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.”
Parents/Guardians, please read the following handbook in its entirety to familiarize yourself with our school procedures, which align with the KCS Board of Education Policies (found here). At Carter, safety and learning are our top priorities, and we thank you in advance for your adherence to the policies and procedures designed to support those top priorities.
ABOUT OUR SCHOOL
OFFICE HOURS: The school office is open from 7:30 to 3:15. Phone calls are answered between those hours with the exception of 2:30-2:50, during which time the office is engaged in student dismissals. Phone calls received during that time will be sent to voicemail, and messages will be returned as quickly as possible.
Logan Lambert, Administrative Assistant, and Christy Rhodes, Bookkeeper
REGULAR SCHOOL HOURS
7:45 AM - 2:45 PM for students in grades K-5
7:45 AM – 1:15 PM for Pre-K
7:45 AM - 11:15 AM for students in grades K-5
7:30 AM – 10:15 AM for Pre-K
EARLY RELEASE DAYS
7:45-12:30 AM for students in grades K-5
7:45-11:15 AM for Pre-K
Please be sure to include the names and phone numbers of all relatives/friends assigned to pick up your children on the emergency card that is sent home for completion each year. For security purposes we will not allow your child to leave school or eat lunch with anyone who is not on the emergency card. Please notify us by note of any changes in phone numbers. You must come to the office in person to add or delete any contacts. We encourage you to think of EVERYBODY you wish to include to pick up your child—this helps us when we have special events and someone else in your family would like to pick up your child or if you have an emergency and need someone to pick up your child who does not normally do so.
We welcome your input on the education of your child. In order to protect the instructional time for all students, we will not interrupt the instructional day for parents to talk with teachers or students. We will be happy to convey a message to the teacher. Please do not ask the office to relay messages to children except in the case of a true emergency. If your child becomes ill or is injured at school, you will be notified. We will make every effort to reach parents first; however, if you are not reached, we will begin calling your child’s emergency contacts listed in Aspen. If you need to bring your child a forgotten item, label the item with your child’s name and teacher’s name and leave it in the office for us to deliver. To prevent distractions to learning, we do not allow delivery of special occasion gifts (such as balloons or flowers) to students during the school day.
Knox County Schools is now using ParentSquare for school communication, primarily with email, text, and app notifications. Invitations to join ParentSquare were sent via email and text message on July 5, 2022, and may join by clicking the link in that email or at parentsquare.com. ParentSquare works on any device, and you may download the free mobile app or use the desktop version.
Besides ParentSquare, we utilize multiple methods of communication to assist parents and community members in staying informed and involved because a child’s learning progress is maximized when parents and the school are working together. Individual teachers communicate weekly, and your child’s teacher will share specific information about classroom communication at the beginning of the school year. Many teachers send home nightly communications via a folder or electronic methods. As a 1:1 school, all communication will be sent electronically if possible with the exception of paperwork that requires a parent signature or written response. If you need a paper copy at any time, you may request such from the teacher or the main office. All teachers have voicemail at school and are expected to check it daily. Please allow up to two school days for a returned call or email. Staff members are not required to respond to emails or phone calls after their regular contract hours, but many do so as a courtesy to parents. Administrators are available by appointment for meetings throughout the year and may also be reached by phone or email. Administrator schedules are busy and subject to change quickly depending on individual student and school needs, but administrators will make every attempt to answer phone calls as they come in and to accommodate parents who come into school without an appointment. Prompt communication is important to us, and we will do our best to be transparent and responsive at all times. Below are the methods we use for communication:
Aspen Family Portal emails
Carter Elementary School
Our goal is to model positive and transparent communications with and about our students, teachers, families, and community members, and so all Carter Elementary stakeholders are expected to uphold the Civility Code of Knox County Schools. Excelling at this difficult job of educating children requires that all parties work together even when disagreements arise, and so we have adopted the following working agreement for all meetings at CES:
Be open to learning.
Be present and engaged.
Assume positive intentions when communicating with others.
Challenge with respect.
Risk productive struggle.
Following this working agreement ensures that even though we may not always agree, we can always find a way to move forward in the best interest of our children. Let us remember at all times that our children are watching us to learn how to treat others and how to handle challenges or conflicts.
PARENT – TEACHER CONFERENCES
Parent-teacher conferences are an important part of student achievement. Along with weekly reports, the Interim Report, and the 9-week report card, parent-teacher conferences provide an opportunity for communication about your child’s progress. Each grade level will continue a scheduled window for Parent-Teacher Conferences in the fall and the spring. To maximize accessibility and convenience for parents, conferences will be held virtually this year unless a parent requests an in-person meeting. To arrange a conference at any other time, you should call the school office, email the teacher, or write a note to the teacher. Conferences will not be held without an appointment, and teachers will not be called out of class to talk with parents during the instructional day to protect the learning of all students.
Parents are encouraged to be familiar with teacher grading and homework procedures and to check the Aspen Family Portal daily to monitor student progress. Parent Portal passwords may be obtained from Ms. Rhodes in the front office. Setting up grade notifications in the Parent Portal is an excellent tool because parents will receive an email every time a grade is recorded that falls below the threshold set in the system. Assistance in using Parent Portal is available by inquiring in the main office. For help with Family Portal, check out the video tutorials on the Pages tab of your account or access the Help documents linked below:
Interim report cards are posted every four and a half weeks, and quarterly report cards are posted every nine weeks. Reports are published electronically to the Aspen Family Portal unless requested in hard copy. Kindergarten reports are sent home in hard copy. Below is the KCS grading scale:
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
Security procedures at CES are a top priority. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that may be caused by our insistence on keeping students and staff safe at all times, but we will not make exceptions to any safety/security procedure or policy.
All exterior doors and windows are locked at all times. Admission to the building requires that a person buzz the office at the front door and wait to be admitted. Any person requesting entrance to the building who is not an employee will be asked to hold up an ID and state a name and reason for visiting before the door will be unlocked. No one except office staff or administrators are allowed to open the doors; please do not hold the door open for anyone else or enter the building when a door is opened. Each visitor must be vetted by the office. All visitors will be asked to show ID at the front desk and sign in. IDs must be checked every time; please do not ask us to make an exception even if we recognize you. Staying consistent is critical to keeping children safe. Classroom doors are required to be locked during the day as well. Parents are not allowed in the building during regular hours without a staff escort unless they are scheduled volunteers and have checked into the office and been verified.
For the protection of student and staff privacy, only KCS employees will be allowed in the workrooms and records rooms to ensure the security of confidential conversations and documents. Volunteers wishing to deliver or retrieve materials to or from the workroom will need to make arrangements for assistance from office staff.
Our elementary school fee is $25.00 and is used to cover instructional supplies required for all students, such as student folders, agendas, and workbooks. School fees will be waived for students who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. To apply, go to lunchapplication.com.
Carter Elementary welcomes parents and guardians. Involved parents are critical for the success of a school and a child’s education. In order to provide a safe environment for students and to create a record of building inhabitants in the unlikely event of an emergency like a fire, each visitor must stop by the office and sign in; this includes those who are visiting prior to the start of the school day or after students have been dismissed. All visitors must be on the child’s emergency contact list and must wear an ID badge for the entirety of their visit. Adults who are volunteering must have scheduled the visit with the appropriate classroom teacher or staff member. Teachers maintain a Volunteer Calendar, and the calendar will be verified by office staff when volunteers check into the office. All volunteers must have completed the volunteer background check process and have the appropriate level of clearance required for whatever volunteer service they are providing. Parents wishing to obtain volunteer clearance should see Ms. Rhodes in the office for the web link. All parents volunteering in or visiting classes will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement in according with the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). Parents wishing to visit a classroom for any reason must obtain permission from the classroom teacher at least 24 hours in advance, and visits should be limited to no more than half an hour to respect instructional time.
We realize that many working parents are unable to volunteer during the school day but would love to help in other ways. Please speak with your child’s teacher if you are interested in volunteer opportunities not requiring classroom visitation.
Children who do not attend CES may not accompany volunteers during their visits. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause stay-at-home parents, but we ask for understanding, as this is both a security measure and a logistical necessity based on the limited space in our cafeteria and classrooms. We do allow siblings to attend Field Day as long as they are not school-age (not enrolled in a K-12 school program). Children who are enrolled in a school other than CES will not be allowed to attend Carter Elementary events (field day, awards ceremonies, special programs, etc.) during the school day, as this is a violation of our district attendance policy. This includes students enrolled in homeschool programs. Please do not ask for exceptions; anything that blurs the lines of supervision designed by our security procedures could jeopardize children’s safety.
We begin welcoming our students at 7:10 AM. Students may not be dropped off at school prior to that time. Bus riders should enter through the side doors and go directly to the gym or to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. Car riders will enter through the gym doors and go directly to the assigned grade level area or to the cafeteria. Students will remain in the gym, seated by grade level, or cafeteria and will be dismissed to their classrooms at 7:35 AM.
Students are to be in classrooms and ready to learn by 7:45 AM. A child who is not in class by 7:45 will be given a tardy slip. If your child is not in the building by 7:45 A.M., you will need to come to the front door and sign in your child. Please park in a designated parking spot, as parking in the fire lanes is prohibited at all times.
All requests for dismissal changes, either method of transportation or person responsible for pick-up, must be made in person or by a signed parent note sent in with the student.
BUS RIDERS: Bus riders are dismissed by groups beginning at 2:40.
CAR RIDERS: Car riders are dismissed beginning at 2:45 and are assisted into vehicles by staff members. To ensure our pick-up line is safe and quick, please have your child seated on the passenger side. If you arrive after 3:00 P.M. to pick up your child, you will have to come to the front door, show ID, and sign out your child. Please remember that staff members are assigned to meetings and non-supervisory duties at 3:00, so tardiness in picking up a child inhibits our work to provide excellent instruction and services. Please plan accordingly for timely pickups.
DROP-OFF/PICK-UP AREAS & PROCEDURES
Refer to the included Arrival and Dismissal Maps for specific information about how and where to enter the drop-off/pick-up lines. At 7:35, students arriving will go directly to class.
To speed up the afternoon dismissal process, each student is provided one car tag (orange for K-5, blue for Pre-K), which can be obtained at our Meet the Teacher event or by visiting the front office. Additional or replacement tags may be purchased for $1. The car tag must be hung from your rear-view mirror or on the passenger side of your dashboard. It is critical that a car tag be displayed in your car every day; any car not displaying a car tag will be required to park and walk to the front door to show ID. Because dismissal is a busy time during which distractions may create safety concerns, persons without a car tag should be prepared to potentially wait before being helped.
Bus transportation is provided for students who live one mile or more from Carter according to Knox County Schools Board of Education policy. School bus routes and stops are arranged by the Transportation Department and may not be modified by parents, drivers, or school personnel. Requests for changes may be made by completing a form available in the school office. Pre-K students are not eligible to ride buses. To find your bus route or stop, contact the transportation department or check your route online under the For Families tab on Knox County Schools website at http://www.knoxschools.org.
Knox County Schools system has established policies and procedures for bus riding in order to maintain safety on the roads, and the school and Transportation department work together to provide aides on buses when possible. Bus aides are staff members who assist the driver and students and support safety procedures and expectations. Students are expected to follow each of the Knox County policies and procedures. If a bus driver or aide completes a School Bus Incident Report regarding a student’s inappropriate behavior, administrators will assign consequences in line with school and district policy and procedures regarding discipline. The safety of our bus riders is top priority. Riding a bus is a privilege (not a right), and the privilege may be revoked if a student fails to follow bus expectations.
Obey the bus driver and bus aide.
Follow the bus driver’s/bus aide’s first request.
Enter and exit the bus quietly and safely.
Stay seated at all times when the bus is in motion and adhere to seating charts.
Use respectful language and tone of voice and speak quietly.
Refrain from eating or drinking on the bus.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE POLICIES
Good attendance is basic to student learning, and parents have both a legal obligation and a moral responsibility to see that children are present every day that school is in session. Tennessee law requires children to be in class for no less than three hours and fifteen minutes per day in order to be counted present for the day. Knox County Board of Education policy allows students’ absences from school 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 with documentation
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 considered unexcused. If parents want to appeal an unexcused absence, they may communicate with the principal. The principal's decision will be final. Knox County Board of Education further states, “A student may be absent, due to illness, ten days per year with written parent excuse(s). Beyond ten days, a medical statement will be required.” The appropriate hand-written excuse for absences must be submitted by the parent within five days of the time the child returns to school and must include the reason for being absent, a date, and a parent or guardian signature. Emailed excuses or notes written in daily communication folders will not be accepted. No make-up work will be sent home for students while they are out of school.
Knox County has in place a truancy initiative in cooperation with the Knox County Court System. On the occasion of the fifth unexcused absence from school, state law requires that a staff member contact the parent to discuss the impact of absences and strategies for improving attendance. If the student accumulates additional unexcused absences from school, additional consequences will occur. Truancy is considered a serious matter in the Knox County School System and is monitored closely by the office of the Attorney General. Please check with Ms. Rhodes or Amanda Greenwood, our social worker, if you have any questions regarding KCS Attendance Policy.
All students who are tardy need to be signed in at the office with an adult after 7:45 am. Being tardy is not only detrimental to the late child’s academic and social-emotional learning but also to that of all learners in the classroom. Traffic or construction does not exempt tardies. Excessive tardies may result in parental contact by our social worker.
We understand that early checkout at the end of the day is occasionally necessary, but like tardies, frequent early dismissals disrupt the learning of the entire classroom. If you have an appointment with a doctor or a dentist, please send the medical note to school the next morning with your child. If you have an appointment which requires the early dismissal of your child, please send a note to the classroom teacher that morning. Knox County policy regarding early dismissal states that students who are dismissed early will be counted for an afternoon tardy that will be reflected on the report card. Any person checking out a child must enter the office and show ID before the office will call the child up for dismissal.
In order to provide a safe and orderly dismissal, there will be no check-outs after 2:15 pm. Parents will be asked to enter the car rider line to pick up their student(s) at that time. Please do not ask us to make an exception.
If a student must be absent from school for any reason, excused or unexcused, up to ten (10) days upon returning to school, he/she shall be given the opportunity to make up any and all assignments that were missed during the student's absence. The parent or student must request make-up assignments within three (3) days after returning from the absence. Teachers shall set a reasonable time for the completion of the work. Failure of a student or parent to initiate a request for make-up work within three (3) days will result in lost opportunity for credit for that assignment.
TEXTBOOKS & SCHOOL PROPERTY
Textbooks are provided by the taxpayers of the state of Tennessee. All students are responsible for the care of any textbook issued to them for use during the school year. Loss or damage of textbooks will result in payment to the school system. Parents who wish to purchase textbooks may do so from Tennessee Book Company. Our school office will be happy to supply the address and phone number of this company. Links to some textbooks are available online and may be obtained from teachers. Any student who damages school property or equipment is responsible for payment.
Every K-5th grade student will be issued a Chromebook upon parent/guardian completion of the registration and insurance forms. Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to purchase the $20 device insurance through the district to protect against damage or replacement costs in the event of an accident or loss. To access the device forms click the links below:
You may access your child’s student ID number through Family Portal. Simply click on the Family Tab at the top left, and then click on your child’s name. The “Local Identifier” number is your child’s student ID number. For forms that ask for a Student ID, add an “s” at the front of the number (ex. s123456).
More information about internet access may be found here: https://www.knoxschools.org/Page/21955.
Field trips are part of the educational program, and students from Carter Elementary will have opportunities to participate in field trips during the school year. No student will be excluded from attending a field trip based on participation in interventions or programs such as Gifted & Talented, English as a Second Language, Speech, etc. Students must demonstrate appropriate behavior while away from the school building on these learning adventures. They must demonstrate self-discipline, good character, and qualities consistent with our school-wide expectations while away from the school. In order to ensure student safety, Carter Elementary uses the following field trip guideline: If a student fails to demonstrate mastery of school-wide behavior expectations during the 20-day period in which the field trip occurs, the student has failed to earn and may not be allowed to take part in the field trip opportunity. Mastery of the behavior expectations is defined as earning a C or better for Classroom Behavior (including Encore classes) and receiving no major office referrals.
It is our desire that all students take part in these valuable learning opportunities. Safety always comes first. In any rare case of extenuating circumstances, the principal reserves the right to approve exceptions to the field trip behavior guideline in consultation with the classroom teacher.
CHAPERONES, SAFETY, & PROCEDURES
Field trips are an excellent way to supplement the learning objectives that are taught in the classrooms and to provide students with visuals and hands-on experiences that they will remember for a lifetime. We could not offer such opportunities were it not for parents volunteering as chaperones. Carter Elementary School procedures regarding field trips are designed to ensure that student and staff safety is paramount at all times.
Below are a few items to consider before giving permission for your child to attend a trip:
All students must have a permission slip completed by a parent/guardian in advance of the trip. Only the official field trip form will be accepted; we cannot accept verbal permission or a written note. Permission slips submitted after the due date will not be accepted to keep planning, record-keeping, and bookkeeping accurate.
Parents/guardians who wish to check students out at the conclusion of a field trip must comply with the KCS Administrative Procedure for Off-Campus Trips, which includes submitting a request in writing to the teacher and showing a valid ID to verify identity before signing out the child with the teacher on the day of the field trip.
Only parents who are selected to be chaperones may go on the field trip. While we cannot control what adults do outside of school, parents will not be allowed to join the school group and be with their child if they are not a chaperone. The reason for this is because chaperones, like teachers, are assigned to specific students and are accountable for their well-being. When other parents arrive separately and want to participate with their child, it causes confusion with the teachers and chaperones regarding supervision and jeopardizes the safety of the children.
Chaperones will be chosen by methods communicated by the teachers. Chaperones must have Level 3 or 4 volunteer clearance and will provide their own transportation or ride the bus as directed by the teacher organizing the trip.
Siblings of students may not attend with chaperones on field trips.
On the morning of the field trip, chaperones will sign in at the office and receive a sticker badge to wear for the day.
Students who do not attend a field trip will be placed in an alternate classroom for the day and will be given equivalent work (work related to the standards addressed by the field trip). Non-participation is never considered a punishment.
All field trip payments are non-refundable.
LUNCH AND BREAKFAST PROGRAM
The school cafeteria provides breakfast and lunch each day (on half-days lunch will not be served). Breakfast will be available beginning at 7:15 am. Breakfast service ends at 7:40, so please plan accordingly if your child arrives after that time.
Each student will have a lunch account in the cafeteria with a keypad entry number. Children may purchase ice cream one day a week. We encourage parents to pay ahead on their child’s lunch account to eliminate the need for children to keep up with coins or paper money. Parents may add funds electronically to a lunch account at K12paymentcenter.com. No glass containers are permitted. If you pack your child’s lunch, please place food items in packages that children are able to open themselves to prevent staff members from having to touch food items. After signing into the office, lunch visitors will be escorted to the cafeteria and may eat at a designated visitor area with their child only to ensure student safety and right to privacy. Please review the “Visiting School” section for full visitation guidelines.
Visitors may purchase breakfast or lunch for the prices listed below.
Weekly menus may be found here: https://www.knoxschools.org/Page/8691. The Free and Reduced meals application referenced earlier is available in paper form from the school office or online at lunchapplication.com.
BIRTHDAYS & CLASS PARTIES
Parents may send goodies such as cupcakes or cookies to celebrate birthdays at the discretion of the classroom teacher. Per Knox County procedures, no outside, home-made items may be given to children; all treats must be store-bought and in the original, sealed container. Parents may also send a check or cash in to purchase ice cream from the cafeteria for the entire class. You will need to contact your child’s teacher PRIOR to bringing treats for the class to obtain approval.
All parties are limited to two hours except for the 5th grade end-of-year party. Classrooms may celebrate twice per year with parties, and it is recommended that those occur at the end of each semester. Details will be communicated by classroom teachers. Thematic activities for seasons or holidays will be limited, linked to standards, and not promote any religious beliefs.
Physical activity is a critical part of children’s health and learning, so staff members try to maximize physical activity throughout the day, not only during recess. Classes will typically go outside for recess when the temperature falls between 32 and 95 degrees. Teachers will determine whether or not outdoor play is appropriate based on the temperature, wind chill, age of students, length of time outdoors, adequacy of the children’s clothing, and condition of the playground. Students with a medical excuse for staying inside during recess will be sent to an alternate classroom during that time. Parents are not allowed on the playground or in the classroom during recess for security purposes.
SCHOOL PICTURES & YEARBOOKS
We offer Fall, Spring, and Class photos at a nominal price. Information is sent home well in advance of each picture day. A yearbook may be purchased in the spring at a price of $30 ($25 if pre-ordered).
TRANSFERS AND SCHOOL ZONES
When transferring to another school from Carter Elementary, please notify the office prior to the student’s last day. This will enable the teacher and the school office to prepare your child’s records for transfer to the new school.
According to Knox County Schools policy, students must attend their zoned school unless a transfer request has been completed and approved. Children are considered in zone only if the primary residential parent (custodial parent or guardian with whom the child lives more than 50% of the time) resides in our school zone. No other addresses will be accepted. When a proof of address is required, the following are acceptable proofs: KUB bill, rental agreement, mortgage lease, telephone bill (not cellular), verification of Social Services, or Internal Revenue Service W-2. If your family resides with another family, a notarized letter from the legal resident of the address is required. Additionally, if you are using a notarized letter stating that you are residing with a family in the school zone, you must provide one of the above-mentioned proofs for the address in the name of the person who is the legal resident. Proof of residence should be updated yearly.
TRANSFERS TO CARTER
Transfers granted to students to attend CES are contingent upon good standing in academics, attendance, and behavior and may be revoked based on deficiencies in any of the aforementioned areas. The administration and social worker will communicate with parents if a student is not in good standing, and attempts are made to work with families to rectify the deficiency before a transfer revocation may be recommended by the school.
UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE POLICY
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 the Tennessee Code Annotated 40-38-11(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 Brain Hartsell, Supervisor of Transfers at 594-1502.
Decisions to close school because of inclement weather or disaster are made by personnel at the Central Office of the Knox County School System, not by the individual schools. Please do not call school to find out if school is to be closed or dismissed early. This ties up our phones and prevents us from making necessary calls. Local television and radio stations will broadcast school closings or early dismissal just as soon as the decisions are made at the Central Office. Please listen to the news media for information concerning school closings. You can also find this information on-line at http://www.knoxschools.org.
MEDICATION AND ILLNESS
No medication 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 the school day in order for the child to remain in school. Over-the-counter medications are included in these regulations. If your child requires medication during the school day, a Knox County medical release form, available in the school office, must be filled out both by the parent and prescribing physician. This form is to be returned to the school office. Parents must assume responsibility for carrying all approved medications to the school office. All prescription medications must be in the container labeled by the pharmacy and must match the medication form signed by the doctor. Any over-the-counter medication prescribed for the student must be in the original container and must be labeled with the student’s name. Knox County Board Policy forbids students to be in possession of any form of medication.
Children should not be sent to school with a fever, contagious conditions, or any symptom of illness such as diarrhea or vomiting. Students must be free from fever and symptoms for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medications (i.e. Tylenol or Ibuprofen) before returning to school.
ELEMENTARY DRESS CODE
The Knox County School System has a system-wide dress code designed to reduce distraction and enhance classroom safety and security. A copy of the KCS Board of Education policy may be obtained at any school or from the school system website. Standards for elementary school dress reflect “common sense” and a concern for each child’s comfort, safety, cleanliness, and sense of modesty. 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 showing.
Head apparel, except for religious or medical reasons, must not be worn inside the school building. Special allowances may be made for school-wide programs or activities.
Footwear is required and must be safe and appropriate for indoor or outdoor physical activity. Also, students are not allowed to wear shoes to school that have wheels on the bottom. Close-toed shoes are recommended.
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 are deemed inappropriate attire for students in grades 3-5. Appropriate shorts are ones that extend to the end of the student’s fingertips.
The school administration reserves the right to determine whether a student’s attire is within acceptable limits of decency and modesty, and the principal’s decision will be final at the school level. The principal may allow exceptions for school-wide programs or special classroom activities. If a student’s clothing or footwear is found to be inappropriate, parents or guardians will be contacted to bring proper attire for the student.
Students are encouraged to bring a backpack to school, but rolling backpacks are not permitted.
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION DEVICES
Students may possess cell phones while on school property during the regular school day. The phone must be in the off mode and placed in a backpack or pocketbook. The principal or principal designee may grant a student permission to use a cell phone at his/her discretion. If a student has a cell phone out for others to see or if it is not in the off mode, it may be confiscated and returned to the student at the end of the day. If there is another violation, the device may be confiscated until it can be released to the student’s parent or guardian. Students will not be allowed to use cell phones to send text messages or take pictures at school. With the agreement of the principal, teachers may give permission for the use of cell phones in class as long as the purpose is educational and aligns with Tennessee State Standards.
TOOLS FOR LEARNING
In order for students to be successful for school, it is important that they arrive at school with necessary tools for learning: textbooks, paper, pencils, Chromebook (if taken home) and more specific items for certain activities. Toys, electronic games, and other personal items such as these are distractions to learning that often lead to behavior infractions and should not be brought to school. If students bring such items to school, the items may be taken and stored in the office until collected by a parent.
POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS
The CES staff is committed to developing outstanding citizens who are responsible for their own behavior and respectful of themselves and others. Our school rules and discipline policies are developed and enforced to foster respect, responsibility, and accountability from all students. We implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) strategies to proactively establish behavioral expectations and promote a culture in which all students achieve social, emotional, and academic success.
PBIS promotes a safe, effective, and positive learning environment for every child by teaching behavioral expectations throughout the building using positive rewards and direct instruction of appropriate student behaviors. We explicitly teach and re-teach behavior expectations like we teach and re-teach academic standards. Our mission is to help students grow academically, socially, and emotionally, and this year we will supplement our PBIS with social-emotional learning resources. Ultimately, the goal of our school-wide positive behavior system is to increase student learning and decrease classroom disruptions by strengthening our students’ mental health and social skills. We utilize a behavior matrix that clearly establishes expectations for all areas of the building, and a copy of the matrix may be obtained from the CES website. Please review our behavior matrix with your child to set the stage for a successful year and to show your support for positive choices. Our expectations and procedures adhere to KCS Board of Education policies regarding discipline.
School rules apply on school grounds, going to and from school, and at any event where our school is represented. Teachers handle most behavioral problems in their own classrooms. Each classroom has its own set of established expectations/procedures that align with the school-wide plan. For repeated or higher-level offenses, a child may be referred to the office. Consequences for misbehavior will be determined by the type of behavior, severity, and frequency in accordance with KCS guidelines.
BULLYING OR SUSPECTED BULLYING
Bullying behavior will not be tolerated. Students at CES are taught the differences in bullying, conflict, rudeness, and meanness. A copy of a handout for parents is attached to this handbook, and we encourage parents to talk about this information at home to assist children in learning how to identify what is bullying and how to respond.
Reports of bullying or suspected bullying are investigated swiftly in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated anti-bullying codes and regulations and with KCS Board of Education Policy J-211 Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying or Cyber-Bullying. By state law, any employee who has knowledge of a bullying incident must report it to an administrator within 24 hours. Administrators must notify parents/guardians involved within 48 hours of the report and begin an investigation/response that involves appropriate personnel. A response plan must be in place within 20 school days. In all matters of misbehaviors, Knox County Board of Education Policies and Procedures will be followed.
PTA CLOTHING CENTER
The Knox County Council PTA operates a Clothing Center, distributing clothing to any Knox County School System pupil whose parents are found to be financially unable to provide adequate clothing to enable the child to stay in school. Parents may request assistance through the school’s front office. The student’s teacher may also recommend him or her to the principal for clothing. The school will provide the family with a Clothing Center card. The family can present this card at the Clothing Center, 1000 N. Central Avenue to receive clothing. The policy is to provide parents reconditioned and new clothing for each child. The average is approximately eighteen garments per child. Clothing may be provided twice each year, except under unusual circumstances.
Kids Place provides on-site after-school care for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Call 660-7293 for more information or to register.