STAFF HANDBOOK

FINGER LAKE ELEMENTARY

DOCUMENT DESCRIPTION

THIS HANDBOOK OUTLINES IMPORTANT STAFF INFORMATION. PLEASE NOTE THAT CONTENTS OF THIS HANDBOOK ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH SCHOOL BOARD POLICY REVISIONS, SCHOOL EXPECTATION REVISIONS, AND POLICY/ PROCEDURE UPDATES. UPDATES WILL BE MADE DIRECTLY TO THIS DOCUMENT ONLINE.

Mission

Finger Lake strives for excellence to ensure all children acquire the necessary skills to become independent thinkers with successful futures.

Vision

We envision an innovative learning environment where all staff are fully committed to the school’s mission and all students, parents, and families are part of the learning process aimed at well-defined student outcomes.

Guidelines for Success

H- Have a Positive Attitude

E- Expect Success

A- Accept Responsibility

R- Respect Myself & Others

T- Think Before Acting

Actions

Showing HEART every day in every way is very important to Finger Lake. We aim to teach, coach, and support students to meet our school’s guidelines through positive praise and reinforcement.

Principal Letter

Dear Falcon Families and Students,


This is your community school principal, Susan R. Steele. I am honored to be part of the Falcon Family and welcome you to work hard, get involved, and share in everything our school has to offer. I have been in education for eleven years serving in a variety of capacities. I began as a classroom teacher in Tennessee, moved to Juneau and worked as a Program Manager at the Department of Education, worked as an Instructional Coordinator for the Mat-Su School District Office from 2010-2014, served as Assistant Principal at Palmer High School during SY 14-15, and became Principal at Finger Lake in August 2015.


This handbook is designed to help you become more organized and to succeed in school. If it is used effectively, this agenda will structure you to be aware of your class assignments teacher expectations. Students are expected to bring their planner with them to school every day to write down assignments and keep track of important deadlines and dates. Take your planner home each night and review it with your parents so everyone is aware of what occurred at school each day. Staff may ask for a parent signature to earn citizenship points in class.


There are a lot of exciting opportunities at school, and we are delighted to have you be a part of it. Our school offers engaging and academic experiences as well as extra-curricular activities for all students. FLE has been a Title 1 school since August 2013. Title 1 funds help harness resources to build school-wide programs that meet the needs of all students. We are also home to two MSBSD district-wide TAG classrooms for 3rd -5th graders and we are super excited about that.


Staff at FLE are phenomenal! Words like home, supportive, dedication, appreciative, and thankful are repeated themes I hear from our Falcon Family here at work. The staff at FLE prepare students for success because we love kids, love FLE, and love our community! Please feel free to share your ideas, comments, and suggestions anytime.


Finger Lake currently has cross-country, basketball, volleyball, and track teams. Additionally, FLE has Science and Math Olympiad, Chess Club, Math Derby and Battle of Books teams. FLE has a fantastic music program as well as an active PTA who does a remarkable job planning family activities and other extra-curricular happenings. We look to expand these offerings based on need and the interest of students.


Parents- we believe you are an integral part of your child’s education. While we spend approximately 6.5 hours with your child daily, this only equates to 20% of a week’s worth of time. You have the remaining 80% of time each week to make a huge impact in the lives of your little ones. We want to partner with you to ensure that all children obtain a high-quality education and reach, at minimum, proficiency in challenging state academic standards and on state assessments (Section 1001, ESEA Title 1).


Finger Lake’s Guidelines for Success are “Falcons have HEART.” We will continue to work diligently to help you learn and understand the significance of these, give you opportunities to demonstrate these characteristics at FLE, and celebrate you when you show HEART. More information is included in the pages herein.

Happy reading and planning!



Sincerely,

Susan Steele, Principal

SusanR.Steele@matsuk12.us

No Goal is Too High Where Falcons Fly

Falcons Have HEART Every Day in Every Way

Absences

Absences for the following reasons will be considered excused (AR 5113):

a. Illness

b. Death or serious illness in the immediate family

c. Participation in a school function

d. Extenuating circumstances approved by the principal

e. Attendance at religious services


Parent or guardian should communicate with the school (via a note or phone call to the front office or submit their reason code in iParent) for tardiness or absences.


The staff at Finger Lake are committed to the success of all students. As outlined in AR 5121, students who are absent (excused and unexcused) will be given at minimum one school day per day absent plus one additional day to make up work without penalty. Visit http://boardpolicyonline.com/?b=mat_su for more information on absences, record keeping, and classroom grading.


Research demonstrates there is a positive correlation between school attendance and academic achievement. Students with good attendance achieve higher grades, enjoy school more, and are much more employable. Staff at Finger Lake are committed to working with families to support good attendance. Thank you in advance for making attendance a family priority for your student.

BICYCLES

Students may ride bicycles to school during the school year as long as the following conditions are met:


  • Bicycles must be ridden in accordance with the state law.
  • Students should ride on the sidewalk areas of the school to stay away from buses and cars. When first arriving at school in the morning, students must immediately park their bicycles and wait in the front entry way of the school until the doors are unlocked at 8:30 at the earliest.
  • Bicycles must immediately be parked in the bicycle rack during the day. They are not to be ridden during recess, lunch or after arrival until the end of the school day.
  • Bicycles brought to school should be locked or chained to the bicycle rack.
  • Student(s) may lose the privilege of riding his/her bike to school if these conditions are breeched.

CHANGE IN STUDENT INFORMATION

It is imperative that the school office be notified immediately of a change of address, home or office telephone number, or any emergency contact information during the academic school year.

Community Feedback Survey Forms

Please visit http://www.matsuk12.us/domain/5312 for student, parent, and staff surveys.

DISCIPLINE

Research is nothing more than practice carefully observed and documented. Research indicates that structure and discipline are essential for schools to be effective. The staff at Finger Lake believe that the best way to establish an orderly educational environment is to focus on positive behaviors we wish to achieve. Finger Lake’s Guidelines for Success are “Falcons have HEART.” Guidelines for Success are a set of standards that become part of a school’s culture and define who they are. We will continue to work diligently to help your child learn and understand the significance of these, give you student opportunities to demonstrate these characteristics at FLE, and celebrate your child when he/she shows the HEART of a Falcon Every day in Every way.


Staff continue to work together to develop systems at Finger Lake to ensure our school-wide positive behavior management systems are implemented with consistency and students are coached, taught, and supported through making good choices at school.

Misbehaviors at school are tracked in all areas (recess, specials, hall, classroom, bus) and can be documented by any staff member. The misbehavior(s) are categorized as minor or major. All minor behaviors are documented and filled with the homeroom teacher who communicate directly with families via a phone call or by sending the form home in the student(s) folder(s). After 4 minor behaviors, the school administrator is notified. All major behaviors require administrator intervention and communication to home is made by the school principal.


The following infractions are considered minor at FLE:


· Inappropriate language

· Physical contact

· Defiance

· Disruption

· Property misuse

· Teasing

· Other


The following infractions are considered major at FLE:


· Abusive language/harassment

· Fighting/physical aggression

· Extreme defiance/disruption

· Unauthorized departure

· Theft

· Weapon

· Other


Consequences for major offensives are handed out at the discretion of the school principal. Some examples of sanctions are:


· Principal conference with the student

· Parent contact by the principal

· Loss of privilege (such as recess or bus privileges)

· Work detail

· Other


Our philosophy at Finger Lake is to support students to change misbehavior at the lowest level possible. Students are given tools they need to be successful. Progressive discipline is used if the target behavior isn’t changed at the lowest level. Our goal is to communicate closely with families to ensure we use common language and set clear expectations. Courtesy calls are frequently used to keep parents in the loop of their student(s) behavior at school. We have found a strong home-to-school connection is one of the most powerful interventions we can implement.

DRESS CODE

BP 5132 outlines policy on dress and grooming. Dress and grooming contribute to a productive and safe learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for the school activities […]. Students have the right to make individual choices from a wide range of clothing and grooming styles, but they must not present a health or safety hazard or a distraction which would interfere with the educational process.


Students will attend daily outdoor recess unless the temperature is colder than 10 below zero. Appropriate outdoor clothing in cold weather includes snow pants, coat, gloves, hat and boots are required. Appropriate clothing will allow students to be outdoors safely and comfortably. Please ensure your child comes to school dressed for success for outdoor recess.


At Finger Lake, the following dress guidelines should be observed:

· Shorts and dresses should be mid-thigh length or longer

· Tops/shirts must be appropriate for the weather.

· Spaghetti straps, low cut and revealing cuts are not appropriate for school.

· Messages on t-shirts must be appropriate.

· We discourage the wearing of make-up by elementary students.

Educational Computer Programs

Just a reminder that online computer programs used for core and supplemental instruction can be found on the student K-5 Quick Links (http://www.matsuk12.us/students/k-5/links). If you have computer and internet access at home, please check with your child's teacher to find out more about what online programs can be accessed from home.

EMERGENCY DRILLS

Every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of your child during normal school hours. ALiCE drills will occur twice per year (within the first three weeks of each semester). ALiCE is an acronym that stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, or Evacuate. It gives staff tools to use in the event of an active intruder emergency. This is in response to changes across the nation to better equip ourselves with options in the unlikely event of an intruder. They are simply a set of strategies. Students at Finger Lake are taught the most important thing during an emergency is to listen to their teacher. Earthquake and bomb threat drills will be conducted by mid-Feb and mid-October each year. Finally, fire drills are practiced monthly.

HOMEWORK

Homework should be meaningful, contribute to the child's mastery of information and assist in developing fluency on skills he/she learned in class. Parents may request make-up work and assignments for absent students by calling the school office or contacting the teacher directly. Requests for homework on short notice may be difficult or impossible for the teacher to fulfill, so please allow at least one (1) school day for the request to be completed. For any planned absences, please communicate with the school as soon as possible. There are a number of different web-based enrichment programs that are accessible at home. For ideas, options, or suggestions, please contact your child’s teacher.

ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES

All illegal substances are banned from school grounds. The term illegal substance includes all alcoholic beverages and all drugs and other substances controlled by AS 11.71.010-070 and AS 11.73.010. It also includes any other substance, the ingestion of which may have an intoxicating effect upon the user.


Finally, it includes any substance which is not an alcoholic beverage or an illegal drug which by appearance or description would lead a reasonable person to believe that the substance is an alcoholic beverage or an illegal drug.

LOST AND FOUND


All lost and found items of a personal nature (watches, jewelry, money, etc.) are held in the school office. Library materials are routed to the library, and textbooks are sent to the appropriate teachers. All other items are taken to the lost and found clothesline. If a student has lost an item, she/he is to check at the appropriate place. If a student finds an item, it should be taken to the school office. All lost and found items not claimed will be donated to appropriate charitable agencies at the end of each month.

MEALS

Checks or cash should be dropped off or sent in a sealed envelope to the cafeteria when purchasing school meals for your child. Breakfast permission slips are sent home at the beginning of the year. You have the option for students to eat breakfast every day, only on days when you send a note, or not at all. Write on the outside of the envelope the student's name, homeroom teacher's name, and identify it as breakfast or lunch money or both. If writing a check for more than one child, list each child's name and homeroom teacher on the check and envelope. Please make all checks are payable to: FINGER LAKE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Applications for free and reduced lunches can be completed online at https://lunch.matsuk12.us/Register.aspx or a paper application may be picked up at the office.

MEDICATION

Medication that is prescribed three (3) times a day can be given before a student comes to school, after school and again at bedtime. Any medication that needs to be given during the school day must be brought to the nurse's office by a parent or responsible adult. Any medication sent to school without proper identification cannot be given. Medication must be in the original container from the pharmacy with the pharmacist’s complete label. Please ask the pharmacy for a separate bottle for school. NON-PRESCRIPTION DRUGS MAY NOT BE GIVEN AT SCHOOL (EXCEPT TYLENOL). Thank you for your cooperation.

MONEY

We discourage students from carrying large sums of money to school. If there is no other alternatives, please send money in an envelope and request that the envelope be handed to your child's teacher immediately upon arrival at school.

Mornings @ FLE

Doors are unlocked at 8:30 am. If you need to make special arrangements to arrive prior to 8:30, please contact the front office. Students will draw a ticket which will determine their morning location for either gym, library, or computer lab. This change is a result of our growing numbers. Due to adequate supervision, available space, and safety concerns, each space will have a cap. Our maximum capacity in the gym will be 35 students, computer lab can hold up to 28, and the library will accommodate up to 30. We anticipate this plan will be able to safely accommodate all early morning arrivals between 8:30-9:05. Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we make some adjustments to ensure we are meeting the needs of our families and ensuring safety as our priority.

MyConnect: Control your ConnectEd notifications from MSBSD and FLE

PARENT-TEACHER-CONFERENCES

It is very important that you are a partner with our school in your child’s education. Student conferences are formally scheduled during the school year as part of the district-wide calendar (usually one in the fall and one in spring); however, you may request a conference or update on your child’s progress at any time by calling your child’s teacher or the front office at 864-2200.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical Education is an integral part of the instructional program. All children will be asked to participate unless a doctor's note is presented.

PLAYGROUND/RECESS

Recess plays an important function in the school day. During recess, students have the opportunity to socialize with their peers, release energy, and have time during their day for choice activities in a supervised setting. Movement is one strategy that ensures brain stimulation and enables students to concentrate on their academics. Playground safety guidelines, rules, and expectations are discussed in classrooms, advertised, and posted.

P.T.A.

The P.T.A. (Parent Teacher Association) is a vital part of our school program. We encourage parents to become active members. P.T.A services at Finger Lake support our school’s overall goals. P.T.A. generally meets once a month to plan extracurricular activities, offer staff scholarships, and assists in advertising the amazing happenings at school. PTA also works closely with our school’s Title 1 program to pool resources and create fascinating and enriching opportunities for our students.

SCHOOL BUS

Riding the school bus to and from school is a privilege, not a right. The school bus is an extension of the classroom. All district and school rules apply on the bus. Students are asked to demonstrate self-discipline and responsibility. Students who interfere with the health, safety, and well-being of other students may lose bus privileges. If you have any questions, feel free to call or swing by school to discuss your concerns.

SCHOOL HOURS

School instructional hours begin at 9:15 a.m. and conclude at 3:45 p.m. each day. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. each morning. Students should not arrive earlier than 8:30 a.m. or remain on campus after 4:00 p.m. unless participating in a supervised activity. Supervision is available for extended learning opportunities for students who have permission slips on file. Questions related to extend learning opportunities should be directed to the staff sponsor of that club. Ensuring students are in supervised areas while they are on campus assists staff to ensure the safety and well-being of all children is upheld as our highest priority.

SCHOOL LUNCH CHARGES

Once students have exhausted their maximum lunch charges (two per student) in the cafeteria, students are asked to borrow money from the front office. The front office will offer follow up courtesy calls to families who have excessive loans. If you believe you may qualify for free or reduced meals, please submit an application. It is very helpful to load your students meal card in advance.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

School supply lists are advertised in local stores or can be picked up at the front office. Please ensure that your child has the supplies necessary to perform his/her academic assignments on the first day of school.


If you intentionally tear or otherwise damage your handbook/planner, the replacement cost is $5.00.

STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND EVALUATION

AR 5121 addresses grades/evaluations of student achievement. Report cards will be sent home at the end of each quarter within six working days. Please review report cards as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please call your child's teacher. End of quarter dates are indicated on the MSBSD District Calendar which can be found at http://www.matsuk12.us/page/2.

Traffic Flow for Car Riders

We have been working on improving the traffic flow. We certainly hope that you have seen and felt a difference in safely getting your students to and from school. Send any feedback you may have my way. Please continue to pull to the front cone to allow 4-5 cars to unload at once (cars in-between the cones will be unloaded at one time). There should be no cars parked parallel to the sidewalk or left unsupervised in this area; however, if you do need to park and walk your child in, you may pull parallel to the fire lane and enter through the side front door.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD LEARN

  • Start each day right. A calm beginning at home makes the school day better.
  • Encourage your child to have breakfast and lunch. Make certain your child sleeps at least eight hours each night.
  • Praise your child each day for something he/she has done. Have a consistent place and time to check things brought home.
  • Laugh and talk with your child about school experiences and listen to what is said about your child's school day.
  • Stress the importance of school attendance. There is no substitute for instruction missed at school. When your child is ill, work with his/her teacher to gather missed assignments.
  • Strong communication between yourself and your child's teacher is imperative. Keeping staff informed of any family situation which could influence your child's academics or behavior assists us to structure your child for success. Working together to solve problems is key.
  • Work with your child to develop a love and passion for reading.
  • Support your child to be organized with his/her notebooks, materials, etc.

Title 1

MSBSD district-wide Title 1 information, Title 1 schools, STEPP plans, etc. can be found at http://www.matsuk12.us/domain/5578. The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency in challenging state academic standards and on state academic assessments. Finger Lake has been a Title 1 school since August 2013.

WEATHER

When severe weather creates hazardous conditions, the regular school schedule may be suspended to ensure students' safety. Notification of school cancellations or delays comes to families from the MSBSD district administration through MyConnect voice calls, text, and email notifications. It is the parent/guardian responsibility to monitor the updates. Please visit http://www.matsuk12.us/MyConnect to change your notification settings.

Susan R. Steele, Principal

My goal is your success!


Susan R. Steele, Ed.S.

Finger Lake Elementary Principal

907.864.2202 phone

907.864.2280 fax