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Welcome to a new school year! I feel truly honored to be working with such a dedicated faculty, staff, and school community. As you may know, this will be my ninth year at Nishuane School. I was a first grade teacher and then assistant principal. I am very excited to continue to serve this amazing community as the new principal! I am looking forward to continuing to build a strong partnership with you as families. I know that your involvement and support are critical to our children’s success.
We have an exciting year planned at Nishuane School! Please join us at our Nishuane Back-to-School Night, which is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25 beginning at 7 pm in the auditorium. On this night, I will introduce staff members and share important information regarding instruction and ways for you to be involved in your child’s educational lives.
On behalf of the faculty and staff, I welcome you to the 2012-2013 school year. I am looking forward to your partnership and involvement with our Nishuane community!
About Nishuane School
• Nishuane is the district’s K-2 Gifted & Talented Magnet School dedicated to identifying and nurturing the gifts and talents of our young learners.
• Although Nishuane may have a large facility, the learners are organized into small learning communities. The classes in each of the three communities collaborate on a variety of activities throughout the year—field trips, book buddies, Productions, lunch & recess times, and two additional specific integrated community projects.
• Nishuane School is a collaborative, creative community of professional educators who are committed to educating the whole child—socially, emotionally, and academically.
• We build a strong foundation in literacy and mathematics for all children through meaningful curriculum, enhanced through the visual and performing arts and sciences.
• We create a challenging and creative environment that honors diversity, encourages community building, and inspires all children to do their personal best.
• We use effective educational practices to ensure academic excellence based on state standards, district directives, and best practices.
If you are new to Nishuane School, these methods will inform you of classroom and school events:
• Nishuane “A-Z”—The parents and guardians of incoming Kindergarten and students who are new to Nishuane are invited to attend this summer evening event. Families are notified by mail of the date and time, which includes an opportunity for supervised children play while parents join the principal and assistant principal in the auditorium for an overview of procedures, policies, and curriculum.
• Opening Day Folder—Your child will receive a packet of forms on the first day of school. Please take the time to read through them carefully, fill out all of the paperwork, and return them right away—it is especially critical that you send the Emergency Contact cards back to school with working contact numbers.
• Friday Folder—Each Friday, your child brings home a folder with important papers that can include classroom newsletters, meeting notices, field trip information and permission slips, the monthly lunch menu, the PTA newsletter, etc. Students should RETURN folders on Monday.
• Nishuane News—You will receive a copy of this newsletter via email and in backpacks. It contains highlights of student activities and upcoming events.
• Nishuane Web-site—School related and district information can be located on our site, which is updated regularly. Please visit www.montclair.k12.nj.us (click on “Schools” and then “Nishuane”)
• Email “Blasts”—We are trying to “Go Green”, so please check your email regularly for updates from the school via “School Messenger”.
• Formal Teacher Conferences—Your child’s teacher will ask you to sign-up for formal conference dates during the Annual Back-to-School Night. There are both afternoon and evening conference times available to you—the dates are listed on the master calendar at the back of this handbook.
• Informal Teacher Conferences—The faculty at Nishuane is committed to working with you to help you child succeed. Please call or send a note with your child to discuss any questions or concerns. Please do not “pop-in” to chat with your child’s teacher. They are anxious to help you, but are busy working with children at the beginning of the day and will reach out to you as soon as they are free.
• Automated Attendance Messages—You will receive an automated call from the district system when you child is late and/or absent. These calls are made regardless of notes from home explaining the tardiness or the absence.
• Meeting with the Principal or Assistant Principal—Parents should always speak with the classroom teacher first since he or she knows your child at school best. However, if you have a concern or suggestion that needs the attention of the principal or assistant principal, please send a note, email, or call the office. Appointments can be made through the school secretary—please be specific about the appointment request so that the principal or assistant principal can be best prepared to address your concerns.
• Please make sure that your student arrives on time (before 9:20).
• Supervision begins at 9:00 on the Cedar Avenue entrance only.
• Students can not play on the playground before or after school without parent or caregiver supervision.
• Please make sure that you pick your child up on time from school (3:35) or at the scheduled bus stop time.
9:10 First bell rings—school day begins
9:20 Late bell (Children who are late must report to the office)
3:35 Dismissal of all students
2:10 Dismissal Days
Please make the necessary arrangements to pick your child up on time. The YMCA After-Care program is in operation on these days for enrolled families.
School Closings and Delayed Openings
In the event of inclement weather, the Superintendent may elect to call for a 2-hour delayed school opening or close the schools for a full day.
You can receive school closing/delayed opening information by checking the district website for a posted notice. TV and radio stations, the Montclair PTA website, the township website and other venues may also carry the information. Parents may also call the school (973) 509-4222 or the district main office, (973) 509-4000 to hear a recorded message with school closing information. The district-automated system will also place calls to families.
In the event of a delayed opening, schools will admit students two hours after the normal opening time. Students should report to their regular bus stop two hours after the normal time; riders should be prepared for delays due to poor road conditions and increased traffic. Once schools are in session, students will complete the school day as usual. Lunch will be served on delayed opening days.
Teachers will use newly developed Units of Study aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to ensure effective learning opportunities for our students in both language arts and mathematics.
Language Arts and Reading
With these Units of Study, we will build a strong foundation in literacy for our children. With a balanced literacy approach, we incorporate guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, interactive read aloud, and word study into our language arts block. We utilize the Fundations program as part of our language arts instruction. Wilson Fundations for K-3 is a phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling program for the general education classroom.
Teachers incorporate a daily Fundations lesson into their language arts classroom instruction. Fundations lessons focus on carefully sequenced skills that include print knowledge, alphabet awareness, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling. Critical thinking, speaking and listening skills are practiced during story time activities.
Rather than completely replace core curriculum, Fundations provides the research-validated strategies that complement installed programs to meet federal standards and serve the needs of all children. In addition to Fundations, K-2 teachers will utilize the Houghton-Mifflin reading program as a resource to focus on important reading skills (fluency, vocabulary, making inferences, summarizing, etc.). Teachers will also plan for guided reading using books from our new Literacy Lab! All K-2 students develop their writing skills through our full participation in the Writing Curriculum Units.
Students’ reading levels are also assessed three times a year using the research based Developmental Reading Assessment 2 (DRA2). This assessment tool enables teachers to identify students’ reading achievement, document their progress, and modify teaching methods to plan and implement instruction.
With our math Units of Study, we will use the Everyday Mathematics as a teaching resource. Everyday Mathematics is a standards based program that emphasizes the application of mathematics to real world situations. Numbers, skills and mathematical concepts are linked to situations and contexts that are relevant to everyday lives. The curriculum also provides numerous suggestions for incorporating mathematics into daily classroom routines and other subject areas. Everyday Mathematics provides numerous methods for basic skills practice and review. These include written and choral fact drills, mental math routines, practice with fact triangles (flash cards of fact families), daily sets of review problems called Math Boxes, homework, timed tests and a wide variety of math games.
Science & Social Studies
Often these subjects are the organizer of a classroom’s themes because they most represent the child’s world. In K-2 Science, Nishuane follows the district and state standards and uses the Houghton-Mifflin series that offers children opportunities to interact with the real world and laws of nature which govern the real world.
The Social Studies curriculum is organized around the district and state standards and the concept of a child’s expanding world. All teachers utilize the Harcourt-Brace series as they work with their students to explore a variety of social studies’ topics. Many science and social studies concepts are integrated into our reading and writing instruction.
Gifted & Talented Magnet Theme
Nishuane’s magnet theme is based on the premise that all children have gifts and talents, and it is our responsibility as an educational community to identify and nurture them for each child. We offer our children many opportunities to participate in a wide range of exciting areas of study; our catalogue was updated this year and includes over seventy.
Families can select from Aesthetic enrichment courses that are designed to allow children to explore a variety of disciplines to see what they like and to discover their strengths and talents. You may also select from our Creative I courses, which are additional enrichment areas that require a student to pass a screening test to participate. Either way, all children in first and second grade will explore areas of interest four days a week (each course is forty minutes and meets twice a week) and will participate in the program for three cycles. Selections and screenings take place each year in late spring and all families will receive their children’s schedules at the start of the new school year.
Kindergarten students participate in the magnet theme through an exploration of all areas in cycles two and three. The students meet as a group four days a week to investigate each of the Exploration modules—Exploring the Sciences, Exploring the Basics, Exploring the Arts, and Exploring Movement. The children will have an opportunity to sample all four modules before making selections for Aesthetic and Creative I courses for first grade.
The Aesthetics and Creative I program continues at Hillside for grades 3-5. All components of our program follow a similar format at Hillside. The Nishuane Creative I rosters are sent to Hillside where the children will be re-evaluated for acceptance into the Creative I programs at Hillside.
SNAP Classes (Special Nishuane Arts Program)
The SNAP classes at Nishuane are an integral part of each child’s academic experiences. All students receive weekly instruction in music (vocal and instrumental), physical education, health, library/drama, art, and technology. In addition, all children are afforded the unique opportunity of participating in their Small Learning Community (SLC) Production. The classroom and SNAP teachers collaborate to select a play that integrates classroom learning with all areas of the show. The children contribute to all aspects of the production including set design, costuming, singing, dancing, and of course dramatic performance.
Students are responsible for completing their homework. The school district guidelines for homework assignments are the following:
• Kindergarten: One assigned activity daily Monday through Thursday
• Grades 1 & 2: Thirty minutes of homework daily Monday through Thursday
Teachers will review their expectations for homework at the Annual Back-to-School Night. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any concerns regarding your child’s homework.
Report cards are completed three times during the school year. Our report cards are standardized across the district for Kindergarten, first and second grades. The numbers and letters used for the keys (developmental/behavioral) SHOULD NOT be viewed as grades. There is no relationship between those numbers and letters, and numerical or letter grades. The report card reflects our efforts to give you an accurate and on-going assessment of your child’s academic, social, and emotional progress.
The following are support programs that are available to children at Nishuane and throughout the district:
Academic support is offered to students who are not on benchmark levels throughout the school year in language arts and math. Teachers assist children regularly as part of their differentiated instruction. If a child does not respond to this Tier I support, then the classroom teacher will provide additional targeted instruction throughout an eight week intervention cycle. This Tier II instruction occurs in addition to regular instruction and takes place two to three times a week. Tier III instruction, which is provided by a curriculum support teacher is available to youngsters who need even more frequent help in a particular intervention cycle and is in addition to regular classroom instruction.
SAIL is the district’s approach to meeting the needs of academically gifted and talented students. In Montclair, giftedness is guided by the principles of differentiation of instruction by the classroom teachers. At Nishuane, students who qualify to participate also have the option of registering for SAIL Math or Language Arts courses as part of the student’s Creative I and Aesthetic schedules. As per New Jersey DOE mandate (NJSA 18A:7A-5d), our district has adopted a policy and procedures to identify intellectually gifted and talented students for eligibility each year.
In addition to SAIL and our CI classes, all Nishuane students have classes with our gifted and talented teacher. Children use critical thinking and problem-solving strategies to explore a variety of topics that are beyond those examined in their regular classrooms.
The Child Study Team
The Child Study Team determines pupil eligibility for Special Education and related services in accordance with federal and state requirements.
The speech therapist provides services to children for articulation and language development.
Auditory Support Therapy
A specialist provides support services to haring-impaired students who are in regular classrooms. The therapist meets with each child one or two periods a week.
Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy
A certified occupational therapist and/or physical therapist works with classified students on fine motor development or other needs as identified through a thorough evaluation.
Student Assistance Counselor
A full-time counselor is available to provide assistance to children. She conducts lessons in all classrooms that focus on social skills and also offers students a safe place to go when they are having a “difficult” day or need emotional support.
A student may see the counselor once about a particular incident or may meet over a longer period of time depending on the child’s needs. When long-term counseling becomes necessary, parents are notified for their input and consent. The counselor’s goal is to establish a positive relationship with youngsters and their homes to provide a more enriching school experience.
Arrival and Dismissal
Changes in dismissal must be in writing to the classroom teacher. Please do not call the office to change dismissal arrangements. Plan in advance and send a note to the teacher in advance. Calling into the classrooms to announce changes disrupts everyone’s instruction and can lead to confusion for the children at the end of the day.
We know parents are in a hurry when they are dropping off and picking up their children. Please, for the safety of the children, keep the following rules in mind:
1. CROSS CHILDREN ONLY AT THE CROSS WALKS.
2. Do not leave children unsupervised at the school before 9:00 am (Cedar Ave. entrance only)
3. Park your car and walk your children to the front door.
4. Do not double park or block traffic on Cedar Avenue.
5. At all times, watch out for other children.
6. Do not use the school’s parking lot or driveways on Cedar Avenue as drop-off points.
7. Because the school buses load and unload on High Street, this street is closed to traffic between 8:30 and 9:25 am and between 3:10 and 3:45 pm. Adjustments to these times are made for delayed openings or early dismissal days.
There is a car line staffed by teachers and assistants beginning at 9:00 on Cedar Avenue. Please pull up to one of the staff members who will help your child out of the car. If you use the car line then you should NOT get out of your car. Use caution as you re-enter the traffic flow on Cedar Avenue. There is no car line when it is raining. You may still pull-up to drop off, but staff will not be present.
Children who are not eligible for bus transportation should be picked up each day by a parent/guardian or authorized individual each day at 3:35 pm. A form is sent home that must be filled out and returned to the classroom teacher indicating any individual that you authorized to pick up your child in your absence. It is important for the safety of your child that you fill this form out and send it back to the classroom teacher.
Kindergarten students are brought outside through the main entrance by the classroom teacher. First and Second grade students are dismissed by the classroom teachers through Door #7 (playground side of building).
Children who are eligible for transportation through the Board of Education will be dismissed to their assigned bus at 3:35. Students should be picked up on time at the bus stop. In the rare instance that you miss your child at the stop, he/she will be returned to Nishuane School. Please be sure to call the school immediately if this happens. If a student is missed at the bus stop on a regular basis, he/she will be suspended from taking the bus. Changes in dismissal must be in writing by a parent/guardian. If a note is not received from a parent/guardian indicating the student should not take the bus, the student will be put on the bus at dismissal.
Bus Rules and Consequences
A pupil may be excluded from the bus for disciplinary reasons by the principal and his/her parents shall provide for his/her transportation to and from school during the period of such exclusion.
• First Offense – The student will be reported to the school principal. A registered letter will be send to the student’s parents informing them of the problem as well as what procedure will be followed if a second or third offense occurs during the school year.
• Second Offense – The student will be excluded from the bus for a period of five (5) school days and his/her parents shall provide transportation to and from school during that period. Absence from school during this period will be considered truancy.
• Third Offense – The student will be excluded from the bus for a period of thirty (3) school days and his/her parents shall provide transportation to and from school during that period. Absence from school during this period will be considered truancy. Any further infractions will be subject to an additional thirty (30) school days suspension of bus privileges. Suspension will be carried from year to year.
Please be sure to pick up your child on time each day. Montclair Board of Education Policy 5142.1, which states; Provision shall be made to take care of “officially escorted” students through the police and/or DYFS if the designated individual does not arrive at dismissal time on a regular basis. Parents/guardians failing to arrive at school or to have an authorized person arrive at school in a timely manner to “officially escort” their child/children will be reported to the proper authorities and parents/guardians who fail to arrange prompt dismissal pick up on an ongoing basis may be required to meet with the principal to develop alternate arrangements for dismissal time. Further district or legal action may be taken if the alternate arrangements are unsuccessful.
If an emergency arises which causes you to be late to pick up your child, the classroom teacher will bring the student back into the school. Please be sure to call the school immediately to let us know what arrangements are being made to pick up your child.
YMCA Before & After School Care Program
Before school care for students of working parents is available at Nishuane School beginning at 7:30 am and after school care is available at Nishuane from 3:35 to 6:30 pm. Both are offered at a nominal fee. Transportation to and from school must be provided by parents. Information about the YMCA-sponsored Expanded Day Program is available in the Nishuane Office or by contacting the YMCA directly at 973-744-3400. Parents will need to park on High Street when bringing or picking up their child and enter through Door #4.
Before & After Care Parents are not permitted to drop off or park in the staff parking lot.
Doors are locked throughout the school day, and all visitors must ring the front doorbell to gain access. All visitors must adhere to the following rules for the safety of the children.
1. Sign the visitor’s register on the desk at the front entrance.
2. Receive an identification badge to be worn throughout the visit.
3. Report to the office to be announced--do not go directly to the classroom.
4. Sign out before leaving the building.
The visitors’ register is maintained by an operational aide, who also assists with directions. Any visitor without a badge is kept from entering classrooms and is reported immediately to the office.(Each classroom is equipped with an intercom system.)
At 3:45 pm the main the main entrance to the school is locked. If you need to return to the building, there is a bell outside the main door for your convenience. A surveillance camera and video system operates continuously to monitor the entrances of the school.
Policies and Procedures
Please contact your child’s teacher to make arrangements to bring in “treats” to celebrate your child’s birthday. Treats should be small items such as cupcakes, doughnut holes, pencils, etc. Do not plan on bringing cakes or ordering lunches for birthdays.
Also, please note that birthday party invitations cannot be distributed in school unless each child from the class is being invited.
Dogs are NOT allowed on school property. The exception is allowed for “visitors” who come to our Paws and Claws classes given special permission.
Nishuane School does not have a dress code, but we do ask parents to consider their children’s safety and comfort when selecting school clothes. Play clothes are recommended, including sneakers or other rubber-soled shoes. Please avoid flip-flops, crocs, and other backless shoes. Keep in mind your child’s physical education and art schedule in selecting the day’s attire.
Emergency Contact Information
Two emergency contact cards are sent home in the beginning of the school year. Please fill out both cards and return them to the school the following day. It is critical that you provide us with a working phone number so that we may reach you in the event of an emergency. You must keep emergency contact information updated regularly.
Part of the Nishuane experience is to provide enrichment through field trips. A few weeks before a class field trip, parents will receive a permission slip and notice of any admission or bus fees. Lunches from home must be packed in a paper bag marked with the child’s name (no lunch boxes) and may not include thermoses, soda cans or glass bottles. Parents chaperoning on field trips are discouraged from bringing siblings or other family members, and should arrive with their child at 9:10 am.
Lost and Found
There are containers set up between the custodian’s office and the art rooms in the basement. Items that children have misplaced are placed in the containers. You and your children are welcome to check the containers for lost items.
PLEASE NOTE: The Montclair Board of Education will not be responsible for cell phones, IPods, or other valuable items that are brought to school and are lost or stolen.
The lunch program is run by Chartwells in each school. You may prepay for lunches through their web-site, www.mynutrikids.com. If you plan to send money to school with your child for lunch, please be sure to place it in a labeled envelope.
Students may either bring a lunch from home or purchase a lunch at school. All students eat in the cafeteria. School menus are sent home monthly to help students decide whether they wish to purchase a school lunch. The menus are also posted on our web site and on the district’s site as well. The cost per day for lunch is $3.25.
There is a “peanut free” table in the cafeteria. Students who have an Individual Health Plan developed with the nurse will be seated here. Children may invite friends to join them who do not have any nut items in their lunches. Students are constantly reminded not to share food—please reinforce this at home.
Photo Consent/Web Consent
Each year parents will receive two forms in the first day school packet regarding parental consent for use of students’ photos for media and web use. Please be sure to fill both out and return to school.
All students have a scheduled twenty-five minute daily recess period. The children will go outside unless the weather conditions require an “indoor” recess. Indoor recess consists of student directed activities in their classroom such as playing with board games, drawing, chatting with friends, reading, etc. Please send your children dressed for winter weather—the students go outside during the winter months unless the temperature is below thirty degrees, or if there are other weather conditions that are unsafe (precipitation, high winds, icy or messy playground surface conditions).
Any eligible child shall be admitted to the Kindergarten provided:
1. The child will have attained the age of five years on or before October 1 of that school year;
2. Proof shall be furnished of immunization against the communicable diseases at the time of enrollment or such immunization shall be completed within 30 days from entry into the school, or the pupil is exempted from immunization in accordance with policy.
3. The child shall have been examined by either the school or a private physician, and the results shall be furnished to the school on the form provided.
4. Pupils transferring into the district are expected to present copies of records from the previously attended school (or district) to aid in placement. Also required are proof of immunization and proof of identity.
5. Newly enrolled pupils will be screened to determine whether or not they should be enrolled in preventive or remedial programs. The screening shall include diagnosis measures designed to predict each pupil’s learning difficulties and needs.
6. Initial placement shall be made on the basis of the records, but adjustments may be made at the discretion of the administration when assessment indicates that such adjustments would be beneficial to the child. Parents/guardians shall be informed of this policy on registration.
Residency Hotline: (973) 509-4128
Those with questions or concerns regarding non-residency of students may call the above listed hotline number. All reports may be made anonymously and will be kept strictly confidential. Callers do not have to identify themselves when leaving a message.
Since the school day is long and children need to refuel, the classroom teachers allow for snack time as part of the instructional day. Please make sure that you provide your child with a healthy choice using the following list:
• whole grain crackers
• low-fat muffins
• hard-boiled eggs
• icing-free animal crackers
• granola bars
In order for the board of education to fulfill its responsibility for providing a thorough and efficient education for each pupil, the complete cooperation of parents/guardians and pupils is required to maintain a high level of school attendance. The frequent absence of pupils from classroom learning experiences disrupts the continuity of the instructional process and limits the ability of pupils to complete the prescribed curriculum requirements successfully. A pupil must not be absent more than 10 days per semester in order to be considered to have successfully completed the instructional program requirements of the grade/course to which he/she is assigned.
The board will report infractions of the law regarding the attendance of pupils below the age of 16 to appropriate authorities.
Calling out Absent
Parents/guardians are requested to notify the school early in the day when a child will be absent and informing the school of the reason for the absence. If a parent/guardian does not notify the school of a child’s absence, a call will be made to the home to verify the absence. Please make sure that the school has a working phone number for contact.
Students are expected to be in school on time. Late arrivals slow down not only your student’s learning, but also interrupt the rest of the class—and the teacher. Students who arrive to school after 9:20 am are marked tardy. After 9:20 am, students must report to the office to be signed in and receive a late pass. A conference with the parent and the principal or assistant principal will be required for students with excessive tardiness.
Signing Students Out Before the End of the School Day
The board recognizes that from time to time compelling circumstances will require that a pupil be dismissed before the end of the school day. There are varying situations which may justify release of a student from school before the normal time for closing. Such situations are justifiable only if the release does not jeopardize the pupil’s educational program.
Notification of an early dismissal must be made in writing in advance by the student’s parent/guardian and should state the reason for an early release from school. No student shall be permitted to leave the school before the close of the school day unless he/she is met in the school office by his/her parent/guardian or a person authorized by the parent/guardian. All students must pick up from the school office before 3:15 and signed out before they are released.
Students will not be called out of class after 3:15 pm—this is too close to dismissal and causes confusion for the classrooms. It is important that students are getting home safely and last minute changes make supervision more difficult.
Transferring to a New School Out of the District
Please notify the school office as soon as you are aware your child will be transferring to another school outside of the district. A Student Transfer Card will be completed (name and address of new school is needed to complete the card). Once the card is signed by the principal, it will be returned to you to present to your child’s new school upon registration. This card authorizes the new school to request your child’s records.
School Nurse Office: 973-509-4236
The school nurse is on duty full time at Nishuane.
Children are screened for height, weight, vision and hearing each year. Parents are notified when a child becomes ill during the school day. There are specific reasons such as elevated temperature, vomiting and skin rashes that require children to be excluded from school according to Montclair Board of Education policy. A child may be excluded based on the clinical assessment of the nurse.
Immunizations on each child are kept on file as well as reports of physical examinations and emergency information. All Kindergarten students shall have a physical examination prior to the start of school and up-to-date immunizations. Physical examination forms are available at the time of registration at central office or in the nurse's office at the school.
Medications can be given by the nurse on a long term basis (e.g. asthma meds) or on an emergency basis (e.g. epi-pen for severe allergic reactions) only if a form is completed by your child’s physician. Forms are available in the nurse’s office. Any short term medications (e.g. antibiotics) can be given by the nurse if they are provided in a labeled prescription bottle with the doctor's written order to administer. This applies to over-the- counter medicines (e.g. cough medicine, Mylanta). Again, a doctor's order is required to administer the medicine. Children are not permitted to carry medications. An adult should bring all medications to the nurse's office at the school.
Please remember to update all emergency information as well as changes in family, environment, or significant factors that may affect your child’s physical and emotional health.
All information given to the nurse is kept confidential and maintained in the nurse’s office.
You will receive either a call from the nurse and/or a note in your child’s backpack if he/she has visited the nurse.
Be Involved at Nishuane
All families are encouraged to join the PTA and to participate in the many activities and events that they sponsor. There are many opportunities to become involved and you are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings, sign up for committee work, and/or volunteer at any one of the many fun and exciting events—don’t miss the Annual May Fair. The PTA has a dedicated web site and a mailbox in the school for your convenience.
School Action Team for Partnership
In response to the Board of Education’s goal of increasing family/community engagement, the district has adopted a more inclusive model for implementation in the 2010-2011 school year, which would allow for a more representative and diverse membership of parents and teachers of up to sixteen members.The School Action Team for Partnership, in addition to focusing on increased parental and community involvement will also focus on school based change and district initiatives.
Teachers welcome help in a variety of ways: work with small groups of children, chaperone a field trip, share a part of your culture, help with special projects, etc. Contact your child’s teacher or respond to his/her requests to see how you can become actively involved in the classroom.
• Please sign in and out in the office each time you volunteer
• Make sure that you have scheduled your volunteer time in advance with the teacher
• Because volunteers are sometimes exposed to confidential matters, it is expected that the rights of the students and school personnel be respected by holding matters strictly confidential.
Parent Liaisons for District Programs
Parents are invited to represent Nishuane at the district level for SAIL, STARS, SEPAC, School Action Team, etc. If you’re interested in any of these opportunities, please notify the office.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Overview of the Student Code of Conduct
The Nishuane School philosophy is based in positive reinforcement. We believe that children can behave appropriately in a climate of warmth and support; the aims of school discipline are to help children become self-directing and self-managing in a variety of environments and with different people. We believe that expectations for behavior and ways of dealing with misbehavior should be in accord with developmental goals. Clearly defined school rules and classroom procedures with incremental actions and consequences consistently carried out will foster appropriate behavior.
Nishuane School has three school wide rules for consistency within classrooms and throughout the school. These school rules are:
• We will be safe.
• We will be kind.
• We will be respectful.
Positive Behavior with “Bucket-filling”
Nishuane School students are “Bucket-fillers!” As students develop their social skills through their learning experiences and interactions with peers and adults, we emphasize being kind and just through the sharing of good thoughts and feelings. In developing a common language throughout the school- children, faculty and families use vocabulary from the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Students “fill buckets” by being kind and just through sharing these good thoughts and feelings.
We have incorporated this into a school wide positive behavior management system to recognize positive behavior decisions for citizenship at our school. Students are recognized throughout the school- in their classrooms, related arts classes, hallways, cafeteria and recess for positive behavior decisions with bucket filling squares which are put first into class buckets and then into a school wide bucket. Students are recognized in their classrooms by their teachers with various programs. Additionally, each week two students from each learning community are selected from the school bucket and recognized via Connected Classroom to share their acts with the whole school. Bucket-fillers celebrate monthly “Peaceful Picnics with the Principals."
“Bucket Dipping” Consequences and Actions:
While our goal is to have a school community of students and staff who fill each other’s buckets, sharing good thoughts and feelings to be kind, respectful and safe, it is not uncommon in elementary school classrooms and buildings for students to “bucket dip.” Students are learning during these critical early childhood years how to become friends, citizens and how to problem solve and sometimes make mistakes in the process.
It is well understood that it is best for children and their class community when the students and teacher solve problems within the classroom. At Nishuane School, students utilize Apologies of Action to show responsibility for their actions and to demonstrate that they care for one another. Classroom developed Apology of Action charts help teachers to guide class consequences for bucket dipping behaviors.
Parents are an integral part in helping the school to promote positive behaviors. The home and the school must work together to bring about a positive school experience for the student. Parents will be notified when inappropriate behaviors occur that result in consequences sot that the family can work with the school to alleviate such behaviors.
All students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct in a developmentally appropriate manner.
The following Code of Conduct Chart will help students, staff and families to understand the expectations for acceptable conduct at Nishuane School. All students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct in a developmentally appropriate manner.
This table describes some general unacceptable behaviors and associated actions, which are divided into four tiers according to severity/ developmental level/ student’s history of behaviors.
*This rubric is a guideline—The principal and assistant principal have discretion regarding actions as they relate to individual circumstances. Further, in an instance where the behavior may not clearly be listed above, the principal and assistant principal will use their discretion to determine an appropriate action for particular behavior.
**Please refer to our school website for information re: Anti-Bullying legislation- definitions, consequences, procedures, etc.
Tier One: Infractions on an infrequent basis
• Conference with teacher/ staff member
• Teacher selected consequence
• Teacher contacts parent/ guardian via telephone
• Record of contact submitted to administration and parent/guardian for signature
Tier Two: Repeated infractions
• In-school parent/guardian conference with teacher/staff member to develop a behavior plan
• Possible referral to counselor/nurse
• Teacher selected consequence
Tier Three: Infractions continuing after Tier II or serious infractions
• Teacher/staff member refers incident to principal or assistant principal
• Parent/guardian contacted by principal or assistant principal
• Parent/guardian conference with principal or assistant principal
• Possible short-term suspension
• Possible referral to counselor/nurse
Tier Four: Infractions that are highly serious or cause imminent danger to self or others
• Immediate referral to principal or assistant principal
• Parent/guardian contact
• Parent/ guardian conference
• Possible suspension
• Possible referral to counselor/nurse
*Parents/Guardians will accompany the students back to school for re-admittance once suspension is over.
Page Updated: Oct 09, 2013