Pittsville Elementary Student Handbook 2023-2024

1 Pittsville Elementary & Middle School STUDENT HANDBOOK 2023-2024 Kristina V. Gosnell Principal Marie Baker Assistant Principal 34404 Old Ocean City Rd. Pittsville, Maryland 21850 (410) 677-5811

2 School Mission Statement The mission of Pittsville Elementary and Middle School is to provide all students with a variety of learning experiences, which will enable them to become confident, self- directed, lifelong learners. ATTENDANCE It is imperative that children arrive at school on time. Pittsville students should arrive NO LATER THAN 7:50 AM so that they are seated prior to the late bell at 7:55 AM. Students not seated in class at 7:55 will be recorded as Tardy to school. We know that there are circumstances that may cause late arrival on occasion; however, a lateness requires a Dr. note to be considered excused. Attendance will be documented daily. A student missing 5 or more unexcused days during a marking term is considered chronically absent and will be required to complete an attendance intervention plan. For an absence to be excused, it must meet the criteria of a lawful absence. A doctor’s note should be sent when a student is absent from school due to illness. A parent note documenting an absence due to an illness that does not require a Dr.’s visit will be accepted and excused for up to 5 days per year. TARDINESS Tardiness is documented in two (2) categories – lateness to class and lateness to school. Students are expected to report to class on time, be seated and wait for class to begin. If a student is late to class, the teacher will document the lateness and consequences will be issued according to county policy as indicated in the Wicomico County Code of Conduct. Repeated unexcused lateness to school will be addressed in accordance with the Wicomico County Code of Conduct. Please know that unexcused tardiness to school may prevent your student from meeting eligibility requirements to participate in PBIS activities and other school incentives. EARLY DISMISSAL REQUESTS If a student needs to leave school before the end of the day, a note must be provided to the student's teacher in the morning indicating the time of anticipated dismissal and the reason for the early departure. Students will be called to the office when the parent arrives to sign out the student. Students will not be called early as this causes an unnecessary loss of instructional time while waiting in the office. Early dismissals are recorded and tracked through our attendance procedures. Early dismissals require a Dr. note or other valid documentation to be considered excused. Please know that unexcused early dismissals may prevent your student from meeting eligibility requirements to participate in PBIS activities and other school incentives. TRANSPORTATION A note from the parent must be given to the main office if your child is to take a different mode (car rider vs. bus rider) of transportation on a particular day. Phone calls regarding a change of transportation will be honored for emergencies only. Please note that students may not request to ride a bus different from their assigned bus. IF A CHILD DOES NOT HAVE A NOTE, THE CHILD WILL BE SENT HOME HIS/HER NORMAL WAY. Car Riders are dropped off and picked up in the BACK OF THE BUILDING and bus riders are dropped off and picked up in the FRONT OF THE BUILDING. Please be reminded that cars are NOT permitted in the front of the building to drop off and pick up students when buses are present. Visitors should park in the parking lot on the front east side of the school. At the beginning of the day and at the end of the day the car rider lot is very congested. Please make every effort to be considerate of those behind you and avoid parking in non-parking areas. Please leave the left lane open for safety reasons. PLEASE PULL FORWARD TO THE END OF THE COVERED RAMP when dropping off or picking up car riders. This enables us to service the maximum number of cars at one time.

3 ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL BELL SCHEDULE TIME Students may enter the building 7:30 a.m. Students move to their homeroom 7:45-7:50 a.m. Morning Announcements 7:55 a.m. Students will be marked tardy if not in class. 7:55 a.m. late bell Dismissal 2:50 p.m. CELL PHONES Elementary Students: County Policy • Elementary Students are not to have cell phones on school property. • If an elementary student brings a cell phone to school and it is seen or heard, the phone will be sent to the office. • The parent will be notified that they will need to come to the school to pick up the cell phone. Middle School Students: • Middle School students may have their cell phone on the bus and in the morning before homeroom. • Middle School students may not have their cell phone out while in class. It may be stored in a locker or in the designated area in the classroom. • Middle School students may retrieve their cell phone before going to lunch and may use it to silently play appropriate games during their lunch time. • Please Note: If a Middle School student uses his/her cell phone inappropriately (texting during the school day, inappropriate games of violence or of a sexual nature, taking pictures/video, calling and/or letting other students use their cell phone to make calls, or having it when they should not have it on their person) the cell phone will be taken by an administrator and held in the office. The parent will be contacted to come and get the cell phone. Students may lose the privilege of having a cell phone on campus with these types of infractions. • Cell Phone and Social media interactions that prove to be disruptive to the learning environment will be considered a discipline issue at the school level even if the offense occurred outside of school hours. • Please Note: Cell phones are permitted on school property for Middle School students only and are at their own risk. If a phone is lost, damaged or stolen, the school is not held responsible. LAPTOPS All students will be issued a laptop that is property of Wicomico County Public Schools. Students are responsible for following all points on the “Laptop Loaner Device Agreement” that they receive with the laptop. Laptops will not be sent home with students during the 2023-2024 school year. CHANGES TO STUDENT/PARENT INFORMATION Many times, families change telephone numbers or cell phone numbers, change jobs, and even move during the school year and forget to let the school know. It is vital that we have a current address and contact information for your family in case your child becomes ill or injured during the school day. We also need to be able to contact you via School Messenger in the event of a weather delay or dismissal, field trip arrival change, etc. Please contact the school office to make any necessary changes to your address, telephone contacts, or emergency contacts throughout the school year. If you move out of the Pittsville district at any time, Special Permission must be requested for your child to finish the year with us. Approval is not guaranteed, but we will do our best to accommodate our families. Transportation must be provided by the parent/guardian of a student on Special Permission. Forms are available in the school office for your convenience.

4 DANCE CRITERIA To attend the dances at PEMS the following must be met: • Must have a 2.0 from the last report card. • No more than 2 unexcused absences in the semester that the dance is being held. • No Out-of-School Suspensions in the semester that the dance is being held. • Students must be in school the day of the dance. • The dance is for PEMS students only, no outside students from other schools may attend. DISCIPLINE In order for quality instruction to take place in a safe environment, students must be respectful of one another and of adults at all times. It is expected that students follow the schoolwide expectations of being respectful, responsible, safe, and scholarly in all areas of the school including on the bus and at school sponsored events. Cell Phone and Social media interactions that prove to be disruptive to the learning environment will be considered a discipline issue at the school level even if the offense occurred outside of school hours. DRESS CODE See the Dress Code in the Wicomico County Code of Conduct. Students violating the dress code will be asked to change or parent will be notified to bring a change of clothing. HEALTH SERVICES All students who become ill or injured during the school day should report to the school nurse or report to the office. Students are required to report to their class in order to obtain a pass from the teacher. Students will not be seen without a pass. ONLY THE NURSE may determine if the student should go home. If a student is ill enough to be sent home, the nurse will call the parent/guardian to inform him/her of the student’s condition. A student calling/texting requesting to be picked up early does not qualify as an excused dismissal. Upon leaving, the student must be signed out in the office. It may be necessary at times for a student to take medication during the school day. The student must have a PHYSICIAN’S MEDICATION ORDER FORM filled out by the doctor prescribing the drug and a copy of this form must be on file with the nurse. This includes all over the counter and prescription medications. The medication must be kept with the nurse, not on the students’ person. All medications must be provided by the parent, not sent with the student. Students are not permitted to carry medications. LUNCH 4TH & 5TH Grade 11:40-12:10 6th & 7th Grade 11:05-11:32 8th Grade 12:15-12:42 Lunches are prepared each day by the school Food Service staff. A la carte items, if available, may be purchased separately. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the cafeteria a clean and comfortable place by following these rules of courtesy: 1. Be fair to others by waiting your turn in line. 2. Have ID number ready for the cashier. 3. Return all trays, dishes and utensils to the wash area. 4. Deposit all trash in trash cans. 5. Keep the cafeteria orderly with a minimum of noise. 6. Do not remove food or drink from the cafeteria. 7. Glass containers and aluminum cans will not be permitted. 8. Students are not permitted to order lunch items from carry-out restaurants to be delivered to school. 10. Before leaving your table, students must clean the area for the next group entering the cafeteria. 11. Once seated, students will not be permitted to get out of their seat until directed by an adult on duty. This may be to empty trash or leave the cafeteria to go back to class. 12. Sodas or carbonated drinks are not permitted for lunch-time consumption.

5 13. All students must report to the cafeteria for lunch (except those assigned lunch detention). PARENT INVOLVEMENT It is critical to each child’s success to have parents actively involved in their child’s education. We encourage parents to call the school or send an e-mail to us when there are concerns, questions and/or comments. Email links for all staff members are provided on the school website. Parents are also encouraged to participate in school and/or county committees. Website: http://pems.wicomicoschools.org PROGRESS REPORTS and REPORT CARDS Progress reports and report cards are available in the Parent Portal. Paper copies are no longer distributed to all students. Students receiving two or more E’s in any major subject will have a copy of the progress report and/or report card mailed home. A paper copy of the progress report or report card may be requested at any time by calling the school office. SMOKING POLICY All schools in Wicomico County and the surrounding property are tobacco-free at all times. VISITORS ALL visitors MUST report to the main office to receive a visitor’s badge before proceeding to any location in the building. A valid picture ID is required to receive the visitor’s badge. This procedure is designed to protect the children and staff. Visitors must clearly display the badge provided and may only enter the area approved at sign-in. SCHOOL CONTACT INFORMATION: Phone: 410-677-5811 Fax: 410-677-5895 Website: http://pems.wicomicoschools.org