2017-2018 Welcome Back to School Letter

                   Martha Elementary School                        

A West Virginia School of Excellence

3067 Martha Road   Barboursville     WV   25504

733-3027     Fax:  733-3016

 

  •     Interested in extended care? Call East Pea Ridge Church at 304-634-4324 
  • “Open House – Aug. 8, 4-6pm in school gym/cafeteria.”
    • Student will meet their teachers, receive information
    • Yearbooks will be available for handout (if received in time)
  • FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL – AUG. 10th
  • K students Aug. 11th from 8:30-10:30 parent/guardian to stay with them
  • PreK first day Aug. 21st.
  • Your child’s teacher and room number are listed on the front of your envelope.

                                                                                                                                 

To:         Martha Elementary School Parents               

From:    Boyd C. Mynes, Jr. Principal

Date:      August 2, 2017

Re:         Opening of School

 

Welcome Back to Martha Elementary, a West Virginia School of Excellence! I hope you and your families are enjoying a great summer and are looking forward to a new school year.   The first full day of school for students is August 10, 2017.  School hours for students will be from 7:50 am until 2:40 pm.  Questions concerning bus routes, numbers, pick up times, etc. should be directed to the bus garage by calling 733-3015 or by visiting the Cabell County Schools website at http://cabe.k12.wv.us and clicking on “bus schedules” under the Students and Families tab.

 

Students will have numerous items with them on August 10th for you to review, sign, and return to the school.  They will be placed in a large envelope with a checklist included to help you keep them in order and return them in a timely fashion.  All of the items requiring a signature are mandated by either Cabell County Schools or the West Virginia State Department of Education.  We need to have these items returned by Friday, August 11th.

 

Although most of the following items are covered in the school handbook that you will receive on the first day of school, I wanted to highlight a few of the more important ones prior to the first day of school.  NOTE: The handbook in grades Pre-K-2 will be a separate book.  The handbook in grades 3-5 will be printed in the students’ agendas.  The full student handbook is also available online.

 

With the exception of NEW KINDERGARTEN and PRESCHOOL, all students will report to the school cafeteria on August 10th as they arrive.  Teachers will be available in the cafeteria to make sure your child gets to the correct classroom.  School buses will unload directly in front of the cafeteria.  If you are dropping off your child, you will use the side entrance, not the main entrance to the building as staff is not available to supervise students at this entrance.

 

PRESCHOOL-Students will begin on August 21std.  Pre-School students may begin arriving at 7:55 directly in front of the classroom.  You will receive school information regarding an orientation meeting separately from this mailing.

 

EXCEPTION:  On the first FULL day of school, August 11th, kindergarten parents may walk their children to the classroom, take a few pictures and pretend not to cry etc.  This is fine. AGAIN, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS WILL ONLY ATTEND FROM 8:30 to 10:30 ON AUGUST 10TH.   THIS IS AN ORIENTATION DAY FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS.  YOU WILL BE STAYING WITH YOUR CHILD.   You will need to park on the lot between Elmwood Church and the school’s main entrance or the lot in front of Elmwood Church and walk your child into the school.  You will enter at the school’s main entrance (main door is where the flag is located), sign in at the office, and walk your child to the classroom.  Kindergarten students are to report to the cafeteria independently after being dropped from their car or bus beginning on the second day of school.

 

On the second day of school, you will enter the parent loop at Elmwood Church.  All drop offs will unload anywhere along the sidewalk with the white line.  Students will enter the building and go directly to their rooms.  Staff will be present to direct students.  It is not necessary to enter the building with your child unless you are late or have an appointment.  ALL VISITORS must enter at the school’s main office (next to flag pole) to sign into the building as required by West Virginia State policy.   As of May 2013 Cabell County further implemented security procedures with the Passage Point Client Visitor Management System.  At this time all visitors will need to bring a valid driver’s license with them to obtain a visitors pass.  Please be patient as we will have to rescan everyone at the beginning of the New Year, even if you have previously been scanned.

 

7:25 –7:50- Side doors open for Parent Drop-Offs - The “OFFICIAL DROP OFF” for parents bringing their child to school is anywhere on the white line on the front sidewalk.  Doors will be locked at 7:50 am.  Students arriving after this will need to enter with parents at the schools security entrance and be admitted to class.  NOTE: Your child is late if he/she is not in the classroom by 7:50 AM.  First bell rings at 7:45, students must be physically in the classroom before tardy bell rings at 7:50.

 

Students who arrive late will need to be brought into the building by their parent and signed in before going on to class.  Parents will need to park in the lot between Elmwood Church and the school’s main entrance, ring the school’s security system, and be admitted to the building.

 

We have a large number of parents who elect to drive their children to school rather than use the bus service which is fine.  However, please be aware that there is often a large line that reaches back near Elmwood Church.  Our PARENT LOOP has a NEW LOOK.  All care will drive on the left side of the loop.  The right side you will see lines up to the sidewalk.  This ENTIRE AREA is for student unloading.  Students are to exit their car and walk directly to the sidewalk.  Children are to unload anywhere along the white lines connecting to the sidewalk.  This allows multiple students to unload at one time and allows the cars to move faster through the drop off loop.

 

THIS IS A VERY HECTIC TIME OF THE DAY FOR EVERYONE AND MANY OF YOU ARE IN A HURRY AND ON YOUR WAY TO WORK, ETC.  HOWEVER, IT IS OF EXTREME

 

IMPORTANT****ALSO,    TO PREVENT DRAGGING YOUR CHILD, PLEASE CUT THE EXECSS STRAPING FROM YOUR CHILD’S BOOK BAGS.  I HAVE HAD SEVERAL INSTANCES WHERE THE CHILD’S STRAP GETS SHUT IN THE CAR DOOR AS THE CAR BEGINS TO MOVE.

 

When possible, we ask that your child unload from the vehicle on the passenger side in order to keep them from having to walk in between or in front of vehicles.  WHEN YOU CHILD UNLOADS FROM THE DRIVER’S SIDE THEY ARE TO WALK IN FRONT OF YOUR VECHICLE NOT BEHIND IT.  NO ONE WATCHES YOUR CHILD LIKE YOU!

 

Breakfast:  takes place in the classroom after instruction begins, therefore, they only need to arrive in time to unload, walk down the hallway, and be seated in their classroom by 7:50.  Again, our doors are open from 7:25-7:50.

 

2:45 – Dismissal Time for Pick Ups – Parents will pick up their child by car and should be in the parent loop line-up by this time.  Cars will be lined up along the front of the building waiting for the buses to depart.  You will then depart using Martha Road.    UNTIL WE PUT THE PARENT FACE TO THE STUDENT, WE MAY NEED TO ASK YOU WHO YOU ARE PICKING UP AND TO PRESENT AN ID.   

 

SECURITY PROCEDURES

 

In an effort to keep a focus on security, Cabell County Schools and the State of West Virginia, require that ALL VISITORS enter the school through a designated entrance, check in with the office, present a valid driver’s license and sign the visitors’ log prior to entering the main part of the building and sign out again prior to leaving the building.   Your pass will allow you access to area specific locations, depending on the area(s) you need to visit.   Martha’s building is considered a secure building meaning that all exterior doors will be kept locked.  Visitors to the building will be required to ring the audio/video security system at the school’s main entrance prior to entering the building.  After being admitted to the office, you will be asked to sign in and to present a valid

Driver’s license.  You will be given a pass if you have an appointment within the building. 

 

 

EARLY DEPARTURE/CHANGE OF PLANS

 

The end of the school day is another busy time of the day.  Teachers are wrapping up the day’s activities and taking care of numerous end- of –the-day chores.  Please make every effort to let your child’s teacher know of any changes that will affect your child’s schedule for the day by both informing your child and sending a note to the teacher.  CALL THE OFFICE AND LET THE SECRETARY KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE SENT SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN YOUR CHILD’S BOOKBAG AS THE BOOKBAG MONSTER OFTEN EATS IMPORTANT NOTES! Call prior to 1:30 pm.

 

PLEASE RESERVE CALLING THE SCHOOL WITH END OF THE DAY DEPARTURE CHANGES FOR EXTREME EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.  It is very difficult to handle numerous calls during the last few minutes of the school day especially when they involve transportation changes.  This creates havoc for both the child and the school staff.  Bus changes are not to be made to accommodate social events.

 

When I receive a note, every attempt is made to call the parent and verify the note for safety reasons.  When we receive a call requesting a change we don’t always know who is making the call.

 

WHILE SENDING A WRITTEN NOTE IS STILL THE PREFERED METHOD OF NOTIFING YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER OF TRANSPORTATION CHANGES, WE HAVE A PHONE SYSTEM THAT WILL OFFER YOU OPTIONS WHEN YOU CALL THE SCHOOL.  WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO HAVE A LIVE PERSON ANSWER THE PHONE, IT IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.  WE OFTEN HAVE SICK CHILDREN, ACCIDENTS THAT NEED ATTENDING AND OTHER ISSUES THAT REQUIRE THE SECRETARY TO STEP AWAY FROM HER DESK.  IF THE SECRETARY DOES NOT ANSWER, THERE WILL BE MENUS THAT WILL DIRECT YOU TO INDIVIDUAL STAFF MESSAGE MAILBOXES ETC.  IF THE SECRETARY DOES ANSWER YOU MAY BE GIVEN AN EXTENSION NUMBER TO BE CONNECTED TO THE MAILBOX OF THE PERSON YOU ARE CALLING.  ONE OF THE MENUS WILL BE FORE LEAVING CHANGE OF TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS.  THESE MESSAGES WILL BE CHECKED IN THE AFTERNOON AND TEACHERS WILL BE NOTIFIED VIA A NOTICE THAT IS SENT TO STAFF EACH AFTERNOON.  THIS WILL HELP TO CUT DOWN ON THE NUMEROUS INTERCOM INTERFFUPTIONS THAT HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN A PART OF THE END OF THE DAY AND WILL ALLOW FOR MORE UNINTERRUPTED INSTRUCTIONAL TIME.   

 

 WE ARE HUMAN AND THEREFORE ARE SUBJECT TO MAKING MISTAKES, HOWEVER, WE DO OUR BEST TO FOLLOW THE WRITTEN DIRECTIONS THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN US -----WHEN YOU TELL YOUR CHILD THAT YOU WILL PICK THEM UP WHEN THEY ARE NORMALLY A BUS STUDENT OR THAT THEY ARE TO RIDE THE BUS WHEN THEY ARE NORMALLY A PICK UP---AND YOU HAVEN’T COMMUNICATED THIS TO THE TEACHER---THERE IS USUALLY A CONCERN, A CRYING CHILD, AN UPSET PARENT AND TEACHER AND A LOT OF CONFUSION.

 

FOR SAFETY REASONS WE DO NOT ACCEPT TRANSPORTATION CHANGES FROM YOUR CHILD VERBALLY,  SO PLEASE SEND A WRITTEN NOTICE WHEN YOU ARE MAKING A CHANGE IN HOW YOUR CHILD IS TO DEPART SCHOOL.  PLEASE AVOID CALLING THE SECRETARY DAILY TO GIVE TRANSPORTATION DIRECTIONS/CHANGES.  MOST FAMILIES KNOW THEIR SCHEDULE THE NIGHT BEFORE ALLOWING SUFFICIENT TIME TO WRITE A NOTE.

 

Should an error occur and your child is on the bus when he/she should not be, we will contact the driver by radio and request that he/she return the child to the school.  If we do not know what to do with your child at the end of the day we will keep him/her at the school until guardian contact can be made.  School staff will remain until the child is picked up.  Bus drivers are directed to return kindergarten children 1st to the school and 2nd to the Barboursville bus garage (304.733.3015) if there is not anyone to meet the child at the bus stop.  Depending on the maturity level and circumstances, other children may also be returned if no one is there to meet the child.

 

ATTENDANCE 

You will receive a brochure outlining the attendance policies required by both Cabell County and the state of West Virginia.  Please review it carefully as there are legal ramifications involved for non-compliance.

 

Most of the letters sent last year were as a result of not having received WRITTEN NOTIFICATION regarding the student’s absences.  While calls to the school regarding students’ absences are both expected and appreciated, we can not enter the absence as excused unless we have A WRITTEN EXCUSE FROM THE PARENT OR DR.  We may accept up to FIVE (5) parent written notes to excuse five (5) days of absences in any one school year, if they are for excusable reasons.  Medical excuses from a physician are not limited.  Vacation or out of town trips are not excused absences.  School suspension days are also considered unexcused absences.

 

Students often do not give your notes to their teacher.  If this is a concern you may want to drop off your excuses, mail them or fax them to the school at 733-3016.

 

TARDY ARRIVALS AND EARLY DISMISSALS DO COUNT AGAINST PERFECT ATTENDANCE INCENTIVE PROGRAMS UNLESS YOU HAVE A DOCTOR EXCUSE.  Students may be asked to make up tardy arrival time during the recess period in order to give them the opportunity to make up missed work. 

 

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Martha has emergency plans to handle many situations.  We have lock-down procedures, shelter-in-place procedures and evacuation procedures.  Every effort to maintain student and staff safety is taken.  However, should a situation arise that would require your child to be sent home early he/she and you need to have an alternate plan in mind.  This may be an alternate departure from the school plan or an alternate plan for where to go or what to do when the child arrives home, phone number, addresses, etc.  We also have a plan for evacuation of the building should we be faced with an active shooter or other weapon carrying intruder.  This plan involves non-traditional exiting from the building, such as through windows.  Students may be taken through one of the fields around the school instead of the normal side walk.  For this reason, students are no longer permitted to wear beach sandals/flip flops to school.  Shoes need to be secured to the student’s feet.  Sandals must have straps to secure the heel.  We may have to exit in the rain or snow and students need appropriate foot ware at all times.

 

THE WEST VIRGINIA EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEM—COMMONLY CALLED WVEIS IS THE STATE COMPUTER SYSTEM THAT CONTAINS ALL STUDENT INFORMATION.  IT IS EXREMELY IMPORTANT THAT INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE SYSTEM BE CORRECT.  THIS ALLOWS SCHOOLS, BUS GARAGES, CENTRAL OFFICE, ETC. TO FIND INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR CHILD.  THIS IS VITAL DURING AN EMERGENCY.

 

You will be receiving a copy of the information currently on WVEIS for your child.  You will need to update any incorrect information, add any needed information and return it to the school on Friday, August 12th.  We will be updating this information in our computers and making emergency cards for the staff based on the information you provide. 

 

MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION

ALL MEDICATIONS, INCLUDING OVER THE COUNTER, and MUST BE PRESCRIBED BY A DR. AND HAVE A DR.’S WRITTEN ORDER signed on a Medication Log that can be obtained from your school secretary or school nurse, BEFORE SCHOOL PERSONNEL CAN ADMINISTER THEM.

 

In addition, teachers in grades 3-5 will AGAIN be using the OnCourse program this year.  Grades will be entered on this system and parents will have access to their child’s grades.  If you check your child’s grades and find that they have not been updated, please call me so that I can check with the teacher.  Entering grades weekly is a county requirement for all teachers.

 

 LIBRARY

We have a library staffed by a part time media/technology specialist who will be in the building two and one half days per week.  We will be using a computerized book check out system and will be able to allow students to check out and take home books from our Accelerated Reader (AR) selections.  As always, we are in need of new books.  If you or your business would like to make a donation to our library in your name, (we are in need of books, and of course, money) please contact the school and ask for our media/technology specialist at 733-3027.  Should you care to volunteer in the library, please let Mrs. Stapleton, our media teacher, know when you are available.  She may also be reached by phone 304.733.3027 or email gastaple@k12.wv.us.

 

CELL PHONE USAGE

Cell phones have changed the way most of us live today.  They are convenient and help speed us the way we communicate.  We do ask that you call/text teachers during NON instructional time.  Times when teachers do not have students are preferred.

 

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