-7. A student failing to attain the required level of proficiency after a one-year
       retention will be provided with alternative programming.
This legislation requires early identification of students, notification of parents and specific
remediation plans. It also outlines the conditions for retention. Mitchell Elementary has always
closely monitored student progress and included parents in every step of the process. This
legislation helps us in our efforts to help students succeed in school.

Student Transfers
Students who reside outside the Mitchell district must apply for transfer from the Albuquerque
Public Schools Student Services Department. They may be reached at 855-9050. Out of district
students who have been approved for transfer and attend Mitchell Elementary can have their
transfer revoked at any time for the following reasons:
      Excessive (4.5 or more) absences and/or tardies in one semester
      Disruptive behavior and/or acts of misconduct
      Overcrowded enrollment
      Lack of parental support/cooperation with school staff to meet the needs of the student
      Overcrowded conditions in the school

Technology/Internet Policy
Mitchell Elementary has two computer labs. The primary lab is for grades K-2 and the intermediate
lab is for Grades 3-5. The computer labs have a network of Macintosh computers with over fifteen
computer programs ranging from math and science to art and writing programs. The labs are set
up as desktop publishing centers with the abilities of combined art and writing. The centers include
student and teacher networked computers, scanners and color printers that allow Mitchell students
and teachers the ability to scan, work and print from anywhere in the lab. The students also have
the capabilities of saving work to one of two file servers. The labs are wired for Internet capabilities

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
for research and further educational outreach programs. Each class is scheduled a time in the lab
for approximately 45 minutes, twice a week, with additional time available if needed.

Internet access is available at Mitchell Elementary School in the Computer Labs, Library, all
classrooms and the Office. The Internet provides access to countless libraries, magazines, and
education sites, and opens doors for exploration and discovery. Internet access is an integral part
of the educational process at Mitchell. It should be understood that Internet access is designed for
educational purposes. Internet access will be guided and monitored by Mitchell Staff. However,
students must understand that they must make a personal commitment to its proper use. It is not
possible for APS or its teachers and staff to restrict access to all controversial materials, and so
cannot be held responsible for materials acquired on the network. Unethical use by the student
other than that which is specified by the teacher will be considered a violation of Mitchell Internet
Policy, and disciplinary action will be taken.

As with many other aspects of technology and mass media, we have access to the best and worst
that the world has to offer. At Mitchell, technology is being used as a positive and integral part of
the curriculum. The Internet will be a useful part of classroom instruction, and students will be able
to participate in the best that technology can offer.

Timely Pick-Up
Please note that the APS School Board policy states that children cannot be left at school more
than 30 minutes before or after the normal school day. (Children attending after school programs
are exempt because they are under adult supervision.) Failure to follow this policy will require
notification to School Police.

Visitor Badges
In accordance with state law, all visitors to our campus must first check in at the office and must
wear a “Visitor” badge. The badges let the staff and children know you have been cleared to be at
the school. Thank you for your help on keeping our school safe!

                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
                   Mitchell’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)
The PTO is a non-profit and unincorporated association of its members. It has no affiliation with
any other local, state, or national organizations. You are a member of our PTO if you are a parent
or guardian of a Mitchell student, a member of the administration, or a staff member at Mitchell

The PTO Board comprised of parents, faculty and staff, meets on the first Monday of each month
at 6:30 PM in the administration building during the school year. They plan events and functions
and manage the business of running the PTO. These meetings are always open to PTO members.
At least one General PTO meetings is held for all parents and staff during the school year to
introduce the Board and its functions, to approve the budget for the year, to promote
communication and convey information, and to elect the next year’s officers.
Our PTO is the charter organization that sponsors Boy Scouts at Mitchell. The PTO engages in
several different areas of activities to help meet our objectives. Some are described below:
     Hospitality. The PTO helps to create a positive environment for staff and parents by
        sponsoring a Room Parents’ Tea, a Staff Appreciation Day, and provides refreshments at
        many activities.
     Liaisons. Two teachers serve on the PTO Board and bring information to and from the rest
        of the Mitchell staff. The PTO has representatives to the APS North East Region Citizens
        Advisory Council to keep us informed of APS activities, policies, etc. The PTO also has a
        liaison to the Hoover Middle School Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) to keep channels of
        communication open between the two schools.
     Room Parents. Many classroom teachers try to identify parents who are willing to help in
        various ways in the classroom. Parents may help in the classroom during school hours, help
        with phone calls to parents, and/or help the teacher with organizing classroom celebrations.
        If you are interested in helping as a room parent, please contact your child’s teacher.
     Safety and Health. The PTO is concerned with the health and safety of all our children.
        They promote safety in the parking lots and on the playground. They help sponsor speakers
        on a variety of topics such as gang awareness, “Say No To Drugs”, “Good Touch Bad
        Touch”, and help with materials for parent workshops.
     School to Home Communication. The PTO believes communication between school and
        home is very important. The “Mitchell Mustang” is published regularly to keep everyone
        informed of activities, policies, fundraisers, etc. Information for the newsletter may be placed
        in the Newsletter basket on the counter in the office. Ads will be accepted at $20 for a
        business card size space. The editor reserves the right to reject an ad or run it at a later time
        if space is limited. In addition to the Mustang, parent information is located outside the main
     Ways and Means. The PTO sponsors fundraisers throughout the school year, which
        provide extra resources for our school. The following fundraisers have been held at Mitchell
        in recent years:
         Gift and Candy Sales
         The Spirit Store
         School pictures
         Entertainment Book sales
         Spell-a-thon
         Mustang t-shirt sales

The PTO is a non-profit (501)(3)(c) organization and cash donations are tax deductible. Checks for
all fundraisers or donations should be made payable to the Mitchell PTO.
                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
Funds are allocated for a variety of items and activities, all for the benefit of the children and the
Mitchell community as a whole. Activities that have been sponsored include Art-in-the-School, the
Mitchell Music Program, the Reading Program, and Guidance and Counseling offerings. The funds
are also used for classroom purchases, to pay for buses for field trips, math manipulatives,
computer supplies and software, awards, and many more items. One major focus for this year is
implementing a variety of new and creative after school programs, which will benefit the students in
several different ways. Parents and teachers are encouraged to support the fundraisers as best
they can in order to help the PTO provide these extras for our children.

                                     Community Support
Join-A-School Partners
Businesses in the community have joined schools to help promote education. Any contacts for
donations must go through the designated representative. Our current Join-A-School Partners are:
    Wal-Mart on Academy
    Albertson’s
    Bank of America at Eubank and Candelaria
    Church’s Chicken on Menaul and Juan Tabo

These businesses sponsor student activities and contribute in various ways to the education of our
students here at Mitchell. Mitchell also collects labels from Campbell Soups and “Box Tops for
Education” from all General Mills products. The school collects these in exchange for educational

Playground Recreation Programs
Camp Fire USA’s KIDS CARE is offered at Mitchell Elementary School Monday through Friday
before and after school. The program operates from 7:00 – 8:45 AM Monday through Friday and
from 3:45 - 6:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and from 1:00 - 6:00 PM on

KIDS CARE offers a planned curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for elementary –school
children, and that includes activities in literature, math, science, physical education, social studies
and the arts. Registration will be held during the summer at the Camp Fire USA New Mexico
Council office at 1613 University NE. Please call 842-8787 for more information. REGISTRATION

                                 Extra-Curricular Activities
Basketball – Boys/Girls
Coach Aragon has organized girls’ and boys’ basketball teams for several years. The teams are
open to interested 4th and 5th graders. Tryouts are held at the end of October and the season runs
from November to the end of March. Last year’s season was very successful for both teams. We
hope to continue developing a tradition of hard work and fun in the sport. Contact Coach Aragon
for more information.

Chess Club
The Mitchell Chess Club is for students of all ages and abilities. Chess is an excellent game for
helping students with their concentration, problem solving, logic, abstract thinking, and even their
school progress.

Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts
Mitchell students have the opportunity to be involved in Scout programs. Fliers will be sent home at
the beginning of the school year with information about joining. Individuals interested in Girl Scouts
                   Mitchell Elementary School Parent Handbook
should call Girl Scouts-Winding Trail Service Center at 293-6326. Information on Boy Scouts can
be obtained by calling 345-8603.

Outdoors Adventure Club
The goal of this club is to get students involved in activities that are fun and can be performed life-
long. The club will meet once a week after school for six weeks. The students will have three
rotations over a six-week period. The rotations are biking, hiking & fishing, and climbing. Each
rotation will last two weeks. The student must be committed to attending each rotation and may not
pick only one or two of the rotations to attend.

Music Programs
The music program at Mitchell may possibly include a Chorus for all interested 4th and 5th grade
students. Informational fliers will be sent home early in the school year that describes the available

The Middle School Initiative Grant funds the Tutoring Program at Mitchell. Its focus is to assist
students in the primary grades that may need extra time and help in certain content areas.
Teachers identify and recommend students for this program.


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