Emelita Elementary School Handbook 

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 WELCOME TO THE 2020 – 2021 SCHOOL YEAR

HANDBOOK

I am thrilled to begin another year here at Emelita Elementary School!  It is so great to see each of our wonderful students and families again.  I hope each of you had a restful and memorable summer.  It went by quickly but we are ready to begin another amazing school year.  Please note that our school times have remained the same as last year.  The school day begins at 8:10, and the earliest that students can be dropped off is 7:40 a.m.  Do not drop off your children any earlier than 7:40!  Remember that classroom assignments are tentative until Norm Day.

 

This year we are committed to building on past successes and continuing to grow academically and socially. Teachers will be working collaboratively to create challenging academic programs that meet the needs of all our students.  I am focused on supporting our teachers in providing excellent educational opportunities to increase student achievement at Emelita Elementary School.  Parent involvement is an important aspect of student success. Children who have parents who promote education in the home do better in school.  We encourage parents to participate in school councils, committees, school activities, PTA and the Parent Center.

 

I look forward to a strong collaboration with PTA this year. They are a great group of people/parents who support students and the school.  Please consider becoming a member of the Emelita PTA and participating in their wonderful activities.

 

I believe strongly in the impact that a team can make and I highly encourage you to work together with our great staff at Emelita Elementary School to provide an excellent education to your child. 

 

Thank you again for all of your support and I am looking forward to a fantastic year!

 

Sincerely, 

 

Betsy Mayorga

Principa

 

ENROLLMENT AND CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENTS

Room assignments for continuing students were made carefully by Emelita’s teachers and principal.  This process insures balanced classes while taking into consideration the needs of each student.  Teachers spent considerable time to ensure the best placement of each student.  As you know, every year many new students enroll at Emelita and some of the students who were enrolled last June have moved over the summer.  Due to changes in enrollment during the first weeks of school, it often becomes necessary to make room changes for some pupils in order to even out class size.  When these changes occur, great care will once again be taken to place children into classes where they will be most successful.  You will be notified if this occurs.   

 

ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL

NO children will be allowed on campus before 7:40 a.m.  There is NO adult supervision until that time.  If your child is left unattended before school, you will be contacted and asked to make safe arrangements.

Read and follow all traffic pattern and rules.  To insure safety when dropping off or picking up students, pull over to the curb in order to exit on the curb side of the car.  DO NOT ask your children to cross in the middle of the street or to walk between parked cars to get to their destination.  Double parking is illegal and dangerous!  Do not park and leave your car on the school side of the street, in the area for drop-off of passengers and for school buses only.  Be considerate of our neighbors and DO NOT HONK for your children as it is inconsiderate.  The gate in front of the school will be open at 7:40 a.m.  All gates will be closed at 8:10 a.m.  If children are late to school, they must come through the office and obtain a tardy slip.  Parents may not walk their child(ren) to class after 8:10 a.m.  If necessary, office personnel will walk your child to class.

 

KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS:

Morning drop off - Parents must remain with their child(ren) on the main yard where at 8:05 a.m. the Kindergarten teachers will pick up the students and take them to their classroom.  Parents are encouraged to stay with their child at their room line up until picked up by the teacher.  Our instructional day begins at 8:10 a.m. and we ask that all parents leave the campus at that time.  Say goodbye to your child at the line.  After the first week please do not follow your child to class.

 

After-school pick up - Parents can enter through the Hatteras Street main gate and wait for child to be dismissed by their teachers in front of the classroom.  Kindergarten and first grade students will only be released to an authorized adult such as: a parent/guardian or a Soaring Eagles’s staff member authorized to pick up.  Please be on time to pick up your kindergartener.  Kinder students are not allowed to be on the playground after school.

 

FIRST – FIFTH GRADE STUDENTS:

Morning drop off - Only two main gates will be open for drop off in the morning with staff/parent volunteers for supervision – the Hatteras Street main gate by the main office and the Emelita Street gate.  Children 1st – 5th grade are in line with their class on the yard where the teachers will meet them and walk them to class. 

Parents are welcome to stay with their child at their room line up until picked up by the teacher.  Our instructional day begins at 8:10 a.m. and we ask that all parents leave the campus at that time.

 

FIRST – FIFTH GRADE STUDENTS (continues):

After-school pick up - Parents are welcome to come on campus to pick up their child(ren) from either the Hatteras Street main gate or the Emelita Street main gate.  Gates will remain closed until dismissal time.  Please keep your child(ren) safe, advise them to stay on the school grounds until they are picked up by an authorized adult.  

First grade students are not allowed to be on the playground after school so please be on time to pick up your first grader.  First grade students enrolled in Soaring Eagles or KYDS will have a staff member pick them up from class and take them to their program.

 

COMMUNICATION/NOTIFICATION

We send home information through flyers posted on ClassDojo, Blackboard Connect phone/email messages and sometimes flyers sent home in backpacks.  Teacher emails will be provided in each teacher’s opening letters as well as on our website.  They will respond within 24-48 hours, but are not expected to respond in the evenings and during weekends or holidays.

 

ClassDojo is our primary source of conveying information.  If you are not already signed up, see your teacher for an invitation and get signed up as soon as possible.

RESIDENCE INFORMATION

It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school of any change of address or telephone number immediately or as soon as possible.  Please notify the school if you change addresses or telephone numbers during the school year.  Important school correspondence such as test scores, report cards and other written communication may not get to you or may be delayed if we do not have a current address in the District Student Information System.  It is very important that our records be kept up to date at all times.

EMERGENCY INFORMATION CARD

During the first week of school, your child will bring home an emergency information card for you to complete.  IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that the information on this card be filled out completely and accurately.  BE SURE TO ADD CELL PHONE NUMBERS.  Please make sure all telephone numbers and addresses are clearly written.  Include as many names and telephone numbers as possible of persons who can be contacted in case you cannot be reached.  Emergency contacts should live or work relatively close to the school.  This information is used whenever the school needs to contact you such as when your child is ill, has been hurt, or in any type of emergency.  We will not release your child to anyone not listed on this emergency card without a written note from you.  We will also use this information during emergencies such as earthquakes to release your child.  You may attach an extra sheet with emergency contacts if needed.

RELEASE OF STUDENTS

In order to assure the maximum degree of safety and protection for children, it is imperative that children do not leave school during school hours including the lunch period.  If a pupil is to leave school during school hours for other reasons, the parent or other authorized person must appear at the office and show picture identification. 

 

A child will be released ONLY IN THE OFFICE AND ONLY TO THE PARENT/GUARDIAN OR THE PERSON WHOSE NAME APPEARS ON THE EMERGENCY INFORMATION CARD.  If you must have someone not on the emergency card pick up your child, call the office and send a note indicating the authorized person’s name and your permission.  No one under 18 may pick up a student under any circumstances.

 

RELEASE OF STUDENTS (continues):

In the event of an emergency, all children will be kept at school until released to a parent or designated adult.  All adults must appear at the emergency gate of our school (located on Emelita Street) to gain release of their children.  In conjunction with our Safe School Plan, emergency supplies, food and water are stocked at school.  Staff members have been trained in first aid and CPR, and emergency communication channels have been established with neighboring schools.  Our intent is to provide maximum safety and accountability for each student until you or your designee listed on the emergency card arrives at school.

ATTENDANCE AND ILLNESS

All children are expected to be in attendance each day and arrive on time unless they are ill.  Family vacations and excursions must be planned on non-school days.  Non-emergency medical and dental appointments should be scheduled after school hours.  When your children are not in school, they lose valuable instructional time.  Remember that a written note explaining the absence is required after a student has been absent and a doctor’s note is required after a student has been out for 5 or more consecutive days due to illness.  The district is required by law to seek an explanation regarding all absences.  Parents will be contacted regarding unexplained absences.  If the parent does not provide explanation of the absence, it will be converted to truancy.  This could be grounds for referral to the State Attendance Review Board (SARB) office and/or to the District Attorney’s office for possible prosecution.  Because of the great value we place on attendance, we will be acknowledging students and providing special incentives throughout the year.

ATTENDANCE AND ILLNESS (continue)

We realize that there may be an instance when your child is tardy.  However, when this is a regular occurrence it is extremely harmful to your child and to the class in general.  If a child arrives in class late, it can upset his/her entire day.  The opening directions for the day are missed and your child starts the day behind and may have to rush to complete assignments.  It is important for even the youngest students to begin to accept responsibility for their education and being in school on time each and every day is a positive first step.  Please avoid tardiness.  Tardiness interrupts your child’s instructional time. 

CUSTODY ISSUES

The courts must handle custody disputes.  The school has no legal jurisdiction to refuse a biological parent access to their child and/or school records.  The only exception is when signed restraining orders or proper legal custody papers, specifically stating visitation limitations, are on file in the school office.  Should any such situation which leaves the student’s welfare in question or becomes a disruption to the school, School Police will be contacted and an officer will be requested to intervene.  Parents are asked to make every attempt not to involve the school site in custody matters.  The school will make every attempt to reach the custodial parent when a parent or any person NOT LISTED on the emergency card attempts to pick up a child.

 

BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM:

Your child will be offered a school breakfast every day for free.  They may choose whether to eat or not.  Should you choose to send breakfast with your child from home, please make sure it is nutritious.  Do not send donuts or other sweets.

SCHOOL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROGRAM

Breakfast will be served in the classrooms.  Pupils will NOT be served after this time. 

 

STUDENT PRICES                          FULL PRICE                          REDUCED PRICE

Breakfast (in the classroom)    No Charge                        No Charge

Lunch                                           $3.00 (milk included)        $0.40  

 

Menus are sent home monthly and subject to change due to availability.  We request that parents provide their children with the exact change required or with a snack and/or lunch.  You may also give an amount of money to our Cafeteria Manager who will put it on your child’s account.  The Cafeteria Manager will notify you when the amount is running low.  Free and reduced priced meals are provided for those students who qualify under Federal guidelines.  Therefore, we are asking parents to please complete and return the confidential meal application as soon as possible.  This is easiest to complete on line at lausd.net.  We must provide data to evaluate continued eligibility.  Family income that is below the standard set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will qualify pupils for a free or reduced price lunch at school.  Each year a new application must be filled out.  If you are not interested in participating in our meal program, you must still complete the application with the student’s name and the box checked that says “I do not wish to apply.”

MEDICATION, CRUTCHES, STITCHES OR CASTS AT SCHOOL

Children are NOT permitted to take medication, wear casts, use crutches or have stitches at school unless there is a written release from a doctor.  Students who need to take any continuing prescribed medication during school hours must have on file in the office their parent’s/guardian’s signed request, in addition to the doctor’s request.  Pick up a “Request for Medication during School Hours” form from the office if your child needs to take medication at school.  Students may not bring any type of medication to school including prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies and vitamins.  Do not allow your child to carry his/her own inhalers or other medications.  They must be brought to the office.  If it becomes necessary for your child to wear a cast, use crutches or have stitches, a note from the doctor indicating that it is okay for your child to return to school is required. The doctor’s note should indicate any physical restrictions.  Children wearing a cast, using crutches or with stitches will be asked to remain in the office during recess and lunch and engage in quiet activities for their safety.

SHORTENED OR MINIMUM DAYS

Occasionally we will have shortened or minimum days in order to provide time for Professional Development that help teachers sharpen skills and better meet the needs of our students.  In addition, shortened and minimum days are scheduled for parent conferences.  We always notify you in advance by regular monthly bulletins, special reminder bulletins, posting information on our Marquee located in front of the school and via ClassDojo, our automated telephone/email system and on our website.  The after school playground and Soaring Eagles are open early during these days; please let children know your pick-up plans so that they do not become upset.  The school phones are for emergency use only.  Make sure to read bulletins regularly.

 

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM KYDS & YS/SOARING EAGLES

The KYDS (for grades 1 – 5) & YS (for grades 2 – 5) Programs will begin on the first day of school.  The hours are from dismissal until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for school and legal holidays.  The After School Playground Programs are provided by the LAUSD as an addition to the community’s recreational facilities.  Students must be capable of independent supervision.  With one Youth Services adult to supervise, older children can play on the yard and participate in games and activities.  Soaring Eagles (TK/K – 5) is a private company and a parent paid child care program.  Their hours are 6:30 a.m. – 8:10 a.m. then dismissal – 6:30 p.m.  If you are interested in Soaring Eagles contact Micah Harter at (818) 389 – 2020.  All after school programs schedule time for homework after dismissal until 4:00 p.m. 

 

STUDENTS MUST CONDUCT THEMSELVES IN A MANNER THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE RULES AND REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE DIRECTOR.

 Students will be suspended from KYDS & YS for ongoing behavioral difficulties.  The after school program is not a childcare facility.  If a student is suspended or dismissed from one program then they are suspended or dismissed from all programs.

VISITORS ON CAMPUS

All visitors on campus, including parents, must come to the office first.  Parents are welcome to observe their child’s class.  Upon arrival in the office, the parent must obtain principal approval then sign in and obtain a Visitor’s Pass before going to the classroom.  All visitations are for 20 minutes unless special permission is obtained.

VOLUNTEERS

Parent volunteers are always welcomed at Emelita.  Before you can volunteer, you must fill out a Volunteer Application (available in the main office), provide us with a current negative TB test, and attend a Volunteer Training with the principal.  You can then make arrangement with your child’s classroom teacher for times/days  to volunteer.  A volunteer badge will be sent to you once your application has been processed by the district.  Please know that you can only volunteer in your child’s classroom or our Parent Center unless otherwise authorized by the principal to volunteer elsewhere on campus.  For field trips, each teacher will designate chaperones to assist with supervision of students.  Teachers will use their own discretion when choosing which parents will chaperone.                   

SCHOOL COUNCILS

The Emelita Elementary School Site Council and the English Language Advisory Council (ELAC) are made up of parents and teachers who meet and discuss the School Improvement and Categorical Programs.  Parents are elected annually and orientation for all our elections will be held sometime in August or September.  Please attend so we can explain how you can be of service to Emelita Elementary School students.  We truly need your input and participation in order to raise the academic achievement of all our students.  A notice concerning parent involvement and election will be sent home soon.  We need your participation on all councils.

EMELITA’S PTA

The Emelita’s PTA is the main parent participatory organization at Emelita Elementary School.  Your participation is vital to our school.  PTA needs your involvement and we hope you will attend their association meetings.                                              

 

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGED SCHOOL PROPERTY

California Education Code section 48904 states, in pertinent part, that the parent or guardian of any minor who willfully cuts, defaces, or otherwise injures any real or personal property of the District or its employees shall be liable for all damages caused by the minor up to $10,000.  District property includes buildings and grounds, as well as textbooks, library books, computers, shop materials, physical education and sports equipment.  A parent or guardian is liable to the District for all District property loaned to a minor and not returned upon demand.  We need your help in making sure that District property is kept in good condition and that loaned items are returned to school upon demand.  Parents will be expected to pay the replacement or repair cost for any lost or damaged District property.  The school is legally authorized to withhold the grades, diploma, and transcripts of students until the obligation is cleared.

 

TEXTBOOKS

Textbooks are furnished to your child by the school system on a loan basis and should be treated as borrowed property.  Students must pay for the loss or abuse of textbooks and/or Library Books.

 

CONFERENCING WITH TEACHER(S)

We always welcome parents to Emelita.  Because your child’s teacher is especially busy in the mornings, we would appreciate if you would not discuss your child’s progress at that time.  If you would like to talk to your child’s teacher, stop by the main office and leave a message with your telephone number and the best time to call.  Each teacher will also provide you their school e-mail as another means of communication.  Our teachers make every effort to communicate with parents.  Thank you so much for your cooperation.

 

DRESS CODE

District and school dress code states that, “students shall be required to show proper attention to personal cleanliness, health, neatness, safety and suitability of clothing and appearance for school activities.”  Students clothing cannot cause distraction or disturbance or create a health or safety hazard.  In no case may attire commonly associated with gang membership, affiliation or activity be worn, extra large or sagging-style clothing, clothing with foul language or pictures, sunglasses; such attire is not protected by the First Amendment.

Hats or baseball caps may be worn during recess or lunch when outside to help protect children’s faces from the sun.  All hats or other clothing are the responsibility of the child.  The school will not be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

 

PERSONAL PROPERTY OF STUDENTS

The LAUSD does not provide insurance for loss of or damage of personal property of students.  School administrators have been urged to notify parents and students that since there is no insurance, bringing personal property to school, particularly large sums of money or expensive jewelry, radios, video games, watches, etc., is not allowed.  Personal items may NOT be brought to school.  Teachers and other staff try to work with students to help them learn to respect the property of others.  We urge you to continue to work with your child to teach and reinforce those values which enable us to better live together in our society.

 

BIRTHDAYS

At Emelita we have been encouraging healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle to our students for several years now.  We have many children who have food allergies or are on a special diet.  Therefore, our policy in regards to birthdays is teachers may recognize a student’s birthday and sing a song.  As a parent you may choose to provide a small prize (pencil, eraser, stickers) for each student in the class or you may choose to donate a book in your child’s name to the class library.  If you are having a birthday party outside of school and wish to hand out invitations at school then there must be one invitation for each child in the class.

 

EMOTIONAL LEARNING/CHARACTER EDUCATION

Our school community recognizes the importance of emotional well being and character development for all students. As a result, we are implementing Restorative Justice techniques as well as a character education program that values trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Utilizing character traits and Community Building Circles will lead to positive conduct, productive citizenship, and academic excellence.

 

WEAPONS ON CAMPUS

Any student who brings a weapon, real or imitation, to school will be subject to expulsion.

 

FIRE DRILLS/DROP & TAKE COVER DRILLS/EARTHQUAKE DRILLS

Every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of your child during normal school hours.  Monthly emergency drills are executed to make certain students learn proper safety procedures and adhere to all safety guidelines.

 

GUIDELINES FOR USE OF CELLULAR TELEPHONES BY STUDENTS

Students are permitted to possess a cell phone on campus provided that any such device shall remain OFF and stored in a backpack during school hours or school activities.  Students are permitted to use cell phone before or after school only.  Cell phone use after school is restricted to calls/texts to a parent or other person picking up the student.  They may not be used for any other reason (i.e. listen to music, access the internet, text/call/contact friends, take pictures).  Students must comply anytime a request is made by school personnel to cease the use of a cell phone.  If a student is observed by staff using a cell phone during school hours or activities, it shall be confiscated until redeemed by a parent or guardian.  Please be advised that the District/school is not responsible for students’ lost, stolen or damaged cell phones. 

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD LEARN

  1. Start each day right; a calm beginning at home makes the school day much better.

  2. Encourage your child to have a good breakfast and lunch.  Make certain that your child gets a good night sleep each night.

  3. Praise your child each day for something he/she has done.  Have a special place to put school work or things brought home.

  4. Laugh and talk with your child about school experiences and listen to what is said about your child’s school day.

  5. Stress attendance.  If the child is ill, home is the best place; otherwise, your child needs to be at school every day and on time.

  6. Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your child’s teacher.  Inform the teacher of any family situation which could influence your child’s behavior.  Also, if he/she is reluctant to go to school, let the teacher know so that together you can find the reason.

  7. Take time with your child to read and encourage reading for pleasure.

  8. Stress organization of school notebooks, materials, etc.

  9. Work at home with skills taught at school.