James Cole Elementary

Student-Parent Handbook


        The Staff of Cole Elementary welcomes you to our school family.  This document contains a summary of Cole’s and Tippecanoe School Corporation’s most pertinent policies.  The complete policy information can be found on the TSC Website.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the office.  Working together we will be sure that Cole has a Creative Outstanding Learning Environment where your child will receive the best possible education.

James Cole Elementary

Michael Pinto, Principal




We Help Students Learn

We Grow Kind Citizens

We Keep Children Safe

We are a Connected Outstanding Learning Environment

“We are the Cole Cubs!”


Buses unload.............................................................................................. 8:50

Classes begin............................................................................................. 9:00

Grade 3 lunch/recess ….............................................................................11:30-12:20

Grade 2 lunch/recess ………………………………………………………….11:35-12:25

Grade K lunch/recess ………………………………………………………... 12:05-12:55

Grade 1 lunch/recess  ..……………………………………………………..…12:10-1:00

Grades 4 & 5 lunch/recess…......................................................................12:10-1:00

Afternoon Announcements……………………………………………………..3:20

Dismissal bell.............................................................................................. 3:30

Bus departure..............................................................................................3:35


Regular attendance is important to successful achievement in school.  If your child is absent you are to notify the office by telephone before school or early in the school day.  Written excuses are required when your child returns to school.  If your child saw a dentist or doctor be sure to send the physician’s excuse.

If a child is present for any part of a half-day 8:50 to noon or/noon to 3:30 they will not be counted as absent during that part. Please refer to the Tippecanoe School Corporation Attendance Policy for more details.

         Indiana law mandates compulsory attendance as stated in Section 20-8.  1-3-17 Indiana Code.  Any student who demonstrates excessive absences/tardies and is in violation of the stated school attendance policy will be referred to Truancy Mediation.  Truancy Mediation will determine what court action is warranted.

So as to better account for student attendance and to increase security   for students, a sign-in, sign-out system will be used.  Any time parents,   relatives or guardians pick-up students from school or bring   them to school after the tardy bell, they must report to the office and   sign them in or out.  All adults, upon entering the building   for whatever reason, must report to the office and sign in.


This rule applies when a student is:

A. On school grounds immediately before or during school hours, immediately after school hours or at any other time when the school is being used by a school group (including summer school);

B. Off school grounds at a school activity, function, or event;

C. Traveling to or from school or a school activity, function, or event; or

D. Using property or equipment provided by the school.

Bullying by a student or groups of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the other student through overt, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications transmitted and/or physical acts committed, or any other similar behavior is prohibited.  Parents or students who suspect that repeated acts of bullying are taking place should report the matter to the school principal or designee. Parents and students may report suspected bullying behavior by filling out a Bullying Incident Form, which is available in main office. School personnel will investigate all reports of bullying.

Bus Information

Each child should know his/her bus number and driver’s name both to and from school.  

Notes are required for the following reasons or we will follow normal transportation arrangements:  (1) student is to be picked up by a parent or other person, (2) student is going home with another student, or (3) student is getting off the bus somewhere other than his/her own stop. Riding the bus is a privilege that can be taken away for inappropriate behavior.  The school bus driver is in charge of all the children riding on the bus.


In the event that school is closed, delayed for 2 hours, or dismissed early due to inclement weather, announcements will be made on local television and radio stations.  Cole Elementary is part of the Tippecanoe School Corporation and we will dismiss one hour after the announced McCutcheon dismissal time.  Your child should know where he/she is to go when early emergency school closing occurs.

Communication to School

At James Cole Elementary, we feel that children are best served when there is open and direct communication between school and home.  We also strive for balance. We offer a variety of methods to communicate, including phone calls, emails, and handwritten notes.  If there is a question about your child, please begin with the classroom teacher.  He/she has the most direct knowledge of your child’s academic and social-emotional needs.

During the school day, any phone calls made to the classroom will go directly into the classroom teacher’s voicemail to limit interruptions to classroom instruction. Therefore, during school hours, it is best practice to call the office so that the message can be directed to its destination. Teachers check voicemails before and after school and during their daily prep time.

Emails are also a direct route to teachers.  Emails that are received during school hours will be read before and after school and during the teacher’s daily prep time.  Emails received after school hours in many cases will be read the following school day.  Emails received during the weekend will be read when the school week begins again. This pause allows our teachers to be mindful of their own personal and family needs.  A response can be expected with 24 hours of the message being received.  If a teacher shares a personal cell phone number, please work within the parameters established to ensure a healthy communication balance.

The school and some classrooms offer a variety of social media platforms as well that can help you peek into your child’s life at school.  Please follow these and limit comments to those that are positive in nature.  We are modeling for our children best practices and behaviors.  

Finally, you are encouraged to sign up for email and text alerts from the Tippecanoe School Corporation through its website, to utilize the Cole and classroom websites, and to check your child’s grades on the Parent Portal to stay informed.  In the end, the best communication between school and home begins with the classroom teacher.  By working together, communication will be both timely and sufficient to meet the needs of everyone working to educate your child.

Emergency Drills

Safety drills will be held periodically in order to accustom each pupil with a safe and efficient exit or place of security.  Every pupil must cooperate fully in order to insure the safety of all students.  Fire drills occur once a month.  Tornado drills occur twice per semester.  Lock-down drills occur once per semester.

Food Service Program

A nutritious breakfast and lunch are provided for your convenience.  Soda pop, candy or extra food items are not permitted with a school breakfast or lunch. Lunch money may be sent in weekly or in large amounts and our computerized system will track your account.  A monthly menu will be published on the Cole Elementary and TSC Websites for your information. “My School Bucks” is an electronic payment option available on the TSC Website.

        Application forms for free and reduced breakfast/lunch meals are available from the registration tab online as part of the Parent Portal. The TSC Food Service Department processes all of these applications. For questions contact Lori Shofruth: 269-8434.

        Students are welcome to bring a lunch from home. Students will not have access to the microwave to heat meals, so thermoses are encouraged for hot items. We ask that meals be packed which are healthy. We also ask that no fast food or soft drinks are included in meals sent from home.

        Parents are always invited to eat lunch with their child at school. We ask that parents call the school and let us know you are coming and we will order a meal for you. Your meal can be charged directly to your child’s lunch account. Please do not bring fast food items to school for lunch. If you would like to pack a lunch to share, please also sack lunch criteria listed above. An alternate location outside the cafeteria may be offered for parents to eat lunch with their child if fast food is brought to school for lunch.

GLASS (Greater Lafayette Area Special Services)

Greater Lafayette Area Special Services (GLASS) conducts a yearly search for all children with disabilities from birth through age twenty-one.  The purpose of the search is to ensure that every child with a disability, who resides within Tippecanoe County, is receiving the special education and related services that are his/her right under state and federal law.  If you are aware of any child suspected of having a disability, regardless of the severity, please contact the GLASS office (765-771-6000) or your school principal for information regarding referral procedures.  GLASS is a cooperative effort sponsored by Lafayette School Corporation, Tippecanoe School Corporation, and West Lafayette Community School Corporation.  The GLASS office is at 2300 Cason St., Lafayette, IN  47904.


        Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational process.  All such activities are prohibited at any time in school facilities, on school property, and at any corporation sponsored event.

        Hazing is defined for purposes of this policy as performing any act or coercing another person to perform any act of initiation into any class, group, or organization that causes or creates a risk (mental, emotional, or physical harm).  Permission, consent, or assumption of risk by an individual subjected to hazing shall not exempt this policy.

        All employees of the Corporation should be particularly alert to situations, circumstances, or events that might include hazing.  If hazing or planned hazing is discovered, the students involved shall be informed of the prohibitions contained in this policy and shall be ordered to stop such behavior.  All hazing incidents shall be reported immediately to the Superintendent.

        The Superintendent shall distribute this policy to all students and Corporation employees and shall incorporate it into building, staff, and student handbooks.  It also shall be the subject of discussion at employee staff meetings or in-service programs.

        Tippecanoe School Corporation prohibits sexual harassment of and by students and employees.  A copy of the specific policy language (Policy 3362 )is available from the TSC Website.

        Harassment of a student(s) by any other student or any member of the staff is incompatible with a physically and psychologically safe environment in which to learn.  Harassment shall include any speech or action that creates a hostile or offensive learning environment. The Superintendent will ensure that the Student Code of Conduct contains language prohibiting any form of sexual harassment and any use of racial, religious, or ethnic verbal or physical harassment.  Administrative guidelines will provide a means for a student to report harassment from a student, staff member, or school visitor to avoid embarrassment to the student and protect the confidentiality of the student when possible. All such reports are to be investigated by the Superintendent promptly.  Anyone who violates this policy and/or the Code of Conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Honesty/Student Behavior

The Rights, Rules and Responsibilities set forth by TSC govern all students attending Cole.  The students are also governed by the Discipline Policy of TSC. In support of TSC’s mission of maintaining the highest professional standards, honesty will be expected at all levels.  Cheating is unacceptable.  If a child is caught being dishonest he/she will be disciplined according to school and classroom rules. Throughout the school environment we ask that the Life Goals: “Do the Right Thing” and “Treat People Right”, along with the Life Skills, be followed. Each teacher will have his/her own set of classroom procedures, consequences, and rewards.  Both students and parents will be informed of individual classroom plans and the school wide plan early in the school year.


        According to Indiana Code 20-8.1-7-10.1(c) (1) when a student enrolls for the first time in a school corporation, a statement of the student’s immunizations which shows that the student has received at least the minimum number of immunizations for the student’s age will be supplied to the school by a parent or guardian.  A student may not be permitted to attend school beyond the first day of school unless the school has authorized a twenty days waiver.  Upon completion of the twenty days the student will be excluded from school if the immunizations remain incomplete.

        1.  All prescription and over-the counter (OTC) medication must be FDA      

approved. They will be kept in the school office, unless a student has authorized permission to possess and self-administer the medication according to IC 20-8.1-5.1-7.5.

        2.  Written instructions from the parent/guardian are required for all prescription and OTC medication. The instructions must include:  name of medication, reason for medication, amount to administer, and time to be given.  (OTC medication must be in age appropriate dosages as per product label)

        3.  Prescription and OTC medication must be in the original container affixed with a current pharmacy or package label.

        4.  Medication ordered three times a day or less should be given before and after school or at bedtime.  Prescription medication with a specific time listed that is during school hours will be given as directed.  

        5.  As directed in IC 20-8.1-7-22, No controlled medication of any type may be sent home with a student in grades K-8.  Medication must be picked up in the school office and will be released only to the student’s parent or an individual who is at least 18 years old with written designation from the parent.  Over the Counter (OTC) medications and inhalers may be sent home with students on the last day of school with written parental permission.

        The corporation physician provides standing orders for health care for TSC students.  The following medications and supplies are being used as first aid measures within TSC schools:  Contact lens solution, eye irrigations, topical antiseptics, topical analgesics, throat lozenges, sore throat spray, band aids, bandages, elastic wraps, heating pads, and ice packs.  Diphenhydramine (an oral antihistamine) may be used for severe allergic reactions.  It is the parent or guardians responsibility to notify the school if they prefer that these products not be used when treating their child.

        Students with vomiting, diarrhea, undiagnosed skin rashes, eye infections, or fever over 100 degrees should not attend school or after school events.  Students should not return to school or after school events until symptoms have resolved, or are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine.  Students being treated with antibiotic medications should receive the medication for 24 hours before returning to school.  Students will be sent home from school with temperatures over 100 degrees, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, eye infections, or other symptoms of illness.

Head lice checks are done randomly as needed for suspected cases of head lice.  Students found to have head lice will be sent home.  A parent or designee must accompany the child to the school office for confirmation of treatment and removal of all lice from the student’s hair and scalp before readmission to school.  

        Vision screening is done with all students in grades K, 1, 3, and 8.

        Hearing screenings are completed with grades K, 1, 4, 7, and 10.

        Parents or guardians will be notified by a referral letter if a concern is identified during the hearing and/or vision screening process.

Students are to participate in recess and physical education whether it is inside or outside.  A doctor’s excuse is needed for a child to be excused from P.E.  or to be excused from outdoor recess. If a child is too ill to be in the fresh air for 15 minutes, his/her presence in school might be undesirable for his/her classmates or himself/herself.  A child’s request to stay in from recess without a doctor’s note will not be honored.  



A student may bring a treat for the class for his/her birthday.  Treats should be simple and will typically be served at the end of the day.  In order to alleviate hurt feelings we ask that you mail party invitations.  Unless, you are inviting the entire class or all the boys to your son’s party or all the girls to your daughter’s party then you may distribute them at school.  Birthday snacks are available for purchase through the cafeteria by contacting the Cafeteria Manager.

Cellular Phones, Laser Lights/Pointers, and other electronic devices

        1.  Students are not to have laser lights or pointers at school.

        2.  Cellular phones and other electronic devices are not to be used by students during school hours unless prior permission is given by an administrator.  Any student in violation of this rule will have the phone confiscated and a parent must retrieve the phone.  Continued violations will result in disciplinary action.  Students who refuse to turn over their cell phone or other electronic device to a staff member when asked are insubordinate and failing to comply with a request from a staff member.  If the student refuses to turn over the cell phone or other electronic device to an administrator the result is five days of Out of School Suspension. Cell phones are not the responsibility of the school. If stolen or lost, a student assumes the responsibility.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) allowing students to carry electronic devices to school implies permission to the school to have access to any and all information on the device if confiscated for disciplinary, or investigative purposes.  Information contained on devices is subject to inspection.

Any student who engages in sending, sharing, viewing, or possessing pictures, text messages, e-mails, or other material of a sexual nature in electronic or any other form, including contents on a cell phone or other electronic device may be considered for suspension or expulsion.  Students and parents also need to be aware that it is “child exploitation”, a class C felony under I.C. 35-42-4-4(b) for any person/student (1) to exhibit, photograph, or create a digitalized image of any incident that includes “sexual conduct” by a child under the age of 18; or (2) to disseminate, exhibit to another person, or offer to so disseminate or exhibit, matter that depicts or describes “sexual conduct” by a child under the age of 18.  It is “child pornography”, a class D felony for any student/person to possess a photograph, motion picture, digitalized image, or any pictorial representation that depicts or describes “sexual conduct” by a child who the person knows is less than 16 years of age or appears less than 16 years old.  All school personnel have a legal duty to report such violations to law enforcement.  (Adopted whole or in part from David J. Emmert’s response to a legal query)

Computer Use

Each student has access to the educational computers available in labs or classrooms.  Every student is assigned a password and it is the student’s responsibility not to share this password with anyone. Tippecanoe School Corporation provides a comprehensive and well- rounded educational experience for all students.  Students use computer networks, information systems, and the Internet as part of the standard curriculum.  An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), adopted by the Board of School Trustees, guides the use of these networks and is available on the district website ( www.tscschools.net ) and in each school office.

Classroom Websites

Each classroom teacher has created a website containing classroom procedures, policies, and information from the teacher.  


During cold weather, students should be dressed warmly enough to be comfortable when recess is outside.  Students are expected to go outside for recess unless it is raining or bitterly cold.  Outside recess is held unless wind chill drops below 15 degrees.

To promote good health and physical fitness, we want our students to be able to play actively during recess.  Shoes with heels higher than 1 inch are not safe for recess and do not encourage active play. Slip-on shoes and sandals should fit the foot snugly and not come off while running.  Flip-flops are not safe at school and should not be worn.

With warmer weather comes the desire to wear summer clothes.  Shorts, dresses, and skirts should be fingertip length.  Muscle or tank shirts, tube tops, spaghetti straps, and bare midriffs are prohibited.  Tops and shirts must be long enough that the midriff is covered, even when seated.  Girls are asked to wear a pair of shorts underneath skirts and dresses.

Appearance and clothing items (including wording or pictures upon clothes) which, in the opinion of the principal or designee, tend to disrupt the educational atmosphere are not permitted. We are looking for clothing that promote our Life Goals of Do the Right Thing and Treat People Right and also promote the Life Skills.


Parents at James Cole Elementary School are encouraged to show interest in their child's daily instructional effort by reviewing all school papers and making sure a nightly practice time is established. Homework will be given according to the following criteria:

1. Incomplete daily assignments

2. To enrich and/or reinforce the concepts being taught in the regular classroom.

3. To strengthen and improve self-discipline and/or concentration skills

4. To prepare for tests

5. To improve reading and math computation skills

6. To complete work following a student absence


Kindergarten Homework Policy

Kindergarten students at Cole Elementary are not assigned graded homework. Reinforcement activities will be sent home each week to meet individual needs. Parents are asked to read to or with their child each evening for 15 minutes. This could include bedtime stories, student take-home reading booklets, or 15 minutes of fun reading. Students should be exposed to as much new vocabulary as possible during the day and during evening reading.


Grade 1 Homework Policy

First grade students at Cole Elementary should have a nightly study time divided into 10-10-10” time increments:

10 minutes for practicing reading/spelling words

10 minutes for practicing math facts

10 minutes for reading in an assigned book

The assigned book could be the Phonic Chapter Book, an Accelerated Reader (AR) book, and/or any other assigned reading book sent home with the child. On occasion, students will  bring home classroom work to finish or correct.

Grade 2 Homework Policy

Second grade students at Cole should have a 40 minutes study time each evening. Students should practice reading for at least 20  minutes of that time each evening. This reading practice could include any type of AR book, books from home, classroom reading, etc. The other minutes of the study time should be used doing assigned work such as math homework pages, practicing ongoing math facts, and weekly spelling words.


Grade 3 Homework Policy

Third grade students at Cole Elementary School will receive nightly homework to reinforce skills learned during the school day. Nightly assignments will be divided into these time increments:

20 minutes or more of nightly reading from an Accelerated Reader (AR) or other book

Nightly vocabulary and spelling practice

Nightly math practice (Including homework completion/math facts practice)


Grade 4 Homework Policy

Fourth grade students at Cole Elementary School will receive nightly homework to reinforce skills learned during the school day. Nightly assignments will include:

1. Finishing incomplete daily assignments.

2. 30 minutes of nightly reading from an Accelerated Reader (AR) or other book.

3. Test Preparation

4.   minutes of math homework

5. Assignment book (study buddy) completion with parent signature


Grade 5 Homework Policy

Fifth grade students at Cole Elementary School will receive nightly homework to reinforce skills learned during the school day. Nightly assignments will include:

1. Finishing incomplete daily assignments.

2. 35 minutes of nightly reading from an Accelerated Reader (AR) or other book.

3. Test Preparation

4. 5-10 minutes of nightly math facts practice

5. Assignment book (study buddy) completion with parent signature if needed.

Honor Roll and Recognition

Students in grades 3 through 5 with A’s and B’s will be recognized with the Honor Roll distinction.  A recognition assembly is held at the end of each nine-week grading period to honor students in all grades for various accomplishments.

Materials Check-Out

Any carded material may be checked out by patrons of Cole Elementary School for one week.  The un-carded material, such as videos, reference materials, curriculum guides and textbooks may be reviewed in the building during school hours. Students may checkout carded books and magazines from the Library for a 1 week period.  When items become overdue no additional items may be checked out until the workbooks and magazines have been returned.  When books, magazines and other carded materials are lost or damaged, the replacement value is expected.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences are held twice a year, however, parents are encouraged to communicate with the teacher and visit their child’s classroom at any time.  A call to the school office to arrange a special conference would be expected so as to prevent any conflict in the teacher’s daily schedule.

Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)

The purpose of this organization is to promote the welfare of children and youth in the home, school and community. Schools can only meet the educational needs of students if parents and teachers work together.  The parent/teacher organization is one avenue leading to a successful school environment. The P.T.O. holds meetings during the school year.  Meeting dates will be given in the school newsletter and from the website calendar.

Personal Items

Cole Elementary does not allow students to bring such items as electronics, card collections, toys, balls or other valuable items.  These items may be allowed on the bus but must remain in the child’s backpack during the school day.  We will not assume responsibility for these items and will not be responsible for locating or following up on lost or stolen items students bring from home.  Students must have prior approval from the classroom teacher before bringing such items to school for special occasions such as show-and-tell.


Plagiarism, as defined by the Random House Dictionary, is “to steal

(the language, ideas, or thoughts) from (another) representing them as one’s own original work.”  Intentional or not, when a student fails to acknowledge the source of words and ideas that are not his or her own, the result is plagiarism, that is, theft.  Plagiarism is not tolerated in the Tippecanoe School Corporation.

There are several kinds of plagiarism:

        1.  Copying word for word or incompletely paraphrasing a phrase, sentence, group of phrases, group of sentences, or whole paragraphs from another source without crediting that source.  This kind of plagiarism can be quantified as the copying, at a minimum, of six words or more in a row, including a, an, and the, from another source without citing the source.

        2.  Giving a speech or submitting a paper, poster, project, or any other

assignment that has been written completely or partially by someone else.

        3.  Cutting and pasting material found on the Internet or in other electronic databases into one’s own paper, speech, poster, project, or other assignment without crediting the source.

        4.  Downloading entire texts and presenting them as one’s own work.

        5.  Presenting ideas from another source as one’s own original thoughts.  These can be ideas taken from textual sources or from speeches, lectures, television programs, or other forms of oral language.

        6.  Improperly citing sources with the intent of misleading the reader (e.g., making up citations) as to the source of the information presented.

        A student who is unsure of how to cite (credit) the source of material he or she has copied has the responsibility to check with a teacher and/or consult

Writer’s Inc. or the MLA Handbook.

Penalties for Plagiarism – Elementary School

While no official penalties exist for plagiarism offenses, it is expected that classroom teachers would use such occasions as educational opportunities for all students.  Time should be devoted to discussion and explanation of plagiarism.

Cole Plagiarism Pledge

 I pledge to do the right thing and be honest in my school work.

I am a Cole Cub.

Release of Information

Certain information, including the student’s name, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, awards received, and other similar information may be released without parental consent unless the parents notify the school district that they do not want certain designated information released without prior consent.

Reading: 90 Minute Reading Block

All elementary schools in the State of Indiana are required to offer a 90 minute uninterrupted reading block. This reading block will occur each day next year. Reading will be the only emphasis during this time and the scope and sequence of skills from the TSC adopted basal series will be a focus. Teachers will be focusing on the Big 5 in Reading: Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Any additional intervention will occur outside of this block during our intervention times. The State of Indiana has placed a strong emphasis on reading for your child through this time and a Reading Plan that all schools must create and submit. Please help our teachers to encourage this strong emphasis by making your child’s attendance a priority and doing your best to avoid appointments if possible during this reading block.


The Tippecanoe School Corporation believes good stewardship of our natural resources and our environment is an essential part of students’ civic responsibility.  The school corporation is committed to establishing an education environment for students that models active participation and teaches responsible waste reduction and recycling.  The Director of Buildings and Grounds will coordinate the corporation’s recycling efforts.

Report Cards

Student report cards will be issued at the end of each nine-week grading period and will be available on the Parent Portal. Paper copies may be requested from the office.  A brief mid-nine week report may be sent to students who are experiencing some difficulty.  Student grades may be checked by parents on the Parent Portal.  Updates will be made by Monday morning each week for parent information.

Seclusion and Restraint (Policy 5630.01)

A student will not be subject to seclusion or restraint unless the student’s behavior poses an imminent risk of injury to the student or others. However, significant violations of the law, including assaults on students and staff, will be reported to the police. As soon as possible after any use of seclusion or restraint, the student’s parent or guardian will be informed and provided with a detailed account of the incident, including the circumstances that led to the use of seclusion and restraint.

Textbook Rental Fees

Textbooks and workbooks are rented.  Students are responsible for care of the books assigned to them.  Loss or damage of these books will result in responsibility of full payment of replacement cost to the school. Applications for book rental assistance should be submitted to the school office.

rev. 2/16)