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Student Handbook

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
Students may be dropped off between 7:15 - 7:45 a.m. at the designated car rider area. Bus riders will enter at the gym and all car riders will enter at the main entrance of MES. All students will assemble in the school gym. All students will be dismissed at 2:45 p.m. Students that are not picked up by 3:10 p.m. will be sent to the afterschool program and parents will be charged the weekly rate; this will be strictly enforced. Please notify the school in writing if your child's transportation changes-no student will be allowed to take alternate transportation without parental notification in writing.

(Refer to St. Clair County Code of Conduct)
Regular school attendance contributes to academic achievement and facilitates the student's ability to succeed. Alabama law requires all children between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17) to attend school. The law further provides that a parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of a school-aged child is responsible for that child's regular attendance and proper conduct. Parents and guardians are responsible for enrolling their children in school and ensuring that the children attend school and obey behavior policies adopted by the board. Parents failing to enroll students and ensure their proper behavior and attendance are subject to fines and imprisonment under state law. (Code of Alabama 1975 §16-28-12, §, 16-28-40).

In order for an absence to be "excused", parents/guardians must present to the school principal or designee a written explanation of a student's absence within three (3) days of the absence. Failure to present a written explanation (within the "Excused Absences" guidelines, below) will cause the absence to be recorded as unexcused. Absences for official school events are considered excused. School attendance is required of all enrolled children in grades K-12. Students are expected to report to school on time and attend school the full day. All students are subject to the same attendance policies. Parents should make every effort to schedule doctors' and dentists' appointments after school hours. Absences are either excused or unexcused.
Note: It is the parent's responsibility to provide the school with their correct mailing address and telephone number. Any changes made during the school year will require a written request with the parent's signature and will need to be sent to the appropriate school personnel.

"Excused Absences" are defined as the following:
Absences are excused for the following reasons:
1. Illness
2. Death in the immediate family
3. Inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life and health of the child as determined by the principal and/or Superintendent
4. Legal quarantine
5. Emergency conditions as determined by the principal and/or Superintendent
6. Prior permission of the principal with the consent of the parent or legal guardian

Examples include but not limited to the following:
• serious family illness
• family emergency
• legal appointments with documentation
• religious holidays

Schoolwork missed due to excused absences may be made up, and a grade shall be awarded. It is the responsibility of the student to request makeup work the day the student returns to school and return the make-up work on the deadline day. Once a student has returned to school and requested the make-up work, the student shall have two (2) days for each day of excused absence to complete and return make-up work once the student has been given the assignment(s) by the teacher. Example: A student returns to school on Tuesday after being out 1 excused day and request work. The teacher gives assignments on Wednesday. The student would have two days (Thursday and Friday) to complete work and turn in on Monday.

Excessive absence is defined as any absence above (10) days for a student in grades K-12 per school year. Days of absence beyond 10 days must be documented by a physician's statement or by a court order to be considered excused. A parent/guardian note of explanation is not acceptable for absences after the tenth (10th). Absences without physician or court documentation beyond these numbers shall be considered unexcused absences.

Unexcused absences are those for which no acceptable written explanation is provided by the parent/guardian, or for reasons other than those noted above in "Excused Absences" section or those after (10) days per year for which no physician or court documentation is provided. Schoolwork missed due to unexcused absences may not be made up.

The St. Clair County School System participates in cooperation with the St. Clair County District Attorney and the St. Clair County Juvenile Court in the Early Warning Program for Attendance Intervention and the Early Warning Program for Behavior Intervention to assist families in achieving good school attendance and students in maintaining good conduct.
• The first referral to the Early Warning Program is initiated by the school when a student has three (3) unexcused absences. The legal custodial parent/guardian shall be notified in writing of the referral and shall be required to attend an Early Warning Program conference with a judge and juvenile probation officer. Students over the age of 12 are required to attend with the parent/guardian.
• When a student has five (5) unexcused absences, a second referral to the Early Warning Program is initiated by the school system. The legal custodial parent/guardian shall be notified in writing to attend a conference to include the student, a juvenile probation officer, and designated school officials.
• When a student has seven (7) unexcused absences, the school shall file a petition in Juvenile Court which may result in charges against parents/guardians and/or court-ordered supervision (CHINS designation) of the student. Once a student has been referred to Early Warning Program, the school cannot dismiss the truancy or accept excuses until the student and /or parent has attended Early Warning.

Students arriving late to school (checking-in/this includes tardies to school) or leaving school early (checking- out) may do so only with the parent physically coming to the school or a verified written permission of the parents/guardians turned in to the office upon students' arrival. Students must attend 51% of the day to be counted present for the day. Students are not allowed to check out after 2:20 pm. When possible, schedule doctor and dentist appointments after school hours.

EXCUSED CHECK-INS, CHECK-OUTS AND TARDIES INCLUDE: student illness with doctor excuses, serious family illness, death in the immediate family, inclement weather, legal reasons with documentation, emergency conditions as determined by principal and/or Superintendent, or prior permission of the principal.
Sanctions may include ISS, detention, Saturday School or other sanctions determined by local schools or other sanctions as deemed necessary by administrator.

In accordance with the St. Clair County Code of Conduct, rolling backpacks or luggage bags are not allowed due to safety concerns. At the principal's discretion, consideration will be given to those students with special needs.

After School Care Services
There is a $25.00 per year non-refundable registration fee per child and a weekly fee of $50.00 per child. Afterschool care starts at school dismissal until 6:00 p.m. A $1.00/minute late fee will be charged for every minute after 6:00 p.m. All afterschool care services are provided by a 21st Century Learning Center Grant. In the event of an early school dismissal, the transportation arrangement statement on the school registration form will be followed. For registration information, please contact the front office or download from the school website. More information can be found on the Afterschool Tab of our website.

The Breakfast in the Classroom initiative is being implemented at MES-breakfast is served each morning from 7:25 until 7:45 a.m. for all students. Students must arrive within the designated time to receive an opportunity for a breakfast meal. Students arriving after the assigned breakfast time or after the tardy bell will be served one time and sent home with a note notifying the parent of the breakfast procedures. Any occasion after this, the student will be sent on to the classroom without being served.

If a student depends on the school cafeteria for breakfast, please ensure that the student is in the building before the designated cut-off time (7:45 a.m.).

2017-18 Breakfast Prices
Free no charge
Reduced Price Breakfast $0.30
Paid Student Breakfast K-12 $1.25

For special School Breakfast pricing: Students must choose 3 or 4 out of 4 meal components: Meat or Substitute, Grains, Fruit/Juice, or Milk. Students must choose at least ½ cup of fruit or juice.

Bus Rules
(Refer to St. Clair County Code of Conduct)
MES will offer 7 school routes for K-5 students only. Students will be expected to ride their assigned bus and will not be permitted to ride a different bus without a written request from a parent and prior approval from the office. The school bus is an extension of the school day and for their safety and security, students are expected to behave on the school bus as they do in the classroom. Parents are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their children walking to/from the bus stop, waiting at the bus stop, and on the bus. Additional information found on pgs. 30-31 in SCC code of conduct.

1. Walk quietly to designated areas.
2. Remain in the correct bus line.
3. Reasonable voice levels should be used at all times.
4. No eating or drinking allowed prior/during bus trip.
5. Walk to the bus and enter the bus in an orderly fashion.

Due to the possible distractions to the bus driver by the use of cell phones, beepers, or other personal electronic communication devices, the use of these items will not be allowed on the school bus. Under emergency situations (i.e. mechanical break-down of the school bus, accidents, or other possible safety issues) the use of these items may be allowed.


Bus Riders/Afternoon Procedures
Certified staff members will escort students to their buses. Students will begin loading buses at 2:40 pm, so any changes to a student's routine afternoon dismissal (ex. Change from a car rider to a bus rider) should be communicated to the teacher or the office by 2:00 pm. The most plausible method of communication is to send a note by the student to the teacher on the day of the change. Phone call changes to a student's dismissal will not be accepted. Also, under no circumstances should a message pertaining to dismissal instructions be left on the school's voice mail system or e-mail. Although both are checked routinely throughout the day, they are not the most reliable means of communicating such vital information. Please continue to call the school until you reach a school employee. Students will ride their assigned bus, and will not be permitted to ride a different bus without a written request from a parent and prior approval from an administrator.

Car Riders
Car Riders may arrive at school between 7:15 and 7:45 a.m. and are dismissed every afternoon at 2:45 pm. School personnel are not on duty before 7:15 a.m. therefore, students should not arrive before that time. Breakfast is served from 7:25 - 7:45 a.m. (refer to breakfast section). Parents are encouraged to be on time each day. It is also not permissible for parents to park in the side parking lot by the gym and walk over to pick up students. This presents potential hazards for the elementary school students. Students must be picked up by 3:10 pm or the student will be sent to afterschool care and the parent/guardian will be charged for that day.

For dismissal, the car rider pick-up starting line will begin at the parking lot turn lane (base of parking lot entrance) for entering the school. This is necessary and required to allow parents to gain access to the visitor parking lot and for emergency vehicles to enter campus at the front of the building. It is requested that no cars arrive until thirty-minutes prior to school dismissal.

Car Rider Tags
Margaret Elementary will provide all afternoon car rider students with one official car rider tag. The tag should be displayed on the dash or rear view mirror of the parent's car at dismissal time. Parents or others without a displayed tag will be required to park in the visitors parking and walk to the office for pick-up and required to show proof of identification. Replacement or additional tags should be requested through the office. There is a $5.00 charge for replacement or additional tags.

Cell Phones
(Refer to St. Clair County Code of Conduct)
Cell phones and other electronic computing devices such as, but not limited to, digital cameras, camcorders, EReaders, MP3 players, IPads, laptops, and headphones may be part of the instructional process, with prior administrative and teacher authorization. Otherwise, these devices may not be visible and must be turned "off" during the instructional day. Devices will need to be labeled with personal markings to physically identify your child's device from others. Additionally, a protective case for the device should be obtained. Students using personal devices should utilize SCCBOE network. Students are not allowed to use their own personal data plan on campus. If caught, this may result in loss of device privileges.

Possession of electronic devices by a student is a privilege which may be forfeited by any student not abiding by the terms of this policy. Students shall be personally and solely responsible for the security of their electronic devices. The St. Clair County School System shall not assume any responsibility of theft, loss, or damage of electronic devices.

No cell phones will be allowed on campus during the standardized testing period without prior approval of the principal.

Change of Address, Phone Number and Registration Information
It is very important that the school has your correct current address in our student database. This also includes updated home/cell phone numbers. If your address or phone number changes at any time during the year, please make these changes in person through the front office. This is VITALLY important as there are various times we need to contact you concerning your child. You may print out a new registration form from the St. Clair County School or MES websites or use the SchoolCast login information sent home with your child to make necessary changes.

Check-In and Check-Out
Parents must escort their child into the school building or must be present for check-in or check-out in order to sign the office record sheet. A picture ID is required for verification on all student check-outs. Any students checked out before 11:35 a.m. or checked in after 11:35 am (equating to 51% of the school day) during the school day will be considered absent for the entire day. Students will not be dismissed from class until the parent has completed the proper check out procedures. No changes can be made by the parent/guardian to the check-in or check-out list over the telephone. All changes must be made in person.

Classroom Donations
Margaret Elementary School requests a classroom donation of $40.00 to be distributed in the following manner: Classroom $25.00, Library $5.00, Arts $5.00, School Administrative $5.00. The administrative donation helps to offset printing costs of newsletters, school information flyers, school mailings, and envelopes and postage. The Arts donation helps purchase materials & supplies for various projects and the library donation helps to keep the library catalog current while also providing technology software available for student use.

Communication Folders
Communication folders (red folder) will be used for communication throughout the school year. Parents are encouraged to view and communicate with the child's teacher using this folder. Teachers will provide weekly newsletters with pertinent school information to keep parents informed. All official school documents requiring a parent signature will be sent in the
communication folder in hopes that you will stay informed about the academic progress of your child, know about school events, and be able to monitor your child's daily behavior. Please review all communication written in your child's folder and/or agenda notebook, sign reading/conduct logs daily.

Deliveries to Students
To avoid disruptions to the academic setting and issues with transportation, MES does not allow students to receive deliveries (balloons, candy, flowers, etc.) at school.

Dress Code
(Refer to St. Clair County Code of Conduct)
Students of Margaret Elementary School in grades K through 5 will follow the dress code that has been established by the St. Clair County Board of Education. Violations of the dress code will be subject to parental contact and/or student disciplinary actions. All students must follow the guidelines and rules for grades K-12.

(Refer to St. Clair County Code of Conduct)
A well-disciplined student body is essential to the effectiveness of any educational institution. The staff at Margaret Elementary will follow the guidelines set forth in the St. Clair County Code of Student Conduct and the school-wide discipline plan. Each child will maintain a conduct/behavior chart in the communication folder or agenda notebook which is reported daily to parents. When appropriate, corporal punishment will be used as a disciplinary option and parents will be notified by phone. When discipline infractions occur, a school administrator or his designee will discuss punishment options by phone, letter, or in some cases, in person.

Entering and Leaving School
Students should always enter and leave at the designated student entrance/exit. If for any reason a child needs to leave school during the day or comes in after 7:45 a.m., the parent must come into the office and sign him/her in/out. After the tardy bell, all entrances will be locked for security reasons. The front office entrance is installed with a security door-all visitors must use this device located on the left wall of the front door entrance to announce your arrival. If for any reason you must send someone to pick up your child, that person's name must be on the check-in/out form. An ID must be provided and checked. THIS POLICY WILL BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.

Emergency and Weather Conditions
The school may be temporarily closed by the Superintendent due to inclement weather or emergency conditions. A county automated call system will be used to report school closings. It is extremely important for your contact phone number to remain current at all times with the school. School days missed may be made up according to the schedule on the school calendar. Please look on local news sites, social media, and listen to local radio and T.V. stations for messages. The school phone line must remain free for emergency messages. Parents are required to complete and return the Emergency Dismissal Form to place in the child's file. It is necessary for every parent or legal guardian to maintain a working phone number at all times. During tornado warnings, once children have been sent into the hallways, it will not be possible for you to check-out the student until the principal receives the "all clear" call from the county office.


Field Trips (Study Trips) and Excursions
School sponsored trips and excursions are those officially approved and authorized trips which are conducted to support the curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs of the school. Prior to participating in any such trip, eligible students must provide a parent signed field trip permission form. Students attending school sponsored trips are required to ride the bus to and from the appointed destination with all other students. Teachers will contact parents if needed to chaperone. Chaperones and all parents attending the school sponsored field trip are subject to the same rules and regulations as school personnel. Therefore, appropriate dress is required and any smoking/vaping is prohibited. A field trip is considered an extension of the classroom lesson however a student may be denied the opportunity to go on field trips if his/her behavior warrants such a denial. A student with the following disciplinary actions will be denied the opportunity to attend extracurricular functions or participate in field trip activities when a student reaches the below discipline referrals:

Class I violation 3 or more
Class II violation 2 or more/ or combination of Class I and Class II
Class III violation 1 or more
Class IV violation 1 or more
Class V violation 1 or more

Any combination that equals three office referrals will lead to exclusion from the extra-curricular function or field trip in question. At the principal's discretion, the number of disciplinary offenses may be cleared at the beginning of the new semester, with the exception of any Class IV violation which will remain for the entire year. Any student may be denied the opportunity to attend any school related event, at any time, if the principal deems that the student's behavior warrants such a denial.

Fundraisers are a necessary component for raising money to meet the vision, mission, and goals of the school, as well as, teacher and student needs. The school and PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) are the primary fundraising entities at MES. All fundraisers are subject to a 40% withholding for administrative use to address overall school needs as determined by school administration.

The report card and the progress report is a mechanism for reporting student achievement.

A+ = 98-100 B+=88-89 C+=78-79 D+=68-69 F=59 and below
A=94-97 B=84-87 C=74-77 D=64-67
A-=90-93 B-=80-83 C-=70-73 D-=60-63

Kindergarten Grading Scale (see report card for expanded explanations)

3 Meeting Standards
2 Partially Meeting Standards
1 Not Meeting Standards

Grades K-4
To be promoted to the next grade, a student in grades K through four must pass reading and mathematics to grade level standards. The process of making decisions as to promotion and retention of students in grades K through four should take into consideration a variety of factors including age, maturity, motor coordination, capacity for learning, and academic progress. The determination process should involve the principal and teacher(s) with the authority for determining promotion and retention resting entirely with the teacher(s) and principal.

If a student needs to be retained based on the teacher's professional judgment of the student's academic performance and/or other factors, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student should be informed as early in the school year as possible. In all cases, the decision of whether a student should be promoted or retained shall be made on the basis of which grade placement provides the student a better chance of progressing in his/her educational development.

Grades 5-8
Students enrolled in grades five (5) through eight (8) must pass reading (literature), language, and math along with either science or social studies each year in order to be promoted to the next higher grade. Students who do not pass required core courses each year will be retained at their current grade level for the next school year unless they successfully meet the requirements in an approved summer school program.

Guidance Counselor
The counselor is available at the school to provide information and guidance to students, parents, and staff relative to academic, behavioral, personal and social problems of the students. The school guidance counselor provides Safety, Health, and Character Education programs to all students at MES. The guidance counselor will meet with parents and students by appointment. You may contact her by e-mail or phone.

The use of gum is prohibited. Students who violate this school rule will be subject to disciplinary actions as outline in the St. Clair County Student Code of Conduct. Repeat referrals for this violation will be considered defiant behavior and will be considered a Class II violation which may warrant an in-school suspension or Saturday School assignment.

Head Lice
Students may not attend school with lice in their hair. A student will be sent home with instructions as to proper treatment when lice are found. The student may return at any time on the same day to be re-checked, but will not be allowed to return to class until he/she is free of lice. To be readmitted, a parent/guardian must accompany the student to the school office to be examined for the presence of lice. No more than two consecutive absences will be considered excused due to lice. After two consecutive days, absences will be unexcused. Please refer to Nurse Daniel's newsletter for preventative treatments and guidance.

Health Services
A certified nurse is employed as a school nurse by the board of education to coordinate health services for students in grades K through five. Health screenings including vision, hearing, and scoliosis are done routinely as required by State regulations. These will also be provided for any students on an individual basis as requested by a parent, student, or teacher. The school nurse serves as a liaison between the school and the community to provide agency referrals, health education, and medical information. Each student will receive a copy of "From the Desk of the School Nurse" newsletter at the beginning of the school year that outlines many important health services and guidelines for the MES. Additional guidelines may be found in the SCC Student Code of Conduct.

Honors Assembly
Students will be awarded honor roll according to the student's level of work. Honor roll and attendance awards will be given quarterly and sent home with report cards. An end of the year Honors Assembly will occur in May and awards will include A, A/B Honor Roll, Perfect, Excellent, and Outstanding Attendance, Citizenship, Reading/Math Recognition awards, PE/Art awards, and Principal/Assistant Principal awards. The dates for all assemblies will be posted on the school website or on the school's social media pages. MES is a chartered member of the National Elementary Honor Society for fourth and fifth graders. The school will conduct and invite honor students for membership based on the following guidelines: Students must obtain an overall 94 academic average for an invitation and maintain an overall A-B academic average with no term below an 88 average. Students must possess the following qualifications: good character, above average academic performance, and commendable attitude.

Internet Safety and Use
(Refer to St. Clair County Code of Conduct)
Computers and computing tools are essential components to a 21st Century classroom. The use of these instructional materials requires a great deal of responsibility and safety. MES will conduct internet safety classes and training, "Cyber Smarts" for all students to ensure that they understand their responsibility as internet users. Several B.Y.O.D., (bring-your-own-device) opportunities will be given throughout the year and strict adherence to the school policy must be followed. At the beginning of each year, parents and students are asked to sign the school agreement and also sign the SCC Student Code of Conduct addressing the appropriate use regulations on internet safety and use, pg. 34-36. This agreement covers responsibility and monitoring of internet access and must be received prior to students using any/all computer hardware/software.

Parent Portal
You may gain access to your child's grades, attendance, discipline records and other information through the Parent Portal available in Chalkable. If you received a parent portal login last year, your password may need to be reset. If this is the case, go to the website, located in the Parent Communication tab. If you have an additional student beginning school this year, email a request to add this child to the existing account. The email request should be mailed to

If you are a new parent to "Parent Portal", follow the instructions listed:

Send an email request to:

For verification purposes, include the following information for each child attending St. Clair County Schools:

• Parent/Guardian's Name, Address, Phone Number
• Student's School Name
• Student's Name: First/Middle/Last
• Student's Last 4 digits of Social Security Number

For our students' protection, once your request is received, a verification of Parent/Guardian status will be completed via student data and a Parent Portal login will be assigned to you. You will receive an email with login instructions and information. This login will allow you to view data on all of your children that are verified through the information requested above.

It is imperative that all of the requested information above is submitted in your email request in order to receive timely responses. If all of the information is not included in the email, verification cannot be completed and your request will be returned. The follow-up email will be placed behind those sent in with correct information.

If you have any questions related to your child's academic, attendance, disciplinary and/or demographic information on Parent Portal, you will need to contact your child's school.

PST (Problem Solving Team)
The Problem Solving Team (PST) is a school-based collaborative team found in all schools, K-12. It is designed to meet the diverse needs of general education students who are considered at-risk of failure or drop-out due to chronic academic and/or behavior challenges. Team members discuss issues related to specific needs of teachers and students and offer assistance in resolving problems. The team is composed of regular education teachers, administrators, counselors, and other individuals as needed, including special education teachers.

The purpose of PST is to provide immediate aid through a PST plan for students in the general education setting who are struggling academically or behaviorally. The PST plan provides intervention strategies that are implemented in an 8-10 week plan within the general education classroom. The plans are implemented and progressed monitored in general education classrooms while determining whether there is a need for referrals to other programs. The plans do not duplicate or supplement plans for students actively served by other program plans. After a PST plan is implemented, it is evaluated for effectiveness and suggestions are made for future recommendations.

A balanced breakfast and lunch is served daily at MES. The federal lunch program and guidelines are followed for any meal served in our lunchroom. Please visit the Mustang Café website to learn more about our goals. Also, visit: and to learn about the health and wellness initiatives of our school. The lunchroom is a place where good human relations can be developed. Each student is expected to practice the general rules of good manners.

Department of Education Nutrition Policies prohibit restaurant fast foods and carbonated beverages to be brought into the cafeteria by anyone under any circumstances. Lunch money/accounts should be regularly monitored to avoid students not having money for lunch. All lunch money must be turned into the teacher in a labeled envelope with the student's first and last name, teacher name, and amount to be applied to student account. An alternative lunch will be provided to students who have a negative lunch account balance. No adult or student meals will be charged, due to Board Policy. All students may purchase a la carte items or "extras", unless written permission to change a student's meal plan is submitted by parent/legal guardian. Any student with food allergies must submit any physician documentation to the school office and make note of this condition on the student's medical form. Parents may use the automated pay system on the county or school websites to add money and to manage your child's lunch account. For information on the school lunch program, visit

Free no charge
Reduced Price Breakfast $0.30
Reduced Price Lunch $0.40
Paid Student Breakfast K-12 $1.25
Paid Student Lunch K-6 $2.50

Paid Student Lunch 7-12 $2.50
Adult Faculty/Staff Lunch $3.25
Visitor Lunch $4.00

For special School Breakfast pricing: Students must choose 3 or 4 out of 4 meal components: Meat or Substitute, Grains, Fruit/Juice, or Milk. Students must choose at least ½ cup of fruit or juice. To receive special pricing for a School Lunch: Students must choose 3, 4 or 5 out of 5 meal components: Meat or Substitute, Grains, Fruit, Vegetable, or Milk. Students must choose at least one full serving of fruit or vegetable.

A la carte pricing and extra items are available for purchase if funds are available in your child's account.

Make Up Classwork & Homework
Students are responsible for making up the work missed because of an excused or unexcused absence. Academic credit will not be given for assignments due to an out-of-school suspension. Students have two days to make up work for each excused absence. Work missed due to excessive unexcused absences or being tardy will not be made up. To obtain a student's make-up work, parent/guardian must give the school office reasonable notice prior to picking up the assignments. Parents may utilize the school/teacher websites for assignment information for each school day.

Medication Info
No medication, prescription or over-the-counter may be administered to students by school personnel without a school medication form completed by a physician. Medication is to be brought to school in the non-expired, sealed original container, appropriately stating the name of the student, the name of the medication and the dosage. This medication should be age appropriate for the purpose intended. ALL MEDICATION MUST BE DELIVERED TO THE OFFICE/NURSE BY A PARENT/ADULT. Additional guidelines may be found on pg. 24 in the SCC Student Code of Conduct. Each student will receive a copy of "From the Desk of the School Nurse" Newsletter at the beginning of the school year that outlines many important health services and guidelines for the MES.

Money Sent To School
All money sent to school is to be placed in an envelope and labeled providing the student's name, teacher's name, amount and purpose of the money.

Parent Volunteers/PTO
We welcome and encourage volunteer help. Volunteers work with individual students and small groups in the classroom. They also serve as classroom or office aides, help in the Media Center or do whatever is most helpful to the teacher and students. Should you wish to assist us, please contact your child's teacher, the media center, or the main school office. The PTO works diligently to raise supplemental funds for our School. It is also a constant support for the students and teachers at Margaret Elementary. Meetings are generally held during the first Thursday night of each month. The PTO is always searching for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering or joining, you may contact the school. PTO dues are $10.00 and will be collected throughout the course of the school year. Visit the school PTO website at:

Parties will be under the direction of the classroom teacher with the assistance from the room mothers. No food, beverages, or balloons (cupcakes/cakes, etc.) for individual student birthday parties will not be permitted during the instructional day as it interferes with the school learning environment and causes hurt feelings when all students do not have the opportunity to celebrate at school. For classroom parties, home baked items are not permitted according to Alabama Department of Education Nutrition Program policies. Distributing party invitations at school for a home party will not be permitted.

Personal Checks
We do reserve the right to refuse any personal checks from an individual if there has been a history of returned checks. All checks must have a phone number, student's name, & purpose of payment listed on the check.

Personal Property
The school can assume no responsibility for any personal property of students. Therefore, music players, cell phones, video games, excess money, North Face jackets, etc. is the responsibility of each student. Coats, hats, sweaters and backpacks should be clearly marked with a name label in order to facilitate return the rightful owner. Lost and found items will be placed in a designated location in the school. Every nine weeks these items are donated to local shelters. If your child is missing an item, please visit the school to check the lost and found before these items are donated.

Physical Education
All students are expected to participate in physical education. If a child is unable to participate, a note should be sent by a parent or doctor. If a student is excused by a physician for an injury, the physician must provide a note to resume activity before the student will be allowed to participate in class. Students should come to school dressed in a manner that they can fully participate in P.E. activities. Your child's grade in physical education class could be affected by not wearing appropriate shoes for activity.

Safety Drills
As mandated by state law, Margaret Elementary will conduct monthly safety drills. Students should proceed to the designated safe zone in an orderly manner with their teacher. Teachers will prepare their students for the required drills by discussing safety procedures and conduct expectations throughout the school year.
School Hours
The main office is open between 7:15 am and 4:00 pm. The instructional day begins at 7:45 a.m. each day. Students who arrive after 7:45 am are considered tardy. Enrollment should take place during normal school hours. A parent or legal guardian must enroll the child and provide the necessary documents i.e. social security card, birth certificate, immunization card, two proofs of residency before the enrollment process can be completed and the student placed into a class.

School Snacks
Students will be given an opportunity of a small, reasonable snack during the day at the teacher's discretion. Students may bring their own snack or use the vending machines located in the snack/break area near the gym. Most items available in the machine are no more than $1.25. Only water drinks will be allowed and the school's preference would be that each student provide their own reusable water bottle to refill at the water fountain. MES is using guidelines from US Healthy Schools Challenge; only snack items from these guidelines will be sold in school vending machines or the school cafeteria. We ask parents to visit our school cafeteria website to learn more information about healthy school snack options. A student's snack privilege may be taken away if he/she does not follow the established rules in the St. Clair County Code of Student Conduct.

School Store
The MES school store will be open one day a week for students to purchase school supplies and school spirit items. Prices range from $.50 to $10.00; a list will be provided to each student at the beginning of the school year.

Teacher/Parent Conferences
Parents are encouraged to confer with their child's teacher as often as needed for you to stay informed. It is important to make an appointment in advance by calling the school office. Conferences will not be held during instructional time. Teachers will schedule all conferences during the teacher's planning period and/or before/after school by appointment only.

Textbooks and Library Books
Students are responsible for textbooks issued by the state and books checked out of the library. Proper care of these items should be stressed to help your child develop a feeling of personal responsibility for textbooks/library books for his/her use. Students who lose or damage books will be held financially accountable and will not be allowed to checkout library books until the damaged/lost book has been resolved. Lost materials, if later found, may be returned, with the original receipt. The school reserves the right to set a time limitation for requesting a refund. To challenge any reading material in the school library catalog, first contact the school library media specialist for further guidance and questions.

Telephone Use
The school office telephone is for school business only. Only emergency messages will be given to students. Children may use the phone only in emergency situations. This policy will strictly be
enforced. Please let your child know before coming to school how he/she will be getting home that day. Any messages left for teachers are placed in the teacher's mailbox. Teachers generally check their boxes in the morning and afternoon. Parents may leave voicemail messages for any staff member at MES using the main school phone number (629-5034).

Transfer Students
Students who move into the Margaret Elementary School zone, who have previously attended an accredited institution, will be placed in the same grade as they were at the previous school. Students who move into the Margaret Elementary School zone, who previously attended a non-accredited institution or home school, will be required to take a placement test to determine grade-level status. Every effort will be made to place students in the grade of their same-aged peers.

Visitors or Visiting the School
We welcome visitors and visits to our school. The front office entrance is installed with a security door-all visitors must use this device located on the left wall of front door entrance to announce your arrival. All visitors coming to the school campus for any reason must first report to the office with appropriate ID and receive a visitor's pass. This is for the protection and safety of every child. PLEASE BE COOPERATIVE. If you wish to visit your child's classroom, please arrange a time and date with the school principal. Classroom instructional time cannot be used for parent/teacher conferences.

Website/Social Media
You may visit the school website for up-to-date announcements and information at You may access any school employees e-mail address through the school website. If you may also find us on Facebook (Margaret Elementary School-Red Mustang logo) that provides up-to-date information on school events and information.

NO WALKING to or from school is allowed.

When it becomes necessary to withdraw a student from school, a 24-hour notice must be given for the counselor to prepare all necessary documents. Only the parent/guardian that enrolled the child will be allowed to withdraw the student from school.

You, as a parent/guardian, are a vitally important component in the educational development of your child, as well as, the continued success of our school. We welcome your input, are appreciative of your effort and time spent aiding us to educate your child.