•  Walnut Bend School of Environmental Sciences

    Student and Family Handbook

    Houston Independent School District: 2022-2023

    School Day

    School hours for students

     7:30 AM-3:00 PM Monday -Friday

     Tardy Bell: 7:35 A.M.

    Breakfast begins at 7:35 AM in the classrooms.  For safety reasons students will not be allowed to enter classrooms before 7:25 AM.

    Students are to remain in the cafeteria or multi-purpose room until picked up by their homeroom teacher.  Students must be seated in their classrooms by 7:35AM.

    The carpool lane is a


    You may drop your child off each morning and pick them up in the afternoon in the carpool lane. Children are NOT to be dropped off before 7:15 AM.  You will have a card to place in your windshield so we can identify your child by name.  Display this card in your car window as you wait in the carpool line.  Anyone who picks up your child without this card will have to go to the front office to check out.  Please do not leave your car unattended.  Police will ticket cars left unattended in this area.  Students not picked up by 3:10 p.m. must be signed out in the front office.

    Tardy Policy

    In order for your child to be successful in school, it is extremely important that he/she be in school on time every day.  The beginning of the day sets the tone for learning. Often, directions and lesson introductions are made, making a late arrival disruptive to the learning climate and your child.  The first bell rings at 7:25AM, and the tardy bell rings at 7:35AM.  Students arriving after this time must report to the Main Office and receive a tardy slip.  Students who come to school after 9:30 AM will be considered absent for the day.


    Walnut Bend Elementary  DRESS CODE 2022-2023

    In order to provide the safest, most orderly learning environment at Walnut Bend School, the following dress code will be strictly enforced.

    All clothing should be properly fitted. Students must arrive on campus in dress code, including shirts tucked in.

    Shirts are to be 2-3 button collared polo with any logo smaller than a quarter.

    • Shirt colors are solid navy blue only.
    • Shirts are to be tucked in at all times once a student is on campus. This includes times before and after school. Shirts must be long enough to tuck in pants.
    • Undershirts: any shirt (limit one) worn under the school shirt must be white. Long sleeve shirts worn under shirts on cold days must also be white.

    Pants and Skirts: solid khaki twill style only. Pants are to be worn between the waistline and hip and should not to be tucked inside shoes/boots.

    • Solid Navy, White or Black (only) Leggings are allowed… absolutely No printed leggings
    • Belts, brown or black, are required if pants have belt loops.

    Sweat shirts and Jackets: Colors are Navy Blue.  Any logo must be smaller than a quarter.

    • While hooded sweatshirts/jackets are permitted, wearing the hood inside the building is not.

    Shoes:  All students participate in PE.  Rubber soled, closed heel and toe with laces or

    Velcro, Scuff-proof shoes, tennis shoes or athletic shoes are strongly encouraged. NO sandals, flip-flops, slippers, mules, boots or Heely-type shoes.

    Fridays: Spirit T-shirts will be allowed on Fridays. Students may wear jeans, however, they must fit properly at the waist.


    The HISD Board has established guidelines and policies regarding student attendance.  The policies are designed to improve student attendance and achievement. 

    Students may have no more than eight (8) unexcused absences or more than ten (10) total absences to be considered for promotion.

    Students who have excused absences will have an asterisk (*) after their grades and must be reviewed by the attendance committee in order to be promoted to the next grade level.

    Attendance is taken each day at 9:30 am.  Student’s arriving after 9:30 am will be counted absent.  Students who have medical appointments are not counted absent if they return to school with a statement from the medical practitioner.

    Parents can help their students and our personnel by sending a note each and every time that a child returns to school after an absence.  The note should have the following information:


    • Date
    • Child’s first and last name
    • Date of absence(s)
    • Reason for absence


     According to Board Policy, student absences are considered “excused” for the following reasons:


    • Personal illness
    • Sickness or death in the family
    • Quarantine§ Weather or road conditions making travel hazardous (Not just rainy or cold)
    • Participation in school activities with permission of the principal
    • Emergencies or unusual circumstances recognized by the principal


     Students should bring an excuse in writing on the day they return to school.  In order for an absence to be excused, the written excuse must be brought within three (3) school days

     Please support your child by ensuring that any absences and tardiness are unavoidable and are followed with a written excuse when he/she returns to school.

      Illness and Injury

     Any illness or injury will be reported to the classroom teacher who will then have the student report to the nurse.  Parents will be contacted by the nurse if needed.  Please do not send students to school with a temperature of 100.4 or above.  Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Students with vomiting should be kept home until 2 solid meals can be held down.

     Can students whose immunizations become delinquent during the school year be excluded from school? Yes. As specified by law, students whose immunizations are delinquent do not meet requirements for school attendance and shall be excluded until they are in compliance.

     Emergency phone numbers on enrollment cards are important and must be listed in case we are unable to contact the parents.  Parents’ home, business and emergency numbers must be kept updated during the school year.

    HISD policy states:  “School personnel are not to administer medical treatment or medication, including over-the-counter drugs”.  If your child is on a short term medication, such as an antibiotic, please schedule the dosage so that he/she receives a morning dose and the remaining doses when he/she returns from school in the afternoon.  Please cooperate with us by following the above guidelines.  The health and safety of your children are our prime concern.  Pupils on long term medication who must have medication administered during the school hours may take medication only if a physician has stated in writing that the pupil should have a certain medication during school hours.  Form #40.3740, which is available from the nurse, must be signed and on file before any long term medication may be given.


     Discipline Policy

     The purpose of our discipline policy is to insure the rights of each student to attend school in a safe, positive and productive learning environment.  Walnut Bend is a Bully Free Zone.  Students will be treated fairly and equitably. 

     Discipline shall be based on a careful assessment of the circumstances of each case:

    1. seriousness of the offense
    2. student’s age
    3. frequency of misconduct
    4. potential effect of the misconduct on the school environment

    Consequences from the administrative staff for misbehavior include:

    1. a student/administrator/parent conference
    2. detention
    3. in-house suspension-when a student’s behavior warrants removal from class for a period of time, but suspension from school is not the appropriate consequence
    4. suspension

    All students will follow the HISD Code of Student Conduct.  This HISD Code is given to students during the opening of school.  Please read it with your child.  You must sign and return the signature page stating that you have read the HISD Code of Conduct.

    Rewards for Excellent Behavior

    *         A sense of accomplishment

    *         Verbal praise

     Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

     Cell phones at school should be turned off at all times and remain in backpacks throughout the instructional day. Students are not allowed to bring any electronic game system to school.  If a student is seen using a cell phone or game system in school, the device will be taken from the student and parents will be notified that there is a $15 fine that must be paid before the device will be returned to the owner.


     Regularly assigned homework is desirable in assisting pupils to achieve satisfactory school progress and develop good study habits.  Assignments are an extension of classroom work to provide maintenance and reinforcement.  If specific assignments are not made by the teacher, standing assignments may include reading, reviewing spelling words, practicing handwriting, and math facts.  All students are expected to read at least 20 minutes per day in a Just-Right book. 


    Students are responsible for the proper care of textbooks/library books and must pay for lost or damaged books.  State law requires that all textbooks be covered.  Students are required to pay fines for damaged textbooks/library books in accordance to the amount of damage. In cases where the damage is so extensive as to render the book unusable, the full price should be collected since it will no longer be in use.  Each student shall return all textbooks/library books issued to him or her when leaving the school, or at the end of the school year.  Failure to return or pay for damages shall result in forfeiting the right to free textbooks, or the ability to check out library books the following school year.

     Grading Policy

    All grades will be determined by regular attendance, consistent daily preparation, promptness in completing assignments and the quality of completed work.

    Criteria for Grading Academic Subjects

     90-100        Excellent quality of work

                          Thorough mastery of subject

     80-89           Good quality of work

                          Above average consistent effort

     75-79           Satisfactory quality of work

                          Average achievement

     70-74          Below quality of expected work

                          Below average achievement

    Below 70     Unsatisfactory quality of work         

    Poor, not passing 70


     Criteria for Grading Conduct

     E          Excellent quality of behavior, totally self- disciplined

     S          Satisfactory quality of behavior, cooperated readily

     P          Poor quality of behavior, below average

     U         Unsatisfactory quality of behavior, needs drastic improvement

     End of the Year Awards

     « Perfect Attendance beginning the first day of school

     « Three Academic Honor Roll Certificates will be given for the year:


    • Honor Roll---All A’s
    • Honor Roll---All A’s and one B
    • Honor Roll-- All A’s and two B’s




     « Citizenship Award---All E’s in conduct for the year

    Classroom Visits

    Parents of Walnut Bend students are welcomed and encouraged to visit our school.  Visitation must be restricted to the class in which your child is a member and scheduled at a time convenient for the class.  Visits must be limited to not more than 15 minutes.  (Please do not bring preschool age children when visiting a classroom.) All visitors must sign in at the office prior to going to the classroom and secure a color coded visitor’s badge that must be worn when visiting classrooms.  Teachers are instructed to request such a badge.  We ask you to give consideration to the teacher and students when you visit by not interrupting instruction. 

    Morning Arrival

    We work hard at Walnut Bend to teach our students to be independent and productive citizens. Parents are encouraged to allow the students to enter the school unescorted.  If you choose to enter the building with your child, you MUST do so from the front entrance and sign in at the office.



    Parent-teachers conferences are encouraged.  A parent may request a conference by sending in a written note with the child to the teacher, calling the school office and leaving a telephone message or e-mail.  Conferences will be scheduled during the teacher’s planning time. Teachers are required to supervise their students at all times.  Please do not request teacher conferences while students are in the classroom or when the teacher is supervising students in the hallway or playground. 


    Feel free to enjoy lunch with your child!  Parents must sign in with the office and receive a lunch badge.  The lunch badge only gives you access to the cafeteria.  Please do not visit other areas of the building without a Visitor’s badge and an appointment with the teacher. Parents must also return the badge to the office and sign outYou may sit with your child and  his/her friends inside. Parents may invite their child to have lunch at the picnic tables outside the cafeteria, but no other students may go outside with you. School age children should always feed themselves.  Please do not take children off campus for lunch!  Students have an opportunity to visit the restrooms before lunch, so they should not leave the cafeteria during the short time they are in there.  They are to remain in their seats until the class is called to line up.


    There are only 2 school parties during the school year.  One is before Winter Holidays and the other is during grade level field day to celebrate the end of school.  Please do not bring candy, treats or pizza on any other holiday. 

    Birthday Treats

    The Texas Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Division has decreed that the “Cupcake” law is back in effect.  Parents may bring cupcakes, cake, brownies, or cookies for a student’s birthday.  However, the treat may only be distributed and eaten after the last lunch period of the day.  Candy may not be handed out at any time.  Please do not plan to have a birthday party in the cafeteria.  Party hats, favors, decorations, balloons, etc. should be reserved for off-campus parties.

     Please do not have flowers, balloons, gift baskets, singing telegrams, etc delivered to school for individual students.  Such items will not be delivered to the classrooms.  

     Field Lessons/Classroom Volunteers

    Official field lesson forms must be completed, signed and returned to the student’s teacher

     2 days before the date of the planned trip.  Notes, faxes and telephone calls from parents cannot be accepted as a form of permission to attend a field lesson. 

     (Please do not bring preschool age children when chaperoning field lessons.)  All chaperones must fill out a background check form before being allowed to attend the trip.  This also applies to classroom volunteers.  Background check process may take up to 3 weeks to complete.  Please contact the front office to complete the form.

     Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV)

     The following food items may not be given to elementary school students during the school day:

    FMNV—Restricted Foods

    1)      Soda Water:  Any carbonated beverages.  No product shall be excluded from this definition because it contains discrete nutrients added to the food such as vitamins, minerals and protein.

     2)      Water Ices:  Any frozen, sweetened water such as “popsicles” and flavored ice with the exception of products that contain fruit or fruit juices

     3)      Chewing Gum:  Any flavored products from natural or synthetic gums and other ingredients that form an insoluble mass for chewing

     4)      All Candy:  Any processed foods made predominantly from sweeteners or artificial sweeteners with a variety of minor ingredients that characterize the following types: Hard candy, Chocolate, Jellies and gums, Marshmallows,  Fondant, Licorice, Spun Candy

     5)      Candy-Coated Popcorn:  Popcorn that is coated with a mixture made predominantly from sugar and corn syrup