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WesternElementary School

Parents » School Handbook

School Handbook

2020-2021 Handbook

Accidents

Every accidental injury in school or on the grounds, no matter how slight, should be reported immediately to the teacher or aide in charge, to the nurse or to the main office. The School Nurse will determine the seriousness of the illness or injury and upon her determination, a parent or legal guardian will be contacted.  If neither parent nor legal guardian can be contacted, those persons listed on the emergency form will be contacted and, if warranted, the family physician.  In emergencies, it may become necessary to transport your child by ambulance to an emergency care facility.

Accurate Records

If your telephone number, address, email, place of employment, etc. should change during the school year, please do not forget to let the school know.  A note to your child's teacher is all you need to write.  Accurate records are important, particularly in the case of an emergency.

Appointments

If you are unable to avoid making an appointment during school hours and you need to pick your child up early for an appointment, please send a note to your child’s teacher.  If your child will be arriving late to school because of a medical or dental appointment, please follow the attendance procedure by calling the school 203-720-5244 prior to 9:15 am on the day of your child’s appointment to let us know your child will be arriving late.

Arrival / Dismissal

Doors open for students at 8:40 a.m.   Parents should not leave students at school before that time.  Students who walk should not arrive at school before 8:40 a.m. as there is no adult supervision until that time.  Staff will be on duty as of 8:40 a.m.  Should a student arrive excessively early, a phone call will be made to the parent to remind them of the school’s policy and our concern for your child’s safety.  

 

In an effort to ensure safety, families will use the front entrance / circle as the only place to pick up their child.  Parents will drive single file into the circle to get their child or walk down the stairs from Pine Street (if they do not have transportation)  A staff member will approach the window of the car, get the name of the student, check ID and sign off to ensure safety.  Please make sure the person picking up your child is listed on the school dismissal paperwork and has appropriate identification.   

 

When dropping your child off at school, please DO NOT pull your vehicle onto the main circle at the front of the school as this is a fire lane.  You may park your car on Pine Street and walk down the stairs to the school.  All parents must check into the office and sign their child in or out of school (please have a picture ID.)  COVID Protocols-parents and visitors will not be allowed in the building.  Please ring the bell and we will come to you. 

Attendance

Connecticut law under Connecticut General Statute 10~184 requires parents to make sure their children to attend school regularly during the hours and terms the public school is in session.  Students attending school who are under seven and over sixteen years of age, and whose attendance is not required by law, but who are registered in a public school, also must maintain satisfactory attendance.

 

Parents are required to contact the school via phone prior to 9:15 am on the day of your child's absence 203-720-5244 and send a written explanation of the absence to your school when your child returns. When you call, please state your child's name, your name, your child's classroom teacher, the reason for the absence and any symptoms your child may be experiencing.  

The Board of Education requires that accurate records be kept of the attendance of each child. An absence shall be excused when a child does not attend school due to illness or injury, death in the immediate family, religious obligation, an emergency, or other exceptional circumstances. Please note: that a child’s first 9 absences can be excused by a parent/guardian by a phone call; however, all absences beyond absence number 9 requires official written documentation (doctor’s note, court papers…) in order to be considered excused. 

The Board policy, in accordance with state law, is that a child is considered “truant” when he/she has four unexcused absences in one month or ten unexcused absences in one year. The school will work with parents to improve attendance rather than impose punitive measures; however, when all options have been exhausted, a referral to state authorities is required.  A habitual truant is any student who has twenty unexcused absences within a school year. Every effort will be made by the principal, the school counselor or the school nurse to notify the parent/guardian of attendance concerns and the potential of a state referral and to resolve the matter through cooperation between school and families.  Parents will be requested to attend a meeting at the school to resolve any potential truancy concerns prior to a referral to state authorities. 

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of school in an academic year. Research has found that missing that much school was associated with declining academic performance starting as early as kindergarten.  Monitored regularly, this 10 percent measure can be used early in the academic year to identify students before poor attendance adversely affects academic performance.

Birthdays

COVID Policy-NO FOOD will be brought into school for celebrations.

 

Students enjoy bringing in some kind of treat in observance of their birthday.  Families are encouraged to help their child think of healthy alternatives to cupcakes such as fruit kabobs, veggies and dip, etc.... These are also options that other children are typically not allergic to and so that way all students can participate in the treat.  Parents should prearrange with teachers about any treats that will be brought to school.  Treats must be brought to the office and the teacher will allow for a time for them to be shared with your child's classmates.  All birthday treats must be prepackaged so ingredient labels can be examined. Students will not be permitted to distribute them to other classrooms in the building as this can be disruptive to instruction. Please note: Western is a nut safe school. An alternate way to celebrate your child’s birthday in class is to participate as a “birthday reader.”  You can select your child’s favorite book and contact your child’s teacher to come and read to the class on or near your child’s birthday.  The book may be donated to your child’s class in honor of your child’s birthday as well. Invitations to a birthday or other parties may not be given out at school or on the school bus. Further, because of confidentiality laws, neither the school nor the teacher can provide the addresses or telephone numbers of the other students in your child’s classroom.  If needed, a teacher may agree to discretely hand out invitations to either the whole class or “all the girls” or “all the boys” if prearranged in advance with the parent.

BOE Policies

The Naugatuck Board of Education maintains policies that address: student discipline, non-discrimination, sexual harassment and alcohol, tobacco and drugs, bullying and attendance.  These policies and all Board of Education Policies are available in the school office, at the Board of Education and on the Naugatuck Public Schools website.

 

Policy:

In accordance with state law, it is the policy of the Naugatuck Board of Education that any form of bullying behavior is expressly forbidden. Under the policy: students are able to report acts of bullying to teachers and administrators; parents/guardians may file written reports of suspected bullying; school faculty and staff are required to report to administrators witnessed acts or student reported acts; administrators must investigate alleged acts; language addressing bullying acts must be included in student codes of conduct; administrators must, with a verified act of bullying, notify both the parent/guardian of the student committing the act and the victim of the act; schools must track such acts and maintain records as required by applicable law(s).

The policy defines bullying as "...any overt acts by a student or group of students directed against another student with the intent to ridicule, humiliate or intimidate the other student while on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity, which acts are repeated against the same student over time."

Overt acts which occur off campus (and not at a school-sponsored activity) may also constitute bullying if it is determined that they have a direct and negative impact on a student’s academic performance or safety at school.

Cyberbullying, defined as the use of computer systems, including email, instant messaging, text messaging, blogging or the use of social networking websites, or other forms of electronic communications, to commit acts of bullying”

As with all Board Policies, the full policy is available for your review on the district website.

Bus Rules

 

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

  • Parents are responsible for the conduct of their children while they are waiting for the bus and once they leave the bus.
  • It is the responsibility of the parent to assure that the student is waiting at his/her designated stop on time. Should a student miss the bus, the parent must find alternate means of transporting the child to school.
  • During inclement weather, a bus driver may determine that a hill or street cannot be negotiated safely. It is the parents’ responsibility to make alternate arrangements to assure that their child arrives at school or home.
  • The Naugatuck Schools respect the right of parents to keep their child home from school when the parent feels unsafe conditions exist. Announcements of school closings, delays in school opening, or early closings are made on local radio stations.
  • If special transportation needs are required, an application form can be obtained from the school office. Applications must be received by July 1 of each school year.

 

Regulations for the conduct of pupils riding on school buses:

  • The driver is in full charge of the bus and of all pupils riding therein at all times while pupils are being transported to and from school. He/she is required to enforce all rules and regulations adopted by the school authorities for the conduct of pupils riding on the bus.
  • Pupils must take a seat when they enter the bus and remain seated at all times while the bus is in motion.
  • Indecent or profane language, smoking, loud talking, loud radios or any illegal activities are expressly prohibited.
  • Pupils must not eat on the bus.
  • Pupils must not open bus windows without permission from the driver.
  • Pupils must not throw any object in or out of the bus.
  • Pupils must not, at any time, extend their arms or head out of the bus window.
  • Pupils shall enter and leave the bus only at the front door except in cases of emergency.
  • Pupils must be on time and at all times cooperate in keeping the bus on schedule.
  • Pupils shall, after alighting from the bus, wait for the signal from the driver before crossing the highway, and pupils shall also look to see that traffic is halted.
  • Pupils must not stand on the traveled portion of the highway while waiting for a bus.
  • Pupils must wear masks BEFORE boarding the bus.  Masks must remain on at all times.

 

Penalties for Violations

  • Parents of pupils who damage, or deface any bus shall be held liable for such damage.
  • When pupils do not observe the above rules, the driver shall report them on bus company forms to the school principal as soon as possible.
  • The matter of suspension from riding the bus shall be determined by the principal, as a last resort, after parents have been notified. This action shall be subject to review by the Superintendent.

 

Please Note: A bus student who will be picked up by a parent or another adult must bring a note stating that circumstance.  The adult must sign the student out in the office.  If a child insists they are going home with another student or on another bus, we will attempt to call the parents to verify that.  If no one can be reached, we will send the student home via his or her usual way.

 

For our students’ safety and the prevention of vandalism, our school buses are equipped with video cameras.

Discipline

Western School promotes a proactive approach to discipline.  Through PBIS, we work to maximize academic achievement and behavioral competence.  As part of our program, we have established 5 behavioral expectations for all areas of our school.  We explicitly teach our “5 Bees” and provide multiple opportunities to practice the expectations while providing feedback from staff.  Students are expected to follow all school rules while they are on the way to and from school and school-related functions, as well as during emergency procedures.  The “5 Bees” provides a common language and common expectations for all staff and students.

 

Western Staff provides cues, redirection and multiple opportunities to teach students what it means to follow the “5 Bees.”   Western staff will hand out bees to students who follow the expectations.  The bees help encourage, motivate, and recognize students making good choices.

 

Western Expectations:

  • Be(e) Safe
  • Be(e) Peaceful
  • Be(e) Respectful
  • Be(e) Kind
  • Be(e) Cooperative

Discipline and Serious Issues:

If a student does not obey a rule after teaching and redirection, he or she will receive a consequence.  Consequences are based on the seriousness of the infraction and can be a time-out, after-school detention or suspension (for serious situations). Parents will be notified whenever a child receives detention or suspension.  Each student will be treated as an individual and all aspects of the situation will be considered before a consequence is issued.  When a child is having difficulty following school expectations on a consistent basis, the teacher and counselor will contact parents to discuss home/school strategies.

 

Specific behaviors are considered serious infractions.  These behaviors include intimidation, threatening, physical aggression, fighting, dangerous actions, dangerous instruments, weapons or weapon facsimiles, theft, vandalism, and controlled substances, including alcohol or tobacco.  Sexual harassment and bullying are other serious offenses that require investigation and reporting.  Leaving school without permission is also a serious infraction because it is such a significant safety issue.  All of these behaviors require parent conferences and a consequence.  Criminal activity must be referred to the police, and Western School must follow all Board of Education policies.  

 

If a student issues a verbal or physical threat to another student/staff member, it is up to the administrator’s discretion to determine the action taken.  Depending on the seriousness of the threat, the action taken could range from a reprimand to school suspension.  It is extremely important for students to understand the use of appropriate language and actions at all times when speaking to other students or staff members.

Dress Code

Students must wear clothing and shoes which keep them safe, especially on the stairs. Students must also wear clothing that does not distract others from learning, offend, or intimidate others.  Sneakers are required for Physical Education class.  The following items are not allowed: shorts or skirts above mid-thigh; strapless tops, low cut or midriff tops, hats (in the building), slippers, shoes with heels, high heels and flip-flops. 

Homework

Homework is an important part of the instructional program at school.  It allows students to follow through on their own commitment to academic work, learning and success.  Homework will be meaningful and help our children to develop positive attitudes and reinforce their skills.

 

Homework is given to:

  • supplement, reinforce and enrich classroom work
  • provide additional practice in specific skills
  • makeup work due to absence(s)
  • develop initiative, independence, self-direction and responsibility
  • help develop good study habits and skills

Parents can help by:

  • being aware of the child’s homework
  • knowing the teacher's requirements for homework, discussed at Open House held in the Fall
  • providing appropriate conditions for completion of homework, a definite and quiet time and place 
  • being interested in the work but giving only as much help that will enable the student to think for him/herself
  • notifying the teacher if there is a problem with homework

Medical Information

COVID

  • Western will provide a mask for all students.
  • Age appropriate signage will be posted throughout the school reminding the school community proper hand washing, face coverings and social distancing. Teachers will teach and model these protocols and procedures daily. 
  • An Isolation Room will be utilized when any staff or student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • For confirmed cases, the response team will initiate cleaning protocols and contact tracing and the student will transition to on-line learning.

 

Allergies

  • Please notify the nurse if your child has or develops an allergy because a student plan will need to be developed by the nurse, you and your child’s doctor. 
  • Children with a food allergy should only eat food items provided by the parent.  Parents should stress to their child to not share food in school or on the bus.  Our nurse will work with students to reinforce this practice.

Communicable Diseases

  • Please notify the nurse if your child has a communicable disease, such as strep throat, chicken pox, German measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever, conjunctivitis (pink eye), impetigo, scabies, ringworm, head lice,  etc. This will help protect all children.

 

Immunization Requirements

  • There are immunization requirements for children who attend CT public schools.  Please contact your child's pediatrician or the school nurse for a list of these requirements.                                                                                                                   

Medication

  • Students are not allowed to bring in prescription nor over the counter medicines; an adult must bring them to the nurse.  Prescriptions must be in a container that was received from the pharmacy and over the counter items must be in their original packaging.  No medication can be given to a child by school personnel without a written doctor’s order.  Parents may come to school and administer medication until such an order is obtained.  Students may not use “cough drops” during the day.  If they must be used, they are to be brought to the nurse’s office when the child arrives at school and the child must sit in the nurse’s office while the “cough drop” is in their mouth.  “Chapstick” may only be applied in the nurse’s office, as well.  If you have any questions regarding medical matters, please contact our school nurse at 203-720-5245.
  • All medications need to be picked up prior to the last day of school.  Remaining medications will be discarded at the close of the last school day.

Parent Square Communications App

This service will provide notification services for emergency broadcasts, weather-related notices, and parental outreach. Please make sure to keep your email address, emergency phone number and general notification number up-to-date.  You can easily download the Parent Square App for free on your phone.  

What should I do if I have a problem concerning my child?

  • Parents/Guardians should contact their child’s teacher first to address any concerns or questions.
  • If a parent and teacher cannot solve the problem, make an appointment with the principal and arrange a conference. 
  • Both the teacher and principal can be contacted through e-mail or a phone call.  E-mail is located on the Western School Website.  Emails and phone calls will be returned within 24 hours.  

Peanut Safe School

Many children at Western School have severe food allergies.  Currently, we have students allergic to all nuts and nut products.  Nut allergies can be so sensitive that even touching the allergens will bring on a severe reaction.  

Our plan to keep the children at Western with nut allergies safe in school includes a “nut-safe classroom and school." We ask that you not send in snacks containing nuts or peanut butter.  For the safety of our children, all holidays are celebrated without food. 

Encouraging the practice of good hand washing in school is a priority.  If your child eats nut products before coming to school, please make sure he/she washes their hands as peanut butter leaves a residue on hands that can be transferred to items shared by other students.

Suggested list/substitutes for peanut butter: Soy or sunflower butter, cheese and crackers, cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, tortilla rolls.

Safety Drills

Under Connecticut law, each school is required to conduct certain safety drills in school each year.  We will educate students about these codes and review them on a regular basis.  We do not want to alarm children, only prepare them to act safely in all instances and will use discretion and tactfulness at all times.  Parents who have questions or concerns about the drills may contact the principal or Director of Security.  

Hours

Regular Day Schedule 

8:40 – Students arrive and go to classrooms

8:55 – Academic day begins

3:26 – Parent Pick Up Dismissal

3:30 – Bus Dismissal

 

Early Dismissal Schedule 

8:40 – Students arrive and go to classrooms

8:55 – Academic day begins

1:00 – Dismissal

 

2 Hour Delayed Opening (no breakfast)

10:40 - Students arrive and go to classrooms

10:55 – Academic day begins

3:26 – Parent Pick Up Dismissal

3:30 Bus Dismissal

 

3 Hour Delayed Opening (no breakfast)

11:40 - Students arrive and go to classrooms

11:55 – Academic day begins

3:26 – Parent Pick Up Dismissal

3:30 Bus Dismissal

School Records

We are required to follow the law with regard to student records.  For further information, please refer to the Board of Education policy #5125.  Please contact the school office for the appropriate forms so we may assist you.

Temporary Changes in Student Transportation

Due to concerns regarding student safety, Western School personnel cannot accept messages over the telephone requesting that the child’s mode of transportation to go home be changed.

Arrangements will need to be made in advance, with the normal mode of transportation only being altered under the following two conditions:

  • The child comes to school with a signed and dated note from the parent.  The note would be given to the classroom teacher, who would then forward it to the office.
  • The parent personally comes into the school office and makes the request. The office will call the child so the message can be relayed to him/her.  The parent will also be asked to put the request in writing.

If the above arrangements have not been made, the child will be sent home according to their usual mode of transportation.