- Mary Munford Elementary School
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Frequently Asked Questions:
What happens after I register my child for school, and is there a Kindergarten Orientation?
We do not have a formal orientation but provide lots of information about kindergarten readiness and school programs. We have an open house the week before school starts. Parents and children can meet the teacher, visit the classroom, sign up for PTA activities and tour the school. We also have a back to school concert and Picnic on the school grounds the Sunday after school starts. In addition, we have a formal back to school night in late September for parents.
In mid August, you will receive a letter all the opening school information including the date of the open house, back to school concert, etc. We post class lists in the school lobby the week before school starts, and you can visit the school to get your child’s teacher assignments. .
How to I get my child to school?
- SCHOOL BUS: We will publish a bus schedule on our website so you can find the stop closest to your home. The elementary walk zone is one mile so if you live within a mile of the school and your child does not have to cross Cary or Grove, you may not have a school bus. You can always request a bus and transportation will review your request and may provide a bus if they feel there is not a safe way for your child to walk to school.
- Carpool: Parents who drive children to school should pull in front of our pavilion on Commonwealth Avenue to drop of children. We have staff on duty each day. Children will enter the school through rear lobby doors and go to the cafeteria for breakfast or auditorium to wait, if they arrive before the 9AM intake bell. Children sit by grade level in the auditorium.
- Walkers: Children who walk to school can enter through the front or rear lobby doors. Parents may walk children into the auditorium, but not to classrooms.
- Bike Riders: Park bikes on racks behind the school near the playground and enter through the rear lobby doors.
The first day of school is the only day when parents are permitted (but not required) to walk children to the classrooms.
**For the entire first week of school, please pin the school-provided yellow information card onto your child to help identify him or her as a new student.
How does the school dismiss children?
- Car Pool: Parents who plan to drive to school and get children are asked to use the carpool. Students will line up along the sidewalk on Commonwealth just past the new playground. Cars will line up along Commonwealth and pull up to our loading zone for student pick up. We ask that parents have a large sign on the windshield with student names who are being picked up. We load 3 - 4 cars at a time. We dismiss children at 3:35, and there is no reason to be there any earlier than this. We ask that parents who arrive early please turn off your car (don’t have it idle for more than 3 - 4 minutes). Sometimes the line wraps around to Grove, but we get all the kids loaded in cars in about 10 minutes. At 3:40 any children left are brought to the office.
- Parent Pick up - Auditorium: This is designed for parents who are walking to school to pick up children. Parents can drive and park, but there is very limited parking around the school at this time. We ask that NO ONE park along the yellow curb. This is for our VPI bus that comes in the afternoon. Parents will line up at the lower outside auditorium doors facing Westmoreland. We will open the doors as soon as the duty staff is there and parents will come in, pick up children and exit via the rear auditorium doors.
- School Buses and Day Care Vans: Students are dismissed at 3:45 and walk to the van or bus loading area where staff provides supervision until all children have boarded.
- Walkers and Bike Riders and Students going to After School Programs: Students are dismissed at 3:35.
- After School Care (Munford) Tutoring and Enrichment (AES).: Students will be dismissed from the classroom at 3:45 to go to tutoring, enrichment or our after school care program.
Can I do a combination of the dismissal procedures?
We will provide a “dismissal card” and parents will fill this out and return it to the office or the teacher. Due to activities and scheduling, some parents choose to have different departure procedures for each weekday. Ex: Mon: Bus, Tues: parent pick-up, etc. Teachers prefer us to keep the same set schedule for each week. It helps cut down on confusion for both the child and the teacher.
Can my child bring a friend home on the bus?
Unfortunately no. The transportation policy is that students must be on the bus “manifest” so only students assigned to a bus can ride it.
What if I think my bus stop is too far away or there is a safety concern?
If a parent has a concern about a bus stop location, complete a bus stop change request. Forms for this are in the office. Transportation will review the request and respond within 15 days.
Will the bus drop off my child if I am not at the stop?
For students in K - 2, there should always be a responsible adult waiting at the bus stop when children are dropped off from school. If not, the child will be returned to school and the parent will be contacted.
Is there an onsite before/aftercare program ?
Mary Munford operates a before and after care program on site. The program runs from 7:30 until 8:45 in the morning and from 3:45 until 5:45 each day school is in session. The morning program offers games, arts and crafts and fun time. The afternoon schedule includes homework time, snack, outside time and on Fridays a free day. Fees are paid in monthly installments. Registration is on a first come basis and students in the program have the first option to register each year in March for the following year. The registration day assigned by the city for Preschool and Kindergarten is also the first day to register for our program for the new school year. Our program does fill up and we often have a waiting list.
Before and After School Care Rates (subject to change):
One child: $141.00 monthly
Two children: $270.00 monthly
Three children: $378.00 monthly
One child: $209.00 monthly
Two children: $389.00 monthly
Three children: $565.00 monthly
One child: $331.00 monthly
Two children:, $596.00 monthly
Three children: $867.00 monthly
Anne Awad 780-5529 (September through June) email@example.com
How do I handle lunch?
Lunch and breakfast are free for all students and includes many healthy choices. Your child is free to bring his/her own lunch, or purchase one from the cafeteria. Milk and other items are sold in the cafeteria. We encourage parents to take advantage of this program and allow students to enjoy the many healthy choices offered each day.
School lunches consist of 5 choices (students must pick at least 3) including milk (flavored or regular), a grain, a meat or meat alternative, fruit and vegetable. There are also “grab and go” lunches like sandwiches and salads. We encourage you to take advantage of the great school l.unch program.
For students who want to purchase milk or some of the specialty items sold by the cafeteria, they can bring money or set up a lunch account. This is a debit type account and parents will need to either send money each day or deposit funds into the child lunch account. To put funds on an account, you can send or bring a check make out to RPS Food Services.
If you’d like to restrict what your child can eat parents should do this in writing to the cafeteria manager. Teachers cannot restrict what your child eats!
Can I visit my child during the day?
All visitors must first check in at the office to get a visitor’s pass.. Parents are not permitted to go to the classrooms unless this has been arranged in advance with the classroom teacher. Parents are welcome to join their children for lunch any time. Just check with the teacher to see what time your child eats. For your first visit please bring your drivers license. We are required to scan your license and run a background check before parents or any visitor is allowed to go to any location in the school. Once you have been an approved visitor, you can sign in and print a visitor badge.
What if my child forgets something he needs at school?
Parents can drop off forgotten homework, lunches, etc in the office and we will make sure the child gets the item. Don’t forget, we have free lunch for all students so if they forget their lunch, they will get a meal!
Parents may not go to classrooms during the instructional day.
Can I bring treats or food to the school for children in the classroom?
We don’t allow parents to bring any food that is distributed to other children unless this is a part of a teacher sponsored school activity. This includes birthday treats such as cake, cookies, etc.
Can I request a Teacher?
NO! The only teacher request we consider is that a child not be placed with a teacher if a sibling had that teacher in the past. All the teachers at Munford are excellent and will provide a positive supportive learning experience for your child. It would be impossible to set up classes based on parent requests, and we could not accept one without allowing this for all parents. The idea of the “best match” is what we often hear. Children don’t get to pick their parents and parents don’t get to pick the teachers. Students need to learn to adjust and deal with a wide variety of teaching styles and personalities. It is a good life skill they will all need.
What are the Some of the PTA sponsored during the year?
There are many school-wide and grade-specific activities, both during school and in the evenings, but here are some highlights. We depend on volunteers to help wit the many PTA activities. Look for the exact dates coming in late August/early
- Boo-Hoo Breakfast (September): The event is just for you! A breakfast provided by the PTA for Kindergarten and new families on the first day of school. This provides a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow Munford parents and to be welcomed to the Munford community. Immediately after drop-off in the cafeteria.
- Spooky Saturday (October): This is our biggest family fundraiser of the year, and requires each class to provide many volunteers to make it happen. You do not want to miss it! Games, food, music, bounce houses galore!!
- Family Math Night - families come and enjoy challenging numbers and building games...all things Math!
- Family Reading Night - kids come dressed as their favorite character from a book for a night of speakers, book swaps, games, and storytelling.
- Book Fair – December - Held at Barnes and Noble at Willow Place as a PTA fund raiser.
- Snowball Dance (January)- SCA-sponsored dance in the cafeteria
- Auction (March): Parent-only night at a location to be determined. Event includes food, beverages, entertainment, a silent auction, and a live auction…our biggest fundraiser!
- International Night - A cultural event featuring activities from different countries. Fun free event!
- Talent Sow- A fun-filled Friday evening with performance by Munford students.
- Soccer – Spring and fall Season
How does the school communicate with me?
Information will be made available to you in the following ways:
- The official Munford website: https://www.rvaschools.net/MMES
- Mary Munford Facebook Page (like us and request access)
- The PTA website: http://www.ptamarymunfordelementaryschool.com/
- Monday Envelopes –Each child will be given a reusable envelope, which will come home in his or her backpack every Monday and will contain various information. You are to return the envelope to the school the next day.
- Monarch Message- An email newsletter put out by the PTA containing valuable information about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, legislative initiatives, and more. Please take the time to read these each week!
- Your Room Parent – At the beginning of the year, one room parent will be assigned to each class, that room parent will be an invaluable source of communication and information regarding classroom parties, field trips…you name it. Feel free to volunteer!
- Munford Messages – Mr. Muzik has your phone number, and isn’t afraid to use it! These automated telephone messages are wonderful ways for the school to let you know about time-sensitive issues and action items.
- School Directory- After the first few weeks of school, each family will receive a school directory. In addition to teacher and student contact information, you will find detailed descriptions of Mary Munford programs and activities.
What if my child misses school?
You must report any absence by 9:30 AM the day your child misses school by either calling #780-8799 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org (a link is on the school website). If you are planning to take your child out of school for a trip or for other non-illness related absences, you must send a letter or email to Mr. Muzik requesting and excused absence. Virginia requires school age children to attend school except for excused reasons (sick, religious, appointments, bereavement). If a child missed 10 or more days of school, the parents will be invited to attend an attendance team meeting with the counselor and school social worker.
What enrichment activities are available to my child?
In addition to music, art, Spanish, PE, computer, library, field trips, and assemblies offered to all children, the PTA runs a wonderful after and before school enrichment program. Various classes are held in six-week sessions three times a year. The afternoon classes meet weekly from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. There is an enrollment fee for each class. Examples of past programs include: art, drama, tennis, chess, running, jump rope, and nature education. Program and registration information is sent home and posted in the Munford lobby in September, January and March. Parents are encouraged to give suggestions for new classes and to ask for volunteer opportunities with existing programs.
How do I sign up for soccer?
Mary Munford runs one of the best soccer programs in the city! There are Fall and Spring programs. Information about registration dates will be coming home the first week of school.
And you can look online
To register and get all information, go to the Munford Soccer website: http://www.ptamarymunfordelementaryschool.com/soccer.html
How do I get involved?
Parent volunteers are the backbone of this school. There are many ways to get involved:
Sign up to be a room parent or introduce yourself to your classroom parent and ask how you can get involved. Ask your classroom teacher what you can do to help. If you work, there is often stuff that can be done at home (cutting, copying, stapling, etc). Check in with the Volunteer Coordinator, with your availability and see what the current needs are. Volunteer to chaperone field trips. Come have lunch with your child. Attend monthly Tuesday night PTA meetings....and a Board meeting if you are interested. Visit the Mary Munford playground after school or on the weekends and meet other kids and parents. We need you!!!
Answers to parent questions that come up….
What is the official school day? The School Day is 9 – 3:45 (Dismissal begins at 3:35)
When is a child considered tardy? The Tardy bell is at 9:10 (students who arrive after 9:10 must come to the office so we can change their absence to a tardy)
We are taking a family vacation and my child will miss school…is this a problem? Missing than 10 days of school (excused or unexcused absences) is considered chronic absenteeism by Virginia and an attendance meeting with the school social worker will be held to discuss attendance with the parents. Parents can request an excused absence for travel or other activities through the school principal, but parents are strongly encouraged to plan travel and vacations during non school periods.
What time can I drop my child off at school? Student intake (supervision of students) begins at 8:45 (students go to Auditorium or cafeteria until 9AM bell). Parents may not drop children off at school before this time!
What School Supplies will my child need? We charge parents a one time fee that covers all the school supplies your child will need during the year. You do NOT need to go shopping for supplies. In grades K and 1, we also supply a book bag we want student to use instead of backpacks. In grades 2 – 5, students may need a backpack or book bag.
What’s for lunch? We offer Free Breakfast and Lunch for all students or students can bring a packed lunch. The lunch menu is posted on the RPS website.
How many kids are in a class? Class size average is 22 in grades K – 3 and 24 in grades 4 and 5.
What happens if my child has academic problems? Munford offers a wide variety of instructional support including special education, gifted education, tutoring, after school math and reading .
What if I need to pick up my child early? Anyone picking a child up early must be on the school emergency card and have a picture ID. We do not allow early dismissal after 3:15 PM. Parents will need to wait until the regular dismissal time if they arrive at school after 3:15 to pick up a student.
What kind of physical education and recess will my child have? Students have physical education with a P.E. certified teacher each week for 50 minutes, In addition, they get physical education and recess with the classroom teacher every day for 30 minutes. Many teachers also schedule work breaks during the day and students will go outside and run the track.
How is discipline handled? Our focus on student discipline is Positive Behavior Support (PBIS) to encourage and teach expected behavior. There are consequences for poor behavior and these are outlines in the Student Code of Responsible Ethics – S.C.O.R.E) adopted by the Richmond School Board.
What about the Arts at Munford? Students have art and music each week for 50 minutes. The school offers band, strings and Harp instruction for students in grades 4 – 5. Grade 3 programs includes a theater program with SPARC. Grade 4 programs include Minds in Motion with the Richmond Ballet. Grade 5 programs include Dancing Classrooms (Ballroom Dancing).