Printable Weatherbee Student Handbook

RSU #22

HAMPDEN, NEWBURGH, WINTERPORT & FRANKFORT


George B. Weatherbee School
Parent|Student|Guardian Handbook

22 Main Road North
Hampden, ME 04444

207-862-3254

Jennifer Cyr, Principal
jcyr@rsu22.us

Bobcat

weatherbee.rsu22.us

Principal Cyr's Message

Dear Weatherbee Family,

Welcome

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Weatherbee School, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our school community. We are very proud and thankful of the support our school receives from Hampden and Newburgh. Education at Weatherbee School is designed to meet the needs of each individual student, as he/she work toward attainment of state and local education standards, develops social skills, and experiments with new areas of learning. To increase the degree of educational success, it is imperative that teachers, families, and administration communicate openly, and frequently concerning the progress of students.

Our school makes a concerted effort to create and promote a good relationship between home and school. The weekly school newsletter (The Weatherbee Bzzz), classroom newsletters, team websites, parent/guardian/teacher conferences and informational meetings are examples of these efforts. Direct contact with parents is extremely beneficial and we encourage parents to visit often, volunteer if your schedule permits, or communicate with the teacher on a regular basis. In short, we encourage our parents to become involved in their child's education.

The home/school partnership is not only important, but necessary for a successful school experience. Let's work together. Our school has a proud tradition of academic excellence, and with your help, I'm sure we will continue to be one of the best!

Sincerely,
Jennifer Cyr
Principal

What Makes Weatherbee Special?

students

Weatherbee School is a community of approximately 370 students in grades three, four and five. We are an intermediate level school. There are 16 classrooms, five grade 3, five grade 4 and six grade 5. We also offer special education programs and a full time guidance program. In order to satisfy individual needs and interests, specialized instruction is available in academic interventions. Settings that accommodate these needs extend from the general classroom to small group instruction as well as club activities. The Explorer Program, Library, Art, Music, Spanish (Grade 4 & 5) and Physical Education are also provided.

Weatherbee School is a caring community; dedicated to providing an appropriate space in which all members learn and grow together, strive toward excellence, demonstrate best effort, display mutual respect, foster a spirit of trust and understand that learning is an exciting and an essential part of being.

Weatherbee School has a clearly defined School Safety Protocol which is reviewed frequently by its School Safety Committee. In any compromising situation, the school will be evacuated immediately.

The School Safety Protocol also includes fire drills, shelter in place, intruder in the school, weapon on campus and fuel line, waterline, sewer line break procedures.

Purpose of Student/Parent/Guardian Handbook

The purpose of the Weatherbee School Student-Parent Handbook is to inform students, parents, school staff and community members regarding procedures, expectations and policies. The handbook will reference several current School Board Policies. Please contact the school office should you need clarification on any components included in this handbook.

If you wish to review the policies set by the school board, please visit our web site, www.rsu22.us. Click on Board of Directors link and select District Policies.

IMPORTANT | If there is a conflict between the Weatherbee

School Student-Parent Handbook (School Procedures) and Policy

(School Board), the policy will be the governing factor.

Mission Statement

All Weatherbee School Staff is committed to joining students, parents and community in providing a safe, positive and challenging learning environment, which enables all students to reach their individual potential.

ATTENDANCE

Each student's school attendance record is very important. Our average daily attendance is 97%. This figure is monitored annually by the federal government for compliance with NCLB Law. Children form habits at an early age. Therefore, it is important that they attend school regularly.

However, if your child has a fever or has been sick during

the night or before leaving for school, please keep your

child home.

Parents are required to call the school office at 862-3254, notifying us that your child will not be in attendance that day. School policy stipulates that we contact the parent if a child is absent and the school has not been notified.

On the day your child returns to school after an absence, he/she must bring a signed note from a parent/guardian stating the specific reason for the absence.

The following are acceptable excuses for pupil absence:

  1. Personal illness
  2. Appointments with health professionals that cannot be made outside of the regular school day.
  3. Observances of recognized religious holidays when the observance is required during a regular school day.
  4. Emergency family situations.
  5. Planned absence for personal or educational purposes which has been approved in advance.*

* Please note: Prior approval for personal/educational absence that exceeds 4 days must be given by the building principal. Parents are required to complete a "Planned Absence Approval Form"prior to the absence. Parents are asked to contact the school office, and the classroom teacher, notifying them of the student's pending absence. Reasonable time (a minimum of three school days) in needed to prepare school work requested prior to the planned absences.

A student in our school is considered truant if he/she has the equivalent of 7 full days of unexcused absences or 5 consecutive school days of unexcused absences during the school year. Parents will be notified by letter and we may request a meeting to address this issue if truancy continues to be a problem.

Parents are encouraged to arrange their vacation plans during

school vacations.

Important: The doors to Weatherbee School open at 8:30 a.m. Morning announcements promptly start at 8:50 a.m. It helps the child tremendously if they arrive closer to 8:30 then 8:50 since it gives them time to prepare for their day. Students arriving 8:50 a.m. are tardy. If your child needs to be tardy the expectation is that you escort your child into the building and sign them in. This procedure will help us document excused vs. unexcused tardies

Birthday Party Invitation Policy

Birthday parties are one of the highlights of childhood -for both the celebrant and the guest. However, there are few of us that can invite an entire class to a birthday party or accommodate 25 plus children in our homes. There are inevitably some children who get left out. This is often followed by hurt feelings, envy, and tears. Just as we try and shelter your children from other uncomfortable social situations such as taunting and put downs, we try and buffer them from situations that make them feel excluded because as children they are often unable to understand adult realities.

We ask for your help in this matter by not sending any birthday invitations to be passed out at school, at recess, or on the way home. Please mail them, hand deliver them to the friend's home, or make phone invitations. If you choose to invite the entire class you may have your child distribute invitations at school.

Busing

R.S.U. # 22 has contracted with Cyr Bus Company to transport students. Their office is located adjacent to Weatherbee School, and the phone number is 862-3984. Your child may receive special permission to ride to school on the Reeds Brook bus if invited to participate in the Weatherbee Fast Track Program that is held in the morning.

Cancellation of School

Cancellation of school takes place only during circumstances such as extreme weather, power failure or public crisis. The Board of Directors and Administration are aware of the hardship which can be caused by an abrupt cancellation. Therefore, school will not be canceled unless a significant safety risk has been determined by unusual circumstances. Every practical means is used to notify parents in a timely manner of a cancellation, including radio and television and School Messenger Instant Alert System.

Cell Phones

Cell phones brought to school for contacting parents for after school events should be kept in the student's backpack during the school day. Students who need to contact parents during the school day must make their calls through the school phones. Cell phones being used inappropriately(making calls, checking and sending texts, taking pictures) during school hours (including lunch and recess) will be subject to the following guidelines:

  1. First offense -Phone confiscated and returned to student at the end of the day.
  2. Second offense -Phone confiscated and returned to the parent upon parent request.

Code of Conduct

Adopted by the RSU #22 Board of Directors
September 3, 2003; updated May, 2014
The Code of Conduct document can be viewed at http://www.rsu22.us/about/code-of-conduct/

Classroom Visits

All visitors (including parents) must sign at the front office and receive a "Visitor Pass"to wear while they are in our school. Parents are welcome to visit their child's classroom to volunteer or to have lunch with their child with prior notice. Parents are requested not to stop by their child's room during the school day and engage the teacher in conversation as it is not best practice to interrupt daily direct instruction. We want to speak with you when it does not interrupt learning. Teachers are not available to speak with you after 8:30 am when students arrive. A separate time can scheduled for such visits at a mutually convenient time.

Communications and Notices

A special area for notices and other communication is set up in the main entryway to our school. Public notices/announcements and handouts must first be approved by the Superintendent of Schools. All notices and communication must also receive prior approval from our school principal.

Frequent communication between home and school is key to student success in school. Teachers and parents are encouraged to communicate with each other frequently in the following ways:

  • Telephone
  • E-mail
  • Teachers websites or Blogs
  • Notes and letters
  • Scheduled conferences and meetings,

It is important that teachers not be interrupted during instructional time. We request that you leave a voicemail message when calling to speak to a specific teacher. Please regularly check out school website (http://weatherbee.rsu22.us/) for current information and a copy of the latest school newsletter.

If your child is headed to an after school destination other than their usual routine, the office needs a written note (preferable) or an email. Please, do not email classroom teachers with after school plans. Teachers are not always able to check email during the day. Having the instruction in writing helps save confusion and ensures that your child is going to the correct place.

Conferences

Scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences occur once during the school year, usually in mid- November. Parents may sign up for a conference appointment during the Open House in October, or by calling the school office directly.

Some parents are hesitant about participating in conferences, but our teachers can do a much better job if they can share their understanding of the student directly with the parent(s). It is not necessary to wait for the regular conference time if a parent has a special concern. Remember, parent conferences are encouraged and can be arranged at any time during the school year. Face to face conversation regarding students' progress serves students well.

Contact Information Sheet

On the first day of school, student contact information sheets will be sent home. This form needs to be completed and verified for accuracy. Returning the form signed promptly and completely is extremely important. Please help us by make sure all telephone numbers and addresses are accurate and clearly written. Should information change throughout the year, please notify us immediately.

Custody

If there is a court order that relates to the custody of your child, his or her residency education placement or restraining orders, please provide a copy to the office so that it can be included in your child's file. In the case of shared custody, we are obligated to provide information to both parents. The principal, teacher or staff member has the authority to deny the release of students to unauthorized or unknown persons. If you have a particular concern about your child's privacy, please contact the principal.

Detention

Students may be assigned detention by the principal or any faculty member. This is for those students with undesirable patterns of attendance, tardiness or conduct, as well as other disciplinary problems. Parents will be contacted prior to instituting the detention. "In School"suspension may be used in some disciplinary matters. Out-of-school suspension may be used as an alternative to in-school suspension, but only after consultation with the parent.

Behavior standards are based on mutual respect and trust for one's self and others. Inappropriate behaviors are handled in a positive and consistent manner. Teachers have the authority and responsibility to maintain discipline in the classroom. When a student is having a problem the teacher may: conference with the student, conference with the parent(s), use classroom disciplinary procedures or refer the situation directly to the principal. There are several behaviors that warrant automatic office referral including hitting, pushing down, kicking, spitting, biting, violent play, inappropriate touch, threatening, taking others property, sexual comments, defacing property, defiance, refusal to work and aggression towards staff. Students will bring home Behavior Forms (yellow slip) indicating an office referral. Please sign and have your child return this form to the office on the next school day.

Weatherbee School classrooms are warm, lively, spontaneous, yet orderly environments for students to grow and learn. Teachers model the behaviors they expect from students. Consistent, fair approaches to classroom and management and sensitivity to individual needs are components of the disciplinary system. (See Student Code of Conduct Document)

Drug and Alcohol Use by Students

Drug and/or alcohol use by students is unacceptable and the school adheres to School Board Policy which includes presentation/education, intervention and discipline. School staff will follow the identified policy should drug and/or alcohol use become a question at the school.

Food Services

A lunch program is provided for all children attending Weatherbee School, breakfast is also available. Students sign up for lunch and milk with their classroom teacher each morning. All money for lunches, milk, or breakfast is collected on the first day of the school week. The student should bring a check (made payable to R.S.U. #22) or cash to the Art Room where a food service representative is stationed.

The amount of prepayment deposits is entirely up to you; it can range from one day to a month, even a year. Please prepay for meals. There should be no negative balances on accounts.

2017-2018 Lunch prices (subject to change):

Grades K-5 -$2.40

Reduced price lunch -40 cents

Adult -$4.00

Breakfast -$1.50

Breakfast -FREE for Free and Reduced Students

Cold lunch milk -55 cents

Each school in our district has an electronic Point of Service meal payment system -NUTRIKIDS. Please see myschoolbucks.com for details.

Each student has an ID number or PIN (personal identification number) which stays with the student until he/she graduates. Students at Weatherbee School enter their PIN each time they go through the lunch or breakfast line. PINs should be kept confidential. All purchases are deducted from the balance in the student's Nutrikids account at that time.

Students may bring lunch money to school or parents may deposit money online at MyNutrikids.com. You must know your child/children's PIN in order to make online deposits. This information can be found at your child's school or by the Food Services Program at 862-3543. If you choose to send money, preferably by check, and there is more than one student in the family, we can see that the money is deposited in siblings' accounts as long as you give us the ID numbers of each student and tell us the amounts to deposit to each account.

You may advise us of concerns that we can program into the system. This would include food allergies or limitations on what you wish your child to purchase at meals. When children enter their PIN, these "alerts"will show on the screen.

If a student's account gets low, our staff will remind them. If the student forgets his or her money, it will allow a negative balance up to 5 meals.

Money in the student's account at the end of the school year will be carried over to the next school year.

R.S.U. #22 works hard to provide nutritious meals to children. A healthy breakfast and lunch helps children learn so encourage your children to eat breakfast and lunch with us! Please fill out the Free/Reduced Lunch Application if you feel your family may qualify at any time. It is completely confidential and with the Nutrikids System there is no identification of meal status at any time. Thank you for your support and feel free to contact Kathy Kittridge at kkittridge@rsu22.us or 862-3543 with questions or concerns.

Fundraising Activities

All Weatherbee School fundraising activities must be approved by the building principal first and superintendent second. A Fundraiser Form may be obtained from the school office.

Harassment | Hazing

Weatherbee School recognizes the right to each student to perform in an atmosphere which is free of harassment/hazing. Please note the R.S.U. #22 hazing statement below:

Hazing is defined as "any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student."

Hazing behavior is unacceptable at Weatherbee School.

Health Office & Medications

The medication needs of children are monitored by the school nurse. Weatherbee School has three additional staff members who may administer medication daily: a part-time health aide and two school secretaries. Medication administration is regulated by district policy. Medications are given in school only when medically necessary, and must be in the original/prescription container accompanied by a permission slip signed by the doctor and parent. Parents are responsible for transporting medication to and from school.

The school nurse is assigned to Weatherbee School three days each week. The nurse maintains health records, performs yearly vision and hearing checks on all 3rd and 5th graders, and addresses plans for children with medical needs. She also oversees first aid, immunization compliance and medication administration and other functions of the health office.

All students in public schools must be properly immunized by state law. The school nurse contacts all parents/guardians of students who do not have documentation of required immunizations.

Homework

Homework is a way of reinforcing and enriching the concepts we learn in school each day. Your child will be assigned homework on a regular basis. Homework should provide extra practice on learned skills; provide an opportunity for students to learn good work habits, provide an opportunity for growth in responsibility and to provide parents with an opportunity to see what their child is learning and how well he or she is doing. It is important for students and parents to understand that make-up work cannot replicate classroom instructions.

Insurance

School insurance is available to all students. A packet will be available for each student during the first week of school in the fall. The purchase of this program is optional. Completed insurance forms are returned to the insurance carrier who supplies the school with a list of insured. The school does not pay medical bills of children who are injured in an accident at school.

Lost and Found

All lost and found items should be brought to the area outside of the gym. If a student's loses an item, he or she should check in the lost and found. It is a good idea to mark items with the owner's name in an easily visible location. Periodically, unclaimed items will be donated to charity.

Newsletters

The Weatherbee School Website (http://weatherbee.rsu22.us/) is an amazing place to find all the information you need to help you navigate the world at Weatherbee School. There is a school calendar, Electronic Backpack, link to the Weatherbee Bzzz (weekly newsletter), links to teacher websites and much more.

Each Friday your child will bring home a "Friday Folder". This folder will contain Community Flyers and other notifications. The flyers from the Friday Folder will also be uploaded to the Electronic Backpack. Electronic Backpack contains all the flyers that are sent home each week. This allows families access information that is lost or misplaced.

The Weatherbee Bzzz is published each Friday. On Fridays, an email from the Weatherbee Office is sent to the primary and secondary person on the student's contact sheet.

Please inform the school office if you wish to receive a hard copy of the weekly newsletter.

Nuisance or Educational Distraction Items

Education distractions or nuisance items are discouraged. Examples of these distractions are trading cards, music devices, hand-held games, electronic devices, etc.

Parties/Food Items

R.S.U. #22 does not accept unsolicited food items at school (i.e., birthday cupcakes). This is to better manage our district's wellness policy guidelines, food allergy safety and to prioritize non-food* rewards and treats. (*Regarding birthdays, Weatherbee School announces each student's birthday and gives a small token to each child from the office.) Rest assured, that we recognize how special this day is to our children and reach out to give them this special recognition.

Your child's classroom teacher will inform you when classroom celebrations will be occurring and what type of snacks are sought to provide healthy options and perhaps a sweet or two. In accordance with district nutrition policies, all food brought in for class parties must include a healthy option.

Birthdays or other party invitations may be handed out at school ONLY if all boys/girls in the classroom are invited. Prior permission must be given by the classroom teacher. If you plan an after school party at your home, please be aware that buses may be full and unable to transport additional students. Permission from the bus company must be ascertained at 862-3984.

We sincerely appreciate your efforts to support our policies and to understand our rationale for implementing them.

Playground Rules & Cold Weather Guidelines Supervision

Time spent outdoors is an integral part of the school day. Children need fresh air and exercise and time spent outside affords students an opportunity to break free from the structure of the classroom. However, there are times when it is not safe for children to be outdoors.

When properly clothed, elementary school-aged children can participate in safe, vigorous play in an outdoor environment in most weather conditions. Increased caution is necessary during temperatures less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Children have a greater body surface area to weight ratio than adults and 50% of heat loss may occur from head and hands. Hypothermia results when the rate of the body's heat loss is greater than the body's rate of producing heat. Temperature plus wind velocity, or wind chill, is a prominent factor in determining cold weather safety. As the speed of the wind increases, it carries heat away from the body quicker. The younger the child the less physical adaptive reactions they have to cold stress.

Therefore, when the outdoor temperature is zero or higher and the wind chill factor is zero or higher five minutes before scheduled recess on The Weather Channel for Hampden, ME, children will be allowed to play outdoors with adult supervision for an appropriate length of time. Children should arrive at school adequately dressed with warm clothing (snow)pants, hats, scarfs, mittens/gloves and boots. Also, students go outside in drizzly weather and water repellent jackets can be a good idea. We keep minimal extra outside clothing for students at school. Please make sure they are dressed appropriately for the upcoming weather when they leave home in the morning.

There is no recess at the beginning of the school day. Students arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. and go directly to breakfast or classroom. Teachers will provide supervision beginning at 8:30 a.m. in their classrooms.

Three adults are on the playground during the regularly scheduled lunch recess. The playground is not supervised after school and students are expected to leave for home immediately following dismissal. For the safety of all children, strict standards have been established that must be followed by everyone. Each class reads and discusses the playground rules.

  • All students must stay on the playground and in view of the duty teachers.
  • No throwing rocks, wood-chips, snow or ice.
  • Report injuries to the duty teacher.
  • Walk to and from the playground.
  • Students are encouraged "to solve problems by talking them out"before involving the duty teacher.
  • Solving problems in a "physical manner"(i.e., punching, kicking, shoving, fighting) is strictly forbidden.
  • Refrain from eating on the playground.
  • Rough play that may result in bodily injury or torn clothing is prohibited.
  • "Chasing games"may be curtailed depending on issues that may result (injury and or student complaints).
  • Football games may be curtailed depending on issues that may result (injury and or student complaints).
  • "Physical games", in general, will be monitored closely and curtailed if issues result.
  • The basketball court is for basketball.
  • The field area is for soccer games, etc.
  • Students are expected to use the creative playground appropriately: including using the swings for swinging, the slides for sliding, etc.

Toys: We ask that toys be left at home. Electronic games and virtual reality games are only permissible on bus rides to and from school. Baseball bats and baseballs are prohibited. A rubber ball or tennis ball is an acceptable alternative.

A typical consequence for inappropriate behavior on the playground is loss of recess time. Students will be asked to sit on a bench or stand by the fence or wall for some or all of the recess. Students who have lost their recess privilege will stay in the office during recess.

Promotions/Retention

Promotions and retentions are based on an evaluation of academic, physical, social and emotional growth. The primary reasons for considering retention are:

  • Academic readiness for the next grade level.
  • Social immaturity.
  • Frequent or long absences.

Promotion/retention meetings are scheduled with parents in May and early June. Parental involvement and support is necessary in any retention decision.

School Dress

Weatherbee School administration recognizes that the primary responsibility for the dress and appearance of students rests with the individual students and their parent/guardians. Clothing choices should be appropriate for an academic work environment, and not create a disruptive influence on the educational setting or affect the health or safety of others. The determination of what is or is not disruptive is an administrative decision.

Students are encouraged to use sound judgment and reflect respect for themselves and others in dress and grooming. In keeping with the beliefs of Weatherbee that teaching respect and fostering pride are important components of education, the following restrictions on dress shall be enforced:

  • Articles that promote or encourage the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco are prohibited. According to district policy, "Articles of clothing that are sexual, vulgar, lewd or indecent or include insulting words (e.g., racial/ethnic slurs), are prohibited."
  • Clothing may not be revealing (for example, tops that reveal the midriff or cleavage; clothing or sheer fabrics that exposes underwear or private body parts; revealing rips and tears; and skirts and any shorts worn that are less than mid-thigh length).
  • Tank top straps are required to be one (1) inch wide. If they are less, a shirt will be required underneath.
  • Visitors and students are expected to remove their hats when entering the school. Hoods, visors, and bandanas may not be worn. Hats are permitted on the designated "hat day"scheduled each month or as part of a special classroom activity only.
  • Clothing and hairstyles must allow for full participation in all aspects of the school program.
  • Apparel, jewelry, makeup or footwear that present a safety concern or affect the orderly operation of the school may be prohibited.

If a student is not dressed appropriately for school, the student will be required to call home for a change of clothing or will be provided other clothes by the school.

The dress code is designed to create and maintain a learning environment. It is not a commentary on the taste, style, or parents' style of dress. Many people may dress differently outside of the school; that is fine, but these are the Weatherbee School's expectations at school and school functions.

Testing Programs

  • NWEA | Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). Computer based assessments given at each grade level three times per year: September, January & May.
  • DIBELS | Fluency screenings are given three times a year at all grade levels: September, January & June.
  • Fall Writing Prompt | given to all students.
  • MEA ELA | Math, spring.
  • MEA Science | Grade 5 only in May.
  • NAEP * | National Assessment of Education Progress. This test is completed as required by the federal government. Generally, Weatherbee participates every other year at the fourth grade level.

Visitors/Volunteers

Volunteerism is encouraged at Weatherbee School. We offer a variety of options for volunteers. Per policy, volunteers are required to complete a registration sheet and submit references and a copy of a current Maine Driver's License. R.S.U. #22 will check your background through the public criminal history records check.

It is important that all volunteers are aware of a regulation that must be followed in school by everyone, staff and volunteers. The Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the confidentiality of information about students. This act makes is very clear that academic, behavioral, or any other information cannot be discussed or shared in writing without parental permission.

As a volunteer on a field trip, in the classroom, or on the playground you might observe or hear things about students which fall under the protection of the Family Rights and Privacy Act. We expect that you don't or won't discuss information you may hear with any other volunteer, parent or person outside of the school. If you feel that is it necessary, you can pass the information along the student's teacher.

CLICK HERE, to view the RSU 22 Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Expectations

Handbook Acknowledgement Form

_____________________________________________ 
Student Name

______________________________________
Grade

 

_____________________________________________
Teacher

 

Both the parent|guardian and the student must sign these forms and the student must return it to their classroom teacher.

This is to certify that both my son/daughter and I have read, understand will comply with the rules in the George B. Weatherbee Student/Parent/Guardian Handbook and R.S.U. #22 policies for the 2015-2016 school year.

_____________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature

_____________________________________
Date

_____________________________________________
Student Signature

_____________________________________
Date

Please complete Acknowledgment Form and return to student's teacher.
Thank you