Swansea Parent Handbook 2012-2013
4650 Columbine St.
Denver, CO 80216
School Hours: 8:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (students are picked up by teachers at 8:05 a.m. on the playground)
At Swansea we believe in having high expectations for all students, collaboration as a way to reach our goals and using data to inform our decisions. We are passionate about the importance of education and believe that student learning is the most important thing we do as a school. Therefore, we are implementing the policies below in order to preserve the integrity of the learning environment at Swansea. We know that as parents, you will appreciate the improvement in student achievement this will lead to.
In order to insure that the staff and students are completely focused on student learning, we are going to do everything we can to eliminate any disruptions to the learning environment. This includes eliminating all noise, talking and disruptive behavior in the hallways and parties for birthdays and holidays. It also means we will enforce the uniform policy so students are not distracted by clothing and status. We will implement a new behavior policy that provides very clear expectations for their behavior and positively reinforces students that demonstrate the correct behavior. You will notice that all the policies and expectations below lead to student achievement and success.
As our partners in education, we need parents and families to help us implement the policies and changes outlined below. These changes will allow us to make the most of the instructional time we have with our students by minimizing disruptions to the learning environment.
Parking and Busing
In order to make our school a safer place for students and parents to walk to, we are implementing changes to the parking around school. We have noticed there are a lot of cars stopping in the middle of the street, students running into the street and cars trying to pass each other. In order to make the environment safer for students and all pedestrians, the parking on the east side of Columbine street will change to a “15-Minute Passenger Loading” zone so that parents have a place to stop safely and legally. This will also prevent students from running into the middle of the street to get into the car. We will be moving the bus loading zone back to the front of the school on Columbine where there is more space for buses. We are also asking for volunteers to help as crossing guards at each corner. These changes will eliminate some parking spaces, but the increase in the safety of our students is worth it.
Drop-off and Pick-up
Learning is the most important activity that occurs in our school and therefore we want to protect it from any disruptions. One way for us to minimize disruptions to your child’s learning and to their classroom is to ensure that they are in class for the entire time from 8:15-3:00; another is to eliminate any noise or distractions in the hallways. We appreciate and encourage parents to reach out to each other and create community amongst themselves, but it cannot happen at the expense of students’ learning.
Parents will drop their students off on the playground by 8:10 a.m. Teachers will pick up their classes and take them inside at 8:10 a.m. in order to be in class and learning by 8:15 a.m. In the afternoon, students will be dismissed and will walk outside. Please do not come in the building to pick them up. The only exception will be for ECE parents, who need to sign-in their children in the morning and sign them out in the afternoon.
Parents and family members that show up early (before 3:00 p.m.) will be asked to wait outside to pick up their children. Please wait outside for your children to come to you: 3rd – 5th graders will exit from the side doors on Columbine; all other students will exit onto Elizabeth St. The only exceptions are Ms. Duran, who exits onto 47th; and Ms. Champi and Ms. Marquez in 1st grade who will exit onto the playground. During inclement weather, parents and family members will be allowed to wait in the lobby in front of the main office.
Visitors/Observers in the Classroom
Learning is our primary mission and we invite parents and families to join us in that work. We would like for parents to be involved in the classroom and are always welcome to observe or volunteer. To do so, all parents or family members must sign-in at the front office and receive a visitor’s pass or volunteer’s pass. While in the classroom, please do not interact with the teacher, your child or with other students. If you need to talk with the teacher, please set up a meeting before or after school or during the teacher’s planning period. Communication with your child’s teacher is extremely important and highly encouraged, but not during class time.
If you would like to volunteer, please see below.
Kenia Abeyta, our parent liaison, will coordinate volunteer activities. She will have a list of tasks for which you can volunteer. Kenia will provide a description of the tasks that we need assistance with and how to complete them. Volunteers are required to first sign in at the main office and get a volunteer pass. You can contact Kenia at 720-424-
Learning is the most important thing students and schools do. Research shows there is a direct correlation between absences/tardies and academic achievement. Please support your child’s education by making sure that they come to school every day and on time so that we do not waste any instructional time. According to state law, students cannot have more than 10 absences.
If your student is going to be absent or tardy, please call the office to report the absence or tardy so it is excused. If a student is absent, the system will place an automatic call to inform you of the absence.
Classrooms that have perfect attendance will have an ice cream party that week.
New Changes to Transportation/Busing
Our school is fortunate to participate in the new DPS shuttle system. Instead of having one bus route for eligible student we now have a shuttle system that operates more like a city bus; buses now come by every few minutes (5 -15 minutes apart). Also, all students are now eligible to ride the bus. Please communicate with your teacher whether or not you expect your child to ride the bus, walk home or wait for a ride.
Communication with your Child’s Teacher
Teachers will provide several different ways for you to communicate with each other, such as weekly and monthly newsletters, conferences and appointments and via phone. In addition, they each have email and voice mail.
In order to eliminate disruptions in the classroom, we will not allow phone calls to a teacher’s room. You can leave teachers a voice mail to request a time to meet or a time they can call you back. If you need to get a message to your child, the office staff can relay the message for you without interrupting the class. The only visits that will be allowed in the classroom are for quiet observations by signing in at the main office and getting a visitor pass. If you need to discuss a concern or have questions for your child’s teacher, please set up a time to meet with them.
Swansea is a uniform school. The uniform consists of a navy blue polo shirt, khaki pants or khaki jumper. All students are required to wear a uniform every day. If students come to school without a uniform, they will be sent to the office immediately and parents will be called to bring a uniform to school. We cannot allow students to be in school without a uniform because other students will think it’s okay to for them to not wear a uniform.
Please read and understand the color system for consequences below. Every student starts on green every day and teachers will call you if your child reaches yellow, pink or red. We as teachers are committed to making positive contact with five student families each week so that you hear from us about once a month regarding your student’s excellent behavior. Please check in with your student daily about what color they ended the day on and encourage them to strive for green and blue!
SWANSEA HIERARCHY OF LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES
Blue: Above and beyond behavioral expectations. Students should be moved to blue for exceptional behaviors only and this should be seen as an extreme privilege
Green: All students start on green each day; student behavior meets expectations; no misbehaviors
Purple: Warning; no action taken other than color movement
Yellow: Student to take focus chair for 5-10 minutes while still completing classroom exercises; call home to family at end of day
Pink: Student sent to buddy classroom for 15 minutes with focus sheet; call to family at the end of the day
Red: Office referral
Students will remain outside unless the temperature falls below 30 degrees, it snows or rains.
Birthdays and Celebrations in Classrooms
We believe that celebrations are important, however, they cannot take away from the mission of a school – to educate your child. In order to minimize the interruption to instruction, we will no longer be having birthday parties in the classroom. Please do not bring cakes or any treats; teachers will not be taking time from class for birthday parties. Students’ birthdays will be recognized in their classrooms by the teacher giving them a special birthday pin to wear and having the class sing to them.
We will, of course, celebrate academics, good behavior and attendance – accomplishments that lead to success. We will continue with school-wide assemblies twice a year to recognize the academic achievement of our students and the ice cream parties for classrooms that have perfect attendance each week.