Handbook & Supply Lists
Osseo Area Schools standardizes the elementary school handbook for all sites.
Core Values: We believe that...
- lifelong learning is essential for the individual and community to thrive;
- everyone has equal intrinsic value;
- trust is essential to sustaining successful relationship and to achieve results;
- better decisions emerge when diverse perspectives are intentionally included in a collaborative process;
- everyone benefits when cultural differences are acknowledged and understood, and individuals are treated respectfully and equitable; and
- everyone can learn more.
2023-2024 School Supply Lists
- Principal's Letter
- ISD 279 Mission, Core Values, & Strategic Objectives
- Birch Grove Behavior Statement
- Arrival and Departure
- Nutrition & Lunchroom Procedures
- Deliveries & Visiting
- Health Services
- Troupes and Electives
- Behavior Guidelines & Approaches
- Behavior Expectations
- School Bus Procedures
- Bullying, Severe Behavior & Consequences for Misbehavior
- Celebrations, Recognitions, & Party Treats
- Emergency Forms, Field Trips & Permission Slips
- Social Media, Cell Phones & Smart Watches
- Lost & Found, Lockers, Drills & Pledges
The Birch Grove Handbook was created to complement the District Elementary Parent Handbook and get you acquainted with the policies, procedures and expectations at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts! In order for scholars and their families to have a more successful year, we ask that families read through both handbooks together and review them each trimester of the school year. Being an arts magnet school, our Birch Grove staff understands communication is important for our arts programming and events to be successful as well as communicating about classroom information and scheduling. Our goal is to create a great partnership with our families for the achievement and well-being of all scholars. As you review this handbook, feel free to call us with clarifying questions or concerns. Our main office can be reached by calling 763-561-1374.
Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts Staff
Welcome back to another great year of learning and hard work at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts. We are committed to working together to creating a safe and welcoming environment. Our goal of increasing student learning in a nurturing environment can only be accomplished if families and school work together. This handbook was created to help you learn about our policies, procedures, and expectations as a member of the BG community. As with most printed material, unforeseen circumstances may warrant some changes as we go through the school year. However, we have made an attempt to give you clear and accurate information that will be valuable as we go through the school year. It is our aim for all our students to feel welcome and happy so they can learn and reach new goals.
To make sure our students are successful we have a program called BG CARES: Bobcat Pride.
BG CARES: Cooperation, Assertiveness, Responsibility, Empathy, Self-control
Bobcat Pride addresses the entire school-classroom, hallways, cafeteria and lunchroom. Our goal is to work as a team to learn more, support each other, and have fun in the process. We continue to see a reduction in major referrals using BG CARES. Please contact us if you have questions, comments or concerns about what is found within these pages. Additional information can be found on our district web page at www.district279.org. Working together, we will have a great learning year!
Dr. Ronald Salazar, Principal
Mr. Dimitri Russell, Assistant Principal
District 279 Mission: Our Mission is to inspire and prepare all students with the confidence, courage and competence to achieve their dreams, contribute to community, and engage in a lifetime of learning.
Core Values and Strategic Objectives: We believe that – Lifelong learning is essential for the individual and the community to thrive; Everyone has equal intrinsic value; Trust is essential to sustaining successful relationships and to achieving results; Better decisions emerge when diverse perspectives are intentionally included in a collaborative process; Everyone benefits when cultural differences are acknowledged and understood, and individuals are treated respectfully and equitable; and Everyone can learn more.
At Birch Grove students and adults are Cooperative, Assertive, Responsible, Empathic, and Show Self-control. This leads to a safe, positive learning environment that increases student achievement. BG CARES!!
At Birch Grove, we update our goals every Fall. We will continue to focus on helping each child grow academically and socially through an emphasis on the arts. Our goals focus on student and school-wide success in math and reading. We give extra reading and math support to students based on their needs.
Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts is a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school. We just call it Bobcat Pride! With this framework, we continue to create a safe and positive environment for our parents, students and staff through a model we call BG C.A.R.E.S. We are looking at maintaining this positive school culture.
AM Arrivals and Departures: Children should not report to school before 9:15 a.m., as we have no adult supervision available. Buses arrive between 9:10-9:25 a.m. Buses departure time is approximately 4:00 p.m., from the back and east side of the building.
Late Arrival Procedures: All students arriving after 9:30 will receive a late slip from the office. Late buses are excused.
Arrival and Departure at Birch Grove Elementary by Car: We ask that when you bring your students to school you use the FRONT of the building (Door A) – south side of the school, to drop your child off, or to pick them up. Please stop along the sidewalk or use a parking spot, in the afternoon. No double parking. We ask that cars stay in a single file line when entering the drop-off / pick-up area. Please keep the crosswalk area open for people crossing the parking lot. This area is a one-way driving zone. DO NOT TURN AROUND AND GO THE WRONG WAY TO EXIT. Remember, handicapped parking is designated only for those who have a handicapped parking sticker.
Safety and Security – please be aware that only the main doors in front of the school will be open after school has started for the day. All other doors will be locked. If you need to leave your vehicle to enter the building, please use a parking spot in the lot. Students waiting for pick up should wait on the large part of the sidewalk in front of the school (not on grass).
If plans of after-school transportation have changed for your child, please call the office by 3:30 p.m. so your message will get delivered to the classroom teacher. Calls not received by this time are not guaranteed to be relayed.
Bicycles: Bike racks have been provided for the orderly storage of bikes while students are in school. All bicycles must be parked in those racks. We recommend that students secure bicycles with a lock, since the school is not responsible for their safety. Only ride bikes before and after school. Bikers need to walk their bike while on school grounds.
Food Service Program: Lunch and breakfast are offered to students daily and free of charge to families. An alternative line is also offered daily. The monthly menu is sent home in Wednesday envelopes. It is also posted on the district website.
Parents are encouraged to send well-balanced lunches if the child is bringing cold lunch. Our goal is to make the lunchroom a pleasant place where children can visit with friends and enjoy their lunch. We promote good manners and responsibility. Children are encouraged to sample the variety of foods served.
Eating Lunch with Students: Adults/non-school-aged siblings are welcome to come eat with Birch Grove students. All siblings are the responsibility of the parent/guardian and must be monitored at all times. Food can be brought in from outside of the building for your student only. Visitors are allowed in the cafeteria only. Lunch visitors are asked to sit at the Guest VIP table with their student only (may not invite other students to sit with). Lunch visitors cannot visit classrooms or go outside for recess. If you wish to spend extended time with your student, you may check them out of Birch Grove for the lunch/recess time without affecting the student’s attendance. Remember to return promptly, as to ensure the student does not miss instructional time. Remember to sign in upon arrival for lunch and sign out once lunchtime is dismissed.
Students Bringing Food into the Cafeteria: Food items should not be brought into the cafeteria to supplement school lunches. If additional food is needed at lunchtime, arrangements can be made with the food service staff. Passing out items like candy, cookies, and treats is also prohibited. Students are welcomed to bring a cold lunch from home. Milk is available for purchase through food service.
Snack Breaks: Some grade levels at Birch Grove allow a snack break sometime during the day. Please send only a nutritious snack – not candy, chips or sweets. No red juice, peanut products or peanut butter are allowed at Birch Grove.
Deliveries to the Classroom: Forgotten items can be dropped off at the main office for students. A staff member will bring forgotten items to your child in their classroom.
Visiting: School Parents are always welcome to visit Birch Grove. As a courtesy to the teacher, it would be helpful to know in advance by calling the office. We would like all visitors, upon their arrival, to report to the office so that we may assist and call the teacher. You must sign in and wear a Birch Grove visitor tag. This is a safety issue for your child. Do not go directly to your child’s classroom. The office will assist you.
School Visitation by Children: Students are not permitted to bring other children with them to school as visitors.
It has been proven that good school attendance contributes to success later in life. We at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts would like to see your child in school.
According to MN Statute #260A.02, sub.3, truant is defined as absence without lawful excuse from attendance in school when required to attend. This law requires schools to report truancy to county agencies when concerns are not addressed. If a student is under the age of 12, truancy is referred to as educational neglect and is defined as the failure by a person responsible for a child’s care to take steps to ensure that a child is educated in accordance with state law. Parents/guardians are responsible for children under 12 years of age to attend school. This definition allows Social Services to intervene on the basis of educational neglect.
Attendance becomes a concern when a child’s academic progress is affected, or when a pattern of disregard for the importance of schooling begins to develop. The school day at Birch Grove is 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If your child will be absent we ask that you contact the school attendance line at 763-561-1374 ext 1 before school begins. If you are unable to call the school, be sure to send a note with your child when they return to school with reason of absence. Your child’s absence will be considered unexcused until a verbal or written notification has been provided to the school. This notification needs to be given within 2 days of the absence.
What absences are considered excused? Illness, injury, late bus, medical conditions, death in the family and appointments. Family trips or activities need preapproval of administration.
What absences are considered unexcused? Missed bus, oversleeping, bus suspension, staying home to help out at home, no phone call, verbal or written communication not within two days explaining the absence, extracurricular activities, no stated reason.
What happens when attendance becomes a problem?
- 3 unexcused absences: Letter to parent/guardian according to MN Statute 260A
- 5 unexcused absences: Phone call, home visit, or meeting with parents/guardian
- 6 unexcused absences: Parent Group Meeting referral through Hennepin County
- 9 unexcused absences: School Team conducts attendance review, report of Educational Neglect with Hennepin County Child Protection Services
- 15 excused or unexcused absences: Truancy petition may be filed. Due to the number of absences, in one year any further absences will require a doctor’s note presented within 2 days of the return to school.
- Tardy (Partial Day Absence): A Tardy (partial day absence) will be recorded when a child in Grades K-5 misses 1 hour or less of instructional time during the school day. 6 tardies (partial day absences) are equal to one day of absence.
- Half Day Absence: A half day of absence will be recorded when a child in Grades K-5 misses more than 1 hour of instructional time during the day. 2 half day absences will be equivalent to one full day absence.
- Full Day Absence: A full day of absence will be recorded when a child in Grades K-5 is not in attendance for the day.
- Non-Instructional Time: Non-instructional time is defined as lunch and/or recess.
We want to work with you to help solve attendance concerns before they become problems. Please call us so we can begin working together as soon as possible.
Release of Child During the School Day: When you wish to have your child dismissed early, it is necessary for the parent/guardian to come directly to the office and check the child out. Please fill out the Green Student Release Form. The child will then be called to the office. If the parent/guardian will not be able to pick up the child the school will have to be notified in advance as to who will be picking the child up. This person should be on the scholar’s emergency contact. This will keep classroom disruptions to a minimum! No child will be released other than through this procedure.
Communication between home and school is vital! We encourage you to call or e-mail your child’s teacher whenever you have a concern.
Most notices about school and community events will be sent home on Wednesday by an e-mail system called PeachJar. Please check your e-mail for these items. If you do not have e-mail access, you may request a paper copy of these mailings. Many teachers send home folders containing homework and student work. Watch for these too, and contact the teacher with any questions. We also contact families through “Connect Ed” calls. This is when the principal will send out a phone call to all families with important information or events happening at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts.
Birch Grove sends a monthly e-newsletter on the first of the month through email. Newsletters contain important reminders and information about upcoming events. Newsletters can be viewed online here: https://bg.district279.org/families/news
Who To Call: Frequently, parents find it beneficial/necessary to communicate regarding concerns about their child. Your child’s teacher should always be the first one to be called regarding questions or concerns about his/her progress, work to be completed, peer relationships, etc. Please do not call expecting to talk to a teacher while they are teaching. Birch Grove’s secretary or office assistant might best answer questions/ or concerns more general in nature. Birch Grove’s office number is 763-561-1374 ext. 0.
Telephone: The office and classroom telephones are for school business only! Students are permitted to use the telephone at adult discretion.
Our school Health Specialist welcomes any communication or questions related to your student’s health. A student’s health information (for example: communicable disease, serious illness, injury or a unique health condition) should be communicated to the school health office, thus enabling us to assist you with proper health care. For the safety of students while riding the bus health information will be shared with the bus company. Please make the nurse aware of any medical changes or medications.
Accidents: Parent/guardian or alternate emergency contacts will be notified in case of serious accident or injury. If we are unable to notify parent/guardian or contacts, or if a life threatening medical situation exists, 911 will be called and the student will be transported to North Memorial Hospital by ambulance. Please update all changes in home and work phone numbers as they may occur so contacts can be made if necessary. Legal changes, address changes and enrollment changes need to be made at the Enrollment Center. The Enrollment Center’s telephone number is 763-585-7350. Their address is 7051 Brooklyn Blvd. (in the Northwest Family Services Building) Brooklyn Park, MN.
Staying in from Recess/Excused from Physical Education Class: Children are expected to be going outside for a short period of time each day, weather permitting and attend physical education class. If you want your child excused from Recess/Physical Education class please send a request to the teacher that includes a required doctor’s note. Written instructions are required from the student’s physician if he/she is to be excused more than two days, and they must include a re-entry date.
Illness: If a student becomes ill during the school day and is unable to return to class, the Health Specialist will contact the parent or guardian at home or work to inform them of the illness and to request that the student be picked up from school immediately. If the parent cannot be reached, those persons designated by the parent/guardian on the emergency sheet will be notified. If parent/guardian or contact persons cannot be reached, the student will remain in the health office. Once again please keep your phone numbers updated. Students will be sent home from school or should stay home if the following criteria are present:
- Fever of 100 degrees or more
- Red eyes/eyelids with pus drainage
- Rash that may spread or may be disease related
- Live head lice or an increasing quantity of nits
Before returning to school:
- Student must be fever free for 24 hours
- No vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours
- If the student has a rash of unknown origin (that may be disease related) they must have a note from their health care provider that they can return to school
- For any activity restrictions (in class or Physical Education) or special accommodations (water bottle, snack, etc.) note from the health care provider is required.
Immunizations: The State of Minnesota mandates that all students show evidence of required immunizations in order to attend school unless they have legal or medical exemption. Notification will be made if the student’s immunizations are not up-to-date.
Latex Aware Schools: Due to an increasing incidence of latex (rubber) allergies, non-latex balloons and gloves will be used during the school day and for school events in ALL District 279 buildings. These items are a major concern because they allow latex particles to be dispersed in to the air for breathing. Mylar, vinyl and other non-latex products are a safe alternative.
Other allergies – Be aware many people have food allergies – especially to peanuts and nuts as well as scents. Please avoid using any products with strong scents.
Medications: Students are not allowed to carry their own medication during school hours except in special medical circumstances. In such cases, parent/guardian and medical caregiver signatures are required. Parent/guardians of students requesting medications to be administered by Health Service personnel during school hours are required to provide:
- A written order for the medication from the physician or medical caregiver for all prescriptions medications given for any length of time and for any over -the-counter medication given longer than 2 weeks.
- A signed parental release (Forms provided by the office)
- The medication supplied in the original labeled bottle in which it was purchased NO baggies or other containers will be accepted. You may ask your pharmacist to divide the prescription medication into two bottles with complete labels; one for school and one for home.
- The medication sent to school in proper dosage for administration. Tablets already cut if partial tablets are required to provide the correct dosage.
- To assure safety, parents must bring the student’s medication to the school health office or send with a responsible adult. Do not send medication to school with your elementary student.
Assessment and Evaluation: The students at Birch Grove will be given two major assessments. The MAP test (Measures of Academic Progress) is given in the spring to all students in grades 2-6. The MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments) is given in April to all student s in grades 3-6. Both tests are described in greater detail in the following.
MCA IIs: What are the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)? These tests are part of the educational accountability system in Minnesota. Accountability calls for a results oriented education system that focuses on continuous improvement, community involvement, and public reporting of results. These tests chart the progress of schools and districts over time, generate information for school improvement and school accountability and allow for comparison of schools and districts in Minnesota. Schools use these results to make curricular and instructional decisions for all students. Identifying strengths and weaknesses early can help districts make the best decisions about curriculum and instruction so that they are better able to prepare students to meet the Graduation Standards.
MAP: This computerized test measures academic growth from year to year in the areas of reading and math. The test automatically adjusts to the level of the student question by question. The tests are aligned with the district and state curriculum. Student’s results are reported in RIT scores. The RIT score is an equal interval scale, like feet and inches, which makes growth in learning easy to measure. This system is a powerful tool for monitoring growth over time.
Some ways to help students: Make sure students get a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before test taking. Encourage students to answer all the questions that they are sure of and to put a small mark by those that give them trouble. The test is not timed, so they can go back to the questions they marked. Work with schools to provide experiences that increase achievement. Read to and with your child. Encourage students to use math every day. Some math activities they can do include: create a grocery budget, explain charts and graphs from newspaper and magazine articles, divide food portions, use rulers to measure objects, measure a recipe, add prices on a shopping trip, etc.
Arts Elective Classes: Electives are for students in grades 1-5 and are assigned by student choice. Electives meet once every six days for 45 minutes with classroom teachers, for five class periods and a culminating showcase in the gym. Students have two Different Elective classes during the year. All Elective classes and showcases take place during the school day.
Arts Troupes: Troupes are for students in grades 2-5 and are audition-only groups in the areas of Art, Drama, Choir, Dance, Media Arts and BG LEADS. Troupes meet during elective time, but meet with art specialists for the entire year. All Troupes have Two evening performances during the school year; one in December and one in May. Drama Troupe has occasional rehearsals outside of the school day, but the other Troupes generally do not.
Orchestra: Orchestra is for students in grades 3-5 and are for students who choose to join. They receive one 30-minute small group lesson each week and one large-group rehearsal each week. The orchestra has one evening concert in the spring. Students must rent or buy an instrument to play in the orchestra. Student on free/reduced lunch have the option to borrow a District owned instrument.
Band: Band is for students in grade 5 who choose to join. They receive one 30-minute small group lesson each week and one Large-group rehearsal each week. The band has one evening concert in the spring. Students must rent or buy an instrument to play in band. Students on free/reduced lunch have the option to borrow a district-owned instrument.
Spring Musical: Students in grades 1-5 can audition to be a part of the Spring Musical. Members of the Musical rehearse before and after school from December through March and must have their own transportation to and from rehearsals. Performances are in mid-March and are on a Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening and a Sunday matinee.
Patrols: If your child has expressed an interest in joining the school patrol, we will need your approval and support for their participation. Students that are walkers or parent pick up are both eligible for patrol. To assist you in your decision making, here are a few specifics regarding patrol duty:
- The patrols will be divided into two different squads
- Each squad will patrol for one week every other week
- The squads will patrol before and after school
- Morning report time is 8:50 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. finish time
- The student must be able to do both a.m. and p.m. times (no exceptions)
School patrols are expected to be good role models and be able to set an example for their classmates to follow. This includes in and out of the classroom. Patrols will need to be responsible for reporting to their assigned spots on time, being respectful to others ad completing their homework and maintaining a good academic status. If you have any questions, please call Pam Gangestad at Birch Grove 763-549-2301.
Discipline is learned, and should be taught in the home, school and community. As students mature, they should be given increased responsibility consistent with their developmental level and social maturity. The goal is to develop in our students an understanding of appropriate behavior, so that little external enforcement is required. When this occurs, we believe that a very positive and productive learning environment will result, enabling students to strive for excellence.
Although the approach toward discipline at school will emphasize the positive, the focus on this plan is on changing or controlling inappropriate behavior, rather than on punishment. All students will be made aware of the consequences of any misbehavior with fair, firm and consistent application of logical consequences. Careful consideration is given to individual situations, so that the school’s response to the student is appropriate. These rules and regulations reflect a balance between the responsibilities and rights of the individual and those of the group. We expect that they will help promote mutual respect and cooperation between all members of our school community.
Guidelines have been established for expected school behavior. Students must respect themselves, others, and property at all times and to use the rules of common courtesy when interacting with others. Teachers and other staff spend time throughout the year talking about Bobcat Pride. We have a matrix for what Bobcat Pride looks like in each area of the school, and we will teach these to all students. Parents are asked to go over these guidelines with their children at home as well and to reinforce the school’s behavior expectations and discipline policy. It may also be helpful to refer to district policies, Series 500, regarding Student Discipline if you want to learn more about this topic.
Some basic rules and regulations need to be established to assist the school in setting up and maintaining appropriate learning settings for children. Our focus is on BOBCAT PRIDE.
We use the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning, which helps foster a safe, challenging, and joyful learning environment in classrooms. The strategies Birch Grove will engage during the school year are:
- Morning Meeting or Harambee!- This builds community and personal relationships in the classroom as well as encourages and motivates scholars for a day of engagement and learning.
- Universal hand-signal: Show-Five “Show me 5” means:
- Eyes on Speaker
- Voices Off
- Ears Listening
- Hands Empty
- Body Still
- Voice Volume Key
- 3: Outside/recess voice
- 2: Conversation voice
- 1: Whisper voice
- 0: Zero/no voice
The Restorative Practices Approach involves the building of positive relationships and establishing a supportive environment that is fair, consistent, and democratic. It involves interventions when harm has happened, as well as practices that help to prevent harm and conflict by creating a sense of belonging, safety and social responsibility within the school community. At the core, Restorative Practices are about building and restoring relationships.
A restorative approach to conflict and wrongdoing consists of asking key questions, such as: What happened, and what were you thinking at the time? What have you thought about since? Who has been affected by what happened and how? What about this has been the hardest for you? What needs to be done to make it right?
A restorative approach encourages students to understand the impact of and appreciate the consequences of the actions; provides an opportunity for those harmed by another’s actions to share their personal experience; requires students to be accountable for their actions; encourages respect for all concerned and develops empathy for others.
In the school setting, a restorative approach leads to reduction in discipline referrals; reduction in classroom disruptions and fighting; narrowed racial discipline gap; improved school climate; strengthened conflict resolution skills; increased academic achievement, attendance, and graduation rates, and improvement in relationships.
In GENERAL, students are expected to:
- Follow school rules – show Bobcat Pride, show BG CARES
- Wear name tags daily
- Follow staff’s first request
- Use polite and respectful tone and words when speaking
- Keep hands, feet and objects to themselves
- Care for personal belongings and school property
- Carry a pass from a staff member when student is not with his/her class
- When buses arrive students are to report to breakfast or their class lines outside
- Use appropriate inside and outside voice
- Be responsible for their actions on the Internet
- Use the Internet as an educational resource and use only sites as directed by their teachers
- Not give out personal information such as name, address, or phone number on any site
- Close the browser immediately and tell their instructor if they accidentally access internet material that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable
Students may NOT:
- Chew gum on the school premises
- Wear hats or bandanas in the school building
- Bring toys or animals to school
- Throw objects such as rocks, sticks, mulch, snow/ice, food, or other inappropriate objects at/on the bus, or at school
In the HALLS, students are expected to:
- Walk, with a 0—1 voice, in a single file
- Walk on the right side
- Close doors quietly
- Keep hands and feet away from bulletin boards, displays, and walls
- Bodies stay out of lockers
- Have a pass from their teacher if they are not with their class
In the RESTROOMS, students are expected to:
- Bring only the pass into the bathroom
- Use grade level or area specific restroom
- Use inside voices Respect rights of others in the bathroom
- Use the restroom facilities correctly Leave walls, floors and stalls free of writing or damage
- Put paper towels and other trash in trash cans
- Return to class as quickly as possible
In the CAFETERIA, students are expected to:
- Wait calmly in the serving line, keeping hands and feet to self
- Hang up weather gear and backpack on hooks
- Enter lunch number into keypad
- Remain seated in assigned area– 2 feet underneath table
- Raise their hands, if they need help
- Not throw food or trash
- Keep all foods inside the cafeteria, eat only their food (not share food). Only those eating school breakfast allowed in café during breakfast.
- Use inside voices only
- Put all trash in proper cans, stack trays properly
- Clean up dropped or spilled items
- Have everything they need for lunch with them before going out for recess. No electronics or phones.
- Exit for class when your teacher is there to pick you up or have a note indicating a change
On the PLAYGROUND, students are expected to:
- Stay within the boundaries of the playground
- Stay away from areas that have been marked with cones as unsafe or off-limits; stay off of/do not climb fences
- Stay away from all classrooms and windows so that the other students are not disturbed
- Stay away from the parking lot area
- Remain on the playground at all times – do not go back into the building without a pass
- Go inside as soon as the signal is given
- Play dodge ball only with soft balls away from the walls; use all balls away from building
- Use climbing equipment safely (only go down the slides feet first)
- No fighting or play wrestling or roughhousing, kicking, hitting, biting, pushing, spitting or pulling hair)
- Football must be flag football or catch – no tackling or pushing
- Not play chasing or tag games on playground equipment.
- Not have electronics or phones.
- Not pick up or throw rocks, sticks, mulch, dirt snow/ice, etc.
- Report all accidents, injuries, and other concerns to one of the adults on duty immediately
- Be respectful of other children’s clothing, hoods, coats – do not pull on them.
- Use respectful, non-threatening language
- Only chase another student when all students in the game want to be chased. Once a child says STOP, then that child should no longer be chased.
- Wear appropriate clothing suited for the weather – snow pants and boots need to be worn to play in snowy areas or on the hills
- Keep food off the playground
Students are NOT Allowed to BRING TO SCHOOL:
- Weapons, intoxicants, or tobacco products
- Any object that looks like a weapon or could be used as a weapon, including toy guns or knives, fire objects, water guns, etc. (if a weapon is brought accidentally to school and the student turns it in immediately to a staff member, the office will hold it for parental pick-up without any further consequences).
- Shoes with wheels
- Any items that may cause a nuisance ex. Toys, animals, slime, Pokemon cards
- Locks of any type
- Hardballs, softballs and baseball bats
Students and parents should use discretion when selecting items suitable to bring to school. Please call the office if there is a question about the suitability of an item. Items that are brought into the classroom and become a distraction will be confiscated and given to the office for parental pick-up. The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Be at the bus stop on time, but no more that 5 minutes ahead of pickup time. (Bus stop behavior is the responsibility of parents/ guardians). While waiting for the bus, stay on the curb well away from the traveled part of the road. No games, pets, or non school-aged children should be permitted at the bus stop.
Board the bus without shoving or pushing. Find your assigned seat quickly. Remain seated while bus is in motion. Keep noise level down and voice level between 0-2. The driver must not be distracted and be able to hear to the safety of all passengers. Show respect for the driver and follow directions. Ride only the bus to which you are assigned. The bus may not be used to transport students who do not qualify for bus ridership. Keep all items and body parts inside of bus. Keep aisles clear.
Bus tickets will be issued for inappropriate behavior and will be handled by administration. Inappropriate behavior on the bus could result in the loss of the opportunity to ride the bus. School bus transportation is a privilege, not a right.
Bullying: Parents sometimes tell their children to strike back at bullies. Usually, that creates more problems than it solves. But if you’re being bullied, you aren’t helpless. You can do some things that may stop the bullying. Here are some things you might try:
- Tell a friend. Ask your friend to help you – it’s tougher to pick on a person who has someone there for support.
- Walk away. It’s harder to bully someone who won’t stand still to listen.
- Chill out. Bullies seem to target kids who respond to their taunts – children who cry easily or children who have a tendency to fly off the handle. So try hard not to show emotion. Practice by looking in a mirror if you have to. It’s no fun to bully someone who doesn’t seem to care.
- Try not to be alone in places where the bully picks on you. This may mean you need to sit in a different place on the bus or take a different way to school.
- Don’t fight back. Usually, bullies are bigger and stronger than you are. If you try to fight, you could get hurt. You could make the situation worse. Or you could even get blamed for starting the fight.
- Write it down. Keep track of what happens, dates, times and places. Write down exactly what the bully says. When you are ready to tell an adult, you’ll have proof.
Whether you are at school, on the school bus, or walking to and from school – it is always okay to tell a teacher or adult at school. Telling an adult about a situation where someone is getting hurt verbally or physically is not tattling. Ask for help when you need it. It is very important not to wait to tell a trusted adult about a bullying situation. The sooner we know what is happening, the sooner we can help and prevent it from happening again.
Severe Behavior: Behavior that is severely inappropriate or dangerous to the student, others or property will result in student’s removal. Restraint may be utilized to remove the child from an area. Parents will be contacted if their child needs to be removed from the school. The police will be called if necessary.
Minnesota State Statutes have been revised to allow use of reasonable force by a teacher, school employee, bus driver, or other agent of the school district when it is necessary under the circumstances to restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another. This does not authorize corporal punishment, which is prohibited by M.S.121 A.58, nor aversive and deprivation procedures which are prohibited by M.S. 121A.67. Any parent that questions a consequence given their child is welcome to call or visit with the child’s teacher or administration.
Consequences for Misbehavior: At Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts we use a variety of consequences that are progressive and are logical for the situation. Depending on the situation and the number of incidents one or more of the following may be used:
- Conference with Student
- Take a Break/Buddy Room
- Parent Contact
- Lunch / Recess Detention
- Out-of-School Suspension
- Referral to the School Counselor
- Bus suspension (for bus incidents)—student is still expected to attend school
Consequences for Technology Violation:
- 1st - loss of privileges without direct supervision for two weeks
- 2nd– loss of privileges without direct supervision for trimester
- 3rd- loss of privileges without direct supervision for remainder of year
Birch Grove reserves the right to assign other consequences depending on severity of violation.
Pawsitive prints: Recognition for showing BG CARES characteristics. Students can purchase incentives in their classroom, at Specialist classes or enter their pawsitive prints into a drawing.
Scholar Dollars: Recognition for showing scholarly academic characteristics.
Bus Bucks: Recognition for showing bus ridership expectations. BG Whole School Tube Celebrations– Recognitions are placed in this tube at the end of each month. Once it is filled to a line on the tube, a whole school celebration takes place.
BG CARES: Drawings on BGTV– Students who enter their pawsitive prints into the drawing may be drawn on BGTV to receive and incentive recognition.
BG CARES Assembly: Classroom teachers nominate students who exhibit the character traits of BG CARES each month. These students are recognized at the BG CARES Assembly. One class or grade level also showcases an arts driven activity. Families of students being recognized are welcome to attend.
Party Treats: All treats served at school must be commercially prepared and packaged. The Minnesota State Health Department recommends the serving of homemade treats be prohibited. They must also be peanut or peanut butter free. We encourage non-food/drink items be distributed for treats due to allergies. Examples include: pencils, stickers, erasers, cards/notes, etc. No latex balloons. Balloons of any kind is greatly discouraged. Arrangements need to be made with the teacher prior to bringing items.
Students are expected to present an appearance that does not disrupt educational process or interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching/learning climate. Dress and/or grooming which are not in accord with reasonable standards of health, safety, modesty, and decency will be considered inappropriate.
- Footwear must be worn at all times. Non-skid tennis shoes are needed for physical education.
- Clothing of a revealing and/or distracting nature such as short pants, tops, and dresses, exposed underwear, bra straps, wallet chains or low riding pants may not be worn to school. Students may monitor the length of their shorts or skirt. When standing, if they place their arms straight down at their side, they should touch the material of their shorts or skirt. If they touch skin they are too short and they cannot be worn. When monitoring length, the garment should rest freely. Straps need to be the width of at least 2 fingers.
- Clothing or items of dress showing drawings of or reference to any illegal drug, tobacco, alcoholic beverage, or other substance is prohibited. Obscene writing, drawings, t-shirt transfers indicating inappropriate messages may not be on clothing worn to school. Articles of clothing representing or suggesting gang membership or displaying gang insignia will not be accepted (i.e. displayed bandanas, etc.).
- No items such as hats, scarves on heads, backpacks, sunglasses, chains hanging from pockets or outerwear including jackets, coats, etc. should be worn during the school day without specific permission from an administrator or teacher. It is suggested that scholars bring a sweater for the classroom.
- When an infraction of the dress guidelines occurs, a staff member may ask the student to change into clothing that he or she may have, or go to the office for a change of clothing, and/or parent contact.
In all cases the ultimate authority on clothing issues is retained by school administration.
Emergency Forms: Parents are reminded to update emergency/health forms each year (and with any changes during the year). The school needs emergency information immediately. We bring this information up to date on the district computer so teachers and office staff have the most current information available to them. Whenever you have a change of address or telephone number, please call the school office and tell the secretary. If an emergency form is not on file or updated we will make the decision to take your child for treatment if a parent cannot be reached.
Field Trips: All students must ride on the bus to the field trip destination. Students may return home with their parent only. All alternative transportation plans must be in place prior to any trip. Each classroom teacher will determine the details in regard to who will be chaperoning and the number of chaperones. All chaperones must fill out a volunteer form. Please see “Volunteering” on page 9 of this handbook for more information. Exceptions to this guideline are approved by the principal. Each field trip is a little different, but there are standards that apply for all chaperones. Every chaperone is a role model and a supervisor of the children assigned to them. We ask that all chaperones refrain from smoking and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are acting as a chaperone, siblings or other children should not be brought along on field trips. The building principal will make final decisions on field trip issues/concerns/requests.
Permission Slips: Throughout the year, students leave the building and community for enrichment activities or for special rewards. A permission slip, signed by a parent/guardian is required in advance. Slips are not required when traveling within the school district. (For example; other buildings, local merchants, etc.)
Social Media: Students are especially tuned into social media as a vehicle for instant communication. Schools experience a downside to social media communication when it is misused. Students need to be very aware of the power of social media and the consequences of negative posts, texts, photos, etc. Schools often have to settle student disputes over social media because it affects the student’s ability to learn. Parents/guardians will be called on to help Birch Grove teach students about the proper use of social media. If students are in conflict over social media postings, families will be called to help monitor and control its use. If students post to social media sites during school hours, this will be considered an Internet use violation and appropriate actions will be taken including communication home. See page 20 for Acceptable Internet Use Policy.
Cell Phones and Smart Watches: Cell phones/smart watches are not allowed for use during school hours. If brought to school, they should not be seen or heard in the school building or at a school sponsored activity during school hours, 9:30am-4:00pm, or while waiting for the buses after school. Cell phones/smart watches are not to be used before, during or after breakfast. If a staff members sees a student using these items or hears them, it will be taken from the student. The first time a cell phone or smart watch is taken, parents will be notified and the will be returned at the end of the day. For all occurrences after that, the parent will need to come pick the phone up from school. These items are the responsibility of the student. The school personnel will not be responsible for investigating lost or stolen items. Lost, Damaged or Destroyed
Lost and Found: Each year mittens, sweaters, hats, boots and other kinds of clothing and other miscellaneous articles are turned into the Lost and Found and are never claimed. We urge parents to carry out a labeling system…whether indelible ink or sewed on tape with child’s name on it, in order to limit items lost. Parents and/or children should check the lost and found area whenever things have been misplaced or lost. Anything not picked up will be turned over to a charitable organization after each trimester and the end of the year. School personnel is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Lockers: All students will be assigned a locker. Valuables should never be left in your locker. If you must bring money or valuables to school, carry them with you or check them in the office. The school is not responsible for personal property losses. Any loss, however, should be reported immediately to administration. Law permits the inspection of student lockers since the lockers are school property. Student privacy will be respected in light of this understanding. At no time does the school district relinquish its exclusive control of lockers provided for the convenience of students. School authorities for any reason may conduct an inspection of the interior of the lockers at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant. No locks are allowed on student lockers.
Fire, Lockdown, and Weather Drills: It is required that we hold a certain number of fire, tornado and lockdown drills during the school year. When the fire alarm sounds, each class will follow the direction of the teacher who is following a building plan. The purpose of the drills is to learn how to evacuate the building in a quick and orderly fashion. All pupils and staff leave the building during these drills. There are also specific procedures to be followed for weather (tornado) drills and other emergencies.
Pledge of Allegiance and the BG CARES Behavior Pledge: The Pledge of Allegiance and the BG CARES Behavior Pledge are recited weekly at Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts. Students may choose not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance, but reciting the Behavior Pledge is a requirement for ALL.
Selling in School: Students may not sell any non-school sponsored items on school grounds.