BASIC SCHOOL PROGRAM
The core curriculum for each grade level and subject area is outlined in the Fairfax County Program of Studies, which supports the Virginia Standards of Learning. Teachers use a variety of instruction strategies and materials to promote student mastery of appropriate program of studies objectives. They plan and work together to assure consistency at each grade level.
The purpose of the program of studies is to identify the basic objectives for all students in each curriculum area. These priority objectives provide the foundation or core of the program, grades K-6. Objectives are placed in the grade level in which most children achieve them. The basic curriculum is a tool for planning, monitoring, and evaluating student's work on a continual progress basis.
The approaches used to improve and individualize instruction may include small group instruction, team teaching, programmed learning, multi-level and multimedia materials for individual use, and the utilization of paraprofessionals, peer tutors, and parent volunteers.
Good communication between the home and school is vital to a successful school experience for each child. So that parents may know when to expect written communications, the school administration has designated TUESDAY as the day to send home announcements, PTA newsletters, menus, student folders, report cards (four times per school year), and any handouts. Parents are encouraged to contact the school promptly regarding their child's progress or school procedures. Parents desiring to review their child's permanent record will need to call the school for an appointment with their child's teacher or school administrator.
It is very important that parents promptly return to the school survey forms, field trip permission slips, and other requested information.
EMERGENCY CLOSING OF SCHOOLS
Late opening, early closing, or cancellation of school due to heavy snow, excessive heat, or other emergency conditions will be announced over local radio stations, Cox Communications Channel 21, the FCPS web site (www.fcps.edu) and through the FCPS Keep in Touch email service as soon as the decision has been made. Please do not telephone the school for this information. Our phone lines need to be kept open in order to receive instructions from school officials. Please plan with your child what they are to do should he/she arrive home early and you are not there.
Inclement weather or other school emergencies (such as power failures or extreme temperatures) may result in closing, delayed opening, or early dismissal of schools or a change in schedule for adult education classes. Radio and TV stations, including Cox Communications Channel 21, carry the news as soon as such decisions are made. This information is also displayed on the school system home page, www.fcps.edu; and emergency announcement page, http://www.fcps.edu/news/emerg.htm. Parents and students are urged not to call schools or administrative offices for this information. The Fairfax County Public Schools hot line lists closing, delayed opening, or dismissal of schools. The number is 1-800-839-FCPS (3277). Visit http://fcps.medianext.com/fcps/signup.html to sign up to receive emergency announcements (snow closings), calendar information, School Board information, and much more via e-mail. You control what you receive and can change your selections at any time.
Working parents need to make advance arrangements regarding where their children should go in the event of an early closing. Detailed inclement weather plans may be found at http://www.fcps.edu/news/weather.htm.
Please notify the school immediately if there are any changes in your address, home or work telephone numbers, emergency contact persons, or any changes in medical information (http://www.fcps.edu/DIT/forms/se3.pdf), especially diagnosed allergies or medication changes (http://www.fcps.edu/DIT/forms/se71.pdf). Persons caring for students while parents are unavailable should hold limited power of attorney for medical services.
The Fairfax County Public Schools provide special services for the individual needs and differences of children. Within the local school, children may receive additional support from our reading specialist, learning disabilities resource teacher, speech clinician, and/or itinerant hearing or vision teacher. An individual evaluation is required before a child may receive most of these services. When this is necessary, parents will be contacted regarding school concerns. Written parent permission is needed prior to evaluation.
REPORTING TO PARENTS
Progress Reports will be sent home approximately one week after the end of each of the four marking periods. The purpose of the Progress Report is to help the parent or student identify the student's strengths and weaknesses and to help teachers evaluate each student and plan instruction accordingly. Teachers schedule conferences with all parents at the end of the first grading period. Additional conferences are encouraged and may be requested by either the parent or teacher at any time throughout the year.
Envelopes are sent home each Tuesday with school and PTO notices, the school newsletter, and students' papers and homework. Please read all papers carefully and sign and return the envelope to school the next day.
SAFETY & SECURITY
All FCPS personnel are identified with a photo badge. All other people (parents, volunteers, substitute teachers, etc.) must come to the school office and sign in. A special Bonnie Brae badge will be used.
For parent information, guidelines used by Child Protective Services for unsupervised children may be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/service/dfs/ChildrenYouth/homealone.shtm.
All children should have emergency telephone numbers and a number to locate a parent or designated responsible adult.
All FCPS meals are planned by registered dietitians to reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and student preferences as determined at student taste parties. Both breakfast and lunch are served daily; menus are sent home monthly and may be found at http://www.fcps.edu/parents/schlunch.htm. A complete lunch includes one entrée, choice of two vegetables and/or fruits, bread, and choice of milk. Students may only purchase one breakfast and one lunch per day. A la carte items such as juice, chips, and ice cream are also sold. For reasons of good nutrition, students may not bring sodas to school. All students must have a lunch each day.
Parents may prepay for lunches in any amount. Prepaid amounts are held in student accounts on their individual lunch cards. The cafeteria manager holds the cards each day so they won't be misplaced. When funds in the account run low, the cafeteria personnel will stamp a number on the student's hand, indicating the number of lunches left in the account. (This is generally 1 or 0). Regulation prevents staff from giving a hot lunch to students without money. Please keep sufficient funds in your child's account.
• Lunch - $2.65 (40 cents for students qualifying for reduced price)
• Milk – 60 cents, if sold separately (1% chocolate, 1% unflavored, 1% skim; vanilla soy milk available for 75 cents)
• Breakfast – $1.50 (30 cents for students qualifying for reduced price)
• Adult lunch - $3.65
Applications for free and reduced-price lunches are available at the school or may be found at http://www.fcps.edu/fs/food/food_at_school/free_reduced/. All requests remain confidential. Guidelines as prescribed by the State are applied.
To encourage good manners, student safety, and a pleasant atmosphere, students are expected to follow the cafeteria rules at all times.
Absences or Tardiness
Regular and on-time attendance is expected of each student. The Code of Virginia requires that any student with five or more unexcused absences be referred to the school attendance officer. Further unexcused absences will result in a petition to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The principal, school social worker, and school attendance officer also monitor student tardiness. If your child will be absent, it is essential that parents call the Bonnie Brae attendance line at 703-321-3939 before 8:30 a.m. to report the absence and reason. Absences that are not confirmed with the school by parents will be recorded as unexcused.
Any students arriving tardy must enter the building through the front doors and go to the office for a tardy slip that the student takes to class.
Bus transportation is provided for those children who live more than one mile from the school or when an unsafe situation exists as determined by the Department of Transportation. School bus riders in Fairfax County are required to observe rules of safety and good citizenship while riding on a bus and while waiting at a designated bus stop. It is essential that bus riders cooperate and adhere to the bus regulations. All children will receive a copy of Regulations for Pupils Riding School Buses. All parents are requested to review that information with children and return the signed portion to school. Any student reported for misconduct on the bus by the driver more than two times will be suspended from riding the bus for a time determined by the school administrator.
Conferences with teachers
A conference will be scheduled with each parent near the end of the first reporting period to discuss student progress. Additional conferences may be arranged by calling the school office. Conferences may be scheduled before or after school hours or during Monday's early closing. Remember, communication is the basis of understanding.
School begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and students are expected to be in their classrooms by this time. Students are not to arrive at school before 8:20 a.m. We are not able to provide supervision for students before this time. Parents should not drop students off or expect them to walk to school at a time that will cause them to arrive before 8:20 a.m.
The bell schedule is as follows:
8:10 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
8:10 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Emergency Care Card
Emergency care cards are kept on each student. It is essential that information be kept current. If home and/or work phone numbers change during the school year, it is extremely important that the school be notified. This can be done by calling the office (703-321-3900) and providing us with this information, or by sending a note to the office via your child. The school must also have at least one emergency contact other than the parent in case of an emergency. The emergency contact person should be accessible within a reasonably short time period. It is essential that phone numbers for emergency contacts also be kept current.
Going Home With Friends
If your child will be going home with a friend or having a friend come home with them, a note must be brought to school by both children saying the parents agree. Both children should give the notes to their teacher first thing in the morning. A permission slip will then be issued to allow a child to ride a different bus home or, in the case of walkers, to allow that child to walk home on a different route. If confirmation from both parents involved is not received, students will not be allowed to go home with the other child.
Homework is an excellent means of providing students with the opportunity to reinforce skills they have learned at school as well as developing time management skills and responsibility, Students in grades 1-3 will generally receive 30 minutes of homework three or four times a week. Students in grades 4-6 will generally receive not more than one hour of homework three or four times a week. If students are routinely taking an inordinate amount of time to complete homework or assignments are not being understood, parents should contact the teacher so that adjustments can be made.
Kiss and Ride Safety
All students being picked up or dropped off by car before or after school should be taken to the Kiss and Ride area. This area is located at the parking lot side of the school between the school and the ball fields. Cars should be pulled all the way to the end of the parking lot area (the “U”) before allowing their children to get out of the car. A teacher and student patrol is stationed there to assist students before school from 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. and after school at approximately 3:05 p.m. For the safety of all, students should never be allowed to exit or enter cars before reaching this designated area at the end of the parking lot and cars should never pass those waiting in line. Students being dropped off or picked up from the Kiss and Ride area will enter or exit the school through the side door closest to the parking lot. The side door will be locked at 8:30 a.m. each day.
Lost and Found
Unidentified articles found in the school are turned in to the cafeteria. Please check there if an article is lost. Eyeglasses and jewelry are not routinely placed with the other articles, so please inquire in the office. After notifying parents in the newsletter, lost and found items will be donated to a charitable organization.
It would be helpful if raincoats, jackets, rubber boots, mittens, etc., (clothing items that will be removed during the day) were labeled. It has been our experience in the past that items of this nature tend to be forgotten/mislaid, and we would like to able to identify the apparel for a particular child.
No Medication should be sent to the school with a child. This includes cough drops, aspirin, or other over –the-counter medications. The parent or guardian must bring the medication to the school in person and sign the required consent form. The school is not permitted to administer medication to a child without a written statement of informed consent, signed and executed by the child's parent or guardian. When medication is to be administered for more than ten days, a physician's prescription is also required. If a student requires medication during the school day, please call the clinic at 703-321-3910 to make proper arrangements.
Minimizing Classroom Interruptions
To prevent classroom interruptions, parents who bring forgotten materials (band instruments, etc.) to school should leave them in the office. These will be delivered to the classroom at an appropriate time. It is also requested that parents not have birthday flowers or balloons sent to school.
Students who enter the classroom tardy present a disruption to classroom activities that have already begun. Students are expected to arrive at school on time each day. Parents who walk students to school should say their good-byes at the front door or in the front lobby.
Parents should not walk students to the classroom as this also presents a disruption to morning classroom routines.
When money is being brought to the school, please enclose it in an envelope labeled with your child's name, room number, and purpose. Children should be discouraged from bringing extra money to school.
Please notify the school prior to visitation and check in at the office upon entering the building. Please do not engage the teacher or your child in a conversation or conference while visiting. It is most important that the learning environment not be interrupted.
Many enriching and worthwhile experiences are afforded our children through volunteer help from parents. With this support, teachers are able to provide more direct instruction. Parents interested in volunteering time and services are requested to contact the classroom teacher, assistant principal, or PTO volunteer coordinator. All volunteers must have a current TB test or x-ray, and attend a brief orientation session. Younger siblings may not accompany the parent who is volunteering.
The instructional program is our first priority. In keeping with this, each class will be permitted to have two parties during the year. Scheduling of the parties will be determined by the classroom teachers. These will be held in the classrooms usually with the help of the PTO Room Representative.
Children's feelings are easily hurt! Please ask your child to not pass out party invitations at school unless the whole class will be receiving one.
Children are not to bring in their personal belongings without permission from their teacher. The school will not be responsible for lost or broken items. Examples include CD players, radios, expensive jewelry, toys, etc. In addition, sports equipments such as baseballs, softballs, and wood or metal bats are not to be brought to school. FCPS regulation (2610) prohibits elementary school students from possessing cell phones or any device that is capable of transmitting or receiving text messages onto school property. In addition, sports equipments such as baseballs, softballs, and wood or metal bats are not to be brought to school.
Release of Pupils
If a student needs to leave school during the day for a doctor's appointment, etc., parents are asked to send a note to the teacher in the morning. When the parent arrives in the office, a secretary will call the student to the office. All children must be signed out in the office. Students will not be released to anyone except the parent unless there is a note of permission signed by the parent. Students may be released to either parent/guardian unless the school has been provided with a court order prohibiting access by a specifically named parent/guardian. In the case of emergency or illness students may be picked up by a person other than the parent only if that person's name has been listed on the student emergency care card.
Parents should make sure that pets do not follow children to school. Safety precautions require that the Fairfax County Police Department Animal Services Division be called to pick up any stray animals on school grounds. In addition, pets are not to be walked on school grounds for obvious health reasons.
Messages to students may be given to the school's administrative staff that will place the message in the teacher's mailbox. Parents are encouraged to make after-school pickup, care, and play plans clear to students before school in the morning. Students will not be allowed to use the telephone only for true emergencies, not for routine matters such as forgotten homework, instruments, lunches, or to arrange play dates. Only in extreme emergencies will the instructional day be interrupted for a student or teacher to answer a phone call. Teachers will return phone calls during planning periods or before or after the school day.
Use of bicycles
To ensure the safety of all the children who must use the pathways to Bonnie Brae, no student may ride a bike to or from school.
As a parent or concerned citizen, please call the Office of Safety and Security, 703-764-2400, if you see suspicious activities at your school such as persons on the roof, persons throwing things at the school, etc. Give the name and location of the school and a description of what is happening. It is not necessary to give your name. Security personnel or police will investigate.
Patrols and crossing guards are stationed at key intersections for the safety of children. Walkers should walk only on sidewalks (or sidewalk right-of-way) and cross only at intersections. Students should not walk through neighbor's yards. Parents should make sure their children have another child or children to walk home with each day. Parents should also discuss with their children rules of safety regarding talking to strangers and accepting rides from strangers. Students are expected to follow appropriate FCPS rules of conduct while walking to and from school.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Safety Patrols – The purpose of Bonnie Brae's safety patrol program is to ensure the safety of students at street crossings, on the buses, and in the halls of the building. Students are selected to serve as patrols from grades five and six. Participation in this program is voluntary and develops leadership skills and encourages responsible behavior. A Bonnie Brae staff member who is assisted by the Fairfax County Police Department sponsors the safety patrols. Agreement to participate represents both a parent and student commitment to provide safety direction for the entire year.
Student Council Association – Bonnie Brae's students in grades 3-6 have an opportunity to participate in self-government through the Student Council Association. SCA officers are elected from the 5 th grade class each spring and serve for the following school year.
The officers and classroom representatives meet regularly and are involved in many aspects of the school program. Bonnie Brae faculty members and the school administration sponsor the SCA.
Library Media Center – Bonnie Brae's library media center is an integral and influential part of the total educational program. Its central location is symbolic of its role as a center of learning activities. The media center contains tapes, magazines, resource files, technology-based resources and more, as well as a large collection of books for pleasure and reading research.
Students learn to respect others by observing those rules which create an environment for reading and research.
Physical Education – Students are required to wear tennis or gym shoes for physical education. Students unable to engage in the physical education program must have a note from their parents or a doctor citing specific limitations.
Field Trips – A field trip that coordinates with a curriculum area such as social studies or science may be scheduled for your child's class during the school year. Each child who participates in the field trip MUST have a signed permission slip. Parents are often asked to accompany classes on trips.
Advanced Academic Program – The instructional programs for advanced academic students include program modifications and differentiated instructional strategies to meet their educational needs. A variety of educational opportunities are available in grades K-12. Learning experiences are designed to develop higher level thinking through enrichment, acceleration, and program extensions.
All students are screened for Advanced Academic services using the Gifted Behaviors Rating Scale. These ratings, along with test data and other student records, are used by the local Advanced Academic school committee to assess and evaluate student eligibility for the local school-based Advanced Academic programs and to identify potential candidates for the Advanced Academic Center.
The K-3 Advanced Academic school-based program provides classroom lessons in critical and creative thinking for all students. Differentiated services are provided for identified students who display a need for accommodations in the depth, breadth, and/or pace of their instructional program. A plan is developed to provide support within the classroom for these identified students.
The 4-6 school-based program provides lessons in specific thinking processes for all students. All elementary and middle schools offer a school-based AA program for identified students. This might be in the form of a pull-out program, flexible grouping in specific academic disciplines, classes based on student interests, supervised independent research, or other options as determined by the local school.
The full-time Advanced Academic center program, which begins at grade 3, is designed for high ability learners whose academic needs cannot be met in the general education classroom. The center curriculum extends the FCPS program of studies and emphasizes critical thinking and creative thinking as well as problem solving skills. Approximately 5-6 percent of FCPS third through sixth grade students attend AA center programs, which are based at 16 elementary schools in the county. Bonnie Brae students selected for the AA center program attend White Oaks Elementary.
Screening for AA school-based services is conducted at the local school. Initial recommendations for the AA center program are made from the local school. Final selections are based on multiple criteria including intellectual ability and achievement and are made by a central committee.
Counseling Resource Teacher –The elementary counselors are assigned to Bonnie Brae to meet the needs of our community. They work with students, parents and teachers. Many students refer themselves; however, parents may refer their child. The following areas are examples of the ways in which the counselors can work with your child: self-concept/self-esteem, study skills, friendship (how to make and keep a friend), home problems (alcohol, abuse, separation, divorce, death). The counselors can talk with parents also.
Band and Strings Program – Students in grades 5 and 6 may participate in band; students in grades 4, 5 and 6 may participate in strings. Musical instruments may be rented for a nominal fee.
Special Education Services – Special education teachers work with students who have been identified as disabled through the child study/local screening committee and school-based eligibility committee. These students receive instructional programs as defined by their Individual Education Program (IEP), and may be served in a variety of ways including support in the general education classroom as well as direct instruction in a special education setting.
English for Speakers of Other Languages – Bonnie Brae is served by the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program which meets the academic and linguistic needs of student in grades one through six whose home language is not English. These students, who are assigned to age-appropriate grade level classrooms, receive ESOL services through a variety of program models including direct instruction, team teaching with classroom teachers and monitoring. Students' English language abilities are assessed periodically and proficiency levels are monitored to determine services needed.
Homebound Teacher – Homebound instruction may be available if a student is unable to attend regular school sessions over a long period of time.
Students are expected to comply with FCPS rules and regulations as stated in the Student Responsibilities and Rights handbook. All information is reviewed by classroom teachers with students the first week of school and throughout the year as needed. A copy of the Student Responsibilities and Rights handbook is sent home with each student the first week of school. Parents are asked to review the information with their child and sign and return the parent signature sheet as soon as possible.
In general, students should come to school dressed neatly with clean clothes. School is our student's “place of work” and dress should be appropriate. Girls should not wear halter-tops, inappropriately short shorts, clothing that exposes the stomach or back, or clothing that does not fully cover under garments. Boys should not wear clothing that expose the stomach or that does not fully cover undergarments as well. Clothing for all students should not have inappropriate or distracting words or pictures. Articles of clothing and accessories with any gang-related connotation (e.g. bandanas, pocket chains, etc.) must not be worn at school. Shoes are to be worn at school at all times. Students should wear tennis shoes on days they are scheduled for physical education class. Student's hairstyle must not interfere with vision or be distracting to other students in the classroom. Students may not wear hats while in the building, although they are allowed to be brought to school and worn outside during recess. For further information refer to School Board Policy 2613 and Regulation 2613.5.
STUDENT PERSONAL DATA
In accordance with School Board Policy 2701, Regulation 2701, and applicable Virginia and federal laws, local schools are required to advise parents of their rights concerning access and review of student records. Requests for review of records should be made to the school office and will be honored within 5 days of the request or sooner. Each student's name, address, and telephone number is classified as “directory information” and may be released to others without parental consent for purposes of school-related activities such as PTO, classroom parents, etc. A parent who does not wish any or all of this “directory information” released must notify the school in writing. In addition, if parents whish that their child not be photographed or videotaped, they should notify the school in writing.
STUDENTS' RESPONSIBILITIES AND RIGHTS
The Fairfax County School Board has defined the rights and responsibilities of school students in Regulation 2601. This policy is used as a guide when standards of conduct are established for Bonnie Brae students. Copies of the regulation that govern this policy are available in the Bonnie Brae office. In addition, this regulation is given to all students during the first week of school. Classroom discussions are held. Within the education environment, each child is expected to exercise responsible behavior.
School Board Policy 1370 prohibits door-to-door sales for school purposes. Parent reinforcement of this policy would be appreciated.
TEXTBOOKS AND SUPPLIES
Elementary school children are provided the use of textbooks without charge. It is necessary to require payment for books that are lost or damaged through negligence or abuse.
VISITORS (Parents, Children, Animals)
FCPS regulation (4215.2) requires that parents and visitors sign in at the office and obtain a volunteer or visitor badge to be worn during the time they are present in the building. All staff members are required to stop and direct any adult not wearing a badge to go to the office to sign in and obtain a badge. For this reason, parents should not enter the building through the side door (by the Kiss and Ride parking lot) to walk students to class, pick students up early, deliver forgotten items, etc.
Younger siblings, other relatives, friends of students, and students from other schools are not permitted to spend the day “visiting” in classrooms.
Animals visiting the classroom must be with a parent and approval from the teacher must be given in advance.
Parents are welcome to observe in the classroom, but should make arrangements with the teacher, or the principal or assistant principal in advance.