Memorial Back to School

August 2021

Dear Memorial Families,

Eleanor and I are so excited to say, "Welcome Back to School." We are going to have a great school year of learning and fun. I have received many pictures of Eleanor traveling with Memorial families during the summer. It has been fun to see what you have been doing. If you have any pictures you would like to share, please email them or bring them into school. I will add them to the map.


Also, I hope you have been reading and writing this summer. If you decided to complete the Superhero Challenge, please return the folder to your new teacher. We will order the Superhero t-shirts on or about August 13.


Please read through the following sections below for more information about school procedures and policies. The VCS District Return to Learn Plan is posted on the district webite at this link. Please keep in mind that it is a fluid document and will be updated as directed by the health department or other government officials. As it states, masks are optional at school at this time but mandatory on the school buses. If this changes, you will be notified.

We hope to see you soon at the upcoming open house. Please call if you have any questions.



With Great Respect,

Mrs. Debra Misecko, Principal

Eleanor's Travels

Big picture

Save The Date(s):

August

5 Kindergarten Meet and Greet/Open House - 3-5 p.m.

9 Grades 1-5 Meet and Greet/Open House - 3-5 p.m.

11 First Day of School

18 & 19 Virtual Back To School Meetings with Teachers (exact time/day will be sent home)

* Spirit Wear Orders will go home first week of school. Stay tuned for due date.


September

8 PTO Meeting at 3:30 at Memorial

20 Spirit Week/ Kick off for Walk-A-Thon

23 Walk A Thon

Arrival

Please see the sections below for specific directions for Car Riders, Walkers and Bus Riders, as each has a unique plan. Students eating breakfast will be invited to enter the building starting at 8:20 a.m. All other students will enter the building at 8:30 a.m. Students should not arrive on school grounds before 8:30 a.m, unless they are eating breakfast. The tardy bell rings at 8:45 a.m.

Bike Riders

Students who choose to ride a bike to school will be asked to walk his/her bike once on school property to the available bike racks. Bike riders are encouraged to lock their bikes during the day. After leaving the bike rack, they will follow all procedures with the Walkers.

Birthday Treats

Student sometimes enjoy bringing a small token for their class to celebrate birthdays. This year, students may bring in a small non-food item to pass out to the class for their birthday if they would like. Please make sure your child brings the same item for everyone in the class. Another fun idea would be for the student to donate a picture book to the class library on their birthday. Please do not send in food items for birthdays.


As in past years, your child may only bring in party invitations to pass out, if one is being given to all the students in the class or given to all students of the same gender as the birthday child.

Breakfast

Breakfast will be served at the start of the school day. Students who are eating breakfast will be allowed to enter the building at 8:20 a.m. Each student may receive one breakfast for free each day.

Bus Riders

All drivers and students (regardless of age) must wear a mask when riding a school bus. Hand sanitizer will be provided to students as they enter and exit the bus. Students will be placed in an assigned seat and a seating chart will be maintained. During Arrival and Dismissal, bus riders will be dismissed one bus at time. It is important that students follow all bus procedures and stay in assigned seats. Students will only be able to ride on their assigned bus.

Car Riders - Drop Off in the Morning

Cars should head south on Milton Street next to the school. Students should exit curbside, for safety. For the sake of time, please unload all along the sidewalk on Milton. It is not necessary to wait until you are in front of the Door B to unload. Students will then walk along the building on the sidewalk back to the learning lab area and wait outside Door D. The car riders will enter the building at 8:30 a.m. You may begin dropping off your child at 8:25 a.m., when they will be supervised by school staff.

Car Riders - Pick Up in the Afternoon

Students who are car riders afterschool will be picked up along the curb on Milton Street, heading south. You will stay in your car and follow the other cars to pull up along the curb

in the next spot available. A staff member will be outside and will radio into the cafe for your child(ren) to go to your designated spot. Your child will enter the car curbside. We ask that you do not get out of your car. After your child loads, you will follow the street down to Park Avenue.


All car riders will be issued a sign with their last name on it. Please display this in the front window of your car as you arrive. Many parents find it helpful to hook it on the visor. Please do not get out of your car. If you need to assist with a seatbelt, please pull into the parking lot after your child has loaded.


In years past, most confusion at dismissal occurs when parents need to send someone in their place, such as a grandparent. Please share the dismissal procedures with them as well.

Changes in Dismissal

We ask that changes in day to day dismissal are limited to emergencies only and be communicated via email to Mrs. Remijan at lremijan@valpo.k12.in.us. Depending on the request, your child may need to picked up in the office. All permanent changes in dismissal should be communicated with Mrs. Remijan.

Child Care

The Kidstop program, run by the Boys and Girls Club, provides child care at Memorial before and after school. They begin their service at 6:30 a.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. Students will be dropped off and picked up at Door C. (Milton Street side of the building). Please see the attached flyer below for more information.

Class Dojo

All teachers and staff will be using Class Dojo this year. Parents will be given information on how to set up an account. This is used for whole school and classroom communication. Teachers can also use Class Dojo as a way of having a touchless clip chart in the classroom.

Classrooms

In each classroom, desks will all face the same direction and be spaced 3 feet apart when possible.

Office Drop-Off

In the rare occasion that Items need to be dropped off at school, parents will leave the item in the vestibule. Please be sure to label the item(s) with your child’s first and last name and indicate the teacher’s name.

Communication

Partnering with parents is important to the Memorial staff. Please take time to read the school and classroom news so that you are aware of all the happenings. Most news will be delivered through email or Class Dojo. Please let us know if your contact information changes during the year, so we can update our records.


Your child's progress can be viewed in Skyward. Teachers will update weekly.

Elementary Day

For the 2021-22 school year, all VCS elementary schools will return to the 19-20 schedule.

8:20 a.m.: Breakfast begins

8:30 a.m.: Doors open

8:30 a.m.- 8:45 a.m.: Student Arrival by bus and car

8:45 a.m.- 3:15 p.m.: School Day

3:15 p.m.: Dismissal Begins

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular Activities will be held at school either before or after school hours. Each activity will send home information about the days and times of meeting.

Handbook

Please refer to the VCS Elementary Student Handbook for more information about district policies and procedures.

Handwashing/Sanitizing

There will be hand washing and sanitizing at times scheduled into the day. In addition, students will wash or sanitize their hands at times such as before and after specials, lunch and recess, and when they leave/return to the room. There are many sanitzing stations throughout the school.

Lunch

Lunch will be served in our cafeteria. Each grade level will have its own lunch period, so that students can be spread out and so santizing can be done between the lunch periods. The schedule will be:

10:30 - 11:00 Kindergarten

11:05 - 11:30 Grade 2

11:35 - 12:00 Grade 3

12:05 - 12:30 Grade 1

12:35 - 1:00 Grade 5

1:05 - 1:30 Grade 4


This school year each student will recieve one lunch a day for free.

You may use the "My School Menus App" to check out the menu and nutrition information.

Big picture

Masks

At this time, masks are optional at school for students and staff. Masks continue to be mandatory on the school buses. If this policy changes, you will be notified. We will support and defend any child who chooses to wear it at school. We suggest that you pack a mask in your childrens' backpacks just in case they may choose to wear it during the day or if they need to ride the bus home.

Nurses

The Memorial school nurses, Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Keenan, will be monitoring the health of students and staff. Students with regular visits (inhaler, minor injuries, etc) will be kept separate from students displaying symtoms of illness. Please keep all of your contact numbers in Skyward up to date. It is helpful to have multiple emergency contact numbers for each child.


As per the VCS Return to Learn Plan, students/staff self-screen daily before arriving at school. Please report any COVID-19 symptoms/test results to the school nurse


As always, children should be fever free and should not have thrown up for 24 hours before returning to school. If you are unsure about sending your child to school, please call the school nurse to discuss the situation.

PTO

Memorial has awesome parents and PTO. We couldn't do what we do at school without you. As a Memorial parent/guardian you are a member of PTO. We hope you can make some meetings, meet other Memorial parents, and volunteer your time and talents. Even if you cannot make the meetings, there are other ways to be a part of PTO. If interested, you may reach out to one of the 21-22 Executive Board Officers:


President - Kristen Elinkowski

Vice President - Rose Gutshall

Treasurer - Megan Taylor

Secretary - Rae Smedley


Stay tuned for more information coming about 21-22 PTO events. They will be shared in the Memorial Newsletter, on the Memorial Elementary PTO Facebook page, and the Memorial PTO Website.

School Safety

School safety is top priority at Memorial. Our safety measures include, locked outside doors, visitors properly screened, playground carefully monitored, and safety drills implemented following the state law. The following drills are to be completed throughout the year: fire drills monthly (2 during the first month of school), severe weather drills quarterly, and lockdown/lockout drills once a semester.


As teachers establish procedures in their classrooms the first week of school, they will teach students about each type of drill. They will practice it as a class and discuss the procedures. During the second week of school, we will have our first one of each type of drill. Before starting this first set of drills, the office will announce them and explain why we are practicing the procedures. Our goal is student preparedness.

Specials

We will have Art and STEM for one hour one time a week, and P.E. and Music two times a week for 30 minutes. Your child's teacher will share out the specific days and times for the class. If you have specific questions about one of the special classes, please reach out to those teachers.

Snacks

Students are encouraged to bring a healthy snack each day. Teachers will allow one designated snack break within the classroom. Acceptable healthy snacks include:
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Seasonal Fruit (i.e. strawberries, apples, berries, etc.), Fresh Vegetables, Raisins or dried fruit (no chocolate or candy coating), Unsweetened applesauce,
  • Low Fat Grain Options: Pretzels (unflavored), Animal crackers (plain), graham crackers, Baked chips, Crackers (Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, cheese and peanut butter crackers), Fig bars, Vanilla wafers, Air popped popcorn (plain), Cheerios (plain)
  • Additional Snacks: Fruit and grain bars, Low fat string cheese, Fruit Snacks, Low fat yogurt Drinks

Please keep in mind that snacks should be in individual portions and easy to eat in a classroom setting. Refrigeration and utensils will not be available.

Supplies

Here is the link to the Memorial supply list. If you need any assistance with school supplies, please contact our school social worker, Mrs. Seip.

Tardy Procedures

If your child arrives after the 8:45 a.m. bell, please walk them into the building and sign them in. The sign in sheet will be in the vestibule.

Visitors/Volunteers

In the anticipation of being able to have volunteers back in the school in the near future, we will be handing out Criminal Background Check Applications at both open houses. Or you may use this link on the Memorial website. You may return them to the office or your child's teacher. These will be processed during the first few weeks of school. You will not be able to volunteer at school without a current background check on file.

Walkers - Arrival and Dismissal

Students who walk to school should not arrive before 8:30 a.m., unless eating breakfast. Students eating breakfast will be let in the building beginning at 8:20 a.m. Walkers should plan on crossing the street at the corner of Park and Milton with the crossing guards. Walkers will be asked to wait on the designated spaces along the front of the building before coming into the building through Door A.


At the end of the school day, walkers will be dismissed after the bell at 3:20 p.m. Students must cross the street at the corner with the assistance of the crossing guard. Parents waiting for walkers should plan on waiting on the northeast corner of the intersection of Milton and Park (the corner of the parking lot).

Water Bottles

Water is available through water-filling stations in each hallway. Please send a refillable water bottle to school each day with your child. Please label the water bottle with your child's name. The water bottle should be filled at home each morning before coming to school. The students will be provided at least two times a day to refill their water bottles.