Friday, Oct 24th, 2014

La Jara Elementary School Student Handbook 2013-2014

La Jara Elementary Mission Statement

The mission of the North Conejos School District is to provide a safe, nurturing environment where diversity is celebrated, mutual respect amoung adults and children is practiced, and where school and communities are valued partners in creating the foundation for lifelong learning.

Guidelines and Procedures

New Student Registration - Birth certificates and immunization records are required of new students. Kindergarten students must be five years of age on or before June 1, 2013.

School Hours- District-wide School Hours are 8:10 am - 3:30 pm, Monday Through Friday. Student Drop-off Arrival Area Students being dropped-off or arriving for school need to enter school grounds through the Southeast playground/bus loading/unloading zone. The Northwest doors (by the office) will be kept locked until 7:55 am. A duty teacher will be available at 7:55 am to allow parents or students with passes into the building before the 8:10 bell. Parents/students requested to be present earlier than 7:55 am will be accommodated by the requesting staff member. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated as the above procedure allows for optimum student supervision and safety while on school grounds.

Student Arrival and Departure Times - Duty teachers are not available until 7:55 am. Any student who arrives/is dropped off early will be required to stay outside the building until the 8:10 am bell rings. Students will not be allowed in the building until 7:55 am, regardless of weather conditions. Any student who enters the building without a pass or staff permission will be assigned to morning/lunch detention (students placed in detention will be required to fulfill detention teacher's rules/procedures).

Student Absences and Attendance - LJE Students will be held accountable for their attendance. As outlined within the Colorado School Law 22-33-107: Enforcement of Compulsory School Attendance, it states that a child who is "habitually truant," means a child who has attained the age of seven years and is under the age of sixteen years having four (4) unexcused absences from public school in any one (1) month or ten (10) unexcused absences from public school during any school year. Habitually truant students and their parents will be forwarded to appropriate county/state agencies.

Excused Absences - The following shall be considered Excused Absences: 1.) A student who is temporarily ill or injured, or has been pre-approved by the principal for absences. Prearranged absences shall be approved for appointments or extenuating circumstances that cannot be addressed outside regular school hours. 2.) A student who is absent for an extended period of time due to physical, mental, or emotional disability. 3.) A student who is pursuing a work-study program under the supervision of the school 4.) A student who is attending any school sponsored activity or activities of an educational nature with advance approval of the principal. The school may require proof regarding the excused absences, including written doctor's excuses.

Unexcused Absences - Any absence not covered by the previous guidelines will be counted as an unexcused absence toward an individuals attendance record unless the principal has granted a pre-approved absence.

Make-up Work - Students are allotted one day for make-up work for each day of an excused absence. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain any and all make-up work from their teacher(s). Make-up work shall be allowed for unexcused absences but will only receive partial credit as a consequence of any unexcused absence. Upon parental request, make-up work will be made available in the office from 3:30-3:45 pm daily. Teachers will not compile make-up work during instructional time. Make-up for upcoming school days will be at the teacher's discretion and may require the work to be obtained at the end of the student's extended absence.

Tardiness - Tardiness is defined as the appearance of a student without proper excuse after the scheduled time that a class begins. Due to the disruption caused by tardiness, penalties shall be imposed upon the student as a result of being tardy. Penalties may include, but are not limited to the following: loss of recess time, lunchtime detention, before/after-school detention, and in/out school suspension. Any student who arrives after 8:15 am will be required to check-in with the office.

Gifted and Talented - The North Conejos School District is committed to recognizing the unique talents, gifts, and abilities of the student population. We are committed to providing an environment which maximizes intellectual development of each student. Our goal is to recognize student potential, identify student needs, and align instructional programming. We will do this by: Assisting students in becoming self-directed learners, Providing students with a curriculum that has advanced content, Providing opportunities for students to work in interest areas, AND encouraging students to develop their talents and abilities. To learn more about specific programs and opportunities, please contact your child's teacher.

Student Conduct - Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion 1.) Causing or attempting to cause damage to school property, or stealing or attempting to steal school property. 2.) Causing or attempting to cause damage to private property, or stealing or attempting to steal private property. 3.) Causing or attempting to cause physical injury to another person, except in self-defense. 4.) Commission of any acts, which if committed by an adult, would be robbery or assault as defined by state law. Suspension or expulsion shall be mandatory in accordance with state law. 5.) Violation of a criminal law. 6.) Violation of district or building regulations. 7.) Violation of the district's policy on dangerous weapons in the schools. 8.)Violation of the district's alcohol use/drug use policy. Expulsion shall be mandatory of the sale of drugs or controlled substances, in accordance with state law. 9.) Violation of the district's smoking and use of tobacco policy. 10.) Throwing objects outside of supervised school activities that can cause bodily injury or damage property. 11.) Directing profanity, vulgar language, or obscene gestures toward other students, school personnel, or visitors to the school. 12.) Engaging in verbal abuse i.e., name-calling, ethnic or racial slurs, or derogatory statements addressed publicly to others that may precipitate disruption of the school program or incited violence. 13.) Bullying. 14.) Committing extortion, coercion or blackmail, i.e., obtaining money or other objects of value from an unwilling person, or forcing an individual to act through the use of force or threat. 15.) Lying or giving false information, either verbally or in writing, to a school employee. 16.) Willfully violating the district's dress code policy. 17.) Scholastic dishonesty, which includes but is not limited to cheating on a test, plagiarism, or unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work. 18.) Continued willful disobedience or open and persistent defiance of proper authority. 19.) Behavior on or off school property, which is detrimental to the welfare, safety or morals of other students or school personnel. 20.) Repeated interference with the school's ability to provide educational opportunities to other students. Besides suspension or expulsion, other possible consequences students may face for violating any of the above guidelines includes but is not limited to: Loss of recesses, Loss of field trip privileges, In-school detention, In/out-school suspension, Lunch detention, Before/after school detention, Cleaning of school grounds.

Dangerous Weapons - La Jara Elementary practices a "zero tolerance" policy in regards to dangerous weapons. State law requires that expulsion shall be mandatory for any student in possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, school vehicles, or at any school sponsored activity. Law defines "dangerous weapons" as any of the following: 1.) A firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, or a firearm facsimile that could be reasonably mistaken for an actual firearm. 2.) Any pellet or "bee-bee" gun or other device, whether operational or not, designed to propel projectiles by spring action or compressed air. 3.) Any knife with a fixed blade longer than 3 inches, or a folding blade longer than 3 ½ inches. 4. ) Any object, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, used or intended to be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury.

Smoking - by Students Smoking and the possession of tobacco products by students while in or on school properties, or under the school's jurisdiction during school hours, or while participating in a school sponsored event is prohibited.

Bullying - North Conejos School District is committed to providing a safe and positive learning environment, free from bullying. Bullying means any written or verbal expression, or physical act or gesture, or pattern thereof, that is intended to cause distress upon one or more students in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated school bus stop, or at school activities or sanctioned events. Any student who engages in bullying behavior is subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including, but not limited to suspension, expulsion or referral to law enforcement.

Sexual Harassment - Sexual harassment is recognized as a form of sex discrimination and is thus a violation of the laws that prohibit sex discrimination. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. It shall be a violation of policy for any staff member to harass students or for students to harass other students through conduct or communications of a sexual nature. Students may file a formal grievance of sexual harassment with the principal. If the alleged harasser is the principal, the student may file the grievance with the assistant superintendent of schools. All matters involving sexual harassment complaints shall remain confidential to the fullest extent possible.

Dress Code - The community of the North Conejos School District RE 1-J expects students to refrain from the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessories, notebooks, or manner of grooming which by virtue of its color, arrangement (sagging), trademark or any other attribute denotes membership in gangs which advocate drug use, violence, vandalism or disruptive behavior. 

The district also expects students to refrain from apparel that promotes alcohol, tobacco or any activity contrary to current law or the displays obscenity or profanity in any form.  As a matter of common courtesy and respect, students are not to wear hats/caps, sweat bands, bandannas, sunglasses, headbands, jackets or other similar apparel inside the school building during school hours (7:55 am to 3:30 pm) and certain school activities.

For health and safety reasons, all students will be required to wear shoes.  Clothing worn by students shall be neat, clean and in good repair for the health and safety of the student.  Immodest clothing that detracts from the learning process shall not be worn.  Unacceptable clothing and accessories include, but are not limited to, gang related attire, excessively tight or revealing clothes, short shorts or short skirts (more than 3 inches above the knee cap), bare midriffs, tube and tank tops, sport bras, muscle shirts, low-cut and /or off the shoulder blouses, spiked jewelry, chains of any size or worn anywhere, gloves of any kind, and belts with more than 2" excess.  Sagging or the  wearing of pants below the waist and /or in a manner that allows underwear or bare skin to show, or the wearing of excessively bagging pants with low hanging crotches are prohibited.  (Pants must be within one size of waist measurement).  Overall straps must be fastened and worn over the shoulder.

Disciplinary action of violation of the dress code includes individual counseling with the principal, counselor or the school nurse.  The student may be asked to go home to change or may be accompanied home to change.  Students that continuously disregard the dress code will face disciplinary action to be determined at each building and to include parent notification with a conference.  Students and their parents / guardians have the responsibility to be aware of the school's specific dress codes and to conform to these requirements.   The responsibility to interpret and enforce the policy rests with the Principal and Assistant Principal and has the full support of the District Administration and School Board (Rev 2000/01).

Bus Conduct - 1.) All passengers shall remain seated when the bus is in motion. 2.) Passengers shall not extend arms, legs or head out of the bus windows. 3.) Passengers shall not talk to the driver while the bus is in motion except in an emergency. 4.) Passengers shall not mar or deface the bus and its equipment. Damage to the bus, other than regular usage, will be paid for by the rider. 5.) Passengers will not tamper with emergency doors or windows or any part of the bus equipment. 6.) Upon entering or departing the bus, students shall walk in front of the bus. 7. ) Passengers shall exit the bus in an orderly fashion. 8.) Bus drivers may assign students seats on the bus. Bus transportation is a privilege, not a right. Failure to comply with these bus rules could lead to a student being suspended from riding the bus.

Lunchroom Conduct - Students are expected to practice proper manners while in the lunchroom at all times. Any inappropriate behavior will result in the student not being allowed to eat in the lunchroom and/or disciplinary procedures through the principal's office. All lunch money must be paid to the cafeteria. Please pay all lunch charges in advance as students are not allowed to charge more than 5 times. Make checks payable to La Jara Elementary. Note the child's name on the check for reference.

Playground Rules - 1.) Only one child per swing. 2.) No standing, jumping from, or twisting in the swing. 3.) No tackle football. 4. ) No wrestling. 5.) Rocks, sticks, snowballs, or any dangerous objects will not be thrown. 6.) No skateboards, roller blades or "Heelys" Skate Shoes on the school grounds during school hours. 7.) No fighting. 8.) Students are to come down the slide sitting and face forward.

Valuables, Electronic Devices and Cell Phones - 1.) Students are not allowed to bring electronic devices to school (cell phones, pagers, personal stereos, games, etc.) Theses items will be confiscated by school personnel and placed in the office if seen. The school will not be responsible for any loss or damage of student personal property.

Safe 2 Tell - 1. The Safe2Tell Program empowers students, teachers and others to anonymously report important information about violent or troubling events before or after they have happened. The Safe2Tell Hotline gives students in all Colorado schools an increased ability to both prevent violence and report violence by making safe anonymous calls. Students and other community members can call 1-877-542-7233 (SAFE) to report threats, fights, instances of bullying, substance abuse, or other activities that create unsafe situations. Calls are answered 24 hours per day, 365 days per year at a Colorado State Patrol communication center and forwarded to local school officials and law enforcement agencies as needed. State law and procedures established by Safe2Tell for receiving and forwarding tips guarantee the anonymity of every caller. Safe2Tell has developed a website ( Feel free to visit this website for additional information. Our school counselor teaches all children the difference between "big" and "small" problems and the choices they can make.

Visitors and Student Safety - Visiting School All adult visitors are required to check-in with the office upon arrival and departure from the school. Classroom teachers are not to be interrupted during class time for any reason. All emergency contacts, with staff/students, will be coordinated through the school office. Parent Volunteers Parent Volunteers, associated with PTA or not, are required to check-in with the office upon arrival and departure from the school. Volunteer days and times will be coordinated at the office and with the classroom teacher. Volunteer and Visitor badges must be worn while in the school. Children Visitors/Guests Student visitors/guests are not allowed at LJE at any time during the school year. The only exception is for a presenter, approved by the principal, and solicited by the classroom teacher for an educational presentation.

Checking Students Out of School - Students will only be released to their parents/guardians. In the event that someone other than the parents/guardians are to pick-up the child from school, it will be necessary for the parents of that child to either call or send a signed note notifying the office of permission to excuse the student to the listed person (s).

Presents for Students - Gifts delivered from outside the school (balloons, flowers, candy, etc.) will be kept in the office and given to the receiving student immediately before the 3:30 pm dismissal bell.

Classroom Rules and Expectations Disciplinary Procedures - Homeroom teachers will send home a copy of their individual classroom rules/expectations. Parents are required to sign and return acknowledgment of the teacher's rules/expectations in an effort to enhance school-to-home communication. Disciplinary procedures shall include, but are not limited to the following: 1st offense: Teacher will confer with student. 2nd offense: Teacher will notify student's parents via discipline referral and/or phone call, and may request a conference. Beyond 2nd Offense: Student will be assigned detention or sent to the office for discipline in accordance with district policies. The above procedures do not apply to incidents that are deemed to pose a danger to a student, staff, or others, or for an item covered previously in "student conduct." Immediate administrative intervention will take place.

More Helpful Information - School Cancellations - In the event that school is cancelled due to inclement weather or other emergencies, KSLV and KGIW radio stations will broadcast the closure.

Inclement Weather - With the exception of extreme weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet, extreme cold temperatures, etc.) students will remain outside before/after school, as well as during any recesses. Students need to be dressed appropriately for existing conditions as well as any storm-like conditions that can arise at any time. A hooded-jacket should always be worn/kept at school.

Telephone Use and Delivered Messages - Students will be allowed to use the telephone for emergency purposes and will not be allowed to use the telephone during class time unless it is an emergency or if they have a pass from their teacher. Students will not be called from class to accept any telephone calls. In the event that a parent needs to talk with their child, a message will be delivered and the call will be returned as soon as possible.

Counseling - Any student who might benefit from individual counseling will be referred to the school counselor by school staff. Parents are also able to request counseling for their child. Students are encouraged to visit with the counselor to share/discuss successes, dilemmas, questions, etc.

Parent-Teacher Conferences - Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for: October 4 from 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm and October 6, from 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm. Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for: February 13, from 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm and  February 15, from 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm. All teachers are available by appointment to meet with parents throughout the course of the school year.

School Pictures - Individual student pictures are scheduled for September 24 at 8:00 am. Information packets will be sent home with students ahead of time. Group pictures will be held in March.

Medication - State law is quite defined in prohibiting the school to administer or provide medication, of any type, to any student. If a student is required to receive medication, while at school, it is the responsibility of the parents to make themselves available to administer the student's medicine, or bring a school medication form signed by your doctor.

Student Insurance - The school shall make activity and school-time insurance available for students to purchase. Information regarding such coverage shall be available in the school's office. The school, however, is not an agent for the insurance company and has no liability as such.

Field Trips - While not mandated by policy, individual classes/grades may be taking educational field trips throughout the school year. It is the student's responsibility to obtain parental permission as well as fulfill any associated criteria in order to be eligible for such a trip.

Textbooks and Library Books - Students are responsible for any lost/excessively damaged textbooks or library books that have been issued/checked-out to them. Students will not be allowed to pick-up their report cards, be promoted to the next grade level or obtain their school records, until payment for lost/damaged books has been received by the school.

Student Records - 1.) Parents have the right to review their child's educational records at reasonable times. 2. ) Parents have the right to request amendments or corrections of their child's educational records. 3.) Parents have the right to file complaints regarding the rights given to them and students under the Family Privacy Acts. Student records may be released without the consent of parents to officials of other school districts in which the student seeks or intends to enroll upon the written request of those districts. Further information regarding student records can be obtained from the principal.

Non-Discrimination - The North Conejos School District is an equal opportunity institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and handicap in its activities, programs, or employment practices as required by Title VI, Title IX, ADA and Section 504. For information regarding civil rights or grievances procedures, please contact: Superintendent of Schools North Conejos Schools PO Box 72 La Jara, Co 81140 719-274-5174 Office of Civil Rights US Department of Education 1961 Stout Street, Denver, Co 80294.

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