Laurel Elementary Handbook

Welcome to Laurel Elementary School, home of the Lions. Parents can find additional information about Polk County Schools in the 2021-2022 Parent Guide and Student Code of Conduct. If you find that you need additional information, please call the main office at 863-427-1375. During the 2021-2022 school year, we look forward to a cooperative and committed homeschool partnership. Parent involvement is encouraged and welcomed. Attending meetings and supporting your child’s learning is critical to your child’s success.

Attendance in school, on a daily basis, is one of the keys to being a successful student. Students who are tardy, must be signed in by the parent. If your child is absent, brought in tardy, or checked out early, a note must accompany the student for it to be excused. If the absence is due to an appointment, please bring in an excuse from the doctor’s office stating the date and time of the appointment. If the child is absent because of an illness, please attach a separate note in your child’s agenda the day the student returns to school stating the reason for the absence. If an excuse does not accompany the student, then the absence will result in an unexcused absence. After five unexcused absences, our attendance manager or school social worker will contact you either by phone, email, letter, or by a home visit.

Many parents like to celebrate their child’s birthday by bringing in a cake or cupcakes. School Board policy states that all food items must be purchased and in the original packaging. Cupcakes are the easiest item to serve children for birthday celebrations. If you would like to bring a cake, please supply paper plates, napkins, and plastic forks. If you would like to bring something for the children to drink, please bring juice that is individually packed. Birthday items will be shared with the class during recess. Please verify recess time with your child’s teacher.

If your child is provided with bus transportation, the rules and regulations of the bus must be followed. The bus driver has the major responsibility for maintaining discipline. Bus drivers attempt to settle any behavior problems first. If a student is a persistent behavior concern, a bus referral will be issued. Parental support is key when correct misbehaviors. Students may be
suspended from the bus depending on the severity of the misbehavior and the number of referrals. Any questions regarding your child’s bus or bus driver can be handled by calling 863-534-7306, Area 7 Manager.

Laurel Elementary is participating in the Community Eligibility Option program. Through this program, all students, regardless of income, will receive a free breakfast and lunch.

Many of our students are either car riders in the mornings, afternoons, or both. Your child’s safety is our number one priority and we ask that you help us in this endeavor. Please obey the posted speed limit when driving in the parking lot, have your child ready to go when you arrive, watch the adults and/or patrols guide you to the drop-off/pick-up location, and always watch
for students, cars, and parents in the parking lot. Students are not to be on campus prior to 7:30 as there is no one available to supervise them and should be picked up by 3:30pm. All car riders must have a car rider tag. These tags are distributed in the main office. Please help your child learn his/her car rider number.

Our clinic is staffed by a licensed practical nurse. The purpose of the clinic is to provide first aid to students who are in need, and to administer medicine to students who have proper medical authorization forms. Medical authorization forms are available in the main office. Students are not permitted to carry medications of any kind to or from school, this includes, but is not limited
to, cough drops, Chapstick, or any over the counter medicines.

Please refer to the Student Code of Conduct.

Polk County is a dress-code enforced county. Please refer to the 2021-2022 Parent Guide and Code of Student Conduct for specific dress code requirements. You can also order the school uniform at PMGSchoolGear.com.

Schoolwide parties will be held for the Winter Break and End-of-the-Year. Your child’s teacher may request that your child bring in a food or beverage item to contribute to the party. Please remember that all food items must be in the original store packaging. District policy prohibits homemade snacks from being distributed in the classroom.

Meaningful homework can be a way for children to practice what they are learning in school and in doing so, communicates the curriculum to the parents. Although homework is the responsibility of the student, there needs to be a homework partnership with parents providing guidance and encouragement. Homework assignments may be made to an entire class, to small groups, or to individual students. The amount and type of assignments may vary with the student’s placement and the teacher. These assignments are made to provide students with the opportunity to reinforce and practice skills they have learned in class. Please follow-up to see that your child completes his/her homework.

Please label outer clothing, lunch boxes, and back-packs with your child’s name. All items found in the school will be placed on a designated area in the cafeteria.

Laurel Elementary participates in a school-wide behavior program called Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS). We have school-wide expectations and students earn Class Dojo points for following schoolwide expectations. The school-wide expectations are:

Respectful
Observe all rules
Academic pride
Responsible

Students may receive School Wide and classroom rewards from earning Class Dojo points.

In order to become more proficient readers, all students are expected to read a minimum of 30 minutes nightly.

In order to maximize your child’s learning time, please schedule doctor and dentist appointments after-school.
There are seven Wednesdays per school year when students are released two and one-half hours early. The cut off time for early check-out is 2:00 pm. When checking out your child, please remember to bring a driver’s license or state issued ID. This is a district requirement. If someone else will be checking out your child, please make sure he or she is listed on your child’s emergency card.

Laurel Elementary is a Title I school. This means that we receive federal funding based on our free and reduced meal percentages. Title I funds enable us to purchase technology, student and classroom materials and much needed teacher professional development. To learn more about Title I, our district’s policy is on the school board website and is also available in the main office along with our school’s Parent Involvement Plan and School-Parent Compact. All materials are available in English, Spanish, and Haitian for your convenience.

All visitors must check-in at the main office upon arriving at the school. A driver’s license or state issued ID is required and a picture badge will be issued for you while you are on campus. Visitors must check-out in the office when leaving campus. This policy is a district policy and is for the safety of the students and staff at Laurel Elementary School.

We would love to have parents, family members, and community members be volunteers. Opportunities for volunteering can be available in the classrooms, the media center, the cafeteria during lunchtime, during special projects, and during Book Fair. If you are not an approved volunteer, applications can be completed online at polkschoolsfl.com in the Parent section.