Osseo Area Schools standardizes the elementary school handbook for all sites.
Core Values: We believe that...
- lifelong learning is essential for the individual and community to thrive;
- everyone has equal intrinsic value;
- trust is essential to sustaining successful relationship and to achieve results;
- better decisions emerge when diverse perspectives are intentionally included in a collaborative process;
- everyone benefits when cultural differences are acknowledged and understood, and individuals are treated respectfully and equitable; and
- everyone can learn more.
- Absences and Truancy
- Behavior: Philosophy & Vision
- Behavior: Safe School Zone, Bullying, & Severe Behaviors
- COVID-19 Information
- Dress Code
- Efficacious Learners Framework (ELF)
- Internet: Acceptable Use
- Lunchroom & Birthday Treats
- Recess & Items Brought to School
- Restorative Practices
- Student Growth and Recognition
- Important Dates and Additional Information
School attendance is critical to school success. It is our belief that if the school, home and community work together to emphasize the value and importance of education, students will attend school on a consistent basis. Our definitions, policies and procedures for absences are outlined to inform you of our process and to encourage regular school attendance.
Absence from School: When a student is not present in school or at any school approved activity, in or out of the building, where school supervision is in effect and the activity is held during the normal school day.
Tardy (Partial Day Absence): A Tardy (partial day absence) will be recorded when a child in Grades K-5 misses 1 hour or less of instructional time during the school day. Six tardies (partial day absences) are equal to one day of absence.
Half Day Absence: A half day of absence will be recorded when a child in Grades K-5 misses more than 1 hour of instructional time during the day. Two half day absences will be equivalent to one full day absence.
Full Day Absence: A full day of absence will be recorded when a child in Grades K-5 is not in attendance for the day.
Non-Instructional Time: Non-instructional time is defined as lunch and/or recess.
Distance & hybrid learning attendance
Distance Learning Attendance: When the school is following a full distance learning model, attendance will be recorded on the following day. A student is considered present if he or she logs in during a live, virtual session and/or if he or she turns in required assignments through SeeSaw.
Hybrid Learning Attendance: Attendance for students who are scheduled to be in-school will be taken as always, for the safety of our students and families. Students who are scheduled to be at home will be assumed present, but will be expected to attend any required small group sessions and/or complete assignments as they would during a distance learning day. If neither occurs, the school’s attendance clerk will amend the attendance the following day by marking the student absent.
Late Arrival Procedures: All students arriving after 9:30 will receive a “Late Arrival Slip.” These will be coded as a tardy (partial day absence).
Excused and Unexcused Absences: Absence from school WILL BE EXCUSED due to appointments for dentist/doctor/mental health professionals/orthodontist or legal matters, funerals, illness, suspension, late bus, religious reasons, or severe weather. Absences from school MAY BE EXCUSED at the principal’s discretion for situations such as: adoption of a sibling, birth of a sibling, family/student/personal concern, family illness, or prearranged vacations.
Absences from school WILL NOT BE EXCUSED for, but not limited to, the following reasons: childcare of siblings, no stated reason, missed the bus, non-school extracurricular activities such as dance lessons, music lessons, sports lessons, and competitions in these activities. All absences from school will be recorded as either excused or unexcused based on these guidelines.
Absences/Truancy Policy: If a child is absent from school, the parent/guardian is expected to call the school office by 9:30 a.m. with the reason for the absence. If the school is not notified of the absence, by phone or in writing, it will be considered unexcused.
- 3 unexcused absences = Letter to parent/guardian
- 5 unexcused absences = Phone call, home visit, or meeting with parents/guardian
- 6 unexcused absences= Parent Group Meeting referral through Hennepin County
- 9 unexcused absences= Report of Educational Neglect with Hennepin County Child Protection Services
Combination of Excused and Unexcused Absences:
- 8 excused absences = Administrative review that may include a letter or call to parent/guardian
- 10 excused absences = Parent/guardian meeting with school personnel
- 15 excused absences = Truancy petition may be filed
Returning to School After an Illness: Please see the District 279 Parent Handbook for guidelines and procedures.
Students Picked Up Early from School: Students must be signed out in the office. Students will be called to the office for pickup only after the parent arrives at school. Parents should plan ahead to allow time for this. Identification is required for adults to pick up students. Check in through the Raptor system. All adults must be listed on the student’s emergency form with permission to pick up the student in order to take the child. Written/verbal permission may be granted by the parent/guardian.
Philosophy: Woodland Elementary School is committed to maintaining a safe, supportive, and inclusive community. We believe:
- In a whole-child approach that encompasses social and emotional learning alongside mental and physical development.
- In the importance of relationships in development and learning.
- In a whole-school approach focused on the importance of building a positive school climate, a sense of belonging, and a connectedness among students and adults.
- In a structured process for addressing harm that meets the needs of those harmed while promoting accountability and responsibility for those who caused the harm.
Vision: Our vision is a caring community of members whose words and actions consistently reflect SOARing: being Safe, Owning our actions, Acting with leadership, and being Resourceful. Our behavior plan is based on prevention, teaching, re-teaching, and holding each other accountable to fix harm that may arise. At Woodland all students will learn about our SOAR expectations and Efficacious Learner Framework, receive rewards and recognitions, engage in social emotional learning, and restore any damage that has been done through a Restorative Practices approach.
Social Emotional Learning: We want Woodland Eagles to be as successful as possible at school. Success in school is not just about reading and math. It is about knowing how to learn and how to get along with others. We emphasize the following character traits:
Safe School Zone: Minnesota Statute 152.021-152.023 and 609.66 has declared the area surrounding schools as a drug free and weapon free zone. This zone begins at the boundaries of the school property and extends 300 feet from that point, or one city block, whichever is greater. Much tougher penalties will be administered by the court toward adults and juveniles caught possessing or selling illegal drugs or possessing a dangerous weapon.
Harassment/Bullying Policy: We will not tolerate bullying and harassment, nor will we excuse anyone who observes the behavior and chooses to ignore it. We believe in responding to all acts of bullying or harassment and equipping our students with a plan to support them in our effort to eliminate these kinds of behaviors.
Severe Behaviors: Behavior that is severely inappropriate or dangerous to the student or others will result in the student’s removal. Restraint may be utilized to remove the child from an area. Parents will be contacted if their child needs to be removed from the school. The police will be called if necessary.
Visitor and Volunteer Management: To ensure the health and safety of Woodland staff and students, the school has implemented procedures to restrict nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations. These measures are taken to help reduce the number of people within the school that could potentially spread the virus. In addition, protective barriers will be placed at the first point of contact in the main office of the school.
Signs of COVID -19 / School attendance: Students are required to stay home if:
- They have tested positive, are waiting for a test result, or are showing COVID-19 symptoms, until they meet criteria (see MDH Decision Tree, below) for return.
- They have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 until they meet the criteria for return.
Follow the MDH Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms in Youth, Student, and Child Care Programs to determine who must stay home and when students may return.
Expectation to Immediately Self-Report: The expectation for families would be to immediately self-report to the school if they or their student have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or had a close exposure to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days in a manner that is consistent with applicable laws and privacy policies, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please report this information by calling or emailing Mandy Reitmeier (763-315-6408).
COVID-19 Building Coordinator: The COVID building coordinator will be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns and will help coordinate with the district COVID team for positive COVID-19 cases. Nancy Goettl is the building COVID Coordinator and can be reached via email.
The following student dress code will be enforced:
- Cover entire midsection and back (no halter tops)
- Have no language or illustrations that are offensive
- Not represent gang affiliation
- Straps should be at least 1.5 inches wide – no “spaghetti” straps.
Shorts and Skirts must:
- Be fingertip length to hem
Jackets and coats must be kept in lockers, not worn during the school day. Hats or Headwear of any kind are not allowed during school day unless worn for religious reasons. Baseball type hats will be allowed at recess for protection from the sun. Visors must be facing forward.
- Should not sag or be dragging on floor.
- Must be worn at all times.
- For PE, must be appropriate tennis shoes and laces must be tied securely.
- Flip flops can be a safety issue and cannot be worn in the pea gravel or while participating in physical activities.
- Around or below 40 degrees, students in K-3 must wear coats outside.
- Around or below 40 degrees, students in 4-5 must have their skin covered. This can be coat, sweatshirt, or long sleeves.
Students not following the dress code may be asked to:
- Turn shirt inside out
- Wear shirt or sweatpants provided by the school
- Be sent home to change clothing
Face Coverings: All students and other people present in school buildings and district offices or riding on school transportation vehicles are required to wear a face covering.
Efficacious Learners are…
- self-confident (“I can”)
- willing and able to make a difference
- aware of what is unknown
- seek continuous learning
Woodland will help students develop five traits that all efficacious learners possess. Feedback on these traits will be provided throughout the year and on your child’s report card.
- Problem Solvers: identify problems, evaluate multiple solutions, decide and act, reflect and revise, persistent
- Resourceful: inquisitive, innovative, collaborative, critical thinkers, users of multiple networks (human, technological)
- Responsible: honest, reflective, resistant to negative influences, accountable to self/others, willing to lead & give back to others
- Self-Directed: flexible, goal-directed, optimistic, persistent, reflective
- Skilled Communicators: effective listeners, able to clearly articulate ideas, culturally responsive, able to value multiple perspectives
The Internet is a powerful educational tool, providing world-wide access to museums, libraries, news, events, and other useful resources. Internet access provides an exceptional opportunity for student inquiry, comprehensive information gathering, and world-wide communication. In compliance with District 279’s Board Policy 524, Woodland Elementary School has adopted the following student behavior expectations for acceptable use of the Internet:
- All students will review this document with their parents/guardians
- All students will receive instruction in the proper use of the Internet
- All students are responsible for their actions on the Internet and are subject to the consequences of school policy
- All students will be expected to use the Internet as an educational resource and will use only sites as directed by their teachers
- All student Internet users will be supervised by an adult at all times
- All student Internet users will not give out personal information such as name, address or phone number on any site
- If student Internet users accidentally access material that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable, they will close the browser immediately and tell their instructor
- 1st - loss of privileges without direct supervision for two weeks
- 2nd - loss of privileges without direct supervision for trimester
- 3rd - loss of privileges without direct supervision for remainder of year
At Woodland we do understand that the Internet can be unpredictable. If a student opens a site that is not acceptable, they need to notify an adult immediately.
Social Media: Social Media plays an important role in all of our lives. Students are especially tuned into social media as a vehicle for instant communication. Schools experience a downside to social media communication when it is misused. Messages sent from student to student or to groups of students are not private and the content of these messages can be harmful. Students need to be very aware of the power of social media and the consequences of negative posts, texts, photos, etc. Schools often have to settle student disputes over social media because it affects the student’s ability to learn.
Parents will be called on to help Woodland teach students about the proper use of social media. If students are in conflict over social media postings, parents will be called to help monitor and control its use. If students post to social media sites during school hours, this will be considered an Internet use violation and appropriate actions will be taken including communication with home.
Distance/Hybrid Learning: Acceptable use policies are expected to be followed when using a district-issued device while at home during a distance-learning or a hybrid learning environment. In addition, using any Google Meet codes or sessions outside of their intended use is a direct violation of our acceptable use policies.
Allergy Concerns: If your student has allergy concerns, notify the nurses office and your classroom teacher to develop a safety plan.
Birthdays: Out of respect for instructional time and the many students with food allergies, birthday treats are not permitted in classrooms. We will note birthdays on WD-TV morning broadcasts and recognize them in classrooms. Invitations to student birthday parties should not be distributed in classrooms.
Balloons: No latex balloons are allowed, except when used for curriculum purposes with prior approval from the principal. Mylar balloons, flowers or other deliveries for students will be held in the office and cannot be sent home on the bus. We discourage them at school; they can be disruptions during the learning day.
Water in the Classroom: Students are welcome to bring water bottles to the classroom in order to stay hydrated. Non-water beverages are only allowed with teacher permission. During COVID-19 restrictions, the water fountains in the school have been turned off; however, water bottle filling stations are still active.
Students Bringing Food into the Lunchroom: Food items should not be brought into the lunchroom to supplement school lunches. If additional food is needed at lunchtime, arrangements can be made with the food service staff. Passing out items like candy, cookies and treats is also prohibited.
Requests for Indoor Recess: Occasionally, parents will request that their child stay indoors for recess due to recent illness or injury. When your child returns to school, it is expected that they are able to participate in all activities. If you feel it is necessary for your child to stay in for recess, a physician’s statement is required.
Roller Shoes/Roller Blades/Skateboards: Roller shoes, Heely’s, roller blades, and skateboards are not allowed in school or on the playground. If the wheels can be removed, the shoes may be worn in school. Due to safety concerns, the wheels may not be worn during recess. Due to a lack of locker and classroom storage, roller shoes, roller blades, and skateboards cannot be stored in school. These are best left at home and used outside of the school day.
Items Brought to School: Students may bring soft type balls to school to use at recess; hard balls are prohibited. Electronic games, cell phones, smart watches, headsets, etc. may not be seen, heard or used during the school day. The school is not responsible for items your child chooses to bring to school. Trading cards of any kind are not to be brought to school.
Cell Phones/Smart Watches: We suggest that cell phones/smart watches not be brought to Woodland Elementary. If brought to school, cell phones/smart watches should not be seen or heard in the school building or at a school sponsored activity during school hours, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., or while waiting for the buses after school. If a staff member sees or hears a phone, it will be taken from the student. The first time a phone is taken, parents will be notified and the phone will be returned to the student at the end of the day. For all occurrences after that, the parent will need to come pick the phone up from school. Cell phones brought to school will be the responsibility of the student. Woodland staff will not be involved if a cell phone is lost or stolen.
Deliveries to Classroom: To increase the instructional time in our classrooms for all students, we will be delivering items brought to school by parents twice during the day. Our first delivery will be at 11:00 a.m. Forgotten lunches, homework, etc. will be delivered to the students at that time. Our last delivery will happen at 3:40 p.m. so that items will get to the students before the end of the day. If your child has forgotten an item please get it to our office before 11:00 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. so it may be delivered. We will no longer be calling into classrooms for students to leave the classroom to pick up forgotten items in the office.
Lockers: No locks, stickers, or tape are allowed on lockers. Magnetic clips are allowed.
Restorative Practices involves the building of positive relationships and establishing a supportive environment that is fair, consistent, and democratic. It involves interventions when harm has happened, as well as practices that help to prevent harm and conflict by creating a sense of belonging, safety, and social responsibility within the school community.
At the core, Restorative Practices are about building and restoring relationships. The underlying principle is that relationships are important, and when an incident occurs, the focus is on the harm caused to the relationship and the subsequent repairing of that harm rather than on what rule has been broken and therefore what consequences will be imposed.
A restorative approach to conflict and wrongdoing consists of asking key questions:
- What happened, and what were you thinking at the time?
- What have you thought about since?
- Who has been affected by what happened and how?
- What about this has been the hardest for you?
- What needs to be done to make it right?
A Restorative Approach…
- Encourages students to understand the impact of and appreciate the consequences of their actions.
- Provides an opportunity for those harmed by another’s actions to share their personal experience.
- Requires students to be accountable for their actions.
- Encourages respect for all concerned and develops empathy for others.
- Views conflict as opportunities to learn through problem solving.
Benefits of Restorative Approaches in the School Setting
- Reduction in discipline referrals
- Reduction in classroom disruptions and fighting
- Narrowed racial discipline gap
- Improved school climate
- Strengthened students’ conflict resolution skills
- Increased academic achievement, attendance, and graduation rates
- Improvement in relationships
Woodland Elementary School is committed to building a community that demonstrates respect for all members. We believe in an approach to teaching and learning that fosters safe, challenging, and joyful elementary classrooms. The teaching practices bring together social and academic learning throughout the day. There are several strategies from the program that the Woodland staff will implement:
- Morning meetings: to build personal and community relationships.
- Name tags: All students will wear a name tag that will include the following information: school name, student first name, and classroom teacher name. The name tag will be worn near the top of the student’s shirt. It will be taken off during PE class and recess and stored in the classroom overnight and on weekends. In the event of a lost name tag, a new one will be issued.
- Universal hand-signal: an uplifted hand by staff asks students to stop talking and attend to the speaker, showing that they are ready to listen by raising their own hand in response.
- Rule Creation: At the beginning of the school years, each classroom will create and post classroom expectations using the SOAR acronym. These expectations need to be explicitly taught to students and communicated home.
- Take a Break: A positive, respectful and supportive teaching strategy used to help a child who is just beginning to lose self-control to regain it so they can do their best learning.
- Buddy Room: A positive respectful teaching strategy used to help a student when “take a break” isn’t working.
Student Rewards and Recognition: Research states that in order for rewards to be most effective, they need to be varied. Our goal is to move students from needing abundant tangible rewards to feeling good inside because they choose to behave appropriately. Therefore, we feel our students are ready for the following reward process. We will continue to seek parental support as we reward and guide our children.
Eagle Celebration: Eagle Celebration is a once a trimester, full school assembly to help build community. During the assembly, we celebrate the great things happening throughout the school. After the assembly students are rewarded for their hard work with some free choice time.
PBIS Rewards: Students will be awarded points in their online PBIS rewards account when they are recognized for doing something great either at home through a virtual class session or while in school. Parents will be notified when this occurs. Please talk at home about what your student did and help us celebrate their accomplishment. Students will be able to accumulate points toward small prizes or fun experiences.
Student of the Month: Awards will be given by staff monthly, based on the monthly character traits noted in the Behavior Policy.
Reading Medal: This medal is given to any student who completes monthly reading incentives. Medals will be different colors each year, so we hope to graduate our 5th graders with a rainbow of medals.
Read to The Principal: Throughout the school year, each classroom will select five to seven students and those students will have the opportunity to read to the Principal.
Wordmaster Challenge (WM): The Wordmaster Challenge is a national language arts competition for students in grades 2 through 5 that use analogies to promote critical thinking and vocabulary development. There are three twenty-point meets per school year. Medals and/or certificates are awarded to the top scoring students. WM is coordinated by the GE staff and takes place in classrooms.
Student Service: Students who volunteer their time during the school day to better Woodland will be recognized at the awards assembly and in our yearbook.
SUBstantial Award: Classrooms will be given this reward for repeatedly SOARing when their class has a substitute teacher. A certificate will be given for each day a class earns a SUBstantial Award and one class will be drawn each trimester to enjoy a SUB lunch.
Student Bus Ridership Rules:
- Be at the bus stop on time, but no more than five minutes ahead of pickup time. (Bus stop behavior is the responsibility of parents/guardians)
- While waiting for the bus, stay on the curb well away from the traveled part of the road. No games, pets, or non-school-age children should be permitted at the bus stop.
- Board the bus without shoving or pushing and find your assigned seat quickly. Students are to remain seated while the bus is in motion.
- Practice social distancing by remaining in your assigned seat and wearing a mask.
- Keep the noise level down. Use a "talking" voice. The safety of all passengers is dependent upon the driver being able to hear well.
- Show respect for the bus driver and follow his or her directions.
- Ride only the bus to which you are assigned.
- The bus may not be used to transport students who do not qualify for bus ridership.
- Bus tickets will be issued for inappropriate behavior and will be handled by the Principal or Behavior Intervention Teachers.
Inappropriate behavior on the bus could result in the loss of the opportunity to ride the bus. For further details, see the 2020 - 2021 District Elementary Parent Handbook.
Students Riding Bicycles to School: Bicycles may be ridden to school and parked in the bike racks. They may not be chained to trees or other items. Bicycles must be walked on the school sidewalk areas and walked across streets. If your child has your permission to ride his/her bike to school, please send a note to the teacher stating this. Otherwise, by district procedure, we will need to send children home by bus at the end of the day.
Students Being Dropped Off at School: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please DO NOT drop your student off prior to 9:15 a.m. Beginning at 9:15 a.m., students will be allowed to exit their vehicles and proceed directly into the building while maintaining social distance. They must wear a mask to enter the building. If your child eats breakfast at school, they should go directly to the cafeteria. If not, students should follow our building's posted traffic pattern to their classroom.
For the safety of all students, parents will not be able to escort their student to the classroom in the mornings. Children need to say goodbye to their parent/guardian at the entry door and proceed to their classroom on their own.
Students Being Picked Up from School: If your child will be picked up from school regularly, a note from home stating that arrangement is required at the beginning of the school year. Calls only need to be made to the school if that is not happening on a specific day.
Families with only a kindergarten student should utilize the loop on the north end of the school (outside door #4) for pickup at 3:45 p.m. Parent pick-up time for all other students is 3:55 p.m. Monday through Friday, from the main front entrance. Please be aware that other kindergarten students and their sibling(s) should be exiting the building first.
If your student is a bus rider and needs to ride home with a parent, a note or phone call is required. The office must receive this call before 3:30 p.m. These requests will be documented and delivered to the classrooms at 3:40 every day.
Parent/Teacher Conferences: Fall: October 27, October 29, and November 2. Winter: January 27, February 2, and February 4.
Progress Reports/Report Cards: Progress reports/report cards are printed and mailed home each Trimester and published online. Parents may access ParentVUE to see report cards.
Mail Day is Wednesday/Thursday: Limited paper-based mail comes home with the youngest and only child on Wednesday/Thursday each week. Additional school and community information is posted on our school website through PeachJar. PeachJar delivers an email from Woodland Elementary with a subject of “New Flyer Opportunity."
School Pictures: A notification will be sent home when picture day is scheduled.
Parent/Guardian Communications with Staff: We welcome and encourage parents to communicate with school staff through phone, email, or meetings. In order to ensure that staff is available for a meeting, we ask that you call school to set up a time that is convenient for both you and the staff member. We want to work together for the benefit of each child.
Volunteers: It is the hope of the school staff that parents and community members will take an active role in our school programs. Volunteers are welcome to share an interest or career, assemble or cut materials at home, provide information regarding various topics of study - including countries and cultures, help with various school programs, and/or a wide variety of other activities. In order to volunteer at Woodland a complete application must be on file. Online applications can be found here. Together, we can make a difference in each child's life.