Colin Powell Elementary 2013-2014 Parent-Student Handbook

Colin Powell Elementary
13340 Leland Road
Centreville, Virginia 20120
Office Telephone: 571-522-6000
To Report an Absence: 571-522-6060
Parent-Student Handbook
Learning Today… Leading Tomorrow
It is the mission of Colin Powell Elementary School to ensure
high academic achievement and social excellence for all
students in a safe and caring learning environment. As a
professional learning community, we work collaboratively to
meet individual student needs through ongoing data analysis
and intervention. We embrace our diversity as we develop
responsible citizens and life-long learners.
General School Operating Procedures
Table of Contents
Absence, Tardy, Release of Students
Keeping Students after School
Kiss and Ride
Lost and Found
Lunch and Breakfast Purchases
Lunch Manners
Birthday Celebrations
Bus Stop and Bus Privileges
Crisis Plan
Party Invitations
Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
Progress Reports
Dismissal Procedures
Emergency Care Cards
Emergency Closing
School Hours
School Security Procedures
Student Dress
FCPS Policies and Procedures
Field Trips
Fire Drill
Tornado Drills
Handheld Devices
Interim Reports
Withdrawal of Student
General School Operating Procedures
Absence, Tardy, Release of Students
Parents are requested to contact the school office each morning when a child is to be absent or
tardy. Please call 571-522-6060 anytime.
Pupils shall not be released during the day except when they have a note from the parent or when
the parent comes to the school to pick-up the child. In either case, the child should be signed out
in the office by the parent before leaving. Be prepared to show your ID every time you pick up
your child early. Students may not be released early on a regular basis for outside school
activities. Please note: Parents requesting an early dismissal for their child must pick their
child up no later than 3:30.
Animals may not be brought to the classroom unless prior approval has been given by the
principal. When they are brought as part of the approved program, animals should be brought by
a parent and taken home when the parent leaves.
Daily announcements will be made each morning over the CPNN broadcast. These
announcements provide information for students. Students should listen carefully throughout the
broadcast. The daily broadcast will contain the Pledge of Allegiance and a Moment of Silence.
We believe that good attendance is vital to a student’s achievement and DO NOT recommend
that parents remove students from school for an extended period of time. While we recognize the
value of travel, vacation and association with parents, we feel that our school calendar provides
several opportunities for these activities, and that absence beyond the time allotted in the calendar
may be detrimental to the student. Explanations and class discussions are presented daily which
“make-up” work cannot replace, and time lost from hands-on activities in classes is impossible to
recover. Should you pull your child out of Fairfax County Public Schools for more than 15
consecutive days he/she will be automatically withdrawn, and we cannot guarantee that he/she
will be assigned to the same teacher. Upon your child’s return to Colin Powell Elementary
School, you will need to re-register in the office by completing a registration update form. Please
do not request homework in advance. Your child will have days in which to make up missed
work upon returning to school. During extended absences students are asked to maintain a
writing journal and to read daily.
Students may use backpacks on wheels in order to transport their heavier loads. Backpacks on
wheels may be used as students approach the building. Once students are inside the building, they
must pick up their backpacks.
Birthday Celebrations
Birthdays will be recognized on the morning news. Students’ names will be called, and those
children should be sent to the office for a special pencil. Please do not bring balloons or goody
bags to school as this becomes a disruption to our instructional program. Birthday cupcakes (or
other items) are not allowed. Non-school related party invitations MAY NOT be distributed at
school. This includes birthday invitations.
Bus Stop and Bus Privileges
Students are expected to follow the rules of safety and good conduct while riding the bus and
while waiting at the bus stops. Riding the bus is a privilege, not a right. At the beginning of each
year, all students must sign the Parent or Guardian and Student Signature Sheet which is located
at the beginning of the SR&R booklet which includes acknowledgement of the “Standards of
Conduct for Pupils Riding School Buses”. Students will be disciplined based on this agreement.
Bus privileges may be suspended for students who do not comply with this agreement.
Any child who becomes sick at school will be brought to the clinic by the teacher or by
responsible students. Parents will be called in case of illness or injury. Parents will be contacted
when students have a fever of 100.0 F or higher. Students should not return to school until fever
free for at least 24 hours (without the use of medication). This will help ensure that all students at
school remain healthy. (See also, Medications)
Frequent, open, and clear communication between the community and school is necessary in
order to maintain an excellent instructional program. Staff will provide parents with FCPS
Outlook e-mail addresses and Colin Powell ES phone extensions at Back-to-School night. FCPS
24/7 Learning (Blackboard) is another electronic means of communication. You will receive
additional information about Blackboard from your child’s classroom teacher.
Tuesday Folders will be sent home to parents each Tuesday. Student work, grade-level
newsletters, specific classroom information, school-wide and PTA information are some of what
will be sent home in the folder. Parents are asked to sign the Tuesday Folder each week as
acknowledgement that it was received. It is the student’s responsibility to return the signed folder
each week.
The FCPS website at provides parents with additional FCPS information and
school closings.
Parent and teacher conferences are required for each student at the end of the first grading period.
Parents and teachers may also request conferences whenever necessary. Parent liaisons who
speak Korean and Spanish are available to assist with communicating with teachers. Additional
translators can be made available for conferences throughout the year when needed. It will be
helpful to know your need for a translator as early as possible so that arrangements can be made
with the appropriate support personnel. Please contact either your child’s teacher or the front
office staff with your request.
Although we make every effort to be available for conferences with you, we ask that you not
enter instructional areas during the school day to talk to teachers about your child unless an
appointment has been scheduled.
Crisis Plan
Colin Powell ES has a written Crisis Plan that is updated regularly. The plan is located in the
office and may be reviewed by parents by scheduling an appointment with an administrator.
Delivering Items Left at Home
Parents may drop off forgotten lunches, musical instruments, and homework in the front office. It
is the students’ responsibility to check with the office at an appropriate time that does not impact
the instructional program. The office will not call or deliver forgotten items to individual
Discipline (See also Positive Behavior Support)
The long-range goal of our school discipline policy is for children to develop the ability to make
sound decisions regarding their own behavior, with a clear understanding of the likely
consequences that may result. Students need support in a caring environment with good role
models, high expectations, and opportunities to practice assuming responsibility for the decisions
they make. Students and staff at Colin Powell are expected to demonstrate respect for themselves
and others, as well as for the material aspects of the school environment. All will emphasize
mutual respect and the practice of good manners.
School-wide expectations focusing on safety, mutual respect, individual responsibility, and FCPS
Student Responsibilities and Rights are necessary in order to ensure a safe place for all students
and adults. A classroom environment that supports student efforts to reach their potential
provides the best habitat for learning. Students need to have a clear understanding that the
teacher is in charge in the classroom and that no student has a right to interfere with the learning
of others. Fairfax County Public Schools’ Student Responsibilities and Rights clearly state
county expectations for student behavior and should be reviewed regularly as appropriate. You
may download a copy of this document at
Student safety is of the utmost priority at all times. While at recess, students will be instructed to
always stay in sight of the adults on duty. No contact games are allowed. Students should not
interfere with the play of others. Throwing of sticks, mulch, etc. is prohibited. Students are
expected to line up promptly when the teacher signals and enter the building and classroom
quietly and orderly.
Dismissal Procedures
o Monday Dismissal Procedures:
1:20 – Dismiss Patrols, & Kiss ‘n’ Ride
1:23 – Dismiss Walkers & SACC
1:25 – Dismiss buses and Day Care Vans
o Tuesday through Friday Dismissal Procedures:
3:45 – Dismiss Patrols, & Kiss ‘n’ Ride
3:48 – Dismiss Walkers & SACC
3:50 – Dismiss buses and Day Care Vans
Student dismissals will be announced over CPNN TV in the following order:
1. Kiss ‘n’ Ride will be dismissed at 1:20 on Mondays and 3:45 on Tuesdays through
Fridays. Students being picked up at “Kiss and Ride” will exit through Door 7. Parents
who choose to use Kiss ‘n’ Ride must register with the main office to get a brightly
colored “placard” signifying their Kiss ‘n’ Ride number. At dismissal time, parents must
remain in their vehicles with their brightly colored number visible in their front window.
2. Walkers and SACC students will be dismissed at 1:38 on Mondays and 3:48 on
Tuesdays through Fridays. Walkers must exit the building through the front doors (Door
1). Parents who come to pick up their walkers should wait on the sidewalk outside Door
1. Please keep the area clear to allow children safe passage through the area.
Bus students and Day Care Van students will be dismissed next at 1:25 on Mondays
and 3:50 on Tuesdays through Fridays. Bus and day care van riders will exit through
Door 1 and proceed to their vehicles. Due to overcrowding on buses, students are not to
ride any bus other than the one assigned. To get to a friend’s house, arrangements should
be made for transportation after arriving home on their assigned bus.
All buses are numbered with a CP number (CP-1, CP-2, etc.). Buses will be called using these
numbers. During the first week of school, students will be given cards with their bus number
and/or bus color as they arrive and will use that card to help find the correct bus at dismissal. We
encourage all bus riders to ride their assigned bus on the first day of school.
All students are expected to cooperate with patrols and walk to buses, vans, or home in a safe
Teachers may be reached on their FCPS e-mail address (first name.last [email protected]).
Emergency Care Cards
The school must have an emergency care card for each student. These cards will be available in
the first day packet. Please ensure that we have the necessary (and current) information on file for
your child. Please make sure you let your child's teacher know if any of the information changes
during the year (home number, work number, address, child care provider, etc.). You may also
submit your Emergency Care Card Forms electronically through [email protected], via your FCPS
24/7 (Blackboard) Parent View account. If you do this electronically, you do NOT have to
submit a signed paper form because of the transaction ID that will be printed from within weCare
which counts as a legal signature.
Emergency Closing
Late opening, early closing, or cancellation of school due to inclement weather will be announced
over local television (including FCPS Channel 21) and radio stations as soon as a decision has
been made. It is recommended that you find information for Keep In Touch at to receive emergency messages on email. You
must update your contact information for Keep In Touch through your FCPS 24/7 Learning
(Blackboard) Parent View account as described on the website listed above. Please do not call
the school for information about cancellations or closings.
Fairfax County Public Schools Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures for the operation of Fairfax County Public Schools can be found online
on the School Board website
Field Trips
Field trips are planned as an extension of classroom instruction. Notices are sent home in advance
describing the details and cost of the trip. Trips usually use normal school transportation and are
scheduled to leave the building no earlier than 9:15 a.m. and scheduled to return no later than
1:30 p.m. (12:30 on Mondays). Adult chaperones may be needed for some field trips. The
classroom teacher will outline details in the field trip permission notice.
Fire Drill
In the event of an emergency, it is essential that the building be evacuated safely and quickly.
Planning for such an occurrence and practicing for it on a regular basis are necessary and required
of all staff members and students. Fire drills are required once each week during the month of
September and once each month thereafter.
On the first day of school, teachers will discuss all emergency building evacuation procedures
with their students. This discussion will continue during the first week of school. Special
emphasis will be placed on how to evacuate the building during a class, during the lunch period,
or if a primary exit is blocked. On the first day of school, teachers will practice walking the
evacuation route with their class in order to prepare students for the first fire drill.
Handheld Devices
All items brought to school should be of educational interest. Items, such as iPods, MP3 players
and electronic games, shall not be brought to school without prior permission from the principal.
Cell phones should only be brought to school for the purpose of communicating with parents
before or after school. These devices must be turned off and kept in the child’s school bag.
Other items that the school staff considers to be distracting may be held in the office for parent
Homework is an excellent means of providing students with the opportunity to reinforce skills
they have learned at school as well as developing time management skills and responsibility.
Although no hard and fast rules can be made about homework, some generally accepted
principles should govern the assignment of homework.
Grades 1-3
up to 30 minutes
Grades 4-6
up to 60 minutes
The FCPS Program of Studies (POS) provides the basic instructional curriculum to be used by
teachers. It provides a series of logical steps toward the implementation of instruction. It
includes a philosophy of education in each subject area, the instructional objectives, and ways in
which to evaluate that instruction. Teachers follow the Program of Studies (POS) and Standards
of Learning (SOL) incorporating them into long-range and daily planning. Parents can find Nine
Week Plans from their child’s teacher regarding topics to be covered by going to the teacher’s or
grade level’s Blackboard website.
Interim Reports
Interim reports provide parents with periodic updates on progress in student achievement. Interim
reports may be sent home at any time. Many teachers send them at the mid-point of the grading
period for students who are struggling academically or behaviorally.
Keeping Students After School
A teacher may occasionally wish to work with a student after school. Parents will be notified and
permission will be requested either in writing or by phone in advance of the day the student is to
stay. Parents will be requested to transport the student home.
Kiss & Ride
All students are encouraged to ride their assigned buses. Kiss ‘n’ Ride is provided as a courtesy
for those students who walk during inclement weather or for those children that must occasionally
be transported by their parent. To obtain a Kiss & Ride number, please complete an application
in the main office. Parents should drop their children off at Kiss & Ride no earlier than 8:50 a.m.
The Kiss & Ride lane closes promptly at 9:10 a.m. Students who arrive after the morning bell
rings at 9:15 will be marked tardy.
Parents should pull into the Kiss & Ride drop-off zone and ensure that students have all their
belongings before leaving the car. Please, do not get out of your car to help children unload.
Patrols and Powell staff will be there to help with younger children or large projects. All children
should enter through the front door and go to their assigned locations until they are released to
their classroom teachers.
At the end of the day, please pull into the Kiss and Ride zone and have your brightly colored
number attached so that it is easily visible.
Lockdown Drills
Lockdown drills are performed during the months of September and January. During these drills
all people inside the building will be required to remain silently inside their locked classroom. No
one may leave the building or enter the building during a lockdown. A sign will be posted at the
main entrance of the building during such a drill.
Lost and Found
All outer clothing, lunch boxes, etc., should be marked with children’s names. Lost articles are
kept in the Lost and Found shelves located in the cafeteria. Articles of value such as jewelry,
eyeglasses, and wallets are kept in the main office. Please encourage your child to check for lost
Lunch and Breakfast Purchases
If you are sending a lunch from home, it should be packed and labeled separately from snack.
Packed lunches must contain condiments, napkins, and utensils from home. Cafeteria hostesses
will not be providing these materials to students with packed lunches.
Parents may prepay for school meals for the month, week, or day. Checks should be made out to
“Colin Powell ES”. Add your child’s name and teacher’s name in the subject line of the check.
Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) are used for prepayments. Cash should be sent in an
envelope that is marked with the child’s and the teacher’s name. Parents may specify how
payments are to be used by their children - lunch and breakfast only, or lunch and a la carte items.
If you do not want to worry about lunch money, you may also wish to set up an account on where you can pay for meals with a credit or debit card, check
balances, and add funds via computer, phone, or fax. You may also access features such as
viewing student purchases and spending history, low balance email notifications, the ability to set
daily/weekly spending limits for your child and the capability to set your child up for meals only
or a-la-carte.
Students $1.50
Students $2.65
Students without lunch money or credit will be given cereal and milk. By law, cafeteria
managers are not permitted to give money to students.
Lunch Manners
Powell Cafeteria Manners include:
Respect Yourself
• Select and eat healthy foods
• Get all supplies needed for
breakfast or lunch
Respect Others
Practice good table manners
Use inside voices
Stay seated
Raise your hand for assistance
Respect Property
• Clean up the
eating area (table
and floor)
Parents and guardians should bring medication to school in person and sign the required consent
form. The school is not permitted to administer medication to a child without a signed consent
from the parent or guardian. Please call the clinic at 571-522-6010 for more information about
medication or procedures for administering medication.
Nutrition Guidelines
FCPS School Board’s Goal 2 regarding Essential Life Skills states that schools should help teach
students how to make healthy lifestyle choices. During the upcoming school year, nutrition and
exercise will continue to be a focus to help students achieve lifelong goals and be at their personal
We are hopeful that your child can energize themselves at lunch by choosing and eating
nutritional foods as well as being smart about the snacks they may purchase. We feel that eating
a healthy lunch including a variety of food groups will benefit them as they continue their
instructional day. We discourage students and families from bringing in fast food and carbonated
soft drinks for lunch.
Two class parties may be held during instructional time throughout the year. These will be held in
the classrooms with the help of the room parents.
Party Invitations
Non-school related invitations may not be distributed at school. This includes birthday
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
The focus of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBS) at Colin Powell Elementary
School is to provide a clear and consistent system of expected behaviors for the entire school. In
each common area within the school, students are taught consistent expectations and appropriate
behaviors for that area (cafeteria, hallway, bathroom, etc.). Through PBS we intend to create and
maintain a productive, safe environment in which all school members understand behavioral
expectations and why these behaviors benefit the school community as a whole. We will:
Respect Ourselves, Respect Others, Respect Property.
“Proud Pumas” are awarded regularly to reinforce and encourage students exhibiting positive and
appropriate school behaviors.
Progress Reports
Progress Reports (report cards) are completed four times a year at the end of each grading period.
Grades and comments will be used to clearly communicate strengths and concerns for each
student. General education and special education staff will work together to determine progress
report grades and document IEP progress for special education students. IEP progress updates
will also be provided to parents along with the progress report at the end of each grading period.
ESOL teachers will consult with classroom teachers to determine grades for ESOL students.
School Hours
Monday 9:00 a.m. - 1:25 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-3:55 p.m.
Students should not arrive OR be dropped off at school before 8:50 a.m. and will be marked tardy
if they arrive after 9:15 a.m.
School Security Procedures
Security and safety of students is of prime importance. All exterior doors are kept locked during
school hours. Students must use the “buddy system” by traveling in pairs when leaving the
classroom. All parents and visitors must sign in and wear a visitor’s badge. All parents and
visitors must come to the office before going to any classroom. Younger siblings, as well as
friends or relatives of students, cannot be permitted in the classroom because of liability concerns
and distraction to the classroom learning environment. If you have any questions, please ask your
child’s classroom teacher.
Children may bring a reasonably sized, healthy snack to school each day to be eaten in the
classroom within a short period of time. Good choices might include grapes, strawberries, celery
sticks, carrots, apple slices, etc. A variety of choices is still encouraged and acceptable. Candies,
cakes, and other heavy sugar snacks are discouraged.
Student Dress
Any clothing that interferes with or disrupts the education environment is unacceptable.
• Hats, caps, hoods, or other headwear are permitted for health, safety, or religious reasons
• Clothing may not show obscenities or violence; bare midriff or under garments; promote
alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Spaghetti straps are not to be worn.
• Shoes are required at all times. Because of safety on stairs and at recess, flip flops are not to
be worn at school. Students participating in physical education classes must wear appropriate
shoes designed to support and prevent injury.
All teachers are provided with individual Colin Powell phone extensions in their classrooms.
Phones will not ring from 8:55–3:55 (8:55-1:25 on Mondays) when students are in classrooms,
but parents may still leave a phone message. Teachers will respond as needed within 24 hours.
The testing schedule will be provided to parents as soon as it is established. Family trips and
doctors' appointments are discouraged during state and county testing times. The Cognitive
Abilities Test will be administered to students in Grade 2 and certain students in grades 3-6
during the October 15- 25, 2013 timeframe. The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test will be
administered to students in Grade 1 during November 18 – 22, 2013. The testing windows for
administering the Standards of Learning (SOL) will be March 3- March 21, 2014 for Grade 5
Writing and May 12-June 6, 2014 for Grades 3-6 Non-Writing.
Tornado Drills
Tornado drills are conducted yearly during the month of March. Classes will be moved to their
designated locations on the lower school hall as quickly and quietly as possible. Classes that are
in the modular building will be moved into the main building during all tornado drills.
All visitors are required to report to the office immediately upon entering the school. Visitors
must sign in at the office and wear a visitor’s badge at all times while in the building.
Parents may drop off forgotten lunches, musical instruments, and homework in the front office. It
is the students’ responsibility to check with the office at an appropriate time that does not impact
the instructional program. The office will not call or deliver forgotten items to individual
Parents are welcome to visit classrooms, but as a courtesy to teachers, parents should be
encouraged to schedule observations. Observations should generally last no more than 30
minutes. When possible, parents will be accompanied by an administrator. No visiting relatives
or out-of-town friends will be allowed to come to school with our students. This is a FCPS
liability issue.
The faculty, staff, and students appreciate the variety of tasks performed by dedicated volunteers.
The many hours devoted by these dedicated volunteers enhance the total school program. The
volunteer coordinator(s) work closely with the teachers to match tasks and talents for service and
assistance in the classrooms, the library, the clinic, the office, and at school events.
Withdrawal of Student
Please notify the teacher or the registration secretary as soon as you know that your child will be
withdrawn from school. Certain procedures should be followed before your child leaves.