Blue Creek Elementary School Student Handbook 2016-2017


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Student Handbook for 2016-2017 School Year

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Student Handbook Blue Creek Elementary School School of Scientific Inquiry 1260 Burgaw Highway Jacksonville, NC 28540 910/347-1717 (office)  910/347-0095 (fax) @BlueCreek_ES ADMINISTRATORS Kelly Clarke, Principal Mandi Gillis, Assistant Principal


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NOTE FROM THE PRINCIPAL Dear Parents: Welcome to Blue Creek Elementary School! The Student-Parent Handbook is a resource for you and your student. Your child is important to us at Blue Creek and our aim is to provide the best and most appropriate education program possible. Student, parent, teacher and school teamwork is critical to the success of all students. Positive feelings about attending school, your child’s teacher, and the total school program will help your child succeed educationally. When you have a concern, please do not hesitate to call the school to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher. I welcome your suggestions, concerns, and support as we make this another great year in the forest! Please keep this handbook to refer to throughout this year. Again, I welcome you and your child to Blue Creek. The 2016-2017 school year promises to be filled with exciting learning opportunities for your student. Sincerely, Mrs. Kelly J. Clarke, Principal


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ATTENDANCE POLICIES/PROCEDURES 1. Regular attendance plays a very important part in developing a positive attitude toward school and learning. We ask that children come to school each day on time. Excessive tardiness will not be tolerated. 2. In order for a student to be counted present, he/she must be in attendance at least one-half the school day. Anyone who checks out before 11:00 a.m. or checks in after 11:00 a.m. is counted absent for the day. 3. A child is counted tardy if he/she is not in the classroom by 7:30 a.m. and checks out before 1:30 p.m. If a student is tardy for school, he/she is to be brought to the office by a parent and checked in. The child will then be sent to his classroom teacher with an admission slip. Please help us to develop good attendance habits for your child. 4. Students checking in or out of school due to appointments, etc. must be accompanied by a parent. Students will not be allowed to leave school with anyone other than a parent unless prior permission has been granted by the school office. IDs are required to check out all students. If a child is brought in after the scheduled lunchtime, make sure he/she has had lunch. 5. For a student to receive a Perfect Attendance Certificate for the school year, he/she must not be tardy more than three days. This includes checking out early. 6. If your child is absent from school, please furnish a note describing the reason for the absence on the day he/she returns to school. These notes will be kept on file in the office. If your child is going to be absent for several days, please contact the school. If you are planning a trip that results in an absence(s) from school, please contact the principal prior to the trip. 7. The following reasons shall be considered acceptable for lawful (Code 1) absences: (1) personal illness, (2) certain illnesses in the home, (3) death in the immediate family, (4) religious observances, (5) any pre-approved trip that the principal determines to have educational value. Letters from the school social worker will be sent home after three absences have occurred. 8. Absence codes are as follows: Code 1 – lawful, Code 2 – unlawful, and Code 3 - suspension from school. 9. When a student has accumulated ten (10) unexcused absences and/or 10 tardies/early checkouts, the principal/designee may conduct an investigation to determine if the parent or guardian has made a good faith effort to comply with the law and Board Policy. A student who is absent is responsible for making up all assigned work regardless of the reason for the absence. BREAKFAST AND LUNCH INFORMATION The school cafeteria can be reached by calling (910) 347-1717. Breakfast is served in the school cafeteria from 7:00 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. Students may not enter the cafeteria after 7:30 a.m. unless the bus arrives late to school. Students will not have access to microwaves. Onslow County Schools provides nutritious breakfast and lunch meals designed around USDA Dietary Guidelines and the EAT SMART NC Nutrition Standards. Guidelines restrict the amount of fat, sodium and sugar in our meal selections and encourage increased consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and calcium rich foods. Well-balanced breakfasts and lunches are one of the cornerstones to success in the classroom and


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improving student’s academic performance. Menus are posted on the Onslow County Schools website at and in the local media. Children from families whose income falls within USDA income-eligibility guidelines may be eligible for either free or reduced price meals. Applications for meal benefits are available at the school office, school cafeteria and the Child Nutrition Central Office. Meal prices are $1.25 for breakfast and $2.00 for lunch. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is available at no charge for breakfast and $.40 for lunch. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of the new school year. You must send in a new application unless the Child Nutrition office notified you in writing that your child is eligible for the new school year. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. Applications that are not completed in full will not be approved. Students approved for free or reduced priced meals must choose a full meal. Individual items and milk selections result in a la carte pricing. A la carte items are not available for charging. Parent/Guardians may request that a message be placed on the child’s account to limit the types and amounts of items the student is permitted to purchase. If a student in grades K-8 has no money for meals, that student will be fed and the student’s cafeteria account will be charged for that meal. Families are responsible for all meal costs for food eaten by the student until the new application has been approved. There will be no charging of individual food items at any time. Students who bring meals from home may purchase milk at the ala carte price of .50. Milk is included as a meal component for all pay statuses. A copy of the meal charge collection program is available at the school office, school cafeteria and for viewing on line at A parent/guardian may request a printout of their student’s cafeteria account. Contact the cafeteria manager for any account information or with questions/concerns. BUS REGULATIONS See the Onslow County “Student Discipline Policies and School Bus Safety Regulations” Handbook. BLUE CREEK SCHOOL RULES Students are expected to obey the following school rules: 1. Be courteous and respectful toward adults and fellow students. 2. Remain quiet and orderly in the building and on the school grounds. 3. Students should only bring necessary materials to school. Toys, radios, tapes, cell phones, beepers, MP3 players, iPods, games, matches, or sharp instruments are not allowed on school grounds or buses. 4. Gum is not allowed on the school campus at any time. 5. Hats, caps, or hoods will not be worn in the building. 6. All students are to keep hands and feet to themselves at all times. 7. Fighting may result in automatic suspension. 8. Teachers will also have classroom rules posted. CONFERENCES Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged to improve communication among parents, teachers, and students. Please feel free to visit the school to discuss your child’s progress during non-instructional time. Call the school at (910) 347-1717 to make appointments with your child’s teacher. Classroom visits during the school day should be arranged in advance with the teacher to avoid class disruptions. CURRICULA Blue Creek’s curriculum program aligns with the Common Core and Essential Standards in all instructional areas. Every effort is made to meet the needs of the individual students through the use of school, county, and state resources. In the area of English/Language Arts (reading, writing, spelling, and language), an integrated approach is used to address the different learning styles of children. Teachers use a variety of methods, including whole language, phonics, leveled texts, and novels to nurture within children a love for reading. Special emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and writing skills.


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In math, problem solving and critical thinking skills are emphasized through the use of “hands-on” experiences. Teachers use numerous classroom manipulatives (materials that can be moved and touched) to help children apply math concepts to their daily lives. In addition to English/Language Arts and math, students receive regular instruction in the areas of character education, social studies, science, health, art, music, library skills, physical education and computers. To make learning meaningful, subjects are not taught in isolation. Teachers integrate (connect) concepts from various curricular areas. DAILY SCHEDULE 7:00 a.m. Doors open for students; breakfast begins 7:25 a.m. Warning bell rings 7:30 a.m. TARDY BELL – Any child coming into the classroom after the bell is to be marked tardy unless they are on a late bus. Students arriving late to school must be signed in by a parent. 7:30 a.m. Announcements/Instruction begins 2:10 p.m. School Dismissal begins DELAY, EARLY DISMISSAL, OR SCHOOL CLOSING During extremely bad weather, it sometimes becomes necessary for a decision to be made concerning the delay, early dismissal or closing of school. Since we are a county school system, all decisions must reflect what is best for the entire county. In order to let the county population know as quickly as possible, school officials ask that you follow the suggestions listed below: 1. Listen to the broadcasts on local radio and TV stations. 2. A decision to delay or close schools is usually announced by 6:30 a.m. Early dismissals are announced as soon as the decision is made. 3. DO NOT telephone the weather bureau, radio or television stations, newspaper offices, school officials or any school offices. Please call the Onslow County School’s Information Line at 9892211. 4. THE ABSENCE OF ANY ANNOUNCEMENT MEANS THAT SCHOOL WILL OPERATE AS USUAL. DISCIPLINE (COUNTY POLICIES) See the Onslow County “Student Discipline Policies and School Bus Safety Regulations” handbook. DISCIPLINE POLICIES STATEMENT It is the belief of the administration that school should be a place where students behave in an appropriate manner, so as not to interfere with the teacher’s job of teaching or the student’s job of learning. We strive to provide an atmosphere of communication and cooperation among students, teachers, and parents. This atmosphere should be one free of fear, indignities, danger, or disruptions. Students develop their academic talents during these years, but also develop respect for each other, a sense of fair play, and respect for adults. Students are expected to obey reasonable rules. Teachers make every effort to reward good behavior just as they must stop inappropriate behavior. EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS The school must have at least two current phone numbers to call in case of injury or illness. These numbers must be kept up to date. Forms for these numbers will be sent home for your completion at the beginning of the school year. Updated information can be given by calling the school’s office. EDIBLE ITEMS Any edible items provided for classroom activities should be store bought.


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FORMS OF PAYMENT When making payments to Blue Creek Elementary School, we accept cash and checks. When writing a check, please make sure current address and phone number is included on the check. Onslow County Schools uses a check recovery company for all returned checks. There will be a $25 fee for all returned checks. When making payments for lunch accounts, make payment to Child Nutrition. You can visit the cafeteria to make payments, pay online using a credit card. The website is You will need your student’s lunch number. This can be provided by the teacher, the cafeteria, or in the office. GRADING POLICY All parents and students will be notified by the classroom teacher regarding specific grading procedures for that class. Report cards are issued to students every nine weeks. Interim reports are issued to all students twice during the nine-week grading period. Grade information is also available to parents through the Parent Portal. Onslow County Grading Scale: A = 90-100 B = 80-89 C = 70-79 D = 60-69 F = 59 and below GUIDANCE COUNSELOR Blue Creek has a Guidance Counselor who conducts small group, whole class, and individual counseling sessions. The counselor is available to assist students and parents who are experiencing school related problems with their child and to assist/teach units needed by students. Please call the school to schedule conferences with the counselor as needed. Informative parent sessions will be scheduled during the school year by the guidance counselor. Additional information will be sent home concerning the dates, time, sessions being offered, and speakers for these sessions. HEAD LICE Head lice are blood-sucking insects that live on the scalp and hair of humans. They are transmitted by direct contact with others who are infested, wearing infested clothing, using infested combs and brushes, and other types of contact. Students will be checked periodically by teachers and assistants for head lice. The school recommends that you check your child regularly at home as well. Students who have head lice must be picked up from school immediately for treatment. Students who return after having head lice must be brought in by a parent and checked by the school’s nurse, or office personnel. Students may not ride the bus until they have been cleared from the office. HOMEWORK Students in all grade levels will be assigned homework. Homework is an integral and relevant part of every student’s instructional program. Homework assignments reinforce/extend classroom instruction. HONOR ROLL Students should be recognized for academic achievements throughout the year. The Honor Roll recognition will be given to students meeting specific criteria. Students must be working on or above grade level and receive no grade below A or B in any area. Handwriting will not be a determining factor in this honor. The students will be recognized by the local newspaper for this achievement, as well as through school/community promotions.


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ILLNESS OR INJURY OF STUDENT In case of illness or serious injury, the following procedure will be followed: 1. If a student becomes ill or injured at school, the parents or guardian shall be notified as soon as possible by telephone. 2. A student who is ill or injured shall not be removed from school until the parent or guardian has been notified or until a reasonable attempt to reach the parent has been met with failure. 3. If a reasonable attempt has been made to reach the parent or guardian and has failed, in cases of emergency due to critical illness or injury, a student will be sent to the hospital in a Rescue Squad vehicle. The parents will assume the responsibility for the cost of the transport and medical attention. IMMUNIZATION RECORD North Carolina law requires that each child have an up-to-date shot record on file at school. Kindergarten and new students are given 30 days from the time of enrollment to get the school a copy of the student’s shots. The students will be suspended from school after 30 days if the shot record is not presented to the school. Students’ shots must be kept up to date in order for the child to be allowed to attend school. LOST AND FOUND Clothing which is easily lost (gloves, hats, coats, etc.) should be marked with the owner’s name. Lost items will be kept at least two weeks before being donated to the Salvation Army. The “Lost and Found” is located in the cafeteria. Reminder: Do not bring any items of value; the school is not responsible for lost or stolen items. MEDIA CENTER Each class will receive instruction in the media center on a regular weekly basis from the media specialist. Students are encouraged to visit the media center to check books in and out as often as they can during the media center’s open circulation times. Students are responsible for the cost of replacing a lost or damaged book. MEDICATION The Onslow County Board of Education has adopted a policy governing the administration of medications to students during the school day. Medications administered during school hours by school personnel should be kept to a minimum. Every effort should be made to give medication at home before or after school hours. Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to make arrangements with the school administration for medication to be given during the school hours. The Board assumes no responsibility for students who self-medicate or for other students who accept medications or other substances from other students or any unauthorized person. Parents or guardians who desire the administration of prescription medication by school personnel during school hours must: 1. Provide medication in a labeled container which includes the child’s name, the name of the medication, the unit dosage to be given, the number of dosage units, the time the medication is to be given and how it is to be administered. 2. Have the pharmacist label a container for school use. 3. Provide new, labeled containers when medication changes are made and remove medication from school premises when treatment has been completed. 4. Complete and sign the permission and release forms attached to this policy and return them to the school. 5. Inform the school of any changes in the child’s health or change in medication. 6. Devise an emergency plan with the student’s teacher if the child has any medical problem that might necessitate emergency planning, subject to the approval of the student’s physician. 7. Transport any controlled or classified medication to the school. Students are not allowed to transport controlled or classified medications. The school retains the right to reject requests for the administration of medication and may refuse to administer medication from any container that has the appearance of being altered from that dispensed


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by the original pharmacy. Any medication over the counter must be prescribed by a doctor to be administered by the staff. Example – Tylenol, etc. MOMENT OF SILENCE The Onslow County Board of Education has adopted the following policy for all schools: “A moment of silence shall be observed at the beginning of each school day in all grades in the school system. The moment of silence may not exceed one minute in length, must be completely unstructured and free of any influence from any source, and no other activity shall be allowed during that time.” NEWSLETTERS School Newsletters are sent home each month electronically and are also available on our school website. Reminders are periodically sent home announcing special school happenings. NON-RESIDENT TUITION Students attempting to enroll in the Onslow County School System who do not have a parent/legal guardian domiciled in Onslow County will be assessed a fee. PARENT PARTICIPATION Parental participation in the total school program is necessary to achieve total school success. Parent participation shows support for the child and the school, helping the child to realize the importance of education. Blue Creek would like to invite you to spend time each week as a SCHOOL VOLUNTEER. If you can devote some time to school volunteer work, please call the school at (910) 347-1717. To volunteer you must be finger-printed and attend the volunteer orientation. After meeting these requirements, someone will contact you regarding a work schedule. When coming to school to volunteer, please be sure to report to the office and sign in. PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION Blue Creek does have a parent-teacher organization. The school needs all parents to be active in this organization. The structure and time of meetings will be published at the beginning of the school year. Please see the receptionist for more information. PRINCIPAL’S LIST Those students who are exhibiting exemplary performance in the classroom will be recognized with the honor of Principal’s List. These students must be working on or above grade level and maintain all A’s, with the exception of handwriting. We hope to encourage students to work hard to earn this honor. Recognition will be provided via the local newspaper and through school/community promotions. SAFETY 1. Fire drills: Fire drills will be held in accordance with state regulations. 2. Tornado or severe weather drills: Tornado drills or other severe weather drills will be conducted in conjunction with county and state-wide drills. 3. Lock-Down drills will be conducted on a regular basis. Please be sensitive to information that will come to you in memos and newsletters announcing policies related to safety. 4. Parking lot: Parents are asked not to use the bus parking lot for unloading and picking up students. The parking lot beside the school should be used by parents and visitors. Fire lane parking is not permitted under any circumstances. 5. Glass bottles and containers are not allowed at school. 6. Toys, radios, CD players, cell phones, iPods, etc., are not allowed and will be taken for parent or guardian to pick up.


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SCHOOL FEES Instructional Supply Fee $5.00* Art Fee $1.00 School Insurance Optional 1:1 Laptop Insurance Assessment $ 25.00 *** 4th & 5th grade students only This insurance assessment will help assist the district with costs associated with supporting the devices, as well as any accidental damages. Hardship waivers will be available for families requiring assistance with this nominal charge. SCHOOL NURSE Blue Creek’s nurse is available on a limited basis to assist our students and parents with health matters. She is not to replace your personal physician, yet to help whenever possible. Please call the school to discuss medical problems that our nurse may be able to assist with, immunization requirements, or other health-related questions that you may have. SCHOOL RECORDS The Family Educational Right and Privacy Act require schools to maintain confidential records concerning students. Parents of students who are under 18 years of age have the right to inspect these folders. These records include such information as grades, attendance, health data, test data and participation in special programs. The Onslow County Board of Education classifies the following as directory information: Student’s name, age, and grade level. School officials may release this information to any person without the consent of the parents or the student. Any parent or eligible student who objects to the release of any or all of this information without his consent must notify, in writing, the principal of the school where the records are kept. STUDENT DRESS Students should come to school clean and neatly dressed. Hats are not to be worn inside the building unless there is a medical reason or special occasion. Head gear of any kind is not to be worn to school. Brief or revealing attire should not be worn by any student. “Sagging”, wearing long chains or spiked jewelry is not allowed. Inappropriate, vulgar, or obscene wording or pictures are not to be on clothing worn. Appropriate shoes should be worn at all times. STUDENT PROGRESSION AND PLACEMENT K-2 Promotion Requirements By the end of kindergarten and first grade, progress on the Onslow County School System K-2 Literacy and Math Assessments shall be considered for promotion to the next grade. By the end of second grade, students will have acquired on-grade level proficiency as determined by the Onslow County School System K-2 Literacy and Math Assessments to be promoted to the next grade level. 3-5 Promotion Requirements Students in grades three through five shall demonstrate proficiency with an achievement score at Level III or above in both reading and mathematics on the NC End-of-Grade tests to be promoted to the next grade. In grades three through five, subject and grade requirements shall be considered for promotion. Students must receive a passing grade in reading and math on their report card.


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TELEPHONE Students are permitted to use the telephone only when there is a real need or in case of emergency. Missing homework or needed material does not constitute an emergency. The school will not be responsible for delivering phone messages to students. TEXTBOOKS Students are financially responsible for the care and physical appearance of the textbooks and other materials that have been issued to them. If books and materials are lost or damaged, students must pay for them immediately. TITLE IX STATEMENT Onslow County Schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or disability in its programs or activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding, Title IX: Title IX Coordinator Onslow County Schools, 200 Broadhurst Road, Jacksonville, NC 28540, 910-4552211. WITHDRAWALS If you move during the school year, please notify the office of your new address. If you move anywhere that will require the transfer of your child from Blue Creek, please notify the school at least five days prior to your child’s last day. This will allow teachers to have ample time to compile your child’s records and prepare them for transfer to his/her new school. You will be furnished a transfer slip which you should present to the new school. VISITORS Visitors please do not go to the classroom. For campus security, it is required that you must report to the school office to receive a visitor’s pass. You may not check out a student without authorization from the school and the parent. ADDITIONAL NOTES All students will be dismissed from the school bus at the same location that they were picked up in the A.M. Exceptions will be made by receiving special permission from the principal ONLY. Students that are not riding the bus must have a written note signed by the parent. NO STUDENT WILL BE ALLOWED TO STAY AT SCHOOL WITHOUT A NOTE. It should be understood that this handbook is not all inclusive. BLUE CREEK ELEMENTARY IS A SMOKE FREE CAMPUS This includes all events. Purpose Our purpose is to educate and socialize children Vision Excellence in Education Mission Our mission is to enhance student achievement and foster leadership through instructional methods of inquiry



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