Second Grade Handbook

PARENT/TEACHER COMMUNICATION

 Updates will be sent on our weekly homework log and via email. Please let me know if you need paper copies. Please read these emails carefully and discuss them with your child when appropriate. Please let me know if you ever have questions or concerns. My email address is kirsten.cooper@bcsemail.org.

HOMEWORK FOLDER

On the second grade supply list is a folder with pockets from the school store. This folder is designated for transporting homework assignments (Mon.-Thurs.), a weekly log, a weekly behavior chart, a sample of your child’s completed papers, notes to you, and books checked out from the classroom. Please make a habit of checking your child’s folder each day and initialing his or her homework log and behavior sheet. Any notes or money should be sent in this folder also. Cash needs to come in an envelope with your child’s name on it, my name, and what it is for.  Let your child pack up these notes and their homework in their folder themselves whenever possible.  It teaches them responsibility and lets them know what needs to be turned in. We don’t search through folders daily in second grade to collect papers. I have seen a child concerned that he or she doesn’t have something only to find it was in their folder the whole time. It’s easier and faster to pack up their folders yourself, but in the long run you will have a more organized, independent child.  I would appreciate you checking behind them to be sure the needed papers were actually put in the folder until you are sure they can manage this on their own. Homework should always be done in the child’s handwriting, unless there are special circumstances. You are welcome to put a comment at the top of a homework sheet if your child needs additional help at school with certain skills. Checking over homework after a child finishes will help them catch careless mistakes and may show the need to reteach a concept. Daily reading is part of your child’s homework and they will select books to bring home. Please send a note if you feel a book is too easy or too difficult and we will help your child select a better book for the next night.  If your child forgets their book, please do not write on the homework log “forgot book”. Have them find something at home to read.  There are colored sheets in the front and back pockets of the homework folder with ideas of questions to ask your child as they read and ideas of how to help them study their spelling words. Buddy reading is fine (you read one paragraph or sentence and they read the next one), but daily reading should be their effort to read and not a story time by you.  I hope you will continue the wonderful story times with your child, but they also need to read daily on their own.

PBIS

 In second grade, we are all RAM Stars. That means that we strive to be Respectful, Accountable, Mindful, and Safe at all times. When students are showing RAM Star behavior, I will give them tallies as often as possible that they record on a weekly behavior chart. When they need to think about their choices, they will be asked to "make a change" and record that with a Delta triangle on their charts as well. The chart will be sent home each day. Please make sure it is signed and returned in your child's homework folder the following day. Students will learn about natural consequences when they are asked to make a change. For instance, if a child does not work well with a partner, he or she may be asked to work alone during the next group activity. Students may also bring home a think sheet to help them think through how they can make better choices in the future. As students meet behavior goals, they will participate in class celebrations. If the behavior chart is returned on Monday signed by you for each day from the previous week your child will be able to visit the prize box or a sticker. If you miss a night signing the chart you may sign it twice the next night.  Please do not sign the behavior chart or homework log for days ahead of time.

CONFERENCES

A conference will be held at the beginning of the school year (after Curriculum Night) and at the end of the school year. Other conferences may be requested (by the teacher or yourself) to discuss your child’s progress at any time throughout the year. In school phone conferences can be conducted after 2:45 PM. Messages can also be left in the office (654-1800).

REPORT CARDS/ASSESSMENTS/TESTING

Your second grader’s academic progress will continually be assessed throughout the school year. Evaluations are made from developmental assessments, anecdotal notes, work samples, and testing. Progress will be reported in the form of a developmental report cart sent home every nine weeks.

Developmental Assessments are completed in the areas of communication skills (oral language, orientation to print, listening/silent reading comprehension, and writing) and mathematics. The skills on these assessments will be explained at your first parent-teacher conference. During activities, anecdotal notes are kept relating to your child’s understanding of concepts and skills. Samples of your child’s work are collected/dated/filed each week. In addition, reading tests which assess comprehension, written expression and decoding skills are administered.

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE OF STUDENTS

Students cannot arrive on campus prior to 7:15 AM. Adult supervision will not begin until this time and Glen Arden cannot be legally liable for children dropped off at school before that time. Second grade students will report to the media center prior to being sent to their classrooms at 7:40 AM. Afternoon dismissal begins at 2:25 PM immediately following the announcements. 

LEAVING SCHOOL EARLY

If your child is leaving school early, we request that a NOTE be sent to us in your child’s homework folder. (If you email me there is a chance I won’t see it in time to have your child ready.  I do not check emails during instructional time and twice a week I do not have a break to check emails.) Your child will be called to the front of the office WHEN YOU ARRIVE. Please allow extra time for your child to walk up to the office if you have a certain time you need to be somewhere.  You must sign him/her out in the office before leaving the building. Glen Arden’s Safe Schools Policy requires a written note, signed by the parent, in order for a child to be dismissed to anyone other than the parent or guardian.

CHANGE IN TRANSPORTATION

If your child has any change in his/her transportation, we must have it in writing or through communication with the office. Otherwise, we will send your child home by regular means. Please send notes inside your child’s homework folder. All transportation changes must be made by 1:45 each day!

ATTENDANCE/ILLNESS

It is important that your second grader attend school each day unless he/she is ill. If your child is ill, please send a note explaining the absence when your child returns to school. If your child becomes ill at school, we will call you in the order listed on the Student Information Sheet.  IF THESE PHONE NUMBERS CHANGE, PLEASE NOTIFY US IMMEDIATELY.

Absences related to illness, injury, death in the family, or court appearances that are signed by the parent will be considered excused absences. Students must bring a note from home stating the cause of the absence. According to Buncombe County Board policy, children with eight accumulated absences may be required to provide medical verification of the illness in order for the absence to be excused. Any student who attends less than 162 school days will be required to attend “Attendance Summer School.”

Absences not related to sickness, injury, death in the family, or court situations are usually unexcused. An Excessive Absence Letter will be sent home after 3, 6, and 10 days of unexcused absences. State Policy requires that students who accumulate 10 unexcused absences are to be referred to an attendance counselor for possible legal action.

Educational trips may be excused if they have prior approval. You must complete a Request for Approved Educational Student Leave form (located in the Student/Parent Handbook). The principal will notify you as to how the absence will be coded. Please remember that North Carolina law requires that our children attend school. vacations, business trips, and family reunions are not valid reasons for excessive absences.(Further information on the attendance policy may be found in the Student/Parent Handbook.)

TARDIES

School begins at 8:00 AM. Our day commences immediately following the bell; therefore, it is imperative that your child be here and is ready to start our day. Please remember that the car rider line is often very long. We ask that you plan your time accordingly. Make sure you allow additional time for cold or rainy weather. If your child should arrive late, aTARDY slip must be obtained from the office before he/she comes to class. Tardys are marked on your child’s permanent record. Notices are sent home from the office for repeated tardys. We appreciate all efforts you make to insure that your child experiences a full instructional day.

BREAKFAST

The cafeteria begins serving breakfast at 7:30 AM. Buncombe County provides breakfast to all students at no cost. Please note: Students arriving by car who plan on eating breakfast need to be on campus by 7:40 AM.

LUNCH

School lunch costs $2.15 (includes milk). If your child brings lunch from home, milk can be purchased (juice is also available). In second grade, your child is responsible for his/her own money. We suggest a sealed envelope or a weekly check to pay for lunch. (We highly recommend the prepayment method.) Menus are sent home monthly. Our lunch period is 11:05 – 11:35. Parents and grandparents are always welcome to join their child for lunch. Due to limited space and table assignments, guests will eat at designated tables with their children. For the special lunches planned for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Grandparent’s day, reservations are required. We will send home notices in advance of these days with instructions for calling the office to reserve your place. Please remember to stop by the office to sign in on the computer and get a badge whenever you join your child for lunch.

SNACKS

In second grade, the children should bring a healthy snack from home every day. Snack time will be in the morning. We recommend that snacks should be nutritional and in bite-size quantities (any cutting should be done at home). In order to provide the healthiest snacks, please try to avoid snacks containing refined sugar, chocolate, or caffeine. Water bottles are allowed and encouraged. Students may only have water in the classroom. Suggested snacks: crackers, muffin, fruit (orange, grapes, banana, pear, and apple), graham crackers, trail mix, unsweetened dry cereal, vegetable sticks (celery, carrots, etc.).

MEDICINE POLICY

Buncombe County School policy allows school staff to administer prescription medication under the following conditions:

  • A signed physician’s order is on file indicating what dosage and when.
  • Medicine must be in its original bottle with pharmacist’s label designating patient’s name, prescription period, and all other pertinent information.
  • A signed consent form from the parents giving the Glen Arden office staff the authorization to dispense the medication is on file.
  • Medication is delivered to school by the parents. It cannot be sent with the child on the bus. The school office is open from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Children may not keep any form of prescription or non-prescription medication in the classroom. This includes cough drops, anti-itch cream, etc.

BUS SAFETY RULES

Student school bus transportation is one of our primary safety concerns. Riding a school bus is a privilege that carries with it responsibility for good behavior on the part of our students. Bus drivers have the authority to maintain order, and they will work to make their respective buses pleasant and safe for your child. You are asked to discuss proper behavior with your child. Mr. Lister has asked that you review the following rules even if your child does not ride the bus on a regular basis. Our class will be going on field trips this year that involve riding a bus.

School Bus Passenger Safety Rules:

RAM STAR behavior!!

  • Board the bus quickly and quietly. Be seated and stay seated until the bus comes to a stop at your house or stop. Do not change seats unless the bus driver tells you to.
  • Keep all body parts inside the bus. Keep body parts and objects to yourself. Hold your book bag on your lap. You may not take up an extra seat with your possessions.
  • No food or gum on the bus.
  • If your driver asks you to sit in a particular seat you are to do so. He/she has a reason.
  • Walk in front of the bus cross arm, never behind the bus or along the side. The driver cannot see you behind or along the side.
  • If you drop something while getting on or off the bus, tell the driver and then move away from the bus. Do not try to reach under the bus to pick it up. Wait until the bus has completely moved away before returning for the object.
  • In the afternoons pay special attention to where your bus is. Do not get so involved in a conversation with your friends that you miss your stop. If you do not get off the bus when your stop comes, you will be returned to school and your parents will be called to come pick you up. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN THERE IS A SUBSTITUTE DRIVER ON THE BUS!
  • Keep the aisles clear of feet, book bags, and other objects.
  • Students must meet the bus at the designated stop at the designated time and may not get off at any unassigned stop without permission from the office.
  • You may not ride a bus other than the one which is designated as your “home bus” unless a situation calls for emergency childcare. If you are planning to go home with a friend who does not ride your bus you must make arrangements for someone to pick you up as a car rider. If you are to get off your “home bus” at a different stop we must have a note from your parents. Give the note to your teacher first thing in the morning and make sure you take it to the bus with you and present it to the driver as you get on. Without the note, we cannot let you off at another stop.
  • Students may not delay the bus schedule. *If there is a change of transportation, it must be approved prior to 1:45 PM.
  • Fighting, loud talking, horseplay, using profanity, or refusing to obey school authorities or a bus driver while waiting for, riding, or leaving a school bus will not be tolerated.
  • Vandalism and tampering with buses will not be permitted. Damage to buses will result in replacement/repair costs being charged to the student.
  • Talk quietly to the people in the seat with you. Do not try to talk to friends three seats away. Remember to use quiet voices.
  • If the lights are on it signals – NO TALKING!
  • Remember, the same rules apply on the bus that apply in the classroom. You are to be kind and courteous. Bus time is a perfect time to remember the Glen Arden 3 R’s: Respect, Responsibility, and Reasonable Thinking.
  • If you have a problem do not take things into your own hands. Step one is to tell the person bothering you to “STOP!” Immediately report any problem to your bus driver, Mr. Lister, Mrs. Specht, or your teacher. We cannot help solve the problem until we know there is one.

BUS DISCIPLINE PLAN

The following discipline plan will generally be used when students are referred to the office for failing to comply with bus safety rules. Individual circumstances and severity of offense may affect the handling of any individual referral:

  • Step 1 – Warning, written notice to parent
  • Step 2 – One/Two-day suspension of bus transportation privilege
  • Step 3 – Three-day bus suspension
  • Step 4 – Five-day bus suspension
  • Step 5 – Suspended from bus for remainder of the year

CAR RIDERS

If your child is a car rider, you must use the front entrance for dropping off and picking up. The back entrance is for busesonly. Staff members and the Glen Arden Safety Patrol will be on duty in the front of the school to watch children going into the building in the morning and assisting children into the correct car in the afternoon. Please pull up and use the designated places when dropping off/picking up your child. Do not drop your child off in any other areas as this is a safety hazard.

WEATHER WATCH

The decision to close school early or to delay the start of a school day may be affected by weather conditions. Here are some important things to remember:

  • The decision to close school or to delay the opening will be made by the Central Office no later than 6:00 AM. If possible, the decision will be made the evening before.
  • Tune in to area radio (WWNC 750 AM) and television (WLOS Channel 13) stations for the announcement or contact a neighbor who can listen for you. Please do not call the school, the central office, or the news media. You can also check for closings on Buncombe County School’s website at www.buncombe.k12.nc.us.
  • School closings are done by districts. If the Roberson District is closed, this will include the Reynolds District also, since the children from both districts attend Cane Creek Middle School.
  • If NO announcement is made, school will operate on a regular schedule.

It is very important for you to let us know what your child’s “early dismissal plan” is. It is your responsibility to keep this information up to datePlease remember that we will not be able to call individual parents in the 

Case of an early dismissal due to a shortage of phone lines. On days of inclement weather, we ask that you listen to the radio or television for possible early dismissal announcements.

BIRTHDAYS

Due to Healthy Child policies we prefer to celebrate birthdays without special class snacks. In second grade students will still receive recognition in the classroom on his or her birthday. If you prefer to bring a snack for the class, due to Healthy Child policies, please be sure it is a prepackaged (not homemade) snack. Please let us know a day in advance if you will be bringing a birthday snack. Snacks need to be dropped off in the office by 11:00. Teachers will pick up snacks and work them into our afternoon as our schedule allows.  Instead of party favors, please feel free to donate a book of your child’s choice to our classroom library in his or her honor with a dedication from your child written inside.

BOOK ORDERS

Throughout the year, your child will bring home various book orders. These orders provide you with an opportunity to purchase good literature at reasonable prices for your second grader. If you wish to purchase books, please complete the order form and make your checks payable to the individual book clubs as these do not go through the school. (Checks written to Glen Arden will be returned because the office won’t cash these.)

                                                                              BACKPACKS

Please keep all toys, key chains and hand sanitizers that attach to backpacks at home.

                                                                               RECESS

We want students to engage in moderate to vigorous activity during recess.  We strongly discourage flip-flops.

                                                                               MAKE UP WORK

Many of the activities we do at school cannot be sent home because they are hands on and/or group work. If your child is absent we will send some of the work home with them when they return. If they are absent for more than a day or two and are able to handle make up work I will put what I can send home in the front office. Please call the school and request this.  I may not see your email in time to send it that day, but I can send it the next day. If you know ahead of time that you will be out of town for several days I will send a few things with your child to work on, but he or she will also have to catch up on things when returning to school. I do not prepare my lesson plans until the weekend and often change certain assignments during the week based on student progress.

***I appreciate your support of these school policies and am happy to talk with you at any time if you have questions or concerns.