TEACHER HANDBOOK

2017-2018

FRED W. MILLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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“It is the policy of Holliston Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, religion,national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities, or employment practices”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Absence – Teacher                                                                8

Absence or Tardiness – Student                                                11-12

Accidents – Illness – School Nurse                                                15

Advertising                                                                        16

Announcements                                                                11

Assembly Procedures                                                                14

Attendance – Class                                                                11

Attendance – Homeroom                                                        11

Attendance – Teacher                                                                7

Bullying, Professional Development of                                        10

Chapter 622 – Discrimination Law                                                3

Child Abuse and the Law                                                        4-5

Combining Classes                                                                15

Conference and Seminar Attendance – Teacher                                8

Conferences – Parent                                                                9-10

Corporal Punishment – Massachusetts School Law                                5

Corridor Offenses                                                                10

Counselors                                                                        17

Crisis Management Plan                                                        5

Curriculum Meetings/Grade Meetings                                        15-16

Detention – Office                                                                11

Detention – Teacher                                                                10

Discipline – Student                                                                10

Emergency Response Plan                                                        12-13

Extra Help Sessions                                                                16

Faculty Meetings                                                                15

Faculty Parking                                                                7

Family Education Rights & Privacy Act                                        6

Field Trips                                                                        15

Fire Drill Procedures                                                                13

Guidance Counselors, Role of                                                17

Homework Guidelines                                                        17-19

Housekeeping                                                                        7

Lost and Found                                                                9

Media Center                                                                        14

Money – Collection of                                                        9

Mission Statement                                                                1

Multi-Purpose Room                                                                13

No Smoking Policy                                                                6

Opening Exercises                                                                11

Personal Fundraising                                                                16

Philosophy - Fred W. Miller School                                                2

Philosophy - Mathematics Instruction in Elementary School                        18-19

Plan Books                                                                        9

Press Releases                                                                        16

Psychologist                                                                        16

Publicity and Public Relations                                                16

Recess                                                                                15

Requests for Information – Office                                                9

Restrooms                                                                        13

Security – Identification Badges                                                13

Schedules – Teacher and Student                                                8

Sending Information Home                                                        14

Sign-Out Sheets                                                                14

SHINE                                                                                10

Student Records Regulations                                                        5-6

Student Services Administrator                                                16

Substitute Folders                                                                8

Supervision and Evaluation – Teacher                                        9

Supervision of Students                                                        14

Supplies and Equipment                                                        7

Teacher Centers                                                                13

Telephones                                                                        13

Textbooks                                                                        8

Visitors                                                                        6-7

HOLLISTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS  

MISSION

The Holliston Public Schools are committed to providing the resources and opportunities that will enable each student to develop and maximize individual potential in a positive and collaborative environment that encourages and affirms academic achievement and personal excellence.

VISION

Our goal is to graduate confident, critical thinkers, productive and creative lifelong learners, and socially

responsible, engaged citizens who are capable of adapting to change in a technologically advanced and multicultural society. We will:

BELIEFS

We Believe In:

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PHILOSOPHY OF THE FRED W. MILLER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

The philosophy of the Fred W. Intermediate Elementary School is grounded in the belief that all learners can achieve their full potential.  Creating a positive atmosphere that celebrates diversity and encourages individual growth will be the responsibility of the entire school community.  Through a variety of experiences, learners will interact with their environment, communicate with others and acquire values, knowledge and skills.  The Intermediate Elementary School child experiences an emerging sense of self, which will be fostered through a variety of child centered settings.

At the Holliston Intermediate Elementary School, we:

expectations which are constantly readjusted as students progress toward mastery

of basic skills and higher level thinking.

and a sense of responsibility.

have access to challenging, innovative educational experiences.

and performing arts.

sciences in order to promote a sense of joy and wonder about the learning process.

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CHAPTER 622

An important piece of legislation affecting the public schools was passed in August, 1971.  This law, Chapter 622 of the General Laws, Acts of 1971 is referred to as “An Act to Prohibit Discrimination in the Public Schools.”

      “No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public

       school of any town or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study

       of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion or national origin.”

This law makes it clear that all aspects of public school education must be fully open and available to members of both sexes and all minority groups.  No school may exclude a child from any course, activity, service or resource available in that public school on account of race, sex, gender identity, religion,national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities, or employment practices”

On June 24, 1975, the State Board of Education approved regulations for Chapter 622.  These regulations address five areas of school policy: school admissions, admission to courses of study, guidance, course content, and extra-curricular and athletic activities.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Chapter 622 and how it affects your students, please do not hesitate to contact the Principal’s Office.  Copies of the law and the regulations can be obtained from the Department of Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA  02148-5023 (617) 388-3300.

In addition, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare prohibits sex discrimination in federally assisted education programs.  Specifically Title IX states:

     “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in,
       be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or
       activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

Anyone alleging a violation of either Massachusetts Chapter 622 of the Acts of 1971 or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 may make such allegation in writing to Mr. Brad Jackson, Superintendent of Schools, Holliston Public Schools, Linden Street, Holliston, MA  01746.  If there are any questions in regard to the above, you may call the Office of the Superintendent, (508) 429-0654.

“It is the policy of Holliston Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, religion,national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities, or employment practices”

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CHILD ABUSE AND THE LAW

CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT MUST BE REPORTED

Massachusetts Law now requires that certain people, who in their “professional” capacity shall have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of eighteen years is suffering serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse inflicted upon him including sexual abuse, or from neglect, including malnutrition, or who is determined to be physically dependent upon an addictive drug at birth, shall report such condition to the Department of Children and Families by oral communication and by making a written report within forty-eight hours after such oral communication… (Massachusetts Law; Chapter 119, sections 51a and 51b of the General Laws as amended by Chapter 1076 of 1973.)

WHO IS MANDATED TO REPORT

By law, all mandated professionals must report to the Department of Children and Families.  These mandated professionals include:  physicians, medical interns, medical examiners, dentists, nurses, public and private school teachers, educational administrators, guidance counselors, family counselors, probation officers, social workers, and policemen.

TO WHOM DOES ONE REPORT CASES OF NEGLECT OR ABUSE

Holliston protocol calls for staff to report cases of neglect or abuse through the Principal, who will also notify the Director of Student Services.  

Note:  Child abuse cases may be reported directly to the Department of Children and Families by any member of the staff.  In emergency situations where direct reporting is necessary, a 24-hour service is available at the following number:  1-800-792-5200.

IMMUNITY IS PROVIDED

No person required to report shall be liable in any civil or criminal action by reason of such a report.  No other person making such a report shall be liable if the report was made in good faith.  All reports will be held in confidence.

WHO ELSE CAN REPORT SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE

Any other person may report a case of child abuse or neglect who has a reasonable cause to believe a child is suffering as a result of abuse or neglect or malnutrition.

WHAT EXACTLY CONSTITUTES ABUSE AND NEGLECT

Abuse includes:  sexual abuse, physical beating, cutting, burns, or physical dependency on addictive drugs at birth.

Neglect includes:  Malnutrition, lack of adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, and/or serious emotional injury.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS LAW

The purpose of this law is to protect children and to prevent further neglect or abuse – not to punish parents.  Inherent in the law is the understanding that, in the great majority of cases, the best way to help children is to help their families – abuse and neglect are important symptoms, danger signs, that a family is in need of help.  A referral is the first step in providing help.

Recommended procedures for cases where child abuse and/or neglect is suspected:

1.  Report your concerns to the student's counselor or to your administrator.

2.  The counselor or administrator will see the child under some other pretense to gather more

     data.

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3.  The counselor or administrator will notify the school nurse who will also see the student.

4.  The counselor, nurse and the teacher involved will consult with the building administrator.

5.  The principal will assume the responsibilities of the mandatory reporter and take appropriate

     action, if any one member believes that such reporting action is warranted.

Note: Child abuse cases may be reported directly to the Department of Children and Families by any member of the staff.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN

This plan of action is intended to be a general guideline for the Crisis Intervention Team to follow in the event of any crisis or traumatic incident affecting the school community.  It is a resource document which can be used in part or in total depending on the need at the time of

the crisis.

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) will include the principal, guidance counselor, teachers involved and other appropriate personnel (i.e. nurse, psychologist) under the direction of the principal.

Understanding the Crisis

After any crisis, or rumor of crisis, the facts regarding that particular matter should be verified by the principal or his/her designee.  The CIT will be activated.  The Superintendent of Schools will be notified.  The principal or other designated person will make a concerted effort to contact family and determine their wishes regarding kinds of information that should be disseminated to the school community.  The family's right to privacy will be of utmost importance.

The CIT will assimilate available information and draft an appropriately accurate outline/statement for staff.  This statement will be presented at a staff meeting.  All press related issues will be referred to and dealt with by the principal or his/her designee so that the school community may return to its normal daily routine without interference.  The staff phone chain will be used to inform the staff when school is not in session.

MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL LAW

Chapter 71, Section 37G

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FORBIDDEN

The power of the school committee or of any teacher or other employee or agent of the school committee to maintain discipline upon school property shall not include the right to inflict corporal punishment upon any pupil.

STUDENT RECORDS REGULATIONS

On January 28, 1975, the State Board of Education unanimously adopted Regulations Pertaining to Student Records.  These new state regulations encompass and elaborate on the federal law, and establish standards and procedures that guide school administrators, parents, and students in their new rights and responsibilities.

The state regulations apply to all public elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth.  Basically, the regulations allow parents and students once they reach the age of 14 or the ninth grade, whichever comes first, to inspect, receive a copy of, add to, or request deletion or amendment of any information concerning the student that is kept by the school or school committee and that is organized in such a way that the student may be individually identified.  (The only exception to this automatic right of access concerns information kept in the personal files of a school employee and not shared with anyone else.)

Parents and eligible students must be allowed access to the student record within two consecutive weekdays after their request.

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Furthermore, with a few exceptions, the state regulations forbid the dissemination of information about the student from the records to any “third party” without the informed, written consent of the parent or the eligible student.  A “third party” under the regulations is any person or agency except for the parent, the eligible student, or “authorized school personnel” employed by the school committee.

The state regulations divide the student record into two categories of information.  The “transcript” contains the minimum data necessary to reflect the student’s educational progress, such as name, address, course titles, grades, and year completed.  It is to be kept by the school system for at least 60 years after the student leaves the system.  Attendance records are permanent state records.

All other information kept by the school system about the student is called the “temporary record.”  This includes such things as standardized test results, class rank, “extra-curricular” activities, attendance, discipline, and evaluation.  A log is to be kept with each student’s temporary record, and every instance of dissemination of the information in it is to be noted in the log.  The temporary record of any student enrolled in the school after January, 1975, is to be destroyed by the school five (5) years after the student leaves.  Students and parents may request copies of anything in the record before it is destroyed.  Discipline records are destroyed when a student graduates, or otherwise leaves Holliston High School.  Discipline records are used only by the professional staff.  No information is given to outside personnel except when legally required.  Although discipline records are not given out, they certainly influence references that may be given.  

Finally, the state regulations establish procedures whereby parents or eligible students may appeal a decision of the principal about the student record.  Regulations are on file in the school office.

Essentially, no third party, other than teachers of the student or Department of Education personnel, have access to student records without the parents’ or student’s permission.

THE FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS & PRIVACY ACT

The Family Education Rights & Privacy Act known as FERPA (1974), mandates that every school district publish a pupil record policy that includes annual notifications to parents (and students over 18).  These policies must adhere to certain requirements of the Act, including:

  1. Records of individual students containing personally identifiable information must be kept confidential.
  2. Parents/guardians/students over 18 have the right to inspect records.
  3. Parent/guardians/students have the right to appeal anything in a student’s file.
  4. A record of personnel access must be kept.

NO SMOKING POLICY

Chapter 71, Section 37H of the State Law has been amended to prohibit the use of any tobacco products within the school buildings, or on the school grounds, or on school buses.  We respectfully request that all adults honor the law and refrain from the use of tobacco products at any and all school functions.  The Town of Holliston by-law requires first a verbal warning and $100.00 fine for each subsequent offense.

VISITORS

Visitors are required to enter the Miller School through the front entrance.  All exterior doors are locked after the students arrive in the morning.  When visiting the school for any reason, visitors must first be “Buzzed” into the building.  The “Buzzer” is located to the right of the front right hand side doors.  All visitors need to be prepared to show a photo identification and obtain a Visitor’s Badge when signing into the Main Office.  Anyone not wearing a Visitor’s Badge will be stopped immediately and redirected to the office to obtain a badge.  

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Visitors should return to the office after visiting to sign out.  Parents are always welcome to visit our school, but need to follow the protocol for visitors. All visitors are encouraged to make an appointment prior to visiting a teacher or administrator. We do not allow students from other schools to visit while school is in session.

FACULTY PARKING

To insure the safety of every child, please drive with extreme caution and follow the stop signals given by the school buses.  It is a state law that cars cannot pass school buses when the bus has its lights flashing.

GENERAL INFORMATION

HOUSEKEEPING

The custodial staff works to keep the building clean and properly maintained.  Teachers are responsible for the general appearance of each classroom that they occupy.  Corridors adjacent to classrooms are to be kept clean and orderly.

At the end of each day, classroom teachers are asked to abide by the following procedures:  pick up papers from the floor, stack books neatly, and arrange desks, chairs, and tables in an orderly fashion.  They are asked to close windows and turn off the lights if no other class follows.  DOORS TO CLASSROOMS ARE TO BE LOCKED AND WINDOWS SHUT AT THE END OF THE DAY.  

SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT

Each teacher center is stocked with various types of paper.  All other classroom supplies should be requested by completing a Supply Order Form, obtainable in the Main Office or the teacher centers.  Teachers who need materials that are not generally supplied are asked to give advance notice of the specific need, and every attempt will be made to obtain such material.

Students should not be required to purchase items.

TEACHER ATTENDANCE

All teachers are required to be in their classroom and ready to receive students by 7:55 a.m. each school day.  Occasionally, situations arise (cars fail to start, unexpected traffic delays, etc.) which may cause a teacher to be late to school.  Please notify the office by phone when such situations arise.  This will allow us to properly cover your classroom until you arrive.  Please be sure to notify the office upon arrival.  The Miller School telephone number is 508-429-0667.    

The intention of increased planning time for Holliston educators is to provide professionals with maximum opportunity to work and plan instruction together.  Therefore, the HFT and Holliston Administrators have agreed that teachers may use lunch period for purposes of personal needs (banking, drug store, etc.).  A sign-out book is available in each school office for this purpose.

Preparation time has been recently defined in the HFT contract.  We feel your time is premium/quality time.  Teacher time should focus on students, instruction and curriculum development.  Therefore, if an emergency arises that requires a staff member to leave the building during preparation time, a note must be placed in the Principal's mailbox stating the specific emergency necessitating departure during preparation time.

There are two exceptions to the use of preparation time.  Those individuals who are assigned to multiple buildings do not need to sign in or out as the administrator knows their schedule.

 Individuals who are involved in curriculum and instruction for the District, a role that requires movement between school settings, must notify their administrator of where they can be reached using the sign-out book.

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TEACHER ABSENCE

If it is necessary for you to be absent from school, please notify the Substitute Coordinator at 508-429-6672.  The line is on 24 hours a day, however, calls will only be serviced during the following hours:  Sunday-Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Monday-Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.  In the morning, any calls after 6:30 a.m. must be made directly to the Principal’s Office - (508) 429-0667 x 0.  Calls made after 6:30 a.m. to the sub-line for absences that day will not be served.  School business days and personal leave days must be called in at least two days in advance.  Early notification of an absence is the key to having a good substitute.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE TEACHERS TO ATTEMPT TO SCHEDULE THEIR OWN SUBSTITUTE.

SUBSTITUTE FOLDERS

Each teacher must have a clearly marked folder on their desk with emergency information for substitute teachers.  This should include an updated class list, medical information including allergies, a schedule, seating chart, and emergency procedures.   Lesson plans should be left on the teacher's desk for the substitute teacher.  In case of an unplanned emergency, plans may be emailed to team members or office staff.  Backup substitute plans may be left in the emergency folder as well.

DAILY SCHEDULES

Staff and student schedules are not to be changed without the approval of the Principal.  Updated schedules are to be kept on file in the Main Office at all times.  Please date each schedule so we know when it was last updated.

REQUESTS TO ATTEND CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS

The Holliston School System and your School Administration encourage you to attend conferences and seminars, which will help you to do a better job of teaching and to improve your professional background and skills.  Although professional growth is a personal responsibility, very limited funds are available to offset registration and travel costs.

All applications to attend such training must be approved by the Principal and the Assistant Superintendent and where there will be costs to the District, monies must be available in the budget.  Therefore, the sooner your application is presented for approval, the more likely you will be able to attend.  Forms are available in the Main Office.

If college credit is available and you wish to work for it, be certain also to apply for credit before taking the course.  Forms are available in the Main Office.  

TEXTBOOKS

1.  No books should be issued unless they are properly numbered and assigned to a student.

  1. Teachers should frequently check the condition of the books used by their students.  All books should be free of marks and excessive papers, should be properly covered and should not be damaged.

  1. If a book is lost or damaged, the teacher will be responsible for:
  1. Determining that the book is lost/damaged.
  2. Collecting payment for the book and turning it into the Main Office.
  3. Issuing a new book as needed.

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PLAN BOOKS

Good planning is essential to good teaching.  Teachers should complete lesson plans for each class and the plans must be made for at least five (5) days in advance.  Complete, up-to-dated  plans must be available if requested by an administrator.  

COLLECTION OF MONEY IN CLASS

All collections of funds in the classroom must be approved by the office.

In regard to collections of funds in homeroom, the teacher is responsible for the funds until accounted for in the office.  Keep a close accounting of the funds and NEVER LEAVE THEM IN THE CLASSROOM OR IN THE DESK.  Once all monies are collected, teachers should bring it to the administrative secretary in the main office for deposit.  

LOST AND FOUND

The lost and found collection area is located outside the Multi-purpose Room.  Items of value, such as eyeglasses, keys, money, etc., should be left at the Main Office.

TEACHER SUPERVISION AND EVALUATION

All educator evaluations are based on the 5-step cycle outlined in Article VI: Teacher and Caseload Educator Evaluation System.  They include (1) Self-Assessment, (2) Analysis, Goal Setting, and Plan Development, (3) Implementation of the Plan, (4) Formative Assessment/Evaluation, and (5) Summative Evaluation.  

In addition to the educator evaluation process, all teachers are required to develop and follow a 5-year Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) to maintain their Massachusetts teaching license(s). This plan must be initially endorsed by the building principal and then reviewed every two years.  

Please see the summary of what is required and the respective timeline at the following link: http://bit.ly/1HY6K3B 

OFFICE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Periodically, information is requested by office personnel.  We ask that teachers comply with these requests and be prompt in meeting the established date for their return.  Dates for return are established to give the Main Office an opportunity to meet deadlines.  Your assistance in completing requests accurately and returning them promptly will be appreciated.

PARENT CONFERENCES

All staff – teachers, support personnel, administrators and aides – have many opportunities for successful, positive contacts with parents and other community members.  Every contact is important.  Approach each written communication or phone call with the knowledge that it will be examined with some care at the other end.  Use each casual contact as an opportunity to improve community relations and to do a better job teaching our students.  Consider the need for accuracy, diplomacy, and good form when completing report cards.

Any form letter or special correspondence which goes home with students should be cleared with the principal.  Keep a personal record of contacts, both written and spoken.

Good contact with the home is one of the best ways to assist you in the teaching process.  Each teacher is asked to return parent calls within 24 hours or to seek assistance from an administrator if this is not possible.

Parent conferences may be held either during the day during preparation time or after school.  Frequent telephone calls home are very helpful in improving most student behavior and academic performance.

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In order to make our publications most effective, share with the office any items which you feel should be included.  

Consider the value of regular, positive contacts.  Don’t hesitate to reach for the phone when you have something good to share.  You can make at least three people feel good - the parents, the student, and yourself.

One way we try to get students to own the rules is by teaching positive behavior traits focusing on these rules.  At the Miller School we want students to SHINE!

artoon-sun-hi

       

                                SHINE

S = Self Control

H= Honesty

I = Independence

N = Nice

E = Effort

These traits will help students learn and grow at the Miller School.

Teachers are encouraged to recognize students with SHINE cards and to participate in SHINE celebrations.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Schools and districts must provide ongoing professional development to increase the skills of all staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. Staff must complete the district’s annual Bullying Prevention and Intervention training.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE

Teachers are responsible for the supervision of students in all areas of the school.  Students are to be held accountable for discourteous and disrespectful behavior in the corridors, playgrounds, cafeterias, lavatories, the gymnasiums, and classrooms.  In brief, there is to be no running in the corridors, no gum-chewing, no hats and no fighting.

The Miller School has no set punishment for inappropriate student behavior.  Each case is viewed and handled individually.  The teacher may choose to speak with the student, or refer the students to the office.  Many discipline cases can be resolved by early contact with the student’s home.  A telephone call to a parent or guardian often makes further actions unnecessary. If a child is sent to the office, they should be sent with a Miller Office Referral Form.  The form can be found at the following link:

https://drive.google.com/a/holliston.k12.ma.us/file/d/0B67XmtlQmMp2YVQxTzZwdEduc1E/view?usp=sharing

CORRIDOR OFFENSES

Any professional staff member who witnesses or encounters student misbehavior in the corridors is requested to follow the procedure detailed below:

  1. For the first offense, give the student/s a verbal warning, indicating that such behavior is unacceptable.
  2. For subsequent offenses, the student is to be sent to the office with a note explaining what he/she did and indicating that he/she has been warned on a previous occasion.

If any staff member has any questions concerning the procedure, please contact an administrator.

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OFFICE DETENTION

This detention is for the exclusive use of disciplinary action determined by an administrator.  Office detention is held from 2:35 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will be supervised by an administrator.

OPENING EXERCISES

There is a period for opening exercises at the beginning of each day starting at 8:10 a.m.  Each homeroom teacher has responsibilities at this time.  

In addition to attendance procedures which are outlined below, the homeroom teacher is responsible for the following:

  1. General supervision of the homeroom and the corridors adjacent to the homeroom.  This supervision should be accomplished by the teacher positioning herself/himself in the doorway of the classroom where a good view of both corridors and the room is possible.  This should be done while there are students moving through the corridors.

  1. Each homeroom teacher is to report any repairs needed in the homeroom area.  Please fill out a Maintenance Request Form (located in the Main Office) and turn it in to the Administrative Secretary.

  1. The homeroom teacher at times will be called upon to perform certain information-gathering tasks which are essential to the operation of the school.  Care should be used in gathering this information and reporting it to the office.

  1. Take home information should be distributed during homeroom period and students reminded to take the information home to their parents/guardian.
PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM – ANNOUNCEMENTS

Morning announcements will be made during the homeroom period.  Additional announcements of an urgent nature may be made only with the consent of an administrator.  Announcements to be read must be written legibly, dated, and signed by a teacher on a form available in the Main Office.  Only announcements of general interest to students will be addressed.

ATTENDANCE PROCEDURE: STUDENTS ABSENT OR TARDY FROM SCHOOL

Attendance

Massachusetts Law requires compulsory attendance for all students. Chapter 76, section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws requires all children between the ages of six and sixteen to attend school. The school must uphold state laws relative to student attendance. For the complete Holliston Public Schools’ School Committee policy visit -- HSC School Absence and Dropout Prevention Policy 

Truancy

Any student who is absent for all or part of the school day without the knowledge/consent of his/her parent/guardian or who leaves school during the school day without prior knowledge and consent of school authorities and of his/her parent/guardian shall be considered truant.

Being truant and/or being late for class or missing a class deliberately is serious and disciplinary action will be taken.  

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Notification of Absence/Tardy

When a student is absent from school or going to be tardy (arrival after 8:10 is considered tardy) parents are asked to call the school prior to 8:10 a.m. on the day of the absence/tardiness and leave a message on the absentee line; 429-0667, option 3.  When a student returns to school from an absence, he/she must have a note from a parent/guardian excusing the absence.  The student will report directly to homeroom and give the note to the homeroom teacher.  

An Excused Absence/Tardy includes:  

Illness or quarantine  

Bereavement/serious illness in family

Weather so inclement as to endanger the health of the child

Major religious observations  

For students who have five tardies (excused or unexcused) or five absences (excused or unexcused) per 45 school days, an internal review will be conducted by the school based Team to identify, if necessary, whether appropriate interventions and/or accommodations are needed.  For students with seven tardies or absences (excused or unexcused) per term a staff member will make contact with parent/guardian and a meeting may be held.  For those students who reach 10 days of tardies or absence (excused or unexcused) during a 45 day span a letter regarding absences will be mailed home and the parent/guardian will continue to work with the school regarding missed educational time.  

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN ACTION CATEGORIES*

“EMERGENCY EVACUATION” 

“INTRUDER RESPONSE”

  1. EVACUATE

  1. HIDE OUT

  1. TAKE ACTION

CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO

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 “CLASSROOM CONTAINMENT”

ACTION:

*The Emergency Response Action Categories are explained in detail in the Emergency Response Manual located by the door of every classroom.

SECURITY

In an effort to increase school security, all teachers must wear their Holliston Public Schools identification badge while in the school building.

FIRE DRILL PROCEDURES

Teachers are responsible for reviewing the fire drill procedures with their children.  Each classroom has its specific emergency exit plan posted near the hall door entrance.  Please make sure that your students are familiar with the location of the plan and that you review the exit procedure with them.

Teachers should remember to shut off lights, close the classroom door, and take your rank book with you to verify attendance once outside the building.  Teachers are to accompany students at all times during a fire drill and keep them orderly, quiet and together.   You may return to the building once directed to do so.

TELEPHONES

  1. School telephones are for school business only.  Teachers should use the phones in the classrooms or teacher areas for this purpose.  Personal calls should be limited to those of a serious or urgent nature.

  1. Students may use the classroom telephone only when necessary and with permission from their teacher.  The office phones may only be used for calls of an emergency nature.  After-school plans should not be made during school hours and calls of this nature should be discouraged.

  1. Emergency calls for teachers will be delivered immediately.  Calls of a non-emergency nature will be transferred to voice mail.  If you are expecting a call and would like it sent directly to your classroom, please notify the caller to dial 0 to get the Main Office.  The call will then be transferred to your classroom.  Otherwise, outside calls automatically go into your voice mail during school hours.

RESTROOMS

Staff restrooms are located on each level next to the teacher centers, and outside of the teacher’s dining room.  Please avoid using restrooms in the Main Office.

TEACHER CENTERS

Teacher centers are provided for teachers’ use.  These areas are for faculty use only and should be kept clean and orderly.  The Main Office should not be used as a teacher center.

MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM

Teachers who wish to use the Multi-purpose Room in the Miller School must sign up ahead of time in the Main Office.

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MEDIA CENTER

Teachers are asked to use the sign-up book in the Media Center to reserve class time for the Media Center.  Our librarian will be happy to assist you with any of your classroom needs.

Do not send students to the Media Center unattended without consulting the librarian in advance.  The Media Center checks out books, magazines and videos, and is here to serve you.  Please use it.  

SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS

Students in your care must be under the supervision of a teacher at all times.  Therefore, teachers should not allow students assigned to them to work alone in empty classrooms.  If children are permitted to work in the corridors, they must be supervised.  Failure to follow this requirement could result in personal liability should any accident occur.

Similarly, students should not be sent to the corridors for discipline for long periods of time.  If a student cannot be controlled in the classroom and strategies like ignoring, redirection, and taking a short break have not been successful, he/she can be sent, with a Miller Office Referral Form.  The form can be found at the following link:

https://drive.google.com/a/holliston.k12.ma.us/file/d/0B67XmtlQmMp2YVQxTzZwdEduc1E/view?usp=sharing

Teachers should avoid using either derogatory comments or physical contact to control students’ inappropriate behavior.  Many discipline cases can be resolved by early contact with the student’s home.  A telephone call to a parent or guardian often makes further actions unnecessary.

Teachers are expected to assist with the supervision of students in the following areas:

  1. To supervise the corridors adjacent to their classrooms:

  1. Before morning homeroom period.
  2. Between periods when students are changing classes.
  3. During afternoon dismissal.

  1. To escort classes to and from the cafetorium at lunchtime.

SIGN-OUT SHEETS

Sign out sheets must be used any time a student leaves a classroom.  The student is to sign out upon leaving and sign in upon returning to the classroom, using his/her first and last names, and must indicate the time of departure and return.  They are not to use their initials in signing out.  It is very important that this procedure is followed in the event we need to track a student during a fire drill, for the nurse, or for miscellaneous discipline issues that may occur outside of the classroom.  Students may not sign out to use the office telephone.  Please maintain the sign out sheets in a folder in your classroom for a minimum of two weeks before discarding.  

SENDING INFORMATION HOME

Any information sent home with students about field trips, special programs, class newsletters, etc., must first be approved by building administration and a copy given to the Main Office.

ASSEMBLY PROCEDURES

Teachers should accompany their students to the assembly, direct them to their seating, and stay with the students during the assembly.  Teachers are responsible for monitoring the behavior of their students and ensuring acceptable behavior and practices at all times.

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COMBINING CLASSES

When classes are combined in one area for various purposes such as the viewing of a film, etc., each teacher should stay with his/her class and not go elsewhere to accomplish other duties.  The Main Office must always be notified if students or teachers will be anywhere other than where their schedule indicates.  We must be able to locate all individuals at all times.

RECESS
Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 may have recess daily.  Teachers are to supervise their students carefully while having recess to ensure student safety and welfare.  Recess should last no longer than 20 minutes.

FIELD TRIPS

Field trips may be planned when such trips naturally fit the subject matter being discussed in class.  A field trip can be defined as any planned activity where the student leaves the school grounds for any length of time.  Planned school programs in town where children walk to the library, fire station, Goodwill Park, etc., are not considered field trips.  However, the Main Office and the nurse must be notified and a permission slip must be signed by a parent/guardian.

Students may be required to pay for field trip transportation and/or admission charges.  This involves considerable preparation.  The proposed field trip must receive approval from the Principal at least 30 days prior to the proposed trip date.  Field trip request forms are available in the Main Office.  They must be complete before the field trip can be approved.

You must use the district wide permission slip in addition to any other permission slip you may have.  All chaperones must have an active CORI on file and be approved on the chaperone approval form before they may accompany a field trip.  Please note the CORI process can take up to two weeks.  Both the district wide permission slip and the CORI approval form are part of the Field Trip Request packet.

Teachers should not at any time transport students in private cars.  All transportation must be approved by the Principal.

ACCIDENTS – ILLNESS – SCHOOL NURSE
  1. The Holliston Public schools provide the services of a school nurse at each facility.
  2. The nurse will be in the building from 7:55 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. (or until last bus departs).
  3. Students who become ill should be sent to the nurse.  If a student is seriously ill, the

office should be notified.  If a teacher leaves a classroom to accompany an ill student, he/she should make certain that the class is supervised.

  1. Accidents are to be reported to the school nurse and the Principal.  This includes accidents that may seem trivial.  The teacher in charge of the class or activity in which the accident occurred must submit an accident report to the office before the end of the day.  This report is to be fully completed and is to be on the form provided by the school nurse.  The importance of this procedure cannot be stressed enough.  Seemingly inconsequential events have sometimes resulted in very serious and litigious cases.
  2. For the protection of teachers as well as the Town of Holliston, teachers are to report all work site accidents, regardless of how minor, to the school nurse.  Accident reports must be completed for insurance purposes only.

FACULTY MEETINGS/CURRICULUM MEETINGS

Faculty meetings and curriculum meetings will be scheduled on Tuesday afternoons.  Therefore, please do not schedule other meetings or appointments for Tuesday afternoons.  All teachers, guidance counselors, psychologist, librarian and the nurse are required to attend these meetings.  Students are not to remain after school on the afternoons of faculty or curriculum meetings.  

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GRADE MEETINGS

To facilitate communication between the teachers, curriculum specialists and administration, grade meetings will be held periodically during common planning time.  

EXTRA HELP

Extra help sessions are scheduled to ensure that each student has the opportunity to meet with his/her teachers.  These sessions are planned to avoid conflicting demands of pupil or teacher time.  Extra help sessions should be scheduled at the teacher’s discretion. Please notify the main office of students staying for help.

PERSONAL FUNDRAISING

Personal fundraising may not be done through school email or on school grounds without prior permission from the administration.

ADVERTISING

The school may not in any way encourage advertising for private concerns or individuals in the town which will result in private gain to individuals or organizations.

Notices and advertising may be posted for such organizations as the Red Cross, religious groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, government agencies, etc.  All such notices and posters must be approved by the Superintendent of Schools and the building administrator.

PUBLICITY AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

While the teacher is not primarily concerned with publicity and public relations, everything he/she does contributes to public reaction to the school program.  Perceptions take on a reality.  Teachers are reminded that the public can make judgements based on what they see and hear both inside and outside the classroom.  Thus, teachers are advised to conduct parent conferences, telephone calls, and other dealings with the public with the highest of professional standards.

PRESS RELEASES

If a teacher is involved with an activity where a press release would be appropriate, please submit the following data to one of the administrators:

1.        Nature of activity                        4.        Time and dates of activity

2.        Grade/s involved                        5.        Brief description of what happened

3.        Students involved

Those with literary abilities should feel free to compose a news story for inclusion in the newspaper.

STUDENT SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR

The Student Services Administrator is responsible for implementing all special education services as well as facilitating services for all students in need of academic services.  The role has expanded the ability to effectively communicate between educators, parents, and guidance counselors to identify and provide services for all students at the Fred W. Miller Elementary School.

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

The School Psychologist provides a variety of direct and indirect services to benefit students.  The specific manner in which services are delivered will vary depending on the specific needs of the students.  Services provided are crisis intervention and assessments.  The basic goal of the school psychologist remains to help every child learn to the maximum extent possible.

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GUIDANCE COUNSELORS’ ROLE

The counselors play an important role in the development of each student.  Each student’s placement, adjustment, and progress during these years is guided by the counselors.  Perhaps, more than any other single individual, the counselors try to view the student’s total environment and to help with his/her social, emotional, and academic development.

In concern for each individual student, the counselors work as part of a team with teachers, parents, administrators, and specialists.  The counselors work with the teachers and others on curriculum requirements to provide for proper student placement, consult with teachers concerning learning problems, work with teachers to broaden their understanding of

growth and development problems of the students, screen teacher referrals for psychological evaluation, and make recommendations for testing.  The teacher is helped to understand the problems and changes within the pre-adolescent.  

This may be done through conferences with the teacher about an individual student, through classroom observations for teachers conducted by the counselor, or perhaps through an evaluation with the teacher of the student’ records.  In reviewing an individual’s class progress, suggestions for dealing with different youngsters are discussed and recommendations for remedial or specialized programs are made through the counselor.

The counselors also work directly with students and may meet with the student for individual conferences about learning problems, school problems, educational programs and choices, and development of better work habits.  During the individual conferences, there may be a need for counseling.  Counseling in this setting involves helping students to understand themselves, make realistic choices, and explore alternatives in making decisions.  Counseling of this type will involve working with the child over a long period of time.

These conferences may be initiated by the student, teacher, parent, administrator, school nurse, or counselor depending on the need for the conference.  The counselor is available to all students and is willing to help in any way possible.

HOMEWORK GUIDELINES

PHILOSOPHY

Fred W. Miller Elementary School believes that homework is a valuable learning tool that teaches children how to organize materials and budget time, while promoting student responsibility and good study habits. The purpose of homework is to reinforce, strengthen, and extend skills taught during the school day. Homework provides a useful link between home and school, which encourages teacher/parent communication and facilitates parent understanding of topics taught at school. Homework habits taught at Miller will provide a foundation of skills that will assist the students in their academic future.

TIME GUIDELINES:

*Consultation between team members is necessary to achieve these guidelines.

ROLE OF TEACHER:

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ROLE OF STUDENTS:

ROLE OF PARENTS:

Philosophy of Mathematics Instruction in the Elementary Schools

Holliston Public Schools

The Holliston Elementary Schools envision all students achieving mathematical competence through a strong curriculum that emphasizes computation, problem solving, communicating, reasoning and proof, making connections, and using representations.  With the goal of developing critical thinking and mathematical understanding, students are actively engaged in meaningful mathematics, discussing their ideas and applying mathematics in interesting, thought-provoking situations on a daily basis.  Holliston's comprehensive standards-based assessment program is used to enhance students' learning and is an integral component of the instructional program.

Guidelines - The Learning and Teaching of Mathematics

Following are the recommendations for the amount of time that will be spent on the daily teaching of mathematics, the estimated time that students will need for homework assignments, and the frequency of the homework assignments.

  Grades             Instructional Time        Homework Time                Frequency

PreK-K                          30-45 minutes                N/A                                N/A

1-2                     45-60 minutes                5-10 minutes/night                2 or 3 nights/week

3-4                     50-70 minutes                15-25 minutes/night                3 or 4 nights/week

5                     60-80 minutes                25-35 minutes/night                4 or 5 nights/week

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Assessment

Assessments may take a variety of forms such as:

Taken together, the results are a valuable tool for making instructional decision, such as:

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