MVW 2020-2021 School Handbook


Welcome to Wheeler Elementary School

 

Our Mission:  Our mission is to prepare students academically, socially, and physically to pursue career opportunities through the cooperation of community, schools, and family.  We believe that our students are exceptional and that all students can be successful.

 

Our School:  Mary V. Wheeler is a Bledsoe County school serving approximately 220 children in grades Pre-K to 5.  Our mascot is the Mountaineer and our school colors are blue and gold.

 

Our Parents: “Partners”- The success of your child at MVW is the joint responsibility of the school and you as a parent.  It is the policy of our staff to work closely with our parents in all areas of the students’ performance.  We ask you help us keep all lines of communication open.

 

Our Parents: “As Volunteers”- Our parents willingly assist teachers with copy machine work, art projects, special programs, field trips, special tutoring, as well as numerous other tasks.  Become a MVW Volunteer---Contact the PTO, your child’s teachers, or the office.

 

Our Parents: “As Room Parents”- A room parent helps with class parties at Christmas and Valentine’s Day.  They also assist the teacher in any needs he/she may have.  Volunteer to be a Room Parent by contacting your child’s teacher.

 

Our PTO: MVW has a very active PTO.  Our meetings are scheduled for the second Tuesday night of each month.  All parents, relatives, or other interested parties are encouraged to join.  Please give us your support as we work together.

 

Bledsoe County Schools encourages all members of our school community and visitors to our campus to practice safe social distancing, exercise proper personal hygiene, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment.  However, please be advised that anyone choosing to voluntarily enter school property does so at their own risk and acknowledges that Bledsoe County Schools cannot guarantee a virus free campus or warrant the protection of any visitors to campus from the coronavirus.

Daily Operations 

School Day: Our school day begins at 8:00 AM.  Our doors open at 7:10.   All students arriving at this time will report directly to the gym. Students and parents should not go into the classrooms.  Students arriving in the classrooms after 8:00 will be counted tardy for attendance purposes. Our school day ends at 2:50 PM. The car riders will be dismissed to the side door at 2:50, and the bus riders will report to the gym at 3:12. From the gym, students will be dismissed as buses arrive. The front driveway is used for loading and unloading buses and is one way for BUSES ONLY from 3:10-3:30.

Delivery and Pick-up Points:

In the morning!

7:00-7:20- The front of the building is for buses only!

7:20-8:00- The car rider line is open.  Students may be dropped off in the front of the building.  Please note, this is drive through only!  No Parking is permitted in this line!

7:00-8:00- Parents are permitted to park and bring your child into the building.  Our parking lot is located on the west side of the building.  Please walk your child up the sidewalk.  We don’t recommend parking in front of the building because it is unsafe for our students to walk between buses and cars.  Handicap parking is located in front of the school.  

In the afternoon:

2:50- Our school staff will bring all car riders to area pick-up area (west parking lot)

Pre-k to 2nd Grade- Use the line closest to the building

3rd to 5th and younger siblings- Use the second line.

We ask parents to pull through their designated line and allow our school staff to bring your child to your car.  Parents are not permitted to walk up to the patio to get your child.  

In case of an emergency, students cannot be picked up from the front office after 2:45.  If you sign your child out in the office, this will count as an early dismissal.   BUSES, ONLY, WILL LOAN IN THE FRONT. WE ASK THAT YOU DO NOT PARK YOU CAR IN THIS AREA.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

As a consideration to our daily schedule, we ask parents assisting their children to leave their child in the gymnasium with their classroom teacher and to depart no later than 8:00 AM.
Tardiness and Early Dismissal: Due to the school’s full schedule, tardiness is discouraged. Coming to school on time is part of learning a sense of responsibility. Those students who arrive at school after 8:00AM must report to the office.

If a student is to leave school during the school day, the parent is to come to the school office and SIGN THE EARLY DISMISSAL BOOK. Parents are not to go to the classroom, as the office staff will call the student to the office. If someone other than a parent is to pick up a student, it is required that the parent contact the school beforehand. A handwritten note is best!  We will not release students to unauthorized persons.  All visitors and anyone wishing to sign out a student may be asked to show ID (valid driver’s license).

Excessive tardies and early dismissals are harmful to students academic performance.  We will address these issues as they arrive on a case by case basis.

Bus Duty Procedures: As students arrive each morning, students are expected to go directly to the gym and sit with their classmates. Buses arrive at the school between 7:10 and 7:20AM. At 7:25 students that would like to eat breakfast will be escorted to the lunchroom by grade. As a student finishes breakfast they are to return to the gym. Students enter their classrooms at 8:00AM. In the afternoon students riding buses enter the gym at 3:12 and sit in their assigned area by bus.  

All students are expected to remain in their assigned seat and talk quietly during the bus duty period.

Students/Visitors should not be in the classrooms or hallways before gym dismissal.

After School: Students are required to go directly home after school unless the student is involved in a school approved activity. Students need to bring a note from home if they are not going home in the usual manner. If a student is going to spend the night at another student’s home, notes must be brought to school from each student’s parent giving permission.

PTO: Wheeler Elementary has a very active PTO. PTO Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month!

Visitors: State law mandates that all people entering Mary V. Wheeler Elementary must report through the office. Visitors are not permitted to visit classrooms or speak with the teachers without permission of the principal. All visitors are expected to leave promptly when their business is completed. This ensures that the normal routine of each child’s education is interrupted as little as possible. It’s also for the safety of your child, and in accordance with the state law.

Student Visitors:
1. Parents/Grandparents are always welcome at Mary V. Wheeler School. We ask that an appointment be made through the principal’s office or with your child’s teacher ahead of time if you wish to schedule a meeting.

2. Students are NOT to have other students as visitors at school, including during lunch.

3. The school policy is to accept only those visitors who have legitimate business at school.

4. All visitors must report to the main office first to receive a VISITOR’S PASS unless you are attending a special program.

5. An administrator may refuse to issue a visitor’s pass anytime he/she feels it is in the best interest of the school to do so.

6. Any person found on the school grounds without permission from the administration is trespassing and is subject to arrest by police authorities.

7. Students are responsible for notifying their friends that they are not to be visited either in the building or anywhere on the school grounds.

Lunchroom Visitor Procedures:

1. Sign-in
2. Leave your driver’s license in the front office.
3. Visitors must be listed on the student data sheet.
4. Visitors may only go into the cafeteria.
5. During lunch hours, visitors may not go into classrooms or walk their child back into the class.

***If a visitor is caught wandering around the building (anywhere other than the designated area, unauthorized), they will receive a warning. If this happens again, they will not be allowed back to visit the remainder of the school year.

Report Cards: Report cards are issued 4 times during the year, after each 9 weeks grading period. It is important that you look at your child’s report card carefully. The grading system is printed on the report card. If you are not satisfied with your child’s work, please contact the school for an appointment with your child’s teacher to discuss the problem. Lost textbooks, overdue library book, overdue lunch charges, an any other due monies or fees, must be paid before the report card can be given at each grading period.

***A mid 9 weeks report will be issued around the middle of each nine week period and sent home to parents with the student.

Percent of Course Grade:

Student scores on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program’s (TCAP Achievement) grades three through eight (3-8) shall comprise fifteen (15% percent of the student’s final grade in the spring semester in the subject areas of mathematics, reading/language arts, science and social studies.

Student Absences:

If a student does not have a Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP Achievement) exam score, regardless of why the student misses the assessment, there is no subsequent administration in which the student can make-up the assessment. For an excused absence, the school shall not incorporate a 0 score into the student’s final second semester grade. For an unexcused absence, the school should incorporate a 0 score into the student’s final second semester grade.

Immunization: Due to the TENNESSEE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ruling, it is mandatory that each child have an adequate certificate of immunization on file in the school office before they enter school. NO SHOTS-NO SCHOOL!!!  For more information on meningococcal disease and the effectiveness of the vaccination see (Coordinated School Health, CSH).

Emergency Procedure Cards: During the fall parent orientation, emergency procedure cards need to be updated. These cards are important in case of an emergency involving a child at school. If at any time during the year a parent gets a new phone number, a new job, or new address, please send this information to us. We always need your most up-to-date information on the emergency card in case a child becomes ill or gets hurt. Please be sure we have a way to get in touch with you, whether it is your home phone number or the number of a relative or neighbor.

Medication at School: In order for school personnel to administer any medication (including aspirin) certain requirements must be met:
1. The school must have a medication card (these are available in the school office) filled out and signed by the parent or guardian giving permission to administer the medication. The medication must be brought to school by the parent or guardian. 2. The school must have the original prescription container, labeled with the student’s name, name of the medication, dosage, time to be administered, and doctor’s name. The medication must be brought to school by the parent or guardian.

Medication left for emergency use, such as a bee sting kit or asthma medication, must be properly labeled and must include the complete instructions provided by the doctor.

First Aid Emergencies: First aid for minor injuries will be given at school. In case of more serious accidents or sudden illness, the parent is notified. It is essential that emergency numbers be in the office and that they be up-to-date. We encourage parents to have TWO emergency numbers.

Student Accident Insurance: Student Accident Insurance forms are sent home after school begins. Interested parents should complete the form and return it to school with the required premium as soon as possible.

Food Services: This year each child will receive FREE breakfast and lunch! 

Tobacco Free Environment: All schools in Bledsoe County will have a tobacco free environment. Tobacco and tobacco products are not permitted by law.  This includes vaping!

E-Cigarette (Vaping)-  The Bledsoe County Board of Education recognizes that the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems devices and vaping is highly addictive.  To protect the health, safety and comfort of administrators, personnel, students, and visitors, and in recognition of the health risks posed by electronic nicotine delivery systems based upon the emission of detectable levels of carcinogenic and toxic chemicals, all uses of electronic nicotine delivery systems (also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-hookah, and e-pipes) are prohibited in all school system buildings, in public seating areas including bleachers used for sporting events, and in public restrooms.

Parent Conferences: Parents are welcome and encouraged to meet with teachers. Appointments must be made through the principal’s office to coincide with the teacher’s schedules. Please call the principal’s office to schedule your appointment. The office number is 881-3394.

Telephone: The telephone in the school office is for school business ONLY. Therefore, permission will be granted for urgent calls, NOT personal calls. Students will not be called to the phone except for very important messages. For other calls, the message or number will be delivered. Students may NOT use the telephone without permission from the teacher.   Phones may be brought but must remain in the students backpack and turned off during school hours.

Personal Property: Students should not bring expensive toys, radios, jewelry, electronics, etc to school. Many times these things are lost, broken, or can be stolen. Students may not bring ipods, electronic gaming devices, or other toys to school except with permission by the teachers on special days. Personal property is the responsibility of the students.

Behavior Policy

School Wide Rules:

1.  Be on time, on task, and prepared to learn everyday.

2.  Respect yourself and others, your classroom, your school, and school property.

3.  Help maintain a clean environment.

4.  Be responsible for yourself and your actions.

5.  Listen and follow directions.

In order to promote the learning process, disruptive behavior including physical and/ or verbal abuse shall not be permitted.  Students are not permitted to draw or make comments regarding drugs, alcohol, sexual content or anything that can be considered  threatening.  Failure to comply with this regulation may result in disciplinary action including loss of class/school-wide activities (including field trips), in-school suspension, out of school suspension, or corporal punishment. In addition, consequences can include referral to juvenile authorities or law enforcement authorities.

Cafeteria Behavior: All students shall eat in the school cafeteria.  If you bring your lunch from home, you will eat with your group in the cafeteria. 

We ask students to:

1.  Get everything you need before you sit down.

2. Raise your hand if you need something.

3. Keep your area clean.

4. Follow directions given by all school personnel.

5. Eat and socialize quietly.

*Students should not be getting up and down from their seats.  Students should get what they need before they sit down.  If something else is needed, students need to raise their hand for assistance.

Hallway Behavior: Improper conduct in the hall endangers the safety of other students and is prohibited at Mary V. Wheeler.

We expect students to...

1. Walk
2. Go down the hall without talking
3. Keep their hands and feet to themselves and off the walls.
4. Avoid horseplay

Disciplinary Actions: In the event that a student does not follow the school’s rules, the staff at Mary V. Wheeler may administer disciplinary actions which are necessary to aid the student, further school purposes, or prevent interference with educational processes. Such actions may include exclusion from a classroom activity (such as time out), counseling of students, required a parent conference, suspension in or out of school, or corporal punishment.

Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy: 

The number of unexcused absences shall comply with TCA-49-06-3007 which states upon or before five (5) unexcused absences, the principal or designee shall notify the director of schools or designee to initiate meaningful communications with the student & parent/guardian.  The school shall attempt to determine the underlying cause(s) of unexcused absences.  When appropriate, a plan to improve school attendance should be initiated for the student.  To better help parents prevent court proceedings, each school will send phone notification of absence, a letter of warning, and/ or a court petition, when appropriate, according to state law and Bledsoe County Policy.  To prevent such procedures, submit written notification stating reason of absence, as parent notes can be accepted for five (5) school days for the entire school year.  The only other acceptable excuses are doctor, dental, and funeral documentation.  All excuse notes must be turned in within five (5) school days of the absence to be accepted.

Parents or guardians must notify the school explaining the absence and a parent or guardian signature. The note should be filed on the first day the student returns to school and no later than three school days.

Categories of Excused Absences:

1. Personal Illness
2. Illness of immediate family member
3. Death in a family
4. Extreme weather conditions
5. Religious observances
6. Circumstances which in the judgment of the principal create emergencies over which the student has no control

Excuses written by parents that are not accompanied with a doctor’s statement, will only be accepted as excused absences up to and including a total of five days per school year. Students must attend school more than 3 1/4 hours to be counted present for the day.

Perfect Attendance: Students must be present every day and have no tardies or early dismissals to be recognized with perfect attendance.

Makeup Work: Excused absences (those meeting state attendance rules) shall entitle students to makeup work missed. Unexcused absences may result in homework assignments which receive reduced credit. Students must makeup work at the teacher’s convenience. The student will be given the number of days he/she was absent plus one day to turn in makeup work. If a child is expected to be absent for more than ten days, the school should be contacted to arrange for a homebound program. 

 

Progressive Truancy Intervention:

 

3 Unexcused Absences- letter from school making families aware of absences including compulsory attendance law and board policy Bledsoe Co. Schools

 

*Truancy Level I Intervention (5 Unexcused Absences)

 

Internal meeting at the school with the following components:

  1. A conference with the student and the student’s parent and/or guardian;
  2. A resulting attendance contract to be signed by the student; the student’s parent or guardian, and the Attendance Supervisor/Designee

            A description of the expectation for the student’s attendance 

            The period for which the contract is effective

      c)   Follow-up meeting (can be done in person or by phone) to be scheduled (Must be documented by the school. 

     d)   Penalties for additional absences and alleged school offenses, including additional disciplinary action and potential referral to juvenile court.

 

*Truancy Level II Intervention (When Level I contract is violated)

 

    a)     A conference with the student and the student’s parent and/or guardian;

    b)     A resulting attendance contract to be signed by the student; the student’s parent or guardian, and the Attendance Supervisor/Designee

            A description of the expectation for the student’s  attendance 

            The period for which the contract is effective

    c)     An individualized assessment by a school will be conducted.  This assessment may result in a 

            referral to counseling, community-based services or other services to address the student’s attendance problems.

 

*Truancy Level III Intervention (when Level II contract is violated)

 

External Truancy Board (may include School Representative, mental health and case management agencies, Youth Service Officer, and School Resource Officer)

 

    a)     A conference with the student and the student’s parent and/or guardian;

    b)     A resulting attendance contract to be signed by the student; the student’s parent or guardian,    and the Attendance Supervisor/Designee

            A description of the expectation for the student’s  attendance 

            The period for which the contract is effective

   c)      The external truancy board will decide if students need additional intervention or service placed  in the home.  The external truancy board will decide if a petition/criminal summons needs to be filed.

 

School Policies

Dress Code: Students' attitudes are normally affected by the clothing they wear. Neatness and cleanliness are normally indicators of good behavior. We ask you to help see that your children are dressed appropriately for school. Apparel or appearance that tends to draw attention to an individual rather than to a learning situation will not be tolerated.

1. The length of shorts or skirts must be no shorter than 5 inches above the knee.

2. Shirts should cover the midsection (front and back) at all times. Halter tops, tank tops, bare midriffs, see-through blouses, low cut blouses, spaghetti straps, mesh shirts (without undershirts) and, sleeveless shirts are not permitted.

 3. Pants should always be worn around the waist (no sagging). Pants may not touch the floor.

 4. Clothing should not include words, pictures, and/or phrases that promote tobacco, alcohol, drugs,  offensive or sexual content. 

 5. Hats are not to be worn inside the building (with the exception of a special day).

 6. Underwear may not be showing.

 7. No holes or frays in clothing will be allowed.

 8. For student safety, no bare or sock feet. All students must wear shoes with backs/backstraps. Flip-flops and/or their equivalents are not permitted. Students are encouraged to wear tennis shoes. (Not wearing proper footwear may result in injury).

10. Dangling earrings on girls or boys will not be permitted. This is a safety issue.

No visible body piercing other than traditional ear wear will be permitted.  Hair must be a natural color.

It is to the discretion of the principal or designee to determine if clothing is acceptable school attire. 

Special Programs: Gifted and Talented: The Gifted and Talented Program are designed to give advanced students an opportunity to expand their interest beyond the general curriculum. Gifted and Talented Students at Mary V. Wheeler School will be provided with more challenging learning experiences through weekly enrichment classes. Participation in the Gifted Talented Program does not excuse the student from completing regular classroom work.

RTI Program: All students will be serviced through our school-wide RTI program. Students are serviced based on individual needs determined through the AIMS WEBB screener administered three times during the school year.

Special Education: The school system offers many services for children who have learning disabilities. The teacher may refer for testing any student exhibiting a need for additional help. A group, consisting of the student’s parent/guardian, teachers, and/or administrators, school psychologist, and the Special Education teacher, form the Student Intervention Team (SIT-Team). This team then decides which education services will best help the student.

Books and Supplies: School textbooks are furnished by the Bledsoe County Board of Education. These books are the responsibility of each student. If textbooks are damaged or lost, the student is expected to pay for them. Our taxes also pay for school buildings. Take care of your school and everything in it. Any student who damages school property, windows, books, and equipment is responsible for payment.  This includes library books.

Class Parties: Class parties are held to honor various holidays at the teacher/schools discretion.   Occasionally, a class may be given an additional party at the teacher’s discretion and will be during lunch, recess, or other break time. Because of safety concerns, students will not be able to take food or drinks from class party’s home on the bus.

FERPA/Nondiscrimination

Notification of Rights Under FERPA: The Family Educational Rights Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (eligible students) certain rights with respect to the student’s educational records. They are 1. The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day the District receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the record may be inspected. 2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the Bledsoe County Board of Education to amend to record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing. 3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERMA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which authorizes disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the District as administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. 4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 600 Independence Ave., SW Washington, D.C. 20202-4605

Nondiscrimination Policy: It is the policy of the Bledsoe County School system not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, creed, age marital status or disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies as required by the Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation act of 1973.

It is also the policy of this district that the curriculum materials utilized reflect the cultural and racial diversity present in the United States and the variety of careers, roles and life-styles open to women as well as men in our society. One of the objectives of the total curriculum and teaching strategies is to reduce stereotyping and to eliminate bias on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion and disability. The curriculum should foster respect and appreciation for the cultural diversity found in our country and an awareness of the rights, duties and responsibilities of each individual as a member of a pluralistic society.

If your child should become the victim of a violent crime at school, he/she will have the right to transfer to another school within the LEA.
Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, and Section 504 may be directed to Mr. Carl Boynton, Bledsoe County Board of Education, P.O. Box 369, Pikeville, TN 37367, phone number 423-447-2914, email boyntonc@bledsoecountyschools.org

Inquiries  regarding Title IX may be directed to Dr. Kristy Shockley, Bledsoe County Board of Education, P.O. Box 369 Pikeville, TN 37367 phone number 423-447-2914, email kristyshockley@bledsoecountyschools.org

Tennessee Department of Education Contact Information
Answers to many questions and much helpful information may be obtained from the State Department of Education by calling 1-888-212-3162 or visiting this web site: http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/index.htm

Legal Services Division
Division of Special Education, Tennessee Department of Education 710 James Robertson Parkway
Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0380
Phone: 615-741-2851
Fax: 615-253-5567 or 615-532-9412

East Tennessee Regional Resource Center 2763 Island Home Blvd. Knoxville, TN 37290
Phone: 865-594-5691
Fax: 865-594-8909 

 

*Please note that due to Covid 19, changes may be made during this school year.