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Pierce Elementary School Handbook 22-23
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Pierce Elementary School

674 N. Gold Canyon Street

Ridgecrest, CA

760-499-1670

http://pierce.ssusd.org

www.facebook.com/pierceelem93555

Home of the

Student and Caregiver Handbook

2022-2023

Table of Contents

Topic

Page Number

Pierce School History and School Information

3

Pierce Mission/Vision

3

PBIS and PBIS Rewards

3

School Calendar

4

Daily Schedule, Early Arrivals, Late Arrivals, and Absences

4-5

Picking Up Early

5

Campus Guests (Visitors and Volunteers)

5

Breakfast and Lunch

6

Parties and Food (not provided by Cafeteria)

6

Lost and Found (Label all items with student first and last name)

6

Office or Classroom Phones

6

Outside Food/Drink & Class Parties

6

Birthdays and Holidays

7

Textbooks, Library Books, and Other Checked Out Materials

7

Annual Notices and SARC Availability

7

Progress Reports, Report Cards, and Grades

7-8

Parent/Teacher/Caregiver Conferences

9

Homework

9

Acceptable Use Policy for Chromebooks and other Devices

9

Cell phones and Other Personal Electronic Devices

9

Illness, Injury, Medication

10

Lice

10

Dress Code

10-11

Picking Up and Dropping Off Students (Traffic Flow/Parking Lots)

11-12

Pierce Family Engagement Policy

12

Pierce Parent Connection, and School Site Council

12

Common Behavioral Expectations -

     Panthers are Safe, Respectful, and Responsible!!

13

Pierce School History and School Information

Pierce Elementary School is located in Ridgecrest, CA and was originally opened in September 1959 as Desert Park School.  The school was eventually renamed as Pierce Elementary School after Harold E. Pierce, a former principal and superintendent of China Lake Schools, the first school district in our area.  The school’s mascot is the panther and the school's colors are dark blue and white, although blue is the most commonly used color.  

Pierce Mission/Vision

The Sierra Sands Unified School District mission is to provide the highest quality education in a safe environment to all K12 students.  The Pierce mission is the same, and our vision is to remove barriers so all students can realize even their most ambitious goals.

PBIS and PBIS Rewards

Pierce is a PBIS campus!  PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports.  This framework guides all processes and routines at the school, and campus personnel work to ensure there are clear, universal expectations, rewards, and consequences for all behaviors in all situations.  PBIS monthly events and raffles will be conducted throughout the school year. Students will receive tickets during unstructured times by staff members. Rewards may include books from the book vending machine, items from the Principal’s Rewards Cupboard, lunch with the Principal as well as other items.

2022-2023 Board Approved School Calendar

https://www.ssusd.org/calendar/academic_calendars

Daily Schedule

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays*, Thursdays, and Fridays:  9:00am-3:15pm

*9:30am-3:15pm on Late Start Wednesdays, please refer to the district calendar for late start dates. No late starts in May.

Early Arrivals

Students cannot be on campus before 8:45 am which is when supervision is available, unless they are enrolled in the Before School Program or are participating in intervention groups with teachers. Early arrivals will not be permitted to wait in the office or enter the campus until 8:45am.

Late Arrivals

Promptly at 8:55am, the cafeteria doors will close and the breakfast cart at the gates will return to the cafeteria, since classes start at 9:00am.  The gates to campus will close at 9:00am. Students arriving after the bell has rung must enter campus through the office to receive a late note.

Absences

Please notify the office the same day your student is absent, if possible.  If the school has not received notice from the parent about the absence by 10:00am, the system will begin making phone calls.  It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the office of all absences.  Absences are cleared when the parent calls, but will remain unexcused in some cases.  Only absences relating to doctor appointments, legally required appointments, or attending a funeral may be changed to excused.  Too many unexcused or excused absences can result in referral to the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB).

Picking Up Early

To pick up your child early, start at the office.  Informing the teacher of the plan is encouraged, but students will not be sent to the office by the teacher or called to the office until an adult is in the office ready to pick them up.  Leaving early is considered a partial absence and the same guidelines of excusal apply.  Students will only be released to their parent/guardian or an adult on the emergency contact list. State-issued, valid ID required for all early releases.

Campus Guests

Guests to campus fall into two categories, visitors and volunteers.

Visitors:  Guests that have not completed the volunteer process through the district which includes TB testing, fingerprinting, and a meeting with the site principal who visit occasionally to meet with staff, drop off items, etc. are considered visitors.

Volunteers:  Guests that have completed the volunteer process through the district which includes TB testing, fingerprinting, and a meeting with the site principal who come to campus for the purpose of providing a service are considered volunteers.

All guests must check in and out through the office for every visit to the campus.

Breakfast and Lunch

All Pierce students can enjoy a breakfast and a lunch for free, regardless of their parent’s income or status. You may be asked to complete a “Free and Reduced Meals” application, but this is for data collection purposes only.  The school must collect these forms in order to determine future eligibility for state and federal funding which keeps our meals free, so we greatly appreciate your cooperation in filling this form out.

Lost and Found

Please label all items from home with your student’s first and last name. This includes hoodies and coats, backpacks, headphones, pencil pouches or boxes, and lunch boxes or bags.  Periodically items in the lost and found will be displayed outside of the computer lab, room 13, or in front of the school.  At the end of the school year, all unclaimed items will be donated.  

Office or Classroom Phones

The school phones are business phones.  The office can take a message for a student if it is an emergency or the information is critical, but students are not to use the school or classroom phones unless there is an emergency or with special permission.  

Outside Food and Class Parties

Parents or other caregivers may wish to bring outside food to their student, but note:

Only store-bought food, drinks, or snacks can be provided during a class party.  Class parties are acceptable in October, December, February, or May.

Birthdays and Holidays

All members of staff recognize and respect that all families view holidays and birthdays differently.  If you do not wish for your student to participate in holidays or have their birthday recognized while at school, please notify the teacher as soon as possible.

Birthdays:  If you wish to drop off an item for your student’s birthday, check with the teacher at least 24 hours in advance.  Notification of the plan must come from the teacher or it will not be accepted or delivered to the classroom.  Please note that teachers may deny your request depending on the plans for the day.  Typically, the item is given out at recess, lunch, or the very end of the day.  Please consider healthy snacks or non-edible items (i.e., pencils, stickers, etc.) instead of sugary treats.  No caffeinated beverages shall be permitted.  

Holidays:  Periodically throughout the year teachers may discuss historical and cultural

contexts surrounding holidays (i.e., what is Independence Day, how are Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day different, or which cultures celebrate Kwanzaa, Christmas, or Hanukkah, for example).  Additionally, classes may have class parties for Halloween, Christmas or Winter celebrations, Valentines Day, and the last day of school.  Each year, Pierce hosts a Halloween Parade, Holiday Performances, and other schoolwide holiday events such as Candy-Grams, etc.  Please refer to the “Outside Food and Class Parties” section of this handbook.

Textbooks, Library Books, and Checked Out Materials

All materials checked out to the student for use at home remain the property of SSUSD and Pierce Elementary School, and must be returned when requested by the site. Students can check out up to two (2) books during their class library time, and parents or caregivers are welcome to check out up to five (5) books before or after school if they agree to take care of these items. Please ensure they are stored in a safe, dry place, away from pets and younger children who may not be ready to care for the items properly.  If an item is lost or returned damaged, a replacement fine may be assessed.  

Progress Reports

Progress Reports are issued on a trimester basis, typically early October, early January, and early April.  These reports are sent home to inform you of your child’s progress, and the factors that might be contributing to your student’s progress.  Early notification gives the student a chance to improve before report cards are issued at the end of the trimester. Please contact the teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

Report Cards

Report Cards are issued on a trimester basis, typically November, February, and May.  Report cards encapsulate progress over the entire trimester and a copy is placed in each student’s permanent record (i.e., cumulative folder).

Grades

Students in Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten are graded as follows, along with milestones (i.e., 20 letters known out of 26, 14 numbers known out of 20, etc.):

O

outstanding

S

satisfactory

N

needs improvement

Students in grades 1 through 5 are graded as follows:

Grades 1-2

Grades 3-5

90-100%

5

A

80-89%

4

B

70-79%

3

C

60-69%

2

D

0-59%

1

F

Annual Notices and SARC Availability

Annual notices are sent home annually.  The annual notices and the School Accountability Report Card (SARC)  and available online at pierce.ssusd.org.

Conferences

Parent/Teacher or Caregiver/Teacher conferences are held in November and March each school year.  All parents/caregivers are asked to meet with their student’s teacher in November.  The meetings in March are set up on an as needed or as requested basis.  Parents and caregivers are welcome to schedule conferences with teachers anytime, regardless of the conference schedule.

Homework

Since homework is an extension of learning and a chance for mastery, new concepts will not be introduced for homework.  Homework encourages students to assume greater responsibility for their learning and extends classroom learning experiences.  Teachers assign homework as needed to support the learning of the day or complete tasks the student did not complete at school.  

All homework should not exceed 30 minutes per night in grades TK-2 or 1 hour per night in grades 3-5, total.  When your student does not have homework, here are some activities they can do at home to extend their learning and reinforce concepts:

Acceptable Use Policy for Chromebooks and other Devices

All students and parents must sign an acceptable use agreement for a student to use a chromebook or other computer while at school.  This form comes home the first week of school and must be completed and returned each year.  If a student does not have the acceptable use agreement on file, they cannot use the chromebook or computer, except while under direct adult supervision and only to complete district and school testing.  IF a student violates the acceptable use policies, they may lose the privilege of using school devices.  If you have a district device you are using at home and need technical assistance, please email techsupport@ssusd.org.

 

Cell phones and Other Personal Electronic Devices

According to SSUSD Board Policy 5131.8 cell phones and other personal electronic equipment are permitted on campus as long as the following rules are followed:

Please note that the education code requires schools to investigate, intervene, and/or punish if a personal electronic device is used for bullying, making threats, or otherwise poses a danger to students or staff, even if the act occurred off campus.

Pierce Elementary School and the district are not responsible for recovering or replacing cell phones or other personal electronic devices brought to Pierce by students that may become missing or damaged.  The student and their family accept all risks associated with bringing cell phones or other personal electronic devices to school or to school-related activities (i.e., basketball games, field trips, etc.)

Illness and Injury

All school staff are CPR/First Aid trained.  Pierce also has staff trained to use the on-site AED.  If your student receives a minor injury requiring only a small band-aid, the student will receive first aid (i.e., wash the area and apply the band-aid, such as with a minor scrape or paper cut).  

If your student requires more than a small band-aid, receives ice or an ice pack, or has had a head injury, is vomiting, has a fever, or otherwise appears too unwell for school, a parent or emergency contact will be notified.  You or the student’s emergency contact may be asked to pick up the student, if the student appears too unwell or uncomfortable to remain at school.

Medication

All medicines, even over the counter medicines, require a doctor’s note before they can be stored at the school or administered with staff supervision and care.  Please see the office staff for a copy of the doctor approval form that is required, if you need to leave medication at school.

Lice

Per BP/AR5141.33, all SSUSD schools have a zero nit policy.  If school staff suspects a student may have lice, a staff member may do a brief check of the scalp and hair.  If  one nit or live louse is found, the student must go home.  All siblings will also be checked. If two or more students in one classroom have nits or lice, a notice will go home with every student in that class.  Students who return to school after treatment must pass a re-examination with zero nits and zero live lice to be admitted to class.

Dress Code

Pierce Elementary students are not required to wear a uniform, but certain standards of dress should be followed to ensure a safe learning environment for all students:

Students who are found to be out of compliance with the dress code will be asked to change into clean, donated clothes that are kept in the office or call home.  Students who are out of compliance may have an alternative recess for safety reasons, may miss PE or other physical activity, or may miss out on field trips until back in compliance.

Source: Roanoke County School Board in Roanoke, Virginia

Picking Up and Dropping Off Students (Traffic Flow/Parking Lots)

A zone: During arrival and dismissal times, Pierce parking lots can get very full.  Please follow the arrows below to enter the pick up and drop off parking lot on the right side near the preschool.  Please keep the line moving and exit the area as soon as your students are safely seated and buckled in the vehicle.  Do not line up or wait for students in the dirt parking lot.  Double parking is prohibited.  

B zone: Do not pull in, park, or pull through the bus loading zone for any reason, even if the cones are not outside, between 8:15am- 9:30am and 2:30pm-4:00pm daily.

*If walking, please use crosswalks and avoid walking in between cars and traffic.

TK and Kindergarten: An adult must pick up TK and K students at the classroom door unless prior arrangements have been made.  If you wish your older student to pick up your kindergartener, you must submit a letter to the office.

Pierce Parental Involvement Policy

Pierce Elementary has developed a written Title I parent and family engagement policy with input from Title I parents and family members. Parents are asked to review the policy and provide input for revisions to the policy in a variety of venues, including the annual Title 1 meeting. Input is processed through the School Site Council during meetings held during the fall. It has distributed the policy to parents and family members of Title I students by mail or through parent teacher conference opportunities. Parents new to the school are provided a copy during the registration process. The policy

describes the means for carrying out the following Title I parent and family engagement

requirements [20 USC 6318 Section 1118(c),-(g) inclusive].

Pierce Parent Connection

All parents are welcome to become members of the Pierce Parent Connection!  This group of parents and staff meets monthly to discuss fundraisers and other ways to support students.  Send an email to PierceParents93555@gmail.com for more info.

School Site Council

All parents are welcome to attend School Site Council meetings, or to run for a position on the council.  This governing body makes decisions for our school, including how to spend public funds, and reviews this handbook, our School Site Safety Plan, and other key documents and policies.  Contact the principal for more info.

Common Behavioral Expectations - Panthers are Safe, Respectful, Responsible!

Pierce has an active PBIS committee.  In partnership with all staff, the committee crafted a Common Behavioral Expectations Matrix that is used universally, with fidelity, all year by all staff and students.  Pierce has four (4) core expectations:

The chart below shows examples of how students can demonstrate all three expectations in different areas on campus.  These expectations are reinforced verbally and with points using the PBIS Rewards.

A key expectation is KAHFOOTY which is an abbreviation that means “Keep All Hands, Feet, and Other Objects To Yourself.”