STEVENSVILLE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Grades K-3

 2019 – 2020 Student Handbook

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A Special Message to Families

Procedures for Safety of All Students

Welcome

Mission and Belief Statement

Safe Schools,

Non-Discrimination & Section 504

Title IX, McKinney Vento, MTSS

Literacy and Mathematics

Writing, Science, Social Studies, HPE, & Fine Arts

Field Trips

Gifted and Talented

Special Services

Academic Assessment

Grading Policy

Report Cards, Homework, Behavioral Screening

Student Behavior Expectations

4Bee’s of Student Behavior

Gold Tickets

Consequences for Problem Behavior

Refocuses & Major Referrals

Discipline Process & Other Consequences

Bullying & Sexual Harassment

General School Rules

Cell Phones, Electronic Devices

Dress Code

Health and Safety

Attendance Information

Other General Information

General Schedule

Breakfast and Lunch Programs

School Buses

Information from our School Nurse

Information from our Speech Therapists

Primary School Staff List

CONTACT US

Primary K-3                                        777-5613 (phone) 258-1245 (fax)

Middle school 4-8                               777-5533

High School                                        777-5481

BVEC Pre School                               777-5509

Bus Barn                                             777-5646

A SPECIAL MESSAGE to our FAMILIES

This handbook offers you information to help insure the success of your child in the school environment.  All of our efforts are based on a strong family-school team, and we welcome and encourage your participation.

The school environment is a new experience for our youngest students and their parents, and a good understanding of the school structure is important to the school-family relationship.  Providing a positive school environment for all students requires an organized structure of rules, traffic patterns and classroom management.  Children learn to assume their responsibilities as a student and parents are asked to support a solid learning environment with positive input, frequent communication and volunteer opportunities in the school.  We welcome your ideas.

Procedures for the Safety of All Students

VISITOR PASSES

All adults visiting the K-3 building for any reason must check in at the K-3 office to receive a visitor pass.  We welcome you to our school, but our first concern is always for the safety of all students.  Therefore, any adults in either the K-3 building or the music/PE facility building without a visitor pass will be asked to report to the K-3 office or to leave school grounds.

OFFICE PROCEDURES

Please read this handbook and note the procedures for checking out your child, visiting the school, student medication, student absence, etc.  It’s important that you are aware of general school policies.  If, at times, a procedure offers some inconvenience to you, please remember that all policies are in place to provide a secure, safe environment for all of our students.  Parent participation is a very important component of this environment, and we hope you visit our classrooms frequently.  We value your observations and invite your input.

SAFETY DRILLS

Safety drills start in September.  We practice fire drills, earthquake drills and lockdown drills.  The teachers work hard to instill a safe, immediate response from students without alarming them.  Fire drills are practiced at unexpected times, without notice after the first practice, but students are always notified when we practice a lockdown drill.  If you are in the building during a drill, please follow staff instructions.  If you find the main entrance to a building locked, we may be in a lockdown.  In this instance, please do not attempt to enter the building.  For your own safety, leave campus immediately and stay away until you are able to contact the building office.

 SOCIAL SKILLS

As students work and play together, they are learning social skills necessary for success in the classroom and on the playground. At school, children must learn to resolve problems without resorting to any violent behavior.   Our younger students learn problem-solving skills and the older students practice conflict resolution programs conducted by our school counselor.  Parental support of cooperative, non-violent problem solving goes hand-in-hand with school rules, and helps your child meet success at school.

TRAFFIC

Please observe the traffic patterns at school.  These patterns have been established to maintain the safety of all students as they travel to and from buses, cars and when walking.  We have provided a drop-off area in front of the building and on the west side of the playground on Park Street. After school, students may be picked up in any designated loading zone in front of the building.  Please instruct your child to use the marked crosswalks and obey the crossing guards.  Parents are requested to not enter the bus loading zones for any reason.  Be aware that no one is allowed to ride skateboards, scooters or bicycles once they reach school grounds.  Parking for parents may be available in the parking lot across the street from the elementary school.  Please note that there are loading only zones on either side of Park Street during school hours, as determined by the Town of Stevensville.  Violators may be ticketed.

WELCOME TO STEVENSVILLE PRIMARY SCHOOL

This handbook has been compiled for your convenience and contains important information about our school.  Cooperation in regard to the policies will help you and your child experience a successful year.  Although the teacher will review this handbook with the students, we recommend that you also read it and discuss it with your child.  General information, as well as a discussion of discipline, policies and student responsibilities and opportunities, is included in this handbook.

Our professional staff is fully committed to providing your child with the best possible learning experience.  As part of the parent-child-teacher team, we will work with you to ensure your child’s success during the school year.  We welcome frequent communication with you, and ask that you encourage your child to accept the responsibilities of a Stevensville student that help him or her make the most of another productive school year.  Together, parent-child-teacher, we’re an unbeatable team.

            We wish to extend an invitation to you to visit us often concerning school matters.  Because it is important that we know who is in the school building, please check in at the office before going to the classrooms.

            Please join us in making this a pleasant and productive year for everyone in our district.

Thank you,

Stevensville Primary School Staff

Mission Statement:

Stevensville Public Schools are committed to creating a safe, collaborative learning environment centered on students, facilitated by staff and supported by community to ensure growth and achievement for all.

Belief Statement:

At Stevensville Primary School, we believe:

  • In all students having a right to a quality education
  • In the ability of all students to learn
  • In providing a safe environment where learning can occur
  • In a positive, welcoming school environment
  • In having high expectations for each student
  • In regular attendance as essential for learning
  • In students coming to school prepared to learn
  • In the responsibility for educational success being a partnership between school and families
  • In open communication between families and school
  • In continually evaluating areas in which growth and improvement can be achieved
  • In recognizing and celebrating accomplishments

SAFE SCHOOLS

The Stevensville School System is committed to a safe school environment and works with the Montana Behavioral Initiative Program, law enforcement agencies and the community to put best practices in place for positive school climate within a safe learning environment. Our dress code, practice drills, campus layout, traffic patterns, visitor policy, positive discipline program, special student services, community links and volunteer program are all a part of this effort. Parent feedback and cooperation is of major importance if our efforts are to be effective.

We want our parents to visit to volunteer, and by reporting to the office first when you visit, you help ensure a safe environment for all of our students. Stevensville Primary welcomes your advice, and we don’t want safe school practices to be a barrier between us. If you see areas in which we can improve the procedures, please let us know.

All visitors to the K-3 building report through the north door of the K-3 building to pick up a visitor pass for the building by using our Raptor security system. All doors will be left locked during the school day, visitors must ring bell to be admitted into the buildings. If you simply wish to deliver an article to your child, the office staff will handle that for you.  If you are visiting the classroom, or doing volunteer work, you will need to check in at the Primary Office. Passes for the K-3 building will be valid in all other buildings.

We encourage your involvement as a volunteer, in the classroom or on the playground.  It takes all of us to provide a safe and positive school environment.

POLICIES

Non-discrimination Policy

No student in the Stevensville School system shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination in any phase of the academic program (including vocational educational), or activity on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, color, marital or parental status.

Section 504

(Discrimination on the basis of a handicap) states that no student in the Stevensville School system shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination in any phase of the school program on the basis of a handicap.  The grievance procedure will be the same as for Title IX.

Title IX

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs and states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal assistance.”  The governing regulations -effective July 21, 1975, cover all aspects of sex discrimination in school with regard to admissions, treatment of students, and employment.

Jessica Shourd is the Title IX Coordinator for the students enrolled in grades kindergarten through third.

In the primary grades, we direct a consistent effort to provide a safe, productive learning environment and eliminate any inappropriate actions that may promote a hostile learning environment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any student to harass another student through conduct or communication of a sexual nature. The family-school team relationship is important to ensure each child’s right to an education that is productive, welcoming and free of harassment.

Our school has adopted policies to address sexual harassment (See Policy #3225) and bullying/harassment/intimidation/hazing (See Policy #3226). These policies protect your child’s right to a safe school environment.  If you believe your student has been bullied or harassed, please contact the building principal.

McKinney Vento

Students who qualify through McKinney Vento Homeless Act shall receive services including Title I, free meals, and transportation to assure positive attendance. Stevensville School District’s McKinney Vento Homeless liaison is Jessica Shourd ([email protected] or 406-777-5613 ext. 300). See policy 3125f for further information.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENT LEARNING

MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)

Stevensville Primary School has adopted the MTSS model. MTSS is an integrated multi-tiered system of instruction, assessment and intervention designed to meet the achievement and behavioral needs of all students. Multi-Tiered System of Support, MTSS, creates a structure for the delivery of high-quality instruction for all students and, when needed, additional supports and interventions varying in intensity.

https://opi.mt.gov/Educators/Teaching-Learning/Special-Education/Multi-Tiered-Systems-of-Support-MTSS

Literacy and Mathematics

K-3 students participate in research-based academic instructional programs. Reading and Math curricula is based on the content standards approved for our students by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Students use math materials which include homework and remembering practice sheets to help students master and maintain skills. Families will receive information to assist them in helping their child with these materials

Reading at least 15 minutes daily with your child can greatly strengthen children’s literacy skills

Writing

Students write using 6 Traits +1 as a guide for writing practice. Teachers and students use an assessment rubric based on the 6 Traits +1 to measure students improving writing skills during the course of the school year.  The traits are used in all types of writing and are the foundation for writing instruction.

Handwriting

Students are introduced to age appropriate handwriting instruction using a variety of research-based educational tools. By using common language, teachers and parents are able to remind students to form letters beginning at the top and so on. Cursive writing instruction is introduced in third grade and students will continue to practice cursive writing during the remainder of the elementary grades.

Science

Science curriculum is based on the content standards approved for our students by the Montana Office of Public Instruction and teaches students the inquiry process and investigative methods.  Field trips to our surrounding natural environment and science assemblies enhance the science program.

Social Studies

Social Studies curriculum is based on the content standards approved for our students by the Montana Office of Public Instruction. Field trips to the various historic sites around our region greatly enhance the students understanding of history and the significance of our local area.

Health Enhancement

The health and physical education curriculum has been created by our teachers along with the Ravalli County Curriculum Consortium and follows the standards adopted by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Fine Arts

Students receive regular instruction in the fundamentals of vocal and instrumental music. The students perform twice per year for parents and community. Art instruction is provided by the classroom teacher. Many classrooms provide opportunities for students to participate in a variety of dramatic and theatrical presentations.

Field Trips

Field trips that support the curriculum are offered to students in each grade level. We welcome parent chaperones and depend on these volunteers to make many of these trips possible. Families wanting to chaperone must fill out a Field Trip Volunteer Form and carefully read through the expected responsibilities of a classroom chaperone.

Services for High Ability, High Potential Students

The district provides various opportunities, as needed, to meet the needs of students who are academically advanced or otherwise identified as needing additional options. These services may be provided through differentiation in the regular classroom, grouping students by tiered intervention/enrichment levels, or acceleration within the grade level. The services provided will be determined by the building problem solving team (MTSS). Additionally, Stevensville Primary School has implemented an intervention/enrichment reading time 4-5 times per week for each grade level.

Special Services

Stevensville School’s Special Services staff includes a school psychologist, speech therapists, resource room teacher, Title I program, counselors, CSCT, and additional resources from the Bitterroot Valley Educational Cooperative. This department is available as a resource for any special concerns you may have about your child.

Please help us maintain the integrity of our programs by contacting your student or your student’s teacher during recess times or before/after school. The primary office staff will be happy to assist you with concerns that arise during instructional times.

Academic Assessment

All students will participate in periodic classroom, district and state evaluations. The results of these assessments are available to parents. They are also combined with formative observations/assessments done by the classroom teacher, who will provide continual feedback to parents on student’s progress.

  • Benchmark Assessment

Student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA) and math are measured every fall, winter, and spring to determine students’ academic growth. The assessments are nationally normed and studies show that students who perform at or above grade level benchmarks are more likely to maintain success in school. Students who perform significantly above or below benchmark may be identified for enrichment and/or differentiated instruction provided in the classroom or by another teacher or paraprofessional, according to the individual student need.

  • Progress Monitoring

A student’s progress may be measured throughout the course of the school year if the student does not reach or significantly exceeds the benchmark level. Progress monitoring tells teachers and parents if the student is responding to the instruction given and helps to identify areas where the student may require extra instruction and practice. Progress monitoring may happen on a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on student need.

Grading Policy

Grading for kindergarten through third grade is explained on the report card. Grading reflects student overall performance in the classroom in the stated area. Kindergarten, first, and second grades use a standards-based report card. Third grade uses a basic report card with an “S” scale that works on percentages 0-100%. Please see your child’s classroom teacher if you have specific question regarding grading procedures.

Standards-based report cards have been adopted by Stevensville Primary and are used to understand student performance within each area of the core subject taught. They communicate to parents and teachers which areas students are proficient in, which leads to better differentiated and individualized instruction for students.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued at the end of each quarter. Please sign report card envelopes and return to your child’s teacher. Report cards reflect the student performance in the classroom, typically combining scores for independent practice, chapter or unit tests, and classwork. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled two times per year to review report card information and assessment data. If you need to communicate with the teacher more frequently, please feel free to email the teacher or call the school and arrange an appointment.

Homework

Grades K-2 do not assign homework outside of simple math practice and nightly reading. Homework is used to reinforce the day’s lesson, finish projects, and generally prepare for the next day. If assigned, your child should not have more than 30 minutes of homework in one night, and if he or she hasn’t been able to complete the work in that time, or an emergency or family event intervened, please send a note and accommodations will be made.

Behavioral Screener

Stevensville Primary uses the SSBD (Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders) to screen for behavioral disorders on an annual basis. This practice aids our staff and students in the behavioral success. The SSBD is filled out by all K-3 teachers and identifies students who externalize and internalize behaviors. By identifying students, their needs can be met through an individualized behavioral plan.

STUDENT BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS

The purpose of the Stevensville Primary Positive Behavior System and Montana Behavior Initiative (MBI) is to insure a safe, orderly climate for students and staff and promote responsible student behavior.  Stevensville Schools encourages a positive and safe learning environment.  We hold our students responsible for their actions, and encourage self-discipline.

Student discipline is based on the following premises and students shall comply with the universal behavior expectations in school buildings, on school grounds, in all school vehicles, at all school/school-related/Board-sponsored activities, including but not limited to field trips, school sporting events, and/or any additional extra-curricular activities.

  • Students are expected to contribute to a positive learning environment by respecting the rights of others.
  • Students are not allowed to stop teachers from teaching.
  • Students are not allowed to stop other students from learning.
  • Students will participate in productive classrooms and take an active part in their own education.
  • Building self-esteem is an important part of the primary school years. Good behavior and citizenship will be recognized and rewarded.

Understanding the expectations and consequences is the key to the success of this discipline program.  Goals of this plan include the expectations that students will learn from their mistakes, reflect on appropriate behavior and choose successful strategies for a personally productive school environment. Please contact individual classroom teachers for information on specifics for individual classroom expectations.

Stevensville’s MBI program has allowed the teachers to continue teaching without disturbance, and the other students to keep learning without distraction. In other words, it has helped all of us maximize academic time. The program also allows a very positive attitude and firm guidance as students accept responsibility for their actions, and it is a productive bridge to parent/school communication. Parental support is very important to your child’s school environment and his or her progress in the system.

ALL students are taught the “teach to’s,” which are expectations of school behavior. This includes modeling and discussion of many topics, including: traveling in the halls, classroom management expectations, lunchroom behavior, playground routines, classroom work expectations, peer interaction, etc. There are many opportunities for success in school and it is important that the children be taught the “going to school skills” that help them succeed. Refer to the 4 Bees Matrix for expectations that will be taught.

The 4 Bees matrix on the following pages will help you and your child understand the expectations for student behavior in the common areas of the school.  Please review these expectations for positive behavior with your child.  Adherence to these expectations by all students, supported by their parents, will greatly enhance the learning opportunities for all students as well as provide a safe and secure environment.

A graph displaying the four behavior expectations of our students, for detailed description please call 777-5481 ext 136

Gold Tickets

Students with positive behaviors are recognized with Gold Tickets.  Gold Tickets may be awarded by any staff member for appropriate behavior in any school area.  Students who receive Gold Tickets have their name placed in a drawing for a certificate and to receive an ovation and recognition from their peers. The student also receives a stub which informs the parent of positive behaviors at school so they can choose to reward/celebrate.

CONSEQUENCES FOR PROBLEM BEHAVIOR

 Students with disabilities are disciplined pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

 Refocus (Definition)

If a student is disrupting the classroom, or is non-compliant with school rules, the student will quietly be asked to “refocus”. The student will then report to the refocus area, where they will reflect on their actions and fill out the refocus sheet. When appropriate, the teacher or staff member will then invite the child back into the space where the incident happened, and activities will proceed without interruption. Students may be refocused by any staff member for inappropriate behavior.

Major (Definition)

A MAJOR disciplinary referral is given when a student exhibits any of the following behaviors, which will result in an automatic consequence:

  • Abusive language (towards peers or adults)
  • Dress code violations
  • Fighting or physical aggression
  • Overt defiance of authority/noncompliant with adult request
  • Bullying (see below for more information)
  • Sexual harassment (see below for more information)
  • Harassment/teasing
  • Disruption
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Being under the influence of or in possession of tobacco, alcohol or mind-altering drugs
  • Possession of a weapon or firearm may result in expulsion in accordance with District policy #3311 and in accordance the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 and MCA 20-5-202(2)
  • Any other deliberate action that endangers the life, health or safety of another student or staff member

Process

A referral is defined as a refocus or major.

  1. 3 Referrals: 3 referrals will result in an After School Academy
  2. 6 Referrals: 6 referralswill result in a second After School Academy
  3. 9 Referrals: 9 referrals will result in a third After School Academy and a Saturday School
    • Saturday School will be assigned to students in grades 1-3
    • A more immediate consequence or denial of privilege will be implemented, at administrative discretion, for kindergarten students. Children are expected to remain at school if a privilege has been revoked.
  4. 10+ Referrals: 10 or more referrals may be followed up with any of the listed options, based on student need:
    • Behavior meeting with guardian(s)
    • In School Suspension
    • Loss of field trips
    • Reverse Suspension
    • Behavior Contract/Plan of Improvement: will be used as needed for students in non-compliance with school rules. Parent input is welcome and students are held responsible for each directive on the plan.
    • Referral to MTSS for behavior interventions
    • Classroom Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or Functional Behavior Plan (FBA)
    • Campus Restriction: which would limit a student’s time on campus to actual class time only, may be put into effect for continued flagrantly inappropriate behavior outside the classroom. This would mean a student would not be allowed on campus until 8:30 am, would not have lunchroom or playground privileges, and would be required to leave the school grounds immediately upon dismissal. These restrictions would be determined in cooperation with the parents, and only after other interventions are attempted.

Other Consequences

Student rules violations will be acted upon according to the seriousness of the offense.  Consequences for minor problem behavior may include one or more of the following:

  • Red tickets from lunchroom (becomes refocus after 3 red tickets)
  • Time out
  • Loss of privilege
  • Time in office
  • Lunch detention
  • Conference with student
  • Parent contact
  • Classroom restriction
  • Suspension: Suspension is to be determined by the principal after discussion with all involved students and their parents.
    • The principal will assign in-school or out-of-school suspension depending on the individual circumstances. Classroom assignments will be sent with the suspended student, so that student can re-enter the classroom prepared for the next day’s lessons. Assignments from multi-day suspensions may not be credited or graded by the teacher, but serve as an opportunity for the student to accept responsibility for continuing his/her education with as little interruption as possible. Completion of these assignments will be noted.
    • Students who are suspended are ineligible to participate in or attend any school function on any full day of suspension.
    • Student and guardian must report to the principal before re-entering the class after an out-of-school suspension. A meeting will be required by the building principal.

 Bullying

Any harassment of others is considered serious and deserving of immediate consequences. All forms of bullying will not be tolerated at Stevensville Primary School, including bullying acts which take place via social media, internet, and other forms of indirect bullying. This is especially true when the bullying is affecting students within their school day, which disrupts academic learning. Parents are the school’s best resource in helping prevent social media bullying as most of these acts happen during non-school hours. Parents can aid the school in assuring their children do not have active social media accounts until they are of age (ie: FaceBook and Instagram require children to be age 13+ to have an account). Every effort is made to stop teasing, bullying, and harassment that may escalate to violence. Students who are bullied or observe other students being bullied must report the bullying immediately to a teacher or other staff member. Definition: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying behavior is repeated, purposeful, and hurtful. It is important for administrators to differentiate between the following three misbehaviors when investigating a potential bullying situation: was the person being rude, mean, or bullying? (See Policy #3226).

Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the Stevensville Public Schools to maintain a learning environment free from sexual harassment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any student to harass another student through conduct or communication of a sexual nature. All complaints regarding sexual harassment should be reported immediately to the principal. The established procedure will be followed and an investigation into each complaint will be conducted. (See Policy #3225)

GENERAL SCHOOL RULES

The following general rules provide more specific information to support our school wide behavior expectations.

Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, Heelies, and Scooters

Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, Heelies, and scooters may not be ridden on school grounds. There is a bike rack at the front of the K-3 building for bicycles and scooters. Lock all bicycles and scooters to the bike rack. The district cannot be responsible for unsecured personal equipment.

Students who use the skateboard for transportation to school must get off the skateboard when they reach school grounds and store the skateboard in the school office or classroom until the end of the school day. Roller blades and shoes with wheels (Heelies) are also not allowed.

Building Rules

Orderly and appropriate behavior is required in the halls, bathrooms, cafeteria, other shared spaces, and all classrooms.

Students must have teacher’s permission to enter the building early or during recess. (Students will be allowed in the building in severe weather conditions, or when the temperature is below 10 F.)

Hats or head coverings, including scarves or kerchiefs, are not to be worn in any building by either boys or girls (this rule does not apply to children coming inside and outside for recess). See School Dress Code, p. 13.

Chewing gum and candy on the playground is prohibited.

Cafeteria Rules

All K-3 students have 30 minutes to eat lunch. Students are expected to remain orderly and respect the rights of others. Students are expected to conduct themselves as if they were eating in a public restaurant. The large numbers of students in the cafeteria at one time requires a more formal environment than might be appropriate at home or in a fast food environment.

No food or drink permitted outside the lunchroom. Students are expected to return their plates, dispose of trash and leave a clean area.

Students are expected to follow the directions of the lunchroom staff. The lunchroom staff is responsible for the safety of all students and the expectations and procedures established promote student safety. Primary students are not allowed to use the microwave oven to heat or cook food, due to safety concerns and time constraints.

Campus Rules

Students are not permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day without parental/guardian permission and signing out.

Cell Phones/Watch Phones

Students may use cell phones, watch phones, pagers or other electronic signaling devices on campus before school begins and after school ends. These devices must be kept out of sight and turned off during the instructional day. Watch phones may be worn at school, however it is expected that parents set these phones to school hours (8:30-3:30), which will not allow students to take calls or receive text messages during class time. Unauthorized use is grounds for confiscation of the device by classroom teachers and school administration. Any cell phone in unauthorized possession will be confiscated and released only to parent or guardian. At no time will any student operate a cell phone or other electronic device with video capabilities in a locker room, bathroom, or other location.

Parents are reminded to avoid using their personal cell phones while visiting the classroom, waiting in the hallway and while attending school events. (See Policy #3630)

Electronic Devices and Toys

Students are discouraged from bringing valuable toys, electronic equipment, such as DVD players, MP3 players, iPads, iPhones, etc. to school. The district cannot be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged student equipment. Students may not use personal electronic equipment during school hours.

Classroom Rules

Complete an turn in classroom work as assigned. Contribute responsibly and productively to class activities and projects. Respect the rights of others. Classroom rules will vary in content and number to meet the needs of the class/subject.

Dress and Appearance

We appreciate the students’ and parents’ choice of appropriate clothing for school, and suggest that students wear comfortable clothing suitable for the classroom, as well as gym and the outdoors. To enjoy recess in cold weather please bring warm clothing such as winter jackets, snow pants, snow boots, hats, and gloves. When warm weather arrives, students should continue to dress appropriately for school. (See Policy 3224)

The dress code policy on the next page applies to ALL school activities, including concerts or music programs and classroom parties.

 ANY FORM OF DRESS OR ADORNMENT RELATING TO THE FOLLOWING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED:

  • Drug/alcohol related, including those with multiple interpretations
  • Sexually related or suggestive
  • No bare midriffs, strapless or backless tops or dresses
  • Spaghetti straps are not acceptable
  • No gang related clothing
  • Hats/headdress (any items that cover most of the head) are not to be worn during classroom instruction. Any violation of this rule will be grounds for confiscation by a school official, including classroom teachers.
  • Shorts and skirts must be “fingertip length”
  • Undergarments must be covered at all times
  • Anything that creates the potential for the disruption of the school learning environment
  • In the event a student is to be sent home, parental contact must take place, or he/she will remain on campus

Dress code violators will be asked to go to the office. If the student’s dress or grooming disrupts the educational process or violates the provisions of this policy, the administrator shall request the student to make appropriate corrections. Students may be sent home for repeat offenses. Students who continually violate the dress code policy will be subjected to progressive disciplinary action as set by the building administrator.

The administrator, in connection with the sponsor or coach, may regulate the dress and grooming of students who participate in an extra-curricular activity. Such regulation must be reasonable and substantially related to an important objective of the extra-curricular class or activity.

The primary responsibility for appropriate student dress and grooming is placed upon the student and parent. Our concern with student’s dress is with general social acceptance, cleanliness, safety, disease prevention, and grooming.

 Football, Soccer, and Other Athletic Games at Recess

Students participating in football, soccer, and basketball must be aware of the recess rules of play and the fact they will be different from those used in competitive play.

Since students are not wearing protective gear and the game is not kept under control by referees or coaches, students may not tackle or use aggressive defensive moves that may injure fellow players.

Students who are playing out of control, tackling, pushing or using unnecessary roughness, will be removed from the game. A player exhibiting lack of consideration for safety of their fellow players may lose the privilege to play. Widespread unsafe play may result in the removal of the game and a possible office referral.

Playground Rules

Playground rules are designed to prevent injuries and torn clothing, while allowing the students time for physical activity and relaxation.

Students are not to endanger themselves or others with unsafe playground activity. Students are to remain in their designated play areas to ensure the safety of all students on the playground at all times. Students may not leave their playground area without permission of the playground supervisor

Specific rules regarding playground equipment will be reviewed by the teacher and posted in the classroom. Students are expected to follow the directions of the playground supervisor and staff as well as the rules.

Playground privileges will be suspended immediately for any student exhibiting irresponsible playground behavior.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

As of October 1, 2005, Montana State law prohibits the use of any tobacco product at any time by anyone, in a K-12 public school building or on public school property. An individual who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of between $25 and $100. Students possessing cigarettes or other tobacco products will be suspended and their names turned into law enforcement.

To promote a safe environment for our students, any student who brings a firearm onto school property will be expelled in accordance with the Gun-Free Schools Act, 20 USC 3351.*

ATTENDANCE INFORMATION

As your partner in education, we ask full cooperation in seeing that your child attends school each day. Absences from school creates a hardship on the pupil and the teacher.

Reporting Student Absence

In Montana, the school is required by law to attempt to contact the parent, guardian, or legal custodian any time their child is absent from school in order to determine whether the parent, guardian or legal custodian is aware of the child’s absence. To meet this requirement, we ask that you notify the school office by calling 406-777-5613 before 9:00 A.M.

If contact is not made before 9:00, the office will attempt to contact the parent. If contact is not made, a signed written note needs to be sent to the school with the child upon his/her return.

Absences

Students who arrive after 10:00 a.m. and before 12:00 noon will be counted absent for ½ day during the morning. Students who leave school between noon and 2:30 p.m., will be counted absent for ½ day for the afternoon. Students who arrive before 10:00 a.m. will be counted tardy and students who leave after 2:30 are noted for early departure. Tardies and early departures do not count toward perfect attendance awards.

Excused absences generally include illness, bereavement, and other reasons approved by the administration. Unexcused absences are not acceptable at Stevensville Public Schools, and will be considered truancy. Repeated truancies will result in a principal/parent/teacher conference addressing the problem. Child Protection Services, the County Superintendent of Schools, and the County Attorney’s office will be notified when a child is chronically absent.

Planned Absences

In the primary school, we ask that the parent give us advance notice of a pre-planned absence so the child can complete his/her assignments. We ask all families to fill out a pre-excused absence form for the dates children will be absent. We encourage families to review the school calendar and plan vacations on days where students are not required to be in school.

Tardies

Please see that your children are on time for instruction every day. A child who misses the first thirty minutes of the school day is at a real disadvantage and may miss important announcements and introductions to new skills. Students who are tardy MUST check in at the primary office.

Arrival/Dismissal

We ask that students not arrive at school before 8:15 A.M, unless they are transported by school bus. School is dismissed at 3:31. Bus students should immediately board their buses and town children immediately proceed home using the crosswalks. The school is required to intervene and discipline in situations of conflict that involve students traveling back and forth to school, even though the students are not on school grounds.

Late Starts Due to Bad Weather

Parents will be notified of late starts due to bad roads or inclement weather using the automated calling system Infinite Campus. Please be certain to let the office know of telephone number changes, so that we can be sure you are correctly listed in our system.

In the event of bad weather, school start times and bus routes are changed or shortened, these changes will be broadcast over public radio and television stations between 7:00 A.M. and 7:15 A.M.

Checking Out Students

If you wish to take your child out of school early, please come in to the primary office where you will sign your child out for the remainder of the day. Parents are expected to provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding any custodial decisions that may affect the school, including a release for who may or may not pick up your child.

OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION

Animals in the School

Anyone wishing to bring an animal or pet to school, may do so only with permission of the classroom teacher and building principal. The owner of any live animal must provide proof of current vaccinations. Dead animals must be properly prepared for museum display or scientific study. Requests to bring animals to school must be made at least 24 hours prior to the day of exhibit or display.

Emergency Drills

As required by law, the Stevensville School practices several fire drills and other emergency drills during the year. A lock-down drill is a prepared response for a possible weapon incident, and fire drills test our alarm system. It is important that students remain calm, but take the drills seriously. Visitors in school during a drill will participate with the students. The drills your child will be trained for include: fire, earthquake, intruder lock-down, shelter in place, and evacuation.

Field Trips

Field trips are valuable educational tools that require a substantial commitment of extra preparation and expense. When on a school-sponsored trip, our students are expected to adhere to school standards of behavior and dress code. At times, students may be asked to support their class trip with a small contribution or fund-raising activity. Parents are invited to serve as chaperones, and volunteer permission forms will be available at the primary office. Parent Volunteers must be approved by the building principal through filling out a volunteer permission form. This is a 24-hour approval turn around. Parents not approved will be contacted by the principal. Parent chaperones must sign it at the office before leaving with a group. School liability prohibits attendance of preschool siblings or other guests on field trips. A parent’s signature is required for a student to participate in a field trip. Without the signature, the student will be assigned to another class for the day and remain at school. (See Policy #8132)

Fund Raising

To protect curriculum time, fund raising activities are limited and will be kept to a minimum.  Permission of the principal is required for any fund-raising activity.

Requesting Teacher Credentials

Parents and Families have the right to request teacher credentials. All Montana certified teachers and credentials can also be found online at https://apps3.opi.mt.gov/SSO/Login/Login.aspx.

Illness/Medications

If your child complains of not feeling well, please keep the child home and avoid a sick call later in the morning. Children must be fever-free for 24 hours without Tylenol or Ibuprofen before returning to school. A fever is considered 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and children will be sent home if they have a fever. Members of the staff are not responsible for administering any medications.  Please inform our school nurse of any medication that your child needs, and discuss any special circumstances regarding your child. Medications should be given to the nurse, who will make arrangements for proper dispensing of them if needed.

Please send a note if medical reasons require your child to stay inside during recess or PE. A doctor’s statement is required after three days if the condition still exists.

Latex Allergies

To protect students who have latex allergies, latex products, including balloons and gloves, are not allowed in school buildings or at events in the district.

Visiting Students

We generally do not allow non-enrolled students to attend classes with friends or relatives.

Volunteers

We welcome your help, and we need you on field trips, as an individual tutor, as a room parent, as a teacher of interest classes, and as a community resource person.  If you’d like to help, please contact the classroom teacher or the building secretary. Parents must be invited by teacher to volunteer in class, we do not allow for parents to observe teachers.

General Schedule

Classes begin                          8:30 a.m.

K-1 recess                               10:10-10:40 a.m.

2-3 recess                                10:40-11:10 a.m.

K-1 Lunch                               10:55-11:25 a.m.

2-3 Lunch                               11:15-11:45 a.m.

K-1 recess                               1:15-1:45 p.m.

2-3 recess                                1:45-2:15 p.m.

School Ends                            3:30 p.m.

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROGRAMS

Breakfast and lunch are available for all students. Breakfast will be served after the bell rings each morning. Meal tickets are available in the office. The computerized lunchroom system now allows families to deposit any amount, which then serves as the “bank” from which meal charges are deducted. Students may buy a single milk if they wish. Free and reduced lunch tickets are available for those students who qualify. These application forms are available in the school office.

Breakfast Rates           $1.25 per day

Reduced Breakfast      $ .30 per day

Milk                            $ .30

Lunch Rates K-5:        $ 2.25 per day

$11.25 per week

$45.00 per month

Reduced Lunch Rates $ .40 per day

Adult lunch                 $3.00

SCHOOL BUSES

The school district operates bus routes for the transportation of students to and from school.  Students who live outside school district boundaries may ride a school bus IF they are transported to a designated Stevensville School bus stop. School bus service can be provided in a safe manner only with the cooperation of all students. Students who wish to ride a bus to which they are not assigned, or ask to be let off at a different stop, must present a written request from their parents prior to riding the bus. This request must be approved by the primary office, who will then give the child a GREEN bus riding pass to hand to the bus driver. (See Policy #8124)

All bus students are under the supervision of the transportation supervisor and under direct supervision of the driver on the route. If there is any misbehavior on the part of the student, the driver is expected to transport him to his destination. The student may not be transported again until the student and parents have shown reasonable guarantee that such behavior will not be repeated. Repeated misbehavior may be cause for administration to revoke bus privileges.

Students will not be allowed to leave the bus at any stop but their own without a parental note and permission from the primary office (green slip). If confusion exists, the student will be returned to the school where administration and/or the transportation supervisor will contact the parent.

During the first 2 weeks of school, kindergarten students will wear stickers on their shirts with their name, their bus number, and if they are to be dropped off at daycare, the name of the daycare will be written on the sticker as well. Kindergarten students will be walked to their bus by a Primary School employee for the entire kindergarten school year. Bus changes for kindergartners are strongly discouraged.

The following Bus Rules must be adhered to at all times:

  • Be on time (at least 5 minutes early to the bus stop).
  • Be on your best behavior at the bus stop as well as on the bus.
  • Use quiet voices.
  • Keep the aisle clear.
  • Keep hands inside, never outside of the windows.
  • No food or drink on busses.
  • Listen to the bus driver and follow directions.
  • Students must be seated at all times.
  • Throwing of objects is not permitted.
  • Destruction of bus seats must be repaired and paid for by the student.
  • Students must ride assigned bus except when provided with a parental note that is also approved by primary office and student is given a green slip.
  • Students will be at assigned stops and drivers will do everything possible to stay on the time schedule.
  • The driver, administration, and the transportation supervisor have authority to suspend a student from his/her bus.
  • All students will be taught to evacuate the bus in case of emergency.
  • All students should wait for the driver’s signal to cross the road and cross in front of the bus.
  • All buses must stop at railroad crossings.
  • Kindergarten students must be seated in front of the bus or ride only with a brother or sister. (kindergarten students will be last to board busses after school)
  • Report any accidents or problems to the bus supervisor, principal or superintendent as soon as possible.
  • Students are held responsible for appropriate language and behavior.

INFORMATION FROM OUR SCHOOL NURSE

Immunizations

School Immunizations are required by the state of Montana. All enrolled students grades K-12 must meet the age appropriate immunization requirements before attending school unless an exemption or conditional is in place.

A claim of religious exemption for immunizations must be notarized annually and maintained on the Religious Exemption form. The form must be provided to the school prior to each school year by the student’s parent/legal guardian. If a student has contracted a disease or is exposed to one of the following diseases, the student may be excluded from school and any school related activities by the local health officer or the state department of public health until the excluding authority feels that there is no longer a risk of contracting or transmitting that disease.

  1. DPT/DTaP (Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus): Student needs a minimum of 4 doses before entering kindergarten. One of these doses needs to be given after the child’s 4th birthday.
  2. IPV/OPV (Polio): Student needs a minimum of 3 doses before entering kindergarten. One of these doses needs to be given after the child’s 4th birthday.
  3. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): Student needs a minimum of 2 doses before entering kindergarten. First dose has to be given after the 1st birthday.
  4. Tdap booster (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis): One dose is required before entering 7th grade.
  5. Varicella (Chicken Pox) – Student needs a minimum of 2 doses before entering Kindergarten. (the first dose must be given on or after the 1st)

Lice

Unfortunately, head lice are a reality in every school in the country. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate there are between 6 and 12 million cases of head lice in children ages 3-11 every year in the United States. Like it or not, there will be more than one case of head lice at the Stevensville School District this year. Our goal is to identify those who have lice, provide researched based information to parents/guardians about lice and lice treatment, and make every attempt to prevent the spread.

We have a number of practices here at the school to assist with this identification and prevention. Most importantly, we discourage head-to-head contact between students, as this is the most likely mode of transmission. Also, in each classroom the children are instructed many times on the importance of not sharing hats, coats, combs, brushes, etc. We also provide individual “cubbies” or lockers for coat/hat/backpack storage. Teachers and staff are observing for signs of head lice (head scratching, child complaints). Teachers are instructed not to have cloth items in the classroom that could serve as a transmission source for the lice. We encourage parents/guardians to contact the school if their child has lice. This is so we can do follow up with the family if needed, and we can increase our school surveillance.

If your child has lice, they must have a lice treatment at home before they may return to school.  School nurses will help monitor the students’ hair to ensure the lice are removed completely. In certain cases where lice are recurrent or there is lack of treatment happening at home, the school may take additional steps to prevent the spread of lice at school. These steps will be on an individual family basis. The most effective lice treatments are the over the counter treatments such as Rid/Nix. There is also prescription strength lice treatments that you may get through your doctor. Whatever lice treatments you choose to use it is important to follow every step of the process completely. This includes the use of the shampoo, the combing of the hair with the lice/nit comb, and the household cleaning.

We also need help from parents/guardians. It is best to have both school personnel and parents/guardians to be on the look-out for lice, especially if the child is symptomatic.  As always, feel free to contact the school nurse, your doctor, or your primary health care provider with any concerns or questions.

Medications at School

The school nurse has the ability to administer common over the counter medications to students during school hours. On the student registration form there is a designated area where guardians can give permission for this. The nurse can also call a parent in the event a medication may be indicated.

Please remember if your child has a prescription medication that needs to be given at school you must contact the nurse directly. All prescription medications must be sent to school in the original prescription bottle, and both parent and physician need to sign an authorization form which gives the nurse permission to administer the medication. (The nurse is happy to fax the doctor for their signature, and help out with this process). If any over the counter medication is needed for more than three (3) days, we will need the above mentioned authorization form completed.

EMERGENCY MEDICATIONS AT SCHOOL

We encourage your child to self-carry their inhalers and epi-pens if they know how and when to use them. Please also let the nurse know that your child is self-carrying the medication so we can help if needed. There is emergency medication at the school to use in the event of severe allergic reactions/anaphylaxis (epinephrine), severe respiratory distress/asthma attack (albuterol nebulizer), and for opiate overdose (Narcan/Naloxone) should a child or staff need them, and delayed treatment is not feasible due to the severity of the problem.  They have been prescribed by our school’s medical advisor and are used by the Registered Nurse or staff that has been trained by the Registered Nurse in the use of the medication. If it is necessary to use either epinephrine, or Narcan there will also be simultaneous calls to 9-1-1, administration, and parent.   If albuterol is used the school nurse will be in contact with parent, and initiate 9-1-1 call if needed.

 If you have questions about medication use at school, or any other health issues please call Connie Johnson RN.

INFORMATION FROM OUR SPEECH THERAPISTS

 Hearing Screening

Hearing Screenings are conducted annually for all kindergarten, first grade, and 9th grade students. Students who do not pass the initial hearing screening will receive follow-up screenings at school, and parents will be contacted for referrals to outside agencies as indicated. Hearing screenings for students in other grade levels may be done upon teacher or parent request with signed permission from the parents. Questions can be directed to speech-language therapists, Erin Bauer ([email protected]) or Karen Gideon, ([email protected]), 777-5613.

Speech-Language Screening

Speech-Language screenings are conducted in the fall for all kindergarten students. Screenings for students in other grade levels may be done upon teacher or parent request with signed permission from the parents. Questions can be directed to speech-language therapists, Erin Bauer ([email protected]) or Karen Gideon, ([email protected]), 777-5613.

 Primary School Staff Members (see the Staff Page on school website)

Explanatory Notes for Acknowledgement & Consent Form

Field Trips

During the year, students attend field trips that support the curriculum. These trips require a great deal of planning and some expense, and offer the student an expanded curriculum. Parents will receive notice of these trips and will be offered the opportunity to volunteer as a chaperone.  Your child must have your permission to attend, and rather than issue a permission slip for each event, we are using one form that will cover all trips. This will eliminate those times when the slip is forgotten, we can’t reach you, and the child must remain at school while his classmates are on a field trip.  If a trip is more complicated, and requires a parental pickup after school hours, information slips will be sent home regarding student pickup and needed supplies.  If there is a particular field trip that you do not want your child to attend, even though it is part of the curriculum, please discuss it with the classroom teacher.

Accident Insurance

Optional supplemental accident insurance is available through a variety of insurance agencies.  Information regarding an option for purchase of accident insurance is distributed to all students at the beginning of each school year. Some children who are not covered by accident and/or health insurance may be eligible for insurance through Medicaid or CHIP insurance programs.  Contact the office for information regarding these insurance programs.

Internet Access Conduct Agreement (See Policy #3612)

My child agrees to comply with the district policy for access to the Internet and the district computer system. Access is being provided to the students for educational purposes only. It is impossible for the school to restrict access to all offensive and controversial materials and therefore it is the child’s responsibility to follow teacher instructions for Internet and computer use. Any child who violates computer/Internet policy or misuses computer access and equipment, may lose access to the computer network and the Internet. Copies of District Policy No. 3612, District Provided Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks are available at the office at parent request.