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Henry Ford Handbook

PARENT AND STUDENT HANDBOOK

2022-2023

 School OFFICE Hours: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

2498 Massachusetts Avenue,  Phone (650) 482-2404

 Mission  Statement:

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.

 

           HENRY FORD BELL SCHEDULE 

GRADE

START

RECESS

LUNCH

DISMISSAL

MIN. DAYS

*Kinder

8:15

9:40-10:00

11:30-12:00

1:45

1:00

1st & 2nd

8:15

9:40-10:00

12:05-12:45

2:30

1:30

3rd

8:15

10:05-10:25

12:35-1:15

2:30

1:30

4th & 5th

8:15

    10:05-10:25

12:35-1:15

2:45

1:30

*Kinder students to be dismissed at 12:30 until September 5th, 2022.

Please note the bell rings at 8:12 every morning as instruction begins at 8:15.


IMPORTANT DATES
Minimum Days are held every Thursday

August 17:  First Day of School

September 5: Labor Day - NO CLASSES

September 8: Back to School Night

September 9: Minimum Day

October 10:  Indigenous Peoples’ Day - NO CLASSES

November 11: Veteran’s Day Holiday - NO CLASSES

November 21 - 22: Parent Conferences - NO CLASSES

November 23-25: Thanksgiving Holiday - NO CLASSES 

December 16: Super Minimum Day

December 19 - Jan. 3: Winter Break -  NO CLASSES

January 16:   Martin Luther King’s Holiday - NO CLASSES

February 13: Lincoln’s Day - NO CLASSES

February 17: Super Minimum Day

February 20-24: Mid Winter Break (President’s Holiday)- No school 

April 7: Super Minimum Day

April 10 - 14: Spring Break  - NO CLASSES

May 25: Open House

May 29: Memorial Day - NO CLASSES

June 9: Super Minimum Day, Last Day of School

 

ATTENDANCE

Henry Ford has an absence reporting hotline. Please call 650-482-2404 to report your child's absence. State the date of absences, student's 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 8:15 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..

 

LOST AND FOUND

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.

 

EMERGENCY CARDS

Please inform the school office and 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: As a safety measure, we can only release students to the people listed on the emergency card. 

 

ELECTRONIC DEVICES

No electronic devices are permitted on campus except for cell phones, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) 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 LUNCH PROGRAM

All students will receive free breakfast and hot lunch during the 2022-23 school year. Please fill out the Meal Accommodation Form online.

 

ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL

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 placards.

  • 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. No U-turns in the middle of the street. It is dangerous, and against the law.

  • 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. 
 

HENRY FORD MUSTANG PRIDE

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. 


 COMMUNICATION

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 www.rcsdk8.net  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. Coffee with the principal is an opportunity to share ideas and concerns in an informal setting. It is also a great way 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.

 

PARENT QUESTIONS

Feel free to contact Henry Ford if you have questions, concerns or would like to share feedback. Below is a general guideline to help you determine who to reach out to:

  • When you want to discuss your child, the class, or the curriculum, please talk with your child’s teacher. You can email, use classdojo or call your child’s teacher 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. You can email, use classdojo or call the principal to set up a time to meet.

  • Student placement is decided upon by teachers and the administration.. The makeup of a class is a major factor in providing a quality education, and many factors are considered when we place students.. 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.

 

STUDENT HEALTH

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 without medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school. Students who test positive for COVID must test negative to return to school, or be symptomatic free at least 10 days after testing positive. 

Special Medical Needs:  The school office is trained to administer first aid in the 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 and teacher 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. Written authorization from the parent/guardian is also necessary to allow office personnel to administer  medication.

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, 2nd, and 5th grades are tested annually or when teachers have concerns with hearing.

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

Masks:  We encourage all students to wear masks indoors.



PARENT INVOLVEMENT

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 7:00 pm via Zoom.  More information is available on our website.

PTA GOALS

  • Partner with the school to ensure academic success.

  • Provide enrichment programs for children, such as music, art and Outdoor Education scholarships.

  • Promote a strong sense of community spirit among the school’s families.

  • Raise funds to support school goals.

Parent Volunteers During School Hours:  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:

  • Chaperone on a field trip

  • Read to students or listening to students read 

  • Help out with special events

  • Assist teachers in the classroom

  • Prepare activity packets or Thursday folders

  • Assist in our Library or Makerspace

  • Be 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 

  •  

ACADEMIC SUPPORT PROGRAMS

WIN (What I Need) or Circling:   A block of time set aside three days per week for small group enrichment and intervention, for all students.

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 who qualify for Speech and Language 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).  Contact the classroom teacher or school administration for more information.

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).


AFTER SCHOOL  PROGRAMS

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 kids aged three and up. Please contact CDC directly for more information.


ENRICHMENT 

Physical Education:   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. 

  • Music for Learning is for students in second through fifth grade. Students are taught foundation skills in music theory, rhythms, and songs. These classes are 30 to 40 minutes, depending on grade level and are offered for 28 weeks. Both programs are supported by funds raised by the Henry Ford PTA and Measure U..

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 www.artinaction.org. We appreciate the volunteers who  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 through monthly, school-wide readings in each classroom that share a valuable lesson.  Volunteers help students make positive connections and often become another supportive adult on campus for students to rely on.

After School enrichment classes:   Multiple enrichment classes are offered throughout the year. These include classes such as Coding, Makerspace, Sports, Art and  Dance. Information on enrollment will be posted on ClassDojo and sent home in the Thursday Folder as it becomes available.  

Homework Club:   The availability of Homework Club is dependent on funding. The after school program serves students in first through fifth grades. Students receive support with homework assignments, and are given time to start their 30 minutes of daily reading.

                                                                                                                   POLICIES

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 provides a list of the reasons Henry Ford incorporates homework into the curriculum:

  • Provide practice with new concept

  • Develop good work habits

  • Opportunity for increasing self-direction

  • Enrich and extend school experience

  • Help students learn to budget time

  • Promote responsibility

  • Bring 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 durations of time:

Kindergarten 10-20 minutes

1st grade 10-20 minutes

2nd and 3rd 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 a neurobiological process that strengthens brain muscles and is one of the best ways you can support your child’s academics. We encourage students to read daily, including weekends and holidays whenever possible.

Standards on Student Attire:    Students and parents are encouraged to work together to choose appropriate clothing that is in good taste and suitable for school activities. Appropriate clothing and grooming help contribute to a productive learning environment. 

  • Clothing- 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- no large hooped or dangling earrings. 

  • Shorts- the hem should be close to the length of one's arm when standing. 

  • Pants- should not fall below the waist.

  • Tank tops- should have straps that are at least two fingers in width.

  • Hats- students may wear hats outdoors for the purpose of appropriate sun protection or warmth. 

  • Shoes- should be appropriate for PE and active play. Open-toed shoes are not recommended.

Independent Study Contracts:   Students who are scheduled to be absent from school five or more consecutive days are encouraged to fill out an Independent Study Contract. Please let the teacher and office know at least two weeks in advance so they can prepare assignments. Completed schoolwork is due the first day the student returns to school.

School Visitation:   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 a negative Covid test, 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 wear a Visitor’s Pass on the upper part of their shirt so that it is visible for everyone to see. Our staff is trained to ensure all visitors are wearing a pass.

Classroom Observation:   Parents are welcome to observe their child in the classroom. Arrangements must be made with the office and teacher at least 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.

Physical, Sexual, or Emotional Abuse:   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.

Forbidden Items:   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.

Vandalism:   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.

Birthday Celebrations:   Student birthdays are announced over the loud system on a daily basis. Due to allergies and health issues, we ask that you do not send sweets (cake, cupcakes, candy, donuts….) to school. 

Positive Discipline:   The Henry Ford School is committed to providing a safe, respectful, responsible, and culturally responsive learning environment where every child succeeds academically and socially. To meet this goal, we implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS with fidelity. One of the main components of PBIS is Positive Discipline. Students are taught how to Be Safe, Be Responsible and Be Respectful throughout the school. The goal of Positive Discipline is to help students to learn from their mistakes, manage their emotions and resolve conflicts appropriately. Below is a list of strategies or consequences that may be utilized throughout the school year:

  • Walk the “Peace Path” to resolve an issue.

  • Complete a reflection form.

  • Time apart to calm down.

  • Separate from the situation (go to the office or another classroom)

  • Talk with the principal or assistant principal.

  • Put on a contract with behavioral goals.

  • Participate in a conflict resolution circle.

  • Phone call home.

  • Meeting with parents and teacher.

  • Serious consequences may include: loss of privilege, in-house suspension and at-home suspension.

Each classroom has its own set of rules and agreements which will be shared with parents during Back to School Night. 

On the Playground/Yard:   The following rules are to be followed for using equipment:

  • Slide—go down feet first, and one at a time. 

  • Tanbark—tanbark stays on the playground, in the playground.

  • Games— open to everyone, must follow agreed upon rules.

  • Balls—each designated game includes the necessary equipment. Please do not bring balls to school.

  • Wet Days– stay off the grass and play structure

  • Rainy Days- follow the rainy day schedule. Each classroom is assigned a supervisor.

Emergency Procedures:

  • Fire drills, Earthquake drills and Lockdown drills are practiced on a monthly basis throughout the school year. 

  • Each classroom has an exit map and emergency information posted near the exit door, along with an emergency kit.

  • Each classroom is assigned a buddy class in the event a classroom teacher needs to remain behind with a student(s).

  • In the event of an emergency, students will only be released to an authorized adult. Be sure to update emergency cards every year as they include the names of the authorized adults and current phone numbers. 

  • Specified members of the Henry Ford staff are trained in first aid, CPR and AED procedures. 

  • The School Safety Plan is updated annually, and reviewed at the beginning of every school year. 

  • 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)