Parent and Student Guidelines
Arrival & Attendance
Safe Arrival Hotline - 425-408-5510 (24-hour voicemail)
We ask that you call the Safe Arrival Hotline by 10:15 am if your child is going to be late to school or absent that day. This includes appointments. When leaving a message please include your child's name, their teacher's name and the reason for their absence.
If you know that you will be out of town please leave a message with the dates that your child will be gone.
A key focus for the school this year will be timely student arrivals and minimizing student absences. As a school, we believe that student attendance and tardiness issues are barriers to student achievement. We believe that strong school to home relationships can support students in maximizing their educational experience.
In the case of an absent student, unless the student's parent/guardian has already contacted the school informing them that their child will be out that day, the school will contact the parent/guardian to let them know that their child did not arrive at school. Once contact with the parent/guardian is made the parent/guardian will have two (2) weeks to contact the school with an explanation for the absence. It is expected that normally the reason provided for the student's absence would be illness. In all cases, if communication is not received from the parent/guardian explaining the absence within a two (2) week window it will be considered an unexcused absence.
Washington State Law requires parents/guardians to inform the school of student absences. Please report your child's absence and reason for absence before 10:15 a.m. at 425.408.5510. Student absences need to be reported in writing, by phone, or in person to the school office. Teachers will not be able to properly document planned absences; therefore, report those absences to the office as well. In addition, due to new district guidelines, absences may not be reported by email.
Westhill Elementary will strictly adhere to provisions of Washington State's "Becca Bill". In brief, Becca truancy laws require schools to:
• Inform parents in writing or by phone after one unexcused absence in one month.
Schedule a parent conference after two unexcused absences in one month.
Enter into a formal agreement with the student and parent regarding attendance; or, referral to a Community Truancy Board; or, file a truancy petition, if a student has five unexcused absences in a month.
File a truancy petition with the juvenile court if a student has seven unexcused absences in a month, or ten unexcused absences in a year.
File a contempt motion if a student is not in compliance with a court order resulting from a truancy petition.
Student illness presents many difficulties for families. We want to support the home in ensuring students are at school as much as possible. Please contact Dana Whitehurst, principal or Judy Harkess, school nurse, if there are any confidential concerns or issues that we can support you with.
Arrival & Dismissal Procedures
Students may begin arriving on campus at 9:15am. They should go to their classrooms set down their bag and then head out to the playground where there will be adult supervision. If your child is eating breakfast then they will need to go to the gym.
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.
At the end of the school day your child will come to you in the designated parent pick up area at the front of the school in the under cover area. Please do not walk down to your child's classroom. If you are picking up your child before the final bell rings at 4:05 then please go to the main office. Our office staff will help assist you by calling the classroom to have your child meet you at the office.
Please report changes to your student's daily routine by sending a note to your child's teacher. Changes that require students to ride a bus different than their usual transportation requires a note from home. Please indicate who the student will be riding with and the bus number they will need to ride, if known. Play dates should be arranged before school; phone calls home during the school day to arrange play dates are prohibited.
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.
When you first arrive on our campus please go to the Main Office to sign in and pick up your visitor's badge. All visitors are required to have and display their visitor badge. This helps our staff and student body recognize a visitor and provides a safety factor for our school. Please be aware you will be asked to check in with the office if we cannot see your visitor badge.
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 about specifics about their child. They would be happy to arrange a time with you outside of the school day.
OUR TRAFFIC MOTTO: PLEASE BE KIND, COURTEOUS AND SAFE!
PLEASE FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT SAFETY AND SMOOTH TRAFFIC FLOW:
Where may I “drive through” to drop-off or pick-up my child?
Cars will ENTER through the center entry way between Westhill and Sorenson. You will then turn left and pull all the way forward to allow the greatest number of cars to be in line. Students will unload/load from the curbside of the vehicle (passenger side).
Cars will EXIT through the 4-way stop. PLEASE YIELD TO BUSES and CROSSWALKS. Follow the instructions of the parking lot staff.
Please note the traffic circle is for bus load/unload only! Do not drop off/pick up your students in the traffic circle.
On days when parent traffic may be increased due to rain, parties or sports events, please plan for extra time in the drop-off/pick-up lane
Where may I park?
Parking is available at Westhill and Sorenson (front/bus lane row at Sorenson is reserved for their staff only). ONLY buses may drive through the Sorenson bus lane.
You may enter the parking lot via the center entry way or Sorenson's entry way. PLEASE YIELD TO BUSES and CROSSWALKS.
Cars will EXIT through the 4-way stop or center entry way.
Use the crosswalk closest to Doug Allen Sportsfield to get to and from the parking lot.
Where may I stand to meet my child?
The designated parent waiting area will be the under cover area located at the front of the school. Please allow space for classes to pass by next to the wall.
My child rides the bus-where will they be picked-up/dropped-off at Westhill?
Big buses will use the circle space around the flagpole. Only buses may enter the 4-way stop, ANYONE may exit at the 4-way stop. Students waiting for the bus will wait on the south side of the building near the low concrete wall and gym.
Small buses and daycare vans will drop-off & pick-up at Sorenson. They will enter through the north gate and exit through the center gate.
This is long-term work. Regardless of how we route cars and buses, the impact on 88th will not change. We will review this plan annually to adjust if needed. Thank you for keeping our students’ safety a top priority.
Principal Westhill Elementary
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.
Student Behavior & Conduct
- The Westhill Way
- Playground Expectations
- Student Cell Phones/Smart Watches
- Dress Code
- Response to Misbehavior
- Bikes, Skateboards, Scooters, Skates
- Safety Items
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.
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.
Student Cell Phones/Smart Watches
Students may not use cell phones/smart watches while on campus. If a student brings a cell phone or smart watch to school with them it needs to be on silent and put away in their backpack or bag. Students should not be using their phones/smart watches to text or take phone calls during the school day. Should a teacher see or hear a cell phone on campus they will take the cell phone and give it to our office staff. Office staff will then call you to inform you they have your child's phone. You will need to come to the office to pick up your child's phone.
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.
Response to Misbehavior
Minor vs. Major Behavior Clarification
Minor Teacher Managed
(class & recess)
Major Office Managed
Defiance, Disrespect and non -compliance
Student engages in brief or low-intensity failure to respond to adult requests
Repetitive minor incidences that normal
Student engages in low-intensity, but inappropriate disruption
Disruption includes sustained loud talk, yelling, or screaming; noise with materials; horseplay or roughhousing; and/or sustained out-of-seat behavior.
Student engages in non-serious but inappropriate use of
cell phone, pager, music/video players, camera, and
Refuses to give up cell phone
Student engages in low intensity instance of inappropriate language
Verbal messages that include swearing, name calling or use of words in an inappropriate way.
Student delivers disrespectful messages (verbal/non-verbal or gestural) to another person that includes threats and intimidation, obscene gestures, pictures, or written notes. Disrespectful messages include negative comments based on race, religion, gender, age, and/or national
origin; sustained or intense
Verbal attacks based on ethnic origin, disabilities or other personal matters.
Student wears clothing that is not within, the dress code
guidelines defined by the school/district.
Student engages in non-serious, but inappropriate physical
Actions involving serious physical contact where
Student engages in low-intensity misuse of property
Student is in possession of, having passed on, or being responsible for removing someone else's
property (Stealing major items)
Student deliberately impairs the usefulness of property. Student participates in an activity that
results in substantial destruction or disfigurement of property.
Bikes, Skateboards, Scooters, Skates
The Northshore School District has a new policy for riding bikes to school. More specific information can be found on the district website. Students must walk bikes across the street using crosswalks and following the directions of the crossing guards. Students must be 10 years of age or older and have taken a specific bike safety class offered by the district. The district 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.
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.
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.