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RES Parent Student Handbook 2021-2022
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Riverbend Elementary


Parent/Student Handbook

2021 – 2022


71 Learning Lane

Clyde, NC 28721

(828) 627-6565

Table of Contents
Introduction Section

Letter from your Principal         4

School Roster        5

Welcome Section

Our Mission and Belief Statements        6

School Address and Telephone Numbers        6

Parent/Student Handbook Review and Revision        7

Procedures Section

Arrival        7

Tardies        7

Inclement Weather        8

Dismissal        8

Early Dismissal/Checkout        8

Bus Transportation        9

Attendance Policy        10-12

Verification/Notification of Absence        12

Discipline Expectations        12-15

Academics Section


End of Grade Exams and K-2 Assessments        16

Reporting to Parents – Report Cards        16

Homework        16

Parent/Teacher Conferences        17

Field Trips        17

Health Education        17

Health and Safety Issues

Use of Medicine        18

Sick Children        18

Sickness/Emergency Contact Information        19

Insurance        19

Sunscreen Policy        19

Food and Drink on Campus        19

General Emergency Drill Instructions        19

General and Miscellaneous Information

School Hours        20

School Business Office Hours        20

“My Connect” Rapid Notification Service        20

After School Care        20

Campus Visitors        21

Food Services        21

Money and Valuables        21

Non-Discrimination Statement        22

Parent Notification of Dental Screening        22

Pest Control Notification        22

Pictures of Students in Publications        22

Release of Student Rosters        23

Sexual Harassment        23

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act        23

Updated Roster Information        23

Withdrawal of Students        22

General Suggestions to Parents        24

What You Can Do to Help Your Child Learn        24

Appendices Section

Riverbend Elementary School Administrative Discipline Grid………………………………..25

Introduction Section

Letter from your Principal

I am thrilled to introduce myself as the principal of Riverbend Elementary School. It is a privilege to be a part of the Riverbend family and community, and I want to thank each of you for allowing our staff to play such an important role in your child’s life.

It is no secret that Riverbend is the gem of Haywood County Schools.  The success that Riverbend has had year after year can be attributed to the staff and families that have poured love, learning, and support into each child that passes through. I believe that together we can continue to accomplish great things for our children. The staff at Riverbend will spend a lot of time with your children leading them into a growth process that will help them achieve academic excellence and a well-rounded life. The educators we have at Riverbend are the best of the best and they truly love children. They make the most of every minute that your children are in front of them.  Our teachers are continually working to perfect their craft so that they may use the best instructional practices for their students.

Our hope is that teachers, administration, and parents will work alongside each other for the betterment of our students.  Together we will deepen their knowledge and grow their learning to ensure windows of opportunity continue to stay open for their future. We will celebrate their successes, small and large. As a united front we will encourage our students every day and let them know they are loved, valued and have a special place in our school family. I believe that students are able to achieve when they are surrounded by adults that are invested in them and believe in their potential.  Based on this deep belief it will be a priority of mine to ensure that we come together, both community and a school, as partners in your child’s education.

Our school vision is, “Growing together as a community of learners, every day in every way.” When Riverbend came together to craft these belief statements the students and their success was at the forefront of everyone's minds:

Therefore, we make it our Mission to:

With our mission and beliefs driving us, we invite you (parents, grandparents, family and friends) to work with us to make this a great year for our children!


Karley Wells

School Roster

Administrative Team

School Administrator:  Ms. Karley Wells

Lead Teacher:  Mrs. Erin Horton

Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper:  Mrs. Denise Gibson

Receptionist and Student Information Manager:  Mrs. Sandy Clontz


        Kindergarten:  Ms. Ashley Clifton and Ms. Renee Gidcumb

First Grade:  Ms. Rena Eller and Ms. Lauren Sutton        

Second Grade:  Ms. Christy Lusk and Ms. Amanda Plummer

Third Grade:  Ms. Jeannine Carter and Mr. Bill Reilly

Fourth Grade:  Ms. Suzanne Bigsby and Ms. Carleene Finger

Fifth Grade:  Ms. Kennedy Eckard and Ms. Jocelyn Landt

Exceptional Children: Ms. Kara Scapin

Art: Ms. Kellye Slate

Librarian:  Ms. Nikki Barker

Music:  Ms. Kendra Kirpatrick

Physical Education:  Mr. Chris Ray

School Social Worker:  Ms. Farrah Henderson

Speech Language Pathologist:  Ms. Ashley Dillard

Title I:  Ms. Connie Allen, Ms. Paula Lusk, Ms. Susie Nassis, Ms. Sandra Ross, Ms.

Genetta Spratt, Ms. Sandy Suarez

Support Staff

Afterschool Program:  Ms. Sandra Tweed, Ms. Sue Donahue

Bus Drivers:  Ms. Judy Ferguson, Ms. Tammy Leatherwood, Ms. Keisha Lanning, Mr. Keith West, Mr. Kevin Leatherwood

Cafeteria Manager: Ms.  Candy McCoy

           Cafeteria Support: Ms. Sue Donahue, Ms. Keisha Lanning,

Custodian:  Mr. Kevin Leatherwood, Mrs. Tammy Leatherwood

Teacher Assistants: Ms. Arlie Clark, Ms. Becca Herbertson, Ms. Kat Moore, Ms. Annette Ruff


Welcome Section

We welcome you to our school family.  This handbook has been published to clarify questions for students and parents.  If you have a question that has not been answered in this handbook or would like to discuss an issue concerning your child, please call the school.  If you have suggestions that might improve our school, we would be happy to consider those, also.  We trust this booklet will help explain our operating procedures.

Vision Statement

Growing together as a community of learners, every day in every way.  

Our Beliefs

Riverbend believes in providing stimulating experiences for all children to reach their fullest potential within a positive, secure environment.

We also believe a successful school is a community of learners who contribute positively to the school, the community, and the world.

In addition, a prosperous school is one that encourages involvement, fosters communication, and welcomes support from students, teachers, parents, and the community, which it serves.

Our Mission

  1. We will be passionate about reading and learning.
  2. We will be a positive influence on others.
  3. We will boldly challenge ourselves and one another.
  4. We will exceed expectations.
  5. We will be problem solvers.


Riverbend Elementary School

71 Learning Lane

Clyde, NC  28721


Riverbend Elementary School…………..627-6565  or 627-6465


MASCOT – Panther

COLORS – Blue and Gray

Parent/Student Handbook Review and Revision

Riverbend will review the parent/student handbook on a minimum of one time per year at which time there may be revisions made.  We reserve the right to change policy at any time at our discretion.

   Procedures Section



Being punctual is a habit worth developing.  Students should arrive at school and report to class on time.  Students arriving late cause a disruption, which takes away from other students.

When a student is late to school, he/she is to report to the office with a parent to receive an admit slip and sign in.  Excessive tardies will result in a contact from our school social worker and may result in Judicial Attendance Council.  Excessive tardies due to being transported by parents from outside the Riverbend district may result in being reassigned back to the home school.

Inclement Weather

On days that bad weather threatens, please listen to the local radio or TV station beginning at 6:30 a.m.  Calling the school or county office is discouraged.  The HCS website at posts weather related announcements as well.   “Blackboard Connect” messages will be used to announce changes in the school schedule.


On regular school days we dismiss all students at 2:50 p.m. Parents of car riders should be in line at this time.   Every car rider will be issued a Car Rider Identification Strip.  This identification piece is extremely important.  If a parent loses the car rider tag, a new one will be issued.  This car tag system is in place for the protection of our students.  Please be sure that the Car Tag is visible to the teacher calling the car rider names and to the teachers helping students into the vehicles.  

Students that are not picked up on time will have the opportunity to call their parent from the office.  These students will remain in the office until their parent arrives.  State after-school licensing laws do not permit students to stay in our afterschool program unless all required paperwork is on hand and fees are paid.  If a pattern develops where a student is not picked up on time, our school social worker will assist the family with this problem.   If you need to make transportation changes, please call early in the day or send written notification.  Transportation calls/changes made after 2:30 are unsettling to the students and can cause confusion so please call early!  According to student surveys, last minute transportation changes are stressful to our children. Please keep traffic lanes open for car rider dismissal, and remember only cars in the carline are allowed in the bus parking lot.  

In the car line, please do not pass other vehicles.  Because of sibling car seats, sometimes a child has to exit on the driver’s side of the vehicle.  Passing vehicles could possibly hit a child exiting a car in this situation.  Child safety is our number one priority.

Early Dismissal/Checkout

The procedure for early dismissal from school is as follows:

  1. A child must be signed out in the office by a parent or guardian.

The parent or guardian must give permission for anyone else to check out his or her child.  Parents and guardians are requested to leave a daytime phone number where they may be contacted if the school has questions about the check out.

  1. Again, please include all names of persons who may check the child out on the student information form.  A picture ID will be required of any unfamiliar person who checks out a student.

  1. Students participating in a field trip are strongly encouraged to return to school with their class.  Parents who need to check students out prior to returning to school must gain permission from the principal in writing and sign the student out at school prior to the group’s departure from the school.

Bus Transportation

  1. In the morning, students are to be at the bus stop when the bus arrives.  By law, bus stops are assigned to students.  Parents should not follow a bus, chase down a bus, or expect a bus driver to alter a route on behalf of their child.  This is for the safety and protection of all the children.  Children should never advance towards a bus unless it is fully stopped with the stop arm extended and the doors open.  


  1. The driver is the authority on the bus and should expect appropriate student behavior. Students are responsible for their own behavior.

  1. Students are to remain seated at all times on the school bus. If a bus has seat belts, the wearing of the seat belt is mandatory.  

  1. As a safety precaution, parents must communicate arrangements with homeroom teachers if afternoon transportation is different from morning transportation.

  1. For overall safety, the following behaviors are prohibited:  loud talking, profanity, fighting, putting arms out the windows, moving from seat to seat, throwing objects, eating and drinking.  Students riding the bus must comply with the requests of the driver. (Public School Law 115C-245)

  1. Students can be suspended from riding the bus if behavior or safety is a factor.  In case of suspension from riding the bus, the parent/guardian is responsible for the child’s transportation to and from school.

  1. The Riverbend bus discipline plan is as follows:

Attendance Policy

Attendance, Membership and Course Credit

Board Policy: 4400

Attendance in school and participation in class are integral parts of academic achievement and the teaching-learning process. Through regular attendance, students develop patterns of behavior essential to professional and personal success in life. Regular attendance by every student is mandatory. The State of North Carolina requires that every child in the State between the ages of 7 (or younger if enrolled) and 16 attend school. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily. A student must be present for at least one-half of the school day or class period in order to be recorded as present for that day or class.

The superintendent shall develop administrative regulations to address the requirements of this policy, including, but not limited to, consequences, make-up work and sessions, and a review and appeals process for excessive absences and tardies. Additional attendance policies and requirements may be implemented at each school; however, such policies and requirements must be consistent with this policy and any administrative regulations developed by the superintendent and are subject to review and approval by the superintendent and the board.


School officials shall keep accurate records of attendance, including accurate attendance records in each class. Attendance records will be used to enforce the Compulsory Attendance Law of North Carolina.


When a student must miss school, a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian must be presented to the student’s teacher on the day the student returns after an absence. Absences due to extended illnesses may also require a statement from a physician. An absence may be excused for any of the following reasons:

1. personal illness or injury that makes the student physically unable to attend school;

2. isolation ordered by the State Board of Health;

3. death in the immediate family;

4. medical or dental appointment;

5. participation under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding;

6. a minimum of two days each academic year for observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student’s parent(s);

7. participation in a valid educational opportunity, such as travel or service as a legislative or Governor’s page, with prior approval from the principal;

8. pregnancy and related conditions or parenting, when medically necessary; or

9. visitation with the student’s parent or legal guardian, at the discretion of the superintendent or designee, if the parent or legal guardian (a) is an active duty member of the uniformed services as defined by policy 4050, Children of Military Families, and (b) has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting.

In the case of excused absences, short-term out-of-school suspensions, and absences under G.S. 130A-440 (for failure to submit a school health assessment form within 30 days of entering school) the student will be permitted to make up his or her work. (See also policies 4110, Immunization and Health Requirements for School Admission, and 4351, Short-Term Suspension.) The teacher will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for finding out what assignments are due and completing them within the specified time period.


All classroom activities are important and difficult, if not impossible, to replace if missed. Principals shall ensure that classes missed by students due to school-related activities are kept to an absolute minimum. The following school-related activities will not be counted as absences from either class or school:

1. field trips sponsored by the school;

2. job shadows and other work-based learning opportunities, as described in G.S. 115C-47(34a);

3. school-initiated and -scheduled activities;


4. athletic events that require early dismissal from school;

5. Career and Technical Education student organization activities approved in advance by the principal; and

6. in-school suspensions.

Assignments missed for these reasons are eligible for makeup by the student. The teacher will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for finding out what assignments are due and completing them within the specified time period.


Class attendance and participation are critical elements of the educational process and may be taken into account in assessing academic achievement. Students are expected to be at school on time and to be present at the scheduled starting time for each class. Students who are excessively tardy to school or class may be suspended for up to two days for such offenses.

The principal shall notify parents and take all other steps required by G.S. 115C-378 for excessive absences. Students may be suspended for up to two days for truancy.

If a student is absent from school for five or more days in a semester, the principal or a committee established by the principal shall consider whether the student’s grades should be reduced because of the absences. The principal or committee shall review other measures of academic achievement, the circumstances of the absences, the number of absences, and the extent to which the student completed missed work. A committee may recommend to the principal and the principal may make any of the following determinations:

1. the student will not be promoted to the next level of study and/or will not receive credit for the semester;

2. the student will not receive a passing grade for the semester;

3. the student’s grade will be reduced;

4. the student will receive the grade otherwise earned; or

5. the student will be given additional time to complete the missed work before a determination of the appropriate grade is made.

Students with excused absences due to documented chronic health problems are exempt from

this policy.

At Riverbend, the principal will request a written doctor’s excuse after a child has reached ten absences.  A letter will be sent to the parent notifying them of this requirement.  

Discipline Expectations

A copy of School Board Policy 4300 with the Haywood County Schools Student Code of Conduct can be accessed via the internet and/or paper copies may be requested from the school or Central Office.  Please refer to Riverbend’s Administrative Discipline Grid found in the Appendices section of this handbook on page 28 as well.  


Our rules ensure a safe and productive learning environment for our students.

  1. Keep hands, feet and objects to self.
  2. To prevent accidents, students must walk in the building, in commons areas, or to and from buses and cars.
  3. Buying, selling, or trading of personal items (toys, cards, etc.) is not permitted.
  4. Fighting, pushing, and loud disruptive talking is not permitted.
  5. It is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our school property neat and clean. (See Care of School Property).
  6. Chewing gum is not permitted.
  7. Toys, including fidget spinners, and electronics are not permitted at school or on the bus without teacher permission.
  8. All medicine must be turned in to the office accompanied with the appropriate permission form. *See Use of Medicine section.
  9. Tobacco products and weapons are not permitted at school.
  10. All offenses are not listed above.  Students are expected to use good judgment by respecting each other.
  11.  All threats will be taken seriously at our school and reported to the proper authorities.
  12.  Possession of cell phones or any other personal communication device (PCD) such as a Smart Watch is discouraged.  Cell phones must be turned off during regular school hours and must remain in student book bags at all times. Students must have permission from their teacher to use their cell phones while at school.  Students are not permitted to use cell phones on the bus. Texting between students during the school day is prohibited and should not take place if cell phones are properly maintained within book bags.  Texting between students is an after school, off campus, activity that should be monitored closely by parents.  Unless texting between students interrupts learning and impacts the school day, it is the responsibility of the parent to work out texting issues encountered by their child.


All students are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Board of Education, the school administration, and the staff.  Students are required to be courteous, polite, and contribute to a good school climate.


Discipline and high expectations for behavior and academic performance begin at home.    Parents/guardians should stay in touch with the school concerning their child’s progress to help insure student success.


Students should dress comfortably and neatly at all times to represent themselves and our school well.  Short shorts, biking tights, bare midriffs, spaghetti straps and hats are not allowed.  Suggestive clothing or garments with vulgar, profane, distasteful, or suggestive writing/emblems are forbidden. Tennis shoes are the preferred footwear.  Our students have physical activity on a daily basis – boots and heels restrict movement and are hard on our floors and fields.  Students, parents and guardians are asked to support our staff in these efforts. Students may be asked to call home for a change of clothing if deemed necessary. Teachers have the authority in their classroom to create clothing expectations as well.


When students are given the privilege to participate in extra-curricular activities sponsored by the school, they are representing the school.  Students are expected to obey all rules and regulations governing student conduct.

Students who fail to abide by school rules and regulations may forfeit their privilege of attending school events and be assigned appropriate school discipline.


At all times during assemblies the student’s behavior should be courteous.  An indication of the cultural level of the school is the conduct of its student body at an assembly.  Whether guests are present or not, each student is personally responsible for the impression made by the school as a whole.  Unacceptable conduct would include whistling, uncalled-for clapping, boisterousness, talking, and constant moving in and out of the assembly.


This school belongs to all of us.  The school building, grounds, and equipment were designed and selected to enhance educational opportunities.  The appearance of Riverbend Elementary School reflects the character of those who attend.  Those who willfully destroy property will be required to pay for the damages incurred.  Disciplinary action will be taken.  Littering is not permitted; campus clean-up duties will be assigned for violations.


Students are prohibited from unauthorized access to other students’ computer work and to the systems operator area of the computer.  Parents can fill out an “Opt Out” form if they do not want their child accessing the internet from school.  Any misuse or mistreatment of computer equipment could result in loss of privilege, being charged for repairs and disciplinary action.


Meeting financial obligations is an important part of being a responsible citizen.  Therefore, students are required to take care of all financial obligations to the school in a timely manner.  Any bank fees assessed to the school for returned checks will be an added responsibility as well.


Textbooks, library books and other materials are furnished without charge to students.  These items are furnished on a loan basis.  All students are charged with the responsibility of protecting and returning, in good condition, all loaned materials. The school will collect fees for lost or damaged books.


To maintain order and discipline in the schools and to protect the safety and welfare of students and school personnel, school authorities may search a student, student possessions, or student’s cubbie/desk under the circumstances outlined by School board Policy 4342, Student Searches.


Good citizenship is important and expected.  Your citizenship is a contribution to our school image, our community, our state, and our nation.  Good citizenship is a prerequisite for participation in all activities.  

Academics Section

End of Grade Exams and K-2 Assessments 

In grades 3, 4 and 5 there are State mandated End-Of-Grade tests that must be passed to be considered for promotion to the next grade.  Information concerning these tests will be sent home throughout the year.  Your child’s teacher will be discussing these requirements with you.  

In grades K-2, assessments are given throughout the year to determine adequate progress for promotion.  Teachers will provide opportunities to conference and discuss these assessments and your child’s progress.

Reporting to Parents—Report Cards

Formal report cards or progress reports containing an evaluation of pupil progress are sent home each 9-week grading period.  Interim reports are sent home in mid-term progress reports each 4-1/2 weeks.

Report cards are designed to communicate a child’s level of achievement, academic progress, and growth in desirable habits and attitudes.  The report card provides a means of communication between home and school, which is very important to his/her success and happiness in school.  Parents/Guardians are encouraged to request conferences as needed.  Parents are encouraged to attend all conferences requested by the teacher.


Homework is important in the learning process in that it extends active involvement beyond the classroom.  The time a student spends in class is not enough to ensure good learning.  Homework is an excellent way for parents to keep abreast of their child’s progress.

Good communication between home and school, and mutual cooperation are imperative in fostering the full development of the student’s potential.  Please check with your child’s teacher throughout the year concerning homework.

The amount of homework per day from individual teachers may vary.  For a child to receive the greatest benefit from homework experiences, the parent/guardian should help by providing an appropriate time and desirable place for the child to work.  

Objectives of Homework:

  1. To practice and enrich skills and concepts taught in class and to stimulate classroom discussions.
  2. To foster independent study skills.
  3. To develop responsibility for bringing home books and assignments, completing work and returning it on time.
  4. To enhance parent awareness of student progress.

Homework is as important as any other part of schoolwork.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Through conferences, parents/guardians and teachers gain a better insight into the child’s needs, interests, potential and growth, as well as any particular difficulties he/she may be having.  If at any time a child would benefit from a parent/teacher conference, the faculty/administration is available by appointment.

Field Trips

At times, our students have opportunities to take field trips when the educational value of the experience warrants the time away from class.  In order to maximize the impact of these activities, the following guidelines have been developed:

Health Education

In May of 1996, the State adopted a Revised Version of the Health curriculum for grades K-9, entitled Framework for Healthful Living Education.  It combines the past Health curriculum, the Alcohol and Drug curriculum and adds House Bill 834 (the “abstinence” bill).  Students in grades 5-9 will be notified prior to the beginning of this class.  If you do not want your child to participate in the lesson, please notify the school.

As per State Law, this curriculum is available for your review at each school and at the Board of Education.  

Health and Safety Issues

Use of Medicine

Students should take any necessary medicines when they are at home.  When it is necessary for students to take medicine (prescription or non-prescription) during the school day, the following procedures are required by school system regulations:

If a student is to be given a medicine on a daily basis, the parent/guardian must complete a PERMISSION FOR MEDICINE form.  This form can be obtained in the school office and will be kept on file.  If there are any changes in medication, a new form must be completed before a new medicine or dosage is given.  Again, the school asks that medicines be administered at home if at all possible.  ALL medicine must be kept in the school office and will be administered and documented by the office staff.  Students may keep inhalers and Epi-pens in their classrooms if necessary.  It is a violation of the School Drug Policy for students to share inhalers or any other prescription or over-the-counter drugs.  The school provides basic first aid to injured students, but we do not administer ANY medications – prescription or over-the-counter without a physician signed form.

Sick Children

If a child has been ill during the night or became ill upon awakening, please do not send the child to school.  Students with low-grade fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other acute symptoms will be sent home.  If your child has been ill at home with any of these symptoms, please keep him/her home until these symptoms have subsided for 24 hours.  If a child becomes ill after coming to school, the parent will be contacted.  If a child has a fever of at least 100 degrees of temperature or has vomited, the student will be sent home.  

If signs of contagious conditions are recognized, the exclusion of pupils from school will be done on the basis of the following symptoms (there may be additional symptoms not included in this list):

-100 degrees of temperature or above    -Persistent cough

-Unrelieved headache                              -Excessive sore throat

-Diarrhea                                                  -Nausea and/or vomiting

-Abdominal pain                                       -Excessive sneezing, running nose, or

-Unidentified rash                                                       tearing

-Head lice (HCS has a nit free policy)        -Red, inflamed eyes with thick mucous

-Listlessness                                                       discharge

-Extreme sleepiness

The teacher will be the initial judge of the health condition of a child.  The administrator, school nurse or office manager may assist with health issues, as needed.

If your child is unable to participate in P.E. or recess, please send a note.  

We would like to keep this at a minimum.

Sickness/Emergency Contact Information

For each child’s well-being, please keep all contact information current.  This is especially important if a child becomes ill at school.  If parents cannot be reached, we will use the emergency contact information that has been provided.  Please remember to keep all phone numbers current. Sick pick up time limit is 30 minutes.  If you can’t be here, please send someone to pick up your child in order to keep contagious situations contained, and the nurse’s office from being over-crowed.  


Student accident insurance is available for Riverbend Elementary students.  Information on how to purchase this insurance will be available at the beginning of school.

Sunscreen Policy 

Sunscreen is to be applied at home.  It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child is protected from the sun.  On field days or field trips, when students are in the sun for prolonged periods of time, students may bring sunscreen to school.  If you want your child’s teacher to re-apply, you need to label the product with the student’s name and complete an Over-the-Counter Medication Authorization Form.  This form must be signed by a physician.  We also need written permission from the parent if the student is to self-apply the sunscreen as needed.  

Food and Drinks on Campus

The inappropriate use and disposal of food and drinks can cause problems with campus cleanliness.  Students must have teacher permission to have food or drink in any classroom.  During lunch periods, food and drinks are allowed in the cafeteria and the picnic areas only.  Food or drinks are not allowed in the gymnasium and computer lab.

Canned soda or glass bottled drinks are not allowed except for special occasions designated by the teacher.  Due to the increase in student allergies, students are not allowed to bring items for snacks or classroom parties that are prepared at home.  All items must be commercially packaged or prepared as stated in Board Policy.  

General Emergency Drill Instructions

Fire Drill – Fire drills are necessary and are required by law.  Students will be required to follow all established fire drill procedures.  It is important that each class go all the way to the designated location.  Students shall move quietly, briskly and orderly at all times following staff instructions.  

Tornado – When a tornado warning is given, the classroom teacher will lead students to a designated area within the building.  Teachers will be well-versed regarding proper emergency procedures and will dismiss students from the designated area only when an “all clear” signal is given.  A tornado warning drill will be practiced annually.

Lockdown – May be implemented in situations involving intruders and will be practiced three times a year.

General and Miscellaneous Information

School Hours

School begins at 8:10 a.m. and dismisses at 2:50 p.m.  If an emergency arises and you need to make special arrangements, please call the school office.  

School Business Office Hours

All school business should be conducted during the regular business hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

“Blackboard Connect”

Rapid Notification Service

Haywood County Schools utilizes an automated phone calling system called “Blackboard Connect”.  Possible uses might include weather related announcements, unexpected emergencies that require rapid notification, reminders of upcoming events and so forth.  In order for this system to be effective, the school must have up-to-date contact information from every family.  Please make sure you can be notified by this system by keeping your contact information current.  Check out the HCS homepage and look for the My Connect Portal in the lower right hand corner to sign up for the email and text messaging options.  

After School Care

As a service to the families of our school with working parents, the school will offer extended care for the children.  Designated staff will be available to care for children from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  Children will only be released to parents/guardians or those specifically designated on enrollment forms.  Fees for this service are provided on the After School Form.  

  1. Afternoon childcare services are available until 6:00 p.m. on regular school days.  The service is available for 3 hours on regularly scheduled early dismissal days.  Inclement weather can shorten these service hours.
  2. Ask our staff for more information on how to enroll a child in this program.  Information will be sent home at the beginning of the year and is always available in the office.  We encourage all parents to fill out paperwork for After School.  After School is a helpful option as a backup plan for unforeseen circumstances. A child cannot stay in the program if we don’t have the paper work.  
  3. Our After School Program is based on a pre-pay system.  If student accounts become overdue, students will be suspended from the program until all fees are paid.  

Campus Visitors

At Riverbend we welcome parents/guardians to visit our school.  For the safety and security of our students, all visitors on campus between 8:10 and 2:55 must enter through the front door and check in at the office. All other doors will be locked for safety purposes. Students may not bring visitors to school during class time.  Anyone wishing to visit must report immediately to the office to register and receive a visitor’s pass.  Please always keep in mind the need to protect students’ instructional time; therefore, classroom visits during the instructional day must be very limited.  In addition, parent/ teacher conferences cannot take place during instructional time.  Parents/Guardians are encouraged and welcomed to volunteer and to be more involved in their child’s education. Anyone noticed on campus without a visitor’s pass, will be asked to check in through the office to obtain one.

Food Services

Nutritious meals are served for breakfast and lunch.  We encourage students to eat a hot nutritious meal at school.

On the first day of school, every student will receive information on how to receive free or reduced-priced meals.  Those who wish to apply for free or reduced-priced meals need to fill out the on-line application, however, if this is not possible, please let us know and we will provide you with a paper application.  We encourage everyone to apply.  The income limits are generous.  


Breakfast                  $0


Lunch                          $0

Breakfast and Lunch are free to all children this year due to a grant associated with COVID-19.

The computer system in the cafeteria allows students to have their own individual accounts and account numbers.  Monies may be deposited into these accounts on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for any “extras” they wish to purchase.  

Money and Valuables 

Students are asked to leave large sums of money or other valuables at home.  The school is not responsible for the loss of such items.  Jewelry, money, pocketbooks, purses, electronic devices, billfolds and other valuables should not be left unattended if brought to school.  Items such as these should not be left in the classroom during lunch unless approved by the teacher.  It is the student’s responsibility to keep up with these valuables and other personal belongings.  If valuable items such as those mentioned must come to school, the office is willing to secure them in the vault upon request.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Haywood County Board of Education is committed to non-discrimination in relation to race, sex, marital status, handicapping condition, or citizenship status.  This policy pertains to all actions concerning staff, students, employment applicants, educational programs and services, and individuals with whom the board does business.  


If an individual feels that he/she has been discriminated against contact:

Dr. Bill Nolte, Superintendent

Haywood County Schools

1230 North Main Street

Waynesville, North Carolina 28786

Phone (828) 456-2400

Parent Notification of Dental Screening

When children have dental problems, their overall health and ability to learn can be seriously compromised.  As part of our regular school preventive dental health program, the NC Oral Health Section, Division of Public Health and the Public Health Dental Hygienist for Haywood County, will conduct dental screenings for children in grades K              and 5 during the school year.  The hygienist will use gloves, a mask, a flashlight, and will use a new tongue depressor for each child.  She will not be placing her hands in the child’s mouth.  The screening serves as an educational, positive dental experience and also collects information to help improve the Children’s Dental Health programs.  Children who see a dentist regularly will also benefit from the screenings for the educational opportunity.  A form letter will be sent home to report results.  To opt out of this dental screening, please send a note to the child’s teacher.  

Pest Control Notification

Board Policy 9205

As part of Haywood County Schools’ long-term maintenance program, pest control will              be administered monthly on all buildings and grounds.  Normally scheduled pest control administration will occur the first full week of each month.  Occasionally, unscheduled dispensation of pest control is needed.  Notice of non-scheduled pesticide use will be made at least 72 hours in advance, to the extent possible.  All pest control methods used in Haywood County are approved by state and federal agencies to insure safety.

Pictures of Students in Publications

From time to time pictures of students are taken in the school setting and used by the media in a general nature for promotion of certain school programs/activities.  Please inform the principal in writing if this will present a problem for you and your child.  Our student pictures are used for educational purposes – not social media purposes.  Parents are asked to only photograph their own child.  We do not photograph children for social media purposes.  We ask that parents only post pictures of their own children on social media pages.  

Release of Student Rosters

Student directory information as defined in PL 93-568 may be made available to those with legitimate interest in the student.  Directory information relating to students includes the following:  name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field

of study, participation in officially recognized activities in sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent educational institution attended by the student.

Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of the Board that a learning and working environment free from sexual harassment shall be maintained.  It shall be a violation of this policy for any staff member or student to harass another staff member or student through conduct or communications of a sexual nature.  Any violation of this policy should be reported immediately to a school administrator.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the maintenance of student records.  Under the law, parents/guardians of students have the right to inspect records kept by the school about the student and the right to correct inaccuracies in the records.  Access to the records by persons other than the parents/guardians of the student is limited and generally requires prior consent by the parents/guardians.  Copies of this policy (4700) can be accessed via the internet and/or paper copies may be requested from the school or Central Office.

Updated Roster Information

During the first week of attendance, a student information form will need to be completed.  Having this information returned promptly and correctly is very important.  It is vital for the school to be able to get in touch with parents at all times.  Please submit any changes in addresses, telephone numbers (home, cell, work, and emergency), guardianship, etc. in a timely manner.  Additional forms are located in the office.  

Withdrawal of Students

If withdrawing from school, please come by the school a few days prior to the withdrawal date.  The school needs completed withdrawal forms to place in the student’s cumulative folder and to send with the student to help them enroll in the new school.  Some school systems will not enroll new students without a withdrawal form.


  1. For students in Grades 2-5, please review and sign your child’s agenda book daily.
  2. Please provide your child with suitable study conditions.  We recommend turning off the TV, electronic games, and cell phones.  
  3. Please visit our school.  You are welcome and encouraged to visit.  It is highly desirable that you attend scheduled conferences and occasionally eat lunch with your child.
  4. Please place names on all articles of outer clothing — coats, gloves, hats, caps, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc.  Each year we take bags full of unclaimed clothing to the Clothes to Kids of Haywood County.  
  5. Please communicate with us.  If something has happened at school that concerns you or your child, if there is a misunderstanding, or if you need more information for any reason, see your child’s teacher, the school counselor, or the principal.
  6. Please remind your child that gum is not allowed on the bus or at school.
  7. Please remind your child that buying, selling, or trading toys or items is prohibited and usually ends in disappointment.
  8. Please make every effort to schedule appointments (medical, etc.) for your child before or after school.  Instructional time is valuable!
  9. Please make sure the children leave trading cards, electronic games, IPods, MP3 players, toys, or any other item that could cause a distraction, at home.  If children bring these items to school, these items will be delivered to the principal.  Parents will then need to retrieve these items from the principal.  Also, theft of any of these prohibited items while at school will not be the responsibility of the school. 


  1. Start each day right; a calm beginning at home makes the school day much better.
  2. Encourage your child to have a good breakfast and lunch.  Make certain that your child sleeps at least eight hours each night.
  3. Praise your child each day for something he/she has done.  Have a special place to put schoolwork or whatever is brought home.
  4. Laugh and talk with your child about school experiences and listen attentively to what is said about your child’s school day experiences.
  5. Stress attendance.  If the child is ill, home is the best place; otherwise, your child needs to take advantage of every school day.
  6. Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your child’s teacher.  Inform the teacher of any family situation which could influence your child’s behavior.  Also, if he/she is reluctant to go to school, let the teacher know so that together you can find the reason.
  7. Take your child to the library and encourage reading for pleasure.
  8. Stress organization of school notebooks, materials, etc.
  9. Work at home with skills taught at school.

Appendices Section

Riverbend Administrative Discipline Grid


When a student has progressed on the classroom discipline plan to the “See the principal” phase,                                                       principal referrals will result in the following:

Teacher and Student Relationships


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


Lunch Detention

Office Detention

½ to 1 Day ISS (TBD)

Class Disruption*

Lunch Detention

Office Detention

½ to 1 Day ISS (TBD)

Lunch Disruption*

Lunch Detention

Office Detention

½ to 1 Day ISS (TBD)

Failure to comply with a reasonable request*

Lunch Detention

Office Detention

½ to 1 Day ISS (TBD)


of written, spoken, or gestured words,

taunting, intimidation,  rumor spreading, and playing abusive tricks

Office Detention and Counseling Interventions

1 Day ISS


Verbal Abuse toward Staff/ Student

 Office Detention

1 Day ISS


Threatening Staff/ Student**




Physically Abusing Staff/ Student**




        * Severity of violation will affect degree of punishment

**Law enforcement authorities will be notified if necessary

Acts That Can Endanger Students


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


Office Detention

1-2 Days ISS (TBD)



Determined by Principal and/or Resource Officer

        * Severity of fighting will affect degree of punishment


Breach of School Policy


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


 Teacher will make parent contact and possible Classroom Consequence(s)

 Teacher will make parent contact, Lunch Detention and/or Classroom Consequence(s)

 Teacher will make parent contact, After School Detention and/or Classroom Consequence(s)


Teacher will make parent contact/

Administrative Decision

Lunch Detention

After School Detention

Thank you for taking the time to read through the Riverbend Elementary Parent/Student Handbook.  Being aware of and following school policies helps to ensure the safest possible environment for our students.  If you have any questions, or if I can be of service to you in any way, please feel free to call me at 627-6565.


Karley Wells


Revised 8/11/2021 KW