Student Handbook

Westhill Handbook

Our mission as a school community is to challenge students to grow intellectually and personally to become productive citizens in a diverse society.  We do this by focusing on standards-based instruction, creating a safe environment, and providing the time and resources necessary for all students to learn.

Our Westhill Way

At Westhill we are RESPECTFUL.
At Westhill we are RESPONSIBLE.
At Westhill we are SAFE.

Welcome Mustangs!  

An important link to student success in school is a close relationship between school and family.  We value a meaningful and cooperative relationship with parents and our community and hope that you will become a full time partner with us in your student’s education. 
     
Another factor contributing to effective schools is having a safe, civil, and healthy learning environment.  Please read over the behavior expectations and discuss them as a family.  Students and our entire community will enjoy the rewards of a respectful and positive learning community.  Learning is an interactive process between teachers and students.  Please help your student maintain good attendance, arrive at school on time, well rested, and healthy so they can be at their best each day.

WESTHILL ELEMENTARY CONTACT INFORMATION 
AND SCHOOL HOURS 

19515 88th Avenue N.E.
Bothell, WA   98011
(425) 408-5500
Attendance Line:  (425) 408-5510
Website: www.nsd.org/westhill

Westhill Office Hours
8:55am - 4:30pm

School Hours
9:35am – 4:05
*Before School Supervision begins at 9:15 am
 
Early Release Wednesdays
9:35am - 2:35pm
 

EMERGENCY SCHEDULE
Emergencies and weather-related problems can alter school schedules and affect bus transportation for students.  
 
Families will receive a telephone message from the district if there is a change to the school schedule. (Morning calls will be made before 6 a.m.) Families who do not want the interruption of an early morning or evening inclement weather call can opt out of receiving them by contacting the Communications Department at 425.408.7670. You will still receive general announcement and emergency phone calls. 

When school begins 2 hours late, Westhill will start at 11:35am.

If no schedule change information is posted, schools and buses are on their regular schedules.

You may also call (425)408-5500 and press “9” for our emergency schedule.

COMMUNICATION
Effective student learning is based on close communication between the home and school.  To assist in developing communication a school newsletter, the Mustang Monitor, will be published monthly, sent electronically and posted on-line.  This newsletter contains dates and school information that you may need to help make the school experience more successful for your student.  Many classrooms have their own newsletters or digital tool to share specific classroom news as well.   Westhill has a website you can access for up-to-date information and this site also includes the newsletter. The address is: nsd.org/westhill
VOICEMAIL: 425-408-5500  
Voicemail is available 24 hours a day.  You may use this line to report absences, receive emergency information and directions to school. Teachers check their classroom voicemail regularly but may not be able to get to your message until after the school dismisses for the day. 

EMAIL:  
All staff may be reached by email.  Staff will respond in a timely fashion.  Addresses are the initial of the first name and the whole last name, followed by @nsd.org (all in lower case).  Check the website for a list of staff email addresses. 

ABSENCES/SAFE ARRIVAL
Each day of school is important to your child; we encourage regular attendance.  When your child is absent, you must phone school to inform us and state a reason why your student is absent.  You may call our Attendance Line at 425 408-5510 to leave a voice mail message.  If we do not hear from you, we will call you at home for the “safe arrival” information.
•    Keep your home and work numbers and emergency contact numbers current in our files.
•    Without parent contact the absence will be recorded as “unexcused”. You may send a note with your child when they return to school, stating the reason for the absence. 

LATE ARRIVAL
Students arriving late to school (after the 2nd bell) must check into the office upon arrival.  Students will be asked to state the reason they are late and a tardy slip will be issued for permission to go to class.  The principal monitors the rate of attendance and tardiness on an on-going basis.  If there are extenuating circumstances causing increased tardiness and/or absences, please notify the office.

LEAVING SCHOOL DURING THE DAY
For the protection of the children, parent cooperation
of the following procedures is required:
•    Students leaving school during the day should bring a signed note from the parent or guardian permitting us to excuse child.
•    Adults MUST sign students out from the office.
•    Adults MUST be identified on the emergency card in order to check out a student.  You may be asked to provide identification.  

AFTER SCHOOL CHANGE OF PLANS
We understand that changes in afternoon dismissal plans are sometimes unavoidable.  We make every effort to assist families when this occurs by getting messages to students before dismissal.  In order to ensure your student receives your message, we ask that you call the main office before 3:00 pm.  Accepting messages late in the day potentially compromises the safety of students because there is no guarantee those messages will reach the student if dismissal procedures have already begun.  

Please have your student make “play dates” BEFORE arriving to school and send notes and bus pass requests if necessary.  Students are not allowed to use the phone to make personal calls to change their after school plans during the school day.

BUS PASSES
All students who ride a bus after school must ride to their assigned bus stop, unless a bus pass has been issued.  Here is the basic information for bus passes:
•    A bus pass must be authorized with a written note from the student’s parent or guardian. and signed by authorized school personnel. BUS PASSES WILL NOT BE ISSUED DURING THE FIRST MONTH OF SCHOOL.
•    Send a note to school with your student and have him/her take it to the office, before school, to receive a bus pass.  If your student is going home with someone else, please give the student’s name and/or address and bus number.
•    Some buses are too crowded to allow bus passes.  A request for a bus pass does not guarantee it will be allowed.
•    Questions can be directed to the Transportation Department at (425) 408-7900.

LUNCH – BREAKFAST
A nutritious and well-balanced lunch is available each day.  Lunch prices are listed on the website and lunch menu.  Milk is included with lunch or can be purchased separately.  Lunch may be purchased daily or by our Bank-A-Meal program, which scans a lunch card.  This works much like a checking account, so it is important to make sure your student has money in their account. You may pay by check (made out to NSD) through your teacher or the main office.  You may use a credit card through PayPams, 1-888-994-5100, or www.paypams.com.  PayPams will charge a transaction fee and takes one day to activate.   

Reduced or free lunch is available to those families who qualify as a result of limited income.  Each family should receive a form in the mail during the summer, or you may request one from the office. 
    
Breakfast – Breakfast is served by PTSA volunteers. Breakfast is available by mid-September.

VISITING SCHOOL
Adult visitors are always welcome at our school.  Visitors must sign-in at the office and put on a visitor nametag.  This helps our staff and student body recognize a visitor and provides a safety factor for our school.  Please arrange class visits and conferences with teachers in advance.  Remember, that during the school day the teacher is engaged in teaching and preparing lessons and will not be able to converse with visitors.

VOLUNTEERS
The talents, expertise and interest of volunteers at school enhance our student’s school lives.  There are many volunteer opportunities at school, such as assisting in the library, health room and classrooms.  All volunteers are required to complete a Northshore School District Application and Volunteer Disclosure form and a Washington State Patrol form for background check.

Field trips are taken as a regular part of our educational program. In order to provide adequate supervision, we ask for parent volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer please let your student’s teacher know.  You will be asked to complete a volunteer application 48 hours prior to going on the field trip.

PTSA INVOLVEMENT     
Research shows that students are more successful if their parents or caregivers are involved in the school.  Look for the PTSA information on their website and newsletters.  Westhill has an excellent PTSA, which is proud of doing a wonderful job of supporting school activities.  Throughout the year, you are invited to our many family activities.  Please note, all students must be accompanied by a parent or adult for all family events.

Remember that PTSA has a long-standing tradition of parents supporting students in our schools and I hope you will consider joining in their efforts throughout the year.  Working together, we can make a positive difference for all of our children.    

THE WESTHILL WAY
The Westhill Way applies to all areas of the school, in the classrooms, on the playground, at bus stops, and on the bus.  These expectations will assure a safe and happy environment that promotes student learning.
1.    Be respectful.
2.    Be responsible.
3.    Be safe. 
When necessary, individual consequences are used to help students learn better behavior choices.


BIKES, SKATEBOARDS, SCOOTERS, SKATES
The Northshore School District has a policy of no bicycle riding to and from school.  This is because of so many busy streets without sidewalks.  The district also prohibits the use of skateboards, scooters, and rollerblades on school grounds.  This equipment damages the concrete and can create a hazard for other people on campus.  After hours, if a student needs multiple reminders to follow these guidelines, the authorities will be contacted.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Parents need to be certain their student knows what to do in the case of a catastrophic event before and after school.  It is essential that an emergency plan be worked out with your student when you are not home.  THIS PLAN SHOULD NOT BE DEPENDENT ON THE USE OF A TELEPHONE.
In the event of an earthquake, students will not be released from school without a parent, guardian, or emergency contact person. Be sure your emergency numbers are always up to date. The school is prepared to shelter students up to 72 hours.  The Northshore School District and the PTSA have worked together to provide medical/emergency/ training and equipment to ensure the student’s safety.
In the event of an emergency/disaster (such as a fire or earthquake) requiring an evacuation, all students will be taken to the sand field and held there until their parents pick them up or it is safe to move students to a covered area.  When parents arrive at school they should go to the Student Release Team in the front of the school.  It is important to follow instructions so we can accurately account for all students.  
In other emergencies (such as power outages or snow storms) students will be kept in their classrooms until the end of the school day. Parents may pick their students up early by signing them out in the office.   Important information may be sent out via email or robo call to those parents who have signed up with our Westhill Announce List (also used for newsletters).
Fire, earthquake drills, and other drills are held routinely during school hours.  Students are trained to be prepared in the hopes that in the event of an emergency, their response will be automatic.  

GRADE REPORTING
The Northshore School District has a semester reporting system at the elementary level.  This system divides the school year into 2 parts with a parent-teacher conference in the fall and additional conferences at teacher discretion in the spring.  At the conclusion of each semester, each student will receive a written report card.  All students receive a progress report after the first quarter.  Students may receive a progress report after the third quarter if there are any academic or behavior concerns. Report cards reflect student progress toward grade level standards.
    
This reporting system is only one way of communicating students’ progress with parents.  The most effective communication regarding student work is two-way communication between the home and school.  You are encouraged to keep in contact regarding your student’s progress at any time by writing, emailing, or calling your student’s teacher.


GRADE LEVEL CURRICULUM NIGHTS

In September, all classes will hold Curriculum Nights for parents only.  They will learn about the academic and behavior expectations for students and curriculum standards for each content area.  These are very important evenings.  

Your student’s teacher will send home information with specific dates.

INSURANCE
A private company offers an accident insurance policy covering the student while engaged in school activities and while traveling to and from school.   Please ask in the office for further information.

HEALTH PROGRAM
Health Room
Our Registered Nurse serves our building. His/her duties are diverse, from administering first aid and necessary medication to monitoring the general health and well-being of our students. Our health room is used for emergency care and for ill students awaiting pick-up.
Space and personnel are not available to accommodate extended care or supervision. We require that you or an emergency contact will pick up your sick child within the hour that you are called. 

Please keep the nurse informed of any health concerns or changes in your child's health, including new or resolved medical or mental health diagnosis, medication changes and immunization updates.
For your child’s safety it is very important to keep your home, cell, work, and emergency contact telephone numbers current. If you change jobs or cell phone numbers, please give us your new number immediately. This will assist us getting in touch with you when it is an emergency. 

Children learn best when they are healthy. If you think your child is getting sick, please keep him/her home. This helps keep other children from getting sick and gives your child the rest he/she needs to get well quickly. 

When Should I Keep my Child Home from School?
•    A temperature, taken orally, that is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, is considered a fever. Children should be fever-free, without fever reducing medication, for at least 24 hours before sending them to school.
•    Anytime a child vomits or has diarrhea, he/she needs to be isolated from other children for 24 hours. If your child vomits or has diarrhea in the night, keep him/her home from school the following day.
•    Any rash of unknown cause should be considered contagious. Please have your child examined by a healthcare provider to determine the cause and communicability of the rash before sending him/her to school. The child may not return to school unless there is a letter from the medical professional stating that the rash is not communicable in nature, or unless the rash is no longer present.
•    24 hours after administration of the first dose of an antibiotic or as directed by the health care provider. 


Accidents

If a child is injured at school, he/she will be given emergency first-aid treatment by the nurse, principal,
school secretary, or a first aid-trained health room assistant. The parents will be called immediately in the event of a serious injury. If you are not at home or work, the person listed as the "First Emergency" contact will be called. If no one is available to come for the child, we will use our best judgment on whether to keep the child in the nurse's office or call 911 for medical assistance. 

Children with Life Threatening Conditions
In order to provide a safe learning environment, the state of Washington passed a law that requires students with life threatening conditions to have medical orders and a nursing care plan in place BEFORE the first day of school attendance. (Chapter 101, Laws of 2002, amending Chapter 28A.210 RCW)

The law defines life-threatening condition as “a health condition that will put the child in danger of death during the school day if a medication or treatment order and a nursing plan are not in place.” Children with life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, severe bee sting or food allergies, severe asthma, severe seizures, etc., are required to have a medication or treatment order in place before they start school.

“Medication or treatment order” means the authority a registered nurse obtains under RCW 18.79.260(2).  This is covered when the child’s licensed health care provider completes the Authorization for Medication form or treatment order for medical services to be performed at the school. 
If a medication or treatment order is not provided, the principal of the school is required to exclude the child until such an order is provided.  This requirement applies to students with life-threatening conditions who are new to the district, and students who are already attending the school. 

If your child has a life-threatening health condition requiring medical services at school, or if you have questions about a medical condition, please notify the school nurse right away. 
Students with a life-threatening condition qualify for a 504 Accommodation/Emergency Care Plan. 
Please set up a meeting with the school nurse in order to have all necessary forms and medications in place prior to starting school.

Health Screening
Health screening for hearing and vision is done each Fall in grades K-3, 5th and 7th. Other students may be screened for hearing or vision upon referral by the teacher or parent. The vision screening does not identify all vision problems and is not intended as a substitute for periodic eye examinations by a healthcare provider. A referral letter will be sent home when a student’s hearing and/or vision screening results do not meet the expectations for their age. 

Immunization
For the protection of your child, the Washington State immunization law states that every child attending public or private school must show proof of compliance with the law before the student’s first day of attendance. Northshore School District requires healthcare provider verification of student immunizations. Any student not meeting this requirement will be excluded. Bothell Health Point (425-486-0658) accepts medical coupons and has a sliding fee scale. If you need assistance in acquiring these immunizations, please contact the school nurse.

Medications at School

If your student will be taking ANY medication at school, you must confer with the school nurse.

The Northshore School District recommends that medication be taken at home whenever possible. We recognize, however, that in some cases it is essential that medication be administered during the school day. For the protection of all the students and to comply with Washington state law, the district has a policy and procedures in place for the handling of ALL medications in the schools.

Please do not put any kind of medicine, including aspirin, vitamins, and cough drops in your child's lunch box, backpack or pockets. Unidentified medicine can never be given at school.  Students who require use of a narcotic for pain control should be kept home.

School Staff Administered - The following conditions must be met:

√    All medications, whether over-the-counter (except sunscreen) or prescription, need a current Northshore Medication Authorization Form signed by the student's healthcare provider/dentist and parent/guardian.
√    Medication must be delivered to school in a properly labeled prescription or original over-the-counter container. The student's name must be on the label with proper identification of the drug, dosage, and directions for administration.
√    A quantity sufficient for one month only can be sent to school.
√    The medication order is effective for the current school year only.
√    If changes in the medication order occur, the parent is responsible for notifying the school and providing verification from the healthcare provider/dentist.

Student Self-Administered Medication - The following conditions must be met:

In appropriate cases and with the knowledge of the school nurse, the parent/guardian can delegate the responsibility for self-administration of medication to the student. In doing so, the parent releases the school district from any obligation to monitor the student and assumes full responsibility for the student's use of the medication.

√    Self-Administration does not apply to controlled substances, e.g. codeine, vicodin
√    The student may only carry a one-day supply (1 - 2 doses) of the medication.
√    The medication must be in the original container.
√    The student must have written permission to self-medicate signed by the parent/guardian.

Medication to be self-administered for more than fifteen (15) consecutive days whether over-the-counter or prescription requires a current Northshore Medication Authorization Form signed by the student's healthcare provider/dentist and parent/guardian stating that the student may self-medicate. The student must also demonstrate his/her ability to the School Nurse to correctly evaluate his/her symptoms and use the medication appropriately.

Asthma and Anaphylaxis medications:
When a parent requests that his/her student be allowed to self-administer medication for asthma and/or anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), an Authorization for Medication must be filled out and signed by the health care provider and parent/guardian. The permission form must contain a treatment plan for what to do in case of an emergency.
The health care provider must also provide training for the student to recognize symptoms and the correct use of medications. Additionally, the student must demonstrate his/her ability to correctly evaluate his/her symptoms and use of medications to the school nurse including how to access help when needed. (RCW 28A.210.370 and School District Policy 3419)

Field Trips: For students on daily medication, request an extra labeled container from your pharmacy for used for field trips.


STUDENT DRESS STANDARDS
Experience has shown that there is a relationship between behavior and dress. We trust that students and families will work together in making appropriate choices for school clothing.
•    Clothing which contains reference to alcohol, drugs, inappropriate language should not be worn to school.  
•    Pants and shorts should adequately cover underwear. 
•    Tops need to cover midriff and have secure straps. 
•    Sandals, “flip-flops’ and heels are not appropriate for PE or playground activities.  
•    Roller shoes are not permitted at school. 
PICTURES
Westhill takes individual student pictures in the fall. Classroom/group pictures are taken in the spring.  Memory Books are also sold in the spring.  Those students who purchased a Memory Book will receive them sometime during the last week of school.

DRIVING STUDENTS TO AND FROM SCHOOL 
Please stay in your car to drop off and pick up your student.  When walking your student to class or dropping by the office, even for a few minutes, please park in the designated stalls and use the crosswalks.  We ask that all drivers and pedestrians be extremely careful on school grounds at all times. Never walk between cars and buses. Following these simple rules will set a good example for our students and help to ensure everyone’s safety.

PARKING
Please park in the designated areas only.  Never park or load in the bus-loading zone.  Do not leave your vehicle parked in the red zone.  This area is for emergency responders.  Vehicles in the red zone or load/unload area must have a driver behind the wheel in case of an emergency. Handicapped zones are available to anyone with the appropriate authorization sticker.    
WESTHILL ELEMENTARY PLAYGROUND EXPECTATIONS
Students are expected to treat each other with kindness and respect.  Recess is a time for fun, but safety is a must!

Our recess team meets with students at the beginning of each year to educate students about specific recess expectations. We use or Behavior Matrix of Respectful, Responsible, and Safe to help students understand appropriate behaviors for the playground.

VALUABLES
We do not generally allow students to bring personal or family items to school, especially those items of value.  Items can become lost, stolen or accidentally damaged.  The school does not take responsibility for lost or damaged items.  Arrangements should be made with the teacher for bringing “show and tell” items to school.  Trading cards and hand-held electronic games are prohibited during the day at school.  If they are allowed for use on the bus, they must remain in backpacks when a child is not on the bus.  Occasionally, classrooms will have a special day when students may bring these items to school.  You will always receive a notice from your child’s teacher if they are allowed on a particular day. 

CELL PHONES
Cell phone use on campus is not allowed by students.  If a student owns a cell phone, it must be turned off and kept in their backpack.  Cell phones used at school will be confiscated and must be picked up by parents in the office if a violation occurs. 

SAFETY ITEMS
The Northshore Schools are designated drug, firearms, cigarette, and alcohol-free zones.  Students are prohibited from bringing matches, firearms, fireworks, knives, cigarettes, drugs of any kind, or any other item that could be considered hazardous to the safety and health of themselves and/or others. Objects used as a weapon or that look like weapons, such as toy guns or knives will be treated in the same manner as real weapons.  Consequences for possession of any of these items are very serious.   

PETS
Dogs, no matter how friendly and gentle, are a danger on a school playground full of children.  Please aid us in ensuring the safety of our students by keeping dogs at home.  Teacher approval should be sought before bringing pets to school, even for a short time.  Pets are not allowed on the school bus.

PRIVACY DISCLOSURE POLICY
It is very important that the emergency information we have on your family be current and accurate.  Federal Law prohibits schools from releasing information about our students without the consent of parents or guardians EXCEPT for what is termed “directory information.”

Directory information (at the elementary level) is defined as the student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, dates of enrollment, photographs, most recent school attended, awards, and participation in officially recognized activities.  

The most common request we receive is for mailing labels for our families.  These mailing labels might be used for a school-wide or district-wide letter which we believe should be sent through the U.S. mail, or requests from non-commercial groups such as the Citizens Committee, (levy/bond information), the Northshore Public Education Foundation, or the Northshore Performing Arts Foundation.  

If you DO NOT want to have directory information given out, please fill out the Directory Information Withhold/Release Form and/or notify the main office in writing. 

Please know if you choose to withhold information as indicated on the Directory Information Withhold/Release Form,  your student will not be in the Student Directory, Memory Book or class picture and will not be included in release of information to PTSA .