Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School
422 Hazzard Circle
Ridge Spring, S.C. 29129
Telephone: (803) 685-2000
Fax: (803) 685-2008
Callie Herlong, Principal Amy Cooper, Assistant Principal
Welcome to Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School and the 2017-18 school year. The faculty, staff, and administration are anticipating another exciting year. I look forward to working to help each of you reach your personal and academic goals.
The handbook is designed to provide a reference for you to understand the operations and expectations of our school. Please keep in mind all policies and procedures are not listed due to limited space. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed in the handbook, please feel free to contact us to obtain further information. We hope this handbook is only one of the tools you learn to use to make this school year your best one yet. We are looking forward to a cooperative and committed home-school partnership. Please contact me if I can help you in any way.
Callie Herlong, Principal
Empowering each other
Striving for success
Increase student achievement by implementing a rigorous, relevant and engaging curriculum.
RSM School-Wide Expectations
Hallway: Cafeteria Restrooms___________
Walk quietly Stay in your seat Facilities are used appropriately
Always have a pass Eat quietly Leave restroom clean
Line up to the right All materials in hand Understand stalls=students
Keep hands by your side Tidy up Sanitize hands
Have monitors on duty
Alphabetical Listing of School Information
It is a good practice for students to write important dates and assignments in the agenda book/planner provided at the beginning of the school year. Students may purchase a planner from the school’s main office in the event that the initial agenda provided by the school is lost or stolen. The cost of a replacement agenda is $5.00.
Each morning at 7:45 a.m. attendance will be taken in the student’s homeroom. Announcements will be aired over our school public address system at 7:40 a.m. Classrooms will not be called and announcements will not be made during the day. We want to protect our instructional time and minimize classroom interruptions. It is important that everyone remains in class and listens carefully to these announcements. Important information will be sent home weekly in the school newsletter and grade level newsletters.
Instructional School Day: 7:45 am-2:45 pm Tardy bell: 7:45 am
Morning car riders enter the building through the gym entrance each morning. Please travel along Ridge Hill Drive around the back of the school and drop off students at the gym. Please do not drop off children at the main entrance of the school building. Late arrivals must report to the office with an adult for a tardy slip before being admitted to the classroom. Walkers must remain on sidewalks and may only cross the road at crosswalks. Faculty and staff are stationed throughout the school to ensure that your child reaches his/her room in a timely and safe manner.
Free breakfast will be served in the cafeteria to those students who arrive to school on time. A student arriving after 7:45 a.m. is considered to be tardy and must be signed in at the main office by an adult where the tardy will be documented. School doors will open at 7:15 am each school day. Students should not arrive earlier than 7:15 a.m. or remain on the campus later than 3:00 p.m. unless they are participating in a school-sponsored, supervised activity. Only students who are on a school team or school sponsored activity are allowed to remain after school with the teacher supervising.
Please refrain from signing out a student early from school unless it is for a scheduled appointment. A signed and dated note must be sent to school with the student if a change is made on how he/she is to get home from school. Changes in transportation will not be accepted via telephone calls. This is to ensure the safety of all children. All students are dismissed in an orderly manner with a teacher and supervised until boarding. Bus riders will be escorted to the bus lot located off of Ridge Hill Drive by teachers. Car riders will wait in the car line area that is located in the semi-circle drive off of Hazzard Circle in front of the school. Cars will be alerted by school personnel to begin student pick-up after buses have been released. Please begin the line-up at the corner of Ridge Hill Drive and Hazzard Circle. Walkers will be dismissed after the bus and car riders have left the school grounds, and must remain on sidewalks.
Programs are held in the gymnasium. Seats are assigned in most cases according to grade. Students are expected to sit properly and exercise proper etiquette. Food and drinks are not permitted in the gymnasium. When being seated, please use the proper steps and handrails.
ABSENCES AND EXCUSES
In order to encourage and assist students in attending school regularly, the administration will administer the following intervention procedures.
Students who have accumulated three consecutive or five total unlawful absences are identified as truant, habitually truant or chronically truant. An Intervention Plan Form shall be used to document parental involvement, the reasons for the unlawful absences, actions to be taken by the parent/guardian, actions to be taken by school personnel and results of those actions. The student's progress will be monitored and documented on the appropriate form.
A note from a doctor or approved medical provider may be required after a student has accumulated ten absences in order to assist the principal in making that decision.
After three consecutive unlawful absences or total of five unlawful absences occur, school officials will do the following:
Hold a conference with the parent/guardian for the purpose of improving the student's attendance. This conference will be documented on an approved Intervention Plan Form and will include but is not limited to the following:
Reasons for the unlawful absences.
Actions to be taken by the parent/guardian and student to resolve the cause of the unlawful absences.
Actions to be taken by school personnel.
Actions to be taken in the event unlawful absences continue.
Signature of the parent or guardian or evidence that attempts were made to involve the parent/guardian.
Results of the actions taken by the parent/guardian and school personnel.
After the Intervention Plan is completed at the school level, if the student is unlawfully absent again, he/she will be immediately referred to the attendance supervisor with a copy of the intervention plan, attendance printout, student information screen, contact numbers and any documentation of efforts taken by the school to involve the student and/or his parent/guardian.
After 10 non-medical absences, unlawful absences or a combination of the two, the principal of the school will approve or disapprove each succeeding absence. A medical note will be required to assist the principal in making that decision. The principal may decide to not include those absences that are medically excused as a part of the ten total absences provided the medical excuses are not deemed excessive (>10).
The attendance supervisor will refer parents/guardians of students who are 5 through 11 years of age to Family Court only after an intervention plan has been completed and the student accumulates two additional unlawful absences. Those students who are 12 through 16 and/or their parents will also be referred to Family Court only after an intervention plan has been completed and the student accumulates two additional unlawful absences. Students and/or parent/guardians who are already under a School Attendance Order will also be referred to Family Court only after an intervention plan is completed.
Rolling book bags are not allowed. Only students that have a documented disability / medical condition (verified by a medical doctor), that requires such an accommodation, will be allowed to roll their book bag.
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROGRAM
All students are provided a free breakfast. Free and reduced lunches are provided for students who qualify based on financial need. Applications used to determine if a student qualifies are sent home at registration or on the first day of school. One application must be completed for each family. The application must be completed thoroughly so that the processing will not be delayed. The application will be denied if it contains insufficient or incorrect information.
Lunch money can be paid on any school day at the cafeteria or online. One must have the student ID number when paying online. Parents may check the status of a student’s lunch account on the district webpage. To help avoid errors, the correct amount due or a check made out to RS-M Elementary School should be sent. Any questions concerning the amount due should be directed to the cafeteria manager.
Students bringing lunch from home are requested not to bring glass containers or items with caffeine. Menus are posted on the school district’s web page at http://acps.schoolfusion.us/ and the school’s webpage: http://rsmel.acps.schoolfusion.us/
The price for full pay lunch for students is $2.45. Any questions concerning amounts due are to be directed to the cafeteria manager at 685-2014.
Bullying is any intentional act, possibly repeated over time, that causes discomfort, harm, or humiliation to others. Bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to, hitting, punching, teasing, name-calling, sending insulting messages, or targeting. Adapted from: www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov
Listed below are our school’s procedures for handling bullying reports:
1. Report bullying to guidance counselor, teacher, or administrator on the bullying form. An immediate assessment is made when a complaint is brought to the principal, assistant principal, teacher, guidance counselor or other school personnel to protect the well being of a student or students or to prevent the disruption of their learning while the matter is being investigated.
2. Appropriate interventions and strategies, such as increased supervision and regular communication with families are then implemented. We promptly notify parents of any student who is an alleged target and parents of any student who may have been accused of bullying after a complaint has been made.
3. Following an impartial investigation, including conducting interviews with the alleged target, the person who made the complaint, as well as any person or persons who witnessed or who may have relevant information about the alleged incident, it will be determined whether or to what extent the allegation has been substantiated. An appropriate disciplinary and/or remedial action will be determined.
The goal of this process is to correct the situation to the extent possible and to take such steps as to prevent a repetition of such an incident, as well as retaliation. If a crime has been committed, such as any issue reportable under South Carolina law, the school will contact the appropriate law enforcement authority. When the school’s investigation has been completed, the results will be reported to the parents/guardians of both parties. The amount of information in these meetings may be limited by confidentiality laws.
Note: Data on classroom intervention is reviewed to assess what interventions are effective in the classroom.
Only students registered with the transportation department with assigned bus stops will be permitted to ride the bus. Students will
not be allowed to ride with friends or to unassigned bus stops.
CARE OF PROPERTY
The school building, fixtures, furniture and supplies are the property of the people. Taxes support the school; therefore, it is important that students use this property wisely and carefully. Any damage by students to desks, buildings, or other property may be charged to the student committing the damages. Failure to pay for the damages will result in a report to law enforcement. Vandalism or purposeful damage to school property will result in immediate suspension followed by restitution.
Students in the elementary grades (K-5th grade) are not allowed to use a cell phone on school grounds.
Students are expected to do their own work and not copy from others, including internet sources. Cheating is considered dishonesty and/or plagiarism.
Computers and other technological devices are used for teacher directed assignments that are related to the course. Students are not permitted to explore the internet without an assignment and supervision of the teacher. All assignments are purposeful and connect to the curriculum. Only academic related material may be printed with permission from the teacher. Paper and ink for printing is provided through school funding. No food or drink is permitted near the computers and printers. Access to the internet is a privilege with the responsibility to follow the acceptable use policy printed in the Aiken County Code of Student Conduct.
CONTACT INFORMATION/CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER
Parents are responsible for notifying the school office in writing immediately of any change of address or phone number. Proof of residency is required for all address changes (cell phone bills are not acceptable). The school cannot be held responsible for failure to communicate if it is not informed of such changes. It is extremely important to have an up-to-date address and working phone number at the school office in case of emergency. Neglect will be reported to the proper agency when parent contact is inaccurate and not available. Also, please notify your child’s teacher if there is any change. If you move out of our attendance area, you must request, in writing, special permission to attend Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School with our Academic Officer.
Students receive instruction based on content alignment with the SC Curriculum Standards. Teachers provide instruction based on the standards. They may be accessed on the SC Department of Education web-site at http://www.ed.sc.gov.
DISCIPLINE/CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT
The School District of Aiken County has written conduct codes by which schools and students must abide. Each student receives a copy on his/her first day. Parents and students are to read and become familiar with these policies. A portion of this is to be signed by the student and parent, dated and returned to the teacher, who will file it with the permanent record folder. These district policies are in obedience with state laws and carry the weight of law in our school district. Please study the code carefully and discuss the regulations and consequences with your child. If your child has a discipline problem, you will be notified of the problem and of the action taken. Please sign and return all discipline notices that you receive. Specific rules and consequences are communicated to the students and parents. Any questions about specific classroom rules should be directed to the teacher.
Appropriate dress for school is to be followed in order to avoid possible disruptions of the learning process. If a student wears clothing, accessories, and/or piercings or markings that are determined to be inappropriate for the school setting, his or her parents will be notified to bring appropriate clothing and accessories will need to be picked up in the front office by parent/guardian.
Students may not wear any article of clothing or a patch bearing any words or phrases that are obscene, vulgar, or otherwise in bad taste and which cause a disruption of the learning process. We request that all shorts and skirts are worn a finger-tip length or longer.
When representing the school at any time (field trip, athletic event, etc.), students will adhere to the above dress code and also to any rules set forth by the organization they represent.
EARLY RELEASE WEDNESDAYS –Elementary dismisses at 12:45 pm.
Lunch is served on Early Release Wednesday professional development days.
School will be dismissed early on a Wednesday for teachers to be involved in professional development. Early Release Wednesdays are:
September 27 October 25 January 24 February 28 March 28
ELECTRONIC OR COMPUTERIZED ITEMS
Radios, cassette players, compact disc players, MP-3 players, I-Pods, I-PADs, Nooks/Kindles, media players, and hand-held electronic games or devices are not allowed in the classroom unless the school/teacher has notified parents of special events that are structured as incentives for students (ex. Trojan Pride, MAP Game Day, etc.). If any of these items are observed in the classroom setting at a time that distracts the student from learning, they will be turned in to the office to be held until a parent /guardian picks the item up. Our school has electronic items such as I-Pods, I-Pads, netbooks, and lap-tops for student use. Students are expected to follow the Aiken County School District’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy for internet, other electronic media, and on-line connections.
Students are allowed to have electronic devices on school buses for the purpose of listening to music and other forms of media. Students should not be using cell phones to make and/or receive phone calls. If they are listening to music via a cell phone and texting they are within the boundaries as long as headphones are being used. If students are loud or cause disruption that is related to their electronic device they can be required to put it away and may receive a bus referral for the offense.
EMERGENCY EARLY DISMISSAL AND DELAYED START TIMES
In the event of an early dismissal or delayed start, buses will complete normal routes.
In order to be prepared in the event of an early dismissal, RS-M will have a special sign out procedure for your convenience. Also, it is important to remember the following:
1. Please refrain from calling the school as it may tie up phone lines that need to be used in times of emergency. Listen to local radio/television stations and view the school web-site.
2. Please refrain from calling the school to change your child’s method of transportation. This is for your child’s safety. We can’t verify identification over the telephone.
3. With emergency early release, all after school activities are cancelled. (After-school Program, sports, academic matches, field trips, etc.)
4. No breakfast is served on late opening days. Lunch may or may not be served on emergency early dismissal days.
Emergency drills will be held once a month without notice. At the sound of the alarm, each class should follow the emergency procedures. Instructions for placement or evacuation are posted in each classroom.
Field trips that have been approved by the principal as being instructionally related will be taken by different grade levels and groups throughout the year. Students must have written parental permission for all field trips.
Chaperones for field trips must attend the school’s training for volunteers prior to chaperoning any trips. A chaperone is not allowed to purchase items on field trips for any student other than his/her own child.
The following rules will be observed for all students when traveling to and from school sponsored activities:
1. When traveling by bus or private vehicle, all riders must obey all safety rules.
2. No student will be allowed to go to or from any event in a private vehicle with anyone other than their parents or a school official.
All fund raising projects must have the approval of the principal and the Advisory Council. Only items being sold to raise funds for RS-M may be sold at school. PTO items being sold must be sold by the PTO.
GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM IN AIKEN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Aiken County Public Schools serve identified gifted and talented students according to State Regulation R-43-220 and the policies of the local School Board. Gifted and Talented students are those identified in grades 3-12 as demonstrating high performance ability or potential in academic or artistic areas. The Gifted and Talented Educational Program (G/T) serves academically gifted students in grades 3-12 throughout the school year. Gateway serves artistically gifted students in grades 3-12 in a summer program. Academically gifted students qualify for the Gifted and Talented Educational Program if they meet the criteria set forth in the state regulations. Identification may be appealed to the District Evaluation/Placement Team. Private testing may be used only for referral purposes according to state regulations, but not for identification. Parents, teachers and students may make student referrals to the program through the school’s G/T teacher or the school’s guidance counselor at any time during the school year. To be state identified, students must meet two of the following dimensions:
Dimension A: Reasoning Abilities. Students must demonstrate high aptitude (93rd national age percentile or above) in one or more of these areas: verbal/linguistic, quantitative/mathematical, non-verbal, and/or composite of the three. All students are tested in grade 2 using the CogAT test to measure aptitude in the fall. Students at or above the 96th national age percentile on the composite score receive automatic G/T placement.
Dimension B: High Achievement in Reading and/or Mathematical Areas. Students must demonstrate high achievement (94th national percentile and above or advanced status) in reading and/or math as measured by a nationally normed test, fall MAP testing or South Carolina statewide assessment instruments (PASS Qualifying scores determined each year). All second grade students are tested during fall testing using the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Students in grades 3-8 are PASS tested yearly in the spring.
Dimension C: Intellectual/Academic Performance. Students must demonstrate a high degree of interest in and commitment to academic and/or intellectual pursuits. Students entering grades 6-12 meet this dimension if they demonstrate a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in language arts, math, science, social studies and foreign language. Students entering grades 3-6 demonstrate this dimension through a performance task assessment administered to students meeting one of the two Dimensions (A or B) as given above. This performance assessment (STAR) is given in the spring of each year district-wide.
Instruction in Gifted and Talented Educational Program classes exceeds the state standards for each grade level. The resource room model is used in grades 3-7 and the subject-based model is used in grades 8-12.Artistically gifted students must apply for the Gateway program during the school year and complete the interview and audition process in the spring. The summer program serves newly qualified and previously qualified students. Complete information is on the District website.
The Aiken County Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic or racial background, religious beliefs, sex, disability, economic or social conditions, alienage, national origin, immigrant status (except as limited or restricted by certain visa qualifications set forth in federal law) or by English-speaking status in, or employment in, its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies should be made to the Associate Superintendent for Administration (641-2609).
For more information on the Gifted and Talented Educational Program, contact your school principal or Mary McGuire (641-2651).
GRADING SYSTEM/REPORT CARDS
Student performance will be evaluated based on mastery of the state and/or common core grade-level standards. Student conduct shall be excluded from consideration in determining a student's grade. Report cards will reflect the academic achievement standards.
The Aiken County School System can now provide access to your child’s current grades and attendance via a web based student management software program called PowerSchool. Please contact a guidance counselor in person to receive your child’s ID number and password for the Parent Portal of PowerSchool.
Numerical Grade Letter Grade
90 – 100 (A) MS– Meeting Standards
80 – 89 (B) MPS – Making Progress toward Standards
70 – 79 (C) NMP – Not Making Progress toward Standards
60 – 69 (D)
Below 60 (F)
4 and 5 Year-Old Kindergarten
A checklist reflecting academic achievement standards will be used each nine weeks.
Numerical Grades – Reading & Math
Letter Grades – Language Arts, Handwriting, Social Studies, Science/Health, Art, Music, PE
Numerical Grades – Reading; Language Arts, Math, Science/Health, Social Studies
Letter Grades – Art, Music, PE, Handwriting
3rd -5th Grade
Numerical Grades – Reading; Language Arts, Math, Science/Health, Social Studies
Letter Grades – Art, Music, PE, Handwriting
Reports Cards are issued at the end of each 9-week period. Interims are sent by teachers in grades 1-5 . Weekly progress is sent home by all teachers. These reports are designed to keep you updated on your child’s progress prior to receiving the 9-week report card. Please request a conference with the teacher if your child is failing any subject.
Students who maintain an “A” average in every subject for a nine weeks’ period or semester shall be recognized on the Principal’s Honor Roll for that period. Students who maintain at least a “B” average for a nine weeks’ period or semester shall be recognized on the school A/B Honor Roll for that period.
The Junior Beta Club is a national organization that promotes high academic achievement, leadership, and service. Students in 4th and 5th grade are eligible for membership if they demonstrate an average of 85 or above on grade-level material in all subject areas for the semester.
The parents and/or guardians of Aiken County School students have a web-based secure internet tool to give real-time access to all grades that have been posted in a teacher’s grade book. PowerSchool also lets you see your child’s attendance. You will also be able to email teachers through the ParentPortal. Please contact the guidance counselor for information regarding obtaining an account and password for logging into the ParentPortal.
Guidance services are available for all students. The guidance counselor helps students develop a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, improve their self-concept, develop a positive social relationship with others, and improve decision-making skills. The guidance counselor conducts individual and group counseling sessions, as well as works with classroom groups.
The counselor also consults with parents and teachers about home environment, child growth and development, behavior management, test results, and study skills. The guidance counselor coordinates conferences, guidance awareness, career awareness, and parent study groups. Students are encouraged to visit the guidance counselor if they have a concern about home, school, or friends.
Homework is designed to provide practice in academic skills and to extend and reinforce the lessons presented in class. It develops good study habits, increases skills, and adds to the student’s knowledge. With the proper monitoring from parent and teacher, homework also helps the student develop independence and responsibility. A parent should encourage and support the child’s efforts. However, homework is the student’s responsibility, not the parents.
Insurance is made available through the school for those who wish to participate. Should you participate in the insurance program, it is the responsibility of the student and/or parent to file the claim in case of injury. Insurance forms are accessible on the district website under the parent guide.
Students must reside with parents or legal guardians who are residents of the school district. Guardianship of the person shall be accepted only if the student actually resides with the custodial guardian who is vested with the power and charged with the duty of managing the student’s affairs.
LOST AND FOUND
Please label all personal belongings. Lost items cannot be returned if the school cannot determine rightful ownership. The lost and found area is in the main entrance of the school. Every nine weeks lost and found items not picked up will be donated to charity.
MAKE UP WORK
Students are expected to make up work when absent from school. Make-up work is the responsibility of the student and should be completed within the same number of days missed (ex. If a student misses 2 days, the student has 2 days to make up work.)
MEDICATION / HEALTH CLINIC
Any medication administered in the school setting will have to have a written medical order (prescription), including over-the-counter medications.
When possible, medications should be given by parents/guardians before or after school hours. Students requiring medication during the school day will receive their medications per written orders provided by a health care practitioner. If your child will be taking a medication for the first time, initial doses of medication should be given at home.
In order for a child to be given medication at school, there are two options that you may use:
1) the child’s health care practitioner may send to the school a copy of the prescription or a written statement from the health care practitioner that provides the child’s name, name of the drug, the dose, and the approximate time it is to be taken- parent/guardian should complete and sign the Aiken County School District’s Permission for Medication Administration form; OR
2) the child’s health care practitioner and the parent or guardian should complete and sign the Aiken County School District’s Permission for Medication Administration form.
All medication must be brought to the health clinic by the parent/guardian in the manufacturer’s smallest original container available
School Personnel will do the following:
a. Inform the principal or principal’s designee of the medication.
b. Keep a record of the receipt and administration of medication on the district form
c. Keep medication in a secure, locked container
d. Return unused medication to the parent/guardian or student at principal’s discretion unless instructed otherwise
Refilled prescription drugs must be provided in a new container, appropriately labeled. Medication may not exceed a one month supply. Any changes in administration of a current prescription medication must be accompanied by a changed Aiken County School District’s Permission for Medication Administration form and a new label indicating the changes.
Students may be given permission to carry and self-administer their medications due to life threatening conditions. Permission will be granted only after a physician’s order is received. The school district retains the discretion to reject any request for administration of medicine. A copy of this regulation and the policy may be provided to parent/guardian upon request for administration of medication in the schools. School personnel and employees cannot be responsible for the adequacy of prescribed medications or medical treatments recommended by physicians or related medical professionals and/or supplied by pharmacist or other sources outside the school district and therefore, will assume no responsibility for the effects of such medications or treatments upon students.
All accidents must be reported to a teacher or an adult in charge when it occurs. In case of an emergency, parents will be notified. For this reason, it is most important that registration cards include emergency contacts and all telephone numbers. Any changes in emergency information must be reported to the office immediately.
NOTES REQUIRED FROM PARENT/GUARDIAN
2. Tardiness (approved at the discretion of an administrator)
3. Request for early dismissal (approved at the discretion of an administrator)
4. Notification of medical concerns with medical documentation
5. Visiting homes of other children (both students must have a note of permission if one student is visiting the home of
another) Only students registered with the transportation department with assigned bus stops will be permitted to ride the
bus. Students will not be allowed to ride with friends or to unassigned bus stops.
6. A change of transportation. Only students registered with the transportation department with assigned bus stops will be
permitted to ride the bus. Students will not be allowed to ride with friends or to unassigned bus stops.
1. School Web Page http://www.acpsd.net/RSMES
2. Teacher Web Page http://www.acpsd.net/RSMES (click on “Teachers”)
3. Blackboard Connect Phone Call System
4. Trojan Tribune (bi-weekly school newsletter); posted on school web page
5. Grade Level Newsletters (weekly)
6. School Marquee
7. Agendas (daily)
8. Yellow Communication Folders (weekly)
9. News articles (Aiken Standard, Twin City News, Saluda Standard Sentinel, Edgefield Advertiser)
Parent-teacher conferences facilitate a better working relationship and understanding between the home and the school. Parents are strongly encouraged to schedule and meet with their child’s teacher(s) to help ensure success for the child. Parent-Teacher Conference Day will be held October 23, 2017. All other conferences are to be held prior to the start of school, after school, or during the teacher’s planning time, by appointment. Any conference held at the school is subject to having an administrator in attendance.
The PTO is open to all parents, school personnel, and other supportive relatives and friends of students. It is an active group whose main purpose is to work with the school in creating a safe and happy environment where our students can learn and grow. Programs and projects are scheduled during the year to involve all members in helping to raise funds that provide opportunities to enrich the educational quality of our school. An active, concerned PTO can help make a better school. The 2017-2018 PTO Officers are as follows: Angela McDowell (President), Peter Blacks (Vice President), Monica Smith (Secretary), Katrina Rodgers (Treasurer).
RELEASE OF STUDENT INFORMATION / PRINTING PICTURE / EDUCATIONAL RECORDS – CONFIDENTIALITY (Certain Exceptions)
Under federal law parents and students have a right to expect the confidentiality of student records. Educational agencies may act to declare certain aspects of a student’s educational records to be “directory information,” meaning information contained in such records which is not considered to be generally harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The Aiken County Board of Education has previously determined that “directory information” could be released to third parties upon request, at the discretion of the school principal. Federal law and regulatory authority allows the release of such information without prior consent subject to certain conditions of pre-disclosure to parents or students. The purpose of this notice is to meet such pre-disclosure requirements.
Under District policy the following information is considered to be releasable: The student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, subjects of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, date of attendance (on both an annual and daily basis), diplomas and awards received, photographs, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. (Examples of the types of information frequently released include, but are not limited to, Senior Class Listings, Annuals/Yearbooks, Science Fair Winners, Students of the Month, Honor Roll Lists, National Honor Society, athletic event programs, etc.) A parent or guardian of a student attending Aiken County Public Schools who would prefer that any or all of the information designated above not be released without the parent’s or guardian’s prior consent should so notify the office of the Chief Officer of Operations and Student Services in writing (1000 Brookhaven Drive, Aiken, SC 29803) no later than September 8, 2017. If there are any questions, please contact Dr. Shawn Foster, Chief Officer of Operations and Student Services at (803) 641-2514.
Students are to only be in areas under the direct supervision of a faculty or staff member. Students are not allowed to be in teacher work areas or rooms. Students are not allowed to use vending machines.
SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION
Please contact the transportation supervisor for Area 4 if you have any concerns at 685-2103. For school bus discipline procedures, see the ACPS Student Code of Conduct. Only students registered with the transportation department with an assigned bus
stop will be permitted to ride the bus. Students will not be allowed to ride with friends or to unassigned bus stops.
School administrators may search a student’s personal property if there is a reason to suspect that the student has an illegal or dangerous item. The school must focus on a safe and secure learning environment. Signs are posted at entrances to remind visitors of the search law applicable to them (ACT 373 of 1994).
TARDY and EARLY DISMISSAL
A student is considered to be unlawfully tardy or signed out early when they enter school late or are signed out before dismissal time without a medical excuse or a note from a parent. Additionally, students who are signed out before dismissal time are missing valuable instruction and it interferes with classroom instruction. Teachers must stop instruction to give out homework assignments and prepare the student to leave. This takes away time from all of the other students. Thank you for working with us to provide an uninterrupted school day for all students.
It is at the administrator’s discretion to approve the tardy or early dismissal.
The tardy bell rings at 7:45 a.m. Students will not be allowed to enter the classroom after this bell without a pass from the office. If the tardy bell rings while the student is walking down the hall, he/she should return to the office for a pass. The dismissal bell rings at 2:45 p.m. Students who arrive on a late bus will not be counted tardy.
Excessive tardiness is considered a truancy act and is reported in attendance. An intervention meeting will be held to be reported to the district attendance office.
The telephones in the school are for school business only. The telephone should only be used by a student when permission is granted and in extreme emergencies. If a student is ill, school personnel will contact parents. We ask that you not ask the office personnel to deliver messages. This disrupts classes not only for your child but others as well. Messages will be placed in an email or teacher’s box. Please be mindful that teacher’s may not check the box until the following day. We suggest the use of the agenda book to convey messages.
All basic textbooks are loaned to students for their use during the school year by the State Department of Education. The instructional fees collected at the beginning of the school year pay for supplies. Textbooks are to be kept clean and handled carefully. The student’s name, grade, and school name are to be written inside the front cover. Students will be required to pay for lost or damaged books. Students are urged to take good care of books to avoid a damaged or lost book fee at the end of the year.
All visitors, including volunteers, must sign in through the school office and receive a visitor sticker. A visitor is anyone on the school campus who is not an employee of the School District of Aiken County. All unauthorized visitors are considered to be trespassing.
Each year many parents and community residents assist in the instructional and operational program not only by volunteering their time, but also by sharing the special areas of expertise in the classroom. All volunteers must attend the volunteer training held at the school prior to assisting teachers, attending field trips, or in any setting in which children are present. Please contact our Family Engagement Coordinator, Mrs. Mims-Herrera, if you are interested in serving as a volunteer either regularly or on special occasions. We welcome your interest and support. WE NEED YOU!!
STATEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
The School District is committed to equal opportunity for all of its students and patrons. District programs and activities shall be free from discrimination based upon race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sex, age, or any other unlawful consideration. Persons who believe they have been discriminated against should contact the principal of this school, the Area Office, or the School District’s Coordinator for Section 504 concerns, Title IX concerns, and other Civil Rights matters (at  641-2428). Copies of applicable policies are available upon request. (See Policy JI and Administrative Rule JI-R.)
ANNUAL STUDENT RECORDS NOTICE PURSUANT TO THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVICY ACT Student Records Notice: Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act parents or eligible students have the right to 1) inspect and review a student's educational records; 2) request an amendment to incorrect or misleading records, or records otherwise in violation of a student's privacy rights; 3) consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information (except as allowed without consent by law); and 4) file with the U. S. Dept. of Education a complaint for any alleged failure by this School District to comply with the Act. A more detailed explanation of rights and procedures may be found in the Policy Manual located at any school, area office, or the District office (Policy JRA and Administrative Rule JRA-R). Policies may also be found online at the Aiken County Public Schools website (www.acpsd.net). A copy of this policy will be mailed to any parent upon request. Parents or eligible students who have limited or no visual acuity, who have a primary home language other than English, or who may be disabled in some other way which effectively impairs their ability to see, comprehend, or become aware of this notice will be accommodated upon discovery of such limitations by the District. Patrons who may be aware of others with such limitations are requested to notify the District of these circumstances.
ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN
Aiken County Public School District is in compliance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency response Act (AHERA) U.S. EPA Asbestos Containing Building materials (ACBM) in schools, 30 CFR Part 763, October 30, 1987. A Management Plan, which identifies and assesses the asbestos found in our facilities, has been prepared for each building. A copy of the Management Plan has been approved by the State Department of Health and Environmental Control and distributed to each school or administrative office. The public may view the Management Plan for each facility during normal operating hours by contacting the school office or administrative office. The Management Plan lists the planned response actions for the ACBM, which are currently in progress. The entire school system was reinspected for ACBM conditions in October 1998, and found to be in compliance with AHERA regulations. Any questions pertaining to the Management Plan may be directed to Mr. Robbie Roberson, Coordinator for Facilities Construction Department at (803) 642-0431.
NOTICE OF OPT-OUT OPTION FOR PRESIDENTIAL OR GUBERNATORIAL SPEECHES
While it is the board’s policy to facilitate the opportunity for students to observe live presidential or gubernatorial speeches or presentations by electronic media when the same are offered for school-age students during school hours, parents may request in writing to the principal (or his/her designee) that their children be excused and offered appropriate alternate supervised activities. [See Policies IHAC and IHAA for more information.]
Please complete and return to your homeroom teacher.
We have read the classroom rules/newsletter, Ridge Spring-Monetta Student-Parent-School
Handbook, and the Aiken County Code of Student Conduct. The signatures below confirm
that our child agrees to comply with expected behavior at school, school-related activities, and
while riding on a school bus.
Student Signature: Grade:_________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature: Date: