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MCS Parent Handbook 2017-2018

View online or download pdf copy of the handbook

School Calendar

Wed. August 30First Day of ClassesWelcome Back!
Mon. September 4Labor DaySchool Closed
Fri. October 6Teacher InserviceSchool Closed
Mon. October 9Columbus DaySchool Closed
Fri. November 10Veterans DaySchool Closed
Fri. November 17Parent/Teacher ConferencesSchool Closed
W-F Nov. 22-24Thanksgiving BreakSchool Closed
Dec. 21-Jan 1Holiday BreakSchool Closed
Mon. January 15Martin Luther King DaySchool Closed
M-F Feb. 19-23Winter BreakSchool Closed
Fri. March 9Parent/Teacher ConferencesSchool Closed
Mon. March 12Teacher InserviceSchool Closed
Fri. April 13Teacher InserviceSchool Closed
M-F April 16-20Spring BreakSchool Closed
Mon. May 28Memorial DaySchool Closed
Wed. June 20Summer VacationLast Day
(Noon Dismissal)

The Vermont Dept. of Ed. requires adding no fewer than five snow days to the 175 instructional-day calendar for schools. Adhering to this requirement, the last day of school is scheduled for June 20. It may be earlier, depending on the number of days lost to emergency closings, but no earlier than June 13.

Music Department Concert Dates

Mon. Dec. 18Holiday Concert-6:30 PM3rd-6th
Wed. Dec. 19Holiday Concert-5:00 PMK-2nd
Thur. Feb 15Instrumental Concert-6:30 PM4th-6th
Thur. April 5Choral Concert-6:30 PM3rd-6th
Thur. May 24MayfestAll School

Welcome Letter from the Principal

Welcome to Marion Cross School August 2017-18

Dear Parents:

I have a jacket that I like very much—perhaps you have a similar one—a three-season jacket that keeps my core warm in the cool air and has a little hood stowed in the collar that I use sometimes to keep the rain from soaking my remaining hair, and keeping the droplets off my glasses. So when I zipped it up one day and noticed the zipper’s teeth didn’t bite, leaving a gaping gap (is there any other kind?), I was disappointed. With some effort I extracted the zipper-pull from the teeth, but the next time I put on the jacket, having forgotten that the zipper was broken, zipped it again and created the same hole. After a few miscues, I put masking tape over the slide to remind me not to use it. Instead, I used the snaps and Velcro that were part of the design, and then I considered my options

One option was just to ignore the zipper and simply use the snaps and Velcro to close the coat; however, they weren’t as secure as the zipper, and I’d be reminded daily that the zipper was broken. There’s a Will Rogers’ quote that I use as my motto—“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”—and as handsome as the masking tape was, I knew that that fix would be unsatisfying.

I considered just throwing the jacket away and getting another one, but I hadn’t worn the jacket very long. Though it was beyond its warranty, it was in great shape, and it seemed a huge waste to get rid of the whole jacket when only the zipper malfunctioned.

Replace the zipper? That might work, but the jacket was well made, and the zipper was imbedded in the seam. That appeared difficult. Add a couple snaps? That would keep my jacket from blowing open as I cruised in to school on my electric-green, electric moped. More Velcro?

I decided my best bet was to take it to June Wang, the seamstress on Mechanic Street, to get her perspective.

She took the jacket, inspected the zipper, and inspected the slide. Snip. She docked the top of each side of the zipper, and pulled off the slide from the right-hand teeth. She pulled out her container of slides, selected the right size, slid it on, crimped a stop to the top of each side of the zipper, and gave the jacket back to me. "The teeth are fine. The slide was bent," she told me. Four minutes. Four dollars.

"That was magic," I laughed.

"This is my life’s work," she replied. "At this point, it's easy to figure out what to do." And I guess I figured out what to do, too: when it comes to fixing a broken zipper on a well-loved jacket, find June. To make sure that the whole jacket is in good repair and useful and meaningful, recognize that we are all part of the same team, and work together. If we want go fast, we can work alone; if we want to go far, we need to work together.

Welcome back, and welcome to Marion Cross School.

Sincerely,

Mr. Bill

The drawings in this handbook were done by Mrs. Holley’s and Mrs. Thompson’s third grade classes. Many thanks to them for their great representations of buildings in the Norwich Community.

Marion Cross School Administration

Marion Cross School Administration
2017– 2018
School Phone: (802) 649-1703


Bill HammondPrincipalbillhammond@marioncross.org
Dora SpauldingAdministrative Assistantdoraspaulding@marioncross.org
Joy SmollinFront Officejoysmollin@marioncross.org
Katie CormierSchool Counselorkatiecormier@marioncross.org
Pamela HauslerSchool Nursepamelahauseler@marioncross.org
Tammy SeveranceDay Custodian
Maria SpaneasEvening Custodian
Donna StearnsEvening Custodian, Foreman

SAU Directory
Norwich School Board

The Marion Cross School does not discriminate in educational programs, activities or employment practices on the basis of race, language, gender, age, or handicapping condition under Title VI of the Educational Amendments (1972), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), and the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (1975).

Nothing in this handbook should be interpreted as modifying or superseding school district policies, regulations or procedures. In the event of a conflict between this handbook and board policies, regulations or procedures, the latter shall prevail.

Marion Cross School Faculty and Staff


Kindergarten:Ashley Morse
Jen Newberry
Art:Caitlin Eastman
Nicole Butters
Grade 1:Ginny Moore
Karen Trombley
French:Allison Litten
Rebecca Chartrand
Grade 2:Leslie Dustin
Noelle Cowdrey
Library:Joy Blongewicz
Grade 3:Lisa Holley
Wendy Thompson
Music:Travis Ramsey
Grade 4:Becky French
Beth Haney
Rick Wilson
PE:Rick Newton
Grade 5:Matt Buck
Jonathan Fenton
Ania White
Technology:John Minelli
Grade 6:Marguerite Ames
Emily Biolsi
Kara McKeever
Learning Specialists:Candace Crosby-Rogers
Lynn Madore
Catherine Malo
Anna Turner
Speech:Mary Coffey
Curriculum:John Minelli
Title I Math:Melanie Golder
Nurse:Pam Hausler
Assistant to the
Principal:
Dora Spaulding
Front Office:Joy Smollin



Marion Cross School Educational Assistants

Stephanie AndrusVeronica Markwood
Marilyn CookCaroline Monson
Laura DiPiazzaMaureen Ripple
Jill EricsonHillary Roberts
Patty FillianBeth Ryan
Janet GeretySidney Seaton
Glennis GoldRhona Tuthill
Doug JenischFran Walz
Yoko KurokawaDarcy Webb
SiJ LacyGail Whitney
Erica LaFondBonna Wieler
Donna Mackall

Marion Cross School Non-faculty Service Providers

LEEEP:Lindsay Putnam
OT:Lisa Golden Morse
Physical Therapy:Francie Prosser-Riessen
Psychologist:Dotti Unkles

Communication

Marion Cross School encourages open and frequent communication with parents. If you have a complaint or concern, you are asked to meet with the staff member who is closest to the problem. If your problem cannot be resolved at this first level, you are invited to speak with Mr Bill. He will do everything possible to bring people together and find a solution or compromise. Below is a list of people who can help you with general problems.

How do I contact my child’s teacher?

The school telephone is answered between 7:30 AM and 4:00 PM each day. Messages for teachers may be left in their voicemail accounts.

How do I contact my child during the school day?

Messages for students should be left with the office because many teachers are unable to check their messages until after school. In order to limit interruptions of classroom teaching, please do not walk into a classroom unannounced or contact your child by phone. Students are not allowed to use cell phones during the school day. If you need to get a message to your child immediately, please go directly to the main office. The office will deliver such items as lunches, clothing, books, or forgotten homework.

How does my child get in touch with me during the school day?

Again, students may not use cell phones during the school day. They may use the office phone, but only if they have permission from their teacher. The office is open after school until 4:00 PM. With permission from the office receptionist, they may use the phone until then. After 4:00 PM, the office is closed and the phone is no longer available.

How often does my child’s teacher get in touch with me?

Written notices to parents are typically sent home on Mondays and Fridays. However, teachers or the office may need to send information at other times. Please check your child’s backpack on a daily basis for school communication. Information is also sent via email, in the PTO Notes, and by teachers and classroom PTO reps. Please read all of these communications carefully.

Can I get in touch with my child’s teacher by email?

Email is an expected means of communication at MCS. The following are the email guidelines that teachers at Marion Cross School have been given by the school administration. We hope this helps parents understand why our emails are the way they are.
  1. Keep emails short.
  2. Be specific with your subject line.
  3. Get right to the point in your first sentence.
  4. If you want a response, put that in your message.
  5. If a response is requested, reply within 24 hours, even just to say you will get back in touch later.
  6. Use emails to set up meetings, arrange schedules, share information and confirm details.
  7. Avoid the use of email to discuss major issues.
  8. Avoid the use of email to discuss students.
  9. Avoid the use of students’ names or initials.
  10. If you have an urgent message or need an immediate response, call or meet face to face.

Communication of Concerns

Whom Do I Contact If I have general concerns about Marion Cross School?

BILL HAMMOND, Principal

Whom do I contact if I have general questions or concerns about how my child is doing?

YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER (In grades 5 and 6, your child’s homeroom teacher.)

Whom do I contact if I would like information about my child’s schedule?

YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER (In grades 5 and 6, your child’s homeroom teacher.)

Whom do I contact if I would like to set up a meeting with one or all of my child’s teachers?

YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER (In grades 5 and 6, your child’s homeroom teacher.) or KATIE CORMIER, School Counselor

How do I get more information about Special Education?

You should contact the case manager for your child's grade level.

Preschool - 2nd: Candace Crosby Rogers
2nd - 4th Grade: Lynn Madore
4th - 6th Grade: Anna Turner

Who do I contact if I have concerns about a particular faculty member?

First contact that faculty member; then contact Bill Hammond.

Who do I contact if I have general concerns about student behavior or policy?

You should contact Katie Cormier or Bill Hammond.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about school policy or school finance?

You should contact the Superintendent of Schools and then the school board.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about special education?

You should contact the grade-level special education case manager, then Bill Hammond, then Rhett Darak.

How do I reserve a room in the building for an event?

Contact Dora Spaulding.

How do I substitute at Marion Cross?

To substitute at Marion Cross, contact the SAU. More information

How do I volunteer at Marion Cross?

Contact Joy Smolin. More information

What do I do if I remain concerned about an issue that has already been handled by someone listed above?

You should contact Bill Hammond, then the Superintendent of Schools and then the school board.

What is the Marion Cross contact information?

The school phone number is (802) 649-1703. Each teacher has an extension and voicemail. In most cases, the school employee’s email address is firstnamelastname@marioncross.org.

The Marion Cross School Day

Attendance

Students are expected to be in their homerooms by 8:15 when attendance is taken. Failure to appear by 8:15 means that a student is tardy and must check in at the office before going to his or her classroom. If your child is absent from school, or you know s/he will be tardy, please call Joy in the school office. Her number is (802) 649-1703. Her office has voicemail. Messages can be left during non-operating hours or when the line is busy. Unless a definite length of absence has been determined by a physician and has been communicated to Joy, parents are expected to call the office every morning during the course of their child’s illness. If no call is received, and the student has not arrived at school, Joy will attempt to reach the parent at home or work. If students need to be absent for other reasons for more than 2 consecutive days, please call or email Joy with dates and details. Parents are asked to try to schedule doctor, dentist, orthodontist, and other appointments at times outside of school hours. When circumstances require absence from school for these appointments, parents must send a written note to the office for the student’s file.

Family trips and vacations

The School publishes a calendar for the year well in advance. It is also in this handbook. Families are asked to consult this calendar before scheduling family trips and vacations. If a student misses classes when school is in session for family trips and vacations, s/he is expected to make up any work that s/he has missed

Morning Arrival

Outside supervision begins at 7:30 AM. Please do not drop your child off at school before that time. Also, please be sure your child is dressed appropriately, especially in cold weather. In rainy, snowy, or extremely cold Marion Cross School Parent Handbook 12 weather, morning care will take place in the gymnasium. If you plan to park and enter the school building, please park on the Church Street side of the school in the visitor parking. If these spaces are taken, please park at the town hall or in the Main Street parking spaces. All other parking spaces around the school building are for the exclusive use of the staff. Please do not park in any of these spaces or in the handicapped parking unless you have this designation on your car. It is very stressful for faculty or disabled visitors when they arrive at school to find their assigned spaces occupied by a visitor. When arriving at school in the morning, please drop students off on the Church Street side of the building. Please pull up as far as possible. Please do not use the Episcopal Church parking lots or the Congregational Church driveway for morning drop off or afternoon pick up. Also, please do not enter the school driveway on the Episcopal Church side of the school during bus drop-off and pick-up time. Once children are dropped off at school in the morning, they may not leave school grounds to go to Dan and Whit’s, a friend’s house, or any other offgrounds location. If your child will be absent or will be arriving late, please call the school office before 8:15 AM. The school number is 649-1703. If you know the night before that your child will be absent, you may leave a message on the school answering machine after hours. Please state the reason for your child’s absence. Please do not send your child to school until s/he has been afebrile for 24 hours.

School Cancellation or Emergency Closing

If weather conditions are unusually severe, buses will not run and school will be closed. When school is delayed or cancelled, you will receive a computerized phone alert. You may also check the WMUR website by using the link on the Marion Cross web page, (www.marioncross.org). The site is listed under “About Our School.” In addition, the announcement will be on the school answering machine. Once the school day has begun, school will remain open all day, even if a storm intensifies. There are no early dismissals.

Delayed Opening

The Superintendent of Schools may decide whether or not to open school after 8:15 AM. The time scheduled for delayed openings will be 10:15 AM. Bus routes will run 2 hours later than their normal times. The same before-school care will be available at 9:30 AM. Please do not drop your child off at school prior to 9:30 AM.

A delay may turn into a cancellation. Please check before sending children to school.

Lunch and Snack

Lunch takes place in the classroom and is supervised by teachers or ed assistants in the classrooms. Students may order lunch through the order form on the school website (www.marioncross.org under For Parents) or bring their lunch. In either case, students should bring a snack to school each day. Please do not send any candy, soda, or food in glass containers. Milk is available for purchase in advance. If you are interested in signing up for milk, a form will be sent home at the beginning of the year. Some teachers have chosen to have a refrigerator or microwave in their classroom, but this is not guaranteed by the school. Since you cannot assume that these will be available to your child, you will need to plan your child’s lunch and snack accordingly. Free lunches are provided for families who meet federal guidelines. Please contact the school counselor for more information.

Recess

Recess is a very important part of the daily program at Marion Cross School. Because it provides children with the opportunity for socialization, fresh air, and exercise, all children are required to take part. There is no supervision available for children who are unable to participate. Children who are not well enough to partake must be kept at home unless they have received special permission from the Principal. Please refer to a subsequent page for Playground Rules.

Early Sign-out

The Marion Cross School Day ends at 3:10 on all days except Wednesday, when it ends at 2:10. Please do not remove your child from school before that time unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must, please park in the visitor parking on the Church Street side of the school. When entering the building, please go directly to the front office. Do not go to your child’s classroom. The school receptionist will call your child’s teacher to have your child sent to the office to meet you. You must then sign your child out so we have a record of the fact that s/he left school early.

After-School Dismissal

The safety of our students at dismissal time is of great concern to the faculty in light of the congestion created by buses, carpools, and Norwich traffic. When driving, we ask that you use the Church Street side of the school. If you plan to get out of your car in order to meet your child on the playground, we ask that you follow the parking guidelines outlined on page 8. Students who are not picked up at 3:10 are the responsibility of their parents.

Extended Day

The school day ends promptly at 3:10, except on Wednesdays when it ends at 2:10. If students do not ride the bus, parents are required to pick them up or make arrangements for other transportation home. The school does not supervise children who hang around school, town, or the Norwich Green after school. There is also an extended-day program that is run by the Norwich Child Care Center. If you are interested in taking advantage of this program, please call 649-1403.

After-school activities

After-school activities are offered by the Norwich Recreation Council during fall, winter, and spring. These programs are open to children on a sign-up basis. Information about programs is distributed at the school and is available at the Recreation Office in Tracy Hall.

Transportation

All Norwich students who live more than two miles from school are eligible to ride the school bus. Norwich students who are enrolled in the Dresden District grades 7 and 12 are eligible for round-trip transportation from Marion Cross School to Hanover.

Walkers and Riders

Children may be required to walk up to one-and-one-half miles to a school bus stop. Students who live fewer than two miles from the elementary school can be transported at their parents’ request if, in the opinion of the Superintendent of Schools, the walking route is hazardous. There are racks in the front of the building for children who wish to ride their bicycles to school. They may ride them only to and from school at appropriate hours. They may not ride their bicycles during the school day.

Bus Transportation

The Dresden School District Transport Guide and bus rules will be discussed at school and sent home at the beginning of the school year. Children who wish to ride on a different bus or to a destination other than home must bring a note from their parents giving explicit permission. Parents are asked not to board buses for any reason. If you need to see if your child is on a bus, please ask the bus driver to determine this for you. School bus routes are published in the Valley News in late summer during the week before school opens. Please refer to the Dresden District Transport Guide for further details.

Crossing Guards

There are crossing guards at the crosswalk on Church Street and by Tracy Hall on Main Street. We expect all students to obey their instructions.

Academic Life

Marion Cross School offers an intensive course of study in a supportive environment. It has been developed to reach students with varied learning styles by balancing traditional approaches with innovative teaching techniques. Our teachers encourage students to develop their full potential by understanding their strengths and overcoming any limitations. At Marion Cross School, we believe all students can learn, any subject, any amount.

Mission Statement

The school’s mission statement is the following:

Marion Cross School is a public kindergarten-through-sixth-grade public school that promotes educational excellence and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

Marion Cross School is a nurturing community that empowers all students to realize their intellectual, physical, emotional, creative, and social potential.

Marion Cross School partners with families and the community to develop responsible local and global citizens who can adapt to a changing world.

In order to fulfill this mission, the following policies have been established:

  1. Students are expected to be at school each of the 175 days that school isopen.

  2. All academic work (in class, at home, on assignments, tests, and examinations) must be done individually by the student except when teachers structure cooperative assignments.

  3. We ask that parents plan family vacations and trips during times that school is not in session. If students go on trips or vacations during times other than those listed for vacation on the school’s calendar, students will be expected to make up the work they missed upon their return. It may not be possible to repeat field trips or lab activities.

Reports and Conferences

Three times during the school year, parents will receive written reports from teachers regarding their child’s achievement. Each fall and spring, teachers will also be available for conferences with parents. Additional parent/teacher conferences may be requested at any time by parents or teachers. The following are the dates for this year’s parent/teacher conferences:
Fall Friday, November 17th
Spring Friday, March 9th

Homework

Homework at MCS is an extension of our children’s learning experience. It is designed to increase achievement by supplementing, reinforcing, and enriching the school’s daily instructional program. It also encourages independence, responsibility, and the development of positive work habits.

We encourage you to support your child’s learning in the following ways:

  1. Read to and with your children every day.
  2. Inquire about homework and support your children’s efforts to complete it.
  3. Provide a quiet space for your child to work.

  4. Encourage your child to do homework in the afternoon or early evening and at regularly scheduled times.

  5. Make sure your child takes responsibility for doing his or her own work.

Since Marion Cross School is committed to academic excellence, students should expect homework several nights every week. If a student is absent, he or she should check teacher websites or call the teacher to determine what was covered in class and to obtain any homework assignments. Unless extremely ill, students are expected to return to school with work completed and ready to hand in.

Assessment

Two or three times a year, students are assessed internally in math and language arts using Track My Progress. This is a computerized, adaptive test: each student gets a different set of questions. In the spring of each year, all students in grades 3 – 6 are assessed in language arts and mathematics. In May of each year, fourth graders are assessed in science. Letters will be sent home detailing the testing schedule for each grade level. It is very important that students be present at school during this testing period.

Annual Notification of Rights Concerning Access to Student Records

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 USC s1232g) and regulations adopted by the US Department of Education (34 CFR Part 99) provide parents or guardians with the right to inspect and review any material in their child’s cumulative record folder. Please call the main office if you are interested in seeing your child’s cumulative record.

The same federal legislation prohibits the school from releasing information, oral or written, about a student to an individual or agency without written consent from the student’s parent or guardian. If access to a student’s records is granted by subpoena or court order, the parents and student must be notified in advance of compliance with the subpoena or court order.

In the event that a student transfers to another school, Marion Cross School will forward official school records including an official transcript to the new school at the request of the parent. This request must be in writing. These records will be mailed directly to the new school’s office.

Special Education

The special education program at the Marion Cross School works with classroom teachers to provide individualized direct support services for students who need them according to PL 94-142 and Vermont's Act 230. A range of services is available including, but not limited to, speech and language services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and academic tutoring. All service plans are designed by the Pupil Services Team and they are tailored to a student's specific individual needs.

Special education staff members may also assist the regular classroom teachers. Marion Cross School has on its faculty learning specialists, a school counselor, a speech-and-language teacher, a reading teacher, Title I math-andwriting instructors, and a nurse. We also employ non-faculty service providers who work under the direction of the special education case managers. They include a psychologist, a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist. All special education staff work with classroom teachers to provide the most appropriate education for each student identified as needing special services.

Parents with questions about support services for their child should consult their child’s classroom teacher.

Guidance

Marion Cross School employs a full-time, certified school counselor who works with students to help them develop academically, personally, and socially. She also works closely with parents, teachers, and school administrators to provide students with the very best academic and social support.

Student Expectations “Climate of Respect”

Marion Cross School works to build a school climate that motivates children to care about one another and to be responsible members of the school community. We expect our students to:

*behave in a calm and orderly manner,
*speak courteously to others,
*act in a physically safe manner,
*treat people and property with respect.

For our motto, we say Marion Cross School R-R-O-C-K-S! (R-R-O-C-K-S stands for Respect, Responsibility, Ownership, Cooperation, Kindness, and Safety.)

Discipline

Students at Marion Cross are taught to take responsibility for their actions and to behave appropriately. When they do not treat one another, their teachers, or school property with respect, they may be sent to the Principal.

If your child is sent to the Principal, depending upon the circumstances, you may receive a phone call from Bill Hammond. If your child is sent to him more than once, again depending upon the circumstances, your child may be asked to do service to the community. If your child continues to behave inappropriately, parents and teachers and the principal may need to convene to develop a more detailed plan to change behavior. A comprehensive explanation of appropriate school behavior is available at the office.

If a teacher suspects a student of misbehaving, the teacher will report the incident to Bill Hammond. Mr. Bill will:

  1. Speak with the student and the teacher and any other appropriate people to determine the validity of the charge.
  2. Assign appropriate consequences.
  3. Place a note in the student’s file indicating that the incident has occurred.
  4. Notify the parents verbally and in writing if it is a major incident.
  5. If any parent remains concerned after this process, Mr. Bill will invite the parent to meet with him and the superintendent.

Academic Dishonesty

Administrators, faculty, students, and parents understand the pressures that result from competition and the importance of high performance. Nevertheless, because we clearly believe our students must be honest, we all need to work together to reduce the stress that could result in academic dishonesty. Therefore, during the opening days of school, teachers will instruct students about what constitutes academic dishonesty and how to avoid it.

Playground Rules

Because we teach care and respect at Marion Cross School, and we emphasize the importance of community, we work with students to achieve peaceful resolution of conflict. The following are the school’s playground rules:

  1. Always follow the instructions of the adults in charge of the playground.
  2. Play safely, so you are free from injury. Play within boundaries.
  3. Look out for the safety of others.
  4. Respect the feelings of others:
    • Include everyone in activities.
    • Do not be mean, name-call, tease, or bully.
    • No rough play, pushing, hitting, kicking, or holding.
    • Take turns on equipment.
    • Follow rules of games.
    5. Take care of school and town property.
    • Do not climb on trees or play behind bushes.
    • Return balls and play equipment to where they belong.
    6. Follow the playground equipment rules.
    • Swings: Take turns. No standing or kneeling. Don’t run under the swing or throw it over the top bar.
    • Tire Swing: Be sure everyone stands clear when in motion. No pushing the tire swing.
    • Structures: No jumping off. No touching, pushing, holding, or running. No standing or sitting on railing.
    • Slides: One person at a time going up the ladder. One person at a time going down the slide. No blocking others going up or coming down. No going down head first.
    • Balls: No hard balls are allowed during recess times. These include baseballs, softballs, lacrosse or golf balls.
    • Lacrosse: Lacrosse sticks are to be used for catch practice only. Only one student at a time can chase a ball. No stick hitting.
    • Ice Rink: Only students wearing ice skates, full hats (not headbands) and mittens and gloves are allowed to use the rink.
    7. Follow winter playground rules. Students must wear the outdoor clothing that they wore to school. Coats must be zipped and mittens on hands. Snow sculptures built by others must not be destroyed. Do not crawl under snow sculptures, forts, or houses. No snowball throwing. No playing outside of the fence that surrounds the village green.

Bullying and Harassment (Policy JICK)

Marion Cross School believes it is enriched by the diversity of its members. The school community recognizes and respects individual differences in background with regard to culture, race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic level, disability, and age. School district policy JICK specifically addresses bullying and harassment. Portions of this policy are included below. The full policy can be found on the SAU 70 website. The purpose of the school’s “anti-bullying/anti-harassment” policy is to prohibit bullying and/or harassment, as defined below, so that each member of the school community has an equal opportunity to work, learn, and develop to his or her full potential. This policy is not to be construed in such a way as to suppress respectful thought, study, or discussion about controversial issues.

Bullying is defined as:

“Any overt act or combination of such acts directed against a student by another student or group of students and which: (a) occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity; (b) is intended to ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate the student; and (c) is repeated over time.”

Harassment is defined as:

“An incident or incidents of verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by a student’s or a student’s family members actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or disability that has the purpose or effect of objectively and substantially undermining and detracting from, or interfering with a student’s educational performance or access to school resources or creating an objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.” If you are concerned that your child has been bullied or is the student who is the bully, please call the school. We want to work with you and your children to make this a nurturing community. If you feel that you or your child has been bullied or harassed, you and your child should talk to Katie Cormier, our guidance counselor, about how to handle this. Any alleged violation of this policy will be promptly investigated, in a confidential manner by appropriate staff. The school will keep records of all proceedings.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Marion Cross School has developed policies and procedures that are in compliance with the Vermont Department of Education Rule 4200. These policies prohibit the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs on school property. The complete policies are available in the main office. They refer to education, support, and referral of students involved in substance abuse.

Dress Code

The following is the Marion Cross School Dress Code:

  1. All student dress must be neat, clean, in good repair, and in good taste.
  2. Hats may not be worn in the school building.
  3. Shoes must be worn at all times. Bare feet are not allowed.
  4. Students may not wear winter boots in the school building during the school day.

Please be sure they have an extra pair of shoes at school. Students may be asked to go the nurse to find clothing from the lost and found that will cover extremely revealing fashions or that will keep a child warm when going outside. If you are in doubt about the suitability of your child’s clothing or appearance on a particular day, please call Katie Cormier, the school counselor, or Pam Hausler, the school nurse, for guidance.

Gum

Except for when medically necessary, there is no gum chewing allowed at Marion Cross School. Therefore, gum is not allowed on school property.

Elevator

The school elevator is available for use only by the physically disabled, those who are temporarily injured, or adults who have heavy loads. For the safety of all students, no student is permitted to use the elevator without specific permission from the front office.

Health And Safety

The school nurse maintains cumulative, confidential health records, performs health screenings, administers first aid and emergency treatment, and is available for consultation and health counseling. These services are available to all students. We ask parents to support our health program by filling out the following:

  1. Forms which request health and emergency information are sent home at the beginning of each school year and must be returned promptly.
  2. Emergency cards that provide the office with valuable information for contacting parents in the event of an illness or injury.
  3. Health Data Forms that provide updated information for each child’s cumulative health record. The school nurse must be informed of any changes to ensure that the health records are current.

Immunizations

Students entering school must be in compliance with the State of Vermont immunization requirements. You may find the Vermont Department of Health’s immunization regulations at http://healthvermont.gov/regs/documents/imm_regulations.pdf.

Illness at School

Parents will be called when their children are ill and unable to participate in classroom activities. If you receive a call, we ask that you arrange to pick your child up promptly. Please do not leave your child at school even if a call comes at an inconvenient time.

Medication Policy

If a student has a condition requiring treatment at school, medications will be dispensed by the school nurse or the Principal’s designee. Prescribed medications will be administered only if they are in a container with a prescription label and they are accompanied by a note from the parent giving the school permission. Over-the-counter medications will be administered with a note from the parents that clearly explains the circumstances and amounts. The nurse maintains a stock of epi-pens which may be used in case of emergency.

Communicable Diseases or Conditions

In order to contain the spread of contagious conditions, the school will follow guidelines of the Vermont Department of Health. Children will not be allowed to attend school if they have:

  • Chicken pox—until all spots have crusted over.
  • Conjunctivitis (pink-eye)—until 24 hours after start of antibiotic therapy.
  • Impetigo—until 24 hours after start of antibiotic therapy.
  • Pediculosis (head lice) and scabies—No student will be excluded from school solely due to the presence of head lice/nits.
  • Streptococcal Infections—until 24 hours after the start of antibiotic therapy

Animals

Since the health and safety of our students and employees are a top priority, students wishing to bring an animal into school for a special project or show-and-tell must receive prior permission from the Principal. The animal must be removed from the building once the purpose for its visit has been accomplished. Animals without up-to-date rabies protection are not allowed in school.

Safety Drills

Fire and other safety drills are held once a month and are practiced for a variety of situations. Once or twice each year we evacuate the whole school to Tracy Hall. Parents are not notified of these dates.

Internet Safety

Internet Safety is truly a comprehensive topic that includes education on both personal safety and proper netiquette. MCS teaches an Internet Safety curriculum as part of our educational process. Throughout the year our Counselor, Katie Cormier, and Technology Coordinator, John Minelli, conduct several classes in Internet Safety for grades K-6 students.

In addition, SAU 70 (and MCS) has an active Acceptable Use Policy for proper computer use and Internet Safety. That policy can be found at: http://sau70.org/policies/NorPolRegIJ/IJNDB_nor_Po...

Parents should be aware that during the school day our computers do have limited content filtering of inappropriate websites. We also believe, however, that the best content filter is not some piece of software running on a server, but a trusted teacher overseeing students’ work, and offering advice and guidance about getting the most learning out of using the Internet. Students are not allowed to use personal electronic devices (cell phones, iPads, etc) during the school day, and we discourage their bringing devices to school. We want to ensure that these expensive personal devices don’t get lost or stolen.

Other Important Information for Parents

Change in Residence or Other Personal Information

Please inform the school of any change in residence, mailing address, email addresses, telephone numbers, or family status.

Birthday Celebrations

If your child has a birthday and would like to celebrate by bringing a birthday treat to school, please take into consideration any student allergies and make sure that there is enough to share with everyone. Also, please coordinate this event with your child’s teacher well in advance of the date. If your child plans to invite friends to an after-school party, please do not distribute invitations at school, even if there is one for each member of the class.

Checks to Norwich School District

When making checks out for Marion Cross School milk, field trips, or other school expenses, please make them payable to: Norwich School District, not Marion Cross School.

Class Pictures

Individual student and class pictures are taken at school each fall. Parents will be notified of the exact date and time well in advance. These photos will be available for purchase.

Library Books

Students are allowed to have two books checked out at any one time, plus any books that relate to classroom assignments. These books may be checked out for a period of two weeks. If a student has an overdue book, only one more book may be checked out until the overdue book has been returned. If two books are overdue, no more books may be checked out until the overdue books have been returned. The exception is for books that are needed for classroom assignments.

If a student loses or damages a book, it must be replaced or paid for at the replacement cost. Please take care of this promptly so that your child can continue to check out books.

Local Action Plan

Vermont Act 60 requires schools throughout Vermont to write and implement a Local Action Plan. This plan is designed to improve the performance of all students in the school. It is written by a team of administrators, faculty, parents, community members and members of the school board.

The school board created a similar committee to write a three- to five-year LongRange Plan that takes the place of the annual Local Action Plan. A copy of this plan can be found in the appendix of this document.

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found is located near the elevator across from the library. Unidentifiable student belongings are placed there. Valuable items are kept in the office. Students and parents are encouraged to look in either place if they have lost something. At the end of each trimester, unclaimed items are donated to local non-profit organizations. T

o cut down on the amount of items that accumulate in the lost and found, please mark all of your child’s property (including clothing, lunch boxes, back packs, notebooks, and bikes) with his or her name.

Parent-Teacher Organization

The Marion Cross PTO was formed in the spring of 1993. This organization brings teachers and parents together to enrich the education of our students. It provides meaningful programs and events for parents, students, and teachers, and it engages in special projects that will support the school mission and community spirit.

All parents and staff are automatically members of the PTO. The success and vitality of the PTO depends upon the involvement of as many parents and teachers as possible. Meetings are held every other month. The PTO communicates regularly with the school community by means of its monthly newsletter, the “PTO Notes.”

If you have any questions please call the school office. The front-office personnel will put you in contact with our current officers.

School Board Meetings

School Board Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month in the school library at 7:00 p.m. The community is invited to the open sessions of each meeting. The Dresden School Board meets on the fourth Tuesday in Hanover. Minutes are posted on the SAU 70 website (www.sau70.org), and videos of meetings are available at the Norwich Public Library.

Student Appearance in Local News

From time to time, student activities are photographed by news organizations or video taped by the school or local television stations. Students are never individually identified without prior permission from a parent. If you do not want your child/children pictured in the news, please return the non-release form included in the information packet that you receive in the beginning of the school year.

Visits to School by Parents, Friends or Relatives

Parents are welcome to visit their child’s classes by appointment only. Please call ahead to your child’s teacher to make arrangements. If you are interested in sharing something special with a group of children, please let the classroom teacher know. Before visiting any class, all visitors must check in at the main office when entering the school building.

If your child has a friend or relative visiting from out of town, please do not send that person to school with your child. This can be very disruptive to the school day and very difficult for the teacher to manage.

How can parents help?

General Volunteering: Classroom, art room, library, field trips, science projects, long-range plan goal groups, etc.

The Marion Cross School has a long tradition of active volunteerism. If you would like to volunteer in a classroom, help with field trips, or take part in a special activity on a regular basis, please contact your child’s teacher. Also, each time you enter the school building to volunteer, please sign the Volunteer Notebook in the office. Contact Joy in the main office

Become active in the PTO

On the following pages, you will see a list of ways you can become involved in our very active PTO. Contact the Officers of the PTO

Become a substitute teacher

We always have a great need for more high-quality substitute teachers. Contact the SAU main offices

Give feedback on the school program or student work

Contact Mr. Bill in the main office

Serve on the school board or school board committees

Contact Tom Candon, School Board Chair

Attend events at the school: plays, Curriculum Night, Open House, the Norwich Community Picnic, Mayfest, among many other events.

Marion Cross School PTO (2017-2018)

What we do

The PTO organizes programs and events for parents, caregivers, students and teachers and engages in special projects that will support the school mission and community spirit. We work to connect and communicate with the school community by providing the MCS directory, monthly newsletters, and having a PTO representative from each classroom. The PTO organizes over 30 programs and special events including family support programs, community outreach and social activities, educational enrichment programs, and staff support. The PTO is also dedicated to fundraising to support the school staff and enhance the educational experiences of MCS students. Twice a year we offer an opportunity for teachers, staff, and families to apply for grants to help augment the MCS curriculum and programs. The majority of our funding comes from donations from our members. As an added “thank you,” dues-paying members receive an annual directory.

2017-2018 Meeting Dates

All meetings are held from 8:15-9:15 a.m. in the MCS Library, unless otherwise specified. All MCS parents, caregivers, teachers and staff are welcome and encouraged to come learn more about our events and programs and share your ideas.

Friday, September 8
Friday, November 3
Wednesday, January 10 @ 7 p.m. (Norwich Inn)
Friday, March 16
Friday, May 4

Who we are

The Marion Cross PTO was formed in the spring of 1993. This organization brings teachers, parents, and caregivers together to enrich the education of our students. The success and vitality of the PTO depends upon the involvement of as many families and teachers as possible. We consider all MCS parents, caregivers, teachers and staff to be PTO members, and also encourage all to become dues-paying members to help support our programs and grants..

Co-Chairs:

Susan Simmers, susan_simmers@yahoo.com
Emma Cottage, ejcottage@hotmail.com

Treasurer:Tonya Gammell, Tonya.Gammell@hypertherm.com

Secretary:Hillary Campfield, hillarycampfield@gmail.com

Communications

MCS Directory — Jessica Eakin
The school directory is created by the PTO every fall and contains class and family contact information. It is available in both print and online formats and, as our way of saying “thank you!” is provided to dues-paying members. For membership dues of $25, families can choose to receive either a printed directory or access to the directory online ($15 for staff). For membership dues of $35 or more, families will receive both a print directory and access to the online version ($20 for staff). Additional printed copies are available for $10 each.

PTO News – Mark Lilienthal
The PTO News is a monthly newsletter for the school community. It provides valuable information regarding upcoming school and community events, interviews with MCS staff and local businesses, as well as recaps of recent events.

PTO Website — Susan Simmers, Emma Cottage & Liz Gemignani
Join us to keep up-t0-date with PTO news, events and last minute changes. The PTO is always there to keep you informed. Find us via the MCS website or directly at http://marioncrosspto.weebly.com.

Facebook Page — Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
Search for “Marion Cross PTO” to find us on Facebook and to check out the latest reminders of upcoming events and other useful MCS information.

PTO Class Reps — Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
A representative from each class serves as a communication liaison between the teacher and class parents and helps to share information about both PTO and class events.

Family Support Programs

Welcome Back to School Breakfast — Maggie Pepper & Lauren Adams
Held on the first day of school just after the morning bell rings, parents and caregivers are invited opportunity to socialize and reconnect while enjoying coffee and breakfast treats.

New Parent Night — Jill Collins & Noelle Lamperti
In September, all new MCS parents are invited to come learn about the school, meet the principal, staff members, PTO officers and other new families.

Supplemental Food Project — Katie Loughman
Volunteers stock MCS with healthy food for children who have mishaps with their lunches or snacks or are still hungry after eating the food they’ve been provided. This is different from the federally funded program that provides breakfasts/lunches for families that meet certain financial requirements.

MCS Lost & Found — Melanie Michel
Student volunteers perform weekly round-ups of items left on the MCS playground and help organize the bins and racks of the Lost & Found. Unclaimed items are used during the school year by students in need. At the end of the school year, all unclaimed items are donated to Vermont’s Department of Children and Family Services.

Social Activities and School Spirit

Bike-to-School Days — Dan McGinley-Smith
Held in the fall and spring, Main Street is closed off while students (and Mr. Bill!) bike to school from Huntley Meadows, the Norwich Public Library or from home.

Tea Towels — Caitlin Eastman, Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
Each student draws a self-portrait in art class and all of them are silk-screened onto cotton tea (dish) towels with the MCS logo and school year in the center. They are terrific mementos and make great holiday gifts!

Book Buzz — Lisa Christie, Joy Blongewicz, Becky French, Ania White, Emily Biolsi
Based on the popular Pages in the Pub event for adults, Book Buzz allows kids to be the experts and present their favorite books. Students in grades 4-6 review books they recommend for preschool and elementary aged kids to read or receive for the holidays. Books can be ordered at the end of the event from the Norwich Bookstore with the added benefit that 20% of the proceeds go to the MCS PTO.

Gift-Making Festival — Megan Tompkins, Amy Downard & Laura DiPiazza
This community-wide event, held in early December, involves gift making and a lot of holiday spirit! Children, with the supervision of volunteers, craft hand-made gifts for their families and friends.

Family Skating Party — Jill Collins
The PTO partners with the Norwich Recreation Department to provide an afternoon of ice-skating, hot chocolate and fun on the Norwich Green’s ice skating rink.

Bingo Night — Lydia Starosta
A family-friendly night in the winter or spring for kids and adults to play BINGO and win prizes.

Mud Stomp — Becky French
A rousing contradance for the whole family led by professional caller David Millstone & his band. Held in March.

Big Hoot Variety Show — Tracy Zuckerman, Katie Kitchel, Jenn Langhus & Katie Bucci
A magical talent night held in the spring, filled with music, entertainment, and joy starring MCS students from all grades.

MCS SpiritWear Store — Nicole Torres & Jennifer Shaevel Hopkins
A shop for activewear and accessories to show your MCS spirit.


Staff & School Support

PTO Grants and Finance Committee — Susan Simmers, Emma Cottage, Tonya Gammell, Hillary Campfield & Ashley Clapp
Every fall and spring, the PTO accepts grant requests from teachers and staff, parents and caregivers for the purpose of MCS student enrichment. The Finance Committee reviews and allocates funds for these requests. Almost $6800 in grants were awarded during the 2016-17 school year.

The Giving Tree — Chelsea Nolon
During the holiday season, teachers and staff submit requests for class materials, games, books, etc. This resource allows families and classes to purchase needed or suggested gifts for the classroom or school.

Sunshine Committee — Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
Organizes celebrations within the school, such as retirements and concert flowers.

Fall Feast — Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
A scrumptious lunch is provided by K-3 parent volunteers for the entire staff at MCS in appreciation of all their work and dedication to MCS.

Valentine’s Day Breakfast — Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
A breakfast feast is provided by parent volunteers from grades 4-6 for the entire staff at MCS as a way to recognize all they do for our students and school.

Pie Day — Corin Benedict & Tamar Schreibman
Held in May to coincide with Teacher Appreciation Day, parent volunteers bake pies for each staff member of MCS.


Community Outreach

Food Drives — Megan Anderson & Maya Barnes
Collections of food and other needed items are held throughout the school year benefitting various non-profit organizations in the Upper Valley.

Community Gardens — Samantha Candon
Maintain and manage the flower gardens around the school.

Vegetable Garden — Molly Riordan & Lindsay Putnam
Maintain and manage the school vegetable garden and organize various events to share produce from the garden with students, including Harvest Day in the fall and Salad Day in the spring.

Halloween Candy Collection & Distribution — Jill Collins & Molly Gentine
Halloween candy is collected from out-of-village Norwich families and distributed to the in-village families to be handed out to the 500+ children who come trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Norwich Public Library Display — Kathryn Kelly
A public relations program that displays MCS students’ work in the front entrance of the Norwich Public Library.

Fundraising Programs

Membership Dues
Membership dues provide the majority of the funding in the PTO budget, and allow us to offer all the programs listed here, including the bi-annual grants given to the MCS community. The membership dues drive takes place in the fall, in conjunction with the production of the MCS directory (each dues-paying member receives a directory as our way of saying “thank you!”). For membership dues of $25, families can choose to receive either a printed directory or access to the directory online ($15 for staff). For membership dues of $35 or more, families will receive both a print directory and access to the online version ($20 for staff).

Box Tops for Education — Seeking Box Top Coordinators to Continue this Program
Collected box tops are used to raise funds to purchase items to enrich students’ MCS experience. In the past several challenges were held throughout the year for classrooms to compete to collect the most box tops.

Local Business Partners — Jennifer Langhus
Local businesses make a contribution in support of PTO programs, and in return the PTO educates the MCS community about these businesses via the PTO website and PTO news.

All-school Activities and Special Events*

*This list does not include school-wide events sponsored by the PTO. Please refer to PTO section of this publication for a complete list.

REP

REP, short for “repertoire,” is an all-school sharing time held on Thursdays from 2:15 PM to 3:00 PM. In this informal performance setting, children and adults present instrumental and vocal music, poetry, stories, plays, skits, dance routines, magic tricks, and gymnastic demonstrations. Much of the shared work is organized and rehearsed by the students. It is a valued time in the life of the school community and parents are invited to attend.

LEEEP

LEEEP stands for “Learning about the Environment through Experiential Education Program,” and it is currently under the direction of LEEEP coordinator Lindsay Putnam who teaches environmental education and encourages stewardship of the environment by working with the students during class time, on Green-up Days, and with other community-service projects.

Mayfest

Mayfest is an annual celebration in which each class performs traditional folk songs and dances. Parents, families, and community members are invited.

Field Day

Field Day is a special event for all grades that is held in the late spring. All students participate in non-competitive activities out on the green. (This is an event that parents are not expected to attend.)

Sixth-Grade Celebration

At the end of each year, Marion Cross School celebrates the accomplishments of its sixth graders and their movement to the Richmond Middle School. This event includes a short ceremony, a picnic, and a dance the same night. If you are a sixth-grade parent and would like to work with Bill Hammond to plan this event, please contact Joy.

Marion Cross School Local Action Plan

Marion Cross School is a nurturing kindergarten through sixth-grade public school that:

  • Promotes educational excellence and fosters a life-long love of learning.
  • Empowers all students to realize their intellectual, physical, emotional, creative, and social potential.
  • Partners with families and the community to develop responsible local and global citizens who can adapt to a changing world.
Goal 1: Social Studies
To improve the instructional program and alignment in Social Studies.
Action Steps:
  • Accommodate time during 6 faculty meetings for the Social Studies Curriculum Committee to lead and work with all faculty to align and improve the social studies curriculum
  • Establish, continue, and resurrect experiential learning sequences in each grade so that students understand history viscerally

Success Criteria:

  • Keep data on how often the Social Studies Curriculum Committee meets with the whole faculty.
  • Keep tract that events like Immigration Day, Oregon Trail, the Biography Tea, and the Greek Olympics are supported and occur.

Goal 2: Writing
To improve the instructional program and alignment in writing.
Action Steps:

  • Implement ideas in grades 4-6 based on the Writing Institute at Columbia University
  • Schedule sharing with all faculty so that writing is pervasive in every students’ curriculum
Success Criteria:
  • Positive trend on student success on the writing portion of the SBACs.
  • Teacher satisfaction with student performance.
  • Parent satisfaction via surveys.

Goal 3: Science
To improve the instructional program and alignment in Science
Action Steps:
  • Follow up on the implementation of NGSS alignment from 2016-17 as proposed by the Science Curriculum Committee
  • Follow up with each individual teacher to ensure that the K-6 program set up by the Science Curriculum Committee is being implemented by each teacher
  • Insert reminders in the faculty meetings about the availability and ubiquity of science instructional and curricular resources

Success Criteria:
  • Identify changes made in teachers’ implementation of the science curriculum
  • Keep track of the number of times science committee members present at faculty meetings
  • Track the trend of the fourth-grade (and soon to be fifth-grade) science NECAP scores
  • Track the number of times that the LEEEP Coordinator is able to work with each grade


Goal 4: Sustainability
To improve our whole program's impact on the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of our school and community.
Action Steps:

  • Invite Jen Cirillo from Shelburne Farms to present the sustainability idea in August to faculty and local leaders; sustain her return to the school
  • Keep track of composting data for the school
  • Keep track of solar electricity data for the school
  • Involve Norwich Selectboard, Town Manager, and community members to ensure that we have communicated with all our constituents
Success Criteria:
  • Jen Cirillo comes three times to Marion Cross School in 2017-18
  • Parent volunteer present composting data to students at Rep
  • Monitor electricity generated by solar via the Solaflect website
  • Develop other elements of environmental, social, and economic sustainability through our LEEEP program and other options
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