YOUR CHILD ARRIVES SAFELY... EARLY ALERT PROGRAM
Jefferson's Early Alert Program provides an absentee verification
service for parents to help insure a safe arrival at school each
day. Parents call the school office between 8:00 and 8:30 am or
12:15 and 12:30 pm if their child is going to be absent. We will
attempt to contact parents if a child is absent from school and
we have not received a call that the child was to be absent. (For
more detailed information, please read your Early Alert
sheet sent home in your first day packet.)
STARTING TIMES/ENTERING THE SCHOOL BUILDING
Students should arrive on school grounds by 8:40 am. All students
should report to the entrance door indicated. Teachers will
be on duty from 8:30 to 8:40. Students should line up with their
class to enter the building. The duty teacher will send students
to their classroom at the 8:40 bell.
Students who arrive late to school, morning or afternoon, must
enter by the main door and must check in at the office before
going to class. We are very serious about accurate attendance
and tardy records. For safety reasons we want to make sure we
know who is here and who is not.
On mornings when it is raining, students will be allowed to
enter the building at 8:30 when staff supervision is available.
Students will wait inside in the entrance hallway until the
8:40 bell. Parents are asked not to come inside to help minimize
hallway traffic congestion.
School doors will be locked after
the entrance bell for security reasons. If you want to come
into the school during the school day, you will need to use
the main door. All locked doors do open from the inside out.
No one ever gets locked in. Remember, you need to check in at
the office first, whenever you visit. Again, this is for organization
and security reasons.
DISMISSAL/LEAVING THE SCHOOL BUILDING
All students will leave the building at the 3:05 dismissal bell
from the designated exit door (which may not be the door they
use to enter the building in the morning). Parents are asked
to wait outside the building for their children at dismissal
to make our traffic flow inside go a lot more smoothly. Please
stand back and away from the door so students can get out.
There will always be days when the children may be late getting
outside. We ask your patience when this happens. Remember, we
are teaching your children independence and responsibility in
gathering up their own things and getting themselves out in
a mature way.
If you are missing a child... don't
panic! Wait a few minutes and then check the school office.
Staying after school is sometimes arranged for extra help or
as an advisable "discipline" procedure. Students may be detained
between five and ten minutes beyond the 3:05 dismissal to speak
with a teacher about homework or behavior. Your cooperation
is requested when this happens. No child will stay more than
10 minutes unless you have been informed at least one day in
advance, either by phone or by note. You will know exactly what
time your child will be dismissed if "staying after" is recommended.
Students who stay longer than 10 minutes will be dismissed from
the front door. If you receive a notification that your child
is scheduled to stay after school, please fulfill your responsibility
and return it with your signature to school with your child
the next day. This insures both of us of your child's safety
and well being.
The lunch hour is 11:30-12:30 each day. Teachers are not on
duty. Students staying at school for lunch eat in their classrooms
and are supervised by our lunch aides. Students who stay for
lunch must bring in a written permission form to be kept on
file, and cannot leave school during lunch except through the
main office when signed out by a parent. Students eating at
school must bring a lunch for the first few weeks of school.
A letter about purchasing school lunches and/or milk comes home
by mid-September. A placemat (vinyl is best) is required for
everyone who eats lunch in school. No gum is allowed... soda
is discouraged... .both get very messy.
RECESS AT LUNCH
Every student goes outside (weather permitting) during the lunch
period every day and should dress according to the weather.
The only exceptions made are for students with a doctor's note
stating the number of days the child needs to be inside, and
HOME FOR LUNCH
The lunch hour is 11:30-12:30 each day . Students going home
will leave at 11:30 and may not return until 12:30. Keep in
mind on cold and rainy days that students will not be let in
until 12:30. The afternoon late bell rings at 12:35. There are
designated exit and entrance doors for the lunch period. (For
more detailed information on lunch, please read your About
Lunch and lunch program letters sent home.)
OF SCHOOL AND DELAYED OPENINGS
School may open late in inclement weather. Delayed opening times
are: 10:00 -3:05 for grades 1-5, 10:00-12:30 for AM kindergarten
and 12:35-3:05 for PM kindergarten.
Regularly scheduled school days may be cancelled due to snow
or other serious conditions involving danger to staff and students
on the way to and from school.
Do not call the school. If there is a delayed opening,
or cancellation, announcements will be broadcast over
radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM, and television station News
12 (Cable TV Channel 42); listen or watch to find out
if school is delayed or closed. You can also access this
information on the Westfield website at www.westfieldnj.com.
The PTO is also notified, and a "phone chain" is started;
parents are telephoned about delayed openings and no school
Emergency closings are very rare,
but we have a procedure in place just in case. We will attempt
to make calls through the PTO phone chain if school must
be closed for emergency reasons. Children will not be
able to stay at school, so parents need to plan ahead for emergency
closings and send back to us The Emergency Closing Form
(in the opening day packet).
Early dismissal days are different from emergency closing days.
Early dismissal days are scheduled in advance, are on the school
calendar and mean that school is in session for a four-hour
session and not a full-day session. Grades 1-5 attend school
from 8:30 - 12:30; both sessions of kindergarten attend school
from 10:00 - 12:30.
AND GYM DAYS.. "SPECIALS"
"Specials" is a word we use to refer to classes for art, music,
physical education (gym) and library. Parents will receive a
schedule early in the year, usually at Back to School Night,
which will show when your child's class is scheduled for "specials."
The children will be expected to have their library books on
library day and their sneakers on gym day.
We do have a borrowing library for
parents; books on topics of interest for parents about parenting
and school issues are available through the library or the principal's
AND MUSIC LESSONS
Chorus is scheduled once each week for fifth grade students
which takes the place of the second music class. The fifth grade
chorus usually presents two concerts: one in December and one
in the spring.
Instrumental lessons are offered,
free of charge, to all interested students in the upper grades.
Third graders may take lessons for a string instrument; fourth
and fifth graders may also take lessons for a band instrument.
We do not offer piano or guitar lessons.
AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Interesting and special things happen all the time at Jefferson.
The PTO sponsors several Cultural Arts Programs during the year.
Many of the assembly programs and special events are noted on
your school calendar. The PTO newsletter, the Jefferson
Journal, will list date and time changes and any new events
coming up. Parents, relatives and friends are always invited
to attend any of our special activities. Pre-schoolers usually
do not have the attention span or interest for our assemblies,
but if you think they will, and especially if a big brother
or sister is performing, they are welcome to attend also. Kindergartners
will receive a special notice when an assembly is scheduled
when they are not in school (AM or PM) and are welcome to attend
with a parent. We will ask any children attending our programs
if they'd like to sit up front to see better. They may if they
feel comfortable doing so, but don't have to. Parents and guests
must sit in the chairs set up at the back of the auditorium.
The chairs along the side walls are for teachers to sit close
to the students they are supervising.
NEWSLETTERS AND THE SCHOOL DIRECTORY
The PTO newsletter, the Jefferson Journal is published on a
weekly basis by our PTO in order to keep our parents well informed
of upcoming events and activities. There are also periodic announcements
from the Principal's office.
Both newsletters list events, assemblies and special dates,
but do check both because they don't always list the same things.
Jefferson has its own school directory, thanks to our PTO! In
it, you will find a list of teachers and staff, a list of PTO
committees and chairpersons, and a listing of students and parents
for each homeroom. (Be sure to complete and return the directory
information form in your first day packet).
We have an excellent, very active PTO. PTO meetings are held
periodically (approximately once every other month, in the evenings
and are listed on the school calendar. Everyone is welcome.
Meetings generally are scheduled at 8:00 pm for coffee and chatting,
with a formal program beginning at 8:15 pm. PTO meetings are
planned for adults, so children are not expected to come with
you. If you are interested in becoming involved, we would like
to hear from you. You can complete and return the PTO Volunteer
Interest Form (in your first day packet), or drop a note
in the PTO box in the office, or call any person on the PTO
Executive Committee, or call the main office, or talk to your
child's teacher or to the principal, whatever way is easiest
for you. The PTO periodically will send notices home or put
announcements in the Jefferson Journal, when volunteers
are needed for special projects.
We are always open to ideas and suggestions, so don't hesitate
to offer yours. You can call us... or e-mail
us... or drop a note in the PTO box.. or drop a note in the
suggestion box. The PTO box and the suggestion box are
both in the main office.
In addition to the regular report card sent home four times
during the year, parents may receive an interim report. Not
everyone gets one. These are not failing notices. Interim reports
are intended to be a formal communication from school to home
halfway between report cards to inform parents of their child's
progress since the last report card or parent conference. They
can alert parents, and students, to specific concerns or changes
in performance, attitude or behavior.. .good as well as not
so good. Interim reports, unlike the report cards, are mailed
home. Mailing dates for interim reports are noted on your school
calendar.. as are distribution dates for report cards.
We schedule a parent conference for every student during the
month of November. Your child's teacher will contact you for
a mutually convenient time and date. Conferences may be requested
by either the teacher or parent, at any time during the school
year. Just write a note to your child's teacher or call the
school office to let us know you would like an appointment and
what choice of dates would be good for you. Your child's teacher
will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please remember that teachers are
supervising or teaching your children from the time they arrive
at 8:40 until they leave at 3:05. Getting to a phone or writing
a response to your note is impossible except during "prep" time
(one half hour each day), or during lunch. We understand that
parents are sometimes anxious to hear from us. Rest assured
that we care about you and your child and that we will get back
to you just as soon as we can.
Parent-teacher appointments are often scheduled before school
or after school. If you have an appointment, please use the
front door and check in at the main office. If you like, you
may write us a note to have your child meet you at the office
instead of being dismissed with the class if your appointment
is after school.
Please do not expect teachers to talk with you during school
or as the children are arriving or leaving. A teacher's first
responsibility at these times is to supervise or teach the children
in their care. During these times they cannot give you the attention
Please do make an appointment or
ask for a phone conference if you wish to talk with your child's
teachers. We encourage frequent home/school communication. Just
call the office to ask for a conference or a return call.
Chats are informal discussions about educational issues concerning
the Jefferson School Community. These chats are held in the
evening from 7:00-8:00 pm prior to each regularly scheduled
PTO general meeting. Ideas for topics are suggested by parents.
Generally, we hold four or five chats during the year.
Our Student Art Gallery, called "Our World", is located in the
office hallway, just after the main entrance. We have created
the gallery for the purpose of encouraging and recognizing children's
contributions in art. Our art teacher serves as curator and
changes the exhibit each marking period. We hope that parents
and friends will find a few minutes to enjoy art in "Our World"
when they are in our building.