WELCOME TO COLEMAN ACCELERATED SCHOOL
A Professional Learning Community
Dear Coleman Family,
The purpose of the parent handbook is to foster, promote, and enable the educational partnership between home and school. The handbook contains policies and procedures developed by the St. Joseph School District and Coleman School to guide our daily instructional practices to ensure that the learning environment affords each student academic, emotional, and behavioral success. It is my hope that we will partner together to continue Coleman’s high academic standards of excellence and our strong community partnership.
As always, should you have questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working with all parents as we make Coleman School an even better place for “kids.”
Michael J. Otto, Principal
Coleman Accelerated School
Missouri Accelerated Schools and Professional Learning Communities are projects of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. An Accelerated School is a school that commits itself to both a philosophy and a process for change. It is founded on the three principals of unity of purpose, empowerment with responsibility and building on strengths. Fundamental to the philosophy is the belief that all children have gifts and talents. An Accelerated School, therefore, treats all children as gifted and builds on their talents. Powerful learning is an important part of this process. An Accelerated School encourages its entire school community to think critically and creatively about improving their school.
A Professional Learning Community (PLC) takes the Accelerated School philosophy one step further. In a PLC there is a cultural shift from a culture of teaching to a culture of learning. As a professional learning community our staff works collaboratively, in teams, to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Student learning is frequently assessed to monitor success and drive future instruction.
Coleman Accelerated School is a cooperative partnership of students, parents, staff and community working together to create a stimulating environment in which:
1. All students, staff and parents have the freedom, right and responsibility to learn in a clean, safe and spacious environment and recognize their own and others’ successes.
2. All students, staff and parents will experience positive interaction that shall encourage good attendance, enhance self-confidence, and result in increased academic achievements and well-being.
3. All students, staff, and parents will develop holistically through a comprehensive curriculum that includes basic skills, critical thinking, study skills, technological skills and resourcefulness in meeting life’s challenges.
4. All students, staff and parents will find opportunities to express their individual needs and talents through a variety of artistic, musical, technological, athletic, social and intellectual outlets.
5. All students, staff and parents will exhibit democratic values, responsible behavior, and respect through their daily activities and interactions.
POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT
School-wide Positive Behavior Support is a proactive, team-based framework for creating and sustaining safe and effective schools. Emphasis is placed on prevention of problem behavior, development of pro-social skills, and the use of data-based problem-solving for addressing existing behavior concerns. School-wide PBS increases the capacity of schools to educate all students utilizing research-based school-wide, classroom, and individualized interventions.
Coleman School has adopted the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) prevention model framework to design a system of behavioral supports for all students. Universal expectations for behavior, positively stated, have been established for all students in all locations of the school. These expectations promote our core values, such as respect, responsibility, and safety. Interventions and strategies are implemented to teach and reinforce these expectations.
The Coleman “PAWS” Pledge is recited by all students and staff at the beginning of each day:
As a Coleman Cougar I will practice my P.A.W.S. every day. I will practice safety, accept responsibility, work hard, and show respect. I pledge to be the best Cougar that I can be to make my family and my community proud of me.
Coleman School Procedures
School starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:40 p.m. Bussed students leave as busses are called. Students are not to arrive or be on school property before 8:45 a.m. unless they have special permission from the principal.
Teachers will be in their classrooms at 8:45 a.m. and will remain in the building until 3:55 p.m.
In inclement weather, do not call the school office. Parents and students will be informed of school cancellation or early dismissal by the local television and radio stations.
KQTV Channel 2/10 television
SJSD Channel 41 television
KSJQ 92.7 FM radio
KKJO 105.5 FM radio
KFEQ 680 AM radio
KGMN 1270 AM radio
KSFT 1550 AM radio
As a rule, school cancellations are decided by 7:00 a.m. and early dismissals are decided by 12:00 p.m. This may vary, however, due to weather circumstances.
PLEASE, instruct your child as to where they are to go in the event of an early dismissal due to inclement weather. Please do not call the school.
Monthly Character Incentives
Incentive: Character Notes and/or Lunch Recess and/or Prizes
Who: Any student may receive a note for displaying the character trait of the month in a
note-worthy manner. All students who receive notes in a month are recognized during the monthly Character Assembly and each note received is then entered in a random drawing that also takes place during the Character Assembly.
How: Any staff member who observes a student displaying the character trait of the
month may choose to recognize the student by presenting them with a Character
Note. It is then the student’s responsibility to write his or her name on the note and place it in the designated folder in each classroom. Two names from each classroom will be selected in random drawings. The drawing winners from each classroom receive one extra recess to take place during their lunch period on a day designated by the counselor.
The monthly character traits as designated by a St. Joseph community-wide character initiative are:
September: Respect December: Compassion March: Cooperation
October: Honesty January: Tolerance April: Perseverance
November: Citizenship February: Self-Discipline May: Patience
(To be awarded in the individual classrooms all four quarters)
Who: Students earning all A’s in every subject including Art, Music and P.E.
Who: Students earning all A’s in the academic subjects only (not Art, P.E. or
Who: Students earning all A’s and B’s
Award: Special pencil and Certificate
Who: Students who are neither absent, tardy or leave early all quarter
End of the Year Awards
Certificate of Excellence
This award is given to the students who earn all A’s in all four quarters in any subject.
This award honors those students who have been neither absent nor tardy for the entire school year.
Physical fitness and track awards will be given.
*Fourth Quarter awards and Missouri Reading Circle awards will be given out in the individual classrooms.
Coleman Safety Patrols are on duty each morning from 8:30 a.m. – 8:50a.m. and each afternoon from 3:40 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The following intersections and crosswalks have patrols:
Beck and 33rd Terrace
Bus Loading Zones
South Parking Lot
Sixth grade students serve as Safety Patrols. Students may apply at the end of their 5th grade year to serve as a regular or substitute patrol. Mrs. Musser is the Safety Patrol sponsor. Please respect the requests of the patrols.
For the safety of your child, and the consideration of the classroom teachers, please arrange to meet your child outside the school building or in the front hallway when picking him/her up after school. This causes fewer classroom interruptions, less congestion in the hallways, and provides for the safety and security of our students. Your respect and consideration of this request is appreciated.
To avoid classroom interruptions, all visitors, including parents, must report to the office and receive a visitors badge before going to a student’s classroom or to the lunchroom. This rule is for the safety of Coleman’s students, staff and parents. Please designate a place to pick up your child after school. By meeting outside the building, classroom interruptions will be kept to a minimum and students being dismissed will be able to exit the building easier. Should you need a conference with your child’s teacher, please call the school to schedule an appointment.
Coleman School has an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that meets regularly. Meetings are posted on your monthly school calendar. Currently, regular PTA dues are $5.00 per person. Business memberships are $10.00. The cost is subject to change. PTA offers an opportunity for you to become involved in your child’s education in a variety of ways. We hope that one or more adults represent every child.
The school district is legally responsible for the safety of children during the school day. Therefore, no staff member shall excuse any pupil from school prior to the end of the school day or into any person’s custody without the direct prior approval and knowledge of the building principal. In keeping with these precautions:
District policy requires you to call the school office at 671-4100 if your child is going to be late or absent. The office opens at 8:15 a.m. Please call the office by 9:30 a.m.
When a parent has to pick up a child early due to illness or unavoidable appointments, we ask that you go to the office first, not to the classroom. The secretary will call the student to the office on the intercom, while you will be asked to sign the child out in the office. This practice ensures the safety and well-being of the student and is crucial to maintaining proper attendance records.
Prompt arrival at school is expected of all students. Late arrival disrupts class and causes loss of instructional time. Any student who arrives at school after 9:00 a.m. is considered tardy. A parent should accompany their child to the office to sign him/her in if they are tardy. Consistent tardiness may be referred to the attendance officer. Tardiness does affect perfect attendance. Students who attend Coleman on a transfer may have their transfer revoked for excessive tardiness or absenteeism.
If, for any reason, your child is going to be absent, you should call the school between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. The school secretary or designee will contact all parents who have not notified the school by 10:00 a.m. Excessive absences will be referred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for investigation.
Students who are absent are expected to make up their work. Homework may be picked up AT THE END OF THE DAY between 3:40 and 4:00 p.m. in the school office. Please call the school to make prior arrangements.
If a student reports to school at any time during the day after 9:00 a.m., the student and the parent must report to the office before going to the classroom. Upon returning to school after being absent, parents MUST send a note stating the date and reason for being absent. These notes are kept on file for one year.
ACCIDENTS AND ILLNESS
Every precaution will be taken to prevent accidents. If a child is injured or ill at school, a parent will be contacted immediately. If a parent cannot be reached, the nurse or other designated personnel will use the emergency contact information provided earlier by the parent on the Registration and/or Medication Information Sheets. Please make sure the person designated has agreed to assume this responsibility. In the case of an emergency, if a person cannot be reached, an ambulance may be called if necessary.
An accident insurance policy is available through a reputable life insurance company for those families who are interested. We encourage you to take advantage of this policy. Information is sent home at the beginning of each school year.
Parents are discouraged from sending their children to school if they have been ill that morning, even if they feel better. If your child has a temperature, we would like for you to keep him/her home until they are fever free for 24 hours.
If you are moving and withdrawing your child from Coleman School, please call or come by the school a few days prior to the withdrawal date. This will give the staff time to complete the necessary paperwork. Please make sure that students return all books to school and that all lunch accounts are paid.
The school will provide make-up work for excused absences. Students or their parents are responsible for requesting make-up work immediately upon the student’s return to school. If the dates of a student’s absence are known in advance, the teacher should be notified and planned assignments may be given.
Homework can be picked up at the end of the day between 3:40 and 4:00 p.m. in the office to prevent classroom interruptions. Please call the school in the morning to request to pick up work so that the teacher will have it ready for you.
Coleman students participate in a variety of district and state assessments throughout the year.
Prior to kindergarten, students are administered the DIAL-3 test by Parents as Teachers (PAT). Once in kindergarten students are assessed using the Early Literacy Assessment. Kindergarten and first grade students are also given a quarterly Math Interview.
Kindergarten through second grade students are tested in the area of literacy using the Reading 3D Program which consists of the DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) and the TRC (Text Reading Comprehension). Pre and post Sitton Spelling assessments are administered to all students in grades 1-6. An End-of-Year Writing Prompt is administered to students in grades 1-2, and 4-6. Communications Arts, Math, and Science Benchmark tests are also formally given to students in grades 2-6.
All students in grades 3-6 take the Grade-level Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test each spring in the areas of communication arts and math. A MAP test in Science is also administered to all fifth grade students. Data from all of these assessments are analyzed and used to drive instruction and to plan for the individual learning needs of our students.
Mid-term progress reports are sent to parents during the 5th week of each quarter for students in grades 2-6. Report cards are issued at the end of each quarter, and parent-teacher conferences are held at the end of the first and third quarters of the school year. Additional conferences may be held at any time as initiated by the teacher or by the parent.
Parents may request a meeting with their child’s teacher or with the principal at any time during the school year. Please call the school at 671-4100 for an appointment if a conference is desired. Likewise the school staff may sometimes find it necessary to request a special conference with a parent. Please make every effort to meet with staff if you receive such a request.
The Missouri Reading Circle Certificate is a minimum standard for completion of independent reading. The criterion was developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to encourage and recognize students for reading. Research shows that students who read more, read better, and find more success in school. Earning the Missouri Reading Circle Certificate is one indicator of the amount of reading a student has completed outside of the regular school curriculum in reading.
Kindergarten 10 Books
Grade 1 12 Books
Grade 2 14 Books
Grade 3 16 Books (11 fiction, 5 non-fiction)
Grade 4 18 Books (12 fiction, 6 non-fiction)
Grade 5 20 Books (13 fiction, 7 non-fiction)
Grade 6 22 Books (14 fiction, 8 non-fiction)
PROMOTION AND RETENTION OF STUDENTS
Students in the St. Joseph School District will be considered for promotion at the end of each school year. In general, pupils shall be promoted annually, but exceptions to this policy may be made.
Promotion will be recommended for all students who have successfully completed the minimum academic requirements for the present grade.
Retention in the same grade may be recommended for students who have not met the minimum academic requirements for promotion, including regular attendance, or for whom social, emotional, or physical development would not allow satisfactory progress in the next grade.
If a teacher recommends retention in the present grade for the coming year, parents will be notified at third quarter Parent/Teacher Conferences of that intent. The parents, teacher, and principal will develop an individual achievement plan for the child.
Placement into the next grade may be recommended for students who have not met the
minimum academic requirements, but for whom social and personal needs are significantly greater than the academic requirements.
Delayed Decisions may be made for students who are referred for Summer School. Summer School is recommended for all students who need review and/or remediation of the basic skills prior to promotion or placement in the next grade level. The building principal makes the final decision regarding the promotion or retention of all students.
Pending state funding each year, a 16-day summer school program is offered at Coleman School subsequent to the end of the regular school year. This program is offered to strengthen students’ academic skills and provide enriching summer experiences. Summer school catalogues are available at third quarter parent/teacher conferences.
The practice of requesting particular teachers for the coming year has become a growing concern at Coleman School. Many times requests are based on “hearsay” or popularity rather than instructional merit. If all of these requests are honored it allows little flexibility for decision-making on the part of the staff.
In the spring of each year the teachers and principal divide students into classes for the coming year. We take into consideration teaching and learning styles, personalities, special needs, student and teacher talents and abilities, discipline concerns, level of student commitment and responsibility, etc.
Final decisions regarding teacher assignments will be made by the principal. Class lists will be posted at Open House, which will be held prior to the opening of school each year.
The office telephone is a business phone and is not to be used by the students except in an emergency. Students are not allowed to use the phone to make personal arrangements,
such as requesting permission to go to another student’s home after school. We realize that there are exceptions to this rule and will try to accommodate these circumstances as they occur.
Parents are reminded to communicate clearly to their children regarding after school activities and transportation before the child arrives at school each day. Students are required to follow their “normal plan” unless the school is otherwise notified. This avoids confusion on the part of the student and staff and keeps our phone lines open for emergencies.
Students are discouraged from bringing cell phones to school and cell phones are not allowed to be used during school hours.
Parents, please be respectful of our learning environment, and turn your cell phones to vibrate while in our building.
At Coleman, we utilize volunteers in the classrooms, office, library, and computer lab. We also have volunteers who work at home.
If you are interested in becoming a school volunteer please complete the VEST form located in your PTA handbook or call Brenda Lebsack (279-8074) or Frankie Olsen (387-8860).
Students are not allowed to send invitations to school for private parties unless ALL the children in the class, all boys or all girls are invited. This often results in hurt feelings on the part of those students who are not invited. Class lists, as well as addresses are located in the Coleman School Directory.
Many students request to bring treats to school on their birthdays to share with their classmates. Permission must be obtained from the classroom teacher. Treats must be prepackaged and will usually be shared at the end of the day. Approximately 10 minutes will be allowed for this type of activity. Healthy treats are encouraged. Please do not send gum.
The PTA sponsors two special parties per school year. The number of parties and their time limits are set by school district policy. This year there will be a Winter Holiday and a Valentine party at Coleman. PTA provides $1.50 per student per party.
LOST AND FOUND ITEMS
Lost and found items are kept underneath the front hallway stairwell. Small, valuable items are kept in the office (eyeglasses, jewelry, etc.) To help prevent items from being lost please put your child’s name on all personal property. Unclaimed lost and found articles will be donated to a local charity at the end of each quarter.
All textbooks are furnished free of charge to students who attend the St. Joseph Public Schools. Students are expected to exercise reasonable and proper care in the use of district owned textbooks. In the event that a book is lost or damaged, the student shall reimburse the district.
All parents and students sign a yearly technology agreement form, which outlines technology usage, regulations, and Internet etiquette. Violation of this agreement will result in disciplinary measures.
Dangerous items including, but not limited to, ammunition, knives, matches or toy weapons are not be brought to school. If such items are found in a child’s possession, items will be confiscated by the principal and the child’s parents will be notified.
The use and/or possession of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or firearms are prohibited. Any student who violates this rule is subject to the provisions of the School Board Policy. The rules apply on the way to and from school, at the bus stop, during lunch, at school activities, and during the day.
Students come to school to learn. Trinkets and toys distract from the learning process. No items shall be brought from home without prior approval of the teacher or the principal. This would include toys, pets, MP3 players, electronic games, trading cards, CD players, iPods, coins, anything of value, etc. The school will not be held responsible for the loss or damage of such items. These items will be held by the principal or teacher and may be picked up by a parent after school.
ALL writing in books, on walls and furniture, rough treatment; damage or misuse of equipment of facilities is considered vandalism. This could result in logical consequences and/or reimbursement by parents for repairs or replacement of such items.
In continuing our efforts to make Coleman Elementary School a safe and secure environment, we would like to review some important safety procedures and rules. In accordance with the St. Joseph School District policy, our doors are locked at 9:30 a.m. each morning with the exception of the front entrance. Doors are to remain locked until dismissal time at 3:40 p.m. We are asking that you help us with this rule that is intended for the safety of the children. Staff members and patrols have been asked to refrain from opening doors for parents that are knocking on the doors requesting to be let in. If you feel it is necessary to come into the building to pick up your child, please enter through the front door and wait in the front entry area until the students have been dismissed by the bell and/or Mrs. Elder’s announcement. At that time, your child can proceed from his or her classroom to join you. You entrust us each day to keep your child safe, and this is a responsibility we take seriously. We greatly appreciate your cooperation.
Also, there have been a large number of students that are arriving at school before the 8:45 a.m. bell and are unsupervised in the building. This is a safety concern. Students should not enter the building until 8:45 a.m. when teachers begin their supervision time.
PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL BEFORE 8:45 a.m. unless you have made special arrangements. After school, students are not allowed to wait on the playground. Students must wait in the front foyer for their ride. The Before & After School Program offered through the YMCA offers before and after school childcare at Coleman for a fee. Contact the YMCA at 232-3344 for more information regarding before and after school childcare.
A breakfast program is offered at Coleman School. Those students in the YMCA Before & After School Program are served breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and are encouraged to eat at school. For other students, breakfast will only be served from 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Students will eat in the cafeteria. All students must be in their classrooms when the bell rings at 9:00 a.m. If your child rides a late arriving bus and you wish for them to eat breakfast, you may want to drive them to school. Those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch also qualify for free or reduced breakfast.
Our lunch system is computerized. Every Coleman student (including free and reduced lunch students) will have his or her own lunch account. This account will also be used for students who attend the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Program. Students must have money in their account to cover the cost of items purchased at Rainbows. Even if your student brings a lunch from home, money should be deposited in their account to cover the cost of extra ala-carte items such as milk.
The cost of a student lunch is $2.20 ($.40 for reduced lunch) and the cost of a student breakfast is $1.70 ($0.30 for reduced breakfast). Adults who wish to eat lunch with a student must deposit extra money into the students lunch account. The cost for a parent, other adult, or sibling to eat lunch is $3.25 each. Please send a note with your child if you plan on eating lunch at school.
CHARGES ARE NOT ALLOWED. When your child’s lunch account reaches a balance of $4.00, enough for two lunches, a low balance notice will be sent home with your child. According to District guidelines, if your student’s account balance reaches $.00, the child will be provided with a lunch, however, payment must be made promptly to cover the cost. Ala-carte items, including milk, cannot be charged.
All deposits must be made with the white deposit envelopes that are available in the cafeteria, the office, or from your child’s teacher. Personal checks (made payable to Coleman School) or cash are welcome, however counter checks and out of state checks cannot be accepted. To ensure that the deposit is made into the correct account, please make sure that the envelope is completely filled out and sealed shut.
Deposits in $10.00 increments are recommended. Money not used each month/year will automatically carry over to the next month/year. In the event that a student transfers to another St. Joseph Public School during the school year, the lunch account will also be transferred. If you leave the District, a refund may be requested.
Families with more than one student at Coleman may choose to send one check and designate on the deposit envelope how much money is to be deposited into each child’s account. Please note on the outside of the envelope the other student’s name(s) and the teacher’s name(s) and grade(s).
If given in writing, a memo may be added to the student’s account to restrict purchases. Parents (not food service staff) must determine what, if any, ala carte items their student may purchase. Food purchased at school may NOT be taken out of the cafeteria.
Printouts verifying the status of your student’s account will be available upon request. If you would like a printout, please contact the Coleman office or make a request through your student’s teacher.
If your children purchase a sack lunch from school, they have a choice of a hot vegetable and a fruit choice as part of their lunch. The only beverage that comes with a school lunch is white, chocolate, or strawberry milk. Cartons of juice and other beverages are available ONLY as ala carte purchases.
Please contact the office if you have any questions.