Hosack Elementary Student Handbook
Welcome to Hosack Elementary School. Hosack Elementary is a small school with mighty roars. Our mission at Hosack remains the same--to create a place where all students feel that they belong, challenged, and where everyone’s roars can be heard. Please help us to make Hosack Elementary a positive place to work and learn by being a positive, friendly person who takes pride in your school. One of the unique things about Hosack is the building floor plan is a simple circle that is centered around the arts and library. There is something for everyone at Hosack and a place where everyone belongs. Everything that we do is built upon creating strong relationships with students and families. We work to build a collaborative and positive relationship with our families and communities to ensure that our students have everything they need to be as successful as possible while providing unique and fun opportunities.
This handbook has been prepared to act as a guide to learn about Hosack and the many offerings that it has. It is important that you have a clear understanding of the procedures, regulations and provisions outlined in this booklet. It is essential in providing and maintaining the safe and orderly environment necessary for the progress of all the people in our school.
The Student/Parent Handbook should help explain many of the procedures you will need to know during the year. If you or your parents have additional questions, please call the Front Office at or email Mrs. Hudson at email@example.com .
Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year!
Principal: Mrs. Carla Hudson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretarys: Mrs. Susan Miller - email@example.com
North Allegheny School District’s Mission and Vision
The mission of the North Allegheny School District is to prepare all students for success in a changing world.
The vision of the North Allegheny School District is to be a premier school district that inspires excellence in academics, athletics, arts, and activities for every student every day.
Goal #1: We will promote the achievement of all students at the highest level of their individual abilities to be recognized as a top 100 school district.
Goal #2: We will provide a safe, welcoming, and well-maintained learning environment.
Goal #3: We will maximize efficiencies in all areas of the District for the continuous improvement and optimization of resources.
Goal #4: We will offer a dynamic curriculum and a quality professional development program that stimulates teaching and learning.
Goal #5: We will innovate our educational practices and become leaders in technology integration.
Goal #6: We will foster a collaborative culture that develops and capitalizes on proactive decision- making at every level.
2023-2024 Hosack Elementary Staff
Mrs. Carla Hudson
Mrs. Susan Miller
Mrs. Danielle Cohen
Anne- Marie Crawford
Mrs. Kathy Thompson
Mrs. Courtney Lopez
Kindergarten - KA & KC
Mrs. Kristen Burcham
Kindergarten - KB
Mr. Nicholas Castle
First Grade – 1A
Mrs. Valerie Chandler
First Grade – 1B
Mrs. Tiffany Knouff
First Grade – 1C
Mrs. Kelly Holden
Second Grade – 2A
Mrs. Amy DeVenzio
Second Grade – 2B
Mrs. Kelly Shute
Second Grade – 2C
Mrs. Gabby Oliver
Third Grade – 3A
Ms. Caitlin Lamagna
Third Grade – 3B
Mrs. Rena Fasone
Third Grade – 3C
Mrs. Cathy Gabriel
Fourth Grade – 4A
Mrs. Christy Casamento
Fourth Grade – 4B
Fourth Grade – 4C
Mr. Aaron Kokladas
Fifth Grade – 5A
Mr. Anthony Kremmel
Fifth Grade – 5B
Mrs. Lindsey Lamm
Mrs. Cathy Scalamogna
Mrs. Tara Hagerman
Mrs. Amy Kegel
Mrs. Tessa Berkebile
Mr. Dan Klicker
Mrs. Anne Funk
Mrs. Kim Watton
Dr. Sarah Switalski
School Psychologist (Office at CAO)
Mr. Harry Yeakel
Reading Specialist/Title 1 Teacher
Mrs. Blake Kohler
Title 1 Assistant
Mrs. Lauren Bowles
MTSS Intervention Specialist
Mrs. Hannah Stiglitz
Ms. Jaclyn Pickens
Learning Support Teacher
Ms. Tori Pernell
Learning Support Teacher
Mrs. Allyson Dohn
Miss Olivia Vanderzee
Autistic Support Teacher/Life Skills
Mrs. Jenna Danka
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Noelle Evancho
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Karey Wholihan
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Susan Gralewski
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Sue Louis
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Ann Papulak
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Karen Schreibeis
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Jessica Zehfuss
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Sidrah Yusuf
Special Education Assistant
Mrs. Donna Hozdic
Student Services Assistant
Mrs. Marie Perkins
Student Services Assistant
Mrs. Lynne Penco
Student Services Assistant
Mrs. Leslie Miller
Mrs. Hyewon Kwak
Mr. Brian Eckert
Mr. John Klein
Office Hours: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
School Hours: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Kindergarten Hours: 9:00 am - 11:45 am & 12:45 pm - 3:30 pm
*Please Note: Office Staff is not available to answer the doorbell after 4:00 pm.
It is very important that every student maintain an up-to-date address and telephone number record at the school office. If you have a change in address or telephone number during the school year, notify the school immediately to assure efficient communication between school and home and to update your child’s transportation services. Emails are often not updated and lead to loss of electronic notifications if not maintained.
New kindergarten students must be five (5) years old and new first grade students must be six (6) years old on or before September 1 of the school year in which they are enrolling. A physical examination is required when a student enters school for the first time. Ages must be verified by a birth certificate and immunization records must be complete along with proof of residency.
Due to health concerns for students throughout the building, animals are not permitted to be brought into the building without approval from the office. On the day of the visit, you are to register at the office and at that time will be given any further specific instructions regarding access to certain areas of the building.
After School Programs
The North Allegheny School District and Hosack Elementary offer several after-school programs for students. For these programs, students will be called to their assigned area at dismissal. Transportation home is always the responsibility of the family. Information regarding these programs will be shared from the school.
The building is open to children at 8:50 a.m. Supervision is not available for students prior to 8:50 and students should not be left on their own. Students will report directly to their classrooms upon arrival at school. They must be in their homerooms at 9:00 a.m. All students riding the bus will enter through the main doors.
Parents who are dropping their students off should follow the green arrows on the MAP to line up for drop off. Drive to the upper auto loop, proceed down the driveway and leave your child off at the sidewalk. Instruct your child to walk along the walkway and into the building at the main entrance. Proceed along the drive to Peebles Road. Please remember that the school doors do not open until 8:50
Assemblies will be scheduled periodically throughout the school year to enhance or reinforce the North Allegheny School District’s curriculum. Announcements for the assemblies will be made and posted on the website. Special attention to etiquette and good citizenship is expected of all students during assemblies.
Regular and punctual attendance at school is important to a successful school career. Absences fall into one of two categories: LEGAL and ILLEGAL.
Legal absences include:
- Student illness
- Death of an immediate family member
- Absences approved by the Administration, including approved Family Educational Trips
- Religious holidays or instruction
- Urgent reasons deemed acceptable by the administration
Illegal absences include:
- Absence due to parental/guardian neglect
- Illegal employment
- Family Educational Trips not approved by the Administration
Absences –-Forms via Powerschool SIS Parent Portal
Student excuses can be submitted through an "E-Form," creating a touchless submission option for parents/guardians. This will reduce the amount of paper transmissions between parents/guardians, students, and our staff. Please review the directions to submit an electronic student excuse below and contact your student's building secretary with any questions.
To request approval for a Family Educational Trip, parent(s)/guardian(s) must submit a written request for excusal at least five (5) school days prior to the absence and the absence must be for 10 or less school days. Students who will be participating in an extended absence due to a request for an educational tour or trip for more than 10 days will be withdrawn after the tenth consecutive day (on day 11) and the withdrawal date will be dated the first day of the consecutive absence. These days are considered legal absences when approved. No absences will be approved during standardized testing windows.
Parents of students who are absent (regardless if the absences are excused or unexcused) will receive a letter from the principal after a total of ten (10) days absent. This communication from the building administration is sent to emphasize the importance of daily attendance at school and as a reminder of Pennsylvania’s Compulsory Attendance Law. Second notice for excessive absenteeism will be sent after a total of 18 days and an Elementary Support Team (ESAP) meeting will be held to address the excessive absenteeism. After the 18-Day Letter is delivered, all future absences must be supported by documentation from the child’s physician, the school’s nurse, or another administratively approved agency. If the proper documentation is not provided after the 18-day Attendance Letter is sent home, the absence will be documented as unexcused and may be referred to the District Magistrate.
Students with legal absences may have the opportunity to complete any missed assignments upon returning to school. Our responsibility is to promote consistent school attendance and address the underlying risk factors that may lead to truancy. As a requirement of Act 138, students who accrue three (3) illegal absences will be asked to participate in the creation of a School Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP). Students who accrue six (6) illegal absences will be referred to a school-based or community-based attendance improvement program or to the local children and youth agency. In addition, the District may file a citation for truancy with the local District Magistrate.
Requests for absent students' homework assignments may be made on a student's second day of illness/absence. Parents are asked to call the school before 10:00 a.m. on the second day of absence. Students who miss a single day of school can get their missed assignments upon their return to school the following day. Children will be granted additional time to complete their assignments upon their return, typically equal to the number of days they were absent. The Blackboard agendas posted by all teachers allows access to daily assignments.
Extended illness: Contact your child’s teacher to make specific arrangements for absences of one week or longer.
On their birthdays, children often want to share a treat with their classmates. Due to the number of life threatening food allergies and our commitment to improve health and wellness, edible birthday treats of any kind are not permitted. If you would like to send a non-edible birthday treat, please contact the homeroom teacher. Items should be individually wrapped.
Students K-12 will be using the Student Management System Blackboard Learn. Blackboard Learn is a web-based teaching and learning environment which enables teachers to build and manage a Web component for their classes. For students, this can mean:
- Access to course materials such as handouts or copies of classroom presentation, which often can be downloaded for further review
- Access to announcements
- Opportunities to communicate and collaborate with classmates through tools such as discussion boards, wikis, and blogs
- Online assessments (surveys and quizzes where teachers can provide feedback)
For additional parent information, please visit the district website. Blackboard for Parents
Bullying Prevention and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Program provides realistic expectations necessary to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach when responding to behavioral and social issues. We maintain an inclusive environment for all students. Expectations are taught, modeled, and communicated to all students throughout the school day:
As part of the program, students receive “Tiger TIckets ” used for classroom and school-wide rewards. Parents are integral in the process. Positive communication from the staff will occur to parents, and notification when expectations are not being followed will also occur.
Proper behavior is an absolute necessity while riding on the school bus. The bus driver is in charge and will enforce discipline on the bus. Students involved in misconduct, showing disrespect for the driver or fellow students, and those who cause damage to the bus may lose their bus riding privileges. The North Allegheny School District has established the following rules to maintain bus safety.
Students’ Responsibilities are as follows:
- Report to your bus stop no earlier than 5 to 10 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- While waiting for the bus, stay a safe distance from the roadway. Inappropriate behavior at the bus stop will not be tolerated.
- Board the bus in a safe, orderly manner and go directly to your seat.
- Cross fifteen feet in front of the bus only when the red lights are flashing and traffic has come to a complete stop.
- Never cross behind or reach under a bus. Remain visible to the driver at all times. Stand clear of the danger zone.
- Talk in a normal tone of voice so the driver can concentrate and hear warning sounds.
- Ask the driver for permission to open windows. You must keep your entire body and all objects inside the bus at all times.
8. Eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum is prohibited on the bus.
9. Help keep your bus clean. No littering. Throwing objects inside or outside is
10. When the bus arrives at school, exit in an orderly fashion and go directly to your
NOTE: Students must ride their assigned bus. If a one-time change is necessary due to an emergency situation, please print the Transportation Permission Notice from the NA website (forms are also in the front office). Please send this form to the homeroom teacher.
Any request for a permanent change of a bus stop must be approved through the Transportation Department.
Bus Safety School
Bus discipline is a topic of serious conversation at North Allegheny. When a child acts inappropriately on a school bus, the safety of every person on the bus is in jeopardy. The “Ladder of Discipline” has been identified for all elementary and middle school buildings. Depending on the seriousness of a child’s inappropriate behavior, first time offenders may receive more than a warning from the bus driver, bus monitor, or building administrator. If the child continues to behave inappropriately, that individual will be assigned to Bus Safety School. Should he/she continue to misbehave, the transportation privilege which is normally extended to North Allegheny students will be revoked by the District for that child.
First Offense ……………………………Warning
Second Offense ………………………...Detention
Third Offense…………………………Bus Safety School
Fourth Offense ................................... Bus Suspension * - 3 day
Fifth Offense ....................................... Bus Suspension * - 5 days
Sixth Offense ...........................................Bus Suspension * - semester
* A conference between administrator, parent, driver, and child is required.
Bus Safety School is a program that attempts to heighten the awareness of safety and proper bus behavior in those students who continually choose to violate District transportation policies. Bus Safety School is held on the third Thursday of every month from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at one assigned building in the District.
Parents will be notified if their child must attend Bus Safety School and upon completion of the course, students will be required to sign a Safety Agreement. Should it become necessary for bus-riding privileges to be denied, transportation to and from school will become the parent’s responsibility.
Students may purchase a lunch daily using either cash or funds that they have on the Point of Sale (P.O.S.) system. All students buying lunch or snacks will enter his or her Personal Identification Number (P.I.N.) as they purchase their lunch or snack. Assistance will be given to all students at the beginning of the year as they enter their P.I.N. The Elementary Lunch is $2.45.
Parents may send in cash or a check payable to NA Cafeteria Fund at any time to deposit money into their child’s P.O.S. account. Cafeteria Payment envelopes should be used to include student name, Personal Identification Number (P.I.N.), and payment option. For those families with more than one child attending HES, please remember to use separate envelopes for each child.
Reminders will be sent home with the student when their Point of Service [P.O.S.] account accrues a negative balance. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact the Food Service Office at 724-934-7201 or 7236. Parent/guardians are responsible for assuring that a student’s [POS] account remains up-to-date with a positive balance.
The District also has an online payment system called PaySchools Central. Log in to PaySchools Central at payschoolscentral.com. More information on PaySchools Central can be found at PaySchools.com.
Cafeteria time is meant to be a pleasant break in the day. Every student is expected to use proper table manners and speak in a normal tone of voice so that everyone may enjoy their lunch break. Restaurant-like behavior is expected and students are to clean up after themselves.
Each year the North Allegheny School District publishes and distributes an Activities Calendar to each family. We hope that you will utilize this calendar, the District and Hosack Elementary School websites, and District publications and Friday Newsletters to stay on top of upcoming opportunities and events.
Cancellation/Modification of School Hours
Cancellation of school takes place only during circumstances such as extreme weather, equipment failure, or public crisis. Such information will be communicated via the District website, SchoolMessenger, and local media, such as television and radio stations. If special activities were planned on the day of a cancellation or delay, specific information will be posted in the headlines on the website and may also be communicated through an eBlast.
Kindergarten will follow a special 2-hour delay schedule:
A.M. 11:00-12:45 and P.M. 1:45-3:30.
All bus schedules will be delayed by the same amount of time.
Before and after school child care is available at McKnight Elementary through the YMCA of North Hills. For further information, schedules, and pricing please call the YMCA at 412-761-1227. The YMCA Program is not affiliated with Hosack Elementary or NA.
Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled in November or by parent request throughout the year. These conference times are very valuable to the overall educational program.
During the 2023/24 school year, Elementary Conference Days are scheduled for the following dates and times:
Monday, November 6, 2023
12:00 pm - 7:45 pm
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
8:00 a.m. - 3:45 pm
Mrs. Cohen is the building counselor. She is available to assist students, parents, and staff with academic, social, and emotional needs of students. To make an appointment with the counselor, please call the main office or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the event a need to disseminate emergency or crisis communications to parents and/or students should arise, the North Allegheny School District has a number of communication vehicles in place to facilitate this process. SchoolMessenger and the District website www.northallegheny.org are great resources and have current information. Local television and radio stations also communicate delays and closing in a timely manner.
The District utilizes SchoolMessenger, an automated telephone notification system that will deliver a personalized message to parents and employees in minutes. As it is a web-based program, its reliability and availability will not be affected by local power or equipment failures.
Parents can access the Contact Manager feature of this system via the North Allegheny School District website or the internet and establish their own account. This will allow them to determine which, if any, phone number(s) they would like to have messages sent to and/or opt for an email or text alert when they have a new phone message. Parents may choose not to receive SchoolMessenger, if they so desire. SchoolMessenger will be used exclusively to broadcast weather-related cancellation or delay information, as well as other emergency or crisis-related messages. Please review the link for SchoolMessenger.
At times, there are legal papers in the form of custody agreements or court order documents that pertain to students and their specific circumstances. Parents must provide any initial custody agreements/court orders to the school office. If parents/guardians are aware of modification of existing paperwork, it is their responsibility to provide the updated paperwork to the school office. If the school office is not aware of changes, the last copy provided is the copy that will be the official copy. A notarized copy of any of these forms may be presented to the school office annually. Even if the paperwork isn’t modified or canceled, parents/guardians may be required to submit copies at the start of each school year to assume that any necessary paperwork is up-to-date.
Positive Behavior Supports
The Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Program provides realistic expectations necessary to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach when responding to behavioral and social issues. We maintain an inclusive environment for all students, Expectations are taught, modeled, and communicated to all students throughout the school day:
Students receive Tiger Tickets weekly during a grade level lunch, the school is rewarded each nine weeks through events for earning tickets as a collective whole. Parents are integral in the process. Positive communication from the staff will occur to parents, and notification when expectations are not being followed will also occur.
Normal discipline issues that occur will be handled by the classroom teacher in conjunction with the guidelines established in the North Allegheny School District’s Code of Conduct. Behavior is expected to be positive throughout the entire school setting including the classroom, arts classes, cafeteria, playground, hallways, field trips, concerts, bus, and assemblies. Students will be made aware of the expectations at the beginning of the year. If a student chooses to break a rule, the student’s behavior will be addressed and documented on a Paws-itive Behavior Think Sheet. Parents/guardians will be notified to continue communication. Consequences may be assigned depending on the severity of the behavior and whether the behavior is a repeated behavior. Students, teachers, and parents are all part of the process allowing a student to learn and improve behavior. We want to assist students with maintaining positive behavior as students learn and grow. For more serious infractions, the principal may get involved. The students will meet with the Principal to discuss the behavior. The Principal will communicate with a parent/guardian to discuss ways to improve behavior.
Possible consequences include:
- Conferences with the Principal
- Letter or phone call to parents
- Loss of recess period(s)
- Recess and/or lunch in the office with Principal
- Loss of grade level or school-wide assembly, event, or other activity
- Detention before or after school
- In-school suspension for ½ of school day
- In-school suspension for the entire school day
- Out of school suspension
Teachers and staff members are also encouraged to recognize and respond to positive behavior, as all behavior is monitored in all areas of the school. Students who have maintained positive behavior may be rewarded with a Shield. Teachers may use the in a drawing box to earn special privileges, such as leading a line, sitting anywhere they would like in class or in the cafeteria, etc. Teachers may determine the best use of PAWS in their classrooms, so there can be differences due to content areas and grade levels.
The instructional day ends at 3:20 p.m., followed by pack-up for the end of the day. All students walking to their homes or with a scheduled “pick-up” will leave the classroom at 3:25, when called over the public address system. Parents requesting “pick-up” must adhere to the following procedures to assure the safety and welfare of our students:
A note/email MUST be sent to the child’s teacher (please copy the front office secretary) on the day the parent/guardian is planning on picking the student up from school. A “blanket note” can be submitted to the homeroom teacher and school secretary detailing a regular pick-up schedule (e.g. “every Tuesday”). Emails must be copied to the homeroom teacher and school secretary. All pick-up messages must be received prior to 3:00 p.m. Emails should not be sent after 3:00 pm because it cannot be guaranteed that the email will be received in time for clear communication. In the event of an emergency close to 3:00, please call the school secretary.
Parents coming to pick a child up prior to 3:15 for an early dismissal, MUST report to the office before 3:15 p.m. and adhere to the office policy of signing students out and waiting for their child to meet them in the main office. Under no circumstances are parents/guardians permitted to go directly to the classrooms or bus lines.
Parents, who will be picking their children up regularly or semi-regularly, will be assigned a number and provided with a corresponding school sign for their vehicle students to their vehicles. Please be patient as a monitor may check ID in cases where the monitor is unfamiliar with the person picking a student up from school.
Dismissal Information for Hosack Elementary
● Requests for early dismissal (prior to 3:20) should be provided in written form to your child’s teacher the day of the early dismissal. Please make every effort to convey this written request in advance rather than calling the school so as to help avoid interruptions to class instruction.
● At the beginning of the school year, all Hosack families will be assigned a number and will receive a laminated card to be used for all end-of-the-day pickups. You will be asked to display the number card in the front window or dashboard of your vehicle, so that the staff members on duty can view it. Your child will also have a duplicate number card with the same assigned number to your family.
● All students with a scheduled “pick-up” will leave the classroom at 3:25, when called over the public address system. The students who are being picked up instead of riding the school bus home will be dismissed through the first set of gym doors closest to the main entrance.
● When arriving at Hosack to pick up your child/children, please continue to drive straight past the right side of the building and proceed around the back circle. As you drive your car forward, Hosack staff members will be at the gym doors to escort your child to your vehicle. This new procedure will allow you to remain in your vehicle and we will bring your child to you!
● During pickup, parents/guardians may be asked to show their driver’s license or photo identification to the Hosack staff members on duty. These safety measures will enable the staff to know which child matches the parent/guardian.
● If your child is going to be a pickup at the end of the school day on a regular basis or on a situational basis, please remember to write a note to your child’s teacher and inform the main office. A separate note should be written for each child in the family.
● If an adult other than the child’s parent/guardian is picking up the student, please designate the full name of the individual on the note to school that day. Additionally, please provide the laminated number card to the adult that will be picking up your child. They will also be asked to show a driver’s license or photo identification.
A note MUST be sent to the child’s teacher on the day the parent/guardian is planning on picking the student up from school. As written above, a separate note should be written for each child in the family. For regular walker pick-ups one note can be sent to the teacher. All pick-up messages should be received prior to 3:00 p.m. Emails should not be sent since it is not guaranteed that the email will be received in time.
Parent/Guardian Pick-Off: Please reference the MAP for lining up for parent pick-up.
Bus Pick-Up: All students will be dismissed from their classrooms to the buses.
Please note that drop-off times will be substantially later than indicated during the first week of school as we verify correct buses for students. We appreciate your patience as we safely get students home.
We are proud of the way our students dress. A student’s individual dress indicates both self-respect and respect for others. While the school accommodates a wide variety of individual tastes, inappropriate dress is not acceptable.
- Articles must be clean (not soiled with grease, oil, paint, or dirt).
- Clothing with slogans/emblems, etc., is acceptable as long as they do not depict illegal substances, indecent writing, weapons, or indecent pictures. Please be mindful of video games depicting the use of weapons.
- Warm weather clothing is appropriate with the following guidelines: halter tops or tank tops with spaghetti straps, tops exposing the midriff or immodest display of undergarments, and torn or ragged clothing are NOT permitted.
- Styles including oversized trousers present problems regarding safety both for the individual student and fellow classmates. School staff will insist that appropriate fitting pants are worn.
- Items of dress that disrupt the educational process and climate are not permitted.
- Footwear must be worn by all students. Wheelie shoes are not permitted.
- Shorts or skirts must reach at the fingertips while arms are hanging naturally at the sides. Tights or leggings may not be used underneath shorts or skirts to substitute length. Leggings may only be worn under appropriate length (fingertip) shorts, skirts, or dresses.
- Students are NOT permitted to wear hats during the school day inside of the building. This also includes bandannas and head scarves, unless the day has been approved for charity or spirit week or the head covering is based on religious reasons.
If a situation should arise that would require a student to have an early dismissal, the parent or guardian must send a note to the homeroom teacher. An email is acceptable, but the email must be copied to the homeroom teacher and school secretary. All pick-up messages must be received prior to 3:00 p.m. Emails should not be sent after 3:00 pm because it cannot be guaranteed that the email will be received in time for clear communication; please call the school secretary if the timing of notification is after 3:00 p.m.
All students must be signed out at the office by the parent or guardian. When the parent/guardian comes into the office, the Visitor’s Dismissal Sign-out Log on the counter should be signed to indicate that they have picked up their child. Children are not permitted to leave the building early and wait outside.
Students are NOT permitted to bring personal electronic devices to school.
Cell phones should not be brought to school unless there are extenuating circumstances. A cell phone MUST be turned off during instructional hours when permission is granted. If an item has been confiscated from a student, the item will be housed in the office and not returned directly to the student. Parents must pick up confiscated item(s) from the office. School iPads are permitted and considered District property. Use of electronic devices must follow the Responsible Computer, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Use policy 224.1.
In addition, more and more students are wearing smartwatches. Please do not contact your child throughout the school day. It is disruptive to the school environment. Please contact your child’s teacher or the front office if an emergency arises.
PowerSchool Student Information System
The District uses a Student Information System called Powerschool. It is also a web-based grade book and reporting system that provides parents access to student records related to their schedule and academic progress. Parents can access Powerschool in their Tiger ID. Please work closely with our front office secretaries to ensure your email address is current. Email addresses will be used periodically throughout the year to inform parents of important school and District related events.
Emergency drills will be held on a regularly scheduled basis during the course of the school year. The following is a listing of drills and their scheduled frequency:
- Fire Drills - Monthly
- Emergency Weather Drill – Annually
- Lockdown Drills - Semester
- Bus Evacuation Drill - August and March
The Standard Response Protocol (SRP) is based on the response to any given situation using common clear language - not codes or code words.
There is common vocabulary and symbols used with staff, students, parents, and emergency responders:
- Hold is a response that would clear the hallways, close and lock doors until the situation has been cleared.
- Lockdown is a safety response procedure that contains students and staff in safe locations within the building in the event of a threat to safety.
- Secure is a safety response that brings everyone inside the building and the perimeter is secured. No one is permitted in or out of the building during this time.
- If there is a need to Evacuate the building several locations are identified pending the emergency situation. Procedures are in place.
- Shelter is used in situations like weather related incidents such as tornadoes or earthquakes.
North Allegheny School District has a comprehensive safety plan that is continually discussed, rehearsed and evaluated. For the 2023-24 school year, the District has also adopted the use of the ALICE preparedness training model. The staff and students will be trained throughout the year to enhance our safety plans and to prepare everyone in the event of a critical incident. The District works closely with local emergency responders to ensure that safety plans are updated and promote a safe school environment. While safe evacuation from the building is sometimes the most prudent response to a threat to safety, such as a fire within the building, other responses can be appropriate pending the situation.
We operate an Elementary Student Assistance Program (ESAP) at Hosack Elementary School, which is led by the school counselor, Mrs. Danielle Cohen. If your child is experiencing academic or social difficulty, you can make a referral through a teacher or the school counselor. The ESAP team meets throughout the school year to find interventions to promote student success in partnership with the parents and key school personnel. Teachers may also recommend students receive support through ESAP. Parent permission is required for a child to receive support through ESAP. The ESAP and Well-Check can meet together to support a student and family.
Field trips that reinforce and enhance the North Allegheny curriculum are scheduled by various grade levels throughout the school year. Parents will receive notices about the field trips in advance of the scheduled trip date and will be asked to sign field trip permission forms. These trips are funded by the Hosack PFA. If you are not a member of the PFA the amount of the field trip would be requested. If a family would need financial assistance it would be provided. There are times that a small amount of money may be requested from each student to defray transportation or facility use costs if they exceed the PFA’s budgeted amount.
Students are to bring their band and orchestra instruments to school on days when they are scheduled to have small group practice or full ensemble practice. On occasion, students forget their instruments. Parents/guardians may need to bring them to school
All fundraising at Hosack Elementary is voluntary for students and their families. An effort is being made to streamline these fundraisers and to shift more towards service projects by students, as opposed to only monetary donations. Each time a fundraiser is conducted approval at both the building and District level must be sought. Forms requesting approval for solicitation are available in the school office and on the forms library of the school’s website.
At all times you can refer to the North Allegheny web site by visiting the Health Services page of our website, under the Pupil Services webpage from the Administration tab for health forms, our medication policy, immunization requirements and health care information. During the first week of school or upon enrolling your child, the parent/guardian is requested to complete and return an emergency form for each student. This form is to be returned ASAP. This information is required for your child’s care in case of illness or injury.
- It is important that we have your current home, work and emergency phone numbers. In case of an emergency, accurate information can save valuable time in helping your child. Please remember to notify us at any time during the year of any changes in these numbers.
- If you are planning to be out of town, please provide in writing the name of your child’s guardian in your absence if it is someone who is not on the emergency form. Without this consent, we cannot release your child to this caretaker.
- If there is a change in the custodianship of your child, please notify the office and provide copies of any pertinent court agreements in order for this change to be honored.
State Law requires every student who intends to enroll in a public school to provide evidence of a successful vaccination history. At various ages, different vaccinations are necessary for enrollment. Some of the immunizations necessary for K-12 students are diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, varicella, and meningitis. Should you have a question regarding the immunizations necessary for your child, please contact the School Nurse, Brianna Meder, at (412) 369-2802. These can also be found at http://www.northallegheny.org/page/297.
Medications will be administered by health office personnel according to school policy which includes written parental permission, and a doctor’s order for both prescription and nonprescription (OTC - over the counter) medications. A copy of this policy will be sent home the first week of school. Please review this as it includes information on both prescription and nonprescription medications (OTC) and the parent/guardian responsibility with both.
The following are a few important points to remember:
Students are not permitted to carry medication with them at school. All medication is to be dispensed from the health office.
Medication is to be brought to school by the parent/guardian in the original container. Never allow your child to transport medication. The health office cannot and will not administer any medication in a baggy, paper towel, etc. This is for your child’s safety and is against school policy for medications.
Tylenol may be administered with parental permission and at the discretion of the school nurse. Please remember to circle the appropriate response on the bottom of the emergency form.
Illness, Communicable Disease, and Lice
Please keep your child home if he/she has any of the following symptoms:
Temperature of 100 or greater (temperature should be normal for 24 hours before returning to school)
Vomiting or diarrhea
Persistent cough or thick nasal drainage
Red, itchy eyes with discharge
A child who has a communicable disease should remain at home for at least the length of time indicated below. In addition, a call to the nurse’s office is warranted to help us prevent the spreading of any illnesses throughout the student population.
Scarlet Fever – 24 hours from initiation of medicine
Strep Throat – 24 hours from initiation of medicine
Chicken Pox (Varicella) – six to eight days after the appearance of rash. Scabs must be completely dried. For most students, Chicken Pox is a common childhood illness that may be uncomfortable and inconvenient. For others, however, there is an increased risk of complications due to other health conditions.
Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) – 24 hours after initiating treatment and there is no further drainage.
Head Lice (Pediculosis) – If you suspect your child may have head lice, please notify the Health Office. When head lice are found, the student must receive proper treatment before returning to school; this includes use of a special shampoo and removal of all nits. A student will only be readmitted to school the following day after a head check by the School Nurse is completed.
If a child is suspected of having pediculosis (lice), the School Nurse will examine the suspected child and siblings. When head lice are found, the School Nurse will contact the parent of the child and provide educational materials concerning treatment and environmental control. Following treatment (This includes use of pediculicidal agent and nit removal), the School Nurse will examine your child’s head. Proof of treatment (pediculicidal agent or prescription packaging) must be provided to the School Nurse. Parents of the building will be notified via an Email Blast of the lice identification. Class nor grade level will not be identified in the message. Please see some important facts about lice below:
- Incubation: Eggs of lice hatch in one week and maturity is reached in 8-10 days.
- Symptoms: Irritation and itching of the scalp; presence of small light gray insects and/or their eggs (nits) which are attached to the base of the hairs and do not come off easily.
- Methods of Spread: Direct contact with an infected person and indirect contact with their personal belongings, especially headgear. Lice do not jump.
- Period of Communicability: While lice or nits remain alive on the infested person or belongings.
- Other information: Lice has nothing to do with the cleanliness of one’s home, nor live on pets.
- Please see the NA website http://www.northallegheny.org/page/297
While lice are a nuisance, they are not life threatening. A position statement from the National Association of School Nurses states that “The management of a lice infestation should not disrupt the educational process. No disease is associated with head lice and in-school transmission is considered to be rare” (Frankowski & Boochhini, 2010).
The District’s goals are for head lice to have minimal disruption to students’ educational experiences and minimize the stigmatizing impact on students and families.
Homeless Assistance–McKinney-Vento Act
Under McKinney Vento all school districts are responsible for identifying students experiencing homelessness and connecting them with the resources needed to ensure academic success.
Who is considered homeless—Children or youth living in a shelter, transitional housing, hotel/motel, vehicle, campground, on the street or doubled up with friends or family due to a lack of alternate resources are considered homeless. An unaccompanied homeless youth is a child or youth that is not in the care of their parent or legal guardian and meets the definition of homeless under McKinney Vento.
Where can students experiencing homelessness attend school?—The law indicates that homeless students have the right to remain in their school origin (the school they attended at the time of the homeless episode or last school attended) through the end of the school year in which they find permanent housing, provided it is in the child/youth’s best interest.
If through consultation between the school and the family and/or unaccompanied youth it is determined that remaining in the school of origin is not in the student’s best interest, then the student has the right to immediately enroll in the school that non-homeless students living in the attendance area in which the child/youth is actually living are eligible to attend, even if they do not have all of the required documentation. Additionally, unaccompanied homeless youth have the right to immediately enroll in school, even if they do not have a legal guardian present.
What supports can school districts provide to homeless students?—Homeless students are eligible for supports and services to remove barriers to educational success. This may include transportation to the school of origin, free meals, referrals to physical/mental health providers, clothing to meet school requirements, access to school supplies and resources, assistance with credit recovery, tutoring supports, expedited evaluations and assistance to participate in school activities including parent engagement opportunities, sports, club, etc.
Homeless Dispute Process—If at any time there is a disagreement about homeless status or best interest for school placement, the district will notify the family in writing of their determination that the family/unaccompanied youth is ineligible for McKinney Vento services. At this time, the district will provide the family/unaccompanied youth with the ability to dispute their determination. Throughout the dispute process, the child/youth, including unaccompanied youth, will continue to be educated in the school of origin or immediately enrolled in the school they are seeking enrollment in until the dispute process is finalized. Transportation will continue throughout the dispute process. All disputes will be sent to the ECYEH Regional Coordinator who will issue a determination. If any party is unhappy with the determination, they can elevate the dispute to the state coordinator.
What if I think that I am eligible for services under McKinney Vento?—Contact Dr. Michele Dowell, Homeless Liaison for the North Allegheny School District at 412-369-5512 or email@example.com.
Homework Assignments on Blackboard
Homework is an important and required part of a child's education. It allows for extra practice and/or increased student learning. Homework can reinforce, enrich, or extend the curricular outcomes. Homework can help a child develop skills in personal organization, time management, and following directions.
Students should expect homework on a regular basis in accordance with the following averages:
Grade 1 – 10 minutes Grade 3 – 30 minutes Grade 5 – 50 minutes
Grade 2 – 20 minutes Grade 4 – 40 minutes
These time allotments are suggested for four - five nights per week for most elementary students. Homework may take your child more or less time. Homework may be assigned periodically on Fridays, if needed. However, reading literature, trade books, and journal writing is always appropriate for evenings, weekends, and vacations. Any questions or concerns about homework should be addressed to the teacher who made the assignment.
A. The student will:
- Budget time to complete assignments made.
- Arrange to make up missed assignments as required by the teacher.
- Ask for further explanation if original directions are not completely understood.
- Homework assignments can be reviewed daily on the Blackboard agendas.
- Initiate the request for help when needed.
- Properly manage time and task completion on long term assignments.
B. The parent will:
- Provide a quiet, well-lighted study area with a desk or table and comfortable chair.
- Keep study tools available: pencils, sharpener, pen, crayons, paper, ruler, and dictionary.
- Establish a regular time for homework.
- Limit television viewing and avoid TV or radio listening during study time.
- Inquire about your child’s homework and help him/her to budget time for completion and get ample sleep.
- Encourage step-by-step work on long term or major projects to avoid last minute, careless work.
- Review homework on the Blackboard agenda and correspond with the teacher if needed.
All students and staff members have access to the Internet. The Internet is accessible through the classroom computer(s), computer lab, iPads, and the library. All work is done with the supervision of a teacher. When the students are on-line at Ingomar, they are closely monitored and the sites they are accessing are screened by the HES staff members. Each year, we recognize Cyber Safety Day and hold lessons with the students on navigating the Internet safely in accordance with the CIPA legislation. All students use iPads at the elementary level, and Internet safety is highlighted throughout the entire school year. The students have benefited greatly from this technology, which has become another valuable resource to enhance our core curriculum.
After school intramural sport activities are offered to all 4th and 5th grade students. The purpose of this intramural program is to provide every student with a foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle, in which athletic competition is only a component of overall wellness. Our program stresses cooperative skills and team activities, such as basketball, soccer, hockey, and kickball.
Every Monday is Encore Special Rotations (Encore Day) is an integrated approach to teaching special subject areas in one (1) hour blocks per grade level. These special subject areas are: Art, Music, Physical Education and Library. Please use this LINK for a program description of each of the classes. Homeroom teachers will notify students of the specific dates for each of the special subject area Encore days.
Items Brought From Home (Water bottles are permitted.)
Items like toys, sports equipment, trading cards, or game-like items from home should not be brought to school. Students are NOT permitted to bring electronic equipment to school without the permission from the principal. Some students may have a need to use sensory items. Teachers can ask students to place spinners or other sensory items distracting from instruction in their backpacks. Children should not bring valuables or large sums of money to school. Water bottles should be brought to school, and filling stations are available to all students.
Kindergarten Day and Transportation
AM Kindergarten begins at 9:00 AM and concludes at 11:45 AM.
Kindergarten begins at 12:45 PM and concludes at 3:30 PM.
The District provides bus transportation to AM Kindergarten and from PM Kindergarten. The noontime transportation is the responsibility of the parents/guardians.
Each month a student from each homeroom is nominated to be a “Hudson Hero” based on qualities such as character, leadership, and citizenship, not solely on academics. The Hudson Hero must be a diligent student, complete his/her assignments on time, show a strong effort to learn subjects to the best of their ability, come prepared for class; and have good classroom participation. The Hudson Hero demonstrates excellent behavior in and out of the classroom, is well mannered, and respectful to both peers and teachers. The Hudson Hero displays excellent citizenship by working together with classmates while maintaining a cooperative attitude and demonstrates good behavior. These students should display leadership qualities and serve as role models for their peers. Lastly, the Hudson Hero demonstrates exemplary character through his/her compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, responsibility, optimism, and loyalty by helping to create a positive school environment.
Each month homeroom and learning/emotional support teachers will nominate 1 student from their homeroom/classroom. If the special area teams, SSA’s, or paraprofessionals have a student in mind that they think should be nominated, they can speak to that student's homeroom teacher.
The students nominated should demonstrate the “Big 3”:
Do the Right Thing
Treat People with Kindness and Respect
Do Your Personal Best
Each month the students who are selected for this honor will be rewarded with a certificate, their picture will be displayed on the bulletin board outside of the office and they will be featured on the announcements. Each Knight of the Hero will then be placed in a raffle. The student whose name is picked along with the other nominees within their grade level will be rewarded with a special reward.
The library is open on a regularly scheduled basis and is supervised by the librarian or the library secretary. Library classes are held for all grade levels in the school, with the purpose of enhancing literacy skills, introducing students to research, and engaging them in the use of technological tools.
Students are allowed to access the library with permission of their classroom teacher. They may use the library to read, check out books, use audio materials, access their electronic files or projects, and to complete research. Each student may check out a set amount of books for a one-week period. There is no fine for overdue books, but lost or damaged books must be paid for to keep the library up to date.
Our library collection is constantly updated and expanded. Books are chosen for their educational or leisure value. A variety of audio-visual material is also available through the library for teacher use in the classroom. Students are encouraged to find “just right” books to match and challenge their reading level. Should you have any questions regarding the library, please contact our Librarian.
Students are encouraged to help keep the building clean by depositing litter and garbage the provided receptacles and to discard any litter that they see. We recycle at Hosack Elementary School and work with students to instill in them an appreciation for the Earth and its care. Paper materials and bottles are recycled regularly and bins are made available to the students for use throughout the building.
Students are not permitted to chew gum in or on the school property, as a preventative measure to avoid vandalism, an unclean environment, and the potential for choking.
Lost and Found
All clothing, lunch boxes, or other items found at school are placed in the Lost and Found Chest in the main entrance lobby. Money, jewelry, glasses or other small articles of value are turned into the office. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to check the Lost and Found often. All items left in the Lost and Found will be donated to a charitable organization during each semester break.
The North Allegheny School District is committed to helping all children succeed. There are many ways to help children learn and ensure those who need additional support are successful. The Multi-Tier Systems of Support (MTSS) is one of the recommended best practices from the Pennsylvania Department of Education [PDE] to ensure ALL students meet continual academic and behavioral success. This support will be given to ALL students through ongoing collaboration involving teachers, administrators, families, and specialists. Through systematic District and school-wide efforts, students will be provided services based on the evaluation of individual needs through universal screeners (aimswebPlus) and benchmark assessments (Exact Path), consistent progress monitoring, and collaborative problem-solving efforts (Well-Check). It is important that this process is data driven, fluent and flexible throughout the year, please reference this presentation to learn more about MTSS at NA.
The Well-Check process is a process that brings together all the students' stakeholders to review students strengths, progress monitoring and areas of concern. The teams use the root cause analysis process to help identify the root cause of the concern and plan intervention and progress monitoring to determine and measure student growth. The well-Check team and ESAP can work and collaborate to support a student.
Parent Faculty Association (PFA)
For detailed information about the Hosack Parent Faculty Association (PFA) please visit the PFA website, which can be found at https://hosackpfa.membershiptoolkit.com/login-form?r=%2F
The PFA is an integral part of everything we do at Hosack Elementary. You are strongly encouraged to attend a PFA meeting and find out how you can get involved. The PFA meets every other month.. If your schedule does not permit attendance please contact a PFA officer directly to find out how you can help.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent Teacher conferences will be held on November 6 and 7, 2023. Information will be sent out in October for parents to electronically sign up for a conference if they feel it is necessary to have a conference with their child’s teacher. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to arrange and attend conferences as necessary throughout the year. Please contact your child’s teacher if a conference is needed outside of the two regularly scheduled conference days.
There are three homeroom parties during the school year. They are Halloween, Winter Holiday, and Valentine’s Day.
Individual student pictures will be taken on Friday, October 6, 2023. These pictures will be utilized in the Hosack Elementary School yearbook and are available for purchase by families within six weeks of the photography session. Picture retakes, group, and make-up pictures will be taken on Friday, November 17, 2023. Additionally, Spring Pictures are scheduled for March 8, 2024.
Recess time is integral to early childhood growth and development. It affords students a time to be active while also providing a mental break from their rigorous academic work. Hosack is fortunate to have a large playground area, which is utilized during all recess periods. Recess is held indoors only during periods of extreme weather. Recess is always outside unless it is raining, thundering, or the wind chill factor is below 20 degrees. It is important that students dress appropriately on cold-weather days.
Hosack’s Student Expectations and Bullying Prevention Rules are especially important during recess when students are afforded personal freedom in choice of activities and playmates. To ensure that this time is spent wisely and safely, specific expectations do apply to recess and are to be followed with no exceptions. Violation of these expectations may result in the loss of recess privileges.
- Recess is over when the whistle sounds.
- Students should clean up all equipment when recess ends.
- Students should never be out of view of an adult.
- No food is to be eaten on the playground.
The school year is divided into four nine week periods. Report cards are not printed. Report cards are available for students in grades 1-5 at the end of each nine week period through the Powerschoolr SIS Parent Portal. Kindergarten report cards are available at the end of each semester.
Special Area Grades
Students do not earn percentage grades in Special Area subjects. Elementary students may earn Strength, Proficient, or Needs Improvement in Special Area subjects. When viewing grades in the Powerschool SIS Parent Portal you may see percentages reported for the Special Areas. Please use the chart below to interpret these correctly as Strength, Proficient, or Needs Improvement.
90% - 81%
70% and lower
Hosack Elementary School is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is forbidden in the building and on all school property.
Specials: Art, Library, Music, & Physical Education Courses
The art, library, music, and physical education courses make up the special area class rotations. We believe these courses to be an important part of each student’s educational experience.
Students in grades 4 and 5 may participate in the school’s chorus program. Two concerts are held during the school year for students, parents, and interested community members. In addition, students in grades 3 through 5 are encouraged to participate in the school’s orchestra program, and in grades 4 and 5 for the school’s band program.
In PE, your son/daughter will learn the significance of developing and maintaining a healthy body, both physically and mentally. We will also create an atmosphere for the development of their leadership, sportsmanship, and congeniality through our program. Your child should wear or bring athletic shoes on their regularly scheduled P.E. day. Since the students have PE every third Encore (Monday), it is a good practice to wear or bring athletic shoes on these days as well.
Special Education Services
The following special education services, among others, are available for those students who meet the requirements: Autistic/ Life Skills Support, GOAL, Speech,and Learning Support. Contact the school counselor, principal, or Special Education Department if there are any questions about these programs.
A child who arrives at school after 9:00 a.m. is considered tardy. The parent/guardian must sign in at the office upon arrival. All students entering school after 9:00 a.m. MUST check into the office before going to the classroom. Failure to have the student sign in at the office may result in an absence being recorded for the student for the entire day.
There are three reasons recognized as valid excuses for tardiness: severe weather conditions; bus transportation difficulties; and personal accident or illness. A tardy student must stop in the office to receive a late slip to enter class and must submit a signed tardy note from the parent/guardian at that time.
The North Allegheny School District recognizes that the appropriate use of electronic devices can provide great potential for enhanced learning opportunities for all students. However, there are many other uses of electronic devices which can distract from the learning process or otherwise violate the rights of students; thus the use of electronic devices for legitimate educational purposes is permitted, only under the direction of the classroom teacher with approval from the building administration and in accordance with the Code of Conduct. Any student who violates these provisions of the Code of Conduct shall receive appropriate disciplinary action and may have his or her privileges regarding electronic devices temporarily or permanently revoked. Further, the student’s electronic device may be subject to confiscation, either temporary or permanent, and the District reserves the right to hold a confiscated item until a conference has been held with the student’s parent or guardian. Finally, if such violations could possibly constitute a crime under local, state and/or federal law, the District will report such conduct to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Electronic devices shall include all devices that can take photographs; record audio or video data; store, transmit or receive messages, data, or images; or provide a wireless, unfiltered connection to the Internet. Examples of these electronic devices include, but shall not be limited to, iPods, MP3 players, DVD players, handheld game consoles, Apple Watches, cellular phones and smart phones/watches, laptops or other student-owned computers, as well as any new technology developed with similar capabilities of data storage or transmission. In the event that a student is unsure whether the restrictions set forth in the Code of Conduct apply to a particular device, it is the student’s responsibility to verify with the appropriate classroom teacher or building administrator whether the device is subject to the Code of Conduct. The District is not liable for the loss, damage or misuse of an electronic device brought to school by a student.
Appropriate use of electronic devices shall include any use of such devices for educational purposes, such as educational research, which is specifically authorized by a classroom teacher with approval from the Building Administration. Inappropriate use of electronic devices has the potential to negatively impact the educational processes and individual students. Any use of electronic devices that leads to the disruption of the instructional/educational processes and/or violates the rights of individual students is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
*PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL OR CONTACT YOUR CHILD DURING SCHOOL HOURS ON THEIR PERSONAL DEVICE SUCH AS A CELL PHONE OR SMART WATCH. CALL THE FRONT OFFICE.
Any student found to be inappropriately using electronic devices will be subject to consequences set forth within the Code of Conduct. Infractions of this policy can result in a minimum of Level II consequences. In addition, such acts may be in violation of the North Allegheny School Board Policies:
#224.1 –Responsible Computer, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Usage
#237 Electronic Device
Inappropriate use of these devices includes, but is not limited to the following examples:
• Placing and/or receiving a call, text message, or other communication during instructional time (classroom instruction, study halls, and gymnasiums).
• The use of electronic devices in locker rooms and restrooms.
• Using any application on an electronic device which is not directly relevant to the instruction in the classroom and authorized by the classroom teacher.
• Taking, storing, disseminating, transferring, viewing or sharing of obscene, pornographic, lewd, inappropriate, unauthorized, or otherwise illegal images or photographs, whether by electronic data transfer or other means, including but not limited to texting and e-mailing.
• Using any electronic device for purposes which are in direct violation of other provisions within the North Allegheny School District’s Code of Conduct, such as bullying, cyber-bullying, cheating or otherwise violating academic integrity, or harassing or intimidating students or staff members.
The District shall enforce these provisions of the Code of Conduct regarding electronic devices on school grounds, District-operated school buses and other conveyances, and during any District-sponsored activities, whether or not occurring on school grounds. Such prohibited activity shall also apply to student conduct that occurs off school property if the prohibited conduct is (a) directed at another student or students, is (b) severe, persistent, or pervasive, and (c) interferes with a student’s education, creates a threatening environment, or substantially disrupts orderly operations of school. Such activities in direct violation of the North Allegheny School Board Policies (detailed above) will result in violators being disciplined accordingly.
Testing and Screeners
Various kinds of testing are administered throughout the school year. Results are used to help determine individual student progress and also to make adjustments to curriculum and instruction if necessary.
aimswebPlus—The aimswebPlus program is a web-based system that provides teachers data to identify students who will benefit from early intervention strategies and targeted instruction (remediation and enrichment). The screener is used in grades K-2, but it can be used in grades 3-5 when needed. Aimsweb Plus uses brief, valid, and reliable measures of foundational skills in reading and math. The system is designed to universally screen and progress monitor students. All students are given the assessments three times a year.
Exact Path - Students in grades 2-5 use this diagnostic program. Three times a year, students take an online diagnostic to then provide individualized practice. Exact Path adjusts lessons above or below grade level to best support students’ individual learning paths.
Study Island Benchmark Assessments - The Study Island Benchmark Assessments are administered 2 or 3 times during the school year. This assessment is closely aligned with PSSA content, and is used to provide teachers in grades 3, 4, and 5 with additional information on the skill levels of individual students as well as to enhance instruction and intervention strategies within the classroom specific to students’ needs. Students do not receive grades.
Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) - The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a criterion referenced test used to measure students’ progress toward mastering the Pennsylvania Academic Standards in grades 3 through 5. The academic standards identify proficiency levels in Reading and Math for grades 3 through 5, for Science in grade 4, and for Writing in grade 5. The dates for the PSSA tests are listed in the school calendar.
Students are to be in school during the District assessments and State (PSSA) testing, except in cases of illnesses. The dates for all of the tests are listed in the school calendar as well as the notifications from the school. As these tests are important, vacations will rarely be approved for the weeks of these tests. Due to the necessity to complete the tests within a given window for all students as mandated by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education, make-ups will occur for students during instructional time if missed.
Textbooks/School Issued Materials
District procedure states that the parent/guardian is responsible for the replacement cost of lost books or those damaged beyond use. School materials such as books, calculators, etc. that are assigned to students must be replaced if lost or damaged. The cost of textbooks/materials varies due to the original purchase price and age. If an item is later recovered, the amount paid will be returned assuming good condition.
All threats, verbal or written, must be taken seriously. For the safety of our students, all threats will be investigated and the School District’s Code of Conduct strictly enforced.
PowerSchool Student Information System/Electronic Parent Portal
The District has implemented a Student Information System called PowerSchool. An electronic Parent Portal is available, providing parents a web-based gradebook and reporting system with access to student records schedules, and academic performance, as well as the opportunity to update demographic and contact information.
Vacations/Educational Tour or Trip
The parents or guardians of a student who wishes to have the student excused from compulsory school attendance in order to participate in an educational tour or trip must submit an application to the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled. Except for emergency situations, which must be fully explained, this request must be submitted at least five (5) calendar days prior to the date on which the student seeks to be excused for compulsory attendance. If a student will be absent for more than ten (10) school days, the student will be removed as a full-time student. The District will attempt to provide support to the student during the extended absence so that he/she is able to make successful reentry into the school upon their return. The family will need to re-enroll the child upon return.
For students in grades 3-5, no vacations can be approved during the standardized tests, such as during the 3rd-5th grade PSSA testing. Please check the school calendar for the specific test dates. Upon request by a parent/guardian, teachers shall submit a list of student assignments/responsibilities for the period of absence during an approved absence. Assignments/responsibilities may be completed either prior to the absence or upon return to school. All assignments which are to be completed shall be submitted to the teacher(s) upon return to school or within a reasonable time period as designated by the teacher(s).
Days absent for vacation count as days absent from school since students are not present for the learning experience. Parents/Guardians are strongly encouraged to schedule vacations outside of the school year. Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to monitor days absent to avoid excessive absenteeism. Educational Tour Form
The only daytime entrance to school is the main office entrance. All other doors are locked during the school day. Visitors must buzz in through the office, complete the RAPTOR clearance process and receive a “Visitor’s Badge.” Visitors should wear their badge prominently and should remember to sign out in the office and return their badge when exiting.
To ensure the safety of the children, visitors will not be permitted to wander through the building. Messages for students or teachers may be given to the secretary in the office so that classroom instruction is not interrupted. No one will be permitted to go to a classroom unless prior arrangements have been made with the classroom teachers.
The North Allegheny School District strictly prohibits the possession or storage of weapons by students on school property. This is detailed in School Board Policy No. 218.1. For the purpose of this policy, the definition of a weapon also includes weapon “look-alikes.” The District’s Code of Conduct will be strictly adhered to if a weapon is brought to school.
Weekly Building Level Emails
The North Allegheny School District strives to improve the efficiency of communication with and access to information for parents/guardians. At the elementary level, the District will send an email on Friday with information regarding school and District events. An archive of emails will be available on the District website and updated with the latest newsletters each Monday morning.
Parent/guardian email addresses are collected at the time of registration and are used to share District and building-level communications, and to provide updates from the District’s online gradebook and student information system. It is important for parents/guardians to update any changes in their email address by contacting the building secretary.
In an effort to establish and maintain a safe and healthy school environment for all children, the North Allegheny School District approved the guidelines that are within Student Wellness Policy #3441. In support of this policy, no edible treats will be permitted for birthdays or other celebrations. Please reference the “Birthday Treats” section of this handbook for more information.
Volunteers are required to submit necessary clearances prior to volunteering at any of the District’s twelve schools as outlined in Pennsylvania’s Act 153 Volunteer Clearance Legislature. For information about the types of clearances or how to submit clearance, volunteers should visit the North Allegheny School District website for important information about the type of clearances and the procedures for submitting the clearances. https://www.northallegheny.org/Domain/300
Hosack Elementary School
9275 Peebles Road Allison Park, PA 15101
Principal: Mrs. Carla Hudson