2019-20 Cummings Handbook

Cummings Elementary Committed to Excellence with bulldog icon with glasses

Welcome

August 2019
 
Dear Cummings Student,
 
We are excited to welcome you back to the start of a new school year. This promises to be another great year at Cummings Elementary! Our staff is eager to get the year off to a great start and keep the enthusiasm alive all year long.
 
We hope you enjoy your years at Cummings. You can ensure a successful year by working hard, following all school rules, respecting the rights of others, and getting involved in school activities. Together, let’s make this a great year!
 
Sincerely,
 
The Cummings Elementary Staff
 
Be Above the Line
Respectful  Responsible  Safe  Nice
 

Statement of Assurances

In compliance with and in the spirit of Title VI and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, it is the expressed policy of the Grandville Public Schools that no person shall be unlawfully excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in employment or educational policies and programs because of their race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: John Philo (phone 616-254-6589) or Angie Thornburgh (phone 616-254-6777) at 3839 Prairie St. SW, Grandville, MI 49418.

Purpose of Student Agendas

Many students are issued an Agenda at the start of the school year. The agenda provides one place for students to record all assignments as well as this handbook. Agendas are an effective learning tool for students, a vital communication tool for parents, and a real teaching tool for educators. One Agenda is issued free to each 3rd and 4th student. We are able to provide this to students through the generosity of our PTC. Our 5th and 6th grade students use a digital agenda. Lost or misplaced Agendas can be purchased for $5.

Acceptable Use Policy

Grandville Public Schools provides students with access to the district’s electronic communication system, which includes internet usage and the use of technology equipment. An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is distributed to students in kindergarten and again in the fourth grade, or as a new student enrolls in the district. Before a student is granted permission to use school technology, parents/guardians and the student will need to sign and return the AUP forms.
Computer/Network Misuse and Abuse – It is a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy for students to access, install, modify, or tamper with programs, files, or hard drives they are not authorized to use. Consequences for misuse may include, but are not limited to: parent contact, loss of computer privileges, or suspension from school.

Attendance

Regular attendance is ESSENTIAL for success in school. In order for children to learn the skills necessary for success at each grade level resulting in a natural progression through school, they must attend on a regular basis.
Tardiness - Students entering the classroom after class has begun not only interferes with their own learning but also with the learning of other students. Therefore, we stress being to school on time. Students arriving after the second morning bell has rung are considered tardy. They should report directly to the office for an admittance slip.

Bicycle Guidelines

Students in grades 1-6 may ride their bicycles to school. Bicycles must be placed in designated racks during school hours and be locked at all times. The school cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to bicycles ridden to school.

Discipline Policy and Procedures

District Code of Conduct: Check your Friday Folders or find the conduct code online.
 
How I Run My Classroom
I will treat you with respect, so you will know how to treat me.
Do things that do not cause problems for anyone else.
If you cause a problem, I will ask you to solve it.
If you cannot solve the problem, or choose not to, I will do something.
What I do will depend on the special person, and the special situation.
If you feel something is unfair, we will talk about it before the end of the day.
 
Bullying and Violence Policy
The Cummings Elementary Staff have all been trained in a research-based approach to bully, aggression and violence prevention. In our ongoing attempt to address and eliminate bullying and aggressive behavior in our school we have created the following definition of bullying and aggression:
 
Cummings Elementary School Definition of Bullying
 
Bullying is any repeated MEAN:
• Look
• Gesture
• Word
• Action
 
That hurts or could hurt a person’s:
• Body
• Feelings
• Friendships
• Reputation
• Property
 
Bullying behavior is a form of violence. Whether it is meant or not, it is how it is received, not how it was intended. 
RESPECT AND DIGNITY FOR ALL
 
Any behavior witnessed by staff or reported by students and verified by teacher/administrator investigation will be handled according to our school building rubric.
 
Lunchroom Expectations
1. When in the hot lunch line, stay in the line and keep your hands to yourself.
2. Enjoy your lunch and raise your hand if you need something.
3. Please stay in your seat and talk quietly to friends at your table.
4. Please clean up after yourself and your area and stay in your seat until you are dismissed.
5. Please stop talking when the lights are turned off and supervisors clap.
6. Walk quietly down the hall.
 
Playground Expectations
1. Please keep your hands and feet to yourself.
2. Stay outside unless you have permission to go inside.
3. For your safety, do not throw snowballs or other objects.
4. Stay within the track boundaries unless accompanied by an adult.
5. Ask playground adults for help.
6. Have fun and play nicely!
 
Recess Guidelines
Students have approximately 40 minutes of recess during the lunch hour each day. This time is designed to provide exercise, a change of pace from the classroom, and an opportunity for children to learn to interact properly in an unstructured setting. Students will be supervised by three adults at all times, who will enforce playground rules, follow established procedures for discipline, and handle any accidents that occur. No student may go near the pond or enter the woods without adult supervision.
 
Indoor recess is scheduled only when it is raining too hard to go outside, the playground is too wet after a rainstorm, or it is extremely cold outside. Teachers will develop specific plans for indoor recess.
 
Logical Consequences
If a problem occurs the following may happen:
1. A warning or a choice.
2. Redirected to a different activity.
3. Removal of play privileges, time out, and note or call to parents.
*Any behavior fitting our school definition of Bullying/Aggression will result in consequences outlined on our Consequence Rubric.
 
Positive Rewards
  • You will have fun, enjoy your lunch and play games.
  • You will receive Bulldog Bucks.
  • You may be given special privileges by the supervisor.
Right to Due Process
The rights and responsibilities of a student in the Grandville Public Schools encompass not only this code of conduct but also the more defined discipline policies of their individual building. Students will be held accountable for their conduct and will be disciplined in a manner that is fair and meets the guidelines of the building and district policies. Students are guaranteed the right to due process, which includes the right of students and their parents to a hearing to review the facts, charges or proposed punishment in disciplinary matters.

Dress and Appearance

All students are expected to be dressed neatly and appropriately. The following items serve as a minimum guide to acceptable dress for Grandville Schools’ students.
 
1. Skirts and shorts must be appropriate in length (mid-thigh on down).
2. Pants worn too low (sagging) or excessively large clothing is not permitted. Pants must be worn at the waist and belts must be fastened at the waist.
3. Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times.
4. Any top which exposes a midriff on persons of either gender is unacceptable. Shirts or tops that expose an excessive amount of shoulder or torso are not allowed. These include, but are not limited to, tank tops, tube tops, sleeveless shirts, or shirts with “spaghetti straps.”
5. Any clothing which makes reference to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or sex is not permitted.
6. Clothing which contains any sign, symbol or logo which has become synonymous with any gang or cult is not permitted.
7. Headgear (hats, caps, scarves, sweatbands, etc.) may not be worn in the school building except on specifically designated days.
8. Forms of dress, hairstyle or adornment that interfere with the normal operation of the school or draw attention to oneself in a manner that may be disruptive to the educational process are not allowed.

Emergency Procedures

Fire, severe weather and safety lock down drills are held periodically throughout the year so students understand what is expected of them in case of an emergency. Every precaution is taken to ensure your safety. Students are expected to take drills seriously and to follow all procedures and instructions given by teachers and/or staff members.

Fines

Students are expected to take care of all school material and equipment. A fine will be assessed for books and equipment that are damaged or lost.

Food Service — Breakfast & Lunch

A balanced, "Grade A" hot lunch and breakfast are prepared daily for students. Students who choose to pack a lunch can purchase milk or juice in the cafeteria. Prices for lunch, milk and juice will be made available in the fall as they fluctuate from year to year.
 
The following procedure is used for ordering lunches and depositing money into lunch accounts.
1. Lunch menus will be sent home monthly for students and their parents to review. Hot lunches will be ordered by 9 a.m. in the classrooms each day.
2. Money for lunch or milk will be collected daily and deposited into each child’s account. Every student is given a lunch card that is bar coded with their student number. Each time a child purchases a lunch or milk, the appropriate amount is automatically deducted from the balance in his/her account.
3. Lunch money should be sent in an envelope with the child’s name, grade and teacher listed.
4. Lunch menus can be viewed and lunch money and accounts can also be managed online by visiting the food service link on the Grandville Public Schools website.
5. Glass bottles are not allowed for students who choose to bring a cold lunch to school.
 
Because of the extreme sensitivity and serious side affects of peanut allergies, our hot lunch program will not be serving any food items containing nuts.

Home-School Communication

Friday Folders: You will each be given a school Friday Folder to bring home notes and information to your parents. Students are expected to make sure that this folder is brought home to their parents each Friday, or at the end of the week. Classroom or grade level newsletters are sent by teachers to inform parents of classroom events. We are also able to communicate electronically for those interested. This is a great way to save paper and to ensure information makes it home.

Library and Media Center

Our school media center is a source of pride and is a vital part of our instructional program. Through regularly scheduled classes and open library time, students are encouraged to explore the many books and resource materials available to them. In order to maintain an adequate collection, students, teachers, and parents must cooperate to see that materials are returned in good condition. Students returning damaged materials will be charged an appropriate fine. If materials are not returned, a charge equal to the replacement price is made.

Lockers and Student Desks

All students are provided lockers for personal belongings. Students are not permitted to put stickers or posters inside or outside locker doors. Lockers and student desks are the property of the school district and are loaned to students for their use. They may be searched by school personnel when there is reason to believe that there is a violation of a law or school regulation. A search could be made for such items as drugs, weapons, missing library books, or goods stolen from the school or student body.

Lost and Found

All items turned in to Lost and Found are placed in the lost and found box. Students and parents are encouraged to check this box periodically and claim any items that belong to them. Unclaimed items in Lost and Found are periodically emptied from the box and donated to a local charity. Items of any significant value are kept in the office. Please check with the secretary for information about these items.

Messages and Phone Use

Students will be given messages, when necessary, at lunch or near the end of the day. Classroom and office phones are available for student use only for school business. Personal phone calls will not be allowed. Each classroom is equipped with a phone. Students have no need for a cell phone at school. If a student does bring a cell phone to school, it is to be kept in their locker/backpack and turned off throughout the school day.

Personal Belongings

The bringing of personal belongings to school is discouraged. Audio and electronic equipment are not allowed at school. Dangerous objects and materials are not allowed in school. Any personal belonging not permitted in school may be confiscated by staff until arrangements are made for a parent to pick it up. The school is not responsible for any lost or missing personal belongings.

Pets and Specimens in School

Please contact your teacher prior to bringing in a pet. Many children are allergic to certain animals. Please check with classroom teachers to determine if there is a child with allergies in the room before bringing in a pet or other animal to school.

Physical Education

Physical education classes are offered to all students. If a student needs to be excused from physical education classes due to illness, injury, or physical or medical limitations, please submit a written note to the teacher. Extended limitation will require a medical doctor’s excuse on file. Regular clothing is satisfactory for physical education activities; however, students should either wear gym shoes on their PE days or leave an extra pair of gym shoes at school.

Student Activities

Many opportunities for participation in school-sponsored activities exist during the school year. Students are encouraged to participate in these activities whenever they become available.
 
Athletics: Grandville Community Education program offers boys and girls basketball as well as a variety of other sports related activities throughout the year. Informational fliers are distributed to students as these opportunities are made available.
Battle of the Books: BOB is a competitive book trivia tournament for kids in grades 5-8. Teams read six pre-selected books and compete with other teams on their knowledge of the books.
Spelling Bee: This is open to all 4th-6th graders and is held in January or February. The winner and runner-up go on to compete at the regional spelling bee and compete against other students in Kent County.
Student Council: Class representatives and officers are elected each school year. Activities, theme days, sponsorships and community service programs are planned by the Student Council each year.
Odyssey of the Mind: This is a creative problem-solving program that begins in the fall and concludes with regional and state competitions in March and April. Students work with adult coaches in teams of 5-7, using their creativity to solve a long-term problem which is presented at the regional competition. Sign up for this program is in late September or early October.
First Lego League/VEX: Students may sign up for these activities, which introduce them to the world of robotics. Teams build a robot that performs a series of tasks. Enrollment is held in the fall.

Transportation

Bus Guidelines: Bus transportation is a service provided for public and parochial school students who reside within the Grandville School District. Students who are disruptive, or act in a threatening manner, may be temporarily or permanently denied bus service, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. Denial of bus privileges is not an action to be taken lightly. Our mutual goal is to develop student self-discipline which leads to mature responsibility. Students are expected to ride the bus to their designated stop only and are not allowed to ride with friends.
 
Tips for Safe School Bus Riding
• Leave home early enough to be at your bus stop on time.
• Wait for your bus in a safe place, well off the roadway.
• Enter your bus in an orderly manner and take your seat immediately.
• Follow the instructions of your bus driver.
• Remain in your seat while your bus is in motion.
• Keep your head and arms inside the bus at all times.
• Keep aisles clear at all times.
• Remain quiet and orderly.
• Be courteous to your driver and fellow passengers.
• Be alert to traffic when leaving the bus.

Treats

It is our School Board Policy that no food prepared at home may be consumed by the students at school parties, picnics, etc., during school hours. Wrapped candies and baked goods purchased from a commercial establishment are permitted. Please check with your teacher before bringing treats to verify any food allergies.
 
This handbook is meant to be a guide for students. It is not all-inclusive of every rule, regulation, activity and procedure that is followed in school. Students may receive other information either verbally or in written form. This handbook is reviewed with students on the first day of school and is given to entering students upon enrollment.