Washington Elementary School
School Address 795 Wilder st
LOWELL, MA 01851
Telephone Number (978) 937-7635
PRINCIPAL Cheryl Cunningham
SECRETARY Elaine Nolan
NURSE Pat Crisafulli
lITERACY SPECIALIST Cate Hugo
PARENT LIAISON Ruthann Reidt
CUSTODIANS Fred Spindler
LUNCH STAFF Kelly Sullivan
HELPFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Family Resource Center/151 Merrimack St. 978-674-4321
North Reading Transportation 978-323-0101
Sped Transportation 800-850-0283
School Department Transportation 978-674-4321
Food Service 978-674-2077
Special Education Department 978-674-4322
The staff and administrators of the Washington School welcome you and your child/children to our school community. We look forward to an exciting, successful, and rewarding school year. Please take a few moments to review this important information packet and be sure to keep it in a safe place for future reference.
PreSchool Cathy Fallon/Juanita Balsamo Room 17
CSA PreSchool Nicole Morehouse/Karen Dauteuil, Room 18
Betty Ann Phillips, Krystle Vieira
Kindergarten Diane Cahill-Zdon/Cathy Reilly Room 3
Liz Quirbach/Pamela Bowles Room 6
First Grade Jennifer Plunkett Room 4
Ashley Brady/Julia LaPlante Room 5
Second Grade Kara Burns/Sue Flynn Room 1
Sue McCoy/Sue Flynn Room 2
Third Grade Beth Hogan/Stacy Chan Room 7
Rich Deshler /Stacy Chan Room 8
Fourth Grade Joanne Sgouros/Stacy Chan Room 9
Monica Avelino/Stacy Chan Room 10
CSA Classrooms Maggie Bowlby/ Marybeth Hayden, Room 13
Mary McCabe, Janitza Robles
Corey Donovan, Daniela Correa, Room 14
ELL Resource Teacher Heidi Upton
Art Leslie MacPhail
Music Laura Katz
PE Nabeel Zananiri
Literacy Content Marcie Comtois
Special Education Colleen Parrington
OT- Angel Richmond
Sped Social Worker- Lyndsey Killilea
ETC- Shley Pennell
Psychologist- Pam Daley
Library Aide Jackie Dubuque
Reading Tutors Jim Elias, Sandy Mastas
Speech & Language Lindsay Button Social Worker- Krista Kubick
Washington School Vision
Washington Elementary School is committed to
providing the conditions and rigor needed for all
students to obtain the essential skills required
to be successful, productive citizens in an
ever-changing global community.
- all students can learn given the right conditions, time, and support
- all students must be immersed in a safe, respectful, and rich learning community that values and honors diversity
- all students must be developed academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and artistically
- the success of our students is the shared responsibility of the home, school, and community
and therefore we embrace and encourage support from all constituents of our community
School Motto- Be the Best That You Can Be!
PreK 8:30-11:00 or 12:20-2:50
CSA PreK 8:30-2:50
Grades K-4 Children enter the building at 8:30
Tardy Bell 8:45
*Note-In order to help with the traffic flow:
K-4 students may be dropped off starting at 8:25 once an adult is on duty outside.
Pre-K students will be dismissed at 2:45 through the parking lot side door.
Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 2:45 through the Avery Street door.
Please do not pull into the parking lot!!
GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL
Starting a new school year may make students nervous, especially if they are new to the school. You can help to ease the beginning of school jitters by:
- Practicing the routines and behaviors like getting ready for school and homework routines until they become habits
- Helping them to be organized (have a set place to store materials, do homework etc.)
- Speaking positively about school and the exciting things that they will do
- Allowing your child to talk about going to school, making new friends, taking the bus, eating in the lunchroom, etc.
- Staying connected to the school by volunteering, attending meetings and events
Within a few days, most students settle in and move forward with ease. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to call or come in.
BEYOND THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL
Please help your child “be the best that they can be” by making sure they:
- get plenty of rest (most children need 8 full hours of sleep)
- come to school on time
- have the supplies they need for school and at home to complete homework
- have a backpack to carry things to and from school
- complete their homework (grades K-4)
- read often and complete weekly reading calendar
- follow the school rules: Be Responsible, Respectful, and Safe
- treat others the way they want to be treated
Bus students must bring their bus pass to school each day. Parents need to review the bus safety rules with their child/children, sign the form, and return it to school. Students that do not follow these rules and put themselves and others in harm’s way will lose bus-riding privileges.
All K-4 walkers and drop-offs will line up in their designated areas in the back and side of the building. Teachers will greet their classes promptly at 8:30.
An adult will remain out back till 8:38 to greet students arriving after 8:30.
Any student arriving at school after 8:38 should be brought in through the front door on Wilder St.
All grade 1-4 walkers and pick-ups will be dismissed through the second gate on So. Wilder St. @ 2:50
All Pre-K students will be dismissed through the Pre-K parking lot door at 2:45.
All kindergarten students will be dismissed through the side door on Avery St. at 2:45.
For safety reasons, please walk into the schoolyard and then escort your child to the car.
Students will only be released to a parent or person listed on the emergency form.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Please do not leave students in the school yard prior to 8:25 AM, as adult supervision is not available until that time.
- Please do not park or drop off on Wilder St. in front of the building. This area must be kept clear for our buses.
- Use caution when driving in the school zone!!!!!
- If you are dropping off your child, please drop them off at the second gate on South Wilder St. There will be someone out back to greet your child till 8:38.
- Walkers should use only the second gate to exit the schoolyard as there are cars leaving via the first gate.
- Do not enter or park in the schoolyard.
- Always report directly to the office when entering the building.
These measures are in place so that we can ensure that all students are safe at all times! We appreciate your cooperation in these matters.
The school calendar for school year 2018-2019 will be sent home on the first day and is available on our webpage.
The School Committee, Central Administration, and Washington staff, consider regular attendance essential for success in school. Thus, we adhere to the attendance policy set forth by the Lowell School Committee. Students are expected to be in school each and every day.
We also acknowledge that an absence will be considered an excused absence only if it is due to one of the following reasons:
- a disability
- a death in the family
- religious holidays
Please make every effort to schedule appointments before or after school or during vacations!
When your child is absent, you should:
- Call the school to notify the school of your child’s absence
- Write a note stating the reason for the absence and send it into school when your child returns.
- Provide a doctor’s note where applicable
Tardiness to school is disruptive to the learning process and needs to be avoided. A student who is late, must be accompanied by an authorized adult into the office and then signed in.
Dismissals during school hours are strongly discouraged and must be kept to a minimum. A change in your child’s dismissal plan must be made by sending in a note or by placing a phone call before 2:30, so that we can ensure that all of our students are safely and properly dismissed. Last minute changes make dismissal more difficult.
**Please note that chronic absences are detrimental to the learning process and action will be taken by the administration to ensure that all students attend school regularly.
As per Student Handbook:
- Four (4) or more excused or unexcused absences per marking period MAY result in a school attendance hearing at the discretion of the Principal.
- Unexcused absences of between 16-25 days for a school year may result in grade retention in Elementary School.
- Unexcused absences over 25 days will result in retention.
No School/Delay of School Announcements
On stormy days, the NO SCHOOL or DELAY OF SCHOOL announcements will be made through a ConnectEd call home and posted on the Lowell Public School web site. Announcements will also be publicized on the local radio station WCAP – 980 AM and televised on Channels 4, 5, 7 and 25. Do not call police or fire headquarters. It is the responsibility of parents to determine whether conditions during inclement weather are such that their child should not go to school on days school is in session. This is not considered an excused absence. In the case of a delay, there will be specific information about the time of the delay.
We will be working diligently to keep our average daily attendance rate above 95%. We will continue with our 100% Perfect Attendance Club. Each classroom that meets the benchmark number of perfect attendance days for each month will receive a bonus recess. To help win this award, all students need to do is be in school and on time! Watch the bulletin board in the main hallway for daily progress, as well as the monthly newsletter for more information!
BREAKFAST & LUNCH
Breakfast and lunch is available to all students at no cost!
Please note that breakfast will be served between 8:30-8:45, so it is very important for children wishing to participate in breakfast to be in school on time.
We are a Peanut Sensitive School. Our goal is to keep all of our students safe, so we ask that you do not send peanut-based products to school. There are many peanut butter substitutes that help to ensure the safety of all our students
It is important for parents to keep the school up to date on any allergies their child may have, so that we can plan accordingly and take the necessary precautions.
Parents are requested to send snacks and lunches that reflect healthy eating habits. Lunch should include a sandwich, fruit, and milk or water. Please be sure to send in meals that your child enjoys and items that they can easily open and manage. We do not have a full service kitchen and cannot heat food for students. For the safety of children, please do not send any sort of glass bottle for lunch or snack.
Change of Address, Phone, or Name
In order that we have up-to-date information in case of an emergency etc., please notify the school as soon as possible if there are any changes in parent/s, guardian/s, student address, or telephone number. It is imperative that the school is able to reach you during school hours. Please call Mrs. Nolan, our secretary, @ 978-937-7635 and she will be happy to make any necessary changes. If changes are required in bus routes or stops, you must make them at Family Resource Center at 151 Merrimack St.
Parents must complete an emergency form for each child. The form must include at least two emergency contacts. In addition, please note on the emergency form any special instructions regarding your child, i.e. custody circumstances, pick-up specifications etc.
Note- We will send this home mid-year for you to update, so that we always have current information. If changes need to be made before or after mid-year, please contact Mrs. Nolan, our clerk, to do so.
Parents are asked to fill out a medical form for each child as well. Please be sure to list any medical concerns such as allergies, asthma, medications, restrictions etc.
Minimum Immunization Requirements for PreK and Kindergarten Registration:
- Hepatitis B 3 doses
- DTaP/DPT 5 doses
- Polio 4doses
· MMR 2 doses
· Varicella 1 dose
A lead test and a complete physical are also required for Kindergarten registration.
SICK CARE POLICY
In the event that a child becomes sick during school hours, they will be removed from the classroom and sent to the school nurse or administrator. Parents will then be called to pick up their child. The Washington School does not have the facilities to care for sick children, so it is important that children are picked up as soon as possible.
If your child is home with any contagious illness, please let the school nurse know, so we may make appropriate precautions for other students. While we expect your child to attend school regularly, please do not send a child who shows signs of being ill to school. Colds, fevers, etc. spread very quickly in classrooms.
Your child must remain home if he/she has any of the following (printed with permission by the School Health Unit/Lowell Health Department):
- A contagious illness like chicken pox, flu, or strep throat, until the doctor says it’s safe to return.
- A rash or skin condition not diagnosed by a doctor.
- A fever that causes chills, sweating or muscle aches, or a temperature over 101 degrees within the past 24 hours.
- Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours.
- Red or pink eyes, or drainage from eyes.
In accordance with state law, no medication will be administered to a child unless the school has a completed medication permission form (available from the school nurse). When the school is given permission to administer medication, the medicine must be sent in the original prescription bottle with the child’s name, physician name, medication, dosage, and time to be given. A parent needs to bring in all medications- under no circumstances is your child to bring the medication to school.
The school nurse or a trained designee will give out medications. All medications will be logged in a medication log kept in the nurse’s office.
We welcome parents to visit the school and encourage you to keep the lines of communication open at all times. You know your child best and when we work together, great things can happen.
All visitors (including parents) must report to the office upon entering the building.
If you would like to speak to your child’s teacher, please call the office to set up a time or to leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you have questions or concerns about your child, your first step should be to speak with the classroom teacher. If you have further questions, please feel free to speak with the Principal, Ms. Cunningham.
If changes occur in your child’s classroom, we will make every effort to let parents know in advance. If changes are going on at home: new baby, moving, etc. please let us know so we can help your child adjust to new situations.
LPSD Dress Code
It is expected that all students in Lowell Public Schools will be appropriately attired while in school. In keeping with the preceding, dress that tends to disrupt the class or contributes to a safety hazard in class is prohibited. In the spirit of maintaining an orderly and safe learning environment, students are prohibited from wearing any article of clothing or carrying any backpack or other accessory which is lewd, which promotes violence or hate for any individuals or groups, or which degrades the beliefs of others. Also prohibited is the wearing of studded accessories, jewelry or chains, which could be utilized as weapons.
Students who violate this policy will be directed to remove the offensive or unsafe items before being allowed to remain in school. Students who refuse to adhere with this policy will be in violation of school rules and penalized accordingly.
Students are not permitted to wear the following:
- Extremely short skirts or shorts
- Shirts or blouses with bare midriffs
- Halters, tank tops with narrow straps, tube tops, shoulderless shirts or blouses, or excessively low-cut tops
- Oversized or sagging clothing
- Jewelry that could cause injury
- Gang-related clothing
- Sunglasses, including sunglasses worn on top of the head
- Bandanas, scarves, sweat bands, rags, flags, gloves or gang-related decorative articles - nothing is to be worn on the head
- Visible gang-related tattoos
- Clothing or jewelry that relates to drugs, alcohol, or has a sexual connotation
- Pajama pants
- Heelies/Flip Flops
- Any other dress that distracts, disrupts, intimidates or provokes can be deemed inappropriate by the Principal
Hats and Coats
In addition to the above regarding proper dress, students are not permitted to wear hats and coats in classrooms, corridors or public school assemblies. Modifications to the dress policy, hat policy and coat policy may be issued by the Principal when necessitated by extenuating circumstances such as medical or religious reasons and extremely hot/cold weather. Students must put all hats in their coat rack prior to the start of school. Students found wearing hats will have the hat confiscated until the end of the day or be given the opportunity to put the hat in the coat rack. Subsequent offenses may result in further disciplinary action and long-term confiscation.
Each month watch for a monthly calendar, lunch menu, and a newsletter from the principal. These documents are created in an effort to keep everyone informed! Please take a few minutes to read them and put them in a safe place to refer back to. We would like to move towards sending these electronically, so make sure we have your email address.
Over the past few years, we have found that many parents have found email communication to be the best way to stay informed. If this is the case for you, please make sure to add your email address to the emergency form.
The Washington School offers many activities for parents and children. School calendars with upcoming family events and school lunch menus are sent home monthly. Some of the activities we have offered in the past are:
Family Math Night
Bingo for Books
We encourage all families to attend!
Parents are always welcomed to volunteer within our school. Many volunteer opportunities are available in our school both on a regular and a one-time basis. However, all in-school volunteers must have a criminal record check (CORI) before volunteering in our school.
Two parent conferences dates have been set, one in December and one in April. A notice will be sent home with specific information. Please know that parents can request a conference at any time. Just call and a convenient time will be arranged with your child’s teacher.
TAT MEETINGS (Teacher Assistance Team)
When a teacher or administrator has concerns about a student’s behavior and/or progress, parents may be invited to attend a TAT meeting to discuss concerns and brainstorm strategies to support success. These meetings are extremely important and parents are encouraged to make every effort to attend.
We will have several fundraisers this year. The funds raised from these go directly back to the students. In the past, we have been able to supplement field trips, buy books, have presentations, as well as many other activities and events. These things would not be possible without the funds from these fundraisers and without your support.
We believe that providing a safe, secure environment is essential. Thus, we have policies and practices to ensure that Washington is a safe, productive place to learn. We pride ourselves on providing a nurturing and caring culture. We try to operate from a positive perspective where we recognize good behavior more than inappropriate. We have created a Discipline Policy based on three principles, we call our Big Three:
Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe
Teachers work with students to design individual classroom rules based on our Big Three. These principles are embedded in all we do and students are held to these standards in everything they do throughout the day by all staff members.
If students are unable to adhere to these principles, we have a 4-step system in place to address infractions:
- Classroom Plan of Action-All teachers will have a set plan in place to address infractions within the classroom. Students will be supported in making better choices. This plan will be clearly communicated to students and problem-solving strategies will be discussed.
- Discipline Referral-If classroom interventions do not solve the problem, a district-mandated Discipline Referral Form will be completed by the attending teacher and will be addressed by Mrs. Cunningham. Part of their interaction will involve the creation of a success plan.
- Success Plan-The goal of the success plan is for a student to reflect on their actions and to become a problem solver. It allows them to identify the inappropriate behavior, determine what a better choice might have been, as well as help determine their own consequence. The principal will sign the plan and it will then be sent home along with the Discipline Referral for parents to sign and review with their child.
- Parent Meeting-If all other measure fail, parents will be required to meet with staff members to develop a plan of action.
We believe very strongly that assaulting another person is never the way to solve a problem and thus is unacceptable behavior at school. Students will be made aware of this at the beginning of the year and problem-solving strategies will always be part of our work together. Students that resort to violence will be suspended from school.
Our goal is to support our students in becoming emotionally balanced, socially compassionate, and caring individuals with a solid value system. All part of being the best that they can be!!
Watch for more information in each monthly newsletter.
Each month, we will focus on a different character trait as we work on being a responsible, respectful, and safe member of our school community.
Our Character Traits for the year will be:
September Responsibility and Respect
December Caring and Compassion
April Tolerance and Acceptance
Our goal is to have high expectations for all children and to work diligently to help all children become successful learners in all areas. We will do this by implementing the Lowell Public Schools Learning Modules, which are standards-based, and reflect the identified learning expectations identified in the Common Core Standards adopted by Massachusetts. All future state assessments will be based on the standards.
Providing optimal learning opportunities for all students is always a huge challenge and requires that students, teachers, and parents work together. Thus, it is critical that we keep the lines of communication open. Parents play a key role and are asked to support our efforts by:
- Monitoring homework
- Supporting reading at home
- Attending parent meetings and conferences
- Attending school events
- Monitoring progress
- Encouraging student accountability and responsibility
PERSONAL BEST DATA BINDERS
This year we will continue to use this tool to help students in grades 2-4 track their learning and to keep parents more informed about how their child is doing and what their child needs to work on. These binders will track attendance, homework, assessment data, and other pertinent data. They will go home monthly to keep parents in the loop.
PROGRESS REPORTS/REPORT CARDS
October 31, 2018
October 10, 2018
April 3, 2019
February 6, 2019
Report Cards Grades 1-4 Grades 5-8 Grades 9-12
February 7, 2019
December 5, 2018
April 3, 2019
Homework is an important part of your child’s educational program, as it not only reinforces content taught in school, but also helps them to take responsibility for their learning and to develop strong study habits. Additionally, it is mandated by the Lowell School Committee as follows:
Grade 1 20-30 minutes per night Monday-Thursday
Grade 2 20-45 minutes per night Monday-Thursday
Grade 3 45-60 minutes per night Monday-Thursday
Grade 4 45-60 minutes per night Monday-Thursday
Our approach for homework is as follows:
- We are planning to keep homework consistent, so that parents and students alike will know the expectations.
- We will not use recess as a means for completing homework assignments as we feel all students need to get out and move.
- Reading will be part the homework expectation for all K-4 students. Students will track their reading on a weekly log and will also have weekends to work towards completing their reading. The reading log will be due each Friday during the month and will be part of grades K-4 expected homework.
- We will add positive reinforcements for completion of assignments by:
- Continuing the Individual 100% Homework Club/students that complete all assignments for any given month, including their reading log, will get their name posted on the wall in the main hallway.
- Continuing Class 100% Homework Reward/the class with the highest percent of homework done each month will win a special treat at the end of the month and will take possession of the Homework Trophy.
- Students that complete all their homework, including their reading, will be entered to win a $10.00 Five Below Gift Card each month.
- Students that complete every assignment for every month will be invited to a special activity at the end of the year. (last year it was the Incredible Animal Presentation).
- We will add an after school Homework Center for students that miss more than 3 assignments in a month. This would be done in cooperation with parents.
- We will continue to use the homework agenda books provided to all third and fourth graders. Parents should be able to easily monitor homework assignments.
Your cooperation as a parent, in monitoring the time your child spends on homework is requested in the interest of improving student performance.
Please note that homework should reinforce concepts taught in school and should not exceed the times outlined above. If it does exceed the time, please make your child’s teacher aware of it. If your child cannot complete it on his/her own, please let the teacher know as well. If you need support in this area, please contact the school and we will be happy to assist you, as we want all of our students to be successful!
Toys from Home/Valuables
The Washington School cannot be responsible for toys or valuables brought into school. Children should not bring toys, games, MP3 players or other valuables to school. Please do not send your child to school with anything that could be broken, stolen, or lost.
This year food-based birthday acknowledgements will not be allowed, as we try to develop healthier habits. Your child’s birthday will be acknowledged by their teacher and the principal and they will be given a charm for their keychain. If you wish to send in something special, we encourage you to purchase a special book or game in your child’s name and donate it to their classroom.
Please make sure that your child comes to school in comfortable clothes. We go outdoors every day (weather permitting) and children should be dressed for the weather. In the winter, please make sure your child has boots, mittens, etc. The temperature in our classrooms is sometimes unpredictable, dressing your child in layers (t-shirt, sweater) is recommended. Also, please note the day(s) that they have gym and make sure they wear comfortable clothing and sneakers. Please label your child’s clothing, especially outerwear, with their name, as the pile in Lost and Found grows substantially as the year progresses!
Students should not bring phones to school, as they can be a distraction from learning. If parents feel that one is needed for emergencies and/or travel to and from school, then it needs to be left in the backpack while in school. Phones out during the day will be confiscated and returned to a parent only.
SOCIAL MEDIA and …
Last year, we had a few instances where things from social media and/or game apps filtered into the school causing issues, which in turn impacted time on learning. It is strongly suggested that parents monitor the apps and games their child is using, as well as time spent on their devices.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please call us at (978) 937-7635.
A PRODUCTIVE YEAR
We genuinely appreciate you entrusting us with the education of your child/children. We take this responsibility very seriously and know that, with your support, we can help your child/children to be “the BEST that they can be”!
Here’s to a wonderful year!
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