Student Handbook

Northwood Elementary Handbook for 2018-2019
Dear Northwood Families,
Welcome to the Northwood family! The beginning of a new school year brings anticipation, excitement, and many challenges. We, the staff of Northwood Elementary School, are excited for the challenges and are committed to providing a quality educational program for all children. However, we know one of the keys to a child’s success in school is the support and involvement of the family. We encourage you to be actively involved in our school.
The information in this handbook will be helpful in explaining the procedures and guidelines of our daily operations. Please read and discuss it with your child.
Please feel free to call us at any time. Your questions, suggestions, and expressed concerns are important to the successful functioning of our students, staff, and programs. We look forward to working together.
Sincerely,
Mr. Donaldson
 
Daily Schedule
8:40 a.m. Doors open and children are permitted to enter the building
8:40 a.m. Buses begin to arrive
8:55 a.m. Tardy bell (Students not in their classroom at this time will be counted tardy.)
8:55 a.m. School begins
3:45 p.m. Dismissal
Arrival / Dismissal / Parking / Drop – Off Area
To ensure the safety of all students, please do not park or drop off your children in the front circle area in front of the building. This is the Bus Zone. Although we recommend that children ride the bus, should you choose to transport your child, please adhere to the following:
? Arrival: Please enter the west side parking lot and follow the arrows to the drop-off area. Students walk in the designated area to the sidewalk that leads to the building. The west parking lot is the area for all drop-off and pick-up of students. We appreciate you being mindful of the traffic flow and have your backpacks ready and your “Goodbyes” said early. Please do not block the entrance/exit area. *We recommend that parents who are transporting kindergarten children NOT drop them off, but please walk them to the building. Never park your car in the drop off lane.
? The Drop-Off Lane is intended for “batch” drop off. Once in the clearly marked yellow striped area, children may exit the car on the right side of the vehicle. Please do not wait until you are at the front of the line. If you are in the drop off lane, children may exit the vehicle. Waiting until you are at the front creates delay, thus congesting traffic flow.
? Dismissal: If you are picking up your child at the end of the day, parents are asked to park their car in the west parking lot in the designated parking area and wait outside near the benches. Your child’s name will be called and they will come outside to meet you upon dismissal. Please do not go directly to your child’s classroom. Due to safety issues, we ask that parents do not leave their car running in the parking lot. Please do not park your car in the drop off lane. Because of the importance of insuring the safe dismissal of all children, teachers will not be available to discuss individual student progress or concerns at this time.
Please DO NOT bring your pets to the pick-up line! It is important that you are here ON TIME to pick up your child at 3:45 p.m.
 
Any change in transportation must be in a written note to the teacher! Please do not call at the last minute to make a transportation change.
 
Reporting Absences
Parents should call the school office each morning when their child will be late or absent from school for any reason. (This includes V.I.P. students) Please call before 9:15 a.m. or leave a message on our answering machine after school hours. You may also email the office at: lkn1nc@northcantonschools.org. Failure to notify the school will result in an unexcused absence.
 
Tardiness
Students are expected to report to school on time. Students not doing so will be considered tardy unless one of the following conditions exists.
1. Students arriving on a late school bus.
2. Students who are pre-excused for a physician’s or dentist’s appointment.
3. Students receiving emergency medical treatment by a physician or dentist.
Northwood students arriving after 8:55 a.m. will be considered tardy. Students arriving after 9:55 a.m. will be considered absent for a half day.
Tardiness interrupts your child’s instructional time. When a student arrives late to school, he/she must report to the office before entering the classroom, to get a pass. We appreciate parents coming in with their child and signing in at the clipboard in the foyer by the office.
A pass will be given to the student to take to their teacher.
Parents are to remain in the foyer and not go back to the classroom. Please do not go beyond the Hug and Kiss Line.
 
Attendance
All children are expected to be in attendance each day unless they are ill or a family emergency arises. Please remember that a written note (or an email) explaining the absence is required after a student has been absent. We realize that there will be instances when your child may be tardy, but please avoid this whenever possible. (Office Email: lkn1nc@northcantonschools.org)
If a parent knows in advance that their child will be absent for any length of time (doctor/dental appointment or funeral), they should send a note to school before the absence. Information regarding family vacations should be discussed with the principal and the teacher.
Please provide the school with a medical/dental excuse from your physician’s office if a medical/dental appointment is during the school hours.
 
Attendance Law
The Ohio State Legislature made significant changes to Ohio’s school attendance laws through House Bill 410 that went into effect in 2017. The two areas that Ohio Revised Code now requires schools to address are absenteeism and truancy. Below is how Ohio Revised Code defines the two types of absenteeism and the actions that will be initiated by your child’s school.
Excessive Absenteeism is when a student is absent with or without legitimate excuse for either of the following: for 38 hours in one school month or 65 hours in one school year. In these situations, state law requires the school to send a letter to the parents informing them of their child’s excessive absenteeism. The school may develop an absence intervention plan for the purpose of improving the student’s attendance.
Chronic Absenteeism is when a student is absent with or without legitimate excuse for 10% of the school year. In these situations, the school:
 
  • will inform the parent and schedule a meeting with the parent
  • may revise an absence intervention plan if one was previously created
  • will require medical documentation in order to excuse future absences
Habitual truancy refers to when a child is absent from school without a legitimate excuse for 30 consecutive school hours, or 42 hours in one school month, or 72 hours in one school year. In these situations, state law requires the school to seek input from the parent in order to develop an absence intervention plan to improve the student’s attendance. If attendance does not improve, the school will file charges with the court system.
 
Special / Early Dismissals
Special / early dismissals should be kept to a minimum and utilized only for important and necessary reasons. For safety reasons, parents or other adults who pick up students early MUST use the following procedures:
1. Please send a note to the teacher regarding an early dismissal. Please note if someone other than yourself is picking up your child.
2. Parent reports to the office and shows ID verification.
3. The secretary will call the child to the office.
4. Parent signs the child out on the clipboard in the foyer.
5. Parent waits in the foyer for their child to come from the classroom.
6. Parent is NOT to go directly to the child’s classroom.
7. Parent escorts the child out of the school.
NOTE: The above procedures must be used at all times. Bus-transported students will NOT be permitted to meet their parents outside the building at regular dismissal times.
If a child leaves the building before 2:45 p.m. he/she will be counted 1/2 day absent.
Care of Textbooks and Library Books
Textbooks are loaned to students for their use during the school year. Textbooks are to be kept clean, handled carefully, and covered with a book cover. The library has books and magazines for recreational reading and for classroom assignments. Students will be assessed fines for abuse or misuse of books. Lost and damaged books must be paid for before the end of the school year.
Cafeteria / Food Service
*Lunch - $2.50 *Adult Lunch - $4.00 *Milk - $.50
Hot lunches are served each day. The lunch menu is published monthly. For those who pack a lunch, milk may be purchased. Applications for free or reduced price lunch are available in the school office or can be found on the NCCS website.
In case of emergency, lunch may be charged. We try to impress upon the children that it is their responsibility to bring the money to school the next school day.
Students may pay for their lunches daily, weekly or monthly. There is an online lunch payment program available. This can be found on our website: www.northcantonschools.org/. Look in the featured Information box and click on School Lunch Account that will take you to PayForIt.net. If you send money to school, please put it in an envelope with your child’s name, the teacher’s name and a notation of “Lunch Money”.
Breakfast is also available each morning for $1.50, served from 8:40 – 9:00 a.m. (Reduced: 30?)
(*All prices are subject to change before the start of school, but will remain consistent throughout the year)
Lunchroom Etiquette - Students are expected to speak in quiet voices so all in the lunchroom may enjoy lunch. It is important that each child knows he/she is responsible for cleaning up his/her own eating area. Keep in mind that your child has about 20 minutes to eat his/her lunch, so please pack accordingly. Students will be given extra time to eat, if needed.
Eating Lunch at School (Parents)
Parents are welcome to join their child for lunch on special occasions. (Birthday, VIP Week, etc.) Visitors may pack a lunch or purchase a cafeteria meal. Please let the school know in advance if you are buying a cafeteria lunch. Due to our large enrollment, limited space in the cafeteria, and an effort to promote and foster independence for the children, we do not encourage daily visits to the cafeteria.
Parents are NOT PERMITTED to bring in or drop off outside restaurant food or fast food to our cafeteria for student lunches. (This includes food from Subway, Jimmy Johns, Pizza, Wendy’s, etc.)
You must have your driver’s license or state issued ID in order to enter the building.
Upon arrival, please check in by the school office in the corridor. You will scan your driver’s license or state issued ID, using the School Safe ID system, and put on a visitor photo sticker.
Please remain in the front hallway until your child comes to the cafeteria.
In accordance with our school security procedures, parents are to refrain from going to the classroom or playground before or after lunch.
 
Change of Address, Email, and/or Telephone Number
It is important that we have the correct address, email, and telephone numbers for each student. If you plan to move or change your home, cell, or work telephone number, please notify the school office immediately.
 
Custody Cases
1. If a court order exists concerning the legal custody of a child, the school office must be made aware of who has access to the child during the school day. We want to be sure that we release children only to the authorized adult.
2. The custodial parent MUST provide the school with copies of the original custody agreement as well as any changes in the custody agreement that may occur.
 
Lost and Found
Parents are requested to label coats, sweaters, hats, lunch boxes, glasses, etc. to help ensure return of lost items. Unidentified items which have been found are kept in an orange box in the front hallway. Students should check the lost and found when they have lost a particular item. Parents are also encouraged to check for lost articles when they are in the building. Any unclaimed items will be donated to a charitable organization at the end of each nine-week period.
 
Birthday Invitations
Students may bring birthday invitations to the class to hand out. The rule being, every student in the class or every student of the same gender receives the invitation. Boys or girls may not be left out. Due to confidentiality, the school is not able give out addresses, phone numbers, or emails.
Home/School Communication - Periodic building newsletters will be sent home. Connecting to our “Schoology” password protected web portal will be an important communication tool. You can access the teacher and building pages to learn more about classroom activities. It is important that you check the “Take Home Folder” in your child’s book bag each day for important papers. Most teachers communicate classroom news via email or with the take home folder.
 
Health Information
When an accident or sudden illness occurs at school, necessary first aid will be administered. If, in the judgment of the principal and/or school nurse, conditions warrant your immediate attention, you will be notified. If you cannot be reached, we will use the emergency form to contact the person you have designated.
Communicable diseases should be reported to the school office when they occur. A child should remain home from school until all symptoms of the disease disappear or a written release from the doctor is submitted.
All students must have up-to-date immunization records on file in the school office.
Please see the attached Health Guidelines for School Attendance.
 
Medication
In accordance with the Board of Education policy, medication may be administered to students only after written authorization from the parent has been received in the school office. The Prescription Medication Administered at School form must be completed by the parent and the physician and returned to the school before any medications can be received by students while at school. All medication must be brought to school by the parent in the container dispensed by the pharmacy. Appropriate forms are available in the school office.
If students are to take nonprescription drugs, a Non-Prescription Medication Administered at School form must be completed by the parent and filed in the school office. Students will not be permitted to take medications until proper authorization forms are on file. Medication must be given in its original container.
All school medical forms can be found on our website: www.northcantonschools.org/nw.
 
Outside Play / Recess
Recess is an integral part of the daily schedule. Students will be going outside unless extreme cold, rainy, or icy conditions exist on the playground. It is important to dress your child for the weather. This may require that your child wear boots, hat, gloves, and a suitable coat. Students will be outside for up to 20 minutes at a time. From time to time, your child’s teacher may schedule “brain breaks” for the class and this could involve going outside for an educational activity. In the event of inclement weather, outside recess will be shortened or held indoors. Students will be supervised in their classrooms by monitors.
A physician’s note is required for your child to stay indoors for recess. Requests for an extended length of time must be verified by a doctor’s statement.
Winter Recess Guidelines
During inclement weather, recess will be held indoors. Recess will be held indoors when the outside temperature drops to approximately 20 degrees, including wind chill factor.
 
School Closing
In the event of severely inclement weather or mechanical breakdown, school may be closed or the starting time delayed. Announcements will be made over radio stations WHBC-1480 AM, 94.1 FM, and WAKR-1590 AM. You can also check the NCCS website or Channel 11.
In case of snowy weather, the 2-hour delay will not affect our schedule at Northwood School. We will begin our day at 8:55 a.m. as usual and busing will remain the same!
 
Physical Education
Physical Education is one of the regular subjects taught in the elementary school. Students are required to have gym shoes to participate. If possible, the gym shoes should be worn only for physical education classes. Shoes do not need to be new, but they do need to be clean.
If a child is unable to participate in the regular physical education class, a note from the parent is required. For extended periods of time, a note from the physician should be obtained and sent to the teacher.
 
Recognition and Awards
We believe a school-wide program of positive reinforcement inspires students to achieve their very best academically and as a good citizen. Awards are presented, daily, weekly, monthly, and at the end of each 9-week period.
1. Bucket Filler Award
2. Weekly V.I.P.
3. Northwood Stars
4. S.W.A.T – Students Working All Together
5. Citizenship
6. Character Champion
 
Student Behavior
Students shall follow basic safety rules at all times.
Students are encouraged to think and to make choices about their behavior. As students grow in accepting responsibility for their actions, they will also grow as good citizens.
Students are encouraged to be kind and courteous to each other at all times. Behaviors considered to be unacceptable include: fighting, teasing, name-calling, bullying, and use of foul language and gestures.
 
School Visitation
Should you be visiting the school, for any reason, please check in by the office in the corridor. Scan your driver’s license or state issued ID, using the School Safe ID system, and put on a visitor photo sticker. You must have your driver’s license or state issued ID in order to enter the building. We appreciate you NOT going back to the classrooms directly. Please note, all visits to the classroom must be pre-arranged with your child’s teacher first.
Security
1. All doors at Northwood will be locked during the school day. To enter the building, you will press a button inside the front doors and identify yourself to enter. (The button is located between the inside doors.)
2. Please have your driver’s license or state issued ID to enter the school. If you are a volunteer, visiting, or at the school for a meeting, you will scan your license or state issued ID, using the School Safe ID System, and will receive a photo sticker to wear before entering the building.
3. All volunteers and visitors must wear a visitor/volunteer photo sticker. Your cooperation and support will help us insure a safer school for students and staff.
Tracking Devices, Smartwatches & Cell phones: Tracking devices that look like watches as well as Apple watches are becoming popular. There are several on the market. Some of these smartwatches allow parents to call the watch without the child and those around him knowing. Due to privacy issues of other children sharing the classroom and the safety procedures we have in place, we discourage the use of these devices at school. Communication devices are not permitted on the student during the school day. Children will be asked to leave these devices in their backpacks during the school day if they wear them. If a parent needs to communicate with a student during the school day, please contact the office. Cell phones will also stay in the backpacks and turned off during the school day if they are brought to school.
 
School-Wide Rules
It is important that students understand and follow these rules:
“The Northwood Way!”
1. Do what is right!
2. Do your best!
3. Treat others the way you want to be treated!
? General Rules:
1. “Give Me Five”/” May I have your attention please.” – Upon hearing this phrase, the “Give Me Five” expectation should be followed: 1. Mouth is closed. 2. Eyes should be looking.
3. Ears should be listening. 4. Body is still. 5. Brain is focused and paying attention.
2. Follow directions the first time they are given.
3. Keep you hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
4. Gum is not permitted.
5. CD’s, radios, electronic games, iPods, or trading cards are not to be brought to school.
6. Pets are not to be brought to school.
 
Classroom:
Teachers will establish their classroom rules. Parents will have the rules and class procedures explained at Parent Night. Please discuss them with your child
 
Playground:
1. Students are not permitted on the playground without an adult supervisor.
2. Use all equipment safely and properly.
3. Return all equipment to the storage basket.
4. Toys are not to be brought from home.
5. Stop playing and line up when the whistle blows
 
Cafeteria:
1. Quiet Conversation is permitted. Yelling and screaming are not permitted.
2. Everyone cleans his/her own place and disposes of trash.
3. No sharing or trading food.
4. Do not leave the cafeteria until you are dismissed.
5. Students are to remain in their seats.
6. Students should raise their hand if they need some assistance.
 
Parent Volunteers
Please contact your child’s classroom teacher to volunteer in the classroom. We love having volunteers in the library & cafeteria. Please watch for the P.T.O. volunteer form or contact the office.
Northwood PTO
Our PTO is run entirely by volunteers. We encourage all families to join our PTO. We at Northwood believe that our PTO is a viable and contributing group to the well-being and success of our school.
Re-location / Withdrawal of Students
If you are moving to a new home within NCCS limits, please provide your new “proof of residency” to the office. (2 utility bills and a lease or proof of ownership)
When you are planning to move out of the NCCS district, it is essential that the school be notified as soon as possible. A Student Withdrawal Form and a Records Release Form (from their new school) must be completed by the parent before your child’s records can be transferred to another school. Adequate notice is also needed so that the teacher can prepare reports which are sent with your children when they leave our school.
 
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who will the school contact if there is an emergency involving my child and I cannot be reached?
We will always contact parents first in the event of illness or an emergency. A space is provided on the FinalForms System ONLINE EMERGENCY MEDICAL FORM to list emergency numbers of people whom the office should contact in case of illness or other emergencies if the parent cannot be contacted. It is extremely important that parents inform the school of changes in emergency contacts and phone numbers on the emergency medical forms. In addition, parents need to go to the online FinalForms System and make updates if phone numbers, addresses, or medications have been changed. (See FinalForms System information included in orange folder.)
Am I responsible for paying charges and fines? Your child will bring home information about his/her school fees. Failure to pay workbook fees, library fines or lunch charges will result in report cards being withheld, beginning in January, until you have paid all outstanding fees and fines. Contact the principal to set up a payment plan if needed. Online payment options are available for lunch accounts and the school workbook fees.
Will my child receive a report card? Report cards are issued every nine weeks (four times per year). Your child’s report card is to be signed and returned to school after the first three grading periods. It will be mailed home after the last grading period.
May students ride a bicycle to school? It is strongly suggested that students in grades K-2 do not ride bikes to school by themselves. Bikes can be left in the bike racks. It is a good idea to lock them during the school day.
Does the school need to know if my child is involved in a custody case? It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian who maintains legal custody to see that custody orders are on file in the school office. We want to be sure that we release children only to authorized adults. Please report all changes in custody to the school office.
Can my child celebrate his/her birthday at school? Yes, but please avoid bringing in high fat or sugary treats. Healthy treats are recommended. Check with your child’s teacher about other students’ possible food allergies. We also celebrate ½ birthdays for those students with summer birthdays.
Is there a snack each day? Most teachers schedule time for a morning snack. Please send healthy food for your child to eat.
What if my child has allergies? Identify the allergy on the child’s medical form and talk to your child’s teacher about specific allergies so the classroom activities can be planned accordingly.
Will my child need any of his/her toys at school? Please do not send any toys or electronic games to school unless it is on sharing day to show to the class. Toys should not be brought from home and taken out on the playground.
How can I communicate with my child’s teacher? You may either e-mail or send a note to the teacher, or you may call the office and leave a message. The teacher will return your call or e-mail as soon as possible.
What should I do if my child is not going to his/her before or after school care program? Send a note to your child’s teacher about the change. It is your responsibility to notify the after school care provider (Y Care, Faith Friends, Babysitter, etc.).
Should I send money, permission slips and other important information to school in envelopes? Label all items sent to school in an envelope with your child’s name, teacher’s name, and what is in the envelope.
 
Please contact the school office with additional questions.
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