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Pine Bush Elementary Handbook

Opening And Dismissal Times

Opening 7:50 a.m.
Dismissal 2:05 p.m.
Late Dismissal 3:00 p.m.

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Attendance

There is a strong correlation between a child’s attendance in school and the success that he or she experiences. We ask parents to make every effort to have their children attend school on a daily basis. In the event of an absence please call the school nurse as early as possible on the day your child will be absent from school. If a call is not made, the school nurse will call to verify your child’s absence. Although we recognize the importance of school attendance, we also realize that children need to remain at home when they are sick. If your child does not feel well in the morning, you should carefully consider whether or not to send him or her to school. Children do not perform well in school when they are feeling ill and may risk spreading an illness to another child.

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Early Arrival

We recognize that some parents may need to leave for work before the school bus arrives. The elementary schools in the Guilderland School District have provided an early arrival supervision program in each of its schools. Students may be dropped off for this program between 7:25 and 7:50 in the morning. Children who are coming to the early arrival program should report directly to the cafeteria where an assigned staff member will be supervising them. There is no supervision provided before 7:25 a.m.

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Late arrival and parent pick-up

Parents are encouraged to make every effort to have children arrive at school on time. It is difficult for children to successfully begin their school day when instruction has already begun. Any students arriving after 8:00 a.m. are considered tardy and must report to the main office for an entrance pass to the classroom.
If a child is being picked up prior to or at dismissal, parents must sign out the child in the office.

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Driving students to school

Whenever possible we encourage parents to send their children to school on the school buses. If it necessary to drive your child to school, we ask that you enter the parking lot to the right of the school, circle around the lot and drop your child at the curb in the same area where the small special needs buses are unloading. If a child needs to be accompanied into school, parents should park their vehicle and escort their child across the parking lot. Please do not allow your child to walk across the parking lot unaccompanied at arrival and dismissal times.

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Riding bicycles to school

During the spring and fall students who live in the vicinity of the school have expressed interest in riding their bicycles to school. Parents are asked to carefully consider this option for children because the traffic in and around the school grounds can be very busy at arrival and dismissal time. Bike riders must have written permission from a parent for the school to keep on file. The school encourages students to use the pedestrian path between the retention ponds and Coffee Drive when riding their bikes. They will be dismissed after the buses have left the school property. Under no circumstances should any student cross or ride on Carman Road. More details concerning bicycle riding will be included in the September and May newsletters.

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Bus notes

A written note is required when it is necessary for a child to be transported to a location other than his or her normal drop off point. Please send a note describing the change in transportation arrangements to school with your child in the morning. The note should include: the child’s full name, bus number or address of alternate destination and date of transportation change. Please limit last minute phone calls concerning transportation changes to unexpected or emergency situations. The school office receives many phone calls during the day and it is sometimes difficult to ensure that phone messages are conveyed to and received by teachers in a timely manner.

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Communicating with teachers

Open communication between school and home is an important component of student success. Teachers are the closest and best resource concerning individual children. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child in the classroom, you are encouraged to contact the teacher directly through email, phone call, or written note. Any urgent matters that need to be addressed by the end of the school day, however, should be handled through a phone call to the main office. If you would like to meet with your child’s teacher in person, please schedule an appointment.

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Family vacations during the school year

Vacations and trips that are taken by children while school is in session are viewed as unexcused absences by New York State. Despite the best efforts of teachers and parents it is not possible to compensate for class discussion, interaction and teacher directed instruction that is missed during an extended absence. Please note that if a student absence for vacation purposes is unavoidable classroom teachers are not expected to provide work to be completed over the vacation. Upon a child’s return to school copies of materials distributed to the class during the absence will be given to the student. Although teachers will make reasonable efforts to help the child catch up with his or her missed work the main responsibility for completing this work lies with the student and parent.

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Visitors and building security

The main entry door in the front of the Pine Bush Elementary will be locked between 8:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. each day. Anyone who arrives during this time will be asked to press a doorbell to the right of the main entry door. This will activate an intercom system in the main office where a staff member will remotely unlock the door. It is our intention to continue to provide members of our school community the same ease of access to our school with an additional level of security during the instructional day.

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Monthly newsletters

At the beginning of each month, Pine Bush Elementary School publishes a school newsletter informing parents of upcoming activities, school events and other important information. View this year's school newsletters. A SNN message will be sent to those individuals who are registered with this notification system with a link to each newly published newsletter. We encourage you to read this newsletter carefully as it will often contain information concerning early dismissals, school closings, changes in procedures, and special events. The Pine Bush Elementary PTA also prepares seasonal newsletters that provide information concerning PTA activities. View this year’s PTA newsletters. Both of these pieces of communication will be helpful resources for you throughout the school year.

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School News Notifier (SNN)

School News Notifier (SNN) is a voluntary electronic notification system designed to help keep parents and families aware of what is happening in our school and throughout the district. Users can receive an e-mail alert about upcoming school events, emergency closings and delays and other important information. To register online, simply visit the “School News Notifier” home page  and follow the onscreen instructions to create your user profile.

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Lost and Found

The school’s lost and found is located in the front of the school. Articles of clothing and lunch boxes that have been found are placed there. Students and parents are encouraged to check the lost and found from time to time for any items that may be missing. Articles of value such as jewelry, money and electronics that have been found are kept in the main office. Owners are asked to identify their property when they come to claim it. In an effort to reduce the number of articles in the lost and found, we request that student names be written on as much personal property as possible. Any unclaimed items will be donated to charitable organizations at the end of the school year.

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After-school activities

In addition to Pine Bush Elementary School offers a variety of formal and informal after school activities for its students. Visit our Clubs page for a schedule of activities. Students who are members of a regularly scheduled group will receive a permission form that should be signed by parents and returned to the school. Arrangements for other after school activities may be made by telephone call and or note by the teacher involved. After-school activities will not be held on Wednesdays and Fridays, as there are no late buses on these days.

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Library Media Center

As a flexible scheduled library (open 7:50 a.m. - 2:05 p.m.), our mission is to encourage our school staff and students to Our school has an automated library with a full-time library media specialist. The library's mission is to ensure that students become independent library users who enjoy literature and are able to access, evaluate and use information effectively. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in our library media program once per week during a thirty-minute class with their teachers. Please visit the Library Program Overview on the curriculum portion of the school library homepage.

Students may check out books, magazines, audiobooks and read-alongs (book with CD) for a period of two weeks. Magazines may be checked out for one week. Items should be returned or renewed within that time period. Overdue materials must be returned before new materials can be checked out. We do not charge overdue fees. Students and parents may login to the Destiny Catalog with their student ID to view their library account information (items out, holds, etc.)

Kindergartners may check out two items at a time. First through fifth graders are allowed to have up to five items checked out in their name. Additionally, students may check out up to 3 eBooks or audiobooks through BOCES OverDrive. Students should take good care of library materials when using them and carrying them in their backpacks. Books should be kept away from food, drink and pets. Be aware: younger siblings need supervision and should never write or draw in library books. It is helpful when students establish a safe place to store library materials when at home. Accidents do happen however, and damaged or lost books must be paid for before new materials can be checked out. This policy should in no way deter library use, but rather help students recognize their responsibility and demonstrate respect for shared resources.

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Volunteers

Pine Bush Elementary School welcomes parents, grandparents and community members who wish to volunteer in the school. There are many opportunities within the school to assist in the learning process. Some of these opportunities include working with individual students or small groups in the classroom, assisting in library activities, chaperoning school trips, copying instructional materials for teachers and serving as a guest speaker or local expert on curricular subjects.

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Personal Electronic Devices (P.E.D.s) and Cell Phone Use

The Pine Bush Building Cabinet has developed the following guidelines for cell phones in school:
Student cell phones and P.E.D.s should be off at all times when they are in school.
Student cell phones and P.E.D.s should be kept in children’s back packs in their lockers.
If a parent requests that a child call him or her the student should come to the office and make the phone call as per building procedures.

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Party invitations

Invitations for parties and other celebrations that occur outside of school are special occasions for children to invite friends from their classroom community. While we recognize the importance of celebrating these special occasions with our students, we ask that invitations be given out in school only if the entire class is being invited. Otherwise, this special occasion for one child can become an unintended hurtful occasion for the child who does not receive an invitation. Parents should obtain children’s addresses through other means such as a class directory if available and mail the invitations to avoid hurt feelings.

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Birthday treats

The Pine Bush Building Cabinet revisited our school guidelines on birthday treats for the 2011-12 school year. Our goal was to develop guidelines that support our district Health and Wellness policy and encourage healthy food options or alternative activities for birthday celebrations. Your child’s teacher will advise you of the procedures they will follow in recognition of student birthdays in their classroom. Traveling throughout the building to deliver birthday treats will be for students in kindergarten and first grade only. For healthy snack ideas, please visit the district Hooked on Health Web page.

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