Policies & Procedures

Parent Handbook 2017-18

Emergency Information

Each student must have a current Registration/Emergency Information on file in the office.All the questions on this form should be answered, and a parent must sign it.The information on this form must always be complete and up-to-date.Should your child become ill or suffer a serious injury, we will need to contact you immediately.It is also important that we have current information in case of an emergency at school.Please notify us about new phone numbers, address changes, or additions to the list of other people we might call.Failing to do so may cause unnecessary stress or discomfort for your child.Please email Office Manager Leslie Lyons at Leslie.Lyons@svusd.org to notify of any changes or call the office at (949)586-8050 at your earliest convenience.


The most important information for us to have on file in the office is your current home, work, and cell phone numbers.We also need the phone numbers of those individuals who are authorized to help your child in case of emergency. Failure to keep school office informed could mean the loss of precious minutes in the event of an emergency.


Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness:Montevideo has a comprehensive response plan should a disaster happen during the school day.This School Safety Plan is updated each year, and a copy of it is kept in the school office.Emergency drills are conducted each month according to carefully practiced procedures.After evacuating the buildings and accounting for all children, we make radio contact with our district safety team and give them a needs assessment.They will be in communication with emergency response teams in the area.We are prepared to keep your children safe until you are able to pick them up or until we can release them to an adult who is authorized in advance for this purpose.Some staff members are trained to administer appropriate first aid as needed.As adults arrive on campus, we will need patient cooperation from everyone as we release the children.Please keep the following instructions in mind during such a crisis:

  • When we evacuate our buildings, you will be unable to contact the office by phone.Please don’t call and don’t panic.Your children will be safe.
  • Make sure that your children understand it may take a while for you to reunite as a family.They need to be prepared for a long wait.
  • When you arrive on campus, you will be asked to wait at the reunion area until we can direct you as to how you should proceed.Please do not run directly to where your child’s class is stationed, even though that will probably be your first instinct.You must help your child understand to wait as well.It is important for us to account for all children before releasing them to parents.
  • When you are reunited with your child, please make sure to sign him or her out before leaving the campus.We need to keep close track of all our students and avoid confusion as much as is possible.
  • Don’t insist on taking other children home unless you have been authorized to do so in advance.We cannot release someone else’s child to you unless you are listed on the emergency information form.

Arrival and Dismissal

We make every effort to ensure your child’s safety to and from school.Students should not arrive more than 15 minutes before school starts and should leave 10 minutes after school. It is unsafe for children to linger on campus without supervision.Campus supervision occurs for 15 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after dismissal.Students should always enter and exit our campus using the walkways on either side of our parking lot. Parent cooperation and cautious driving habits are essential to the safety of our students.

Entering or leaving through the play fields behind the school buildings or through the adjacent park is unsafe because we cannot provide supervision in those areas.

Safety to and from School

Please review the following safety guidelines with your child and reinforce them throughout the school year:

  • Go directly to school in the morning and directly home after dismissal
  • Take the same route home every day and walk with at least one other student
  • Stay on sidewalks, never run out into the street, and watch for cars in driveways
  • Always cross at the crosswalk, following the instructions of the safety guard
  • Avoid trespassing through private property and stay away from parked vehicles
  • Never approach suspicious cars, talk to strangers, or accept rides home
  • Report any unusual occurrences to the sheriff and to the school office.

Our Attendance Philosophy/Independent Study/Make-up Work

Our Attendance Philosophy:Pupils are excused if absent because of illness or other justifiable cause.Please remember that we do not collect money from the state if a child is not in school even if it is an excused absence.Children should not be sent to school if they are not feeling well or if they have a fever, contagious disease, or rash.

Letters will be sent home when a child has three unexcused absences/truancies or tardies of 30 minutes or more. If a child is excused from school for more than 14 days in the school year they will automatically be marked unexcused without any medical documentation. Habitual truancies and tardies will result in a meeting with the District Attorney and a possible referral to SARB (California Board of Education School Attendance Board).

The California Education Code, Section 48200, makes full-time education compulsory for children from ages six to sixteen, or until high school graduation.It is the legal responsibility of parents, or guardians, to see that their school-aged children are enrolled and attending school every day unless they have a valid excuse.Under the law, a child may be legally excused from attending school only for illness, quarantine, funeral service of a member of the immediate family, or for medical services.Staying home to visit with out-of-town relatives, babysitting a sibling, accompanying their parent(s) on a day off, etc., are not legally valid excuses for a child missing a day of school.Students will be given ample opportunity to make up work that is missed because of an excused absence. Keeping up with assignments is challenging enough for students who attend regularly.Absences and tardies hinder school success.

**NOTE: If your student is signed out of school for more than 30 minutes for personal or unexcused reasons it DOES count toward their truancy tally.

Independent Study: If you plan to have your child miss five days of school or more for any reason, please request, well in advance, an Independent Study Agreement from the office.It will require the signature of the student, teacher, parent, and principal before the absence takes place. This simple process helps learning continue, allowing your child to keep pace with classmates without falling behind.It also secures ADA funding for our district.

Make-up Work: If your child is ill for three days or more, homework may be requested.Your child’s teacher will leave it in the school office.We expect students to make-up the work they miss in a reasonable amount of time.When your child returns to school, the teacher will determine a fair due date for any make-up work that is necessary. Your child’s teacher has spent time putting together the work, please ensure you pick it up and it is completed if you request it.

Reporting Absences/School Tardy Policy

Reporting Absences: To ensure your child’s safety, we need to know about the absence right away.If your child is ill and unable to attend school, please call the school any time, but preferably before 7:45 a.m.Leave your child’s name, the teacher’s name, the date, and the reason for the absence.Since we are required to verify absences, this helps us avoid interrupting you at home or at work.Your help in this regard is greatly appreciated.

Dial (949) 586-8050

Press 1 – then leave your message which includes your child’s name, teacher name, date, and reason for absence.

School Tardy Policy:Reporting to class on time is a habit that we want to encourage at Montevideo.In addition to fostering responsibility in our students, it also eliminates unnecessary classroom interruptions.This allows teachers and students to maximize time for learning.It also prevents the embarrassment children can feel when they arrive late.Students should meet their teachers at a designated spot according to the following times:

**NOTE: If your student is signed out of school for more than 30 minutes for personal or unexcused reasons it DOES count toward their truancy tally.

Early Bird Kindergarten at 8:05 a.m. Late Bird Kindergarten at 9:50 a.m.

Meet at Kinder Playground

All other grades 1-6 meet at 8:00 a.m. behind the school on the blacktop.

Children who arrive late should report to the office before going to their classrooms.

Teaching children the importance of arriving on time is a team effort.

Parking and Driving in a School Zone

Parking at School:The Montevideo parking lot is for staff members only.Parents must not use it for dropping off and picking up their children unless they have a special permit from the SDC-Autism Office.We need the parking lot to be clear for district delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles, and special education buses.Parents and other visitors should park along Carrillo or on other streets nearby. There are two Handicapped spaces in the parking lot for those individuals who have the proper authorization to use them. The red curb in front of our school can be used for dropping off and picking up students, but parking along this curb is illegal, and police will write tickets for violations.

Driving in a School Zone:To insure the safety of all members in our Montevideo community, we ask that you practice great caution and courtesy when driving near the school. Please drive carefully along Carrillo, always watching for pedestrians and bike riders.Also, observe crosswalk laws and cooperate with our crossing guard.Plan to leave home early, so you won’t feel rushed.When dropping off or picking up children, do not stop to get out of your car.Doing so can cause traffic jams, making it difficult for students to step into or out of vehicles safely.If everyone cooperates with these guidelines, we reduce the risks to our children, and we help everyone arrive on time.

When dropping your child off in the morning, insist that he or she wait until your car is fully stopped before opening the car door.Also, make sure your child always enters and exits the car from the right side, closest to the curb, away from traffic, in the DROP OFF zone.


Picking up Children During School Hours

If a student needs to leave school early, during the instructional day, he or she must be “signed out” by a parent or a designated adult guardian.The adult that is “signing out” the child will be asked to produce appropriate identification and must be on the emergency form. Please check in with the office staff, and we will call your child out of class to meet you there. Never go directly to your child’s classroom to pick him or her up.Once on campus, students do not have permission to leave before dismissal time, unless they are safely released through the office to a parent or designated guardian.Show your child that you value education by arranging for him or her to complete a full day of lessons whenever possible.

Classroom Vistors and Volunteers/Reducing Classroom Interruptions/Office Phones/Cell Phones

Classroom Visitors and Volunteers: We ask anyone who has business on our campus to sign in through the office.Special identification stickers are issued to the adults who have permission to be here, so that students and staff will know.Anyone walking around the grounds without proper ID will be directed to the school office.All of our classroom helpers must fill out the appropriate S.V.U.S.D. Volunteer Form so that the required screening process can be completed.

To prevent disruptions, please refrain from bringing preschool age children with you when you volunteer. The restroom in our front office is available for volunteers, visitors, and parents with small children.The Teacher’s Lounge and the hallway restrooms are for school staff only.Please respect their need for privacy during break times.

Reducing Classroom Interruptions:Montevideo Elementary School stresses the importance of uninterrupted academic learning time in each classroom. Please help us by adhering to the following requests:

  • Avoid calling school and leaving messages, unless there is an emergency.Arranging transportation and communicating about after school activities should be done outside of school, so teachers and students can focus on their lessons.
  • Establish a system at home to help your child remember his or her lunch, homework, school materials, musical instruments, or other necessary belongings.We do not allow children to call home when they forget such items.

If you realize that your child has forgotten something, you can drop it by the office.Students must check with us during their recess time to see if missing items were delivered.This policy helps eliminate classroom interruptions, and it encourages our children to develop a sense of responsibility.

Office Phones/Cell Phones: Keeping the safety of your children in mind, and to avoid confusion, children will be directed to make arrangements about going to friends’ houses prior to coming to school, and will be reminded of this rule if they come to the office to make such arrangements by phone.

If you have provided your child with a cell phone for emergency communication, please be aware that they may not be used for routine calls during the school day. In case of an emergency, students are able to use the office phone as needed. Upon arrival on school grounds all phones must be turned off and placed in backpacks. Students are asked to keep cell phones in their backpacks or to follow their teacher’s classroom policy during school hours.Students are not at any time during school hours, including recess & lunch periods to share their cell phone with other students to make personal phone calls, and the District does not assume liability for lost or stolen cell phones. If this policy is not followed, the cell phone will be held in the office until a parent comes to pick it up.


Medications

Children may not bring any medications to school to take on their own. The Education Code allows school personnel to administer medication only when a Parent/Guardian and Physician Request for Medication Form is on file in the office.Parents must bring any medicine that their child needs to school in the original container from the pharmacy.This container shows the child’s name, the name of the medicine, the dosage requirements, and the physician’s name.We keep all medications locked up in the Health Office to be administered as needed.

It is important that we know of any special health concerns you have for your child.

Non-Discrimination Notice and Sexual Harassment

Saddleback Valley Unified School District has a policy prohibiting discrimination in educational offerings on the basis of an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, citizenship, age, or physical 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.

Sexual Harassment: Schools in SVUSD prohibit sexual harassment of any student. Verbal, visual or physical conduct of an intimidating, hostile or offensive sexual nature will not be tolerated. As required by law, teachers shall discuss this policy with their students with age-appropriate ways and should assure students that they need not endure any form of sexual harassment. Students shall be informed that if they feel they are being sexually harassed, they should immediately report the incident to their principal or designee. Any student who engages in sexual harassment is subject to disciplinary action. If the student is in the fourth grade or higher, this disciplinary action could include expulsion from school


TLC & Kid's Factory

TLC – The Learning Connection:This is a positive alternative for working parents who need child care.TLC centers are open from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at all elementary school sites in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District.For information on this program, please call (949) 768-0981 Ex. 2.

Kid’s Factory: Kid’s Factory is a drop-in program from 2:15 – 4 pm and 12:45 – 4 on Tuesdays sponsored by the City on Mission Viejo and offers recreational activities.It is not considered an accredited childcare program. Activities include crafts, sports, and games that are held outdoors and are subject to cancellation due to increment weather.For information and fees call

(949) 768-0981.


Dogs/Skateboards/Bicycles

No Dogs on Campus:According to Orange County Ordinance, dogs are not allowed on school grounds at any time. We appreciate your cooperation in our efforts to keep our campus safe and sanitary.

Skateboards:Students are not allowed to ride skateboards, roller blades, scooters, or shoe skates (wheelies) to school.These items are not permitted on campus at any time.When skaters are seen on campus after school hours, they will be asked to leave or reported to the police.

Bicycles: Children may ride bicycles 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, and the state law requiring anyone under 18 to wear a bicycle safety helmet.

A parent permission slip is required of all students who wish to ride their bike to school.Only students in grades 3-6 are allowed to ride bicycles to school.Any student not abiding by the school rules, relating to bicycles will have bicycle privileges suspended.

The school is not responsible for any personal belongings that are stolen or damaged.We suggest that you leave highly valued bicycles at home.


Dangerous Objects/Personal Belongings/Lost and Found/Vandalism

Dangerous Objects:Students must not bring dangerous objects to school.Anything that could cause harm to a child should not be here.This includes pocketknives, sharp tools, nail clippers with blades, or anything else that could hurt someone.Laser pointers, toy pistols, pellet guns, firecrackers, matches, and lighters are also banned along with weapons or any items that resemble weapons.Please encourage your child to check pockets and backpacks regularly to make sure that no such objects are unknowingly brought to school.Also, caution your child about picking up dangerous items on the way to school.When children bring such things onto our campuses, S.V.U.S.D. authorizes immediate suspension with consideration for expulsion.

Unnecessary Personal Belongings:Students should only bring to school those things that are necessary to complete assignments. Toys, games, trading cards, digital electronic devices, and personal play equipment should be left at home.

Lost and Found:Please identify lunch containers, backpacks, personal books, musical instruments, and articles of clothing.Your child’s first and last name should be clearly marked on such items. Please leave valuable possessions at home.

Montevideo Elementary School is not liable for money and other personal items that are damaged, lost or stolen.It is each student’s personal responsibility to keep his or her belongings safe and secure.

Vandalism:Students will be held responsible for any damage to books, equipment, or supplies that have been issued to them by our school for use in the classroom or at home.They are also responsible for any damage they might cause to the school buildings, furniture, instructional technology, play equipment, restroom facilities, or campus grounds.

The school district will seek restitution from parents in vandalism cases.

Extra-Curricular Participation/Lunch Program/Class Parties

Extra-Curricular Participation:Students must meet the following participation requirements for extra-curricular activities held outside regular school hours:

  • 2.0 GPA or “C” grade average in all subjects
  • No “U” or “N” grades in citizenship or work habits
  • Higher standards are required for Student Council participation

Lunch Program: Hot lunches and milk are available for students in grades 1-6 and kindergartners in TLC. Current menus, pricing for lunches, and information about buying lunches is available online at: www.svusd.k12.ca.us. Use the “Lunch Menus” button to find Food Services. You can purchase lunches online at this site using a credit card, or in our school office using a check or cash. Make checks payable to SVUSD. Students may also choose to bring lunch from home. We ask that students do not bring anything from home in glass or breakable containers.

Class Parties: District policy allows our classrooms two parties each year.Teachers will select the dates and occasions for these parties and then will inform parents.Teachers and parents are encouraged to support the District’s nutrition guidelines when selecting snacks for classroom parties.

Dress Code

Dress Code: Our school district has adopted a policy giving the parents the responsibility for student dress. We encourage our students to dress comfortably, follow good grooming practices, and wear shoes that 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 5132). The supervising staff will use its discretion in determining infractions of the dress regulations. Any style or item, which could be construed as disruptive, immodest, unsafe, or extreme, is not permitted.

Dress is a form of personal expression that may affect a student’s behavior and self-image. A dress code policy is necessary in order to protect the health and safety of the school environment and to foster the student’s success in a positive manner.

Students are expected to show proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear clothes that are suitable for school activities.Parents have the primary responsibility for student dress, and we appreciate your support and cooperation in ensuring that student dress does not present health or safety hazards or a distraction that may interfere with student learning at school.

If there are extreme concerns regarding appropriate dress, parents will be notified and students will be asked to change. If a parent cannot be reached, the student will be given a tee shirt or other appropriate clothing to change into.

INAPPROPRIATE ITEMS INCLUDE:


  • Clothing displaying language or logos, slogans, words, or pictures promoting or depicting alcohol, tobacco, drugs, profanity, violence, or sexual connotations are not permitted. Clothing which references or displays sexual references, sexist, racist, vulgar, or hate messages is also not permitted. Any derogatory message directed towards any person or group is prohibited.
  • Shorts or pants, which are oversized and/or sag.Pants must be the proper size, which means they fit securely at the waist.
  • Clothing in disrepair with holes, cuts, or tears (including “designer holes”) or clothing with frayed or unfinished hems.
  • Shirts must have straps at least 1 inch wide, strapless shirts are not permitted. Shirts must completely cover undergarments and the midriff area.Undergarments should not be visible at any time.Sheer or cutout tops may only be worn with another top underneath (the torso cannot be exposed). Examples include halter-tops, sports bras, bathing suits, tube tops, hip hugger pants, and spaghetti strapped tops. Tank tops must have 1-inch straps.Low-cut tops are not permitted. Skirts, dresses and shorts may be no shorter than the length of an arm and balled fist.
  • Spiked accessories and chains.
  • Bandannas. Hats (including knit caps) cannot be worn backwards or sideways. Hats and sunglasses are allowed for sun protection only.
  • For safety reasons, all shoes must be appropriate for school activity. Sandals, high heels, and tennis shoes with wheels are not permitted.
  • Make-up and false fingernails may not be worn.
  • Any body piercing other than ears. Dangling earrings may not be worn at any time.
  • Sharpie/permanent marker pens or writing on body parts
  • Clothing which displays gang insignia or which could reasonably be construed as gang-related, including but not limited to, initialized belt buckles, dangling belt below the waist level, trench coats, ponchos, pants not worn at waist level (or which are sagging or oversized), hairnets, doo-rags or bandanas, long shorts (i.e. shorts to the ankles), any color t-shirt that extends past the finger tips when the hands hang down to the sides, and pulled up socks are prohibited. Any combination of clothing which law enforcement agencies currently consider gang related is prohibited. Accessories, which could be considered weapons, such as spiked wrist or ankle bands, spiked rings, spiked belts, spiked gloves, oversized rings or chains of any size, and chains attached to wallets are prohibited. Spikes worn in eyebrows, ears, or any other body parts are not acceptable.

As trends change, administration reserves the right to amend the dress code policy as needed in order to keep a safe and orderly school environment, as long as it is consistent with this policy.

***School Administrators reserve the right to make exceptions for specific school activities. ***