Greetings to all Morris families,
I hope this letter finds you well rested and enjoying your summer. The Morris staff and I look forward to seeing all of our new and returning students on Thursday, August 30th, the first day of school. This letter contains general information that will help answer some frequently asked questions.
- Please put your child’s name on everything they bring to school – lunch boxes, clothing, boots, backpacks, etc.
- Please send in an old shirt or a smock for Art class. Please put your child’s name inside.
- Please send in an extra set of clothes and pair of shoes. Many times children get wet on the playground or spill something on themselves at lunch and need a change of clothes.
- Sneakers should be worn to school on P.E. days and are the preferred footwear on other days. Please avoid flip flops, clogs, and shoes with high heels. It is difficult for children to participate in active play with these types of footwear. If purchasing sneakers, please select a variety with non-marking soles.
- Backpacks are helpful for carrying papers to and from school. Larger backpacks and backpacks with wheels may not fit into the lockers – please consider this when purchasing a backpack. Trapper keepers are not necessary and do not fit in their assigned storage area. A pocket folder that easily fits into the backpacks can be helpful in carrying papers to and from school.
- Supplies such as pencils, scissors, crayons, paper, glue, and rulers are provided by the school, or may be requested from your child’s teacher.
- Morning snacks should be brought from home. Students are usually hungry by mid-morning, so a healthy snack is important. Please do not send candy or soda and please respect any notice further restricting snack items due to food allergies.
- Lunch money and milk money will be collected one morning each week. Lunch (includes milk) costs $2.50; milk alone costs 45 cents (an extra helping of hot lunch costs $1.00). Each student will have a lunch card (scannable debit card) to use each day at lunchtime. Deposits will be credited in our computer program and then subtracted from his/her lunch card each day a child buys lunch or milk. It will be easier for us if deposits are made in whole dollar amounts and if you wish to pay for several weeks in advance by check, we can accept checks made payable to Lenox Public Schools Hot Lunch Program beginning the last week of August. You can also make a payment on line at MySchoolBucks.com. If you wish to mail in a deposit, please mail it to Morris School, Hot Lunch Program, 129 West Street, Lenox, MA 01240. The 2018-2019 Free & Reduced Lunch Application can be found on our web site.
- We created a section of the cafeteria that has peanut-free tables. We will be asking children not to sit at these tables if they come to school with a lunch containing peanut butter. This will better protect those children who have life-threatening allergies to peanut products.
If your child is in a class with a student who is allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, a separate and very important letter will be sent home. Please pay close attention to the specifics.
- 10. Student birthdays will be recognized at a special luncheon once a month; we ask that you not send in cupcakes or other birthday treats to the classroom. The PTO parent in charge of the monthly celebrations may contact parents to assist them in arranging an appropriate celebration of birthdays during that month. Because of food excesses, uncertainty of ingredients in baked goods, and diverse religious customs, we request that you not send food to school. If you would prefer your child not participate in the monthly birthday recognition or be acknowledged, please inform the office and we will pass this information along to the PTO.
- The school day officially starts at 8:40 and children are marked tardy after this time. If you drive your child to school, he/she should arrive between 8:20 and 8:35 at the Kindergarten driveway for grades K-5. Pre-K drop off is 8:10 – 8:20. Children should not arrive before 8:20 unless they are coming for a scheduled activity. Buses arrive at school between 8:30 and 8:35 and the children enter the school at 8:35. It is very important that students are in their classrooms by 8:40; tardiness is extremely disruptive to the flow of the classroom and affects all students. Children board the buses between 3:10 and 3:15 at the end of the school day.
- When parents pick up students (grades K-1 and older siblings) at the end of the day, they will be dismissed at the PreSchool/Kindergarten entrance. When parents pick up students (grades 2-5) at the end of the day, they will be dismissed at the exit behind the school. Please line up in the back close to the school side of the paved area so cars may approach the building and turn by the play structure. Please remain in your car and follow the line to the back door where your child will be dismissed. Drive SLOWLY in the parking lot. This procedure takes time – please be patient. When dropping off children in the morning, please use the Kindergarten entrance only.
- 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 arrange to have the child picked up at school.
- Walkers will be dismissed by the Head Teacher after all busses have gone. Any student who needs to cross West Street will be escorted to the cross-walk by an adult and crossed when the adult determines it is safe.
- Your child may not leave with anyone other than you without a written note. It is also important to write a note if you will be picking up your child at school; otherwise, your son/daughter will be sent home on his/her regular bus. We prefer written notes to telephone messages. Please do not e-mail since messages may not be opened.
- It is very important that any changes in plans for end-of-day dismissal be made only in an emergency. All messages regarding end-of-day instructions need to come to the office since teachers may not have checked their voice-mail or e-mail until after school.
- Please see our school handbook, which will be sent home in the first week of school, for updated information regarding tardiness, absenteeism, and truancy.
- For security purposes when school is in session, everybody (parents and other visitors) MUST use the main entrance and check in at the main office and obtain a Visitor’s Pass.
- The Open House at Morris (Grades PK-2) is scheduled for Thursday, September 6, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Open House at Morris (Grades 3-5) is scheduled for Thursday, September 6, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- Professional Development days are scheduled for November 6th (full-day), January 18th (half-day) & March 8th (half day). Another half-day scheduled for the year includes the last day of school. On half-days, all students are dismissed at 12:00.
- Morris uses a trimester system of reporting your child’s progress. Report cards will be issued on November 28th, March 20th, and the final report card will be issued at the conclusion of school. Parent-teacher conferences will be held on November 28th in the evening and November 30th (no school).
- The address for the Morris School is 129 West Street. The main telephone number for the Morris School is 637-5570 and the Student Service’s Office number is 637-5571.
- School picture dates are Thursday and Friday, September 6th and 7th.
- Please note that any parent who wishes to volunteer in the school or a specific classroom, on the playground, or accompany children on a field trip must have completed a CORI form that is checked by the Superintendent of the Lenox Public Schools. Having had a CORI check by another organization is NOT sufficient for us since we do not legally have access to that information. CORI checks need to be re-done every three years.
We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.
Peter Bachli, Principal