Student and Family Handbook



We, the Stedman community, embrace our diversity and are committed to excellence in our instruction and our quest for wisdom, so all students will achieve academic growth and personal success.


As lifelong learners, we strive for excellence in everything we do while respecting our diverse Park Hill community. We care about each other and make a difference.


We, the staff, students and community at Stedman Elementary view all our students as capable, intelligent and resilient.  We embrace our diversity and recognize that we are responsible for creating and maintaining a positive school environment that provides all students with empowering academic, social, emotional, and behavioral support necessary to achieve academic and personal growth.

Principal: Dr. Melissa Peterson


8:00 am-4:00 pm

2940 Dexter Street

Denver, CO 80207



8:42 am-3:47 pm  Kindergarten through Fifth Grade

8:45 am-3:47 pm ECE 4 Full Day

8:45 am -11:30 am ECE 3 Half Day

1:00 am-3:47 pm ECE 4 Half Day

8:42 am-12:45 pm Early Release Fridays

7:57pm-3:57pm Teacher Work Day


        Stedman Student and Family Handbook Rationale

The purpose of the Stedman Student and Family Handbook is to ensure that all community members understand the philosophy and expectations of the school in order to maintain a safe, orderly and joyful learning environment. All students and parents/guardians must sign and return the Family Handbook Agreement Form.

This document should be retained for ongoing review with your student.


We believe all students should feel safe when they arrive at school. We have breakfast in the classrooms after the bell. Students may arrive at school at 8:15 am for 27 minutes of outdoor recess, where they will be supervised by our playground staff.  Students who arrive before 8:42 am on designated indoor days will be supervised in the auditorium. The first bell will ring at 8:40 am. At that time students will line up in their designated class meeting spot and be ready to enter the building to start learning when the bell rings at 8:42 am. ECE students and parents will enter from the parking lot door and sign students in at their classrooms at 8:45 am daily. There is no before school recess for ECE students.


At the 8:42 am bell, students will enter the building with their teacher. Breakfast and class meeting will begin at 8:42 am each day. Students who have not finished eating will be permitted to finish breakfast as they begin their work. Students who arrive after 8:42 am do not enter the building with their class at 8:42 am are considered tardy.


We believe all students should feel safe as they depart from school. We also believe that all teachers and staff should be relieved of student supervision by their end time of 3:57pm. All dismissal procedures and student departures from campus must be complete no later than 3:57pm. Teachers are on duty supervising students from 3:47-3:57 daily. Conversations with the teacher should be scheduled for another time.

Teachers will walk their classes out at the end of each day, delivering bus riders to the bus, after-school program students to the cafeteria, walkers to the northeast campus gate (closest to the cafeteria) and pick-up students to the east playground gate.Siblings will meet each other at designated meeting places. Older students will not be released to pick up younger students other than at the designated meeting place.

The NEW STUDENT PICK UP location for ALL K-5 students is the east campus playground gate. All siblings who are picked up from school should plan to meet their brothers and sisters at the pickup gate. Parents/guardians who walk up may meet their student at the parent pickup gate. Parents/guardians who want to pull up to the curb to pick up their students must pull up to the west curb of Dahlia against the east campus sidewalk/fence.  For safety, students will not be allowed to run through traffic or cross the street to get into a car.

For students who walk home or for parents/guardians who wish to avoid arrival and dismissal traffic by parking a block or so away, may sign their child up as walkers and determine a consistent meeting place to pick their child up daily. Siblings who walk home together must meet each other at the northeast campus gate once their teacher has delivered them to this location.

All students who walk home must leave campus by 3:57pm.

ECE students will be dismissed at their classrooms following parent/guardian sign-out.  All students must leave campus and/or be picked up by 4:00 pm daily.

If a parent or guardian is running late to pick up a child, they may call the front office before 4:00 pm 720-424-3800.

If parents wish to remain on campus with their children for playdates/after school playground time, the playground may be used starting at 4:00pm. All children must stay off the playground equipment until all buses and walkers have left campus/teachers are off duty, so that staff can safely supervise students who have not yet been picked up. Any students on campus between the hours of 4pm and 6pm must be supervised by an adult to ensure the safety of students enrolled in afterschool programs.


Bicycles must be parked in the bicycle cage provided.  Once bikes are in the cage they are not to be removed until the student is ready to go home.  When arriving and departing, students are to walk their bicycles on and off school grounds.   Each student is responsible for locking his/her bike and for the security throughout the day.  It is recommended that parents keep a record of the bike’s description and serial number in case of theft.  


It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to extend full cooperation in seeing that students obey the bus regulations and practices all recommended safety procedures. We hold the same high expectations for positive behavior on the school bus as we do on campus for all students. At the beginning of the school year, parents and students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with bus routes, rules and regulations.  Students may only ride their assigned bus.  Please remember that the bus driver, as well as the transportation department, may take away this privilege if safety or discipline becomes an issue.


We hold high expectations for student attendance at Stedman, as regular attendance contributes to the academic success of all our students. At Stedman, we track attendance data. Supporting positive attendance and arrival habits will be a part of the MTSS process this year. As a result, students with a pattern of late arrival or absences will be referred to MTSS and a team of support staff will determine an intervention to support the child in getting to school on time daily.  Families of students who have repeated tardies or absences will be contacted by teachers, the school psychologist or the principal to communicate the intervention to support the student’s success in school.

 In case of student illness, parents/guardians must call the ATTENDANCE LINE at 720-424-3830 between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 am to report the absence.   If a call has not been made to the attendance line, parents of absent students will be called by the school on the day of the absence.

If parents wish for a student to be excused from gym or kept in during playground activity, the he/she must have a note from the physician.  This will be cleared through the school nurse.  If parents need to take their student out of school during the day, they must come to the front office to sign the student out.  Students who come late to school must be accompanied by a parent/guardian as they report to the office where the parent/guardian will sign them in before going to the classroom. The office will provide the student with a pass to class.



If a parent/guardian would like to speak with a teacher, this should be done outside of class time. To honor teachers’ planning periods, parents should make arrangements to speak with a teacher in advance whenever possible.  If it is necessary to relay an urgent student-related message during class hours, parents/guardians must call the front office and a message can be left with the school secretary.  Any messages that parents wish to communicate with their child during the school day must be relayed through the school office, as teachers may not check their voicemail during the school day and they do not answer the classroom telephone other than calls from the front office during class hours. If you wish to reach a teacher for a non-urgent, please call them when class is not in session or send an email.  Teachers are on duty supervising students until 3:57 daily.  If you need to speak to a teacher after school, please schedule a time with them after 3:57 so that they can give their full attention to keeping our students safe.  

Parent teacher conference dates are November 2nd and November 9th from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. There are no classes on November 4th to compensate teachers for the 8 hours of conference time on the 2nd and the 9th. Dates are to be determined for 2nd semester conferences, which are scheduled by teachers as needed.  Teachers will provide detailed information about parent teacher conferences.


        Main Line                          720-424-3800

Attendance Line                 720-424-3830

Secretary Krissi Sims          Hours  7:30 am -3:00 pm


Stedman has two school leaders: Dr. Melissa Peterson, Principal and Emily Madison, Dean of Instruction, six teacher leaders, two Restorative Approaches coordinators and one School Psychologist for the 2016-2017 school year. In addition to teachers, our Restorative Approaches coordinator, Dominique Edmonds and our Play-based therapist, Jacquie Van Horne will make most communications with parents/guardians regarding behavior incidents or discipline decisions. Dr. Peterson has entrusted the important work of behavior support to other team members, so that she can focus on leading instruction. Our Dean of Instruction and Teacher Leaders will share the responsibility of communicating with parents and guardians. Please expect to hear from any of our leadership team members throughout the school year.




Secure Campus

Stedman offers a secure campus in order to ensure the safety of all students and staff members. The exterior doors remain locked during business hours. Visitors must be buzzed in at the front and parking lot doors.

Campus Visitors

Visitors to the building are required to check in at the main office.  Visitors will receive a sticker identifying them as a visitor to the building. Staff members will address any visitors not wearing a visitor sticker to ensure the safety of our staff and students.  Students who are not registered at Stedman are not allowed to visit or shadow students during school hours.  Staff children, older siblings and former students who visit campus must be in the company of their parent/guardian while on campus.


In order to volunteer at Stedman, volunteers must pass the DPS volunteer clearance. DPS volunteer forms may be picked up in the front office. Volunteers should allow 2-6 weeks for volunteer clearance.

Emergency Drills

We conduct emergency drills, as required, to prepare students and staff for emergency situations, including fire drills, shelter in place drills (formerly called lockdown/lockout), and tornado drills.

All drills are practiced in the first two weeks of school to ensure that all students and staff are prepared for drills and in the event of an emergency.  A fire alarm sound combined with strobe lights signals a fire drill.  We hold fire drills monthly, as required, to teach students the safest, quickest route from the building.  Whenever a class leaves a room for any emergency, students stay with their teachers until the “all clear” signal is given.  

Lockout and Lockdown

During a Lockout or Lockdown, as directed by Denver Police Department and DPS Safety and Security, the building will be secured and no students, staff or parents will be allowed to enter or exit the building and a Lockdown or Lockout sign will be placed on the front door for the duration of the Lockout or Lockdown.

Incidents on Campus

In the event of a safety incident such as police activity in the area that impacts the learning environment, parents and guardians will be notified via a robo-call and/or written notification from Dr. Peterson. Whenever possible, notice will be sent prior to dismissal of that school day to ensure that parents receive accurate information. If an incident occurs near the end of the school day, it may not be possible to get the notice out before students leave school for the day. All communications will be as timely as possible.


All personal toys and electronics should be left at home.  Students should not bring valuable items to school.  Stedman Staff is not responsible for lost or stolen items. It is advised that students not bring cell phones to school. Students will be assigned a hook in the hallway OR a locker based on their classroom location. Not all students will have lockers.

Cell Phones

We understand that some students must bring cell phones to school as a method of communicating with family members outside of school hours. As the number of students carrying cell phones increases, so does the potential for lost or stolen phones. In order to maintain the integrity of the learning environment and secure storage of students’ personal items, students must check cell phones in and out with the classroom teacher each day. The teacher will collect cell phones at the beginning of the day, store them in a sealed plastic box locked in their cabinet and return them at the end of the day. Students must have parent permission to bring a cell phone to school to check it in with their teacher. Permission is granted by signing the Student Cell Phone Permission form. If a student does not have a signed permission form or takes out a cell phone during school hours, the student’s teacher will collect the phone and the parent must come to school to pick it up. Parents wishing to contact their student must relay a message through the main office. All student phone calls to parents/guardians require teacher/staff permission.


Shirts - Solid colors: Blue, White or Gold

Bottoms - solid colors: Black, Navy, Khaki, Denim

Jumpers/dresses - Solid colors Black, Navy or Khaki


Fridays are Spirit Days. Stedman T-shirts on top, dress code pants/bottoms.

Students with perfect attendance for that week may “dress down” on Fridays if given permission by their teacher on Thursday.

Hats/sunglasses are allowed during recess for protection against the sun.  

**The faculty and staff of Stedman reserve the sole right to interpret and enforce the student dress code**  If a student is in violation of the dress code, the student will be sent to the Restorative Approaches Office between 8:45am and 9:00am. The student and parent will be reminded of the dress code policy. As long as loaner clothing is in stock, the child will be given a loaner shirt/pants. At the end of the school day, they will return to the RA Office to get their clothing back and return the loaner item/items. If this is an ongoing concern with a child, Dominique will call a parent conference.

Positive Behavior Supports

The goal for all students at Stedman is that they are in the classroom, engaged in joyful and rigorous instruction during the school day. The Stedman RAPPS values guide the behavior of students, staff, families and  visitors while on campus.


We R​espect ourselves and others.

We A​ct with good character.

We know our P​urpose.

We maintain a P​ositive attitude.

We make Stedman S​afe for Everyone.

Restorative Approaches

At Stedman, we employ Restorative Approaches, a philosophy that sees relationships as central to learning, growth and a healthy school climate for students and adults. Restorative Practices enable us to integrate and normalize this approach within a school culture. Through Restorative Practices, students may be given opportunities for a restorative circle, conversation, problem-solving practice, team-building with another student or students or the opportunity to repair a wrong through service within our community. In 2016-2017 Stedman is introducing the Habits of a Systems Thinker and other Systems Thinking tools to support students in learning from their experiences and making positive habits and decisions in the future. For more information, visit

Restorative practices are different from traditional discipline models of punishment that you may be used to (detention, suspension, expulsion, etc.)  However, research has shown that restorative approaches are a more powerful tool in changing student behavior.

Stedman staff reserve the right to assign “Lunch Refocus” in response to negative behaviors. During a lunch refocus, students will have the opportunity to eat their lunch in a refocus area with the adult on duty. This is an opportunity to reflect on what went wrong and make a plan for how they will handle such a situation in the future.

MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)  is a whole-school, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for every student through a layered continuum of evidenced-based practices and systems. The process at Stedman Elementary utilizes this strategy by encompassing:

Students may be referred if they:

No Nonsense Nurturing

At Stedman, we believe that it is the responsibility of all adults who work directly with students to build positive relationships with all of our students. All Stedman staff are trained in No-Nonsense Nurturing in order to build positive relationships with all students and hold students accountable for high expectations. Our No-Nonsense Nurturing practices includes the use of a positive, neutral tone, positive narration of student behavior, class points with a reward system for 100% engagement, and a clip system in each classroom to support students with a visual reminder of their current behavior status.

Stedman staff and students adhere to the Denver Public Schools Discipline Matrix.


We define Type One Challenging Behavior using the DPS discipline matrix

Teachers are expected to move through Levels A-C of the DPS Discipline Ladder prior to referring students to School Leadership for Type One challenging behavior. This includes: asking the student to reflect, restorative practices, phone calls home, and an in-person conference with guardians (which often includes the creation of a restorative behavior plan).  

If a student exhibits extremely challenging or unsafe behavior (Type 2-5 in DPS Discipline Matrix) or recurring Type One (only after moving through steps A-C above), he/she will be referred to School Leadership.  

Behavior consequences for students are not shared with other students or parents. All discipline actions are confidential between the student, their parents and school personnel. School Leaders view consequences as an opportunity for learning and will select the lowest level consequence relevant to the behavior, paired with appropriate supports for the student.


We believe it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to engage as a partner in the learning for each of our students. This includes reading information from the school, checking your child’s backpack for homework daily and attending school events, performances and conversations.

Stedman offers a parent room which is open to parents/guardians as a space to meet, use the computer, prepare materials for teachers or spend time on campus.

There are several opportunities to participate in Stedman parent groups:

PTA: all parents/guardians/community members are welcome to attend the monthly Parent Teacher Association meetings. The 2016-2017 PTA meetings are the first Thursday of the month, from 6:00-7:00pm.

PAC: the Parent Advisory Committee is designed to connect parents/guardians who speak languages other than English with the school. This year Stedman has planned the PAC meetings to follow the PTA meetings each month to decrease the number of meetings and increase participation by parents in both groups. The 2016-2017 PAC meetings will immediately follow PTA meetings from 7:00-7:30pm so that parents may participate in both on the same evening.

CSC: Parent Collaborative School Committee members are elected by the parent community to serve a one or two year term. The Collaborative School Committee meeting monthly/as needed to advise on the budget, programs and staffing of the school. The main function of the CSC is to ensure that UIP goals are met. The 2016-2017 CSC meetings times will be set by the 2016-2017 CSC.

We conduct emergency drills, as required, to prepare students and staff for emergency situations, including fire drills, shelter in place drills (formerly called lockdown/lockout), and tornado drills.

All drills are practiced in the first two weeks of school to ensure that all students and staff are prepared for drills and in the event of an emergency.  A fire alarm sound combined with strobe lights signals a fire drill.  We hold fire drills monthly, as required, to teach students the safest, quickest route from the building.  Whenever a class leaves a room for any emergency, students stay with their teachers until the “all clear” signal is given.  


We ask all parents/guardians to complete an emergency contact form for each of their children.  This form tells school staff how to contact parents/guardians or another responsible adult if a child becomes ill or injured at school.  Parents/guardians are expected to communicate changes in address, home and business phone or emergency phone number changes to the school office immediately.


Breakfast Program - Breakfast is available in the classroom at 8:45-9:00am, free of charge to students each morning.   Breakfast is provided to all students. Students who eat breakfast at home before coming to school may decline or may have a second breakfast/snack with their class.

Lunch Program - Free and Reduced lunch forms are available in the school office and will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. Families may reapply for free and reduced lunch any time during the school year if circumstances change. Hot lunches, including milk can be purchased for $ 1.40.  Additional milk can be purchased for 40 cents. Lunches may be purchased weekly or monthly by sending cash or writing a check made out to “Stedman School Cafeteria”.  All students will be provided with a lunch card at the beginning of the year.  

Fruit and Veggie Program

All full-day Stedman students receive an afternoon fruit or veggie snack. This is free of charge and is intended to promote healthy eating habits.


Stedman teachers assign homework so that students may complete classroom assignments or practice skills already taught.  Homework may also be given so a child can make up work missed during absences or help youngsters develop effective study habits or practices skills as part of an academic intervention. Parents/guardians may request make-up work following an absence.

Homework is important because:

1. It is a vehicle of communication between home and school, and it involves parents in their children's learning.

2. It provides opportunities for students to practice new skills learned earlier in the day develop good study habits and self discipline  by using resources outside of school

Students will receive weekly homework that include the following:

Kindergarten 10-15 minutes, 1-2 days per week, plus read for 20 min. each night

Grade 1 15-20 minutes, 1-2 days per week, plus read for 20 min. each night

Grade 2 10-20 minutes, 2 days per week, plus read for 20 min. each night

 Grade 3 15-25 minutes, 2 days per week, plus read for 20 min. each night

Grade 4 15-30 minutes 2-3 days per week, plus read for 20 min. each night

Grade 5 20-30 minutes 3-4 days per week, plus read for 20 min. each night

Homework may be in the form of weekly packets or daily expectations.


Please write students’ names on clothing and personal items. Small, lost items are kept in the office until their owners claim them.  Large items, such as clothing, are stored on the lost and found rack outside the gym.  Periodically during the year, unclaimed clothing will be donated to a local charity.


Medications must be stored in the nurse’s office.  Prescription medications must be brought to school in the original container with the doctor’s instructions for dispensing the drug.  Over the counter medications are NOT ALLOWED AT SCHOOL.  Students are not allowed to self-medicate or to share medications with other students.  


Birthdays for each month are celebrated the last Friday of each month at the end of the school day. Please let your child’s teacher know in advance if he/she will be bringing a treat to share on the last Friday of the month of his/her birthday. Surprise or individual parties are not permitted. By law, we cannot serve food prepared in private homes to children during the regular school day. All treats for birthdays must be store bought.


On stormy weather days, school will be in session unless a DPS school closing announcement is made on the radio, television, or DPS website:

If school is in session and a storm develops during the day, a decision may be made to send students home early.   The decision to close schools is made by the Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools.

When you are aware of adverse weather, please tune to the above media sources for information regarding school closure or call the School office. Also, check the DPS website:

Under no circumstances will a child be sent out into a storm without a place to go. Please be aware that students will go out during recess unless the weather drops below freezing.


Stedman hires and retains effective teachers. Assigning students to classes is done by staff who have been working with the students daily in an educational setting. Teachers consider the learning styles and academic needs of the returning students and assign them to classrooms at the next grade level. This process is done with care and the utmost consideration of each child’s academic and social/emotional needs. It takes careful consideration of many factors to create equitably balanced classrooms in terms of academic needs, behavior, gender, ethnicity, and number of students. We will only consider parent input for children with extenuating circumstances. Specific teacher requests will be considered and may be honored after the priority of balancing all Stedman classes. School leaders will have the final say in whether to grant a request after the deadline on a case-by-case basis. The building principal will review available records of a student who has been enrolled into the school. Considering these records, the child’s age and relevant input from parents and staff, the principal will then place the student in the class that, in his/her professional judgment, the student is most likely to succeed academically and socially. Assignment of the student to a class will consider academic capability, learning style, work/study habits, social needs, special education placement, and gender ratios. Final class placements are made after registration each year to ensure that class sizes are as balanced as possible based on students who enroll in August.

With several multi-age classrooms and multiple programs within the school, some students will have a homeroom as well as a learning group. Learning groups are designed by teachers and leaders based on grade level or performance level to ensure that the academic needs of students are met.

Stedman Student and Family  Handbook Agreement Form 2016-2017

I have read and reviewed the contents of the Stedman Student and Family Handbook with my child/children. We understand the policies and philosophy of the school and will abide by them. I understand that my acknowledgement and signature will be kept on file for the duration of the school year.

Parent/Guardian Name: _____________________________ (Please print)

 Parent/Guardian Signature___________________________ Date:______

Child #1_____________________________________         Grade____

Child #2_____________________________________         Grade ____

Child #3_____________________________________         Grade ____

Child #4_____________________________________        Grade ____

Student Cell Phone Permission Form 2015-2016

I give my child permission to carry a cell phone to school for the 2015-2016 year. I understand that my child’s teacher will collect the phone, store it securely and return it daily.

Student________________________________        Parent______________________________

Parent Phone Number____________________        Student Phone Number________________

Make and color of phone_________________________________________________________