• Room 16 Guidelines and Procedures

    Arrival
    All students must be in class at 7:45 a.m. Children who arrive after 7:45a.m will need to obtain a tardy slip from the office before coming to class. To help your child understand the value your family places on his/her education, please arrive on time. HISD offers free breakfast, available in the classroom for those wishing to participate. Please support your child’s independence by saying a warm goodbye at the classroom door and allowing your child to enter the classroom alone.

    Dismissal
    School ends at 3:00 p.m. At this time, we will walk to the front of the school prepared for pick-up. Please do not pick up your child before this time unless you have signed your child out in the office. We use every minute of class time for learning. Your child will learn to value education if disruptions are rare.
    Safety Note: Your child will be dismissed only to those adults who are listed on the enrollment or emergency forms. If there is a change in arrangements for your child’s pick-up, please send written notice or call the office (713-696-2930) to arrange to fax your request (fax 713-696-2932). We cannot dismiss your child with a friend without your written permission.

    Absences and Tardies
    Help support your child’s education by prioritizing school attendance and arriving promptly. According to Garden Oaks policy, children who arrive after 7:45am must obtain a tardy slip from the office. State law requires written explanation for any absence within 3 days or the absence will be unexcused. According to HISD policy, repeated unexcused absences will result in automatic retention. Please remember to send a note.

    When you visit Garden Oaks
    For the safety of all children, it is imperative that every visitor to the building sign-in at the front office. Please do this before coming to the classroom. Wear your visitor badge in a visible location every time you visit the campus. Reusable visitor badges are available in the office. The first badge you receive is provided free of charge. Replacements are $1.00 each. We very much appreciate your support and interest. However, please make an appointment in advance if you wish to have a conference or visit the classroom. It can be disruptive to the children’s work when family members “drop in.”

    Lunch
    An application for free or reduced lunch will be sent home with every child. Please be sure to complete it and return it signed. If you are certain that you do not qualify or do not wish to supply the information requested, please write “I will not qualify” and sign it. Lunch price is $2.25 (reduced $0.40). If your child buys lunch, s/he will be responsible for managing his/her own lunch money. Do not send a $20 bill and expect your child to manage the change. You may wish to pre-pay on your child’s card in the cafeteria. Checks are not accepted, but online payment is available.
    We strongly encourage healthy eating habits. Please do not send soda or candy in your child’s lunch. Please do not send extra money for your child to purchase canned drinks, chips, ice cream, etc. The school lunch offers plenty of food for the time provided for lunch. If you pack a lunch for your child, please send a napkin and a placemat (or 2 napkins) as well as necessary utensils so that we can encourage appropriate table manners.

    Backpacks
    We ask that every child bring a small backpack or book bag. Please no large backpacks or backpacks with wheels, as our storage space is limited. Our homework does not generate heavy backpack loads.


    School Supplies
    While a donation of $50.00 per child (check payable to GOES) allows for more efficient and flexible use of funds, you may also choose to purchase the materials on the classroom supply list. Supply money is placed in a Garden Oaks school account designated for Montessori materials and supplies (pencils, notebooks, folders, as well as specialized art and science needs) for our classroom. If you are unable to make the full payment at one time, arrangements can be made for you to pay in installments.

    Classroom Responsibilities
    Every person in the class community is expected to help care for the classroom environment. This includes putting away materials properly, replacing or repairing broken materials, keeping an orderly workspace, and helping with our weekly classroom cleaning. Children are also given class jobs in order to develop responsibility. Your family will benefit from providing opportunities to help at home as well.

    Work Plans
    The “work plan” is a tool that helps children to plan their day and manage their time. Children receive a new work plan each week. It identifies work choices in the classroom and provides space to record completed work. An adult checks each piece of work as it is completed. Generally, hard-working students are able to complete 6-7 pieces of work each day. It is important to keep in mind that the quality of a child’s work and his/her level of understanding is more important than the number of pieces of work completed on any given day. Work that is higher level and more in depth requires more time than less challenging work.

    Homework
    A reading log/homework page with special assignments and class information will be sent home every Monday. All assignments/reading logs are due the following Monday. Try to establish a homework routine: a special place and time. I keep a record of students who turn in homework and this contributes to marks for conduct and responsibility on progress reports and report cards.

    Reading: Read at least 20 minutes per night. This may be a combination of:
    • independent reading (your child reading to him/herself),
    • your child reading to a younger sibling or friend,
    • and/or you (or another adult or an older sibling) reading aloud to your child.
    Children of all ages enjoy and benefit from having stories read aloud to them. It strengthens their listening skills and sends the message that reading is important to your family. Choose a book that is just beyond your child’s independent reading level, and enjoy it together. Studies have shown that reading, alone and with an adult, is the most effective way to increase school success.

    Discipline
    Discipline in our classroom is based on respect for children, adults, and the classroom materials. The children will decide upon the rules we need for everyone to feel emotionally and physically safe at school. We will use another class meeting to brainstorm appropriate ways to solve problems. Using physical force is never an acceptable way to solve problems in our classroom. If your child complains of a problem with another child at school, please ask him/her about the problem solving strategies s/he has used and help him/her think of some appropriate ways to solve the problem.

    Communication Folder
    The Communication Folder is sent home regularly. Please check for notes from school and return the folder to school the following day. Please also use this space to keep me informed of how your child is doing and anything that might affect his/her performance in school.

    Conferences
    If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s work, please contact me to schedule a conference. I appreciate at least one day of notice for conferences. We welcome your participation in helping your child become successful in school. However, the start of the school day is very busy, and I must give my attention to your child and the other children in the room at that time. I can be reached at Garden Oaks (713-696-2930) or via e-mail (ksiegel@houstonisd.org).

    Field Trips
    Field trips are exciting learning opportunities that allow us to go beyond the classroom walls to enrich and enliven the curriculum. Each student must have a signed permission slip prior to each trip.
     
    We welcome parents on our field trips. Plan ahead. You must complete a Chaperone understanding agreement in the front office, and HISD requires a VIPS background check for all adults who spend time with our students. Stop by the office to provide a copy of your government issued ID and complete VIPS forms. Clearance for VIPS can take 3-4 weeks. Be prepared to supervise a small group of children. Please do not purchase anything for your group. It is not fair to the others. If you are available to accompany us, let me know in advance so we can ensure space on the bus and/or a ticket for the activity. Be prepared to pay for your admission.

    Technology
    Technology is becoming more important as we prepare children to become independent learners and thinkers in the twenty-first century. Perhaps the most important concept for children to understand is that computers are powerful tools for completing tasks.
     
    Research is an important part of the Montessori curriculum. The children and I will discuss how to safely and appropriately use the computer equipment and navigate the Internet. Please contact me if you have concerns about your child using the Internet.

    Sharing
    We always appreciate objects or books related to current lessons. Children are also welcome to contribute items to our “Nature Museum.” Toys are not permitted at school. Please remind your child that if s/he brings a toy to school, it will be collected and returned to a parent by request.

    Clothing/shoes
    The school uniform is a polo shirt (navy, red, or white) and khaki or navy pants/shorts/skirt. Clothes should allow children to work comfortably on the floor, and sports shoes should be worn so that children may safely engage in indoor and outdoor activities. Boots, flip flops, and shoes with high heels, lights, or wheels have proven to be unsafe and distracting. The Garden Oaks Student Handbook provides more detailed information about dress code.
     
    Note for First Graders: Please provide a full change of uniform clothing (including undergarments and socks) to remain in your child’s backpack in case of emergency.

    Sunscreen
    Your child may keep sunscreen in his/her backpack to apply him/herself. Please send only lotion (not spray) labeled with your child’s name. It will not be shared.

    Invitations
    Invitations may be distributed at school only if everyone in the class is invited. If you are not able to invite everyone, please mail the invitations to the children’s homes. Children feel hurt and excluded if invitations are distributed in class to only a select few.

    Birthdays
    Your child is invited to celebrate his/her birthday by creating a “Me Box” to share with the class. The “Me Box” might be a shoebox or some other container filled with objects that represent his/her life and interests. Your child may also wish to share a photo from each year of his/her life. You can help your child prepare by reviewing the events in the pictures. You are also invited to send a small snack for each child in our class (no icecream, balloons, or party favors, please). School policy allows one cookie or cupcake per child, but we especially appreciate healthy snacks (such as fruit, muffins, trail mix, or Chex Mix) and those that are individually packaged or cut into individual servings. It is important that every child receive the same serving and type of treat. Thank you for supporting our efforts. We know you want your child’s day to be very special and so do we!