BUILDING SECURITY AND SCHOOL VISITS
For the safety and security of everyone it is important that we know who is visiting our schools and why. Therefore the only door by which parents and other visitors are to enter school buildings is the main entrance. Upon entering the building all visitors, including parents, are to go straight to the school office to explain the reason for their visit. They should then sign in, obtain and wear a visitor pass. Prior to leaving, visitors should sign out and return the pass.
We encourage parents to come in and see the school. You should make an appointment for a visit so that someone can be available to show you around, teachers can be notified, and student learning will not be unduly interrupted.
The kindergarten program in all schools will begin at 8:23 and end at 1:30.
The school day for students in grades 1-4 begins at 8:23 AM and it concludes at 3:00 PM. Students not in school by 8:33 are marked down as tardy, and they should have a note with them explaining their tardiness. Students are marked as absent if they do not arrive in school by 11:45, or if they are dismissed for the day prior to this time. Supervision outside AES and CES is provided at 8:15 AM, so students should not arrive prior to this time. Only students who have permission from both their teacher and their parents may remain at school after 3:00.
ABSENCES AND DISMISSALS
Keeping track of all of the students in the schools is an enormous job. To help the office personnel to do this job effectively, we have the following procedures, which we need you to follow.
If your child will be absent or tardy by more than twenty minutes on a particular day you should:
- Either send us a note saying what day or days your child will be absent or tardy,
- Phone the school (AES 978-388-3659 or CES 978-388-4409) on the day before or by 8:40 a.m. on the day of the absence. An answering machine will take your message when school is not in session. Please leave your child's name and the name of their homeroom teacher.
If your child is not in school by 9:00 a.m. and the school has not been notified, we will have our automated calling center call your “primary contact number” and/or leave a message on your answering machine.
IF THIS CALL IS UNSUCCESSFUL THE ATTENDANCE OFFICER WILL BE CALLED.
Please post this number by your phone or in some conspicuous place in your home. (AES 978-388-3659 or CES 978-388-4409)
If you need to dismiss your child early on a particular day, please send a letter to the homeroom teacher and the office. In this way, your child can be prepared to leave at the appointed time. When you come in to pick up your child, be sure to sign the dismissal book at the front desk. If your child is not waiting for you in the lobby, the office staff will page them for you.
Learning in school takes place during the entire school day. The last part of the day, when teachers and students bring closure to the day and plan for homework and the next day's lessons and activities, is as important to the students as is the early morning. We ask that you not come in to dismiss your child during the last fifteen minutes of the school day, except in the infrequent case of a specific need. This will help allow teachers to bring the day to an end free of interruptions from the office. Your cooperation in this matter will be appreciated by everyone.
Dismissing Children to People Other Than a Parent or Guardian
We are very careful here in Amesbury about dismissing children. Identification will be requested from people that we do not recognize. If there are people whom you expect you might want to have come pick up your child, please fill in their names on the form provided by the office, sign it, and return it with the other materials. We will keep these forms at the office. Also, if we were told that the school had to be evacuated we would treat this form as permission to release your child at the host facility to the persons named, unless you specify otherwise.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
Coming By Car in the Morning
The opening and closing of each school day is a busy and somewhat hectic time. Please follow these procedures so that our children, families, busses and visitors can all enter and exit our school safely. Your patience and cooperation will help us manage each day safely and happily!
Children may be dropped off between 8:20 and 8:30 at the curb beside the entrance near our gym. Please be aware that from 8:15 to 8:40 and from 2:45 to 3:15 busses will be using the traffic circle and cars may not enter or leave this area while busses are present.
Staff and volunteers will be on duty to assist children and families as our day begins. Please be sure to watch for signals and remind your children to use the crosswalks.
Amesbury Elementary School
To ensure that busses can safely enter the school parking lot and discharge students, and so that students can safely walk through the school grounds, please follow these directions when driving your child to school:
Children may be dropped off when adult supervision is outside between 8:15 & 8:30 .
Please do not enter the traffic circle in front of the school because busses will be unloading there. Instead, please enter the parking lot and follow the signs. Discharge your child only at the second crosswalk or when directed to do so by one of the adults on duty. It is important that you follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of all children.
School Bus Policies and Procedures
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 68 mandates free public transportation for those students in grades K-6 ONLY who live more than TWO miles from the school that they attend. The new Amesbury Public Schools transportation policy provides free bus transportation for all kindergarten students and for students in grades 1-6 who live at least 2.0 miles from their assigned school. Students in grades 1-6 who live within the 2.0 mile limit and all students in grades 7-12 will be assessed a transportation fee.
The transportation fee will be: $250 per student / $450 family maximum. There is no option for one way transportation. Students eligible for free or reduced lunch may apply for a reduced fee. Busing will continue to be provided for those Special Education students whose individualized education programs require it.
If your child rides a bus, he/she will only be allowed to ride his/her assigned bus. If an unanticipated situation arises where your child needs to ride a different bus on a particular day please contact Salter Transportation 978-462-6433 to confirm that space is available on the requested bus.
If your child will need to get off the bus at a different stop or ride a different bus on a regular basis, for daycare, for instance, write a letter to the office stating what bus your child will need to take, where they will need to get off, and the reason for the change. The bus company and bus driver will also need to authorize this change. You should know that because of space restrictions on some busses, your request may be denied.
If you have any questions about or problems with bus transportation, please call Salter Transportation at:
978-462-6433 xt. 45
Picking Up Children By Car During the Day or at the End of School
If you are stopping by school during the school day to drop off items or make a quick visit you may use the visitor parking in the traffic circle by the Cashman main entrance. Please be aware that from 8:15 to 8:40 and from 2:45 to 3:15 busses will be using the traffic circle and cars may not enter or leave this area while busses are present.
If you are picking up your child at the end of the day please join the line that forms in the driveway. Our staff and volunteers will guide you to stop along the curb beside the entrance near our gym (near the handicapped parking) to pick up your child. Again, please be sure to watch for signals and remind your children to use the crosswalks.
Amesbury Elementary School
If you come to pick up your child at any time during the day please park in the marked spaces. This will keep the fire lanes in front of the school open.
Many students at AES either walk or ride their bike to school each day. In the interest of their safety, and that of the bus students, please follow this procedure:
- If you are picking up your child at the end of the day, please join the line that forms in the driveway. After all the busses have left, you will be signaled to drive around the traffic circle to pick up your child at the curb. There will be many cars, so please take care when pulling away from the curb.
Walking and Riding Bicycles to School
If your child normally rides a bus to school, you will need to send a letter to the office if your child will be going home by any other means. If they will be frequently riding a bike or walking to and from school, send in a letter stating the times when they will be doing so. The office will keep this on file for you.
If your child will be walking or riding a bike to school, please review with them safety procedures. For bicycles, this means the following:
* riding on the right side of the road near the edge of the pavement;
* walking the bicycle across streets at marked crosswalks;
* wearing a helmet;
* not riding "double";
* and walking the bicycle through the school grounds.
There will be a crossing guard on duty in the mornings and at dismissal time. Walkers should stay on the sidewalks and use the available crosswalks. This is especially important in the snowy winter months, when it is difficult for drivers to see around corners, the roads are narrowed by snow piles, and vehicle stopping distances are markedly increased. We also recommend that students secure their bikes with a lock or other security device.
It is important for children's learning that they eat nutritious foods both before school and at lunch, so the school offers a choice of a hot lunch or a cold sandwich each day except on special early release days. School lunches cost $2.75, which includes a carton of milk. Children who bring lunch from home can purchase milk for $0.50. The cost of reduced lunch is $0.40. Breakfast is also offered at a cost of $1.75. Children who were eligible for free or reduced price lunch are also eligible to receive free or reduced price breakfast, which begins at 8:15 AM. The cost for reduced breakfast is $0.30. Any student who was eligible for subsidized school food programs last year will continue to be eligible for the first few days of school, until a new form for this program is submitted.
It is also recommended that you send a healthy, small snack with your child each day to eat at recess time. We ask that you do not send candy, gum, or other foods of limited nutritional value to school with your child as a snack.
While students are in the lunchroom they are expected to behave reasonably so that everyone can enjoy their lunch. This means they will need to follow the rules listed below.
Rules for Using the Cafeteria
- Respect the space, feelings, and belongings of others so that everyone can enjoy their lunch.
- Stay seated until called by an adult to line up to get your lunch or to throw your trash away.
- Pick up all trash on, under, and around your table. You are responsible for any food or beverage you spill, so please sweep or wipe up any spillage.
- Walk to wherever you are going in the cafeteria.
- If you want to leave your seat, raise your hand and get permission to do so.
- If you need to use the bathroom, sign out on the clipboard and take the bathroom pass.
- Give your complete attention to any adult speaking to the group in the cafeteria.
Fresh air and exercise are also important for children's development and learning, therefore, students will go outside for a brief recess at lunchtime. This makes it important that students come to school with clothing appropriate for the outside weather conditions. This is especially true during the colder months, when a warm hat, mittens or gloves, and an insulated jacket or coat are needed. Students may also go outside for a few minutes if it is lightly raining, so they should come to school with suitable clothing when such weather is forecast.
Recess is a time for students to take a break, to interact socially with one another, and to get some fresh air and exercise. To ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable recess period, we expect students to follow the rules listed below.
- Enjoy yourself in a way that does not prevent other people from enjoying themselves.
- Your teacher will explain the recess areas to you. Please remain within those areas.
- Don't do things to hurt other children. For instance:
* Take care on the climbing equipment.
* Do not push and do not try to stop others from sharing the climbing equipment.
* Do not pick up the mulch!
- Do not use hard bats, balls or sticks. Please return the school's playground materials (balls, etc.) to the storage container at the end of the recess period.
- Do not throw balls against the building; there are people learning and working on the other side of the wall.
Consequences for Breaking a Recess Rule
Students who break recess rules may be asked to sit out one or more recess periods. Continuing problems will result in teachers following the normal "Consequences for breaking a rule".