Student Handbook

Table of Contents


Sunnyside Elementary School
Dinwiddie County Public Schools
2018–2019

Home of the Mustangs

Address:
10203 Melvin B. Alsbrooks Ave.
McKenney, VA 23872

District website: www.dinwiddie.k12.va.us

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Telephone Number: 804-478-2313
Fax Number: 804-478-2315
Transportation: 804-469-4680
Cafeteria Manager: 804-478-2318
School Board Office: 804-469-4190
Nurse: 804-478-4023

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General Schedule

Morning

  • 8:00 a.m. — Office Opens
  • 8:10 a.m. — Teachers Report
  • 8:15 a.m. — Buses Unload/Car Riders Released
    Students report to class, then to breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. — Tardy Bell
    Students arriving after 8:30 a.m. must sign in with parent/guardian in the office. (Parents may not walk students to the classroom after 8:30.)
  • 8:40 a.m. — Morning Announcements/Moment of Silence
  • 8:45 a.m. — Instruction Begins

Afternoon

  • 3:25 p.m. — Car Riders Dismissed to Cafeteria
  • 3:30 p.m. — Board buses
  • 3:40 p.m. — Buses Depart
  • 3:50 p.m. — Teachers Dismissed
  • 4:30 p.m. — Office Closes

Lunch Schedule

  • 11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. — Kindergarten
  • 10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. — First Grade
  • 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. — Second Grade
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. — Third Grade
  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. — Fourth Grade
  • 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. — Fifth Grade

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Principal’s Message

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2019 – 2020 school year at Sunnyside Elementary!   I hope everyone had an awesome summer. Our goal remains continuous. We make every effort to provide a safe, caring, respectful and inspiring learning environment where children are challenged, excellence is expected, and differences are appreciated.  We want our children to have a strong academic foundation and the ability to apply knowledge, to think critically, and communicate effectively. 

We recognize that student success is dependent upon the collaboration of teachers, parents, and the community. Parents, family and friends are vital partners in this most important job of educating the children of our community. Communication between home and school is vital to providing the best possible educational experiences for children. Please help us support this relationship by attending school functions and monitoring your child’s school progress. Through teamwork, we are developing our youth to be productive citizens! 

Our handbook contains valuable information for both parents and students highlighting guidelines necessary for the safety, welfare, and well-being of our students.  You are encouraged to review the contents of this handbook and discuss it with your child. As a parent, your dedicated interest and involvement with your child’s education will promote a positive attitude toward learning and academic achievement.  

I look forward to working with you and your family this year.   It is my expectation that your child will have a positive, productive and stimulating school year.

Sincerely,

Mr. Brenton J. Byrd

Principal

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Tips for A Successful School Year

  • Talk to your child’s teacher frequently. Together you are a team for your child’s academic success.
  • Read with/to your child daily.
  • Provide a quiet place and a consistent time to do homework.
  • Support your child in homework efforts but refrain from doing the homework.
  • Help your child learn to follow directions.
  • Give one and two-step directions and see that the task is completed.
  • Teach your child to show respect for others by using polite phrases such as please, thank you, and excuse me.
  • Model, reinforce, and encourage appropriate behavior.
  • Help your child learn his address and telephone number.
  • Guide and monitor your child’s television viewing and computer use.
  • Establish a bedtime routine and require your child to be in bed on time every school night.
  • Listen to your child and encourage him to talk about his experiences that day.
  • Encourage your child to succeed by insisting he always do his best.
  • Write your child’s name on the inside of all personal items brought to school such as coat, hat gloves, sweater, lunch box, etc.
  • Refrain from sending your child to school sick.
  • Dress your child according to the weather. Students will go outside every day — weather permitting.
  • Discuss with your child what to do in the event you are not at home when he arrives.

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2019 – 2020 Sunnyside Elementary PTO Board

  • President — Kimberly Smith
  • Vice President — Melissa Everett
  • Secretary — Beverly Steed
  • Parliamentarian — MacKenzie Taylor
  • Historian — Susan Nye
  • Treasurer — Katie Matthews
  • Faculty Liaison — Jessica Lilley

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Absences/Attendance

Virginia Code Section 22.1-254 requires that all school age children be enrolled in school and attend school on a regular basis. Failure to comply with the Compulsory School Attendance Law will result in court action against both the child and the parent/guardian.

A student is expected to attend school 180 days per school year. Any absence shall be deemed unexcused until appropriate verification by the parent or guardian is received and reviewed by the principal/designee. Parents are asked to call the school the morning of their child’s absence; otherwise a phone call will be placed to the home to verify an absence. An absence may be excused when a parent/legal guardian indicates to school officials in writing that the absence resulted from one of the following reasons per nine weeks marking period:

  • Personal illness — 3 days with parent verification
  • Death in immediate family/household — 4 days
  • Professional/legal appointments — unlimited unless there may be reason to suspect abuse
  • Extenuating circumstances — with prior approval of the principal
  • Three unexcused absences — parent will be contacted and a school official will review the attendance policy
  • Four unexcused absences — the attendance team will meet with the student
  • Five unexcused absences — an attendance contract will be developed and implemented
  • Six unexcused absences — a plan will be developed with the parent to determine if more supports and/or interventions are needed
  • Seven unexcused absences — the school social worker will file a complaint against the student and/or parents through Dinwiddie Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court

Note: A written statement by a physician may be required when a student misses more than 10 days during the school year because of illness.

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Arrive Late/Tardy

Tardiness shall be considered excused for reasons consistent with those for which an excused absence is granted. Students are not considered tardy when the bus arrives late.
Students must be signed in by an adult when arriving after 8:30 a.m.

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Accident/Illness

If your child becomes ill or is injured at school, we will make every attempt to notify you or the person listed on the Emergency Card and in the Student Management System. Please help us keep this information current by notifying us immediately of changes in telephone numbers. In some cases, your child may need to be picked up by the parent or designee so that you may make a decision on the treatment needed. Students who are vomiting, who have a 100° F or higher fever, or who have diarrhea cannot stay at school. They must be picked up within a reasonable amount of time. In respect for the health and well-being of other children, your prompt response is essential. Minor cuts and scrapes will be disinfected and dressed. The administrative team will notify emergency services when deemed necessary. You will be notified of this call.

Students may not return to school until they have been free of vomiting, fever, and/or diarrhea for 24 hours. This keeps all of our children safe and healthy!

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Awards

Students have a number of opportunities to participate in activities for which they receive special recognition. These include, but are not limited to: citizenship, spelling bee, academic excellence, and attendance.

Students will be recognized each nine weeks for academic achievement as well as good behavior. A formal awards ceremony will be held at the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Criteria for Nine Weeks Citizenship Award:

  • Displays appropriate behavior on a consistent basis
  • No office/bus referrals for the nine weeks
  • Displays appropriate work habits and attitude in the classroom and at specials
  • No “N”s or “U”s on report card in Work Habits, Citizenship or Weekly Resources for the nine weeks.

Criteria for Citizenship Award for the year:

  • Displays appropriate behavior above and beyond expectations
  • No office/ bus referrals for the year
  • Displays appropriate work habits, citizenship, and attitude in the classroom and at specials above and beyond expectations

Criteria for Nine Weeks Attendance Awards:

  • Students who have been present in school every day, on time, and stayed all day will be recognized each 9-weeks

Criteria for Perfect Attendance Award for the year:

  • Students who were present every day during the school year with no tardy arrivals and/or early dismissals will receive a Perfect Attendance Award for the year at the final awards ceremony.

Criteria for Outstanding Attendance Award:

  • Students who were absent no more than 3 days or were tardy or left early no more than 3 times will be recognized for outstanding attendance.

Criteria for Honor Roll/Principal’s List:

  • Each nine weeks, students who receive all As and Bs (no Cs) (no Ns or Us in work habits on their report card) will be recognized:
    • Principal’s List — Grades K–2
    • Honor Roll — Grades 3–5
      • To receive Honor Roll/Principal’s List for the year, a student must receive As and Bs (no Cs) for the entire year.

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Birthday Celebrations

Student birthdays are important to us at Sunnyside. On their birthday, students will receive a book and sticker from the principal.

If parents choose to send/bring in cake/cupcakes to celebrate their child’s birthday, the following guidelines should be observed:

  • K–1 — birthday treats may be shared with the class during the afternoon snack time or during lunch
  • 2–5 — birthday treats may be shared with the class during lunch

Students will not be allowed to distribute birthday party invitations at school unless everyone in the class is receiving an invitation. Privacy laws prevent the office from disclosing parent’s telephone numbers or addresses.

Parents are encouraged to contact the teacher in advance and be mindful of student food allergies.

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Breakfast/Lunch Program

Student meal cost will be $1.45 for breakfast and $2.75 for lunch.    Menus are posted in the classroom and sent home monthly in the Tuesday Folders.  All opened or perishable foods must be consumed in the cafeteria and will not be permitted in any other part of the building.

Adults may purchase breakfast for $1.80 and $3.35 for lunch. (Please know that this could change.)  

For the convenience of parents, money for breakfast and lunch may be preloaded on their account.  Parents may send in checks or cash at any time during the year.  

Applications for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program are distributed at the beginning of each school year and are available throughout the year in the school office.  Parents must complete a new application each year.  Until the application is completely processed, it is the responsibility of parents to provide money for the student’s meals.  If a student wishes to bring lunch from home, he/she may purchase milk for 30 cents.  Ice cream may also be purchased for 60 cents.    

Parents and grandparents are invited to have lunch with their child.  Parents who are coming for lunch are asked to report to the office first, sign in, and pick up a visitor’s badge.  

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Bus Behavior

School bus transportation is provided as a service to the students of Dinwiddie County.   Riding the bus is a privilege that may be revoked if students fail to follow bus rules.  (Refer to County Code of Conduct for a full explanation of bus rules.)

Bus drivers will explain the bus rules and expectations to students on their bus during the first week of school.  Parents are encouraged to carefully review these guidelines with their child. It is critical that students comply with all bus rules and procedures to ensure all students arrive at their destination safely.

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Bus Passes

Requests for changes to the bus a student normally rides must be made in writing by the parent/guardian. The bus pass should contain the following information:

  • Student’s full name
  • Bus # they are to ride
  • Name and address of stop where they are to get on and/or off
  • Date(s) student is to ride this bus
  • Indicate morning, afternoon or both
  • Signature of parent
  • Phone number of parent (for verification purposes)

Note: For safety and security purposes, bus passes cannot be taken over the phone. All bus changes must be made in writing.
If an emergency arises during the school day, parents may fax a bus pass to the school before dismissal. It must contain a parent’s signature.

Note: There will be no transportation changes after 2:50 p.m.

It is important that parents follow these guidelines in order to protect our students.

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Cafeteria Manners

Use of good manners in the cafeteria and ensuring that our cafeteria is clean and orderly are student’s responsibility. Students are expected to pick up dropped paper or food items. At the end of the lunch period, each child is responsible for returning their tray to the dish room and properly disposing of trash.

All students are asked to assist in having our lunchtime remain orderly. Parents can assist us greatly by teaching and modeling appropriate table manners at home.

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Calendar

An individual monthly calendar for the upcoming month will be sent home on the last Tuesday of each month in the Tuesday Folder. Additionally, a copy of the school calendar is located at the end of this handbook.

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Cell Phone Use

Elementary students are not permitted to possess, display, or use cell phones on school grounds or on buses at any time. Cell phones brought to school will be taken from the student and held in the office until it is claimed by a parent/guardian.

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Changes in Parent Contact Information

Parents are expected to notify the office immediately of any changes in address, phone numbers or other contact information throughout the school year. This enables the school to reach parents quickly in the event of an emergency involving the student.

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Character Education

Character Education involves teaching children about basic human values including honesty, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, equality, and respect. The goal of our character education program is to raise children to become morally responsible, self-disciplined citizens. Problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution are important parts of developing moral character.

We focus on one character word each month. We encourage students to remember these words throughout the year and show good character every day. Parents can help by modeling good character traits and by reminding their child to be good a citizen.

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Character Words

  • September: Responsibility — being dependable, reliable in words and conduct, accountable for one’s actions.
  • October: Self-Discipline — ability to control one’s behavior, words, and actions
  • November: Generosity — sharing and giving to others willingly without selfishness
  • December: Respect — showing consideration for self, other people, property and authority.
  • January: Cooperation — two or more people working together in a mutually supportive manner for a common goal.
  • February: Caring — having sympathetic attitudes toward others in need, with a desire to help.
  • March: Citizenship — living up to obligations to society and community, showing patriotism and being involved.
  • April: Perseverance — to persist in any undertaking, to complete a task.
  • May: Trustworthiness — deserving of trust, honor and confidence.
  • June: Fairness — treating everyone the same under the rules and requiring everyone to abide by the rules.

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Child Custody

The issues related to the legal and physical custody of students are complicated and can impact the student’s academic performance. Parents and legal guardians are strongly encouraged to stay involved with their student’s academic progress. Unless a court order states otherwise, either parent or a legal guardian may view educational records and attend school functions or school meetings regarding the student. Official notices and report cards will be sent to the parent or legal guardian with primary physical custody for the student during the school year.

It is the responsibility of the parent or legal custodian with primary physical custody to provide current copies of court orders to the school.

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Child Study Team

The Child Study Team is available to assist the school and our parents in seeking solutions to problems which result from poor attendance, lack of academic progress, lack of motivation and concerned behavior. In short, this team will seek to find solutions for children who are not meeting success, regardless of the reason. Parents may contact the school counselor for more information.

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Classroom Assignments/Teacher Requests

Students are assigned to classrooms and teachers by the principal. Many factors are considered including the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Decisions are made based on what is believed to be best for the student.

Parents may submit a request in writing to the principal for a particular teacher. The request should explain specific reasons why a particular teacher is desired. All written requests must be received prior to July 1 for the upcoming school year. The principal will consider all parent requests; however, student placement decisions will ultimately be made by the principal.

Due to the limited number of teachers at each grade level, it is difficult to honor a parent’s request for a student to be moved to a particular teacher’s classroom during the school year. It is important that parents and teachers work together to ensure the child’s success.

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Contagious Diseases

If your child has a contagious condition such as head lice, pink eye, chicken pox, etc., you will be given a letter at the time of occurrence outlining the conditions which must be met for the child to return to school.

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Discipline Referrals

Teachers are responsible for addressing a child’s inappropriate behavior in the classroom and enlisting the parent’s assistance. In cases of serious disruptive behavior or when the child’s behavior is repeatedly disruptive to the learning environment, a referral to the principal may become necessary. When a referral is received by the principal, the action taken will be determined by the seriousness of the situation and the number of previous referrals. Examples of actions taken may be (but are not limited to) a warning, telephone call to parent, note home, detention, silent lunch, conference with parent and student, or suspension.

Note: Refer to Dinwiddie County Code of Conduct (pages 20–40) for specific details.

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Dress Code

There is a direct correlation between dress, attitude, and achievement in school. Parents and students are asked to support a standard of dress that contributes to a positive educational environment.

A student’s dress and appearance should not cause disruption, distract others from the educational process or create a health or safety problem.

Please adhere to the following guide when dressing for school:

  • Appropriate shoes are required; either tennis shoes or hard-soled shoes are acceptable. (Flip-flops are not allowed in school at any time as they pose a safety issue.) Shoes should be secure on the child’s feet with a strap. Students are also discouraged from wearing shoes with an excessive heel. Tennis shoes are required for P.E.
  • Spaghetti straps, bare midriffs, bare shoulders, bare backs, excessively low cut clothing, or clothing made of see through material are prohibited unless covered with a sweater or jacket.
  • Shorts, skirts, and dresses are to meet the “fingertip test”. When standing with arms fully extended at his/her side, the child’s shorts, dress or skirt must extend “at or beyond” the longest fingertip.
  • Shorts and pants should be worn at the waistline and be securely fastened. Undergarments may not be visible at any time.
  • Hats, caps, hoods and other head coverings should not be worn inside the building.
  • Sunglasses may not be worn in school.
  • Clothing that exhibits written, pictorial or implied references to illegal substances, alcohol, violence threats, vulgarities, or causes a disruption to the school environment is prohibited.
  • Any item of jewelry or clothing that might create a hazard to a student’s safety may not be worn (ex. large necklaces, chains, or jewelry with sharp points.
  • Clothing which is too tight, too revealing, or too loose is not allowed.

Note: Dress code rules may be adjusted to accommodate students on specific announced school-wide spirit days (ex. Hat Day).

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Dropping Off/Picking Up Students

Students may not be dropped off at school prior to 8:15 a.m. as we do not have staff to provide supervision prior to this time.

Students being picked up at dismissal will report to the cafeteria. Parents should arrange to pick up their child between 3:30 and 3:40 as we do not have personnel to supervise beyond 3:40 p.m.

Parents/guardians picking up children must report to the office to sign out their child. Picture identification will be requested before releasing a student. This is to ensure your child is safe and secure. Your cooperation is appreciated since the safety of our students is involved.

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Drug-Free Work Place

The Dinwiddie County Public Schools abide by local, state and federal laws to provide a drug-free workplace for staff, students and visitors. Smoking is not permitted on school property at any time.

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Early Dismissal/Leave Early

When early dismissal is necessary (doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment, etc.), the person picking up the student must sign him/her out in the office. Persons picking up children will be required to show identification and must be listed on the emergency card.

Note: Written permission is required if the child is leaving with someone other than the legal guardian.

Early dismissal shall be considered excused for reasons consistent with those for which an excused absence is granted. Parents are asked to remain in the office and a member of the office staff will call the student from the classroom.

Parents are encouraged to ensure that students remain in school until dismissal. Valuable instructional time is lost when students leave before the end of the school day.

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Emergency Procedures

Dinwiddie County Public Schools has established plans for emergencies such as fire, illness and violent or threatening behavior. Plans and complete procedures are on file in the school office and students are informed of them at the beginning of each school year as well as throughout the year.

In addition, Sunnyside Elementary School has a crisis management team and the entire staff receives training in crisis management annually.

Should your child notice a condition that appears threatening to them, he/she should tell the nearest staff member so that appropriate action may be taken to ensure the safety of all students.

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Field Trips

Field trips are an extension of classroom instruction in that they enhance and enrich concepts and content taught in the classroom. All students are expected to participate in field trips.

Parent chaperones will generally be assigned a small group of students in their child’s class to supervise on the trip. Chaperones are expected to travel on the bus with the students and enforce instructions given by the teacher. Many times, only a limited number of chaperones will be allowed to participate due to the nature of the field trip. In this case, chaperones may be chosen by drawing names.

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Fund Raising/Selling

Fund raising activities that involve Sunnyside Elementary students in door-to-door solicitation will not be allowed.

Students are not allowed to sell/buy items to/from other students on the bus or at school.

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Holiday Celebrations

Holiday celebrations (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Spring) may be held in the classroom beginning at 2:45 p.m. on the day of the holiday or the last day of school before the holiday. Parents are invited to participate in and assist with their child’s classroom celebrations.

Halloween costumes are allowed provided the following guidelines are followed:

  • Students are urged to choose a character from their favorite book or their favorite hero (fireman, police officer, doctor, nurse, etc)
  • Costumes should not in any way prevent the child from participating in normal school activities.
  • Costumes may not drag the ground or prevent the child from safely getting on/off the bus.
  • Masks, face paint covering the entire face, fake blood or anything that covers the face is prohibited.
  • Scary costumes or costumes which promote violence are prohibited.
  • Toy guns, knives, swords, etc. may not be brought to school for any reason.

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Homework

Homework and work beyond the school day are a vital part of the learning process. It provides the independent practice that a child needs to build his confidence in the classroom. For this reason, it is extremely important that time is set aside for your child to complete his homework and return it to school when it is due. Homework and reports are like practice for an athlete. The more time your child spends strengthening his skills, the more likely he/she will understand concepts for all subjects.

Additionally, students are expected to read a minimum of 15 minutes each night including weekends.

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Honor Roll/Principal’s List

Each nine weeks, students who receive all As and Bs (no Cs) will be recognized:

  • Principal’s List — Grades K–2
  • Honor Roll — Grades 3–5

To receive Honor Roll for the year, a student must receive As and Bs (no Cs) for the entire year.

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Inclement Weather/School Closing

In the event that inclement weather conditions warrant the closing of school, announcements will be made over the following TV stations:

  • WTVR Channel 6
  • WRIC Channel 8
  • WWBT Channel 12

The school division utilizes an automated telephone system to communicate with and notify parents of events or schedule changes for the school or division. Parents should notify the office of any telephone number changes as they occur during the school year to allow these communications to be received.

If it is necessary to close school early due to weather conditions, announcements will be made over the same stations.

If it is necessary for the school to close on short notice, we must have (in writing) a location to send your child if it is different from the regular afternoon routine.

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Late Arrival to School

Students arriving at school after 8:30 a.m. must report to the office with their parent/guardian, sign in, and pick up a tardy slip before reporting to class.

Parents are encouraged to ensure students arrive at school by 8:30 a.m. to prevent missing valuable instructional time. Note: Parents will not be able to walk students to class after 8:30 a.m. as it creates a disruption to instruction.

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Lost and Found

Items which are found should be brought to the main office. To claim an item, students should come to the office and check to see if the item has been turned in. Due to the lack of space, items will not be kept more than one month. Unclaimed jackets and other clothing will be donated to Social Services or other charitable organizations. Personal items such as combs, costume jewelry, etc. will be thrown away if not claimed within this period of time.

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Medication

A student must not bring medication of any type to school. This is Dinwiddie County School Board Policy and must be followed. Please use the following guidelines when requesting the school to administer medication to your child.

Non-Prescription Medication — We do not administer this type of medication without a doctor’s order (this includes Tylenol, Motrin, etc.). The medication is to be brought to school by the parent in the original unopened container and there must be a written request giving the child’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage to be administered, and the time. This will be done on a short term basis only.

Prescription Medication (for a temporary condition) — We ask, if possible, to arrange a schedule that would not make it necessary to give this medication at school. If the medication must be given three (3) times a day, check with the doctor to see if this could be done before and after school, and at bedtime. If the medication should be given every six (6) hours, ask the doctor if it is possible to administer before and after school.

Prescription medication (given at school on a regular basis) — The parent must bring the medication to school. The proper documentation must be submitted at this time. This includes Physician’s Administration Form indicating the name of the medication, the dosage that the child receives, the time that the medication is to be administered, and the signature of the physician and Parent Permission Form that gives school personnel permission to administer the medication. The medication must be in the original container with the child’s name, name of the medication, dosage time and amount.

Reminder: An adult MUST bring all medication to the school office. At no time should medication be transported by a child.

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Moment of Silence

A moment of silence will be observed daily as mandated by the Virginia General Assembly.

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National Honor Society Criteria

Fourth and fifth grade students who meet set criteria may be eligible for the Elementary National Honor Society.

Fourth Graders: maintain 3.5 GPA when grades for second semester third grade and first semester 4th grade are averaged together.

Fifth Graders: maintain 3.5 GPA when grades for fourth grade and first semester fifth grade are averaged together.

In addition to grades, a NHS candidate must have good attendance, behavior, and citizenship.

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Parent Conferences

Parent/teacher conference days are scheduled once each semester during the school year. Parents who wish to meet with the teacher at any other time during the school year are asked to call the office and make an appointment. Every effort will be made to accommodate a parent’s schedule; however, parent conferences cannot be scheduled during a teacher’s instructional time. Parents are also asked to refrain from meeting with the teacher in the mornings during student arrival.

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Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

The goal of the Sunnyside PTO is to create awareness about the educational programs and to provide support for these programs. The interest and support of every parent/guardian is essential to the success of this organization. The PTO sponsors several fundraising projects a year. Proceeds from these projects are used to purchase equipment, books, instructional supplies and entertainment for the development and enjoyment of the children. Parents are encouraged to join the PTO as your involvement will create a better educational environment for our children.


Parking

Parents and visitors are asked to park in the paved parking lot in front of the school and enter the building through entrance A-1. Parking is prohibited along the curb near the entrance. All vehicles should be parked in a parking space. Car traffic is prohibited in the bus loop (gravel parking lot between the school and playground) anytime buses are present — generally between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

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Physical Education

The physical education program is an important part of the elementary education experience for students. If a health condition prevents a student from participating in physical activities over an extended period of time, a note from a doctor indicating the limitation is required. For a student to be excused from physical education for a short period (1–3 days) a written request from a parent is needed.

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Gym Rules

  1. Students are expected to wear tennis shoes on the days they have P.E.
  2. Gum, food, and drink should not be brought into the gym at any time.
  3. Students are expected to exhibit good sportsmanship at all times. Reckless behavior such as running, pushing, foul language, defacing of facilities or fighting will not be tolerated.
  4. If a student gets injured, he/she should report the injury to the Physical Education teacher immediately.

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Prohibited Items

Parents are encouraged to carefully review the following list with students to ensure these items are not brought to school:

  • Toys including, but not limited to fidget spinners/cubes, trading cards, balls, plastic guns, plastic knives/ swords, toy cars, action figures, etc.
  • Weapons including, but not limited to guns, knives, cap guns, swords, bullets, empty ammo casings, etc.
  • Electronic games, CD players, cell phones, radios, laser pointers, etc.
  • Matches, lighters, tobacco products, alcohol, fireworks, illegal substances /drugs, prescription medications, etc.
  • Glass or breakable items
  • Expensive/valuable jewelry or items

Any articles of this type which are brought to school or on the school bus will be taken from the child and will not be returned. Any child who is aware of another child having a dangerous article should report it to the closest authority.

Also, for the protection of all, we will rigidly enforce the existing policies as stated in the Dinwiddie County Code of Conduct. In the event a dangerous article is brought to school (regardless of intent), a lengthy suspension or expulsion will most likely result and School Board action may be required for reinstatement.

Please do not allow your child to bring any item for show and tell which is forbidden by policy.

Your cooperation will help us maintain a safe environment for your child. (See County Policy)

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Promotion/Retention

It is our desire for every child to be successful. We ask parents to carefully monitor homework, Tuesday Folders, report cards, and interim reports to assure success. In the event your child is receiving low grades (Ds or Fs) in any subject, we suggest that you schedule an appointment with his teacher to discuss your child’s academic performance. Should retention be necessary, it should be evident by the third nine weeks.

Note: A copy of Dinwiddie County’s Promotion/ Retention Policy is in the school office and will be made available upon request.

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Reading

Reading is a top priority at Sunnyside. Parents are encouraged to read to/with their child a minimum of 15 minutes each day (including weekends). It is also important to discuss what was read with your child.

Every class also receives 45 minutes of scheduled library time each week. During this time, students will be allowed to check out books as well as receive instruction in various aspects of library usage and research.

Additionally, one month each school year is designated as reading month and special activities are planned to celebrate reading and writing.

Sunnyside Reads! Program
In an effort to promote a life-long passion for reading, students participate in the Sunnyside Reads! Program. Students are expected to take home a book to read every night. Rewards and incentives will be given periodically for participation.

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Reporting Student Progress

Report cards are sent home with students at the end of each nine-week grading period. Interims (progress reports) are sent home midway through each nine weeks. Specific dates are indicated on the school calendar.

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Grading System

A 90–100: Superior
B 89–80: Good
C 79–70: Fair or Average
D 69–60: Poor
F 59–Below: Unsatisfactory

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Residency

For a child to attend Dinwiddie County Public Schools, he/she must reside with a natural parent/guardian (with legal custody) who is a legal resident of the county. Proof of address can be requested at any time during the school year. Any parent who wishes to have their child attend Sunnyside Elementary and does not reside in the Sunnyside school attendance zone must submit an Out-of-Zone Form to the building principal and Superintendent for approval.

Note: Out-of-Zone permission is determined by the Superintendent on a year-to-year basis.

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School Pictures

The school schedules a professional photography studio to take individual and group photographs of students in the fall and again in the spring. All students will be photographed in the fall regardless of whether parents choose to purchase pictures. Photographs will be used for the computer student information system and student cumulative files. Information regarding picture dates and cost will be sent home to parents in the Tuesday Folder.

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Student Conduct

The Dinwiddie County Code of Conduct is distributed during the first week of school along with this handbook. It contains specific information concerning student behavior, disciplinary consequences, and expectations and rights of students. Parents and students should read and discuss its contents thoroughly. It is important to understand that disruptive students who interfere with the educational process and/or do not comply with regulations and procedures are subject to administrative action.

  • Bullying — Dinwiddie County schools subscribe to a zero tolerance policy with respect to bullying. Bullying includes, but is not limited to, physical intimidation and repeated incidents of teasing, name-calling, and insults. Students who are being bullied should report the incident to the nearest adult. Consequences for bullying may include but are not limited to walking recess, school counselor intervention, detention, parent conference, referral to the principal, suspension from school.
  • Cheating — Students are expected to demonstrate their own knowledge and understanding on assessments, tests, reports, etc. Consequences for cheating may include but are not limited to loss of credit for the assignment, completion of an alternate assignment, parent conference, referral to the principal.
  • Disrespectful to Adult — Students are expected to demonstrate a respectful manner/attitude at all times. Arguing, shouting, talking back, and refusing to follow the teacher’s instructions are disruptive to the learning environment and will not be tolerated. Consequences may include, but are not limited to time out, referral to guidance, walking recess, detention, parent conference, referral to principal, and suspension from school.
  • Fighting — Students are expected to keep their hands and feet to themselves at all times. If a student feels threatened by or is confronted by another student, they are to seek the assistance of an adult immediately so that the issue can be resolved peacefully. Fighting, pushing, shoving, or any other type of physical confrontation will not be tolerated on the school bus or at school. Students found to be fighting are subject to suspension from school. Repeat offenses may result in referral to the School Board.
  • Profanity — Abusive, vulgar, or profane language will not be tolerated. Consequences may include but are not limited to detention, parent conference, referral to principal, and suspension from school. Just as we do not tolerate such behavior from children, neither is it acceptable from adults. Adults may be refused the opportunity to come to school if their language and behavior are threatening or unacceptable. Adults must model appropriate behavior and problem solving strategies for students.
  • Theft — Students are expected to respect the property of others. Consequences for stealing include, but are not limited to detention, parent conference, referral to principal, replacement/return of item(s), and suspension from school.
  • Vandalism — Students are to treat school property and the property of others with respect. Students will be held directly responsible for the willful damage, destruction, or defacing of school property. The Commonwealth of Virginia establishes the monetary limit for such damages. It is not the responsibility of the school or school personnel to provide reimbursement to the owners of private property lost, damaged, or destroyed through vandalism. Damaged property must be repaired or replaced at the student’s/ parent’s expense. Consequences may also include, but are not limited to suspension from school.

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Technology

Students and parents will be expected to sign and return an Acceptable Computer Use Policy (located in the County Code of Conduct) before students will be allowed access to school computers. Students who fail to abide by the Acceptable Computer Use Policy may lose their privilege to use school computers for part or all of the school year.

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Telephone

The school telephone is for conducting school business. Students may use the phone for emergencies only. An item or assignment forgotten at home is not considered to be an emergency. Elementary students are not allowed to bring or use cell phones at school or on the bus.

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Textbooks/Library Books

The school division provides students with textbooks for use during the school year. Students are expected to exercise care when handling and using textbooks and library books. Parents will be responsible for the cost of lost or damaged textbooks and library books.

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Transfer/Withdrawal of Students

Parents of students withdrawing or transferring from school should contact the office at least two days prior to the last day of attendance. This allows time for completion of records, return of books, and completion of the transfer form. All accounts with the school should be settled prior to the transfer.

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Tuesday Folders

Students will bring home an envelope (Tuesday Folder) each Tuesday containing papers and graded work from that week as well as calendars, fliers, lunch menus, and general school information. Parents are asked to carefully review the contents of the Tuesday Folder with their child. Papers requiring a signature should be signed and returned to school in the envelope on Wednesday.

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Visitors

Visitors are always welcome at Sunnyside Elementary. For the safety and protection of students, all persons must enter the school through Door A-1, report immediately to the office, sign in, and wear a visitor badge while in the school. A picture ID (driver’s license, DMV picture ID, or military picture ID) must be presented at the first visit where it will be scanned into our visitor system.

Parents/grandparents are encouraged to have lunch with their child. Parents may also schedule brief observation visits (10–15 minutes) in their child’s classroom. The date and time should be prearranged with the teacher so as not to interfere with certain activities such as testing. Longer observations must be approved by the principal.

Parents who desire to discuss their child’s progress with the teacher or discuss a problem or concern are asked to schedule a time before 8:15 a.m., after 3:35 p.m. or during the teacher’s planning period.

Parents are discouraged from walking their child to class in the morning. It is important that parents and the school work together to help students become independent, confident, and responsible.

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Volunteers

Parent and community volunteers provide many valuable services to our students, teachers, and school. Please consider joining our dedicated team of volunteers and become an active part of your child’s school. The rewards are wonderful! Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 804-478-2313 if you are able to give just a little of your time.

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2019–2020 Sunnyside Calendar

First Semester

August 2019

August 14          Back to School Bash (4 p.m.- 7 p.m.)
August 29          Meet the Teacher (3 p.m.- 6 p.m.)

September 2019

September 02   HOLIDAY – Labor Day
September 03   First Day of School
September 10   School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
September 24   Student Early Release (1:00 p.m.)
September 30   School Picture Day

October 2019

October 08        Interims Go Home
                          School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
October 22        Student Early Release (1:00 p.m.)

November 2019

November 03   Daylight Saving Time ends
November 04   End of First Nine Weeks
November 05   Student Holiday/Teacher Workday
November 12   Report Cards Go Home
                         School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
November 19 Student Early Release (1:00 p.m.)
November 27-29 HOLIDAY – Thanksgiving

December 2019

December 10    Interims Go Home
                         School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
December 23-31  HOLIDAY – Winter Break

January 2020

January 01-03  HOLIDAY – Winter Break
January 06        School Reopens
January 08        Make-up School Pictures &
                             Class Group Pictures
January 13-17  Sunnyside Birthday Celebration
January 14        School Board Meeting (7:00 p.m.)
January 20         HOLIDAY – M.L.K. Day
January 27        End of Second Nine Weeks
                             End of First Semester
January 28        Student Holiday/Teacher Workday

Second Semester

February 2020

February 04      Report Cards Go Home
February 11      School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
February 17      Student Early Release (1:00 p.m.)

March 2020

March 03          Interims Go Home
March 04          Spring Pictures
March 08         Daylight Saving Time Begins
March 10         School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
March 17         Student Early Release (1:00 p.m.)

April 2020

April 03            End of the Third Nine Weeks
April 06-10         HOLIDAY – Spring Break
April 13              HOLIDAYEaster Monday
April 14              School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
April 16             Report Cards Go Home

May 2020

May 12              Interims Go Home
                          School Board Meeting (4:00 p.m.)
May 25 HOLIDAY – Memorial Day
TBA Kindergarten Play & Awards Program

June 2020

TBA             Field Day
June 10       Student Early Release Day (1:00 p.m.)
June 11       Awards Ceremony (Grades 1-5)
                   Student Early Release Day (1:00 p.m.)
                   Report Cards Go Home
                   Last Day of the 2019-20 School Year
June 12       Teacher Workday

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