Absences: Please call the school after 7:00 am to report your child's absence. If we do not receive a call, a secretary will call to check on the student's absence. Homework may be requested by calling the office in the morning. The work may be picked up in the office by the parent or may be sent home with another student. Please schedule family trips when school is not in session. The school loses state funding for each day's unexcused absence.
Appointments: Whenever possible, medical and dental appointments should be made at times outside the school day. If your child is to be excused from class during the school day, please inform us by sending a note which will be shared with the teacher and office.
Arrival: The school day starts at 8:00 am. Arrival after this time is considered tardy. Since there is no supervision outside while waiting for school to open, children should not arrive before 7:45 a.m. when they can come in and go directly to class. Parents are asked to make arrangements with other families if they need to leave for work earlier and are unable to drop their children off at an appropriate time.
Behavior: Our rules are simple: take care of yourself, take care of this place, and take care of each other. Our rules are based on respect for self and safety of others. Specific rules for cafeteria area and playgrounds have been developed for children, by children, and are discussed at the beginning of every school year.
Bicycles: Fourth and fifth grades have the privilege of riding bikes to school with a note of permission from a parent, and after a conference with the principal. She will ascertain that the child has a safety helmet to use and will recommend locking the bike in the rack outside the front door. School is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged bicycles. Bicycle riding is prohibited on school sidewalks whenever groups of children are present, so it is helpful to have children dismiss quickly before walkers are released, or to have them wait until walkers move up the hill.
Birthdays: Each classroom celebrates birthdays in various manners. Please check in advance with the teacher as to party protocols. We encourage families to donate a book to the school library in honor of a child's birthday.
Code of Conduct: The district has a code of conduct which is adopted by the Board of Education each year. You may have a copy of it by requesting one in the office or you can view it online by clicking here. It will also be sent home via backpack mail.
Counseling: Mandated counseling is listed on a child's IEP. The school psychologist is responsible for meeting this need. Some short-term counseling and Banana Splits can be done by the school support teacher/counselor.
Change of address or information: Please notify the office of any change of address, telephone numbers or emergency information immediately.
Chaperones: Parents and guardians are asked to volunteer for assisting classes during field trips. Adults are expected to abide by school rules, not to smoke, and to leave siblings home. Since we frequently have more chaperones offering to help than we need, a lottery system is sometimes used to pick parents to chaperone.
Class placement: Classes are made up by teachers to be balanced, taking into consideration boy-girl ratio, achievement levels, social factors, special needs and behavior.
Communication: A monthly newsletter is sent home school-wide. Teachers may use classroom newsletters to communicate specific class news to parents as well. We believe that close communication between home and school helps set the stage for learning. Parent conferences are held in November and in March, but teachers are willing to meet with parents anytime there is a concern during the year. Teachers and principal will also call home when there is a need.
Drills: We practice various kinds of drills during the school year including tornado drills, evacuation drills, and school bus safety drills. A white emergency card designating adults to whom your child can be released in an emergency is kept on file. Your child will not be released to others without your express permission.
ESL: English as a Second Language instruction is offered for students learning to speak English.
Emergency cards: The nurse keeps information on file in case of injury. Teachers also have emergency information should school close due to weather circumstances.
Field trips: All field trips are in conjunction with the grade level curriculum and tend to be for the entire grade level.
Health information: Please allow your children to stay home whenever they have a fever and within 24 hours of vomiting. Any contagious diseases need to be reported to the school nurse in case exposure letters should go home with your child's classmates. Medications, to be given by the nurse, must be in the original bottle with the child's name, dosage, and specifications and clearly stated in a note by the physician.
Health screening is done yearly for vision and hearing. Parents are notified when a child does not pass the screening so they can arrange for a complete test through their own physician. School physicals are done upon entry into school, and at periodic points during your child's school life. In the event you do not have your child's physical done by your private physician, the school's doctor will complete the physical here in school.
Homework: Homework reinforces lessons taught in school and give children time to practice new concepts. Each teacher will discuss homework expectations during Curriculum Night.
Library: Each class has a library period once a week with a certified library media specialist responsible for the class. Books checked out must be returned before a new book can be borrowed. Classroom libraries have books for student use as well.
Lunch: Students may buy a hot lunch in school, or may bring lunch from home. Milk and some light snacks are also available to purchase. It is possible to pre-pay for lunches by contacting the cafeteria.
Mascot: Chatham's mascot is the panther.
No School: Weather or emergency situations necessitating closing of school is given out over the District website and facebook page, as well as local radio and TV stations. A form will be sent home in the fall for parents to complete regarding where their child should go if school dismisses early.
Open House: Open house is held in the fall of each year. Parents and friends are welcome to come into school, meet the teacher and peruse the classroom. This is not the time to discuss individual students and issues with the teacher.
Parking: For the safety of children, students are to avoid contact with cars and buses. The circle is set up to drop children off to come into the building. The lane closest to the building is to be used for that purpose. Short term parking is available in designated spots in the MED lot. The cooperation of all parents in observing safety rules is necessary.
Pets: Because of regulations regarding some animals, and the increased numbers of children who are allergic to pets of varying kinds, we do not permit pets in school.
PTA: We have a very active parent group that enjoys a large membership of parents and staff. The PTA is responsible for our assembly programs throughout the year and offers an enrichment program for children in the early spring. The PTA also publishes a DIRECTORY of students and telephone numbers for parents wishing to share information with others. This directory is not shared with outside organizations and is the basis for a parent communication network used in the building.
Report Cards: Report cards are distributed on a trimester basis, in November, March, and at the end of the year.
Telephone use: Children are permitted to use the telephone for emergencies. After school play dates are not considered emergencies and should be made before arriving at school.
Testing: Informal testing is done by classroom teachers to diagnose learning levels and to determine what further instruction must be done. If a parent or teacher has reason to believe a child may have a learning disability, with parent consent the school psychologist may do a comprehensive assessment. New York State requires testing in English Language Arts, Math and Science for all third and fourth grades.
Toys: Classrooms have various kinds of toys available for use at appropriate times. We do not encourage toys to be brought from home and accept no responsibility for their loss or damage. Objects of educational value or special significance should be chosen for sharing and labeled with the child's name. The code of conduct forbids knives, guns, or other items that can hurt children.
Visitors: Parents and visitors are welcome but must sign in the office before progressing to any classroom regardless of the purpose of the visit. To minimize disruption to instruction, we ask the visits be scheduled in advance and be limited to 30 minutes. We are unable to accommodate visiting children or friends unless they will be staying long enough to be enrolled in the school.
Volunteers: There is no better way to learn about your school than to share your talent with us. Volunteers are the heart of our program. Senior citizens, parents, and others have many opportunities to volunteer on a regular basis. Please ask us how volunteers are used in the classroom.
Weather: We will be going outside most days so please make sure your child has appropriate clothing for winter weather.