ALL VISITORS MUST STOP AT THE OFFICE
Children who do not ride the school bus should arrive at school no earlier than 8:20. Classes begin at 8:40 and children are dismissed beginning at 3:10.
Kindergarten sessions are as follows:
* Extended-day session - 8:40-1:25
* Full-day session - 8:40-3:10
TARDINESS AND ABSENTEEISM
Children are considered tardy if they arrive after 8:40. It is the responsibility of the parent and student to see that the student arrives at school on time. We do not count the student tardy if he or she rides the bus and the bus arrives late. In cases of frequent tardiness, the parent will be notified.
Student attendance in school is directly related to student achievement; absences in excess of twelve days per year will result in consideration of retention in grade.
When your child is sick or is going to be absent from school, please call the school by 8:30 a.m. We try to call parents of all children who are absent in the interests of the safety of the children.
All children have a fifteen-minute morning recess period and approximately a thirty-five minute recess/lunch period. During inclement weather the children have indoor recess. The paraprofessionals, in consultation with the head teachers, determine whether the children have outdoor play. Please dress your children in appropriate clothing for changes in weather conditions. We use a temperature of 15○F. (either ambient temperature or wind chill temperature) as the determinant as to whether recess will be held outdoors or indoors.
SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
Lunches are served at Morris beginning at 12:00 noon.
All Lenox Public Schools have a hot lunch program set up under the National School Lunch Program and administered through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education. School lunch menus are announced daily on the local radio stations, menus are included in The Berkshire Eagle, and children receive menus monthly. The cost for hot lunch is currently $2.50 per day. Milk costs $.45 and an additional helping of hot lunch costs $1.00.
Applications for free and reduced price lunches are sent home with every student during the first week of school. If a family wishes for their children to participate and feels their family income is within the eligibility guidelines, they should send their completed application to the Superintendent's Office via their child's classroom teacher. Parents will be notified of their children's eligibility within ten (10) days.
COLLECTION OF LUNCH MONEY
Payment for lunch or milk is made on Mondays for at least a week at a time. Parents are encouraged to pay for longer periods. Checks are accepted as payment. Each student has a debit card which is scanned after he/she purchases lunch or milk each day. Monday collecting is a bit hectic but allows for much quicker lunch counts and less disruption in the classrooms on the other days of the week. If a child is absent, his/her tickets will carry over to the next week.
STUDENT RELEASE PROCEDURE
In emergency situations where it is necessary for your child to leave school during the day, he/she will be excused by the classroom teacher. A parent or an authorized adult must call for the child at the Principal's Office. If your child is to be picked up by someone other than yourself, please send a signed note or call the Principal's Office. We cannot release your child otherwise.
ADMISSION AND TRANSFER OF STUDENTS
All children entering the Morris School will register at the Elementary Principal's Office. Before entering, proof of immunization must be presented and reviewed by the school nurse. Pupils will ordinarily be placed with other children of the same grade level but may be placed in another group by the Principal with the approval of the Superintendent.
If you are planning to move from Lenox, please notify the Principal by phone or by note. The school office needs to know your new address, school to be attending, and date of leaving. The Elementary Principal's secretary is in charge of sending school records to your child's new school and needs a parent's signature for permission to do so.
EARLY RELEASE DAYS
PARENT CONFERENCE DAYS
Periodically throughout the year, we have early release days for Inservice Workshops. We also have parent conference days usually in December and March/April. These days necessitate an earlier bus schedule. Children are released at 12:00 noon. The School Calendar includes these days.
NO SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Superintendent of Schools shall determine the necessity for emergency closing or delayed opening of schools due to weather conditions or other emergencies. In the case of a closing or delayed opening, the school uses an automated calling system to notify parents. This is usually at approximately 6:00 a.m. Additionally, announcements concerning such closings are made over local radio stations and on some of the “local” television stations.
Children should bring a note written by parents:
.. for early dismissal - to be released only to identified authorized persons at the Principal's Office
.. for going home other than in the usual manner
.. for going to scout meetings or church school (Blanket permission may be sent for the year)
.. for excusing child for absence from school for any reason
.. for tardiness
.. for requesting special treatment
.. for allowing someone other than the parent to be temporarily responsible for the child
.. for changing of residence necessitating leaving the school (Time is needed to prepare transfer records. Parents must sign a release of information form before records are forwarded to the new school).
.. for exceptions in riding the school bus (See bus regulations)
.. for going on field trips during class time
for participation in extracurricular and intramural programs.
We discourage notes asking that a child stay in at recess because we cannot always provide supervision. We ask that requests for students to stay in at recess be limited to medical situations in which a physician has made the specific request.
EMERGENCY CLOSING OF SCHOOL
We believe that once children are in school it is better to keep them here in the case of a weather emergency rather than send them home early. In the case of another type of emergency, we would use our automated calling system using home and work numbers to make every effort to reach parents; otherwise, we will hold the students at school if appropriate. We ask parents at the beginning of the year to complete a Parent Register form that we would use if unable to contact a parent in an emergency; this gives names of other parents or adults to whom we could release a student.
STUDENTS TAKEN ON VACATION
As is the case each year, we receive questions from parents concerning the assignment of school work for the purpose of a vacation. We are concerned with the frequency and long duration of pupil absences for vacation trips during the school year. We realize it would be fruitless, likely impossible, to try to prevent these vacations from happening; indeed, we recognize that oftentimes these trips have great educational value. We must, however, lay down some guidelines should requests be made to have materials, assignments, etc., prepared by the school for the child's use during the vacation:
1. the loan of textbooks is permissible
2. special assignments for the child to do while away are not to be given
3. we assume no obligation to grade any assignments presumed to have been done by the child during his/her absence
4. upon return, the burden of making up work missed during the absence is upon the child
5. except for the inevitable losses incurred as a result of the absence from scheduled classes and the failure to make up work missed, the school will not impose any penalty upon child or parent as a consequence of the absence
Because of food allergies, food excesses, uncertainty of ingredients in baked goods, and diverse religious customs, we request that you not send food in at holiday times; teachers in many grades have food-related activities that relate to events in the curriculum – many times in Pre-School and Kindergarten, less frequent as the children get older. We will, from time to time, have a curriculum-related event, quiet reading time, or a math activity in which the teachers may ask for food items. Teachers will take into account food allergies as they plan for the event. Please do not send in any food or drink wthout first okaying it with the classroom teacher. These are always at the teacher’s discretion and should be respected as such.
PARTIES IN CLASSROOMS
Parties are held at the discretion of the classroom teacher on a limited basis and are usually connected with the instructional program. We specifically ask that no birthday snacks be sent in for the students; our PTO helps us celebrate birthdays one day each month in the cafeteria. This is extremely important because of food allergies!!
The student record cards of students in Grades Kindergarten through Grade 5 are kept in the Main Office at the Morris School. Parents have the right of access to these records. Access to records is obtained by written request to the Elementary Principal. Release of student information or transfer of records may take place only with the written consent of the parents. The Massachusetts Department of Education Student Records Regulations and A Guide for Students and Parents on the Massachusetts Regulations Pertaining to Student Records are included in the Lenox School Committee Policy Manual available in each school.
Massachusetts State Law on Student Records Access for Non-Custodial Parents (General Laws Chapter 71, Section 34 H) specifies process for non-custodial parents requesting the school records of their children (i.e. report cards, discipline notices). Please contact the Principal's office for information regarding this process and the request form that must be submitted. This request and form must be submitted annually by non-custodial parents.
Parents are encouraged to visit and become active in the schools. Please make prior arrangements with the classroom teachers to set up conferences or classroom visitations. Teachers may be contacted during the regular workday (8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.). Phone calls will not be put through to teachers during instructional time. You may however, leave a voice message for a teacher. Your call will be returned at their earliest convenience.
If you have concerns about your child's learning or social experience at school, please contact your child's teacher. Any changes at home that may affect your child's school performance should be communicated to the classroom teacher as well.
Should any school problem arise concerning your child, please see or call the classroom teacher. By School Committee policy you must do this first. Usually all difficulties can be solved at this level. The Head Teachers
and Elementary Principal are available for help if the issues cannot be resolved.
Free bus transportation is provided to all Kindergarten through Grade Five students living more than one and one-half miles from their school. Bus stops are located within easy walking distance of their homes. Transportation may be furnished for shorter distances if, in the opinion of the School Committee, the area is unreasonably hazardous relative to the age of the child concerned. Elementary bus routes are published in ThePennySaver the week before school starts each year.
School buses are used to take children on field trips and to other school functions.
Parents who wish to bring their children to school are welcome to do so – students should be dropped off no earlier than 8:20 a.m. and should be dropped at the small circle by the Preschool entrance to enter through the front doors. If you are dropping a student for an early morning activity, you may use the main circle until 8:15 a.m.
Our bus policy allows each student to have two regular consistent drop-off points. Students will not be allowed to ride on a different bus from their regular one or be dropped off at any other stop for any social purpose. If a child needs to go to a different stop, it is the parent’s responsibility to have the child picked up at school.
When Kindergarten children are being dropped off on the 1:25 bus run, we ask that a parent or other adult be present at the bus stop to wave off the driver. If an adult is not present, the driver will proceed on the route, notify the bus company and school, and take the child to the High School where the parent may pick up the child. The bus schedule is very tight and when the buses finish dropping off Kindergartners, they go right to the high school for their next route. We will make every effort to contact a parent in this circumstance.
PARENT PICK-UPS AT 3:10 P.M.
If you wish to pick up your child at the end of the day, we ask that you follow these procedures:
* Students in Grades K-1 (and older brothers or sisters) will be brought to the Preschool entrance by the small circle; parents should park around the circle and wait for the children to arrive from their classrooms.
* Students in Grades 2-5 will be brought to the playground doors at the back of the building; parents should form a line of cars by those doors (being careful to leave plenty of room to loop around) and children will be dismissed as each car pulls up to the door. At certain times of the year, classes may be outside for gym or other activities and we ask that you not approach the playground doors until 3:10 p.m.
We are interested in safe departures from the school property; please drive carefully as cars may be backing out of parking spots and children may be crossing the parking lot.
BICYCLE AND WALKING SAFETY
Children are expected to walk on the sidewalks, cross at the protected crossings, and never walk in the road.
Children may ride bicycles to school with parental approval. There are bicycle racks at school where bicycles should be locked. Children should not ride their bicycles on the playground.