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Policies

PERSHING-PINE CASTLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL POLICIES

ORANGE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The faculty and staff of Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary School welcome you and your family. We will do our utmost to offer your child the best possible education. We ask for your support and we hope that you will be an active participant in your child’s education. This policies listed below have been carefully prepared and presented in order that students and parents may know and understand the practices and expectations at Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary School. We look forward to working with you throughout the school year.

Mission and Vision Statement

School Mission Statement: To lead our students to success with the support and involvement of families and the community.

School Vision Statement: To be the top producer of successful students in the nation.

School Beliefs

In order to provide a safe, positive, productive, instructional learning environment:

¶ We believe that each student is a citizen of our school and this citizenship comes with benefits as well as responsibilities.

¶ We believe that we should all be consistent and work proactively and positively together enforcing the school wide discipline plan.

¶ We believe by using the “Guidelines for Success”, the students will have positive interactions and attitudes which will reflect in their positive behavior.

¶ We believe we, as adults, need to model interacting respectfully and provide a safe atmosphere where students interact respectfully to their peers and adults which encourages a positive learning environment.

School Hours

School starts at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.) Teacher hours are 7:50 a.m. until 3:20 p.m. Students may not be on campus prior to 8:00 a.m. and should depart at dismissal time as there is no adult supervision after 3:15 p.m. Should students need to be dropped off at the campus prior to 8:00 a.m., they must enroll in morning ASP program. If a student needs to be picked up prior to 2:30 or 1:30 on Wednesdays, parents must come to the office and sign them out. NO CHILDREN MAY BE PICKED UP IN THE OFFICE BY PARENTS BETWEEN 2:30 - 3:00 OR 1:30 – 2:00 ON WEDNESDAYS. It is an extremely critical time for our front office staff to handle inquires from bus, car and walker supervisors. They must be able to handle emergencies immediately during the actual dismissal time. Parents or designees must bring picture ID in order to pick up before dismissal. Teachers will not release students early unless the proper procedure has been followed. Afternoon car riders must be picked up no later than 3:15 p.m. It is the parents’ responsibility to make arrangements for their children to be picked up on time. We do not allow changes in the way students go home unless we have a written note with a parent signature. (These notes may be hand carried by the student or faxed to the school @ (407- 858-2227).

Tardies

School starts promptly at 8:45 a.m. It is extremely important for all students to be in their seats and ready to learn. Arriving tardy to school interrupts all the students in that classroom. The time at the beginning of the day is an important part of the day. Our goal is to have all students ready to learn at 8:35 a.m. Our policy for tardy students is:

  1. Report to the office with a parent/guardian to obtain a tardy slip.
  2. After 5 tardies a phone call and letter will be sent to the parent.
  3. After 10 tardies a parent conference will be held.
  4. After 10 tardies the student will lose privileges at school.

Extended Day Care - ASP
Child care is provided after school until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. A before-school program is also available. Call the ASP
office (407-858-3170, ext. 2105) for more information.

New Address, Phone Number, Custody

It is very important that the school office be notified immediately when there is a change of address, phone number or custody. A student will be released to either natural parent unless a copy of a court order granting custody is on file. To insure your child’s safety and well-being, please keep us informed. Emergency forms must be completed and updated as necessary.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parents are invited to arrange conferences at any convenient time during the year. Good communication is the key to successful relationships. For a productive conference: please schedule ahead; have a list of questions and concerns with positive solution ideas; keep information confidential; share honestly not critically and remember we want your child to be successful.

Visitors

All visitors must report to the school office and obtain a visitors welcome badge. We welcome parents for classroom visitations; however, prior arrangements must be made with the teacher. A visitor or volunteer badge is mandatory for everyone

Student Behavior and Discipline
As well as high expectations for academics, we also expect students to conduct themselves in a proper manner at all times. Respect and responsibility are necessary for learning. Each student and family is responsible for knowing the OCPS Student Code of Conduct, which is reviewed with students at the beginning of each nine-week marking period. The OCPS Student Code of Conduct is available online (LINK) and we can send home paper copies by request. Each student is expected to behave in a manner that does not interfere with the education of others. Parent cooperation and support is necessary when discipline problems arise. Parents will be notified by phone, written note in the planner or by the formal disciplinary form. No toys, trading cards, video games, etc. may be brought to school except on Game Days occurring at the end of each marking period for students who qualify. All such unauthorized articles will be confiscated. Students who continually are disruptive and disrespectful will be dealt with in accordance to the procedures outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. 

Attendance

Regular school attendance is essential for good academic progress. School begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and it is critical for your child to be in class and ready to learn. Students not in their seats will be counted tardy. To avoid interruption of the education process, doctor and dental appointments should be made outside the school day whenever possible. Prearranged absences can be handled through the office in an emergency. A note or doctor’s excuse must be sent with the child following an absence, otherwise the absence will be considered unexcused. Vacations are not excused absences.
The policy for tardies / absences is:
School attendance is the responsibility of the student and parent.
If your child has 5 or more unexcused absences the school will contact you.
If your child has 10 unexcused absences within a 90 day period, the principal will refer the case to the school’s child study team and
social worker. The team will schedule a meeting with parents to identify potential remedies.  In the child study team documentation, 5
tardies will equal one unexcused absence.

Entries and Withdrawals

Students transferring from Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary should notify the office as early as possible prior to the last day of attendance so that a
transfer can be easily arranged.

Entering students should register in the office. A proof of residence is required as students must reside in our attendance area.

Reporting to Parents

Report cards are issued each nine weeks, with interim reports for unsatisfactory progress issued mid-quin. Some teachers issue periodic reports to individual students. All teachers communicate through the student planners. Teachers may be reached by phone by calling the front office (you may leave a voicemail during school hours) or via email.

Safety

In order for us to assure our students safety it is essential to have all parents and staff cooperating and working together. We have established procedures for EVERYONE to follow. These procedures may seem inconvenient at times, but they are necessary. Our plan will work and students will be safe if everyone follows the guidelines. Bicycle riders are expected to follow rules of the road. Bike riders must wear a safety helmet in order to ride their bicycles to the school campus. Skateboards are not allowed on campus unless arranged with the Principal. Walkers are to arrive and depart via the crossing guard corners only.
We are very concerned about your child’s safety when returning home each day after school. If you must change the way your child is to go home at the end of the day, a note with parent/guardian signature must be sent to the teacher that day. We will not change the way a child goes home based on a telephone call. In an emergency, a signed faxed statement to the principal can be accepted.

ARRIVAL: Students may only be dropped off in the designated Car Riders' Drop Off/Pick Up Area (access via Randolph Ave) beginning at 8:00 am. Please DO NOT bring your children before 8:00 as NO one can supervise them unless you have them enrolled in the ASP before school program. If you are entering the car loop at 5-8 minutes before 8:45, chances are good that child will not be in their seats on time and receive a tardy slip. Children should be ready to exit the car. Have the children have their belongings ready and hop out of the car when you stop in line. This is a courtesy to those waiting behind you and prevents having to wait in a long line. Parents should not get out of the cars in the car line.

DISMISSAL: All students are dismissed to the Car Riders' Drop Off/Pick Up Area, except for ASP and bus riders. Parents are to use Randolph Ave to enter the car line to pick up their children. A Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary car tag will be issued to you. Students will not be allowed to enter cars that do not display their assigned car tag. If you do not have your car tag, you must park and bring a photo ID to the front office to pick up your child. If you have a conference or appointment please park in the designated parking places in the lot, not along the street. 

RAINY DAY PLAN FOR WALKERS / BIKE RIDERS: If it is a light rain, dismissal will be as usual. If there are severe weather conditions (hard driving rain/high winds) or if there is lightning present in the area within the past 30 minutes, children held in class until 30 minutes after the lighting strike. Parents may park and enter the school to pick up their children from their classrooms (please bring your car tag or photo ID) during severe weather dismissals. If parents have given the school permission to walk or bike home unattended, we will hold the children in the cafeteria until the storm subsides.

Patrols

The patrols at Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary are fifth graders that have been nominated by school staff. They help students move safely on the campus. They also help direct the flow of car traffic during arrival and dismissal under the supervision of staff members. Patrols are there to help children remain safe. Please encourage your students to listen to, respect and flow the directions of the school patrols.

Curriculum

Pershing-Pine Castle’s curriculum follows the Florida Standards as set forth by the Florida Department of Education. Teachers meet weekly to review lesson plans and ensure alignment with Florida Standards. This planning, along with periodic progress monitoring assessments leads to effective and strategic instruction being delivered to every child. Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary also adheres to the Orange County Public Schools Literacy Plan which calls for an uninterrupted 90 minute reading block for grade K-5 in which students are instructed in whole-group and small-group settings. We also provide instruction in the following special areas: art, music, physical education..

Homework

Homework contributes to the development of independence and responsibility on the part of the student. The amount, length, and type of homework will vary according to the individual needs of your child. These may include practice of new skills, book reports, research papers or content reading. Please provide a time and place for students to do the required work. Research shows that children who read more are better readers, therefore it is important for children to read every evening. Reading logs may be required. Our goal is to improve study habits at school and at home. We require an adult signature or initial on the student assignment book each evening. Further information can be obtained from the teacher.

Care of Textbooks and Library Books

Students are responsible for all textbooks and library books issued to them during the school year. The school must be reimbursed for all lost or damaged books. All monies collected are recorded by the school bookkeeper and paid to the proper fund for replacement purposes. If a lost book is found and returned, money will be refunded.

Transportation

Bus service is provided to students residing outside a two-mile area. Bus transportation is a privilege to eligible students. The school is responsible for the students while on the bus. Misbehavior on the bus will be cause of suspension of the student’s bus riding privilege. In this case it is the responsibility of the parent to see that the student is transported to/from school. It is extremely important for safety that the students adhere to the following rules:

  1. Obey the bus driver at all times.
  2. Stand off the roadway while waiting for the bus.
  3. Remain seated at all times when the bus in moving.
  4. Be at the bus stop 10 minutes prior to the scheduled stop time.
  5. Keep arms, head and all items inside the bus.
  6. Refrain from talking to the bus driver while the bus is in motion.
  7. Remain silent when the dome lights are on and at railroad crossings.
  8. Refrain from bringing food, drinks gum, reptiles, bugs or any animals on the bus.
  9. The driver has the right to assign seating to promote safety on the bus.
  10. Refrain from any behavior that interferes with the orderly and safe transportation of yourself and other bus riders.

Field Trips

Official field trip permission forms must be completed, signed and returned to the student’s teacher before the date of the planned trip. Telephone calls from parents cannot be accepted as a form of permission to attend a field trip. Parents wishing to be chaperones must be registered as an ADDition volunteer. ADDition forms must be completed each year and a field trip application for each field trip.

School Advisory Council

The purpose of the School Advisory Council is to develop and implement school improvement goals. Our SAC committee is composed of people who are representative of the families, community and staff members at Pershing-Pine Castle Elementary.

Clinic Procedures

Students who are ill should not attend school. A clinic attendant is on duty from 8:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each day. Students who become ill at school will be referred to the clinic and the parent will be called. Students with head lice will be sent home to be treated. Before returning to class, students must be rechecked in the clinic. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the lice recheck. Four days per year will be excused for head lice.

Only medications prescribed by a physician for a particular student will be given in school. All medication and medical forms must be left in the clinic. Over the counter medications will not be administered unless accompanied by a note from the physician. For safety and security reasons, medication must be transported to and from school by a parent or guardian. All medication that is not picked up at the end of the school year will be disposed of.

PTA and ADDitions

Our Parent Teacher Association works to bring a closer relationship between the home and the school so parents and teachers may cooperate in the education of the children. Executive Board Meetings are usually held the first Tuesday evening of the month and parents are welcome visitors. General meetings are held throughout the year and advance notice will be sent home. Our mutual concerns and goals for Pine Castle Elementary School can be recognized and realized through this fine organization.

Volunteers are always needed for special activities such as Book Fair and Field Day. We are proud of our active PTA and urge you to become involved!

Parents and friends of the school help in the classrooms and work with individual students through ADDitions, an active volunteer program. We welcome your services and encourage you to become involved. Please contact your child’s teacher or the ADDitions coordinator to see how you can help. You can register online to become an ADDitions volunteer at https://volunteer.ocps.net. All adults must be registered ADDitions to be on campus with students.