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School Handbook

September 1, 2016

 

 

Dear Leverett students and families:

 

I am extremely happy to welcome you all to the 2016-2017 school year at LES! Many of you are returning families and we are glad you and your children will be part of the community again this year.  Those of you who are new to LES, we are thrilled to welcome you and hope that you will come to love LES as much as we do!  We are also welcoming some new staff members to our community:  Nicole Harper will be teaching our sixth graders, and Katrin Griswold is our new fourth grade teacher. Karyn Briand has moved into the position of full-time school nurse after the retirement of nurse Jill Roberts.  

This Handbook contains important information that we hope will assist you and your family during the course of the year. Please take some time and read through it carefully. The school administration and School Committee have worked hard to make the handbook both comprehensive and comprehensible, but if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know. All of the staff at LES are dedicated professionals who are committed to providing your children with the best possible educational environment in which to learn, grow and thrive. One of the great aspects of this school is its wonderfully close and supportive community of families. Family involvement in school events and activities is crucial both to student success and that of the school as a whole. Your input is valued and valuable, and your participation in school activities is critical to all of our success. This year there are many options for voluntary participation, including the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), which organizes events and raises funds for field trips and other important school programs.

 

The School Committee also welcomes family and community input and participation. We meet on the first Monday of every month, at 6:00 p.m., in the LES library. The minutes of each meeting are published on the school website as well as in the back of the Friday Post each month. You can find more information about the roles and responsibilities of the School Committee on page 47 of this Handbook. We encourage you to reach out to us regarding policy issues affecting the entire community. Questions or concerns regarding specific classroom practices or individual situations, however, should be addressed by way of the process outlined on page 34 of this Handbook.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me or any other member of the School Committee with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have. The members’ contact information is listed on page 7. Once again, welcome, and on behalf of the School Committee I wish you all a joyful and successful 2016-2017 school year!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Sarah Dolven

LES School Committee Chair 

                                                                       

TABLE OF CONTENTS 


INTRODUCTION TO THE LEVERETT SCHOOL

Welcome Letter from School Committee 1

Table of Contents 2

Mission Statement and School Improvement Goals 5

LES School Staff 6
Committees and Contacts 7

Calendar 8  

GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION

School Hours 9
Attendance 9
Breakfast, Lunch and Snack 9
Recess 10
Toys at School 10

Birthday Parties 10
After School Plans/Permission Slips     11
The Friday Post 11
Lost and Found 11
Visiting Our School 11

Emergency Procedures   12

Special 911 Instructions   13

GETTING THERE, BEING HERE, AND GETTING HOME  
      Riding the School Bus   14
Cars     15
      Routines for Picking Up Children     15

Bicycles  16
Walking  17
Delayed Opening/School Closing   17

ACADEMIC INFORMATION
Reporting Children’s Progress   18
Standardized Testing 18
Homework 19
Field Trips 19

Report Cards/Parent Conferences     19


BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE

Safe & Respectful School   20

Behavior Expectations   21

Discouraging Inappropriate Behaviors     21

Due Process/Suspension   24

Disciplining Students with Special Needs   28

BULLYING PREVENTION PLAN       30

SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Early Childhood/Preschool/Kindergarten 31
Specialist Programs
Adventure Program 31
Art 31

Computer Lab 31

Instrumental Music 31

Library 32
Music 32

Physical Education 32

After School Program 32

Community Network for Children 33

PARENT/GUARDIAN INFORMATION

How to Handle a Concern 34

Communication with Teachers and the School 34

Discussion of Sensitive Topics 34

Transfer of School Records 35

Rights of Divorced or Separated Parents 35


 HEALTH INFORMATION AND REQUIREMENTS
School Nurse 36

State Immunization Law 36
Physical Evaluations 36
Medication Policy 36
Emergency Information Form 37
Emergency Transportation Policy 37
Accident Insurance 37
Communicable Diseases 37
Head Lice Protocols 38
Vision, Hearing, BMI, and Postural Screenings 39
Medical Excuses 39
Biting 39

Head Injuries 39


   INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORTS

Instructional Supports 40

Response to Intervention 40

Individual Student Success Plans 40

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION/504
Special Education Law 41
Eligibility for Special Education Services 41
Section 504/ADA 42
Administrator of Special Education 42

PARENT/GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT

PTO 43

Volunteering/Confidentiality 43

Special Education Parent Advisory Council 43

School Council 44

Safety Committee 44

Field Trip Chaperones 44

LEVERETT SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Function of the School Committee 45

Meeting Procedures 45

Public Participation at Meetings 45

Agenda Items 46

Concerns 46

POLICIES, REGULATIONS AND LAWS

Policy on Discrimination and Harassment 47

Grievance Procedures 47

Life Threatening Allergy Policy 48
Head Lice Policy 49

Names, Addresses on School Lists 49

Preschool/Kindergarten Bus Route Policy 50

Student Contract for School Internet Use 50

Student Record Regulations 51

Building Use Policy 52

Library Material Selection 52

Parental Notification Relative to

Sex Education 52

School Choice Policy 53

Student Absences and Excuses 54

Tobacco-Free School Policy 54

PUBLIC NOTIFICATIONS

Asbestos Management Plan 56

Water System 56

Integrated Pest Management Program 57

Compliance 57

LEVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

“LES IS MORE!”


Leverett Elementary School Mission Statement

The mission of Leverett Elementary School is to educate all students to their fullest potential, providing a foundation of academic skills and subjects in a safe, positive

 and enriching environment that fosters a love of learning.

In cooperation with families, teachers, and community, LES aims to prepare all

 students to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world, with 

individual accountability and respect for others.




SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GOALS 2015-2017

1. The people of Leverett will develop an appreciation for, and a commitment to, Leverett Elementary School as a place of learning as well as a community resource.

2. Response to Intervention protocols will provide a consistent approach in establishing and providing interventions, and strengthening learning for all students.

3. Leverett Elementary School will develop updated and comprehensive safety protocols.

LEVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STAFF

Principal 

Margot Lacey

Secretary

Kate Rice

Classroom Teachers

Ruth Love Barer, Preschool

Amanda King, Kindergarten

Alissa Alteri Shea, Grade 1

Angela Regan, Grade 2

Tracey Supple, Grade 3

Katrin Griswold, Grade 4

William Stewart, Grade 5

Nicole Harper, Grade 6

Specialist Teachers

Lani Blechman, Library

Karie Neal, Art 

Karin Gravina, Technology

Heidi Renauld, Music

Richard Trowell, Physical Education

Dawn Marvin Ward, Greenhouse

Special Education Teachers

Lori Castagna

Aris Etheridge

Christopher Geiling

Essential Skills Teachers

Vivian Kucinski

Christine Paglia Baker

Psychologist

Bethany Politylo

Speech and Language

Karen Gallagher

Occupational Therapist

Margaret Simmons

Special Education Aides

   Debhra Brazeau         

Marla Cromwell

Debora Fritz

Jonathan Lambert

Kathy Martin

Instructional Aides

Carol Allis, Preschool

Sherri Goodwin, PS-Grade 1

Martha Guilmette, Kindergarten

Nurse

Karyn Briand

After School Program Director

Michael DeRosa

Cafeteria Staff

Molly Snedden, Food Service Director

Tabatha McLellan

Custodial Staff

Wayne Cromack, Head Custodian

Christopher Cole

Joe Sobieski

LEVERETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

COMMITTEES AND CONTACTS

LES School Committee

Sarah Dolven, Chair

549-6535, sdolven@gmail.com

Bethany Seeger

256-6739, Bethany@seeger.ws

Tara Acker

617-905-1494, Taraacker@gmail.com

Craig Cohen

917-749-5106, craigalexandercohen@yahoo.com

Audra Goscenski

549-3994, audrag@gmail.com

LES School Council 

(note: elections for School Council will be held in the fall)

Margot Lacey, Co-chair

Caroline Aller, parent

Craig Cohen, parent

Emily Hodos, parent

Phyllis Herda, community rep

Lani Blechman, teacher rep

Bethany Politylo, teacher rep

Parent Teacher Organization

Theresa Gahagan, president

Kate Rice, treaasurer

Join us!!

Erving School Union #28

Composed of the school districts of Erving, Leverett, Shutesbury, and New Salem/Wendell (Swift River School).

Erving School Union #28 Jennifer Haggerty, Superintendent

18 Pleasant Street Prudence Marsh, Director of Student Support

Erving, MA 01344 Aaron Osborne, Director of Finance and Operations

413-423-3337 Gillian Budine, Early Childhood Coordinator

FAX 413-423-3236 BettyLou Mallet, Executive Secretary
www.union28.org

2016-2017 Academic Calendar

 

GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION

SCHOOL HOURS
School begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:05 p.m. for grades PK-6. On Wednesdays, dismissal is at 1:05 p.m. to allow staff, teachers, and specialists time for curriculum work, professional development, and special staff meetings. Some preschool and kindergarten students are on a half-day schedule. Those students go home at 11:30. School officially begins at 8:30. If children arrive earlier---by foot, by bike or by car---they should go to the lobby outside of the main office. The children are supervised there by a staff member between 8:15 and 8:30. 

A parent/guardian should remain with the child in the lobby until the staff supervisor arrives.  All students, bus riders and early arrivers, are allowed to go to their classrooms at 8:30. Preschoolers are taken to their classroom by their parent/guardian at 8:30.

TARDINESS IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. Please make every effort to be at school by 8:30 AM. Children who arrive at school even 10 minutes late miss important instruction and the chance to get settled and check in with the teacher.. Children arriving later than 8:40 are officially tardy. They must report to the office before going to their classroom.

ATTENDANCE
Regular attendance in school is essential for each student’s academic progress.  If your child will be absent from school because of illness, please call the office by 9:15 (548-9144) to let us know.  When we do not receive a call, you will be contacted by the school nurse to determine the reason for the absence.

Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for success in school. The Leverett School Committee is required to provide for and enforce the school attendance of all children attending Leverett Elementary School. Children must attend school regularly, in accordance with state law and for a number of days annually, as determined by the Board of Education of the Commonwealth. The full attendance policy can be found 

on page 53. 

BREAKFAST, SNACK, AND LUNCH
1. Breakfast is served every morning on school days between 8:30 and 8:45 AM. It is a cold breakfast: bagels, fruit, cereal, juice or milk. The cost is $1.25. 

2. Many of the classes have a midmorning snack. Your child’s homeroom teacher will give you information about the snack routine for the class. Snacks must be provided from home. Only snack milk is available for purchase from the cafeteria. The cost is 50 cents.

3. Lunch may be purchased at school. Our program offers a vegetarian alternative to meals with meat, and a salad bar with a wide variety of fruit, veggies, and dairy choices. The cost of each lunch is $2.75, including beverage (milk, water, juice). Milk may also be purchased separately for 50¢ for lunch.

4. Menus for breakfast and lunch will be published every week in the Friday Post. All meals and milk purchases must be paid for in advance. Each child has an individual account that is debited after they have received their meal and/or milk. The school is unable to extend credit to children for the purpose of buying lunch. 

5. Free and reduced price breakfast and lunches are available for those who qualify. The federal reimbursement through this program is essential for our food service budget. The privacy of the children in this program is 

completely protected. Applications are sent home at the beginning of the year and are also available in the office. Unless or until you have received a notice of direction certification, or you have been found eligible through the completed application, you are responsible for payments for school lunch.

RECESS

Each class has recess every day, except on early release Wednesdays. Members of staff always supervise recess. Children are expected to go outside at recess time and should be dressed appropriately. During rainy or extremely cold weather (below 0ºF) recess will be held indoors. Between 0º and 20ºF, the Principal will make a decision regarding outside/inside recess. Otherwise, only those children who have been advised by their physician to limit cold weather exposure may remain indoors. We must have a note from your child’s physician if he/she advises your child to remain indoors. In general, we expect children who are well enough to be in school to participate in all school activities, including outdoor recess. When children wear boots to school, they should also bring something else to wear on their feet indoors. Having an extra pair of socks at school is a good idea in case socks become wet. At no time may children go barefoot in school. All articles of outerwear should be labeled with the owner’s name or initials.

Children who want to play in the snow during recess MUST wear -

Grades 5-6:
Boots; Snow pants are required for sliding in the snow.

Grades 2-4: Boots for playing on top of the snow; snow pants required for sliding or playing in the snow.

PreK-Grade 1: Boots and snow pants


TOYS AT SCHOOL

Toy weapons and sharp instruments of any kind are not permitted at school. Also, we do not allow electronic games and equipment to be used at school. This includes cell phones, iPods, iPads, digital cameras and the like. If a child is bringing an expensive toy or a piece of electronic equipment to school so that it can be taken to a play date after school, that item must stay in the child’s backpack during the school day. The school cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to any such item.In general, it is not necessary to bring toys from home to school. We have well stocked equipment sheds on both playgrounds. Toys from home are not necessary indoors, either. The classrooms are also fully equipped with developmentally appropriate games. Personal collections of Pokeman or Magic cards, etc. should not be brought to school.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

In order to be fair and avoid hurt feelings, we ask parents to follow these guidelines regarding birthday parties. Invitations to a party may be distributed at school if the entire class is invited; otherwise they must be delivered outside of school. Transportation to a party after school may be via the school bus if the entire class is invited. Parents must contact the Principal to determine ahead of time if there is sufficient room on the bus; otherwise private cars must be used.

AFTER SCHOOL PLANS/PERMISSION SLIPS

On occasion, children have plans to go home from school with friends for a play date. Plans for such after school activities should be made in advance and your child must bring a note stating where he or she is going after school. We discourage students from calling parents during the school day for permission to go home with a friend. Parents/guardians may call the school office with a change of plans for their child when there is an unexpected situation. Otherwise, the child should come to school with a note from his or her parent/

guardian if there is any change to the regular routine. A note helps make everyone feel secure about who will be responsible for the child at dismissal. **Please see the ‘Getting There’ section for additional important information about collecting your child from school during the school day and/or at the end of the day.


THE FRIDAY POST

Every Friday, except during a short week, the school publishes a newsletter, The Friday Post. This newsletter is used to report news of current and future events to the school community. It also contains School Committee agendas, and  the school lunch menu for the following week. The paper is hand-delivered by children to their homes. Please work out a regular delivery system with your children to guarantee that you receive it.  The Friday Post is also available electronically on the school’s website www.leverettschool.org .Our newsletter also provides opportunities for non-school events and issues to be announced and shared with the community. We will print all appropriate articles and announcements if they are consistent with the guidelines developed by the School Committee and if space permits. Please submit articles to be published to the office no later than Wednesday afternoon. Flyers for non-school sponsored events can be attached to the Post. They must contain a disclaimer “This is not a school-sponsored event” and a sufficient number of copies (180) provided to be attached the newsletters.

LOST AND FOUND

In June, dozens and dozens of good shirts, coats, and other clothing items were donated to Goodwill—all left behind by children last year. It is our goal to avoid a large collection of Lost & Found items. We encourage parents/guardians and children to make sure names or initials are marked in outer clothing, especially sweatshirts. Lunch boxes should also be labeled. We make every effort to return things to their owners when the item has the child’s name written it. Generally, four times a year, we have a “Lost and Found Fashion Show” during lunch periods and many lost articles are reunited with their owners. Any unclaimed items in the Lost and Found at the end of school in June are donated at the end of the year.

VISITING OUR SCHOOL

Visitors are welcome at our school.  For the safety and security of both you and our students, please sign in and pick up a Visitor badge in the office whenever you visit the school, and don’t forget to sign out when you leave!Visits to classrooms during teaching time require teacher permission. Please contact the teacher directly at least 2 days in advance of the date you wish to visit. Students who wish to bring a visitor to school must also obtain the permission of the teacher at least two days in advance of such a visit. This would include elementary aged student visitors and animal visitors. Visits for more than one day are highly discouraged. All school rules and regulations for students apply to visitors.

Our school library is open four days a week (closed on Monday) during school hours. Members of the community (including home school families) are welcome to use the library resources. Library books may be checked out with a maximum of 5 books per family for a two-week period. We reserve the right to call back any books needed for classroom use.  We will ask for reimbursement for any lost or damaged books. AV materials may not be checked out. Any visiting children must be supervised by a parent/guardian while using the library. Use of the library by LES classes or instructional groups may close the library to visitors at various times during the school day.Visitors are also welcome to use our school playgrounds. The playground on the north side of the building is designed for use by children under the age of six. The playground on the south side of the building includes the basketball court, tire mountain, climbing structure, and swings. The Town of Leverett has the responsibility for ball fields. If you wish to use the ball fields, please contact the Recreation Commission.  Any visiting children must be supervised by a parent/guardian while using the playgrounds. Playgrounds are closed to visitors during the school day when in use by our students.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Emergency Numbers

EMERGENCY, FIRE, POLICE 911Shelburne Dispatch 625-8200
Poison Center 1-800-222-1222

Town of Leverett
Margie McGinnis, Town Administrator 548-9699

Jason Noschese, Treasurer/ Collector 548-9666
Lisa Stratford, Town Clerk 548-9400
Highway Department 548-9400
Town Library 548-9220

Erving School Union #28
Superintendent’s Office 423-3337
Director of Special Education 423-3331
Kuzmeskus Bus Co. 863-2595

In the event of a major disaster during school hours, school will not be dismissed. Children and school personnel will remain under the supervision of school authorities in the school building. Only if conditions will not allow the use of the school building will the school be evacuated.


The school maintains a plan to respond to such natural disasters as earthquake, tornado, or other natural disasters that require movement of students within the school building or removal of students from the school building. As part of that plan, it may be necessary to transport children away from the school. In such a case, parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible. In such a situation, the school will use the emergency communication system for the Town of Leverett, Connect CTY. In an emergency, please do NOT attempt to drive to the school. Montague Road is likely to be closed, in order to accommodate emergency vehicles and personnel. You will receive a phone message giving you information on where to meet your child(ren). If you are visiting the school during a drill or actual emergency, please follow the directions of staff in following emergency protocols. 

 

If a school bus is involved in a traffic accident, your child, even if uninjured, will be taken to the hospital if we are not able to reach you. Please be sure that the school has up-to-date emergency contact information for you. 

SPECIAL 911 INSTRUCTIONS

Did you know that you are still able to access 911 even if you are unable to speak?

This is information that everyone should know.

Dial 911.

Once the call is answered, indicate your need by pressing the appropriate number on your phone.

IF YOU NEED POLICE, PRESS 1.

IF YOU NEED FIRE, PRESS 2.

IF YOU NEED AN AMBULANCE, PRESS 3.

The 911 Dispatcher may ask questions that require yes or no for answers.

PRESS 4 FOR YES.

PRESS 5 FOR NO.

 

GETTING THERE, BEING HERE, AND GETTING HOME

RIDING THE SCHOOL BUS

Bus Routes
F.M. Kuzmeskus, Inc. of Gill is our bus company. The routes, stops, and approximate pick-up times are sent home in the back to school mailing. We also keep a list in the school office. If you have any questions about your child’s bus, please call the office at school. 

At the Bus Stop
Leverett Elementary School has formal responsibility for children once they are on a school bus. It is important for parents/guardians to work together with the bus drivers to ensure the safety of their children at bus stops before the school bus arrives and when children are dropped off in the afternoon. Bus drivers are not allowed to leave Preschool or Kindergarten children at their bus stop unless a parent/guardian or older sibling is there. If no one is at the bus stop to meet a Preschooler or Kindergartner, the bus driver will return the child to school. Parents/guardians may not ride a school bus without first notifying the school office which in turn will inform the bus company and driver. This is a requirement of state law
.
Bus Behavior and Rules
1. Students must follow the instructions of the bus driver at all times.
2. The bus aisle should remain clear of backpacks, bodies and body parts (legs and feet) at all times. 
Students may not stand or move around the bus.

3. Students are never to put anything or any part of their body out of the bus window.
4. Students may not turn around to talk with the children behind them. Students may talk to the person 
sharing their seat on the bus, using a normal tone of voice, never shouting or screaming. 
5. Students may not eat on the bus.
6. Any type of aggressive behavior, verbal or physical, will not be tolerated.
7. When exiting the bus, students should stay seated until the driver has brought the bus to a complete 
stop and has opened the door.It is school policy to provide transportation for each child. However, this privilege may be taken away if it is determined that a child is endangering his or her own safety or that of other children on the bus or is repeatedly disrespectful of bus guidelines or the bus driver. Our expectation is that students will behave themselves on the bus, realizing that their safety and the safety of their schoolmates is the most important concern of all. If anything about your child’s ride to/from school is troubling, please call the Principal at once.

Preschoolers and the Bus
Although it is not encouraged, preschoolers who are four years old may ride the school bus, particularly if they have an older sibling who also rides the bus. It is very important that preschool parents review the School Committee policy on preschool transportation, found on page 50.  Parents/guardians should complete the form requesting permission for their child to ride the bus (available from the preschool teacher) and submit it to the Principal for consideration. No preschooler may ride the bus until permission has been granted.

Bus Emergency Information

Please be sure that the school has up-to-date emergency contact information for you. If the bus is involved in a traffic accident, your child, even if uninjured, will be taken to the hospital if we are not able to reach you. 

CARS

If you drive your child to and/or from school, please observe these routines.

Drop-Off, K-6
: All children in Grades K - 6 must be dropped off at the front (Montague Road) side of the school. You may drive up on the berm and off the road. Please help children
exit from the school side of cars, not into the road. Children then enter at the front doors of the school. Early arrivers should stay in the supervised area in the front lobby (see page 4). Students arriving after 8:30 need to check in with the school secretary before going to their classrooms. If students are dropped off in the parking lots at the north or south of the building, they should use the sidewalks to take the most direct and safest path to the front door. Please do not double park on Montague Rd., even for a brief time. 

Pickup, K-6:
All children in K through Grade 6 going home by car will leave from the front lobby. They will be escorted by a staff member to the front lobby where they must remain until they are collected by a parent/guardian.  Children may not be picked up in the parking lots or at the bus doors. A school staff person will always monitor the departure of students from the front door.

Preschool Drop-off and Pick-up:
Preschoolers should be taken directly to their classroom by their parents/guardians. Children in Preschool should be taken into the school through the north entrance doors. Parents/guardians may park their cars in the north parking lot and then bring their preschooler into school. A school staff member will monitor the arrival of students through the north entrance door between 8:25 and 8:40. Preschoolers should be collected at dismissal time by their parents/guardians at the north entrance door close to the preschool classroom.Parking: There is no parking on the playground at any time during the school day. Drop-off and pickup parking is available in the north and south lots or in front of the school on Montague Road. 


According to M.G.L. C 90 section 16B, no driver shall cause or allow the engine of any motor vehicle to idle unnecessarily on school
grounds. 

ROUTINES FOR PICKING UP CHILDREN AT SCHOOL

If you are picking up your own child at the end of the school day, please:

- Send your child’s teacher a note on the day you’ll be picking him/her up. - If you regularly pick up your child on a given day, send a blanket note for the year. It will be kept in the main office and communicated to the staff supervisor at the front door. - Park your car in front of the school or in one of the parking lots. Please drive up on to the berm in front of  the school as far off the road as possible. - Pick up your child at the main front door of the school. A teacher will supervise children who are picked  up at the main front door of the school. 
-Please pick your child up PROMPTLY at 3:05 p.m.If you are picking up your child before the end of the school day, please: - Send a note to your child’s teacher saying when you will pick him/her up. - A copy of your note will go to the school office. - When you arrive at school, please go to the office FIRST. - The secretary will help you find your child. - Do not go to the classroom to meet your child.

If someone other than a parent/guardian is picking up your child at the end of the school day, please: - Send a note to the teacher that includes the full name of the person picking up your child. - A copy of the note will go to the school office. - The office will give the supervising teacher the note. - The supervising teacher will be with the children at the main front door and may require identification before dismissing any child. Your child will only be permitted to leave when we have identified the person to whom  you have given written permission. - If an emergency arises, you may call the school and speak with the secretary, nurse or Principal and authorize an emergency designee to pick up your child.

If someone other than a parent/guardian is picking up your child before the end of the school day, please: - Send a note to the teacher that includes the full name of the person picking up your child. - A copy of the note will go to the office. - The person designated to pick up your child should check in at the office and show identification. Your child will only be permitted to leave when we have identified the person to whom you have given written permission.

If your child is going home on the bus to a friend’s house, please: - Send a note to your child’s teacher stating the date and the name of the friend your child will visit. - Your child’s teacher will keep the note in a safe spot until the end of the day. At that time your child’s teacher will return the note to your child. - As your child boards the bus he/she will hand the note to the driver.

If your child is sick and parent/guardian cannot be reached: - Your child will only be released to one of the two alternates you listed on your child’s         Emergency Form after checking in at the health office and showing identification.

If your child is sick and neither you as parents/guardians nor your designated alternates can come to pick him/her up:
- We will not release your child to anyone until you have called the school and designated someone. 
Your designee should check in at the main office and show identification. 

BICYCLES Children in grades 3 through 6 may ride bikes to school. They must wear properly fitted helmets; this is the state law.  If a bike rider arrives at school without a helmet, she or he will not be permitted to ride the bike home. Once at school, bikes must be parked in the rack by the gym and may not be ridden at any time during the day. Bike riders are dismissed from the bus doors and should leave school immediately after the buses leave unless they are enrolled in the After School Program.

 

WALKINGSome children walk to school. They should be very careful. Leverett roads do not accommodate walkers well. Walkers should walk against, not with, the traffic. In the afternoon, walkers may leave school from the main front door only after the buses have left. Walkers must also leave school immediately after school is out, unless they are enrolled in the After School Program.

BAD WEATHER - DELAYED OPENING - SCHOOL CLOSING
If it becomes necessary to call off school, delay opening, or have an early dismissal due to inclement weather or other conditions, the decision will be made by the Superintendent, Ms. Jennifer Haggerty. Sometimes the weather makes a sudden, drastic change. This can require a last minute decision to close or delay the opening of school or even have an early dismissal of school. Be aware of this possibility. Make sure that your contact information on file with the school is correct so that you are contacted through our automated phone/email system. You can also listen to the radio or TV. The following stations announce Leverett School closings, delays or early dismissals.

WHAI Greenfield 98.3 FM WRSI Greenfield 93.9 FM
WHMP Northampton 99.3 FM WPNI Amherst 1430 AM
WRNX Amherst 100.9 FM WPVQ South Deerfield 95.3 FM
WAHL Orange 99.9 FM WJDF Orange 97.3 FM

WGGB-TV Channel 40 WWLP-TV Channel 22

Please note that Leverett is part of School Union #28. School closing, delayed opening, or early dismissal announcements are made as “School Union #28” or “Erving Union # 28”, usually not as Leverett School.

In the event that the Superintendent decides on an early closing due to an approaching storm, the school will use the emergency communication system for the Town of Leverett, Connect CTY. Early closings are also announced on the radio and television.You may also call the school at 548-9144. In difficult weather, we will have a recorded message on that line announcing a closing, a delay, or an early dismissal. Kuzmeskus, our bus company, has a website you can check to see if school has a delayed start or will be closed due to bad road conditions. The website can be found at www.travelkuz.com We rely on the information you give us on the emergency form completed in the fall. Please notify us of any changes in phone numbers and/or emergency contacts as soon as possible.

 

ACADEMIC INFORMATION

REPORTING CHILDREN’S PROGRESS
Report cards are sent home by mail twice a year: at the end of January and on the last day of school in June. Teacher conferences with parents/guardians are held in November and April. These are important opportunities for parents/guardians and teachers to share information and to work together to promote each child’s learning and growth. Communication between parents/guardians and teachers is essential to success in school for students. Both parents/guardians and teachers are encouraged to arrange a conference whenever it would be helpful.  

STANDARDIZED TESTING
The school administers a number of standardized tests each year in Preschool through Grade 6. A list of tests, grade levels and approximate dates are listed below. Due to changing state requirements for assessment, this list is subject to change, in which case parents will be notified.

GRADE TEST DATES
Preschool Fluarty (speech screening) Fall Meisels May Speech Ease May
Kindergarten DIBELS (literacy) Fall, winter, spring

Grades 1-6 BAS Reading Assessments Fall, winter, spring Grade 1 DIBELS Fall, winter, spring Grade 2 DIBELS Fall, winter, spring Grade 3 PARCC ELA/Math** April/May Grade 4 PARCC ELA/Math April/May Grade 5 PARCC ELA/Math April/May

MCAS Science/Technology Grade 6 PARCC ELA/Math April/May

Exact dates for these tests will be published in the Friday Post at least one week before administration. Results of testing will be shared with parents/guardians either by mail (MCAS/PARCC), or at fall and spring conferences (DIBELS), or if test results indicate concerns (Meisels, Fluarty, Speech Ease). 


HOMEWORK
At the Leverett School, we do not use homework as a primary part of instruction. Instead, homework is assigned to practice and understand skills and concepts learned in school, to make up work not completed, to do research projects, or to do background reading. Homework will be related to what a child is learning and will not be assigned for its own sake. For example, it will not be assigned solely to develop good work habits. Good work habits grow when homework is meaningful. Teachers will evaluate children’s homework.Homework is assigned to the whole class based on classroom curriculum.  Homework is limited in Kindergarten to occasional special projects. In Grade 1 through Grade 6, homework is assigned regularly on school nights. Generally speaking, the amount of time a child should spend on homework is equal to the grade level times 10 minutes. For example, a Grade 2 student would have 20 minutes of homework each night. A Grade 6 student would have 60 minutes. A portion of the homework assignment frequently involves reading, as well as math. Homework should be completed by the child independently. A dedicated homework time and a quiet work space is often helpful to the child doing homework. If your child is spending excessive amounts of time or requires significant adult support with homework, please contact your child’s classroom teacher to discuss the issue. For children seeking additional learning, the LES website (www.leverettschool.org) guides them to exciting sites on the internet for independent learning. If you do not have access to the internet, there are many other educational activities that your child may enjoy including playing a board game, working on a puzzle, word find, or maze (often found in the daily newspaper), taking a nature walk, or writing a story to share.We recognize that there are many valuable things children do outside of school hours. We do not intend that homework leaves little time in a child’s life for anything else. If you have any concerns about your child’s homework, please contact his/her classroom teacher. A conversation with your child’s teacher early in the school year about homework may help make the experience productive and successful.

FIELD TRIPS
Field trips are recognized as important educational components of both the curricular and co-curricular programs. Students should recognize the privileges of participation. It is expected that they will conduct themselves in a manner that will help them to gain the maximum advantage from the trip, and show them to be positive representatives of their school.  No child will be denied access to a field trip due to financial concerns. In such a case, the parent is asked to contact the classroom teacher or principal. A permission slip for every field trip is sent well in advance to the parent/guardian for approval. Under no condition will a child be permitted to leave the school grounds without permission of the parent/guardian. A First Aid Backpack is prepared for each field trip, which includes the medical permission slips, emergency contact information, cell phone and medications required for the students. Transportation for field trips is by school bus. Classroom teachers will ask for parent/guardian volunteers to act as chaperones for field trips. Chaperones must have an approved CORI form on file in the school office.

REPORT CARDS/PARENT CONFERENCES

Parent Conferences are held twice a year (late October-early November and April). This is a very important opportunity for the teacher to share information with parents about their child’s progress. It is also a good time for parents to ask questions and to share any concerns they may have about their child’s school experience. Report cards are issued in February and June, and reflect your child’s progress towards the grade level standards. 

If you have particular concerns about your child’s progress or well-being in school at other points in the year, contact the teacher. It is important that this information is shared in a timely manner, rather than waiting for the scheduled conference dates. 

BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE

LEVERETT ELEMENTARY IS A SAFE & RESPECTFUL SCHOOL

Mission Statement

The mission of the Leverett Elementary School is to educate all students to their fullest potential, providing a foundation of academic skills and subjects in a safe, positive and enriching environment that fosters a love of learning.In cooperation with families, teachers, and community, LES aims to prepare all students to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens of the world, with individual accountability and respect for others.

“At Leverett Elementary School, we take care of ourselves,we take care of each other,and we take care of our school.”

Guiding Principles

Our Safe & Respectful School Plan is designed to help create a climate of cooperation, academic excellence, respect and safety at the Leverett Elementary School. Safe & Respectful is based on six guiding principles. We believe that these principles will help create an optimal learning environment for the students at LES. The guiding principles are as follows:1. Clear expectations for student behavior.2. Clear and consistent strategies for teaching and encouraging appropriate behavior.3. Clear and consistent consequences that discourage inappropriate behavior.4. A support system and individual behavioral programs for students with unique or exceptional needs.5. Our Safe & Respectful School Plan is evaluated and revised on an annual basis.6. The characteristics and philosophy of our Safe and Respectful school plan will be communicated to students and parents.

BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS


Discouraging Inappropriate Behaviors

Behaviors are addressed in a developmentally appropriate manner, with the ultimate goal of helping the child to learn from the situation, and to have strategies to make positive and productive choices. 

Level One Behaviors

Level One behaviors are minor rule violations that will result in an immediate verbal correction with a possible consequence.

Level One Consequences

Students who engage in Level One behaviors will be asked to identify the inappropriate behavior and describe the appropriate replacement behavior. Students may receive a mild consequence designed to discourage the inappropriate behavior from occurring in the future. Consequences for Level One behavior may include but are not limited to:

Level Two Behaviors

Level Two behaviors are more serious in nature. Level Two behaviors will result in an immediate verbal correction, a logical consequence and a written behavior report that is signed by and discussed with the student’s teacher and parent. 

Level Two Consequences

Students who engage in Level Two behavior will be asked to identify the inappropriate behavior and describe the appropriate replacement behavior. The incident will be documented using a behavior report form, which will be signed and discussed by the teacher/principal and parent. The student is responsible for returning the form signed within 24 hours. Consequences for Level Two behaviors may include but are not limited to:

 

Level Three Behaviors

Serious fighting, harassment, and verbal abuse violate the dignity, well-being, and safety of another person. These behaviors will not be tolerated and will result in suspension from school. Other Level Three behaviors may result in suspension or may also be addressed with different logical consequences.

Level Three Consequences

Students who engage in Level Three behaviors will be referred to the Principal, and the parent/guardian will be contacted. After consulting with the parents and appropriate school personnel, the Principal will issue appropriate consequences and facilitate a plan designed to help the student improve his/her school behavior. Level Three consequences will include the completion of a behavior report, to be signed by teacher and parent as is done for Level Two Consequences.

 

 

DUE PROCESS FOR SUSPENSIONS

NOTICE OF PROPOSED SUSPENSION

Except in the case of an emergency removal or disciplinary offense defined under M.G.L. c. 71, §§37H or 37H½ or an in-school suspension as defined by 603 CMR 53.02(6), the school shall provide the student and parent/guardian with written and oral notice of the proposed out-of-school suspension, an opportunity to be heard at hearing, and the opportunity to participate at the hearing. Notice shall set forth in plain language:

  1. the disciplinary offense;
  2. the basis for the charge;
  3. the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student’s suspension;
  4. the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the Principal concerning the proposed suspension,  including the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, and for the parent/guardian to attend the hearing;
  5. the date, time, and location of the hearing;
  6. the right of the student and student’s parent/guardian to interpreter services at the hearing if needed to participate;

The Principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent/guardian orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. In order to conduct a hearing without the parent/guardian present, the Principal must be able to document reasonable efforts to include the parent/guardian. Reasonable effort is presumed if the Principal sent written notice and documented at least two attempts to contact the parent/guardian in the manner specified by the parent/guardian for emergency situations.

All written communications regarding notice of proposed suspension shall be either by hand delivery or delivered by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or other method agreed to by the Principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. 

SHORT-TERM SUSPENSIONS: HEARING AND PRINCIPAL DETERMINATION

A short-term suspension is the removal of the student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for ten (10) consecutive days or less. Out-of-school short-term suspensions which do not cumulatively over the course of the school year exceed ten (10) days of suspension shall be conducted in accordance with this section.  

Principal Hearing. The purpose of the hearing with the Principal is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student has committed the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts. A parent/guardian present at the hearing shall have the opportunity to discuss the student’s conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances. 

Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the Principal will make a determination whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequence. The Principal will provide notification in writing of his/her determination in the form of an update to the student and parent/guardian, and provide reasons for the determination. If the student is suspended, the Principal shall inform the parent/guardian of the type and duration of the suspension, and shall provide an opportunity for the student to make up assignments and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal. 

If the student is in grades pre-k through 3, the Principal shall send his/her determination to the Superintendent and explain the reasons prior to imposing an out-of-school suspension, before the short-term suspension takes effect.

All written communications regarding the hearing and Principal determination shall be either hand delivery or delivered by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the address provided by the parent/guardian for school communications (or other method agreed to by the Principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. 

LONG-TERM SUSPENSIONS: HEARING AND PRINCIPAL DETERMINATION

A long-term suspension is the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or for more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary offenses in any school year.  The purpose of the hearing with the Principal is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student has committed the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts, that the Principal will consider in determining whether alternatives to suspension such as loss of privileges, detention, an apology, a student contract, restitution, and/or probation are appropriate.  

Additionally, the student shall have the following additional rights:


In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student’s record and the documents upon which the Principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;

ii. the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student’s choice, at the student’s and or parent’s/guardian’s expense;

iii. the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, but the student may not be compelled to do so; and

iv. the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district;

v. the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the Principal. All participants shall be informed that the hearing is being recorded by audio. A copy of the audio recording will be provided to the student or parent/guardian upon request. 

Based on the evidence submitted at the hearing the Principal shall make a determination as to whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, after considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to suspension (the use of evidence-based strategies and programs, such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive interventions and supports) what remedy or consequence will be imposed. If the Principal decides to impose a long-term suspension, the written determination shall:

  1. Identify the disciplinary offense, the date of the hearing, and the participants at the hearing;

ii. Set out key facts and conclusions reached by the Principal;

iii. Identify the length and effective date of the suspension, as well as a date of return to school;

iv. Include notice of the student’s opportunity to receive a specific list of education services to make academic progress during removal, and the contact information of a school member who can provided more detailed information.

v. Inform the student of the right to appeal the Principal’s decision to the Superintendent or his/her designee (only if a long-term suspension has been imposed) within five (5) calendar days, which may be extended by parent/guardian request in writing an additional seven (7) calendar days.

The long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the Superintendent decides to reverse the Principal’s determination on appeal.

If the student is in grades pre-k through grade 3, the Principal shall send his/her determination to the Superintendent and explain the reasons prior to imposing an out-of-school suspension, whether short-term or long-term, before the suspension takes effect.

All written communications regarding the hearing and Principal determination shall be either hand delivery or delivered by first-class mail, certified mail, or email to the provided by the parent/guardian for school 

communications (or other method agreed to by the Principal and parent/guardian) in English, and in the primary language in the home if other than English, or by other means of communication where appropriate. 

APPEAL OF LONG-TERM SUSPENSION

A student who is placed on a long-term suspension shall have the right to appeal the Principal’s decision to the Superintendent if properly and timely filed.  A good faith effort shall be made to include the parent/guardian at the hearing. The appeal shall be held within three (3) school days of the appeal, unless the student or

parent/guardian requests an extension of up to seven (7) additional calendar days, which the Superintendent shall grant.

The student and parent/guardian shall have the same rights afforded at the long-term suspension Principal hearing. Within five (5) calendar days of the hearing the Superintendent shall issue his/her written decision which meets the criteria required of the Principal’s determination. If the Superintendent determines the student committed the disciplinary offense, the Superintendent may impose the same or a lesser consequence than that of the Principal. The Superintendent’s decision shall be final.  

EMERGENCY REMOVAL

A student may be temporarily removed prior to notice and hearing when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense and the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school and, in the Principal’s judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or disruption. The temporary removal shall not exceed two (2) school days, following the day of the emergency removal. 

During the emergency, removal the Principal shall make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and student’s parent/guardian of the emergency removal and the reason for the emergency removal. The Principal shall also provide the due process requirements of written notice for suspensions and provide for a hearing which meets the due process requirements of a long-term suspension or short-term suspension, as applicable, within the two (2) school day time period, unless an extension of time for the hearing is otherwise agreed to by the Principal, student, and parent/guardian.

A decision shall be rendered orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day. The decision shall meet all of the due process requirements of a Principal’s determination in a long-term suspension or short-term suspension, as applicable.

IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION UNDER 603 CMR 53:02(6) & 603 CMR 53.10

In-school suspension is defined as the removal of a student from regular classroom activities, but not the school premises, for not more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or no more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple infractions over the course of the school year.

A Principal may impose an in-school suspension as defined above according to the following procedures:

The Principal shall inform the student of the disciplinary offense charged and the basis for the charge, and provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the Principal determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the Principal shall inform the student of the length of the student’s in-school suspension, which shall not exceed ten (10) days, cumulatively or consecutively, in a school year.

On the same day as the in-school suspension decision, the Principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent orally of the disciplinary offense, the reasons for concluding that the student committed the infraction, and the length of the in-school suspension. The Principal shall also invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the student’s academic performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior. Such meeting shall be scheduled on the day of the suspension if possible, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible. If the Principal is unable to reach the parent after making and documenting at least two (2) attempts to do so, such attempts shall constitute reasonable efforts for purposes of orally informing the parent of the in-school suspension.

The Principal shall send written notice to the student and parent about the in-school suspension, including the reason and the length of the in-school suspension, and inviting the parent to a meeting with the Principal for the purpose set forth above, if such meeting has not already occurred. The Principal shall deliver such notice on the day of the suspension by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or by other method of delivery agreed to by the Principal and the parent.

SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION FOR DISCIPLINARY OFFENSES: M.G.L. 71 §§37H and 37H½

The due process notification and hearing requirements in the preceding sections do not apply to the following disciplinary offenses:  

Possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance, or assault of staff

A student may be subject to expulsion if found in possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance, or the student assaults a member of educational staff, and the Principal determines the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. 

The Principal shall notify the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing of the opportunity for a hearing, and the right to have representation at the hearing, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. After said hearing, a Principal may, in his/her discretion, decide to levy a suspension rather than expulsion. A student expelled for such an infraction shall have the right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten (10) days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Superintendent of his/her appeal. The student has the right to counsel at the hearing before the Superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student was guilty of the alleged offense.

Felony complaint or issuance of felony delinquency complaint

Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony, or the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the Principal may suspend a student for a period of time determined appropriate by the Principal if the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. 

The Principal shall notify the student in writing of the charges, the reasons for the suspension (prior to such suspension taking effect), and the right to appeal. The Principal will also provide the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) the process for appealing the suspension to the Superintendent. The request for appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar days. The hearing shall be held within three (3) days of the request. The suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing before the Superintendent.  At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, and the right to counsel. The Superintendent has the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal. The Superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. 

Felony conviction or adjudication/admission in court of guilt for a felony or felony delinquency

The Principal may expel a student convicted of a felony, or has an adjudication or admission of guilt regarding a felony, if the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. 

The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for the proposed expulsion. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent, as well as the appeal process.  The expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the Superintendent. 

The student shall notify the Superintendent in writing of his/her request for an appeal of the decision no later than five (5) calendar days following the date of the expulsion. The Superintendent hearing shall be held with the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) within three (3) calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, and shall have the right to counsel. The Superintendent has the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal. The Superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five (5) calendar days of the hearing.


Any student expelled from school for such an offense shall be afforded an opportunity to receive educational services and make academic progress.

DISCIPLINING OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (from MGL 71, 37H & 37H1/2)Authority of school personnel.
School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether a change in placement is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct. School personnel may remove a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct from his or her current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not more than 10 consecutive school days (to the extent those alternatives are applied to children without disabilities), and for additional removals of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct.


After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days in the same school year, during any subsequent days of removal the public agency must provide services so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP and receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.

For disciplinary changes in placement that would exceed 10 consecutive school days, if the behavior that gave rise to the violation of the school code is determined not to be a manifestation of the child's disability, school personnel may apply the relevant disciplinary procedures to children with disabilities in the same manner and for the same duration as the procedures would be applied to children without disabilities. The school is only required to provide services during periods of removal to a child with a disability who has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days or less in that school year, if it provides services to a child without disabilities who is similarly removed.  

Manifestation determination
Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the child's IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the LEA) must review all relevant information in the student's file, including the child's IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability. If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team make the determination that the conduct was a manifestation of the child's disability, LES must conduct a functional behavioral assessment, unless the LEA had conducted a functional behavioral assessment before the behavior that resulted in the change of placement occurred, and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the child; or if a behavioral intervention plan already has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the LEA agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

Special circumstances
School personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability, if the child carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school, knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises.

BULLYING

BULLYING INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION PLAN

PRIORITY STATEMENT

  • Leverett Elementary School (LES) expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences.
  • LES is committed to providing all students with a safe, supportive environment that is free from bullying and cyberbullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process.
  • We understand that members of certain student groups, such as students with disabilities, students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and homeless students may be more vulnerable to becoming targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. The school or district will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing. We repeat that this plan is not focused on any one group of students but strives to create a safe environment for that promotes positive peer relationships for everyone.
  • We will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, in our school buildings, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curriculum, instructional programs, professional development, extracurricular activities, and parent/guardian involvement.
  • The LES Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, and LES is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, and the community to prevent issues of violence. In consultation with these constituencies, we have established this Plan for preventing, intervening, and responding to incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation.

A complete copy of the LES Bullying Intervention and Prevention Plan can be found online at www.leverettschool.org. If you wish to have a printed copy of the plan, you can request one from the school secretary.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS

 EARLY CHILDHOOD
1. PRESCHOOL: The Leverett School District operates a Preschool Program for three-and four-year-old children. The Preschool runs Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 3:05, with early dismissal on Wednesday at 11:30 with an extended day option until 1:05. Parents/guardians may choose to register their children for a half-day program. Half-day dismissal is at 11:30 AM.  For more information about this program, please contact Kate Rice at 548-9144.

2. KINDERGARTEN: A child must be five years old on September 1 of the year they enter Kindergarten. Kindergarten is a full-day program with a half-day option available (8:30 - 11:30 AM) for students who are not ready for a full day. The decision regarding length of school day for Kindergarten students is a shared decision by parents/guardians, the classroom teacher and the Principal. Decisions will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, in September, November, January and April. With the half-day program, parents/guardians are responsible for arranging transportation home for their child at midday on Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays, all students go home at 1:05.

SPECIALIST PROGRAMS
Adventure Program: The Adventure Program is undergoing changes during the Fall, 2016.  Watch for news in the Friday Post for updates to the program.

Art: Students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 have art lessons with Karie Neal.  The program is a hands-on studio art approach to visual art instruction. The children are exposed to a wide variety of materials. They are presented with opportunities that encourage exploration and experimentation. They draw and paint, make prints, sculpture, ceramics and crafts. Students are introduced to the major elements of visual art: line, color, texture, form, shape, contrast and value. They use these elements to make unique and self-satisfying works of art.
Computer Lab: Karin Gravina is our Technology Teacher. Student projects in the computer lab focus on learning and using applications and include research and multimedia presentations, website development and a sixth grade yearbook. Teachers receive professional development on the applications available in the computer lab throughout the year. Teachers and staff are also made aware of recent developments in educational software, websites, and educational technology trends. The school maintains a website at
http://www.leverettschool.org.

Instrumental Music: Brian Bender is our instrumental music teacher. He provides lessons after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The fees for these lessons range from $80 to $160 per trimester, depending on whether it is a private or group lesson and the length of the lesson (15 minutes or 30 minutes).  Students must provide their own instruments, but rentals can be obtained locally. Scholarships are available for families who cannot afford lessons. Contact Margot Lacey at school for more information.

Library: Lani Blechman is our Librarian. The Leverett Elementary School Library and its programs provide access to collection books, reference materials, online resources, and technology to support the school curriculum and promote recreational reading. The goal of the library is to foster a culture of reading, information-seeking, and visual literacy that permeates the school community. The Leverett Elementary School Library is open on school days (except Mondays) from 8:30 to 3:00 and is a valuable resource available to all students, staff, and parents. Students visit the library weekly to take part in information literacy class and check out books. Classes focus on information literacy skills via story time, library activities, and lessons that enhance information access and evaluation. Students also visit the library individually, in small groups to work on special and research projects. Books may be checked out for a two-week period and may be renewed as needed. Reminders for overdue books are sent out monthly and families will be asked to reimburse the library for any lost books. A wonderful way to celebrate your child's birthday or a special day for your family is to donate a hardcover book to the library. A birthday bookplate will be placed in the book acknowledging your gift. A list of suggestions is always available in the library.
Music: Students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 have music classes with Heidi Renauld. Students experience many forms of music including singing, dance, reading music, and composing. There is a School Chorus for students in Grades 4, 5 & 6. Physical Education: Students in Preschool through Grade 6 have PE classes with Rick Trowell. Students play active games where every student in the class has a chance to fit in and feel successful. Games taught require cooperation and teamwork. Skills such as attending, following directions and respecting one another are reinforced. The intended outcome is an appreciation for physical activity that will benefit children throughout their lives. On the days when children have Physical Education class, they should wear sneakers to school.
After-School Program:
Leverett Elementary School offers an After School Program for children in grades K-6. This program provides a place for children to come at the end of the school day to rest, play, create, be with friends, and relax in a supportive and closely supervised environment. The program is developmentally oriented to encourage each child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth.The program has one session from 3:05 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and two sessions on Wednesday - from 1:05 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The cost ranges from $70 per child per month for one session to $210 per month for all six sessions. Some financial aid is available for those who qualify.  Registration information is sent to each family in August. If you would like more information about this program, please call Mike DeRosa, the Program Director, after 2:15 p.m. at 548-9144.

The Community Network for Children (CNC) Program

The Community Network for Children, founded in 2009, is funded by CFCE grant funds through the Department of Early Education and Care. We support initiatives to create programs that address the needs of families and early education and care professionals with young children living in Erving, Wendell, New Salem, Shutesbury and Leverett. We strive to collaborate with existing human service agencies to further fulfill these needs. If you live in one of the five towns and have a young child (ren), then your family can benefit from the School Union # 28 Community Network for Children. If you are expecting a baby or have a newborn and live in one of the 5 towns, please contact us to be put on our mailing list and receive a new baby gift bag! 

 

To find out more about the services we offer or how to get involved, please contact Gillian Budine, the Community Network for Children Coordinator at (978) 544-5157 or e-mail Budine@erving.com. 

The Community Network for Children Office is located at: 

Swift River School

201 Wendell Road, New Salem, MA 01355

Voice: 978-544-5157 | Fax: 978-544-2253

More information can also be found at:

http://sites.google.com/site/communitynetworkforchildren/

http://www.facebook.com/communitynetworkforchildren

Program Objectives

  • Act as a community based, information and resource hub for all families in order to increase knowledge of and accessibility to high-quality early education and care programs and services for families with children birth through age 8. 
  • Promote family education, engagement and literacy through activities that:
    • recognize parents as their child’s first teacher;
    • build on family strengths;
    • bolster parental leadership;
    • create parental opportunities for mutual support and social connections; and
    • build early and family literacy skills.
  • Provide access to information and resources that support early education and care.


CNC Story Hours and special events and programs are held in Shutesbury, Leverett, Erving, Wendell, and New Salem. Parent-child Playgroups are help in Erving, Shutesbury, and Erving.

Parent Support Groups and other parenting information sessions are held throughout the year. 

Call CNC for current schedule and programs (978) 544-5157

 

PARENT/GUARDIAN INFORMATION

HOW TO HANDLE A CONCERN
The policies, procedures and programs of the Leverett Elementary School are consistent with its philosophy. This handbook reflects our commitment to excellence and to good relations with all members of the school community. Occasionally concerns grow, and a need develops to share those concerns. The School Committee’s policy for dealing with concerns and complaints makes it clear that every effort should be made by the parent/guardian and teacher to solve a problem together. More information is generally available from the teacher regarding a particular incident or situation than from anyone else. School problems should be handled at the lowest possible administrative level: FIRST with the staff member SECOND with the Principal THIRD with the Superintendent of Schools FOURTH with the School Committee
Formal complaints should be addressed to the appropriate persons at the lowest level. When complaints are not resolved satisfactorily, or when there is a pattern of complaints, the person or persons at the next level should be informed. Any complaints requiring School Committee action must be in writing.

COMMUNICATION WITH TEACHERS AND THE SCHOOL
Parents/guardians often ask, “If I have a question or concern about my child, or if I have something important to share about my child, what is the best way to communicate with my child’s teacher? “ Contacting the teacher directly to request a conference is the best way to address important concerns. Conferences can be arranged at any time during the school year. Don’t wait until the biannual conferences to discuss an issue of importance. If you have a quick communication to share with your child’s teacher, you may contact them by phone, email, or note. Teachers have both voice mail and e-mail accounts at school. Teachers will check their email and voice mail daily and you should receive a reply within 24 hours. If the issue is especially time-sensitive, such as a change in your child’s end-of-the-day plans, always leave the message with the office. If there is an emergency affects your child, email or leave a phone message for Principal Margot Lacey at any time.

DISCUSSION OF SENSITIVE TOPICS
The Leverett School is strengthened by its diversity, which encompasses a wide range of beliefs and experiences. Our job is to provide a safe learning environment for every student. Occasionally, teasing or inappropriate language is brought into the school. The staff will address such behavior promptly and make a decision as to whether it is an individual matter, or one which students would benefit from discussing together. Sometimes discussion of sensitive topics (divorce, death, violent news, substance abuse, sexism, lifestyle differences, etc.) helps all children to be able to ask questions, express fears and discomfort, and to get to a place of understanding and respect for a different point of view or experience. These discussions may arise without prior warning and the staff will make a professional decision (in consultation with the Principal and school psychologist) to allow the children to “clear the air” while grappling with an issue. If this occurs, parents/guardians will be notified that the issue was discussed. When there is advance notice that a sensitive issue has come up and needs to be addressed with the whole class or school, parents/guardians will be notified in advance.

TRANSFERS TO ANOTHER SCHOOL
Transfers may be made most easily if adequate notice has been given. The school, and particularly the teacher, can help prepare a child for a transition to another school. Health and academic records will be sent to the new school when the parents/guardians have signed a release form at the new school and the new school requests the records.

RIGHTS OF DIVORCED OR SEPARATED PARENTS
As required by M.G.L. c. 71, § 34H, a non-custodial parent may have access to the student record in accordance with the following provisions. 

(a) A non-custodial parent is eligible to obtain access to the student record unless: 

  1. the parent has been denied legal custody or has been ordered to supervised visitation, based on a threat to the safety of the student and the threat is specifically noted in the order pertaining to custody or supervised visitation, or 
  2. the parent has been denied visitation, or 
  3. the parent's access to the student has been restricted by a temporary or permanent protective order, unless the protective order (or any subsequent order modifying the protective order) specifically allows access to the information contained in the student record, or 
  4. there is an order of a probate and family court judge which prohibits the distribution of student records to the parent. 

(b) The school shall place in the student's record documents indicating that a non-custodial parent's access to the student's record is limited or restricted pursuant to 603 CMR 23.07(5)(a).

(c) In order to obtain access, the non-custodial parent must submit a written request for the student record to the school Principal. 

(d) Upon receipt of the request the school must immediately notify the custodial parent by certified and first class mail, in English and the primary language of the custodial parent, that it will provide the non-custodial parent with access after 21 days, unless the custodial parent provides the Principal with documentation that the non-custodial parent is not eligible to obtain access as set forth in 603 CMR 23.07 (5)(a). 

(e) The school must delete all electronic and postal address and telephone number information relating to either work or home locations of the custodial parent from student records provided to non-custodial parents. In addition, such records must be marked to indicate that they shall not be used to enroll the student in another school.

(f) Upon receipt of a court order that prohibits the distribution of information pursuant to G.L. c. 71, §34H, the school shall notify the non-custodial parent that it shall cease to provide access to the student record to the non-custodial parent.

Regulatory Authority:
603 CMR 23.00: M.G.L. c. 71, 34D, 34E.

HEALTH INFORMATION AND REQUIREMENTS

SCHOOL NURSE
The school nurse provides health services to children and families at the Leverett School. The school nurse, along with other school personnel, responds to medical emergencies at the school.  The school nurse is responsible for carrying out state-mandated health regulations, referring students in need of medical and dental care, consulting with staff in assessing an individual student's needs, and participating with staff in developing and implementing the health curriculum.The school nurse serves as a liaison among parents/guardians, physicians, social service agencies and school, and is available to families to assist them in making social service agency contacts. The school nurse may also serves as a Special Education Team member in assisting families of children who have medical disabilities.

STATE IMMUNIZATION LAW This law is specific.  All entering Massachusetts students must be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and Hepatitis B. In addition preschoolers must be immunized against Hib. Please note that as of the 2011-2012 school year, 2 MMRs and 2 Varicella (chickenpox) vaccines are required for Kindergarten entry. A physician's certificate that includes immunization dates (month and year) is the required evidence of immunization and must be received before your child starts school. 

The school nurse will review your child's immunization record. If the minimum requirements are not met, your child may be excluded from school until a physician's certificate is given to the school. State law allows immunization requirements to be waived for religious or medical reasons only. Please contact the school nurse if you have questions.  

PHYSICAL EVALUATIONS
During elementary school years, Massachusetts state law requires initial and periodic physical examinations to be on file in your child's health record. All entering preschool and kindergarten children must have a physical examination on file within one month of beginning the program. These physicals must be done within six months before your child begins school or during the first year after they enter preschool, kindergarten, and fourth grade, or transfer here from another school. The school will provide the Health Care Provider's Exam form for the child's primary care provider to complete. Please have this Massachusetts School Health Record form completed by your child’s physician or nurse practitioner as he/she has a comprehensive knowledge of the health status of your child. Please call our school nurse if you are new to the area and need information about area pediatricians.State health regulations state that all children entering preschool or kindergarten show evidence of a lead test.

MEDICATION POLICY
If your child needs to take medication at school, please request a medication packet from the nurse. State law says that children may not take any medication, including over-the-counter medication at school unless we have a signed doctor's order form and a signed parental consent form for each medication your child takes. For your child's safety and the safety of all school children, all medications must stay in the nurse's office unless the nurse determines otherwise. All medications need to be transported to and from the nurse's office by an adult, not by a child. We will not give your child his/her first dose of a new medication at school in case of a possible adverse reaction. Please give your child the first dose of any new medication while he or she is at home. If a child is taking new medication, it is very helpful is the School Nurse is informed, in case of any side-effects that could change a child’s behavior or sense of well-being.

EMERGENCY INFORMATION FORM
Every year, one of the first requests for information you get from the school is an Emergency Information Form. It is this form to which we refer if your child becomes sick or has an accident at school. It is the most important piece of information we keep about your child. For your child's safety, please complete and return this form on the first day of school. Please notify the school immediately if a change occurs during the year. 

EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION POLICY
To ensure your child's comfort and safety, please be sure that the information on your child's emergency information sheet is current and that the phone numbers are accurate. Please notify the school immediately if a change occurs during the year. In case of illness or an injury that is not urgent, the parent/guardian or parent/guardian's designee will be responsible for transportation of the child. In medical emergencies, the child will be transported via ambulance. The child's parent/guardian will be notified as soon as possible. It is important that we have current information as to where parents/guardians or a designated alternate can be reached.
ACCIDENT INSURANCE
Students are automatically covered by accident insurance during school hours for the school year. There is a maximum $2000 limit, and this insurance pays for the bills that your insurance policy will not cover. This insurance applies only to school-related accidents. However, additional insurance can be purchased. The application form will be sent home in the 'Back to School' mailing in August. 

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Communicable diseases must be reported to the school. Please contact the school if your child is home sick and/or your child has been diagnosed with Hib disease, chicken pox, measles, whooping cough (pertussis), meningitis, hepatitis, or another contagious illness. Some contagious illnesses require your child to be excluded from school for a period of time to prevent transmission to other people. If there is an outbreak of an illness that has an available immunization, a child who has not had the required immunization due to medical or religious exemptions, may be excluded from school for a period of time after consultation with the MA Department of Public Health and/or the local board of health. Parents/guardians of susceptible children will be notified if there is an outbreak of a contagious disease in the school. Hand washing is the best way to protect against germs.  Studies have shown that the single, most important thing we can do to prevent getting sick is to wash our hands frequently. Please remind your child about the importance of good hand washing. Do not give your child aspirin because it is associated with Reye's syndrome. Please call your child's doctor if you are in doubt about sending your child to school. 


Here are some general illness guidelines:
Fevers: Fevers are generally signs of infection. Temperatures (normal and with a fever) are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Your child may attend school if their temperature is less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and they feel well. Please keep your child at home for 12 hours after their fever is down.  

Stomachaches, Vomiting, Diarrhea: A child with vomiting and/or diarrhea should be kept at home until symptoms have resolved for approximately 12 hours and the child is able to keep down food and liquid. Consult your health care provider if fever or pain is also present or your child is eating poorly and appears dehydrated.
Colds & Coughs: If cold and cough symptoms are associated with a fever or do not readily improve, call your health care provider. Your child may attend school if their temperature is less than 100 degrees F. and they feel well, but should stay home if they have a severe cough or excessive nasal drainage.
Flu: The flu is very contagious; keep your child home for 3-5 days if they are diagnosed with the flu.
Strep throat: Symptoms include a sore throat with or without headache or stomachache. Strep throat needs to be treated for a full 24 hours with antibiotics to prevent rheumatic fever before returning to school. Giving your child a new toothbrush and new (or washed) water bottle after they have been on an antibiotic for 24 hours may decrease their chance of re-infection. Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis: Your child may have conjunctivitis if the white part of the eye appears red and produces a yellow or green crusty discharge. This is a common, but contagious, eye infection that can be viral or bacterial. Your child may need an antibiotic eye ointment and may return to school after 24 hours of treatment. Call your health care provider for recommendations. Remind your child to wash their hands frequently and not rub their eyes. Give them a separate towel and washcloth.
Rashes: A rash may be a sign of a viral or bacterial illness, a reaction to something in the environment. If your child has an unusual rash or it is associated with a fever, contact your health care provider.
Impetigo: A child may return to school after treatment has started, with a bandage covering open sores.
Headaches: A child should be kept home if headaches are severe and do not respond to acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Consult your health care provider if the headache persists.
Earaches: The child should be seen by your health care provider to determine the need for treatment. Apply a warm compress to the affected ear to relieve pain and give acetaminophen or ibuprofen as recommended.

HEAD LICE PROTOCOLS

Outbreaks of head lice are very common in elementary schools. If you find nits or lice on your child, please notify the School Nurse. When a child is found to have live lice and nits, he or she is sent home with instructions to parents about providing an anti-lice shampoo. Whenever possible, these communications with parents are handled in person. Children sent home should not ride the school bus. Parents are asked to keep their children home the day following removal from school only if that requirement facilitates parents completing the procedures described in the home instructions. Any treated child should return to school as soon as possible, but not on the school bus, and should be examined at school by a nurse (or someone trained by the school to identify live nits) before entering class. When a head lice problem comes to the school's attention, the following steps are taken: Examine all children in the child's classroom, all siblings, and all very close friends. Parents are informed in writing of any confirmed case in their child's classroom and encouraged to examine their own children. The full policy on Head Lice can be found on page 49. 

 

VISION, HEARING, BMI, & POSTURAL SCREENINGS
State mandated screenings take place throughout the year. Children's vision and hearing can change quickly. If you have specific concerns regarding your child, please contact the school nurse. Postural screening is mandated for all 5th and 6th graders, it is generally done in the spring. Information will be sent home to those parents at that time.The state's Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening mandate requires that elementary schools collect height & weight measurements of all students in grades 1 and 4. These measurements are used to calculate BMI, which is a “weight for height for age” index that can be a useful tool in early identification of possible health risk factors among children. The results of the BMI screening will be kept confidential in each student's health record and will be mailed directly to parents or guardians, rather than sent home with the student.Parents will be notified if their child fails any of these screenings and will be referred for follow up with an appropriate health care provider. For children to be excluded from mandated screenings, a request must be made in writing at the beginning of the school year, and proof that your child's primary care provider has conducted the screenings must be provided before the end of the school year. Children in grades 1 through 6 are able to participate in the weekly fluoride mouth rinse program with the permission of their parents/guardians.

MEDICAL EXCUSES
It is the school policy that if a child is well enough to attend school, he or she will be expected to participate in all classes, including physical education and recess. However, if your child has sustained a physical injury that may be exacerbated by physical activity, please write a note and your child will be excused for that day only. If your child is expected to be out of gym or recess for more than a day, his or her doctor should write a note.
BITING
Due to the health risks associated with biting, these incidents need to be taken seriously by supervising adults. A child or adult who is bitten by another child must be taken to the nurse.The nurse will: • Treat the wound appropriately • Contact parents/guardians in order to advise them of the health risks associated with biting wounds

• Complete an accident report

HEAD INJURIES
Because of the risks associated with head injuries, any child who sustains a head injury must be seen by the school nurse.  If a concussion is suspected, the nurse will notify the parent/guardian and recommend that they follow up with the child's primary care provider. Depending on the severity of the injury, the child may be sent home to be monitored by the parent/ guardian for symptoms of a concussion.

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORTS

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORTS
Any child, PK through Grade 6 may need additional help in the classroom. When a teacher finds that a student is demonstrating difficulties academically, socially, emotionally, behaviorally, or physically, that teacher employs a variety of strategies in the class. Observation is usually the first step, to see if changes might be made that will help the student to do better. Other strategies may include finding new ways to teach or finding different ways a child can express what has been learned. The teacher may change the way the classroom is set up or may arrange for extra help from other school professionals. These supports or changes in the classroom are known as instructional supports or accommodations.

RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION (RTI)

Over the coming year, parents may begin to hear the phrase “Response to Intervention” or RTI come up in conversations with teachers. Response to Intervention was introduced in the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act in 2004. RTI is a three-tiered model to identify children who may benefit from additional support or further differentiation of instruction. That information is used to formulate RTI interventions, which may include short-term intensive instruction to help a student master a particular skill, or longer-term support from Essential Skills teachers. Over the past year, a group of LES teachers have been researching the most effective implementation of different aspects of RTI, and we will begin to refer to the model more formally in the coming year.

INDIVIDUAL STUDENT SUCCESS PLANIf these interventions are not successful, the classroom teacher documents the concern and the instructional and/or behavioral strategies that have been utilized in the classroom in the Individual Student Success Plan (ISSP). The teacher meets with the Principal and conferences with the parents/guardians to make them aware of the concerns. Further short term interventions may be initiated that might include working with the essential skills teachers and/or other school staff. If these new interventions are not successful in a reasonable amount of time, the grade level team will request a Child Study Team meeting to consider the next steps.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

THE SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW
In Massachusetts, the special education system is based on the federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), in combination with the state’s special education law (MGL c. 71B). Before a determination can be made as to whether or not a student is eligible for special education, an evaluation of the student's educational strengths and needs must occur.
ELIGIBILITY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
In cases where instructional supports and/or accommodations have not been successful for a student, a comprehensive education evaluation may be necessary. In order for an evaluation of a child to proceed, parents/guardians must give written consent for specific assessments to be conducted.  Parents/guardians have the right to request an evaluation. A Special Education Team is formed to consider the results of the core evaluation. Parents/Guardians, the Principal, and the child’s current teacher are always members of the team. The other members are determined by the specific assessments required. The following assessments are done as part of the initial evaluation process: • assessment of educational status, history and school progress, • assessment by a teacher who recently had or currently has the child in a classroom, • assessment by specialists in areas related to a child’s suspected need for special education. Other assessments which may be conducted based on need or parent/guardian request, are: • health assessment • psychological assessment • assessment by a nurse, social worker, guidance or adjustment counselor • assessment by an occupational therapist • assessment by an audiologist • assessment by a neurologist or other specialists.
In order for the student to receive specially designed instruction described in an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), the team must identify a disability and determine that the student needs specially designed instruction and/or related services in order to make effective progress in school.Following the completion of assessments, the results are shared with the Team members (including parents). If a disability is identified by the Team and specially designed instruction is required, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) will be developed to include specific educational objectives the Team would like the child to attain in the coming year. The plan is written by the Team, including the parents/guardians, who may accept or reject the plan as written, request an independent evaluation, or meet again with some of the Team members for more discussion. The goal of special education is to provide learning strategies and methods in ways that will help children attain appropriate progress in curricula areas.
.

SECTION 504/ADA

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. In order to fulfill obligations under Section 504, Leverett Elementary School has the responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability shall knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices of the school system.

UNDER SECTION 504, Leverett Elementary School has the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and, if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.

If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

For more information about 504, please contact Margot Lacey, LES Principal.

ADMINISTRATOR OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
The Administrator of Special Education for Union 28, Prudence Marsh, oversees the Special Education programs in each Union 28 school. She may be contacted at 413-423-3331. The Principal of the Leverett Elementary School receives requests for special education screenings and schedules assessments and evaluation meetings. The Principal works with the Special Education Director to develop and supervise special education services.

PARENT/GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE SCHOOL

Many elements go into making a strong and joyful school. Crucial elements include the support, advice and hard work that parents/guardians contribute to their school. Please continue this tradition at the Leverett Elementary School by joining one of these organizations.
PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION (PTO)
The PTO exists to support and enhance the educational, social, and physical environment within the school and school community. This is accomplished through various activities, social events and fund raising efforts held throughout the school year. Some previous and ongoing PTO sponsored events and educational contributions include: All-school directory, Family Game and Skate nights, Staff Appreciation Luncheon, assembly performances, bus service for field trips, Grade 6 yearbooks, and various program and facility equipment.  All LES families and staff are part of the PTO; membership is automatic. As PTO Members, involvement with the production of and participation in any and all PTO events/programs is welcomed and encouraged. One important need is for a Class Representative to the PTO for every homeroom, Preschool through Grade 6. Event details, program updates and requests for volunteers are communicated through the LES Friday Afternoon Post. Board Meetings are open to all and are typically held once a month. Meeting dates/times and locations will be listed in the Friday Afternoon Post and on the school calendar.

 Board Members' names and contact information are located at the beginning of the All-School Directory. 

VOLUNTEERING AT SCHOOL/CONFIDENTIALITY

We appreciate your interest and effort in helping us continue to provide a supportive learning environment for all LES students. Confidentiality is a key element when working within a school. Observations about student behavior, both academic and social, should never be discussed outside of the classroom environment. If you see behaviors that should be called to the attention of the classroom teacher, please do so in a respectful and timely manner. Matters of discipline should be addressed by the staff member. In all cases, please remember that what you see here needs to stay here. If you feel a need to comment on any behavioral or curriculum issues, please talk first to the classroom teacher, as he/she will most likely be able to address your concerns. There often is information you are not aware of that impacts a situation. We are sure you will agree with us that honoring student confidentiality is an important part of safeguarding a positive school experience.

SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL (SEPAC)

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council is focused on the goal of collaboration with the school community to influence special education programs and policies in real and valuable ways. Evening meetings are held 3 to 4 times a year, with a specific topic addressed at each meeting. Announcements of meeting times and topics are announced in the Friday Post. All interested parents/guardians and members of the community are invited to attend.

SCHOOL COUNCIL
The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 mandated the formation of a School Council at each school in the Commonwealth. The School Council’s responsibility is to consult with the Principal in the process of identifying educational needs of students attending the school, adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with the goals and standards the Commonwealth established as a result of this law, and formulating a school improvement plan which is reviewed and approved annually by the Superintendent. The Leverett School Council includes the following members: the Principal, two school staff members, two parents/guardians and one member from the Leverett community who is not a parent/guardian of children in the school. Terms are usually for three years. Meetings are held monthly throughout the school year and are open to the public.

SAFETY COMMITTEE
This committee reviews equipment, programs and policies to make sure the school is a safe place for our children. There is a parent/guardian position on the Leverett School’s Safety Committee. Meetings are held four times a year.

FIELD TRIP CHAPERONES
State law and school board policy requires that any parent/guardian who volunteers for school programs or activities (including chaperoning field trips) must have a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) on file with the Superintendent of Union 28. A form which authorizes the release of CORI information to the Superintendent is available from the school secretary. There are many other ways parents/guardians can be involved in the life and work of the school. For example, some parents/guardians volunteer in classrooms, the library or computer lab or serve as parent/guardian members of hiring committees. The Friday Post will often contain requests for volunteers. Classroom teachers also will ask for parent/guardian assistance with different projects throughout the year.

LEVERETT SCHOOL COMMITTEE

FUNCTION OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE
The basic function of the Leverett School Committee is to oversee the operation of the school in accordance with State and Federal laws and to achieve the strongest school possible for our community. The three primary duties of the School Committee are to: 1. Determine local school district policies. 2. Develop and approve budgetary support for school programs and operations. 3. Appoint a Superintendent of Schools in conjunction with other Union #28 School Committees. The committee is the elected representative body of the Town and is the final authority for local decisions on school policy and budget. It reaches decisions by a majority vote. The current School Committee members are: Sarah Dolven, Chair Craig Cohen Audra Goscenski Tara Acker

Bethany Seeger
The Committee encourages parents/guardians and other interested citizens to attend and participate in its public meetings, which are held the first Monday of every month at 6:00 PM in the school library.

MEETING PROCEDURES
A printed agenda is followed at each meeting. Agendas are prepared by the Superintendent of Schools and School Committee Chair a week to ten days prior to each meeting and are designed to provide a specified time for public comment about issues relevant for the School Committee. In addition, the agenda provides time for presentation of reports and recommendations by the school administration and for deliberation by the School Committee members about matters affecting the school and its program. 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS 

(School Committee Policy)

The School Committee welcomes everyone to its meetings. All regular and special meetings of the School Committee shall be open to the public and shall conform to the Open Meeting Law. Executive sessions are closed to the public and will be held only as prescribed by the statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are your elected officials. The Leverett School Committee serves as a representative for the community that includes students, their families, residents of Leverett, and the staff at school. The School Committee believes that community participation is important and vital to its understanding of the programs and operations of our schools and for the health of the educational community. Therefore, we will take steps to inform and to listen. During its meetings, we will strive to find a balance between hearing from members of the community and conducting the required business. In order to achieve this objective, the following rules and procedures are established for School Committee meetings:

1. At the start of each regularly scheduled School Committee meeting, individuals, or group representatives will 

be invited to address the Committee during the Public Comment period. Public Hearing is the time for the public to bring up something not already on the agenda. In general, it is a time for us to listen, to acknowledge, to clarify, and, possibly, to direct your concern/issue to the appropriate place. It is not a time for lengthy discussion. The Chairperson will determine the length of the Public Comment period given the urgency and relevancy of the items raised, the number of other speakers and the length of items on the agenda. The Chairperson, in conjunction with the Committee, will determine an appropriate time to revisit the concerns/issues raised by the public. 

2. The Chairperson of the School Committee shall preside over the meeting. In this role, s/he will acknowledge speakers from the public. S/he will determine the length of time for public participation and ensure that comments are appropriate. During any part of the meeting, the public may be recognized by the Chairperson to speak on an item before the Committee. All remarks will be addressed through the Chairperson of the meeting rather than directly to other participants.

3. Comments made by anyone at the meeting should at all times be respectful. If a speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks, the Chairperson may rescind the individual's right to address the committee. Defamatory or abusive remarks are always out of order.

4. Speakers may offer such objective criticisms of the school operations and programs as concern them, but in public session the Committee will not hear personal complaints of school personnel, students or any member of the school community. Under most circumstances, administrative channels are the proper means for disposition of legitimate complaints involving staff members.

5. The School Committee will provide information to the public at the meeting to help them participate in an informed manner. This will include providing copies of the agenda and materials to be discussed. Since not all materials are easily reproduced and public attendance will vary, the number of documents provided for the public should be reasonable. Minutes of the meetings shall be maintained as required and available to the public. 

Notices of the agenda and summaries of the meetings are printed in The Friday Post. The full minutes are available in the school office.
AGENDA ITEMS
Any person wishing to have an item placed on the Committee agenda should present that item to the Superintendent of Schools, the School Principal, or the Committee Chairperson at least ten days prior to the date of the next School Committee Meeting. Efforts will be made, when possible, to place such items on the School Committee’s next regular meeting agenda, provided that the item has gone through the appropriate administrative levels. Submission of written statements of explanation or support of any agenda item is encouraged and for certain types of issues may be specifically requested. Such statements are helpful to the Committee as it ensures careful consideration of the issues involved.
CONCERNS
Concerns, problems and complaints about the school should normally be brought first to a teacher’s attention (when appropriate) or if a satisfactory result is not achieved or if more appropriate to the Principal or Superintendent of Schools (see page 25). If the Superintendent of Schools is unable to resolve the matter, it may be brought to the School Committee for further consideration. After considering the information submitted by both the petitioners and the Superintendent of Schools, the School Committee may grant a hearing to the interested parties. Such a hearing may be held during a regular meeting of the Committee, either in open session or in executive session in accordance with the State’s Open Meeting Law.

POLICIES, REGULATIONS AND LAWS
A manual containing all school policies is available for inspection in the school office.

SCHOOL AND DISTRICT POLICIES PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Acts of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Chapter 151B of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Leverett Elementary School affirms that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, age, creed, national origin, disability, homelessness, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any educational program or activity it operates, including employment therein, and admission thereto. The Leverett Elementary School will not tolerate verbal or physical harassment of any student or school personnel under any circumstances.Any complaints or inquiries concerning this policy should be directed as follows: Margot Lacey   Jennifer Haggerty

Principal         Superintendent of Schools

Leverett Elementary School Erving School Union # 28 85 Montague Road 18 Pleasant Street Leverett, MA 01054 Erving, MA 01344

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
The Leverett Elementary School has established an internal procedure in order to provide for prompt and equitable resolutions of complaints.
Definitions
A “Grievance” is a complaint made pursuant to, and arising out of, the Leverett Elementary School's obligation to comply with state regulations regarding civil rights, discrimination and harassment.An “Aggrieved Party” is a person or persons making the complaint.
Purpose
The purpose of this grievance procedure is to secure prompt and equitable solutions to grievances.
General No aggrieved party will be subject to coercion, intimidation, interference, or discrimination for registering a complaint or for assisting in the investigation of any alleged complaints within the context of this grievance procedure.All documents, communications and records dealing with the filing of a grievance will be kept confidential to the full extent provided by law.

Procedure
1. The complaint should be filed with the Principal in writing as soon as an aggrieved party becomes aware of the incident.

2. Within ten (10) school days after receiving the grievance, the Principal or his/her designee shall meet with the aggrieved party in an effort to resolve the grievance. This investigation into the complaint is contemplated to be thorough, but informal, in nature. All interested persons and their representatives, if any, shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard and to submit evidence relevant to the complaint. If the grievance is not resolved, it will be forwarded to the Superintendent.

3. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of an unresolved grievance, the Superintendent will conduct a confidential hearing to determine what, if any, action shall be taken in response to the grievance. The hearing shall be held at a time and place mutually convenient to all parties. The hearing procedure will follow appropriate due process procedures including: a. the opportunity for the aggrieved party to present the grievance in any suitable manner; b. the right of the aggrieved party to an impartial hearing officer; c. the right of the aggrieved party to be represented by counsel or an advocate at the aggrieved party's expense; d. the right of the aggrieved party to a prompt decision. Parents/legal guardians should provide advance notice to the Superintendent if they will be represented by counsel or an advocate at the grievance hearing.

4. A written determination of the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the Superintendent and forwarded to the aggrieved party no later than fifteen (15) working days after the hearing. The determination of the validity of the complaint and the description of the resolution will be provided in an alternate format, upon request, if needed for effective communication.

5. The aggrieved party can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration shall be made to the Superintendent of Union #28 within fifteen (15) working days following receipt of the written determination.

6. These rules shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of the interested persons to due process.

7. Copies of all resolutions and findings made under this procedure shall be filed with the Superintendent's Office of Erving School Union #28.

LIFE THREATENING ALLERGY POLICY
The Union #28 School Union is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students during the school day and at school-sponsored events. Students identified with life- threatening allergies (i.e., food, bees) will be provided for as medically necessary in the school environment. The Union #28 Schools policy will support protocols to (a) reduce exposure to allergens to the best of our ability, knowing that we can only be allergen-safe, not allergen-free, and (b) follow established procedures to treat allergic reactions. A student identified as having a life-threatening allergy must have a written statement clearly documenting the allergy from his/her health care provider along with a prescription for an EpiPen from the doctor and parent/guardian consent authorizing use if/when needed. The Union #28 Schools will provide adequate training to educate staff in the management of life-threatening allergies. As mandated by federal laws, including ADA, IDEA, and Section 504, no student shall be discriminated against or excluded from school activities based on his or her life-threatening allergy. The student who has an allergy and who is making effective educational progress in the regular educational program does not need a special education evaluation, an IEP, or special education services. However, he/she has the right to have reasonable accommodations for his/her disability under section 504. The school will implement protocols to provide a safe environment for the student. These protocols pertain to school-sponsored events only and not to fundraisers, non-school sponsored extracurricular activities, or afterschool events. The full policy is available in the School Office.

HEAD LICE POLICY

1. The goals of this policy are to ensure that each school is as free as possible of head lice and to ensure that this effort minimizes disruption to children's education.
2. Efforts will be made to educate children and families about head lice in a way which ensures that the problem can be approached in a matter of fact manner, without a sense of shame or embarrassment.
3. The school will conduct general examinations of children's heads to seek out affected children.
4. When a head lice problem comes to the school's attention, the following steps are to be taken: Examine all children in the child's classroom, all siblings, and all very close friends. Follow the same procedure for any other children found with head lice. Inform parents in writing, of a confirmed case in their child's classroom and encourage them to examine their own children.
5. If there is a widespread infestation, the school will take appropriate steps such as making efforts to keep children's clothing separate.
6. When a child is found to have live lice and nits, he or she should be sent home with instructions to parents about providing an anti-lice shampoo. Whenever possible, these communications with parents should be in person, Children sent home should not ride the school bus.
7. Instructions to parents should include advice about treatment of the dwelling, fine combing and cutting out strands of hair with any remaining nits.
8. Parents should be asked to keep their children home the day following removal from school only if that requirement facilitates parents completing the procedures described in the instructions to the home.
9. Any treated child should return to school as soon as possible, but not on the school bus, and be examined at school by a nurse (or someone trained by the school to identify live nits) before entering class. It is reasonable to expect parents to have done a thorough job of combing and strand cutting. However, the nurse or other school staff member should be available to help cut out strands missed if it is clear that parents have made a real effort to do their part well.
10. Upon return to school, any treated child, if found still with head lice or infested heavily with nits, should be sent home for further treatment.
11. Each school may train people to assist the nurse in checking for nits when they are initially discovered and to serve in place of the nurse to check returning students. Checkers will work under the direction of and report to the school Principal and school nurse.

NAMES, ADDRESSES & PHONE NUMBERS ON SCHOOL LISTS
The school publishes a School Directory, which includes student and parent/guardian names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Parents/guardians are asked to give their consent to be included in this Directory as a part of the back-to-school process. This Directory is distributed to every family at school. 

Consistent with federal and state regulations about privacy, the Leverett School will provide information about children who are in afterschool activities, specific teacher’s classes (not including Special Education or Chapter 1 services) or other activities such as chorus to parents/guardians of children in those activities. If you prefer that your child’s name not be included on these lists or if you prefer that your telephone number and/or address not be included, please indicate that in writing to the school.The names and addresses of all students are also provided to the Leverett Police & Fire Departments when approved by the School Committee. This information is used only in the event of an emergency.

PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN BUS ROUTE POLICY

1. All Kindergarten students are entitled to ride the school bus. Normally, preschoolers are brought to and from school by their parents/guardians. Although it is not encouraged, preschoolers who are four years old may ride the school bus, particularly if they have an older sibling who also rides the bus. Permission for preschoolers to ride the bus is given by the Principal. Once the Principal has granted permission, the child may bring to ride the bus.

2. Preschool and Kindergarten students will be picked up at the door of their home and returned directly to the door of their home except when any one of the following conditions exist:

a. When a preschool or kindergarten student lives on a private road.

b. When the road the preschool or kindergarten student lives on is inadequate for a Class I school bus. The suitability of a road for a Class 1 school bus will be determined by the bus company in consultation with the Principal and/or town highway officials.

3. Bus drivers are not allowed to leave Preschool or Kindergarten children at the home/bus stop unless a parent/guardian or older sibling is there. If no one is at the bus stop to meet a Preschooler or Kindergartener, the bus driver will return the child to school unless prior arrangements have been made in writing and submitted to the Principal.

STUDENT CONTRACT FOR SCHOOL INTERNET USE
Note: This policy is currently under review. You will receive updated information as soon as the new policy becomes available.

As part of our curriculum, Leverett Elementary School is pleased to offer limited Internet access to its students, grades 2 -6, from all of its networked computers. We are connected to the Internet to provide general access to both students and staff for purposes of research and collaborative work.  In preparing students to take their place in the technological world of the future, students in grades 4-6 will be expected to learn how to perform topic searches, understand the concept of email, the fundamentals of web pages, and perhaps take part in collaborative work with other schools. Our hope is that students will get opportunities to practice these skills within the educational objectives of their classroom work. These objectives will be defined by classroom teachers, and not by the students. The Internet provides a wide range of capabilities, including the Web, e-mail, newsgroups, chat rooms, FTP, and more. It represents a microcosm of the world at large, offering immense libraries of information, current news, commercial advertisements, and personal contacts. And similar to the world at large, there are precautions that need to be taken, so that minors are not exposed to inappropriate material and individuals. We do have an Internet filter that helps prohibit inappropriate searches. In addition, we have small, supervised computer classes, and an “Acceptable Use Policy”, which we require each student in grades 2-6 and parents/guardians to read and sign together. This contract will be included in your back-to-school packet. The terms of the contract are listed below. 

Internet Acceptable Use Contract terms:

1. Students will use the Internet only with staff permission and supervision.

2. Transmission of any material in violation of US or state regulations will be prohibited. This includes  

    threatening or obscene material, or material protected by trade secret. Use for commercial   

    activities or political lobbying is not acceptable.

3. Chat rooms are NOT within the realm of educational enhancement, and will not be explored at school.

4. Students should never try to gain access to mail addressed to another person.

5. If students are given permission to use an email account, etiquette is defined as appropriate words 

    and manners when communicating with others. Students must always use appropriate language. All 

    email should be considered serious, and never sent to be annoying or as a practical joke. 6. Never attempt to download any software from the Internet.7. Students may not access their home e-mail accounts from school computers.8. Students may not access other student accounts.

STUDENT RECORD REGULATIONS
Each school within Union #28 maintains children’s records in a way that ensures confidentiality. General information including records of attendance, academic achievement, school behavior, and the like are kept in the school secretary’s office. Special Education records are kept in the SPED secretary’s office.A log indicating the name and date of anyone accessing education records is included at the front of each student record folder and must be completed by anyone accessing those records, except a person exempt from that requirement by regulation which means, primarily, staff who work directly with the child. In cases where records include more than one student, such as the special education register, these same rules apply, except that care is taken to ensure that parents/guardians may see only the information for their child.A parent/guardian or a parent/guardian's designee who requests an opportunity to review his or her child’s records may do so in writing. That request will be granted as soon as is practicable and within 10 days of the request. The school will provide a professional to assist in the interpretation of the records while they are being reviewed. If a parent/guardian wishes copies of his or her child’s records, the school district will provide those copies.If a parent/guardian wishes a change in his or her child’s record, he or she may confer with the Principal or request a change in writing. The Principal must respond to that request within one week. If the Principal’s decision is adverse, the parent/guardian may appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools who must respond within two weeks. If the Superintendent’s decision is adverse, the parent/guardian may appeal in writing to the School Committee, which must hold a hearing within four weeks, governed by formal procedures at which the parent/guardian may be represented by an advocate and school officials may be represented by an advocate. The school district only releases student names or permits access to student records under the extremely limited circumstances permitted by the Student Record Regulations. The regulations do permit and the school district may release for publication student’s name, class, participation in certain activities, or receipt of certain award, but only after informing parents/guardians of this practice and allowing them to exclude their child from such lists. The most common instance of this is informing parents/guardians of the children in individual classes.All records, except transcripts from previous years, are under the direct supervision of the school Principal who is responsible for maintaining confidentiality. All staff with access to these records are trained at the beginning of the school year in the responsibilities associated with confidentiality. The school district rarely has occasion to destroy records because such records accompany students to the secondary schools associated with the district. Registers/transcripts are kept at the office of Superintendent of Schools for sixty years and then are destroyed only after proper notice is given. Any temporary records kept for seven years because forwarding them to the secondary school was inappropriate, are destroyed only after proper notice is given. Under the student records regulations, we are to inform you of any standardized testing done (see page 18).  

BUILDING USE POLICY
All responsible segments of the Town’s population are encouraged to use the facilities of the school to the fullest extent for purposes worthwhile to the community. The use of school property is permitted for civic, charitable, and similar purposes, but not for any purpose which may considered as “commercial”.  The Principal may grant permission for the use of the school buildings and grounds to any responsible group, for purposes appropriate to the best interests of the Town of Leverett. Applications for permission to use the school building are available in the school office. Contact the school secretary for an application and more complete information about regulations and requirements of the School Committee regarding the use of the school building. A fee may be charged for after hours or weekend use and liability insurance is required. 

LIBRARY MATERIAL SELECTION AND ADOPTION POLICY

The School Committee endorses the School Library Bill of Rights, as adopted by the American Library Association, which asserts that the responsibility of the school library is to:

  1. Provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served.

  1. Provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards.

  1. Provide a background of information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.

  1. Provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking.

  1. Provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.

  1. Place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library.

Initial purchase suggestions for library materials may come from all personnel--teachers, coordinators, and administrators. Students and families will also be encouraged to make suggestions. The librarian will recommend materials to be included in the school library. Final approval and authority for distribution of funds will rest with the building Principal subject to the approval of the Superintendent.

Gifts of library books and materials will be accepted in keeping with the above policy. Complaints about library materials will be handled in line with Committee policy on complaints about instructional materials.

PARENTAL NOTIFICATION RELATIVE TO SEX EDUCATION

In Accordance with General Laws Chapter 71, Section 32A, this policy addresses the rights of parents and guardians of students in our schools in relation to curriculum that primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues.

At the beginning of each school year, parents and guardians of students in our schools will be notified in writing of the district obligation to inform them in writing about any courses, classes, or events we offer that primarily

involve human sexual education or human sexuality issues. School Principals will notify parents, in writing, about specific classes or events covered by this policy no less than two weeks before their occurrence. Each notice to parents and guardians that informs parents about a course, class, or event covered by this policy will include a brief description of the curriculum covered by this policy and will inform parents and guardians that they may:(1) exempt their child from any portion of the curriculum that primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues, without penalty to the student, by sending a letter to the school Principal requesting an exemption. Any student who is exempted by request of the parent or guardian under this policy may be given an alternative assignment.(2) inspect and review program instruction materials for these curricula, which will be made reasonably accessible to parents or guardians and to others to the extent practicable. Parents or guardians may arrange with the Principal to review the materials at the school, and may also review them at other locations that may be determined by the Superintendent of Schools.

A parent or guardian who is dissatisfied with a
) a decision of the Principal concerning notice,
b) access to instructional materials, or
c) exemption for the student under this policy may send a written request to the
 Superintendent of Schools for review. The Superintendent of Schools or his or her designee will review the issue and give the parent or guardian a timely written decision within fifteen days of the request unless extenuating circumstances require a delay. A parent or guardian who is dissatisfied with the Superintendent's decision may send a written request to the School Committee for review of the issue. The School Committee will review the issue and give the parent or guardian a timely written decision, within thirty days of the request unless extenuating circumstances require a delay. A parent or guardian who is still dissatisfied after this process may send a written request to the Commissioner of Education for review of the issue in dispute.

SCHOOL CHOICE POLICY
It is the policy of the Leverett Elementary School to admit nonresident students under the terms and conditions of the Interdistrict School Choice Law (M.G.L. 76:12) and under the following conditions:
1. That by May 1 of every school year, the administration will determine the number of spaces in each school
available to choice students.
2. That by June 1 of every school year, if consideration is being given to withdraw from the provisions of the 
choice law, a public meeting will be held to review this decision
3. That resident students be given priority placement in any classes or programs within the District.
4. With respect to the selection of nonresident students:
• That preference will be given to siblings of admitted students if an opening exists in that grade level. If there are more eligible siblings than open slots, a lottery for the siblings will be held. • The selection of nonresident students for admission be in the form of a random drawing when the number 

   of requests exceeds the number of available spaces.

 • There will be two drawings for this purpose. The first will take place during the month of June of the 

         current school year. The second will be conducted during the week immediately preceding the opening of 

         the next school year and will be based on the possibility of an unexpected additional opening.
5. Any student who is accepted for admission under the provisions of this policy is entitled to remain in the  

    District until graduation from high school except if there is a lack of funding of the program.
6. The School Committee affirms its position that it shall not discriminate in the admission of any child on the 

    basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, creed, ethnic background, national origin, economic status, 

    homelessness, sexual orientation and physical or mental disability.

STUDENT ABSENCES AND EXCUSES (School Committee Policy: JH) 

Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for success in school. The Leverett School Committee is required to provide for and enforce the school attendance of all children attending Leverett Elementary School. Children must attend school regularly, in accordance with state law. When children do not attend school, the absence will be recorded as excused if it meets the legal criteria; all other absences will be considered unexcused. The Superintendent or his/her designee may only excuse absences for illness or religious observances. According to state law, school districts should report to the District Attorney's Office and to the Department of Social Services students who are absent for more than seven full days or fourteen half days within a six-month period if the student's absence is for reasons other than illness or religious purposes.

The Leverett School Committee and School Administration understand that students may sometimes need to be absent for reasons other than illness or religious observation. These reasons may include the bereavement of a family member, inclement weather or, on rare occasion, a family vacation; however, these or similar absences are deemed unexcused absences and counted in the seven-day limit under state law. In accordance with state law, attendance is not required for children who have a physical or mental condition that renders attendance inexpedient or impractical.

The school administration may request a physician's statement certifying a child's illness for absences in excess of seven full days or fourteen half days within a four-week time period. 

The Principal or his/her designee shall serve as the officer to oversee school attendance. At the start of each school year, the Principal shall ensure that a notice is sent to all parents and guardians instructing them of a phone number to call to report a student absence and the appropriate process to follow for reporting said absence (see Section B above). These instructions shall include the time of day by which to contact the school regarding an absence or late arrival. If requested by the attendance administrator, parents/guardians are expected to provide a written explanation for the absence and/or tardiness of a child. Where advance notice is possible, written notice is required.Parents/guardians of children whose absences risk exceeding the allowable number of absences will be given written notice by the attendance officer that truancy charges may be filed and will be given one (1) week to respond to that notice. This notice will be initiated by the designated officer within one week of the allowable limit being surpassed. Parents/guardians may appeal a decision to file truancy complaint to the Principal, the Superintendent, and the School Committee in that order.Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that their children do not fall behind in their schoolwork when they are absent from school. Teachers may make a reasonable effort to provide missed assignments/instruction provided that this effort does not place an undue burden on the teacher. In instances where arrangements are not easily established, the teacher and the student's family shall seek guidance from the Principal. 

TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOL POLICY According to M.G.L. Chapter 71, 37H, smoking and the use of tobacco products by students, staff, and visitors are prohibited on all school property at all times. Conclusive evidence exists that tobacco use is a leading public health problem in the United States. The U28 School District is committed to ensuring a completely tobacco-free environment for the entire school community throug