Parents & Partners

  • Child Custody/Non-Custodial Parents

    We recognize the importance of parental involvement.  Some families have more than one household.

    • Non-custodial parents are invited to participate in all activities, including conferences.  Parent/teacher conferences or meetings initiated by the school or district will generally be scheduled only once, at times convenient to both parents.
    • Non-custodial parents are entitled to have access to school records unless access to those records has been restricted by court order.
    • Non-custodial parents may release their child from school unless the custodial parent Has presented the school with a court order or other legally binding document that prohibits such a release.
    • Non-custodial parents should inform the school office if they would like to receive school mailings of report cards, newsletters and events.
    • Concerns regarding custody and visitation should be directed to the school principal.

    Orientation Meetings / Parent Information Meetings

    Classroom orientation meetings for parents are held for each grade level at the beginning of the school year.  Teachers present an overview of the curriculum to be taught, discuss expectations and answer questions parents have.  Parents have a chance to sign up for how they want to help in their child’s classroom. These orientations are a great way to open lines of communication early.

    Parent/Teacher Conferences

    Parents and teachers have regularly scheduled conferences in October and February of each year.  There are evening and daytime appointments.  Parents will have an opportunity to indicate their preference.  If your child is having difficulty in school, please do not hesitate to contact the teacher sooner.  Teachers and the principal are always available to meet with concerned parents. We will contact parents when we feel the need to do so also.

    Classroom Placement Practices

    The schools reserve the right to place students in classes that will create the most constructive learning environment. Teachers, specialist teachers, and the principal meet each spring to develop new classes for the following year. Since we work daily with children, we feel we know best how children work in the school environment. We construct classes taking many factors into consideration. The most important factors include: ●  Balanced boy/girl ratios

    • Balanced diversity ratios to promote multi-cultural understanding
    • Consideration of students' learning styles
    • Balanced ability levels
    • Socially balanced groups to avoid peer conflicts
    • The inclusion of special education needs students
    • Equal portions from existing classes so new friends can be formed
    • Separating children who are related to avoid comparison

    Sometimes parents want to give input regarding information about their child that might be helpful for class placement. Schools send home a learning inventory, so please watch our school newsletter so you know when that is possible, usually in the spring. The form is also available through the school office. If your child’s form contains a request for specific teachers or for children to be placed with specific friends, they will not be used in the class placement process. There are too many other factors the school needs to consider first. Class groupings are made BEFORE assigning teachers to those groupings because:

    • Teacher assignments are always tentative when class lists are made.
    • Reassignments of teachers sometimes occur in the summer months.

    If your child expresses concerns about his/her class assignment, please inform the school so your child's teacher can be made aware of this and help reduce anxiety. We appreciate parental help in setting the stage for a successful year for each child. We will include class placements with the August Newsletter. If staff assignments are not secure by August, we will inform parents and students of their teacher’s name as soon as they have been hired.

    New Student Placement Practices

    Children transferring to our schools have recommendations from their former schools for specific grade placement. It is important that we receive records as soon as possible. We assign children in accordance with those recommendations unless and until experience, diagnosis, and consultations indicate a different placement or assignment would better suit the student.

    FIELD TRIPS

    Throughout the course of the school year, students may have the opportunity to take field trips. Children at each grade level take field trips related to the curriculum as an extended classroom experience.  The school budget and PTO cover some of the costs of these trips.  Parental or guardian permission is required for these excursions.  Additional costs may be required to supplement transportation or admission fees.

    Cost Concerns

    Parents or guardians should appeal to the principal to have those fees waived in special circumstances.  Safety expectations for field trips are outlined later in this handbook. 

    Chaperones
    For safety reasons, parents and guardians who have not signed up to be a chaperone and siblings not in school should not attend field trips. McKinley has a “Chaperone Responsibilities” agreement that has been developed by our Parent Advisory Council in an effort to better meet the needs of our students. This agreement can be found on our website and needs to be signed by parent and guardians that are attending the trips as a chaperone. A form needs to be filled out for EVERY field trip and given to your child’s classroom teacher.

    • Always stay with your group or buddy.
    • Pay attention when your teacher tells you what to do if you become separated from the group. Your teacher will point out the people you should ask for help and where you should go if you become lost.
    • If you need to use the restroom, ask your teacher or the chaperone for permission so they know they should wait for you.
    • If you get sick on the field trip, you should know that you will probably stay on the field trip the whole time. It will not always be possible for someone to come to get sick people when they are away from school.
    • Always be on your best behavior on a field trip. If a teacher, chaperone, or adult at the field trip site reports that you have trouble following the rules, you will not be able to go with your class on their next field trip.
    • Your teacher will tell you your bus name and number in case you get separated from the group as you are going to the bus.
    • Always stay seated on the bus, do not hang out of windows or throw anything out of the windows. Use a polite, quiet voice.  Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself at all times on the field trip and bus.  You do not want the bus driver to become distracted from driving safely.
       

    Reminders to Parents and Guardians:

    Children must have signed permission slips from parents or guardians in order to go on a field trip.
    Permission slips include space for parents or guardians to indicate if they could be a chaperone. Teachers will try to include as many as possible, but it may not be possible to include all who have an interest.  If we cannot find enough chaperones for a given trip, the trip will be cancelled.
    Please make sure your children dress properly for the trip.