Scotty Updates

A Newsletter from Scotland Elementary School

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Week of November 28, 2022

Scotty Updates

Scotty Updates has been created to provide families and staff with information regarding upcoming events, happenings, and programs at Scotland Elementary School. Please take time each Monday to review our newsletter.

Scotland Visitor Log

To ensure the safety of all, if you are scheduled to come into the building for a meeting, classroom event, library helper, or any other visit, you will need to fill out this form before arriving at school.

A Message from Jill & Tim

Dear Scotland Families and Staff,


I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving and were able to connect with friends and family! As we head into the winter months and cold/flu season, a reminder about the district attendance policy may be found below. Our program is designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific sequence so that our boys and girls feel comfortable with learning and so that their confidence grows. Success will bring the expectation of future success. When children have a lot of absences, they may not understand the material being taught. Over an extended period of time, this feeling may impact their self-confidence and expectations of future success. This is one of the reasons why attendance in school is important.


Student Attendance/Excuses/Dismissal


Connecticut state law requires parents to cause their children, ages five through eighteen inclusive, to attend school regularly during the hours and terms the public school is in session. Parents or persons having control of a child five years of age have the option of not sending the child to school until ages six or seven. Mandatory attendance terminates upon graduation or withdrawal with written parent/guardian consent at ages sixteen or seventeen.


A student is considered to be “in attendance” if present at his/her assigned school, or an activity sponsored by the school (e.g., field trip), for at least half of the regular school day. A student who is serving an out-of-school suspension or expulsion should always be considered absent. Classroom learning experiences are the basis for public school education. Time lost from class is lost instructional opportunity. The Board of Education requires that accurate records be kept of the attendance of each child, and students should not be absent from school without parental knowledge and consent.


Excused Absences:

An absence shall be considered "excused" when a child does not attend school due to illness or injury, death in the immediate family, religious obligation, an emergency, or other exceptional circumstances. Excuse for such absences should be submitted to school officials by the child's parent or guardian. All other absences, with or without written explanation, shall be considered unexcused.


Students who plan to be absent for reasons other than those listed above, should seek approval by presenting a note from home to the Principal. Responsibility for completion of missed classwork lies with the student, not the teacher. Unless a student has an extended illness, all make-up work will be complete within five days after the student returns to school.


Dismissal:

No school, grade, or class may be dismissed before the regularly scheduled dismissal time without the approval of the Superintendent or his/her designee.


No teacher may permit any individual student to leave school prior to the regular hour of dismissal without the permission of the Principal.


No student may be permitted to leave school at any time other than at regular dismissal without the approval of the student’s parent/guardian. If a court official with legal permission to take custody of a child, or if a police officer arrests a student, the parent/guardian should be notified of these situations by the administration.


Attendance, Truancy, and Chronic Absenteeism- REGULATION


I. Attendance and Truancy

A. Definitions for Section I

1. “Absence” - any day during which a student is not considered “in attendance” at the student’s assigned school, or on a school-sponsored activity (e.g. field trip), for at least one half of the school day.

2. “Disciplinary absence” - any absence as a result of school or District disciplinary action. Any student serving an out-of-school suspension or expulsion should be considered absent. Such absence is not considered excused or unexcused for attendance and truancy purposes.

3. “Educational evaluation” - for purposes of this policy, an educational evaluation is an assessment of a student’s educational development, which, based upon the student’s presenting characteristics, would assess (as appropriate) the following areas: health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status and motor abilities.

4. “Excused absence” - a student is considered excused from school if the school has received written documentation describing the reason for the absence within ten (10) school days of the student’s return to school, or if the student has been excluded from school in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-210 (regarding communicable diseases), and the following criteria are met:

a. Any absence before the student’s tenth (10th) absence is considered excused when the student’s parent/guardian approves such absence and submits appropriate written documentation in accordance with this regulation.

b. For the student’s tenth (10th) absence and all absences thereafter, a student’s absences from school are, with appropriate documentation in accordance with this regulation, considered excused only for the following reasons:

i. student illness (verified by an appropriately licensed medical professional);

ii. religious holidays;

iii. mandated court appearances (documentation required);

iv. funeral or death in the family, or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family;

v. extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by the District administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance and this regulation; or

vi. lack of transportation that is normally provided by a District other than the one the student attends.

B. Mental Health Wellness Days

Any student enrolled in grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, shall be permitted to take two mental health wellness days during the school year, during which day such student shall not be required to attend school. No student shall take mental health wellness days during consecutive school days.

C. Written Documentation Requirements for Absences

1. Written documentation must be submitted for each incidence of absence within ten (10) school days of the student’s return to school. Consecutive days of absence are considered one incidence of absence.

2. The first nine (9) days of absence will be excused upon receipt of a signed note from the student’s parent/guardian, a signed note from a school official that spoke in person with the parent/guardian regarding the absence, or a note confirming the absence by the school nurse or by a licensed medical professional, as appropriate.

3. For the student’s tenth (10th) absence, and all absences thereafter, documentation of the absence must be submitted in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 above, and must also include the reason for the absence and the following additional information:

a. student illness:

i. a signed note from a medical professional, who may be the school nurse, who has evaluated the student confirming the absence and giving an expected return date; or

ii. a signed note from school nurse who has spoken with the student’s medical professional and confirmed the absence, including the date and location of the consultation.

b. religious holidays: none.

c. mandated court appearances:

i. a police summons;

ii. a subpoena;

iii. a notice to appear;

iv. a signed note from a court official; or

v. any other official, written documentation of the legal requirement to appear in court.

d. funeral or death in the family, or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family: a written document explaining the nature of the emergency.

e. extraordinary educational opportunity pre-approved by the District administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance and this policy: written pre-approval from the administration, in accordance with this regulation.

f. lack of transportation that is normally provided by a District other than the one the student attends: none.


The link to the full policy can be found here:

https://z2policy.cabe.org/cabe/browse/ridgefield/ridgefield/z20000195/JD_5113.2


Kind regards,

Jill & Tim

Spotlight on Curriculum 🔦

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Mathodology Family Game Night!

Mathodology is also putting on a Free Family Game Night virtual event on December 5th.
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Please join us for Scotty Read Alouds and BINGO Night - December 1st!

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SDM Reminder

In an effort to ensure that all students are safe and know how they are getting home, all dismissal changes must be put into School Dismissal Manager no later than 12pm daily. Our office is experiencing a great deal of calls changing the dismissal plans for students at the end of the day. It is challenging to navigate these changes, ensuring that staff are aware and students know how they are getting home so close to dismissal. If you need to make a change to your child's dismissal after the daily cutoff time of 12pm, you will need to send an email to canderson@ridgefieldps.net in order for us to make that change. We really appreciate your help with this!

Snaps around Scotland 📸

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Events & Happenings 📆

Monday, November 28th:

  • D Day


Tuesday, November 29th:

  • E Day

Wednesday, November 30th:

  • F Day

Thursday, December 1st:

  • A Day
  • Scotland Staff Read Alouds - 5-6pm
  • PTA BINGO Night: 6-8pm

Friday, December 2nd:

  • B Day


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Coming Soon:


December 1st:

  • Scotland Staff Read Alouds - 5-6pm
  • PTA BINGO Night: 6-8pm


December 8th:

  • Early dismissal for students - 11:40am
  • Professional learning for staff


December 15th:

  • Winter Concert - 4th and 5th grade
  • 5:30pm


December 22nd:

  • Early dismissal - 11:40am


December 23rd-January 2nd:

  • No School - winter recess

Attention 5th Grade Families!

A Note from Our PTA

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Scotties Helping Scotties!

Within the Scotland community, affording supplies, field trips, yearbooks, enrichment, and activities is never something a student should miss because of financials!


The PTA sets funds aside to help families in our community. We all experience financial challenges, from layoffs to life's moments and everything in between.


If you are experiencing any type of financial challenge, please email the principal about your needs. Your request is FULLY ANONYMOUS to everyone except our principal.


Do not be bashful; our community is always here to help! Please reach out to Jill with any needs you may have!

Information to keep handy...

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Library Volunteers!

Hello and welcome to a New Year in the SES Library! We are excited to once again have volunteers during Library Classes. The SES library is looking for volunteers to help with library book check out, reshelving returned books and hands-on activities. If you have time in your busy day to volunteer, the SES library would appreciate your help!

No long-term commitment necessary and it is not hard to do. If you have some time during the day and would like to be a part of the fun, here's how it works in 3 easy steps:


1) Click the link below to see our Sign-Ups by grade on SignUp.com

Kindergarten:https://signup.com/go/RXgASEF

First Grade:https://signup.com/go/sdfnzCz

Second Grade:https://signup.com/go/oAwbgON

Third Grade:https://signup.com/go/DJogDsp

Fourth Grade: https://signup.com/go/mcPzzKd

Fifth Grade: https://signup.com/go/XzBEjrg


2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you would like. Please be considerate of other families and choose a few spots to begin with. Once everyone has had a chance to sign up, you can go back and volunteer for any open spots. If you do not see your class listed, it means it already has a volunteer.

3.) Fill out the Visitor Form to let us know the time and day you are coming to Volunteer.

The link is: https://bit.ly/3qbV1is


Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp. Use the links here or find them on the SES PTA WEBSITE


Please contact Amy Tomasco at sesnotes1@gmail.com with any questions.


It's not scary to help out in the LIBRARY!


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⚽️ 🎼 Essentials 🎨 📚

  • Each class will have one 45 minute essential per day (art, library, music, or PE)
  • We will continue to follow the six day A-F day schedule
  • Please find the essentials rotation below
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Arrival & Dismissal 🚗

We will follow a similar drop off / pick up procedure that we did last year.


Arrival

  • Drop off begins at 8:30am. Please do not drop off your child prior to 8:30am as there will be no supervision at this time.

Dismissal

  • Pick up will begin at 3:25pm.
  • Each day, please have your child(ren)’s first and last name displayed on your passenger visor, and have it remain visible until your child is in the car. This needs to be bold and large enough to be visible at a distance. This is a very important step to ensure we have your child ready when you arrive.
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  • For the safety of both students and staff, proceed carefully and slowly through the lot.
  • Please have your child exit/enter the vehicle when your gear is in the park position and is one of the cars at the front of the line designated for drop off.
  • Students must exit the vehicle on the passenger side (building side) of the vehicle. Multiple children must exit on the passenger side. It is dangerous to exit/enter on the driver's side of the vehicle!
  • Students need to have all of their items ready in hand and will then exit the car immediately.
  • Parents, please stay in your vehicle at all times so that the process will prevent backups on Barlow Mountain Road.
  • If you miss the drop off time (after 8:45 a.m.), please park in the front lot and walk your child across the designated crosswalk to the main entrance of the building. If you arrive after the drop off window and must park in the parking lot, we ask that you kindly use the crosswalk.

Chromebooks 💻

Chromebooks K-5:
  • For information on this year's Chromebook distribution and policies click here to watch a short video
  • If you have further questions or concerns email: helpdesk@ridgefieldps.net

School Lunch 🥪

Ridgefield Public Schools announced that they have contracted with Aramark to be the District’s new food service provider. Aramark’s commitment to excellence, affordability, the environment, and diversity were all important in this decision.


The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) advised that federal funds have been allocated for the Free School Meals for Children grant.

  • Funding will support free lunches for all students in grades K-8 until funds are depleted.
  • Snacks and additional items will be available through The Lunch Time POS system that allows students to purchase their lunch by entering a 5-digit code at the cash register. These items can be prepaid online at School Payment Portal Powered By LunchTime Software and at the school kitchen. Please read the letter here.

School Lunch will be available from the first day of school.



The school lunch menu is available online on the RPS website; click District Offices and click on Food Service, as well as below.


There will be no change in the payment system; all school lunch balances will roll over.


Questions in regard to Lunch Time POS can be directed to Eric Nickelson, RPS Food Service Director at 203-894-5550 x1127 or enickelson@ridgefieldps.net


Please find the lunch menu below.

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School Dismissal Manager


We will continue to use School Dismissal Manager this year at Scotland. Please click below for information regarding this system. This system will be available to families in late August. A welcome letter will be emailed to families when the system is available. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!