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Otsego Elementary School 55 Otsego Avenue Dix Hills, New York, 11746 (631)592-3600 www.HHH.K12.NY.US

“EVERYBODY DESERVES RESPECT” Sharon Stepankewich, Principal Stacey Bernstein, Assistant Principal

2008 - 2009

Dear Parents, On behalf of the Otsego staff, I am pleased to present this handbook to each of our families. The contents of this book will help make the flow of communication a smooth process. It contains useful information regarding school policies and procedures, safety rules, curriculum, special programs, and extracurricular activities. We hope that you find this handbook helpful and use it as a guide for a safe and happy elementary school experience. Have a great year! Sincerely,

Sharon Stepankewich, Principal

Otsego Elementary School Half Hollow Hills School District

Mrs. Sharon Stepankewich, Principal Ms. Stacey Bernstein, Assistant Principal Dr. Sheldon Karnilow, Superintendent 2008 - 2009

Half Hollow Hills Administration Kelly Fallon

Assistant Superintendent for District-wide Administration

Mary Rettaliata

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education

Victor Manuel

Interim Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Facilities

Dr. Patrick Harrigan Assistant Superintendent for Research, Assessment and Special Services Michael DeStio

Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education

Board of Education Fran Greenspan, President Jay Marcucci, Vice President

Jeanine Bottenus Carole Catapano Jill Kaufman James Ptucha Anne Marie Sorkin



Staff Listing


School Policies Hours Phone Numbers Dismissal Family Status Party Invites/Deliveries to Students Report Cards Text Books


Health Office/Attendance Health Information

Visiting Telephone Use Wellness Policy Absences/Assignments Extra Help Money/Valuables 8 Student Attendance

School Closings/Delayed Openings/Emergency Dismissal


Transportation Bus Safety Rules

11 Bus Passes

Cafeteria Free/Reduced Breakfast/Lunch Breakfast Program

12 Lunch Program

Recess Curriculum Physical Education Instrumental Program

13 14 Library Music

Technology Chorus


Support Services 17 Psychologist Math Specialist Resource Room Speech/Language Reading Hearing and Visually Impaired Health Occupational/Physical Therapy AHAP ELL Child Care After School Activities Math Olympiad Student Council Newspaper Intramurals Homework Policy: Student and Parent Responsibilities


General School Information SiteBased Management Team Board of Ed Meetings Meet theTeacher Night Parent/Teacher Conferences


Field Trips


PTA Statement and Board Members


Otsego Staff

2008 - 2009


First Grade

Second Grade

Theresa Kissinger Chris Maiorano Ricky Martorella Jacinta Perini Theresa Polestino Laurie Scognamillo

Laura Arato Nicole Baggio Alyssa Friedland Donna Palic Danielle Terravecchia

Sarah Baptiste Kim Hayden Elizabeth McDermott Alexis Schreiber Elizabeth Varvaro

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Jennifer Bultmann Lisa Garraffo Jennifer Kuitwaard Michael Kuschel Carrie McCabe Janet Perrott Lauren Smath

Donna Aiosa Claire Goldfarb Nancy Holmes Allison Mauser Noreen Nason Jocelyn Schwarz

Peter Brown Tracey Kueck Alexis Franzese Leigh Salvage Wendy Schutte Melissa Vargas

Special Areas Angela Cohee Daniel Lanzarotta Rich Jacobowski

Art Band Orchestra

Debbie Castiglia


Carol Mychailyszyn Elissa Reichstein Ingrid Steffens Kathy Hanover Eric Micalizzi Anthony Farinacci CarolAnn Brancato Barbara DelVecchio Allison Schryver Jessie Lauter Denise Anderson Lori Napolitano Lynn Kassan Isabella Buttler Teri Kindelman Kristine Nazzaro Maureen Tobin Michelle Aulet Valerie Geiler Margaret Anderson

Math Music Nurse Physical Education Physical Education Psychologist Reading Reading Reading Resource Speech Speech Occupation Therapy Permanent Substitute Permanent Substitute Permanent Substitute Permanent Substitute English as a Learning Language AHAP Health 2

Secretarial Staff Terri Flynn Cynthia Toomey

2008 - 2009 Staff (cont’d.) Paraprofessionals:

Marie Bauer Christine Beyrouty Caitlin Bletsch Nancy Blinder Roxanne Bockelman Kathy Calderon Domenica Corcoran Martha Finocchiaro Cheryl Greguski Lindsay Kahen Sophia Karavasilis Darlene Kline Susan Lauria Stacey Lewis


Carlos Jimenez Robert Prisco Ruben Torres


Louise Achtziger Pat Baez Anne Barberia Zubeda Begum Veronica D’Amato Maryanna Diaz Kathleen LePore Jane Lucca Doreene Masera

Food Service:

Maria Castro Anita Penafiel Patricia Sevon Assunta Vilardi


Donna Lichtman Sharon McCune Barbara Muscarnera Josette Napolitano Kristine Oliveri Mamta Pandya Danielle Raff Deborah Rossi Janet Scannell Lynn Shevit Marie Spina Tina Spy Joan Treubig Mary Zuckerberg


Please Sign In


School is in session from 9:10 AM until 3:20 PM. Students are not permitted on school grounds prior to 9:10 AM unless they are attending a scheduled activity or have been invited to an extra help session. This is to ensure the safety of all students. OTSEGO TELEPHONE NUMBERS: Main Office: Psychologist

592-3600 592-3609

School Nurse Attendance Office

592-3601 592-3606

VISITORS TO OTSEGO: In order to maintain a safe environment for our students, please follow the procedure outlined below when visiting our school: Park only in designated spots in the large staff parking lot. Please do not park in the side parking lot, reserved spots, or against the building. Under no circumstances should you park on the bus platform. Buses come and go throughout the day. Enter the building through the front door. You must sign in and out with our hall monitor and receive a visitor badge. You may be asked to provide identification. While inside the school building, you must wear your visitor badge at all times. Please visit only those areas of the building for which you have been granted access. MESSAGES TO STUDENTS: Our office staff frequently receives phone calls from parents asking them to deliver personal messages to students. To minimize the disruptions to classroom instruction, please limit these requests to emergencies only. STUDENT USE OF THE TELEPHONE: Throughout the day, students often ask to use the telephone to call home for various forgotten items or to make changes to social arrangements. In order to foster greater student responsibility, we discourage the use of the telephone during the school day.


DISMISSAL OF STUDENTS Students in grades K-5 will be dismissed at 3:20 PM. Parents/designees who wish to pick up their children are requested to send a note stating that their child will be picked up at 3:20 PM. The date, time, and reason for leaving should be included as well as permission for us to release your child to your designee, when applicable. Parents/designees must sign the release log and present photo identification before a student will be dismissed. Your child will meet you at the side entrance of the building. Please arrive by 3:15 PM. EMERGENCY PICK-UP: It is difficult for us to accomodate last minute pick-ups. In the event of an emergency pick-up where your child is already on the bus, you will be given a pink dismissal pass to bring to the teacher or the bus driver. This pass notifies them that you have signed your child out and authorizes your child’s release. PARENT ABSENCE: If you are going to be away during the school year (even for a short time) and someone else will be caring for your child, please notify us in writing. Please give us written permission for that individual to pick up your child in the event of an emergency. FAMILY STATUS: Please let us know if your family status has changed in any way. This includes the addition of a sibling, a marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, etc... This information will enable us to better meet the needs of your child. WELLNESS POLICY: In accordance with the district Wellness Policy, please adhere to the following guidelines whenever you pack/send in food for your child; • NO CANDY IS ALLOWED AT ANY TIME • Healthy snacks and water are recommended for any snacks/parties. • Only kindergarten and first grade classes may celebrate birthdays in class with food (healthy snacks and water recommended) • Grades 2 - 5 may not celebrate birthdays with food 5

DELIVERY FOR STUDENTS: Sometimes, parents come to school to bring something to a child. This could be lunch, forgotten homework, a note, or party goods. These things must be brought to the main office. Our staff will make sure the items are delivered to the child’s classroom as soon as possible. DISTRIBUTION OF PARTY INVITATIONS: Children love birthday parties and other appropriate celebrations. However, they are easily hurt and feel bad when they are excluded from a special party. Therefore, we do not allow the distribution of invitations to a party during the school day or on the school bus. Social lists are provided for your use. This will allow for phone calls or mailing of invitations to selected children. ASSIGNMENTS MISSED DUE TO ABSENCE: When a child is home ill, for three or more consecutive days, you may request that your child’s teacher provide him/her with the work he/she missed. You may pick it up in the main office or we can send it home with a sibling or a neighbor. When a child is sick, the teachers WILL HELP him/her make up missed assignments and review new concepts when he/she is well enough to return to school. Tests will be made up at the discretion of the teacher. If your child is home for 1 or 2 days, you may want to consult with a classmate about any missing assignments. While we recognize the value of a family vacation, it is ILLEGAL to take your child away while school is in session. Please do not ask a teacher to help your child catch up on work he/she missed while on vacation. It is suggested that a journal of the trip be kept in addition to 15 - 25 minutes of reading each day. Teachers WILL NOT send work home for time missed while on vacation. REPORT CARDS: Quarterly report cards are generally distributed in November, January, April, and June. Parents should sign the report card envelope and return it to the teacher. The actual report card may be kept at home.


TEXTBOOKS: It is the responsibility of the student to properly maintain his/her books Textbooks must be covered by the student and kept covered throughout the school year Students will be fined for the cost of any books that are lost or abused Textbooks must be paid for in full prior to the receipt of the final report card EXTRA HELP: Sometimes students need to spend some “extra” time with a teacher to relearn or reinforce information. When this happens teachers will make an appointment for you to bring your child in early, before school begins, or to keep your child after school. MONEY AND VALUABLES AT SCHOOL: Whenever money is sent to school, it should be sent in an envelope with the child’s name, class, and purpose written on the outside. Please emphasize to your children the importance of giving this money to his/her teacher at the beginning of the school day. Please DO NOT send in expensive toys, games, or equipment. These items include game boys, walkmans, CD players, i-pods, cellular phones, cameras, etc.... Trading cards (of all types) are also not permitted.


HEALTH OFFICE/ATTENDANCE HEALTH INFORMATION EMERGENCY HEALTH CARD - Your child received a white health card on the first day of school. Please complete it accurately and indicate the numbers where we can reach you or your designee in the event that your child becomes ill or injured while at school. This card MUST be returned promptly and updated, should any changes occur. Your cooperation is necessary to ensure the well being of your child. MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS - New York State Law requires that all children in grades K, 2, 4, 7, 10, and all new entrants to a school system have a physical examination. This exam may be done privately or by a school physician. If your child is seen by a family doctor, please be sure to fill out the appropriate form and return it to the school nurse. Students entering these grades or new to our district are also required to have a dental examination. The appropriate forms may be obtained in the Otsego Health Office. IMMUNIZATIONS - According to New York State Public Health Law #2164, “No child shall be admitted to public school without documented proof of required immunizations, signed by the doctor.” Records must show dates of all immunizations with authorized signature. MEDICATION - In order for the school nurse to administer any medication (including over-the-counter drugs) during school, we must have the following: • Written notification from the family doctor stating diagnosis, the contents of the prescription, and the dosage • A written request from the parent asking that the medication be given to his/her child. • A well labeled prescription bottle with the child’s name, date, and the doctor’s name on it. Students ARE NOT permitted to carry any medication with them. All medication MUST be dropped off to the school nurse by a parent. 8

SCREENINGS - Height, weight, vision, and hearing screenings are done for every child throughout the school year. In addition, New York State Education Law requires a screening examination to identify children with possible curvature of the spine (“scoliosis”). STUDENT ATTENDANCE: The process of learning is very dynamic and interactive. In order to maximize achievement, students MUST be present in class so that they can participate in all learning activities. However, children do get sick and should be kept home when they are not feeling well. Remember, your child should be without a fever for 24 hours before returning to school. If your child is absent, please call the attendance office (592-3606) prior to 9:30 AM. Kindly state your child’s name, teacher, and the reason for the absence. If your child does not arrive at school by 9:30 AM, the attendance office will call your home. When a student is absent from school, he/she is required to bring in a written note from his/her parent/guardian indicating the date and reason of the absence. The note must also have the signature of the parent/guardian. For information concerning missed assignments due to absence, please see the school policy section.


SCHOOL CLOSINGS/DELAYED OPENINGS/ EMERGENCY DISMISSAL: In the event of an emergency school closing, delayed opening, or early dismissal, you may be notified via the following methods: Connect-Ed Automated Phone Call (please make sure the school has your correct updated phone numbers) Half Hollow Hills School District Website ( News 12 Long Island/Cablevision Local radio stations; • • • • • • • •



94.3 102.3 1240 1370 740 1100 540 1290

When a delayed opening occurs, an abbreviated school day schedule is used and the district avoids losing an attendance day. During an early dismissal, students will be transported home by bus. At the beginning of the school year, you will be asked to fill out a green emergency dismissal card. Be sure to complete and return this card which indicates where to send your child during an emergency. In addition, please instruct your child as to where he/she should go in the event of an early dismissal. Students in the elementary school will be sent home after the high schools and middle schools are dismissed.


TRANSPORTATION BUS SAFETY RULES: We want the bus ride to and from school to be as safe and enjoyable as possible for all our students. Therefore, it is required that each child abides by the following rules while riding the school bus: Wait at your designated location in an orderly manner. Be on time. Go directly to your assigned seat when you board the bus. Keep the aisles clear. Keep the noise level down. Be respectful. Leave the bus in an orderly manner. Cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus and only after the bus driver has given the signal that it is safe to cross. Students are expected to be respectful and maintain proper behavior throughout the bus trip to and from school.

**Violation of these rules may result in the loss of bus privileges.** BUS PASSES: For security and safety reasons, students should take their assigned bus (and sit in their assigned seat) to and from school. In the event of an unexpected/emergency situation, please indicate your circumstance and request in writing to the teacher. Be sure to include the following information; Your child’s name and the teacher’s name Your circumstance and request The alternate bus # you are requesting your child to take at dismissal The name and address of the requested destination A phone number where you can be reached that day. Please call the transportation department with any questions or concerns regarding bus issues at (631)592-3855. 11

CAFETERIA FREE AND REDUCED BREAKFAST OR HOT LUNCH REQUESTS: Applications for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program can be made at any time during the school year. Please contact the school nurse for the appropriate forms. These forms must be completed and on file in order for the school to grant free or reduced meals to qualifying families. SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM: The breakfast program is offered to all students. It starts at 8:50 AM and ends at 9:10 AM. The menu offers many healthy breakfast choices. The cost is $1.00 or $1.25 per meal, depending on their choice, and $0.25 for those eligible for reduced price meals. If a student is receiving free lunch, they are also entitled to free breakfast. SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM: Lunch is offered to all students. A monthly menu is sent home with every child. Hot lunch program prices are as follows: Elementary School Lunch $1.75 Reduced Price Lunch (for eligible students) $0.25 Prepaid Lunch (20 Lunches) $35.00 Prepaid Lunch (5 Lunches) $8.75 PIN NUMBER - Every student is assigned a lunch number. Please assist your child in memorizing this number. This pin number must be entered when buying lunch each time, whether paying cash, pre-paid, free or reduced. STUDENT LUNCH PERIOD - The lunch period will consist of a 20 minute section during which the students will eat in the cafeteria. An additional 20 minute recess will be provided for supervised play. Weather permitting, students will be able to use the playground during this time. CAFETERIA RULES - To provide all students with a positive and enjoyable lunchtime atmosphere, we ask that students abide by the following rules: • Remain seated at your assigned table • Speak quietly at all times • No sharing or touching one another’s food • Clean up your area and throw away all trash • Follow directions • Obtain permission before leaving the cafeteria • Show respect to everyone in the cafeteria Inappropriate behavior in the cafeteria may result in the loss of cafeteria/playground privileges. 12

RECESS PLAYGROUND RULES: The following rules ensure the safety of all children while using the playground equipment: Only children wearing sneakers are permitted on the playground. NO SANDALS, FLIP-FLOPS, or DRESS SHOES are allowed. Students must receive permission from their lunch monitor before leaving the playground to go to the bathroom or nurse. Be cautious of any black top areas. Avoid all puddles, mud, or wet grass. No pushing, running, roughness, or improper fooling around on playground equipment. Be respectful to all children and adults while outside. INDOOR RECESS RULES: When weather conditions limit the use of the outdoor play area, students will have their recess in their classrooms. It is essential that students follow these rules: Speak quietly Respect other people’s property Obtain permission before leaving the classroom Follow directions Use appropriate language Be respectful


CURRICULUM Half Hollow Hills provides instruction to all of our students based on the requirements of the New York State Standards. Classroom teachers work hard to support these goals. To view the learning standards, you may log on to We are pleased to have curriculum specialists in the building who provide instruction for our children in several areas. PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Children receive physical education instruction twice a week beginning in kindergarten. The students are guided to: develop specific locomotor skills learn rules and follow directions realize the importance of teamwork plan and execute strategies practice good sportsmanship value physical fitness and safety Appropriate clothing for classes includes shorts, slacks or warm-up/sweat suits and laced-up sneakers. Jeans, skirts and dresses present a safety hazard in physical education class. Children should also refrain from wearing jewelery or watches on days when their class has physical education. LIBRARY: The Library Media Center promotes resources that stimulate and encourage students to become lifelong learners. Instill a love of books and reading. Establishes a climate conducive for maximum learning - a warm, happy and inviting place. Supports, enriches and enhances the school’s curriculum. Provides materials to fit the needs, interests, capabilities, talents and learning styles of each student. Becomes a learning laboratory by using the latest technology. 14

LIBRARY PROCEDURES: Every child has the opportunity to borrow books or magazines each week provided they have returned previously borrowed materials. If books are lost or damaged, district policy requires payment for the the materials. If materials are paid for and later found, money will be refunded. TECHNOLOGY: There are multiple computer stations in each classroom in addition to a mobile computer lab. These tools assist students in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century. The students use technology as a tool within the various curriculum areas. The media center and classrooms have many computers for research and have internet access. Children must have a signed parental permission slip before using the internet. All internet use is closely monitored by our staff. Visit the Half Hollow Hills web site at; INSTRUMENTAL PROGRAM (Band and Orchestra): In the spring of their third grade year, students are given the opportunity to play a string instrument. In 4th grade, they can choose to join either the Orchestra or the Band. MUSIC: Music instruction begins in kindergarten. The goal of the music curriculum is to help the children expand their understanding and enjoyment of music. Therefore, children study rhythm, melody, form, harmony, meter, dynamics and composition using acoustic and electronic instruments. The music curriculum also requires that the children are introduced to the recorder in third grade.


CHORUS: All fourth and fifth graders are welcome to join chorus. The Otsego chorus performs twice during the school year - in December and May. In addition, they are asked to take part in the PTA’s Outreach Program. There are no try-outs for the regular Otsego chorus. All are welcome. ART: The goals of the Art Program at Otsego are as follows: To encourage an interest in art To develop an appreciation for the ways art can enrich their lives To explore a wide variety of media and techniques used by artists Students in grades K - 5 are part of the Art program. Cognitive and fine motor skills are developed progressively. Students are instructed in the basics of drawing and painting, sculpture and ceramics, and a variety of crafts.


SUPPORT SERVICES Otsego provides many services for the students during the course of the school year. Our staff is trained to assist students who need either enrichment or special support. Sometimes these services are given on a temporary basis for a short period of time and sometimes this assistance is ongoing. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST: The school’s psychologist is available on a full-time basis. His/her primary goal is to assist our students’ academic and social-emotional learning, through direct work with children and consultation with parents and teachers. The broad range of services include: Screening of all new entrants to kindergarten and inter-districttransfers. Psychological evaluations to identify learning styles, individual instructional needs, and specific educational disabilities. Individual counseling related to school adjustment. Group counseling to foster social skills and support children of divorce and separation. (“Banana Splits”) Consultation on developmental concerns, behavior management, and learning needs. MATH SPECIALIST: Math Lab is a supportive program that is specifically tailored for eligible students depending on his or her individual needs. The program is designed to; support and/or pre-teach classroom curriculum foster accuracy, confidence and pride in assignments and tests develop basic computation skills plan and utilize various problem solving strategies


RESOURCE ROOM: The Resource Program assists eligible children in grades K through five in developing compensatory learning strategies. This is attained through; small group instruction developing study skills building test-taking strategies expanding organizational skills SPEECH/LANGUAGE: Becoming a good communicator is an integral part of a child’s education. The Speech-Language therapist helps children who are experiencing communication difficulties. These services include; identifying students with communication problems through screening and/or referral assessing and diagnosing students’ communication behaviors and needs providing goal-based support in individual, group, and/or classroom settings periodic reevaluation of student progress READING: The reading teachers perform various functions relating to Otsego’s literacy program. The reading teachers consult with the classroom teacher regarding diagnostic results for individual children, materials that may be needed, and any problems or questions regarding the reading program. in the classroom and/or grade level. Children in need of additional reading support are seen by the reading teacher on an individual or small group basis. TEACHER OF THE HEARING IMPAIRED: The teacher of the hearing impaired specializes in working with students with auditory problems. The program concentrates on improving auditory skills and maximizing language acquisition.


TEACHER OF THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED: The teacher of the visually impaired student provides additional academic support. This can include the modification of classroom materials. large print books and books on tape or in braille. These teachers also offer braille instruction to children who are visually impaired or legally blind. HEALTH: New York State requires that health be taught to all children beginning in kindergarten. As part of this program, children learn how to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: Occupational therapy services are provided to eligible children who need support in developing visual persection and visual and fine motor skills. PHYSICAL THERAPY: Physical therapy services are provided to eligible children with muscular-skeletal impairments, gross motor delays, and/or body awareness deficits that significantly impede their ability to function at an appropriate level in the school environment. AHAP - ACADEMIC HIGH APTITUDE PROGRAM: AHAP is available to students from in grades 3 - 5. Selection is based on several standardized test scores. AHAP is an enrichment program used to foster higher level thinking skills and provide additional academic challenges. ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: The ESL program in Half Hollow Hills is designed to develop skills in the English language and assist students in the content areas. The goal is to achieve full fluency for our Limited English Proficiency (LEP) population. Every effort is made to assimilate the ELL student into mainstream education as quickly as possible. 19

JUT The Children’s Center is a not-for-profit NYS licensed child care program for SAY children in grades K-5 in the Half Hollow Hills School District. The Children’s NO! CHILD CARE - BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL

Center operates before and after school during the school year and works in cooperation with the school district. The Children’s Center staff are dedicated individuals, trained to meet the New York State School Age Child Care requirements. The Children’s Center strives to foster feelings of positive self-esteem, awareness of others, and respect for peers and adults. The children create friendships through non-competitive games and activities. Before School Programs are in session daily at each elementary school from 7:15 AM to 9:00 AM and follow the school district calendar. Parents must sign children in each morning. Children may choose from a variety of toys, games and activities and are served a light breakfast before being dismissed to their class. After School Programs are in session daily at various locations, including Otsego, from 3:20 PM to 6:15 PM and follow the district calendar. When children arrive they are checked in and served a light snack. The children may then choose from a variety of supervised activities including homework help, arts and crafts, computer lab, gym play, outdoor play (weather permitting), and games and toys. Special events and programs are planned throughout the year. Children must be picked up and signed out by 6:15 PM. Occasionally the Children’s Center offers a full day program. Special activities and outings are scheduled for the day that school meets only a half day. Parents will be notified when vacation or holiday programs are offered. The Children’s Center has an open enrollment policy. Children may be registered at any time throughout the year. The program may be used full-time, part-time, or on an as-needed basis. Registration packets are available at the REACH CYA office. A non-refundable registration fee, tuition deposit, and up-to-date physical and immunizations record are required. Scholarships may be available based on financial need. Please contact the Children’s Center Director at the R.E.A.C.H. Community and Youth Agency (CYA) at (631)549-9417 for more information. 20


Which club will it be?

Our district provides opportunities for intermediate grade level students to participate in clubs and organizations that meet before or after the school day. In addition, the PTA offers workshops for all grade levels during the school year. Clubs and workshops will vary from year to year. MATH OLYMPIAD Math Olympiad for Elementary Schools is a competitive math team effort where students from grade five are selected to participate based on achievement scores from standardized testing. The group meets once a week to practice and five times a year to participate in an international competition. The goals for the prgram are; to develop their enthusiasm for problem solving to contribute to their cognitive development to provide the initial foundation for an intellectually stimulating and pleasurable mental activity STUDENT COUNCIL The student council is an after school club comprised of students from the third, fourth and fifth grades. This group meets once every two weeks to discuss and vote on activities and services for our school. The student council also participates in community service events. NEWSPAPER Newspaper is an after school club for 4th and 5th grade students. While producing, “The Otsego Times,� students have the opportunity to enhance their research, writing, and editing skills. INTRAMURALS Intramurals is an after school activity offered to boys and girls in grades 4 and 5. It is a continuation of our physical education curriculum, consisting of games such as volleyball, team handball, soccer, basketball and other activities involving hand-eye and foot-eye coordination.


HOMEWORK POLICY Homework is a necessary part of the learning experience. It enhances and extends classroom instruction. The purpose of homework is to: Help develop good study skills Review and reinforce concepts Teach responsibility Foster the development of time management skills STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES: Independently complete assignments on time Be sure that all assignments are done neatly and to the teacher’s specifications. Study assignments (or assignments that do not require a written response) should also be viewed as homework Remember to take home all needed books and supplies to complete homework assignments. For safety and security reasons, students may not return to the classroom after dismissal for any forgotten items. PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES: Make sure that your child completes daily and long-term assignments Encourage your child to do his/her best work Avoid making corrections on your child’s homework. The teacher needs to review these assignments to assess your child’s progress Realize that different children may take varying amounts of time to complete assignments To avoid careless errors, ensure that your child spends the necessary amount of time to complete assignments neatly and to the best of his/her ability. Remember that teachers are your strongest allies. He/she should be contacted immediately if your child is experiencing unnecessary difficulty with assignments. Always call and discuss any questions or concerns. If your child is observing a religious holiday, please contact the teacher so that the appropriate homework allowance can be made.


GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION SITE BASED MANAGEMENT TEAM: This team is composed of four parents, four teachers, one support staff member, one community member and building principal. It’s goal is to improve the educational performance of all students in Otsego, as well as address any current issues that arise within our school and surrounding community. Meetings are monthly, and the term of each office is two years. BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS: Meetings are open to all district residents and are usually held twice a month. Dates and meeting locations are listed on the school calendar. MEET THE TEACHER NIGHT: Meet the Teacher Night is usually held at the end of September. Parents will have the opportunity to meet all of their children’s teachers and review the curriculum and activities that will take place during the school year. PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES: Parent/teacher conferences are held shortly after the first marking period. At this scheduled meeting, parents will be able to discuss their child’s progress and voice any questions or concerns they may have.


FIELD TRIPS During the course of the year, our classes will often go on field trips. These trips are planned in advance. Field trips are an integral part of the instructional program Written parental approval is mandatory for all trips Occasionally it is required to bring a bag lunch from home. The kitchen can prepare a bag lunch for your child if necessary. They should request this from the kitchen first thing in the morning. Most trips have a fee. If you are unable to provide the necessary funds, please contact your child’s teacher, school nurse, or an administrator for confidential assistance. PARENT CHAPERONES: The safety of our children is extremely important and we appreciate the extra time you give to ensure a positive field trip experience. Please follow the guidelines below: Only parents who have been assigned as trip chaperones are permitted to attend Parents may not bring siblings on trips Parent chaperones are expected to take the responsibility of the students for the entire length of the trip. This includes escorting them to bathrooms, food concessions, or other approved locations There is no smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages on field trips Please refrain from using your cellular phone while supervising children on a trip. Cellular phone use should be reserved for emergency situations only



PTA STATEMENT The Otsego PTA is a partnership between the school and the community, promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of the Otsego children. It is a type of forum where parents, teachers, administrators, and other concerned adults discuss ways to promote quality education, strive to expand the arts, encourage community involvement, and work for a healthy and safe environment. With this fundamental goal in mind, the Otsego PTA welcomes all parents, educators, and community members to participate and become active members. The education of our children is a responsibility shared by the school and the family. When parents have an active and dynamic role in the education of their children, achievement is maximized. The Otsego PTA is proud to celebrate the diversity of its members and utilize their talents and skills to enhance curriculum, student learning and family life. The poem that follows symbolizes our philosophy at Otsego Elementary School.

Unity I dreamed I stood in a studio And watched two sculptors there. The clay they used was a young child’s mind And they fashioned it with care. One was a teacher; the tools he used Were books and music and art; One was a parent with a guiding hand And a gentle, loving heart. And when at last their work was done They were proud of what they had wrought. For the things they had molded into the child Could never be sold or bought. And each agreed he would have failed If he had worked alone. For behind the parent, stood the school, And behind the teacher, stood the home. by Pat Koppman 26

PTA BOARD MEMBERS Laurie Mattone Laurie Marine Kay Gibbs Annemarie Sabatino Sarah Baptiste Carol Mychailyszyn Sue Nicolino Carolyn Cipriano Roseanne Durante Marianne Hargrove Adrianne Parker Sharon Bentz Jill Caputo Robbie Austin Amy Minerva Christina Faber Katy Madden Kim Ozley Stacey Hill

Co-President Co-President Vice President Vice President Teacher Representative Teacher Representative Treasurer Recording Secretary Corresponding Secretary Corresponding Secretary Historian Historian Delegate to Council Delegate to Council Alternate Delegate to Council Alternate Delegate to Council Delegate to Board Delegate to Board Past President


Otsego Handbook 09  

Otsego handbook 2009