Parent Handbook 2009 - 2010

Parent Handbook
2009 - 2010
Crossroads School
Welcome to the 2009-2010 year at Crossroads School!
As we embark on a new year, please take a moment to review the following
policies and procedures. Your cooperation in helping our school run in a
safe and efficient manner is greatly appreciated!
The school office is open each day from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Please do
not hesitate to call the Main Office at (908) 232-6655 should you ever have
any questions, comments or suggestions.
Michael J. Kowalski
Judith E. White
Supervisor of Instruction
I. School Attendance
The school day is 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Consistent attendance is essential in
order for your child to demonstrate meaningful progress in all areas of his
or her program. Please help contribute to our success by making sure your
child arrives to school each day on time, fed and well-rested.
Crossroads School is only able to excuse absences which occur due to
student illness, family illness, medical appointment, unexpected emergency
or religious observance. All other absences are strongly discouraged due to
the important work and services that are missed. Please be aware that we
are required to inform your local school district when your child is absent
from school for five or more consecutive days.
Please notify Crossroads School when your child will be absent or
late by calling our 24-hour Attendance Hotline at (908) 232-6655,
Option # 2 and clearly stating your child’s name, classroom,
reason for the absence and anticipated date that he or she will return.
II. Student Pick-up/Drop-off
The parking lot is quite busy during morning arrival/afternoon dismissal.
We remind all parents and visitors that the speed limit in all school zones is
15 miles per hour and ask that you proceed in a safe manner. If picking up
or dropping off your child, be sure that your vehicle does not block the
entrance to the driveway or designated bus lane in front of the school. If
you wish to escort your child into the building, you may park your vehicle
in any parking space adjacent to the school. Please demonstrate caution
when walking between parked buses in the mornings/afternoons.
III. Transportation Program
Crossroads School is not responsible for arranging or coordinating the
student transportation program. Parents are reminded to contact their
assigned bus company and local school district (Case Manager) to report
anticipated absences, temporary changes, new addresses or safety concerns.
IV. Early Dismissal
Students may be excused during school hours due to appointments, illness,
unexpected emergency or religious observance. If early dismissal is
necessary, please send a note to your child's teacher stating the date and
time your child will be out of class. In the event of an emergency, please
call the Main Office to indicate your intention to pick up your child early.
Please be aware that students will only be dismissed to parents, guardians
or adults listed on the emergency card. Parents must provide written
notice to authorize all other individuals to pick up the child from school.
It will be necessary for the designee to provide identification upon arrival.
Under no circumstances will any student be allowed to leave the building
without prior permission.
In order to minimize disruption to the classroom, all parents or designees
are required to sign-out the student and remain in the Main Office until the
Secretary contacts the teacher and arranges for your child to be dismissed.
V. School Closing Information
There are occasions when regularly scheduled school days are cancelled or
delayed as a result of inclement weather or other emergency conditions.
On the morning of the delay/cancellation, our automated telephone system
will contact each household to inform parents and/or guardians of
school opening and closing status. Additional information can also be
obtained by visiting the Commission website ( or calling
the Crossroads School Weather Hotline at (908) 232-6655, Option # 1.
In the event of an early dismissal, the Main Office will contact parents or
an emergency designee prior to releasing any child from school.
VI. Student Emergency Information
All families are required to complete a student information card that is
maintained in the Nurse’s Office. This information must remain accurate and
current in order to enable us to contact you in the event of an emergency.
Please notify the School Nurse immediately should there be any changes to
the home address, telephone numbers, guardianship, emergency contacts,
physicians or medical status of your child.
VII. School Breakfast and Lunch Program
Crossroads School offers a breakfast and lunch program to all students.
Participation in this program is optional and all students are always invited
to bring their own breakfast, snacks and lunch.
The daily cost for breakfast is $1.50 and the daily cost for lunch is $2.75.
Payments must be made in advance and can be submitted on a daily,
weekly or monthly basis. We accept cash or personal checks made out to
“UCESC Lunch Account”. Applications for free and/or reduced priced
meals are sent out to all parents at the beginning of each year or can be
obtained at any time by called Judi White at (908) 232 – 6655, Option # 5
It is imperative that you notify the School Nurse and Classroom
Teacher should your child have any food allergies, sensitivities or
dietary restrictions so that our staff may accommodate accordingly.
VIII. Health and Wellness
The health and wellness of our students and faculty members is of utmost
importance. Working together, we can promote the well-being of your child
and ensure they obtain the maximum educational benefit while at school.
It is critical that our School Nurse be advised immediately if your child is
diagnosed with a severe allergy, asthma, diabetes, history of seizures or other
chronic health condition that may impact their performance at school.
In order to maintain accurate records, we also ask that you contact our
School Nurse to report immunizations, emergency room treatments,
medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and any relevant
information obtained during medical appointments or evaluations.
In the event of a hospitalization, we require a note from the physician that
details the reason(s) for the hospitalization and treatments administered
during the hospitalization. The note must specify the date that the child is
medically cleared to return to school along with any medications and
modifications to diet, participation or activity level.
In consideration of the health and welfare of our students and faculty,
there are occasions where we ask that your child remain home from school.
Please keep your child at home until he or she recovers from:
 Fever > 100.4F (Child must be fever-free 24 hours without the use
of Tylenol or Advil before returning to school)
 Communicable Disease (i.e. chicken pox, conjunctivitis, impetigo,
ringworm, head lice, scabies, strep throat.)
 Vomiting or Diarrhea
 Severe cold or flu
 Chronic and persistent pain (ear, tooth, stomach)
 Widespread rash or sores
All students who are absent for three or more consecutive days due
to illness and/or students who are diagnosed with a communicable
disease require a doctor’s note prior to re-admittance to school.
IX. Medication Procedures
The School Nurse is responsible for the reasonable support of all medical
intervention plans designated by a physician on behalf of a student enrolled
in Crossroads School. We ask for your cooperation with the following
procedures in order to ensure the health and wellness of our students:
1. All medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, must be
ordered by a licensed physician and accompanied by a signed written
order utilizing the consent form available from the School Nurse.
2. Medication must be delivered directly to the School Nurse on behalf
of a student by the student parent, guardian or adult designee.
3. All medication must be brought to school in its original container
and/or a prescription bottle labeled by a pharmacy.
4. Only the School Nurse or a student’s parent or guardian, acting on a
written order from a physician, may administer medication at school.
5. Permission for administration of medication will be given only when
the student’s attendance depends on the medication being given
during school hours.
6. Medication no longer required by the student must be removed from
Crossroads School by the parent, guardian or adult designee within
four weeks of discontinuation. All medications left at school will be
safely discarded by the School Nurse.
The School Nurse can be reached by calling (908) 232-6655, Option # 3 to
answer questions regarding all health, wellness and medication policies and
issues pertinent to attendance at Crossroads School.
X. Visitor Policy
Visitors are always welcome at Crossroads School. In order to ensure a
well-monitored and safe environment, all exterior doors remain locked
during the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Visitors are required to enter the
school through the front entrance and sign-in at the Main Office prior to
proceeding to any other location within the building. Please do not
proceed directly to the classrooms during instructional hours. A
temporary identification badge will be issued to help our faculty members
immediately identify everyone on the premises. Our faculty members have
been instructed to greet visitors in the school and offer assistance.
Your cooperation with these guidelines helps maintain a safe environment
for your children and fewer disruptions to our instructional program.
XI. Classroom Observations
Parents are encouraged to observe their child while participating in
classroom activities and therapy sessions. All observations must be
scheduled with the classroom teacher or therapist a minimum of 24 hours
in advance in order to minimize disruption to the learning environment.
We reserve the right to re-schedule all parent observations due to
schedule conflicts and/or other unanticipated circumstances.
XII. Back-to-School Night
Back-to-School Night for the 2009-2010 school year is scheduled to occur
on Tuesday, October 6th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The evening will feature
brief presentations from administrators, teachers and therapy departments.
Parents will also have an opportunity to visit classrooms and meet with the
faculty members assigned to your child. We strongly encourage all family
members to participate in this important annual event.
XIII. Progress Reports
Progress Reports are provided to parents three times per school year
during the months of November, February and June. Students are assessed
on the mastery of all academic and therapy IEP Goals and Objectives
utilizing a qualitative rating scale. A copy of the Progress Report is also
mailed to the Case Manager assigned to each student.
XIV. Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher Conferences for the 2009-2010 school year will occur
during the week of November 16, 2009. The purpose of this meeting is to
discuss academic progress and identify goals for the present school year.
You will receive a schedule of available conference times from your child’s
classroom teacher. We ask that all parents select a time to participate in a
conference either in-person or by telephone.
Teachers and therapists are also available to participate in conferences
during planning periods and before/after school. Please feel free to contact
the teacher or therapist directly to schedule a mutually convenient time.
XV. Parent Teacher Organization
The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is a group of parents and faculty
members committed to strengthening the connection between home and
school. Through community outreach and fundraisers conducted
throughout the year, the PTO funds the purchase of instructional materials,
organizes special events and assemblies and helps defray the costs of our
Community Based Instruction program. The PTO meets on a regular basis
at and all family members are welcome to attend. There is no obligation or
cost to join the PTO. Applications are distributed at the beginning of each
school year or can always be obtained by contacting the Main Office.
XVI. Release of Pupil Records
In accordance with Union County Educational Services Commission
Regulation 8330.g.2, all parents and/or legal guardians have the right to
prohibit the release of any information about their child to recognized
representatives of the press for use in published reports on district
activities used in district publications such as newsletters, handbook,
yearbook, graduation program, Board Minutes and administrative reports
to the Board of Education.
All parents and/or legal guardians have up to ten days from the first day of
school to submitted a written statement to the Superintendent of Schools
prohibiting the release of such information.
XVII. Equal Opportunity Policies
The Union County Educational Services Commission follows affirmative
action policies to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to
race, creed, color, sex, marital status, national origin, and to insure that all
personnel actions such as recruitment, selection, placement, training,
promotions, transfers, terminations, disciplinary actions and all benefits
and compensations are equally applied.
The Union County Educational Services Commission affirms its
responsibility to ensure all students in the public schools equal educational
opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, sex, ancestry, national
origin or social or economic status. Lack of English language skills will not
be a deterrent to admission to any program. No otherwise qualified
handicapped individuals shall, solely by reason of their handicap, be denied
the benefits or subjected to discrimination in any activity.
The Commission’s Affirmative Action Plans for Employment/Contract
practices and School/Classroom Practices are on file in the office of the
Affirmative Action Officer, Mr. Garry W. Grimsley at (908) 233-9317.
XVIII. Student Grievance Procedures
The Commission Board has established a procedure for students, or
parents on a student’s behalf, to follow in filing a complaint dealing with
alleged violation, misinterpretation or inequitable applications of the
policies and practices of the school district relative to provisions of Federal
and State anti-discrimination legislation. The grievance procedure is
included in the school district’s policy manual. A copy of the manual is
available for perusal at each program site and in the Superintendent’s
Office at 45 Cardinal Drive, Westfield, New Jersey.
XIX. Contact Information
The positive collaboration between home and school is an important
element of the program at Crossroads School. We strongly encourage
parents to maintain an ongoing dialogue with teachers and therapists
through the use of voicemail, e-mail and the daily communication book.
The telephone number to Crossroads School is (908) 232-6655 and we
invite parents to contact any of our faculty members as follows:
E-mail Address
Michael Kowalski
Judi White
[email protected]
[email protected]
Paula Haborak
Elaine Liggeri
Denise Igus
Pamela Staeudle
Social Worker
School Secretary
Tech. Coordinator
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
ecarran[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Consuelo Alzate
Rosa Brandao
Eileen Carrano
Speech Therapist
Janette Catalano
Physical Therapist
Angela Colatruglio
Stephen Goham
Lauren Gonzalez
Jessica Jaruczyk
Ronnie Kaufman
Speech Therapist
Sharon Maines
Stephanie Mastriano
Melissa McLaughlin
Kristin Powers
Tara Pepe
Speech Therapist
Michelle Pruden
Holly Reuven
Occupational Therapist
Donna Salvatore
Kim Van Liew
Occupational Therapist
Hope Weinstein
Speech Therapist
Amanda Zimmer