La Costa Meadows Elementary School
San Marcos Unified School District
School-Wide Behavior Plan, Policies and Procedures
The La Costa Meadows School Community has the right to live and learn in a positive, safe and orderly environment, where students, staff, and parents consciously demonstrate respect and support for each other at all times. This school fosters a setting in which students take pride in their academic and personal achievements, as well as responsibility for their own actions, and where staff and parents recognize the individual strengths and special contributions of each child.
We believe that all students at La Costa Meadows School can and will achieve proficiency or advanced proficiency in the state standards, as well as the development of the qualities vital to becoming a great citizen. Students have the responsibility to actively pursue learning, while teachers, parents, staff and community share the duty of creatively structuring and balancing the school experience to make learning a source of joy and personal significance for each child.
In order to make our students’ elementary experience meaningful and positive, it is necessary to build a relationship between the student, teacher, staff and administration. In this document you will see an overview of La Costa Meadows classroom and school-wide behavior program and school policies and procedures. Please take the time to review the plans and procedures with your child(ren).
Thank you for your help and support,
Andrea Holmes, Principal
Schools now only receive funding for students who are actually in class. Every day a student misses school, even for an excused absence, the school loses about $55 a day in income. We ask that you support our efforts to increase student attendance by:
· Planning family trips during the school holidays
· Try to schedule doctor’s or dentist’s appointments after school hours. If the appointment is in the middle of the day, please bring them to school in the morning
· Allow your child to stay home when he/she has a contagious illness or is too sick to be comfortable at school (i.e. fever, vomiting)
If your child is going to be absent, please telephone the school in the morning the child is absent at 290-2121
ex 4. Our attendance clerk is responsible for contacting the parents of each absent student and your call greatly assists this process. Please be aware that the State of California requires the school to begin notifying parents by letter when three (3) unexcused absences occur.
Should a special situation arise which requires your child to be absent from school for five consecutive days or more, please notify the teacher at least one week ahead, and he/she will prepare an independent study contract. This allows the student to stay current with schoolwork and receive credit during their time of their absence.
If a child is absent, it is his/her responsibility to make-up all missed work and return it to school. Ask your child’s teacher for their policy on make-up work and how to arrange to pick up homework for your child.
Education Code 490678 and the SMUSD Board Policy 5113 “Absences and Excuses” authorizes teachers to assign a failing grade to any student with more than 10 days of unexcused absences in a semester/trimester. The school must notify the parent, either by written report or by conference, whenever a student is in danger of failing based on unexcused absences.
Our staff cares deeply about every student and wants to ensure that every child has access to learning opportunities every day. This year we are working together to ‘Make Every Minute Count.” Teachers plan to utilize every minute in the day for furthering your child’s education experience. One way families can help is to make sure children arrive on-time to school. Currently our school has the highest number of tardies in our district apart from Twin Oaks/Foothills Continuation High Schools. Our goa lis to dramatically improve in this area. Several studies support the notion that on-time behavior in school leads to on-time behavior in the workplace. Additionally, on-time behavior is correlated with proficient to advanced performance in school while pervasive tardiness is correlated with poor performance in school. When children come to school late, this affects their outlook on school and confidence as classmates are already working and learning. We want to work together to improve this at our school, helping children to develop healthy, happy habits. Therefore, students who have fewer than 5 tardies per trimester will be rewarded with a special activity to be determined, and will also be placed in a monthly drawing at flag salutes for prizes/incentives. Please plan with your family to arrive On-Time to school every day, helping in Making Every Minute Count.
While On-Time behavior is certainly our goal in Making Every Minute Count, we also want to encourage families to pick up students when the bell rings. We understand that there are times when appointments require early pick-up, but we want to encourage children to be in school until the bell rings at 3:10, making the most of their school experience. Missing 10 minutes a day either tardy in the morning or being picked up early in the afternoon adds up quickly… In a week, a child may miss nearly an hour of instruction… In a school year that accounts for 30 hours of instruction. Imagine how much can be learned in 30 hours? Please help us in a Win-Win…more time in school=more learning for children! Thank you for Making Every Minute Count!
In the event that you do need to pick up your child early, please follow the procedures below:
· Pick up your child in the office. The front office staff will call the student from the room.
· Any adult picking up children early must show proper identification before any child will be released.
· If a neighbor or relative is to pick up the child, we must have written permission.
· Please discuss with your child the importance of remaining on the school grounds at all times. No student is allowed to leave without parental permission and office approval.
· While we know appointments may sometimes warrant early pick-up, please help to keep time out of school to a minimum, Making Every Minute Count.
Copies of the current bus rules may be obtained from the front office or by calling the Transportation Department at 290-2670.
Parking at La Costa Meadows is limited. You are welcome to park in any unmarked stall or against an unmarked curb. PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE SPOTS MARKED FOR STAFF. If no parking is available in the lot, please park on El Fuerte Street and use the crosswalks as necessary. Remember, our parking lot is a “one way” and that you must enter and exit at different locations. If you should come to school to pick up a sick child or to drop off a tardy student, you may stop briefly in the bus area IF there are no buses. Never stop or leave your vehicle in the bus zone 30 minutes before school begins or just after school ends. Please do not leave your car running in the parking lot if you are coming into the school. Thank you in advance for your support of the parking lot routine.
Classroom Behavior Program
Each teacher has a specific classroom behavior plan. It incorporates teacher/student expectations, a hierarchy of consequences for students who break the rules, and a positive reward plan for well-behaved students. The plan also contains a “severe clause” for serious behavior issues. The Principal or Assistant Principal will deal with these issues. It is La Costa Meadows philosophy that the classroom teacher is the best person to deal with behavior issues. If you have a question regarding a discipline procedure, please contact your child’s teacher first. You should expect a Classroom Behavior Plan to be sent home within the first two weeks of school.
La Costa Meadows Outdoor and Playground Rules
Our Motto at La Costa Meadows is to live “The Dolphin Way” which means “Do the Right Thing Even When No One is Looking.”
We have three schoolwide rules:
· Do Your Best Work
· Help Your Friends Succeed
· Respect Your School
We believe these three rules cover all manners of behavior and set the standard for what is expected… leading children to live The Dolphin Way. Children who do not live The Dolphin Way or violate one or more of our school rules while on the playground will receive a warning and/or time-out from playing depending on the frequency of behavior. Severe behavior that is rough, aggressive, involves bullying or profanity will not be tolerated and students will be sent to the office immediately.
Our character education program (The 7 Habits of Happy Kids) works to reinforce The Dolphin Way and following our three schoolwide rules. Through the 7 Habits children learn :
Please join us for our 7 Habits Parent Night… see website for date/time.
It is our expectation that by learning and internalizing the 7 Habits of Happy Kids and following our three schoolwide rules, students will live The Dolphin Way and Do The Right Thing Even When No One Is Looking.
Dress and Grooming at School
Students are required to show proper attention to cleanliness, health, neatness, safety, and appropriateness of clothing and appearance for school activities. A well-groomed appearance is important in developing a positive self-image and compliments the school’s instructional program.
· Dress should be appropriate for the season and the occasion. Extreme styles that may disrupt the educational process or any other school activity are prohibited.
· Clothes must present a well-groomed appearance.
· Revealing clothing is not permitted.
· Clothing and hats that are offensive or may promote gangs, drugs, or alcohol are not permitted on campus.
· Hats are permitted. Hats/caps must be worn bill forward and may not be worn inside buildings.
· Sandals may be worn only if they have a front and back strap, according to the CA State code. However, tennis shoes are far safer and enable greater participation in P.E.
· Shoes with wheels may not be worn on school campus.
· Colored hair is not permitted.
The administration is the final authority when a difference of opinion arises. When a violation of the dress guidelines occurs, the students will be required to correct this by calling home for the proper attire. Continued violations of dress guidelines will be considered defiance and will be referred for disciplinary action.
Food at School
The San Marcos Unified School District recognizes the link between student health and learning, and has developed a Wellness Policy for the District that promotes student health through nutrition education, nutrition guidelines and physical education and activity.
Students may eat a snack at the beginning of their morning recess and we encourage some type of healthy food, rather than what we refer to as “extra” foods, such as chips and cookies. Please do not send glass containers with your child. Please do not send any type of cutting utensil with your child. Our cafeteria can help if they need assistance.
In accordance with this policy, we do not celebrate birthdays in classrooms with candy, cakes, cupcakes sodas, etc. Please do not bring any food to school without prior permission from the classroom teacher. Food and drinks are allowed at other celebration events, however they must follow the SMUSD Food and Beverage Guidelines. Always check with the classroom teacher prior to bringing any type of food item into the classroom. More information regarding the Wellness policy can be found at www.smusd.org/cnServ/cnServDL.html or by calling 760-752-1269.
Lunch and Lunch Area
· Keep all food and drinks in the eating area.
Pets on Campus
Pets are not allowed on campus unless approved by administration. If approved to be in a classroom, the pet must be brought to school by a parent and taken home immediately after it is no longer need for classroom use. Some students may have an anxiety or allergies, therefore we DO NOT allow dogs, cats or other family pets on campus during arrival or dismissal even if the animal is small or leashed.
Safe and Drug Free
Our goal is to provide a safe and drug free environment for all our students. We actively enforce our school district’s “Zero Tolerance” policy. Students who attempt to bring drugs, alcohol, or weapons to school may be arrested by Police, suspended from school, and even be expelled for up to one full year.
Sexual Harassment Statement:
Tobacco Free School
La Costa Meadows Elementary recognizes the health hazards related to the use of tobacco, including the breathing of second-hand smoke. We are a “tobacco-free” school, which means we do not allow smoking in the classrooms or on the campus at any time. In addition, we provide educational information to our students through classroom instruction and activities. Our school has information available in the school office about programs that support adults who desire to stop smoking.
California Education Code
La Costa Meadows Elementary School has the obligation to enforce the California Education Code and the policies of our District. When a student violates a provision of the Education Code or the San Marcos Unified School District’s Board Policies, (s)he must be held responsible. This could result in detention, suspension, or expulsion. Expulsion is the most severe punishment the District can exercise and prohibits a student from attending school within the District for up to one year.
The San Marcos Unified School District Governing Board believes that all students have the right to be educated in a positive, safe learning environment free from disruption.
GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION/EXPULSION
Education Code 48900
A student can be suspended from school by the principal or designee if is has been determined that the student, while on school grounds or during an activity off school grounds related to school attendance has:
A. Caused, attempted to cause or threatened to cause physical injury to another person or willfully used force or violence to another person
B. Possessed, sold or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife explosive, or other dangerous object
C. Unlawfully possessed, used, sold or otherwise furnished, or was under the influence of any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant of any kind
D. Unlawfully offered or arranged or negotiated to sell any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind, and then sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid substance, or material and represented the liquid substance or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant
E. Committed robbery or attempted to commit robbery or extortion
F. Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property
G. Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property
H. Possessed or used tobacco or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products
I. Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity
J. Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered arranged or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia
K. Disrupted school activities, or willfully defied the authority of school personnel
L. Knowingly received stolen school property or private property
M. Possessed an imitation firearm (reasonable person concludes replica is a firearm)
N. Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault
O. Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness in a school disciplinary proceeding
P. Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold a prescription drug
Q. Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing, as defined in Section 32050
The following offenses only apply to students in Grades 4-12.
.2 Committed sexual harassment—when a person uses sexual words and actions that make another person feel uncomfortable or unsafe
.3 Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause or participate in an act of hate violence
.4 Intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation directed against a pupil or group of pupils
.7 Terroristic threats against school officials, or school property or both
Any disciplinary referral may result in a warning/conference with school personnel, phone call or note home, detention, appropriate work assignment, restriction from school activities, in home or home suspension, or other appropriate consequences.
In some cases, a student’s behavior may violate the California Penal Code in addition to the Education Code. If the school has knowledge of such an occurrence, we are obligated to report it to the Police. The following behaviors are examples of violations of the Penal Code that must be reported to the Police:
· Sale, possession, or use of drugs and alcohol
· Possession of a weapon
· Possession of explosives (fire crackers and poppers are classified as explosives)
· Theft or vandalism of district property
· Assault against district employees
An effective school-wide behavior program is a cooperative effort involving students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Working together we will provide a safe and happy atmosphere for your child. Please feel free to contact us at 290-2121 if you have any questions.