Family Handbook

Welcome Letter

 

Panda with bamboo drawing. Text reads Plymouth Elementary.

Dear Plymouth Families:

Welcome back!  We hope you and your family are enjoying this back to school season and adjusting well to school supply shopping and packing lunches. We are very excited to begin the 2019-2020 school year at Plymouth Elementary. The faculty and staff are also looking forward to another exciting and successful year filled with fabulous experiences and learning for your child. We are also looking forward to continued teamwork with you throughout the school year!

The first step in getting involved with your child’s education experience here at Plymouth Elementary is to read and be familiar with our Family Handbook. This document provides detailed information about various topics and procedures at Plymouth Elementary School.  

If you prefer a hard copy of the handbook please send a note to your child’s teacher or email, and we will gladly send one home. 

Do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher at any time if you have any questions or comments. In addition, please feel free to contact us if you ever have any questions or concerns with which we can assist you.

On behalf of the entire Plymouth Elementary staff, welcome back to what is to be another terrific year.

Sincerely,

Rosemarie Gregitis
Principal
610-825-8190
Click here to send an email.

Kelly Udovich
Principal Assistant Principal
610-825-8190
Click here to send an email.  

Colonial School District Mission Statement

Mission

The mission of the Colonial School District is to be an innovative educational leader in preparing students to become life-long learners who are successful, contributing members of society. This quest for excellence will be achieved by promoting collaboration among all stakeholders in a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member is engaged, inspired, challenged and driven by integrity and a desire to create a better future.

Vision

The vision of the Colonial School District is to ensure that all of our students are prepared to compete and succeed in today's global economy through the provision of: a safe, caring and supportive learning environment; high quality curricular and instructional programs focused on rigor, differentiated professional development and professional growth opportunities; an atmosphere of innovation, inspiration, pride and responsibility; and learning experiences rich in content and technological literacies.

Shared Values

Members of the Colonial School District’s community share an unwavering commitment to building a respectful, caring and equitable environment through a continuous improvement model. We believe that:

  • collaboration and a commitment to excellence among all stakeholders will facilitate innovation and inspire student learning
  • every student has the potential to learn
  • diversity enriches the educational experience.

Four graduates holding diplomas

 

Administration

Plymouth Elementary School Administration

Principal: Mrs. Rosemarie Gregitis

Assistant Principal: Mrs. Kelly Udovich

District Administration

Superintendent of Schools: Dr. Michael Christian

Director of Pupil Services: Mrs. Karen Berk

Supervisor of Special Education, K-5: Dr. Caitlin Gilmartin

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Dr. Liz McKeaney

Director of Transportation: Ms. Kathy Ellis

Director of Food Services: Mrs. Lori McCoy

 

Parent/Guardian Reference Section

Academic Program

The following curriculum areas are offered as part of a rigorous educational program:

  • Mathematics: Number Systems, Computation, Estimation, Measurement, Problem Solving, Statistics and Data Analysis, Probability, Algebraic Concepts and Geometry 
  • Language Arts: Reading (Fiction & Nonfiction), Writing, Spelling/Word Study
  • Content Area: Social Studies, Science
  • Special Areas: Music, Art, Physical Education, Library, Guidance, Health, Computer Technology & Research Skills

In order to enhance our instructional program, the following special services are also available for students:

  • Student Support: A student may be referred to the Student Support Team (SST), which includes parents/guardians and teachers, to identify and address any student needs. Based on the outcome of the interventions designed by the team, a student may be referred for additional testing. When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the Student Assistance Program (SAP) team will assist the parent/guardian and student so they may access services within the community. SAP is a systematic process using techniques to mobilize resources to remove barriers to learning.
  • Reading Specialist Support: Reading Specialists assist both teachers and students with remedial instruction, co-teaching experiences and professional development on best instructional practices in reading/language arts education.

  • Speech and Language: Specialists are available to work with children who have documented impairments in these areas.

  • English Language Learners (ELLs): A certified English Language Development (ELD) teacher is available to work with students who require assistance in this area.

  • Psychology: A licensed school psychologist is a member of the Student Support Team and consults with staff about students experiencing academic or behavioral difficulty in the classroom.

  • Special Education: In accordance with state and federal regulations and standards, Colonial School District actively seeks to identify students who are eligible for special education. Classroom teachers, guidance counselors, reading specialists, school nurses and speech clinicians conduct screenings to determine the needs of children who are thought to be exceptional.  
    • The Student Support Team acts as a pre-referral system to special education and may request that a multidisciplinary evaluation be conducted to determine a student’s eligibility for special education programs.
    • Parent/Guardian permission is required before any student evaluations can occur. 
    • Parents/Guardians who believe that their child is in need of either special education or gifted services may request that a multidisciplinary evaluation be conducted.  Inquiries regarding special education may be directed to your child’ guidance counselor or the Colonial School District Special Education Supervisor, Dr. Caitlin Gilmartin at (610) 834-1670, ext. 2134.

Arrival & Dismissal Procedures

School Hours: 

9:05 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.

Morning Arrival: 

CHILDREN MUST ARRIVE NO EARLIER THAN 8:50 A.M. (THIS APPLIES TO BUS STUDENTS, STUDENTS DRIVEN BY PARENTS/GUARDIANS AND WALKERS). If you need supervision before this time, please contact the Montgomery Early Learning Center at (610) 828-1785 which provides before and after-school care at Plymouth Elementary School.  

Between 8:50 and 9:05 a.m., all children arriving by car will be dropped off using our carline procedure. Drivers should follow all signs, arrows and staff directions to the designated drop off location at the rear of the building. Children should be seated on the passenger side of the vehicle so that they can safely exit with the assistance of our staff.  

Upon arrival, all children proceed directly to their classrooms where staff members will be on duty. Parents/Guardians will not escort children to the classroom. Parents/Guardians dropping children off late (after 9:05 a.m.) should park in the front lot and escort their child into the office to sign him/her in.

Afternoon Dismissal:

Students who have been assigned busing are urged to ride their assigned bus home from school to help minimize the car traffic around the school

Walkers will be dismissed at 3:25 p.m. Depending on their place of residence, students walking home from school may exit using the lower door by the driveway to Red Rowan Lane, or using the main entrance across from the parking lot.

Students being picked up by car will be dismissed at 3:25 p.m. at the designated pick up door at the rear of the building.  Parents/guardians should proceed to the pick-up door using the car line procedures, following all signs, arrows, and staff direction. All cars picking up students should have the provided identification tag labeled with the child’s name and visible in the front windshield. Drivers without identification tags will be asked for identification in the form of a driver’s license.

Please notify the office if there are any changes in your child’s dismissal procedures by sending in a note in your child’s folder, or by calling the office by 1:00 p.m.  

PLEASE BE ADVISED, STUDENTS WHO ARE BEING DISMISSED EARLY MUST DO SO BY 3:00 P.M. STUDENTS NO PICKED UP BY THAT TIME WILL BE DISMISSED AT 3:25 P.M. TO OUR CAR LINE AREA.This is for the safety of children and families as the buses begin arriving at 3:00 p.m.  

Going Home with a Friend/Classmate:

TWO NOTES are required for After-School VisitingChildren who are going home with a friend must provide a note, signed by a parent/guardian, giving permission to visit the other child’s home. The child whose home is being visited, must also provide a note, signed by a parent/guardian, indicating who has been invited and what arrangements have been made for transportation. These notes must be presented to teachers at the beginning of the school day. 

THE STUDENTS MUST BE PICKED UP AT THE SCHOOL. DISTRICT SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION CANNOT BE PROVIDED FOR THESE TYPES OF ARRANGEMENTS.

Attendance

On the day your child is absent, you are required to call Plymouth Elementary Attendance Reporting at 610-825-8190 (press 2) or 610-684-7163 by 9:30 a.m. 

Children who are on time and attend school regularly make the best progress. Regular attendance also assists in developing a sense of responsibility, discipline and good work habits in the student.

Absences

  • Following the absence, an excuse must be provided. Click here to complete an absence note form online or for access to printable forms. Please complete the form or return your note regarding the reason for your child’s absence within three days. If a note is not received within three days, your child’s absence will be marked unlawful.  

  • A written doctor’s note is requested for an absence of three days or more. Please note that if your student is absent from school, he/she may not participate in any extracurricular programs for that day.

  • In the event you have not reported your student’s absence in the morning, Connect-ED will be utilized to make the contact home. It is vital that the school has all of your current telephone numbers so that you will not miss out on any important communications.

  • Only the following absences are excused by state law: personal illness, health care (doctor’s appointment), death in the family, quarantine, religious holidays, recovery from an accident, required court attendance and family educational trips with ten days prior approval of the principal.  

Educational Travel

No more than five school days per student will be approved as an educational trip request in any school year. Special requests with unusual circumstances or exceptional opportunities for learning should be discussed with the building principal well in advance of the requested dates for absence. Educational trip requests can be made by visiting www.colonialsd.org/absent.

Unlawful Absences

All other reasons for absence are considered unlawful. Any child who is unlawfully absent for three days must be referred to school officials. The parent/guardian will be required to attend a Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP) meeting. After a student has accumulated ten excused (including approved days for educational trips), unexcused or unlawful absences, school authorities will require medical verification for each subsequent absence. It must be obtained within three days after the return of the student to classes for the absence to be excused. If the verification is not received, the absence is unlawful. (Exceptions to this requirement are absences due to a communicable disease, a prolonged serious illness or hospitalization.)

Tardiness

It is important to a student’s overall success to be on time each and every day. Moreover, state law requires tardiness to be recorded. Parents/Guardians of students with excessive tardiness (more than four in a single marking period) will be reported to the Home and School Visitor. It is important that when a child is tardy they are escorted to the main office by a parent/guardian to be signed in.

Release of Students During School Hours

Please refer to the list above for reasons, excused by state law, to release students from school during school hours. Students who must leave school early will be released from the building when a written request signed by the parent/guardian has been presented to the office. Notes should be sent in with the child on the day of the appointment to ensure that he/she is ready when you arrive. 

Please try to schedule appointments after school whenever possible.  Before leaving the building, you must sign out your child on the Early Dismissal Clipboard located in the school office.  Students will not be released to anyone other than parent/guardian without a signed note from the parent/guardian. If the student is returning to school before the end of the day, a parent/guardian must accompany him/her into the main office to sign in so that we are aware of the student’s return.

Please be advised, students who are being dismissed early must do so by 3:00 p.m. Students not picked up by that time will be dismissed at 3:25 p.m. to our car line area.

Before and After School Care

Montgomery Early Learning Center (MELC)

A before and after school day care program is provided within the school by the Montgomery Early Learning Center. Please contact the MELC at 610-828-1785 for information about this program.

Books and Supplies

Books are supplied by the school district. These books must be handled with care and returned in good condition at the end of the year. Payment is required for lost or extremely damaged books.  

Most classroom supplies are provided by the school district. At the beginning of the school year, and occasionally at other times, the teacher will request students to bring in certain supplies. Students will not be penalized if these special requests cannot be met.

Cafeteria Services

Every child has the option each day of bringing lunch from home, purchasing milk or juice in school or buying the cafeteria meal. All lunch menus and nutritional information are available online by clicking here. Menus are also voice activated via Alexa for those with an Amazon Echo device.  

Children will utilize the Point of Sale (POS) system when purchasing lunch. Each child will use his/her pin number or the finger scanning system once implemented. The POS system gives parents/guardians the ability to pre-deposit funds for future meal purchases, eliminating the hassle of remembering to send money every day.  Pre-paying is the perfect way to be sure that lunch money is used for the purpose it was intended.

  • The cost for lunch during the 2019-2020 school year is $2.85. This includes entree (protein/grain), fruit, vegetable and milk. A child may choose a combination of any three components or all five components. At least one fruit or vegetable component must be chosen as per federal regulations.

  • The cost for breakfast during the 2019-2020 school year is $1.25. This includes entree, fruit or 100% fruit juice and milk. Children qualifying for free or reduced priced lunches also qualify for free or reduced priced breakfast. Please contact your building to find out the specific times breakfast is served.

  • Meal payments can be made via cash, check or by paying online at www.myschoolbucks.com. Please make any check payable to “CSD Food Services.”

  • Please note: Prompt payment for overdue lunch fees is required.

Free and Reduced Meals

Under the federally-funded national school lunch program, free and reduced price breakfasts and lunches are available based upon need. Information and forms are available online by clicking here. Hard copies are also always available in the nurse’s office. Information pertaining to participants in the free and reduced meals program is strictly confidential.


 

Communication Between Home and School

Maintaining open lines of communication between school and home is essential for student success.  We hope you find the following information helpful for promoting purposeful and effective communication between school and home:

  • Your student’s teachers will share with you the most effective form of communication during their open house presentations (e.g. email, voicemail, a note in the homework planner).

  • Please DO NOT email or leave a phone message or email with your student’s teacher with a request for transportation changes or early dismissals for the same day. Please call the school office at 610-825-8190, and we will gladly help you with this.

  • Teachers are not to e-mail or make phone calls during instructional time as this will distract from their primary responsibilities.

  • Teachers will typically respond to a call, email or note from parent(s)/guardian(s) within twenty-four hours.

  • Teachers will share important information with you weekly via the electronic Friday Folder, homework folder, and email blasts.

Notes to Your Student’s Teacher

ANY TIME a change in the everyday routine takes place, a note is needed.  All notes must include your Student’s first and last name, their homeroom number, and teacher’s name.

Please see the following examples of when you need to send a note to school:

  • When your student needs to leave school early for a doctor’s appointment or some other important reason.

  • When your student arrives late in the morning or returns from an absence.

  • When your student has any temporary or long-term health problem.

  • When there is a change in emergency information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.) whether temporary or long term.

  • When there is a school district approved transportation change.

Student Telephone Use

If you need to give your child a message during the school day, someone will be available to relay the message. When possible, all instructions should be given to a child before he/she leaves for school. Children are permitted to use the school telephone in case of an emergency with permission of the teacher or the school secretary. 

Blackboard Connect

Colonial School District utilizes Blackboard Connect service as our school-to-parent communications service. With the Blackboard Connect service, our schools can send periodic and personalized emails and voice messages to parents within minutes. The Blackboard Connect service will also be used for our emergency preparedness procedures and early dismissal notification due to inclement weather. The system will also be used to contact parents if a call has not been made to the school attendance line to report a student absence, or to notify parents of upcoming school events.

Communication Folders

Daily communication folders are another means of communication between the home and school. Each day you should expect to receive your child’s communication folder, which may contain important administrative notices, as well as your child’s schoolwork/ homework. This folder provides daily communication between your child’s teacher and the home. In an effort to reduce paper sent home, most school/PTO information will be sent via emailIf you do not have access to email, please let your child’s teacher know so that we can send home paper copies of this information in your child’s folder. In addition, we also reduce paper use by sending some school/PTO information and community information home with the oldest or only child in a family. All information specific to a child’s classroom or grade level will be sent home him/her in the communication folder.  

E-Friday Folders

Parents will also receive E-Friday Folders featuring school announcements, upcoming events, community announcements and District news via email. The parents' email addresses will be pulled from PowerSchool at the beginning of the year. Parents wishing to opt of receiving the E-Friday Folder emails, change the recipient email address or sign up for additional District email lists should complete the form available by clicking here.

Reporting Pupil Progress

Pupil progress is formally reported to parents approximately once every 15 weeks during the school term (three report periods). Report Cards will be sent out electronically via an email from Swift K12, which is a notification system that works with our PowerSchool Parent Portal. Parents/guardians also have the option of logging into the PowerSchool Parent Portal to download and view the report card. 

Report cards will be emailed by SwiftK12 and available on PowerSchool for download on the following dates:

  • Week of December 20, 2019
  • Week of March 20, 2019
  • Last Day of School — June 12, 2020

Student progress is shared by teachers during December conferences. A second conference period is available for the spring. At this time a parent-teacher conference can be scheduled at the request of either the parent or teacher.

A child’s progress is determined by teacher evaluation of the pupil, his or her daily lesson preparation, participation in class, attitude, ability and individual effort. Parents who have questions concerning their child’s progress are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher anytime during the school year via a note to the teacher or a telephone call to the school. Teachers will also communicate to parents when they feel it is necessary. If at any time you have a question or concern related to your child’s school experience, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or principal as soon as possible. 

Custody & Visitation Agreements

  • The school will honor all custody and visitation agreements provided that such agreements are in writing.  These written agreements must signed by both parents or entered as a court order. If the written agreement is signed by both parents, both signatures must be notarized. Please send all copies of these written agreements to the attention of the building administration. When changes are made to such custody or visitation agreements, such changes must also be made in writing under the same terms as the original agreement, and provided immediately to the school.

  • Parents and guardians must provide the school with printed copies of all pertinent legal documents pertaining to custody arrangements, residential custody, joint custody, order of protection, etc. It is extremely important that the school knows if a student is not to be released to a specific person. There must be legal written document underlying such restriction. A court order, including a protection from abuse order, will suffice, as would a written agreement with notarized signatures of both parents. Handwritten correspondence or e-mail messages will not suffice.

Delivery of Articles to Children

If you must bring articles of clothing, lunches, etc., to school during the day, please leave them in the school office with the child’s name and room number marked clearly on the item. Your child will be notified of this delivery.

Dress Code

Colonial School District’s elementary schools are committed to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all students. Therefore, the dress code policy is written in a manner that does not discriminate against any student on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, cultural observation, household income or any other aspect of an individual’s identity. The dress code aims to foster a positive and healthy learning environment, while acknowledging that the primary responsibility for a student’s attire resides with the student and their parent(s)/guardian(s).

Students must wear the following:

  • A shirt with fabric in the front, back and on the sides under the arms, AND

  • Pants, jeans or the equivalent (for example a skirt, sweatpants, leggings, a dress or shorts), AND

  • Shoes* (Slides and flip flops are not permitted, for safety reasons)

* Activity-specific shoe requirements are permitted (for example, athletic shoes or sneakers for physical education).

Students may wear the following:

  • Religious headwear

  • Hoodie sweatshirts (Wearing the hood overhead inside the building is not permitted.)

  • Tank tops

  • Athletic attire

Students cannot wear the following:

  • Violent language or images

  • Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity)

  • Hate speech, profanity, pornography

  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or consistently marginalized groups.

  • Any clothing that reveals undergarments (Visible waistbands or straps on undergarments worn under other clothing are not considered a violation.)

  • Swimsuits (except as required for special classes and/or activities)

  • Accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a weapon

  • Any item that obscures the face or ears (except as a religious observance)

  • Hats or hoods (unless special circumstances arise and student is granted permission from administration)

Electronic Devices

Plymouth Elementary is not responsible for the loss of any electronic items (cell phones, iPods, Gameboys, Fitbits, etc.). These items, as well as other toys, should be left at home.  

Emergency Closing, Late Starts and Early Dismissals

Front end loader piling snow

In the event of inclement weather, a decision to close or delay the opening of school is made by 5:30 a.m. The decision is made by the Superintendent after information is obtained from weather forecasts, local police departments, neighboring school districts and District staff who check school parking lots, sidewalks and area roads. All decisions are made with the safety of students in mind.

In the event of a weather-related delay or closing:

  • Check the District Website.

A notice will appear on all pages of the website, and an alert news will be posted in District news and the announcements for each school.

  • Sign up for the District's Email News List

An email regarding the delay or closing will be sent to those who have signed up for the District email news list.

  • Monitor CITV.

An alert will be posted on CITV, Comcast cable and Verizon FiOS channel 28.

  • Call the school district.

The greeting on the main line of the District Office (610-834-1671) will indicate if there is a delay or closing. Note: If you call the office of one of our schools, you will need to select Option #7 on the phone menu to hear the closing announcement.

In the event of an emergency or weather-related early dismissal:

  • Receive a call and email via the District's parent/guardian notification system (Blackboard Connect).

All parents/guardians who have provided a phone number and/or email address will be informed via voice message and/or email with details.

  • Check the District website.

An alert news item will appear near the top of the District and each individual school’s home pages.

  • Monitor CITV.

An alert will be posted on CITV, Comcast cable and Verizon FiOS channel 28.

Parents/guardians: Consider making emergency arrangements with your children in the event that conditions do not allow you to arrive home in time to meet your child. Make certain that your child understands what to do if they come home to an empty house (go to a specific neighbor's house, get hidden key, etc.).

Late Starts

If inclement weather makes it necessary to delay the opening of school, the starting times would be as follows:

  • 1-hour delay:  10:05 a.m. – 3:35 p.m. Bus pick-up will be one hour later than usual.
  • 2-hour delay:  11:05 a.m. – 3:35 p.m. Bus pick-up will be two hours later than usual.

Scheduled Early Dismissals

Particular days are reserved on the school calendar for a 12:30 p.m. early dismissal. On these afternoons, school staff is involved in professional development meetings, in-service training, or parent conferences. Please see the school calendar for the dates of early dismissal. 

Emergency Contact Information

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to create a PowerSchool account by visiting powerschool.colonialsd.org/public and using the provided Access ID and Access Password. Using the PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Portal, parents/guardians can review and make any necessary changes to a student’s emergency contact information at the beginning of the school year. Please include the name and telephone number of at least one adult who can be contacted in the event that we cannot reach a parent/guardian. 

Please inform the school office if you change a phone number, email address, or mailing address during the school year. It is very important that these records be kept up to date!

Emergency Drills

To insure the safety of our students, staff and faculty, emergency drills are practiced throughout the year. Students will be instructed on procedures for fire, severe weather, bus evacuation and other emergencies. Fire drills are held once a month, as required by law. In addition, weather emergency and lockdown drills are held in preparation for other possible emergencies. If you are visiting or volunteering at the time of a drill, you are to follow staff direction for procedures for the drill.

Environmental Control Plans

The District maintains plans and has programs in place to safely contain, manage and/or remove the relatively small amount of potentially hazardous materials remaining in our schools. In accordance with AHERA guidelines, passed by the federal government in 1986, information pertaining to the inspection and disposition specific to one of these materials is provided in a management plan. A copy of the management plan is available in the custodial office in our school. In addition, a master copy of the management plan for all district schools is available in the Facilities Management Center located at 4118 Franklin Way, Lafayette Hill Pa. Those interested in reviewing the district’s management plan should contact the Custodial Supervisor of the school or the Facilities Management Office for the district. They will provide access to the management plans.

Field Trips

Field Trips

Each grade level participates in two academic field trips each school year. Permission slips are required. They must be signed and returned before the child may go on the trip. Otherwise, the child will remain at the school on the day of the trip. There are some fees, such as admission tickets, for which families are responsible. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) generously subsidizes the cost of field trips for families who have paid the PTO Activity Fee.  

Field Trip Chaperones

For the reasons of both safety and insurance, chaperones may not bring siblings on field trips. All chaperones must ride the bus with their child and the other students. The classroom teachers will determine the number of chaperones needed for each field trip.

As a result of Pennsylvania laws, all chaperones must complete and submit a Colonial School District Volunteer Application and have all of the proper clearances.

Volunteer Application and Clearance Links

Click on the name to access the corresponding document or link.

When you're ready, please submit the Volunteer Application and required clearances to the school where you would like to volunteer.

*Please note that if you've been a Pennsylvania resident for ten consecutive years prior to the date of your volunteer application, you may sign a waiver in lieu of obtaining the FBI Background Check. This waiver is included as part of the application packet. If you require an FBI Background Check, please use code 1KG6XN and choose "Digital Fingerprinting" as the service when registering on the IdentoGO website.

Thanks for being a valuable part of Team Colonial!

Health Services

School Nurses

A nurse is scheduled to be on duty every day during school hours. Immunizations must be on record in the nurse’s office and kept up to date in your child’s file. Minor first aid is available as needed. Emergency first aid is provided in case of an accident, and parents/guardians are notified by the nurse. If your child becomes ill in school, you may be contacted and asked to take your child home, if necessary.

If your student has a serious medical condition, please contact the school nurse. The School Health Service Handbook contains additional information. Click here to access the School Health Handbook online.

Emergency Aid

The school nurse will provide emergency first aid for injuries at school. Parents/Guardians will be notified of injuries, if necessary, by the school nurse. In case of illness at school, the nurse will call you to transport your child home, if necessary.

Student Illness

In order to ensure the health and well-being of all students, we remind you that if your child is sick, you should not send them to school. If your child is ill and comes to school, they can spread germs to our school family. It is recommended that children should be kept home until they are free of fever, vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours, without medicine. Spread of infectious illness can be prevented if sick children are kept at home, especially at the beginning of an illness.

Medications

Medications can be administered at school, if necessary. Parents/guardians are encouraged to work with their student’s health care provider to time medications to be given at home, if at all possible.

For medications to be given at school, the Colonial School District medication policy must be followed. To comply with the state regulations, the following is the Colonial School District Medication Policy: 

  • Students are not allowed to transport any medication, either over-the counter or prescription, to or from school. A parent/guardian must deliver the medication to the school nursing office personally. When delivering medication, please ensure that the medication is kept in its original pharmacy container. A parent/guardian must also personally pick up all medications from school once the medication is discontinued, or at the end of the school year. 
  • Any medication that a parent/guardian delivers to school, either over the counter or prescription, requires the Medication Dispensing Form to be signed by both a parent/guardian AND the attending physician.  
  • Emergency medications, such as asthma or allergy medications, may be carried and self-administered by a student if the student is deemed capable of doing so by their physician, parent/guardian and school nurse. The Medication Dispensing Form must be completed in the appropriate places and signed by physician, parent/guardian and school nurse.

Some over-the counter medications are kept on hand in the school nursing office.  Parents/guardians may indicate the over-the-counter medications for which they give permission on the yearly Student Emergency Form. 

Medications on Field Trips 

If your child takes daily medication, an alternative plan for administration on field trips must be planned; please discuss this with your child’s physician. No daily medication will be sent on field trips from the nurse’s office. In the event of a medical emergency during a field trip, Colonial School District staff will call 911.

Physical Examinations

Your child will need a physical exam done at entry into school (usually kindergarten or first grade), in sixth grade and eleventh grade and upon transferring from another school district if no previous documentation is provided. You will receive a form to be completed by your child’s health care provider and returned to the nurse. Physical examinations must be completed within one year of the school start date for those grades requiring physicals (kindergarten/first, sixth, 11th).

Parents/Guardians can request that a physical be done by the school physician. If we do not receive a completed physical examination form from you by the designated date, your signed consent on the emergency form gives permission for the examination to be completed at school.  

Dental Examinations

Your child will need a dental exam done at entry into school (usually kindergarten or first grade), third grade and seventh grade. You will receive a form to be completed by your child’s dentist and returned to the nurse. Dental examinations must be completed within 1 year of the school start date for those grades requiring dentals (kindergarten/first, third, seventh).

Parents/Guardians can request that a dental exam be done by the school dentist. If we do not receive a completed dental examination form from you by the designated date, your signed consent on the emergency form gives permission for the examination to be completed at school.  

Screenings

Hearing

Hearing screenings are done in kindergarten, first, second, third, seventh and eleventh grades. A referral will be sent home if any problems are detected. If your child has frequent ear infections or you have concerns at any other time, please contact the nurse.

Height and Weight

All students’ heights and weights are checked yearly. A BMI (body mass index) percentile will be calculated for each student using his/her height and weight measurements. BMI percentile is used as a guideline to help assess whether a person may be overweight or underweight. A written report of your child’s BMI percentile will be sent home to you.

Scoliosis

A screening for scoliosis (an abnormal curvature of the spine) is done in sixth and seventh grades. You will be notified of any abnormal findings.

Vision

Vision screening is done every year for all students. A referral will be sent home if any problems are detected. If you have concerns about your child’s vision at any time, please contact the nurse at your child’s school.

Head Lice

Head lice occasionally occur in school age children. It is a treatable condition that does not cause disease. The first sign of head lice is usually an itchy scalp. Head lice are about the size of a sesame seed, light yellow to brown in color, and cannot hop, fly or jump. Lice eggs, called nits, are tiny, tear-shaped and white to yellowish-brown in color. They are glued to the hair and are most often found above and behind the ears and at the back of the neck. Please check your child’s hair for signs of lice whenever you comb or shampoo their hair. If you suspect your child has lice, and are unsure of what to do, please call your doctor for advice. 

Physical Education Excuse

Students who are not able to participate in physical education due to injury or illness must have a note signed by the child’s physician and sent to school.

Health & Dental Insurance

The Colonial School District does not provide insurance coverage for student accidents during the school day. Student insurance policies are available at the beginning of the school year for your student but are not compulsory. The policy covers various medical costs arising from accidental injury to a student while engaged in school activities. Information regarding coverage and cost of premiums will be sent home in September. In the event of an injury, parents/guardians are advised by the school nurse regarding filing a claim.

Elevator Procedure

Any student experiencing mobility problems or having a physical condition requiring the use of crutches/wheelchair and /or the school elevator should bring in a doctor’s note to the school nurse with the following information:

  1. Diagnosis and/or reason for the crutches/wheelchair and/or elevator
  2. Duration of crutches/wheelchair and/or elevator
  3. Physicians signature and contact information

Nurse is to verify physician’s information and communicate with the main office as to who will assist the student when the elevator is necessary (going to specialist, lunch, etc.)

A staff member (office designee) will accompany the student who will keep the elevator key and give to the next staff person that will be assisting the student. The student will be permitted to leave class 5 minutes early to allow for transition. 

Depending upon the location of the student, an individualized plan will be made as to which staff member and when they will assist the student. The elevator key will be obtained from the main office each morning by the first staff member assisting the student and returned by the last staff person assisting the student that day.

The elevator is not to be used in the event of a fire.  

Helping Children Succeed in School

One of the most meaningful ways for parents to help their child succeed in school is revealing a strong, positive interest in their education.

  • Ask your child friendly, specific questions about school.
     
  • Pay careful attention to papers and projects your child brings home.   Find a special place to display your child’s work.
     
  • Let your child know that you expect him/her to give his/her best efforts to school work.   
     
  • Take the time to read with your child, as well as to your child. Join the library and visit it regularly. Make sure that your child sees you reading for enjoyment.
     
  • Make a point of sharing with your child any writing that you might do. Let your child see you writing letters, making lists, reports for work or minutes for a club.
     
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences, Open House Night, book fairs, school programs and PTO functions.
     
  • Offer positive encouragement whenever possible. Catch your child being good! Children are excited about all the interesting things they are learning in school! Your encouragement and active interest in your child’s education is essential for academic growth and future success!

Homework

  • The purposes of homework are to practice newly taught skills, review previously mastered skills, develop independent study habits and/or to extend and enrich the curriculum.
     
  • Homework will increase gradually in amount, variety and frequency as student’s progress from grade to grade. Homework will not be routinely assigned on the weekends. 
     
  • At the beginning of the year, your student’s teacher will inform you of the method that will be used to alert you if your child misses a homework assignment. 
     
  • If your student is missing homework assignments on a regular or routine basis (once a week or more), you will be notified by your student’s teacher through a phone call or email. Your student’s teacher may also hold a conference with your student to determine why a pattern of missing assignments is forming and how to correct the problem. The teacher may also consult with the School and/ or Community Counselors to follow up with your student on organization and study skills.
     
  • In the Colonial School District, we believe that administering or withholding physical activity as a form of punishment and/or behavior management is an inappropriate practice. Therefore, students will not lose lunch and/or recess as a consequence for not completing homework. 

Suggestions for Creating a Positive Homework Environment

  • Have a quiet, organized place for your child to do homework.
     
  • Set a specific time for daily homework to be completed.
     
  • Encourage your child to complete homework independently.
     
  • Be available to answer questions if needed.
     
  • Review your child’s homework. 

Lost and Found

A Lost and Found is maintained near the school cafeteria. Parents are encouraged to label all clothing and possessions. When a child’s name is indicated on the item, staff will see to it that the item is returned to the child. The Lost and Found is emptied at the end of each month. 

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

The goal of the Plymouth Elementary PTO is to strengthen the relationship between home, school and the community. 

  • The Plymouth Elementary PTO supports a wide range of activities and programs that enrich each child’s school experience. Families are encouraged to join and volunteer in a capacity that is convenient for them.  
  • Monthly PTO meetings are held throughout the year. The meetings provide an opportunity to meet other parents/guardians and the principals as well as stay informed. 

Parking

When visiting the school, please park in the parking lot. Avoid “No Parking Zones”, the Fire Lane, and the Bus Lane. Do not drive through or drop off students in the Bus Lane. School buses may use this lane throughout the day. 

Parties

In-classroom parties at all grade levels are held in the Fall and in the Winter. On occasions of birthdays, etc., parents should make arrangements with the child’s teacher should they wish to send in a healthy treat to be shared with the children. An alternate suggestion is to donate a book to the classroom or school library with the child’s name inside to honor the birthday.

Publicity

Photos, videotape footage and personal interviews with Colonial students who are involved in various school-related activities are often used as part of the District’s community relations efforts (e.g., District publications, CITV programs and on the District’s Website). 

Parents/Guardians who do NOT want photos, videotape footage or interviews featuring your child used in District publications, CITV programming or on the Website will need to complete the photo permission agreement in the PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Portal at the beginning of the year. Be advised that signing this form prevents intentional use of your child’s photo or videotape footage.  

In situations in which large groups of people are participating, it may be impossible not to photograph or videotape certain students, and therefore we cannot prevent the use of photos or videotape footage that unintentionally includes your child.

Residency

Students must live in Colonial School District in order to be enrolled in any of our schools. Colonial School District is required by the Pennsylvania Public School Code to keep on file verification of residency on all students. Families who lease or rent property in our District or whomever accepts guardianship for a student must keep a current lease or guardianship affidavit on file with the school building the student is attending for that school year. Parents/Guardians are also required to keep the school informed of any change in a child’s residency throughout the school year.

If you should have any question concerning Colonial School District residency requirements, you can contact Tim McDonald – Residency Investigator at (610) 834-1670, extension 8203.

Withdrawals

Please advise the school as soon as possible if you are moving and complete the Student Withdrawal Form obtained from the office. We must have written permission to forward the records to the new school. Records can only be sent with written permission from the parents/guardians and any debts accrued (library books, etc.) must be paid.

School Records

The Colonial School District recognizes the need to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in the education records of children. The School District Records Policy approved by Colonial School Directors meets the requirement of the State Board of Education and the Family Education and Privacy Act of 1974 and subsequent revisions.

  • All student records are kept in locked files in the school where the student attends. No disclosure, except in specific instances, or personally identifiable information from students records to outside sources will be made without prior written consent of the parent/guardian or eligible student. An eligible student is a student who has reached 18 years of age.

  • Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have the right to inspect or review the student’s records by appointment after a written request is received.

  • Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have the right to request that a record be amended if they believe that information contained in the record is inaccurate or misleading or violates privacy.

  • Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have a right to a student records hearing to challenge the content of educational records.

  • Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have a right to file a written complaint with the Family Education Rights and Privacy division (FERPA), United States Department of Education, Switzer Building, 330 C Street, S. W. Washington, DC 20201, regarding possible violations of the rights accorded them under these provisions.

  • The Colonial School District maintains copies of its student records policy as approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in each school building (principal’s or guidance office) and at the administrative office. This plan is available for inspection. Please contact the Director of Pupil Services, Mrs. Karen Berk, at (610) 834-1670, ext. 2109 with questions regarding school records.

Technology and the Internet

It is the policy of the Colonial School District that its computers, networks, the Internet, electronic communications and information systems (collectively CIS systems) must be used for education-related purposes. Student use of the CIS for any other purpose may result in the cancellation of the privilege to use the network and equipment of the District and may also result in disciplinary consequences. Steps have been taken to ensure student safety; all access to the internet is through an internet filter that screens out inappropriate websites, chat rooms and games. This filtering meets the requirements of the federal regulations. 

Parents/Guardians have the right to deny individual internet access for their children. If you do not want your child to have internet access at school, please complete the Internet Permission Agreement in the PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Portal at the beginning of the school year. 

Click here to view the entire text of CSD Board Policy 815, Acceptable Use of Computers, Network, Internet, Electronic Communications and Information Systems Policy.

Colonial School District uses individual student data for state and federal reporting purposes in accordance with state and federal laws, including the federal No Child Left Behind Act, state assessments, state aid, special education and program participation as well as to satisfy other data requests needed for managing the district instructional programs.  

The Superintendent or designee has the authority to establish a system that maintains data in accordance with FERPA and other relevant state and federal laws. Procedures used to ensure the confidentiality of student information and data have been implemented by the Colonial School District. The process does not expand or in any way change the allowable uses by staff or the availability of student data to any other educator or member of the public.

IMPORTANT: Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you have access to any data other than your own, please report to the school building front office.

Transportation

Parents/Guardians are reminded that their children are their responsibility until they step onto the bus in the morning and after they depart from the bus in the afternoon. Parent/Guardian supervision at the bus stop is advisable.

Occasionally, a bus may arrive at a stop a few minutes early or late, especially during inclement weather. Sometimes delays are unavoidable. If your child is more than 30 minutes late arriving home in the afternoon, please call the Colonial School District Transportation department at (610) 834-1670, ext. 2142.

Riding the School Bus

Most students look forward to riding the school bus every day. Even though the ride may be long, especially after a full day of school, children welcome the opportunity to talk with their friends. Good behavior on the school bus helps to provide a pleasant ride for everyone. But even more important, good behavior is essential for safety. Bus drivers need to concentrate on the road. Their attention should not be distracted by noisy children who do not stay seated.

  • Students and parents/guardians should understand that riding the school bus is a privilege. Persistent misbehavior on the bus will result in the loss of that privilege. If children are suspended from the school bus, their parents/guardians are legally responsible for seeing that they get to school by other means. This may cause considerable inconvenience for families. Thus, it is important for our children to be aware of their responsibility while riding on the bus.
  • Misconduct at a bus stop which violates the property rights of the residents at or near the stop, or conduct which is hazardous to other students waiting for the bus will not be permitted.  
  • If there is a bus equipped with seat belts, it is required by law that the seat belt be worn.
  • Kindergarten and special needs students will not be dropped off unless a parent/guardian or guardian is present at the bus stop. Every attempt will be made to contact the parent/guardian and return to the bus stop after the bus run is complete. If a parent/guardian is still not present on the second return to the bus stop, the child will be returned to the school. If a child cannot be returned to the school, local authorities will be contacted.
  • In order to achieve maximum safety, the bus driver must be respected and the rules and regulations observed at all times.

Children are to ride the school bus to which they have been assigned. Due to concerns for their safety, other arrangements are permitted only if requested in writing by a parent/guardian and approved by the District Transportation Office. 

  • Transportation will not be provided outside the student’s elementary attendance area.
  • Students who reside in a walking area are not eligible for transportation.
  • Transportation to a location other than the student’s home will only be approved if the stop is on an existing bus route.

Special Event Dismissals

Parents/Guardians will not be permitted to take students home upon returning to school from a field trip. They may not leave after any school-related function that occurs during the school day (academic presentations, classroom celebrations, concerts, etc.)  Exceptions to the rule may occur. You will be notified prior to the event by your child’s teacher should this happen.

Long-term Accommodations

Families of students with defined special needs and/or living along PENNDOT-designated hazardous routes will automatically receive accommodations required by their special circumstances. Other families seeking other accommodations, that often involve joint custody or day-care arrangements, must submit their requests in writing to the Transportation Department on the form provided for that purpose. 

Requests for Colonial School District bus transportation from locations other than the student’s home will be considered only if the student is eligible for transportation and the stop is on an existing bus run located in the attendance area of the school to which the student is assigned. Students will be assigned to bus stops based on the consistent application of a process that involves no more than one accommodation or transition per student. We cannot honor requests for transportation that will vary day to day or week to week. 

Requests for a change in transportation will become effective only after adequate time has been given to properly notify all persons concerned and make the necessary changes (approximately three school days). Changes at the beginning of the school year may take up to 4 weeks. For this reason, parents/guardians are encouraged to submit forms by July 1 to avoid a delay in September.  

Once a form has been filled out for long term accommodations, transportation will continue to be assigned to the alternate/childcare stop until a change is submitted by the parent/guardian. While this procedure may cause parents/guardians temporary inconvenience, we know that you will understand our serious commitment to transporting students to and from school safely and our need to know at all times which children are on our buses.

For more information and forms, please click here to visit the Transportation Department's Transportation Change Requests page.

Temporary Bus Passes

The principal may approve temporary transportation changes to address emergencies, such as illness in the family, a parent/guardian out of town, etc., by issuing a temporary bus pass for a single day. Passes may not be used to circumvent rules on long-term accommodations. Bus passes will not be issued for dates with friends, scout meetings, music lessons, work on projects or similar situations. Requests from parents/guardians for bus passes must be legibly made in writing using the form provided for that purpose. The application must include the first and last name of the student and the complete address and telephone number of the caregiver. Students living within the walking areas will not be issued bus passes. Bus drivers will not accept notes from parents/guardians. Accommodations will be made only if the requested changes are for existing stops in the student’s home school attendance area and if there is room on the bus for the student(s). Routes will not be altered or extended.

Emergency School Bus Procedures

The Colonial School District currently maintains established emergency school bus procedures to ensure all students are evaluated in the event of a school bus accident and/or other emergency-type situation. These procedures also address a communication plan for informing parents/guardians of all public, non-public and approved private school students who are eligible for District transportation.
 
In addition, bus evacuation drills are held twice a year to ensure that students can safely evacuate the bus in the event of an emergency. These procedures are reviewed annually with all school bus drivers at their in-service training, and are communicated with all school principals, assistant principals and school nurses. 
 
Questions or concerns related to student bus behavior should be directed to the school principal. All other questions or complaints concerning the school buses should be directed to the Coordinator of Transportation for the Colonial School District at (610) 834-1670.

Video Cameras and Audio Recording Devices

Please be advised that students may be video and audio recorded while receiving school provided transportation. School buses are now equipped with video cameras and audio recording devices. These tools monitor the passenger area of the bus. The objective is to provide an important additional tool to assist the driver in managing student conduct on school buses, an important safety consideration that benefits all.

Visitors

We welcome visitors at Plymouth Elementary School. Out of respect for the students, teachers, and instructional environment, classroom visits must be arranged in advance. Unannounced visits to the class during school hours are not permitted. 

In order to maintain and enhance the level of safety and security at Plymouth Elementary School, visitors must use the buzzer at the front entrance to announce themselves and gain entry to the main office. Visitors requesting entry beyond the main office will be asked to use the LobbyGuard kiosk check in and obtain a visitor badge.  

The LobbyGuard system maintains a log of visitors, documents specific location(s) visited and performs name checks against the Pennsylvania Megan’s Law Registry. All visitors, including parents/guardians and guests, may be asked to sign in at the kiosk, located near the main lobby, with their driver’s license. They will then receive an identification badge from the receptionist or office secretary before proceeding into the school. If the visitor does not have a driver’s license, they may manually enter their name and date of birth into the LobbyGuard system and use an alternate photo ID to gain access. If the visitor does not have photo ID, an administrator must approve the visit.  Upon leaving the building all visitors MUST sign themselves out by scanning their badge at the LobbyGuard kiosk.   

Volunteers

School volunteers are valuable members of the school environment. Through donating your time and talents, you can help the Colonial School District continue to provide the tools, knowledge and resources for our students to succeed in and out of the classroom.

A volunteer is defined as any adult individual serving in an unpaid position with a school or a program, activity or service as a person responsible for the welfare of one or more children and/or having direct contact with children. Being a volunteer normally involves an individual working directly with one or more students, having responsibility for one or more students and having repeated interaction with one or more students in circumstances when no school employee is present.

Volunteers include:

  • Any individual who serves without pay as a sport coach or advisor or otherwise regularly assists and has contact with children in connection with a play, concert or other curricular, co-curricular or extracurricular activity  

  • An individual who serves without pay as a daily, weekly or other periodically scheduled classroom assistant

  • An individual who serves without pay as a school-sponsored event chaperone with expectation of contact with children in circumstances when no school employee is present.

Volunteers do not include:

  • A parent, close relative or guardian who visits a classroom, auditorium, other school common area or private meeting area to make a delivery to, meet with or share a celebration time with a student who is the individual’s child or other close relative or for whom the individual is the guardian

  • An individual who, without pay, assists in conducting a classroom celebration

  • Concert or other performance ushers

  • An individual who attends a sports event or other extracurricular activity

  • An individual who, without pay, is a career day or other similar speaker or participant visiting to share information with students in the presence of a school employee

  • In most cases, an individual who, without pay, operates or helps operate a concession stand at a school activity

  • An individual who assists, without pay, in other types of school activities in the presence of school employees.

Volunteers: Click here to review Colonial School District Policy #806 Child Abuse and click here to review #916 Volunteers.

Volunteer Application and Clearance Links

Click on the name to access the corresponding document or link.

When you're ready, please submit the Volunteer Application and required clearances to the school where you would like to volunteer.

*Please note that if you've been a Pennsylvania resident for ten consecutive years prior to the date of your volunteer application, you may sign a waiver in lieu of obtaining the FBI Background Check. This waiver is included as part of the application packet. If you require an FBI Background Check, please use code 1KG6XN and choose "Digital Fingerprinting" as the service when registering on the IdentoGO website.

Thanks for being a valuable part of Team Colonial!

Behavior

Schoolwide Behavior Plan

Our goal is to create a positive, productive learning environment while encouraging student self-esteem and promoting positive character.  We expect all of our students to show their Plymouth Panda Pride and display characteristics of:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship

We also expect all of our students to follow our school rules throughout all areas of the school:

  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Safe
  • Be the BEST that you can be

In order to reinforce these expectations, each class will review the school rules in the beginning of the school year and teachers will model for students what it “looks like” to behave appropriately at school — ultimately building a community of learners within the classroom. Additionally, the teachers and students will focus on each of the six characteristics throughout the school year and celebrate our Panda Pride while displaying the characteristics.    

Whenever students have difficulty following rules, we want them to have the opportunity to think about how their behavior may be impacting their own school experience and that of other students. Teachers will communicate with the students about their actions and the relationship of the action with the school rules. We encourage parents to reinforce the importance of following school rules with their children at home.  

Behavior Interventions

The faculty and staff utilize proactive strategies for defining, supporting and teaching appropriate behaviors to create positive learning environments. Attention is focused on sustaining a leveled system of support to enhance student learning. Students often need encouragement and new skills to improve their behavior and assistance in learning to do so. School staff recognize that maintaining and changing student behaviors involves a continuum of acknowledgements, supports, and interventions. 

Levels of Interventions and Consequences for Violations of the Code of Student Conduct 

As with any incident of student behavior, school administrators must exercise informed judgment as to whether a student’s actions constitute a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Levels guide administrators to use progressive interventions to change student behaviors. The administrator always has the option to use an intervention from a lower level as long as one from the prescribed level is also employed. Levels of consequences and options for progressive interventions follow. Repeated chronic or cumulative offenses may require higher levels of interventions/ consequences. For serious violations, interventions/ consequences may begin at a higher level.

Level 1: All Students

Includes the following:

  • general curriculum enhanced by acknowledgements of positive behaviors
  • clearly stated expectations that are applied to all students

Examples: Morning Meetings, classroom rules, positive supports in the classroom, reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, guidance referral, seat change, in-class “time out” or “break”, verbal warning, “Respect & Responsibility Reminder”, parent/guardian phone call, teacher/student conference, parent or guardian/teacher conference.

Level 2: Selected Interventions

Focus on the following:

  • specific interventions for students who do not respond to universal efforts 
  • targeted groups of students who require more support 
  • interventions that are part of a continuum of behavioral supports needed in schools

Examples: Referral to Student Support Team (SST) or Student Assistance Program (SAP), Social Skills Groups (anger management, conflict resolution, peer mediation), Check in and Check out Support Plan, Social/Emotional Counseling, Counseling Groups, Mentoring, parent and/or student tutors, and/or volunteers.

Level 3: Individualized Interventions

Focus on the following:

  • the needs of individual students who exhibit a pattern of problem behaviors
  • diminishing problem behaviors and increasing the student’s social skills and functioning
  • interventions involving functional behavioral assessments and behavioral intervention plans

Examples: Behavioral Contract, Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP), Multidisciplinary comprehensive assessments, such as Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA), Collaboration with, and linkages to, community resources, agencies and/or parent groups.

The Code of Student Conduct shall apply to all students at all times on all school property, including: 

  • in school buildings
  • on school grounds
  • in all school vehicles
  • at all bus stops
  • at all school or school-related activities, including but not limited to school field trips and school sporting events (whether such activities are held on school property or at locations off school property, including private business or commercial establishments)

 

Bullying Policy

The Colonial School District is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for district students. We recognize that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. Therefore, bullying is prohibited by district students. 

Definitions

Bullying means an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students, which occurs in a school setting and/or outside a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:

  1. Substantial interference with a student's education.

  2. Creation of a threatening environment.

  3. Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

Bullying, as defined in the district’s policy, includes cyberbullying.

School setting means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.

Consequences for Violations of the District’s Bullying Policy

A student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, which may include:

  1. Counseling within the school.

  2. Parental/Guardian conference.

  3. Loss of school privileges.

  4. Transfer to another school building, classroom or school bus.

  5. Exclusion from school-sponsored activities.

  6. Detention.

  7. Counseling/Therapy outside of school.

  8. Suspension.

  9. Expulsion.

  10. Referral to law enforcement officials.

To review the district’s bullying policy in its entirety, please click here

  

To notify the District of any incidents related to Bullying, Cyberbullying, Distriminatory/Sexual Harassment, please click here for a reporting form. Please complete and return the form to your child's building principal. 

If You Are Being Bullied:

  • Calmly tell the student to stop… or say nothing and walk away

  • Tell an adult— a parent/guardian, a teacher, a counselor

If You Know Someone Who Is Being Bullied:

  • If you feel safe, tell the bully to stop

  • If you don’t feel safe:

    • Say kind words to the student being bullied

    • Be a friend!

    • Don’t encourage the bully by laughing or joining in

    • Tell other bystanders how to help stop bullying

  • Tell an adult and encourage the student being bullied to talk to someone about what happened.

Teasing, bullying, threatening or intimidating classmates or other students are unacceptable behaviors and are considered to be Level Three Offenses. Threats made to others (even jokingly) will be dealt with by the administration according to the Colonial School District Code of Student Conduct.


Bus & Transportation Behavior

Bus Behavior Expectations & Safety Requirements for All Students

At the Bus Stop

  • Exercise safe pedestrian practices while on the way to the waiting area for the bus stop.
  • Arrive at the waiting area for the bus stop ten (10) minutes before bus pickup.
  • Wait in a quiet and orderly manner. 
  • Stay on your side of the roadway controlled by the bus warning lights.
  • Be aware, cautious, and respectful of traffic.
  • Wait in a safe place, clear of traffic, and away from where the bus stops.
  • Respect private property.
  • If parents notice inappropriate or unsafe behaviors at the bus stops, they should immediately report their observations to the school rather than interacting directly with other children.

When the bus arrives

  • Remain at the waiting area until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • Check traffic from all directions, then check again.
  • Before walking from the wait area to the entrance of the bus be certain that the bus warning lights are activated and that all traffic in all directions has stopped.
  • When safe to board, do so promptly.
  • When boarding, be aware of and avoid the “danger zone,” the 10-foot area immediately surrounding the stopped school bus. Be sure that you can see the bus driver’s eyes when in the vicinity of the school bus.
  • If crossing a street controlled by bus warning lights is necessary, cross promptly after checking that all traffic in all directions has stopped. Cross in front of the bus only.
  • Upon entering the bus proceed directly to an available or assigned seat.

On the bus

  • Follow instructions of bus personnel. 
  • Be respectful of all people, including all bus personnel.
  • Use language appropriate for the school setting.
  • Keep the bus neat and clean.
  • Do not eat or drink.
  • Talk quietly and politely.
  • Sit at assigned seat, if one has been assigned by bus or school site personnel.
  • Stay in seat; keep aisles and exits clear.
  • Carry-on items are limited to those that can be held in your lap. No hazardous materials, nuisance items, or animals are permitted on the bus.
  • Be respectful of the rights and safety of others.
  • Do not extend head, arms, or objects out of bus windows.
  • Cell phones are prohibited (off and out of sight).
  • Remember that school rules apply to the school bus.

Exiting the bus

  • Remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • If you drop an item, inform the bus driver or adult at the bus platform. Do not go back to retrieve the item.
  • Exit the bus and the bus stop area in an orderly manner.
  • Exit at your assigned bus stop.
  • Check traffic from all directions, then check again.
  • Before exiting the bus, be certain that all traffic in all directions has stopped.
  • When safe to exit, do so promptly.
  • Be aware of and avoid the “danger zone,” the 10-foot area immediately surrounding the stopped school bus. Be sure that you can see the bus driver’s eyes while in the vicinity of the school bus.
  • If crossing a street controlled by bus warning lights, cross promptly after checking that all traffic in all directions has stopped. Cross in front of the bus only.
  • Exercise safe pedestrian practices while on the way from the bus stop to your home.
  • State law requires that you exit and board the bus at your designated bus stop.

Seatbelts on Buses

If a bus equipped with seatbelts; it is required by law that the seatbelt must be worn by the child.

Misconduct

Behavior or activity jeopardizing the safe operation of the school bus or interfering with the welfare of other vehicle occupants is prohibited. The school bus operator will report promptly and in writing to appropriate administrative staff any conduct appearing to require disciplinary action. After administrative staff evaluation, appropriate disciplinary action will follow. A copy of the misconduct report will be returned to the school bus operator. Generally, misconduct on a school bus will not deny a student access to the classroom. School suspension, including expulsion, will occur only in special cases of misconduct that warrant this type of action.

Summary of Colonial School District Code of Student Conduct

The Board of School Directors maintains a Code of Student Conduct and Discipline which applies to conduct that occurs while students are in attendance at school, while students are going to school from home and from school to home, and to conduct at other times which impacts on the School District. The following is a summary of that Code.

Level One Misconduct:

Level One misconduct on the part of the student is misconduct which: (1) impedes orderly classroom procedures, (2) infringes upon the rights of others to learn or teach, or (3) interferes with orderly operation of the classroom or school. Level One misconduct may occur outside the classroom and school.

Examples

  • Disruptive classroom behavior
  • Classroom tardiness
  • Failure to complete assignment
  • Unprepared for class
  • Failure to follow established procedures for the cafeteria, including eating in the wrong cafeteria, the halls and field trips.
  • Failure to follow established procedures at co-curricular and extracurricular activities
  • Horseplay
  • Failure to follow reasonable directions
  • Inappropriate speech or behavior in hallways/cafeteria
  • Any form of distraction
  • Inappropriate use of a computer or computer network
  • Failure to serve teacher detention
  • Use of cell phone during school hours
  • Violation of dress guidelines
  • Other offenses not listed, but fitting the definition of Level 1 misconduct

Level 1 Disciplinary Options

  • Verbal reprimand 
  • Personal conference 
  • Restorative Practices 
  • Behavioral contract 
  • Involvement with grade counselor 
  • Withdrawal of privileges within the classroom 
  • Detention 
  • Telephone call to parent or guardian 
  • Suspension or revocation of parking privileges.

Level Two Misconduct:

Level Two misconduct on the part of the student is misconduct whose frequency or seriousness disrupts the learning climate of the classroom and/or school. Level Two misconduct may also occur outside of the classroom and school.

Examples

  • Continuation of Level 1 misconduct
  • Profane and/or obscene language (obscene is defined as offensive to feelings of modesty or sense of decency of the school community; lewd) 
  • Disrespectful speech or action
  • Obscene gestures or actions
  • School tardiness
  • Truancy
  • Classroom disturbance
  • Cutting class
  • Failure to cooperate with substitute teacher
  • Failure to identify oneself correctly
  • Leaving school or assigned area without permission
  • Violation of driving privileges
  • Misconduct going to and from school
  • Failure to serve Level 1 school detention
  • Loitering
  • Lying 
  • Abusive Language
  • Unauthorized possession of a telephone paging device, scanner, laser or any other electronic device 
  • Disruptive hallway behavior of a physical nature
  • Throwing food and/or other items
  • Installation of games, programs or other files not owned or authorized by the district on computers or networks 
  • Using data networks for lobbying and non-school related activities
  • Possession of pornographic material at school or during school related activities
  • Other offenses not listed but fitting the definition of Level 2 misconduct

Level 2 Disciplinary Options

  • Any appropriate disciplinary option or response from Level 1 
  • Withdrawal of privileges 
  • Class schedule change 
  • School Detention 
  • Parental/Guardian conference 
  • Suspension from student activities 

Level Three Misconduct:

Level Three misconduct on the part of the student is misconduct which is directed against persons or property of whose consequences may seriously endanger the health or safety of others. These acts are considered serious.

Examples

  • Continuation of Level 2 misconduct 
  • Defiant or insubordinate behavior 
  • Fighting
  • Stealing
  • Threat to others
  • Turning in false alarms
  • Obscene and/or threatening calls, letters or email
  • Using and/or supplying forged notes or illegal excuses
  • Using or supplying plagiarized materials
  • Cheating
  • Vandalism
  • Altering or use of school documents with intent to defraud 
  • Smoking or possession of tobacco or tobacco product paraphernalia 
  • Trespassing
  • Possession/use of firecrackers, smoke/stink bombs, etc.
  • Disrespectful speech or action to a staff member 
  • Transmitting or receiving offensive materials, messages, obscene or pornographic materials on the internet, computer network or single computer 
  • Modifying files or other data on a computer or on the data network 
  • Changing passwords belonging to other users or misrepresenting other users on any computer or data network 
  • Using the data network to disrupt the work of others 
  • Modifying the computer hardware or software 
  • Violence and/or force
  • Intimidation
  • Coercion
  • Other offenses violating PA crimes code
  • Bullying
  • Failure to serve Level 2 school detention
  • Failure to serve Saturday School
  • Other offenses not listed but fitting the definition of Level 3 misconduct

Level 3 Disciplinary Options

  • Any appropriate disciplinary option or response from Level 2 
  • Restorative Conference 
  • Temporary removal from class 
  • Suspension from school 
  • Homebound instruction 
  • Alternative program 
  • Work-study program

Level Four Misconduct:

Level Four Misconduct on the part of the student is misconduct which result in violence to another’s person or property or which poses a direct threat to the safety of others.

Examples

  • Continuation of Level 3 misconduct 
  • Extortion
  • Bomb threat
  • Conspiracy involving dangerous weapons
  • Assault/battery
  • Sexual harassment
  • Institutional vandalism
  • Theft-possession/sale of stolen property or conspiracy to commit theft 
  • Arson
  • Disruptions resulting in endangerment
  • Harassment/Hazing
  • Illegal distribution, reproduction and/or use of copyrighted software
  • Using data networks for illegal activity, commercial or profit-making purposes 
  • Theft of computer hardware or software 
  • Abusing or destroying computer hardware or software 
  • Using, furnishing, selling or possession of over-the-counter medications, including supplements. (All medication must be dispensed by the school nurse.) 
  • Other offenses not listed violating PA Crimes code 
  • Other offenses not listed but fitting the definition of Level 4 misconduct 
  • Offenses not listed

Level 4 Disciplinary Options

  • Any appropriate disciplinary option or response from Level 3 
  • Expulsion 
  • Alternative school 
  • Other Board action which results in appropriate placement 

Level Five Misconduct:

Level Five misconduct on the part of a student is misconduct which involves the possession, sale, furnishings, use or involvement of any nature with an unauthorized substance. These acts may be criminal and always require administrative action which may result in the immediate removal of the student from school, the intervention of law enforcement authorities and action by the Board of School Directors.

Examples

  • Use of an unauthorized substance
  • Furnishing an unauthorized substance to others
  • Selling an unauthorized substance
  • Possession of an unauthorized substance
  • Involvement of any nature with an unauthorized substance

Level 5 Disciplinary Options

  • Expulsion 
  • Alternative school 
  • Restorative Conference 
  • Other Board action which results in appropriate placement

Level Six Misconduct:

Level Six misconduct on the part of a student is misconduct which involves the act of bring a weapon to school, on school property, to any school sponsored activity or upon any conveyance providing transportation to a school or a school sponsored activity. Such an act is criminal and will always require administrative action which may result in the immediate removal of the student from school, the intervention of the law enforcement authorities and action by the Board of School Directors.  

Examples

  • Possession of a weapon in school
  • Bringing a weapon to school or on school property
  • Bringing a weapon to any school sponsored activity or upon any conveyance providing transportation to school or a school sponsored activity  

Level 6 Disciplinary Options

One year or longer mandatory expulsion, unless the superintendent determines, on a case-by-case basis, that there are extenuating circumstances in a particular case, under which circumstances the superintendent has determined to recommend a lesser discipline. The student and their parents/guardians may also be expected to participate in a Restorative Conference.                

The Code of Student Conduct addresses certain steps that must be taken if a special education student is determined to be guilty of misconduct, including the involvement of the student’s IEP team and the possibility of the involvement of the multidisciplinary team and additional rights to a hearing. Questions should be addressed to the principal.

 

Use of Video for Possible Disciplinary Actions

The Board of School Directors delegates to the Superintendent of Schools the ability to authorize administrators and teachers to use video recordings for possible disciplinary action. The use of video recordings for possible disciplinary actions may be authorized for use in school buildings, on school property off school property while students are going to and from school and in vehicles either owned or leased by the School District for purposes of transporting students to and from school and/or other school related activities.

Video recordings taken for possible disciplinary action may be used for the following purposes, and no other:

  • for purposes of displaying the conduct of the student in question
  • for purposes of displaying the conduct of the student in question to the student’s parents/guardians
  • for purposes of displaying the conduct of the student in question to the school administration and/or police authorities
  • for purposes of displaying the conduct of the student in question at hearings dealing with charges filed against the student concerning the conduct shown in the video recordings.