Gulf Elementary School

Student Handbook 2019-2020



Students have the right to a free and appropriate public education, but they assume the responsibility and are expected to attend regularly and on time. Parents/guardians are responsible for the attendance of their children. Parents have the responsibility to inform the school of their child’s absences and to explain the cause of each absence. Regular school attendance promotes academic success. Tardies and Early Sign-Outs deprive students of important instructional time. Excessive tardies may result in disciplinary action.



● When your child is absent please ensure you do ONE of the following:

● Send an email informing of the absence either to your child’s teacher or directly to the attendance manager (


Upon your student’s return, a written note or doctor’s note should be sent in with your student.

Please include with all emails and written excuses:

● Your child’s name

● Your child’s teacher

● Date of the absence(s)

● The reason for the absence

Please note:

● A PHONE CALL WILL NOT be accepted to excuse an absence.

● An email or a written note from the parent or guardian is a request that the student’s absence be excused and may be denied at the discretion of the principal.

● When a student is absent 4 or more consecutive days for illness; a doctor’s note is required for the absence to be excused.


Absence from school may be excused by the principal or designee for the following reasons:

● Illness of the student

● Illness of an immediate family member

● Death in the immediate family

● Religious holiday of the student’s own faith

● Required court appearance or subpoena

● Schedule medical or dental appointment

● Special event: Examples of special events include important public functions, conferences, state/national competitions as well as exceptional cases of family need. The student must request and receive permission from the principal at least five days prior to the event.


Any amount of loss of instructional time, including leaving before 3:10 PM is considered a tardy/early sign-out. A tardy or early sign-out will be excused by the principal for the following reasons:

● Sickness or injury(leaving from the clinic only)

● Long term illness verified by a physician’s note

● Medical or dental appointments, only when a physician’s note is provided

● Death in the family

● Student meeting scheduled by the school

● Required court appearance or subpoena

● Other unique situations as presented on a case by case basis to the principal

Absences -Unexcused Absences, Tardy or Early Sign-Out


An unexcused absence, tardy, or early sign out is any absence which has not been prearranged and approved by the principal and is not defined as excused in this policy.

● An absence from school without notice from a parent or guardian

● Trips or vacation

● Truancy

● Absences due to communicable disease requirement beyond the stated duration of communicability.

● Failure to comply with the necessary medical enrollment criteria unless specifically. explained in a physician’s note.

An unexcused tardy or unexcused early dismissal shall be given, but not limited to, for the following reasons:

● Over sleeping, missing the school bus, shopping trips, sport games, or picking up your child early to avoid a long wait, or personal reasons.

● A continued medical reason and the physician’s note does not stipulate that the medical condition justifies the student’s tardiness or early sign-out.


● All unexcused absences, excused absences where a student is at-risk academically, unexcused tardies, and unexcused early dismissal from school shall be considered when studying excessive absences.

● Five (5) or more unexcused absences within 30 day period shall be deemed excessive.

● Six (6) or more tardies per quarter shall be deemed excessive.

● Excessive early sign-outs will be addressed on a case by case basis to determine if there is a pattern on non-attendance.

● Unless excused under the provisions of the school’s policy, accumulated early sign-outs will be recorded as unexcused absences.

● When a student accumulates an excessive number (19) of absences (excused or unexcused) and additional absences occur, a written statement from a physician verifying the absence was caused by an illness must be submitted.


If a student accrues nineteen (19) or more excused or unexcused absences or excessive tardies (6 or more in a 9 week period) where the student is at risk academically within a school year, the student may be referred to the Child Study Team to be considered for possible retention. When a student’s name is referred to the Child Study Team, all absences and all unexcused tardies, as well as early sign-outs, will be reviewed. (School Board Policy 4.16)


Missed school and homework, due to an absence, may be requested only if the child has been out two (2) or more days. Please inform the school as early as possible if you request work. Schoolwork may be picked up after dismissal. This allows the teacher time to gather the child’s books and assignments.

The teacher shall work with the student to allow the student to make up any missed assignments, tests, homework, etc., whether for excused or unexcused absences.

The missed school work is due in the same number of days that the student was absent plus 1 additional day (i.e. missed two (2) days the student has three (3) days to turn in the work).

Immediately upon returning to school from an absence, the student shall be given the number of days missed plus one additional day to submit make-up work for full credit.

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The Accelerated Reader program is a tool for teachers and students to track and assess students’ reading comprehension, and is based on reading in school and at home. Students and teachers use this program to monitor independent reading at the student’s personal reading level. The purpose of the program is to motivate students to read more and read increasingly more challenging books.

Key Features of Accelerated Reader (AR):

● Students select and read a book, then take an objective A.R. test of 5, 10, or 20, multiple-choice questions.

● Points are earned if 60% or more of the questions are answered correctly.

● Students are also recognized for the levels of comprehension they attain throughout the year.


● Motivates students to read more.

● Increases comprehension and vocabulary skills.

● Provides practice at students targeted independent reading level.

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We encourage parents to celebrate student birthdays at home. If treats are brought in to school, they will be distributed at the scheduled lunch time for the class. Treats must be bought from a store. Please do not send in cakes, anything requiring cutting, presents, goody bags, decorations, balloons or candles. Items such as cookies, brownies, or doughnuts are easiest to distribute. If you want to send in cupcakes, the mini versions are preferred. Also, it is imperative to check with the office or your child’s teacher to determine if any students in the class have a food allergy before distributing ANY treats. Please bring all birthday treats to the front office, as the office will double check for allergies of students in your child’s class.

Field Trip Policy

In order for any student to participate in any field trip it is important that everyone understand the criteria for participation. All students participating on field trips must comply with the conduct required by School Board Policy and the Code of Conduct for Students. Field trips are a privilege and must be earned by each student invited to participate. If a student is unable to successfully comply with the guidelines in the classroom then school cannot risk the behavior during the special circumstances that occur during field trips. Since it is our belief that all students should receive the opportunity to attend the field trips, each child will be allowed to attend unless the following criterion is not followed:

1. Students must show a pattern of following directions at

all times.

2. Students must show respect for authority.

3. Students must work together as a team member and avoid aggression.

4. Students must be able to be safe at all times. If there are any safety situations medical or otherwise, the Principal will confer with the parent.

Students who miss a field trip because of inappropriate behavior may earn the right to attend the next field trip by demonstrating the correct behavior. Any student who chooses to conduct themselves inappropriately on the field trip will either be sent home at the parent’s expense or not be allowed to attend the next field trip.



Gulf Elementary follows the School District of Lee County Code of Conduct for behavior. Our school-wide expectations:

● Engage in Learning

● Act Responsibly

● Give Respect

● Let Others Learn

● Encourage Safety

Teachers set a tone of caring in their classrooms by setting classroom rules that reinforce the school-wide expectations, so that learning may occur. These expectations and rules will be posted in each classroom so that they are clearly seen and understood. Rewards and consequences are built into each classroom plan. Many opportunities are also available school-wide for recognitions and rewards.

We believe that students who struggle to behave may need some instructional assistance. In order to strengthen their social and emotional learning skills and equip them with the strategies and foundation needed to meet behavioral expectations at school, every class will have Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction and we will also provide more supports for those students who need the extra assistance.

School-wide consequences will be implemented for serious rule infractions. Students will be sent to the office for serious offenses including:

1. Physical assault or dangerous physical behavior (fighting)

2. Insubordination/disrespect to any staff member

3. Bullying

4. Any illegal act

Consequences for Office Referrals:

All discipline issues will be handled by following the

District’s Code of Conduct for Students.


By no means is this handbook all-inclusive. The school retains the right to alter or vary the application of these rules. This handbook is intended to help parents, students, and school personnel work together. Many guiding statements are included in this document but by no means does it cover every situation.

As new policies or regulations are developed by the school board, the State, or Federal Statutes, additions and/or deletions will be made to this manual. Every effort will be made by school employees to help students understand what is expected of them.