School Handbook

LINCOLN SCHOOL HANDBOOK FOR PARENTS/FAMILIES

2015-2016

 

Our school’s Mission Statement:  Learning, Caring, Leading our Lincoln Community into the Future…Whatever it takes

Parents, please read and be responsible for knowing these policies and procedures at Lincoln School.  We welcome any questions or clarification you may need.

 

 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Absence/Tardiness

The parent/guardian will call the school office (552-4050) before 9:00 a.m. when a child will be absent or tardy.  Parents may call or send a note prior to the date of the absence for any pre-approved absence.  Due to our concern for your child’s safety, office staff will call the parent/guardian if a child has an unreported absence.  Please send a written excuse to the homeroom teacher explaining the absence upon your child’s return to school.   School staff members work closely with truancy officers to monitor excessive absences.  The district attendance policy discourages vacations during school time. Parent/guardian will send a letter to school before any vacation to inform the principal/teacher of the upcoming absence. School officials may deny excused absences if attendance or academic performance are of concern.  (Please see Attendance section and review DCSD Attendance Policy in District Parent-Student Handbook for more specifics.)

Arrival Time and Procedures

Lincoln School hours are from 8:30 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.  Monday through Thursday (see below for Friday late-start schedule).

Children should arrive close to the start time of school or special programming.  Waiting for a long time for school to open or for supervision to start compromises student safety.  Students may enter the school building early for the following reasons and at the noted times:

  •  Between 7:00-7:40 students may enter school to attend the St. Mark Youth Enrichment (SMYE) Before School Program (Early Risers). Participants arrive at the gym door and await a staff member to invite them inside.  Students participating in this program who wish to eat breakfast at school will be served at 7:40 a.m. so that they can move upstairs to continue programming when the regular Breakfast Program commences in the gym.
  • Between 7:50-8:00, students may enter to participate in the second portion of SMYE morning program with a literacy and math focus.  Students wait in line by the front/Nevada Street door for a staff member to invite them inside.  They proceed to the Library and/or Computer Lab, and drop off coats and backpacks in the Recovery Room.  Students that enter for this program will have already eaten breakfast at home.
  •  Between 7:55-8:15 students may enter to participate in the Breakfast Program. While waiting, students stand in line on the white line marked by the gym door.  When a staff member arrives at the door at 7:55, students will enter from outside (gym door) and follow program procedures.  Breakfast serving ends at 8:15 so that there is ample time to eat before the 8:25 program dismissal. Note that any students arriving up until 8:10 will be required to enter the Breakfast Program (if not here for one of the other listed reasons).  A staff member will call parents to clarify arrival time expectations if they are not being met by individual students.
  • Safety Patrol duty (grade five students) arrive by 8:05 and prepare to do crossing guard duty under the supervision of adult staff members that morning/week.
  • Student Leadership Council members meet every other Wednesday morning at 7:50 a.m. (beginning in October).  Students involved in SLC will tell the front door supervisor that they are here for SLC meeting. (Note: at other times throughout the year, students belonging to other special groups may be asked by teachers to arrive early for meetings; the front door supervisor will have a list of dates, times and participants so as to be able to approve early entry.)

Students that arrive after 8:10 a.m. will go directly to their class’s line-up area.  A bell at 8:20 signals teachers’ arrival outside to welcome students to come inside and proceed with morning business.

Outside morning supervisors will welcome and direct students arriving from 8:20 until just before the 8:30 school tardy bell to enter the building and go directly to their classrooms.  The tardy bell rings at 8:30, and front door entry must be requested after that time.  Students arriving at or after the tardy bell will press the security buzzer to request entry, and go directly to the school office to receive a pass to present to their homeroom teacher indicating that they are late to school.  The late arrival time is recorded in the attendance system as a “tardy”.

Arrival / Entry Procedures when extreme cold or rainy conditions prevail:

If it is raining hard enough that umbrellas are in use, and/or if the temperature with or without the wind chill factor is zero degrees or below, students will be invited to come inside school.  We announce to them as they arrive inside to “stand or sit quietly by your locker”, and we invite teachers to be attentive to supervising them in hallways until it is time to invite them into the classroom.

Arrival for Friday Late-Start

As we did last year, Lincoln School will again offer an early drop-off option for families needing accommodations for the weekly one-hour Friday late arrivals. This option is not a childcare program; rather it is for students who need to arrive at school on Friday the same time they do Monday through Thursday (and are not interested in affiliating with the St. Mark’s “Early Riser” before-school program Monday through Friday). Students may enter as early as 8:10 and until 8:50 a.m.  This option is simply an opportunity to study or read in a quiet location (i.e., the Library and possibly one additional main floor room, dependent on group size), supervised by paraprofessional staff members, until the Breakfast Program opens at 8:55. At this time, those children that have already eaten breakfast at home will remain with paraprofessional supervisors in the Library until the school start bell signals that it is time to go the classrooms.  Students needing to participate in the Breakfast Program will be escorted to the gym for that program at 8:55.

We will provide a registration form at School Registration in August and on First Day Orientation/Conferences on August 31 for families that wish to participate in this option. The first Friday for late-start programming is September 4.

Other Friday morning scheduling considerations follow:

  • St. Mark’s “Early Risers” Program 7:00 start time is the same as on Monday – Thursday
    Note:  SMYE does not serve students on only Fridays; they need to attend program consistently other days of the week as well, in alignment with the St. Mark mission.
  • Breakfast Program entry is exactly one hour later than on Monday-Thursday – between 8:55-9:10 a.m.
  • Crossing Guards arrive exactly one hour later than on Monday-Thursday for Safety Patrol – at 9:05 a.m.
  • Students not participating in before school programs arrive exactly one hour later than on M-T – beginning at 9:10 a.m.

The tardy bell rings exactly one hour later than on Monday-Thursday – at 9:30 a.m. on Fridays.

Attendance

The full version of the School Board Policy on Attendance is printed in the District Parent-Student Handbook.

Student attendance information is entered into the PowerSchool database.  Regular, on-time attendance at school is expected.  Please help your child develop a commitment to being in school and on time every day.  The following designations are used in recording your child’s late arrival, absence or early departure:

  • Tardy or late arrival:  Student arrives late to school within 90 minutes of the start time of school for any reason.  Late arrivals such as doctor or dentist appointments, or similar occurrences, will be listed as approved, but still entered in the attendance records as a late arrival.
  • Early departure:  Student leaves school with less than 90 minutes left in the school day.  As with tardiness or late arrivals, early departures such as doctor or dental appointments will be listed as approved, but are still entered in the attendance records as a “tardy”.
  • Full day absence:  Student misses the full day of school or more than 3 hours and 15 minutes of school in a school day.
  • Half-day absence: Student arrives at school after missing the first 90 minutes or leaves school with more than 90 minutes remaining in the school day.

Bullying and Cyberbullying

Bullying and the internet-based cyberbullying are defined as intimidation or harassment of a student or multiple students perpetuated by individuals or groups.  These include but are not limited to physical actions, including violence, gestures, theft, or damaging property; oral or written taunts, including name-calling, put-downs, extortion, or threats; threats of retaliation for reporting such acts; sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices; sending or posting materials that threaten or raise concerns about violence against others, suicide or self-harm.  Students will not be disciplined for speech in situations where the speech is protected by law.

Bus Rides to School

The City of Dubuque’s Jule Transit offers FREE rides to students enrolled in Dubuque Schools.  Elementary students receive the free ride without need of school identification. (Secondary students must show their school ID to ride the bus.) In conjunction with this service Jule and the Dubuque Community School District have developed specific Jule Bus Safety and Security Guidelines.  The guidelines are in the District Parent-Student Handbook. Students must abide by the Jule and DCSD behavior guidelines in order to retain bus-riding privileges.

Cancellations

Whenever it becomes necessary to cancel or delay school because of weather conditions, this information will be broadcast on local radio and television stations. You may also call the DCSD Inclement Weather phone line 552-3035, check the DCSD website www.dbqschools.org, or sign up online for Iowa School Alerts (with messages to your phone or email) to confirm cancellations and/or delays. The district subscribes to the “School Messenger System”, and will call primary telephone numbers listed for every family in the school district.

If there is a two-hour delay, the Breakfast Program is cancelled, and students should arrive before the 10:30 a.m. tardy bell.

Both the Breakfast Program and the SMYE Before-School Program are available on Fridays when school begins one hour later.  Neither program is available on two-hour late-arrival days.

Cell Phones

District Policy 5200 (included in DCSD Handbook) states that “Cellular or other wireless communication devices may be used on school grounds if use is not disruptive to a productive learning environment.”  Getting and responding to telephone calls during the school day is indeed disruptive to a productive learning environment.  We recognize that smart phones and other electronic devices can be useful tools for learning and hope someday to have such tools in the hands of every student. If you provide a cell phone for your child to be in contact with you after school, remind him/her to give the phone to office staff upon arrival to school, and to return to the office after the dismissal bell rings (3:10) to retrieve it.  You can reach school throughout the day if you need to get a message to your child, and the telephone will be safe and secure.  If a student does not turn in the phone to the office, and it is discovered in his/her possession, the phone will be confiscated and returned to the parent.

Classroom Interruptions

In order to maximize instructional time, parents needing to deliver an item or a message to a student are directed to come to the office with your request.  Office staff will offer to deliver the item(s) or message to your child.  If you wish to speak directly with your child, an office staff member will invite your child to come to the office.  If a parent wishes to join his/her child for lunch, the parent is expected to notify the homeroom teacher beforehand (one day’s notice recommended) and check in at the office when arriving to school.

Conferences (parent/teacher/student)

We open the school year with a First Day Conference for each student/family.  Student progress is shared with parents and students at two other scheduled conferences, at trimester intervals of the school year (typically October and March).  Progress Reports are sent home at the end of each trimester (at the end of first and second trimester and on the last day of school).

Parents or teachers may request additional conferences whenever they feel there is a need.  See the district calendar for conference dates in fall and spring of this school year.

Discipline

A positive learning environment promotes student learning, growth and success.  We will teach (and reteach, as needed) classroom procedures, common area expectations, and social skills to students, with emphasis on “The Leader In Me”/Seven Habits.  The Seven Habits emphasize good conduct and proper consideration for other people.  Our philosophy is that every adult in the building shares responsibility for every child.  Students are expected to be RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE and SAFE.  We are dedicated to addressing social behavior as an ongoing part of the school curriculum in all classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, restrooms, lunchroom, office and other areas of school each and every day (under the provisions of Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports).  School staff members will acknowledge positive student behaviors in a variety of ways. One school-wide acknowledgement system will involve presentation of a Lincoln Lion sticker to a student, who may then tear off the back, add the student name, and place in a classroom container for a drawing to be held each week.  Please reinforce school behavior expectations with your child at home.

Dismissal

School is dismissed daily at 3:10. Parents who request a child to be dismissed before that time must call or send a written request to school stating the reason, the time the child is to be dismissed, and who is to be picking up the child.  Attendance will be marked as “tardy” when a student leaves before the 3:10 dismissal time.  Whoever arrives to pick up students must come into the office and speak with school staff.

There are specific dismissal procedures at the end of the school day involving help from all staff members to ensure that all children are on their way quickly and safely:

  • Classroom teachers promptly escort their entire class out of the building.  Preschool and Kindergarten students exit the front (Nevada Street) doors.  Students in grades 1-5 exit onto the playground from the lower level doors.
  • Caregivers arriving to pick up students are expected to stand beyond the curved line stretching from shed to gym doorway so that all students and teachers have clearance to exit the building.
  • Staff members are assigned to gather students participating in after-school programs at dismissal and escort to them to the site where the program is held for supervision.
  • Students riding the Dubuque Community school bus, Prodigy or other daycare program vans will be escorted to the West Fifth Street pick-up area by an adult (school staff member).  These vehicles arrive to pick up students between 3:10-3:16 p.m.
  • Due to the buses and vans using the pick-up lane on West Fifth Street after school, parents must choose other pick-up sites.  Once the buses and vans depart, the pick-up lane will be available to parents.
  • Sibling groups and those walking home together should establish a meeting place (e.g., line #3 or by the picnic tables).  Please discourage your middle school and high school age children from congregating at Lincoln School after school.  Both Washington Middle School and Senior High School dismiss earlier than Lincoln and the presence of these students on Lincoln School grounds presents noise and safety issues.  Please inform the homeroom teacher if an older sibling (that does not attend Lincoln) needs to be here to pick up a child.  Knowing this in advance will prevent problems.  The Lincoln playground is NOT open for use until the conclusion of our after-school programs (5:30 p.m.) on school days.
  • Students may only re-enter the building if escorted by a staff member or “buzzed in” by the office staff.  Parents and students are asked to be patient until the teacher has returned to the classroom if they request to go there.  If the teacher is not in the classroom, a staff member will accompany parent/child to the classroom.
  • Students waiting for rides will have a regular meeting spot, either the pick-up area on West Fifth Street, Alpine Street, Booth Street, Forest Lane, or Nevada St. If you use Nevada Street, please travel south (from University towards West Fifth), so that your child will not have to cross traffic to enter your vehicle.  Please join us in expecting that your child ALWAYS use the crosswalk if needing to cross the street to school.  This is putting first things first – the safety of your child.
  • If a child’s ride is not here at dismissal time, we ask them to wait 10-15 minutes before inviting them into the building to call the caregiver, in the event that the person picking them up is running late.
  • According to City ordinance and District guidelines, the Lincoln playground reopens at 5:30 p.m. for neighborhood use.  Children go home after school and return with parent permission to the playground after 5:30 p.m.   After-school program (St. Mark’s and Leisure Services) groups/students have precedence for use of playground space and equipment on all regular school attendance days.  Others present will be asked to leave the premises and return after 5:30 p.m.

Dress Code

Please assure that your child is appropriately attired for the school day.  Any form of dress or hair style which is considered contrary to good hygiene or distracting or disruptive in appearance and detrimental to the purpose or conduct of the school will not be permitted.  We greatly appreciate your help in assuring that children’s shoulders and mid-section are appropriately covered, refraining from wearing halter tops, spaghetti straps, strapless tops, tube tops or muscle shirts.  Sleeveless shirts and tank tops are acceptable as long as they are not revealing in front or back.  Short shorts and short skirts are also best worn outside of school.  Hats and bandanas worn on the head are not appropriate for the school day. Students who, in the opinion of the teacher and/or principal, are dressed inappropriately, will phone home for a change of clothes to be brought to school.

Flip-flops (a style of footwear also known as “thongs”, with a flat, spongy bottom and a narrow strip that fits between two toes) are unsafe shoe choices in the school environment, with three floors of stairs, an outdoor playground, and possible emergency evacuations.  Safety is compromised when a shoe comes off and ankle or foot injuries could occur.  Flip-flops do not provide foot stability, are not repairable when broken, and are above all, unsafe on the stairs, playground, and occasionally wet surfaces around school.  We ask that students NOT wear flip-flops to school.  Anyone doing so will be asked to call home for a change of footwear or otherwise be directed to choose a pair of shoes from our collection to wear for the day.

Please label all student clothing articles and items such as backpack, lunchbox and pencil case, with your child’s name.  We ask that children dress appropriately for cold weather, enabling your child to enjoy outdoor recess on colder days.  Students are expected to wear boots during snowy weather and muddy conditions.  We appreciate your cooperation and good judgment.  Please refer to School Board Policy 5200 (in the District Parent-Student Handbook) for more information.

Field Trips/Field Work

Field trips are planned as learning experiences.  At the beginning of each year, parents indicate through eRegistration their permission authorizing the school to take their child on such trips.  Teachers will provide prior notice of the dates, time and location of each opportunity.

Some field trips require funding (registration, transportation, entry, materials, etc.). For trips that require funding, teachers will routinely provide four options for parent support, worded as follows:

__ I have included (amount) for my student.

__ I have included (amount) for my student and (amount) additional to sponsor other students.

__ I have included a portion of my student’s amount and need some assistance.

__ I need assistance for my student’s full amount.

Students that have difficulty maintaining appropriate school behavior may be excluded from field trips. This includes class field trips and district-sponsored events (such as band, orchestra or choir performances). Parents will be notified in advance and students will be required to come to school on the day of the field trip, where appropriate assignments will be provided. The student will be housed in an alternative classroom or office setting for the duration of the field trip.

Teachers may contact parents to request assistance in driving and supervising students for field trips.  Those that volunteer to drive must have prior approval as a school volunteer.  (Volunteer Application packets are distributed at Registration or are available in the school office.)  Drivers will be asked to show their driver’s license and current insurance registration card before students are allowed to enter the vehicle.  Smoking is not allowed in vehicles or during school-related trips, in accord with State law and in recognition of the health hazards of second-hand smoke.

Food Pack Program

The Food Pack Program is an initiative that provides food to children who might have limited access to food over the weekend.  Every Friday (or last day of school that week), selected students at Audubon, Lincoln, Fulton, Marshall and Prescott Schools receive a small bag of food to take home for the weekend.  The Food Pack contains food in individual servings for the child, not for the entire family.  The Food Pack is not meant to be enough food for the entire weekend, but rather to supplement other food within the family’s household.  This program is funded by the John Deere Foundation and administered by the St. Stephen’s Food Bank in Dubuque.  Application forms are available in the school office.

Guidance Program

A guidance program is an integral part of the support services offered to elementary children. This program emphasizes development of interpersonal relationship skills, understanding the dynamics of human behavior, awareness of healthy and socially appropriate methods of coping, as well as personal and social considerations in formulating values and major decisions. The program is flexible, adapting to the needs of our students.

Health and Safety Practices

Special Note from the School Nurse: It is vital that the Health Office Staff be aware of all significant health concerns related to your child. Please be certain to complete and review annually the Health portion of the Powerschool e-registration process. Phone call updates on health developments for your child are always welcomed by contacting the Health Office – Thank You. The school nurse and health associate provide temporary care for children who become ill or are injured at school.  The nurse also conducts or coordinates vision and hearing screening and keeps records on students’ immunizations and health.  Any student that suffers an injury or accident should report it immediately to the supervising teacher or paraeducator and the school nurse or health associate.  In case of illness or injury, a decision may be made to send a child home.  In case of a fever of more than 101 degrees, vomiting, or a chronic cough, parents will be contacted to take the child home or to a doctor. The child will remain under care in the Health Office until a parent or designee arrives for the child.  It is expected that the parent/designee arrive to school in a timely manner.

If it is necessary for a student to take medication (prescribed by a physician) at school, it will be administered in the Health Office.  The medication must be kept in the original prescription container.  A form relative to medication administration signed by both parent and doctor must be given to the Health Office with the medication.  No “over the counter” drugs can be given at school without a doctor’s written permission.

Please report to the school nurse any contagious disease (e.g., whooping cough, mumps, chicken pox, impetigo, lice, scabies, strep throat, scarlet fever, ringworm, meningitis, hepatitis, etc.) your child contacts.  The length of time necessary for a student to be kept home from school varies with each disease.  Include written permission from the medical center or attending physician when the child is readmitted to class.

Students with lice should be treated and every effort should be made to remove all nits from the hair.  As long as the nits are present, it is impossible to tell if the student has been re-infested.  We request a note from the parent informing the Health Office that treatment is being taken or has been completed.

On occasion, parents request that students be kept indoors after returning to school following an illness.

We ask your cooperation in following district and school guidelines, which require all students go with their classmates to recess and P.E. classes unless a doctor’s written excuse directs that the child be kept indoors.  Health and safety practices must be a joint effort of home and school.  Children with definite signs of illness should not attend school.

Homework

Teachers will assign homework in reasonable amounts for students. Parent signature in grade 1-5 student’s assignment notebook/agenda indicates to the teacher awareness that the work was completed. Even when there is no specific assignment of written work, all K-5 students are expected to regularly work on three things at home: 1) reading, 2) math and 3) word work. 1) Each student is expected to read (or be read to) for a specific number of minutes (see below). 2) Each student is expected to work on math facts at their level (e.g., Kindergarten students work on number recognition and counting skills; older students work on operations-addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). 3) Each student is expected to focus on word work-recognizing sight words, vocabulary.

Grade Level Monthly At-Home Reading Expectations:

Kindergarten – 160 minutes                 Third Grade – 280 minutes

First Grade – 200 minutes                    Fourth Grade – 320 minutes

Second Grade – 240 minutes               Fifth Grade – 360 minutes

Immunizations and Other School Records

Iowa law requires that parents submit to the school a current certificate of immunization completed by a doctor or health official prior to enrollment. Newly acquired vaccinations must be communicated to the Lincoln Health Office as they occur so the student’s immunization record can be updated.  Students enrolling for the first time in an Iowa elementary school must provide proof of a dental screening. Kindergarten students enrolling in the district for the first time shall have a physical examination by a licensed physician, a vision screening by a qualified professional (new for 2015-16 school year), a dental examination by a licensed dentist and submit to a lead level screening test. Certificates verifying these examinations are kept on file in the Health Office.  Also new for 2015-16 school year is the requirement that all students entering third grade have a vision screening by a qualified professional.  It is important that school records reflect accurate and up-to-date information. Please report changes of address, telephone number, emergency contacts, etc. to the school office immediately.  We request early notification if families are moving out of the Lincoln district, so that we can prepare for the transfer of your records to the receiving school.  Cumulative records containing each student’s academic information are available for parent examination upon request.  Please call the school office to set up an appointment.

Library Books and Textbooks

Library books and textbooks are furnished by the school system.  Fines are charged for lost or damaged books.  K-5 students will have the opportunity to check books out of the school library each week and they are due one week later.  Students are responsible for materials checked out in their name. Written notice is the first response to overdue materials; parent notification follows when past due materials are not returned after several notices sent through classroom teachers. The district has a fee schedule for costs related to textbook damages.

Lost and Found

If a student loses an item or article of clothing, it can be returned to her/him more easily if marked with his/her name.  Articles that are found throughout school or on the playground will be placed in a Lost and Found receptacle located on the main floor at school (and an alternate site in the school gym).  We encourage parents and students to check those receptacles periodically.  Many items go unclaimed every year.  Unclaimed items are donated to charitable organizations at the end of each trimester.

Main Office

The main office at Lincoln School is open from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. each day that school is in session and for approximately three weeks before and after the start and finish of the school year). The main office number is 552-4050 and our fax number is 552-4051. Individual teachers may be contacted before or after school (between 7:50-3:20, full-time teachers’ contract hours). Please call if you wish to meet with the principal, counselor or instructional coach. One of them may be available if you drop in; on occasion they have commitments that prevent them from seeing you without notice.  You can secure an appointment with the help of the office staff.

Meal Program/Wellness Considerations

This year, with support from the USDA National School Lunch Program, all students at Lincoln (and five other district schools) will receive no-cost meals through a program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).  This will allow no-cost breakfast and lunch meals every day for every student at Lincoln School.  Parents will complete forms required for the program for every participating student.  The hot lunch meal includes milk.  Students may choose to bring a sack lunch.

According to federal guidelines, a “School Lunch” consists of the choice of meat or meat alternate, choice of vegetable, fruit, grain and milk. Students are required to take at least 3 of the 5 food components. One of the 3 components must be a 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable to meet the requirements of a “School Lunch”.

We request that parents/family members not bring pop or fast food lunch into classrooms or our lunchroom.  Neither is school staff allowed to do so.

Information about the School Board policy on Wellness can be found in the District Parent-Student Handbook.

Mentoring Program

We have a dedicated group of adults that mentor students at Lincoln School. This program provides an adult mentor who works one-on-one with designated students on a regular basis. Mentors can make a positive difference in a young person’s life. All mentors submit to background checks before being assigned to work with a child. Our guidance counselor facilitates the mentoring program.

Morning Meeting

A “Morning Meeting” will be held daily in each classroom between 8:30-9:00 a.m. (with time adjusted on late arrival days). The purpose of this meeting is to set a positive, welcoming tone for the day of learning.  Students will feel a sense of belonging, develop relationships with students and adults in the classroom, and participate in greetings, announcements and a daily activity. We hope that every student will be motivated to be in school on time so as not to miss Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting time will include social skill instruction, learning about “The Leader In Me”/Seven Habits, elements of good character, and any school-wide initiatives.

Multi-tiered System of Support (previously known as “Response to Intervention”)

The Dubuque Community School District and the State of Iowa use the Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) model to address student academic and behavior concerns. MTSS is a proactive process that provides direction for teachers to effectively meet each student’s individual learning needs. MTSS focuses on data regarding students’ responses to instruction within a multi-tiered system of support to guide future educational decisions. MTSS focuses on the three areas of instruction to best meet the needs of all students: Core, Supplemental, and Intensive Instruction. Parents are key participants during all phases of MTSS. This system involves school personnel (including school and Keystone special needs staff) gathering information that will be used to develop effective supplemental and intense interventions. If a child is recommended for special needs services, parents must give written consent before entitlement occurs.

Music Lessons

The instrumental music program in Dubuque Community Schools is offered to students in Grade 5.  The program provides for individual and small group instruction in various musical instruments. Beginner nights are held during the first couple of weeks of school so that parents and students may decide whether to sign up for lessons.  Besides a weekly lesson, students will have several performance opportunities.

Choir is a choice music activity for students in Grades 4 and 5 at Lincoln, with practices from 7:45-8:20 on a selected day of the week.  Ms. Niemann will inform students and encourage participation at the start of the year.

Parent Mailbag / Communication

Parent communication will be delivered with one child (youngest or only) in each family on Monday (or the first day of school) each week in the communication folder featuring the Seven Habits.  Please return the folder to school the following day after you have emptied the contents.  Replacement folders cost $1.00.  The Lincoln LOG, our family newsletter, will be sent out every Monday (or the first day of the school week), beginning the second week of school. This newsletter is REQUIRED READING for parents so that you will be informed about the information school shares with parents.  The LOG is available on the Lincoln web site.  This year we are beginning a web-based school calendar and a Lincoln Facebook page to increase communication with parents.

Parking – Drop off and Pick up

We wish for drop-off and pick-up procedures to be accomplished safely and efficiently.  To this end, we expect parents/caregivers to adhere to these procedures:

  • Children should arrive close to the start time of school or special programming.  See Arrival Time and Procedures section above for more information on this expectation.
  • The City of Dubuque has approved partial closure of Nevada Street from West Fifth Street to Forest Lane for a 20-minute duration at morning arrival and afternoon dismissal times.  This closure will restrict northbound vehicles and only allow southbound vehicles during these times.  We will provide approved traffic control devices just prior to and during these closure periods.
  • In addition, the City has approved the extension of the “No Parking During School Hours” zone an additional 200 feet to the end of our playground enclosure.  This will help alleviate congestion in the travel lanes and increase the loading / unloading capacity.  Lincoln staff members will be assigned to assist with loading/unloading students to maintain traffic flow and student safety within this zone.
  • If dropping off student passengers on Nevada Street, drive in the southbound lane, pull up along the curb as far as the cones/barricades/signage allows and have the children exit on the passenger (school) side of the vehicle.  Traffic will not be permitted in the northbound direction on Nevada Street during the closure period.
  • The drop-off and pick-up areas on Nevada and West Fifth Streets provide added safety for our students and families.  These areas do not allow for parking, but for momentary stopping of vehicles to drop off or pick up students.  School staff members will provide hand-to-hand receipt of students from vehicles at arrival time.
  • The Police Department requests that parents not park in the University Car Wash off Forest Lane when awaiting students.
  • The Lincoln Staff Parking Lot off Forest Lane is not available for parent temporary parking at the end of the school day.  It is dangerous for children to be moving among cars and numerous staff members leave from that area between 3:10-3:25.  This is a no parking area for anyone other than school staff.
  • The school playground area is off limits to vehicles to ensure the safety of children playing in that space.

Patrol

Street crossing assistance is provided for children walking to and from school by our school Safety Patrol crossing guards from 8:10-8:25 and 3:10-3:25.  Patrols are positioned at these locations:  Nevada and University, Nevada and West Fifth, and West Fifth and Booth Streets. By law, both students and adults must use the crosswalk when crossing the street to/from Lincoln School. Questions or concerns regarding the Patrol program should be directed to Safety Patrol Coordinator, Joan Dahlquist (aka Mrs. Brown).

Personal Items (including food, drink, toys, etc.)

If a student rides a bicycle to school, it will be parked in racks provided on the playground near the maintenance shed.  We recommend that students lock bikes when they are unattended.  When arriving and departing from school, the bike must be walked on the school grounds, for the safety of others in the area.  Skateboards, roller blades and scooters are not permitted at school, due to safety concerns.  Please instruct your children to leave personal items (CD players, cell phones, ipods/ipads, card collections, games, models, toys, etc.) at home.  Personal items of value will be safer at home and school will be able to maintain our emphasis on instructional time.  School staff will take possession of prohibited items and either release to parents or return to the student on the last day of school.  Students will not eat or drink food outside of meal times (including candy, pop, chewing gum, etc.) on school grounds, in the gym, or on the school bus.  Open food containers will not be stored in lockers.  Any food received at school to be taken home will not be opened or consumed on the school bus or before exiting the building to walk home.

Pets

Occasionally there are requests to bring an animal to school for educational purposes.  Please make arrangements ahead of time through the classroom teacher, who will take into account the health and safety of other children before approving the visit. No animal that could pose a safety hazard will be allowed into the building.  An adult must accompany a larger animal such as a cat or dog.  Smaller animals should be transported in a cage or suitable container.  Typically the last 10-15 minutes of the day is reserved for such a visit, and teachers will obtain principal approval prior to approving the parent request.

Please refrain from bringing dogs with you when you walk to drop off or pick up your child from school.  Even animals on a leash can frighten some children and animals can behave unpredictably in the presence of strangers.  Thank you for your consideration of the safety of all children.

Pictures

All students will have the opportunity to have their pictures taken during “Fall Portrait Day” (Siebe Studio) within the first month of the school year.  Price lists will be made available in advance to parents.  Pictures will be taken of each student to be included in the yearbook.  We do not offer spring pictures. Yearbook orders may be paid in advance at Registration or in the spring on available forms.  Purchase of photo packages or yearbook is optional.  The cost of the 2015-16 Yearbook has been reduced from last year’s price and is now $13.00.

Playground Expectations and Outdoor Recess

All students are expected to participate in outdoor recess activities unless parents provide a doctor’s excuse.  Children are expected to wear a coat or other outerwear until the temperature reaches sixty degrees.  Please assure that your child is appropriately dressed for various weather conditions.  Students will typically have outdoor recess during the winter season. Rain and severely cold temperatures are typically the only situations resulting in indoor recess.  Be certain to label boots, hats, coats, gloves, etc., with your child’s name.

Playground balls and equipment are provided for students’ use at recess (students do not bring game equipment from home).  Teachers convey specific recess expectations and procedures to students and reteach these as needed.  Teachers and other school staff provide supervision during recess.

Safety/Security/Accessibility

All students, staff and visitors use the main entrance to school (Nevada Street doors) to enter and exit the building.  Doors are locked at all times.  Exits are available in case of an emergency.  Evacuation drills (in the event of fire or severe weather) are conducted four times during the school year to prepare for emergencies.  Every adult in the building wears an identification badge (employee name badge or visitor badge) at all times.  Students and staff are instructed to question the individual (and if necessary, notify the office) if there is an adult present in the building without authorization or proper identification.

Lincoln has accessible doorways, restrooms, and an elevator for movement to each level in our building.

School Based Youth Services (Counseling)

Lincoln’s School Based Youth Services programming includes assistance through Hillcrest Family Services, Helping Services of Northeast Iowa, Substance Abuse Services, and others.  Please contact the principal, nurse, or guidance counselor to inquire about counseling services.

Service Opportunities

Lincoln students have opportunities to be involved in service to the school and community.  Such opportunities may include (though not limited to) recycling, hospitality to new students, lunchroom assistance, fundraising for selected charitable organizations, and visits to nursing homes.  We provide leadership through service opportunities for students through “Student Leadership Council”, Safety Patrol, and other initiatives.

Snacks / Birthdays

Lincoln provides a healthy fruit or vegetable snack four days each week through a grant from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).  In order to maximize instructional time and increase the health and wellness of our students, we ask that no treats, snacks, or candy be sent to school for any occasion UNLESS your child’s teacher contacts you with a special request.  Non-caffeinated beverages may be part of a student’s “sack lunch”, and school staff will refrain from serving/allowing caffeinated beverages at school events.  Chewing gum is not allowed due to the damage it can cause.  Exceptions may be made during standardized testing, as research shows that chewing gum may help students remain focused during long sessions requiring attention.

If food items are to be part of a classroom learning celebration, the teacher will contact the Homeroom Parent to secure volunteers to provide items.  If you are contacted to bring food items to school for such occasions, see the District’s Healthy Snack Suggestions in this Handbook.  This procedure helps to assure that students do not receive an excess of sugary treats, encourages healthier eating habits, and protects children with food allergies, while allowing healthy treats for special occasions within the classroom.

We will continue to recognize each child’s birthday within our school community with a card and small gift from the school.  Children with summer birthdays will receive birthday recognition on his/her half birthday.  We ask that no treats or gifts be sent to school for your child’s birthday.  We want to preserve instructional time, avoid allergic reactions, assure equitable recognition for each child, and adhere to federal/state/local health and nutrition guidelines. Realizing that not all families celebrate birthdays, if you prefer that your child not receive birthday recognition from school, please inform your child’s homeroom teacher. To avoid hurt feelings when children are excluded, we ask that you not send birthday party invitations to school.  Please find an alternate means of distributing invitations to a birthday party held outside of school.

Supplies for Class

A successful student is proactive and begins with the end in mind (has a plan).  Students need materials to be prepared each day for class.  If families need assistance in providing adequate supplies for a student, they may contact the homeroom teacher, principal or guidance counselor.  Parents are responsible for replenishing supplies for students when they run low during the school year.

Support Services

Our school district provides for a guidance counselor, nurse, instructional coach, English language teacher, and reading/writing teachers.  In addition, speech pathologist, social worker, and special education consultants are available on a regular schedule.  Services provided by a hearing clinician, physical therapist, occupational therapist and early childhood consultant are available and parents may request testing to determine level of need.

Telephone Use

Students may use the office or classroom telephone with permission.  Students will typically not be called to the telephone; office staff will relay messages through the classroom teacher.

Visits to School

Parents are welcome at Lincoln School.  Parents and other visitors announce their arrival on the security speaker at the front (Nevada Street) door, and go directly to the office when “buzzed in”.  This applies even to the start of the day (beginning at 7:50 and extending through the 8:30 tardy bell) when a Lincoln staff member may provide the parent/guest entry rather than using the security system.

Office staff members request parents and other visitors to present a valid driver’s license.  Once approved through the Raptor system (background check) the visitor is then issued an identification nametag to be worn during the entire visit.  Staff members will question any visitor not wearing a nametag and direct them to the office. Just before leaving the building, the parent or visitor will alert office staff members that they are leaving.  Parents wishing to visit a particular class will make arrangements beforehand with the teacher (with preferably a one-day’s notice).  This also applies to parents choosing to eat lunch with their child.  (See related information in Classroom Interruptions section.)

Volunteers

Volunteers are coordinated through classroom teachers and other school staff members. All regular volunteers (including drivers for field trips) must complete an application and submit to background checks to ensure the safety of Lincoln students.  Please contact the office for more information.

Walking to School

We encourage the healthy practice of walking to and from school whenever it is feasible.  The safe places to cross streets are at corners where streets intersect.  Students (and their adult companions) are expected to cross at those corners near school where Safety Patrol assistance is provided:  Nevada / West Fifth Streets, Nevada / University Avenue, and West Fifth / Booth Streets.

Y Care Program is no longer available on site.  Call the Dubuque Community Y for more information.  Lincoln provides St. Mark’s Youth Enrichment programming before school and both SMYE and Leisure Services Programs provide after-school programming. Ask at the school office about applying to either of these programs.