ABSENCES/ATTENDANCE /HOURS OF OPERATION
School Hours: 7:50 a.m. – 2:40 p.m. (Students arriving after 7:50 AM must come to the office for a late pass.) Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
State law and district policy set specific guidelines for lawful and unlawful absences. Immediately upon returning to school from an absence, the student must have a written excuse. Tardies and early dismissals can also interfere with the learning process. A total of three tardies will disqualify a child for perfect attendance purposes during a nine weeks period. Please make every effort to see that your child is in school on time, unless the child is ill or there is serious illness or death in the immediate family.
Parents may provide notes, but are limited to ten (10) per year. After ten parental excuses, medical notes are required. Excuses should be written on a full sheet of paper and should include the following: the current date, the date of the absence, the reason for the absence, the student’s name, the teacher’s name, and the parent’s signature.
All excuses will be filed in the office. The case manager will work with families of students having excessive absences as directed by district guidelines. After three (3) consecutive or a total of five (5) unlawful absences, an attendance intervention plan must be developed. This plan will discuss ways to improve attendance. If a student has more than ten (10) absences (excused or unexcused), he/she is subject to loss of credit for the school year or retention.
Work missed during any absence should be made up within five (5) school days of the student’s return to school. It is the responsibility of the student or parent to request missed assignments from the teacher. A student who has a serious illness or injury that will make him/her absent for more than a week may be eligible for instruction at home by a certified teacher. It is recommended that family trips be scheduled around the school calendar, since absences for family vacations will be counted as unexcused absences. Any parent having questions about attendance, absences, or upcoming absences should speak with the attendance clerk or principal, since teachers do not approve student absences from school. Good attendance is necessary for optimal student achievement and success!
To register a student, the following items are needed: a legal birth certificate, the child’s social security card, an updated South Carolina Certificate of Immunization, and proof of residence. Proof or residence may be a rent receipt, telephone bill, power bill or cable bill with the parent’s name and address. If the student is living with a relative or friend and cannot provide proof of residency, an affidavit to verify residency must be completed, notarized and approved. Please remember, it is important that the school has current contact information. If changes in address or phone number occur during the school year, you should alert the office immediately.
Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the school year in which they are enrolling. First grade students must be 6 years old on or before September 1. A physical examination is strongly urged when a student enters school for the first time.
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
Children enter their rooms at 7:40 AM and begin their morning work. Our daily news show begins each morning at 7:50 AM. School begins at 7:50 AM, and attendance is taken at 7:50 AM. Students arriving after 7:50 are tardy and should be signed in at the office. Children who are in their class by 7:40 AM will receive a free nutritious breakfast.
We realize that many of our parents need to drop their children off at school on their way to work. The earliest time that a child may be brought to school is 7:15 AM. At 7:15 AM a teacher will be on duty to supervise students. Children should NOT be dropped off prior to 7:15 AM. All buses and vans will use the
Students who walk or ride in cars will be dismissed daily at 2:40 PM. Parents are urged to pick their children up promptly when school is dismissed. Under no circumstances should any student be at school after 3:00 PM, since there will be no teacher on duty to supervise them. Please limit early dismissals only to emergencies. We cannot allow this to be a daily routine. If you must have your child dismissed early for an appointment, please do so by 2:15 PM. We will not call children up after 2:30 PM as this is disruptive to our routine. If you have restrictions concerning who may pick up your child, please come by the office to complete the appropriate form. If a student changes his mode of travel to or from school, he/she should bring from home a written explanation of the change. Without written permission, students must be transported by their normal means.
We celebrate student birthdays monthly by holding a birthday lunch for students and their parents. Participants are invited to sit at the birthday table and receive a special treat. Parents are invited to browse at our book table and to purchase a birthday book in honor of their child. A special nameplate recognizing the child is placed in the book and the book is then added to our media center collection. Information and luncheon dates are sent home monthly. We do not accept balloons, flowers, and/or others items that are delivered to students for birthdays, other special occasions or holidays.
“Breakfast in the Classroom” is provided free of charge to all students. In order to participate, students must be in the classroom for the breakfast count at 7:40 AM. There will be no late breakfast orders for car riders/walkers arriving after 7:40 AM.
Students living one and one-half miles or more from Mathews are provided bus transportation. State laws and regulations govern conduct and safety for your child. Riding a bus is a privilege not a right. Student safety is of the utmost importance as students are transported to and from school. All students are under the supervision and authority of the bus driver. Failure to follow driver directives will result in disciplinary action, which may lead to a child not being permitted to ride the bus. Bus rules are included in the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. A student may only ride the bus to his/her home address as listed on school records. Students may not ride home with another student on a different bus.
A case manager is available to assist with special family/school issues. Our case manager also monitors attendance, absences, and tardies. If you need assistance, please call 941-3427.
Any teacher, nurse, counselor or other school professional acting in an official capacity who has reason to believe a child under age 18 has been subjected to or adversely affected by physical, mental, or emotional abuse/neglect must make a report to the County Department of Social Services or appropriate law enforcement agency in accordance with the SC Child Protection Act of 1977.
It is imperative that teachers, parents, and students work together to ensure student success at school. We ask that all teachers, parents, students, and the principal sign a pledge agreeing to meet our share of responsibility in the learning process. The Title I Planning/SIC Committee will follow up with additional information.
We believe it is our responsibility to provide each child with the skills that are necessary for success in our society. It is the student’s responsibility to behave in such a manner that does not endanger others or diminish their opportunities to receive instruction and learn. Positive reinforcement is used to encourage good behavior and students who exhibit the characteristics of good citizens are recognized in many ways.
We will focus on positive, responsible behavior and good choices. Class disruptions will be handled in a calm, reasonable manner. Your child’s teacher will send home a list of class rules and the consequences that will occur when rules are broken. Each student will also receive a copy of the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities for
BASIC SCHOOL RULES
1. Follow all rules and directions that are given by an adult.
2. Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
3. Walk quietly on the right side of the hall.
4. Be respectful, kind, and helpful to others.
5. Take care of the school and use all equipment properly.
Students are expected to dress in an appropriate, decent manner. Greenwood School District 50 Board of Trustees Policy states the following:
Extremely short clothing, biker shorts, leggings, low-cut tops, spaghetti straps, and mid-drift tops are also examples of inappropriate clothing. For your child’s safety, shoes must be worn at all times. Tennis shoes are best for days on which your child has physical education (PE) classes. We expect our students to be dressed clean and comfortably at all times in accordance with our district policy. Student dress and appearance should not interfere with the educational process.
Students who are dressed inappropriately will be allowed to call home for appropriate clothing or will be given a written warning (first offense unless severe violation is noted). Students continuing to wear inappropriate clothing may be sent home. The student will wait in the health room until the clothing arrives.
FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
According to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1988, the parent or eligible student has a right to:
If you do not want identifiable information published as directory information, you must notify the school in writing stating the specific information you do not want classified as directory information.
The student school/instructional fee is $20.00. (There is a sliding scale based on income. Additional information is available in the office.) Prompt payment of the school fee is appreciated. If you would like more information on paying monthly, please contact the office at 941-5680. These fees are used to support and subsidize field trips, educational programs, field day activities, workbooks, student incentives, etc.
Educational field trips are planned to provide experiences correlated with curriculum objectives. Students are required to have written permission from a parent or guardian prior to going on field trips. All trips will be chaperoned by school personnel and assisted by parent volunteers. Buses are reserved in advance of the trip. Each student’s share of the cost of the bus and the cost of any admission is calculated at the time the bus is reserved. Therefore, it is not possible to refund field trip fees if a student is not able to go on the trip.
GIFTED AND TALENTED
The mission of gifted education is to maximize the potential of gifted and talented students by providing programs and services that match the unique characteristics and needs of these students.
· Grades 3: Enrichment through a pull-out program for 125 minutes per week.
· Grades 4-5: Enrichment through a pull-out program for 200 minutes per week.
· Grades 6-8: Placement in specially designed English Language Arts or mathematics classes for daily instruction. Placement based on area of giftedness.
· Grades 9-10: Placement in GT honors classes for Algebra 1, 2, Geometry, English 1, 2, 3 for daily instruction. Placement based on area of giftedness.
At the beginning of each school year parents and students will receive the Greenwood School District 50 Gifted and Talented brochure. The brochure contains specific details on the South Carolina Department of Education’s identification and placement process, along with eligibility criteria.
The philosophy of our guidance program is aimed toward the total development of students. Guidance is based on the democratic concept of each individual’s dignity, worth, and freedom to make choices. Developmental in nature, school guidance and counseling focus on preventing problems through classroom, group, and individual activities.
Our counselor works for and with all children, not just children with problems. For counseling to be successful, the parents and teacher must also be involved in the process. Referrals for guidance services may be made by parents, teachers, or the students themselves. Parents are encouraged to call the school counselor at 941-5689 to discuss concerns, problems, or to schedule a conference. Students may make a self-referral by placing a note (with the student’s name, grade, and classroom teacher) in the counselor’s box.
Students are not allowed to chew gum at any location on the school campus.
HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS/EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS
In the event dangerous road conditions may exist, announcements of school closings will be made by 6:00 a.m. on the following stations:
WCRS-AM 1450 WSPA - Channel 7
WLMA-AM 1350 WYFF - Channel 4
WCZZ-AM 1090 WLOS – Channel 13
WZLA-FM 92.9 (Abbeville)
Information about school closings will also be posted on the Greenwood District 50 website – www.gwd50.org.
In addition, you may call the Emergency Weather Hotline at 941-5511.
In case of an emergency situation during the school day, parents are asked not to call the school for information. Information will be given on the radio and television. In an emergency it is vital that the phone lines be available for use by those who are directing emergency procedures.
Each year a basic health screening is conducted as recommended by
Good communication between home and school is vital to your child’s success. Check your child’s book bag, agenda, homework folder, etc. daily for notes from the teacher. Teachers also send papers home on a regular basis to be signed and returned as well as a monthly update of class news.
In order to become well-rounded, students need to have time to participate in other activities after school. However, a definite time for reading and/or homework should be planned each day. Teachers plan for homework to be an extension of the classroom activity and to be challenging and meaningful. Homework will be assigned every night except Friday. Students in grades 1-5 will be given an agenda notebook to record all homework assignments. Teachers will also write comments to parents in the agenda. Please sign your child’s agenda each night. You may write messages you wish the teacher to see the next day. Your child will receive the first agenda free of charge. Replacement agendas are $5.00 each.
INFORMATION SHEETS – ILLNESS, INJURY, OR PICK-UP
Each year you are asked to complete a Student Enrollment form. This information is vital for communication between school and home. Please complete the forms as completely as possible. In case of illness or injury, your child will be cared for temporarily by the school nurse or a staff member. If emergency medical treatment is necessary, a parent will be contacted. Therefore, current telephone and cell phone numbers are requested along with the student’s family doctor.
If there are changes in the information during the year, please contact the office to complete a new form or make the needed changes. Also, the names and phone numbers of the persons we can call in an emergency should be current. Any person that you arrange to pick your child up from school needs to be listed on the information sheet. If they are not, we ask for picture identification and will call you to confirm the person has your permission to pick up your child. We are just working to keep our children safe!
Mathews’ instructional specialist, Sheree Hill, works with the principal and the teachers on improving student achievement by focusing on instructional programs and the curriculum. She assists teachers in determining when adjustments are necessary to focus instruction on identified areas of need. In addition, she coordinates incentive, motivational, and instructional programs. Parents may call Ms. Hill at 941-5680 with questions concerning student achievement and standardized testing.
Lunch is served daily beginning Tuesday, August 18th. A cartoon of milk is included with lunch. The cost of lunch is $1.40. Breakfast is free. Extra milk is available for $.40 per cartoon. Extra items are available for purchase as the student goes through the line. Applications for free/reduced meals will be sent home the first day of school. Please be sure to return forms for free/reduced meals to the cafeteria promptly, because students may be charged until a completed form is received – even if they qualify for free or reduced meals. Please remember! We will serve breakfast on the first day of school. We provide a FREE breakfast for ALL students arriving before 7:40 AM. The breakfast count is taken at 7:40 AM, and students not in their classes will not be served.
Money may be deposited in your child’s account for days, weeks, or months ahead. NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO CHARGE MEALS. If you forget to give your child meal money, we will allow him/her to call you to bring the money to school. You may call 941-5690 to inquire about your child’s lunch account. Parents and grandparents are always welcome to eat with their child. Please let your child’s teacher know in advance if you plan to join him/her for lunch. Menus are sent home monthly and are also posted on the district’s webpage.
LOST AND FOUND
Students are asked to turn in lost and found items to the school office. They, as well as parents, are urged to check our lost and found area for lost items. Each year, quantities of clothing in excellent condition accumulate. Please mark all jackets and sweaters with the proper name. This will help us to return lost items to the right owner. Clothing left at school at the end of the school year will be donated to a local charity.
The library will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Parents are invited to visit the library with their child before or after school. Every child is encouraged to check out books as needed. Additional books may not be checked out until overdue books are returned. Students may renew books. We ask your assistance in getting books back on time. Students have been instructed in the proper care of books and will be charged for damaged or lost books.
Parents who wish to have a conference with a teacher may make an appointment by contacting the teacher or calling the school office at 941-5680. Sometimes the teacher may find it possible to talk with the parent during the school day. Otherwise, conferences may be scheduled before or after school hours. Parents who wish to visit a classroom are to make arrangements with the teacher in advance. Before such a visit, the parents must check in at the office for a visitor’s pass.
PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION (PTO)
PTO meetings provide excellent opportunities for communication between parents and teachers. Mathews is fortunate to have an active PTO that supplements the school program with special activities. The PTO provides many “extras” for our children. We are striving to have 100% participation in PTO, so please be sure to join. Meetings are scheduled in September, November, February, and April.
Parking for visitors and parents is located in the front of the school and is marked with a sign (Visitor Parking). Since driveways and lanes provide access for buses, service vehicles, and emergency vehicles, please do not park next to the curbs or driveways.
Individual pictures will be made in the fall and spring of the school year. The photos are used for permanent records and our school yearbook. Parents are offered the opportunity to purchase pictures if they wish. Proofs are sent home, and pre-orders are taken. A yearbook will be available for purchase in the spring.
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND OTHER MEDICATION
If a child must take oral medication during the school day, a medication form, provided to you by the school nurse, must be completed and signed by the physician. Students are not allowed to keep any medication (prescription, as well as over the counter) with them. All medication must be taken to the school nurse or the office.
· No medication will be given without parent’s written permission. A written note will suffice for 2 days until the District’s form can be sent home to be completed and returned to the school.
· All medications, both prescription and over the counter items like Tylenol, Advil, Dimetapp etc. must be in their original container. Medication sent to school in zip lock bags, envelopes, etc. will not be given.
· Temporary prescription medications that are to be taken 1, 2, or 3 times a day should be given at home.
· The school is not allowed to return left over medications to the student to take back home. An adult must pick them up. Medications left at the end of the school year will be destroyed according to District policy.
RELEASE OF STUDENT INFORMATION
Candid shots and videos of student activities are made and used in the school, on the school webpage, in district publications, and in local newspapers throughout the year. Additional information, such as the student’s name, grade, and reason for recognition, may also be included. If you do not want your child included, please stop by the office and make a written request for exclusion. This must be done within the first 15 days of school.
Under certain circumstances, such as an official request by law enforcement, personal student information (home address, telephone number, date of birth, parents’ names, etc.) may be released. Under no circumstances will information on any student be released over the telephone. Persons requesting information about a child must appear at the Mathews office with proper photo identification and proof of relationship to the student.
REPORT CARD GRADING SYSTEM
The primary purpose of the grading system is to inform students and parents of the quality of work being done and of progress being made. Report cards are issued following the completion of each nine week grading period. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled following the completion of the first nine week grading period. Interim reports are issued midway through each grading period.
The following guidelines are used for grades 2 – 5:
A = Excellent
B = Good
C = Satisfactory
D = Poor
U = Unacceptable
69 and below
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL (SIC)
Representatives of the Mathews SIC include elected parents, appointed parents, teachers, community members, and administrators. The school conducts parent elections in the fall. Duties include assisting the principal with preparation of the School Renewal Plan, assisting with the school budget, and establishing and evaluating school goals.
Having a safe school has become our number one priority. All doors except the main entrance will be locked throughout the day. To enter the building, all individuals not employed by
STUDENT SAFETY PATROL
In order to better assure the safety of the children, a student safety patrol will be selected shortly after the beginning of each year. These student safety patrol members will be stationed at strategic locations throughout the school at the beginning of each day.
The State of
Anyone who visits our school, including parents, must stop by the office. Although parents are welcome, we need to keep down interruptions to class work and keep our students safe. Parents who wish to visit a classroom must make arrangements in advance with the teacher. Please do not visit your child’s classroom without checking by the office first. A visitor’s pass will be issued. Please do not interrupt classroom instruction. You may call or stop by the office to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher. CLASSROOM VISITS ARE NOT PERMITTED BETWEEN 2:20-2:40 AS WE PREPARE FOR DISMISSAL. Thank you for your cooperation.
Aug. 16 First day of school Jan. 3 School Resumes
Aug. 31 PTO/Open House Jan 13-14-17 No School
Sept. 6 Labor Day- No School Feb 15 PTO
Sept. 10 Grandparents Day Feb 18 No School
Sept. 9-24 Fall MAP testing Mar 22-23 PASS Writing Test
Oct. 19 & 21 Parent Conferences Mar. 31-Apr 15 Spring MAP testing
Oct. 22 No School Apr. 12 PTO
Oct. 26-29 ITBS testing (grade 2) Apr. 18-22 Spring Break
Nov. 1 No School May 9-13 PASS testing
Nov. 2 Election Day- No School May 25 K5 Promotion
Nov. 3-5 CogAt testing (grades 2-3) May 26 Awards Day
Nov. 9 PTO May 27 Field Day
Nov. 24-26 Thanksgiving Holiday May 30 Memorial Day- No School
Dec. 1-16 Winter MAP testing May 31 Fifth Grade Farewell
Dec. 17-31 Mid-Winter Break June 1 Last Day of School
School Colors: Royal Blue and Gold
School Mascot: Bulldog
School Theme: “Teamwork Makes Dreams Work”
School Motto: “Where Children Think, Dream, and Believe and Achieve