NELSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Family Handbook 2022-2023
Home of the Navigators
22109 108th Avenue East
Graham, WA 98338
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
School Hours: 8:35 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Phone (253) 800-6400
Fax (253) 800-6498
Dear Nelson Navigators!
It’s with great pleasure that we welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year!
At Nelson Elementary, we are working together to support our students as they Navigate the Nelson Way by following the STARs. Nelson students Show Kindness, Take Responsibility, Act Safely, and Respect Everyone & Everything. Thank you for partnering with us!
Having clear, high expectations are not only held in academics, but also in behaviors. We model building wide expectations of expected behaviors for walking in hallways, eating in the lunchroom, playing at recess and attending assemblies, for example. Your understanding and support of these expectations is greatly appreciated.
We believe in having a team approach with families in order to meet the needs of all students. Please contact your child’s teacher to explore the possibilities that are available at Nelson.
We are looking forward to a great year of learning, growing and working together. Communication is key to our successes. Teachers will provide updated progress of student growth, areas to work on and brainstorm ways to support your child. Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns at (253) 800-6400.
Tami Nelson, Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan DeLeon, Assistant Principal, email@example.com
Mission and Vision
Nelson Elementary exists to ensure that each child achieves Washington’s state standards for all academic areas. To accomplish this mission, Nelson’s teaching teams share responsibility for engaging all students in learning. They are all aware of the diverse needs of all students and use all possible resources to differentiate instruction to support learning. Nelson staff believes that every child has the capacity and right to learn. We foster passion and curiosity for staff and students alike. We continuously reflect on our instruction and its influence over achievement.
We passionately believe that children learn best in a structured environment with clearly communicated expectations and consequences. Therefore, the Nelson staff has developed a set of expected behaviors for each school area to ensure respectful and orderly behavior. Nelson teachers will spend the first days of the school year familiarizing students with these expectations. This process will include explicit instruction followed by assessment to ensure each student fully understands and can apply our behavioral expectations.
Here at Nelson Elementary our students are expected to follow the STARs. Nelson students Show Kindness, Take Responsibility, Act Safely, and Respect Everyone & Everything. Each week students who are caught following the STARs may receive a STAR ticket. These tickets are then entered in weekly drawings for student rewards. In addition to weekly drawings, students have the opportunity to be recognized by their teacher during our STAR assemblies.
Second Step is a program rooted in social-emotional learning (SEL) that helps transform schools into supportive, successful learning environments uniquely equipped to encourage children to thrive. More than just a classroomcurriculum, Second Step’s holistic approach helps create a more empathetic society by providing education professionals, families, and the larger community with tools to enable them to take an active role in the social-emotional growth and safety of today’s children. Second Step makes a difference you can feel the moment you step through the doors to a Second Step school: a sense of safety and respect grounded in the social-emotional health and well being of the entire school community. Students will receive instruction in SEL each week at Nelson.
Expected Voice Level
Level 0 No Talking
This is absolute silence.
Level 1 Conversation Voice
This is a soft voice or whisper. Only the people sitting next to the person speaking are able to hear the conversation. This voice allows others to continue their learning or work without being disturbed.
Level 2 Speech Voice
This is a normal speaking voice. While you’re sitting near the back of the classroom, your teacher would be able to hear your response from the front of the classroom.
Level 3 Outside Voice
This is a voice level lower than a scream. This voice can be heard above outside noises.
Level 4 Emergency Voice
This is an extremely loud yell or scream, used to attract attention and call for help. This voice should only be used during emergencies.
Expected Behavior - Assemblies
On the way to assemblies
● Students will use a Level “0” voice.
● Classes will enter the gym through designated doors.
● Students will sit with legs folded and hands to self.
● After the entire class has entered the gym and is sitting with legs folded, students may use a Level “1” voice until the assembly begins.
Starting the Assembly
● An adult will give the building-wide attention signal, “May I have your attention please?”
All students will:
o Instantly shift to a Level “0” voice.
o Place eyes on the speaker.
o Maintain attention for the duration of the assembly.
Pledge of Allegiance Expectation Sequence
● When directed to do so, all students silently stand and wait with one hand over the heart for the pledge to begin.
● Students will keep pace with the pledge leader.
● Upon completing the pledge, students will stand silently and wait for the speaker at the microphone to say, “You may be seated.”
● Students will immediately and silently sit down and give full attention to the adult at the microphone (The speaker at the microphone will not need to give the building-wide attention signal).
Expected Behavior - Using the Restroom
● Have appropriate hall passes.
● Use the most direct route.
● Wait quietly and patiently for your turn.
● Wash your hands after you’re finished and dispose of paper towels in the trash.
● Promptly return to class.
● Report any bathroom related problems to your teacher.
Expected Behavior – End of school day dismissal
● Students must not stop at the restrooms or any other area on their way to meet parents or to board their bus
● Students may only use Level “1” speaking voices while exiting the building.
● Upon exiting the building, students will immediately board their bus or walk to parent pick-up. Students will not stop to socialize with friends.
● Students will walk only on designated walkways.
● Students must pre-arrange for permission to be in the building after dismissal.
● Students will stay to the right side of all walkways while traveling during dismissal.
● Bus passes are given to students who provide office staff with permission from a parent/guardian.
○ All transportation changes (written or phone call) must be received by the office prior to 2:00 p.m. This allows us the necessary time to communicate these changes to the teacher and student.
Expected Behavior – Hallways
● Face forward, keeping hands and feet to self while maintaining a Level “0” voice.
● Walk in a straight line, avoid gaps, and stay to the right of hallways.
● Stop at all intersections and wait for the teacher before proceeding.
● Silently wave if you wish to acknowledge someone in the hall.
● Have the building hall pass in hand.
● Take the most direct route to your destination.
● Maintain a Level “0” voice.
● Stay to the right of the hallway.
Expected Behavior - Phone Policy
● Staff will determine when a nonsocial and critical situation may require building phone usage.
● Students may carry cell phones in backpacks for emergencies occurring outside the school day. Nelson Elementary has nearly 100 building telephones for communication during the school day.
● Staff may confiscate cell phones used, heard, or seen during the school day. Parents will need to pick up the cell phone in the main office.
Expected Behavior - Cafeteria
● Upon entering the cafeteria, students who intend to purchase a school breakfast will line up immediately for a breakfast purchase. Students will then sit in the cafeteria at their grade-level tables.
Expected Cafeteria Behaviors/Rules
NOTE: The following list of expected behaviors are designed to help staff increase consistency while supervising Nelson’s cafeteria and to provide teachers a basis for teaching and re-teaching expected behaviors.
● Students will use quiet voices while talking (Level “1”).
● Students will keep hands, feet and objects to themselves.
● Students will walk in the cafeteria.
● Students will demonstrate respect by using only polite or neutral comments.
● Students will stay in their seats and raise hands to get help or seek permission to leave their assigned table.
● Students will throw away trash and clean up after themselves.
Expected Behavior - Dress Code
● Dress and appearance causing disruption to the educational process or presenting health or safety problems will not be permitted.
● Shirts and other clothing with inappropriate messages or advertising drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or any other illegal substance are not permitted.
● Clothing that is gang related is prohibited.
● Shirts exposing the midriff are prohibited. When in question, a student may be asked to extend their arms upward. If this causes the midriff section to be exposed, the shirt is a violation of Nelson’s dress code.
● Hats and hoods may only be worn outside.
● Tank tops with “spaghetti straps” are not permitted. An adult may check to ensure the straps have a minimum width of at least two adult fingers.
● Skirts or dresses should be no shorter than fingertips when standing straight and allowing arms to hang freely toward the floor.
● Flip flop type shoes present safety issues on our playground and gym. Therefore, they are not permitted at Nelson.
Expected Behavior - Toys from Home
Toys, including electronic game devices, fidget spinners, trading cards etc. may not be brought to school. If a student fails to comply with this directive, the item will be subject to confiscation.
Expected Behavior - Playground
● Keep hands and feet to self. No rough play.
● Leave rocks, bark and other dangerous objects alone.
● Stay within designated boundaries.
● Supervisors will direct students to the most appropriate restroom.
● Follow all adult directives at the first prompt.
● Use only polite or neutral comments.
● Stop playing and line up immediately when the bell rings.
Expected Behavior - iPad Policy
● Staff will determine when iPad use will occur during the school day.
● Students will be responsible users of their iPad, using it for instructional purposes.
● Students will use their iPad in ways that are appropriate, educational, and that meet
Bethel School District (BSD) expectations and comply with the BSD Internet Use
Agreement, both during the school day and at home.
● Students will be respectful when using the iPad camera, obtain permission before taking or sharing photos and videos, and use it in accordance with BSD rules and expectations.
● Students will protect their iPad by keeping it in a protective case and away from food and liquids.
● Students will keep their iPad safe, and acknowledge that they are responsible for all damage or loss of the iPad caused by neglect, accident, or abuse.
● Student iPads are subject to inspection at any time, without notices, and remain the property of the Bethel School District.
iPad Progressive Discipline
Nelson Elementary Attendance Procedures
- Email the Attendance Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org or
- Call the Attendance Office at (253) 800-6492 and leave a message or
- Log onto ParentVUE and enter an absence request
Send a note with your child when he/she returns to school. A note from your healthcare provider is recommended when appointments take place during school hours to excuse the partial or full day absence. If no notiﬁcation is received for the absence, an automated message system will call and notify the family the child is listed as unexcused.
You must notify the Attendance Office each day your child is absent.
If you know in advance that your student will be absent for 4 DAYS OR LONGER, a Pre- Arranged Absence Form must be completed and returned to the office prior to the absence. Forms can be requested from the office. The principal (or designee) will determine if the pre-arranged absences are excused or unexcused. The school board sets the district yearly calendar by June of each year. Please plan your family trips and vacation to coincide with pre-planned breaks in order to avoid accumulating excessive absences. Absences that are unexcused, may require the school to file a BECCA petition in accordance with Washington State Law RCW 28A.225.
The following are valid excuses for absences as outlined with OSPI and in Bethel School District Policy 3122:
• Illness, health condition, or medical appointment: A doctor’s note is required for a health condition/illness for more than 3 consecutive days.
• Appointments: If possible, try to make medical, dental and eye appointments at the beginning or end of the day. A note from your healthcare provider is recommended when appointments take place during school hours to excuse the partial or full day absence. Students with weekly medical appointments need to provide a letter from their health care provider to cover absences.
• Family emergency, including but not limited to, a death or illness in the family. A note in writing must be received upon the student’s return to school.
• Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction.
• Absences related to deployment activities of a parent or legal guardian who is an active duty member.
• Court or judicial proceeding: A note from the court verifying the date(s) and stating that the attendance of students directly involved is required must be returned to school to excuse the absence.
• Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action (e.g., short term or long term suspension, emergency expulsion).
• Principal (or designee) and parent/guardian – a mutually agreed upon approved activity may be excused on a limited basis, if the student does not have excessive absences and is making positive academic progress.
• Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program.
Any absence from school for the majority of hours or periods in an average school day is unexcused unless it meets one of the criteria listed for an excused absence. Failure to submit any type of excused statement signed by the parent/guardian is unexcused.
Upon the 3rd unexcused absence, a scheduled conference with the parent/guardian shall take place to analyze the causes of the student’s attendance. For children with excessive absences (5 or more during the school year), a conference with the parent/guardian shall take place AND an attendance contract will be written. If the parent does not attend the conference, the parent shall be notified of the steps the school has decided to take to reduce the student’s absences.
No later than the 5th unexcused absence in a month, the school shall enter into an agreement with the student and the parent/guardian that establishes school attendance requirements.
No later than the 7th unexcused absence by a student within any month during the school year, if no action is successful, the school will file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent/guardian and student.
No later than the 10th unexcused absence by a student during the current school year, if no action is successful, the school will file a petition and affidavit with the juvenile court alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010 by the parent/guardian and student.
The BECCA Truancy Law is enforced at Nelson Elementary. We are required to file a petition with the Juvenile Court if a child fails to attend school. Washington State law RCW 28A.225; says “parents /guardians have the primary responsibility to ensure their child is regular and punctual in his/her school attendance.”
Tardy/Early Dismissal/Absent Definition
Students arriving after 8:35 a.m. will be marked tardy until 12:30 p.m. After 12:30 p.m. it is considered a morning absence.
Students leaving school before 12:30 p.m. will be marked absent for the day. After 12:30 p.m. it is considered an early dismissal. If no reason is given when signing students out, the tardy/absence is unexcused.
Extra-curricular School Activities and Attendance
In order for students to participate in extra-curricular school activities (including but not limited to clubs, choir, band, orchestra, plays) students must attend at least half a day of school. If a student is not going to attend school, they are not allowed to attend/participate in extra-curricular school activities. Students will be expected to attend school that day; otherwise they will be marked unexcused.
Nurse/Health Room Information
Our goal is to come alongside the student and family to help foster health and academic success. At Nelson Elementary, we work hard to help our students to promote health and equity so that we become lifelong learners in a safe environment. If your student is dealing with a chronic or temporary health related concern, please contact us so we can work on a plan or accommodation(s) to help your student be a part of the school community. Our Health Services staff is here every day to help serve our students.
School Nurse phone: (253) 800-6493
Health Clerk Phone: (253) 800-6492 Email: email@example.com
When to Keep your Student Home
Pediatricians recommend keeping your child home if:
- They are not able to take part in normal school activities
- Their illness causes an unsafe or unhealthy place for others at school
- Or when their illness requires care that the school can’t manage
Keep your child home if they:
- Fever: Temperature over 4 F along with other signs of illness such as sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, irritability, or confusion.
- Vomiting: two or more times within 24 hrs
- Diarrhea: three or more within 24 hrs
- An open or oozing sore: unless it is properly covered with a bandage that will not leak
- An undiagnosed rash
Even if your child does not have these symptoms, your child must stay home from school if they have certain illnesses. A few examples are strep throat, pink eye, chickenpox, mumps or whooping cough (pertussis). These conditions are all infectious and could spread to other children. If your child has any of these conditions, check with the school before your child returns to classes.
Many of these diseases are preventable by vaccination including the ﬂu.
Source: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, March 2018 & American Academy of Pediatrics, Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 2005.
NOTE: Students must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication before they can return to school. If a child is ill enough to require any of the many cold medications or cannot participate in recess, they should remain at home.
Medication at School
All medication to be given at school needs a physician’s order, signed/dated by the physician and signed/dated by parent/guardian, stating the name of the medication, dose, dosage interval (how often the medication can be given), and side effects of the medication.
This includes all medications, including over-the-counter cold remedies, cough drops, pain relievers, lip balms, and lotions.
The orders are valid for the duration of the school year, meaning that each new school year, the medication orders need to be renewed.
NOTE: Medication is only accepted from a parent/guardian, as the medication needs to be signed in. Students are not allowed to bring in their medication.
Bethel School District has a “no nit” policy. Upon readmission, the student will report to the health room for an examination by the school nurse or health clerk prior to returning to class.