Parent Information Booklet
2018 - 2019
Dear Parents and Families:
Welcome to Madison Elementary. We are excited you will be learning with us this year. At Madison Elementary School, we are committed to the goal of academic excellence. Such academic excellence can happen only with home and school working together. This Parent Information Booklet is designed to provide information about your child’s school that you should find helpful throughout the school year. In addition to this Parent Information Booklet, I encourage you and your child to review the USD #231 Student Handbook and Calendar, which can be found at www.usd231.com/MDE.
This Parent Information Booklet is the first step in building home-school communication; along with how you can be involved and supportive of school efforts. Throughout the year you can expect to receive communication from the school through the Bear Facts (weekly newsletter sent via email), phone calls, facebook, twitter, and the nightly home-school folder. Parents are encouraged to communicate with staff through conferences, email, and phone calls. If I can assist you with any questions or concerns, please let me know. With the support of parents and community, the staff and students of Madison Elementary School will continue creating a school where a climate of learning is paramount. I expect to create a school climate where the love of learning enables every child at Madison Elementary to experience personal success and develop into a lifelong learner.
Wishing you and your child the best for the 2018-19 school year.
Dr. Matt Wachel
As Easy As
A, B, C.
A is for. . .
Attendance – Regular attendance is an important part of student achievement. Attending on a regular basis and being on time are the shared responsibilities of the student, parent, and school personnel. Students should be in their classroom, ready to begin the day by 8:25 a.m. School is dismissed at 3:25 p.m. Students who miss more than 4 hours of school may not participate in school activities that day. Under Kansas Statute (72-1113) students that are inexcusably absent, three consecutive days or five or more days in any semester must be reported to the District Attorney.
B is for. . .
Before/After School Procedures – Busses will be loading and unloading on the east side of the building. Please use extreme caution in this area and give busses the right of way. When dropping children off in the morning we ask you to use only the front circle drive (located on the west side of the building). Please pull all the way forward to avoid traffic backing up on Madison Street. DO NOT PARK IN THE FRONT CIRCLE DRIVE FROM 7:30 - 8:30 AM or 3:00 - 4:00 PM. Staff members will assist students in and out of their cars. If you need to enter the building or wish to walk your child into the school between 7:45 and 8:25 please park in the West parking lot and walk them in through the front doors.
Gardner Police will have a crosswalk guard on duty at the corner of Madison and Waverly - all students walking to and from school need to cross at that intersection.
At dismissal, BUS RIDERS will be escorted to the gym then on to their bus by a staff member. WALKERS/BIKE RIDERS will exit out the front doors by the office (bike racks are located on the southwest corner of the building by the gym.) Students being picked up by cars in the front circle drive (CAR RIDERS) will be escorted to the Primary Pod area and supervised by staff. Teachers will be in the front circle drive and will radio inside to let staff members know a child may exit to their car using the doors on the northwest side of the building. After consulting with the Gardner Police Department, we will NO LONGER offer Park & Pick Up as an option due to safety concerns. Please let your child's teacher know if your child will be a bus rider, walker, car rider, or attend JCPRD. If you need to change how your child is to be dismissed, please contact the office prior to 3:00 PM so a CHANGE IN TRANSPORTATION FORM can be completed.
Birthdays – Students having birthdays (or ½ birthdays for those with summer birthdays) will be recognized at Madison Elementary School by having their names announced on the RLTV broadcast. Parents are welcome to bring birthday treats but should contact the classroom teacher to determine the best time and to become aware of any specific classroom food allergies. Party invitations are not to be distributed during school.
Breakfast – Breakfast is served daily from 8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. The cost of breakfast is $1.55. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunches also qualify for free or reduced breakfast.
Book Fair – Two times a year Madison hosts a Book Fair. Books may be purchased during the school day by students or parents. In addition, the Book Fair will be open one evening. All funds raised by the Book Fair are used to purchase additional books for the school’s media center.
Before School Procedures – Students may not enter the school prior to 7:45 a.m. Students in grades 1-4 arriving before 8:15 a.m. should go to their pod area. Kindergarten Students arriving before 8:15 a.m. should go to the gym. Children are expected to read a book or sit quietly prior to their teacher picking them up. Students arriving after 8:25 a.m. must check in at the office and will be marked tardy.
Bicycles, Skateboards, Roller Blades and Scooters – Please use parental discretion about letting your child ride his or her bicycle to school, please consider your child’s maturity and judgment along with their physical skills. If your child will be riding their bicycle, take the time to help them understand proper safety and riding practices. Students may not ride bicycles on school grounds; they should dismount and walk to the bicycle rack. The school cannot be responsible for lost or stolen bicycles. Skateboards, roller blades, and scooters may not be ridden on school grounds either, and are difficult to lock or store at school.
Bullying – Madison uses a rubric-based discipline system for reporting bullying and peer-to-peer aggressive behaviors. This is based on the work of Stan Davis in his book, Schools Where Everyone Belongs.
Every year we introduce and review procedures for helping Madison students learn positive ways to get along with and help each other. In classroom guidance, students are taught conflict resolution techniques and how to recognize/report bullying behaviors, which is reinforced by teachers and staff. Bullying is not a major problem at Madison, but mean and unkind behaviors do exist, and peer-to-peer aggression in any form is a very serious manner. We also know learners make mistakes, which is why our philosophy reinforces learning as part of the discipline/consequences process.
We believe adding this rubric to our discipline system will help students learn, work, play and enhance the peer/staff relationships developed at Madison. As usual, your support helps us make our school a safe and positive place for everyone.
Bus Service – USD #231 contracts bus services through First Student. Questions regarding bussing should be directed to First Student at (913) 856-5650. School buses load and unload on the east side of Madison Elementary.
C is for. . .
CARE Team – Any parent or teacher that has concerns regarding a child’s academic or social success may talk with the building principal to schedule a CARE Team Meeting. CARE Team is a group of educational professionals and family members that assist in developing positive intervention plans to assist individual students.
Communication – To create the best possible program for each child, communication between home and school is vital. Each evening your child will bring home a folder, please check the folder each evening (left side has things to be “left at home”; right side has things to be “sent right back to school”.) In addition, each Friday you will be sent electronically a copy of the school’s newsletter, “Bear Facts”. Also check out the school facebook page (www.facebook.com/MadisonElementaryBears), twitter account (@mdebears) and the school website (www.usd231.com/mde), which has an updated calendar and a calendar for each classroom. Anytime you have a question or need to share information with the teacher, you may contact the teacher by e-mail or leave a message on their voice mail (see the directory on the last page.)
Computers – Madison Elementary students attend computer classes a minimum of one hour a week. Students will receive instruction on specific technical skills and work on meaningful projects that integrate technology to master specific grade level content. In addition, Madison Elementary students will use the laptops in the classrooms to support the academic curriculum. Students are expected to display the appropriate use of technology. If expectations are not met, students will lose the privilege of using the available technology. Parents with questions regarding technology may speak with the classroom teacher, the computer lab instructor, or building principal.
Conferences – Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled to take place October 17th and 18th and again February 13th and 14th. However, teachers are happy to meet with you at any time during the year to discuss your child’s progress, strengths, and any areas that might be of concern.
Crisis Plan –
Gardner Edgerton Unified School District
The Board and Administration of Gardner Edgerton United School District acknowledge the necessity to prepare a Crisis Management Plan in the event that a crisis should occur. Participants and staff have a basic need for security and safety. Any event which threatens that feeling of safety shall be considered a crisis. There are unlimited possibilities for a crisis situation. Those include but are not limited to:
Crisis Management Plan Rationale
Crisis Management Components
Procedures for Crisis Management
The Superintendent has appointed a Crisis Management Team for the district.
D is for. . .
Discipline – Madison Elementary School follows the student discipline policies of USD 231 as printed in the Elementary Handbook, which can be located on the USD #231 web page. Students and adults alike want to know what is expected of them.
The staff of Madison Elementary School will work together to create building-wide expectations. These expectations will create a peaceful environment by increasing positive and respectful behavior while decreasing hurtful and disruptive behavior.
Our goal is to increase academic achievement by allowing teachers to spend more time teaching and less time disciplining. Through long-term practice, such positive behavior becomes an integral part of our school's culture. A consistent and positive behavioral approach encourages a sense of belonging for all children and builds positive social skills for students.
The school expectations for Madison Elementary School:
These building-wide expectations allow for a common language between children and adults. At school, children are taught the behavioral expectations and principles (based on the district adopted character traits) which are used in all daily activities; from classroom lessons to playground conflicts to lunch breaks. At home, parents are encouraged to use these same expectations and principles with their children to send a consistent message.
Finally, each classroom teacher at Madison Elementary has developed a specific behavior management program that rewards students for positive behavior and social skills in the classroom. All staff at Madison Elementary School will use misbehavior as a learning tool. The following steps will be taken if a child displays inappropriate behavior that is not changed by the use of the classroom management plan already in place.
Drills –Safety drills are conducted on a regular basis (fire drills quarterly, drills monthly, severe weather drills three times a year.) The civil defense warning system informs school personnel about severe weather.
During a severe weather warning, all children are taken to the designated storm shelter areas and kept there until an “all clear” is sounded. Students may only be released to their parents or to an “emergency contact” during a severe weather warning. In the event of a warning that extends beyond the school day, children will be kept at school until the “all clear” sounds, or they are picked up by their parents. Lock-in procedures are also practiced in the event students and staff would need to be in a secured environment.
E is for. . .
Entering the Building – Visitors are always welcome at Madison Elementary School. For the safety of all children, we ask that all parents and visitors check in at the front office during the school day. School doors will be unlocked as students arrive at school. After school begins, access to the building will be controlled by an external buzzer that rings into the main office. A video monitor will be used to identify the visitor and view the visitor’s photo identification. Once given permission to enter, the door will be unlocked and the visitor may enter the building. As always, all visitors must sign in at the main office and obtain a visitors badge. For the safety of all of our students, please be prepared to show a photo ID when picking up students from the Madison office. Thank you!
F is for. . .
Facebook - Madison uses Facebook to offer our families a window into the learning that is occurring at school. Be sure to follow us www.facebook.com/MadisonElementaryBears to be kept up to date with all of our posts about our learning and school information.
Fees – Textbook Rental Fees are due at the time of enrollment. Cash and checks can be accepted at Madison. Credit cards (MasterCard, VISA and Discover) are accepted for Madison fees online only. Kindergarten – Fourth fees are $70.00 per child.
Field Trips – Each grade level takes two field trips a year. All field trips have educational objectives and parents will be notified of trips. Parents may be asked to assist with supervision - therefore, it is not appropriate for siblings to attend the field trip with the parent.
Food Service – Madison Elementary School participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. Visitors are welcome to join children for breakfast or lunch. Please contact the office prior to 9:00 am to order lunch for visitors. The school district accepts cash, check, MasterCard, VISA and Discover for payment of student meals. Credit cards be may used for payment online only. Questions regarding your child’s account should be directed to the cafeteria manager at 856-0453.
Front Circle Drive – There is no parking in the front circle drive at any time. Please pull all the way forward in the front circle drive to load and unload children (do not allow children to enter or exit a car from the left lane or in the grass.)
G is for. . .
Guidance – Tina McLeod and Deb Clegg are our Guidance Specialists. Mrs. McLeod and Mrs. Clegg will teach guidance lessons regarding personal safety, conflict resolution, social skills, and study skills. In addition, they are available to meet with an individual student or groups of students per parent request.
H is for. . .
Hats - With the exception of certain spirit days, students are not to wear hats inside the building during the school day. Students can wear hats outside at recess but not inside the building.
Health Care Staff – Amy Ault (R.N.) is the school nurse (856-0400) and works under the supervision of the district R.N. (856-2683). If a child is injured or becomes ill at school, he/she will receive first aid and the parent will be notified. In the event the parent cannot be reached, we will call the emergency number you have listed.
Kansas State Guidelines for Administration of Medication - A physician’s order is required to give any prescription medication at school. Parental consent is acceptable for certain non-prescription medications which are in the enrollment packets or can be obtained in the Health Office. The physician’s prescription must be dated and should identify the medication, dosage, reason for the medication, time of day to be given and anticipated number of days to be provided. The official prescription container must accompany all medications. Children must be excluded from school for the following symptoms:
Parents should not allow their student to return to school until the child has been free of fever, vomiting or diarrhea for a full 24 hours.
Each year students are given individual hearing and vision tests by the school health aide. Children not passing the screening will be re-checked. Parents are notified and the child is referred for further examination if screening is failed twice.
Hours – School Office Hours are from 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
It is requested that students arrive between 8:15 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. Children arriving prior to 8:15 are to wait in assigned pod areas (Kindergarten will wait in the gym). Students are not allowed in school prior to 7:45 a.m. due to a lack of adult supervision.
Homework – Every student at Madison Elementary School can expect to have a homework activity every Monday through Thursday. Watch your child’s backpack each evening for homework assignments. Typically the following time guidelines are suggested for homework:
If your child is spending more time completing homework than these guidelines, please contact the classroom teacher.
There are also a number of things you and your child can do together to reinforce the skills taught at school:
* Read to and with your child.
* Practice computation skills and basic math facts
I is for. . .
Instructional Time – Madison Elementary Staff recognizes the direct effect instructional time has on the amount of learning for students. We do not want to disrupt instruction unless it is absolutely necessary. Parents are asked to:
J is for. . .
Johnson County Parks & Recreation Department – Madison Elementary School works with JCPRD to provide before/after school care. If you are interested in these programs please contact Amber Sherwood at (913) 856-2493 or check the JCPRD web site at www.jcprd.com.
K is for. . .
Kansas State Department Of Education – The Kansas State Department of Education promotes the mission of the Kansas State Board of Education through leadership and support for student learning in Kansas. The Kansas State Board of Education is charged with the general supervision of public education and other educational interests in the state. While clearly acknowledging the role and importance of local control, the State Board of Education has the responsibility to provide direction and leadership for the supervision of all state educational institutions under its jurisdiction. Information regarding KSDE can be found at the website www.ksbe.state.ks.us.
L is for. . .
Library Media Center – The Library Media Center at Madison Elementary School is a vital link in the total curriculum. Students are scheduled to visit the library a minimum of one time a week but are welcome to come anytime during the school day with permission of their teacher. Students may check out materials, participate in lessons regarding reference and research skills, and use the library to learn various content skills.
Lost and Found – A large container is kept in the cafeteria for lost items found on school grounds. Small valuable items are kept in the office. Labeled items will be returned to the owner while unclaimed items are donated to charity.
M is for. . .
Mathletics –Mathletics is an after-school activity open to 3rd and 4th graders. Students are placed on “teams” that work cooperatively to solve challenging problems.
Music – Students participate in music class throughout the week. First through fourth grades participate in a grade level musical each year. Emphasis is placed on participation and enjoyment of music. Listening, singing, rhythm, movement, and theory are skills that are stressed during the 30 minutes of music class. Each grade level will participate in one musical program each year. Exact dates will be communicated to families by the school music teacher, Ms. Metzger, as the time gets closer. All programs start at 7:00 p.m. with practice at 2:00 p.m.
Madison Bear Choir - 4th graders may participate in the Madison Choir which practices before school – contact Ms. Metzger for more information.
N is for. . .
Novels – Join our Book Club or Chat ‘N’ Chew! Third and fourth graders may join Book Club, the books will be chosen from the William Allen White Award nominees. It encourages the children of Kansas to read and enjoy great books. The Book Club will read one book per month for four months: October, November, January, and February. Each group will read half of the book by the first meeting, and then finish the book by the second meeting. Books will be provided for the students. Younger students may join Chat ‘N’ Chew, adult volunteers read to the students during lunch periodically through the school year. Contact <rs. Schmuhl, Library Media Specialist, for more information.
O is for. . .
Officer on Duty (School Resource Officer) – USD 231 works with Gardner Police to provide School Resource Officers. The SRO works with students, teachers, and administration to help provide a safe school environment through education and providing law enforcement.
Office Staff – Mrs. Jenny Daniels and Mrs. Melissa Billings serve as our school administrative assistants.
P is for. . .
Physical Education – All students participate in PE weekly. Gross and fine motor skills are developed through the use of movement, sports, and games. A component of the physical education curriculum emphasizes wellness concepts and practice. The objectives of the program provide students with a broad range of information pertaining to health and fitness.
Pictures – Individual student pictures are taken in the fall and spring. Fall pictures are “pre-ordered”. Spring pictures are sent home, and then parents may choose to purchase or return the packets to school. In addition, class pictures are available for purchase each spring.
PTA – Madison Elementary School has a strong and active Parent Teacher Association. This group of caring parents and staff work to provide a positive learning environment for children. Some of the volunteer projects include the book fair, field trips, teacher appreciation, etc. President is Kate Schaffert, Co-Vice Presidents are Jen Marrs & Cyrena Semrau, Treasurer is Whitney Wheeler, Secretary is Alyssa Petrik, and Membership is Dianne Owen.
Q is for. . .
Questions or Concerns – Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We want you and your child to have the best possible educational experience possible at Madison Elementary School. All staff may be reached via e-mail, voice mail, or by setting an appointment for a conference.
Quarter Recognition – Each quarter, teachers meet with each student to set an individual goal. These goals are individualized to focus on the unique needs of the student. Information regarding the goal your child has set will be sent home each quarter. At the end of each quarter, the grade level will recognize those students that met their individual goal in a short assembly.
R is for. . .
Ready to Learn TV – Each morning a broadcast is made via “RLTV” which is seen in every classroom. 3rd and 4th-grade students work with staff to write, produce, and perform this live broadcast.
Recess – All students participate in recess. Generally, if a child is too sick to go outside for recess, he or she is too sick to be in school. There will not be outdoor recess when there is inclement weather. In case of inclement weather, students will participate in free play in the classroom. Teachers may take their class out briefly for fresh air at their discretion. Parents are asked to dress their children for the weather, keeping in mind the sudden changes that are often seen in Kansas!
Records – Parents planning on moving are asked to notify the office so transfer procedures can be initiated. The child’s new school must provide Madison Elementary School with a release form signed by the parent before records will be sent. Parents are welcome to view their child’s cumulative file at any time, however, cumulative folders may not leave the school office.
Report Cards – Each student enrolled at Madison Elementary School will receive a quarterly report card. The report card shares information on a child’s academic and social progress. First quarter report cards are shared at Parent-Teacher Conferences, second and third quarter reports cards are sent home with students, and the final report card is mailed home after school is dismissed.
Retaining Students – The rate of a child’s progress through the school program is based on each child’s unique needs. The decision to promote, to retain, or to accelerate students is based on consideration of all facets of child development. Parents are always involved in this process. Parents wishing to have their child “repeat” a grade level must meet with the principal.
Room Parties – Holiday room parties are scheduled three times a year, fall, winter, and Valentine’s Day. Costumes are not to be worn to school (students will change later in the day) by students or parents at the Fall Party and gift exchanges are not a part of the Winter Party. Valentine’s Day is celebrated with the exchange of Valentines which should be sent for every student in the class.
S is for. . .
Site Council – The Madison Elementary Site Council is comprised of parents, community representatives, and staff. The council meets a minimum of four times throughout the school year to provide input on the School Improvement Plan, school procedures, and policies.
Spelling Bee – A spelling bee is held each year for 3rd and 4th-grade students. The winner of the Spelling Bee represents Madison Elementary at the Johnson County Spelling Bee.
Student Council – Student Council is an elected position for students in 4th grades. Two students per classroom are elected each semester to represent their class and student body. Students work with faculty to make decisions that enhance school-wide climate and carry out tasks as positive role models to their fellow students.
T is for. . .
Telephone – The telephone is considered a business phone and may be used by children only with the permission of the teacher or principal. Students are not to use the phone to make after-school play arrangements. Only emergency messages received from parents before 3:00 p.m. will be delivered to students. Students may not use cell phones at school from 8:25 to 3:25.
Testing – All 3rd and 4th graders participate in Kansas State Assessments each spring. Results of Kansas State Assessments are used to determine school accreditation, with individual student results being shared with parents via a printout provided by the Kansas State Department of Education. In addition, all students in grades K through 4th are given the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) three times a year; results of DIBELS are shared in quarterly report cards. Finally, all students also take district MAP Tests to determine which curriculum concepts have been mastered and which need to be retaught. Parents are welcome to contact classroom teachers or the building principal with any questions regarding their child’s various tests.
Twitter – Madison uses Twitter to offer our families a window into the learning that is occurring at school. Be sure to follow us @MDEBears and use the hashtag #MDEBears to be kept up to date with all of our posts about our learning.
U is for. . .
Unique – All children are unique in how they develop and learn. The staff at Madison Elementary School strives to meet each individual child’s unique learning needs. Teachers will make modifications and accommodations necessary to ensure each child is successful.
Unable To Attend School – Please contact the school office at 856-0400 by 8:30 a.m. to report if your child will not be in school.
USD 231 Curriculum – Each teacher at Madison Elementary School follows the board approved curriculum. Information regarding USD 231 Curriculum can be located on the district website www.usd231.com.
V is for. . .
Visitors – You are always welcome to visit Madison Elementary School! We are proud to show off all the great things happening! For the safety of all children, we ask that all parents and visitors check in at the front office during the school day. School doors will be unlocked as students arrive at school. After school begins, access to the building will be controlled by an external buzzer that rings into the main office. A video monitor will be used to identify the visitor and view the visitor’s photo identification. Once given permission to enter, the door will be unlocked and the visitor may enter the building. Please stop by the office to sign in and then feel free to help in any of the classrooms. Classroom observations must be scheduled with the building principal and may be limited to reduce distractions in the classroom.
W is for. . .
Weapons Policy – A student shall not knowingly possess, handle or transmit any object that can reasonably be considered a weapon on the school grounds or off the school grounds at a school activity, function or event. This policy shall include any weapon, any items being used as a weapon or destructive device, or any facsimile of a weapon.
Weather Related School Closings – When school is canceled because of hazardous conditions, announcements are made on local radio, TV stations, twitter, and facebook. If weather conditions deteriorate during a school day to the extent that school is dismissed early, the school will activate the emergency-calling plan and will attempt to contact all parents. Parents are advised to have an emergency plan in place.
X is for. . .
eXtra Help – Madison Elementary School has many avenues for students to receive extra help to ensure academic success. Students can receive 30 minutes of additional small group instruction in the area of Math and Reading. In addition, our Reading and Math specialists are available to work with individual students. If you would like to see your child receiving “extra” help, please talk to their classroom teacher or building principal.
Y is for. . .
You – You are the most important person and the first teacher in your child’s life. Parent involvement is a contributing factor to school success. Talk to your child about their day. Ask what their favorite part of their day was. Listen to your child. And read, read, then read some more! All of these activities are free!
Yearbook – A school yearbook is published each spring for children to purchase. Yearbooks include individual student pictures (when available), class pictures, and event photos.
Z is for. . .
Zzzzz’s – Research indicates most children in the United States are not getting enough sleep. Please help your child be successful in school by ensuring they are getting enough sleep each evening so their bodies and minds are ready to learn each day.