2010-2011 Student Handbook
“The Williams-Cone School Community” is committed to supporting the academic excellence, social development, and personal responsibility of each student.
8:55 First bell 9:00 Late bell 3:10 Warning bell for Dismissal 3:15 Dismissal bell
11:40 - KD 11:45 - Grade 1 12:00 - Grades 2 & 3 12:15 - Grades 4 & 5
Wednesday’s schedule: All classes start one hour later 9:55 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Walking students should arrive at school between 8:50-8:55 a.m.; 9:50-9:55 a.m. on Wednesday. The crossing guard is available at this time to assist students who walk to school.
Students who are transported by parents should arrive between 8:50-8:55 a.m.; 9:50-9:55 a.m. on Wednesday, unless they are participating in before-school activities or have made arrangements with the Principal.
Before and After School Care
Family Focus is offering School-Age Child Care at the Williams-Cone School. This program is open to children in grades K-5 who attend Topsham schools. It will operate Monday through Friday before school from 6:30 a.m. to the beginning of school and from school dismissal until 6:00 p.m. The program also operates on selected non-school days from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information or to register call 386-1662.
Williams-Cone School will make a location accommodation for any student, staff member, or member of the public who has a mobility impairment or challenge. This will be accomplished through the reassignment of classes, the relocation of meeting space, or other reasonable meth- ods to assure access to programs and activities.
Parents new to the district may enroll their children in the school on any weekday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Proof of immunization is required at registration. A birth certificate issued by the state is also needed, for all students.
In general, the school needs a one-day grace period between the time a new student is registered and when he or she actually begins to attend classes to assure that we are prepared to meet the educational needs of the student.
Pupil records are collected and maintained to promote the instruction, guidance, and educational progress of the pupil and for legitimate educational research.
Parents or eligible students (age 18 or older) are entitled to certain rights and protection under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. A complete copy of M.S.A.D. #75 student record policy may be obtained by contacting the building principal.
Section 99.31 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act allows for the disclosure of education records to officials of another school administrative unit where the student seeks or intends to enroll. Prior consent of the parent or guardian is not required.
There is a strong relationship between the amount of time students are available for instruction and the amount of progress they make. According to MSAD #75 School Board policy, school must be in session 175 days. We ask parents to make every effort to have their child attend school regularly so that we may fulfill our responsibility and provide students with the best education possible. Students who are absent up to 20% or more than 25 days may not be promoted.
Parents are requested to call the office, 725-4391, if your child will not be attending school. This will help ensure the safety of your child. Please call between the hours of 7:30 a.m. through 9:00 a.m. or leave a message on the answering machine. If your child is absent and we do not receive a call, we will contact you for confirmation regarding that absence.
It is the student’s responsibility to make up work missed whether the absence is excused or unexcused. Teachers will allow a reasonable period of time to make-up missed work.
Parents are advised that extended vacations during the school year limit the possibility of your child meeting growth targets for the school year.
The M.S.A.D. 75 schools reflect an increasingly diverse society with many religious, ethnic and cultural traditions and beliefs that are meaningful to the students and adults in our communities.
Holidays and traditions provide the opportunity for confirmation and hope to individuals and families, and provide rich opportunities for learning. It is the responsibility of the schools to create awareness of and increased sensitivity to our diverse society, in order to establish and maintain a comfortable climate for learning throughout the entire school year for all students and adults.
The M.S.A.D. 75 Board encourages all those involved in educating our children to be aware and knowledgeable of religious diversity and cultural difference.
Religious holidays may be seen as opportunities to teach about religion, history and culture. The celebration of religious holidays in the classroom or school-wide is not appropriate. The exploration of religious holiday practice must take into account the existence of religious diversity in our society at large and should not be limited to one time of the year.
The study of religious holidays should serve academic goals, as outlined in the District Learning Results, or educating students about family traditions and their relationship to culture, cultural difference and similarities, as well as about the beliefs and practices of various religions. Holiday symbols may be used within this educational context. They should not be used as decorations. This does not apply to personal choices about dress. Careful consideration should be given of holiday symbols that may be regarded by some as secular and by others as religious.
• On a yearly basis, a calendar with dates of major religious/cultural holidays will be distributed to and reviewed with all District employees and distributed to all parents.
• Students and their families should not feel that a gift or card to the teacher is expected or “the thing to do.” If gifts are given, they should be handled in a private, sensitive way, preferably outside of class time.
• All school absences, including from extra and co-curricular activities, resulting from religious holiday observances shall be excused absences. District employees must permit students who are excused from school and/or activities because of religious holiday observances to make up any class work, exams, or other obligations in a way that does not penalize the student because of his/her religious beliefs.
• Schools will make a concerted effort to avoid scheduling major school events during religious holidays.
Application of Policy
1. This policy does not apply to student or District employee dress. Established dress codes remain in effect at all times.
2. This policy does not limit any private conversation regarding religious matters. Educational program and activities are in no way affected by this policy.
3. This does not apply to the selling of holiday materials as fund-raisers as long as it is not excessive. Fund-raisers need to be sensitive to the religious affiliations of those who might sell the items and those who might purchase them.
4. This policy applies to all district-owned and leased buildings with the exception of spaces leased by third parties not affiliated with or funded by the District.
Dress Code for Students
The general rules we use regarding attire worn at school are:
1. Clothing shall not detract from the educational program
2. Footwear must be worn for health and safety reasons.
3. Clothing must be socially acceptable.
4. All children must wear sneakers during physical education periods.
Please label all of your child’s clothing so that it can be easily identified if lost or misplaced.
Any student late for school must report to the office. We urge parents to ensure that children arrive at school by 8:55 a.m.
All student dismissals must be made through the office including those dismissed at the end of the day. Parents/guardians are asked to please come to the office to sign your child(ren) out before dismissal. Children will be released only to their parents or people authorized by the child’s parents. After signing out your child, please wait in the lobby until your child comes to meet you.
The secretaries in the office must receive a written note in the morning for a student to:
1. Ride a different bus in the afternoon. This is only possible if space is available on the bus.
2. Be picked up by someone other than the parent/guardian. 3. Not ride the bus and be picked up at school by parent/guardian or stay for after school
Due to time constraints at the end of the day, changes in dismissal cannot be made by phone. Lacking written notification of changes children will go home as established at the beginning of the year.
Children may bring their lunch or buy a hot lunch each day. Our school lunch program serves nutritious entrees, milk, and offers students a food bar selection of fruits, vegetables, breads, and occasional desserts. A monthly menu is sent home with students. Milk may also be purchased separately.
We encourage students to purchase lunch and/or milk tickets weekly or monthly, and pay with a check payable to MSAD 75 School Nutrition Program instead of cash. Tickets are on sale each day before the start of school. Students are encouraged to write their name on each ticket. This will help us return them if they are misplaced. Lost or stolen tickets will not be replaced. In the event that a student forgets his/her money or lunch ticket, he/she may charge a ticket (for milk or lunch). Payment for the charge is expected the following school day. A notice will be sent home with the student if he/she has a balance due. School lunch prices are; Lunch $2.25; milk 50¢; reduced lunch 40¢; and adult lunch $3.50.
Families may be eligible for free or reduced price school meals. Applications are sent home the first week of school or during new registration. Application can be made at anytime during the school year, as the need arises.
Students in grades 3, 4, 5 have the opportunity to work in the cafeteria on a rotating basis. They receive free lunch during the week they work.
We want to promote excellent eating habits. We encourage children to eat quietly, exhibit good table manners, and not take more than they can eat from the food bar.
M.S.A.D. No. 75 transportation to and from school is a privilege and not a right under Maine State Law. Improper behavior may result in suspension or revocation of the privilege to ride on a school bus.
It is the right of every student to expect to be transported in an environment free of intimidation, ridicule and hostility. In support of this and in compliance with the Maine Civil Rights Act, M.S.A.D. No. 75 prohibits harassment or ridicule of students based upon race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national original or handicap, or for any other reason.
Harassment includes but is not limited to the following:
• advances, sexual advances, gestures, comments or contact
• threats, intimidation or assault
• offensive jokes or words
• ridicule, slurs, derogatory statements or remarks
In general, behavior expectations are the same as if the students were in class. The bus driver is responsible for the safe transport of all on board and will notify students of the behavior which is expected.
The following are examples of improper behavior:
• excessive noise
• changing seats while the bus is in motion
• obstructing the aisles
• excessive displays of affection
The following items are prohibited from being brought onto the bus:
• matches, lighters, flammable liquids or incendiary devices
• pocket knives, box cutters, razor blades or any sharp object designed for cutting or stabbing
• weapons of any kind, including but not limited to firearms, ammunition, explosives and brass
• laser pointers, strobe lights or flashing devices that may distract the driver
• glass or fragile items that may create a hazard if damaged
Cameras – both still and video – are not to be used on any school bus except for official business or with the explicit permission of the Transportation Director or Superintendent, as well as the person/persons being photographed.
Laptop computers may be transported to and from school, provided they are kept stored at all times. Laptops may not be used at any time while on the bus.
The use of items listed below may be allowed by the driver, provided they are used for their intended purposes, do not become a public nuisance or do not negatively affect the safe trans- port of students.These items are a privilege to use on the bus, and their use may be suspended by the driver at any time during transport.
Personal Stereos and Video Players
Personal stereos, video players or other small electronic devices with headphones may be used throughout the bus ride, provided that they do not become a nuisance to other riders or distract the user to the point that he/she becomes unaware of his/her surroundings. Volume levels are to be kept low enough so that the user can hear the driver at all times. Larger stereos (“boom boxes”) and amplifying devices such as bull horns may be brought onboard but are prohibited from use while on the bus. The use of headphones is mandatory.
Cell phones may be used while on board M.S.A.D. No. 75 vehicles, providing the following guidelines are observed:
• Normal voice levels are maintained at all times.
• Usage does not become a nuisance to other riders.
• Vibrate mode should be used. Loud, annoying or offensive ring-tones will not be tolerated.
• Video recording or picture taking with cell phones while on the bus is prohibited.
FIRST READING: October 8, 2009 SECOND READING: November 5, 2009 ADOPTION: November 5, 2009
1. Walking distance to school or bus stop: Kindergarten, up to three-tenths (3/10th ) of a mile; Grades 1-5, up to approximately one-half (1/2) mile; Grades 6-12, up to approximately one (1) mile, unless there is a safety issue as determined by the Transportation Director. Exceptions to this policy made by the Transportation Director, the Superintendent, the Board or its Transportation sub-committee will be duly recorded, noting the specific safety issues causing the exception and setting a timeframe for review of the decision.
Transportation shall be provided for any handicapped student as deemed necessary by the Superintendent of Schools. Application for such transportation shall be made through the Director of Special Services.
1. Bus stops shall be designated by the Superintendent of Schools through the Transportation Director.
2. Designated bus stops will be chosen with concern for the safety of the children involved.
3. For pupils in Grades K-5, a bus driver shall transport only those students who are assigned to his/her bus. When returning home, students shall be transported only to the original pick-up point and shall not be permitted to disembark at other points or to ride other buses, unless an exception has been granted under the provisions of other sections of this policy.
4. Pupils shall not be picked up at places other than designated bus stops.
5. Once on board the bus, a pupil will not be discharged for disciplinary reasons before reaching the school or his/her designated bus stop. However, if in the judgment of the driver, the driver or any passenger is endangered by physical harm, a second district vehicle shall be dispatched to transport the student to the pupil's designated stop.
6. Due to the rural and sometimes isolated locations of some of our bus stops, pupils in Kindergarten and First Grade will not be dropped off without a parent or designated guardian there to meet them. Exceptions to let older siblings, neighbors or non-family members meet children at their home bus stop must be made in writing and submitted to the school administrator and bus driver. In the event that there is no one to meet the student at his/her designated bus stop, the Transportation Department will attempt to contact the parents and the student will be returned to the school.
Waivers and Exceptions:
1. Any person in disagreement with a decision made by the Transportation Director or a principal relating to this policy may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools. If the person is in disagreement with the Superintendent's decision, the issue may be appealed to the Board of Directors. In the event of an appeal to the Board of Directors, the Superintendent shall include the matter on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.
2. Requests for exceptions to the mileage limited described in Section I of this policy shall be made through the Transportation Director and the Superintendent of Schools. A record of all exceptions made under this section shall be maintained by the Transportation Director.
3. Parental requests for exceptions, appeals, complaints: Exceptions to the limits established by this policy or related administrative procedure may be requested of the building administration by parents.
4. Requests for exceptions to this policy may be granted by the building administrator under the following circumstances after consultation with the Transportation Director.
a. K-5 pupils must ride the bus they have been assigned. Exceptions will be made only if a written request is submitted to the School Principal and an overload situation do not exist.
b. A student is permitted to take different buses to and from school, provided it is done every day, to accommodate childcare arrangements. However, the District will only transport children within the geographical area serviced by their respective schools.
c. To allow for emergency situations, family crises, and unusual circumstances that require a bus change for a single day or a short term.
d. In all instances, transportation will only be provided on a space available basis. A record of all exceptions made under this section shall be maintained by the building administrator.
5. Parents must provide transportation for their children if large objects or pets are to be taken to school.
a. Parents of K-5 pupils who wish to have their child get off the bus at a place other than their home or regular bus stop must provide a written notice to the building administrator and bus driver.
b. Students suspended out-of-school or from riding a bus shall not be allowed to ride school buses during the suspension period.
c. Drivers shall not permit any person other than a pupil, teacher, chaperon, school official, mechanic, police or security officer to ride the bus without written consent from the Transportation Director.
ADOPTED: September 25, 1980 AMENDED: January 9, 1987 ADOPTED: February 28, 1991 AMENDED (FIRST READING): April 12, 2001 AMENDED (SECOND READING): April 26, 2001 AMENDED (ADOPTED): April 26, 2001
AMENDED (FIRST READING): November 21, 2002 AMENDED (SECOND READING): December 12, 2002 AMENDED (ADOPTED): December 12, 2002 AMENDED (FIRST READING): October 8, 2009 AMENDED (SECOND READING): November 5, 2009 AMENDED (ADOPTED): November 5, 2009
*Taken from School Board Policies published in the district website.
1. Play in designated areas only.
2. Use equipment safely.
3. Non-contact activities only.
4. Equipment allowed at school includes jump ropes, “Skip-its”, footballs, soccer balls, Nerf equipment, frisbees, red playground balls, whiffle bats and balls.
5. Refrain from throwing rocks, snowballs, sticks, wood chips, backpacks or lunch bags.
6. Tell the adult on duty about problems or injuries.
7. When the bell rings, stop playing and leave the playground.
8. Solve problems by talking, taking turns, and avoiding fights.
Title 20A, MRSA, Section 1001 The policy indicates that making a bomb threat constitutes unacceptable student behavior and will entail disciplinary action that includes providing information to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, and the suspension of students with the possibility of expulsion.
We want Williams-Cone School to be a safe place that students look forward to coming to each day. When children learn to speak and listen to others with kindness and respect, they are establishing good communication and safety skills that will help them become well-adjusted adults.
Our conduct code at Williams-Cone is based on three beliefs: Respect for Self, Respect for Others, and Respect for property.
We believe that discipline in the school setting must be fair and that consequences should reflect the infraction. Student conduct at the Williams-Cone School shall be guided by the following principles:
- All members of the Williams-Cone Community shall be treated with due respect.
- All students have a right to a safe and orderly learning environment. Students must be able to attend school free from threat of verbal, physical, and/or sexual harassment or abuse.
- No student has the right to interfere with a teacher’s responsibility to educate all of the students in a class.
- Students shall respect school property and the property of other students and staff members.
- In addition to these principles, classroom teachers will work with students to develop rules for their classroom, which are appropriate for the age of the students and the type of activities being conducted at school.
When a student does not behave according to District standards and is involved in serious misbehavior, the Superintendent and administrative staff may suspend a child from school.
Conference days have been scheduled in the school calendar. Conferences may also be arranged by parents or a teacher whenever necessary. Only in a conference situation can the many aspects of the child’s educational development and growth be fully explained and discussed between the people who know the child best – the parents and the teacher.
Progress Reports are issued three times each year. Two are combined with parent conferences scheduled in November and March. Report format varies depending on grade level and will be explained at the first parent/teacher conference.
The Board of Directors has determined that individual schools will develop a homework policy. The staff at the Williams-Cone School has developed the following guidelines.
Homework is important because it establishes a regular study time and a consistent routine. It also helps children learn responsibility by taking and returning materials to school. Homework is a way for parents to see what their child is working on in school. In the earlier grades, homework allows parents to share in reading to their child or being read to; and in older
grades, parents can begin the task of supervising and occasionally helping children with their homework. Homework is designed to be work that reinforces skills that children have already covered. Sometimes long-term projects are assigned and this helps children learn time management skills as they progress through the grades.
Generally, the recommended time for homework is 10 minutes per grade level. Reading is a routine daily homework assignment, particularly for lower grade levels. Monday through Thursday are dedicated days for homework assignments (excluding long-term projects). Notice will be given for long-term projects and will include parental explanation, notification of due date, and in some cases, parent signature. Students will have designated bags, notebooks, or folders to keep assignments in. Parents will be responsible for checking to see if the homework is done and may be asked to initial the assignment folder or notebook. If homework constantly takes longer than the recommended time, parents should contact the teacher.
It is important to remember that homework is a part of a student’s grade throughout school. If a student does not do his/her homework, consequences such as staying in at recess to finish the homework and lack of credit may occur. We encourage parents to help students when they need it.
Students should always seek extra help from their teachers if they do not understand an assignment, if the work is too difficult, or if they have been absent and have missed assignments and class discussions. If needed, time for extra help may be arranged with the teacher before and after school.
All textbooks and paper are supplied by the school district. Additional school supplies for individual classrooms may be requested of parents. It is helpful if your child could have a book-bag or backpack for books, homework, and important notices. Your child’s teacher will inform you before the start of school about additional specific supplies that will be needed for the new school year.
Testing occurs throughout the year in the District.
The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) is taken by our third, fourth, and fifth graders. In addition, local assessments are given to various grade levels during the school year.
Parents will be informed when tests will be given to students in specific grades.
Students may be able to participate in a variety of activities provided before and after school that enhances their learning and skill. Activities include Book Club, Band, Chorus, Special Chorus, Math Club, School Plays, and other activities that may be planned during the year.
In order to communicate with all families, a monthly newsletter is issued to keep parents informed of the activities and programs at the Williams-Cone School. It is also posted on our website at www.link75.org/wcs. Please take the time to read each issue, as the newsletter pro- vides you with important information about special school events.
1. Prevent articles from becoming lost by marking your name plainly on all of your possessions.
2. Take all found articles to the office.
3. Lost and found items are displayed periodically throughout the year. Please check these items carefully as anything left unclaimed will be donated to Goodwill at the end of the school year.
4. If you suspect something has been stolen, please report it to the office.
Fire drills will occur at unannounced times throughout the year. The classroom teachers will instruct students in the procedures for a drill. Follow teacher directions in a quiet, orderly manner. Exit directions are posted in each room.
Once outside the building, stay in line and remain with your homeroom teacher. No one should enter the building until instructed to do so by the Fire Department or Principal.
We generally have one scheduled recess break every day for children and expect them to go outside during this time unless they have a doctor’s note. If a child is well enough to be at school, then s/he should be able to participate in all activities including recess. We monitor temperatures closely and have indoor recess if the weather is inclement or very cold.
An area is provided where bicycles and scooters are to be parked. All students riding bikes and scooters to school must wear safety helmets. Bikes, scooters, and rollerblades should not be ridden or used on the sidewalk in front of the school. Students may not enter school with rollerblades.
Parents are welcome to visit classes. We ask that you check with your child’s teacher or the principal to arrange an appropriate time for a visit.
All visitors please stop at the main office to sign in and get a visitor’s pass and sign out when you leave.
The determination as to whether or not schools will be closed will be made jointly by the Superintendent of Schools and the Transportation/Maintenance Supervisor after consultation with Road Commissioners, the Police Department and other appropriate agencies. In general, the decision to close school will be based on the considerations of the safe transportation of students and accessibility to the schools. The decision will be announced on local television and radio stations in the early morning.
Once in session, schools will remain open the entire day except in an extreme emergency. Should an extreme emergency cause the Superintendent to dismiss schools early, announcements will be made on local radio stations. Please try not to call school. Parents should make prior arrangements for their children and tell the child where they should go in an emergency if a parent is not at home. Announcements are also made on television stations: WCSH Channel 6, WGME Channel 13 and WMTW Channel 8.
All students at the Williams-Cone School receive instruction once a week in Art, Music, Physical Education, and Library by teachers who specialize in these subject areas. Our philosophy promotes learning in the performing arts as essential to a student’s education. Information about these classes is presented at Parent/Teacher meetings, during conferences, and in the report card.
The library is open during regular school hours for students. Books may be checked out for a one-week period. Books may be renewed for an indefinite period of time as long as there is no waiting list.
Parents are welcome and encouraged to use the library. It is available before, during and after school hours. See the librarian for times and procedures.
Our elementary school counselor helps children in the process of reaching their potential. The counselors meet with children in the classroom, in small groups, or individually to help each child develop an identity and to learn to make sound choices and decisions.
A child may see the counselor as a result of: self-referral, teacher referral, parent referral, administrative referral.
The guidance counselor provides opportunities for children in the upper grades to become peer helpers for younger students. Training and hands-on experience are included in this program.
Playground buddies participate in training and help younger children on the playground once a week.
Students will have the opportunity to buy school accident insurance which will cover them during school hours, coming to and going home from school. These insurance forms are sent home during the first week of school.
Your students have the services of a school nurse two days a week. An aide to the nurse is scheduled to be here when the school nurse is not at school. Anyone wishing to discuss a health matter can call the nurse at 725-4391.
Whenever practical, medications should be administered in the home, not at school. Students may be given medication at school only if:
1. They have a written order from their physician
2. Send the prescription bottle
3. The form, “Permission to Administer Medication in School”, has been completed and returned to the nurse. These forms are available at the school office.
NOTE: No medications, even aspirin, may be dispensed unless the above conditions are met.
Parents are responsible for notifying the school nurse or the school of any changes in the child’s health status. Here are some ideas that will make it easier for medication to be given in school.
1. Ask your pharmacist for a smaller “school bottle” with the same prescription. You will receive a regular bottle for home use plus a smaller version to be kept at school. This eliminates the daily need to bring bottles to and from school.
2. Some medication can be given in 2 larger doses (one in the morning and one at bedtime). If a medication needs to be given 3 times a day, it can be given before school, after school and at bedtime. This makes it easier to give and to remember for working parents. Ask you doctor if this can be done with your child’s medication. Please do not send teaspoons to school, we have medicine cups.
3. If your child can take “pills”, please mention this. Some doctors automatically prescribe liquid medications thinking all children have problems swallowing tablets. Pills are certainly more convenient and accurate than liquids.
4. Give clear instructions and be as helpful as possible. Call the office if medicine is to be given. Sometimes, we find the child has forgotten it and left the medicine in his book bag for the day.
5. Remember to send in the Permission to Administer Medication form!
Please be advised MAINE LAW (20-A MRSA ss, 6352-6359) clearly states that all children be immunized in the following manner:
Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
5 DTP, DtaP, DT or Td (Diptheria, Tetnus, Pertussis)
4 doses if 4th is given on or after 4th birthday
4 OPV or IPV (Polio)
3 doses if 3rd is given on or after 4th birthday
2 MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella
First Dose Must be given on or after 1st birthday
Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
1 Varicella (Chicken pox Vaccine) or Proof of illness
Must be given on or after 1st birthday and under the age of 13 years
Grades 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
2 Varicella (Chicken pox Vaccine) if no proof of illness
2 doses if 13 years or older 1 dose if under age 13 years
Each immunization (or proof of illness) entry must include date given (month day year) and name/signature of provider (doctor office or clinic)
Shot records/immunizations certificates/school health records are checked for these require- ments by the nurse or nurse’s designee. The parent/guardian will be notified of any deficiencies by letter sent home with child.
• According to Maine Law, no child may be enrolled in school without proof of immunization of a certificate of exemption. Students not immunized ninety (90) days from the first date of enrollment/officially registering in the State of Maine will not be able to attend school until the immunization requirements are met.
• A child not immune from disease shall be excluded from school and school activities when in the opinion of a public health official the child’s continued presence in school poses a clear danger to the health of others. Children excluded from school will be prohibited from attending school until either the child is immunized, the danger of the outbreak has passed, or the child contracts the disease and completely recovers.
• If you have a philosophical reason, sincere religious belief or medical exemption (needs physician diagnosis), you will need to complete a Maine State Immunization Waiver annually.
Topsham schools have a P.E.T. (Pupil Evaluation Team) which has procedures established by Federal and State law for studying specific student needs within the school population. Members of a P.E.T. include parents, classroom teacher, special education teachers, and administrators. Children who have special needs will be identified and evaluated to determine whether they should be provided with services in a special educational program.
Our school has an active Parent/Teacher Group that meets regularly throughout the school year. Information on programs and meetings are announced in the monthly school newsletter.
We welcome parents in our school and want you to be a partner in the education of your children. We recognize, however, that all parents may not be available for volunteer work due to employment, family, and other considerations. We appreciate your support and participation in school functions and encourage you to be involved in whatever way you can in our school community. If you have time available, we hope you will consider volunteering in some capacity. Our children will benefit from your added assistance. Please contact the office or your child’s teacher if you need more information.
It is the policy of Maine School Administrative District No. 75 to insure equal employment and educational opportunities regardless of race, sex, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age or handicaps in accordance with all federal and state legislation relative to discrimination.
Inquiries concerning this statement should be directed to Affirmative Action Coordinator, M.S.A.D. #75, 50 Republic Avenue, Topsham, Maine 04086, Telephone 729-9961.
Public Law 93-380 is entitled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This law places legal restraints upon school personnel providing the public with personally identifiable information, such as phone numbers and addresses. Prior written consent from the parent or eligible student (18 years or older) is required if such information is to be released.
Student education records are official and confidential documents protected by one of the nation’s strongest privacy protection laws, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA defines education records as all records that school or education agencies maintain about students.
FERPA gives parents the right to review and confirm the accuracy of education records. This law ensures that information about citizens collected by schools and government agencies can be released only for specific and legally defined purposes. It protects both paper and computerized records. Consequently, school districts have policies that explain how the release of student records are restricted; parents’ rights under the law; procedures for reviewing and correcting records, and how and when student information can be disclosed.
Education records, as defined by FERPA, include personal information like age and address; school data like grades, courses taken, activities; official school letters regarding the student; special education, medical and health information; attendance and disciplinary records and determinations; and personal information such as social security number and student pictures. Some information, known as directory information, can be made public. That is information usually found in yearbooks and athletic programs.
Parents have the right to review information designated as directory information and to ask that it not be made public. Parents also have the right to review educational records and to request changes, if the information is inaccurate. If a dispute arises regarding this exercise, it is ultimately resolved through a hearing process.
Schools may release information from student records with the consent of the parents. School officials and teachers who work with students have access without parent consent, as do other school personnel who work with the students. Education records must be sent to a school administrative unit to which a student applies for transfer.
It is critical that all teachers understand the confidentiality and protections that accompany the information they work with daily. Seemingly innocent statements of fact about students that can be made to other colleagues or in front of other students may be violations of the law.
Information that is going out across the Internet must be carefully considered in light of FERPA.
Directory Information as defined by M.S.A.D. No. 75 policy only includes the student’s name, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletes, dates of attendance at M.S.A.D. No. 75 schools and most recent previous educational institution attended. All other information about students is protected by FERPA.
Students in Topsham Schools have rights. They also have the responsibility to respect the rights and property of others. If a student fails to do this, disciplinary action will follow. In disciplinary cases, each student is entitled to due process. This means students:
1. Must be informed of accusations against them.
2. Must have the opportunity to accept or deny the accusations.
3. Must have explained to them the factual basis for the accusations.
4. Must have a chance to present an alternative factual position if the accusation is denied.
Because pesticides pose risks, the school uses an alternative approach to merely applying pesticides. Control of insects, rodents and weeds at our school focuses on making the school buildings and grounds an unfavorable place for pests to live and breed. Through maintenance and cleaning, we will reduce or eliminate available food and water sources and hiding places for the pests. We will also routinely monitor the school area to detect pest problems and prevent the pests from becoming established. Some techniques we will use include pest monitoring, sanitation, pest exclusion, proper food storage, pest removal and - as a last resort - pesticides. This holistic approach is often called Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Sometimes pesticide use may be necessary to control a pest problem. When that happens, the school will use the lowest risk products available. If higher risk pesticides must be used, notices will be posted at application sites and parents, guardians and staff have a right to know.
Your Right to Know
Parents, legal guardians, and school staff will be notified of specific pesticides applications made at the school. To receive individual notification, you must be placed on the notification registry at Buildings and Grounds. Notification will be given at least five days before planned pesticide applications. Pesticide application notices will also be posted in school and on school grounds. Notification need not be given for pesticide applications recognized by law to pose little or no risk of exposure to children or staff.
The school also keeps records of prior pesticide applications and information about the pesticides used. You may review these records, a copy of the School’s Integrated Pest Management Policy and the Pesticides in Schools regulation (CMR 01-026 Chapter 27) by contacting our IPM coordinator, at M.S.A.D. No. 75 Buildings & Grounds Facility, (207) 729-1548, ext. 238.
For further information about pests, pesticides and your right to know, call the Board of Pesticides Control at (207) 287-2731 or visit the Maine School IPM web site at www.thinkfirstspraylast.org/schoolipm
Maine School Administrative District #75 has had its schools inspected for asbestos-containing building material. Pursuant to the Environmental Protection Agency Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), an asbestos management plan for each school has been in place since 1988. These management plans are available for review at the Buildings and Grounds Office in Topsham or the Principal’s Office in each school.
Since the mid 1980s, M.S.A.D. #75 has initiated asbestos removal projects in its schools, along with conducting semi-annual inspections by independent certified inspectors and trained custodial staff.
This notice does not apply to Bowdoin Central School in Bowdoin, Woodside Elementary School, Mt. Ararat Middle School, and the Transportation Bus Garage in Topsham, which are all free of asbestos.
For further information contact the Director of Facilities and Projects at 729-1548.
MSAD 75 is partnering with Mid Coast Hospital to promote the “5-2-1-0+8” message. This message is part of the “Let’s Go” initiative started in Portland, Maine. The message provides us with a quick reminder of certain health behaviors that have a direct impact on growth, development, and learning.
Healthy students make better learners, so every day aim for:
5 or more fruits and vegetables
2 hours or less recreational screen time*
1 hour or more of physical activity
0 sugary drinks, more water and low fat milk
8 or more hours of sleep for adequate rest
*This includes television, computers, video games, and other electronic devices. It does not include time spent on homework.
Kids do not see an “offline” and an “online” life, they simply see it all as “life.” Talking with students about their digital lives either online or through the use of mobile devices is a wonderful way to get a peek into their lives allowing us to find ways to engage them in meaningful, relevant discussions about appropriate, thoughtful, safe practices.
Parents as well as educators have an incredibly important role to play in raising kids in a media and technology infused world. The Maine Learning Technology Initiative, (MLTI), has partnered with Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing trustworthy information and education needed to thrive in a world of media and technology.
Below are the rules taken from the Common Sense Media page (www.commonsensemedia.org).
Common Sense Rules of the Road for Parents
1. Model good behavior. If we’re on our Blackberries or iPhones at dinner, why will
our kids listen to us when we tell them to turn theirs off?
2. Pay attention. We have to know where our kids are going online – and what they’re doing there.
3. Impart our values. Cheating, lying, being cruel – they’re all non-starters. Right and wrong extends to online and mobile life.
4. Establish limits. Phone time, video download time, destinations. There‚s really a right time and place for everything.
5. Encourage balance. Get kids involved in offline activities – especially where there’s no cell service.
6. Make kids accountable. If they have a privilege, make sure they earn it.
7. Explain what’s at stake. Let kids know that what they do today can be abused by someone tomorrow.
8. Find ways to say “yes.” That means we have to do some homework and know the sites they visit, the songs they download, etc. – and find ways to use technology that lets us say “yes” more often than we say “no.”
9. It's not rocket science. Learn to text, send a mobile photo, upload a video. Or have your kids show you how. It's impossible to guide what you don't understand. Not only that, but think of all the anxiety you can avoid by knowing how things work.
10. Lighten up, embrace their world, and enjoy the possibilities together. None of us want digital divides in our relationships with our kids. It’s up to us to join the fun and help them seize the potential.
© 2009 Common Sense Media
Dana Greenleaf and Jane Kennedy
Julie Kish and Dawn San Pedro
Debra Dunn and Anna Becker
Kevin Ridge and Marianne Warner
Jan Austin, Speech Clinician Julia Gibson, Consulting Resource Teacher
Alina Shumsky, Psychologist Diane Wallace, Occupational Therapist
TBH, School Nurse Amy Wallace, Guidance Counselor, Social Worker
Linda Koch, Gifted & Talented Barbara Linnehan-Smith, Adaptive PE Teacher
Pamela Morneau, Music Teacher Ann Martin, Physical Education Teacher
Trish Suthers, Librarian Dawne-Marie Powers, Instrumental Music Teacher Michael Hickey, Art Teacher Wendy Edwards, Literacy Teacher Leader
Kathy Galgovitch, Response to Intervention Strategist
Elizabeth Little, Special Services Aide Barbara McGovern, Library Aide Paula Radulski, Health Aide Joni Sloan, Special Services Aide Kathy Stack, Technology Teacher
Karen Sanders, Head Secretary
Dorothy Allard, Head Cook Anne Hamilton, Cook
Barbara Douglas, Head Randall Munsey, Day