Tega Cay Elementary School
TCES Mission Statement:
“Let’s build a school that parents value, where teachers thrive, and children long to be.”
Lead ● Learn ● Love
Tega Cay Elementary School
2185 Gold Hill Road
Tega Cay, South Carolina 29708
Good attendance is essential to the academic success of students and all students are expected to be in attendance each day school is in session. Attendance at Tega Cay Elementary is traditionally outstanding. Each year, we have excellent attendance by our students. This is a tribute to each family’s efforts to have their child at school daily. We appreciate this effort! See the FMSD Attendance Policy for more details.
According to SC Code of Laws 59-65-10, the following types of absences are the only ones considered lawful:
Parents must provide the school with a note identifying the reason for the absence within three (3) days of their child returning to school. The note should be dated and specify the reason for the absence.
Following any absence, a student is required to present a written note from the parent or guardian stating the date(s) of the absence(s), the reason for the absence(s), and the parent’s signature. The note should be presented within two days of the child’s absence(s). If we do not receive a note explaining the child’s absence then it will be coded as unlawful. The school will only accept a parent written excuse for five total days of absences when the student is ill or absent for another lawful reason. Notes are kept on file by the attendance clerk.
Any absence by a student with or without the knowledge of the parent not meeting one of the conditions for a lawful absence as defined above will count toward the cumulative limit of absences. Written notification will be sent by the school for accumulated absences. A call will be made by the attendance clerk after 3 consecutive absences. When a child accumulates 5 absences that are unlawful or not excused by a medical note, the parents will be required to attend an attendance intervention (truancy) conference and assist the principal or his/her designee in the development of an attendance intervention plan which will be valid in any SC school district. Excessive absences and failure to adhere to guidelines of an intervention plan could result in a family court referral. The school will only accept a parent-written note for five days of absence. Following those days, doctor’s excuses are required. All vacations and trips are unlawful reasons for a student to miss school, and will be considered unexcused.
Make-Up Work for Absences:
Assignments and class work missed may be made up if a student is absent from school. The student is responsible for completing missed assignments upon his/her return to school. Remember that experiments, discussions, group activities, etc. may be difficult to replicate. All classwork and/or tests given while the student is absent will be made up. The work needs to be made up within two days of the absence or at the teacher’s discretion. If the student is absent, the parent may call and request to pick up assignments after school in the office. Incomplete or missing assignments could result in a lower grade. Please do not expect the teacher to provide assignments during the school day.
Our school day begins at 7:40 am. Students arriving after 7:40 am are tardy and must report to the office and be signed in by their parent for admittance to class. Tardies cost your child valuable educational instruction. Tardies also interrupt the learning process for other students. Be considerate of other students’ education. Excessive tardies may result in an intervention meeting for development of an attendance plan which will remain in the child’s record and transfer to any receiving school.
Parents are requested not to pick up a child before the regular dismissal time. This is an interruption of the educational process, not only for your child, but other children as well. A child must be present for at least half of the school day to be considered present as related to perfect attendance. However, any portion of the day a child can attend is to his/her benefit. Please provide verification for medical appointments. Please schedule these as near the beginning or end of the day as possible so your child can be in school.
If parents plan to take a child from school before the close of the day, they should send a note in the morning stating the reason for the early dismissal and the time their child will be picked up. Parents are requested to enter by the front door, come to the school office, and sign out their child. Students leaving early must be signed out in the office and be dismissed only to a parent or approved family member. This procedure is for your child’s protection – please keep information updated to facilitate this function, especially in emergency situations or early weather related school closings. In an effort to minimize disruption at dismissal time, all early checkouts must occur before 2pm.
Click HERE to view the Fort Mill School District Calendar.
7:10 AM TCES Opens for Students
7:40 AM Instructional Day begins
2:25 PM End of Instructional Day
Safety is our top priority. We need your help to ensure that students are not in dangerous situations. By following the guidelines below, we can work together to make sure our children get to school and leave safely.
Bus Parking Lot: (Back of the School)
State law requires separation of car and bus pick up areas. Only school district buses are allowed to park in the back parking lot. It is dangerous for our students to be allowed to walk around buses to get to or from cars. The buses must not be blocked as they have many routes to run.
Car Rider Arrival:
For the safety of all of our students we must follow a plan for loading and unloading cars. Please cooperate with school personnel who are on duty. This will ensure the safety of all children. If they ask you to move forward, it is for the flow and safety of traffic. Due to the increase in student enrollment and traffic, and in order to maintain the safety and security of each child, it is crucial that drivers follow the designated traffic pattern. Cars must not be left unattended in traffic lanes. When picking up or dropping off children, parents need to stay in their cars and in the car rider line until their turn. This is to ensure a fluid transition for everyone, and if followed, will allow for a shorter time spent in line.
Please stay in the right lane of traffic for drop off and pick up. We will load your child as quickly as possible. Safety regulations require separate car and bus entrances; consequently, the bus lane is closed to all cars in the morning and in the afternoon. Additionally, parents should not unload children in the teacher parking lot in the mornings.
At TCES, safety and security of students is our highest priority. It is imperative to follow these guidelines:
1. When picking up students from TCES after school, drive your car forward to the front of the carline (located in front of the double doors with the brick pillars). We should be able to accommodate more children safely in this way and lessen the wait time for everyone.
2. Do not pass other cars in the carline.
3. Remind your children to “buckle up – it’s state law (and safer).”
4. Turn off your car while waiting - to reduce air pollution and make the air cleaner for our children. (See http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/K12SchoolsStudentsTeachers/B2BreatheBetterProgram/ for more information.)
5. Adhere to the safety and signals of the crossing guards on Tega Cay Drive; to the school resource officer and administration in the TCES loop.
6. Watch for walking and bicycling students.
7. Please do not use your cell phones while driving.
For safety reasons, students may not be dropped off until AN ADULT is on morning duty at 7:10 am. Students may not enter the building at 7:10 am. Parents are asked to sign their child in at the office when walking them into the building at any time. For the safety of our students we must follow a plan for loading and unloading vehicles. In the mornings, car riders will be unloaded in the front of the building. In the afternoons, car riders will be picked up in that same location. Parents are reminded that for safety reasons, car riders are only allowed to be picked up in the car rider line. Students cannot be picked up or dropped off from the front or back parking lots. If you want to walk your child to the door, please park your car in the parking area and use the crosswalk to safely walk your child across. Students arriving between 7:10 and 7:30 will go to their respective hallways, sit quitely, and read until they are dismissed to their classrooms.
There will be no dismissal between 2:00 - 2:25 PM. to prevent interference with instruction and eliminate any congestion in the car rider line. If you plan to pick up your child from school, please follow the designated pick-up procedures, as there will be lots of traffic, both cars and buses, around the school at this time. We prefer advance notice of changes in your student’s afternoon transportation and that they are in writing to the homeroom teacher.
If your child needs to go home a different way than usual, (for example, ride the bus instead of car rider) you must send a note with your child to his/her teacher. Otherwise, they will be sent home the usual way. If you realize during the school day that your child needs to go home a different way than usual, please email your child’s teacher AND contact the office staff, 803-548-8282, and we will ensure the teacher and child are aware of the change. All changes must be communicated to the office before 1:00 PM in order to ensure your child and teacher know of your changes. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify daycares of changes.
You will receive your yellow vehicle cards during “Meet the Teacher” on August 16th. Please print your child(ren)’s name in LARGE, DARK letters so the duty personnel can call for the student. Place the card in the window/dashboard of your vehicle. This card must be visible to the car rider line caller. This will help speed the dismissal loading process. Please come inside if you do not have the yellow vehicle card for your child or the child you are picking up. For the protection of all of our students and based on the recommendations from the Fort Mill School District Office, you MUST have the child’s yellow vehicle card if you wish to pick up that student. We will no longer release students unless you have the child’s yellow card. You will need to get the child’s card from the parent/gardian prior to pickup OR come into the office and get a yellow vehicle card from Mrs. Greene.
Students should be picked up no later than 2:30 PM. If you are unable to pick up your child by this time, please make arrangements for your child to be picked up by someone else and notify the office of the arrangements in writing by note or e-mail. This is extremely important.
For the safety of all, we ask that drivers not talk on cell phones during pick-up and delivery. We ask that you not smoke in your vehicles or when on school premises during drop-off, pick-up, or visits to the school. Everyone is reminded of the district policy prohibiting smoking on any school property, including buildings, grounds, and parking lots at any time. Please be sure younger children accompanying you are supervised.
Parents are encouraged to have a consistent mode of transportation for their child to eliminate confusion and the potential for a child going home the incorrect way. However, we realize that there are times when a transportation change needs to be made. In this situation, please call the office before 1:00 and email your child’s teacher.
It is our goal to make sure all of our students arrive to and from school safely. Therefore, parents must complete a walker/biker waiver form giving permission for their child to obtain a walker/biker pass. These forms will be available during “Meet the Teacher” on August 16th. Parents giving written permission for their child to walk home recognize the school’s responsibility for the safety of the child does not extend beyond school supervised areas. Students who have been issued a walker tag will be dismissed at 2:25pm through the front entrance of the school. You will not be able to park in the parking lot, walk across the lanes of traffic, and pick up your student. A walker is designated as a student walking home, not walking to a car parked in the parking lot. An updated walker/biker waiver must be completed each school year.
In the event of inclement weather we communicate with families of walkers/bike riders by School Messenger. Your child must use the alternate mode of transportation chosen on their walker/biker waiver form and noted on the back of their walker tag.
Day Care Riders:
Since daycare vans take many children at one time and pick up at other schools, students will be dismissed at 2:15 pm and exit at the end of the Kindergarten hallway.
Parent Volunteers and Dismissal:
Many parents graciously volunteer their time to the school. If you have been volunteering in the building, please follow standard dismissal procedures.
Important Phone Numbers:
(ALSO REFER TO INFORMATION FROM THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT)
Administrators, parents, bus drivers, and students share the responsibility for safe transportation of students. Riding a bus is a privilege and must not be abused. Action will be taken by district and school officials to ensure that all students conduct themselves properly. Where there is evidence of misconduct by any student, action will be taken to correct the situation.
It is important to review the bus rules and expectations set forth by our district transportation department prior to riding on a school bus. Please note that students will not be allowed to ride a different bus home with friends without prior approval from the district transportation office. A complete list of school bus rules, policies and procedures can be found through the Fort Mill School District Transportation website.
To ensure a safe environment on each bus, the school fully supports the driver in maintaining safe bus habits. Anyone who violates these safety standards will be subject to disciplinary action by school officials; when necessary, bus transportation will be denied. The driver will report to the school authorities any offenses committed by the students on the bus. When a student is reported for an infraction of the bus rules, the school administrator will investigate the incident and take necessary disciplinary action. A copy of the incident report will be mailed to the parents. When a student is suspended from riding a bus, he/she cannot ride another bus during the suspension period.
Students are assigned to buses at the beginning of the year, and any variation must be approved by the Director of Transportation. If your child needs to ride a different bus home than the one that picks him/her up, then a special request must be made to the district Director of Transportation. Students will be allowed to ride a different bus only as room allows. Forms for making these requests are available in the school office.
It is the desire of the Fort Mill School District that all students arrive at school and home safely. We appreciate your help ensuring student safety.
Returning to Class After School:
Students are responsible for taking home materials needed for assignments. Should a student need to return to class after school hours, we ask that the student report to the front office and we will call the classroom to notify the teacher. If the teacher is unavailable, unfortunately students will not be permitted to go to the classrooms. We ask that parents remain in the front office while the child retrieves his/her materials.
The Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the US Department of Education.
The law requires that student records be managed in a confidential manner. Regulations and procedures for compliance of this act are provided through board policy. For more information about your rights under FERPA, please refer to the district’s website.
Visitors to School:
Visitors and volunteers must enter through the front door of the school and stop by the office. Security doors to other parts of the building will be opened by an office person after the visitors log in at the computer on the counter and scans their driver’s license or official DMV issued identification card. Every visitor must have a photo identification card in order to enter the school. Security procedures require that badges of visitors/volunteers must be visible at all times. Visitors must always sign in at the front office and obtain this visitor badge before going to a classroom, lunchroom or school grounds. This ensures all students’ safety by letting office and classroom personnel know who is in the building. You are welcome to visit in the cafeteria during your child’s lunch time or in the building during special events such as the book fair and classroom programs. To ensure uninterrupted instruction time, parents will be allowed in the classroom only at the request of the teacher. No school-age child, relative or friend may visit in your child's class; however, they are welcome to visit during lunch time. Please be aware that if you visit your child for lunch, only your child is allowed to join you at a visitors’ table.
Field trips are centered on units of study and feature different activities for different grades. This insures that students have a wide range of experiences at the ages that they would be most appropriate. Parents are asked to sign permission forms for their child's participation; no child will be allowed to go on a field trip unless this form is signed. All students are expected to ride the bus to and from the field trip unless the parents have met with administration to discuss why they need an exception. Volunteers are needed as chaperones on many of these excursions. Chaperones must complete an application for a full background check which is run by the district office and must receive approval before they are allowed to attend a field trip. Chaperones might be requested to ride the bus for a trip. Chaperones are expected to attend the entire length of the trip, which includes leaving and arriving back at the school to insure student safety (following the bus both ways). Chaperones are not permitted to bring other children (younger siblings) on a field trip.
Safety of our students and staff is an extremely important priority for us here at Tega Cay Elementary School. We work closely with local law enforcement and first responders to create a safe learning environment for each individual.
Visiting for Lunch:
In order to ensure that enough food is prepared, please send a note to your child’s teacher if you plan to purchase a school lunch. This information is needed in the cafeteria before 9AM. Parents planning to have lunch with their child should sign in and meet their child in the foyer as they go to the cafeteria.
2019-2019 We welcome family members to join their students for lunch throughout the school year. Our first week of visitors will begin on Monday, September 9, 2019
Due to state testing and end-of-year programs and performances on the stage the last day to have visitors for lunch will be Friday, May 1, 2020.
Parents will be made aware of any available dates fot have lunch with your students at the conculsion of state testing and performances.
“FOOD FOR THOUGHT!”
Our cafeteria staff serve breakfast and lunch at school every school day. Students should either have breakfast at home or purchase breakfast in the cafeteria. Students are required to eat lunch in the cafeteria, either purchasing lunch or bringing lunch from home. Extra milk is available to purchase. Menus are posted in homerooms and are on the district website. Students may pay for breakfast and lunch daily in the cafeteria as they go through the line. Students are encouraged to pay ahead on Mondays for up to a month at a time. Parents may also add money to a child’s account using the internet. This information may be found in the “pay fees” section of the website. Extra food and snacks can only be paid for on a student’s account once a parent has sent a letter approving the sales. Only one letter is neccessary per year.
The meal costs for students are:
Breakfast = $1.35 Lunch = $2.25
Reduced Breakfast Price: $ 0.30 Reduced Lunch Price: $0.40
The price for adult breakfast is $2.30; adult lunch is $4.00.
All foods served in the cafeteria meet state and federal guidelines. Applications for free and reduced-price meals are available at all times in the school office, in the cafeteria and on the district website. Students must re-apply each year. Due to the number of food allergies, homemade or home baked foods are not allowed to be distributed to students within the classroom or applicable classroom setting. Acceptable foods for distribution are those items that were prepared in a commercial and/or licensed kitchen, and most importantly, are packaged with a label clearly listing the contents and ingredients of the food item. This policy is designed to provide consistency and minimize allergy risks in all classrooms, while maintaining a safe and positive learning environment for all students. Some grade levels may choose to prohibit edible treats for birthdays and other celebrations. Birthday treats must be limited to a single item that can be eaten by hand, such as a cookie, cupcake, popsicle, fruit roll up, etc. No cakes or any item that requires plates or utensils may be brought in. If you choose to bring items like a pencil, stickers, etc. (this is encouraged for healthy lifestyles), then this is the one item. To summarize, either one non-food item, or one food item, not both. It is important to note that the policy does not apply to a student’s personal lunch. However, please join us in encouraging the children not to share food.
For more information, review the district’s policy EF and EF-R on meal accounts and balances.
Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and Classroom Volunteers:
Our school encourages your participation in PTO sponsored activities during this year. Our PTO is an extension of the school family, and is dedicated to the support of instructional programs, teaching/learning, and safety. This important group has one major fund-raiser each year (Booster-Thon). In addition, the PTO needs volunteers to help with special programs and serve on committees. Please consider volunteering your time to assist this organization in helping all classrooms, teachers, and students through their many beneficial projects. See the TCES PTO website for more details and information about on-going events.
Many parents and grandparents like to help in the classroom, and we value your assistance. In order to provide a learning environment free from distractions, we ask that volunteers dress in a manner appropriate for the classroom, make other arrangements for younger siblings, check in at the office, turn off cell phones, and avoid unscheduled conferences. Volunteers should plan to attend the volunteer orientation. Because the maintenance of copying machines can be expensive, we require that volunteers be trained by a Tega Cay Elementary staff member before using any school machines.
All visitors to our school are required to sign in at the front office using our ident-a-kid system. This system provides a quick license background check. Chaperones for off-campus field trips MUST first be approved by our district-wide background check. This check typically takes approximately 2 weeks to complete and may be initiated by completing the form found here. Once approved, chaperone status is in effect for 3 years.
School Improvement Council (SIC):
All elementary schools have a School Improvement Council made up of teachers, parents, and administrators that will help to facilitate communications between the community and the school. Officers of the PTO may be elected to serve on the School Improvement Council. Additional members will be elected later in the fall.
Messages can be taken for students and teachers, but it is not always possible to deliver them immediately. Teachers cannot leave their classes for telephone conferences. Students wishing to call home may use the school phone for health and transportation EMERGENCIES ONLY. Forgotten snacks, improper shoes for physical education, and assignments left at home do not constitute an emergency.
The main job for our teachers is to provide quality instruction in a safe environment. In addition, all Tega Cay Elementary School teachers have a schedule of duties, meetings, and grade level planning. Because of their daily teaching schedule, please do not expect an immediate response to an email that you send. A teacher may not check email until school is out, so you should send any changes in afternoon transportation plans (for example, ride the bus instead of car rider) via email to Mrs. Greene. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org See tranportation change policy.
Information regarding Custody:
A change in custody will require new custody papers and a change of address will require a new proof of residency. If you are separated or divorced, we need to have a copy of your custody papers on file. If at any time you feel that a problem of abduction may occur, we need to have immediate knowledge of this in the school office.
Student Cell Phones/Electronic Devices:
Student cell phones should be kept in a book bag. Electronic devices, including cell phones, must be turned off during the school day and while on the school grounds. A cell phone may not be used during the day to play games or to text message. The student may not use a cell phone to call a parent during the school day without a teacher’s permission. This includes devices like a smartwatches or electronic communication devices that serve as telephones.
As noted in School Board Policy JICJ, The school principal or his/her designee will have the authority to limit the use, take disciplinary action and/or confiscate electronic communication devices if the use or possession of these devices may cause or is causing a disruption to the school and/or event. Unauthorized use of a cell phone or personal electronic device may include, but is not limited to, taking pictures or recording without permission, cheating, harassment or bullying, use during any emergency drill, use during unauthorized time or use for unlawful activities.
The use of e-readers, such as Kindles, may be permitted under the supervision of the teacher. It is a privilege for students to use their personal electronic device at school and this privilege can be taken away if students act irresponsibly or violate school policy.
The decision to close or delay schools will be made by 6:00am. Announcements will be made via SCHOOL MESSENGER®, and on WRHI AM radio, CN2, and Charlotte TV stations (WSOC, WBTV, WSOC). Delays and closings will be posted on the district website www.fortmillschools.org and available at the district office phone number 548-2527. Information will be listed for FORT MILL SCHOOL DISTRICT #4, not York County Schools. No breakfast will be served if school is delayed. When weather is threatening, please be sure your child and the teacher know how he/she is to get home if school is dismissed early. The SCHOOL MESSENGER® phone system (803-548-8379) will leave messages about changes of schedules. In order for you to receive these messages, we must have your up-to-date phone number and email address in our data base. It is the parent’s responsibility to contact after-school care to learn about their procedures.
Assemblies and Performances:
Our first commitment is to classroom instruction. Assembly programs and performances are an extension of the educational process. It is expected that an atmosphere of respect will be maintained throughout all assemblies by presenters, participants, and members of the audience. When visitors come to the school, it is expected that they will demonstrate polite behavior and be role models for students by staying for the entire program to avoid disruption. For example, if attending a performance, please do not get up and leave as soon as your child’s part is over.
Book bags are required at school. However, rolling book bags are not permitted without a written recommendation of a physician.
Lost and Found:
Items found at school are turned in to the Lost and Found area outside the cafeteria doors. Parents and students are encouraged to check this area if they are missing any items. Several times a year when the area is overflowing, we take items not claimed to a local clothing closet. Please write your child's name on clothes, lunch boxes, notebooks, etc.
Students must settle all fees and property owed to the school prior to the end of the school year. This includes library books, textbooks, and teacher materials.
Fort Mill School District has implemented an online payment process. Our goal is to keep cash and checks out of the schools and classrooms. The online system is set up to accept payment for registration fees, lunch accounts, activity fees (i.e. field trips) and classroom fees (i.e. class t-shirts, Kindergarten snack, magazine subscriptions and yearbooks).
The school will not accept nor deliver any items to students before, during, or after school unless they are of an educational nature/value or medically necessary. When sending balloons or flowers to a child, please use his/her home address. Do not send these items to the school. District procedures do not allow these items on a bus.
All students in grades Pre-kindergarten through 12 are required to furnish a valid South Carolina Certificate of Immunization prior to enrollment. School officials shall record the immunization data on the student’s health record and/or attach a copy of the certificate to the health record.
Parents will be notified if a student becomes ill or is injured during school. When it is necessary for the student to leave school, a parent, guardian, or designated alternate must sign the student out in the office.
The health and well-being of all students is of utmost importance. We will request that you pick up your child if his/her medical condition is unstable, or if he/she is not capable of participating in the daily school activities. This decision is based upon an assessment conducted by the school nurse. In addition, the school must also follow the DHEC School Exclusion List for specific medical conditions to be in compliance with SC State Health guidelines.
If a student brings medication to school, the following requirements must be met:
Students with contagious diseases are not allowed to attend school. Children should be kept at home if they have experienced vomiting or fever during the night. Students should be fever free for 24 hours without using medicine to bring the temperature down before returning to school.
If medical emergencies arise, the school nurse and school administrator will enact medical care deemed appropriate to the student (i.e. call 911 or transport the student to the hospital). In these cases, the schools will make every attempt to contact the parent/guardian. Please be sure to keep your student's emergency information updated with correct phone numbers. If a parent/guardian is out of town and has left their child in the care of another adult, written documentation should be on file with the school. This documentation will authorize the school to contact the alternate person in case of illness or a medical emergency.
Physical education is required by the state for all students unless the student has an excuse from a physician due to a physical disability. If a child must be excused for a temporary illness, a note from a parent or doctor must be sent with the child. Any illness extending more than a week must be excused by a doctor. Children must wear athletic shoes to participate in Physical Education.
Students who experience extended illness or injuries that result in long term absence from school may apply for homebound instruction. Information concerning homebound may be obtained from our school counselors.
The safety and security of all students is of the utmost importance to our faculty and staff. Should a concern arise about a student being a danger to him/herself or others, District protocols for conducting a risk assessment (suicide and/or threat) will be followed to the extent appropriate. These assessments may include interviews with students and staff, a review of student records, and consultation with district mental health staff, local law enforcement, or other community agencies that help support our schools and students. If, as part of its assessment and response, the District determines there is an articulated and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, it may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
For the purposes of these guidelines, physical restraint is defined as a personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of an individual to move his or her arms, legs, or head freely. This definition encompasses mechanical restraints, further defined as a device that restricts the movement or function of a child or a portion of a child’s body.
Restraint, as defined, by these guidelines, does not include the following:
1. temporarily holding an individual to help him or her participate in education or daily living activities;
2. escorting techniques, where a student is provided limited physical encouragement to help him or her move from one location to another without rising to the level of physically forcing compliance (e.g., hand on the back or a hand on the elbow);
3. chemical restraints (medication for safety or behavioral supports) determined by medical personnel;
4. appropriate use of adaptive equipment or products, provided they are used in accordance with manufacturers’ recommended usage.
a. Adaptive equipment may include, but is not limited to, adaptive seating products or therapeutically prescribed devices such as weighted vests.
b. If adaptive equipment, such as Rifton chair or weighted vest is used for the purpose of limiting mobility or as a punitive measure, its use constitutes restraint.
The use of restraint is limited to emergency situations where the behavior of the student poses a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm to self and/or others and the student has the ability to cause such harm. Restraint may be used only as a last resort after proper positive behavioral interventions and de-escalation techniques have failed to de-escalate the risk of injury.
Restraint should never be used: 1. as punishment; 2. to force compliance or address non-compliance; 3. as a substitute for appropriate educational support; 4. in response to property destruction; 5. in response to a student’s flight, escape, or running away, unless there is imminent risk of injury related to the escape; 6. in response to verbal threats and profanity that do not rise to the level of physical harm unless the student demonstrates a means of carrying out the threats; 7. longer than needed to resolve the risk of actual harm.
The use of prone restraints (face down on stomach) with the exception of approved Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) endorsed floor restraints, supine restraints (face up on the back), or any hold or maneuver that places pressure or weight on the student’s chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, neck, or throat are strictly forbidden. Moreover, the degree of force used must not exceed what is necessary to protect the student or others from imminent bodily injury.
Necessary Documentation & Review: The use of restraint in the school setting triggers the district’s obligation to create and maintain specific documentation regarding the incident. Documentation must include:
1. actions attempted prior to the restraint in an effort to manage or de-escalate the situation; 2. a clear description of the safety concerns posed to the student or others; 3. student’s behavior before, during, and after restraint; 4. location of the restraint; 5. amount of time in restraint; 6. a description of the physical restraint techniques used and training personnel received prior to implementing restraint; 7. names and position titles of personnel involved with the incident; 8. date and time the administrator was notified; 9. date and time the parents were notified and by whom; 10. name and position of person(s) completing the documentation.
Training: Restraint training must be provided, and reviewed, at least annually, by a credentialed trainer through a nationally recognized, externally developed professional training program. The training must include the following components:
1. prevention of behavior problems through a positive behavioral supports climate; 2. conflict prevention and conflict management skills; 3. de-escalation skills that enable staff members to respond to students in ways more likely to calm, rather than escalate, the situation; 4. information on physical and emotional risks of escalation and restraint; 5. instruction on personal safety skills for staff who work with students who are more likely to present safety concerns; 6. prohibition on the use of prone restraints (face down on stomach) with the exception of approved Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) endorsed floor restraints, supine restraints (face up on the back), or any hold or maneuver that places pressure or weight on the student’s chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, neck, or throat.
The training program used must include some method of assessment that ensures appropriate skills are in place. The program must also provide documentation that a participant has successfully completed the training, either through a certificate or other credential. Fort Mill Schools must keep a list of those who have completed training, including a description of the content of the training, on file. The school district retains discretion as to which personnel should receive restraint training. However, training must be provided to enough staff members that the school district can ensure a sufficient number of staff is available if restraint is used.
Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services:
A mental health worker from Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services sees children on-site that qualify for the services of that agency. Teachers or parents may refer children. Parent permission is required for service.
We have high behavior expectations for all. Everyone in our building has the right to be treated with dignity, courtesy, and respect. Every child has the right to learn in a positive classroom environment. Every teacher has the right to teach all students without disruptions. The secret to discipline – we will develop relationships with our students so they know we truly care about them as an individual. As we invest in student relationships, discipline will be more effective.
Students will be recognized for the positive things that they do each and every day. Individual and class incentives will be used to reward students who exhibit good behavior. Interventions such as verbal warnings, checklists, taking away privileges, parent contact and/or conference, and out of school suspensions may be used with students who do not follow the expectations.
Students are to report problems with other students immediately and are expected not to retaliate. Any student participating in a disruption - regardless of who started the argument, fight, etc. - will be subject to consequences. Parents will be contacted regarding repeated or major problems.
As always, students will be expected to make good choices.
Students are expected to dress in a manner appropriate for the learning environment. Students are expected to dress in clothing that meets the district dress code policy. In the interests of health, safety, cleanliness, decency, and decorum, students will follow these guidelines as identified in Board Policy JICA-R.
Grades K through Five:
Proper shoes must be worn at all times for safety reasons. Shoes with cleats may not be worn.
Logos or clothing that promotes alcohol, drugs, tobacco, racism, hate, gang affiliation, nudity, or profanity is not allowed. No clothing or accessories are allowed to disrupt the educational process. The administration reserves the right to determine what is appropriate for school.
Students may wear shorts, dresses, skirts, etc. which are of appropriate length. Tops must be long enough that they can be tucked into pants or shorts. Basketball jerseys must be worn with an appropriate garment (i.e. tee shirt). No headwear (hats, caps, hoods, etc.) or sunglasses may be worn in the building.
The following items are not appropriate for school:
Violations will result in the following:
First and Subsequent Offenses: phone call to parent
Tega Cay Elementary recognizes the importance of being a well-rounded individual. In order to help students reach their potential, several opportunities await every child as he/she enters the doors of TCES. Whether just beginning his/her educational journey or nearing completion, Tega Cay Elementary has something to offer all students.
Throughout our school, one will find many activities, clubs, and service organizations. Many groups have membership based on performance criteria, and others have open membership based on common interest or enjoyment. Whatever your choice, TCES can help meet your needs. Activities vary from year to year based on student interest and the availability of teacher supervision. In the past, extracurricular activities have included Biztown, Girls on the Run, Let Me Run, School Safety Patrol, Chess Club, Choir, and Vex Robotics.
The school recognizes students who have perfect attendance. Recognition for perfect attendance for the year will accompany the final report card.
Parents/students cannot hand out invitations to out-of-school birthday parties or get-togethers unless every child in the class receives an invitation.
As part of each student’s intellectual development, the administration and staff of Tega Cay Elementary School set high standards each year for its students in the areas of academic achievement. We encourage our students to do their best in their schoolwork so that each child can achieve his/her personal best. We also support homework as part of the learning experience. Good citizenship and leadership are also recognized.
Homework School Policy:
Homework Suggestions for Parents:
1. Designate a homework spot and time and be available to assist if help is needed.
2. Encourage your child to write down assignments and check on a daily basis.
3. Guide your child through any problems or questions until he/she can find the solution.
4. Help your child check his/her homework and discuss specific problem areas.
5. Be observant, if homework becomes too challenging, meet with your child's teacher.
6. Remember to help your child balance household responsibilities, play, and study.
7. Review the classwork that the teacher sends home.
8. Encourage your child to read at home daily.
Promotion and Retention of Students:
Every parent and teacher would like for students to move along successfully through each grade. Our goal is to take each child, evaluate their skills at the beginning of the year, and provide instruction to ensure academic growth throughout the year. Please examine student work that is returned for your review because it will help you to see how your child is progressing. Parent conferences in October will provide you with another opportunity to discuss your child’s progress.
State law requires that the school send a letter at the end of the second quarter (usually January) and at the end of the 3rd quarter (usually in March or early April) to alert parents of the possibility of retention for a student. The final decision will be made in May, but the letters give parents a chance to work together with the teacher to make the progress needed to meet state standards for their grade. If you receive a retention letter, it does not mean that your child will be held back because we continue to hope that she/he will improve and be ready for the next grade. Retention can often be prevented by making sure the child completes and turns in all assignments, examining the possibility of health issues which may affect classroom performance, providing a routine time and place for the child to study daily, reading daily with the student, and making sure children have enough sleep. If you are unsure of what your child needs to know to pass, you can visit the state website at http://www.ed.sc.gov and search for curriculum standards, or ask your child’s teacher or administrator for the information. Many things are taken into account in determining if a child is ready for the next grade: attendance, mastery of state standards, knowledge of the English language, age, physical size, intellectual ability, previous grade placement, behavior, maturity, level of achievement, motivation and disabilities are all considered. A Light’s Retention Scale is a normed assessment used by elementary schools in Fort Mill to assist with making this important decision. Review Board Policy IKE-R Promotion And Retention Of Students for additional information.
Progress Reports and Conferences:
Academic achievement for grades 2-5, will be graded using a numerical grading scale to denote respectively, excellent, good, average, poor, and failing. The numerical ranges for grades will be as follows:
A = Excellent
B = Good
59 or below =
The letter S-satisfactory or N-needs improvement will be used to denote participation in certain related arts classes.
Second Grade: Number grades will be given for language arts, math, science, and social studies. Teachers will request conferences with all parents to discuss the goals Second Grade. These conferences will take place in October.
Schools in Fort Mill use a computer program called PARENT PORTAL to post grades. By logging on to this secure program, parents will be able to check the grades of their students in grades 2-5. Teachers will post grades within 2 weeks of the due date of the task.
Kindergarten and first grade will be using a Standards Based Report Card. All K-5 students will be issued report cards on a 9 weeks grading period as an indication of their progress and confirmation of their achievement and are expected to take them home to share with their parents.
A parent-teacher conference day will be scheduled in October. These conferences are an opportunity to learn about your child’s strengths and areas needing improvement. You need to make an appointment with the teacher to discuss your child’s progress. Teachers are also available to meet with you before or after school if you make an appointment. Additional conferences may be requested by families or school personnel.
Standardized tests are administered in grades K through 5 as indicated below:
COGAT Ability Test
State Achievement Test
State Achievement Test
STAR Reading & Math
MAP (Fall and Spring)
Fountas and Pinnell Reading Assessments
KRA - A readiness test given individually to kindergarten students within the first 45 days of school.
COGAT- An ability test usually administered in 2nd grade to select participants in the Gifted and Talented Math and English Language Arts for grades 3-5.
SCREADY/SCPASS - State achievement tests in core subject areas during the last 20 days of school.
STAR - Reading and Math assessments that provide teachers formative data to guide instructional decisions in the classroom.
MAP - Measures of Academic Progress used to assess achievement in reading, math, and language arts given in fall and spring each year in grades K-5
FOUNTAS & PINNELL - Reading assessments that provide teachers formative data to guide instructional decisions in the classroom.
The Tega Cay Elementary School Counseling program strives to prepare all students for academic, social/emotional, and career success by providing data-driven, comprehensive school counseling programming. School Counselors teach core curriculum to all students to support academic, social/emotional, and career development. They offer small group and short-term individual counseling services as needed to support student success in the school environment. School counselors do not provide long-term counseling or therapy and will refer parents to outside resources for ongoing issues or issues beyond the scope of school counseling (trauma, mental health, family dynamic, etc). Parents can refer students to the school counselor by reaching out to their child’s school counselor via phone or email or in person by appointment. Students can self-refer by writing a note to the school counselor and placing it in the school counselors’ secure student mailbox. Students may inform their teacher that they would like to see the school counselor in which case the teacher would put in a referral on behalf of the student. School counselors are available to consult and collaborate with teachers and parents to help students achieve school success. They can provide information about community resources for families as well as recommendations for books or online resources upon request.
The school counselors are available to consult and collaborate with parents and teachers to support student success. You may want to consult the counselor when you have concerns about your child’s social/emotional well-being and behavior as these areas may impact school success. Please reach out via phone or email to your child’s school counselor if you wish to discuss concerns or if you would like to learn more about the Tega Cay Elementary School Counseling Program. School counselors can sit in on parent-teacher conferences upon request when there are social/emotional or behavior concerns present.
While every effort will be made to shape behavior through positive reinforcement, we must all keep in mind that every child should have the right to study, participate in class, and work in a safe environment. Name calling, intimidation, threats, and disrespectful attitudes toward classmates, volunteers, school staff members, or visitors is not acceptable. Bullying is intentional aggressive behavior. It can take the form of physical or verbal harassment and involves an imbalance of power. It is not acceptable for a child to draw, write, or make threatening statements online or in person. Bullying is also an ongoing pattern of behavior, not a one-time occurrence. This behavior will be addressed through disciplinary action at the discretion of the school administrator, as per FMSD Board Policy JICFAA. If you suspect your child is being bullied or bullying others, please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher immediately to discuss your concerns. If concerns persist after working with your child’s teacher for resolution, please reach out to our administration team for further support.
Tega Cay Elementary is committed to providing a school environment that is safe, orderly, conducive to teaching and learning, and free from unnecessary disruption. Please be aware that School Board policy and South Carolina Code 59-24-60 require school officials to contact law enforcement officers when a student engages in any activity that may or does result in injury or serious threat of injury to a person or property.
Parents are asked to support the schools in their effort to maintain discipline and high standards of conduct. At the beginning of each school year teachers and administrators discuss with students behavior expectations, but parents are requested to discuss with children the importance and the need for good behavior and a positive attitude at school, too. Children must learn self-discipline in order to become effective learners and good citizens. With home-school cooperation, an environment in which all students are safe, secure, and able to learn can be created and maintained.
Tega Cay Student Handbook 18-19