2011 - 2012
This handbook is just one of the many opportunities for communication
between Sierra Oaks School, its students, and their families. It has been
created to inform our school community of our expectations and requirements,
and includes beneficial information regarding the school’s practices,
policies, procedures, and programs.
After you have reviewed this handbook with your child, please sign
the receipt on the last page and return to Sierra Oaks School as soon as
Christine Eaves President
Lynn Eggleston Member
Justin Palmer Member
Flor Robles Member
Lynn Eggleston Administrator/Charter Holder
Nancy Davis Administrative Assistant
Kendall Wetzel A Group Teacher (1st – 2nd grade)
Kay Edwards B Group Teacher (3rd – 4th grade)
Sally Kelly C Group Teacher (5th – 6th Grade)
Debra Valdiviezo Special Education Director
Susan Krantz Speech
Nancy Barry Tutor
Nancy Davis Nurse
Justin Palmer Maintenance/Aide/Technology
Sally Eggart Art
Janet McClary Music
Justin Palmer PE
Our mission is to educate the youth of our community using a creative
mix of modern technology, personalized education, the arts and old fashioned
one-room schoolhouse values.
What Makes a Quality School?
At Sierra Oaks School, we maintain small, multi-grade classrooms of
12-15 students which enable us to know our students well. We know their
special interests and learning styles and we use that information to motivate
them to achieve. We challenge students to be confident learners who can
trust their own abilities while willing to take intelligent risks as they
find out about themselves and the world around them. It is “cool” to be
smart at Sierra Oaks School. The pursuit of knowledge, intellectual
development and personal experience is valued and fostered. We expect
students to strive for mastery within their personal abilities and produce
quality work that will make them proud.
Students at Sierra Oaks School are ingrades K-6 and will study all of
the core academic subjects. The flexible schedule and curriculum allow them
to study these subjects in greater depth, in a more connected way and apply
what they learn to meaningful projects. Sierra Oaks School reflects the
belief that reading, writing, math, science, social studies, music, drama and
the arts, media and technology do not exist in a vacuum, but are a real part
of real life. We believe that when students connect what they learn at
school to life outside school, their learning becomes real.
No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.
Sierra Oaks has a 4 day school week, Monday-Thursday. NO SCHOOL ON FRIDAY
7:45 a.m. Early Arrival Begins
8:00 a.m. Start of Instructional Day
Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. will be considered tardy. Parents need to
report to the office to sign their child in if arriving after 8:00 a.m.
2:45 p.m. Dismissal/End of Instructional Day for A Group (1st-2nd)
3:45 p.m. Dismissal/End of Instructional Day for B and C Groups (3rd-6th)
Office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
COMMUNICATION/OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT
SCHOOL TO HOME COMMUNICATION:
Sierra Oaks currently has a website of information that you will find
useful. This will include newsletters, a school calendar, and up-to-date
school activities. Each teacher will provide many options with you to
communicate about your child’s progress. The teacher will develop, with
parent input, an Educational Plan during the first quarter of school. This
plan will be reviewed periodically to ensure progress towards stated goals.
Parent/Teacher conferences will be twice yearly unless otherwise requested by
parent or teacher.
Every Tuesday your child(ren) will bring home a Tuesday Folder. Included in
this folder will be their graded work from the week before, class notes,
updates on school activities, field trip notices, etc. This folder is a
great way for the teachers to keep in touch with you on a weekly basis, and
an opportunity for you to review your child’s work.
Families are required to volunteer a minimum of 10 hours per year.
Volunteering can include time in the classroom, after school activities,
chaperoning/transporting students on field trips, school social events,
committees, and/or helping teachers prepare materials. Please sign up with
your child’s classroom teacher or through the office as to your preference.
For those families that cannot volunteer their time at the school, monetary
donations are encouraged.
Visitors and volunteers are encouraged and always welcome at the school,
however, persons must sign in at the office and have prior approval from the
administrator to be on campus. The administration will let you know if you
need a fingerprint clearance card. No visitor/volunteer has the authority to
address Sierra Oaks students regarding behavior situations without staff
approval. The administration reserves the right to rescind any visiting
privilege it deems detrimental to its operation or delivery of services.
The school will conduct all the mandated health screenings. State law
requires that all students be properly immunized or follow the proper
procedures for exemptions. All students must have a permission form in the
health file before any prescription or over-the-counter medications can be
administered. Students may carry asthma inhalers if the parent has filled
out the required form with the office.
Parents are required to complete an Emergency Contact Card, Student Health
Record and provide updates if needed. All staff will be made aware of any
student’s specific health conditions that might influence the academic
Sierra Oaks will have a health assistant on duty during school hours. Our
school nurse is available for further recommendations if needed. If an
emergency should arise, every effort will be made to contact parents and
emergency contacts. If we are unable to make contact, 911 will be called to
manage and access the child’s condition. If the child needs to be transported
by an ambulance, parents will be responsible for all costs.
If weather is pending, a notice will be sent home the day before and we will
possibly have a Late Start (9:45 a.m.) the following morning. In the event
of a full day school closure, you will receive a call from your child’s
teacher. This information will also be on the Sierra Oaks School website.
Students will quietly move to the primary exit of the room as directed by the
teacher. Students are to remain SILENT during the whole procedure. We will
have drills to practice fire and lock down procedures.
We believe in making a constant, continuous effort in guiding young children
to make positive choices in their personal lives and communities. Sierra
Oaks likes to acknowledge children that work hard to demonstrate the Life
Skills that we encourage all of our students to display throughout the year.
Students who follow the life skills and make good choices are eligible for
our incentive trips.
• Our quarterly incentive trips honor those who have met the goal of an
average of 85% or better in Citizenship and have earned 300 Community Points.
• Individual academic class trips might have a goal that is set by each
individual teacher. Parents will be kept informed of the requirements.
• If a child is suspended during a quarter, they lose the privilege of
going on that quarter’s incentive trip.
Please support all school programs by allowing your children to be rewarded
for their positive behavior at school. We understand that not all students
will attend the incentive trips, however, we believe in offering students the
opportunity to work toward a positive goal. Parent support of ALL the school
programs is essential for the children to learn the Life Skills. This means
that if your child does not make an incentive trip, they still need to attend
school that day.
Students need to make 300 community points each quarter. Throughout the year
we will be participating in activities that will help the school and the
community. Students can earn community points within the school in many
ways. Each teacher will specify how a student may earn points. Students
may also bring notes from home documenting their helpful participation.
These notes will be reviewed and points will be given per teacher toward
point total. Students who consistently lend a hand and demonstrate positive
life skills will easily meet this goal. Each quarter, any points over 300
will be banked, and held towards an end of the year award for the student who
earned the most citizenship points.
Each student starts each week with 100 points (%) citizenship. As the week
progresses, points can be lost due to inappropriate behavior, which can
include disrespect, negative attitudes, and irresponsible actions in the
classroom, playground or anywhere else on campus. If a student is absent for
the majority of the week, they will receive an N/A for the week. In order to
qualify for an incentive trip, a student must have an average of 85% for the
MAKE IT RIGHT PROGRAM:
All students have the opportunity to Right Wrongs. This does not gain back
points that have been lost, but it gives students the chance to apologize and
re-establish friendships. The Talk It Out Program will be carried out with
the principal to help with this process. This can include apology letters,
INTEGRITY: Being honest, fair and trustworthy. Having the courage to do what
is right, even when others want us to do wrong.
RESPECT: Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and
appreciation regardless of color, culture, political or religious beliefs.
Though we may not always understand or agree with everyone, we should treat
others the way we ourselves would want to be treated.
POSITIVE ATTITUDE: We cannot control all of the things that happen to us or
around us, but we can choose to stay positive in our thinking while reaching
for our dreams.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Each of us is ultimately responsible for choices we
make. Though at times we are influenced by others, we alone must take
responsibility for our actions. Who we are today is the result of choices we
made yesterday. Tomorrow we will become what we choose today.
PERSONAL BEST: Striving for continuous personal improvement in all areas.
This means being the best that we can be in our school work, friendships and
family. It also means taking care of our bodies and mind.
PEACEBUILDERS: Students at Sierra Oaks learn the Peace Builder Pledge and
the steps in using the Talk-It-Out program. These programs are designed to
help create an environment that reduces violence and establishes a more
peaceful way of life at school and in the community. Please refer to the
last page of this handbook to learn the pledge and more about the Peace
“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from
~James M. Barrie
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Sierra Oaks School enrolls students in grades K through 6. To enroll, call
the school for more information. As space becomes available, students will
fill slots by using a lottery system. Siblings and children of employees
have automatic admission status when space is available. Sierra Oaks School
admits students regardless to race, religion or national origin. A student
must be present in the classroom the very first day of school in order to
secure their position. Any student that has enrolled, but is absent on the
first day will forfeit their spot and may be filled by another student on the
waiting list. With notice to administration prior to the first day of school
certain circumstances and/or conditions will be considered.
It is understood that there are times when children must stay home from
school. If they are sick and need medical attention, please let the school
know as soon as possible that they will be absent. We believe it is a shared
responsibility of school and home to help students develop the good habits of
being on time and maintaining good attendance.
Arizona law provides for compulsory attendance between the ages of 6 and 16.
If a student is absent for more than 10 unexcused consecutive days, they are
subject to being withdrawn from the school. If a student must be absent for
longer than 15 days (consecutive or non-consecutive days) in a given quarter,
the administration has the right to review the situation. It may be
possible that a student will not be promoted to the next grade if excessive
absences have hindered their academic status.
Sierra Oaks will inform parents at the 5 and 10 day absent markers with a
letter home from the administration. If a student reaches 15 days of
absences a meeting with the administration will be scheduled to evaluate the
student’s academic program. PLEASE NOTE: Five tardies will equal one full
Students are to wear clothes that are comfortable and appropriate. Each day
will include at least one activity where students will need to be athletic
and/or able to work with hands-on materials. Comfortable and SAFE SHOES such
as tennis shoes, and/or closed toe shoes that adhere at the heel, are
required for all school activities.
TOPS: Halter-tops, strapless dresses, tube tops, camisoles and tank tops may
be worn underneath a layering piece. If an outfit is too distracting, the
school will provide a t-shirt and they will be asked to not wear it again.
BOTTOMS: No sagging pants. No midriffs may show nor should any
undergarments be visible. Wearing pajamas and/or slippers to school are not
appropriate. Shorts will be worn at fingertip level by all students K-8th.
The administration will use discretion and call for additional clothing if
ITEMS TO BE LEFT AT HOME:
Some items are distracting towards the learning environment. We ask that
parents ensure that their child does not bring items to school that might be
unsafe or distract from the school program. These items include, but are not
limited to; toys, electronic devices (CELL PHONES), gum/candy, trading cards,
skateboards, etc. If it is necessary for a student to bring a cell phone or
other items to school it must be accompanied with a note from the parent or
guardian. They will be kept in the office and be used with teacher
supervision. Unauthorized items will be collected and kept in the office
until the parent/or guardian can retrieve.
LEAVING SCHOOL GROUNDS:
During the school day, no student may leave the grounds unless they are
signed out and picked up by a parent or designated person.
STUDENT ACTIVITIES & DANCES:
Sierra Oaks will have social events that will be organized by a cooperating
teacher and the administration. These events will be chaperoned by no less
than two adults. Parents will drop off and pick up their child according to
designated times. No student will be allowed to leave with an unauthorized
person. Students must stay at the event the entire time unless parent
specifies otherwise. Guests may be invited, but need to be pre-authorized by
the administration. All rules set forth for Sierra Oaks students will be
abided by guests. Student eligibility for each event will be predetermined
and specified to parents and students before each event
CLASSES & GRADES:
Student grades are based on academics (knowledge of material), group
participation, independent discovery, reports and presentations, personal
involvement and positive attitude. If there is a concern about a student’s
performance and progress, teachers will hold a meeting with the parents to
discuss alternative options and/or program. Tutoring is always available at
parent or teacher request. The posting of grades will be determined by the
teacher and the parent at your child’s first conference.
Students will participate in core academic classes, as well as, special area
classes. The core academic classes for students in grades 1st-8th will be
graded with the following scale:
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = 0-59%
All students are to participate in P.E., Art, Music and/or Drama. These
classes are graded with an E=Exceptional, S=Satisfactory, N=Needs
Improvement. NON-PARTICIPATION WILL RESULT IN A FAILING GRADE. Exceptions
will be made to students with a medical release.
HOMEWORK AND STUDY SKILLS:
Working together with the teacher and school to ensure homework becomes a
learning opportunity for the child is essential. We expect parents to be
involved with their child’s homework by providing a suitable workplace and
time to study every day. Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday
of each week, except during holidays. Daily homework will be due at the
beginning of the next school day. If a student misses a homework assignment,
teachers will determine guidelines in acceptance of late assignments due to
Middle school students will receive a school calendar and planner book to
keep track of homework. Parents are to acknowledge this book and initial
daily assignments if they feel suitable effort was made by the child. The
theory is that students can learn study and organizational skills that will
help them succeed in high school.
CONSEQUENCES SHOULD A RULE BE BROKEN
Sierra Oaks believes that students learn appropriate behaviors from positive
encounters and role models. We will continually help students to act in a
way that promotes themselves and the school in a positive manner. Good
behavior will be recognized with positive reinforcement and rewards by the
school and classroom teacher.
Consequences for inappropriate behavior will be clearly defined in each
classroom. Teachers will use many strategies to help students learn
appropriate behaviors for the classroom and school; however, if violations of
rules require intervention beyond that of the classroom teacher, the offense
will be handled according to the following:
1st visit to the Principal – Student/Principal conference, student calls
parent to notify of offense. Student will return to class.
2nd visit to Principal – Principal will call home for parent to come get
student for the remainder of the day. At this time the student will be
placed on the 1st step rule and a conference will need to be scheduled with
the principal and/or teacher, parent(s) and student before student may return
3rd visit to Principal (Suspension) - Student, classroom teacher,
administrator, and parent(s) will have another meeting to create a plan of
action for the student before they may return to school.
4th visit – Suspension and Possible Expulsion. Parent will be called to come
get the student. Student will not be allowed to return to school until the
School Board has reviewed the situation and made a decision as to whether the
student is eligible to stay at Sierra Oaks.
The administration will use discretion when implementing steps. Disciplinary
action may begin at any step and steps may be combined depending on the
severity of the offence. Sierra Oaks School strives to maintain a safe
environment. There will be no hesitation to alert proper authorities in an
extreme situation. Sierra Oaks School has every right to suspend or expel a
The following serious offenses will not be tolerated at Sierra Oaks and will
warrant an automatic suspension, expulsion, and/or authorities called.
BULLYING: Sierra Oaks School’s personnel work hard to encourage
problem solvers and empower students with the skills to mediate their own
situations and issues. However, we do not tolerate bullying of any kind. It
is important that students communicate to parents and teachers if there is an
unresolved problem that they need help with or we need to assess. Please
help your child to BE POSITIVE about their school, but let us know if a
PHYSICAL VIOLENCE & BELLIGERENT LANGUAGE towards another student or staff
member will automatically justify extreme measures.
ILLEGAL DRUGS and/or WEAPONS: There is a no-tolerance rule at Sierra Oaks
for procession of weapons or illegal drugs of any kind. The proper
authorities will be called, and school consequences carried out, should this
rule be broken.
TOBACCO: There may be no use of tobacco, of any kind, on the campus of
Sierra Oaks School. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other
smokeless tobacco. This policy will be enforced at all school functions,
during school hours, as well as, after school activities.
VANDALISM & THEFT: Vandalism and theft of ANY school or individual property
will be address accordingly.
SEXUAL HARRASSMENT: Any student using inappropriate language or gestures
that makes another student or staff member feel uncomfortable will be
considered a serious offense and will be handled accordingly.
A and B and C Group will have lunch between 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Monday –
Thursday.Parents and families are responsible for making available a
nutritional lunch for their children. Snacks and drinks may be stored at the
school if desired. Parents are encouraged to send a healthy morning snack.
Please mark your child’s name on all food items that they bring to school.
The school has microwaves for heating up lunches. Please keep microwaveable
items to a minimum of 2-3 minutes and please provide the container to
microwave the meal.
There is a NO soda, NO candy, and NO gum rule at Sierra Oaks School! Please
help your child abide by this rule. Sierra Oaks School is not an allergy
free school. There will be times that individual classes have special
events. If a parent is bringing in food for the event and it will be shared
with other children, we encourage that it be store bought in its original
packaging so that we may check ingredients for food allergies. As a
precaution, if your child does have food allergies, we suggest that you send
them to school that day with their own snack.
LOCKERS AND STORAGE:
Students may be assigned a locker. We suggest that they lock up their
personal items. Unfortunately, we have experienced valuable items being
stolen or misplaced. Sierra Oaks School is not responsible for the loss of
personal items. It is very important that students consider not bringing
valuables to school. Students must give the lock combination or extra key to
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:
Sierra Oaks School students, teachers and parents get very involved in many
programs. Look for the appropriate forms and notices informing you of these
after school programs and dates and how to sign up.
Students who maintain positive leadership skills in grades 5th-6th may be
eligible to run for an office and be elected to serve in the student
leadership club. This club participates in the planning and organizing of
many school functions to include dances, school parties, and other fun social
events. These students will learn the importance of fund-raising and other
Parents and families are responsible for making sure their children get to
and are picked up from school on time. Drop off and pick up happens in the
circle driveway at the school door facing Linda Vista Rd. If you have
business with the office or need to speak with teachers, please park in the
back parking lot.
STUDENT FIELD TRIPS and OFF CAMPUS ACTIVITIES:
There are occasions throughout the school year where transporting students
off campus is necessary. Sierra Oaks School has a 14 passenger seat van;
however, parents are asked to participate in the volunteer driving program.
Students need to be seat belted and abide by the rules set by the driver.
Students who disobey or abuse this privilege may not be invited on subsequent
field trips. Please let us know how you can help us with this important
aspect of our curriculum.
Field trips will be related to the curriculum and grade appropriate.
Teachers are encouraged to supplement their curriculum with academic field
trips. Students are expected to represent Sierra Oaks School in a positive
manner by following the same guidelines as what is expected at school. Field
trips are a privilege and a student must be academically and/or behaviorally
eligible to attend. If a child cannot attend a field trip, they must come to
school and will be assigned work to complete at the school campus. All field
trips and off campus activities will be chaperoned by the teacher and at
least one volunteer.
Sierra Oaks School
Acknowledgement of Parent/Student Handbook Sign Off
My child and I have read the Sierra Oaks School Policy Handbook. We
understand all the policies and will follow them according to the handbook.
We also further understand that any rule that is broken will result in the
possibility of my student either making a call home or the chance of being
As a parent I understand that it is not the school’s responsibility that my
child is to finish his/her lunch. I understand that Sierra Oaks School will
do the best they can in making sure that my child is making a healthy choice.
My child and I also agree to the policy set forth regarding the use of cell
Parent’s Name Printed Student’s Name Printed
Parent’s Signature Student’s