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Student Handbook


Students are expected to exhibit qualities of good leaders at all times.  They will be taught the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids.


Habit 1:  Be Proactive


Change of Address/Telephone- We cannot stress the importance of keeping your telephone number and address up to date.  Notify the Office immediately if you move or change your home, work, or cell phone numbers during the year.  Also, please provide the Office with the contact number and address of a trusted friend or relative we may contact in case of emergencies or who will know how to reach you at all times.  Parents who cannot be reached may expect messages from this emergency contact about a sick child, school problems, homework, discipline, and attendance problems.  Please make sure this person is trustworthy and will deliver messages to you, the parent/guardian.  This may be the only way to reach you in an emergency, so please make sure you update this information if it changes.  Children get very anxious during emergencies if their parents cannot be reached.  Parents or guardians who have not provided numbers/addresses or an emergency contact person who can be reached between 7:20 am and 3:30 pm will be contacted by a social worker to update this information.  If one parent does not live within the Wells district, messages will be delivered to the address that provides the student the right to attend Wells School.  In the case of joint custody, messages will be sent to the parent with whom the child will be spending the night's lodging.


Withdrawals- Please notify your child's teacher and the Office if you plan to move or change schools.  We need to know one day in advance in order to prepare the Progress Report and Transfer Slip.  All textbooks and library books must be accounted for or paid for before withdrawing your child.  If you are moving outside of the county or state, please be prepared to give us the name and address of the school where we will be sending the student's records.  School records are sent from Wells Elementary when the school that the student has transferred to requests them.


Arrival Time- Our building is open at 7:30 am daily.  No students should arrive prior to 7:30 am.  Teacher Assistants are on duty beginning at 7:30 am to supervise students who must be dropped off prior to 7:55 am.  All students who arrive between 7:30 and 7:40 am should report to the Auditorium.  Our teachers are using their early time at school to prepare for the day.  Please give them that time, uninterrupted, so they can prepare for the students.


Attendance/Perfect Attendance-  All students are expected to attend school daily unless they are ill.  A written note explaining the absence is required when the child returns to school.  Students who accumulate repeated tardies (6 or more) might be asked to provide evidence of a doctor's appointment or other medical reasons for being tardy or leaving early.  For excessive tardies/early pick-ups, the problem may be turned over to the social worker.  The social worker will be asked to investigate and help the child/family develop a plan to get the child to school on time or a plan to ensure the student remains in school for the entire day.  Being on time is a learned behavior.  We therefore ask that students be on time and that you, as a parent/ guardian, help your child learn the importance of punctuality.  Tardiness interrupts the student's instructional time, as does an early pick-up.  Other students' instruction is interrupted, too. 

For the purpose of attendance, early checkouts are coded as a tardy.  Students who are tardy or picked up early, even once, will not be eligible for the Perfect Attendance certificate at the end of the school year.


Car Riders- Students who ride a car should be dropped off and picked up in front of the building on Kincaid Street (where the covered walkway/waiting area is).  The paved drive with entrance on Kincaid Street and exit on Grove Street is for bus pickup onlyPlease do not enter this drive between 7:20 am and 3:30 pm as it creates an unsafe/hazardous situation for all children who are exiting or boarding the buses, crossing the drive, etc.  Additionally, we have many children who walk to school and must cross this drive to enter the building.  Please do not use the paved drive with entrance on Kincaid Street and exit on Grove Street as a "cut through" to Grove Street in the mornings/afternoons or as a temporary parking place in order to pick up or deliver children.  This drive is a fire lane and must be kept open.  There should be no parking whatsoever in this drive.  The Kincaid Street circle drive (in front of the covered walkway/waiting area) is for quick drop off and pick up only.  Do not park here in the mornings or afternoons.  Please use the marked spaces provided for parking.  Please do not park in any drive through area, especially behind parked vehicles as this creates a potentially "damaging" situation when someone is attempting to back out and inadvertently hits the car parked behind it.  Additionally, parking in this location blocks other vehicles from leaving and blocks through traffic behind your vehicle.  For After School Care only, cars may use the paved drive with entrance on Kincaid Street and exit on Grove Street after 3:30 pm.


Lost and Found- Please be sure to mark your child's clothing with his/her name so that it can be returned when found.  Items not marked/identified are placed in the Lost and Found area and may be reclaimed be coming to the Office and describing the lost article.  Unclaimed clothing at the end of the year will be sent to a donation site or placed in our Clothing Closet at school for less fortunate students. 


Medication- School personnel may not administer medication, prescriptions, or otherwise without the written instructions from the doctor prescribing the medication and a signed Parent Request for Medication Administration Form.  School personnel may not apply any treatment beyond first aid.  Prescription medications must be brought to school in a pharmacy labeled bottle that contains instructions on how to administer, how often, and in what dosage.  Most pharmacists are aware of this and if asked will split the prescription into two bottles so that one can be brought to school and be properly administered.  Over the counter medications must be in the original container and will be administered according to the physician's and parents written instructions.


Time Out/Bounce- When a child has been repeatedly disruptive and given several warnings,    a teacher may elect to place this child in a time out area in the classroom or be bounced to another classroom.  The area in the classroom is isolated from other students, but remains observable by the teacher.  If this does not work, then the child may receive an Office Referral.


Habit 2:  Begin With the End in Mind


Assessments- Students will take classroom assessments to assure they are progressing toward meeting their goals.  Assessments may be formative or summative.  School Net assessments will be used to assess students in Grades 3-5.  All students will take common assessments throughout the year.


Beginning of the Year- At the beginning of the school year, we understand the need for parents to accompany their child(ren) to the classroom, especially those parents of children who have not attended school before.  We want your child, our student, to feel secure and comfortable while at Wells Elementary School; however, we feel you should encourage your child to go to the classroom unassisted.  After the first ten days, we ask that anyone needing to go to a classroom to deliver a student stop by the Office, sign in at the computer, and wear a visitor's pass before proceeding down the hall with the student.  At the end of the day,

please wait outside the front of the building to pick up your child.  School personnel escort students in an orderly manner to the exits.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.


Check In/Out- Students who arrive after the 7:55 am bell are expected to sign in at the Office.  Parents are responsible for signing their child in after the 7:55 am tardy bell.  Please do not check out your child after 2:30 pm unless it is an emergency.  Students arriving late or departing early cause interruptions of instructional time.  Parents are strongly encouraged to make appointments outside of school hours and on student holidays so that their child will be in school all day.  If a child needs to leave early, a note must be sent to the teacher who will notify the Office.  All students must be signed out in the Office.  Students who arrive after 11:30 am or leave before 11:30 am are counted as absent, regardless of the reason.  All early checkouts are counted as a tardy.  Under no circumstances should anyone other than school personnel go to a classroom to pick up a student.  This is for the safety of all children in the building.  Teachers have been instructed not to permit students to leave until the student is properly checked out in the Office and a school staff member escorts the child to the Office.


Departure Time/Dismissal- If there is a change in the way your child normally goes home, the school requires a note to the teacher.  We cannot accept changes over the telephone.   School is dismissed at 3:00 pm.  Students should not be expected to leave before that time.  We have three adults on duty in the Kincaid Street circle drive and on the front walk each afternoon.  Parents are expected to stay in their vehicles and proceed through the circle drive on the Kincaid street side of the school building to pick up their children.  Parking is available on the lot in marked spaces - not in the drive area or behind parked cars.  Please proceed with caution when traveling through the circle drive in order to avoid accidents or near accidents. 


Grades- K-2 Grades: (M, S, N, U)  At the K-2 level, students receive M when they have mastered a skill on grade level.  They will receive an S when they have obtained a satisfactory level of knowledge on a particular skill.  Students who receive an N need to improve in a certain skill area.  Receiving a U means the student is not measuring up to the standards that will be necessary to be promoted to the next grade level.


3-5 Grades: (A, B, C, D, F)  At the 3-5 level, grades are based on the Wilson County-wide grading system.  An A is Excellent work, 100-93 points; a B is Above Average, 92-85 points; a C is Average, 84-77 points; a D is Below Average, 76-70 points; and an F is Unsatisfactory with 69 points and lower.  Receiving a D indicates the student may be close to making a failing grade and should work harder.  It is not sufficient just to pass.  An F is a failing grade and indicates unsatisfactory schoolwork, and the student must improve significantly in order to pass or be promoted to the next grade level.  Parents should request a conference with the teacher when students make an F in order to understand what things the student needs to do to improve grades and the likelihood of being promoted.


Perfect Attendance- Perfect attendance awards are given at Wells Elementary School. 

Students are eligible for the award only if they have had no absences, no tardies, and no early dismissals.  Students must be in attendance every day for a full day in order to be eligible at the end of the year for the Perfect Attendance Award.


Proficiency Standards- Students in all grades will be expected to meet the proficiency standard for their grade level.  Parents, students, and teachers will be asked to sign a Proficiency Contract agreeing to work all together in the teaching and learning process.  Please ask your child's teacher or the counselor about the proficiency standards if you do not understand them.  Please review the section on instructional time, homework, grades, and attendance.  We will do our very best to reach proficiency standards.  We want 100% of our students to become great leaders!


READ 3D-  Students in grades K-3 will be assessed in READ 3D several times throughout the year. Each grade level assesses students on different areas.  Please speak with your child's teacher to see what they are being assessed on and what you can do to help.


Report Cards- Report Cards are issued every nine weeks.  Please read all information included with the Report Card and review the Report Card.  Please sign and return the Report Card envelope the next school day.   If the student does not bring the Report Card on the date given, please call the school to find out why the student does not have a Report Card.  Report Card dates are listed on the school calendar on the back cover of this agenda book.


Reading Instruction or RITS- Our RITS (Reading Instruction Teaching Support) program is geared toward building reading and writing skills.  Our RITS teachers work with a whole class and small groups of students based on their READ 3D data.  This program focuses on First and Second Grade students.


Renaissance- Many parents are aware of the recognition that comes with making good grades.  At Wells, we have the Principal's List for students making all A's and the Honor Roll for students making only A's and B's.  Our Renaissance celebrations occur every nine weeks, with the students being treated to a reception/party/event.  The criteria for Renaissance is as follows:  Attendance:  No more than 6 absences and tardies combined (early checkouts are considered tardies); Behavior:  No behavior referrals (Office or Bus); Academics:  Reading and Math on grade level on K-2 report card; All A's/B's on 3-5 report card.  Students must meet all three requirements in order to attend Renaissance celebrations/events.


Valuables/What to Leave at Home- Large amounts of money or valuables should not be brought to school or on field trips.  Problems usually arise when students allow someone else to hold a valuable item (toy, jewelry, money, electronic devices, etc.).  If the student allows someone to hold an item that should not be at school in the first place, the item will be held in the Office for a parent to pick up at the end of the day or year.  Although school personnel try to prevent losses, they are not responsible for students' personal property.  Large amounts of money, cards, electronic equipment/games, etc., should not be brought to school.


What to leave at home- Any items not needed for school/class should be left at home (cards, toys, electronics, balls, etc.).  Items such as matches, sharp objects, lighters, fireworks, firearms (or any likeness of a firearm, including water pistols), tobacco products, alcohol, and illegal drugs are all banned from school campuses and violate school and local laws.

Possession of any of these will result in a disciplinary consequence, possibly suspension with the possibility of long-term suspension.


Habit 3:  Put First Things First


Bathrooms- Every effort will be made to make sure that students have the opportunity to use the bathroom when needed.  However, students should not be in the bathroom unless they have permission, or it is a scheduled break.  Teachers have bathroom breaks scheduled every 90 to 120 minutes.  Students may be asked to wait to go to the bathroom if it is close to a break time.  Students will never be refused the opportunity to go to the bathroom.  If a student's request to go to the bathroom is frequent and appears to be a physical problem or a bad habit, the student will be referred to the school counselor.  The counselor may want to talk to the parent or request a doctor's note stating that a medical problem exists.  Please let us know of problems that may exist be sending a doctor's note as soon as possible to the counselor so that all concerned teachers might be alerted.


Bookbags- Parents should supervise their children in packing their book bags.  Only necessary items for school should be in the bag.  Items should be limited to materials needed for school (books, paper, pens, pencils, etc.).  Students do not need to carry their book bags to lunch or to the playground.  Book bags may be moved from one classroom to another during the day. Students who ride the bus must hold their bookbag in their lap for safety purposes.


Breakfast- Breakfast will be served from 7:40 - 7:55 am daily in the classroom.  Students who plan to eat should arrive to their classroom no later than 7:40 am.  We do not serve breakfast after 7:50 am.  


Dress Code- Students should wear clothing that is appropriate for school.  Rooms are air conditioned, so keep this in mind when your child dresses for school.  Clothing should cover the body, including the midriff.  Clothing should not be worn that would allow undergarments to be seen.  Inflammatory, violent, or racist items printed on shirts will not be allowed.  No pants shall be worn below the waistline.


Fire Drills- A fire drill is held each month school is in session.  When the alarm sounds, students are expected to line up quietly at the classroom door.  They then walk single file, quickly and quietly, to their designated exit with their teacher.  When there is one long sound of the alarm signals and "all clear" is announced, students may return at that time, with their teacher, to the classrooms.  While these drills are practice, students should take them very seriously.  There should be no running, talking, or disorderly conduct during a fire drill.


Homework- Students may be assigned homework each night.  Some teachers may give light assignments with the expectations that a project or large reading assignment be completed.  Make sure your child uses this agenda and puts deadlines for both of you to review.  A review of previous work, math facts (multiplication tables, etc.), or spelling words would help your child build skills needed to be successful.


Every student is Grades K-5 should read or be read to every night, including weekends.  Your time is the best gift you can give your child.  Reading is a wonderful way to share time and improve your child's academic skills.


Immunizations- Every student entering Kindergarten and those in the First through Fifth Grades must have a current immunization record and health assessment on file in the Office within 30 calendar days from the first day of school.  Failure to do so may lead to suspension or expulsion from school.  Students who enroll after that date have 30 days from the date they enrolled in the Wilson County School system to furnish proof of immunizations, or the student will not be allowed to return to school until such proof is provided.  If you do not know what immunizations are required, please contact the Wilson County Health Department or our school counselor.


Inclement Weather- Through the Parent-Link system, parents will be notified of any school schedule changes due to inclement weather.  Parents should listen to the radio or watch TV to find out if schools are closed or have a delayed opening due to inclement weather/hazardous conditions.  Please do not call the main school number for this information as it ties up the lines and prevents calls from weather services or the superintendent.


Dismissal During Inclement Weather- We ask that you not enter the building while we are trying to dismiss students in an orderly manner.  Students will be allowed to stay in the hallways out of the weather until their ride picks them up.  Teachers will stay with them until all students are safely on their way home.


Instructional Time- Instructional time is a very valuable resource for our students.  Using the Intercom or going to the door of the classes to get a student before the school day is over is a waste of valuable instructional time.  Even 5 minutes a day by one parent robs all students in that classroom of 15 hours of instruction time per year.  That is similar to being absent for 3 days.  Multiply that by 3 or 4 parents and students have lost more than a week of precious instructional time.  In an effort to protect this time, we will not call students from the Office after 2:30 to be released unless the student needs to be released for a medical appointment or a family emergency.  In the case of a medical appointment, please send a note with your child to the teacher. The teacher will release the student without interruptions to the other students.


Lunch- Students may receive lunch at school or bring it from home.  Wilson County Schools will be offering free lunches to all elementary students this year.  If students bring their lunch, they may buy a carton of milk for 45 cents as they walk through the lunch line.  No canned, carbonated, or bottled soda-type drinks should be sent to school since these tend to be dangerous when shaken or, at the very least, messy when opened after being shaken.  We invite you to eat lunch with your child at any time.  Lunch is scheduled according to classrooms. Be sure to ask the teacher when your child's lunchtime is so that you can be on time to eat with him/her.


Phone Use- The telephones are for teachers and staff to make necessary school related business calls.  Students should be aware of how they are getting home in the afternoon prior to leaving for school in the morning.  They should not be expected to call during the day to obtain this information.  Students should be prepared to come to school. That means they should have books, homework, lunch (if bringing from home), etc., all organized the night before so that it will not be necessary to use the phone after they have arrived at school.  In addition, students should be taught their phone numbers, parent/guardian names, where they work or go to school, and their address by the time they reach Kindergarten age.


Habit 4:  Think Win-Win


Beaver Bucks- Students may earn Beaver Bucks when they display good character or exemplify model behavior.  Students will collect their Beaver Bucks to attend celebrations that will be held periodically throughout the year.  There will be grade level drawings for a gift card for students who have redeemed their Beaver Bucks.  The more Beaver Bucks a student has accumulated, the more chances they have to win.


Bus- School bus transportation is a privilege- not a right- and may be withdrawn for inappropriate behavior while waiting to board, boarding, disembarking, or while on the bus.  Students may ride the bus only if they are assigned by the school system to ride that particular bus.  Emergency requests to ride a bus cannot be granted orally due to insurance coverage guidelines

Students who do not ride the bus at least one day per week will be removed from the assigned Bus List.  A new request must be made in order to reassign a student to a bus, and this may take several days to process.  If your child normally arrives on a bus in the morning, then he/she will ride the bus home unless the bus driver and teacher are notified in writing that the child will not be riding the bus that afternoon.  If transportation plans change, please write a note and send it with your child to school.  All students are expected to be at the bus stop when the bus arrives.  The bus driver has been trained not to honk the horn for students and not to stop at the bus stop unless students are already standing at the bus stop.


Internet Access- Internet access is available to students in the classrooms and Computer Labs.  Students who play, do not follow instructions, or surf sites not authorized by the school may be punished and/or have all their computer privileges in the building denied.


PBIS- PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is an approach to positive school- wide behavior.  A matrix has been developed to teach students appropriate behavior in all areas of the building as well as in the community.  These guidelines are hung on the walls throughout the school. 


Habit 5:  Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood


Accidents- Parents will be notified of accidents that need medical or immediate attention.  You should be certain that the school always has a current contact phone number and address for you, plus an emergency contact number (someone you trust to notify you in case we are unable to reach you and have to contact your emergency contact person instead).


Books- Students are expected to show respect for textbooks and library books.  When books are damaged or lost, they must be paid for in a timely manner.  Guided reading books sent home cost $12 if lost.  Students and parents are held responsible for all books assigned, loaned, or checked out of the Media Center or classroom.  It is possible that parents may be asked to pick up the child's Report Card so that damaged or lost books may be paid for at that time.


Discipline- Students are expected to follow the PBIS matrix in all areas of the building as well as on field trips.  We will not allow a student to steal precious instructional time from his/her peers or to prevent others from having the opportunity of learning.  Students who interrupt instruction or are disruptive anywhere on school property may be disciplined, including the use of bouncing to another teacher's classroom and suspension.


Food- No commercial food may be brought into the Cafeteria other than that prepared by the Cafeteria staff.


Identification/Safety- Due to the nature of the world today and our concern for the safety of all our students, all persons entering the school will have to be buzzed in by the Office.  The front door is the only door in which persons will be able to enter the school. Please do not be offended if we require identification in order for you to visit a classroom or pick up a child. Our concern is for the safety and well being of your child, our student.  Signing in and wearing a visitor's pass helps assure students that they are safe at school.  Your child may know you, but others may not.  Teachers, staff, and students have been asked to report anyone in the building who is not wearing a visitor's pass or volunteer badge. 


Habit 6: Synergize


Communication- It is important to communicate with your child on a daily basis.  Your child's teacher or the Office may send notes home to be read, signed, and returned.  Please check your child's agenda and folder daily.  This is where teachers and parents can communicate with each other.  Remember, communicating with and on behalf of your child is just one way to express your love for that child.


Grade Parents- Parents are encouraged to sign up in their child's classroom to serve as grade parents.  Grade parents assist teachers with refreshments, field trips, volunteering in the classroom when needed, sewing special bags for children, doing crafts, teaching special activities, and serving as a special speaker on special topics.  If you work during the day, then perhaps you can buy refreshments for students and send them to school.  There are also nighttime opportunities such as Fall Fest (the fall carnival) or Saturday opportunities such as Spring and Fall clean up days.  If you have special talents or skills, let us know what they are and that you are willing to help or assist.  Please volunteer to help!


PTO- We are very proud of our Parent Teacher Organization and the support that it has provided in the past years. It is very important that you attend the meetings and become actively involved.  Membership is only $5.00 per family.


Volunteers- If you are interested in volunteering at school, please fill out and return the Volunteer Form that went home during the first few days of school.  Wells Elementary volunteer coordinators will contact you about your assignment.  You may also call the school at 399-7986 for more information if you do not receive a form.  If you are not called to help, please let us know of your interest and where you would be willing to volunteer.  Your interest and involvement is expected and is always appreciated.


Habit 7:  Sharpen the Saw


After School Day Care- Parents of Wells Elementary students who need after school care should call 399-7714 for an application.  The After School Day Care Program operates every day that school is in session and also on teacher workdays.  Students must be picked up by 6:00 pm.  All students who may use the After School Day Care Program will need an application on file at Central Office.  The charge for a single afternoon is $10.  Teachers must be provided with a note if students are to attend the After School Day Care Program.  Children who have not been picked up by 3:30 will be placed into the After School Day Care Program for supervision at a rate of $10.00 per placement/child.


Book Fair- The PTO will sponsor two book fairs this year.  They are a great opportunity to buy books for your children and to help the PTO raise funds to purchase additional library books.


Fall Festival- Fall Festival (our school carnival) occurs in October.  We need all the parents we can get to help with this event.  Please contact the PTO president and ask what you can do to assist.


Field Day- Field Day offer students an opportunity to participate in activities that will enhance their athletic skills.  They compete against themselves at a variety of activity stations to earn scoops of trail mix and drink. They get lots of exercise at the same time.  We hope you will plan to join the fun that day as a station volunteer.


Field Trips- Teachers plan instructionally sound field trips for students. Any student who does not have a signed permission form will not be permitted to leave campus for field trips.  Students who exhibit poor behavior while in school may not be allowed to participate in field trips unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Jump Rope for Heart- Mr. Prince, our PE teacher, will be conducting this fun activity that helps raise money for the American Heart Association.


Science/Math Fairs- Wells hosts Science and Math Fairs each year.  Students will have the option of completing a science project and/or math project.  All projects will be on display for viewing after they are judged.  There will be a reception for parents and students involved in the Science and/or Math Fair following the project due date. Each grade level is awarded a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable Mention ribbon.  You will receive more information about this well in advance. 


Spelling Bee- Each year, our students compete in their classrooms to be eligible for the School Spelling Bee.  Students who win at the school level are then eligible to participate in the Wilson County Schools Spelling Bee.


Young Authors- Wells students will have the opportunity to compete in the Young Authors writing contest.  Students whose stories are selected from each school will be published in a Wilson County Young Authors book and provided the opportunity to read their story at Barton College.  These stories are also eligible for competition at the State level.