(616) 642-1200


REV: 2018-10-05 JS












































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Dear Students and Parents,

Welcome to our school! We hope that you will enjoy the various activities during the school year and participate whenever possible. We, the staff, look forward to experiencing with you our adventures in learning and the joy of friendship.

This handbook was written to provide you with important information about our school. We hope you will find it helpful and retain it for future reference. If you have any questions not answered in this handbook, please call for the information or stop at school for a visit.


The Saranac Elementary School Staff

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Board of Education

Brent Denny, Sarah Doll, Roy Hawkins, Ted VanKuikken, David Price, Kevin Courtney, Kirk Jackson

Superintendent Jason Smith

Principal Mike Catrell

Secretaries Becky Edwards, Becky Bowen

ECSE Becky Hoople

GSRP (ISD program) Angie Guernsey

Young 5’s Renee Brogger

Kindergarten Barb VanPolen, Katelyn Hanson, Bethany Cook

First Grade Keri Washburn, Carrie Smith, Tammy Howe

Second Grade Bridget Harder, Doris McPherson, Linette Reed

Third Grade Mo Jorgensen, Dawn Bolt, Cathy Cooper

Fourth Grade Sally Mutschler, Kelli Thomas, Teri Brunette, Sarah Gallagher

Fifth Grade Tara Rasmus, Amy Evans, Molly Milks, Tina Catrell

Sixth Grade Amy McGee, Amy Miles, Sue Chipman

Special Education Judy Frank, Melissa Price

ICT Coordinator Roxanne Gullikson

Physical Education Karen Rohrer

Intervention Specialist Sarah Gallagher, Stephanie Smith, Theresa Lyman, Teri Brunette, Morgan Jones, Caroline Dibaba

Technology Stacy Sanders

Speech Helene Alfano

Music Dawn Peterson, Matt Stauffer

Band Matt Stauffer

Social Worker Chris Doucette

Art Abbigail Hale

Classroom Paraprofessional Dawn Borup, Margaret Besson, Stephanie Voorheis, Brandy Mutschler, Cassie Harris

School Paraprofessional Connie Kauffman, Tammy Blough, Jan Renwick, Anita Hotchkiss, Kelly Herrick, Cindy Voorheis, Linda DePotty 

Head Cook Stacy McKinch

Cooks Kim Cahoon, Janet Swiger, Julie Miller, Shandra Hesche, Courtney Mager, Vicki McElvain

Kitchen Cashier Stacy McKinch, Becky Griffin

Custodians Doug Van Bennekom, John Stewart, Tammy Blough, Dave Milner, Carl Rickert

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2018-2019 School Year

2018-2019 Calendar

August 27th                         First day with students- ½ day Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00        

August 31st                           Labor Day Weekend –No School                        

September 3rd                  Labor Day –No School

September 4th                        School Resumes

September 21st                   Students half day-Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

October 8th                        Columbus Day –Students half day-Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

October 26th                         No School

November 2nd                   Students half day-Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

November 21st                    Students and Staff half day-Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

November 22nd  & 23rd          Thanksgiving Break –No School

December 24th  – Jan 4th            Winter Break –No School

January 7th                           School Resumes

January 18th                         End of 1st semester – 90 days

January 21st                         Martin Luther King Day-

Student half day- Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

February 18th                        President’s Day -Students half day- Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

March 8th                         No School for Students or Staff

March 15th                         Students half day- Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

April 1st –April 5th                Spring Break

April 19th                           Good Friday - No School for Students and Staff

May 17th                          Students half day- Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

May 24th                         Students and Staff half day- Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

May 27th                        Memorial Day – No School

June 6h                                Students half day-Dismissal JSH 10:55/Ele 11:00

End of second Semester (90 days)

School exists for children. Therefore, we as a staff have developed this statement of our beliefs.


Saranac Community School District will provide for all students an education, which prepares them to become contributing, productive members of society. The community, staff, students and families will work together to continually improve an educational environment, which ensures learning and promotes social growth and physical wellness.


The staff of Saranac Elementary School, working together with the community, will provide all students the necessary skills to continually learn throughout their lifetime and interact effectively in our society.

Saranac Elementary School Exit Outcomes

Self-Directed Learners assume responsibility for their actions and create goals for themselves. They are able to consider options, set priorities, monitor, and evaluate their progress.

Collaborative Contributors are able to work cooperatively with others in diverse groups.

Effective Communicators effectively share knowledge with others in today's modern technological society.

Involved Citizens volunteer their time, energies, and talents, resulting in pride in one's self and local community.

Complex Thinkers demonstrate decision-making, reasoning skills, and creative problem solving in their changing world.

Innovative Producers successfully create a product meeting given criteria, using their intellectual and artistic abilities.

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STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT: Respect Yourself! Respect Others! Respect Your School!


Special education opportunities exist locally and in center programs operated by Ionia Public Schools or the Ionia Intermediate School District. The programs range from classrooms full or part time to speech therapy, school social work and/or teacher consultant services. An Individualized Education Planning Committee (IEPC) consisting of parents and staff meet to determine eligibility for services and develop the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to be followed.

Title I is a federally funded program monitored by the State of Michigan Department of Education. The purpose of the program is to provide supplementary reading, math and science assistance in the classroom to qualifying students who demonstrate difficulties.


It is the policy of the Saranac Community Schools that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training or other educational program, or in employment, or recruitment, consideration, or selection therefore, whether full-time or part-time, under any educational program or activity operated by the school district as required by Title IX of the education amendments of 1972.


At the meeting, July 19, 1990, the Saranac Board of Education unanimously passed the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Saranac Board of Education stands committed to ensure the education of our students in a drug-free environment;

WHEREAS, the Office of the Ionia County Prosecutor is committed to rigorously enforcing the laws of the State of Michigan which outlaws the presence of illicit drugs near school property;

WHEREAS, the school systems in over 36 states, including Michigan, have sought to protect our youth by creating safe havens called "Drug-Free Zones";

WHEREAS, local law enforcement stands committed to vigorously enforce violations of any established "Drug-Free Zone";

WHEREAS, the Saranac Community Schools agree to join forces with law enforcement and other school districts to enforce the establishment of "Drug-Free Zones" and take a zero tolerance stance of illegal drugs;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Saranac Board of Education designate Saranac Community Schools as a "Drug-Free Zone".

FURTHER, direct the administration to post appropriate signs and announce this resolution to the public and our students.

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Severe Weather or Tornado:

School Cancellation:

In the event that school is canceled or released early due to inclement weather, equipment failure, or public crisis, parents will be notified by local radio and TV stations listed below. PARENTS, PLEASE LET YOUR CHILD KNOW WHERE THEY ARE TO GO IN THE EVENT OF AN EARLY DISMISSAL.

Hazardous Weather Information:

The decision to keep the schools open or to close because of the weather is not an easy one to make. When evaluating road conditions, the primary concern is for the safety of students and staff. With this in mind, the procedure for making the decision to close school due to weather is:

*Weather reports are monitored closely, and the County Road Commission informs us of road conditions.

*Roads are checked in various parts of the district by school personnel.

*Based on actual road conditions, the Superintendent will make a decision. As soon as the decision is made that school is to be closed, information will be provided to area radio and television stations.

Parents and students should listen to any of the following radio or television stations to receive the school closing information:


WMAX         96.1                 WION                 1430                 WBBL         1340

WBCT         93.7                 WTNR         94.5                 WCUZ         1230

WCSG         91.3                 WLAV         96.9                 WGRD         1410

WCUZ         101.3                 WLHT         95.7                 WGVU         1480

WGRD         97.9                 WMUS         106.9                 WJQK         1260

WGVU         88.5                 WODJ         107.3                 WOOD         1300

WOOD         105.7                 WION                 1430




Parents are reminded if they choose to keep their children home because they consider the area to be unsafe; the student(s) will be excused. If, however, a bus does not travel a road because it is unsafe, and the parent chooses to bring their child in, they will also be responsible for the child's safe return trip home.

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The Saranac Community Schools Board of Education, being deeply concerned for the safety of our students, realizes the importance of planning to ensure the protection of students and staff when the potential for violent weather exists. Therefore, the following procedures are in effect.

Tornado Watch (Severe weather conditions with tornado conditions present)

1. Students will NOT be sent home early.

2. Students will remain in session with necessary precautions taken.

3. Students will be sent home at regular dismissal time.

Tornado Warning (Immediate danger of tornado)

1. Students will NOT be sent home.

2. Students will be kept in designated safety areas within the school buildings until all clear is given or danger has passed.

General Information

1. After school activities shall be canceled whenever tornado "Warnings" are in effect at the time of the activity.

2. Parents may pick up their children and only their children unless there is specific written permission or by making prior arrangements with the principal.

3. Parents should not call the school inquiring about tornado procedures during the period of a tornado "Watch" or "Warning".

4. Safety areas for students and employees have been designated in all school buildings.

5. Employees will remain on duty until regular dismissal time or until end of emergency, whichever is later.

6. Parents should have a plan for their children when no one will be at home upon their arrival from school.

Lock-down, Fire, and Storm Safety Drills:

Drills will be held during the course of the year in accordance with state law. Escape routes and designated safe areas are listed in each room.

Student Accident/Injuries or Illness:

Student injuries or illnesses are to be reported to the office. In case of serious injury or illness, aid and comfort will be provided at the level to which the school staff is trained. Emergency services will be secured when the injury or illness appears to be life-threatening or beyond the capability of the school staff present during the situation. Parents will be notified of the action taken. PLEASE NOTE: Parents of children with special medical needs who require treatment not available in our local area must notify the office in writing to ensure our ability to provide proper care for the child.

Dispensing Medicine:

Board Policy states that medication, including aspirin, is not dispensed by school personnel. If your child must take prescription or non-prescription medication during school hours you must come to the office and obtain a consent form. All medication must be brought to the office by an adult clearly labeled with the child's name and instructions.

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Communicable Diseases:

By law, the school must report all student cases of communicable disease to the County Health Department. If a staff member is aware of a student with a communicable disease she/he is to inform the office.


All children who attend school in Michigan are required to be fully vaccinated unless an exemption has been requested in writing. A summary of these requirements is listed below.


* 4 doses of DTP vaccine and, if a dose was not received on or after the 4th birthday, a booster dose at school entry.

*4 doses or age appropriate complete series of Pneumococcal Conjugate

* 3 doses of any appropriate polio vaccine and, if a dose was not received on or after the 4th birthday, a booster dose at school entry.

* 2 doses of MMR vaccine received after the 1st birthday, at least 1 month apart and with at least 1 of the doses at or after 15 months of age.


Current laboratory evidence of measles, mumps or rubella immunity.

*3 doses of the HEPATITIS B vaccine.        

* 2 doses of Varicella (Chicken Pox) or reliable history of disease.


* 4 doses of any appropriate diphtheria and tetanus vaccine, 3 doses if the 1st dose was received on or after the 7th birthday, and, if a dose was not received within the last 10 years, a booster dose at school entry.

* 3 doses of any appropriate polio vaccine.

* 2 doses of MMR vaccine received after the 1st birthday, at least 1 month apart and with at least 1 of the doses at or after 15 months of age,


Current laboratory evidence of measles, mumps, or rubella immunity.

* 3 doses of the HEPATITIS B vaccine.

* 2 doses of Varicella (Chicken Pox vaccine) or reliable history of disease.

* 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine

These requirements are for children entering a Michigan school district for the first time. Failure to meet these requirements, as set by the Michigan Department of Public Health, requires the school principal to exclude the child from attendance.

Head Lice Policy

Head lice are parasites of the human head and its hair. The presence of head lice is not an indicator of hygiene, parenting, social or economic status.

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If a student is identified with an active infestation, (defined as the presence of live lice or nits found within ¼” of the scalp), the parent will be notified so that the student maybe taken home to be treated in the most effective manner possible.

The student will be readmitted to school after treatment. If, upon examination by the designated school personnel no live lice are found the student may re-enter the classroom.


The elementary school curriculum, at various levels, includes: mathematics, language, reading, science, social studies, writing, spelling, music, health, physical education, technology, and art.


Testing in Saranac Elementary School serves several purposes:

A. - assists in diagnosis of specific learning difficulties

B. - determines school readiness

C. - monitors students' progress

D. - identifies the need for placement in special program.

For the specific times of testing, please stop by the office. During testing times, parents are encouraged to make sure students eat a good breakfast and get plenty of rest.


Homework is an important and valid part of the educational process. A homework policy is at the discretion of the teacher. These are some of the reasons for homework:

- to help students develop independent study habits

- to promote growth in responsibility and self-direction in learning

- to reinforce learning that has taken place in school

- to help students organize and budget time

- to promote a closer working relationship between home and school

Incomplete homework may be a factor in determining a child's academic growth.


A report to parents is issued three (3) times each year to all students in Young 5’s through sixth grades.


A communication will be sent home with all students every other Friday. Parents and staff are encouraged to submit material to the principal by the Wednesday before publication. Special activities, upcoming events, health information, activity dates, and school lunch menu are possible items for inclusion.

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Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents have the right to:

1. Inspect and review student education records;

2. Request an amendment of the student educational records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights;

3. Consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records;

4. File with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint if there is an alleged failure by the school district to comply with requirements of the Act;

5. Obtain a copy of the FERPA policy.

FERPA regulations presume equal access for both parents, unless there is a court order or legal document to the contrary. If you desire to see your child's records, please call the school and make an appointment.


Please contact the office if you have a change of address and/or phone number.


Students should not bring money to school except for lunch or special events. The cost of lunch and milk varies yearly and is set by the school. Applications can be obtained from the office for those who qualify for free or reduced lunches. To ensure proper accounting, money should be put in an envelope marked with the student's name, grade, teacher, and amount. No student will go without a lunch. If a child loses or forgets her/his lunch a hot lunch maybe charged. However, 3 charges are the limit that each student will be allowed. After the third charge students will be provided an alternative lunch until such time as the account is made current.


Most trips are taken by bus during the school day. Because of the educational value of trips, student attendance is expected. Parents will be notified of the trip in advance and are often asked to serve as chaperones along with the classroom teacher. A permission slip will be sent home for parents to sign, giving their child permission to attend field trips. Without the permission slip, the school cannot legally assume responsibility, and students will not be allowed to go. Some local field trips are within walking distance and permission slips are not necessary.


Most of the materials within our library are available to be checked out and taken home. Parents are requested to help their children return these items by their due date. Students will be responsible for the replacement of all items lost or damaged.

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Students will be provided with necessary supplies such as books, paper and pencils. Other materials may be brought to school at the teacher's discretion.

Books, desks, lockers, classroom equipment, restroom walls, and playground equipment belong to the people of Saranac. Those of us using these things are responsible for taking care of them. If someone breaks, loses, or destroys something, he/she will be responsible for its repair or replacement. In the state of Michigan, school districts are authorized to recover damages in an amount not to exceed $2,500.00 against parents of unemancipated minors who have maliciously or willfully destroyed real, personal or mixed property, which belongs to the school district. We feel that it is important for parents to discuss the consequences of harming school property before a problem occurs.


Volunteers are appreciated at Saranac Elementary School. Want ads for volunteer help are periodically in the school newsletter. If you are volunteering at the school please check into the office when you arrive.


A child is welcome to provide a birthday treat for the class. For safety purposes, please don't send suckers or hard candies. Also, several of our students have severe nut allergies. Please keep this in mind when sending treats and snacks to school. We do encourage that the snacks/treats brought be healthy for all students. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher or the elementary office. A child may also wish to donate a book to the elementary school library in honor of his/her birthday. Please contact the librarian for ideas. Because we have had problems with hurt feelings in the classroom, we will not be handing out birthday invitations in class unless the whole class, or everyone of that gender, is receiving them.


To prevent distraction, destruction, and loss of property; toys, pets and other valuables are not allowed in school without previous approval. Arrangements can be made with the classroom teacher for special sharing days.

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Students and parents need to realize that education is a cooperative effort and one individual's rights and freedoms must not interfere with the rights and freedoms of other individuals. To provide this atmosphere we feel that students have these specific rights:

- They have a right to be happy and to be treated with compassion

- They have a right to be themselves

- They have a right to be safe

- They have a right to hear and be heard

- They have a right to learn about themselves

To ensure these rights are shared by all students it may become necessary to intervene when the above rights are violated. For this process we have established the following general citizenship code:

  1. One will keep hands, feet, and objects to oneself
  2. One will walk in the hall
  3. One will treat others as one wishes to be treated

If a student hinders another student's rights by breaking the citizenship code the following consequences have been set:

- The staff member who observes the misconduct will discuss the problem with the student to make improvements.

- The professional staff member may withhold privileges from the student if deemed appropriate.

- The professional staff member will contact the student's parent(s) if minor interventions at school have not been successful in correcting the problem.

- A conference between the professional staff member and parent(s) will be arranged if the problem warrants.

- A conference with the professional staff member, parent(s), and principal will be arranged if other actions have not been successful in correcting the problem.

- When deemed necessary, discipline for a classroom disturbance will be handled by the principal.

- If a problem continues after exhausting the previous avenues, a last resort is to suspend a student from school per Saranac Board of Education Policy.

- Severe problems may result in immediate suspension. These include such serious offenses as the use, sale, possession, or distribution of drugs, alcohol, illegal substances or look-alike drugs, cheating, destruction of property, theft, fighting, smoking, extreme lack of respect for authority, or the breaking of any state or federal laws.

- When parents or legal guardians wish to appeal a suspension the following procedure has been set up to satisfy your needs.

- Parents, legal guardians, or the students may request a conference with the principal. Such requests shall be made within the period of the suspension. The principal shall affirm or modify the terms of his/her action within two (2) school days from the date of the conference.

- Within five (5) school days from the principal's decision, the parents, legal guardian, or student may appeal such decision to the superintendent or his/her designee. The superintendent shall affirm or modify the decision of the principal within two (2) school days from hearing the appeal.

- Within five (5) school days from the superintendent's decision, the parents, legal guardian, or student may appeal the decision to the Board of Education.

*The Board of Education shall schedule a hearing within ten (10) school days of the receipt of any appeal and the hearing shall be conducted under the following procedure

A. A written notification shall be given of the time, date, and place of the hearing and shall include the following information:

1. A statement of the charges against the student.

2. The name of the hearing officer or hearing board.

3. The hearing procedure to be used.

4. The status of the student pending the appeal and the decision of the board.

5. The right to request the hearing to be open or closed to the public and if the meeting is closed, to have witnesses excluded from all parts of the hearing except where necessary.

6. The right of the student and the parent or guardian to be represented by counsel of their choice.

7. The right to present witnesses and to question witnesses testifying against the student.

8. The right to have a written finding of fact and the right to have a record of the hearing.

B. The hearing is not a court proceeding and the rules of evidence shall not be enforced.

C. There may be present at the hearing, whether or not the hearing is closed, the attorney, the principal, the superintendent, and other such resource persons, as the board deems essential to the adjudication of the case.

D. The board shall render a written decision within five (5) school days from the date of the hearing, and a written copy shall be forwarded to all parties concerned.

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Discipline procedures/guidelines for 5th and 6th grades are as followed: (new policy as of 2012)


Unsafe behavior is any behavior, playful or intentional, that might lead to harming self or others.

Consequence: A lunch detention up to suspension.


A student shall not engage in unauthorized physical contact (fight with, assault, or physically accost) with another student. A student shall not verbally abuse, or verbally threaten to commit assault or battery to another student.

Consequence: Students who physically assault another student will be suspended for up to 10 days, with possible recommendation made to the Board for expulsion of a longer duration. Students who verbally abuse or threaten another student will be suspended for a period of time between 1 and 10 days. (Typically 1 day, then to follow 3, 5, 7, 10)

In accordance with the Revised School Code, any student in grade six or above who physically assaults a district employee or a person engaged as a volunteer or contractor of the district may be permanently expelled. Furthermore, any student in grade six or above whom commits a verbal assault against an employee, volunteer, or contractor of the district may be expelled for 180 school days.


Students should make every effort to arrive to class on time. Students (6th grade) arriving late (by 8:30AM) to a class period will be counted tardy. If a student receives a tardy, the following consequences will occur per marking period.

1-2 tardies – warning 3-4 tardies – after school detention

5-6 tardies – Office referral and after school


Harassment may consist of any unwelcome derogatory, sarcastic, threatening and/or hurtful remark(s) or action(s) directed at another individual.

Consequence: Reprimand up to an expulsion, including possible police contact.


A student may be removed from any “class, subject, or activity” and referred to the principal by a teacher for disrespectful actions, attitudes, disobedience, or creating a disturbance in the class which in the teacher's judgment is detrimental to the management and educational process of the classroom (otherwise referred to as a “snap suspension”). As soon as possible after the snap suspension the teacher shall contact the student’s parent/guardian and inform them of the situation warranting the suspension.

Consequence: First Offense – Referred to office for remainder of class period, work to be completed before returning; teacher contacts parents/guardian

Second Offense- same as above, office contact to parent/guardian

Third Offense – After school detention

Fourth Offense – Possible in school or out of school suspension

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A school, in carrying out its responsibility in creating a proper learning environment, encourages good taste in dress and grooming appropriate to the learning activity of the age of the student. In general, it shall be the responsibility of the individual student and his/her parents to set the guidelines for appropriate dress within socially acceptable standards. Factors of health, safety, and orderly function of the school are the determinants of appropriate dress.

Within this framework, clothing or grooming shall be considered unacceptable if it:

1) creates or potentially creates a disruptive influence on the educational process such as wearing of head wear (hats, bandannas, kerchiefs), coats or jackets, halters or tube tops, tank tops or any sleeveless top with a shoulder strap of less than two inches in width (3 fingers wide), mutilated clothing, clothing with profane, vulgar or obscene suggestions, clothing which is sexually suggestive, clothing that advertises alcoholic beverages or drugs, or clothing that uses improper language

2) An article of clothing must not expose the midriff area, cleavage, or undergarments.

3) Shorts/dresses/skirts must be longer than fingertips with arms extended flat at their sides. Holes in jeans and shorts may not extend above the fingertips.

4) Administration shall have final determination of the appropriateness of the student's dress, subject to appeal to the superintendent and the Board of Education. If conditions warrant it, the student will be asked to rectify the situation, and it may result in further discipline.

CELL PHONES, IPOD'S, MP3 PLAYERS (Electronic Devices)

Problems arise because students have articles that are hazardous to the safety of others or interfere with school procedures.  Such items include, but are not limited to:  lighters, water pistols, laser pointers, and water balloons.    All electronic devices (CD players, I-pods, MP-3 players, cell phones, etc.) must be used respectfully and responsibly.  If there is a medical or personal reason the devices need to be used, prior permission must be granted by administration. These items will be confiscated and not returned.  

Students may use cell phones before and after school.  Electronic devices will be taken if they are seen whether in use or not, heard in the classroom and/or sitting on a table/desk, unless prior permission from the teacher is granted.  The devices will only be used for instructional purposes in the classroom.  If there is a medical or personal reason the devices need to be used, prior permission must be granted by the teacher or administration.


First offense – device confiscated and returned at the end of the day

Second offense – device confiscated, lunch detention, parental notification

Third offense – device confiscated, after school detention, parental notification

Fourth offense – device confiscated, parental notification and pick-up

Fifth and subsequent offense – considered persistent disobedience, possible suspension


Food, gum, and drinks are to be consumed only in the cafeteria. Only water is allowed in the hallways and classrooms but not in computer labs. Classroom parties need staff approval.

Consequence: First Offense – Warning

Second Offense – Warning, office referral

Third Offense – after school detention

Students may not consume energy drinks, including (but not limited to) Monster, RockStar, Red Bull, Five Hour Energy, coffee, during school hours. Possession will result in confiscation and disposal of said drink. Repeated offenses may result in discipline action.

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Malicious destruction of school or private property

Consequence: Student may be referred to office and need to compensate or make amends to repair damages. Repeated offenses may result in suspension.


A student may not swear at, show disrespect for, or refuse to obey a reasonable request or direct order from a teacher, administrator, or other person given the responsibility of supervision. If a student has witnessed or has direct knowledge about violations of school rules, the student is responsible for reporting information truthfully, accurately, and completely to school authorities.

Consequence: The minimum will be after school detention up to a five-day suspension from school. Any additional offenses will result in five to ten days’ suspension and possible expulsion.


Truancy is a student's willful choice to miss a class period(s).


First offense- Warning Second offense- lunch detention Third offense- after school detention

End of section for 5th and 6th

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GUN-FREE SCHOOLS ACT Established By "Goals 2000" Legislation

Title VIII of the "Goals 2000" legislation is known as the "Gun- Free Schools Act" and states:

"No assistance may be provided to any local educational agency under this Act unless such agency has in effect a policy requiring the expulsion from school for a period of not less than one year of any student who is determined to have brought a weapon (including fire arms, dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife, iron bar, chain, brass knuckles, or lighter) to a school under the jurisdiction of the agency except such policy may allow the chief administering officer of the agency to modify such expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by case basis".

Standards of Conduct for Students

The unlawful possession, use or distribution of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs by students on school premises, or as part of any school activity, is prohibited.

Disciplinary sanctions consistent with local, state and federal law, up to and including expulsion, and referral for prosecution, will be imposed on all students who violate the standards of conduct for the district. Disciplinary sanctions concerning alcohol or other drug related violations may include completion of a rehabilitation program. (student's assistance referral and counseling)

Standards of conduct apply to all students.


It is the policy of the District to provide a safe educational environment for all students. Bullying of a student at school is strictly prohibited. This policy shall be interpreted and enforced to protect all students and to equally prohibit bullying without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus.

A. Prohibited Conduct

1. For the purposes of this policy, "bullying and cyberbullying” shall be defined as: Any written, verbal, or physical act, or any electronic communication, that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm one or more students either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

a. Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students;

b. Adversely affecting a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the District's educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress;

c. Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a student's physical or mental health; or

d. Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

2. Retaliation or false accusation against a target of bullying, anyone reporting bullying, a witness, or another person with reliable information about an act of bullying is strictly prohibited.

Penalty:  Reprimand up to an expulsion, including possible police contact.  

B. Reporting an Incident

If a student, staff member, or other individual believes there has been an incident of bullying in violation of this policy, s/he shall promptly report such incident to the appropriate principal or designee, or the Responsible School Official.

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Students riding bicycles to school should park them in the designated bicycle parking area, and the bicycles will remain in this area for the school day. For the child's safety, good bicycle safety rules are to be followed.


Elementary school students are expected to participate in daily outdoor recess activities. Children are expected to observe proper playground behavior as requested by the playground supervisors. Normally if a child is too ill to participate in recess, she or he is too ill to be in school. However, if an unusual condition exists, which permits attendance at school, but makes participation in recess unadvisable for a day or two, a note from home is expected. For a long-term request, which is a period of time exceeding two days, a note from a physician is required.

We do have outdoor time every day except in rain or extremely cold weather. Please dress your child accordingly. Warm mittens, coats, hats, and boots are needed every day once cold weather begins.


1. Be at the bus stop designated, ready to board bus. The driver cannot wait for tardy pupils. Keep 10 feet from bus stop while waiting.

2. Go directly to seat and sit down. Sit with feet in front of the seat not in the seat or on back of seat.

3. Refrain at all times from moving around while the bus is on route or in motion.

4. Musical instruments, gym bags, books, etc. must be held by the student or placed under the seat. The center aisle must remain clear at all times.

5. Observe classroom conduct (except ordinary conversation). NO SHOUTING while getting on or off and while riding the bus.

6. Keep hands, arms, head inside the bus at ALL TIMES. This includes while the bus is parked.

7. Help keep the bus clean, and orderly. No eating or drinking on the bus (possible exception: field trips and athletics). Do not damage or mar bus at any time.

8. Cooperate with the driver at all times and do what the driver directs you to do, without comment.

9. Inappropriate behavior and language will not be tolerated. Those who misbehave may be denied the privilege of riding the bus.

10. You must cross in front of the bus in sight of the driver, after receiving signal from the driver, and walk when crossing the highway.

11. You should never leave by the rear door except in an emergency.

12. You may board and depart the school bus only at the school building where you are assigned. In order to board at other your assigned building, you must have a written excuse signed by the teacher or principal who detained you.

13. It is the option of the bus driver to assign seats, and students must sit in their assigned seats.

14. Do not bring dangerous items such as knives, matches, lighters, etc. onto the bus.

15. The above rules apply to all people riding school buses at all times, including field trips and athletic events.

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New change to the transportation policy is to improve the safety of students being transported to and from home. We want to be sure we are providing consistent and safe transportation for all of our students. We have become increasingly concerned over the number of alternate stops being requested and never want to mistakenly take a student to a location where there is no adult supervision.

The specific language approved by the Board is printed below. We realize that some parents will need to make changes to comply with this new policy. You will need to identify one location for morning pick-up and one location for afternoon drop-off. While we will consider emergency alternatives to these locations, the reason must truly be an emergency. Parents will need to contact the Transportation Department to make those emergency changes.

Student Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

Students will be transported from one designated location and to one designated location. It is understood that these two locations may not be the same. In cases of emergency, alternate pick-up/drop-off spots may also be considered if located on an existing route. Emergency alternatives will be approved by the Transportation Department.


Children should be encouraged to wear clean, comfortable, and sensible clothing and footwear. All student items from home should be clearly labeled with the student's name. (This includes hats, mittens, jackets, boots, notebooks, etc.) When items are missing, the student should check the lost-and-found area. We will make every effort to help locate missing items. However, for obvious reasons, the school cannot be responsible for personal items.

Fire Safety Regulations require that shoes be worn at all times. During the times of the year when boots should be worn, each child must have a pair of shoes to wear in the building. Your child will also need gym shoes to participate in gym class. Leather soles or stocking feet have a tendency to slip on a polished floor causing accidents.

According to school board policy, clothing is considered unacceptable if it:

-creates a present danger to the health and safety of the student or other persons

-creates or potentially creates a disruptive influence on the educational process such as wearing



*short shorts

*mutilated clothing

*clothing with profane, vulgar or obscene suggestions

*clothing which is sexually suggestive

*clothing that advertises alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or drugs

*slogans or statements using improper language

*items that infringe upon the rights and freedoms of other students

Copies of the school board policy regarding the dress code are available in the school office.

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School is not just textbooks or workbooks, but also consists of many social and emotional experiences. To provide your child with maximum instructional time, this attendance policy has been developed.

1. If a child is absent for any reason, the parent/guardian shall call the school on the day of the absence prior to 8:15 a.m. It is especially important for children who walk to school to inform the school as soon as possible when a child is absent. This lets the school know that your child is at home and not missing.

a. All medical and dental appointments should be arranged outside of school hours. In the case that this is not possible, please send a note or call the school prior to the appointment. Students are required to make up all work missed.

b. Parents of students with long-term illnesses should make arrangements with the child's teacher to ensure that academic requirements are met. Options include, but are not limited to, tutoring or home-bound teaching.

  1. Family vacations during school time are discouraged. Contact the teacher if this situation occurs. These days shall be included in the total absences.

2. After ten (10) excused absences a notice will be sent to parent/guardian. This notice is meant for informational purposes. A child arriving after 8:15 a.m. is counted absent.

3. After fifteen (15) excused absences a second notice will be sent to the parent/guardian.

4. After twenty (20) excused absences a third notice will be sent to the parent/guardian. A copy of this notice will be forwarded to the county truant officer.

5. Any child missing more than forty (40) days within a school year is considered to have excessive absences. These absences may jeopardize reaching basic learning-outcomes for that school year.

EXCUSED ABSENCES: Any absences that are reported to the office, either by phone or note, before or within twenty-four (24) hours of the absence.


Arrival – School doors will be open at 7:15 a.m. with school starting at 7:45 a.m. Due to the lack of adult supervision on the school grounds prior to the start of the school day, and because there are no areas protecting students from the weather, we are asking for your cooperation. If your child (ren) walk to school, please plan for them to arrive not more than five minutes before the start of the school day. Doors are open thirty minutes before the start of school. IN INCLEMENT WEATHER, CHILDREN WILL BE PERMITTED TO WAIT INSIDE THE BUILDING WHEN THEY ARRIVE AT SCHOOL.

Departure - It is requested that parents picking up their children remain outside the building. This greatly reduces confusion for teachers and students at the end of the day. It also increases children's safety. Parents in cars picking up their children are asked to please park in the visitor parking lot.

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Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled in the fall and spring. The Saranac Elementary Staff encourages conferences and enjoys hearing from parents. Teachers like sharing information with parents on their child(ren)'s progress and conference time is a perfect opportunity to do so. If an additional conference is needed with a teacher or other school personnel, please schedule an appointment with that person.


Saranac Elementary School belongs to the community. We encourage parents to take the opportunity to visit our school in action. So we may ensure the safety of our children, we must account for all people in the building. We ask that you please contact your child's teacher prior to your visit and sign our visitor's book, which is found in the office, before proceeding to the classroom.


Because of our concern for the safety of our students, the following guidelines will be followed:

1. No child will be released to a person other than a parent or guardian, during school hours, without the written permission of the parent or guardian as indicated on the Emergency Card.

A. If a parent/guardian desires that his or her child be released to another person, not indicated on the Emergency Card during school hours, the following must be received in writing:

- The name of the person to whom the child is to be released

- The time of the release and the length of time for which the child is to be released

- The purpose of the release

B. Exceptions will be made only in times of emergency. The determination of whether an emergency exists will be made by the principal or designee.

2. The person to whom the child is to be released will be required to sign a log in the office indicating the time and purpose of the release. If the person is not known or recognized by the staff person, identification will be required. If the principal, or designee, has any doubts about the documentation presented, a decision not to release the child will be made.

  1. Teachers may release a child to an adult only after receiving permission from the office. Teachers will be required to refer all requests for release to the office.

  1. No child will be permitted to walk home alone during school hours without permission from the parent/guardian.

  1. In the case of children of divorced parents, divorce laws stipulate that the custodial parent alone has the responsibility for custody, care, control, and the education of said child(ren).

Thank you for taking the time to read our handbook. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and support.

The Saranac Elementary School Staff

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Appendix A

Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex 

No district employee or student, on the basis of sex, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

A grievance procedure for responding to claims of discrimination based upon sex by an employee or student of the district has been developed and is available in the superintendent’s office.

This statement and information about complaints about Title IX compliance shall be disseminated to students, parents, employees, applicants, and the general public in a manner as determined by the superintendent.

        If any person believes the district or an employee of the district has inadequately applied the principles and/or regulations of a federal Title program or believe they have been discriminated against, should contact the appropriate Title coordinator at the address found in Appendix D of this handbook.

The person who believes they have a valid basis for the complaint shall discuss the matter informally and verbally with the local Title coordinator, who shall investigate the complaint and answer the complaint within two business days.  If this reply is not acceptable to the complainant, the complainant may initiate formal procedures according to the following steps:

Step 1:

A written statement of the complaint signed by the complainant shall be submitted to the local Title coordinator within five business days of receipt of answers to the informal complaint.  The coordinator shall further investigate the complaint and reply in writing to the complainant within ten school days.

Step II:

If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision of the local Title coordinator, that person may submit a signed appeal to the superintendent within five business days after receipt of the local coordinator’s response.  The superintendent shall meet with all parties involved, attempt to arrive at a solution, and respond in writing to the complainant within five school days.

Step III:

If the complainant remains unsatisfied, the complainant may appeal in a signed, written statement to the board within five business days of receipt of the superintendent’s response in Step II.  The board shall meet with the concerned parties and their representatives within 15 days of receipt of the appeal.  A copy of the board’s disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten business days of the meeting.

Step IV:

If, at this point, the complaint has not been satisfactorily settled, further appeal by the complainant may be made to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Human Services, Washington, D.C.  20201.

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Appendix B

Sexual Harassment and Intimidation 

        Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act 1972 and the Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act.  Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination.

It is the policy of this district to maintain learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment.  No board member, staff member or student of this district shall be subjected to any form of sexual harassment or intimidation.  It shall be a violation of this policy for any board member, employee, or student to harass any member of the board, staff or student body through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as defined in this policy.

Each administrator shall be responsible for promoting understanding and acceptance of, and assuring compliance with, state and federal laws, and board policy and procedures governing sexual harassment within his/her building or office.


Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

a.        submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or advancement or of a student’s participation in school programs or activities; or

b.        submission to or rejection of such conduct by a board member, employee, or student is used as the basis for decisions affecting the employee or student; or

c.        such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a board member’s, employee’s or student’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment.

Sexual harassment, may include, but is not limited to, the following:

        Verbal harassment or abuse;

        Pressure for sexual activity;

        Repeated remarks with sexual or demeaning implications;

        Unwelcome touching;

        Sexual jokes, posters, cartoons, etc.;

        Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement, accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, safety, job, or performance of public duties.

        In addition, any form of retaliation against the complainant or witness is in itself a form of sexual harassment.

Any person who alleges sexual harassment by a board member, staff member or student in this school district, may use the procedure detailed in the appropriate current negotiated agreement, faculty handbook, or student handbook, or may complain directly to his/her immediate supervisor, building principal, school counselor, district Title IX coordinator or grievance officer.  Filing a grievance or otherwise reporting sexual harassment will not reflect upon the individual’s status, nor will it affect future employment, grades, or work assignments.

The right to confidentiality, for both the accuser and the accused, will be respected consistent with the school district’s legal obligations and with the necessity to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action when this conduct has occurred.

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Grievance Procedure

Any board member, employee, or student in the district who believes that he/she has been subjected to discriminatory and/or sexual harassment, insults, or intimidation shall report the incident(s), in the case of an employee, to the superintendent, immediate supervisor, Title IX coordinator, or grievance officer; in the case of a student, to the building principal, guidance counselor, Title IX coordinator or grievance officer; in the case of a board member, to the superintendent, Title IX coordinator, or grievance officer.

Upon the filing of a complaint, the grievance officer shall conduct a prompt and complete investigation.  The officer shall attempt to resolve the problem in an informal manner through the following steps:

1.        Interview the complainant and document the interview.

a.        Request that the complaint be put in writing, if possible.

b.        Obtain the names of witnesses who can be contacted to substantiate the charges being made and secure permission of the complainant to interview them.

2.        Interview the accused and document the interview.

a.        Re-emphasize the board’s policy regarding insult, intimidation and harassment without making judgments at this stage.

b.        Keep the identity of the complainant confidential, if possible.

3.        Interview all witnesses identified by the parties and document the interview.

4.        Review the personnel files or student records/files of the complainant and the accused for any history of problems.

5.        Make a determination on the merits of the complaint.

        If the investigation shows that the complaint is without merit, the following action will be taken:

1.        The investigation will be closed.

2.        The grievance officer’s findings and reasons for them will be discussed with the complainant.

3.        Consideration will be given to disseminating the results of the investigation to employees or students who have knowledge of it.

4.        All references to the complaint will be removed from the accused party’s personnel file.

5.        The board’s policy regarding discriminatory and/or sexual insult, intimidation or harassment and the mechanism for complaint resolution will be reiterated to all employees or students involved in the investigation.

6.        All documentation regarding the complaint and the investigation will be maintained in a separate confidential file in the event that litigation is commenced or a charge is filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

        If the investigation shows that the complaint has merit, the following action will be taken:

1.        The investigation will be closed.

2.      The grievance officer will confer with the board and superintendent to determine what action is necessary to resolve the complaint and prevent recurrence.

a.        The complainant should be made whole: in the case of an employee, for any lost earnings, employment opportunities, personnel records should be corrected; in the case of a student, lost educational opportunities, extracurricular opportunities, student records updated; in the case of a board member; lost opportunities of public service, such as chair of special committees, appointments or professional development opportunities.

b.        The potential for continuing problems should be alleviated by reassignment where possible.

3.        The parties will be advised of the results of the investigation and the actions to be taken.

4.        Appropriate discipline will be imposed, as required by the strength of the evidence, the severity of the incident, and the position and prior record of the offender.

5.        All actions will be documented and a record placed in the offender’s permanent personnel file or student discipline records.

6.        The board’s policy regarding discriminatory and/or sexual insult, intimidation or harassment and the mechanism for complaint resolution will be reiterated to all board members, employees, or students involved in the investigation.

7.        All documentation regarding the complaint and the investigation will be maintained in a separate confidential file in the event that litigation is commenced or a charge is filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

All complaints, interviews and investigations will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and utmost discretion.  Only those board members, employees, or students whose participation in the investigation of a complaint was essential to its resolution will be informed of it.


a.        A substantiated charge against a staff member in the school district shall subject that staff member to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

b.        A substantiated charge against a student in the school district shall subject that student to disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion, consistent with the student discipline code.

c.        A substantiated charge against a board member in the school district shall subject that board member to any legal and disciplinary action allowed under current law.


Notice of this policy will be circulated to all school buildings and departments within the district, and incorporated in teacher, student and parent handbooks.  In addition, students will have available as part of their curriculum and instructional program, sessions on this policy and the prevention of student to student sexual harassment.

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Appendix C

Equal Educational Opportunity

 Every child, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, cultural or economic background, or handicap, is entitled to equal opportunity for educational development.

No student will be excluded from participating in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity conducted by the district.  The board shall treat its students without discrimination as this pertains to course offerings, athletics, counseling, employment assistance, and extracurricular activities.

Step 1:

A written statement of the complaint signed by the complainant shall be submitted to the local Title coordinator within five business days of receipt of answers to the informal complaint.  The coordinator shall further investigate the complaint and reply in writing to the complainant within ten school days.

Step II:

If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision of the local Title coordinator, that person may submit a signed appeal to the superintendent within five business days after receipt of the local coordinator’s response.  The superintendent shall meet with all parties involved, attempt to arrive at a solution, and respond in writing to the complainant within five school days.

Step III:

If the complainant remains unsatisfied, the complainant may appeal in a signed, written statement to the board within five business days of receipt of the superintendent’s response in Step II.  The board shall meet with the concerned parties and their representatives within 15 days of receipt of the appeal.  A copy of the board’s disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten business days of the meeting.

Step IV:

If, at this point, the complaint has not been satisfactorily settled, further appeal by the complainant may be made to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Human Services, Washington, D.C.  20201.

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Appendix D

Compliance Officers/Title Coordinators

Questions or concerns regarding the following should be addressed to the listed compliance officer/Title Coordinator:

Title VI                                                Mr. Jason Smith

                                                                225 Pleasant Street

                                                                Saranac, MI  48881

                                                                (616) 642-1400

        Title IX                                                Mr. Jason Smith

                                                                225 Pleasant Street

                                                                Saranac, MI  48881

                                                                (616) 642-1400

        Section 504                                                Individual Building Administrators

Jr. /Sr. High – Mr. Josh Leader

                                                                Elementary – Mr. Mike Catrell

        Americans With                                        250 Pleasant Street

        Disabilities Act (ADA)                                Saranac, MI  48881                

                                                                (616) 642-1100

        Asbestos Abatement                                Mr. Jason Smith

        Lead Free/Radon                                        225 Pleasant Street

        Pesticide Application                                Saranac, MI  48881

                                                                (616) 642-1400

        Sexual Harassment                                        Individual Building Administrators

                                                                Jr. /Sr. High – Mr. Josh Leader

                                                                Elementary – Mr. Mike Catrell                                                                

        Freedom of Information                                 Mr. Jason Smith

        Act (FOIA)                                                225 Pleasant Street                                

                                                                Saranac, MI  48881

                                                                (616) 642-1400