Welcome to another year of school at Ferguson Township Elementary School. Closing out last school year and reopening for this school year has certainly been easy in comparison to the previous “construction” year. It has felt good to be in the same space over summer and to know where everything is located without having to dig through boxes J!
For those parents whose children will be coming to Ferguson for the first time and as a reminder for those parents with returning children to our wonderful learning space, I want to remind you of several things:
· Dropping off or picking up your children, you need to pull into the first driveway just before the school if you are arriving from the direction of downtown State College. The children can then walk to back door via the sidewalk across the front of the building or via the sidewalk that runs from the visitors’ parking lot behind the school to reach the entrance door for students only. Please do not arrive any earlier than 8:30 a.m. because the doors will not open before that time. The other driveway is limited to buses during the 8:20 to 8:45 time frame in the morning and 2:45 to 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. The only parents who should be using this entrance in the morning are those who drop their children off for childcare with the Child Development and Family Council.
· If your children will be leaving early, please send in a note that morning or call the school early, so we have the information. When you arrive to pick up your children, you NEED to please sign them out and then go to the foyer to wait for them. This will keep the office from being overcrowded and allowing the secretaries to continue with the business of the day and have the privacy that may be needed for school business such as phone calls, etc.
· If your children are going to be absent from school, please remember to call our Safely at School (SAS) number, a 24-hour answering machine prior to 8:45 a.m. The number (cut it out and paste it on your phone/enter into speed dial/favorites) is 235-4555.
· Please remember to send a written excuse to school on the day s/he returns or not more than 3 days later. If your children have had a doctor’s appointment, please have a note from the doctor’s office stipulating they were there.
· If your children are going to be late for school and will be ordering lunch, please call the office (231-4119) instead of the SAS line prior to 9 A.M. We do have an office answering system that will take calls 24 hours a day. Also, you MUST bring your children into the building to sign them in when they are late for any reason. Anytime you plan to have lunch with your child at school and wish to purchase a school lunch, you must also call the school before 9 A.M. to place your order OR send a note in with you child that morning to give to his/her teacher.
· Educational Trips Forms must be filled out and turned into the office at least 2 weeks in advance of the trip. If it is a last minute trip, please fill out the form, so we may document it appropriately in the attendance system. No more than 10 days will be allowed in a school year. Any days beyond 10 days will be unexcused. Please note that the first 3 unexcused absences from school will result in a first offense letter and 1 additional unexcused day after the first 3 will result in a second offense letter, which can lead to possible court action and a fine. PDE is the overseer of attendance rules and regulations. There are a limited number of valid excuses accepted by the state.
· Remember to sign in to get a visitor’s pass before venturing into the building. The security of every child is important to us.
The majority of First Day Packets’ Information can be found on line after 8/20/12 for those parents who have access to the Internet at home/work. There are documents that may require your signature and they need to be returned to the school, so please look over everything very carefully. You may certainly print out anything that you can access via our site or the district’s site that is available for your viewing., such as progress reports, school insurance forms, etc.
Health and Wellness of all Children:
· Due to some children having life threatening food allergies, we ask that parents have their children wash their hands thoroughly (under nails, between fingers and palms/tops of hands) before leaving for school. We also have children wash their hands thoroughly after eating snacks and lunch as well as after using the restroom. All the children have specials in the same rooms no matter what grade level they are, so it is imperative to have hands free of any potential food residue or oils, especially any nuts or nut products, shell fish, milk and eggs. Those are the most typical allergy related food products.
· Children should bring healthy snacks to school. Cookies or candy should not be a snack item.
· Any class parties cannot have more than 3 items that contain sugar as their first ingredient. The only drink products allowed are100% fruit juice (no fruit drinks), milk or water. Birthday parties are an exemption; however, it would be appreciated if you could try to incorporate more healthy treats. Food services offers birthday treats that are healthy and you can purchase the treats through them. Go to the food services’ web site for more information.
I feel as if we were in a time machine together because the months seem to fly by at rapid speed. The school building is ready to receive your children and I, personally, look forward to having the building humming along and alive with students’ voices and teachers’ teaching all the wondrous and important learning they impart to the Ferguson children. Everyone at Ferguson Elementary is committed to making our school the best possible learning environment because we truly believe in “Children First”.
Please know that my door is always open. If I happen to be in a meeting or out of the building for various reasons, I will always return your call or e-mail you as soon as it is possible. Welcome back, indeed!