• Sterchi Elementary School


    Parent/Student Handbook


    900 Oaklett Drive

    Knoxville, TN  37912


    865-689-1471 fax


    Principal:  Lynn White                                      Assistant Principal:  Jason Harris



    Welcome to Sterchi Elementary School

                Sterchi Elementary School is one of 50 elementary schools in the Knox County Schools system.  We serve 400 students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade.

                The shared vision of Sterchi Elementary School is to successfully prepare students to meet 21st century educational and social challenges.  The staff’s goal is to provide a positive learning environment that is conducive to educational experimentation, risk taking, and self-assessment by students.  All staff members are expected to implement an enriched, data driven, multifaceted curriculum already in place in the county and state.  It is expected that all teachers will use their knowledge of current best practices and personal innovations to provide a variety of learning opportunities to meet the individual needs of all students to achieve growth and proficiency.  Teachers will equip students to identify many of their own areas of need and opportunities for growth, to utilize resources, to conduct research, and to analyze data to solve problems.  The administration and staff work as a cooperative instructional team to share their best ideas and best practices and to encourage responsible involvement by students, families, and community members to achieve the school’s goal for student learning and success.



               The mission of Sterchi Elementary School is to create an environment where students are nurtured with a quality education to become lifelong learners who are responsible, productive citizens of their community.



               School hours are from 7:45a.m. until 2:45 p.m. each day. The building opens at 7:10 a.m. and students assemble in the cafeteria or gym until the first bell rings. Students need to be at school by 7:35 a.m. in order to eat breakfast.



               Knox County Board of Education policy allows students’ absences from school to be excused only for the following reasons:

    1. Personal Illness
    2. Illness in the family temporarily requiring help from the child
    3. Death in the family
    4. Recognized religious holidays regularly observed by persons of the student’s faith
    5. Verifiable family emergency

    Any Absence not complying with the above reasons for excused absences will be unexcused.

               A student may be absent, due to illness, no more than ten days per school year with written parent excuse(s). Beyond ten days per school year, a medical statement will be required. Knox County allows five days upon students’ return to school to send in a written statement explaining the absence. After five days, the absence becomes an unexcused absence. Remember, even if you call the school office to explain an absence for illness, a written note will still be required and kept on file. A telephone call without a note will not result in an excused absence.

                When obtaining a note from a physician, turn in the verifiable, original note and make sure it covers all days absent. If it doesn’t, also send a parent note to cover to cover any additional days that might be excused if you are within your ten parent notes. Parents in Knox County are held directly responsible for their child’s unexcused absences.

                Students who are attending the school on the privilege of a transfer are expected to abide by school policies.  Failure to do so will result in a report to the transfer office and a recommendation from the principal that the transfer be revoked. 

                For the safety and security of our students and staff, there will be no student early dismissal or entrance to the building after 2:15 p.m.  At dismissal, students must ride home on a bus, be dismissed to a daycare provider, be picked up in the car rider line, or signed out in the office.  No “walk-up pickups” will be allowed.



               Excessive tardiness is as serious as absenteeism. Students should be in their classroom by 7:45 a.m. If they arrive late, an adult must accompany them into the building. The adult must sign the student I, and the student will receive a slip to be admitted to class. Three tardies in a nine-week grading period will cause the child to be ineligible for the nine weeks perfect attendance award and will also eliminate him/her from the semester perfect attendance award. It is not fair for timely students to have the classroom instruction disrupted by tardy pupils. Teachers will not stop instruction to attend to late arrivals. Please help your child begin each school day on a positive note and to be well prepared by arriving at school in plenty of time to put away items, chat with friends, sharpen their pencils, etc. All of know the experience of starting a day felling behind. You can save your child this adjustment in the day with some extra preparation now that will form good habits for the future. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.



                If your child is absent two or more days, please call the school for your child’s missing assignments before 10:00 a.m. Teachers will try to have work ready to pick up by 3:00 p.m. Your child needs to be free from vomiting and fever for 24 hours without medication before returning to school.



                Homework and practice are ways of extending the school day and providing students with opportunities to refine and expand their knowledge. Mastering a skill requires a good deal of practice. Learning new content does not happen quickly, so practice needs to be spread out over time. There will be specific grade level policies (expectations and consequences) that will be communicated to you by your child’s teacher.



                Report Cards will be sent home at the end of each nine weeks. Interim reports are sent home midway through each nine-weeks. You can keep up with the academic progress of first through fifth grade students by accessing the parent portal online grade book. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher if you have concerns about your child’s progress.



                Teachers are always willing to meet with parents. Please email or send a note to your child’s teacher to schedule a time that is convenient for you and your child’s teacher. Parents are urged to prepare for the conference by making notes regarding questions you wish to cover. Preparation is the key to a successful conference for both parties. With advanced notice, your child’s teacher will be able to prepare the needed materials relating to items of interest to you. Please…NO unscheduled “drop in” conferences with teachers. Instructional time is tightly scheduled.     



                Student achievements are recognized at the end of each nine weeks grading period.  Awards for the entire year will be given on an awards day to be held during the last few days of school.  In addition, we look for additional opportunities to recognize students’ successes throughout the school year.



                The taxpayers of Tennessee provide textbooks. All students are fully responsible for the proper care of any textbooks, which are issued to them. Loss or damage to these books will require payment to the school. Report cards will be held until the debt is cleared.



                Breakfast and lunch are served daily. Parents may send in cash or checks to the lunchroom to be applied to their child’s account for extra items. Be sure to include your child’s name and teacher with your payment. Good manners are expected of all Sterchi students during mealtimes.



                If school is dismissed early due to inclement weather or disaster, we will follow the directions you gave us on the Emergency/Dismissal/Clinic Information or Green Card. Please discuss this early dismissal plan with your child and keep the information current. Please do not call the school to ask if school is going to dismiss early or with any last-minute directions for your child. The radio and television stations will have any early dismissal information as soon as we do. Please check with your daycare provider since most do not provide transportation if school is cancelled or dismissed early.



                An automated communication messaging system, may be utilized to notify parents of early dismissal from school due to inclement weather, emergencies, or other important information. Please keep telephone numbers current.

                Grade level orientation meetings are opportunities to visit your child’s classroom. Some teacher’s use class newsletters, email, or other forms of electronic communication to communicate with parents. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your child’s teacher before contacting the administration.



                Classroom parties are scheduled for the end of each semester.  PTA parents and other classroom volunteers generously help the classroom teacher with these parties.  Birthday parties and cupcakes are not permitted.  However, students may bring a healthy treat to be shared in the cafeteria at lunchtime.  Another alternative is to donate a book to the library in honor of your child’s birthday.  If you are having a party at home, please send invitations for the entire class or use the U. S. Mail if you are having a smaller party.  We want to avoid having children’s feelings hurt at school



                All parents/guardians volunteering in the classroom must have completed a confidentiality agreement and be expected by the teacher. 

                Sterchi students benefit from a very active PTA.  We encourage all family members to join, participate, and volunteer as much as they are able to.



                We are always appreciative of parent chaperones.  Without them, field trips would be impossible.  Please let your child’s teacher know if you would like to be a chaperone.  Chaperones must complete a background check through Knox County Schools.  Sometimes space is limited, so all parents are not always able to chaperone.  Chaperones should serve as good role models for children.  Please direct any behavior problems to the teacher.



                Any adult entering the building will need to be able to present a photo ID at the Oaklett entrance by the office since all entrances are locked during school hours. Be sure to list any person you want to pick up or visit your child on your child’s Emergency/Dismissal/ Clinic information card. Any person who is not on your child’s card may NOT enter the building or pick up your child. Please remember to update your child’s card with names, phone numbers and addresses as needed. You must change or add this information in person.

                Children are easily confused and we cannot accept the word of a child who says he/she is supposed to go home a different way or with a different person. If you are making a change in the afternoon transportation of your child, always send a note to your child’s teacher. If you have an emergency and cannot pick up your child, changes must be made in the office before, 10:00 a.m.

                It is the parent’s responsibility to provide the child’s transportation. School personnel do not transport children except in the case of Knox County school buses.

                We cannot accept changes by phone, fax, or email.



                Please help students develop their independence by dropping them off by the sidewalks with school staff and Safety Patrols in the morning and letting them enter the building alone as soon as they know their way.

                In the afternoon, several cars at a time can be loaded if all cars pull through as the school staff and Safety Patrols direct you.  If your child is a car rider in the afternoon, please make sure that the sign provided with your child’s name on it is clearly visible in the windshield from a distance, and keep this sign visible until your child is in the car.   If it is necessary to enter the building, please park in a parking space or the gravel lot so that the buses may exit easily.



                An area in the back of the cafeteria is designated for lost items. Please check this area when you are in the building. We have many items that are never claimed each year and must be donated to charity.



                The Knox County School System provides a variety of services for students who qualify for special education under the Individual with Disabilities ACT (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.



                Any child receiving medication at school must comply with Knox County School Policy.

                This policy is intended to safeguard medication administered at school. Medication forms are available in the main office.



                Whenever visiting the school, please come to the main office to sign in. A nametag will be provided to you, which identifies you as an official Sterchi visitor. Also, please sign out each time you leave. This procedure helps us to maintain a safe and secure learning environment for all. We guard instructional time and will not interrupt classroom instruction during the hours of 7:45 to 2:45.



                Please leave forgotten items (lunch money, backpacks, homework, shoes, etc.) on the visitor sign in table in the office. Be sure your child’s name and teacher are on each item. Teachers and students know to check this table for their forgotten items.

    We do not interrupt classroom instruction during the hours of 7:45-2:45.



                No weapons of any kind may be in any student’s possession at school. This includes guns (including “toys” or “water guns”), knives, or any item used to hurt or threaten others. Tobacco, drugs, firecrackers or other items, which threaten safety or produce distractions, are not allowed.



                The Sterchi Elementary School staff is committed to providing learning experiences for students in a positive, supportive, motivating atmosphere. We believe every child can learn, and we accept the responsibility for behavior in a shared commitment towards good citizenship.  Each teacher provides firm, fair, and consistent behavioral expectations in his/her classroom that will maximize learning.  It is important that families and the school work together to provide both training for good citizenship and the expectation that children will make good choices in their behavior at school. Communication between teacher and parent is an essential component for success.

                The administration is an integral part of the establishment of a positive learning environment. The administration assists in maintaining discipline and supporting appropriate social interaction. Communication between administration, student, teacher and parent facilitates a positive learning atmosphere and promotes high educational achievement. Corporal punishment is not used. We believe other disciplinary measures result in more positive behaviors and support an atmosphere conducive to learning.

                  Programs are available in the school to help encourage good behavior. These include: meeting with the guidance counselor, Personal Accountability Class (PAC), and behavior contracts.

                The ultimate goal of the discipline plan is to help students achieve self-discipline.



    1. Be quiet in hallways and restrooms
    2. Keep your hands and feet to yourself at all times.
    3. Respect yourself, all others, and property.
    4. Walk at all times.



    1. Verbal warning
    2. Lose a privilege
    3. Contact parents
    4. Visit PAC or administration
    5. Parent or responsible adult comes to school

    In order to guarantee all students in our school the excellent educational climate they deserve, no student will be allowed to prevent a teacher from teaching a classmate from learning. Each classroom has rules posted, and students are expected to obey the rules.



                Riding a school bus is a privilege that may be revoked. Safety is a primary concern. Pupils are expected to take a seat as close to the front as possible, stay seated, talk quietly, and enjoy the ride.  Any child who jeopardizes the safety of others will lose riding privileges for a period of time to be determined by the administration. Drivers submit written reports of student behavior problems to school administration for appropriate action.



                The standards for elementary school dress reflect "common sense" and a concern for each child's comfort, safety, cleanliness, and sense of modesty. There is a strong relationship between neat, appropriate attire and a positive learning environment. Apparel or appearance which tends to draw attention to an individual rather than to a learning situation must be avoided.

                To help create the best learning environment for elementary students, the following standards for student dress must be observed in all Knox County Elementary Schools:

    1. Pants must not sag below the waist and must be at a safe length.
    2. Head apparel, except for religious or medical reasons, must not be worn inside the school building.
    3. Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor or outdoor physical activity.
    4. Clothing or accessories may not create disruption or display vulgar language or images and must not advertise products which students may not legally purchase.
    5. For students in Grades 3-5, "short shorts", mini-skirts, and skin-tight outer materials without proper coverage are inappropriate attire.
    6. For students in Grades 3-5, shirts, blouses, and dresses must completely cover the abdomen, back, and shoulders, and shirts or tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts, or skirts with no midriff visible. Skin-tight outer materials are prohibited without appropriate coverage.


                 The school administration reserves the right to determine whether the student's attire and appearance are within the acceptable limits. In matters of opinion, the judgment of the principal/designee shall prevail.

                 The principal may allow exceptions for school-wide programs or special classroom activities.

                 The teachers and the principal will administer appropriate consequences for policy infractions.

                  Approved by the Knox County Board of Education April, 2017