Student Handbook


Handbook 2014 - 2015  (Download PDF) 


SCHOOL HOURS  (* Please note new times for 2014- 2015 School Year) 


Grades K 5      
 Arrival Time                         8:20am                                  PreK

Instruction Begins/Late Bell  8:35am                                  Morning Classes  9:00  to 11:30am

Dismissal                            2:35pm                                  Afternoon Classes  12:30 to 3pm  


ARRIVAL:

Children should not arrive to the school before 8:05 am, this is very important because there is no supervision before this time. The school building will be open at 8:05 am for all students. Students not eating breakfast should report directly to their homerooms. At 8:20 am is arrival time.  Instruction begins at 8:35 am.  


DISMISSAL:

Dismissing your child before the end of the school day is detrimental to the education of your child. At the end of the day teachers review what has been covered in class, explain what needs to be written in student planners, and answer questions and concerns. If your child is frequently dismissed, he/she misses out on a very important component of the school day.

Children are dismissed from their classrooms by destination and method of transportation. Parents who are picking up their children must wait in the front of the building. We will not allow a child to walk to a vehicle without an adult accompanying him/her. 

Children who ride buses or day care vans are notified on the intercom when their transportation arrives and at that time walk to the gym.

Children who walk home are dismissed first and exit through the front door of the school.

Every child is expected to go home on his/her own bus or along his/her regular walking route unless the child's parent sends a note to school stating otherwise. If writing a note please include the date, along with the student’s name and teacher. Should a phone call be necessary for alternative dismissal arrangements, the parent must call the school before 2:00 pm to ensure that the request be fulfilled. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Parents are NOT allowed in the building at dismissal. This is another safety issue. We cannot possibly know every parent by sight and do not want strangers walking through the building. As indicated above, you are to meet your child at the front door if you are driving or walking him/her home. If you are picking your child up early, come to the school office. The adult who comes to get them must sign out children leaving early. 


BUSES/TRANSPORTATION:
There are three regular buses and several special needs buses that transport children to Parker-Varney School. Each bus has a numbered card in the window, the number on this card is what children should use to identify their bus.

Afternoon transportation is also provided to the YMCA, the Manchester Boys’ and Girls' Club, and the various day care sites. Parents must make their own arrangements with these organizations. 

Children are expected to behave properly while on the school bus. This means staying seated, not picking on other children, and following the instructions of the driver. Misconduct on the bus can result in the loss of riding privileges or other disciplinary actions. More specific rules of the Manchester Transit Authority will be explained to all bus children at the beginning of the school year. Children who continually misbehave will be suspended from riding the bus. (Please see attached transportation policy.) 

IMPORTANT: Children frequently bring notes to school asking permission to ride the bus home with a friend. This is not possible because on most days the buses are filled to capacity.

BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE:

New Morning Schools, Inc. will be running before and after school programs at Parker-Varney School. The before school program begins at 7:00 am and the after school programs runs from 2:35 to 5:30 pm. The Manchester School Board has approved this program. If you are interested, please contact New Morning directly at 669-3591.

TRAFFIC/PARKING:
The front parking lot is available for parents to park and bring their children into the building before school as well as to park and pick up their child at the end of the day. Signs are posted, traffic cones are in place and faculty will be present to help facilitate the safe and orderly flow of traffic as well as assist in the arrival and dismissal of our students. Also remember that Summerside Avenue is closed from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from approximately 2:35 to 3:00 p.m.

DROP OFF/PICK-UP PROCEDURES DROP OFF:
Parents are not to park and exit their car, only the students. Parents who want to drop off students and assist them out of the car must drive to the parking lot, park their car, and escort their children to the playground entrance.

When the weather is poor, and the students are going to the gym, parents are to drive up to the visitor parking lot, park their cars and walk their students to the crosswalk where a staff person will be located. Parents are not to stop at the entrance to the parking lot because cars and busses become blocked. It is in the best interest of our students for parents to find a parking space and walk their children to the crosswalk.

During morning drop off and afternoon pick up no one is allowed to stop or park directly in front of the main entrance. There are several No Parking signs. Please make note of this. If you are parked illegally, you may be subject to a ticket if the police are present, and you are parking at your own risk. Please keep in mind if you block the busses from exiting the lot they will contact the police for assistance. The highway department has already installed no parking signs along the street to assist the busses in making their turn back down James A. Pollock Drive. Parking in these spots blocks the busses and our drivers contact the police for assistance.


PICK UP:
If you are parked illegally, you may be subject to a ticket if the police are present, and you are parking at your own risk. Please keep in mind if you block the busses from exiting the lot they will contact the police for assistance. The highway department has already installed no parking signs along the street to assist the busses in making their turn back down James A. Pollock Drive. Parking in these spots blocks the busses and our drivers contact the police for assistance.

As a school community we need to work together to ensure the safety of our students, parents, and faculty. Please make every effort to follow these changes and be patient while everyone becomes familiar with theses new procedures. If you have a concern or questions please feel free to call the school.

ATTENDANCE:
State law requires regular school attendance for any child over six years old. Regular attendance is important if a child is going to succeed in school. It's next to impossible for a child to follow what's being taught in a classroom if he or she misses school frequently or is frequently late to school. In order for our students to have the maximum benefit from instructional time, parents/guardians are asked to adhere to the 8:35 am start of school and our dismissal time of 2:35 pm. We recognize that dropping off your child late and picking them up early avoids traffic woes; however, it also cuts in to valuable teaching time. 

School is important to your child's social development as well. While your son or daughter is learning reading, writing, and arithmetic, the child is also learning to get along with other children, to interact with adults, to understand and follow rules, and to be a successful school citizen.

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES/SCHOOL NOTIFICATION:
If a child is sick or for some other reason cannot attend school, it is the parents' responsibility to do both of the following:
  1. Notify the school on the morning of the absence either by telephoning or by sending a note with a brother or sister.
  2. Send a note explaining the reason for the absence when your child returns to school.
SCHOOL CANCELLATION/DELAYED OPENING:
If school is to be delayed because of bad weather, announcements will be made over the following local radio and television stations: WGIR WZID WFEA WMUR-TV, Channel 9. 

If there is a delayed opening, classes will start 2 hours later than usual. Buses will also run 2 hours later. Examples: School begins at 8:20 am; a 2 hour delay would bring opening time to 10:20 am. If your bus usually arrives at 7:00 am for pickup, the time will change to 9:00 am.


LUNCH/BREAKFAST:
Children may either bring a lunch from home, or purchase a lunch at school. The cost of school lunch is $2.00 per day or $10.00 per week. Children must pay on Friday for the following week. Those children who bring a cold lunch may purchase milk for $1.75 per week. Milk is included with all hot lunches. If you are paying by check, make the check out to Parker-Varney Food Services. You can also manage your child’s lunch money account by signing up at MyLunchMoney.com. 

Free lunches or reduced price lunches are available if a parent's income falls within certain federal guidelines. Application forms are sent home to every family on the first day of school. If you wish to apply, return the completed form immediately. A family may also apply at any other time during the school year. Reduced price lunches are $.40 per day. 

Breakfast is available to all students. Full price is $1.20; reduced price is
$.30. Children who are eligible for free lunch may also receive a free breakfast. 

Breakfast opens at 8:05 am and closes at 8:20am.
 

 VISITORS:

All visitors to the school must report to the office before going elsewhere in the building. This includes parents who are picking up their children for appointments or wish to contact their children for any other reason. All volunteers must also sign in at the office and remain in the area of the building relevant to the volunteer activity. All visitors to the building who go beyond the office area must wear name tags. For the safety of our children, parents are NOT allowed to walk their children to assigned classrooms under any circumstances unless they have checked in the office for permission.

REPORT CARDS:

Elementary schools are now on a trimester schedule with report cards going home just three times per year. The first trimester ends on December 5th , the second trimester ends on March 13th. Final report cards go home on the last day of school, tentatively June 16th. Progress reports will be sent home at the halfway point in each marking period.

A conference with your child's teacher at any point in the year will tell you more than a report card or progress report. Once the school year is underway, please set up a time when you can talk to your child's teacher.

PLAYGROUND SAFETY:

Children are not allowed to bring bicycles, skate boards, or wear heelies or roller blades to school because of the school's location and the traffic congestion at arrival and dismissal time. 

Children are expected to behave properly on the playground as well as in their classrooms. You will find a list of our playground rules on the page 10 of this booklet. Please review these with your child. 

MEDICATION:
If any type of medication is to be taken at school, that medication must be delivered to the school nurse in its original container. 

The school must also have a signed statement from the physician who prescribed the medication (forms are available for this), as well as a note from the
child's parents giving the nurse or other school personnel permission to administer the medication. 

INTERNET ACCESS:
Internet access is available to students and teachers in elementary school classrooms and libraries. The district has filtering software, which attempts to block access to inappropriate sites. In addition, in the elementary schools all student use must be supervised by the classroom teacher, librarian, or other certified personnel. Parents wishing to exclude their child from such supervised use may request so by addressing their request to the school principal. 
 
PARKER-VARNEY PTG/SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS:

The Parent Teachers Group is responsible for many of the extra materials that you will find in Parker-Varney classrooms. Each fall this group holds a fundraisers  that brings thousands of dollars into the school. The money is used for classroom materials, assembly programs, and field trips.

There are also opportunities to volunteer in the school library and elsewhere in the school. Your involvement is encouraged and appreciated; however, school board policies require that all volunteers fill out a Volunteer Application Form and attend an orientation. Volunteers such as coaches who work with students without faculty supervision must also have a criminal background check.

PTG meetings are held in our library at 6:00 pm on the following dates:

September 10, 2014 
October 14, 2014
November 12, 2014 
December 2, 2014
January 14, 2015 
February 10, 2015 
March 11, 2015
April 14, 2015 
May 13, 2015 

STUDENT BEHAVIOR:
Parker-Varney School follows the same Elementary School Code of Conduct as all other elementary schools in the district. The Code of Conduct is available on-line at www.mansd.org or in the main office. Parents are asked to review this document with their child and sign a document indicating that they have done so. This slip with the parent's signature must be returned to school immediately. 

Students are not allowed to bring any type of trading cards (i.e. Yugio) or
toys to school. These items will be confiscated by staff members. 

Manchester has a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding weapons in school. Bringing even the smallest jackknife to school will result in immediate suspension
for up to ten days. Look-a-like weapons are considered the same as the real thing. 

PLAYGROUND RULES:
  1. No fighting on the playground at any time.
  2. Children are not to play games that involve rough physical contact.
  3. Bats, any type of hardballs, racquets, footballs, or other toys that may accidentally hurt someone may not be used on the playground.
  4. Once a child goes out to recess, the child must stay outside for the recess period unless he or she gets permission to enter the building from one of the teachers on duty.
  5. Children must stay within the boundaries of the playground at all times. Generally speaking this means within the fenced area and not beyond the entrance at the back corner of the building.
  6. Everyone must stay out of the planted areas under the first and third grade windows. The children may sit on the walls around those areas, but may not walk or run on the walls. 
  7. No child will leave the playground to retrieve a ball, he or she must notify the teacher on duty. If the ball goes out of sight over the bank in the back, consider it lost. That is private property.
  8. The children may use the playground equipment only on their grade's assigned day. The small equipment is for the Pre-K and kindergarten students only.
  9. Throwing snowballs is not allowed anywhere at any time and will be treated as a serious matter.
  10. Children are not to remain in the classroom unsupervised during recess.
  11. It is everyone's responsibility to keep the playground clean. Children should use the trash barrels for their own litter, and pick up anything they see on the ground.
HOMEWORK POLICY:
Homework is an important part of the educational process. To be effective it requires an integrated effort among teachers, parents, and students. Homework is used to practice learned skills, to develop independent study habits, and to provide a connection between home and school environments. A new homework folder has been supplied to all students. Please note the “Return to School”.
Assignment Guidelines:
  1. Homework should be assigned to all students from kindergarten through grade five.
  2. There should be allowances for the teacher’s discretion relative to the type and length of assignments.
  3. In order to build responsible study habits concrete assignments that require the student to return something to school should be given several times each week.
  4. Most homework should be credited, but not necessarily graded.
  5. Long range projects may be assigned as homework and assessed through the grading process. Teachers should check on the progress of long-range projects on a regular basis.
  6. Homework should be meaningful and relate to work in the classroom. It should not be busy work.
Suggested Time Frames
The following are recommended as maximum nightly time limits on homework for each grade:
Kindergarten            5 to 10 minutes
Grade One              15 to 20 minutes
Grade Two               30 minutes
Grade Three            30 minutes
Grade Four              60 minutes
Grade Five               60 minutes


Parental Involvement
Parents should be encouraged to give their children guidance with their homework efforts. This guidance might include:
  1. Checking student planners every night.
  2. Checking the child's work for neatness and to see that it is completed.
  3. Signing the homework paper or an assignment book.
  4. Communicating regularly with the teacher.
  5. Agreeing to a homework contract with the child and the teacher.
(This policy is meant to build on the Manchester School District policy - not to replace it.)

HELPFUL TIPS FOR A SMOOTH MORNING ROUTINE:

Establish an evening bedtime, some guidelines are:
K-1 grade students 7:30-8:00
2-3 grade students 8:00-8:30
4-5 grade students 8:30-9:00
Organize backpacks, homework, lunches and choose clothes for the next day the night before.
Set the alarm clock early to give yourself some quiet time without the children. Make it a rule for no TV in the morning or at least not until everyone is dressed and ready to go.

As a general rule no sleepovers on school nights.
Make sure to eat breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day to provide the energy needed to learn.
Breakfast at school is served at 8:10 am.
Children should be in the classroom at 8:20 to get organized and ready to learn. Having your child well rested, organized, and on time helps to set a positive tone for the day.
If a child is 10 minutes late every day they will miss 30 hours of instruction a year.

ELECTRONICS-CELL PHONE, IPOD, MP3 PLAYERS, AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE POLICY:
IPods, MP3 players, audio/video cameras, video game players and other electronic devices may not be used in school. Cell phones are to be used after school for two reasons: parental communication and emergencies. They are to remain in student backpacks at all times. Any student found to be using one of these devices will be asked to turn the item in to the teacher or administration and the item will be held until a parent/guardian comes to school and picks it up. Multiple offenses may be referred to administration for disciplinary action. The school does not accept any liability for the loss, damage, or security of such personal devices.

EARLY RELEASE DAYS:
The Manchester School District schedules early release days to provide teacher with professional development workshops. It is imperative that you make a note of these days (located on the back of your school calendar), and that you make sure transportation is in place for your child/ren. On early release days, dismissal takes place at 11:15 am. It should not be expected that students can remain in the office after this time waiting to be picked up.