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    Parent Handbook

     

    SPECIAL NOTE:   There are specific COVID health and safety protocoals in place for the 21-22 school year.  These  require some modifications to some of the information in our handbook.  The following  is a link to the Health and Saftey guidance:

    Health and Safety - COVID

     

    This handbook is designed to communicate our policies and procedures to all parents. PLEASE READ THROUGH IT CAREFULLY.   The policies and procedures we have in place are designed to protect our students’ safety and to ensure that we are creating an environment conducive to learning. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  Each year we make changes in response to teacher and parent concerns as we continue to strive to make Mary Munford an even better school for our children and meet our common goal - to allow all children to reach their potential and prepare them to educate themselves throughout their lives.   As we work together though the elementary years, keep in mind what George Evans said about learning.  “All children can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.”

     WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT

    It is the parent’s responsibility to CALL our absence voice mail (780-8799) or send an email to our absence email (munfordabsent@gmail.com) each day of your child’s absence.  We also need a written note that you can send to the teacher when the child returns to school, or you can email a note to our absence email. The onlyexcused absences are:   illness, religious holiday, bereavement, and court appearances. A doctor’s or dentist’s appointment is considered excused for tardiness or early departure.  If your child will be absent from school for other reasons such as travel, the absence must be approved by Mr. Muzik to be excused.  Please send requests for excused absences to Mr. Muzik.   Please try to schedule trips, vacations, etc. during one of the 180 days that your child is not required to be in school! 

     After 6 unexcused or excused absences, or an excessive number of tardies, parents will be required to meet with the School Attendance Support Team to come up with intervention strategies to improve school attendance.  Any student who is absent more than 18 days in a school year will be retained in the current grade unless a waiver is granted by the superintendent. 

     

    Please report the absence by 8:30 AM.  If you don’t you will be getting an automated phone call from the Truancy Department!

       

    The school day is from 7:45 - 3:45

    The School Office is open from 7:30  – 4:00 Monday - Friday

     

    Tardiness

     The first bell rings at 7:45 AM. STUDENTS ARRIVING TO CLASS AFTER THE SECOND BELL AT 8:00 ARE MARKED TARDY!  Please make sure that your child reports to class on time daily so that he or she does not miss the most important time of the day. 

     

    If your child arrives after the tardy bell has rung, he or she must sign in on the computer system in the office.

    LEAVING EARLY

    If your child has to leave school early due to a doctor/dentist appointment, please send a note to your child’s teacher so that your child will be prepared to leave when you arrive to pick him/her up. When you arrive at school, please sign your child out in the office.  Our office staff will call for your student to meet you in the office once you arrive. We do not dismiss children early after 2:15 PM since our dismissal process has already begun.  Parents should plan to use the normal dismissal pick up if they arrive at school after 2:15.

     

    MORNING INTAKE and Student DROP-OFF PROCEDURES

    NOTE:  Due to COVID restrictions, parents cannot come into the school with children in the morning and must drop them off at the doors.

    Students are not to arrive at school before at 7:30 AM because we have NO SUPERVISION for them before that time.  If you bring your child to school and arrive before 7:30, please wait with them until the intake bell.   Students arriving prior to 7:30 will not be permitted in the building.   When our doors open for intake students will go to the cafeteria for breakfast or to the auditorium.    The school playground is closed to students in the morning! 

    Driving your child to school:

    We encoreuage the use of school buses or walking/biking to school.  If you drive your child to school in the morning plan to arrive between 7:45 and 8AM,  please drop children off in our disembark area in front of the pavilion on Commonwealth Avenue. PLEASE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING .

     PLEASE:

    • Do not drop off your child on Westmoreland Street.
    • Do not drop off your child on Grove Avenue or in our bus loop
    • Do not ever allow your child to get out of the car and cross over a lane on Westmoreland Street or Commonwealth

    Students who walk or bike to school:

    Students shoud plan to arrive between 7:30and 7:45 AM.   There are bike racks behind the school under the canopy and along the walk behind the playground.  Studnets who walk can enter through the front doors or the lobby door near the playground.  

     

    School Bus Riders:

    Students are dropped off in our bus loop,  and we have staff there each morning to supervise them as they unload and go to the morning locations. 

     

    USE OF THE PARKING LOT

    The school parking lot is for staff only from 7 - 4 on school days.   There is no parking on Commonwealth Avenue between 7AM and 4PM on School days. 

     

    Schedule for Arrival. (this is a draft of the opening times based on the recent vote by the school board to change school hours.)

     

    PLEASE NOTE:  STUDENTS MAY NOT ARRIVE AT SCHOOL UNTIL 7:45AM EACH MORNING.  WE DO NOT HAVE SUPERVISION UNTIL THAT TIME. 

    7:30   AM- Children may begin to arrive at school. Students will be directed to the morning locations. 

    7:45  AM - First Bell – Class starts  

    8:00 AM - Tardy Bell – Students should be in class and ready to roll!   Students are marked TARDY if not in class at 8:10.

     

    BUILDING INDEPENDENCE IN YOUR CHILD

    After the first day of school when all of the children are getting more comfortable with their routines, please allow your child to walk himself or herself to the classroom.  If you choose to walk your child into the school, please say, “Goodbye and have a great day!” while you’re in the lobby.  This will help your child to know that you have placed your trust in the teacher and the school to take good care of him/her and will also bring about a feeling of self-confidence.

     

    Dismissal Procedures

     

    Walkers and bikers. Students will be dismissed at 2:45 and are expected to go direclty home.

    Bus Riders, Aftercare, Extended day and After School Enrichment:  These students are dismissed from the classroom at 2:45.    Students are not permitted to ride our school buses unless they are assigned to the bus (on the bus manifest).  Children cannot ride home with a friend.  

    Car Pool: Students are dismissed to the carpool area at 2:30.   Parents who are picking up children in cars must use our carpool system.  Parents should plan to arrive at school at between 2:25  and 2:35. Please approach our carpool area by going East on Grove and turning right on Commonwealth Avenue from Grove and pulling down past the new playground.   Please REMAIN IN YOUR CAR WHEN IN THE CARPOOL LINE.  It  helps us if you have a large sign in your window with the names of the children you are picking up.  At 2:50 any children who have not been picked in in car pool will be brought to the school office.  

    USE OF PLAYGROUND AFTER SCHOOL

     Unfortunately, we are unable to provide supervision on the playground after school.  Students MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they will be playing on the grounds in the afternoon.  Please make certain that your child is not playing in our flower beds and among our many bushes that have been carefully planted and tended and where trees are trying to grow!

     

    SCHOOL SECURITY

     After 8AM, every outside door is locked and visitors including parents, must come to the front door to request entrance.  All visitors must report to the school office.   To go anywhere in the building, we must scan your drivers license the first time you visit.  Once you sign in a visitor badge will be printed.     This process does a background check on all visitors and notifies the office if there are many potential matches to anyone who should not be in the school. There are also several security cameras in the building.   We have multiple safety drills during the school year including:

     

    Lock Down: Students are locked in the classroom with the teacher and no one is permitted to enter the building.

    Fire Drill:  Students are escorted out of the building by their teachers until an all clear bell.

    Tornado Drill: Student assemble in the first floor hall and sit facing the walls away from windows and doors.

     

    COMMUNICATION WITH TEACHERS

    Teachers are always interested in talking to you about your child’s progress or about any concerns or issues you wish to share.  Teachers, however, must be with their students from the time when they open the door in the morning until dismissal in the afternoon. So what should you do if you need to talk to the teacher?

    1. Write the teacher a note or send an email if you wish to share any information or request a conference.
    2. Call the school and leave a message with the secretary for the teacher to call you.

    Teachers check email once a day at the end of the school day and will respond to you within 24 hours. 

     

    Please refrain from starting or ending the teacher’s day with a face-to face “This will just take a minute!” type conference.  Each one of those minutes can add up, and they take away from the time the teacher can spend with your child.  Most teachers work 50 or more hours each week and must schedule doctor’s appointments, etc. following school.  Please be conscious of their needs during these busy times.  (Yes, some teachers do have a life outside of school.)

      

    COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE SCHOOL

     To make life easier for everyone, we try to send all written communications home on Mondays in our TYVEC envelopes.  PLEASE make sure you check your child backpack and other materials on Mondays for information from the school.  The following are communication tools we use:

    • School Web Site and Calendar https://www.rvaschools.net/MMES
    • PTboard - https://www.ptboard.com/index.html. - We engoucre all parents to enroll in PTboard. This is one of the priarey systems used for parent communication. 
    • Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/marymunfordelementary - This is a general information public site
    • Facebook -  https://www.facebook.com/groups/marymunfordparents - This is a parent only facebook page for Munford
    • Classroom Newsletters: All teachers provide a classroom newsletter at least twice each month. Some of these are online newsletters.
    • Remind: We use this an automated call system to remind parents of important events.  This system calls the telephone number we have on record for the student (family phone). This system will leave messages on answering systems, but some cell phone voice mail systems will not get messages. 

    We do take many photographs of school events and activities and post these pictures on the school website, facebook and other social media outlets.  We do not identify students by name unless we have gotten permission from the parents to do so.. 

    HOMEWORK

    Homework will be assigned to students by classroom teachers to reinforce, review, and extend the work presented in class.  Students are expected to complete, to the best of their ability, all homework assignments given.  Kindergarten 1st and 2nd should have no more than 20 minutes of homework per day.  (We recommended 10 minutes per grade) Third, Fourth and Fifth graders should have no more than one hour of homework per day.   This does not include our recommended 30 minutes of reading (or being read to) each evening.   If you find that homework is taking far longer than the recommended time, please talk with your child’s teacher.

     SCHOOL GRADING SYSTEM

    Kindergarten:     E=Excellent

                               S=Satisfactory

                               N=Needs Improvement

                               U – Unsatisfactory

    Grades 1-5:        A=90 -100%

                               B=80 - 89%

                               C=70 - 79%

                               D=60 - 69%

                        F=0-59%

    Parents can have access to an online login system where they can look up student grades and other information.  Log in information will be available in the fall. 

     

    DRESS CODE

    Mary Munford School does not adhere to a strict dress code per se, but we ask that parents/guardians ensure that all children are dressed appropriately for school activities as well as for comfort. The active learner will climb on playground equipment, run outdoors, and sit on rugs in the classrooms and library. Shirts and blouses must fully cover the chest, midriff and back. Clothing should not contain any messages with offensive language or those referencing drugs, sex, weapons, or other violence. If staff deem articles of clothing to be distracting to the learning process, students may be asked to turn the item inside out or call home for a change of clothes.

     

    LUNCH AND BREAKFAST

    Your child may either bring lunch or take advantage of our free lunch program at school. 

    The prices for lunch are as follows (but are subject to change pending School Board approval):

     

    Student Lunch                                             $Free

    Student Breakfast                                                 $ Free

    Milk only                                                           .75

    Additional snack items (canned fruit drinks, cookies, baked chips, etc.) are also available for purchase at varying prices.   All snack items sold in our cafeteria meet the new low fat, low sugar wellness guidelines. 

    If you child has food allergies, please provide medical documentation to support this and our cafeteria staff will flag this in our system so we can restrict these foods when you child comes through the lunch line.   

    Birthdays at School

    Birthday celebrations need to be planned outside of school.  You can use the school directory on PTboard to invite other children, but we do not distribute or allow for the distribution of birthday invitations at school. Please do not bring any food to school to share with other students unless you have cleared this with the classroom teacher.   You can schedule a birthday party on the school playground after school or even on weekends, but again, invitations need to be done through the PTboard directory where you can find parent names, phone numbers and email addresses.   We do suggest that if you are planning a small party with just a few children, not inviting all the students in the class is fine, but if you plan to invite most, we suggested including all since a larger party where most children are invited can make the few who are not feel very left out!  You are welcome to bring your child a special “Birthday lunch” on his or her birthday and join them for lunch in the cafeteria!

     SCHOOL NURSE and CLINIC PROCEDURES

     The school clinic provides only a temporary resting place for ill students.  If you are called, please pick up your ill child promptly!  Policy does not permit our administering medication of any kind, including over the counter drugs, without a physician’s written statement indicating that it is necessary during the school day.  Forms for this purpose are available upon request from the school nurse.  If your child will need medication at school, a PARENT must bring the medication to the nurse with the appropriate documentation.

    If a student suffers from a physical or medical condition, please notify the teacher and the office, and supply any pertinent details necessary for emergency treatment (i.e. allergies, asthma etc.) and talk with the nurse about completing a medical plan.   Remember each year students will have a new teacher, so please notify the teacher at the beginning of each school year.

     Many parents are frequently concerned about when to keep children home or send them to school.  The following guidelines should help you in making this decision:

    The child should stay at home if he/she……

    1. has a fever of 100° or more, and should remain at home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal without fever reducing medication.
    2. has vomited or has had diarrhea and should remain at home for 24 hours after it has stopped.
    3. has a persistent cough.
    4. has open or draining skin sores.
    5. has inflamed or draining eyes or ears.

     

    DISCIPLINE

    Each student has the right to a quality education without disruption.  Each student at Mary Munford Elementary is expected to be on his/her best behavior at all times and to obey all school rules.  Each teacher will establish and communicate a discipline plan for his/her classroom based on the Richmond Public Schools SCORE (Student Code of Responsible Ethics).  We support and encourage positive behavior, but for negative behaviors consequences may include: student conferences, phone calls/conferences with parents, missed classroom privileges, missed recess time, after school detention, SBIT Referral, community service, in school or out-of-school suspension, shortened school day, law enforcement agencies or court referrals.  All students will receive the Richmond Public Schools SCORE publication (Student Code of Responsible Ethics) and are responsible for reading and adhering to the standards presented.   Students will also be made aware of the rules and consequences outlined in this document in the classrooms.   Parents should sign and return the parent Responsibility and Involvement page.

     If you are concerned about an issue in your child’s classroom, speak to your child’s teacher.    Please keep in mind that all school personnel are required to follow confidentiality rules and we cannot share personal information about any child other than your own with you.

     TEXTBOOKS

    Students may be issued textbooks and or workbooks for Math, History and Social Science, and Reading.    Some of the textbooks will travel back and forth between home and school, and others will primarily be used only in class.  Students are not to write, draw, color, or deface textbooks in any way.  If a textbook or workbook is lost or damaged, students (parents) will be responsible for payment.

    LIBRARY

    Students will have a class visit and lesson in our media center once each week, and on most visits will have an opportunity to check out books.  Children are responsible for returning books in good condition.  Lost or damaged books must be paid for and children who have overdue library books will not be permitted to check out books until overdue books are returned.  We have a maximum three-book check out limit.  Keep in mind that the school library is NOT a replacement for the public library which has a much more extensive collection of books and materials.  Our library is an instructional resource and with all classes scheduled for library lessons, there is very little “open” time for students. 

     

    VOLUNTEERING

    We love volunteers!  Parents who want to volunteer must have their driver’s license scanned into our visitor management system. 

     There are all kinds of ways for you to volunteer.  If you wish to volunteer in your child’s classroom, tell your child’s teacher.  He or she will be happy to put you to work!  Most teachers prefer to have volunteers follow a schedule so that there will be some consistency.  Please remember that you will need to sign in at the office before you go to your child’s classroom.  There are also other volunteering opportunities in tutoring programs, the media center, and the cafeteria.  Please let Mr. Muzik or Ms. Miller know if you are interested in volunteering in other places around the school and they will put you in contact with the appropriate person.  Thank you so very much for all that you do for our school.  Please make arrangements to speak with the teacher outside of instructional time. 

    VISITORS

    All visitors MUST report to the school office when they enter the building. ALL VISITORS MUST REPORT TO THE OFFICE to sign in.  All visitors must have a drivers license or government issued picture ID.   We do not permit unannounced visits to the classroom.  If a parent wants to observe in a room, we have an observation request form that must be completed. 

    If your child has forgotten homework, lunch etc, please bring these to the school office.  We will call your child to the office to retrieve the item(s).  Don’t forget, we have free lunch for all students do if your child forgets a lunch, he or she will get fed!

    THE PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION. - PTA

    The School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) operates under its own bylaws and is organized with an executive board as well as various committee chairs.  Decisions related to the PTA including all financial issues are handled through the executive board and are separate for school board, cafeteria and student activity funds. 

    The PTA has a set of mailboxes outside the nurse’s office for all executive board members and committee chairs.  There is also a general PTA mail slot in the school office under the sign in desk.  All correspondence going to the PTA should be either placed in the appropriate PTA box or put in the drop box.  If money is sent to school for PTA related activities such as fund raising or membership, it should be in a clearly marked envelope so the teacher will know what it is for.  DO NOT mix money designated for the PTA with school-based funds. 

     We hope all parents will join and actively participate in the school PTA. 

    The Purposes of the Parent Teacher Association 

    • To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship.
    • To raise the standards of home life.
    • To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
    • To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth.
    • To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education

     

    The Munford PTA supports many programs and activities in the school that provide enrichment and support for students, teachers and families.  These program are supported through PTA fun raising and voluntary payments from parents for school activities.  The following are the fees we ask all parents to pay to support the many programs and activities in the school:

    School Supply Fee $30.00:  This fee covers all the school supplies your child will need for the year,  and you will not need to do any school supply shopping.  When your child arrives in school the teacher will provide all supplies needed in the classroom.  Parents always have the option of providing all the school supplies, but we believe this fee results in a significant savings for parents and provides common, high quality school supplies for students in the classroom.

    Class Activity Fee  $25.00:  This fee covers the cost of materials teachers purchase for class activities such as cooking, science experiments, classroom rewards, classroom magazines and even pizza parties.   It allows the PTA to reimburse teaches for expenses for things we cannot order through the instructional budget.  

    Minds in Motion Fee – Grade 4 Only: $30.00: This fee covers part of the cost of the Richmond Ballet Program for students in grade 4.

    SPARC Fee – Grade 3 Only:  $30.00:  This fee covers part of the cost of the SPARC Theater program for grade 3

    DANCING CLASSROOM Fee – Grade 5 $30.00.  The fee covers part of the cost of the Dancing Classroom Program in grade 5. 

     

    School Based Intervention Teams (SBIT) and Child Find

    RPS school-based administrators and teachers monitor progress of school-age students and provide specific interventions, as needed, to ensure appropriate instructional practices and to afford children success in learning. Should an administrator, teacher, or parent believe that there is reason to suspect a child has a disability and is in need of special education, even if they are progressing from grade to grade, they should make a referral to the school’s local screening committee (LCS). The local screening committee follows procedures in order to determine if there is sufficient information to suspect a disability and to warrant an evaluation for special education.  Referrals can be made by contacting the school guidance counselor. 

    In addition to Child Find, Munford has a School Based Intervention Team.  This team works with teachers and parents to develop strategies, programs and accommodations to support students with academic, social or behavior concerns. 

     

    How are Student Assigned to Classrooms?

     We do not accept requests from parents for specific teachers.  There are two requests we do consider:

    1. If an older sibling was assigned to a teacher, and the parent does not want the younger sibling to be assigned to the same teacher, the parent can request that the child not be placed with the teacher.
    2. Parents can request that twins be separated or placed in the same classroom

     Request forms can be picked up in the office and must be received by June 30. 

     

    All our classes are set up as heterogenous (Mixed grouping).  Teachers in grades K – 4 set up classes and Mr. Muzik then assigns teacher to the class sets.  

    Before and After School Programs and Activities

    Before and After School Child Care: Mary Munford offers a before and after school child care program from 2:45 - 5:45  on school days. This is a tuition based program and space is limited. If you are interested in the program, you should contact Ms. Anne Awad (awad@rvaschools,com) or call during program hours at 780- 5529.  

    Extended Day Academic Support: Munford offers extended day academic support for students who may need extra support in math or reading. The program begins in November and teacher or parents can request the services. The program runs from 3:45 – 4:45 and school bus transportation is available if you live in the Munford district.

    After School Enrichment (ASE):  These programs are offered though the school PTA and include a variety of programs in including actives such as soccer, lego robotics, SPARC, Tree Climbing, Cooking, Gimp, Sports, etc. Parents register for the programs though PTBoard.   These are fee-based programs, but the PTA offers 50% scholarships for students. Parents can apply for financial support by completing a request and submitting it to the school principal for approval.

    School Fees (Student Activity Fund)

    The student activty fund is where some of our school based fees are managed.  The following are fees we manage in this fund.

    Fieldtrip fees are collected to pay fees associated with classroom trips and cover admission and transporatoin if a charter bus is needed.  For all local trips, school buses are used and there is no cost to parents for transporation.    

     Lost or Damaged Book Fees:  This is only paid if a child loses or damages a library or school book and parents will get a notified of payment due.   If a lost book is found, a refund can be issued.

     Computer Damage:  This fee is charged if a school computer used at home is damaged.    

    When sending money to school to purchase requested items or pay fees (i.e. field trips) or for the cafeteria, please send the exact amount of cash or a personal check or money order.   If you send cash, the teacher will write a cash receipt and send this home.  It is very helpful if money is sent in a sealed envelope clearly marked with your child’s name and purpose for the money.  Checks should be made payable to “Mary Munford Elementary” .  Please do not combine payments to the school PTA for PTA activities and school-based activities.   Checks for the PTA should be made payable to Mary Munford School PTA.   

     

    A FINAL NOTE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

     

    Please feel free to call me (780-6267) or email me at: gmuzik@rvaschools.net if you have any concerns or questions at any time.  I am here for your children, and I want to hear from you if you have any issues to discuss.  If you have a concern regarding the classroom, the first question I will ask you is, “Have you discussed this issue with your child’s teacher?”  That is always the first step!  Once you have done that, we can work together to find a solution. 

     

    I always appreciate it when a parent makes an appointment to meet with me.  I understand that there will be times when you are unable to make an appointment, and I will do my best to accommodate your needs.  Please understand that I may not be in my office during the school day, as I will be monitoring instruction in the classrooms and working with teachers and children.  If I am unavailable for you, please leave a message with the office staff, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  Remember, the assistant principal, Ms. Sam Miller (sisaac@rvaschools.net), or our school counselor, Ms. Rose Gordon (rgordon@rvaschools.net), are also available to assist you when needed.