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Henry Ford Handbook







The mission of Henry Ford Elementary School is to teach and inspire children to read, write, think critically, listen and speak well, apply scientific and mathematical concepts and appreciate the arts. Our school community provides a safe environment in which we teach the life skills necessary for students to become responsible members of society. We welcome parent and community involvement to support our mission.


                                     start                   recess                    lunch               dismissal     early dismissal

TK/SLC TK                   8:30                 9:25-9:45            11:00-11:40              1:30                12:45

KINDER/ SLC K           8:15                 9:40-10:00         11:20-12:00               1:45                1:00       

GRADE 1-2/SLC 1-2   8:15                 9:45-10:05         12:00-12:40               2:30                1:30

GRADE 3                     8:15                10:10-10:30        12:35-1:15                 2:30                1:30

GRADE 4-5                 8:15                10:10-10:30         12:35-1:15                2:45                1:30 


Wednesday August 16 First Day of Instruction

Monday Sept. 4 Labor Day – No School

Thursday Sept. 7 Super Minimum Day

Thursday. Sept. 14 Back to School Night

Friday Sept. 15 Minimum Day

Thursday Oct. 5 Super Minimum Day

Monday Oct. 9 Indigenous People’s Day – No School

Monday Oct. 23 - Fri. Oct.27 Fall Conferences (Super Minimum Days)

Friday Oct. 27 Fall Fiesta

Wednesday Nov. 1 Planning/Development Day-No School

Thursday Nov. 9 No School

Friday Nov. 10 Veteran’s Day Holiday - No School

Tuesday Nov. 21 Super Minimum Day (Thanksgiving)

Thursday Nov.22 - Nov.24 Thanksgiving Holiday - No school

Thursday Dec 7 Super Minimum Day

Thursday Dec. 14 Winter Concert

Wednesday Dec. 20 Super Minimum Day (Winter Break)

Thursday Dec. 21 - Fri. Jan. 5 Winter Break - No School

Monday Jan. 8 Planning/Development Day - No School

Tuesday Jan. 9 Classes Resume

Thursday Jan 11 Super Minimum Day

Monday Jan. 15 Martin Luther King’s Holiday – No School

Thursday Feb 1 Super Minimum Day

Monday Feb 5 Planning/Development Day - No School

Friday Feb. 16 Minimum Day (Feb.Break)

Monday Feb. 19 – Feb. 23 February Break – No School

Monday Feb. 26 Classes Resume

Thursday March 7 Super Minimum Day

Mon. March 18 - Fri. March 22 Parent Conferences (Minimum Days)

Friday March 29 In lieu of Lincoln’s Day - No School

Thursday April 4 Super Minimum Day

Friday April 5 Minimum Day (Spring Break)

Monday April 8- Fri. April 12 Spring Break – No School

Monday April 15 Classes Resume

Thursday May 2 Super Minimum Day

April – May (CAASPP)

Friday May 17 Pasta Dinner

Thursday May 23 Open House

Friday May 24 Minimum Day

Monday May 27 Memorial Day Holiday - No School

Monday June 6 - Mon. June 10 Minimum Days

Tuesday June 11 Last Day of Instruction (Super Minimum Day)


The office is open weekdays from 8:00 to 3:30 p.m..


Henry Ford has an absence reporting hotline. Please call 650-482-2404 to report your child' s absence. State the date of absences, student name, reason for absences and name of the person reporting the absence. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Late/Tardy: Students are recorded late by the office from 8:20 A.M.- 8:45 A.M. After 8:45 a student is tardy unless a doctor note is provided.

Early Pick Up: If your child needs to leave campus early, you must stop by the office to sign out the student. The office staff will then call the room for the child to meet you in the office. When possible, please notify the teacher in advance..


Be sure to label all personal belongings with your child’s name at the beginning of the year, including lunch boxes.  Lost and found items are located in front of the school office. Clothing will be collected and donated periodically with prior notification.


Please inform the RCSD District Office (750 Bradford Street, RWC) of any changes which occur during the school year including your child’s medical provider information.  Please note we are unable to release a student to anyone who is not on the emergency card.


No electronic devices are permitted on campus except for cell phones, etc which are allowed but must be turned off and stored in backpacks. Phones may be used after school only. Phones or any other inappropriate electronic items being used during school hours will be confiscated.  Items must be picked up by a parent or guardian from the school office.


Breakfast and hot lunch are served daily. Please fill out the Meal Accommodation Form online.


Traffic conditions around school can be problematic. We ask that all parents take caution when dropping off and picking up your child and follow the directions delivered by the yard duty staff person. The following are guidelines to remember:

● Students and parents need to enter campus on sidewalks, not through the parking lot. The school parking lot is reserved for school personnel, buses, daycare providers, and persons having a handicapped sticker.

● Kinder pick-up: 1:45,  1st- 3rd Pick-Up: 2:30,    4th - 5th pick–Up: 2:45   Please do not arrive early.

Students are dismissed at 2:45, but take at least 5 minutes to get to the pick up zone. If you arrive before 2:45, you block the cars who are picking up younger students and will be asked to move to the back of the line.

● The drop off or pick up of children should be done in front of the school loading zone line. By Vehicle Code the white curb indicates your stop must be brief and you must remain with your car. Students must enter and exit cars at this curb, not in the middle of the street. Please do not double park on the street while waiting, the police will ask you to circle the block. When you are in the drop-off/pick-up line, do not block intersections or crosswalks. Do not double park in the loading zone. Always move your car to the most forward position of the line at the curb.

● If you would like to escort your child to and from campus, please park on designated side streets. Pay close attention to the specific directions from the crossing guard and be sure to remind children to use neighborhood crosswalks when crossing any nearby street or the parking lot.

AFTER SCHOOL SUPERVISION: Students need to leave school grounds immediately after school is dismissed unless they are participating in a structured after school activity. In an emergency, please call the school to inform them that you will be late, to help make arrangements for your child to be picked up.


MUSTANG TICKETS:  Students who demonstrate Henry Ford’s character traits receive a Mustang ticket in recognition of their efforts. Students who are “caught” being Respectful, Responsible and Safe earn tickets. The tickets are then put into a raffle. Teachers select a name every Friday, and one student from each grade level is drawn at random during Monday morning announcements.

SPIRIT DAYS:  Every Friday is Spirit Day. Students are encouraged to wear school colors (blue and white). The classes with the highest percentage of students participating get to keep a Henry Ford Banner in their classroom for the week. The last Friday of the month has a special theme selected by our Student Council. Some examples include crazy hair day, pajama day and sports day.


The communications system between home and school is an important factor for student success. The following are various methods of communication used throughout the school year.

THURSDAY FOLDERS: Notices of upcoming events and important notices are sent home in the Thursday folder. The folder is sent home every week with each child. It is very important to look through this folder weekly because it is the way teachers and the school communicate with parents. All information regarding Henry Ford is posted on Class Dojo on a regular basis. In addition to receiving updates, parents can use Class Dojo to connect with teachers and the principal. Each classroom has their own page where teachers post classroom announcements, events and photos.

MUSTANG GAZETTE: The school publishes a newsletter monthly. Its purpose is to keep you informed of school related activities and upcoming events. It is posted on Class Dojo. This newsletter is also available on the Henry Ford School website.

HENRY FORD WEBSITE: Our school maintains a website with a great deal of current information and news that is updated on a regular basis. It is also an excellent resource for parents with general education questions. The web address is and then select Henry Ford from the pulldown menu.

MONTHLY COFFEES WITH THE PRINCIPAL: Parents are invited to join the principal for coffee the last Friday of every month. The coffee provides an opportunity to share ideas and concerns in an informal setting. It is also a great opportunity to get to know other parents and stay informed.

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES: Conferences with parents are an important part of the reporting system. In elementary school, teachers hold a minimum of two conferences each year, in November and in March. This is an opportunity to check in on your child’s progress and determine the best method of support for their continued growth. It is important to mention that success in school results from the combined effort of the most important people in a child’s life—parents and teachers. Conferences are vital towards keeping the lines of communication open between parents and teachers. When parents and teachers work closely together they develop and implement effective education programs for students.

E-NEWS: There is an e-mail newsletter that is sent out monthly on Class Dojo to keep parents aware of school happenings. Sign up at Maze Day or drop by the office to put your email address on the list.

GRADING AND REPORT CARDS: Questions on the grading process should be directed to your child’s teacher.  Report cards are given out and discussed during Parent Teacher Conferences. Should you have any questions on the report card please ask your child’s teacher.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT: Scheduled at the beginning of the year, parents come to learn about teachers’ expectations for homework, class schedule and curriculum. In addition, teachers will often have a flier that lists in-class volunteer opportunities to encourage parent involvement and meet classroom needs.


Your questions and concerns are important to us, so it is critical that parents feel free to contact their child’s teacher when there are issues. Please feel free to contact the school office with suggestions and ideas as well.

● When you want to discuss your child, the class, or the curriculum, please talk with your child’s teacher. You can either email or call your child’s teacher and leave a voicemail to set up a time to meet.

● Questions and concerns about school policies and implementation, teacher performance, or other serious matters should be brought to the principal, who will act upon them or will channel them to the appropriate person in the school. The principal will address your concerns as promptly as possible. She will work with you to resolve them and continue to communicate with you until the issue is resolved.

● Student placement is decided upon by administration and teacher input. The makeup of a class is a major factor in providing a quality education and many factors must be considered in making these assignments. Henry Ford makes every attempt to consider parent’s wishes in conjunction with our requirement to balance our classes and give your child the best well-rounded education possible.


ILLNESS:  Students with symptoms of illness, such as vomiting, fever, excessive coughing, eye infections, etc. should not be sent to school. All students should be free of symptoms for at least 24 hours before returning to school.

SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS:  The school office is trained to administer simple first aid in case of an accident on the playground, but the school is not staffed with medical personnel. A school nurse is usually on-site one day a week. Be sure to let the office know if your child has any serious medical issues such as seizures, severe allergies, etc.

MEDICATIONS:  All medications must be stored in the school office and accompanied by a physician’s prescription and labeled appropriately unless otherwise noted by the physician. A written authorization from the parent/guardian is also necessary to allow office personnel to administer the medicine.

IMMUNIZATION:  An immunization record is required for every child prior to admittance to any school in California. Immunizations may be given by your physician. Your child can also go to a local clinic. If you would like assistance in locating a local clinic, please call the school office.

HEARING:  Students in K, 2 nd , and 5 th grades are tested annually or when teachers have concerns with hearing.

VISION: Students in K and 3 rd grades are tested annually or when teachers have concerns.


SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL (SSC): The School Site Council provides a partnership among the school board, administrators, parents, and community members. The School Site Council has the responsibility of planning and implementing a budget, and evaluating the School Improvement Plan. Members of the School Site Council are elected every year. This is one way of directly involving parents, teachers, and community members in conversations about their community school. This forum welcomes all parents to participate. Meeting dates are posted on our website and in the office window boxes.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (ELAC): The purpose of ELAC is threefold. First and foremost through our ELAC meetings, parents begin to orient themselves to the California school system and Redwood City School District in particular and are given ongoing information so they may support their child’s schooling at home. Secondly, the parents are asked for their advice about the ways that the school may support their English learners and lastly, parents are informed of the school’s program to bring their children to proficiency in English. More information about ELAC is available via the school website.

PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA):  All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend our monthly meetings to learn how your involvement can make a difference to our students. There are numerous and varied volunteer opportunities available at all levels for parents and guardians. Your involvement can improve Henry Ford not just for your child but also for all children. (We thank you, in advance, for joining us). Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 pm either in the Staff Room or via Zoom. Childcare is provided free of charge when meetings are held in-person.. More information is available on our website.


● Partnering with the school to ensure academic success.

● Providing enrichment programs for children, such as music, art and Outdoor Education scholarships.

● Promoting a strong sense of community spirit among the school’s families.

● Raising funds to support school goals.


Classroom teachers, our librarian, and other school staff welcome parents, guardians, and grandparents to volunteer their time and/or expertise. All volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Form and submit proper documentation to the district office prior to volunteering. (Please follow regular visitor procedures including signing in at the office and wearing a name tag.) We welcome your help in the following areas when you’re available to do so:

● Being a chaperone on a field trip

● Reading to students or listening to students read

● Helping out with special events

● Assisting teachers in the classroom

● Preparing activity packets or Thursday folders

● Assisting in our Library or Makerspace

● Being a reading or math tutor

● Art in Action docent (training provided)

● Project Cornerstone (monthly school wide book readings in classrooms)

● Music for Minors docent in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms (training provided)

● Room parent as well as other activities suggested by teacher or staff


WHAT I NEED (WIN) OR CIRCLING:  A block of time set aside three days per week for enrichment and intervention. Students who need intervention receive small group instruction from resource specialists, while classroom teachers circle students based on data to provide enrichment.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (ELD): Students who are designated English Learners are assessed at the beginning of the school year. Based on this assessment, students’ needs are met through classroom intervention and support through the English Language Development TIG groups. Each English Language Learner has a matrix review at conference time that reflects on skills and achievement in the area of English Language Development.

ACCELERATED READING PROGRAM (AR): Accelerated Reader is a computer-based program used to monitor reading practices and progress. Teachers work with students to set obtainable goals. After reading each book, students are required to take a quiz to make sure they understood what they read. In addition to monitoring progress, AR helps teachers guide students to book that are at their reading level during their weekly visits to our school library.

STUDENT STUDY TEAM (SST): The Student Study Team is made up of parents, teachers, and administrators meeting to discuss concerns about academics and/or behavior of an individual child. The purpose of these meetings is to develop strategies at home and school to support children. If you have any concerns about your child, please contact your child’s teacher so they can initiate a Student Study Team meeting.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE SERVICES: Students identified with Speech and Language considerations receive specialized instruction in articulation and language skills by a Speech Therapist at the school site. The number of minutes of instruction per week is determined by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). If a parent has concerns about his/her child, he/she should contact the classroom teacher or school administration.

RESOURCE SPECIALIST PROGRAM (RSP): Students identified with Specific Learning Disabilities and other learning differences receive specialized instruction from a Resource Specialist Teacher. The amount of instructional minutes each student receives is based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


REDWOOD CITY PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT (REACH): Henry Ford is able to offer a fee based after school program provided by the Park and Recreation Department’s program REACH. For Kindergarteners the program is held until 5:00 pm with post care available till 6:00pm. First through Fifth grade program after school until 5:30. The program provides homework help, recreational activities and enrichment.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER (Catalyst Kids): Catalyst Kids offers before, after school and summer care. The program operates on a fee basis with a sliding scale. The Child Development Center also offers a preschool program on site for three year olds and up. Please contact CDC directly for more information.

Henry Ford is fortunate to have so many after school programs. Just like during school, students are expected to be Respectful, Responsible and Safe. Students who are unable to follow these behavioral guidelines, after sufficient warnings, may be removed.


PHYSICAL EDUCATION (P.E.):  All Henry Ford students receive two physical education classes per week from PE+ through PCC. The curriculum is based on state standards and expectations. Students learn body mechanics, various games and rules, as well as basic physical conditioning. This program is supported by a Wellness grant from Sequoia Healthcare. Students should wear appropriate clothes and shoes for running, jumping, and participating in this program.

MUSIC: We have two programs of music at Henry Ford School.

● Music for Minors is for students in kindergarten and first grade. Students learn basic music rhythms and songs. The classes are weekly and are approximately 30 minutes long and are led by docents. This program is partially supported by funds raised by the Henry Ford PTA.

● Music for Learning is for students in second through fifth grades. Students learn foundation skills in music theory, rhythms, and songs. These classes are 30 to 40 minutes, depending on grade level and last half the year.

ART IN ACTION: Art in Action is an engaging, hands on curriculum that teaches art history, art appreciation and art techniques.  Parent volunteers and teachers are trained to help students analyze art masterpieces. Students learn about these artists and create their own art in that particular artistic style. A variety of media is used including drawing, painting and sculpture. To find out more about the Art in Action organization, please go to We are very appreciative of those parents who are able to offer their time to help with this enriching activity. Please check our school website to find out more about this art curriculum and the free docent training offered by Art in Action.

PROJECT CORNERSTONE:  Project Cornerstone was developed by the YMCA of Silicon Valley. Its mission is to create an environment where adults support and share values with students so they grow up feeling valued, respected and known.  This is done thru monthly school wide readings in each classroom sharing the same valuable lesson. Volunteers make connections and become another supportive adult on campus for students to rely on.


Various other enrichment classes are offered throughout the year. These include classes such as coding, makerspace, basketball, gardening, music, and dance. Please check in the Thursday folders or Class Dojo about the availability of after-school enrichment classes.


The availability of Homework Club is dependent on funding. The program serves first through fifth grades, is held after school for about an hour and is provided by our classroom teachers. Students complete homework assignments, including expected daily reading. If students finish assignments before homework club is over, there are support activities to extend and reinforce learning. Informal tutoring may also be included.


HOMEWORK:  Homework is part of the total learning process. Grade level homework policies are communicated to the students during the first two weeks of school and during Back to School Night with parents. Homework for absent or ill students may be picked up in the office after class at 3:00. The following list serves as a reminder of the importance of homework:

● Provides essential practice in needed skills

● Trains students in good work habits

● Affords opportunities for increasing self-direction

● Enriches and extends school experience

● Helps students learn to budget time

● Promotes growth in responsibility

● Brings students into contact with out-of-school learning resources

Students in grades K-5 will have homework at least 4 days a week (Monday through Thursday) for the following approximate duration:

  *Kindergarten 10-20 minutes

  *1st grade 10-20 minutes

  *2nd and 3 rd grades 20-30 minutes

  *4th and 5th grades 40-50 minutes

Students are expected to read or be read to on a nightly basis, in addition to classroom homework. Reading is to be done daily, including weekends and holidays. Reading is a neurobiological process that strengthens brain muscles and is one of the best ways you can support your child’s academics.


Students and parents are encouraged to work together to choose appropriate clothing that is in good taste and suitable for school activities and is not distracting to others. A. Appropriate clothing and grooming help contribute to a productive learning environment.

● Clothing and jewelry shall be free of writing, pictures, or any other insignia which are crude, vulgar, profane, sexually suggestive, advocate racial, ethnic or religious prejudice or the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco.

● Jewelry that might be a safety issue (i.e. hooped or dangling earrings, long necklaces) may not be worn.

  • Shorts must be within arm’s reach at sides when standing. Pants should fit and not be too baggy at thewaist.

● Tank tops should have straps that are at least two fingers in width

● Hair should be groomed appropriately and not cause disruption of the learning environment

● Students may wear hats outdoors for the purpose of appropriate sun protection or warmth. However, students should remove them when indoors.

● Shoes should be appropriate for PE and active play with no open toed shoes or rubber clogs such as Crocs.


Students who are scheduled to be absent from school five or more consecutive days are encouraged to fill out an Independent Study Contract. Please allow two weeks for an Independent Study. The schoolwork is due the first day the student returns to school.


We welcome school volunteers. All volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Form and submit proper documentation to the district office prior to volunteering. This includes: driver’s license verification and TB test results. Fingerprinting is required to attend field trips and work with students independently. If you are visiting the school campus to volunteer, please arrange a schedule with a teacher or other school staff. Every visitor/volunteer must sign in at the office and place a Visitor’s Pass on the upper part of their shirt so that it is visible for everyone to see. Our students are trained to look for these passes in the yard.

CLASSROOM OBSERVATION:  Parents are welcome to observe their child in the classroom. Arrangements must be made with the office and teacher 24 hours in advance. Observations are generally brief so as not to disrupt the classroom. The administrator may accompany the parent to the observation. Observers must sign-in at the office and wear a Visitor’s Pass.


The school is required by law to notify state authorities if there is knowledge or suspicion of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children in or outside of school. Henry Ford complies with this law and cooperates with authorities in any investigation. All Henry Ford staff are mandated reporters.


The following items are not permitted at school under any circumstances: weapons or related objects of any kind (including water guns and toy guns), tobacco, matches, alcohol, drugs, inappropriate magazines or books.


Any activity by a student/s that is connected to willful or malicious defacement or destruction of any property belonging to Henry Ford Elementary School, its employees or its students, will be found guilty of vandalism. This includes such things as graffiti and tampering with computers, either individually or as part of a group and will be subjected to consequences in accordance with district policy.


The administration and staff at Henry Ford School believe that, in an effort to ensure all students have equal access to a quality education, school should be a pleasant and safe environment for everyone, and therefore, students have the opportunity to develop a strong sense of responsibility for their own rights and those of others. In order to provide this, the following are Henry Ford school rules:

1. BE SAFE: Keep hands and feet to yourself

2. BE RESPONSIBLE: Follow all the rules

3. BE RESPECTFUL: Be kind to everyone


The following rules are to be followed for using equipment:

● Slide—go down feet first, and one at a time. Stay on your bottom on the slide. No jumping off slides.

● Tanbark—keep tanbark inside the play area, do not throw tanbark, sand, or grass outside this area.

● Games—students must follow rules a

● Agree on rules before playing. Games are open to everyone.

● Balls—do not sit on playground balls or throw them at others to hurt them. Keep equipment off the roof.

Bounce balls against walls only in designated areas.

● Stay in appropriate areas—stay in red line areas where adult supervisors can see you, don’t play in the

bathroom, stay off the grass when the field is muddy or wet.

CONSEQUENCES:  Each classroom has a set of consequences that are clearly communicated to the students. The consequences are appropriate to the action.

On the yard:

● Yard duty personnel will usually give a warning if the infraction is not serious or does not cause injury. It will be left to the discretion of the yard duty personnel.

● Students may be asked to sit out of the game and/or have time away.

● Students may be sent to the office.

If the student is sent to the office:

● Student will be counseled by administration

● Students may participate in conflict resolution

● Parent may be notified

● Student may have consequence, this can include in-house suspension (doing class work on campus in a different classroom)

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE:  Positive discipline focuses on teaching children what behavior is acceptable and acknowledging them when they are practicing these behaviors. The goal of positive discipline is to help students learn from their mistakes, manage their emotions and resolve conflicts appropriately.


Each classroom has an exit map and emergency information posted near the exit door. This information is updated each year by the office staff. Fire drills, one Earthquake drill and two Lockdown drills are held throughout the school year. It is important that students remain quiet and move to the appropriate designated safe place during each drill. For the safety of each student during a real emergency, the following procedure will be used:.

● It is very important to have emergency cards updated, especially contact persons and current phone numbers as under no circumstances shall a child be released from the custody of school personnel until an authorized adult picks them up

● The safety of all is of paramount importance.

Henry Ford staff are trained in first aid, CPR and AED procedure.. There is a disaster plan that is reviewed yearly at the opening of school. The Automated Emergency Defibrillators (AED) are located in the office and in the MUR (cafeteria).

In case of an emergency or disaster, please tune to the following radio stations for instructions:

KNBR 680 (English) or KIQOI 1010 (Spanish)