Policies & Procedures
Dear Parents and Guardians,
On behalf of the teachers and the staff of de Portola, Welcome Back to School! Our school has a rich tradition of excellence and a team that is second to none! As a school, we will continue to provide a rigorous learning environment that ensures students are College and Career Ready! Congratulations to all staff and students both past and present for earning the National Blue Ribbon Award, 2021-- the highest award in education.
We will be focused on making connections while implementing intentional lesson design, student engagement, and innovation to ensure that all of our students are successful! Communication is a vital component in highly effective schools like ours, so that everyone stays informed of events. The Patriot Report is an email newsletter that I send out regularly. We are also taking steps to increase our social media footprint. You can access additional information through the following:
- School Webpage
- Follow us on Instagram @DPPatriots1
- Follow us on Twitter @DPPatriots
Click on this link to go to the Bell Schedule.
All parts of our Parent/Student Handbook are listed below for your convenience.
2022-23 Parent/Student Handbook
- General Information
- Health Services
- Student Dress Code
- Student Behavior
- Positive Behavior Area Expectations
- Additional Information
- SVUSD Wellness Policy
- Educational Equity Policy
Student Emergency Information
Each child attending school must have a current Registration/Emergency Information Card, signed by a parent, on file in the office. It is imperative that we maintain up-to-date information, with each question on the card answered completely. This includes vital information needed in case of illness, accidental injury, or an emergency at school.
If, at any time during the school year, there is a change in any of the information (such as a cell, work or home phone number), please notify the school office immediately. Failure to keep the school office informed could mean the loss of precious minutes in the event of an emergency. Please email Office Manager Teresa Bird at email@example.com to notify of any changes or call the office at (949) 586-5830 at your earliest convenience.
Arrival Times and Playground Supervision
Playground supervision begins 15 minutes before school starts (8:15 a.m.). Students should not arrive before there is supervision. If a student happens to arrive prior to 8:00 AM, please stay near the front of the school. A campus supervisor will walk students to the playground at 8:00 AM. Please note that supervision is not provided after school hours or on weekends. Children are asked to stay away from the school buildings if they return to play after school hours. Parents are asked to report to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department any unusual or suspicious activity on school premises after school hours or on non-‑ school days.
Daily School Dismissal
We make every effort to ensure your child’s safe arrival at home after school. Please instruct your child to go directly home, or to the person responsible for his/her pickup when school is dismissed. For the safety of your child, it is very important to be on time when you are picking him/her up at the end of the school day. The school parking lot is closed for pickup of students, except buses, day care vans, and those with Handicap Placards. Our school staff is not responsible for supervision after school hours. This includes activities at the park adjacent to campus. Any time a child’s routine is to be different from usual (such as parents out of town, child to going to a friend’s home or babysitter’s house, etc.), please provide a note to your child’s teacher so that we can be ready to assist if circumstances dictate.
Custodians are not allowed to provide access to classrooms or restrooms after school hours. Other staff is not available to accompany children or parents to classrooms to retrieve forgotten items.
Documentation of Parent Custody
If you have specific limitations related to the release of your child to a natural parent, please be aware that we must comply with various sections of the civil code relating to the dissolution of marriage. We must have documentation specifying which parent has official custody of the child. Therefore, we request that you present us with a copy of the court order which stipulates the conditions of child custody. Please understand that if we do not have this on file, we have no other choice but to release your child to the other natural parent upon their request.
Pupils Who Move
Any change of address must be reported to the school office. If you are planning on moving from our school area, please let us know as soon as possible which day will be your child’s last day of attendance. This will enable us to prepare the necessary forms for the teacher to complete your child’s student records.
Calling for Child at School
If a child is to be dismissed from school early for a medical or dental appointment, please send a note to the teacher stating the time. When you arrive to pick up your child, you must sign him/her out in office. The office will then call for your child. Please plan accordingly for this to take 10-15 minutes to accommodate.
In order to minimize classroom interruptions, we ask that any deliveries to students be brought to the office. Teachers will be notified as soon as possible, and students will be asked to come to the office at a time that will not disrupt their learning. It is the responsibility of each student to remember personal property, lunches, assignments, projects, musical instruments, etc. We ask parents to encourage this responsibility by eliminating, as much as possible, the delivery of forgotten items.
We seek your cooperation and assistance in maintaining a classroom atmosphere which is conducive to the development of good study habits and uninterrupted academic learning time. You can help us in the following ways:
- Unless there is an emergency, please do not call the school and ask us to deliver a message to your child.
- Establish a system at home which helps to eliminate forgotten lunches, homework, musical instruments, etc.
- Remind your child each day, before she/he leaves home, about plans for after school. Arrangements about “visiting friends after school” should be made before coming to school.
Parents are welcome to visit the school and individual classrooms by making arrangements with the teacher or principal first. Upon arriving at school, parents must sign in at the office. It is not possible for teachers to conference with parents during class time. If you wish to discuss the visitation, we suggest that a conference be arranged with the teacher at a mutually convenient time. Classroom visitations are limited to 20 minutes in order to reduce disruption of instructional program. Non-‐‑registered students will not be allowed to visit school due to insurance restrictions.
Saddleback Valley Unified School District has a policy prohibiting discrimination in educational offerings on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, citizenship, age, gender, gender identity, or disability. Complaints alleging non-‐‑compliance should be directed to the school principal and/or the Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources (949-580-3217), and the Director of Student Services (949-580-3204) at Saddleback Valley Unified School District, 25631 Peter A. Hartman Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.
De Portola Elementary believes that regular attendance plays a key role in student achievement. De Portola Elementary recognizes its responsibility under the law to ensure that students attend school regularly. De Portola Elementary shall abide by all state attendance laws and may use appropriate legal means to correct the problems of excessive absence or truancy.
Parents/guardians of children aged six to eighteen are obligated to send their children to school unless otherwise provided by law. Excused Absences from school shall be excused only for health reasons, family emergencies and justifiable personal reasons, as permitted by law, Board policy and administration regulations. (Education Code 48205)
Insofar as class participation is an integral part of students’ learning experiences, parents/guardians and students shall be encouraged to schedule medical appointments during non-‐‑school hours. Students in grades K-‐‑6 should not be absent from school without their parents/guardians’ knowledge or consent except in cases of medical emergency. Each child between the ages of 6 and 18 shall be subject to compulsory full‑time education. (Education Code 48200 and SVUSD AR 5113).
Pupils are excused if absent because of illness or other justifiable cause. Children should not be sent to school when they are not feeling well. A student should be fever free, vomit free, or diarrhea free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
Students will be given the opportunity to make up work that is missed. You may request homework for your child in the morning when you report your child’s absence to the attendance line (949‑586-5830, option 2). Teachers will make every effort to have assignments ready at the end of the school day; however, sometimes this is not possible with less than one day’s notice. Let us know if a classmate will deliver the homework, or if you will personally pick it up from the office after school.
In Accordance with SVUSD Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 5113, Excused Absences
A student’s absence shall be excused for the following reasons:
- Personal illness (education Code 48205) or for the benefit of mental/behavioral health
- Quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer (Education Code 48205)
- Medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic appointments (Education Code 48205)
- Attendance at funeral services for a member of the immediate family, which shall be limited to one day if the service is conducted in California or three days if the service is conducted out of state. (Education Code 48205) Immediate family shall be defined as mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, son/son-in-law, daughter/daughter-in‑law, brother, sister, or any relative living in the student’s immediate household. (Education Code 45194, 48205)
- Jury duty in the manner provided by law (Education Code 48205)
- The illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child to whom the student is the custodian parent (Education Code 48205)
- Upon advance written request by the parent/guardian and the approval of the principal or designee, justifiable personal reasons including, but not limited to: (Education Code 48205)
- Appearance in court
- Attendance at a funeral service
- Observation of a holiday or ceremony of his/her religion
- Attendance at religious retreats not to exceed four hours per semester
- Attendance at an employment conference
- Attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization
Absences that do not fall into one of those seven categories will be considered unexcused. Staying home to spend time with visiting relatives, babysitting a younger brother or sister, accompanying parent(s) on a day off, etc. are not legally valid excuses for a child to miss a day of school. If a student is required to leave before the conclusion of the school day, it will be noted in their attendance record. It will be unexcused unless supporting documentation is provided within the definition of excused absences. Unexcused early withdrawals of more than thirty minutes will count towards truancy.
Each absence must be verified, preferably by a telephone call to the school’s 24-‑hour attendance line (949-586-5830, option 2) before 9:00 a.m. on the day of absence. This is the most efficient way of accounting for the whereabouts of our students. Please call this attendance line each day that your child will be either absent. You may call the office at (949) 586‑5830 if you child will be late.
If we have not been informed of your child’s absence, we must follow this procedure:
- We call the student’s home or parent’s mobile phone.
- We call the place of employment of the parent(s) if there is no answer at home.
- We call the neighbor or relative listed on the emergency card.
If we cannot reach a parent by phone, we would appreciate a note from the parent stating the reason for the absence and confirming the days absent when the child returns to school. A considerable amount of time and worry can be saved if parents report a child’s absence on the school’s 24-hour attendance line. Absence verifications should be completed within 72 hours, otherwise the absence will remain unexcused.
Independent Study Contracts
A study contract can be prepared to outline work for your child during an absence of five (5) or more days. It will require the signature of the parent, student, and teacher. Upon the student’s return from the absence, the teacher will verify that the work has been completed. Please notify the office at least two weeks ahead of time if you know that your child will be absent for five (5) or more days. The Independent Study Contract will require several days of preparation, so the advanced notice is necessary. Per District Policy, Independent Study Contracts are due back to the office when the student returns to school. A student may not be on contract for more than 14 days, cumulative throughout the school year.
Tardy Policy and Procedures
A student who is not in in class when school begins is considered tardy. After 30 minutes, a student is considered tardy truant and must check in at the Attendance Office and receive a Re-Admit Slip before going to class. NOTE: Tardies are only excused due to an illness or medical appointment.
It is a reasonable expectation that for a learning to take place, students must arrive to class on time. Students who continually do not meet this expectation are considered to be in defiance of authority. To help ensure students arrive to class punctually, the following procedures have been established. These procedures are for unexcused tardies and directly involve the student, parent/guardian, teacher, and administration.
We will implement Tardy Letters, warnings, meetings with students and parents, attendance contracts and meetings with District personnel, representatives from law enforcement, and the county D.A.’s office in escalating order to address attendance/tardy issues.
Students who continue to have tardies may be referred to a meeting with the Orange County District Attorney as an intervention step. If there are further tardies, a student may be referred to a SARB Hearing for remediation.
Important Attendance Definitions
Absent with permission due to personal reasons. Examples of unexcused absences include vacation, oversleeping, car trouble, driver test, out‑of‑town visitors, weddings, missed bus, personal/business reasons, out of gas, and traffic citations. Students who continue to have unexcused absences may be referred to a meeting with the Orange County District Attorney as an intervention step. If there are further tardies, a student may be referred to a SARB Hearing for remediation.
Absent without permission, not clearing legitimate absence within three (3) school days, and leaving campus during the school day without permission.
A student who is not in class within the first 30 minutes considered tardy truant.
A student who is not in his/her assigned seat when school begins is considered tardy.
Medication at School
The Education Code allows school personnel to administer medication if the following steps are taken:
- The physician’s request form* is completed by the physician and given to the office.
- The parental release form* is on file in the office.
- The container of medicine is labeled with the name of the child, name of the medicine, dosage requirements, and the physician’s name. This information must match exactly that given on the physician’s form.
Medicine is to be brought to and carried from school only by a parent.
Students may not bring aspirin, cough drops, or any other medication to school to take on their own. There is the possibility of another child taking the medication and experiencing a severe reaction. ALL medication, no matter how harmless it may appear to be, must be kept in the office during school hours.
*Please contact the school for the medication forms or for further information.
In case of an accident at school, first aid will be administered by school personnel and the parents will be notified. Except for first aid at the time of the injury, the school cannot treat injuries. If a pupil becomes ill at school, parents will be called to take them home. If it is necessary for a student to go home because of illness or injury, it will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian to pick up the child. We have a Health Clerk on site during designated hours, but there is no school nurse on site.
Symptoms of Illness
In order to protect your child and others, we recommend that you keep your child home from school under any of the following conditions:
- Temperature at 100°F or higher.
- Nausea, vomiting, or severe abdominal pain.
- Marked drowsiness or dizziness.
- Acute cold, sore throat, persistent cough, or constant runny nose.
- Colored (green or yellow) nasal mucus.
- Red, inflamed, or discharging eyes.
- Any undiagnosed skin rash.
- Swollen glands around the jaws, ears, and/or neck.
- Any draining skin lesions, unless protected and diagnosed by a doctor as non-infectious.
- Any other symptoms suggestive of acute illness.
Your child must be without fever for 24 hours before returning to school. Even if your child does not show any of these symptoms, but feels “under the weather,” it may be wise to keep him/her at home. Perhaps an extra day of rest will help to combat something more serious.
SVUSD Procedures Regarding Lice (BP/AR 5131.33)
If a child is suspected or found to have head lice, to prevent the spread of head lice infestations, site staff will examine the student and any of their siblings or school age members of the same household.
If live lice are found, or if no live lice are seen but nits are present within ¼” of the scalp, the student may return to class until the end of the school day. Their parents should be notified to begin treatment.
The student may return to class on the next day, if parent/guardian verifies treatment per CDC guidelines (i.e. provides the empty lice shampoo box or lice removal product), and Re-examination by the site designee shows that student is free of live lice.
The student will be re-‐‑examined on day 9 after the initial treatment to confirm student is free of live lice. For more information regarding Lice Procedures, please go to the District website at www.svusd.org to the Health Services page under “Departments.”
Parking Lot and Traffic
The de Portola School parking lot is crowded before and after school. For the safety of the children, cars must follow the directions of our signs and our staff.
- If children are picked up by car, parents should park outside of the parking lot on a street near the school. Parents may walk into the lot to meet their children, using the crosswalk from Preciados or the sidewalk from Aldeano.
- Parents may also have their children walk to meet them at a predetermined location outside of the lot. Students can be met on Preciados, on Aldeano through the back entrance of the school, or on surrounding streets. Students should at all times be respectful of the property of the citizens in our neighborhood.
- State law prohibits cars from passing school buses while bus red lights are flashing. Parents should be especially cautious when approaching buses that load and unload our students in the bus parking area on Preciados Drive.
- Please do not park in staff parking spaces. We have limited parking spaces for our visitors and the street is the best option.
- Clarification: The yellow zone may be used for IMMEDIATE loading and unloading only before 8:15 a.m. between 8:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., and after 2:45 p.m. If the yellow zone is full, please park on the street and walk onto our campus. This is NOT a parking zone.
- Never park in red zones.
For the safety of all the children, we respectfully ask that you do not use your cell phone when you are in the “school zone” (in the parking lot or on the neighboring streets). We thank you for your cooperation and for helping us to teach our students the importance of safety and of following rules.
Morning Drop Off
- When entering the parking lot to drop off please make an immediate right turn once you have entered the parking lot. Then, please pull forward as far as possible (up to the crosswalk if possible) before letting out your child(ren). We want to avoid cars backing up when trying to enter the parking lot.
- When dropping off your child(ren), have them ready to exit the car as soon as your car comes to a complete stop. DO NOT have a long good-bye when pausing in the drop off area. A child’s belongings (lunch, books, homework, etc.) should be in their backpacks before entering the parking lot. Time should NOT be taken in the car to organize belongings. We need to keep the traffic moving.
- NEVER double park and exit your car in the parking lot.
- Please allow plenty of time to drop off your student(s) in the morning. Traffic, both in the parking lot and on the street, is heavy beginning at approximately 8:05 a.m. Accidents happen when you are in a hurry.
- Parents are encouraged to instruct their child(ren) to walk up or down Preciados (at the front of the school) or up or down Aldeano (at the back of the school) to meet you at dismissal time.
- The yellow zone in front of our TLC portable is posted "No Parking" from 2:00 to 2:40. This is done to assure the safety of the pedestrians (children) walking in this area at that time.
- Please be aware our priority is to assist students walking through the parking lot, so that they can get to their parents on Preciados, so if you are parked and attempt to leave between the designated closed time, there will be significant delays as the walking students are the priority.
- Do not park and exit your car in the red zones. These areas need to remain open for emergency vehicles.
- Do not let your child(ren) jaywalk across the street to meet you. Instruct them to use the crosswalk or wait for you to cross the street so that you can personally escort them across the street.
- At arrival and dismissal time around the school drive very slowly. It might be necessary for you to drive less than 10 MPH.
- The City of Mission Viejo reminds you to obey the parking signs (especially the "NO STOPPING" sign by the crosswalk on Aldeano) and red curbs to avoid a traffic ticket.
Thank you for helping us keep the children safe!
Our school has an action plan should an earthquake or other disaster occur during the school day. Please review the items listed below:
- The principal and staff will be responsible for all children until a parent or authorized person arrives.
- Students will be signed out of each individual classroom by a parent or guardian.
- If we must do an evacuation of the building, there will be designated areas to sign out each student.
- Please DO NOT CALL the school. We must be able to make calls out after an emergency.
- Maintain a calm appearance and a positive attitude in the presence of the children.
- If the school is evacuated, a sign posted on the school grounds will inform community members of the evacuation center.
An emergency condition would exist if the school were directly damaged as a result of fire, flood, earthquake, fallen aircraft, etc. Clear communication will be one of our goals if there is a disaster. For this reason, the emergency information file in the office must be kept up-to-date. Please help us by doing the following:
Complete the Disaster/Emergency Information Card carefully. This will be used in case of a major emergency as well as in the event a child becomes ill or is injured at school. In completing this form, please take into consideration the following:
- Please include local friends and neighbors who would be available. Remember that roads and freeways may be heavily congested.
- If either parent would not be available during the school day, please indicate this on the form. If there is a young adult (such as a high school brother or sister) that you wish to include, be sure to list them.
- Please notify the persons you are listing to be sure they are available and willing to assume the responsibility.
- Please keep this information up-to-‑date by communicating with the school when a change is made.
- Discuss with your children the names on the emergency card. Explain to them why we can release them only to authorized persons. Review with them your family emergency plan.
Safety Rules on the Playground
Playground rules are reviewed regularly with students by staff. Students are expected to act respectfully and responsibly at all times.
Students are expected to report an accident or suspicious object on the playground to the teacher or campus supervisor on duty. Please encourage your child to tell the teacher if he/she is ill or injured and to report any dangerous conditions which may be noticed.
Scooters, Razors, and shoes with retractable wheels are not allowed at school.
Skateboarding and/or rollerblading are prohibited at all times on the school grounds (Mission Viejo Municipal Code Sec. 11.20).
Causing or attempting to cause damage to school property is an expellable offense.
Students are prohibited from playing on the roof of the school. Because of the great potential for harm to both the students and the school, children caught playing on the roof will be dealt with severely.
Children in grades 3-6 may ride bicycles to school. A parent permission slip is required of all students who wish to ride their bicycle to school. Each bicycle must be equipped with a lock and parked only in the bicycle racks. Children will be expected to abide by traffic safety laws going to and from school. Students must also follow the state law requiring anyone under 18 years of age to wear a bicycle safety helmet. Any student not abiding by the school rules relating to bicycles will have bicycle privileges suspended. Permission Slip can be found under Parent/Student Resources on the school website at http://tinyurl.com/DePortola.
The following precautions should be discussed at home with children to ensure their safety:
- If your child reports a suspicious occurrence to you, call the sheriff immediately and report it.
- Always be with someone when crossing to or from school. Cross only at crosswalks. Do not cross between cars or buses.
- Walk on the side of the street opposing traffic whenever possible. This may not always be possible.
- If a car pulls alongside and follows you, quickly walk in the other direction.
- Do not stop to answer questions from someone in a car or walking near you if you do not know them.
- If someone you do not know steps out of a car toward you, run away from them and yell for help.
Our school district has always been noted for its exemplary program of instruction for elementary school as well as secondary school. Emphasis is placed upon developing responsibility and positive attitudes in students and in helping them experience academic success at school.
Our English/language arts program, beginning in kindergarten, includes the teaching of essential skills such as phonics, spelling, and grammar with the integration of excellent literature. Integration of the language arts skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking is done so that students will develop the thinking and communication skills that they need to become informed and successful learners.
Mathematics, science, and social sciences (which includes history, geography, civics, citizenship, and current events) are included in each grade level according to the State Department of Education requirements and district guidelines. An instrumental music specialist provides music instruction for students in grades K‑6. Computer technology is taught in the classrooms. Physical education is also part of the regular classroom instruction.
Definition of Homework
Homework is defined as purposeful, relevant, independent activities that reinforce learning objectives and extend learning opportunities beyond the school day.
Purposes of Homework
Current educational research indicates that legitimate purposes for homework include:
- Giving students opportunities to review and practice what they have learned in class.
- Preparing students for the next day’s lesson, class activity or future learning.
- Allowing students time for additional exploration of topics, including those of the students’ own interests.
- Helping students to develop time‑management, study, and organizational skills.
Guidelines for Homework
Homework may be assigned each school day in grades K-12. Homework assigned on Fridays to be completed during the weekend should be given infrequently. Some students may choose to complete homework during weekends as they manage their extracurricular and family activities.
The total time for daily homework assigned to each student should reflect the guidelines below, which are based on current educational research:
- Kindergarten: As appropriate
- Grade 1: 10‑20 minutes
- Grade 2: 20-‑30 minutes
- Grade 3: 30-40 minutes
- Grades 4-‑5: 40-60 minutes
- Grades 6-8: 60-90 minutes
It is understood that individual students complete schoolwork at varying rates, which may affect the amount of time required to complete homework assignments, and that it is appropriate for teachers occasionally to assign homework with a well-‐‑articulated purpose that requires fewer or additional minutes to complete than is indicated in the guidelines for total time for daily homework. Specific homework accommodations and/or modifications may be made for identified students in accordance with their Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or Section 504 Plans. Homework should be designed to maximize the chances that students will complete assignments independently with relatively high success rates. Homework will not be assigned for punitive reasons.
Assigned homework will be given appropriate recognition and will be graded, checked, reviewed, or otherwise evaluated as determined by the teacher. The successful completion of homework assignments shall be considered by the teacher in determining students’ final grades.
Homework Responsibilities of Students, Teachers, and Parents
- Complete work independently and return assignments when requested.
- Develop regular and effective study habits.
- Utilize a variety of learning resources.
- Request assistance from the teacher if the student has difficulty completing homework assignments.
- Design meaningful homework at the appropriate level of difficulty for the course or grade.
- Hold students accountable for completing their homework.
- Follow the Homework Guidelines.
- Communicate homework expectations to parents and students, including class procedures for the evaluation of missing and late assignments.
- Provide a study area, study time, and appropriate materials.
- Monitor completion of assignments.
- Provide support and interest in their children’s progress with homework.
- Encourage their child to request assistance from the teacher if the child has difficulty completing homework assignments.
Please consult with your child’s teacher regarding any individual problems your child may have with homework. Our mutual cooperation on the common goal of developing independent study habits will pay dividends in the future.
Progress Reports/Report Cards/Parent Conferences
Parents are encouraged to create accounts in Parent Portal to monitor the progress on their student. As a parent, you will see assignments and grades for teacher that use AERIES gradebook. Report card are completed at or near the conclusion of each trimester. De Portola will have a fall goal setting and spring Parent Conference time. The school uses an online scheduler for the purposes of scheduling these conferences. More information can be found on the school website at http://tinyurl.com/DePortola.
Individual parent‑teacher conferences may be scheduled at other times during the school year. Please schedule all conferences with the teacher so that adequate time is available for the preparation of the materials needed for discussion. Any concerns that you might have must be addressed with the teacher first. After meeting and sharing your concern with the teacher and a resolution is not possible, please contact the principal to arrange a meeting that would include the teacher, parent, and principal.
Student Dress Code
Our school district has adopted a policy which gives parents the primary responsibility for student dress. We encourage our students to dress comfortably, follow good grooming practices, and wear shoes which are appropriate for vigorous play activities. Dress and grooming must neither be disruptive of the education process nor create an unsafe condition, either for the student or others (BP/AR 5132, BP 5136). The supervising staff will use its discretion in determining infractions of the dress regulations.
Students at de Portola are expected not to wear:
- Any item symbolic of gang attire, including caps and hats. Hats must face forward and are not to be worn inside classrooms or buildings.
- Pants or shorts that are not the proper size and which do not fit securely at the waist. Belts are to fit into the loops and not hang down.
- Clothing with logos or slogans or words promoting or depicting alcohol, tobacco, drugs, vandalism, bigotry, violence, sexual connotations, suicide, or those with double meanings.
- Any dress or top that is revealing or reveals bare midriffs or bare shoulders. Shoulder straps must be at least one inch wide. Examples of inappropriate tops include tank tops (unless worn under another less revealing top), cut-‐‑off tops, tube tops, halter-tops, bathing suits, sports bras, or midriffs.
- Any clothing in which undergarments or areas intended to be covered by undergarments are exposed.
- Earrings which dangle and which could become dangerous when playing.
- Any haircut, style or adornment that distracts from the day-to-day learning of your child or others (except on Special School Spirit Days). Hair glitter is not allowed. Make-up (lipstick, eye liner, eye shadow, glitter, etc.) must be age appropriate and not cause any distraction or disruption of the learning environment.
- Chains, including those attached to wallets, belt loops, or other items.
- Any open toe or open heel shoes, such as thongs or sandals. Sandals like crocs or similar must cover all toes and have a strap around the heel. Any shoes with platform soles or high heels. Any shoes which transform into roller blades.
- Length of shorts and skirts may not reveal undergarments, buttocks, or other private areas when bending, stooping, standing, or during movement.
- Any combination of clothing or specific items or apparel that law enforcement considers to currently be gang-related is prohibited. As trends change, this may change over time.
The policy of our school is to expect good conduct and courtesy of children at school, on the playground, and while going to and from school. Parents as well as teachers have the responsibility of impressing this policy upon the children and reporting any misconduct noted while children are going to and from school. Every effort is made to practice such discipline as would be exercised by a firm, just, and judicious parent.
Positive Behavior Expectations
“Character is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
We have built all of our expectations on three core principles:
- Act Responsibly
- Treat others with Respect
- Solve Problems
De Portola’s Positive Behavior System (“PATS”) is built on solid research that states:
- All behaviors occur within an environmental context
- Begins all investigations by examining the scope of the problem (school-wide, group, or individual)
- It’s proactive – intentionally structures for success
- Systematically teaches and acknowledges appropriate behaviors
- Builds capacity for all staff to correct misbehaviors
- Intentionally builds positive, flexible environments based on data
- Objective: Self-management
Based on these research findings, we are structuring our expectations for student behavior and conduct to be responsible, respectful, and safe at all times in all places. In order to support the implementation of the positive behavior system, we will be teaching behavioral and social skills to all students, enforcing the expectations, distinguishing Minor Offenses and Major Infractions. We will actively acknowledge and correct all of the behavior standards.
Although we have a few expectations, they apply anytime students are on school premises, at any school sponsored activity, on buses, and at any time while students are under the supervision and control of district employees. School staff members, students, and parents all share the responsibility for good student behavior. The school has the responsibility to clearly communicate and enforce student behavior in a fair, consistent, and supportive manner. Parents have the responsibility to reinforce the expectations of the school and to help their children become responsible citizens. Students have the responsibility to follow the code of conduct and to make good choices.
Each of these three core principles will be integrated into various facets of our overall discipline program. We will continually strive to recognize efforts of our students by regular positive reinforcements in our Patriot Assemblies. On the next several pages, you will see the core expectations by location that will be used at de Portola Elementary.
Positive Behavior Area Expectations
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|Lunch Tables Expectations|
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|Computer Lab Expectations|
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|Collaborative Learning Lab (Google Room) Expectations|
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|Patriot Game Room|
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Ethics and Academic Honesty
Students of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District are subject to an Ethics Policy which deals with students who cheat on tests or plagiarize assignments. All tests, quizzes, reports, homework, other assignments and any school related test (SAT, PSAT, etc.) are subject to this policy.
Cheating includes looking at another student’s paper or talking during an exam. Helping another student cheat on an exam, on homework or other assignment is also a violation of the Ethics Policy if it has been made clear by the instructor that students are to work on their own and not collaborate.
Students and their parents shall be responsible for all damage to equipment or school property. This responsibility applies in the matter of books, materials and supplies of all kinds, as well as equipment, and the school buildings and grounds. Whenever possible, the administration shall require restitution for damaged school property. Vandalism is an offense for which a student may be suspended or expelled. If you notice any damage to school property, including graffiti, please report it to the school, or to the sheriff if school is not in session.
Marking Children’s Possessions
Please label clearly all lunch pails, backpacks, sacks, personal books, records, articles of clothing, etc., with your child’s name. Your help is needed in teaching children to care for their own belongings. Many items, often brand new, go unclaimed in our school’s Lost and Found area. Due the large volume of materials collected, every 4-6 weeks, all unclaimed articles are given to a charitable organization.
Lost or Damaged Textbooks, Materials, and/or Technology
If a student’s textbook, library book, or other school materials, such as a calculator, is lost or damaged, it will be necessary for the student or his/her parents to pay the school for the cost of replacement. Any technology related items/issues defer to the SVUSD Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
Pets at School
No pets are allowed on any school playground at any time. Please be sure that your pet does not wander onto the playground or follow children to school. Although we make every effort to locate the owner, it may be necessary to send stray pets to the animal shelter. Dogs may become excited by the children on the grounds and we cannot take the risk of having children bitten.
A parent must have prior approval from the classroom teacher before bringing a pet to school to share with the class. The pet must be caged properly and have a clean bill of health from a veterinarian. Pets are not allowed on school buses. Please do not bring pets to school to visit your children during recess or when you pick them up after school.
In special cases, pets may be brought only with the prior permission of the teacher and Principal after getting approval from the District’s Risk Management. In those cases, Risk Management will establish the circumstances and conditions that would allow a pet to be brought on the campus. We want our students to be safe as an animal may be frightened and bite a child or adult. Service animals are allowed.
Each classroom requests one Room Parent and sometimes an assistant. These very important people organize the holiday parties, help arrange for volunteers at school functions, and furnish additional valuable assistance for their child’s teacher.
The value of positive parent involvement is evident each day at de Portola. We welcome the opportunity to incorporate parent talents and experiences with our curriculum. Parent volunteer responsibilities can include working with individual students or small groups of children, preparing materials for the classroom, speaking to our students about a career, correcting student work, duplicating materials for classroom use, or other activities of assistance.
In order to comply with current State and District regulations, volunteers must complete a volunteer registration form, which is available from the classroom teacher. All volunteers are asked to sign in at the office and to wear a volunteer badge, and also to sign out at the office when they leave. Before volunteers use the copy machines, they must attend training provided by our office staff.
All students should eat a nutritious snack and lunch. We encourage students to bring their lunch or purchase one from our food services. Payments to your child’s lunch account may be made online at www.svusd.k12.ca.us, or by check delivered to the school office. Please make checks payable to SVUSD, and write your child’s name, Student ID # and teacher’s name in the memo section.
If a student does not have a lunch, he/she may call his/her parents to bring a lunch or lunch money, or the child will receive milk and a cheese sandwich from the lunch service.
Reduced and free lunches are available for students of the families who qualify. An application form is available in the school office. The district food service department will notify you as to your qualification after the application has been submitted to the school office for processing.
UPDATE: For the 2022-23 school year, lunches will be provided for free to any student indicating they need one to their teacher during attendance in the morning.
School Site Council
The School Site Council is an elected group of staff and parents from de Portola that acts in an advisory capacity to assist the principal and staff. The Council’s function is to develop, implement, and update the Single Plan for Student Achievement. The Site Council serves as a communication link between the community and the school. Meetings are held regularly during the school year.
Two parties are may be provided for each classroom each year. They may vary from year to year, but it is completely at the discretion of the teacher. The parents, through the Room Parents, coordinate the refreshments. We encourage activities that are not disruptive of the learning environment.
Cell Phones and Mobile Communication Devices on Campus
Students may use cell phones, smart watches, pagers, or other mobile communication devices on campus during non-instructional time as long as the device is utilized in accordance with law and rules that individual school sites may impose. Mobile communication devices shall be turned off during instructional time. However, a student shall not be prohibited from possessing or using a mobile communication device under any of the following circumstances: (Education Code 48901.5,48901.7)
1. In the case of an emergency, or in response to a perceived threat of danger.
2. When a teacher or administrator grants permission to the student to possess or use a mobile communication device,subject to any reasonable limitation imposed by that teacher or administrator.
3. When a licensed physician or surgeon determines that the possession or use is necessary for the student’s health.
4. When the possession or use is required by the student’s individualized education program.
Smartphones and other mobile communication devices shall not be used in any manner which infringes on the privacy rights of any other person.
When a school official reasonably suspects that a search of a student’s mobile communication device will turn up evidence of the student’s violation of the law or school rules, such a search shall be conducted in accordance with BP/AR 5145.12 - Search and Seizure.
When a student uses a mobile communication device in an unauthorized manner, the student may be disciplined and a districtemployee may confiscate the device. The employee shall store the device securely until it is returned to the student or turned over to the principal or designee, as appropriate.
A student may also be subject to discipline, in accordance with law, Board policy, or administrative regulation, for off-campus use of a mobile communication device which poses a threat or danger to the safety of students, staff, or district property or substantially disrupts school activities.
The Superintendent or designee shall inform students that the district will not be responsible for a student’s mobile communication device which is brought on campus or to a school activity and is lost, stolen, or damaged.
Students are not to bring toys, electronic devices or other materials not required in classrooms. The school is not responsible or liable for any lost or stolen items. Items taken from students will be held in the office until a parent picks it up. Any unclaimed items will be disposed of at the end of the school year.
SVUSD Wellness Policy
SVUSD Wellness Policies
Board Policy 5030 (in part)
Nutrition Guidelines for Foods Available at School
The Board shall adopt nutrition guidelines that meet or exceed state and federal nutrition standards for all foods available on each campus during the school day. These nutritional standards shall also apply to all foods and beverages sold to students, including foods and beverages provided through the District’s food service program, student stores, vending machines, or fundraisers. The objectives of these guidelines shall be to promote student health, reduce childhood obesity, support the health curriculum and promote optimal health.
The Superintendent or designee shall encourage school organizations to use items other than non-nutritious food for fundraising purposes. School staff is directed to avoid the use of foods as a reward for students’ academic performance, accomplishments, or classroom behavior. Parents/guardians or other volunteers shall be encouraged to support the District’s nutrition education program by considering nutritional quality when selecting any snacks which they may donate for occasional class celebrations. Donated foods or beverages that do not meet nutritional standards shall be limited to no more than one food or beverage per child. Class parties or celebrations shall be held after the lunch period whenever possible and shall be limited to no more than three per school year. With the exception of allowable class parties/celebrations, non-nutritious foods will not be allowed.
The Board only allows the marketing and advertising of nutritious foods and beverages (EC 49430-49436; CFR: 210) signage, vending machine fronts, logos, scoreboards, school supplies, advertisements in school publications, coupon or incentive programs, or other means. These changes will be done on a timeline consistent with the law. (EC 49431, EC 49431.2, EC 49431.5)
Administrative Regulation 5030 (in part)
Local wellness policy goals will be considered in planning all school-based activities. For purposes of these regulations, the school day is defined as one-half hour before the official school day begins until one-half hour after the official school day ends. Food or beverages will not be used as rewards for students’ academic performances, accomplishments, or behavior during instructional time unless this practice is allowed by a student’s individual education plan (IEP). Events that are intended to recognize or honor student achievements or accomplishments and are scheduled during non-instructional time within the school day may include food or beverages which comply with the guidelines below.
Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods Sold and/or Served on Campus
The District shall participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. Foods and beverages provided through federally reimbursable school meal programs shall meet or exceed federal regulations.
With the specific exceptions delineated below in the Elementary and Secondary Guidelines, all foods and beverages sold or served during the school day outside of the National School Breakfast and Lunch program will comply with current state and federal legislation.
No foods of minimal nutritional value shall be sold or served on school premises during the school day. These nutritional standards shall apply to the following:
- Vending machines
- Cafeteria a la carte items
- Student stores
- Student incentives
- On-campus fundraisers
- Clubs (curricular and non-curricular)
Elementary Guidelines; Grades K-6
Parties are defined as fun, recreational classroom activities not associated with the instructional program. There will be no more than three parties during each school year. Typically, these parties will be scheduled just prior to the winter recess, during February, and at the conclusion of the school year.
Food at parties may include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages as defined by state and federal regulations. Parties should occur after the lunch period. Parents and teachers are encouraged to utilize District Food Services for assistance in planning or catering parties to ensure food safety and adherence to nutrition guidelines. Nutritious beverages and foods are defined as:
Beverages: Any one or more of the guidelines below apply to any beverage item:
- Fruit-based drinks, no less than 50% fruit juice and no added sweetener
- Vegetable-based drinks, no less than 50% vegetable juice and no added sweetener
- Drinking water, no added sweetener
- 2% fat milk, 1% fat milk, non fat milk, soy milk, rice milk, etc.
Food: All of the guidelines below apply to any item of food:
- Not more than 30% fat
- Not more than 10% saturated fat
- Not more than 35% sugar
- Not more than 175 calories per item
Celebrations are defined as an individual recognition of a special event, such as a birthday or student accomplishment. Celebrations may not include food items, must have advance approval by the classroom teacher or school principal, and should be scheduled during non-instructional time whenever possible. Alternative suggestions for recognition are the distribution of school or art supplies; the opportunity to read a favorite book to the class; a greeting card (purchased by parent) signed by the school administration, teacher or classmates; a donation to the classroom, i.e., games, balls, jump ropes, books; or other non-food items or activities.
Educational Equity Policy
Saddleback Valley Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. The district programs and activities shall be free from discrimination based on age, disability, gender, gender identity/expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics equal rights and opportunities. Married, pregnant and parenting students shall have the same educational and extracurricular opportunities as all students. Expecting and parenting students retain the right to participate in any comprehensive school or educational alternative programs for which they would otherwise be eligible. The District shall promote programs that ensure that these discriminatory practices are eliminated in all District activities.