FRES FAQ's

A

ATTENDANCE

All students enrolled in the HCPSS are expected to attend school regularly. Students absent for any reason should return with a note which explains the absence.

Students presently enrolled in public schools who are lawfully absent from school, may receive make-up work.

Absences for Non-Emergency Circumstances - A written request for such absences to be lawful/excused should be submitted in advance to the principal/designee. Such absences may not occur during exam or state-mandated testing periods unless authorized by the principal/designee. For absences of up to 3 days per year, the principal may determine whether the absences will be lawful/excused or unlawful/unexcused. For absences in excess of three days under this provision, the principal in consultation with the administrative directors will determine if the absences will be lawful/excused or unlawful/unexcused.

FRES doors open to students at 9:00 a.m. Students are noted as tardy after 9:15 a.m. and must be escorted to the front office and signed in by a parent.

Attendance letters are generated quarterly to parents of students whose absenteeism or tardiness exceeds acceptable state guidelines. These notices are generated regardless of the coding (lawful or unlawful) of the absence.

Arrival Reminders:

  • Students may arrive starting at 9:00am
  • Tardy Bell rings promptly at 9:15am
  • Doors automatically lock at 9:15am
  • All students must be escorted to the office by an adult after 9:15am

Absences:

To report your child's absence you may call the front office or send an email to fresabsence@hcpss.org.

The school must receive a note, handwritten or emailed, from the parent or physician explaining the absence/tardiness of a student within two school days of the student’s return or the absence/tardiness will be unlawful/unexcused. When a doctor’s certification for chronic illness has been required and not provided within two school days of the student’s return, the absence/tardiness will be recorded as unlawful/unexcused until a doctor’s certificate is provided.

HCPSS Attendance Policy PDF icon9010.pdf

Extended Absence Requests PDF iconextended_absence_request.pdf

B

BULLYING

All HCPSS schools and workplaces will follow established procedures for the prevention and intervention of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, or intimidation. Students, employees, and others engaging in bullying, cyberbullying, harassment or intimidation will be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action.

Incidences of bullying may be reported using a printed form (available in each main school office, school counseling office, media center, and health services office or at www.hcpss.org/parents/school-culture-and-climate/report-bullying/) or through HCPSS Sprigeo, an online reporting system, at: report.sprigeo.com.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

Student birthdays are announced on the morning announcements via the PA, unless parents have requested  Students receive a birthday pencil in recognition of their day. Deeper celebrations are encouraged outside of the school building. Birthday lists are not provided to parents. Staff members do not participate in disseminating birthday party invitations. Balloons, helium or latex are discouraged in the school building. Birthday food celebrations are appropriate outside of the school day.

BEFORE  & AFTER CARE

Howard County Recreation and Parks works with FRES to offer services Before and After School (for elementary children). Please contact them for more information. (Phone: 410-313-7275 )Visit their website

BUS TRANSPORTATION

HCPSS provides bus transportation for all elementary and middle school students who live more than one mile from their assigned school, and for high school students who live more than one and one-half miles from their assigned school. Transportation services are provided for certain students with disabilities depending upon their special needs and school assignment.

Students are expected to be at their bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time, to exercise safe behavior on school buses, and to adhere to the following rules, which are posted on each bus:
1.     Follow directions from the driver the first time they are give
2.     Stay seated in your seat at all times while the bus is in motion.
3.     Keep all parts of your body inside the bus.
4.     Keep hands, feet, legs, arms, personal property and your voice to yourself.
5.     No eating, smoking, drinking or vulgar language at any time on the bus.

Unsafe behavior on the bus may result in temporary or permanent loss of riding privileges.

Cameras are used on school buses. Video and audio recordings are used to assist in the investigation of complaints on school buses. For more information, please call 410-313-6732 or visit www.hcpss.org/ schools/transportation/.

 Whom do I speak to regarding a bus concern?  Parents may reach out to their child’s school administrator to register a concern or ask a question.

C

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

Link our calendar of events with yours. Visit our school website to do this and stay abreast of all school events.

COMMUNICATION:

Please contact us at any time. You can do so by simply stopping in, by phone, (410) 880-5950 or by email, Principal: genee_varlack@hcpss.org ; Assistant principal: danielle_shanks@hcpss.org

COLORS

Our school colors are royal blue and yellow.

CONFERENCES:

Formal Parent – Teacher Conferences occur during the 1st and 3rd marking period. A parent may request a conference at any time by contacting the teacher in advance and does not have to wait for the scheduled dates in the school calendar.

COUNSELOR:

School counselors implement the Howard County Core Curriculum for School Counseling, which includes goals and activities for all grade levels in the areas of academic, career and social/emotional development. School counselors work with school staff, parents, and other agencies in support of student achievement. School counselors also help students and their families cope with crisis events in their lives as they relate to academic achievement. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school counselor for assistance if their child is experiencing difficulty coping with school, family, or community issues. FRES’ school counselor is Alyssa Schuck. Her email is: alyssa_schuck@hcpss.org.

D

DISMISSAL

Because we have so many students, we have a staggered dismissal, which starts at 3:35.  The schedule is:
3:35 All kindergarten students
3:38 Car riders and aftercare students
3:41 1st, 2nd, & 3rd grade bus riders
3:43 4th & 5th grade bus riders
3:45 A & B walkers and last call

DISCIPLINE

Discipline is  progressive. Our first desire is to teach our students expected actions and behaviors. If consequences are necessary students will receive either a minor incident report(MIR), Office Referral, Reflection form or a phone call home.

DROPPING OFF

If you are dropping your child off in the mornings after 9:15, please park in a parking space and accompany your child inside the building to sign him/her in.

DRESS CODE: Student dress and appearance must be consistent with the school system’s responsibility to ensure that school environments are healthy, safe and conducive to student learning. It is a violation of this policy for any student to wear attire that interferes with the educational mission of the schools, is disruptive to the school environment, or that could endanger the health or safety of that student or others during school hours and school activities. This includes, but is not limited to, attire that:
• Unduly exposes or reveals skin or undergarments. This may include: tank tops; halter tops; tops that are strapless, low cut or expose the midriff; pants worn low or loose that expose skin or undergarments.
• Causes or is likely to cause a substantial or material disruption to school activities or the orderly operation of the school. This may include buttons, display bands, armbands, flags, decals or other badges of symbolic expression.
• Covers the head, including hats, sunglasses, bandanas, hoods and visors, or head coverings of any kind. 
• Depicts profanity, obscenity, the use of weapons or violence.
• Promotes use of tobacco, drugs, alcohol, or other illegal or harmful products
• Promotes, implies or contains sexually suggestive messages.
• Depicts gang affiliation.
• Contains language or symbols that demean an identifiable person or group or infringe on the rights of others.
• Contains rude, disrespectful, or discourteous expressions inconsistent with civil discourse and behavior.
• May damage school property.
Attire worn for medical reasons or required in practicing a religious belief is permitted. Student attire will support a healthy and safe academic school environment.
 

E

ENROLLING A NEW STUDENT

Follow this link for information on how to enroll a student:  http://www.hcpss.org/enroll/

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

How will my child’s school handle an emergency situation?

All Howard County Public Schools have a multi-hazard emergency plan. The specifics of each plan differ for each school site. The response to each incident will differ, based on the specifics of that particular incident. The flexibility of the plan is key to the success of the response. In general, each plan includes the incident command system; development of evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown procedures; an Incident Command Kit that contains key information and supplies; designation of two or more appropriate evacuation sites; provisions for training personnel and updating the plan; and response actions for specific types of incidents. All school plans are reviewed on a yearly basis. Additional information may be obtained by clicking on the title link above.

EARLY RELEASE OF A STUDENT:

In order to minimize disruptions to the classroom, the early release of students should be limited to emergency situations and unavoidable circumstances.  Parents are asked to avoid scheduling non-related school activities that conflict or interfere with FRES’s regular dismissal times.  Students may not be released from the office after 3:30 p.m. Once dismissal starts, your child will depart as scheduled by either taking their assigned bus home or exiting the building as a walker.

In order for your child to be released to anyone other than the parent/guardian, that person MUST be listed on the emergency card and present photo identification.

Parents of student bus riders must provide WRITTEN NOTIFICATION to have their children dismissed with the walkers or car riders.  

Everyone’s cooperation in this regard is important to ensure safe and smooth school operations.

F

FAMILY FILE

Family File  is essentially your child’s emergency procedure information file. Information from this file helps us stay connected to you during the school day or in the case of an emergency. Be sure to opt for text messages as well so that you are always “in the know.” Fill out your emergency procedure information. Quick Reference Card (1 page)

FOLDERS

Every Thursday, your child will be bringing home important papers and any completed work that is for your review. Please look out for this very important means of communication.

G

GUESTS

You are welcome to visit your child’s classroom. Please contact either the teacher or an administrator 24 hours in advance if you would like to visit.

H

HEALTH ROOM INFO

Any medication, including prescription and over-the-counter medication like Tylenol, cold medicine, cough drops, lotion, or lip balm must be accompanied by a medication order signed by a doctor.  Parents must deliver any medication to the health room because children are not allowed to bring drugs or medicines onto school premises. You may drop off medication any time during regular office hours. If a student comes to the health room when feeling ill, we have ice and bandages.  If your child needs more, we will certainly give you a call.  We also call home for every head bump.

Our Health Room is also the place where students are able to get a change of clothing when needed. We have a limited supply so if your child has accidents, you might want to pack an extra set of clothes in the backpack and let your child know how to access them.  Accidents are not uncommon during the first weeks of school.  Sometimes learning is so exciting that younger students especially just forget to go to the restroom until it's too late.  One thing parents can do to help is make sure that kids can easily and independently get in and out of clothing.  Sometimes the cute new outfits are a bit tricky.  We welcome donations of new pants, tee-shirts, or new underclothes for our Health Room.

HOMEWORK:

Homework should be an independent activity, one where your child shows what understanding he/she has of skills taught. If your child does have difficulty completing such assignments, please let your child’s teacher know.

HOMEROOM CLASS PLACEMENTS:

Please be reminded that developing class lists is a very challenging endeavor. Each year we work hard to establish classes that are balanced, taking into account student gender, academic levels and behaviors. Some classroom adjustments may have to occur after the beginning of the year due to student growth.  We promise to ensure that each child is appropriately challenged.

I

INDEPENDENCE:

This is a goal for all students. We encourage them to do as much as they can while they are at school.

IEP GOALS:

We work on these goals day by day to help the student succeed at their goals.

ILLNESS:

If your child has a fever, he/she may return to school 24 hours after being fever free without medication. If your child vomits, he/she may return to school 24 hours later.

J

JOBS:

Student leaders are used throughout the school as they help to maintain a smooth, well-run environment. Students in grades 2 – 5 will have an opportunity to apply for a leadership position. If selected, they will receive training and a vest to wear when on duty. Leadership is important to us and we assist our students in using the skills to be successful in these roles.

K

KNOWING HOW TO CONTACT YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER:

Teachers may be contacted by their email or by phone. Teachers’ emails may be found on our website under “Our Staff.” You may also choose to contact the teacher by phone, by leaving a message with our front office (410) 880-5950. Please allow 24-48 hours for the teacher to respond to email.  If you need a more timely response, please leave a message with the office

L

LUNCH:

Lunch time is scheduled for 30 minutes.  If you would like to eat with your child, please sign in at the office and obtain a visitor sticker before proceeding to the cafeteria.

M

MASCOT:

Our school mascot is the Eagle. His name is Eddie and he represents, strength, aim, purpose, and ability. Our students are Eagles and we expect them to soar high, as eagles do

MEALS:

Can my child eat breakfast at school? Lunch and breakfast are available to all students at all schools. Each meal is nutritionally balanced following USDA regulations and Institute of Medicine (IOM) Standards. A nominal fee of $2.00 is charged for breakfast and $2.75 for lunch.

How do I pay for school meals?

Parents may pay cash daily or choose to prepay for student meals by setting up an online account at myschoolbucks.com. There is a $2.25 processing fee for each transaction. Each transaction can be up to $120.00 in total.

Students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. To apply, families should complete the application sent home on the first day of school, sign it, and return it to the school, or mail it to the Food and Nutrition Service Office (address on application) or parents can apply online at http://www.myschoolapps.com. School lunch menus, nutrition information and additional information about the program are available at www.hcpss.org/foodservice. Contact the Food and Nutrition Service Office at 410‑313‑6738.

MEASURES OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS

(MAP) assessments are computer adaptive achievement tests in Mathematics and Reading. 

How will teachers use this information? Teachers use a variety of tools including formative assessments, state and local assessments, and MAP data to monitor students’ progress and link students to appropriate interventions and enrichment. The MAP reports provide teachers with additional pieces of information regarding student’s instructional strengths and needs. Teachers will use this information to help guide instruction in the classroom and create flexible groupings to better differentiate lessons based on content. Teachers can also engage in goal setting with students using MAP information and other performance information available in the classroom.

N

NEWSLETTERS:

Our newsletter, The Forerunner, is published electronically each Friday. You will receive it automatically.  It is also available on our website.

O

OFFICE:

Our office can assist you in many different ways! (410) 880-5950. Office hours are 8:30am – 4:10pm.

P

PARKING LOT

The parking lot is a very busy area before the start and end of the school day.  As a result, it is a potentially hazardous place for students, parents and staff if safety procedures are not followed.  To ensure the safety of our students, procedures and guidelines for picking up and dropping off students need to be followed by all. 

  • Automobiles bringing children to school on time are to bear to the right as they come into the driveway on the northern side of the building and follow the line of cars to the drop-off area.
  • If you are bringing your child late, please park in a space and bring your child into the building for sign-in.
  • Please adhere to the traffic signs in the loop.
  • Walker drop off occurs by 9:15 a.m. daily. The loop is not a parking area. In fact, it is a fire lane, and cars along that curb should be attended to at all times. Students should be able to exit the automobile independently (curbside only) during this time. If your child needs assistance exiting the car or you need to enter the building, you must park in a designated space.
  • Handicapped parking spaces in the front of the building are reserved only for handicapped registered vehicles.

We need your cooperation to make sure our parking lot remains a safe place!

PHOTOGRAPHING, VIDEOTAPING OR AUDIOTAPING IN SCHOOLS WITH CELL OR SMART PHONES:

Parents have a right to expect a certain level of protection and privacy for their children while they are in the care of HCPSS. As a protective measure, parents and others who are not school employees who intend to photograph, videotape or audiotape students in school or on school grounds during the regular instructional day using smart phones, cell phones or other devices must have prior approval from the building administrator. This does not apply to photographing, videotaping or audiotaping during extracurricular activities, such as public concerts and athletic events.

Classrooms, lunchrooms, etc. are not open public property and the principal has the right to control public access. Individuals who violate these guidelines will receive an initial warning. Repeat violations may result in the issue of a no trespassing letter. View more information on the public use of student photographs.

PROGRESS REPORTS:

Our progress reports arrive quarterly throughout the school year. These reports indicate how your child is progressing at that point in time during the quarter. It is a natural time to make adjustments to ensure your child progresses as you expect.    

PBIS

PBIS is a research-based behavior system that uses incentives and acknowledgments to motivate students to make positive choices. Each PBIS school identifies three to five, easy to remember behavioral expectations for students, which are communicated frequently and reinforced with student acknowledgements. Staff members make it a point to call attention to moments when a student demonstrates desired behaviors. This positive reinforcement is for all students and also provides an excellent model for students who need extra encouragement in making appropriate choices.

Q

QUESTIONS:

If you have any questions, please contact any staff member, Ms. Shanks, the assistant principal, or Dr. Varlack, principal.

R

RECESS:

Recess is 30 minutes daily. Recess is an opportunity for students to get physical activity, socialize, and revive their academic focus for the remainder of the day. Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index reading is less than 95. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely hot or cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary.

REPORT CARDS:

These will go out quarterly as indicated on the HCPSS calendar

RESOLVING SCHOOL CONCERNS AND DISAGREEMENTS:

When concerns arise, parents are encouraged to direct their concerns to the persons most closely involved. However, when an informal process fails to provide resolution, a parent may file a formal complaint and seek review at a higher administrative level. In both processes, the intent is to protect the confidentiality and preserve the dignity of everyone involved.

Informal Process

1.     The first level in resolving concerns and issues is to address them with the school staff member who is most closely and directly involved to reach a mutually effective resolution.

2.     The second level of resolution is to contact a member of the school’s administrative team. The administrator will take into consideration the needs of all parties as well as all applicable HCPSS policies and procedures.

a.     The administrator will confirm that the parent has attempted to resolve the issue or concern with the classroom teacher or other school-based staff member, when appropriate.

b.     If the concern requires the involvement of other Central Office departments, the administrator will assist the parent in accessing the appropriate office and provide a synopsis of the concern to that office. Central Office personnel will respond to the parent within 10 school days and inform the principal of the response.

If an assistant principal works on resolving a concern and a parent is not satisfied with the result, the parent should then contact the principal. The principal must be involved in resolving the concern prior to moving to the formal process.

Formal Process

S

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT TEAM:

Each school has a School Improvement Team made up of school staff, parents and other community members, which oversees the process of improving instruction and academic performance in that school. Ask us about participating on the FRES team

SCHOOL SLOGAN:

First Steps on the Path to College and Career

SECTION 504:

Howard County Public Schools (HCPSS) recognizes and supports the right of all students to enjoy access to opportunities in education. Our student population is strengthened by our commitment to embrace all learners, including those with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantees that students with disabilities have the ability to access a free appropriate public education and are protected against discrimination.

Students who meet the Section 504 eligibility guidelines will have a Section 504 Plan developed for use in school. The plan specifies the nature of the impairment, the major life activity affected by the impairment, accommodations necessary to provide access based on the student’s needs, and the person(s) responsible for implementing the accommodations.

Any student who may need a Section 504 accommodation plan should be referred to their school’s Section 504 Team to determine the need for evaluation. Those students whose evaluation results meet the federal guidelines regarding Section 504 are eligible for a Section 504 accommodation plan.

T

TRANSPORTATION CHANGES:

If your child’s transportation to and/or from school is changing, please let the office and your child’s teacher know in writing

U

 UNDERSTAND:

It is OUR goal to understand how your child learns.

V

VOLUNTEERING AT FRES:

According to HCPSS Board Policy, all parent volunteers must complete a Confidentiality Training Course about protecting the privacy of our students, staff, and schools. Please complete this course before registering to volunteer at your child’s school. The course takes about 5 minutes to complete.  Click here for the course

VISITING FRES:

We welcome visitors to our school. American Education Week, held in November, offers an excellent opportunity for school visits. At other times, visitors are asked to follow the procedures below in order to limit interruptions to instruction and maximize safety for all.
• Contact the principal to discuss the purpose of the visit and to establish a convenient time for both the visitor and the school. Visitors must receive prior approval from the principal before entering a classroom. Teachers require 24 hours’ notice and may request that visits be rescheduled to serve instructional needs and students’ best interests
• Sign in at the front office and receive a visitor badge. Visitors are required to provide a photo ID.

W

WEATHER:

Weather-related closing information is automatically emailed to you from the Central Office and posted on the HCPSS.org website.  If you would like to receive text alerts, please text “YES” to 67587

WALKING TO OR FROM SCHOOL:

Dismissal routines are especially important as we have about 700 students all leaving school at the same time.

If your child(ren) will WALK home, summer is a good time to practice the safest route to and from school.  It is a perfect time to identify walking buddies as well.

If you live in Emerson or Stone Lake, your child will be a “B” Walker.  They will exit the building from the gym door near the gas tanks on the bus loop side of the building. All other walkers (“A” walkers) will be released from the door to the right of the patio in the front of the building.

If your CAR-RIDING child(ren) will be met by a parent or daycare provider, they should wait with FRES staff until the vehicle pulls to a stop.  Students should enter the car from the right side only to avoid moving vehicles. Drivers should remain at the wheel.

If your child(ren) RIDES THE BUS HOME, students will walk in the bus line to the bus then follow the driver's directions.  Students should know their bus number and where to get off the bus. BUS SCHEDULES can be accessed at: https://hcpss2.securesites.net/SchoolLocator/index.jsp

X

EXIT

Please enter and exit through the office and be sure to scan your visitor badge. We need to know who is in the building at all times so as to account for everyone in the case of an emergenc

 

Y

YOU: You are a very important factor to your child’s success! Please partner with us and remember to join the PTA

Z

ZZZ:

Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep for school. Elementary aged children operate best with 10 hours of sleep.

 

 

Date

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 4:15pm