Family Handbook John Adams Elementary School

John Adams Elementary School
1450 Redmond St.
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Telephone (732)-289-3100
Fax (732)-249-4521
Family Handbook
Frederick D. Johnson, Ed. D
Susan Stern
Director of Elementary Instruction
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year!
September 2013
Dear John Adams’ Families,
Welcome to John Adams. This handbook was prepared for you and your child to provide information
regarding activities, school policies and procedures. A yearly calendar of school holidays and scheduled
events can be found in the 2013-2014 District calendar. Also, please check the district and John
Adams’ web site for updated information throughout the school year (
Please read and discuss the contents of this handbook with your child. All students are expected to
know and follow the rules and regulations described within the handbook. Your child’s teacher will
send home a separate sign-off sheet documenting your review of this handbook. Please sign and return
by Friday, September 20th.
We look forward to building a home-school partnership to create a nurturing environment for the
Please do not hesitate to call the office if you require any additional information.
John Adams Bell Schedule
Regular Day K-5
1:30 Closing K-5
Delayed Opening K-5
Doors Open
Late Bell
Pre-K AM
1:30 Closing
Delayed Opening
No AM Pre-K classes
Pre-K PM
1:30 Closing
Delayed Opening
John Adams School
Family Handbook Topics
Academic Support teachers provide support in Language Arts and Mathematics to students on an as
needed basis.
Animals are not to be kept in the classroom without permission from the principal. Consideration must
be given to health and safety issues. Parents may bring in animals to show the class providing that the
parent obtains permission at least one day in advance and the parent remains with the animal at all
Students should not arrive at school prior to 8:35 a.m. There is no adult supervision before that time
and students will not be allowed in the building (unless they are enrolled in the morning LEAL program
or part of a before-school activity). Students arriving by car should be dropped off at the Student Drop
Off Zone. No student should be dropped off in the parking lot. Students will report directly to their
Buses: Buses will transport students to and from the school. Students will exit the bus and
walk to their classroom.
● Please insure that your child knows his/her bus route number.
● All students must behave appropriately while waiting for the bus at their designated bus
stop, while riding the bus, and while leaving the bus. Infractions of accepted behavior
will be reported to parents and may result in suspension of bus privileges.
● Any difficulty involving buses should be referred to the district transportation director,
Mr. Ray Kuehner, at the Board of Education office (732-289-3000 ext. 3034).
● No one should walk between the buses.
● A student is considered tardy if arrival to the classroom is after 8:55 a.m.
● A student who arrives late to school must report to the security aide in the front lobby
where his/her time of arrival will be recorded and a late pass will be issued. It is the
parent’s responsibility to accompany a tardy student into the school and sign the
student in. Continued tardiness on the part of any student will be viewed as a serious
matter. Frequent tardiness may result in reporting to the district attendance officer.
Legal action will be instituted in cases of excessive tardiness.
Formal art classes are scheduled once per week for all students, K-5. Other art activities are integrated
within the core curriculum content areas. You may receive a request for a smock or an old shirt for
your child to protect clothing during art class.
Our PTO and community organizations provide a number of assembly programs throughout the year.
Classes will be invited to those programs that are appropriate to each grade level. Information on
other whole school programs will be sent home with students or found in the district calendar.
A before school program is offered for students who are identified by the teachers as needing
School hours: 8:55 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Each student is required to attend school regularly and to arrive on time. Excessive absences and
tardiness will be noted and sent to the Superintendent of Schools. Regular, on-time attendance is an
essential part of academic success. State school attendance laws require that students attend
whenever school is in session, unless the child is personally ill. Excessive absences will be dealt with
through the office. Other excused absences are for religious holidays or for a death of a child’s family
Family vacations are not considered excused absences. Parents are requested to schedule vacations in
accordance with our school calendar. If a trip is planned during school totaling more than 10 school
days the parent must complete a withdrawal form, found in the school office. After 10 days, the
student will be taken off the school register. Upon returning, the parent must make an appointment to
register the child again as a new student in North Brunswick. A place in the class or the school is not
guaranteed. No homework will be assigned or given during the unexcused absence. (see: Vacations)
● The school operates a Student Absence Calling system. Parents are responsible for calling
the school at 732-289-3100, option 1 to leave a message.
● If we do not hear from the parent or guardian, we will contact you. The school nurse may
also make a family contact when a child has been absent for three consecutive days and the
school has not been notified.
Delayed Openings/Emergency Closings:
● Emergency closings due to inclement weather will be announced between 6:30 and 8:30
a.m. on local radio stations (WCTC 1450 AM and WMGQ 98.3 FM) as well as via the
District’s phone/email notification system. Information will also be available on the School
and District websites: (
● In the event of an emergency early dismissal these same sites will also make
announcements. It is extremely important that you keep us informed of current home or
emergency phone numbers for all children. In addition, children should know what
contingency plan is in place in the event that their parent cannot be reached.
● If you transfer your child to another school district, please notify the office at least one
week in advance. You will need to provide your new home address and the name of the
new school and school address, so the appropriate papers can be prepared for you in a
timely manner.
● Any unauthorized absence from school shall be considered truancy. All truancies will be
reported to the district attendance officer for review and possible legal action.
Students in grades 3-5 are permitted to ride their bicycles to school, only if the parent/guardian has
signed the appropriate permission form, which will be kept on file in school. Bike riders must walk
their bicycles on school grounds and must secure them in the bike rack with a bicycle lock. The
school cannot accept liability for damaged or stolen bikes. Also, please note that New Jersey state law
requires helmets for our students.
We acknowledge each child’s birthday with a birthday pencil. Before sending treats in for the class,
please check with the teacher. Treats will be limited to ONE per student. Because there are so many
students at John Adams with allergies and special dietary needs, edible treats must be commercially
packaged with clear and visible ingredient labels. Items with peanuts or nut products will not be
allowed. Likewise, Dunkin’ Donuts products are not permitted because they are processed in an
environment that has the potential for cross contamination with nuts.
Do not send drinks, favors, cake, ice cream, party hats, etc. Invitations to home birthday celebrations
may not be distributed during the school day except when every child in the class is invited. Do not
bring in candles since we CAN NOT light them in school.
Please provide a book bag for your child to carry his school materials. Rolling book bags are not
permitted. These have caused a safety problem in our hallways and on buses.
A simple breakfast is available to all students through our food service. It is delivered to homerooms in
the morning and is eaten in the homeroom at the beginning of the school day. Breakfast must be
preordered a week in advance and is available for purchase on a weekly basis. Homeroom teachers
will distribute order forms for preordering breakfast.
Students receive their bus assignment, bus stop and boarding time from our Transportation
Department. It is the bus driver’s responsibility to insure the safety of the passengers. Students are
required to obey all bus safety rules. School law, Title 18, 18A: 25-2 states “A pupil may be excluded
from the bus for disciplinary reasons by an administrator, and his parents shall provide for his
transportation to and from school during the period of such exclusion.” There is no eating or drinking
on the bus. The bus driver will report all incidents to the school.
Only students assigned to a bus by our transportation department may ride a school bus. Parents must
send a note if they do not want their child to take the bus home on a particular day. Without written
instructions, the child will be put on their regular bus at dismissal. No changes will be made after 3:00,
unless an emergency occurs.
Children may buy standard lunch each day or bring lunch from home. Lunches may be prepaid.
Student lunches are $2.40 for an entire meal and $.40 for reduced cost lunches. Beverages are sold
separately. Please do not send glass containers, carbonated beverages or energy drinks to school.
More information is available on the lunch menu your child will bring home or the district website.
( Information about applying for Free or Reduced Lunch or Breakfast will be sent
home in the beginning of the year.
While in the cafeteria, children are assigned to tables and are expected to behave appropriately. The
following guidelines have been established in order to provide a safe and pleasant atmosphere.
 An adult in charge will send students to the lunch lines.
 Cutting in line is not acceptable behavior.
 Tables must be kept clean. Trash must be picked up around the table and discarded properly.
 School rules such as walking, using proper language and manners, and respecting others are
consistently enforced in the cafeteria.
 If a child does not behave appropriately in the cafeteria, recess may be forfeited.
Recess: When weather and time permit, students will go outside for recess. Students will bring
necessary clothing outside and will not be permitted to return to classrooms once lunch/recess
has begun. Food and drink are not permitted outside. Candy/gum-chewing is never permitted
anywhere in the school or on the campus. Games involving bodily contact, such as football,
wrestling, etc., are not permitted. Students must keep within the boundaries of the
playgrounds. Students will follow the directions of the adults supervising the playground.
It is extremely important that the school office has a current address and telephone number for every
student. Please notify the school immediately of any changes made during the school year. (See
Members of the Child Study Team consist of a Social Worker, Psychologist, and Learning Disabilities
Teacher-Consultant (LDTC). Classroom teachers who request assistance in dealing with individual
students or parents who seek assistance for their children make referral to this group through the I&RS
Money is collected through PTO room parents for class parties. The teacher and class parents will
decide on the activities.
Trips for off campus programs and enrichment activities for each grade level vary from year to year.
Such excursions are viewed as a privilege and good school behavior is required for a child to be eligible
to attend. As representatives of John Adams, students are expected to dress appropriately and
conduct themselves properly on field trips. Teachers will arrange for chaperones from among the class
Every trip, no matter how short, in which students leave the school grounds during a school day,
requires a signed permission slip from parents. No student will leave without a signed permission slip,
a phone call is unacceptable. When a child goes on a class trip, the child must leave with the class on
the bus and return with the class on the bus. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled throughout the school year. Teachers and parents who
prepare thoroughly for these conferences leave the meetings with feelings of satisfaction.
Parent/Teacher communication should not be limited to these formally scheduled activities. Teachers
are obligated to suggest a conference at any time when there are concerns regarding a child’s
academic progress or behavior.
Teachers cannot be called to the telephone from their classrooms except in emergency situations. You
may leave a message on the teacher’s phone mailbox. Parents may be assured a return call will be
forthcoming from the teacher within 24 hours. Teachers must not be disturbed while carrying out
supervision duties or when children are in the classroom. Please do not contact teachers at home.
A safe and respectful environment is critical if quality teaching and learning are to take place in our
school. A key element in achieving such an environment is to ensure that parents and students
understand the rights and responsibilities that students have at school, what conduct is expected of
them, and the consequences for inappropriate or dangerous behaviors. There will be a zero tolerance
for fighting.
Students are dismissed and will exit the building at 3:30 p.m. each day, except for early closings.
Walkers must immediately make their way home. Parents should wait for their children outside of
their assigned dismissal door. Kindergarten, First and Second grade students will have a hand-off from
the classroom teacher to a parent.
When parents are late, they must come into the building to get children so that we are certain children
are leaving with parents/guardians. Any students remaining after 3:50 p.m. will be safely placed with
LEAL. LEAL will charge parents a fee for this service.
If an early dismissal is absolutely necessary, we ask that you do not call for your child during the last 30
minutes of the day. Such requests are disruptive to closure in the classroom. A written request is
required and must be submitted to the student’s teacher for early dismissal. Parents or the person
named in the note must sign the child out in the lobby. Students will be called from the class once you
arrive at school. For student security no telephone messages will be accepted. In case of emergency
call our security desk at 732-289-3100 extension 13131 and state your emergency and we will try to
make the necessary emergency arrangements. Proper identification will be required when you pickup your child.
Parents/ Guardians are asked to promptly exit the school grounds with their children. The school
playgrounds will reopen for play after 3:45 p.m.
Student dress and grooming must be neat and in good taste so that each student shares in a positive,
healthy, and safe school environment. Student dress will be the responsibility of each individual with
the following guidelines:
● Dress or grooming may not interfere with the teaching/learning process or cause undue
attention to an individual student; or create an unsafe situation (Policy # 5511).
● Sneakers are required of all students participating in physical education classes.
● Students must wear sneakers, shoes, sandals with back straps in order to participate in
playground activities. Flip flops are not acceptable footwear for school.
● Clothing must be modest and appropriate for the school setting.
● Clothing with profanity, inappropriate images, or suggestive wording is inappropriate as is
beachwear, beach shoes, sunglasses and hats.
● Hats, head covers (including visors, scarves, caps, etc.) coats, jackets, and gloves are not to
be worn in the building. Additional dress requirements may be made of students as
Any child, who comes to school wearing clothing that is inappropriate or contains unacceptable
graphics, may be asked to change into something available at school or call home for a change of
Emergency cards are distributed the first day of school and should be filled out and returned to school
immediately. It is essential that we have these on file. Please be sure that all information on the card
is accurate and alternate contacts are available to act on your behalf in case of an emergency. It is also
essential that the school be provided with up-to-date addresses, home and cell numbers at which
responsible persons can always be reached in case of sickness, accident, or early dismissal.
Throughout the year, please keep the office informed of any changes in emergency information.
In the event of an emergency at school when the parent or guardian cannot be contacted, an adult
designated on the emergency form will be called to take the child home. Pupils will not be sent home
The district offers assistance to students whose native language is other than English and who have
limited English speaking proficiency. An ESL specialist serves our ESL population with a pullout
A state law requires safety and security drills each month. The bill defines a school security drill as an
exercise, other than a fire drill, to practice procedures that respond to an emergency situation
including, but not limited to, a non-fire evacuation, lockdown, or active shooter situation that is similar
in duration to a fire drill. Detailed routes are posted inside the door of each classroom. Students are
reminded to follow the safety rules established in the building. There is no talking or running during a
fire drill or emergency drill.
Families may confidentially qualify for free or reduced price lunches through an annual application
process. This year, registration will take place online. Applications are also available through the main
A full time guidance counselor is available for students. Referral may be made by a child’s parent or by
a teacher using a referral form. Note that written parental approval must be obtained prior to the
initiation of regular counseling contact.
Bullying among children is commonly defined as intentional, repeated, hurtful acts, words, or other
behavior. The Board of Education Policy #5512.01 spells out the definitions and rule of the District
regarding pupil conduct, pupil due process, consequences, and other responsibilities and rights related
to behavior. Visit the District website at to read the policy in it’s entirely.
Children will often be assigned lessons to practice or complete at home. Projects in connection with
school studies are also frequently assigned for home completion. Parents should assist children in
organizing their leisure and work periods in order that home assignments are well done and returned
to school. This is vital for development of positive learning and work habits.
A general guideline for homework assignments is as follows:
● Grades K-3 - 15-30 minutes per night
● Grades 4-5 - 30-60 minutes per night
Both the quality and the regularity of homework completion are factors in assessing a child’s progress.
Homework must be submitted on time. Credit may not be given for daily homework that is late.
Partial credit for any homework assignment may be given at a teacher’s discretion. Students who have
been absent from school due to illness or religious observance will be given the opportunity to make
up homework upon their return. If parents wish to pick up homework while the student is absent,
leave a message at 732-289-3100, option 1, on the second day of absence.
Students and/or parents will NOT be allowed back into the building after school to get materials and
homework that was forgotten. The custodians will not be asked to unlock a classroom for parents.
Homework will not be given to students on vacation while school is in session.
In an attempt to meet the needs of working parents, The Board of Education in cooperation with the
Department of Human Services provides child care services. Project LEAL is an extended school day
program for the children of working parents. The morning program begins as early as 7:00 a.m., while
the after school program begins immediately following the end of the school day and continues to 6:00
p.m. Please call DHS @ 732-247-0922 for additional information on the LEAL program.
Students are scheduled for media center class once each week. Responsibility for care of borrowed
materials rests with the child and parent. Students are held financially responsible for lost or damaged
A Lost and Found area is located in the cafeteria. Eyeglasses, money, or valuables that have been lost
or found will be in the main office.
The school cannot assume responsibility for lost or damaged items. Children should not bring valuable
items to school. Money brought to school should be put in an envelope with the child’s name on it.
A general music class is scheduled once per week for all students, grades K-5. In addition, participation
in a chorus is available for all interested students in grades 4 and 5.
Instrumental music lessons, which are scheduled as a weekly pull-out program, are available for
children in grades 3, 4 and 5 for strings and grades 4 and 5 for band.
Students becoming ill or injured during the school day or on the way to the school must notify the
teacher/supervisor in charge to obtain a pass to the nurse’s office.
Injuries incurred outside the school day must be cared for at home. Similarly, children who feel ill in
the morning should be kept at home for the day. Whenever it is determined that a student’s condition
warrants leaving school, a parent/guardian/designated adult will be notified. In such cases,
arrangements must be made to pick up the student; students may not be sent home unescorted. In
medical emergencies, the North Brunswick Rescue Squad will be called.
Medical Guidelines:
 If your child is sent home from school due to vomiting, diarrhea, temperature 100 or
greater, etc. they must remain at home the following school day. They may return the
day after that providing they have been symptom free for the previous 24 hours without
the assistance of medication.
 Keep your child home if she/he is too sick to eat breakfast.
 Keep your child home if she/he has a bad cough or cold.
A child who is kept home for diarrhea, vomiting or fever must be symptom free 24 hours
without the assistance of medication (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, etc.)
If your child is put on antibiotics, they must be on the medication 24 hours before they
may return to school.
It is essential that children with communicable diseases be kept home until the danger
of contamination and relapse has passed. Report all contagious diseases (Strep Throat,
Pink Eye, Scarlet Fever, Chicken Pox, etc.) or contagious conditions (lice or ringworm) to
the nurse promptly.
All medications given during school hours must be administered by the school nurse or parent.
Before any medication (prescription and nonprescription) may be administered to a student
during school hours, the Board of Education requires the written request of the
parent/guardian and the written order of the prescribing physician. These requests and orders
must include the medication name, dose, time to be given and the reason for giving it.
Prescription medication must be in its original packaging with the label intact, showing the
name of the child, dose, and name of the physician. Patent medicines, such as acetaminophen
and antihistamines, must also be in the original packaging.
All medications must be delivered to and picked up from school nurse by the child’s parent or
guardian. Any unused medication that remains in the school at the end of the school year or
four weeks after the student stops taking the medication, whichever first occurs, will be
destroyed or discarded in accordance with Board Policy.
New Jersey law governs the school immunization requirements and provides that children may
be excluded by the school administration for non-compliance. Copies of the immunization
requirements are available in the school office or from the school nurse.
Nut Free Classrooms:
Classrooms with students with nut allergies will be Nut Free classrooms. A classroom allergy
letter will be sent home with all students in the class advising parents of this. Parents may not
send in any food products that contain nuts or are processed in a plant that processes nuts.
Students will not be permitted to eat any of these foods in the classroom.
PTO meetings are held monthly at the school throughout the year and are listed on the district
calendar. Program topics, dates, and membership information, along with other requests for
information will be sent home early in the school year. The PTO has a mailbox in the school for any
correspondence. All parents are invited to take an active role in the PTO sponsored activities.
Students may not bring valuable personal possessions to school. The school cannot assume
responsibility for lost or damaged personal items. Common sense and consideration are the best
guides for determining what is appropriate for school. Generally speaking, any item that may disrupt
the educational process is prohibited. The following guidelines will also be maintained:
CELL PHONES: For safety purposes, students may carry cell phones to school with parent
permission. They must, however, be kept in the child’s book bag and they must be turned off
and kept
Students participate in a regularly scheduled physical education program. Students are required to
wear sneakers in order to participate. Roller-skate/sneaker combination shoes are not permitted.
While on the playground, children will adhere to the following basic rules:
 No children are to be in the school area before 8:35 a.m.
 No food is allowed on the playground.
 No bats, hard balls, footballs, or other dangerous equipment are to be brought to or used
on the playground.
 No rough games such as football, etc. which involves potentially dangerous physical contact
will be allowed.
 No “play fighting” will be allowed.
 Prompt responses to adult requests and to the line up signal are expected.
 Students arriving to school in the morning and when dismissed at the end of the day, may
not use the playground equipment.
Envelopes and forms explaining the optional school insurance will be sent home early in the school
year. If you decide to purchase this insurance, please return your remittance to the classroom teacher.
Individual pupil and class pictures will be taken early in the year and individual pictures again in the
spring. Check the district calendar for the date. Notices will also be sent home to remind parents of
the event and to provide ordering information. Parents are under no obligation to purchase pictures,
however, unpaid pictures must be returned to the school.
Children who have been assessed and need assistance in correcting speech or language patterns will
receive instruction from a speech and language specialist outside the classroom.
While the school provides most materials, requests may be made at times for special kinds of
notebooks, covers for books, extra pencils, etc. Suggested supply lists can be found on our website.
Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.
As indicated by board policy, suspension from school or the school bus is to be considered as a severe
sanction that can be imposed by an administrator. All other avenues will be tried first before
suspension will be enacted or the offense has to be such that the student has materially or
substantially interfered with the maintenance of good order in the school or it is necessary to protect
the students’ physical or emotional safety and well being.
Our district policy on technology states in part: “While in school, student access to technological
resources will be under the supervision of teaching staff and will be monitored by the staff member in
the same manner as any other classroom activity. “ The guidelines specifically prohibit a student’s
use of our technological resources for non-educational purposes. Of course, disrupting or damaging
equipment, software, or the operation of the system is also prohibited. Any student who violates
district technology guidelines is subject to disciplinary action. The entire district policy and district
guidelines are available upon request at the school office.
Students are to make only extremely necessary or emergency calls. Only in the case of an emergency
will a child be called from a classroom to speak to a parent. The school nurse will make calls to parents
regarding illness.
Textbooks are costly. We ask all families to help care for and preserve these books. Students are to
cover all hard cover books; please do not use contact paper. It is the responsibility of the family to
replace a textbook that is lost.
We respect your decision to make plans in the best interest of your family, but we believe strongly that
a child’s presence in the classroom each and every day is very important for his/her learning. Board of
Education Policy #5200 states, “the educational program offered by this district is predicated upon the
presence of the pupil and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation.” The policy
goes on to declare that attendance is required of all children unless excused due to sickness, death in
the family or religious observance. Family trips do not qualify as excused absences from school. If you
choose to take your child out of school, homework will not be provided in advance. (See: Attendance)
John Adams welcomes parents, community members, professional guests and other visitors.
To insure a safe environment, anyone entering the building for any reason must report to the security
desk and sign in. They are to obtain a visitor’s badge before going to any part of the building.
For a parent visitation to a classroom, the District policy calls for
● a one day notice to teacher
● a one period time limit
● a visit is to the classroom of the parents’ child only
Additional information may be found on the school’s website Please
check the website for school activities and closings.
WISE (Gifted and Talented program)
Weekly Integrated Student Enrichment is open to all qualified students from grades 3 through 5.
Classes meet on a regular basis with a full time teacher after school. Buses are provided. The
curriculum is differentiated and students are involved in units of study separate from classroom
curricula. Criteria for selection: Teacher Recommendation, Surveys, Standardized Tests
(NJASK/NJPASS), and a test for Creative and Cognitive Thinking.
The New Jersey Youth Helpline, 2ND FLOOR, is a toll-free, anonymous and confidential helpline
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to all New Jersey young people, ages 10 to 24.
Youth can call 2NDFLOOR at 1-888-222-2228 to speak with professionals and trained volunteers who
listen attentively, non-judgmentally and compassionately to issues and problems they are facing. Visit for more information and try the message board.
John Adams Elementary School
Family Handbook
Dear Parent/Guardians,
For a successful partnership, the school and family must have open communication. Please take the
time to carefully review the contents of this handbook with your child. Upon review, complete and
return this page to your child’s teacher by Monday, September 16, 2013, acknowledging receipt and
review of the handbook.
Thank you.
Parent Signature:
Student Signature:
I do not have access to the internet. Please send me a hard copy.