Heights Elementary IB World School
2023-2024 School Year
*Our Children *Our Future *Our World
Our Mission: Heights Elementary IB World School is dedicated to developing balanced, lifelong learners through educational excellence, a global perspective, reflection and action.
Our Vision: To Be A World Class School.
School Hours: 7:55 am—2:10 pm
Doors open for students: 7:30 am
Breakfast: 7:30-7:45 am
Heights Contact Information:
Address: 15200 Alexandria Ct. Ft. Myers, FL 33908
Telephone: 239.481.1761 Fax:239.481.3154
Facebook: Heights Elementary
Principal: Doug Palow
Assistant Principal: Anika Carter
Assistant Principal: Lindsey Thorstad
School Counselor: TBA
IB PYP Coordinator: Lacey Davis
Reading Coach Kg-2nd grade: Katie Bocchino
Reading Coach 3rd-5th grade: Dodie Lytle
Math Coach: Natasha Edinger
Dear Heights Families:
The first day of school is Thursday, August 10th. Parents will be welcomed on campus to walk their children to the classroom to say goodbye at the door on the first day, August 10th. However, this is certainly not a requirement. For the last several years, our Heights students have been walking without a parent on the first day and we have a noticed a greater sense of independence and a much calmer start to the day and school year. We have staff members, school safety patrols, and plenty of volunteers ready and willing to help kids find their way to class. Please keep in mind that parking is very limited and can become very congested on the first day. Using the car line to drop off your student will be a much quicker method on the first day of school.
However, should you want to walk your child to the classroom door on August 10th, parents will be required to be scanned in and must have a driver's license- pictures of the ID will not be accepted. Safety is our top priority. Each person coming into the building will be scanned in.
We are also able to pre-register/scan parents wanting to walk their children to the classroom door on August 10th at the Meet The Teacher Event on Monday, August 7th. Those that pre-register on August 7th will be given a special sticker showing that he/she has been checked in and are safe to enter the building. You will use that sticker to access our “fast pass” entrance on August 10th. Should you lose the sticker, you will need to be rescanned on August 10th and unable to access the “fast pass” entrance. Please remember car tags are only given to custodial parents. Don’t forget your driver's license.
Please keep in mind, that parents will only be walking their students to the classroom door just for the first day. Visits inside the room are reserved for the Meet Your Teacher event and other events. On the first day of school (Thursday, August 10th) we will have two separate entrances for parents: one for those who pre-registered on August 7th and have the special sticker (fast pass entrance – Cafeteria doors), and one for those who need to be scanned in (Front Office). Please make sure that the sticker remains on your person in a visible location the entire time you are on campus.
Those that need to be scanned in will enter the front office doors. Please help us to safely get our students inside by forming the line near the office area. We will have cones out to guide you. Again, all who enter must have a driver's licence and students must remain with their parents. Once scanned in, you will be given a special sticker that must remain visible the entire time you are on campus.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Heights Meet Your Teacher Event and look forward to an amazing school year.
Doug Palow, Principal
2023-2024 Birthday and Classroom Celebration Treats
Student birthdays are very important to recognize. We encourage parents to celebrate student birthdays at home. If treats are brought into school, they will be distributed during the assigned class snack time in the classroom. We highly recommend - healthy food items, pencils, stickers, mini cupcakes, or cookies. Celebrations involving favors, toys, balloons, flowers, etc. are unacceptable items during school hours, including lunch time. Parents must contact the teacher if they wish to bring in a treat. Treats must be store bought with the ingredients label visible.
Invitations to private student birthday parties may not be handed out during the school day unless the entire class is invited, or all girls/all boys are invited.
We highly recommend any of the following items only: Healthy food items Mini cupcakes (store bought only) Stickers, pencils, notepads Animal crackers, cookies, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, cereal (store bought items only) Pudding, Jell-O cups, cheese sticks, yogurt *Make sure you have enough for the entire class. You should confirm this number with the teacher.
Please refrain from sending in the following items:
• Cakes or large cupcakes
• Anything requiring cutting
• Candles, matches, lighters
• Home-made items
Although we appreciate your child’s excitement for their birthday, the school setting is not the appropriate place for a birthday celebration. Keep the treat simple and easy for staff to distribute and clean up.
Thank you for supporting Heights Elementary
Staying Connected with Heights Elementary:
Good two-way communication between families and schools is necessary for your students' success. Not surprisingly, research shows that the more parents and teachers share relevant information with each other about a student, the better equipped both will be to help that student achieve academically.
Opportunities for two-way communication include:
- Parent conferences
- Parent-teacher organizations or school community councils
- Phone calls
- E-mail or school website
- Heights Elementary Social Media
- School Messenger
- FOCUS Parent Portal
Heights Elementary School is an IB World School:
Heights Elementary IB World School Values the IB Learner Profile Attributes:
PBIS and PAWS
NEW LiveSchools House System - -Which HOUSE is your student in?
The goal of positive behavior support is to create an environment that enhances the growth of ALL of our students. As a school, we are always looking for new and engaging ways to help teach kindness, positivity, and teamwork. The PBIS “House” system will foster a deeper opportunity for our students to develop and exhibit each of these character traits. Our new House system will go live on the first day of the 2023-2024 school year! Each student (and staff member) will be randomly assigned to a LiveSchool “house”. Our houses will be led by teachers and staff members throughout our school campus. Each time students earn individual points; it will add to their collective house point total. Each month we will get to celebrate the house that has earned the most points (for showing positive behaviors and exhibiting their PAWS expectations, of course!) Each “house” will have a designated color and character word. We can’t wait to unveil these to our families at Open House. These color houses will bring about camaraderie, competition, and SO MUCH FUN for every student and staff member in our school! Below you can see the shields for each of our 8 houses. Your child will find out what house they belong to at Meet Your Teacher Open House (Aug.7th) and will have the option to purchase a house t-shirt for $10 (Cash or check only). Each month there will be designated “color house days” in which students will wear their color house shirts. We can’t wait to see the fun, healthy completion and positive behaviors shining.
Safety Drills at Heights:
Students respond better to emergency drills and practices when they understand the reasons and facts behind these drills. Over the past couple of weeks your student's has been going over the drill evacuations that Lee County School District has required all schools to follow.
Our top priorities is keeping our students as safe as possible. By practicing drills, we are helping teachers/staff/students feel better prepared for all emergency situations. The steps that need to be taken in each drill are gone over in class, and our monthly drills help students to practice different scenarios. This year, in accordance to the new District policies, we are required to have one Lockdown Drill each month, in addition to a regular monthly Fire Drill. We will also have a tornado drill, a bomb evacuation drill, and bus evacuations per semester during the year, too.
We do our drills at various times of the day, so students are familiar with what to do if they are in any part of the school, not just in their homeroom class. Some of the drills will occur during lunch, during their enrichment class, or during recess so that we can practice different scenarios. In class, the teachers are discussing with the their students the procedural aspects of the drill, to help students know the steps to follow. They are helping them understand that this is only a practice drill and that we just want to be prepared in case an emergency ever does occur. We want our students to understand that we will do anything and everything to keep them safe.
At home, you can help your child better understand the reasons for the drills. Discussing the reasons with them and helping your child understand that the #1 goal of the staff and administration at Heights Elementary is to protect our students and ensure their safety while they are on our campus. The more your child understands the drills the more prepared and calm they will be if a real emergency should occur.
What's for breakfast and lunch?
Breakfast is available in the cafeteria from 7:25 am - 7:45 am. Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria daily with their class.
Morning Drop Off:
Important Information Regarding Morning Parent Drop Off at Heights Elementary
After consulting with Lee County School District’s safety officials and Lee County DOT, we have collaboratively designed a plan we hope to better serve our parents and staff with the traffic congestion during morning drop-off. Please keep in mind: traffic will always be heavy due to the single entry for cars and buses along with the large number of families using their personal vehicles for school transportation. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.
The goal for the Heights Drop Off line has three objectives:
1. To keep a steady flow onto the bus ramp door and front door drop-off areas.
2. To give parents a choice on which area they would like to drop off.
3. To alleviate the need and subsequent safety issue that comes with staff directing traffic flow patterns.
As you enter campus, merge one at a time and come upon the 3-way stop. At that point, please follow the directions which are posted on the following sign:
School Street Entrance:
Only Park or Pull into Handicap Spaces If You’re Authorized to Do So:
Sometimes it’s hard to find a parking space. We’ve all been there. Parking far away means having to walk in the sweltering sun or rain. It’s easier to park in a handicap space for a few minutes, run in, and get out. But imagine having to make that walk across the parking lot with a disability, walk a child with a disability or not finding a parking space that has the width to accommodate a handicap vehicle.
Please respect the marked handicap parking spaces and walk a little further than we intended, we can help make these individuals’ lives a little easier. Make sure you only park in handicap spaces if you have a placard, permit, or plates indicating a disability. Not only is it courteous to reserve these spots, it’s also illegal to park there. You could face a ticket and fine. Thank you Heights families for being courteous to others when visiting our campus.
Transportation to Day Care Facilities
For the 2023-2024 school year, the District will adhere to School Board Policy 8600 and not route stops to any after care facility. However, there is a possibility that an established stop on an established route may be near a daycare. In this case, students, in theory, could ride that bus to the after-school program if these four conditions are met:
- The request is for a permanent, everyday basis.
- There is an established route and stop in existence that shall fulfill the request.
- The parent/guardian understands that requests shall be granted on a space available basis and permission may be revoked at a later date.
- Requests for this alternate school transportation must be submitted in writing to the principal for approval. As another alternative, all elementary schools are offering before and after school care at a uniform cost across the District.
Please contact Heights to sign up or learn more. Our priority is getting students to school on time so they do not miss any instructional time. The School District can no longer do that and provide courtesy busing. There is also no requirement that they provide courtesy busing but we do encourage and welcome after school care facilities to provide their own transportation and use our schools to pick students up.
How to Request a Bus Stop Change
- Contact Heightsl and Request an Initial/Change Bus Stop Request (School's submit via Online to Transportation)
- After verifying the information on the form, the school will approve or deny the request based upon School Board policy. If the request falls within the parameters of the School Board policies, it will then be forwarded to the transportation routing department.
- The routing department reviews the request to ensure that it meets district, state, and federal guidelines.
- The school is notified if the request has been approved or denied via email.
- The school will notify the parents of the outcome.
Transportation Changes and Early Sign Out Procedures
If at any time during the year you need to change the way your child goes home:
Use your child's planner or email your child's teacher to notify us in WRITING if your child must go home different from their usual manner. Emergency requests must be approved by administration by 1:15 pm that day.
Early Sign Out
If you must sign your child out prior to the end of the school day, Your student must be signed out prior to 1:30pm. After 1:30 pm, students will be sent their usual way home. Thank you for understanding.
Heights Student Dress Code:
Heights Elementary prides itself on the appearance of the facility as well as the students and staff. The responsibility for the personal appearance of the student rests with the parent/guardian and the student. Personal appearance shall not detract from the educational process. The following establishes the minimum acceptable standards for student dress to interpreted and endorsed by the Principal or designee.
Students are required to wear closed-toe sneakers or tennis shoes in a daily basis. No other footwear is permitted. Shoes shall be secure on the student’s feet and worn at all times. Croc style shoes are not permitted as well.
Students may wear:
- Any pants or jeans, fastened at the waist when needed.
- Any shirt except see-through, open-sided, or those that advertise drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or have any profanity, obscenity, graphic violence or gang insignia.
- Apparel shall be adequate in both length and coverage to be considered appropriate for school. Shorts must be fingertip length or longer in order to be appropriate for school.
- Girls may wear skirts or dresses (below the fingertips with the arms held at the sides).
Students wearing any of the following are prohibited:
- Oversized apparel, including baggy pants, overalls with unfastened straps and pant legs worn below the shoe NOTE: Florida Statute requires schools to adopt dress codes barring clothes that “expose underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.”
- Costumes, capes, gloves, or character masks of any type. (unless on designated days).
- Tank tops (must be 2-3 inches), halter tops, bare midriff, strapless tops, low necklines, sun dresses, or pajamas.
- Backless dresses or tops.
- High heels, platforms, flip flops, slides, croc style shoes, or slippers.
- Make up, glitter, body paint and/or body writing, or fake fingernails.
- Intentionally altered or ripped clothing.
- Apparel such as hats, hair nets, excessive/large jewelry.
- Any articles of clothing or jewelry that could cause injury, such as belts, chains, bracelets, rings, chokers with or without spikes or studs. Wallet chains of any length.
- Apparel, emblems, insignias, badges, or symbols that promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any other illegal activity or that discriminates against race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or religion.
This list is meant as an example and is not intended to be all inclusive. According to Florida State Statute, the principal has sole discretion over what is or is not appropriate attire for school functions. Any items of clothing that are deemed as interfering with the educational process will be dealt with in accordance with procedures set in the Student Code of Conduct. The school administration shall have the right to appraise any current fashion or fad and determine whether it is appropriate for school wear.
Lee County Schools Code of Conduct for Students
The School District of Lee County is committed to being a world-class school system with a focus on improved student achievement so that all students meet or exceed rigorous standards. In order to meet this goal, the primary objective is to fully develop each student’s potential for learning while cultivating positive interpersonal relationships. These skills build a foundation for students to obtain academic, personal, and civic competencies necessary to become productive citizens.
The School District of Lee County has developed the Code of Conduct for Students to clearly communicate the behavioral expectations and support students in making decisions that result in positive outcomes. The Code of Conduct for Students is the District’s policy that creates a safe learning environment to ensure academic success. To accomplish this objective, it is necessary that the school environment be a safe and supportive community. The culture should be one that embraces diversity, civility, and academic achievement among all members of the school community to ensure that individuals feel valued, cared for, and respected. Click here to view the Code of Conduct for Students.
Moving or Change of Address:
When an address change is necessary you must notify the school and provide proof of your new residence and new telephone number(s). Acceptable proof of your new residence is a copy of any one of the following:
● Signed lease agreement
● Mortgage acceptance letter
● Electric, water, cable or landline telephone bill
● Living with relatives or friends: a letter from them listing your name and the names of your children, stating that you are living at their address, AND a copy of one of the documents listed above verifying their address.
If a new bus pass needs to be issued because of a new residence, it will be necessary to provide the proof of address before the bus pass can be issued. It may take several days before a bus stop can be activated at the new address so please plan accordingly.
The Heights Elementary school day begins at 7:55 am. One of the most valuable life skills a student can learn from their parent/guardian is the responsibility of arriving at school every day on time. This skill can easily be accomplished and will transfer as a valuable asset for the future. One of the most important times of the school day is the morning. This is the time when important school news is announced, teachers define the plans for the day, and instructional goals are reviewed and set. The whole tone of a child’s school day is set in the first part of the day. Please help support your student in learning habits that will help them be successful at school and throughout life.
PARENTS - if you have had a child absent from school - YOU MUST SEND IN A NOTE/DR. NOTE WHEN THEY RETURN LETTING US KNOW WHY THEY WERE ABSENT.
This is the only way you can excuse an absences. Please read your Code of Conduct or call Mrs. Curry to see what is considered excused or unexcused.
Pets On Campus:
Pets are only allowed on the school site under the following implementation conditions:
1. While participating as part of a formal school activity or event.
2. While serving as a certified service or guide dog under ADA guidelines.
3. While assisting a peace officer engaged in law enforcement duties.
4. Pets are always welcome to ride in the vehicle, but must remain in the vehicle when on campus. Please keep your pet's safety in mind when leaving them in the vehicle, especially with the Florida heat.