BELL SCHOOL- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who may attend Bell School?
Bell School has three departments:
- Neighborhood program (K-8)
- Students must live within the school boundaries shown on the CPS School Locator page
- Options (regional gifted center) program (1-8)
- Students must apply and be tested through the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment
- Students must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and be granted placement by CPS.
What are the hours of the school day?
8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Tuition based, after-school care is available until 6:00 p.m. through Right At School.
Do students wear uniforms?
No, however students are expected to comply with the school dress code which recognizes the need for appropriate dress in the learning environment.
What special enrichment classes do students attend?
- Art/Music – All students receive weekly art & music instruction, and experience various fine arts residencies and/or assemblies throughout the year.
- Physical Education -- Students receive physical education twice a week.
- Library – Students in grades K-6 have one library period each week.
- Computer Instruction -- Computer instruction (including keyboarding, coding, digital media, etc.) begins in Kindergarten at Bell where K classes come to the lab for a half hour once per week. Students in grades 1st-3rd & 6th work on curriculum-related computer projects with their homeroom teachers at various times throughout the year. Computer instruction for 4th & 5th graders is split over one year. Students in 7th and 8th grade attend weekly computer specials classes.
- Chinese – students in grades K-4 receive Chinese instruction every week, and students in grades 5-8 can continue Chinese in an optional, tuition-free after school program.
- Sign Language – Students receive weekly sign language instruction.
What extracurricular activities can students get involved in?
There are many clubs and after school activities (both free and tuition-based) for students of all ages. Bell School also offers a variety of competitive sports opportunities beginning in fifth grade. Please see the school website for a comprehensive list of sports and activities.
Do Bell students take any field trips?
Yes, classes take field trips throughout the year. In addition, students in grades 5-8 participate in grade-wide (all 3 programs), extended field trips:
- 5th graders takes an extended day trip to Atwood, an outdoor education facility
- 6th graders take an overnight trip to St. Louis and Springfield which includes a tour of the State Capitol and Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
- 7th graders take an overnight trip to study the ecology of the region, usually to Camp Duncan near Fox Lake in Illinois
- 8th graders take a three-day trip to Washington D.C. with many exciting experiences
What are the school fees?
Student fees for 2015-2016 are $100/student (max of $250 per family) plus a $50/student technology fee. Fees cover costs associated with assignment notebooks, magazine subscriptions, grade level organizers and classroom consumables. Day and overnight field trips are not covered, although financial assistance is available for families that qualify.
What are the procedures for lunch? Do you serve hot meals? Do students have recess?
Breakfast and lunch are offered to students daily, including a hot lunch option.
- Breakfast is served before school starts (7:45-8:20 a.m.) and is free to all.
- Hot lunch is free to all this year. The cost of milk alone is $0.40.
Recess is provided for students two times per day, weather permitting.
- All students receive a 20-minute recess period immediately before or after lunch.
- All students receive an additional 15-minute recess period during the school day.
How does the school keep parents informed?
The faculty and staff at Bell School work hard to keep regular communications with parents and families via several avenues, including:
- Bell Blink- weekly email blasts
- Bell Link- monthly paper newsletter
- Teacher Curriculum Night- for parents regarding curriculum & classroom procedures
- Bell School Open House- for current students to show their school & work to parents
- Backpack mail- notices, forms & flyers may be sent home via your child’s backpack
- Bell School website, www.agbellschool.com- contains an incredible amount of information regarding the school, including meeting minutes, current news, a school calendar, and links to classroom pages
Are parents allowed to volunteer at Bell School?
Yes, there are many opportunities for parents to volunteer at Bell School. A general list of options is sent home the first week of school, and parents are encouraged to fill out the Online Volunteer Form on the school website. In addition to school-wide opportunities, individual teachers may also seek out parent volunteers to assist with classroom activities and chaperone field trips.
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