Echo Hills Elementary School
2023-2024 Family Handbook..revised 10/2/2023
This handbook was developed to provide parents and students with important information
regarding the operation of Echo Hills Elementary School. Please read each section so you will be familiar with school policies and procedures.
We've made every possible effort to make this handbook as complete as possible. However, it is subject to change without notice in the event of building needs, Board of Education policy alterations, or changes to relevant laws.
If you have any questions or concerns I invite you to consult your child’s teacher or the staff member involved first. I am here to help as well.
In the event of your child’s absence the following procedures must be followed:
Call the school office @ (330) 689-5450. Please state the child’s name and reason for absence. Messages may be left on the school voice mail if you wish to call during non-office hours.
Pre-planned absences (vacations, family obligations) should be reported to the school at least three days prior to the absence using the form found at http://www.smfschools.org/parents/formsapplications
Even if you email your child's teacher about an absence you must still call the Office.
Please be advised that absences are automatically marked as unexcused if we do not receive parent/guardian communication. This includes vacations and other preplanned absences.
Anti-Racism--Board of Education Policy 2260.07
2260.07 - ANTI-RACISM
The Board of Education rejects all forms of racism as destructive to the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District’s mission, vision, values, and goals. The Board is committed to the following principles:
- Establishing and sustaining a school community that shares the collective responsibility to confront, eliminate, and prevent actions, decisions, and outcomes that result from and perpetuate racism.
- Embracing the racial diversity within our District while actively eliminating practices that perpetuate the racial disparities among our students so that all students have the opportunity to benefit equally as referenced in the District’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission and Vision:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission Statement
The Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee’s mission is to embrace diversity while providing a sustained commitment to equity and inclusion. We will demonstrate this by building meaningful relationships with everyone in our Bulldog Community.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Vision Statement
The Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee of the Board will intentionally promote equitable opportunities for students and staff through its school/community partnership, thus increasing student achievement and enhancing social and emotional learning. We will promote a climate where equity, diversity, and inclusion are fostered. We will model integrity and transparency while creating a sustainable culture that values and understands that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to creating a safe, supportive, and empowering school environment for all students and staff. We will accomplish this by:
- Celebrating diversity and the differences that exist in our community.
- Intentionally building relationships with students and families.
- Creating pathways to growth and understanding through the use of curriculum, classroom instruction, and professional development for all stakeholders in our District.
- Generating an equitable environment at every grade level and holding staff and students accountable for bringing needed changes to our District.
- Celebrating diversity and the differences that exist in our community.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission Statement
- Acknowledging that racism is often compounded by other forms of discrimination including, but not limited to, discrimination of those protected classes referenced in the District’s Nondiscrimination and Access to Equal Educational Opportunity Policy (po2260).
The purpose of this policy is to create processes that identify any form of racism, work to counter its effects, and work to eliminate and/or revise practices and policies in the District which promote/condone racial inequalities. The following is a statement from the Board: The mission of the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District is to ‘Provide Inspiration to Make a Difference in the World.’ This cannot be accomplished if our students or staff feel unwelcome, uninvited, or unimportant.
Therefore, educators in the District, in alignment with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Vision Statement, must play an active and ongoing role in reducing racism and inequity by recognizing the manifestations of racism and fostering culturally inclusive learning and working environments.
The Board will commit to review potential differences between racial groups in student academic performance, participation in co-curricular and extracurricular programs, family engagement, and partnership support. These include, but are not limited to, potential disparities in discipline rates, economic advantages or disadvantages, identifying students as disabled, and access to Advanced Placement, College Credit Plus, Career and Technical programs, gifted, enrichment and counseling services, athletics, arts, and electives.
We will be a District actively working to end inequities among racial groups.
This policy ensures the understanding that racially-motivated misconduct is unacceptable and prohibited.
The Board holds itself and all District and school site decision-makers, faculty, support staff, and participants accountable for promoting and fostering a District-wide culture of respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion, which is free of racism.
To achieve the goals of this policy, the Board is committed to annual self-evaluation, ongoing training, and professional development.
Anti-Racism Policy Directives
The Board directs the Superintendent to lead the District in the following actions:
Each of the District’s schools and buildings shall post the DEI Mission and Vision statements and its building administrator(s) will review them annually with staff.
An ongoing school-based Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee will be established for K-6, Middle School, and High School and will review the anti-racism efforts and accountability in the building.
The middle school and high school committees will include students, staff, administration, families, and community members.
This committee’s work must also align with the District's DEI Executive Board’s stated efforts as approved by the Superintendent and Board.
This policy shall be included in student handbooks provided to students and families.
The Superintendent will identify efforts taken in each area outlined in this policy and identify areas that can be improved. For areas identified as capable of being improved, the Superintendent will develop a plan with measurable goals so that progress can be assessed and reported to the public. The Stow-Munroe Falls City School’s DEI Executive Board will submit to the Board an annual report regarding the District’s efforts in anti-racism.
The Superintendent and/or Board may use a survey system to survey staff and students related to racial inclusion as a tool to evaluate the success of this policy.
Leadership and Administration
The Board shall direct the Superintendent to address systemic racism as follows:
- Review potential differences between racial groups in academics, co-curricular and extracurricular programs, family engagement, and partnership support.
- The DEI Curriculum & Instruction Subcommittee will make recommendations to the District’s Curriculum Supervisor(s) to review current curricula.
- Direct the school instructional and counseling leaders to use data to review processes to ensure equal access and equitable support for students interested in and/or qualified for advanced coursework.
- Identify the needed financial and human resources to achieve the goals of the Board’s Anti-Racism policy.
- Direct the District’s Special Services Department, School Counselors, Building Administrators, and DEI Building Teams to assess and adjust practices that pertain to positive school site culture and individual behavior in order to address potential racial disparities in student discipline, staff professionalism, and student special needs identification.
Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum and instructional materials for all grades shall be relevant and represent the racial diversity of the student population and include a range of perspectives and experiences, particularly those of historically underrepresented groups of color, in a way that is age-appropriate.
All curriculum materials shall be examined for racial bias by the District’s Curriculum Supervisor(s). The DEI Curriculum & Instruction Subcommittee, staff, students, and parents shall be given the opportunity to provide input, if desired, prior to the examination.
Student in-class and extracurricular programs and activities shall be designed to ensure equitable opportunities and representation.
Training and Professional Development
All Board staff shall review, yearly, this anti-racism policy and participate in ongoing mandatory trainings when provided. All Board members are strongly encouraged to participate in such trainings as well when provided.
The Board shall annually review its hiring practices and systems to ensure it’s intentional in seeking, hiring, and retaining a diverse pool of applicants.
To ensure consistency in student discipline, each school shall collect and report data on all disciplinary actions. Schools shall review data, regularly, with the goal of reducing racial discipline disparities and reducing severity of corrective action by race.
The Board shall ensure there are various means, including anonymous, for students and staff to report racism and other forms of discrimination. Complaints of racial misconduct should be reported and resolved in accordance with the Board’s Anti-Harassment of Students and Staff Policy (po5517.01) and/or reported using the SMFCSD DEI Form located on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion homepage located on the District’s website.
If a student is absent from school for any reason the parent/guardian is obligated to provide a written statement regarding the cause of the absence.
Students who arrive after 9:05am are marked tardy and must report to the Office to sign in. Tardy students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
Repeated absences including tardiness disrupt the educational process. Consequences including but not limited to the following may be issued to address excessive or habitual absences:
- Warning letter
- parent conferences
- referral to the Attendance Intervention Team
- School consequences such as detention
- Referral to Stow Youth Services.
Arrival and Dismissal
All parents/guardians who choose to transport their child(ren) to school in a private vehicle must remain in the vehicle and join the car rider line (shown in the diagram above by white arrows) as it moves around the perimeter of the lot. Drivers must remain in their vehicle at all times (parking and coming to the front of the school on foot can no longer be permitted). As you approach the curb adjacent to the school please remain very close to the curb to allow moving traffic from the parking area to exit. It is HIGHLY recommended that children exit using the passenger side of your vehicle. This will allow them to get out on a sidewalk rather than in the midst of moving vehicles. Children must remain in your vehicle until 8:55am. They may not leave vehicles prior to that point. A staff member will be present to direct them to the building by “following the Bulldogs”.
Children may walk to school at parent discretion. An adult could choose to walk the child to a point just off school property and visually supervise the completion of their journey to school. They will enter from the front doors marked for students and staff.
Daycare providers will continue to be parked in a designated spot near the trees in the main entry driveway. These spots are reserved for daycare vans and parents/guardians must not park there.
Parents/Guardians who choose to transport their child(ren) home must remain in their vehicles at all times. Please line up around the perimeter of the lot as shown in the diagram above. Please also prepare a 8.5 x 11 sized sign with the last name(s) of the children you are picking up marked in large block letters. That sign should be placed on the passenger side of your vehicle dashboard so it can be easily seen by our staff. Those names will be called out by the staff members assisting with the car rider line.. Generally, the youngest children will be lined up closest to the crosswalk.
Walkers (see above definition) will be dismissed from Door #9 on the South side of the building and will leave school property immediately and independently on foot.
Daycares will park in the space noted above and children will be assisted while crossing the cross walk to those vehicles.
Buses will be “pre-loaded” in the building so that children are dismissed from the school to their bus in a manner that allows them to move directly to their assigned seat without passing by other seated children.
Dismissal During Severe Weather (added September 5, 2023)
If there is active lightning or thunder occurring during car rider dismissal, the following procedure will be used:
Students that travel home via car will be held inside the building during dismissal. One staff member will be stationed along the front sidewalk to call out student names via radio. Students will be dismissed by an adult inside the building upon arrival of their vehicle.
This procedure will be used only if lighting or thunder occur during dismissal--we will use our normal procedures during rain, snow, or other forms of precipitation.
Drivers should continue to remain in their vehicles. Please refrain from coming to the school to retrieve a car rider when this procedure has been implemented.
If weather conditions become unsafe for staff members to be outside we reserve the right to temporarily pause the process and bring staff inside until it is safe to resume.
Birthday Treats and Party Invitations
Students may bring in a birthday treat to share with classmates. Please follow the following guidelines.
Please contact the teacher regarding potential food allergies.
Treats should be easily distributed by the child. Due to allergy and logistical concerns, the treats must be commercially prepared with ingredients clearly marked and individually wrapped/packaged. Homemade treats are not permitted.
Students should transport treats to school. Treats being brought in by an adult must be left in the office.
Cafeteria--School Food Services
A nutritious lunch provided by you or our cafeteria is instrumental in your child’s academic performance.
Ohio House BIll 33 was passed in June of 2023. A provision of this law improves access to free lunches for students. Any student who would have previously qualified for a reduced price meal will now receive a free meal. This should increase the number of families who are able to take advantage of a free breakfast or lunch at school!
All parents & guardians are asked to complete the free/reduced lunch application that is included in your child’s annual forms (Final Forms). Funding for academic programs like Title 1 is determined based on data gathered from these applications. Your willingness to fill out the form helps to maintain funding for these important programs. You may discover that you are eligible for free or reduced price meals by completing this form.
Other considerations for breakfast and lunch at school include:
A peanut-free table can be provided for students with food allergies if the need exists. Contact the school nurse if your child has a food allergy that might require this accommodation.
Students are expected to act responsibly, independently open lunch items, and clean up their area.
Students should be able to open any food item sent in as part of a lunch independently. Juice pouches, “go-Gurt” and fruit cups are items that children commonly struggle to open. Staff will always be available to help any child who needs it, but your child will be able to more readily enjoy his/her lunch if assistance is not needed.
Parents/Guardians may not enter the building for lunch.
Parents may use PaySchools to add money to their child's nutrition services account. https://www.payschoolscentral.com/
Cell Phones and Other Personal Electronic Devices at School
Cell phones or other personal electronic devices used inappropriately by students will be confiscated by a staff member and will be returned at the end of the school day. In the case of repeat offenses, devices may be confiscated and held until they can be retrieved by an a parent or guardian.
In the event of an emergency parents/guardians should contact the school so that we may alert your child.
Change of Addresses and other Personal Information
9:05...Student day begins
3:35...Student day ends
Chromebooks (School Issued Devices)
Every student will be issued a district-owned Chromebook for use during the school year.
The device must come to school every day, charged sufficiently to be used during the school day.
Excessive damage to the device may result in a fee. Loss of the device will result in the assessment of a fee to cover the cost of the device.
Students/parents can request technical assistance with school owned devices by emailing email@example.com or by reporting the issue to the classroom teacher.
Field trips will be organized by grade levels and parents will be provided detailed information when available. It is mandatory that the annual forms and consent process has been completed. Failure to complete this process will unfortunately result in your child’s ineligibility to attend.
The number of chaperones will be based on information provided by the field trip destination.
Classroom teachers will utilize a selection process if we have more volunteers than needed. The
duties of a chaperone begin at the school and include riding the bus to and from the field trip site.
Chaperones may not drive their private vehicle to/from a field trip. All chaperones MUST be
fingerprinted and cleared by Central Office and are subject to the fingerprinting deadline
referenced in the section regarding Volunteers found later in this document.
The Echo Hills clinic is staffed daily from 9:05 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. each day. If you have a concern about your child’s health, please call the clinic at (330) 689-5456.
If a child becomes ill or injured during the school day, a parent or other emergency contact will be notified. Clinic personnel will determine whether a child is permitted to remain in school.
In order to dispense prescription medication to students, the following guidelines MUST be followed:
A medication form must be obtained from the school office, completed, and returned to school. The form is also available online on the district’s parent page. This form includes the type of medication to be taken, the prescribed dosage, and the signature of the physician.
The medication must be brought to school in the ORIGINAL container.
The container must have the prescription label attached.
The medication is stored in a locked cabinet in the health clinic and will be dispensed by the nurse
If the type of medication or dosage is changed, a revised form must be completed and resubmitted.
In order to dispense non-prescription/OTC medication such as Tylenol, cold medication, or other over-the-counter medications, a Non-Prescription Medication form must be filled out and signed by the parent and brought to the school office. All non-prescription medications will be dispensed by the medical assistant. Note that cough drops and sunscreen are handled using the same over-the-counter procedure.
Health--When to Stay Home
Internet Monitoring Software
This software works in the background and sends a report to school officials anytime potentially unsafe activity is detected. School administrators receive a report and evaluate the situation determine whether further action is necessary.
These efforts are not intended to be intrusive, but rather in an effort to make student device and account usage as safe and productive as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about this please contact the school principal.
Periodically we conduct safety drills to make sure that all students and staff are familiar with our safety plan.
Community members who have a concern about school safety are invited to contact the school principal at 330-689-5450.
You can also report a safety concern directly to the Stow Police Department (330-689-5700 for non emergencies; 911 for emergencies).
Finally, we offer a tip line that accepts reports of safety concerns. If desired, this can be done anonymously. A concerned party may call or text 1-844-SAFEROH (1-844-723-3764).
If you miss a call from the school please check your voicemail prior to calling the school’s main number.
Our primary system for parental communication is called Parent Square. Many users report that the functionality of Parent Square is better when they access this tool via their free app. However, downloading the app is NOT required.
Student Behavioral Expectations
Echo Hills Elementary School follows the PAWS Positive Behavior program. PAWS stands for: Prepared for Success, Act Responsibly, Work Hard, and Stay Safe. Students can earn PAWS reward tickets by displaying PAWS behavior. Students who make inappropriate choices will receive consequences that follow a progressive discipline model.
All students at Echo Hills Elementary School are subject to the Stow-Munroe Falls Schools Student Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct can be found online at (updated Feb 2022):
Students who violate the code of conduct may receive any of the following consequences or combination of consequences. These expectations apply to all school environments including the bus.
Loss of privileges
Student Dress & Appearance
A student shall not dress in an obscene manner or in any fashion that, in the judgment of the administration, disrupts the educational process. See-through or mesh garments, midriff blouses or shirts, exposure of any type, spiked jewelry, chains, clothing that exposes undergarments, hats, and clothing with obscene or suggestive statements or symbols are prohibited as any apparel that advertises or promotes sex, drugs, or alcohol. Shoes must be worn at all times. Coats and hats should be placed in lockers and not worn/carried during the school day.
Per Board of Education Policy 5500, Revised 2/22/2022
You will be asked to provide your child’s teacher information about your child’s transportation arrangements at the beginning of the year.
Consistency in your child’s transportation is imperative. This alleviates anxiousness for the child, unnecessary confusion, and provides a safe and orderly dismissal routine.
Parents/guardians must provide prior written notice if there is to be a change in transportation.
If no notification is received your child will follow his/her regular mode of transportation.
If an emergency situation arises please call the office as early as possible. DO NOT EMAIL, you must call.
Students who are transported to and from school by district transportation may only ride their assigned bus.
Our school district uses the Traversa 360 app. This tool will allow parents the ability to see their child's school bus assignment, check assigned pick-up and drop off times, and monitor delays in the bus schedule.
All volunteers for all activities must be fingerprinted. This includes but is not limited to field trips, classroom volunteers, and PTA events
Fingerprinting is available at no charge by contacting Lucy Casto at the Board Office at (330) 689-5445. For your convenience, we also schedule opportunities for fingerprinting at the school building.
Fingerprinting and background checks are good for one calendar year. They must be updated annually to maintain eligibility to volunteer.
Individuals who wish to volunteer at any point during the school year must complete a new fingerprint check by October 17, 2023. Failure to adhere to this deadline may result in ineligibility for volunteering opportunities. (Exceptions will be made in instances when a family moves into the district mid-year).
Upon arrival, volunteers must report to the office, sign in and obtain a volunteer badge before beginning their work.
Student and Staff safety is our paramount concern. The following procedures are used when adults visit our school:
Ring the buzzer outside the main entrance and request entrance
Check in with a staff member upon entering the secure vestibule.
Visitors who request entry beyond the secured vestibule must present a government-issued identification card. This card will be scanned through the Raptor Visitor Management System. Prospective visitors are screened against multiple registries to ensure that prohibited persons do not enter the building.
Once the visitor is cleared by Raptor an identification sticker will be issued. The visitor must wear this sticker visibly at all times during the visit.
Visitors will also be required to comply with any health department order that is in effect.
AT NO TIME should parents or other family members enter the building and proceed through the hallways without following the above procedures.
In accordance with Board of Education Policy 9150, classroom visitations are subject to the following procedures:
- Parents, other than those who have been asked by a teacher to be in the classroom, who wish to observe learning activities taking place in their child's classroom are to confer, in advance, with the principal and the teacher and state the purpose of the visitation.
- Visitations will not be allowed during examinations and independent study periods.
- A visitation should be no longer than 30 minutes or one class period whichever is
- The number of visitors at any one (1) time should not exceed two parents.
- The frequency of visits for any student's parents should be no more than one visit per month.
- Parents are to be silent observers and are not to create any type of disturbance or disruption to the learning process.
- Copies of instructional materials being used by the students or teacher may be requested of the teacher but not always be immediately available during the visitation.
- Any comments made by individual students are to be maintained in confidence by the visitor to the activity.
- Use of audio or visual equipment to record classroom activities must be approved by the principal and the teacher. No visitor shall be allowed to videotape students in the classroom as it violates the privacy rights of students unrelated to the visitor.
- If a visitor wishes to tape record a conversation or meeting with a teacher or the principal, s/he should request permission from the teacher or principal.
- Any comments or concerns are to be discussed with the teacher before or after the school day when students are not present.
- Visitors are encouraged to meet with the principal and teacher during non-instructional hours to discuss the observation and to obtain answers to their questions. If a parent has a concern about what may be transpiring in his/her child's classroom, s/he should discuss the concern first with the teacher and, if the concern is not satisfied, make arrangements to discuss the matter with the principal.