Arlene Meraux Elementary
2022-2023 Parent Handbook
WELCOME BACK MERAUX BEES! Wow, I cannot believe we are beginning our sixth year at Arlene Meraux Elementary. If you are new to our school family, let me be the first to welcome you! As principal, I am delighted to begin a new school year with you and your children in our new, state-of the art campus. Our staff worked hard to prepare for the opening of our school year. Last year was certainly one filled with challenges, but as always, our Meraux family demonstrated their strength, flexibility, and support. We have scheduled many events for our students and families to share this year, and we hope that you will join us in making this a great educational experience for your children. With an experienced, caring faculty and strong parent/teacher communication, this school year promises to be exciting and productive.
We are committed to providing a structured, positive learning environment for all children, and we ask for your support by following school policies and procedures. We encourage all parents to become active participants in their children’s education. We have observed first-hand the impact of parental involvement on a student’s success. Whether you are available to volunteer at school during the day, attend school functions in the evening, or simply send your child to school each day with homework completed, you DO make a difference!
Do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, the guidance counselor, or the office if you have questions. We will work closely with you to address any concerns. Together we will work toward educational excellence for Arlene Meraux Elementary School students. We strive to be a dynamic learning institution filled with enthusiastic students who are challenged daily to think and to succeed.
Thank you for entrusting your children to us. The entire staff will work diligently every day to earn that trust. I look forward to getting to know each of you throughout the school year.
Natalie C. Albers
This handbook contains information regarding policies and procedures at Arlene Meraux Elementary School. Please read it carefully and keep it handy throughout the year to assist you and your child when questions arise concerning school policies. Mark your calendar with the important dates listed on page one.
Topics in this handbook have been arranged alphabetically in the Table of Contents for easy reference. A Pre-K supplement is included at the end of the handbook to provide additional information for parents of students in the four-year old program.
- Grades: Pre-K through 5th
- School Colors: Green and Gold
- School Mascot: Bee
ARLENE MERAUX ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
At Arlene Meraux Elementary, we dare to dream it and work to achieve it.
Arlene Meraux Elementary School's mission is to nurture an environment that respects individual differences, promotes high achievement and encourages each member of the school community to be active lifelong learners.
2022-23 IMPORTANT DATES - TENTATIVE
August 5 - First Day of School for 1st – 5th Grades
August 9 - First Day of School for Kindergarten
August 17 - First Day of School for Pre-K Students
September 5 - Labor Day Holiday
September 6 - Progress Reports Distributed
October 6 - End of 1st Nine-Weeks Period
October 10 & 11 - Fall Break Holidays
October 20 - Report Card Conference Time After School 4:30 – 7:45
November 1 - Student Holiday – Students Off/Teacher PD
November 8 - Progress Reports Distributed
November 21 – 25 - Thanksgiving Holidays
December 19 – 30 - Christmas Holidays
January 2 - Student Holiday – Students Off/Teacher PD
January 3 - Classes Resume
January 4 - End of 2nd Nine-Weeks Period
January 10 - Report Cards Distributed
January 16 - Martin Luther King Day Holiday
January 31 - Progress Reports Distributed
February 20 – 24 - Mardi Gras Holidays
March 10 - End of 3rd Nine Weeks Period
March 17 - Report Cards Distributed
April 6 – 11 - Easter Holidays
April 12 - Classes Resume/Progress Reports Distributed
May 23 - Report Cards Distributed – LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
A student who receives all A’s and B’s, including conduct and satisfactory cultural arts grades, will receive an honor roll certificate. Honor roll certificates are issued at the end of each nine weeks and at the end of the year.
5th Grade Student of the Year Guidelines
The Student of the Year Awards Program is designed to recognize outstanding 5th grade students. This program is a great way for our school to celebrate those students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievements, leadership ability, and citizenship.
In order to be considered, a student must at minimum meet the following criteria:
- Student G.P.A. in 2nd through 5th grade must be in the top 15% of the class and be no less than a 3.1
- LEAP test scores must demonstrate proficiency at grade level
- Student conduct embodies the school culture and values
- Student should be involved in extracurricular activities inside and/or outside of school
Arlene Meraux Elementary‘s Student of the Year process begins in the early fall. Students who meet the criteria listed above will then go on to complete the following: an application, an essay to be completed on campus, and participate in an interview.
If there is a dispute regarding the selection of a candidate, please contact your school principal directly.
ARP (Accelerated Reader Program)
Children in all grades are encouraged to participate in the Accelerated Reader Program (ARP) which promotes reading for enjoyment. Children read books, then
complete a computerized test on each book read. They earn points for reading and receive prizes as the points accumulate.
- The school day begins at 8:40 a.m. for students in Pre-K4 through 5th
- Students should arrive at school between 8:15 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. Students may not arrive on campus before supervision begins at 8:15 a.m.
- Students arriving after 8:40 a.m. must report to the office with a parent to sign in and receive a check-in pass.
- Students riding school buses will be dropped off at the bus loading area at the cafeteria entrance on the left-hand side of the building.
- Car riders and/or nursery van riders must be dropped off at the car rider entrance on the right-hand side of the building.
- Students may not be dropped off in any other areas of the school. This is a safety issue, and this policy will be strictly enforced.
- All students eating breakfast at school must report directly to the cafeteria upon arrival.
- Any student not eating breakfast at school will report directly to the hallway outside of his/her classroom upon arrival.
- If your child is dropped off by you or a nursery, he/she must arrive by 8:30 a.m. in order to eat breakfast.
Parents/guardians are not to walk students to class. This interferes with the classroom routine.
Tardiness should be avoided. Repeated tardiness may result in a parent conference and the loss of perfect attendance. Please try to prevent this from occurring. Excessive tardiness (5 or more per semester) will be reported to the Child Welfare and Attendance Officer. When a child arrives late, the teacher must stop the lesson, update attendance in the computer, change the lunch count, and get the tardy child settled and caught up before the lesson can continue. Valuable instructional time is wasted for the entire class.
The school year consists of 180 days. Regulations specified by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education require elementary school students to be in attendance a minimum of 166 days to be eligible for promotion. The State allows no more than 14 absences per year at the elementary and middle school levels and 7 absences per semester at the high school level. The State does not distinguish between excused and unexcused; all are counted as absences. A doctor’s note for an appointment or a one-day illness does not prevent the absence from being counted toward the 14 day limit, and once the maximum number of absences allowed is reached, credit will not be granted for the school year. Long-term illnesses will receive special consideration through our Office of Child Welfare and Attendance.
- Parents of absent students will receive a phone call via the automated calling system to be sure that you are aware that your child is not in school.
- A doctor’s certificate is required when students are returning to school after having a communicable disease. The school district’s Guide to Student Conduct contains information on communicable diseases.
- Absences are closely monitored. Excessive absences and tardies (5 per semester) are reported to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance in accordance with State Law.
- All doctor’s notes must be submitted within five (5) days of returning to school.
Parent Tips for Improving Attendance:
Parents are a child’s first teacher. They play a crucial role in their child’s ability to succeed in school. An effective partnership with parents and their child’s school sets the stage for the success of a child.
- Limit TV on school mornings.
- Teach children to set and to use their own alarm clock or clock radio.
- Set uniform clothes out the night before.
- Have school work and lunch ready.
- Bathe and shower in the evening.
- Walk to the bus stop with another child who is always on time.
- Help your child relax before bedtime with a story or a book instead of the stimulation of television.
- Remind children how much it helps the whole family when they are ready for school.
- Require children to come to school unless they are sick or there is a family emergency.
- Avoid scheduling vacations during school time.
- Arrive at school on time because tardiness will be monitored carefully.
- Try to schedule doctor or dental appointments after school or during holiday breaks.
- Return to school with a note or doctor’s certificate after an absence.
The faculty and staff of Arlene Meraux Elementary believe that the best way to enforce the St. Bernard School District’s Behavioral Expectations and to ensure a positive learning environment is to recognize and encourage positive behaviors. Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) is the basis for our discipline policy. The four major behavioral expectations for students are:
Be Respectful Be Responsible Be Positive Be Safe
These guidelines serve as the basis for more specific rules to be followed in various settings. Students who consistently adhere to these rules are rewarded throughout the school year.
Breakfast is served between 8:15 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. Car riders must arrive in the cafeteria by 8:30 a.m. if they wish to eat breakfast. In the event of a late-arriving bus, bus riders will be allowed a reasonable amount of time to eat breakfast.
- Students must follow all bus rules contained in the St. Bernard Parish Guide to Student Conduct.
- Mutual respect by the student and the bus driver should alleviate almost all problems.
- Once a student is assigned to a bus, he/she must ride only that bus. Changes in bus assignment can only be made with an official change of home address or permission of the transportation supervisor.
- Problems concerning bus routes or pick-ups should be directed to the Supervisor of Transportation at 301-3941.
- Discipline problems should be reported to the assistant principal as soon as possible. Students not observing common courtesies and obeying bus rules will be suspended from the bus. Riding the bus is a privilege.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS / PHONE NUMBER
If your phone number changes, please notify the school immediately. You can either come to school in person and speak to the secretary or write a letter to your child’s teacher. Address changes require that you bring the necessary proofs of residence into the office and complete any required paperwork.
You must present identification to the office personnel, sign the child out, and state the reason for early checkout. Habitual check outs will be reported to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance. When a child is checked out early, the learning of the entire class is interrupted because the teacher stops instruction to assist the child who is preparing to leave early. In the interest of your child’s safety, students are not allowed to be checked out after 3:15 p.m. as this interferes with the preparation for our dismissal procedure.
- Advance written notice from a parent must be sent if anyone other than a parent will be checking out a child. The note will be verified to approve the check out. The person checking the child out will be required to show proper identification upon arrival to check out the child.
Educators are required by state law to report any suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to a Child Protection Agency.
Students in kindergarten through fourth grades will receive instruction in self-contained classrooms. Fifth grade classes will be departmentalized. Fifth grade students will have one teacher for ELA and Social Studies and one teacher for Math and Science. The curriculum is aligned with Louisiana mandated standards and benchmarks. Physical education, art, and music objectives are taught by teachers specialized in these areas. All students have access to the school library and computer labs.
Students who qualify for Special Education services will be instructed in the classroom setting specified on their Individual Education Program (I.E.P.). The school counselor and psychologist are also available for students as needed.
Several intervention programs are provided for students who require additional assistance to meet their goals. A gifted program offers enrichment for students who meet evaluation criteria.
Students are expected to follow all school rules and behave appropriately. The teacher, the principal, or the assistant principal will contact a parent when a student consistently breaks the school rules. Refer to the Guide to Student Conduct for information regarding the different classes of behavioral infractions and possible consequences.
When a student is given a before-school or after-school detention as a consequence, the parent will be sent a written notice. The parent is responsible for providing transportation.
When a student is suspended, the parent will be called in for a conference.
Whenever a question arises concerning discipline, please follow the steps listed below.
- Discuss it with your child.
- Discuss it with the teacher.
- If necessary, discuss it with an administrator.
Please help your child develop good behavior habits as well as proper attitudes toward the school. Become familiar with your child’s class rules as well as the Guide to Student Conduct. Your child will be held accountable for obeying all class, school, and district rules.
Students will be expected to:
- Walk in the halls.
- Report any problem with another student to the nearest adult (teacher, aide, bus driver, etc).
- Avoid hitting, kicking, or hurting another student.
- Avoid throwing objects.
- Refrain from “calling names” or teasing another student.
- Respect school property.
- Use the bathroom facilities properly.
- Obey all school, classroom, and bus rules.
Students should follow this line-up procedure after recess:
- “Freeze” on the first bell or whistle.
- Walk quietly to the line when instructed to do so.
- Quietly move to the classroom or cafeteria.
Students in the cafeteria should:
- Stay in a straight line.
- Keep hands and feet to themselves.
- Eat quietly.
- Practice good table manners.
- Listen for instructions to be dismissed.
- Remain quiet during dismissal from the tables to empty trays.
- Play by cooperating with other students.
- Avoid rough play.
- Avoid running on all concrete areas.
- Follow playground equipment rules established by the P.E. teachers.
- Obey all safety rules.
- Stay out of the area immediately surrounding the playground equipment when not using the playground equipment.
Students waiting for the bus should:
- Stay in line to wait for the bus.
- Stay out of the street.
- NEVER walk directly in front of, between, or behind buses.
Students on the bus should:
- Stay seated in the assigned seat.
- Speak quietly.
- Keep hands and other objects inside the bus windows.
- Report problems to the bus driver before leaving the bus.
- Keep feet and school bags out of the aisles.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting out of their seats.
- Exit the bus single file at the school entrance in the morning and walk to their assigned areas in the building.
- Board the bus single file at the bus loading zone near the cafeteria in the afternoon.
- Keep the bus clean. (No eating or drinking is allowed on the bus.)
Normal dismissal time is 3:40 p.m. for students in PreK-4 through 5th grade.
- If an adult other than the parent is sent to check out a student, the parent will be called to verify the check out. That person’s name must be listed on the Student Emergency Card kept on file in the school office. Office personnel will check identification, so please inform anyone you have authorized to check out your child to bring his/her driver’s license into the office.
- No child may be checked out after 3:15, as this interferes with the safe and orderly dismissal of students.
- All check outs must be made from the office. Children will not be released to parents from the bus loading area.
- Car riders will be dismissed from the car rider lobby on the right-hand side of the building. Parents of car riders will be issued a pass; please write your child’s name on the pass and keep the pass on front passenger side of your car windshield for the duty teachers to see as you approach the pick-up area. Your cooperation with this will greatly speed up the dismissal process.
- Permanent transportation changes cannot be made over the telephone or by notes sent from parents. These changes must be processed by completing paperwork in the office. Any student riding a bus may only be picked up and dropped off at the address on file with the transportation department. This policy is in place to protect your child. If there is a specific day when a bus rider will NOT ride the bus, a signed written note must be sent to the homeroom teacher. Students who are not normally bus riders are not allowed to ride the bus home for any reason unless a permanent transportation change request is completed.
The St. Bernard Parish School System has adopted a parish wide mandated school uniform policy for all students. All children are required to wear uniforms as outlined below. For further information, refer to St. Bernard Parish Student Dress and Appearance Guidelines located in the Guide to Student Conduct.
The St. Bernard Parish School Board requires that all students adhere to its adopted school uniform. This uniform was adopted on February 17, 1998, following the recommendations of a committee comprised of teachers, administrators, and parent representatives from each school.
Pants, Skirts (PK-12) Shorts, & Skorts
● Dress, uniform type, navy or khaki color.
● Must be appropriate size for the student - properly fitting at the waist and neither too tight nor too baggy
● Pants must be hemmed (shoe-top length) with no split seams or frayed edges
● If pants have belt loops, a belt must be worn
● Skirts & jumpers must touch the top of the knee
● No denim
● No bell-bottom, cargo, corduroy, leggings, joggers or jean type pants
● White collared shirt
● Hunter green collared shirt with school logo - must have been approved by the school
● Shirts must be tucked in
● Shirt collars must be visible when wearing a sweater or sweatshirt
● Only white or hunter green undershirts may be worn beneath uniform shirts.
● School sanctioned uniform sweaters, sweatshirts, and jackets may be worn in school at any time (hunter green, navy blue or white v-neck, vest, crew or cardigan styles)
● Jackets must be hunter green, white, or navy blue, and authorized by principal/designee.
● No hoods are allowed on students’ heads while on school grounds and/or on school buses.
● Non-uniform jackets are not to be worn in the building
● Belts are required for any pants that have belt loops
● Only solid colored belts are acceptable (black, white, navy, khaki, or brown)
● Belt buckles may only be slightly larger than the width of the belt.
● Metal stud eyelets, etc. and/or designs are not allowed on any belt.
● Oversized or large belt buckles are not allowed.
● Must be worn
● Socks, stockings, knee-highs, and tights must be a solid color (white, neutral, black, navy or brown)
● Closed toed tennis, casual, or dress shoes of any color
● No Sandals, backless shoes, platform shoes, slippers/house shoes, heelys, light up shoes, crocs, and boots (above ankles)
● Moderate hair styles
● Boys’ hair that extends below the shirt collar must be pulled back so as to not extend below the shirt collar.
● No shaved or design cut into eyebrows or cut/braided into hair
● No unnatural hair coloring
● No extreme hair styles
● No hair styles that cover one or both eyes
● Earrings that are moderate in length (studs, small hoops, and short dangling earrings) are permitted for girls.
● One stud per ear is permitted for boys
● No hats, caps, bandanas, visors, hair curlers, gloves, and sunglasses (unless prescribed by a physician)
● Aside from earrings in the earlobe, body piercings are not allowed.
● No excessively large earrings that may place a student in danger of injury are not allowed (hoops and/or those that hang very long)
● No tattoos
● Clean, neat, free from holes, tears and stains.
● School official monogramming, emblems, or insignia may be worn
● No extreme and distracting make-up
● No graffiti, writing or symbols perceived as vulgar, profane, satanic, gang-related, violent, tobacco, drug or alcohol-related are not to be worn on any accessories, jackets, book bags, book covers, or any other item brought to school.
★ In all circumstances, the principal will make the final decision as to whether a student’s dress or appearance is acceptable.
DRUG FREE SCHOOLS PROGRAM
Arlene Meraux Elementary students participate in state-mandated drug education classes throughout the school year. The classes are taught by the physical education teachers or the guidance counselor. Students are instructed in the dangers of substance abuse at an early age since research shows that more students are influenced by the information when it is introduced early. To act as role models in keeping with the Drug Free Schools Program, employees and parents are not allowed to smoke on the school grounds or on field trips in the presence of students.
Please refer to the Guide to Student Conduct to see the full policy “Policy for the Use of Locating Drugs in Schools.”
EMERGENCY CLOSING OF SCHOOL
In the event that school will be closed, the Superintendent will announce the closure and information will be shared on our school and district websites, social media accounts, and with local news outlets.
If schools are closed during the school day, buses will transport all bus riders to their usual stops. Please make arrangements for someone to be home to meet your child. Students who are normally picked up by parents will not be released until a parent has been contacted and that parent informs the school whether a family member or friend will pick up the child.
In the event of an emergency school closure, parents/guardians will be contacted using our Emergency Call System. In order for families to be contacted, they must have a current and accurate telephone number in our system. It is critical that parents notify our front office of any changes to phone numbers.
Arlene Meraux Elementary will sponsor a variety of extra-curricular activities, clubs, and events to enrich the school experience and meet the varied interests and abilities of our students. Each activity will have specific guidelines which will be distributed to students at the appropriate times. Written parent permission will be required for participation in all after-school activities. Parents will be responsible for providing transportation home, as no bus service will be available.
FEES AND FINES
Arlene Meraux Elementary may impose certain student fees or charges to help offset special costs incurred in the operation of specific classrooms or subjects. Generally, students should not be denied or delayed admission nor denied access to any curricular instructional activity due to failure or inability of their parent or guardian to pay a fee. Report cards and other academic records cannot be withheld for failure to pay a fee pursuant to state law.
A full copy of our Student Fees, Fines and Charges policy can be found on the school and district website by visiting www.sbpsb.org/fees.
A student or his/her parent or legal guardian may request and receive a waiver of payment of a fee due to economic hardship. Completed waivers and the corresponding documentation must be submitted to your student’s school principal. For families with students in multiple schools, separate waivers and documentation must be provided at each school. Families with multiple students at the same school can complete one waiver. The form must be completed yearly during enrollment, registration, or orientation.
Please note that the waiver will be applied to fees associated with curricular activities only. Fees associated with extracurricular activities are not covered by the waiver.
Please send all funds to school in an envelope marked with the student’s name, homeroom, and purpose for the funds and the amount. All checks should be made payable to Arlene Meraux Elementary School. An NSF check will result in only being able to pay in cash or money order for the person who sent the check.
Field trips are an integral part of the instructional program and help bring learning to life for students. Students are encouraged to attend all class-sponsored field trips. School dress code and all school rules are in effect for field trips. For each field trip, please send the money and permission slip in a well-labeled envelope. Permission slips or money cannot be accepted after the deadline for submission. No permission slips or money will be accepted in the front office.
IMPORTANT NOTE: No permission slips or money will be accepted from students who owe outstanding school fees (lunch money, instructional fee, damaged/lost library or textbook fees, bus damage fees).
The rules for incentive field trips are established by the teacher, and incentive field trips may be withheld for disciplinary reasons.
Chaperones must provide a valid ID when checking in at the office. Parent chaperones must dress appropriately (NO shorts, halter tops, midriffs, etc.) and must follow chaperone guidelines. We suggest that parents wear a green T-Shirt/School Spirit Shirt for the safety of the group; it is easier for the students and teachers to identify chaperones. No other children are allowed on field trips. Alcoholic beverages and smoking are not allowed on field trips. Parents must follow regular check out procedures after field trips.
It is the student’s responsibility to report personal illness or injury to a teacher or staff member. If serious injury occurs, first aid is administered and parents/guardians are called immediately. This is another very important reason why the school should have a current home telephone number and at least three reliable emergency contact numbers.
FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM
Our school participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. This program provides one breakfast and one lunch each school day to all students enrolled in the schools listed. Adults and employees will be charged for meals at the rate below. Please note that there is a cost for “extra milk and/or juice” (see prices below). These items CAN NOT be charged to an account.
- Extra Milk or Juice $0.50
- Adult Employee/Teacher Meals Breakfast $1.50 Lunch $2.50
- At Cost Meals/Visitors Breakfast $3.00 Lunch $4.50
- Canned and/or bottled beverages are not allowed in the cafeteria.
- Commercially prepared food is not allowed (McDonald’s, Burger King, etc.)
Fundraisers are PTO sponsored activities and are intended to be family oriented. Sales are encouraged through family members, business contacts, and friends, NOT through door to door sales by students. Please do not let your child sell school items for fundraisers unsupervised.
Homework is assigned to reinforce, extend, and enrich the skills and concepts that have been introduced by the teacher. Homework provides an opportunity for a student to develop self-responsibility, time management skills, and independent study skills. Homework is expected to be turned in completed each day.
Individual class homework policies will be distributed by the teachers. Homework schedules will be sent home weekly. Check with the teacher if you have any questions concerning homework.
When a student becomes ill or has a suspected communicable condition, the parent will be required to come check the student out of school. When a parent consistently fails to make arrangements to check out a child who is sick or has a contagious condition such as head lice, scabies, or any other communicable disease, the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance will be notified.
Each student has a regular library period as part of the curriculum. During this period, the librarian reads to the students, teaches them library skills, and instructs them on how to use a library properly. The students are also allowed to check out books during this time. If students fail to return their book on the due date, they may not check out another book until their overdue book is returned.
Students are responsible for the books they check out. If a book is lost or destroyed, the student will be required to pay for it. If lost books are paid for and the books are found at a later date, the money will be returned to the student.
Please inform both your child’s teacher and the office if your child has any allergies or if he/she is on any type of medication. According to School Board policy, school personnel are not allowed to dispense medication of any kind unless we have the proper authorization from the school nurse. Arrangements for school office personnel to administer medication to a student requiring daily medication over an extended period of time must be made with the Nursing Supervisor at 301-2000. For short term medication requirements, parents are welcome to bring the medicine to the school office at the time it is due. The student will be called to meet the parent in the office to take the medicine.
Students are not allowed to bring medicine of any kind (including cough drops, nasal inhalants, chapstick, etc.) to school.
Parent and Family Engagement
Arlene Meraux Elementary recognizes that parent and family engagement must be a priority for children to learn and achieve academic success. Parents and families
provide the primary educational environment for children; consequently, parents are vital and necessary partners with Arlene Meraux Elementary.
In accordance with the St. Bernard Parish School Board’s Parent and Family Engagement Policy,
Arlene Meraux Elementary provides families with various programs and opportunities to enhance the involvement of parents and other caregivers that reflect the needs of our students.
These programs include:
● Back to School Night: Arlene Meraux Elementary’s Back to School Night serves as an annual meeting in which all parents and caregivers are invited to learn more about the educational programs at our school and further opportunities for parent involvement.
● Report Card Conference Night: Report Card Conference night at Arlene Meraux Elementary will be Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 4:30pm-7:45pm. At this event, parents and caregivers have the opportunity to meet with their student’s teachers to learn more about his/her academic and behavioral progress and goals.
● Virtual Parent Meetings: Twice a year, parents/guardians will have an opportunity to hear from school leaders regarding various academic programs and opportunities. Information about these meetings will be shared with families on our website.
● End of Year Meeting: At the end of each school year, parents/guardians will be invited to share their feedback with school leaders and have the opportunity to offer suggestions for the upcoming school year. Information about the date and time of this event will be shared with families in the spring on our website.
PARENT COMMUNICATION POLICY
Arlene Meraux Elementary recognizes that parent/family involvement is essential as we partner to educate our students and prepare them for life-long learning. Together, families working alongside our school educators, we can support student learning and growth.
It is our intention to cultivate and support active family involvement in a number of different ways:
SchoolStatus: An Easier Way to Connect With Us
Starting with the 2020-2021 school year, our educators began using a new platform called SchoolStatus to connect with parents. This means that all teachers, counselors, and administrators throughout our district will be reaching out using this new communications tool. This will replace individual teachers' need to create separate RemindApp or ClassDojo accounts. Here are a few answers to some common questions:
- Do I need to download an app? No. Calls and texts may come from a number you don’t recognize, but that is your direct line to the educator contacting you.
- If I respond to a text, who gets the message? The educator who contacted you! You’re not responding to an entire group. It’s a 1:1 message.
- If I miss a call, can I call the number back? Yes! You may leave a message for the educator who called, or text that same number and know you’ll reach the educator who called you.
- How does the system know my phone number or email? SchoolStatus will utilize the contact information in the school’s student system. It is critical that your phone number and email address are accurate and up-to-date. Please contact your school secretary if your contact information has changed.
School and District Websites
Our school and district websites provide families the most up-to-date information regarding school operations, school and district policies, upcoming events, and announcements. You can find our school website by visiting www.sbpsb.org/meraux
Teachers will also be posting important information regarding assignments, tests, class resources, and other helpful reminders and announcements to their Teacher Web Pages. You can find your child’s teacher web page by visiting the “Teachers” channel on our school website.
Social Media Accounts
Arlene Meraux Elementary utilizes Facebook to communicate with our families and community. Please be sure to “like” our school and district Facebook page to get the latest information about what is happening within our schools.
The most effective communication between parents and teachers is the parent-teacher conference. Parents are encouraged to contact the school whenever the need arises. However, since class time belongs to ALL children, parent conferences should never be attempted during actual teaching time. To ensure sufficient time for your conference, pre-arrange it by calling the school office ahead of time to make an appointment. The conference will be arranged either before or after school hours or during the teacher’s planning period that week. Teachers are available for conferences before and after school at the discretion of the teacher. The principal, the assistant principal, guidance counselor, or teacher may sometimes request a conference with a parent. Please be sure to attend these meetings.
If at any time there is a problem with a teacher, please call and ask for a conference with that teacher. If dissatisfaction is still felt, ask to talk with the principal or the assistant principal. Many problems can be resolved if communication lines are left open. Incorrect information can often result in frustration.
Clever is an easy way for children to log in and learn with all of the online programs they use at school. With their own personal portals, students can learn with resources selected by their teacher and district. Arlene Meraux Elementary uses Clever so our students can have all of their digital resources in one place. Clever also eliminates the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.
The link for our Clever site can be found by visiting the Quick Links on our school website. Your student’s username and password can be obtained by contacting your child’s teacher.
Student Progress Center: Quick Access to Student Grades, Attendance and Schedules
Parents may utilize the Student Progress Center by visiting www.sbpsb.org/grades or visiting our school or district websites. Student Progress Center will give parents access to current information regarding your child’s schedule, attendance, class work, interim progress report, report card grades, test scores and registration information.
Parent-Teacher Organization (P.T.O.)
All parents are invited to become members of our Parent-Teacher Organization. Membership dues are only $5.00 for each family. All scheduled meetings will be listed on the monthly school calendar. The PTO sponsors student-centered activities and fundraisers.
Arlene Meraux Elementary welcomes parent volunteers! If you are able to volunteer in any capacity, please speak to your child’s teacher or a PTO representative. We appreciate any help you can give us. All parents must check in at the office to obtain a pass before going to any part of the building. Parents are not to accompany students into the building unless office personnel have granted permission.
Mark all articles of clothing and personal items with the student’s name. Please be sure to take the time to do this properly. Many items that end up in lost and found could be returned if labeled properly. Lost articles that are not marked and are not claimed in a reasonable time will be donated to a charitable organization. Students should bring only supplies and books necessary for class. Students are NOT allowed to bring cell phones, smart watches, toys, dolls, stuffed animals, trading cards, radios, cassette/CD players, iPods, balls, electronic games, gum, etc. The school is not responsible for the loss of or damage to such items. CAPS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED IN SCHOOL AND/OR ON THE SCHOOL BUS UNLESS DESIGNATED BY TEACHERS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS. Any banned articles will be taken away from students. Parents will be required to pick up the articles from an administrator.
POLICY ON NON-DISCRIMINATION
The St. Bernard Parish School Board adheres to the equal opportunity provisions of federal civil rights laws and regulations that are applicable to this agency. Therefore, no one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964); sex (Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972); disability (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973); or age (Age Discrimination Act of 1975) in attaining educational goals and objectives and in the administration of personnel policies and procedures. Anyone with questions regarding this policy may contact:
Tommie Powell, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance
200 East St. Bernard Highway
Chalmette, LA 70043
PROGRESS REPORTS/GRADING POLICY
Progress reports will be distributed in the middle of each grading period. Report cards are issued at the end of each nine week period. The following grading scale is used for reporting purposes:
A = 100 – 93
B = 92 – 85
C = 84 – 75
D = 74 – 67
F = 66 and below
PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS (Grades K-5)
* A student must achieve the objectives specified in the district and state curriculum. Students not meeting specified criteria for promotion are retained.
* A child will be retained in Grades 1 and 2 if he/she earns a final grade of F in Reading/ELA and F in Math. Also, if a student receives a final grade combination of D and F in Reading/ELA and Math (either D in Reading/ELA and F in Math OR F in Reading/ELA and D in Math) the result may be retention in the current grade. Summer remediation for Grades 1 and 2 is required if the student fails either Reading/ELA or Math and is being promoted. Promotional decisions will be made on these students after completion of summer remediation.
* In Grades 3 – 5, students who fail two major subjects (Reading/ELA and Math) are retained. Students who fail one major subject are eligible for summer remediation in the deficit subject. After students provide documentation of the remediation and demonstrate mastery of prescribed objectives, they may be promoted. Students who do not achieve mastery of objectives or who choose not to participate in summer remediation are retained.
* Students in grades K-5 must be in attendance for at least 166 days during the school year. Doctor’s excuses are only acceptable for extenuating circumstances. All absences are counted in the 14 day absence policy.
* Students are considered for promotion/retention based on the promotion/retention policy set forth in the PUPIL PROGRESSION PLAN adopted annually by the St. Bernard Parish School Board and approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS
Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Attending the meetings is another way of keeping informed about the educational policies concerning the parish and the school. These meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. at the School Board Office, 200 E. St. Bernard Highway.
A school calendar outlining school activities will be sent home at the beginning of the year and each month. Please keep this calendar in a convenient location.
From time to time photographs will be taken of school activities and these pictures will be sent to the local newspaper or featured on our school Facebook page. If you do not wish to have your child’s picture appear in the newspaper or on Facebook please sign the “District Media Release” form located in the district Guide to Student Conduct.
Student insurance is offered to children for a nominal fee. It covers a student at school, on the way to and from school, and on school-sponsored activities. Each child will receive a letter with information regarding school insurance at the beginning of the school year. If you do not have adequate insurance coverage for your child, the student insurance is recommended.
Students should have the following each day:
- three (3) sharpened pencils
- school bag or backpack
- assigned books for class
- school homework folder
All students received a supply list at the end of the school year or with the registration packet. All supplies should be sent to school at the beginning of the school year.
NOTE: Rolling school bags are not allowed in grades K-2 and are strongly discouraged in grades 3-5.
School begins at 8:40 a.m. Please see that your child arrives on time for school each day. Once a child receives three tardies, parents will be sent a letter explaining the seriousness of the situation. Five tardies in a school semester will result in a referral to the Office of Child Welfare and Attendance. Please note that tardiness affects perfect attendance and promotion.
A St. Bernard Parish Perfect Attendance Certificate is presented at the end of the year to any student who misses no more than one-half day during the school year. One-half day consists of 3 ½ hours of missed school. Minutes missed through tardiness and checkouts are added up and may keep a child from receiving a perfect attendance award.
As a parent of a public school student, you have the right to know the qualifications of your child’s teacher. To obtain this information, please contact the principal.
The “Terrific Kid” program is sponsored by the St. Bernard Kiwanis Club and Chalmette Refining, LLC. Terrific Kids are selected by teachers to be recognized at monthly Terrific Kid ceremonies based on their positive attitude and other attributes. Honored students receive a certificate and Terrific Kid T-shirt. Parents of Terrific Kids receive a lawn sign.
TEST RETURN POLICY
Test packets will be sent home on Wednesdays. It is important that you review the tests with your child. Signed tests must be returned to their teacher in a timely manner. Please read the teacher’s class procedures when they are sent home in August.
Third, fourth, and fifth grade students will take state mandated assessments in English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Testing dates are set by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and are listed on the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools district calendar found on their website.
Students will be assigned the following parish-adopted textbooks:
Students will be assigned the following parish-adopted textbooks:
Reading/ELA.............Core Knowledge Language Arts (K-2)
Great Minds: Wit & Wisdom (3-5)
Math..........................iReady Classroom Mathematics (K–5)
Science.....................Louisiana Student Standards (K-5)
Science Studies Weekly (K-2)/Amplify Science (3-5)
Social Studies……….Louisiana Student Standards (K-5)
Studies Weekly (K-5)
CHILDREN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROPER CARE OF STATE OWNED TEXTBOOKS AND LIBRARY BOOKS. PAYMENT WILL BE REQUIRED FOR ALL LOST AND/OR DAMAGED BOOKS. BOOK PRICES RANGE FROM $5.25-$63.97. PLEASE HELP YOUR CHILD CARE FOR BOOKS PROPERLY.
Title IX: Sexual Harassment Policy
The St. Bernard Parish School Board desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the School District's academic, extracurricular, and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The School Board does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates. The School Board is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and Part 106 of Title 34 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations not to discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, including admission and employment. The School Board recognizes that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex and the School Board prohibits sexual harassment as defined by Title IX and Part 106 of Title 34 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations.
Any person may report discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment, in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail to the School Board’s Title IX Coordinator at any time, including during non-business hours.
Title IX Coordinator
St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
504-301-2000 | TitleIX@sbpsb.org
200 East St. Bernard Hwy., Chalmette, LA
Any School Board employee who has actual knowledge of sexual harassment must report the conduct to the Title IX Coordinator.
Reports of and inquiries regarding unlawful sex discrimination may also be made to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100, Email: email@example.com, 1-800-421-3481. The School Board’s Title IX Coordinator shall be authorized to coordinate the School Board’s Title IX obligations.
Further information regarding the definition of sexual harassment and all processes and procedures can be found in the district’s Student and Family Handbook/Guide to Student Conduct which is available on our website.
TRANSFERRING TO ANOTHER SCHOOL
To withdraw your child from our school, come to the office at least one day ahead of time to make an official request for withdrawal. This gives us time to collect all of the necessary information for you. Remember that teachers cannot be disturbed during class time to complete withdrawal forms.
All visitors must report to the office, sign in, and be issued a pass before visiting anywhere in the school building. To protect the confidentiality and privacy of all our students, classroom observations and visits are not allowed. As an added precaution to ensure safety of our students, during field trips and other events all visitors will be required to present a valid driver’s license for a simple background screening before entering the student areas of the building. Please be sure to bring your driver’s license with you when making a school visit. We appreciate your cooperation.
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM
St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
Early Childhood Program
General Operating Information
The purpose of the St. Bernard Parish Public School Early Childhood Program is to provide universal pre-kindergarten classes to four-year-old children who are eligible to enter public school kindergarten the following year, including those students with disabilities, which reside in St. Bernard Parish. Students must turn four prior to September 30th, of the current school operating year.
The Early Childhood Program is funded through federal, state, and local monies from the following sources: Head Start, 8(g), LA 4, Educational Excellence Funds, Title I, Early Intervention and the St. Bernard Parish School System. The Early Childhood Program strives to offer the same high quality developmentally appropriate program to all participants regardless of the funding sources.
Instructional Program / Curriculum
The Louisiana Early Learning and Development Standards is the framework for building a quality, developmentally appropriate pre-kindergarten program and supports the Louisiana Readiness Definition. These standards serve as a guide to be used by St. Bernard Parish School System’s administrators, policy makers, directors, curriculum developers, teachers and parents.
The St. Bernard Parish Early Childhood Program provides a complete educational program directed toward the development of cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and communication skills in a manner and at a pace consistent with the needs and capabilities of the individual child.
The St. Bernard Parish Early Childhood Program has adopted the Creative Curriculum. It is a research based curriculum which supports interrelated development in the following domains:
Social/Emotional Creative Expression (Art, Music, Drama)
Language and Literacy Physical Science
Mathematics Cognitive Development
The Early Childhood Program provides developmentally appropriate integrated learning experiences. Integrated learning takes place when adults plan learning center activities and appropriately facilitate child experiences in the learning centers. These experiences support interrelated development of problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and social skills within a meaningful context for the child. The pre-kindergarten environment promotes meaningful engagement for learning through:
- a) Social interactions that promote cooperation, conflict resolution, and empathy for others.
- b) Play experiences to foster development and
organization of world knowledge.
- c) Language and Literacy experiences to foster development
of skills such as retelling stories; book/print concepts; developmental writing; phoneme discrimination, and sound manipulation.
- d) Mathematical experiences to foster development of concepts such as one-to-one correspondence, recognizing patterns, counting, comparing and positioning, and experiencing adults using numerals to record information that is meaningful to young children.
- e) Scientific experiences to foster development of concepts such as cause and effect, classification, and life cycles.
- f) Music and Creative Art
- g) Physical movement experiences in the indoor and outdoor environments to develop fine motor and gross motor skills.
Instructional Program Assessment and Reporting Practices
The Early Childhood Program utilizes a variety of assessment and reporting tools to record student growth, provide individualized instruction and to share information with parents.
- a) Portfolio assessment is a collection of work samples taken over time to demonstrate student growth by identifying the changes in performance.
- b) Benchmark assessments measure mastery of the Early Learning and Development Standards and are conducted at defined intervals throughout the school year.
- c) Formative assessments are standardized teacher administered
assessments that occur at three defined intervals throughout the
- d) An Individual Pupil Plan (IPP) is developed for each student and is reviewed with parents throughout the year. The IPP addresses individual student’s areas of strengths and weaknesses. Parents are expected to assume an active role in development of their child’s IPP.
Resource Coordination for Support Services
The St. Bernard Parish School System coordinates the provision of support services for all enrolled pre-kindergarten children. These services are intended to support maximum early education and care benefits to children so that they are well prepared for formal schooling, and therefore, more likely to experience later academic success.
- 1. Child Health and Mental Health Services
The school nurse works with the health department and other health professionals to conduct hearing and vision screenings and cursory dental checks during the school year and monitors the health and wellbeing of all children in the program. Any child with an identified physical or mental developmental health need is referred to the proper agency. Families are also provided information that will increase their knowledge of community resources such as TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), Medicare, and LA CHIP (Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program).
- Parenting Skills and Child Development Knowledge
Knowledge of child development and involvement with their child’s educational experience is enhanced through a variety of informational parenting seminars, volunteer opportunities at the school, special activities/functions, and parent /teacher conferences. All students are administered a developmental screening instrument. The results of
the screening is discussed with parents and parents are provided with activities designed to help their child address skill areas.
- Parent/Teacher Conferences
Preschool teachers conduct one-on-one parent/teacher
conferences prior to the start of school. Preschool teachers
and assistants are available for regularly scheduled
conference days as well as parent initiated conferences.
- Adult Literacy
The school system works in coordination with public service providers to promote adult literacy. Parents/guardians are informed of all locally available adult education opportunities such as the GED program to increase literacy levels.
Classroom Management Plan
A classroom management plan is in place in all pre-kindergarten classrooms and is discussed with parents during orientation.
No form of demeaning language or corporal punishment (which includes but is not limited to paddling, striking, or hitting) is used with any child enrolled in pre-kindergarten.
Materials, Supplies, and Equipment
The St. Bernard Parish Early Childhood Program provides funding for all classroom furniture/equipment, materials, and supplies for all classes. Technology related equipment such as audio cassettes, digital cameras, and computers are also supplied.
All consumable materials are provided and replenished throughout the course of the year.
Parents/guardians/and caretakers are not required to pay for any materials and supplies for classroom usage (e.g., paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, and photographic film). Personal items (school bag, rest mat, blanket, extra clothes, etc.) must be provided by the parents and adhere to program guidelines.
NOTE: Parents/guardians/and caretakers may be required to pay for the replacement of materials/property that their child destroys.
Breakfast and lunch are part of the Early Childhood Program and all pre-kindergarten students are brought to the cafeteria for meals. If your child has special dietary concerns, please discuss them with the preschool staff. Head Start Program guidelines require that all students in Head Start designated classes eat food provided by the school cafeteria staff. Therefore, there is no need to bring food from home. Other funded four-year-old classes are allowed to bring an appropriate breakfast/lunch from home. If students choose to eat lunch in the school cafeteria, breakfast and lunch is free of charge due to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). This allows each student one breakfast and one lunch per day.
NOTE: It is absolutely essential that you make the staff aware of any allergies your child might have.
Consistent daily attendance is a critical component of the preschool program and is closely monitored by the teachers. According to state law “any child below the age of seven who legally enrolls in school shall also be subject to the provisions of the attendance statures”. In order for students to receive credit they cannot miss more than 14 days per school year. Please call the school when your child is absent and state the reason for the absence. A note from the parent is required to document each absence, and is required within 3 days upon returning to school. Excessive absences are reported to the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance. Any student absent prior to a scheduled extra-curricular activity will not be allowed to participate in the activity.
Parents must report to the office for check-in and check-out. Only adults whose names have been authorized in writing on the school emergency cards will be allowed to check out pre-kindergarteners. Please follow all check out guidelines at your specific school site.
All pre-kindergarteners follow the St. Bernard School Board Uniform Dress Code
requirements. Please refer to the school site uniform requirements for specific
Transportation services are made available to all pre-kindergarten students to ensure that each child is present for the educational/instructional portion of the day. Bus changes cannot be made over the phone. All requests for transportation changes must be made in writing and all forms completed BEFORE a change is authorized. Refer to the Preschool Transportation Policy for specific guidelines regarding arrival, dismissal, and bus transportation requirements.