Parent and Student Handbook

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2021-2022 Parent and Student Handbook
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Attendance Policy

 
Students who attend school consistently have a greater chance of excelling academically. Daily attendance promotes educational success and builds stronger relationships with peers and teachers. It is the duty of each parent, guardian, or person having control or custody of a minor to compel and guarantee regular and prompt attendance to class. 
 

Absences 

Ravenswood City School  District observes and adheres to California Education Code 48205 when excusing student absences. A student absence will only be excused if the reason for the absence, as reported by the parent/guardian, meets the criteria specified in California Education Code 48205 (see below).
 
Excused Absences
Excused Absences fall into one of two categories:
 
 Health
  • Personal illness or injury
  • Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health official
  • Medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic services in which student can present a note from parent/guardian or evidence of appointment.
Warranted
  • Religious Purposes
  • Court Appearances 
  • Attendance of funeral service for a member of the IMMEDIATE family.
  • Pupil is the custodial parent of a child who is ill or has a medical appointment.
 
The State of California requires that when a student is absent, the PARENT or GUARDIAN must contact the school and verify the reason for, and the dates of the absences. Absences not excused by a parent/guardian will be recorded as unexcused and may result in truancy.  Some examples of unexcused absences include, but are not limited to:
  • car trouble
  • alarm didn’t go off
  • missed bus/carpool
  • traffic
  • electricity went off
  • family vacation
 
It is important for parents/guardians to remember that even though you may report your student’s absence, if the reason given for the absence does not meet the criteria outlined by the State of California in the excused absence section, the absence will be coded as parent verified, but will not be excused.
 

Reporting An Absence

It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to report their student’s absences.  Only parents/guardians can excuse a student’s absence.  Parents/guardians must call or email the School Office on the first day of absence.  If your student is going to be absent from school call the school office at 650-329-2830 and leave a brief message with the following information:
  • Student Name
  • Teacher Name
  • Room #
  • Date
  • Reason of Absence
  • Name of Parent reporting absence
  • If the student is attending a medical or dental appointment, he or she should miss half day only.
 

Tardies

Being punctual is important. Students who are late for class unnecessarily interrupt classroom activities and miss valuable instruction. A student is considered tardy if not in line for Morning Gathering at 8:25 a.m. or at the place designated by the teacher at the beginning of each period. Students arriving late to class shall be marked tardy unless they arrive with written permission from the office. Students arriving after ten minutes shall be marked tardy and subject to the regular procedures for clearing absences. Excessive tardies will result in the assigning of detention and/or loss of privilege to school events. It is important to note that if a bus is late to school, a student is not marked tardy unless s/he does not proceed directly to class. 
 
Actions to Address Poor Attendance: Given the importance of school attendance to academic success and the requirements put forth by Education Code stating that school attendance is compulsory, the school makes every effort to keep students engaged in school.  The following actions may be taken to address poor school attendance:
  • Parent contact/meetings to discuss school attendance
  • SARB 1 development of attendance contracts
  • SARB attendance at a District Mediation
  • Referral to SARB 
 
Administration will review  student attendance weekly and will begin meeting with students and parents who are showing a pattern of tardiness. Administration will speak with the students and parents to clarify reasons for tardies.
 

Bell Schedule

Supervision is provided on the playground at 8:10 a.m.  Children are not allowed to be on campus prior to 8:10 a.m. unless under the supervision of a family member.
 
The school day begins at at 8:25 a.m. for Morning Gathering in the area outside of the gym.  Children are expected to be in line and at 8:25 a.m. and ready for the day to begin.  A Grab and Go breakfast will be served during Morning Gathering where announcements and Life Skills lessons will be taught.  
 
The day ends at 3:10 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Wednesday is a Minimum Day schedule with dismissal at 1:10 p.m.
 

COVID-19 Protocols

 
Ravenswood City School District has drafted a “Reopening and Recovery Plan” designed to ensure children and staff are safe during this pandemic, guarantee children’s continuous learning, and support for families during this time.  For more information about Ravenswood’s Recovery Plan, please visit the district’s website:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aU9c550HnAkwxsWTwug6SLWjqo-A8qzW/view
 
In addition to following the Reopening and Recovery Plan, RCSD’s practices are also informed by the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) and San Mateo County’s Public Health Officer.  Please visit SMCOE’s website for more information and resources:  https://www.smcoe.org/other/covid-19-response-and-resources/
 
We expect to open the 2021-2022 school year on Wednesday, August 25 at 8:25 a.m. via in-person learning.  Current COVID guidelines at the County and School District level require that every person on campus wear a mask at all times.  Children will be offered opportunities for “mask breaks” when outdoors, socially distanced, and under the supervision of their classroom teacher.  Sanitation and ventilation protocols remain the same as last year.  Stable Groupings, however, are no longer required so children will be able to mix at recess and lunch as long as they are wearing masks.
 
Health Screenings will not be performed at school.  Therefore, it is critical that parents assess their child’s health prior to sending their child to school.  
 
If your child has any of these symptoms, please do not send them to school.
  • Has tested positive for COVID within the past 10 days
  • Has a fever higher than 100.4.
  • Has the following symptoms: cough, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, or sore throat.
  • If your child has been exposed to COVID or tested positive for COVID, please consult your doctor to determine when a return to school is possible.  
  • If your child has symptoms like a fever, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, headache or sore throat, they cannot return to in-person learning until they are symptom free for 48 hours without medication.
  • Don't forget to call the office and let us know of your child's illness so that we can excuse their absence
 

Communication

 
We realize that home-school communication is essential and that electronic correspondence is now the primary vehicle.  In an effort to reduce waste and to come onboard with the 21st century, please visit our website where school events, district events, the school calendar, Parent and Student Handbook and staff contacts are easily accessible. The website is http://costano.ravenswoodschools.org/

ParentSquare

Download the ParentSquare App today! Teachers will be using ParentSquare to communicate with parents and all schoolwide communication will happen via ParentSquare as well.  
 

Email Protocols

We encourage families to email or call your child’s teacher whenever you have questions or concerns.  Email addresses can be found on our school’s website.  Email addresses follow the pattern of:  the teachers first initial, followed by their last name @ravenswoodschools.org.  For example, Robin Pang-Maganaris’ email address is:  rmaganaris@ravenswoodschools.org.
 
You can expect that a teacher will respond to your email/call within 24-48 hours.  Typically, teachers check email at the beginning and the end of the school day.  On occasion, they check email in the evenings.  Should you not receive a return email/call within 24-48 hours, please re-contact the teacher and/or contact the principal as well.
 

Emergency Information

Please notify the office staff of any change to a student’s address, email, or phone numbers so that in the event of an emergency, the appropriate family members may be contacted.
 
Costaño has an emergency preparedness plan that is reviewed annually with staff.  Assignment of roles and responsibilities and a plan of response are discussed and practiced.  During or pursuant to an emergency or disaster, students will be closely supervised by staff and released only to adults listed on the emergency cards.  Parents/Guardians must make sure that the contact information provided is accurate and inform the office if the information changes.
 

Principal’s Wednesday Letter

The principal sends out a weekly letter on Wednesdays via ParentSquare providing important schoolwide information.  
 

Homeroom Teachers

The homeroom teachers communicate with parents regularly via ParentSquare regarding classroom assignments, needs and events.  Families should also feel free to contact their teacher regularly with any concerns or updates as frequent and regular communication between parents and teachers builds for a stronger school experience for children.
 

Conferences

All families are strongly encouraged to attend parent/teacher conferences to meet with your child’s teacher and to receive their report card. This will provide the face to face time to directly touch base with his/her teacher/s.  
 
In addition to formal parent/teacher conferences, parents are encouraged to ask teachers for informal conferences.
 
Social Media
Please join us on social media as a way to further connect with us.  Please follow:
 
@costanoschool on Instagram 
@costanoschool on Twitter
“Costaño School - TK-5” on Facebook Group
 

Issues of Concern

In the event that families have concerns about their child’s education, parents should first contact the general education teacher to resolve the issue.  In the event that the issue is not resolved, please feel free to contact the principal or the vice principal
 

Dress Code Policy

 
To send a clear message that Costaño School is a community of scholarship, hard work, professionalism, and respect, every scholar is required to report to school each day in appropriate dress code. We ask that students come prepared in clothing that will allow them to participate fully in their learning and that will keep them safe here at Costano school. 
 
Please follow the guidelines below . . .
  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Bottoms mid-thigh length and longer
  • Clothing that allows the child to do his/her best learning and movement
  • Clothing must have language, logos, and symbols free of profanity and that are appropriate for any elementary school-aged student
  • Clothing must cover the child’s undergarments and underclothes (please no sagging clothes)
 
If your child comes to school wearing clothing that does not meet guidelines, parents will be contacted and asked to bring appropriate clothing. Thank you for your support!
 

Health and Well-Being

 

Food Policy 

Healthy, well-rested, well-fed, and physically active students are better able to learn and succeed in school. We want to ensure every child is receiving proper nutrition while at school. We provide breakfast and lunch for every student, but if you are sending your child with food, please follow these guidelines:
  • Food must be portioned for your individual student. For example, an individual sized bag of chips instead of a party-size bag that can be shared. 
  • Candy and sweets are not permitted at school unless there is a special event and has been pre-approved by the classroom teacher.
  • We want to encourage healthy food choices. Junk food (chips, cookies, etc) is not permitted before the student’s lunch hour. 
  • Cup of noodles and other foods that require microwaving or hot water is not permitted.
  • Food delivery (by restaurants, parents, etc) must go through the office, for safety purposes.
 
If your child brings any of the above items, they will be held by the classroom teacher until the end of the day. 
 

Classroom Parties

In order to maximize instructional time, classes are limited to 5 parties per year.  The parties originally fall around Halloween, Winter Break, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break and End of the year.  Parents should see their child’s teacher for a list of healthy and appropriate snacks.
 
Student birthdays may not be celebrated during instructional time.  Please do not bring treats to school for your child’s birthday.
 

Medication

If a student has a medical condition or need, it is imperative that the school be notified in writing. All information will remain confidential. In order to ensure the safety of your child, school policy requires written parent permission for all medication to be given during school hours. In addition, students who may need prescription medication during the school day are required to provide the school with a doctor’s note. If a child is to receive medication during the school day, the following procedures must be followed:
  • Complete and sign the school’s medication permission form
  • All medication must be brought in its original labeled container
  • All medication must be left at school (it cannot travel back and forth)
  • Doctor’s notes for medication must include the name of the student, the drug, dosage, schedule, and a doctor’s signature.
 

Illness Guidelines

If a student becomes ill or is injured at school, the parent will be notified immediately by phone. If the office is not able to contact the parent, they will notify someone listed on the emergency list. A child may be sent home from school if they:
  • have a temperature over 100 degrees
  • are vomiting
  • have a severe earache or headache
  • have pink eye or other contagious conditions
Parents are requested to call the school office to report any contagious illness or condition. In such cases, students should stay home until their return has been approved by their doctor and they are clear of infection.


Homework Policy

 
Homework is an integral part of the learning process and an essential component of the home-school partnership necessary for student academic achievement.  As an important extension of school instruction and learning, it provides an opportunity for practice, review, reinforcement, completion, preparation, make-up and enrichment. The amount of homework varies depending on the student’s grade level.  
 
Reading and writing homework nightly is amongst the most important work your child can do to increase their academic performance.  Research tells us that the more children read just-right books and write, the stronger they will be across all academic areas.  In addition to reading and writing homework, children will also receive daily math practice and games.  For students and parents looking for more individualized support, we also offer blended learning programs such as RAZ Kids, Khan Academy, Starfall.  Please go to http://www.ravenswoodschools.net/ to access these sites.
 
If your child is spending an unusual amount of time on homework, or if the homework seems particularly difficult, please let your child’s teacher know right away so that modifications can be made.  While homework is important, enjoying family time and play time is equally important to a child’s development.
 

Technology Policy

Devices

Electronics can distract from student learning.  As a result, personal tablets and laptops are not permitted on school campus without approval.
 

Cellphones

We understand that students may have cell phones to communicate with family before and after school. Students may use their cell phone to communicate with family in the bus stop area in front of the school before the 8:20AM bell and after their dismissal bell. Otherwise, students are to use the school phone with permission. During school hours, cell phones must remain hidden in students’ personal belongings at all times and turned off. Costaño is committed to monitoring and protecting student exposure to unknown websites. 
 
If cellphones are brought to school, it is the child’s responsibility to ensure its proper use and safety. Please note that the school is not responsible for lost or stolen technology inside and outside the classroom. If a child chooses to bring cellphones to school, these guidelines must be followed: 
 
  • Every morning, students will submit their phones to their teacher for safekeeping, and students are also responsible for getting their phone back from the teacher at the end of the day.
  • If students are found to have technology devices out during the school day (ex: playground, classroom, hallways) without authorized use, the phone will be confiscated and an adult must come to pick it up from the front office.
  • If there are consistent infractions, phones must then be submitted to school administrators in the office. 
 

Parent Involvement

 

Volunteer Opportunities

We fully believe that family support and involvement is key in the academic success of our students. In addition, the staff would greatly appreciate your gift of time and talent during the coming year. The following volunteer opportunities offer flexible, interesting, and fun ways to contribute to Costaño School. A parent may serve as a presenter, field lesson chaperone, classroom assistant, special event coordinator, library organizer, office assistant, advisory board member, etc. Regular volunteers may be asked to file a current TB test with the Main Office.
 

Visitation Policy

Parents are welcome to visit their child’s classroom. Please follow the following guidelines while visiting Costaño School.

  • All visitors must check into the front office, sign-in and get a visitor’s badge. Even parents volunteering in classrooms on a regular basis must sign in. For safety reasons, we must have an accurate list of all people who are on campus at all times. Visitors must also sign-out upon leaving.
  • Visitor badges must be worn where they can be seen easily.
  • If a student forgot an item, it should be dropped off in the Main Office, not taken directly to the classroom. This will help keep classroom disruption to a minimum.
  • If observing and/or visiting, 15  minutes or more, we ask that you assist the school and volunteer your time. Teachers will be notified of visitors/observers by the front office as to minimize distraction during lessons. 
  • During a classroom visit, the teacher or staff shall not be interrupted during class time. Please speak with the front office to schedule a time to meet with your child’s classroom teacher.
  • No other children should be present with the adult(s) who are observing and volunteering in classrooms in order to minimize distractions and disruption.

Behavior Supports and Discipline

 

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Costaño utilizes Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to create and foster a healthy school culture.  Schools implementing PBIS identify Core Values that every child is taught.  Next, schools actively teach students how to engage in behaviors that honor the Core Values in various locations throughout the school such as in the classroom, the playground, the lunch tables, the hallways, etc.  A unique aspect of PBIS is its focus on rewarding and acknowledging the positive behaviors students exhibit. The goal of PBIS is to switch the school's focus from solely providing attention to negative behaviors to reinforcing and giving attention to those demonstrating positive behaviors.  By actively rewarding positive behaviors, more positive behaviors will be generated by all.  
 

Restorative Justice

Costaño implements Restorative Justice (RJ) practices when children engage in misconduct.  As an RJ school, our focus is in helping those who engage in misconduct realize that they have harmed someone in our community and that not only have they hurt someone, they now have a responsibility to repair the harm they have created.  This involves bringing the harmed and the harmer together to have them engage in a conversation where the harmed is able to share how they have been harmed to the harmer.  The harmed is then asked how they would like the harmer to repair the harm.  Once the harmed shares how they would like the harm to be repaired, the harmed is asked whether or not they are able to follow through with the request to repair the harm.  If the harmer agrees, the harmer is required to engage in the actions.  If the harmer is unable to agree, further disciplinary action will be taken by the administration.
 
By creating a school culture where the emphasis is on repairing harm to those harmed, we strengthen our community and we grow those who are engaging in misconduct the ability to be more empathetic.  This building of empathy helps to prevent future misconduct from occurring.
 
Schools that implement PBIS and Restorative Justice practices use exclusionary discipline such as suspensions and expulsions only as a very last resort.  The following are behavioral guidelines that Costaño will utilize.
 

Suspensions & Expulsions 

While Costaño is  PBIS and RJ, traditional exclusionary practices such as suspensions and expulsions may still occur.
 
In case of the following Education Code 48900 infractions, a student may be suspended (in or out of school), depending on the seriousness of the situation.  A suspension is defined as the removal of a student from ongoing instruction for disciplinary purposes; an administrator or teacher will contact parents concerning a suspension. Expulsion, if indicated, is determined exclusively by the Ravenswood City School District.  A student shall not be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion unless the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has violated any of the following from the Education Code of the State of California.  Additional information about these infractions is available in the student services section of the Board policy.  Actions must relate to school or school-sponsored activities as defined by Education Code.
 
Due Process Procedures: Students and parents have the right to know for what action students are being disciplined. Written documentation of behavior should be provided. Students shall have an opportunity to respond to accusations.  Students and/or parents who feel that disciplinary actions have been unfairly applied have the right to appeal to an administrator.  If the matter is not resolved, they may seek a hearing at the district level. 
 
Behaviors that may lead to suspension and/or expulsion:

Physical Injury: 
Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person. 
Willful Force: 
Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense 
Weapon or Dangerous Objects:
Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive or other dangerous object unless, in the case of possession of any such object, the pupil had obtained written permission to possess the item from a certified school employee, which is concurred in by the principal on the designees of the principal. 
Drugs/ Alcohol: 
Unlawfully possessed, used, sold or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant. 
Sold or Furnished Drugs:
Unlawfully offered or arranged to sell any controlled substance or intoxicant of any kind, and furnishes to any person another substance as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant. 
Robbery/Extortion: 
Committed robbery or extortion. 
Damage to Property:
Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.
Theft:
Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property. 
Tobacco:
Possessed or used tobacco products. 
Drug Paraphernalia:
Unlawfully possessed or offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia. 
Received Stolen Property:
Knowingly received stolen school or private property.
Hate Violence:
Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence. 
Made Environment Hostile:
Bullying, intimidation, threatening, harassing (in any form), menacing any person on campus. 
Terrorist Threats: 
Made terrorist threats against school officials or school property, or both. 
Assaulted School Employee:
Assault or battery, as defined in Sections 240 and 242 of the Penal Code, upon any school employee. 
Harassment of a Witness:
Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness or both. 
Sexual Harassment: 
Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault or committed a sexual battery. 


Harassment and Bullying Policy 

It is the policy of the Ravenswood City School District to provide a school environment free from all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, and to maintain an environment in which all students and adults are treated with dignity and respect.  We are committed to creating a safe learning and working environment for all students and employees.Therefore, no student shall be subject to sexual overtures or conduct, verbal, visual, or physical, which is intimidating, hostile, offensive or unwelcome.  Such conduct by adults or students is deemed unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated by the school district. 
 
For purposes of this policy, “sexual harassment” is defined for student-to-student interaction as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, visual and physical conduct of a sexual nature.  “Sexual harassment” is also defined as conduct of a sexual nature which affects an individual’s employment, academic status or progress:  which has a negative impact on an individual’s work or academic performance; which creates a work or educational environment that is intimidating, hostile or offensive; or which affects benefits, services, honors, programs or activities available to an individual in an academic setting. 
 
An action that may impair a student’s ability to function or the emotional well-being of a student at school is unacceptable.  
 
Harassment or discrimination may include acts such as the following
Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, such acts as the following:
Bullying occurs when acts are repeated against a child or when there is a significant power imbalance between students.  Examples include:
Use of swearing, putdowns, or unwanted sexual advances, invitations or comments. 
Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations, or propositions. 
Physical: Pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, theft
Slurs of any kind (racial, ethnic, religious, sexual gender-based, physical, etc.).
Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments, or sexually degrading descriptions.
Verbal: Name calling, teasing, laughing at, threatening

Indirect: spreading rumors, excluding someone from a group, gossiping.
Possession or display of derogatory posters, photographs, cartoons, or drawings; communicating such in writing, by verbalizing, by computer, etc. 
Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body or overly personal conversation. 
Cyber-bullying: Inappropriate rumors or threats sent through e-mails, instant messages, text messages, or Web site posts, with the sender often anonymous or disguised as someone else.
Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests for any purpose. 
Sexual jokes, stories, drawings, pictures, or gestures.
 
Threatening or doing harm to someone who refuses to cooperate or reports on you (bullying). 
Spreading sexual rumors.
 
Intimidating comments and/ or physical gestures or interactions. 
Teasing or making sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class.
 
Gestures that are in poor taste or indicate gang affiliation. 
Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way.
 
 
Concerning or blocking an individual’s normal movements.
 
 
Displaying sexually suggestive objects in the educational environment.
 
 
Any act of retaliation against an individual who reports a violation of this sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint.
 


Complaint Procedures

A student, who believes that they are being harassed or discriminated against at school or at school activities because of her/his sex, race, ethnicity, or religion, should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the school staff.  District complaint procedures will be followed to resolve the issue. 
 

Student Supports

 
Costaño offers the following intervention supports for students.
 

Counseling Services

When children require emotional or social skills support, onsite counseling services are available.  Parents can request counseling directly by either asking the classroom teacher to make a referral or by filling out a referral themselves by going to this link:  https://app.informedk12.com/link_campaigns/counseling-support-referral-electronic-form?token=AtffQYd2Twrjs7hPREf2aQff 
 

Reading Intervention

Costaño provides small group reading intervention to identified children who are reading 1-2 years below grade level.  Reading intervention is considered a general education intervention and offered by our Reading Specialists as well as outside agencies such as Reading Partners and All Students Matters volunteers.
 

Student Success Team (SST)

The Student Success Team is available to create solutions and ensure that all students have the support they need to be successful. The team will develop individual and school-wide plans and provide links to community resources. Teachers, administrators, staff members, and/or parents may request that a student begin the SST process. Students who are struggling socially, academically, or with attendance may have an SST called in order to put a plan in place for that student’s success. 
 

Special Education

If you believe that your child has a disability and general education interventions have not supported your child effectively, please contact your child’s teacher to begin a discussion of whether special education testing if necessary.  If testing determines that your child has a learning disability, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be created and may include services such as specialized academic instruction from a special education teacher, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.