Joe Henderson Elementary School

Family Handbook


650 Hastings Dr.

Benicia, CA 94510

School information published in this handbook is subject to such changes that may be needed to insure a continued compliance with federal, state, or local regulations and is subject to such review and alteration as becomes necessary for the routine operation of the school. Not all rules, regulations, and information can be written and inserted in a handbook.  However, we expect students to follow reasonable rules and not violate the rights of others. 

Revised 8/18

Table of Contents

Table of Contents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        1

Benicia Unified School District.  . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .         2

     District Administrative Staff . . . . . . .. . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        2

     Governing Board…………………………………………………………...        2
Principal’s Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..        3

School History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    4

Vision Statement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .           4

Joe Henderson Daily Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . .             5

Joe Henderson Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..         6

Site Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             7

Parent Teacher Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .               7

Curriculum  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          8-9

General Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .           10-22

        An A-Z List to Help You Find Your Way

Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS)...………………….         20


350 East K Street

Benicia, CA  94510

(707) 747-8300


Diane Ferrucci, Trustee                         email: 

Stacy Holguin, Trustee                         email: 

Celeste Monnette, Trustee                         email: 

Peter Morgan, Trustee                                email: 

Gary Wing, President                                email: 

           School Board Meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7:00p.m. at the District Office.


              Superintendent                                                            Dr. Charles Young

              Deputy Supt of Human Resources                             Dr. Khushwinder Gill

          Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services        Dr. Leslie Beatson

              Director of Special Services                                               Dr. Carolyn Patton

              Director of Facilities                                             Mr. Alfredo Romero

          Director of Technology                                Mr. Sebatiano Padoan


650 Hastings Drive

Benicia, CA  94510

Telephone:  (707) 747-8370

Fax:     (707) 747-8379


Attendance Line 707-748-2980


Dear Fabulous Joe Henderson Community,

We’re finally back to school!  Joe Henderson is a school with a rich tradition of academic excellence, exceptional teachers who enthusiastically embrace cutting edge curriculum and teaching strategies, and a dynamic parent community with high standards and a commitment to excellence.  Henderson’s history of high achievement did not materialize by accident; it is a result of your hard work, dedication, and strong partnership. I am proud to be your principal and a member of this outstanding educational community.

I believe in putting kids first, and all decisions will be made with that belief in mind.  My passion for educating children drives my daily actions.  As a parent of a student in a Benicia elementary school, I want my own daughter to experience a world-class education and for her to grow up to be a happy, optimistic and independent adult with the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century. As Principal, I would expect nothing less for your children.  I am proud to support the Joe Henderson Community with my eighteen years of elementary experience and a passion for educational growth and change.

Our school consists of staff, students, parents and community members working together to ensure that EVERY child achieves or exceeds state standards, which will prepare our students for college or career readiness.  To meet this goal, students are provided with a challenging curriculum and enrichments, and exceptional teachers that promote academic and social growth.  We also focus on the development of the whole child through our three school shared values: BE SAFE, BE RESPECTFUL, BE RESPONSIBLE.

Our family handbook has been designed to acquaint you with Joe Henderson Elementary School and to serve as a reference during the school year.  Additionally, you will receive information regularly throughout the year.  Look for important communications to come home with your child, and please check your email frequently for messages from the school.

Should you have questions or concerns of any kind, feel free to call 707-747-8370, or email me directly at  I always respond within 24 hours.


Mrs. Melanie Buck

Mrs. Melanie Buck, Principal

School History

Joe Henderson Elementary School is located at 650 Hastings Drive in an area that is primarily residential, adjacent to Jack London Park,.

The school first opened in January 1987. It is named after Joseph Henderson, a former BUSD teacher, principal and superintendent. It serves approximately 585 students in grades Preschool-5th, but enjoys a community family atmosphere that is usually found on a much smaller campus.

Joe Henderson was the first elementary school in the district to be designated as a California Distinguished School. In 2016, Joe Henderson Elementary was named a California Gold Ribbon School.  Students and staff treasure the adventure of learning and consistently maintain a high level of achievement as their efforts and hard work are rewarded.

Joe Henderson Elementary School


The teachers, staff and parents of Joe Henderson Elementary School believe their primary objective to be the development of well-rounded children with an active interest in learning, intellectual exploration, and social involvement.  The school's intention is to create an environment where each child is encouraged and supported in reaching their highest potential as individuals, while interacting, contributing to, and embracing their community of student peers. The school  prepares children for future challenges in school and in their social environments. It therefore places great emphasis on developing and modeling exemplary habits of study and intellectual discovery, good citizenship and positive character traits supported by our community. As educators, we also recognize the value of both practical application of knowledge, and the necessity of monitoring progress through testing and other evaluative methods to ensure the challenges of academic growth is being met successfully by each individual student. It is through these values and actions that we at Joe Henderson Elementary School intend to shape our community's children into self-confident, self-knowledgeable young people with promising futures in their academic careers, as well as their chosen fields of endeavor outside of school.



8:15 AM                STUDENT DROP-OFF/ YARD SUPERVISION BEGINS                

8:30 AM                PASSING BELL



9:55 - 10:10 AM                TK/K RECESS

10:15 - 10:30 AM        1ST/2ND GR RECESS

10:35 - 10:50 AM        3RD-5TH GR RECESS

LUNCH                             MONDAY through THURSDAY                    FRIDAY

                        11:30 – 12:00  TK & K                        10:30 – 11:00  TK & K

                        12:00 – 12:35  Grade 1                        10:50 – 11:20  Grade 1

                        12:10 – 12:45  Grade 2                        11:00 – 11:30  Grade 2

                        12:20 – 12:55  Grade 3                        11:10 – 11:40  Grade 3

                        12:30 –   1:05  Grade 4                        11:20 – 11:50  Grade 4

                        12:40 –   1:15  Grade 5                        11:30 – 12 :00  Grade 5

1:25 - 1:40 PM        1ST-3RD GR RECESS


12:35 PM        TK & K DISMISSAL (Four-hour day through September 14)*

1:30 PM        MON-THURS TK & KINDERGARTEN DISMISSAL (Starting September 17)*

2:50 PM        PRIMARY DISMISSAL – GRADES 1, 2 & 3




9:30 - 9:40 AM                TK/K RECESS

9:45 - 9:55 AM                RECESS FOR GRADES 1 & 2

9:50 - 10:00 AM                3RD - 5TH GR RECESS

12:35 PM                DISMISSAL FOR GRADES TK through 5*

* Note TK & K Classes will be from 8:30 – 12:35 pm thru September 14, then 1:30 dismissal Monday-Thursday for the remainder of the year.

Joe Henderson Staff 2018 - 2019


Transitional Kindergarten: Mrs. Lisa Schroers

Grade K: Mrs. Julie Malte, Ms. Christy Schlosser,  Ms.Tauni Stephenson

Grade 1: Ms. Heuschel, Ms. Barbara Jones, Ms. Elizabeth Maggart,

Mrs. Julie Rosenthal

Grade 2:  Mrs. Kristi Collins, Mrs. Mandy Esteban, Ms. Ivania Martin,

Mrs. Renata Twamley

Grade 3:  Mrs. Jennifer Cairns, Ms. Kari Diaw, Ms. Julie Klug

Grade 4:  Ms. Julie Harms, Mrs. MaryLou McVeigh, Mr. Eli Stamps

Grade 5: Mrs. Tiffany Anderson, Ms. Kelly Hughes, Mr. Christian Whitty

Reading Specialist: Mrs. Paula DaSilva

Resource Teacher:  Mrs. Jessica Saraceno

Inclusion Teacher:  Mrs. Kyle Henderson

1st-3rd Music Teacher: Mr. Gabriel Guevara

4th-5th Music Teacher: Mr. Paul Hanna

4th-5th P.E. Teacher: Mr. Keith Doran

Speech Pathologist: Ms. Joan Miller


Principal: Mrs. Melanie Buck

Office Manager:  Mrs. Uilani Osborne

Office Specialist:  Ms. Karin Mendiola

Librarian/Media Specialist: Mrs. Christi Taylor

Nurse:  Mrs. Teri Deane

Psychologist: Mrs. Anny Wu

Instructional Aide:  Mrs. Diana Blalock

Special Purpose Aides: Mrs. Emily Adams, Mrs. Jennifer Lusk, Mrs. Melissa Voyvodich, & Mrs. Michelle Wildermuth

Preschool: Phoenix Rothwell, Amber Golden

Child Development Unit Staff: Charisma Bellota, Ruth Hernandez, Gilma Nasar

Lunch Supervisors: Ms. Cerianne Granger, Mrs. Jeanie Baye, Mrs. Ellen Appleby

Food Services:  Mrs. Lisa Lascink, &  Mrs. Renee Swayze

Site Custodians: Mr. Martin Corona & Mr. Kervin Ferreira        

Site Council

        In 1977 California legislators passed Assembly Bill 65 enabling all schools in the state to have a site council.  The council’s Board of Directors consists of parents, staff and teachers. Parent members are elected by the school parent community, and teacher and staff members are selected by the school staff.  Elections are held annually.  Board members serve staggered two-year terms. After service on this board, directors are required to be off the council for at least one year before returning to a council seat. The council meets once per trimester: council members establish the time and dates.  Meetings are open to all parents of Joe Henderson students.

The responsibilities of Site Council members are to:

  1. Assess the school’s capacity to successfully meet the educational needs of its students.
  2. Develop and recommend the Single Plan for Student Achievement
  3. Review implementation of the plan
  4. Evaluate and modify the plan
  5. Discuss the annual budget

   Parent Teacher Group

        The Parent Teacher Group (PTG) is a group that serves to raise funds and promote a sense of community at Joe Henderson School.  This organization helps to secure the needed funds to augment the budget and to provide the monetary resources that make Joe Henderson a wonderful place to learn. The PTG sponsors an auction that raises funds for school equipment, events and activities throughout the year.  The funds from these events are used to sponsor school-wide assemblies, our Art Docent program and classroom field trips, among others. The PTG also coordinates social events. In the past, we have had Fall and Winter Socials, family nights, and multi-cultural events that foster a sense of community.

        The executive board is readily available to hear any of your questions, comments and suggestions.  The groups meet throughout the school year and the School newsnote informs you of upcoming meetings.  All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.


The Vision of the Joe Henderson PTG is to promote a community where our parents are involved, where our teachers are empowered to deliver the richest education possible, and where our children are excited to learn.


The objectives of the Joe Henderson PTG are to assist the students, staff and teachers at Joe Henderson Elementary School, a public school in Benicia, California, in the following ways:

A. To promote the welfare of the students by encouraging quality education.

B. To increase participation of parents in school organizations and activities that improves student attitudes toward self, classroom, home and community.

C. To improve school spirit through better understanding and communication among teachers, parents and students.

D. To increase parental awareness of school policies and programs that encourage positive behavior.


Language Arts:

Our district has adopted the Reading and Writing Workshop curriculum.This curriculum takes a balanced literacy approach to reading and writing.

In grades K – 1, Guided Reading provides for systematic and explicit instruction in the five strands of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Diagnostic resources inform instruction and aid in planning. Words Their Way is used as a word study program, where students engage in word sorts and the study of word patterns, families, and spelling.

In grades 2 – 5, Reading Workshop is implemented. Students are provided with “just right” books at their reading level, where they can practice the strategies taught by teachers through mini lessons.  Students in these grades will also use a word study program called Benchmark.  Through use of this program, students will improve their vocabulary, and their ability to determine the meaning of new words

All students at Joe Henderson Elementary participate in Writing Workshop. Using the Writing Pathways Units by Lucy Calkins, students will learn to write in different styles across the curriculum.         


Everyday Math is a comprehensive Pre-K through grade 5 mathematics program engineered for the Common Core State Standards. It was adopted by the BUSD Board in June 2015.

The program was developed by The University of Chicago, School Mathematics Project. Everyday Mathematics spirals curriculum continually, reinforces abstract math concepts through concrete real-world applications.  

Students also gain real-world problem solving through the use of the Exemplars problems.  Exemplars are authentic tasks which include differentiated versions and provide teachers with a way of assessing students’ problem-solving and communications skills.  Real-world material engages students and helps them develop critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Scott Foresman’s California Science is our basic program that asks students to participate in comprehensive investigations linked together in a logical sequence to build depth of understanding science concepts. Activities are paced and linked to interactive technology components reinforcing content and science vocabulary.

History Social Science:

Harcourt Brace Reflections provides the basis for learning about history social science concepts as outlined in the California and BUSD Content Standards. Meaningful units of study are provided at each grade level to assist all students in gaining knowledge, expanding their understanding of different cultures and developing democratic principles and civic values.  In grades K-3, students actively explore their world and differences among people through the study of family and local community. Students in grades 4-5 study the geography and history of California and the United States.


In conjunction with our Parent-Teacher Group, students participate in regular docent-led lessons that include context and elements of art. Lessons include culturally diverse experiences developed for each grade level.

Physical Education:

Physical Education programs are based on the premise that the quality and productivity of each individual’s life can be enhanced through participation in a comprehensive, sequential physical education system that promotes physical, mental, emotional, and social well being. The philosophy of physical education is Everyone Can. Every child and youth can develop appropriate skills, feel good about his or her body, and relate to others in positive ways.

Exploratory Wheel (Grades 3rd – 5th):

Each classroom engages in an enrichment opportunity in literacy, technology, engineering, visual arts or performing arts. Each class last for six weeks. Then the classes rotate and will do another six week class.  Feedback from our Site Council Survey and LCAP Parent Meetings (LCAP is the Local Control Accountability Plan

that is the strategic plan submitted to the state of CA by the district that backs up our funding) indicated that creating extension opportunities was important to our Joe Henderson community. Through the support of BUSD, we have been able to work closely with our community to create this enrichment wheel and thank the Benicia Education Foundation for fully funding this program for all elementary schools each year.

General Information


Our News and school information are posted on our school webpage Announcements are also posted on our Facebook page (search: @HendersonHounds).  Additionally, we use the information updated in PowerSchool each year to send emails and texts to families with important information.



Please schedule medical and dental appointments late in the day, if possible. If you must have your child dismissed from school during the day, send a note to the child’s teacher indicating the time and reason. Students must be signed out in the office before leaving and will be called out of class when you arrive to pick them up. They will only be released to their parents or someone authorized by their parents. Please check in at the office on your return.  Doctor and dentist notes can be obtained as verification of your child’s absence.

Arrival/Dismissal Time and Supervision:

Instruction begins at 8:35 A.M., so students need to be dropped off by 8:30 to ensure they are in class, ready to learn at 8:35 when the tardy bell rings. Children are not allowed on campus prior to 8:15, when staff supervision begins.  Daily Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten hours Monday through Friday are 8:35 A.M. to 12:35 P.M. Beginning September 17, 2018, hours for Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten are 8:35-1:30 Monday through Thursday. Dismissal time on Fridays for all students is 12:35. Monday through Thursday dismissal time is 2:50 P.M. for grades 1-3 and 3:00 P.M. for grades 4-5. Please make arrangements for your child to be picked up promptly at dismissal times. Children are to wait in the front of the school. If your child is waiting for a sibling, they meet at the flagpole.  If your child is waiting for a ride, they wait on pick-up #s1-3 at the roundabout.  Children walking need to walk home immediately.


We want all students to be successful at school. Common sense and research tell us that the most successful students are those with good attendance who are able to concentrate at school. Consistent school attendance is essential for your child’s success in school. Attendance problems hinder your child’s progress and teach them that school is not important. It is difficult for student and teachers to make up for days absent. Please don’t use a day away from school as a birthday gift, a treat, or a reward. Vacations need to be scheduled during vacation times. Please do your best to schedule medical and dental appointments for later in the day or at times when your child can go to the appointment and return to school.  

There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused.  No A.D.A. funding is received for a student absence regardless of the reason. The law defines an excused absence as illness, medical appointments, or bereavement leave for an immediate family member.  All other absences are unexcused.  Any absence must be reported to our office 748-2980 every day with a reason. A written note is also acceptable. Any student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 3 days, or tardy in excess of 30 minutes for 3 days in one school year is truant (CA Ed. Code 48260).

Arriving to school and being in class on time is important. Tardies are disruptive to classroom instruction and require that your child check in the office for a tardy slip explaining the reason for lateness.  Tardies cannot be excused for personal reasons (missed bus, parents late, oversleeping). Tardies are tallied for every attendance reporting period.  BUSD requires parent notification for excessive tardiness and tardies are reported on the student report cards.

Bicycle Traffic:  

Fourth and fifth graders may ride their bicycles to school.  Permission slips signed by parents, the classroom teacher, and the principal are required before students may ride bicycles to school.

Campus Traffic Patterns and Use:

  1. All lots on Joe Henderson campus are staff parking only.  All public parking is along the street. The circular driveway is for drop off and pick up only. Only pick up or drop off where the curb is yellow.  No parking or leaving cars unattended.  
  2. Use only the crosswalks when crossing the street. Please follow instructions of the crossing guards.  Be courteous and respectful to our crossing guards.
  3. Safety patrol is on-duty assisting student crossing before and after school ends. Please be watchful of their presence and follow their signals to stop and go and be courteous and respectful of them.

Cell Phones: 

Many parents want their child to have a cell phone at school in case of an emergency situation. Students can have cell phones at school but cell phones must be turned OFF, must be stored in their backpack, and can only be used off-campus, not in front of campus after school. Cell phones that ring during class instruction are disruptive to learning and teachers have the right to confiscate the cell phone. Parents are contacted to retrieve the cell phone from the office.  To protect and value instructional time, parents are asked to set their phones to off or vibrate while on campus to minimize disruption.

Change of Information:

Whenever you move, change telephone numbers, or change your emergency information, you must report these changes to the office immediately. It is important that we keep your information current for emergency situations.

Child Abuse:

As mandated reporters, school district personnel are required by law to report any suspected cases of physical or mental child abuse or child neglect to the appropriate agencies.

Classroom Deliveries:

Joe Henderson needs your assistance in limiting the number of deliveries to classrooms. Every day we have requests to deliver messages, lunches, lunch money, and homework to students. These deliveries cause classroom interruptions and take away valuable teaching time. We understand that emergencies arise and we accommodate for these situations. We ask that parents be well planned in providing lunch money, lunch, jackets, for their child before class starts. Your child should have a system for returning homework in folders and backpacks. Late lunches can be left with the office staff and they will be delivered to the stage in the cafeteria for students to retrieve upon arrival to the lunch room. Other items that you feel must be delivered can be dropped off at the office and we will put in teacher’s boxes. Balloons, flowers, and other gifts are not for school hours. If your child is celebrating a birthday, and you would like to send in birthday treats, please contact the teacher directly via voice mail or email.  


Parent-teacher conferences are generally scheduled in November for all students.  In March, conferences are conducted for specific students with progress concerns. These conferences are an opportunity for the parents and teachers to fully discuss the educational program for the student. Parents or teachers may request other conferences as necessary throughout the year. Report cards are provided to parents at the end of each trimester/conference period.

Cyber Bullying:

Definition: Cyber Bullying is the use of electronic information and communication devices to willfully and repeatedly harm either a person or persons through the medium of electronic test, photos, or videos. Examples of this behavior include but are not limited to:

Bullying of this nature creates a hostile, disruptive environment on the school campus and is a violation of a student’s right to be safe and secure. Cyber Bullying and Harassment will not be tolerated. Actions deliberately threatening, harassing, intimidating and individual or group of individuals, placing an individual in reasonable fear of harm, or damaging the individual’s property; or disrupting the orderly operation of the school, will not be tolerated. The online activities and technologies often used by students engaged in Cyber Bullying include but are not limited to social networking sites, chat rooms and discussion groups, instant messaging, text messaging, computers, cell phones and personal digital devices, digital cameras, cell phone cameras, and web cameras. As new technologies emerge, they too may be included with the above forms of electronic communication.

BUSD Board Policy – Bullying BP 5131.2:


The Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm.  District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.

No student or group of students shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any other student or school personnel.

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5136 - Gangs)

(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

(cf. 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment)

(cf. 5145.9 - Hate-Motivated Behavior)

Cyberbullying includes the transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media, or other technologies using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device.  Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person's electronic account and assuming that person's identity in order to damage that person's reputation.

(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)

Strategies for bullying prevention and intervention shall be developed with involvement of key stakeholders in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation governing the development of comprehensive safety plans and shall be incorporated into such plans.

(cf. 0420 - School Plans/Site Councils)

(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Plan)

(cf. 1220 - Citizen Advisory Committees)

(cf. 1400 - Relations Between Other Governmental Agencies and the Schools)

(cf. 6020 - Parent Involvement)

Bullying Prevention

To the extent possible, district and school strategies shall focus on prevention of bullying by establishing clear rules for student conduct and strategies to establish a positive, collaborative school climate. Students shall be informed, through student handbooks and other appropriate means, of district and school rules related to bullying, mechanisms available for reporting incidents or threats, and the consequences for perpetrators of bullying.

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)

The district may provide students with instruction, in the classroom or other educational settings, that promotes effective communication and conflict resolution skills, social skills, character/values education, respect for cultural and individual differences, self-esteem development, assertiveness skills, and appropriate online behavior.

(cf. 6163.4 - Student Use of Technology)

(cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education)

(cf. 6142.94 - History-Social Science Instruction)

School staff shall receive related professional development, including information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors and effective prevention and intervention strategies.

(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)

Based on an assessment of bullying incidents at school, the Superintendent or designee may increase supervision and security in areas where bullying most often occurs, such as classrooms, playgrounds, hallways, restrooms, cafeterias.


Students are encouraged to notify school staff when they are being bullied or suspect that another student is being victimized.  In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall develop means for students to report threats or incidents confidentially and anonymously.

School staff who witness bullying shall immediately intervene to stop the incident when it is safe to do so.  (Education Code 234.1)

As appropriate, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the parents/guardians of victims and perpetrators.  He/she also may involve school counselors, mental health counselors, and/or law enforcement.

Complaints and Investigation

Students may submit to a teacher or administrator a verbal or written complaint of conduct they consider to be bullying.  Complaints of bullying shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with site-level grievance procedures specified in AR 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment.

When a student is reported to be engaging in bullying off campus, the Superintendent or designee shall investigate and document the activity and shall identify specific facts or

circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance.

When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals with information about the activity shall be encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages sent to them that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated.

If the student is using a social networking site or service that has terms of use that prohibit posting of harmful material, the Superintendent or designee also may file a complaint with the Internet site or service to have the material removed.


Any student who engages in bullying on school premises, or off campus in a manner that causes or is likely to cause a substantial disruption of a school activity or school attendance, shall be subject to discipline, which may include suspension or expulsion, in accordance with district policies and regulations.

Action steps to respond to Cyber Bullying or Harassment:

Disaster Plan:

In the event of a major earthquake or other disaster, the school has an emergency plan to protect the safety and well-being of all of the children. The children and staff practice for this on a regular basis throughout the school year. In the event of a disaster, it is important that you as parents/guardians do not endanger your lives to get to school. The school will keep the children safe and cared for until such time that the parent or a designee can get here. In order to take a child from school, the parent or designee will need to sign the child out at the checkout table located at the school or the school’s rally point.

All parents will fill out an emergency contact form online at the start of school indicating contacts and designated adults to whom children can be released. Anyone who violates our procedures during a disaster will be in violation of state and federal law and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

In the event of an emergency, cars should not be parked in the front school pick up loop, fire zones, or child care building. These areas are reserved for emergency vehicles only.

Dress Code:

Students are to wear clothing appropriate to the elementary school setting that allows them to participate in classroom and playground activities. Students may not wear short shorts, short skirts, half shirts that do not cover the stomach, or tank tops with spaghetti straps. Students are not to wear flip flops or sandals without backs, or any other types of shoes that do not provide substantial foot protection for playground and physical education activities. Hats are to be worn outside only (facing forward) if needed for protection from the sun.

Field Trips:

All field trips at Joe Henderson Elementary are voluntary. No child is required to participate in an off campus field trip. If the parent does not sign the consent form for the field trip, the child will be assigned to another class for the period of the trip. Keeping your child home will result in an unexcused absence. All children attending a field trip must leave and return with their class. Please note the following guidelines about field trips:

Forbidden Items at Joe Henderson Elementary School

 Students are not to have in their possession any of the items listed below:

Every year, there are students who unknowingly bring small pocket knives to school, often left over from a weekend hike or activity outside of school. Even though the intent is harmless, this may be a suspendable /expellable offense. Please make sure that your child NEVER brings a knife to school.

Health Instruction/ Family Life Education:

A student may be excused from any part of health instruction. Written consent is not required, but written objection will be honored for your child. Family Life Education is offered to all 5th grade students with instruction on body changes, reproductive organs, and their functions. Students may be excused from this course. All students participating must have a signed permission slip to take part in the Family Life instruction.

Health Services:  

Your physical, emotional, mental health and safety are important to us at Joe Henderson Elementary. To ensure healthy students, nursing services are available through our office staff and our district nurse. Children who are ill or injured are referred to the office for health services.


If your child becomes ill or is injured at school, school staff may need to contact you. If you cannot be reached, another adult authorized by you on the child’s emergency card will be notified. It is vital that the information on your emergency card is accurate and up to date. Please update your PowerSchool Parent account immediately if you have any changes to the information on your child’s emergency card. Please be aware that the children will ONLY be released to the people listed on the emergency card. If emergency medical attention is needed, the school will call emergency personnel.

Homework Requests:

If your child is absent from school due to illness, you can make a homework request through your child’s teacher or through the office as you call in your child’s absence. Homework will be available at the end of the school day in the office. Please allow enough notice for teachers to prepare assignments.

Independent Study:  

The Independent Study Contract has been formulated to provide the student and teacher with specific educational guidelines when a child is away from school due to extended illness, and/or other extenuating circumstances for 5 consecutive school days or longer only. The contract will be utilized to provide somewhat of an ongoing instructional program. By developing this individual contract, the student is able to keep pace academically with his/her class while at the same time the school is able to count this time as instructional time for attendance purposes. The child’s classroom teacher will determine appropriate assignments and will confer with you and your child. You can help by setting aside some time each day so that work can be accomplished in a calm and suitable environment. We hope this contract helps both you and your child.

Lost and Found: 

Any items that are found are turned into the office.  There is a lost and found bin located in the main office for coats other items.  The school assumes no responsibility for loss of school or personal property. We make every attempt to return items to their rightful owners if the child’s name is clearly marked on items.  All unclaimed items are donated to charity.



Your child may bring a sack lunch or you can purchase a BUSD lunch by paying with a check or cash in person at the office. School lunches can be purchased for $3.00 per day, unless your child qualifies for a free or reduced-price lunch.  Students can pay in cash while going through the lunch line. Payment by debit/credit is also available for a nominal fee at  Courtesy notices are not provided when your child’s account is low. Parents must set up an account with NutriKids and monitor their child’s lunch money balances.  The cafeteria does not loan money for lunches.  


Students may not have medications (including over the counter medications) in their possession at any time. State law prohibits school personnel from dispensing prescription medication without a doctor’s authorization that must be renewed yearly. If a student must take medication during school hours, a signed consent must be on file in the office. Medications must be in its original container and must be stored in the office with written orders from the doctor stating the amount and time of medication.


The cafeteria at your child’s school is using an automated cash register system. When students enroll in any of our district’s schools, they will be assigned a personal Keypad Number. It is important that each student memorize his/her Keypad Number as this number will be used daily in the cafeteria. Keypad Numbers are confidential; therefore the number should not be given to any other student. This number will remain with your student from year to year until they leave the school. If your child transfers to a new school within our district, a new Keypad Number will be issued at that school.

How the system works:

During lunchtime all students purchasing a lunch will “enter” their confidential Keypad Number on a keypad. The current money balance in the student’s meal account will be shown on the computer screen at the Point of Sale. The cashier will then handle each student’s transaction appropriately based on his or her balance.

All students, eligible for subsidized meals or not, are assigned a number to participate in the lunch program. This protects the anonymity of those students receiving Free or Reduced Meals.

Parents can always request a detailed report on their child’s account and meal transactions, at any time. Requests should be made to the Cafeteria Manager at your child’s school.

I would like to emphasize that the students are expected to pay for the meals daily or pay in advance for all the food purchases. Student meal accounts need to have money in it to be able to charge the meals. We understand that at times the students lose their money or forget the money so we allow them to charge for a day or two, but those meals need to be paid as soon as possible.

The balance of a student’s lunch account, whether it is in the positive or negative at the end of the year, will roll over to the next school year. For those students who transfer from one school to another school within the district, their lunch account balance (negative or positive) will be transferred to the new school, and will be available within a few days.

Students leaving the district can either transfer their account balance to a siblings account within the Benicia Unified School District or request a refund. Refunds can be requested up to the end of the following school year.

Price of the meals:

Elementary School – Breakfast $2.00 - Lunch $3.00

Middle and High School – Breakfast $2.00 - Lunch $3.50

Ala Carte – Milk $0.50

How to make deposits into your child’s account:

Prepayments are encouraged….Cash, checks or money orders will be accepted; please make check payable to BUSD Cafeteria. Prepayments may either be turned into your school secretary (at the elementary schools) or directly to the Cafeteria Leads at each site. Students paying cash for their lunch will pay at the point of sale while entering his/her Keypad Number.

Click MySchoolBucks to make payments online -

How to apply for Free/Reduced Price Meals

Click the button below to apply online!

Applications are also available at the Food & Nutrition Services Website, at the District Office and at each school site main office and cafeteria. Eligible students may receive meals free or at a reduced price of $0.40 for lunch and $0.30 for breakfast. Return completed and signed applications to your school site or District Office as soon as possible. Application can take up to 10 days to process and cannot be approved and may be returned if it contains incomplete eligibility information. A new application must be filled out each school year.

Borrowed Lunch Procedures:

The students are expected to pay for the meals daily or pay in advance for all the food purchases. Student meal accounts need to have money in it to be able to charge the meals. We understand that at times the students lose their money or forget the money so we allowed them to charge for a day or two, but those meals need to be paid as soon as possible. Please make sure to send your child with a lunch until is taken care.

Please read the following guidelines regarding borrowed lunches:

The cafeteria Lead will call or email the parent/guardian, to advise when a lunch has been borrowed.

Classroom Party and Celebrations:

Food served during celebrations (such birthdays or holidays) must meet the new Wellness Policy with the USDA Nutrition Guidelines.

We encourage parents to do Non-foods celebrations in consideration of other students that may be diabetic or have food items allergies such: milk, eggs, fish (e.g., bass, flounder, and cod), crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, and shrimp), tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, and pecans), peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

Before you plan any celebration you should check with your child’s School Office to follow that school’s protocol. And if you still want to celebrate with food items our department has several items available to make sure the District meets with all the regulations and guidelines such as: Birthday cupcakes, holiday cookies, frozen yogurt, ice pops, ice cream, pizza parties or any other specialty dish that you may have mind for a particular celebration.

Please contact us and let us know how we can make that event a special celebration.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

Food & Nutrition Services Department

Phone: (707) 748-2758

Fax: (707)748-2603


Parent Concerns: 

In the event that you have questions or concerns about your child, a program, or classroom expectations, please contact the teacher first. If, after working with the teacher, you feel that your concerns are not handled in a satisfactory manner, please contact the principal. If, following a meeting with the principal, you feel your concerns have not been addressed; you can schedule a meeting with the teacher and principal. If, following that meeting, your concerns are not resolved, please contact the BUSD Superintendent’s office to schedule a meeting.

Parent Rights & Responsibilities:

Parents have the right to expect that the attention will be given to the individual academic, social, physical, and emotional needs of the student in an atmosphere which treats children with dignity, fairness, and consistency. Parents share responsibilities to support the school in its efforts to provide an exemplary program for students. Parents have the responsibility to:

  1. Send students to school in a positive frame of mind
  2. See that students have the proper diet and rest
  3. Assist students to insure that all books, assignments, and lunch/lunch money are brought to school each day
  4. Provide a quiet time and place for study
  5. Show an interest in the student’s day
  6. Communicate with the teacher for progress reports and about any concerns or questions
  7. Keep all conference appointments or notify the teacher/administration to the contrary
  8. Work with the school. Your student’s education is a shared responsibility

The Benicia Unified School District requires parents to sign acknowledgement of additional Parent Rights and Responsibilities. Please visit the link below to view:

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Help others learn. Students come to school to learn. If others are kept from learning by distraction, etc. they are being deprived of something that is important and something that is their right. All classroom rules must be strictly obeyed.
  2. Be respectful. Students are to be respectful to other students at all times
  3. Be safe. Students should follow all safety rules. In addition, they should as themselves, “Is this safe?” before doing something. If the answer is “no” or “maybe not,” they should not do it.
  4. Students must be in line by the designated time.
  5. School officials must be obeyed at all times. School officials include the principal, teachers, office staff, yard supervisors, lunch staff, custodians, and any specialists. Students must do as directed by these people at all times without an argument. If the student disagrees with a decision, he or she may discuss it with the individual at the appropriate time. Violation of this rule is known as defiance and is a serious offense. The Education Code allows suspension from school for this offense.
  6. School property is to be respected. All students will respect the school property, as it belongs to all of us. Any destruction of school property will result in the parents of the guilty student paying for the damages in addition to appropriate consequences for the child.
  7. Students will act appropriately at assemblies and when on field trips. During these activities it is often difficult to behave your very best; however, this is usually when your best behavior is requested and expected the most. This includes evening activities.
  8. Behavior going to and from school will be excellent. The school rules apply on the way to school and on the way home from school.
  9. The dress code must be adhered to. The dress code must be obeyed at all times. The primary responsibility for this lies with the parents.
  10. Students will respect all adults working on campus. Matthew Turner is fortunate to have a large number of parents who volunteer their time on a regular basis to help in classrooms and at the school in general. Students will show these adults the proper respect that they should show all adults. Parent volunteers will not be responsible for disciplining children. The teacher and other supervisors will handle all discipline.

Student Rights:

A right is something which belongs to you inherently and cannot be taken away from you by anyone. Students do not leave their rights outside the school. ON the contrary, students have rights under the Constitution that must be protected while they are in school. Students or parents may appeal according to Board Grievance Procedures. In turn, students must remember that others have these rights as well, including classmates and teachers. Students have the following rights:

  1. The right to be safe at school. This means that no one should intimidate or make students afraid to be at school. Matthew Turner shall be a safe and comfortable place for everyone.
  2. The right to be respected and treated with kindness at school. This means that no one should make fun of students or hurt a student’s feelings intentionally. No one may embarrass anyone else.
  3. The right to be heard. This means that all students will have the opportunity to tell their sides of the story before receiving consequences for breaking a rule.
  4. If a student feels that one or more of his/her rights have been violated, their teacher, a campus supervisor, or the principal should be told immediately.

Physical Examination:

California State legislation requires a health checkup of all students before entering first grade (AB2068). As a parent, you may file annually with the district nurse, a statement in writing, stating that you do not consent to a physical examination for your child.  However, when there is a reason to believe that a student may be suffering from a contagious or infectious disease, he/she shall be sent home and shall not be permitted to return until the school authorities are satisfied that a contagious or infectious disease does not exist. (Ed code 49451).

Promotion and Retention K-5: 

BUSD’s promotion/ retention policy is required by State legislation, Assembly Bill 1626, which establishes criteria for promotion from one grade level to the next. It also provides criteria for identifying a student who may be “at risk for retention”. This policy is presently in effect under BP 5123.

Students who are struggling with reading, language arts or mathematics skills will need additional help at school and at home. The district will provide interventions to provide extra assistance to students who are struggling. The promotion/ retention process will include the teacher, parents, and school principal.

Rainy Days: 

When it is raining in the morning, students should not arrive before 8:15 AM. Students must go to the multipurpose for supervision and line up according to the signs posted.

Safety Plan:

Joe Henderson has a comprehensive crisis plan that is updated yearly by

staff and School Site Council.  The plan is in the office and available for your review.

School Property:

Students are responsible for all books and materials that are issued to them for their use during the school year. Parents are charged for books or materials that are lost, damaged, or destroyed. As with any instructional material, school property, or any personal property, California Education Code (38904 (a) and (b) holds parents responsible for damages.

School Spirit: 

Our school’s mascot is the Hound and our school colors are Orange and Black. We have school-wide spirit days every Friday, where students are encouraged to wear our school colors, or Joe Henderson spirit wear featuring our mascot.  If you don’t own spirit wear, you can pick up an order form in the office or shop online at our Online Spirit Store which can be accessed from the Joe Henderson website.

Student Council:

The Joe Henderson Student Council is an after school group that is made up of student representatives from each class in grades 3-5. There are 2 councils chosen per year. One in the Fall, and another in the Spring. As members of the Student Council, students learn about setting an agenda, brainstorming ideas, problem-solving and voting, advertising, citizenship skills and teamwork. All of these important skills help representatives to become well-rounded school leaders.

Student Council is responsible for a variety of school events including planning Spirit Days (One per month), selling Valentine grams, sponsoring a holiday toy drive, and honoring our staff during Staff Appreciation Week.

Student Council is a great opportunity to become more involved in school. If your child is interested in becoming a representative, have them talk to their teacher.

Student Records:

Cumulative records are kept for each student. Parents have the right to inspect, review, and challenge the contents of these records. To see your student’s records, please contact the school office.

Vision and Hearing Screening:

California State legislation requires that vision and hearing screening be conducted on students in specifically designated grades. Students may be excused from these screening procedures if they are in conflict with parent’s beliefs. Written consent in not required, but written objection will be honored for your child (Ed Code 49452 and 49452.5).

Visitors and Volunteers:

Joe Henderson Elementary welcomes and encourages parent involvement in the educational and extracurricular activities at our school. In order to volunteer, a parent must register in person with the office and provide documentation (CA driver’s license or CA I.D.) Volunteers are cleared through the Benicia Unified School District.  In addition, parents must show proof of current TB Test (valid for three years).  We provide our volunteers with a volunteer tag that must be worn while on campus. If parents volunteer to drive students on field trips (even your own child), they must have previously been cleared, and provide proof of auto insurance.   Field trip drivers and overnight field trip chaperones must be fingerprinted with BUSD as the reporting agency. Fingerprints are good for the duration of your tenure in BUSD.  All parents and visitors must sign in at the office before going to the classrooms.  We ask that volunteers turn their cell phones off and not bring siblings to classrooms to minimize disruptions to instruction.  (A volunteer handbook is currently being edited and finalized by district staff.  Stay tuned…)

The deadline to be cleared as a volunteer is always the final school day before Winter Break.



What is Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports?

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an approach to supporting students to be successful in schools.  PBIS was developed from research in the fields of behavior theory and effective instruction.  PBIS supports all students through intervention ranging from a school-wide system to a system for developing individualized plans for specific students. School-wide PBIS focuses on the development and implementation of pro-active procedures and practices to prevent problem behavior for all students and improve school climate.

Who is on the School-wide PBIS Team?

Our PBIS team is representative of the entire school staff across grade levels, classified staff, Special Education staff, and parents.                                                                  

What are the responsibilities of the School-wide PBIS team?

Our 3 School-Wide Rules

  1. Be Safe                2) Be Responsible                3) Be Respectful

Why did we select these School-wide Rules?

Having a few simple, positively stated rules facilitates the teaching of behavioral expectations across school settings.  By focusing on 3 simple rules, it is easier for students to remember and will also promote consistency across staff through the use of a common language.

 By stating rules positively, the hope is that staff will be more likely to use the rules to catch students engaging in the appropriate behavior.

We can then teach all specific behavioral expectations across all school setting according to these simple rules, for example:

Joe Henderson Behavior Matrix

Be Safe

Be Respectful

Be Responsible


  • Use materials appropriately
  • Stay in your personal space
  • Raise your hand
  • Use kind words and actions
  • Inside voice
  • Focus on speaker
  • Take care of all learning materials
  • Follow directions
  • Always do your best work
  • Clean up after yourself


  • Walk to the right
  • Lunch boxes at your side
  • Hands and feet to yourself
  • Work quietly at hall tables
  • Use an inside voice
  • Quiet zone for everyone
  • Stay with your group
  • Hands to self
  • Complete expected work


  • Wash hands
  • Turn water off
  • Keep main door open
  • Walk
  • Keep lights on
  • Respect others’ privacy
  • Keep things clean
  • Be quiet
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Report problems
  • Flush
  • Return to class quietly
  • Go at recess


  • Always walk
  • Eat only your food
  • Sit
  • Enter quietly
  • Inside voice
  • Raise your hand
  • Listen for directions
  • Keep your space clean
  • Follow adult directions
  • Focus on eating

School Grounds

  • Quiet voices
  • Walk quietly
  • Stay in boundaries
  • Listen to all adults
  • Follow school rules
  • Be on time
  • Stand in lines for pick-up
  • Take care of belongings
  • Bring supplies


  • Stay within the boundary line
  • Use equipment correctly
  • Keep bark on ground
  • No play fighting
  • Include everyone
  • Use kind words
  • Hands and feet to yourself
  • Be quiet around classrooms
  • Take care of equipment
  • Always walk
  • Take care of all needs
  • Bounce balls on blacktop only
  • Ask yard duty for help

Serious Offenses and the California Education Code:

There is an automatic office referral for destructive, hurtful, aggressive behaviors of a serious nature as defined by the California Education Code. The California Education Code provides for suspension for the following *offenses:

        Disruption of school                                Defiance of school adults

        Physical injury to another person                Tobacco on school grounds

        Possessing a controlled substance                Profanity / habitual name calling

        Sale of controlled substance                        Drug paraphernalia

        Robbery, extortion or theft                        Receiving stolen property

        Damage to school property/vandalism       Imitation firearm possession

        Creating a hostile education environment  Possession of a weapon

            Sexual harassment                                     Hands-on offenses**

** Hands-on offenses can be pushing, tripping, hitting, grabbing or any kind of physical contact. If there is a fight, both students will be suspended, unless one of them was clearly the offender and the other student attempted to avoid confrontation.

* These offenses will be dealt with a variety of actions depending on the severity of incident, age of child, and actions taken prior to the referral. At the principal’s discretion, a student may be suspended from school. A teacher has the right to suspend a student from his/her classroom for a day, followed by a parent conference

Student/Parent Sign-off

Joe Henderson Elementary School

Family Handbook


All students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) sign and return this sheet.  Thank you for signing and having your child return to their teacher on or before September 28th, 2018.

I have received and will review a copy of the Family Handbook for school year 2018-19.  If I have any questions regarding any of the information in the handbook, I will ask my child’s teacher or contact the Joe Henderson Elementary school office.

_____________________________________________________________Grade                        Print Student Name                Student Signature


_____________________________________________________________Grade                        Print Parent Name                        Parent Signature