CARTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT HANDBOOK
“Carter Elementary is a safe and caring place where we all learn, improve, and strive to be the best that we can be.”
ATTENDANCE POLICY - SCHOOL DAY - DISMISSAL POLICY
Knox County Board of Education policy allows students’ absences from school to be excused only for the following reasons:
- Personal illness;
- Illness in the family temporarily requiring help from the child;
- Death in the family;
- Recognized religious holidays regularly observed by persons of the student’s faith; and
- Verifiable family emergency.
Any absence not complying with the above reasons for excused absences will be considered 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. Hand-written notes with parent signature must be received within five days of student’s return to school. Vacation days are unexcused. No "make-up" work will be sent home for students while they are out of school. Upon returning to school, a student will have one day for each day of excused absence to finish make-up work as assigned by the teacher.
All children are expected to be in school and on time throughout the school year. In order for a student to be counted present for the day, he/she must be present at least 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- It is important that children be in their classrooms ready to learn at 7:45 a.m. In order to be in compliance with the Knox County Schools’ instructional schedules, the tardy bell rings at 7:45 a.m. Students who arrive after 7:45 a.m. are considered tardy and must be signed in by a parent at the front office.
- Grades K-5 will be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. Your cooperation in picking up your child promptly is appreciated. Pre-Kindergarten students are dismissed at 1:00 pm.
- Pre-K students will be dismissed at 1:00 pm from the car rider area. Students must be signed out with the classroom teacher or assistant.
- Early dismissal of a student is discouraged; however, if a doctor’s appointment, for example, cannot be scheduled after school hours, it is required that a note be sent by the parent/guardian to the teacher. The parent/guardian must sign his/her child out in the office. This shall be strictly adhered to because the safety of the child is of paramount importance. There will be no early dismissals after 2:15pm in order to ensure a safe and secure dismissal for all students.
- It is important for children to know each day before they come to school exactly how they will be going home. We are unable to accept changes of dismissal procedures over the telephone. A written note with parent/guardian signature is required for each change of normal dismissal procedure. These notes may be faxed to 932-8147 or sent with the child in the morning.
Tardy/Early Dismissal: Medical notes are required for tardies or early dismissals to be excused and must be presented the next day. Our instructional time is important and we strive to ensure that teachers and students have the appropriate time for learning.
DRESS CODE POLICY
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.
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:
- Pants must not sag below the waist and must not touch the floor.
- Shirts, blouses, and dresses must completely cover the abdomen, back, and shoulders. Shirts or tops must cover the waistband of pants, shorts, or skirts, with no midriff visible.
- Head apparel, except for religious or medical reasons, must not be worn inside the school building.
- Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor or outdoor physical activity. Flip-flops, wheelie tennis shoes and shower-type shoes are examples of inappropriate footwear for school, as students would be unable to participate in daily recess.
- Clothing or accessories may not display offensive, vulgar language or images, nor advertise products which students may not legally purchase.
- “Short shorts,” mini-skirts, and spandex (leggings) are deemed inappropriate attire for students in grades three through five. (To determine appropriateness for school, we recommend shorts/skirts being fingertip length.)
- Coats and jackets exceeding fingertip length are not to be worn in the building.
The school administration reserves the right to determine whether a student’s attire is within the limits of decency and modesty.
No medication of any kind shall be administered to students by school personnel except when it must be given on a long-term basis and is necessary to be given during school hours in order for the child to remain in school. Aspirin, antibiotics, and cough syrup may not be administered by school personnel. If, however, a student is required to take medication during the regular day, the school must comply with board regulations:
- Written orders must be provided by a physician giving the name of the drug, dosage, and the time interval to be taken.
- Written permission must be given by the parent/guardian requesting the school to comply.
- Medication must be brought to the school office by a parent in a container labeled by the pharmacy and physician. Children may not carry any type of medication to school. Board regulation requires strict enforcement of this policy.
RULES OF CONDUCT
Our school rules and discipline policies are developed and enforced to foster respect, responsibility, and accountability from all students. School rules apply on school grounds, going to and from school, and at any event where our school is represented. Teachers handle most discipline problems in their own classrooms. If a child has persistent problems, the child may be referred to the office. Consequences for misbehavior will be determined by the type of behavior, severity and frequency. In addition to classroom specific expectations that will be shared with you by your child’s teacher, please review these school-wide rules with your child so they may be successful and know school expectations.
- School-Wide Rules
- Students are to respect the authority of teachers, staff, and parents.
- Students are to be considerate of fellow classmates.
- Students are to practice safety at all times.
- Students are to preserve the building and equipment including restrooms.
- Students are not to chew gum during the school day.
- Lunchroom Conduct and Regulations
- Students are responsible for their tables and trash. Their area should be clean for all classes.
- Students are to follow the instructions of the lunchroom monitors in all matters including seating arrangements, noise, and behavior.
- Students are to get everything needed as they go through the line (including ice cream) and obtain permission from the monitor(s) if the need arises to leave their seat.
- No containers of soft drinks in packed lunches are permitted.
- Charges are not permitted in the cafeteria.
- Competitive foods for grades kindergarten through five will be limited until after the last lunch period. (Knox County Board Policy EE)
- Food from fast-food restaurants is not permitted in the cafeteria.
- Bullying (See KCS Policy J-211)
The staff, teachers, and administrators at Carter Elementary will maintain compliance with the Knox County Schools “No Bullying Policy” (J-211) by refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation, or bullying at any time. This includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- Cyber-bullying (using an electronic device)
- Physically damaging the property of others
- Threatening harm to a student/staff member or their property
- Intentional remarks, glares, or intimidating body actions
Students who feel they are being bullied may report this concern to any teacher or school administrator using any means of communication in which they feel comfortable. The principal or his/her designee will investigate the situation and contact parents/guardians.
- School Bus Policy
Bus transportation is provided for students who live one mile or more from the school. School bus routes and stops are arranged by the Transportation Department at 594-1550. There is no bus transportation for Pre-K.
Any time a student changes his/her regular destination, a note from the parent or guardian must be sent to the teacher before the change can occur. An additional note must be given to the bus driver. It is a privilege to ride a school bus (not a right) that may be taken away. The safety of all children riding the bus is of the utmost importance. Any student not demonstrating appropriate behavior may have bus riding privileges revoked. Please see the form Bus Expectations for specific details.
MORNING ARRIVAL POLICY
Upon arrival, children must go directly to the gym. If children arrive after 7:15 a.m., they may go directly to the caféteria if eating breakfast. Hot breakfast will be served between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m. No child should arrive at school before 7:00 a.m. There are no staff members on site to supervise students before 7:00 a.m.
Instruction begins at 7:45 am, and teachers are very busy in the morning preparing for the day’s instruction. We humbly ask that parents schedule conferences in advance and not interrupt the morning routine of the classroom. The school day begins promptly at 7:45 am. The tardy bell rings at 7:45 am, and students arriving in their classrooms after that time will be considered tardy.
*Pre-K students should arrive to school no earlier than 7:30 and must be signed in by the classroom teacher or assistant. Pre-K students should arrive between 7:30-7:45am and must be picked up each afternoon at 1:00pm at the car rider area.
Grade cards are issued every nine weeks and are to be signed by the parent and returned to school. Interim Progress Reports (fourth week of nine-week period) or Weekly Grade Level Reports may be sent home as well. Numerical standards of grading may be applied in some grades, but a letter grade will be on the official report card.
A - Excellent (93-100)
B - Above Average (85-92)
C - Average (75-84)
D - Below Average (70-74)
U - Unsatisfactory (0-69)
E (Excellent) = 93-100
S (Satisfactory) = 92-75
N (Needs Improvement) = 74 and below
Please be sure to include the names and phone numbers of all relatives/friends assigned to pick up your children on the emergency card. Notify the office of any changes in phone numbers. You must come in person to add or delete any contacts. If you need to bring forgotten items (such as lunch money, lunches, books, projects, etc…) to school for your child, label them with both your child’s name and teacher’s name. Please leave them in the office and we will see that your child receives them. If your child becomes ill or is hurt at school, you will be notified by school personnel. We will make every effort to reach parents first, however if you are unable to be reached we will begin calling your contact list on the emergency card.
Parent Teacher Conferences
We strongly encourage open communication between teachers and parents. We welcome your input on the education of your child. In order to protect the instructional time for all students, we will not interrupt classes for parents to talk with teachers. We will be happy to convey a message to the teacher that you would like to schedule a conference or receive a phone call.
To ensure the safety of students and to comply with Knox County Schools policy, all visitors are required to check in at the main office upon entering the building. If you are staying to volunteer in the building or attending a conference or a meeting, please pick up a visitor’s badge after signing in. This badge identifies you to the staff and students in our building. Please sign out when you leave. While we welcome parent volunteers in the building, all volunteer visits must be prescheduled with the classroom teacher. Please speak with your child’s teacher if you are interested in volunteer opportunities that do not require classroom visitation. All visitors are required to provide photo identification in the office before each visit.
The school phone is a business phone and is to be used only for that purpose. No student will be allowed to use the phone unless given permission by the office personnel. A student cannot be called out of class to talk on the phone except in the case of an emergency.
Grade levels may be taking field trips to places of special educational value during the school year. Parents may be asked to assist in these opportunities, but note that parents must have their background checks approved prior to trip. Your help is needed and appreciated. There will be a charge for field trips and information will be sent by the teacher prior to each trip. Parents will be notified about the specific details and cost. If a student loses field trip privileges or cancels for any reason, the cost of admission only will be refunded. Bus money is non-refundable. No siblings may attend on trips.
Consider supporting the PTO by becoming an active member. The PTO works side-by-side with school staff to provide excellent educational opportunities for all of our students. Contact the PTO at firstname.lastname@example.org for membership details.
Textbooks and School Property
The Knox County School System furnishes textbooks to all students. The care of these is the responsibility of each student. If textbooks are damaged or lost, the student is expected to pay for them. Any student who damages school property, windows, books, and equipment is responsible for payment.
A $25.00 fee is charged to each student in kindergarten through grade five. These monies will be used for technology, manipulatives, consumable and non-consumable educational materials for the classrooms.
What To Leave Home
Anything not needed for class should be left at home–cameras, radios, skateboards, chewing gum, electronic games, etc. Toys should not be brought unless the teacher gives his/her permission for them to be brought to his/her class. Weapons, fireworks, tobacco of all types, alcohol, and illegal drugs violate state and local laws. Possession, under any circumstances, will result in serious penalties. According to School Board policy, cell phones must be turned off and stored in backpacks during the school day. This includes smart watches that have calling capabilities. Cell phones are not permitted for use at school and are subject to confiscation. Should a child realize he/she has brought these items by accident, he/she should turn it into the office immediately, with no penalty.
Accident Insurance is available for parents to purchase for 24-hour and school time coverage. Information Is provided in your child's back to school packet. If you decide to participate, payment is to be made directly to Scholastic Insurers. Do not send premiums to the school.
There is a variety of after-school programming offered through the Boys & Girls Club Grant. This program begins after Labor Day and includes tutoring. Participation will be by invitation. Carter Elementary School staff will provide care on Mondays through Thursdays. There is generally no charge for these after-school services. However, students must be picked up by 5:30. Students who are not picked up on time more than twice may be dismissed from the program. Students are expected to follow the same behavior expectations in the after-school programs as they follow during the regular school day. Students who have chronic behavior issues may be dismissed from the program as well.
Kid’s Place also offers an on-site, after-school program for kindergarten through grade five and also a summer program. Please call 660-7293 for more information.
TRANSFER OPTION FOR STUDENTS
VICTIMIZED BY VIOLENT CRIME AT SCHOOL
Under the Tennessee State Board of Education’s Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 40-38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade-level appropriate school within the district. Additional information regarding this option may be obtained by contacting Brian Hartsell, Director of Enrollment, at (865) 594-1502.