Walnut Grove Elementary

Student Handbook

Student Handbook

Daily Schedule

Be On Time

Please have your student to school on time.  When students come to school late, they miss valuable class instruction and can be disruptive when entering a classroom that has already gotten underway for the day.  If abusive tardy problems persist, truancy officers are contacted.

Please Note:

Walnut Grove does not provide playground supervision before:

Early Start 8:00 am on M, T, Th, F

Late Start 8:50 am on M, T, TH, F

9 am on Wednesdays.

Please do not drop off your children before our supervised times listed above.

Tribes

The TRIBES program assures the healthy development of every child so that each has the knowledge, skills and resiliency to be successful in our rapidly changing world.

TRIBES is a democratic group process, not just a curriculum or set of cooperative activities. A “process” is a sequence of events that leads to the achievement of an outcome. The outcome of the TRIBES process is to develop a positive environment that promotes learning and human growth. This requires learning how to build a community environment using five agreements between the students and adults with whom they are working:

Community Agreements

Attentive Listening

Acknowledge the person who is speaking with full attention and eye contact. Withholding one’s own comments, opinion and need to talk at the same time. Paying attention not only to the words but also to the feelings behind the words.

Appreciation - No Put-Downs

Foster a positive climate.

The Right to Pass

Each person has the right to choose the extent to which they will share in a group activity. The right to remain quiet and to be an observer for a short period of time.

Mutual Respect

Everyone is assured that their individual cultural values, beliefs and needs will be considered and properly honored.

Throughout the process, students learn to use specific collaborative skills and to reflect both on the interaction and the learning that is taking place. The TRIBES process facilitates cooperative learning and provides structure for positive interaction and continuity for working in groups in the classroom. This spirit of cooperation then affects overall student behavior. Due to the fact that the students have more tools with which to communicate properly, there are fewer conflicts in the classroom, during recess and lunch times. Rules for student behavior are posted in the classroom as a way to reinforce safety and TRIBES community agreements. 

Attendance Procedure

When your child is absent from school, please call the ATTENDANCE LINE, (925) 484-3031 as soon as possible, leaving a message including the reason for your child’s absence.  If you do not call, the office staff will have to call you to determine why your child is not at school.

Walnut Grove does not receive state funds when a child is out of school for illness, funerals, trips or appointments.  Please help us retain our funding by not taking your child out of school.

Walnut Grove will receive funding if you complete an independent study form (your child must be absent for at least 5 days).  Independent study forms are available in the office.

 

PUPIL ATTENDANCE (excerpts from Board Policies)

Any pupil who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year, tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, excessively tardy under 30 minutes, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to Senior Director of Pupil Services of the school district (Education Code 48260).

Upon his/her second truancy within the same school year, a pupil may be referred to, and required to attend, a School Attendance Review Board, a truancy mediation program established by the district attorney or the probation officer, or a comparable program.

Upon his/her third truancy within the same school year, the pupil shall be classified a habitual truant as defined in Education Code 48262. (Education Code 48264.5)

The fourth time truancy is reported within the same school year, the pupil shall be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge the pupil to be a ward of the court pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

EXCUSED ABSENCES

A pupil’s absence shall be excused for the following reasons (Education Code 48205): personal illness; quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer; medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic appointments. Also excused is attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family which is defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, brother, sister or any relative living in the pupil’s immediate household. Excused absence in this instance shall be limited to one day if the service is conducted in California or three days if the service is conducted out of state. Participation in religious instruction or exercises is excused when in accordance with district policy. It is the policy of the Board of Trustees not to excuse pupils to attend regular classes for religious education conducted during the regular school day (District Policy 6113.2). In such instances, the pupil shall attend at least the minimum school day and shall be excused for this purpose on no more than four school days per month (Education Code 46014).

ADDITIONAL JUSTIFIABLE PERSONAL REASONS
Two weeks advance written request by the parent/guardian and approval of the principal or designee shall be required for absences for appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service for a non- immediate family member (reasonable notice required), observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion, attendance at religious retreats for no more that four hours during a semester, family necessity of less than 5 school days (this does not include family vacations) provided the pupil makes up all work missed during the absence.

ABSENCES OTHER THAN ILLNESS

Family-related leaves of absence of 5 or more school days require an Independent Study Contract. This absence will be excused if the appropriate paperwork has been completed and returned to the attendance office and the pupil’s teacher has been notified of the planned absence at least 2 weeks prior to the absence. Teachers’ and administrators’ signatures on the contract do NOT constitute approval by the school for the absence but simply confirm proper notification of the reason for the possible excused absence. A list of assignments for the pupil to completed while absent will be prepared and are due on the day of the pupil’s return to school. If all the requirements of the independent study contract are met, the absences for this period of time will be excused. The period of time for this absence may not exceed one calendar month. Any circumstances that require the absence to exceed one calendar month must be approved by the school principal. If the calendar month ends during a school holiday, the pupil must be present at school on the first day following the holiday with all the contracted Independent Study work completed. If the work is not handed in on the first day of school the absence would be considered unexcused, the pupil would have to reapply to the school for readmission (based on space and program availability).

 

PUPIL ATTENDANCE – ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS

Please see the complete pupil attendance district policy and regulations at

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE TIMES

Students are to arrive NO EARLIER than 15 minutes before the start of class. There is no adult supervision prior to this time. Students are to leave the school grounds immediately after dismissal. If students are not picked up by 3:10 p.m., we will contact individuals on the emergency card.

ABSENCE PROCEDURES
If your student is not going to be at school, please contact our school attendance line 925-484-3031. If you are calling before or after office hours (7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.), please leave a message. Please state the child’s name, the teacher’s name, and the reason for absence. Children should be free of a fever for 24 hours (without medication) prior to returning to school. To request homework, contact your student’s teacher. Prolonged illness or communicable diseases should be reported to the school office as soon as they are diagnosed.

TARDY PROCEDURES

Any student, who arrives at school after the start of the school day, should report to the office to sign in and receive a tardy slip for admittance to class. Acceptable reasons for tardiness include student illness, injury, and medical appointments.

EARLY DISMISSAL OF STUDENTS PROCEDURES

Although students are allowed to leave during the school hours for medical or dental appointments, this is not encouraged. In order to protect each child who needs to leave the school before dismissal time, the parent must personally come to the office and sign the student out. Students will only be released to adults listed on their emergency card. Students will not be released to bike or walk home for these appointments.

EMERGENCY CARDS

An emergency card must be on file in the school office for every student. Students are not considered enrolled until their card is on file. Students will only be released to adults listed on the Emergency Card. We ask that you list only local adults. Written notes and phone calls are not accepted for the release of any child. For your child’s welfare, please keep the emergency information current. 

Medication Policy

ANY MEDICATION REQUIRED TO BE ADMINISTERED IN SCHOOL

If your student must take a prescription or over-the-counter (i.e. Advil, eye drops, and cough drops) medication in school, you may do any of the following:

  • You or an adult designated by you in writing, may come to school and give the medication to your child. The Health Clerk may not be designated for this responsibility.

  • You may get a copy of the Authorization for Medication form from your child’s school and take it to your child’s health care provider. This form must be filled out and signed by the health care provider and the parent/legal guardian. Once completed, return this form to your child’s school. The Health Clerk will assist your child taking the medicine.

  • You may choose to discuss with your health care provider a schedule for giving medication outside of school hours.

    Medication must be delivered by an adult to the health office in its original container.

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

Please make sure work/home/cellular phone numbers are listed on the emergency card. It is imperative that we have up-to-date information about how to locate you (or your designee) in the case of an emergency. If there are any changes to the emergency numbers during the school year, please come into the office to make those changes.

EMERGENCY CARD INFORMATION

Any medical condition about your student should be noted on the emergency card (i.e., asthma, allergies, heart conditions, etc.). By being aware of his/her conditions, we can better help your student in a medical emergency.

SELF-MEDICATION CONSENT FORM

Per California Education Code 49423.1, students with asthma are permitted to carry their inhaler. This form must be filled out by you and your health care provider. If your child has severe allergies that necessitate him/her to carry an EpiPen, the same form needs to be filled out as well. The forms are available in the school’s health office or can be downloaded from the District website.

SPECIAL MEDICAL PROCEDURES

If your child has any medical conditions such as diabetic, seizures or severe food allergies, please contact the school health office to fill out the required forms in order for us to meet his/her medical needs in school. It will be helpful to provide a small picture of the student to be attached to the forms.

NEW STUDENTS ENTERING CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS FROM ANOTHER STATE, COUNTRY OR PRIVATE SCHOOL

These students need to show proof of immunizations. The proof must be reviewed by a District Nurse at the time of the enrollment. If you are entering from out of the country, a TB test must be done within 6 months of the first day of school. Immunizations must be up-to-date and signed or stamped by the doctor’s office. Please check the current California immunization requirements at: 

Forms are also available in the Walnut Grove office

Lunch Program

Hot lunches are available to all students. Checks or cash for lunches may be dropped off in the school office or payment can be made online at MySchoolBucks.com. Please make checks payable to Child Nutrition Services or CNS. Money should not be carried into the lunch line for payment at lunch time. The following information needs to be on the envelope: student, teacher and student ID number. Students who bring their lunch from home should have their name on their bag or lunch box. Milk or juice may be purchased at lunch time. It is the students’ responsibility to pick up a forgotten lunch from the office during recess or lunch time. We will not interrupt a classroom to deliver lunches. Please remind your student that they may not call home for a forgotten lunch and are to check in the office to see if one has been dropped off for them. Applications for free and reduced lunches are available in the school office. These need to be completed each school year. 

A student may only charge up to $10.  After that they will be offered fruit, yogurt, milk and/or juice.

Homework and Evaluation of School Achievement

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS/STUDENTS

The student is responsible for the completion of homework. To successfully complete assignments, the student is expected to listen carefully to all directions in class, ask questions if the assignment is not clear, budget time wisely, maintain a schedule of study time, and turn in assignments when due. The parent is responsible for teaching the student skills related to planning and time use around the issue of homework. The parent should establish an appropriate environment for completion of homework activities.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF TEACHERS/ADMINISTRATION

The principal and teaching staff are responsible for establishing homework requirements consistent with these guidelines. They are expected to provide information which describes homework expectations, how homework relates to the student's grades, how parents/guardians can best help their children, and the importance of planning and organizing to meet deadlines.

The teacher has the responsibility to communicate and explain expectations for homework to students and parents and to monitor homework. As part of their responsibilities, teachers shall do the following:

· Assign homework in a timely manner to allow for student questions and planning

· Evaluate assignments

· Make available to parents information regarding student's performance in completing homework  responsibilities in a timely manner

At the beginning of each course and at Back-to-School Night, teachers shall make available to students, parents/guardians, and administrative staff course policies, expectations, and procedures. The principal will monitor compliance with the homework policy.

GUIDELINES FOR TIME SPENT ON HOMEWORK

The following parameters are established as general guidelines (rather than as limits or requirements) in terms of on-task time spent by students on homework. 

K-1     10-20 minutes of homework per night, on average 

2-3     20-30 minutes of homework per night, on average 
 
4-5     40-50 minutes of homework per night, on average 
 
There may be times when reading assignments may extend beyond the minutes listed above. 
 
Except for reading, homework at the elementary level should not be assigned over weekends, 
holidays, or extended school breaks. This means that the above guidelines are for evenings 
Monday-Thursday.  Should parents feel that their child’s nightly homework assignments are excessive or insufficient, a conference with the teacher should be requested.

ABSENCES

Students who miss school work because of an excused absence will be given the opportunity to complete assignments and tests, which can be reasonably provided. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests will be reasonably equivalent to but not necessarily identical to the assignments and tests missed during the absence. Students will receive full credit for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time. Teachers may, but are not required to provide make-up work or allow students to take tests missed because of absences which have been designated unexcused or suspensions.

EVALUATION OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

The Board believes that grades help students and parents/guardians monitor their student's progress toward meeting the State and District’s Academic Standards. It is recognized that grades reflect students' demonstrated achievement and that teachers exercise their professional judgment in assigning grades. Students are expected to work toward the expectations established in the District course of study and to meet clearly established standards.

Teachers will use a variety of student achievement evidence to determine whether a student is meeting grade level standards. Methods of demonstrating this proficiency may include classroom participation, homework, projects, tests and portfolios. It is recognized that teachers exercise their professional judgment in establishing grading practices. When a student is absent, you may contact the teacher to request homework. 

 

HOMEWORK POLICIES; EVALUATION OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT & GRADING


Regulation 6154 and Policy 5100 

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedures

In order to ensure the safety of our students, during drop-off and pick-up times please keep in the mind the following:

When parking: 

  • Park on the street; refrain from using parking lot designated for staff use.  
  • Do not park or leave your car unattended on the curb in the front horseshoe, these lanes are for drop-off and pick-up only.
  • There is no parking or drop-off / pick-up access in the lot north of campus.
  • Do not park next to red lines marked as fire lanes.
  • Please avoid blocking neighbors driveways.
  • Use cross walks to keep yourself and your child safe as you cross the street.

When using the drop-off and pick-up curb in the front horseshoe:

  • Don't park or get out of your car as it holds up the entire line of cars behind you.
  • Pull forward as much as you are able to allow more cars to drop-off at the same time.
  • Unload your children from the passenger (right) side of the car.
  • If you need to enter the building or get out of your car for any reason, you must find a legal place to park. 
  • If your child does not dismiss from the building in a timely manner, you may be asked to find a parking spot to wait for him/her.
  • Respect all school staff as they assist students and adults in the drop-off/pick-up process.

Traffic And Safety

A good day at school starts with getting there safely.  Please follow all traffic laws and drive slowly and carefully in the blocks around our school.  Always come to complete stops at stop signs, don’t make U-turns mid-block, and watch for children crossing the street.   Be alert and drive defensively, and make sure ALL our kids have a good safe start to their day.  The school zone speed limit is 25 mph, but it may be necessary to slow down even more during peak pick-up/drop-off times.  

Remind kids who walk or ride bikes or scooters to school not to dart out between cars and to look carefully before crossing streets, specially at those intersections where there is no crossing guard.

Walk, bike and car “pools” are a great way to alleviate traffic around our schools.  For information on Pleasanton’s School traffic calming program, visit www.Pleasantonschoolpool.org, or call 925-931-5039. 

Bikes and Scooters

 

The bike rack is located behind the multipurpose room.  If you ride your bike to school, please lock your bike in the bike rack.  All students in grades 2 through 5 may ride their bikes to school.  First grade students need to bring a note from their parent. Please remember when riding your bike:

 

  1. Follow all bike and scooter safety rules including wearing helmets.
  2. Walk your bike or scooter inside the bike rack.  No riding on any area of the campus.
  3. Bring a lock for your bike.  You must lock your bike and you cannot lock up with a friend.  You may not lock up on the outside of the bike rack.
  4. If you vandalize or take a bike without permission, you may lose bike privileges for the remainder of the school year.
  5. Please be extremely careful when you leave school to go home.  Walk your bike or scooter off campus, then ride home carefully.
  6. The school has no legal responsibility for bikes or scooters.  Damaged or stolen bikes/scooters are the financial responsibility of the owner.
  7. We encourage you to register your bike with the Pleasanton Police Department or City Hall.
Crossing Guards

 

There are crossing guards at Valley Avenue and Northway, Black Avenue and Harvest Road, and  Hopyard Avenue and Black.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Fire, earthquake and other emergency drills are conducted on a monthly basis. When the fire alarm sounds, all students are to stay with their teacher and proceed to the back of the school on the blacktop area. At that time, the teachers check to be sure all of their students are accounted for. Any student who is with a specialist or in the office at this time will be returned to their classroom teacher for accountability.

The following information has been compiled in order to prepare both you and your children in the event of a natural disaster. A disaster plan has been devised to better prepare staff, students and parents for their role should a disaster occur.

SCHOOL PROCEDURES FOR STUDENT PICK-UP AFTER MAJOR EMERGENCY

If student pick-up is necessary after a major disaster please follow the following procedures:
Parents or guardians proceed to the emergency "Student Release & Records Station" located by the main entrance gate.  Students will be released only to adults listed on their emergency card. Your student can then be released to you. We ask that you do not come onto campus and begin searching buildings for your student. Students will be in designated areas, supervised by staff members. Children not picked up will be cared for by school personnel on the school grounds or at a safe environment which will be posted. 

VISITORS MUST SIGN-IN

To help ensure the safety of children, faculty and staff, all school visitors are required to sign in at the office, and pick up a visitor badge to wear while on campus.  Please return the badge and sign out before leaving Walnut Grove.

Walnut Grove encourages high standards in our students academically and socially. These standards are better maintained when our students are appropriately dressed.

The following attire is NOT permitted:

  • Short shorts, gym shorts, jogging shorts, swim trunks, men’s boxer shorts, and biker shorts (mid-thigh length Bermuda shorts are appropriate for hot weather)
  • Bare midriffs 
  • “See-through” or transparent clothing
  • Tank tops, tube tops, halter tops, half-shirts, mesh tops
  • T-shirts with suggestive words or obscene gestures on them
  • Cut-off or baggy pants with ragged hems or rips, sagging of pants and/or underwear showing
  • Hats, caps and visors indoors
  • Gang related attire
  • Footwear is required at all times and must be safe and appropriate for indoor and outdoor activity.

CALLING YOUR STUDENT/FORGOTTEN ITEMS

To encourage student responsibility, the office telephone will be available for student use in emergencies only. Students will not be allowed to phone home for forgotten lunches, assignments, or to ask permission to go to a friend’s house after school. All transportation arrangements need to be made at home before coming to school. Interruptions and distractions must be controlled to ensure that teachers can dedicate classroom time to the instruction of students. Students are expected to check for and to pick up forgotten items in the school office of their own volition during recess or lunch time. To avoid instructional disruption, the office staff cannot deliver or call into classrooms to remind students of lunches, lunch money, musical instruments, projects, forgotten homework, messages from home, etc. 

STUDENTS' ACTIVITIES

  • Birthdays: Please check "Guidelines for Parties/Celebrations" under the "Parent Resources" pull-down tab above.
  • Spirit Days: Walnut Grove spirit days will be celebrated by the wearing of special clothing and special class activities.
  • Assemblies: Students will meet periodically through the school year as a student body to experience special programs which will enhance their educational needs.  These gatherings may offer enrichment opportunities to students, or they may be held to celebrate our Character Education program.
  • Class Parties: This is an activity that takes place outside of the normal academic routine.  Each class is allowed a maximum of four parties per year at the discretion of the teacher.  This policy does not preclude positive incentive programs which teachers might have for their students who display outstanding academic achievement and/or behavior. Food must follow District guidelines. 
  • Field Trips: Class or grade level trips off the school grounds will apply learning from the classroom to the real world.  All trips will be explained fully to parents and must show relevance to the curriculum and/or school "tribal agreements." All trips will be cleared in advance with the school administration.
  • Fundraising: These activities have become necessary to provide extra materials and equipment.  Fundraising is kept to a minimum and may be coordinated through the PTA.

The counseling program offers support for students through small group instruction on various topics, such as social skills, study skills, and self-esteem.  A second aspect of the program is parent support in the form of parenting workshops, support groups and newsletters.

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM (G.A.T.E.)

Special testing for identification is completed in spring for students in grades 3 through 5 only.  Parents and teachers can recommend students for testing.  Special interest courses may be offered for all GATE students after school throughout the district. 

RESOURCE PROGRAM

Walnut Grove offers the advantage of small group instruction by resource specialists for students who, after testing, qualify for the program.  Teachers recommend students for testing based on their academic achievement in the classroom.  Prior to testing, a formal meeting is held to discuss the student’s needs.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS AND FIELD TRIP GUIDELINES

VOLUNTEERS

One of the basic goals of our school is to provide an educational program which will meet the needs and interests of each student. We strongly encourage parents to participate by volunteering to assist us in meeting this goal. It is with your assistance that we can improve the instructional program for the students and provide experiences that will assist in making the students' year a successful one. It is required that you sign in at the office and get a volunteer badge. In order to minimize distractions, siblings are not to be in the classroom while parent is volunteering.

All visitors and volunteers must sign in at the office and wear a Volunteer or Visitor name tag at all times.

Parent volunteers must have a cleared Volunteer Form on file with the school. These must be done each school year and take 4-6 weeks to be cleared through the Pleasanton Police Department. 

FIELD TRIPS
In accordance with Pleasanton Unified School District policy and in the interest of educational excellence, we ask those participating in school sanctioned field trips abide by the following guidelines.
 
If you plan to use your personal vehicle to drive on any school field trip during the school year, you must complete a form (each year) to establish that you have the required insurance coverage.   A new form must be submitted each year, even if last year’s insurance coverage remains valid.  You can pick up a copy of the form at Registration Day or in the office.  Attach a copy of your insurance, including policy limits, and submit them back to the office for the principal’s signature.  Be sure to take care of this well in advance of any field trip you may wish to drive on.  
 
Please Note: Siblings are not permitted on field trips. Alternative childcare plans are necessary.

Role/Responsibility of Teacher
  • Align and connect field trip experiences with school goals and curriculum.
  • Inform parents of all trips, their purpose, destinations, mode of transportation, costs (if any) and secure positive written permission from parent/guardian.
  • Inform students of behavioral expectations and take appropriate action where needed.
  • Provide the administration with a list of chaperones as well as each chaperone’s assigned students.
  • Provide clear driving directions (parent drivers) as well as parking instructions as needed.
  • Provide the office with one or more cell phone numbers for emergency contact.
  • Take attendance/headcount before embarking (to and from destination).
  • Bring the following and distribute to chaperones as needed:
    • Student Emergency Cards (copy)
    • Emergency backpack
    • Class list
Role/Responsibility of Chaperone
  • Receive clearance from school administration for participation (Volunteer Form); All forms are subject to background check.
  • Provide the school with a current driver insurance coverage form with a copy of the current declaration sheet attached. These must be done each school year. 
  • To provide transportation that is reliable and safe - seat belts are used, kids face forward, no air bags in front of small children.
  • To bring NO siblings.
  • To arrive on time - earlier if possible - to assist the classroom teacher.
  • To review group assignments, directions and emergency packet prior to leaving to be sure all information is clear and understood.
  • To familiarize yourself with the student group members - memorize names, faces, and clothing.
  • If at any point during the field trip you are separated from the group or lost please call the school office.
  • Upon arrival at the destination, discuss with the group members the procedures to follow in the event a member becomes separated.
  • To remind students that they must stay with you at all times and that they must abide by rules of behavior.
  • Chaperones should consider themselves extensions of the teacher in enforcing proper conduct and should seek assistance from the teacher if a student refuses to cooperate.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, leave a student in your group unattended. Individual students must be accompanied to the bathroom (with the rest of the group being chaperoned by another adult).
  • Chaperones must agree to limit socializing with other adults because it will interfere with their ability to keep a close watch on the students in their assigned group. Remember the safety of all students is a vital responsibility.
Role/Responsibility of Students
  • Unless otherwise directed by teacher, follow all routine Walnut Grove behavioral expectations;
    • All behavior should reflect respect and safety
  • Obey chaperone at all times.
  • Students will stay within sight of their chaperone and follow group members at all times.
  • Students traveling in cars need to use seat belts, face forward, and use soft voices.
  • Children *MUST* be secured in an appropriate child passenger passenger restraint (safety seat or booster set) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 8 YEARS OLD or 4’9” in height. Vehicle Code Section 27360-27368.
  • In buses, students need to remain seated at all times and use low voices so as not to distract the bus driver.    
Role of Principal
  • Oversee and approve all field trip activities in accordance with policy, safety, instructional compliance and common sense.