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JES Handbook 2023-24 (English)

  

  

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WELCOME TO JACKSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Dr. Tracy Poduska, Principal

P.O. Box 568 ~ 200 N. Willow

Jackson, Wyoming 83001

 307.733-5302 phone
307.739-2116 fax 
www.tcsd.org

 

Dear Families,
It is our pleasure to welcome parents & students to Jackson Elementary School!  
Our staff strives to make our school a safe and joyous place for students to learn.
 
Parents and students, please take some time to read this handbook.  It includes important information about JES policies and procedures.  It is our hope that this handbook will also serve as a helpful reference for parents as you support your child’s learning at home.  
If you have questions at any time during the school year, please call.  We encourage open lines of communication between home and school.  We appreciate knowing about issues early on, and of course, hearing about what is working and going well is appreciated, too! 
 
At JES, we SOAR!  We are
Safe
On Time
Always Respectful
Responsible
 
Sincerely,
 
Tracy Poduska, JES Principal

 

 

SCHOOL HOURS

Student day hours are 8:25 a.m. - 3:05 p.m.  The first bell rings at 8:20 and students are expected to be in their classroom and ready to learn at 8:25.   
 

School office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

 
Supervision of students officially begins at 8:05 a.m. Upon arrival at school, students may play outside or eat breakfast in the cafeteria until the first bell rings at 8:20.  If you must bring your student to school prior to 8:05, early supervision begins on the playground at 7:45.  Thank you for bringing your child to school no earlier than 7:45 a.m.
 
After school, all students are expected to exit the school grounds. Playground supervision is not provided.  If you need after school care for your child, there are numerous community organizations that offer clubs and such. Contact the school office if you need guidance on where to find out more about after school opportunities.

 

SCHOOL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
 

Attendance

Consistent, daily attendance is an integral part of a student’s learning experience and there is a direct relationship between attendance, academic achievement, and overall school success.  Excessive absences can result in a significantly diminished school experience.  Thank you for your support in promoting exemplary attendance for your child at Jackson Elementary School. 
 
Absences:  If your child is absent from school, please call the school office at 733-5302 between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  If you are going to be out of town, please notify both the office and teacher of this absence in advance.  This will give the teacher sufficient time to prepare make-up work. To help ensure the safety of our children, School Messenger will automatically begin to call parents of absent students after 9:15 a.m. If you have not called before 9:00 a.m., you may receive a phone call. 

 

Tardies:  At JES, we expect all students to be in their classrooms and prepared for class when the school day officially begins at 8:25 a.m. This enables the classrooms to promptly start learning with minimal interruptions.  Your help in getting your child(ren) to school in enough time for them to get to class by 8:25 is much appreciated.  If your child arrives to school after 8:25, he/she will be marked tardy.  Please be sure that your student checks in at the office before going to the classroom.   Expect to receive a message from JES on days your child is tardy.  The message ensures you were aware that your child was tardy, and is a reminder about the importance of being on-time for school.
 
If there are any circumstances that prevent your child(ren) from attending school or arriving to school on time, please contact the principal to discuss.  Of course, if your child is seriously ill, he/she should stay home.  As much as possible, family trips should be planned during vacation time.  I also encourage parents to consider the amount of afterschool and evening commitments their child is involved in, as they may exhaust a child and affect his/her ability to attend school.  

 

Updating parent and student information

In August, you should have received an email from JES asking you to log into PowerSchool and update your student’s enrollment information.  If you haven’t yet updated or completed your child’s registration profile, please be sure to complete this by the end of the first week of school.  This is especially important if you have moved, or have a new phone number, email, or emergency contact.  In the event of an emergency or if your child becomes ill, we need to be able to contact you quickly.  If your address, phone number, email, or emergency contact information changes during the school year, please contact the school office so we can update our records.

 

Student Dress and Appearance

To create and support an appropriate learning environment, students are expected to dress in a manner fitting for school.  When spring (finally) arrives each year, students get excited about the warmer weather, and wear more warm-weather clothing.  Please discuss the following guidelines with your child to be sure they are appropriately dressed for school:
 
-Dress must not be immodest or distracting to the learning environment (fingertip-length rule for skirts and shorts, shirts must cover the stomach, wide straps only on tank tops).
 
-Shoes must be worn at all times.
 
-Hats, caps, bandanas or headwear may not be worn in the building after reaching the cubbies.  Exceptions to hat-wearing in the classroom may be made by the individual teacher.
 
-Attire that depicts illegal or adult only products (i.e. alcohol) is not permitted.
 
-Anytime snow is on the ground, all students are required to wear the BIG 5 (see below).  


Inclement Weather Procedure 

JES students are outside for recess every day unless it is below zero or raining heavily.  When the temperature is zero degrees or colder, students will remain inside the school for recess. Throughout the year, please make sure your student has the proper clothing for the weather. At JES, we require our students to have the BIG FIVE – coat, snow pants, snow boots, hat and gloves.   If your student typically arrives at school early enough (prior to 8:20) to go outside in the morning, please make sure he/she leaves home dressed with the Big 5.
 
  • If snow is on the ground, regardless of temperature, students are required to wear the Big 5.  The only exception is in 5th grade; students are permitted to forgo wearing snow pants at their discretion.
  • If there is a student who consistently is missing some or all of the Big 5, we will contact the family to see if the student has these items at home, or needs support in getting the Big 5.

 

The school district’s policy states when the temperature reaches 25 degrees below zero in the morning at the school bus depot, the transportation director and superintendent will confer on the safety issues surrounding the decision on school closure or delay.  Please listen to the local television and radio stations, or visit the district website to learn if school is closed.  


Student Recess

Students have at least 40 minutes of recess each day.  Aside from inclement weather days, recess is outside and is unstructured play and movement time for students.  It is important to us that students have the opportunity to get fresh air and play with their classmates and friends.  Very infrequently, a student may lose a recess and have to stay inside as a consequence.  Typically this is the consequence if the safety of the student or other students is at risk.  
 

Visitor/Volunteer Sign In 

We welcome you to Jackson Elementary at any time. For safety reasons, please enter the school through the main entrance doors and check in at the office before going to your child’s classroom.  In the office, you’ll be asked to sign in and pick up your visitor badge to wear while you are in the school.



TRANSPORTATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Students are assigned to buses based on their home address.  If you need to make any changes to a student’s bus assignment that occurs on a regular basis, such as getting off at a different stop or changing bus routes, you must contact the Bus Barn directly at 733-4943.  
 
In your student’s first day folder, you will find an overview letter from the Transportation department. Also, please find the Transportation Handbook on their website.  Please read this with your child, as it has important information about bus safety, rules, and bus stop information.
 
Activity Bus - TCSD offers online sign up for the activity bus and temporary permission to ride a different bus than normal.  To sign up your child, go to www.tcsd.org/transportation.  The deadline for the online sign-up is 12:00 p.m.


 

Student Arrival and Dismissal

Ultimately, we encourage all families who live in the JES attendance area to walk, bike, or utilize the school bus routes for transportation to and from school.  The bus is a safe and convenient way for children to get to and from school, and is also more environmentally friendly.  Furthermore, bus students rarely get a tardy slip ☺
 
If you must transport your child to or from school in a vehicle, parents (and/or authorized guardians) are asked to abide by the following rules:
 
  • For the safety of all the children, use the designated curbside loading/unloading zone in front of JES on Willow Street.  This zone is not for parking and no vehicles may be left unattended in this zone to allow for a continuous flow of traffic both before and after school. 
  • Always stay in your vehicle while in the pick-up/drop-off lane.  The pick-up/drop-off lane is designed to be a place for children to be quickly and safely dropped off.
  • School buses load and unload students by the playground on Jean Street.  For the safety of the students, please do not pick up or drop off students in this area.
  • If you desire to accompany your child into the school in the morning, please park your vehicle in designated parking spots only.
  • To minimize congestion in the drop-off/pick-up lane, consider dropping your student off closer to 8:05 a.m. (when supervision begins) and arriving at school to pick up your student at 3:15 p.m. (there is supervision until 3:20).
  • Ensure your children are dropped off and picked up at curbside (ie. do not let them out on the traffic side of the vehicle). 
  • Refrain from using cell phones in the pick-up/drop-off lanes.

 

SCHOOL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROGRAM

  • Breakfast is served starting at 8:05 a.m and costs $2.10.  Breakfast offerings include milk or juice, fruit, and an entrée.
  • School lunch offers a fruit and vegetable bar, choice of an entrée, and milk or juice, and costs $3.25.  Seconds are an option if quantities allow for $1.50.  If a student has a negative balance, he/she will not be allowed to get seconds.
  • A “smiley face” stamp on your child’s hand means that their account has dropped to $4.00 or less. Lunch money can be added to your child’s account by visiting the school cafeteria, sending cash or a check with your child made out to TCSD, or using our online payment system. When sending cash, please put in an envelope with your child’s name on it.  More information about the online payment system can be found on the school lunch page on the JES website. 
  • Free and reduced meals are available for qualified students.  Please contact the office if you would like an application.
  • Specific lunch times for students and menus are located on the JES website:  https://www.tcsd.org/departments/food-service/school-menus
 
    • Grades 3-5 student lunch - 11:25-11:50
    • Grades K-2 student lunch - 11:50-12:15


 

COMMUNICATION PROCEDURES
 

School Messages and Notifications

Teton County School District has subscribed to the SwiftK12 service, which allows us to send important messages to parents via email, phone and text.  This includes daily attendance notifications if your child is not at school and we have not heard from you, principal newsletters, and emergency/crisis information.  There are opt-out options available, which can be activated once you begin to receive messages, but we do encourage you to use this efficient communication tool. You will not receive any information from the school/district (including newsletters) if you opt out. 


 

Newsletters

Expect regular communication from your child’s teacher about the happenings in the classroom, which include updates on curriculum, important dates, upcoming events, etc.  
 
Twice monthly school-wide newsletters will also be sent to JES families, to keep you apprised of events and important dates, highlights of JES happenings and successes, an update from PTO, and helpful information from counselors and other staff.  

 

Emergency Drills

Fire drills, earthquake drills, intruder drills and bomb threat drills are scheduled monthly throughout the school year to ensure that our staff and students know and are able to practice the proper procedures to be followed in any of these circumstances. In the event of an actual emergency, parents will be contacted through our school messaging system with information about student reunification.  
 

Student Cell Phone and Smartwatch Use

Cell phone or Smartwatch use is not permitted at JES.  Students are encouraged to leave their cell phones/Smartwatches at home, but if they must be brought to school, the expectations are as follows:
 
  • Phones must be off and away (in backpack, not in pockets) once a student is on school grounds in the morning.  Smartwatches may be used only as watches.
  • Phones must stay off and away all day.  If a student needs to use a cell phone afterschool, it may be used once the student is outside in the front entrance area.
  • If a student is caught using a cell phone or a Smartwatch (as anything other than a watch) during the non-permitted hours, it will be confiscated, and the student will be allowed to pick it up in the principal’s office afterschool.
If a phone call must be made during the day, students are permitted to go to the main office to call. 
 
Parents, you can help by not contacting your student during the school day on their device.  If you need to contact your student during the school day, please call the office and we are happy to relay a message.

 

Procedure for changing a student’s after school arrangements

In order to ensure that all students are supervised and safe, parents must contact the office and their child’s teacher if they are making changes to their child’s regularly scheduled after-school plans.  The school must be notified by 2:00 p.m. so we have sufficient time to deliver these messages.   Please note that midday bus change requests cannot be honored at this time (see above section - online temporary bus change request).


 

STUDENT SUCCESS AND SUPPORT

Philosophy

All staff at JES will work together to help all students reach their fullest potential.  We view discipline as an ongoing process that allows students to grow through attaining positive control over their lives.  This feeling is best created by trusting students to assume responsibilities and providing opportunities to make critical decisions.  Our ultimate objective in this process is to lay the groundwork for establishing high self-esteem and self-discipline in every student.

 

Student Rights 

Every student has the right to a safe learning environment, physically and emotionally.  Every child has the right to be respected as an individual by adults and peers.

 

Student Responsibilities

Students will be responsible:

  • for getting to class on time and being ready for instruction.
  • for completing assigned work and making up missed work.
  • for displaying courteous and considerate behavior to adults and peers.
  • for their own possessions.
  • for respecting school property and the property of others.
  • for their own behavior in every part of the campus.
  • for the safety of themselves and all others in all school settings.
  • to know and understand school procedures and expectations.

 

Student and Family Support

Jackson Elementary is fortunate to have a counselor/social worker to facilitate the positive academic, emotional, and social growth of our students and support the JES families. She assists classroom teachers in delivering social-emotional curriculum, provides small support groups, and individual counseling to help students as needed. Please contact our counselor/social worker, Michelle Brown, at any time.
 
If you or anyone you know is unable to participate in a school activity due to financial concerns, please contact Mrs. Brown. There are solutions for students who need financial help in order to participate, and it is important that all students participate. If your family is experiencing difficulties, Mrs. Brown has resources available in the community to help. 

 

Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)

One of the most important factors that ensure success in school is parent involvement. One way to be involved is to be a part of our Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO), so please consider joining!  The PTO helps to support our activities at JES.
  
For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/view/jes-pto/home 

 

Lost and Found

Lost and Found is located in our Commons area, near the front office. Parents are encouraged to write their student’s name in clothing and outdoor gear, and to check Lost and Found often. Lost and Found items are donated a few times a year, so it is very important to check this area if you have a lost item.  Items left in Lost and Found at the end of the year will be sent to charity after the last day of school.


 

TEACHING AND LEARNING

 

School Improvement Process

JES has a leadership team with representatives from all grade levels and departments. This team develops school improvement goals and monitors student performance against those goals throughout the year. All school improvement plans are closely aligned with the Teton County School District strategic plan. Input from parents is always welcomed.  

 

AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination)

Jackson Elementary is an AVID school!  AVID is a system of proven strategies to support students with success in school and life, based on all JES students seeing themselves as Successful Students.  
 
This year at JES, we are focusing on 3 AVID strategies:  student agendas, goal-setting, and collaboration.  For more information on AVID, visit www.avidschools.org.  You will also hear more about AVID at JES throughout the year!

 

District Assessments

Our curriculum and instruction is aligned with Wyoming state standards in all subjects and at all grade levels. The curriculum is continually reviewed by grade level teams to ensure excellent instruction for our students. District-wide assessments have been developed to measure achievement of the standards. 
 
The Wyoming state assessment is called WyTOPP.  WyTOPP is designed to measure student proficiency on standards in literacy, mathematics, and science in 2nd-5th grades.  Please look for more information from Dr. Poduska or your child’s teacher about WyTOPP assessments during the school year.
 
All JES students take the DIBELS assessment, which measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills. This screener provides critical information about your child’s development as a reader and influences the type of reading instruction your child will receive throughout the school year. 
 
There is more information about both DIBELS and WyTOPP at www.tcsd.org. Please contact your child’s teacher or Dr. Poduska if you have additional questions about these assessments. 


 

Report Cards

JES reports academic progress two times during the school year:  a mid-year progress report in February and a final report card in June.  Parent/teacher conferences will be scheduled in the fall and in late winter.  Parents will be notified and scheduled for individual conferences with their child’s teacher.  At JES, a strong home-school connection is important; therefore, we strive for 100% parent/guardian participation at conferences.

 

Library Media Center

Overdues: While there are no fines for overdue books at the Jackson Elementary School Library, we request that books be returned (or renewed if you need more time) in one week’s time.  Your child must return his/her library book before another book can be checked out. 
 
Damaged or Lost Books: Please follow the Book Care Guidelines on the Media Center webpage to keep books safe. If an item is lost or damaged beyond repair, replacement cost for the item will be charged.


 

HEALTH SERVICES

There is a nurse’s office located at Jackson Elementary.  If your student is ill, they should notify their teacher who will contact the school nurse.  School nurse Andrea Mazer will see the student, evaluate and notify the parents as needed. The district is using the following guidelines for the 2023-24 school year:
 

Illness Policy:

Please review the following pertaining to dismissing staff and students from school for illness/symptoms. Students and staff with any of the following symptoms will not be admitted to school or will be sent home: 
● Cough
● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
● Fever above 100.4/sense of fever 
● Chills 
● Repeated shaking with chills 
● Muscle pain/body aches 
● Congestion/runny nose (not allergy related) 
● Headache 
● Sore throat 
● New loss of taste or smell 
● Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea 
● Unusual fatigue
 
Parents and staff are responsible for monitoring their own symptoms, overall health, and temperatures each morning prior to arriving at school. If a student/staff or household member has ANY of the above symptoms, s/he (and siblings) will not be admitted into the school. This is an honor system; please keep in mind the impact your decisions could have on other students, staff, and the entire community. If a student/staff develops ANY of the symptoms while in school, s/he (and siblings) will need to be picked up from school within 30 minutes; staff will need to let their admin know and leave the building immediately. 
 
TCSD reserves the right to send a child/staff home for any health concerns. 
 
For students or staff members who stayed home or have been sent home for symptoms, return to school is dependent on a variety of situations. The requirement may be to stay home and isolate for a period of time while symptomatic and after symptoms resolve. Please contact Nurse Mazer for an update and/or discuss your options. 


 

Medication Guidelines/policy

 If your child needs medication during the school hours, whether it is a prescription or over-the-counter medication, the parent/guardian must deliver the medication in the original container to the nurse’s office and complete and sign a permission form.  A written order or permission form completed and signed by the prescribing healthcare provider and the parent/guardian must accompany all prescription and herbal medications. Should you have any questions, please contact the JES school nurse at amazer@tcsd.org or by calling the main office.

 

Immunizations

ALL STUDENTS, K-12 are required by Wyoming State Law to have a completed immunization record on file.  This record must be presented at the time of enrollment.  If there are deficiencies you will have thirty (30) days in which to comply.  

 

DISTRICT POLICIES

The following policies are in place to ensure a safe learning environment for students, staff, and other stakeholders.   Visit www.tcsd.org for a complete catalog of district policies, and to view the following policies in their entirety.
  

TCSD Weapons Policy (JICI)

TCSD will not tolerate the possession and/or use of dangerous weapons by students on school district property, at school district-sponsored events, and/or within any school vehicle.  Possession includes having a weapon in a desk, backpack, cubby, or on a student's person.  Examples of weapons include, but are not limited to, firearms, knives, pocket knives, and Leatherman tools.  Any student possessing and/or using a weapon will face a penalty up to an expulsion from school for up to one year.

 

A note that fake guns, knives, and other weapons are forbidden at JES as they incite fear, intimidation, and disrupt our safe school environment.   There are consequences for bringing a fake weapon to school, and are dependent on the specific situation. 
 
Policy JICI, and Policy JICFD (Threats by Students) states that all threats by students to other students, staff, and self such as “I’m going to kill you” or “I’m going to stab you with a knife” are in violation of policy and will be taken seriously.  Policy JICFD describes the procedures used when a threat is made.
 
TCSD Tobacco Use on School Properties Policy (Policy KGC) - Smoking and/or the use of any tobacco product, including electronic cigarettes, vaporizing or similar devices is prohibited on all School District property, which includes, building, grounds and school owned vehicles.

 

Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, & Retaliation Policy (Policy JIFCA) - No person shall engage in:
 
  1. Harassment, intimidation, or bullying; or
  2. Reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or person who reports information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Person(s) who engage in bullying, harassment, intimidation or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion and/or referral to law enforcement authorities.  False charges shall also be regarded as a serious offense and shall result in disciplinary action.
 

Title IX/Annual Nondiscrimination Notification

Teton County School District is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in relation to age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. This policy governs all matters concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, and individuals with whom the School District does business. 
 
The notice shall include a reference to the person and the address and telephone number of the staff member designated to coordinate civil rights compliance. For purposes of this School District, that person shall be the Superintendent or Title IX/504/Communications Coordinator creynolds@tcsd.org at 307-733-2704 or PO Box 568, Jackson WY 83001.

 

Please go to https://www.tcsd.org/district-info/title-ixannual-public-notice-of-non-discrimination for a complete description of our Title IX and Non-Discrimination policies and procedures.   Incident Report/Complaint form is linked here.