The following are excerpted from the Polaris Student Handbook. Please refer to that document for further information.
Students are to go immediately to the playground unless coming to a before school class or the gym in bad weather. They are not to arrive at school before 8:30, when there is no supervision on the playground. No running in the halls or rooms, going to the gym unsupervised ball playing in the building, tackling or rough behavior allowed at any time.
Please call 720-424-7863 if your child will be absent or tardy. Tardiness is a form of absence that interferes with student learning. When students are late, it is a disruption to the learning of students in class as well as to your child. Students, who arrive after 8:50 a.m. are tardy, and must report to the office. We must confirm daily all absences with parents. Good school attendance greatly increases a student’s academic success! Colorado State Law requires students to attend every day that school is in session. No absences are excused unless the school has been notified that a child is ill, has a family emergency or when the absence has been pre-arranged. Be aware that teachers cannot always provide you with missed work; much of our learning involves discussions, project work and hands-on explorations, not worksheets. Dismissal during the school day requires that the parent sign the child out in the office. The parent must go pick up his/her child in his/her classroom and alert the teacher of early departure. Please do not arrange to have your child meet you in the office. Children must be picked up in their classrooms. If only one parent has custody of a child, that parent needs to inform the school office and provide appropriate custody paperwork.
Arrival at School
School begins at 8:45 a.m. Students should not be brought to the school before 8:30, unless they are part of the Kaleidoscope program. Upon arrival, students go immediately to the playground unless weather indicates an inside day. Children are not to enter classrooms before the first bell unless involved in extra-curricular programming. Please assure that your child arrives on time. If your child is tardy, he or she must be accompanied by a parent to the office in order to receive an excused tardy. Students unaccompanied by parent or guardian will receive an unexcused tardy.
School is dismissed at 3:30 p.m. All students must be picked up or on a bus by 3:40. Teachers will be on duty to assure that children board buses or are picked up safely by parents. At 3:45, any children who have not been picked up are taken to the office.
Further information on parking and pickup / drop-off safety can be found in the Transportation page.
The appearance of a student plays a large part in his/her behavior and attitude towards school.
Parents are encouraged to help their younger children make thoughtful choices when dressing for school. Cropped, midriff, spaghetti strap shirts; sleeveless/muscle shirts; and torn attire are not appropriate. All skirts and shorts need to be suitable in length (finger-tip length). It is essential that students dress according to weather and safety considerations.
Care of School Property
We take pride in the appearance of the school building and grounds. Students are expected to help keep the school free of litter and help dispose of trash properly. Students involved in graffiti or other destruction of school property or equipment will receive appropriate disciplinary consequences.
Polaris prides itself in communicating with families in order to inform and engage you in your child’s learning. In order to reduce copying and for quick and immediate communications, “e-blasts” will be sent periodically to Polaris families for school business. Please register your email by contacting email@example.com. This will ensure that you are on the school’s distribution list. Every THURSDAY your student will bring home a Polaris Packet – a large yellow envelope containing work samples from the week, information on field trips and special events, important schedules, teacher notes, and a monthly school newsletter. (Be aware that not all work completed by students will come home in this folder) Please read this material and return the folder on Friday – it is one of our most practical ways to consistently communicate with all parents. Keep important announcements on the refrigerator or another easily accessible place for quick reference. Should you have concerns about your child or his/her progress, please add a note to the packet before returning it on Friday and/or email your child’s teacher directly.
Field trips are an important extension of many thematic studies at Polaris. At registration, you will be provided with a permission slip allowing your child to participate in all field trips. You will be informed of every field trip and any needed fees in advance, and can deny permission at that time.
Scholarships are available for ALL fees for students on free or reduced lunch –please notify your child’s teacher or Principal Karin Johnson if assistance is needed. Please watch for trip notifications in your child’s Thursday Folder and respond promptly.
Recess is a regular part of the school day and we go outside except when it is extremely cold, rainy or muddy. Students need to wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather. Please send a note to your child’s teacher if he/she is under a doctor’s orders not to go outside. It is our policy that if a child is healthy enough to come to school, he/she is healthy enough to go outside at recess.
Students are to remain within the school fence and in view of adult supervisors at all times. If the weather does not permit students to enjoy recess outdoors, which means that the temperature is below 30 degrees, or there are other potential hazards, students will have an indoor recess day.
Polaris has an excellent collection of fiction, non-fiction and reference resources for student and family use. Our library has a flexible schedule that allows teachers to plan with the librarian in linking these resources to thematic and curricular studies. Please keep library books checked out to your child in a specified location for ease of return to the school. Should books checked out to your child be lost or damaged, a replacement fee will be charged. Polaris always welcomes parent assistance in the library and the donation of excellent children’s literature to our collection – ask our librarians for suggestions. We also offer a Birthday Book program that allows you to donate a book in your child’s honor to the library. You will receive a letter at the beginning of the month of your child’s birthday explaining the details.
Report cards will be given out three times during the school year at 12-week intervals/trimesters. The first report card (October) will be given out at Parent/Teacher Conferences. The second one (February) will be sent home with the Thursday Folder; if a conference is needed either you will be contacted or you can contact the teacher to set up a time. The last report card of the school year is sent home the very last day of school. If you do not receive one, please call the school.
Personal Possessions / Lost and Found
To assist children with personal belongings, it is helpful to mark all items with the child’s name.
Students are discouraged from bringing money or valuable items to school, as the school assumes no responsibility for lost, damaged or destroyed items. Money may be left with the teacher or office personnel for safekeeping. Any money sent to school is safest when in the form of a check placed inside an envelope with the student’s first and last name written on it. Students like to bring items from home for show and tell. However, items of value that may get lost or damaged should be brought to school by a parent and taken home after they have been shown. Please do not allow your child to bring large amounts of money or valuable items to school. No iPods, electronic games, trading cards, or expensive toys. Students are not allowed to use cell phones during school. If brought to school, they need to be left with the teacher. When students want to have electronic games to use during their bus rides, it is safest to have them left in the office during the school day rather than in backpacks. Playground and sports equipment, jump ropes, jacks and marbles may be brought for use during recess if the child is willing to share such items. Every year we give away bags and bags of unclaimed, unmarked clothing. Please check lost and found frequently!
As indicated by Colorado State Assessment Program (CSAP) achievement indicators, our students are achieving at levels above district averages (rated High). However, we continue to strive for higher levels of achievement, using standards-based instruction which include the following strategies: using non-fiction materials in reading; instructing, and assessing a CSAP format; staff development in literacy; hands on math; technology; differentiated instruction to meet gifted and talented needs; and using running records and administering individual reading inventory assessments regular intervals. Additionally, students in grades 3 through 5 will be tested in the district benchmark assessment program, and DRA, 3 times a year.
Student Records and Confidentiality
The confidentiality of student records and privacy rights of students and parents shall be maintained in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1/1/95. Scholastic achievement, medical information, and/or standardized test results on file may be reviewed by parents/guardians upon request.
Teachers commit to evaluating student progress continuously throughout the year. They link instruction closely to individual academic need, offer individual and small group assistance, and provide guidance and additional practice as needed. They will inform parents if appropriate improvement in academic deficit areas is not progressing at an acceptable pace and assistance from home is needed. Homework may be assigned for skill practice or large project completion. Please read guidelines provided for projects and assist your child’s progress according to stated timelines. If your child is struggling with homework, please contact the teacher for clarification or assistance. By encouraging children to complete assignments promptly, parents are conveying that schoolwork and projects are important child work.
Visitation and Volunteering
Parents are always welcome to visit the school…just sign in at the office and wear a visitor sticker.
Polaris welcomes the assistance of parent volunteers in many roles.
Code of Conduct
At Polaris we shoot for the stars with positive attitudes, behaviors, and achievement. Our values and actions focus on the possibilities and promise in each of us. We care about our school and our community. Teachers, staff, students, and parents demonstrate respect with kind words and actions. We listen thoughtfully, value diverse thinking, and take responsibility for ourselves and our learning.
Watch us shine!
The Polaris community believes that students have the right to attend school in a safe and courteous environment. In such an atmosphere, student self-esteem and self-discipline are supported with a goal of future independence. Specific classroom and school guidelines are provided to the child (and parents), with the expectation that they will be respected for the benefit of all. Polaris is a school with high academic expectations for students, and that requires appropriate classroom focus and behavior. When actions demonstrate that the child needs to make better decisions, your child’s teacher will call you and an In- School Referral slip will be sent home. Parents are to talk the incident over with the child, help him/her complete the form, sign it and return it the next day. The intent of the In-School Referral is to notify the parent that his/her child is not behaving appropriately. Referrals are issued for behaviors such as: verbal or physical aggression, refusal to obey those in rightful authority, continuous classroom disruptions and consistent refusal to attend and do schoolwork. If a child receives two ISR’s in a week, or his/her behavior is particularly egregious he/she will attend study hall rather than electives on the next Friday.
The classroom teacher will handle the majority of students’ behavior problems. However, when the behavior of a student either interferes with the educational process in the classroom or threatens the safety of other students or adults, the discipline problem will be referred to the principal.
Bullying Prevention and Education
We must guarantee that our children and youth acquire the knowledge, skills and values to become self-sufficient citizens and lifelong learners. We can achieve this mission by providing personalized learning experience in an environment that is safe, conducive to learning and free from unnecessary disruption.
The Polaris program and Denver Public Schools supports a secure school environment, conducive to teaching and learning in an environment free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behavior. The Board of Education is adopting this policy to promote consistency of approach and to help create an environment in which all types of bullying are regarded as unacceptable.
Bullying is defined “as any written or verbal expression, or physical act or gesture, or pattern thereof, that is intended to cause distress upon one or more students in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated school bus stop, or at school activities or sanctioned events.” A student who engages in any act of bullying is subject to appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with District Policy JK and JK-R pertaining to discipline procedures and may include suspension, expulsion and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. The severity and pattern, if any, of the bullying shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.
Harassment based on race or color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or religion, hereinafter referred to as protected categories is specifically prohibited. Every student within the School District shall have the opportunity to learn in an environment free from such harassment as defined by this policy. Complaints of prohibited harassment will be promptly investigated by the procedures delineated in this policy and district Procedures. If the principal/department head or designee determines that such harassment occurred, it will promptly and appropriately discipline any student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who is found to have violated this policy, provide appropriate assistance to the victim and/or take other appropriate action reasonably calculated to end the harassment.