• What time does school begin and end?

    Full-day Kindergarten and Grades 1 - 5: The school day for students in full day kindergarten and grades 1-5 begins at 8:44 a.m. and dismisses at 2:50 p.m. Children should not arrive at school before 8:30 a.m. because there is no supervision until this time.

    What are the check in and sign out procedures for students?

    Check in: If a student arrives after 8:44 a.m., parents need to come into the building with their student to sign them in.

    Check out: When picking up your child(ren) for appointments during the school day, you must stop in the office, our secretary, Bonnie McMiniment or Christa Johnston will help you by asking your child to come to the office.

    When picking up your child(ren) at the end of the school day, you must stop in the office to sign your child out and your child will be called to the office for pickup at dismissal time. Please keep in mind that the last 10 to 15 minutes of the day is a time when most teachers are summarizing the day's activities, planning for the next day and making important announcements. If possible, please do not request that your child(ren) be dismissed before the dismissal time at 2:50 p.m.

    • If someone other than the parent is taking the student, there
      must be a signed note from the parent releasing the student
      to that person.
    • All non-walking students must be signed out when going
      home any other way than on the bus.
    • If a student does not have a note to NOT take the bus on a
      given day, that student MUST take the bus home as usual.

    My child forgot his/her homework or I want to drop off treats for a birthday party. What should I do with them?

    Whenever you come to school, whether it be to drop something off or pick up your child, remember, you must stop in the office. Our secretaries, Bonnie McMiniment and Christa Johnston will help you by asking your child to come to the office or seeing that your materials are delivered. Teachers are appreciative if you stop in the office rather than at the classroom door to avoid disrupting classroom activities. If you need to meet with or talk to the teacher, just leave a message in the office and an appointment will be scheduled.

    What do I do if I?m visiting the school or volunteering?

    We request that all students, parents, and visitors enter the building through the front door. All other doors in the building are locked. Parents and visitors must stop in the office first, sign in, and pick up a visitor/helper badge. We appreciate your cooperation and support.

    We welcome your involvement and encourage you to volunteer in the school and become involved in school and PTO activities. If you are unable to volunteer your time during the school day, there are plenty of other ways to show your support. The Ferguson Township PTO works closely with the staff and plays a valuable role in our total school program. Your membership in support of the PTO is welcomed. Laureen Teti and Jill Lemke are our co-presidents for this year and can answer any questions you may have. Without volunteers, a lot of what we do in school would not be possible.

    What if my child is absent?
    First you need to call the Safely-At-School Line at (814) 235-4555. That way we know your child will not be coming to school. In addition, due to a directive from the Department of Education, an excuse MUST be on file for each time your child is absent. If we do not receive a written excuse, the absence will be coded as unexcused. Absence is excused for student illness (specify the reason), death in the family, medical or dental appointments, religious observation and instruction, and educational trips. Please note that absence for personal reasons is NOT excused. Excuse forms are available for your convenience, but any note with the child's name, date of absence, reason for absence and your signature is fine. Please help us by sending a written excuse as soon as your child returns to school after an absence.

    What is the SAS line?
    If your child is going to be absent, you need to notify the Safely-At-School line. This number has a 24 hour answering machine that allows us to check if your child is going to be absent. If your child is absent, and there is no notification on the SAS line, we will be calling around until we can locate your child.

    What is your Educational Trip Policy?

    Due to the importance of class attendance, the school district does not recommend lengthy student absences whether excused or unexcused. The district policy for educational trips that are not school sponsored is as follows:

    • Parents must request approval at least 2 weeks prior to the trip.
    • It is up to the principal to determine that the trip is educational
      and excusable.
    • A total of 10 days in any academic year will be allowed excusable
      for educational trips.

    The appropriateness of assignments given will be determined by the teacher and the principal. Teachers may require assignments such as math, written logs, reading and/or written reports. No exceptions beyond 10 days will be granted unless there is consent from the Assistant to the Superintendent. Any trip days beyond 10 days will be counted as unexcused. 3 unexcused absences will result in a warning letter and an additional unexcused absence may lead to court action. If the number days beyond 10 is excess, you may be asked to withdraw your child from school and will have to re-register at the district?s registration office upon your return.

    Can my child take medicine during the school day?
    School district policy requires that parents send a doctor's statement to school, as well as a written statement from the parent, in order for children to take prescribed medication at school. This form was in your Back-To-School packet. Take the form with you to the doctor if you think your child may be required to take medication in school-it will save you a trip back to the doctor. Additional forms can be obtained from the office. All medications are required to have a form. This includes seemingly small items such as Vicks Vapor Rub and even cough drops.

    What happens if my child become ill while at school?
    We will always notify you if your child is injured or becomes ill. If there is an emergency, and we can't reach you, we will call the person listed on the school emergency card. It is very important, therefore, to keep emergency numbers up to date. If we cannot reach you or someone listed on the emergency card in a situation requiring immediate medical treatment, an ambulance will be called and your child will be taken to the local hospital emergency room.

    How long should I keep my child at home after an illness?
    After an illness, please keep your child at home until well enough to come back to school and participate in all school activities. Please do NOT ask us to allow your child to remain inside during recess because we do not have indoor supervision.

    My child has a life-threatening illness. What should I do?
    If your child has a life-threatening illness (diabetes, allergic reaction to bee stings, etc.) please notify the office by the first day of school. Please provide us with phone numbers to call in the event of an emergency.

    Who is your Health Room Paraprofessional?
    Mrs. Krista Espinoza. She can be reached at (814) 231-4125.

    What is the procedure for school closings?


    Usually a decision is made at the district office by 5:45 AM to have a two hour late start or to close schools. If a two hour late start needs to be changed to "no school" the decision is made by approximately 7:30 AM. All school district families, faculty and staff will be contacted via our "Alert Now" telephone system.  It is very important for the school to have your current contact information in order for this system to work properly.  You can also refer to 3WZ Channel 4 TV for the latest information on school closings by 6:00 AM or shortly thereafter.  This will be the same for any early dismissal due to weather.

    What should we do if we are moving?
    Please notify the school office (814) 231-4119 as soon as possible.

    How does Ferguson Elementary decide if there is indoor or outdoor Recess?

    Recess will usually be indoors if it is raining or the wind chill is below 0 degrees.

    Who should I tell if I change my work number?

    Please be sure to update all numbers, especially emergency, work, pager, email, and/or voice mail as they change. This can be done through Parent Portal.  Any changes in address will need to be verified by providing a copy of an electric bill or lease/purchase with the new address.  Phone bills are not acceptable.

    What are the breakfast and lunch prices?

    See the district Web page for additional lunch program information:

    Can I eat lunch with my child?
    YES! Parents are welcome to eat lunch with their child any day. If you will be buying lunch, you will need to let the office know in the morning, by 9 A.M. This activity not only allows you to spend additional time with your child and to get to know their classmates, but an additional adult presence in the cafeteria helps to keep lunchtime quieter and more enjoyable for everyone. Again, you must sign in at the office before going to the cafeteria. You can inquire at the office as to the specific times for a certain class's lunch period.

    How do I register my child as a new student?
    You may register new students at the State College Area School District Central Office by calling (814) 231-1017 or if you are in the area you can stop by the office at 154 West Nittany Avenue.
Last Modified on August 17, 2015