August 5, 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to Grand Oaks Elementary School and the 2013-2014 school year. Just as last year, we have planned for a successful educational experience for all students. As always, we value your participation to ensure this and look forward to working together as partners. We have open lines of communication at GOES so please feel free to call, email or send a note by your child if I can be of assistance or answer questions for you.

If you are new to GOES---WELCOME! I hope you come to love GOES as we do.

We will continue to use the Home School Connection notebook that comes home every day. This notebook is designed to keep you informed of homework, events, and behavior. And you can place notes in it as well. Your participation in this notebook is needed to keep your child organized and keep you aware of what is happening in the school and classroom. Review it nightly and sign any correspondence that the teacher has requested. Always place the notebook back into the book bag and return it to school every day.

We are continuing our progress toward the Common Core State Standards. For math instruction, students will work with tasks (problems) that ask them to think of how the problem needs to be solved and to write an explanation of what their thinking is to solve the problem. They will also take the Constructed Response Test three times this year…fall, winter and end of year. The end of the year test results will NOT count on the TCAP test this year.


Last year, students in K-2 participated in the SAT 10 test. Parents of those students will receive the results of the end of the year test soon. The Anderson County School System has decided not to use the SAT 10 this year. Students in these grades will participate in district assessments.  


The student drop off time will be 7:30 a.m. this year. Dismissal is at 3:05 for regular school days. Anderson County Schools Board of Education approved the 2013]2014 school calendar which includes a 90 minute early dismissal every Wednesday at all schools. The Wednesday schedule will function like any other day with school starting at 8:05. Attendance is required, breakfast and lunch will be served, and all subjects will be taught on these early dismissal days. Our Wednesday student dismissal time will be 1:35. Buses will run, the car rider line will operate as usual, and our afterschool program will be available to those students that are enrolled.


We welcome many new staff members: Cori Hughes (1st grade), Danielle Gallaher (2nd grade), Lexie James (Speech & Language), Julie Darnell (Speech & Language), Shirley White (Eductional Assistant), Polly Phillips (Educational Assistant), Patricia Gebhart (Educational Assistant).


As you can see we are busy as bees----- We are in charge of our own learning---and we are soaring as eagles. GRAND OAKS EAGLES that is!!!!! Thank you for the honor of serving you and your children this year!



Jessica Conatser


2012-2013 GOES Student/Parent Handbook

This is the Student/Parent Information. Please read and keep this in the Home School Connection Notebook for review as needed.   For more specific information please read the Anderson County Student Code of Conduct. This policy includes other sections that help us to keep your child safe while at school. Please talk with your child this week about what materials are appropriate to bring to school from home and the county’s Give It Up policy.

Attendance: It is important for your child to be present at school, on time, and remain at school EVERY day! This protects your child’s academic instruction. School begins promptly at 8:05 a.m. and ends at 3:05P.M. Because of the various instructional strategies teachers use, a day missed can never fully be made up.

If your child is tardy, you (or another adult) must accompany the child to the office and sign the student register.

Excused absences according to Anderson County School policies consist of only: personal illness, school-sponsored activities, death in the family, and religious holidays. Absences not excused by these reasons may be excused at the discretion of the principal prior to (if applicable) the absence.

Parents must submit an excuse note for every absence, tardy, and check out. Each excuse needs the following information: student’s name, teacher’s name, date of absence, and reason for absence. Absence notes must be turned in by the third day of the student’s return to school.

Please Note: Tardies and early checkouts are recorded and can accumulate into unexcused days absent.

After the 1st six (6) absences (regardless of the type/ reason) a doctor’s note is required. Students are expected to make up missed work due to an absence.

Check Outs: Parents checking a child out of school early must go to the office, show photo I.D., and sign the student register.   Remember, only those adults listed on the Emergency Contact List are allowed to check a student out. Parents are responsible for informing emergency contacts of all school rules and regulations regarding check-outs. Please don’t ask us to bend this rule----For the sake of your child’s safety there are NO EXCEPTIONS.

Medications: The following procedures will be followed when a student needs medication at school. Any violation of the medication policy can result in suspension or expulsion. Almost every violation of this rule happens because a parent forgot this rule. When your child tells you that they cannot bring the medicine to school, believe him/her. The school nurse will be glad to answer your questions concerning this policy.           

* The parents must provide a written order from the doctor for prescription and over-the-counter medication with written parent permission (forms are available at the school or at your doctor’s office).

* The parent must bring the medication to school in the original properly labeled bottle from the pharmacist. Over-the-counter medication must be provided in an unopened container.

* The parent must pick up any unused medicine at the school. All unused medicine must be picked up by the end of each school year or it will be discarded.

* To ensure safety of ALL students, students must never bring the medication to school.

* All medication paperwork must be renewed at the beginning of the new school year.

* Any change in medication or dosage requires new orders during the current school year.  

Smoke Free Campus: Grand Oaks Elementary School is a smoke free campus. Smoking on the campus is not permitted at any time.   Consumption of tobacco by minors is illegal. Possession of tobacco by students results in suspension. If you use your child’s backpack ALWAYS make sure that you remove all your items!!!

Weapons: Weapons are not permitted on school property. PLEASE make sure your child understands that he/she can never bring a weapon to school---for any reason. Also, tell your child what to do in the event he/she makes a mistake and has a weapon at school----GIVE IT UP to an adult immediately!!!!!  

Cell Phones: Although students may bring cell phones to school, they must be in the students’ backpack and turned OFF. Failure to follow these instructions could result in In/Out of School Suspension. Many mornings can be rushed as family members try to get out the door on time. If your child carries a cell phone, help your child be in compliance with school rules by checking the phone each morning to make sure that it is in the off position.

Student Appearance: Students should adhere to the Anderson County Student Code of Conduct during school days and other school functions. This policy states that students should take pride in their appearance when attending school. Students must wear clothes that cover all undergarments. Clothing such as body suits, halter tops, strapless tops or tops with spaghetti straps, tank tops, muscle shirts, mesh and see through shirts are prohibited. Articles of clothing that promotes the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, suggests the use of firearms, violence, sexually suggestive words or symbols are not permitted on clothing worn to school. Clothing should be in good condition and free of holes. Consult the Student Code of Conduct for further information. Parents accompanying students on field trips or attending school functions should also follow the Anderson County Student Code of Conduct guidelines for attire.

Textbooks: The State of Tennessee furnishes textbooks with the understanding that parents are responsible for lost or damaged texts. Many of our materials have been purchased through grants that teachers have used their own time to earn. Please encourage your child to take great care of all textbooks and materials. Set a home routine of where the books are kept when they have been brought home. Payment for lost textbooks is very costly. Please sign the textbook agreement form and return it to the teacher. Records are withheld at the end of the school year until textbooks are either paid for or returned.

Visitors to the Building: The front office is open from 7:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. All parents and visitors report to the office immediately upon entering the building to sign in and receive a Visitor’s Pass. The visitor’s pass must be worn properly. To honor your child’s learning time, interruptions to the classroom are limited during the instructional day. If you plan to visit or work in your child’s room please notify the teacher of when you will volunteer. If you have a problem and want to visit the classroom please contact the principal.

Students Going Home with Another Student After school: Should your child want to go home after school with another student, a note from you and a note from the parents of your child’s friend are required. These notes should be brought to the office before 8:05A.M. BOTH parents must write a note before the principal will approve a switch for the day. A telephone call will not be sufficient.

Change of Residence or Telephone Number: Should your address, home or work telephone numbers change, please notify the school in writing.

Inclement Weather Guidelines: During inclement weather, radio and television stations will begin carrying announcements of any school closing in Anderson County. At times, worsening weather conditions may also force school to close early. Should this happen, radio and television stations will carry this information and a Skylert message will be sent to notify parents. Be prepared in advance by having your instructions on the Early Dismissal Information letter. Please keep this information up to date with your child’s teacher.

Use of School Phone: Children only use the phone for an emergency (with a note from their teacher). Students cannot be called to the office to receive phone calls.

Homework: Parents should set aside 20 – 30 minutes each evening for homework completion. Refer to your Home School Connection Notebook for your child’s homework policy. Homework should never be too difficult for your child to complete. If so please contact your child’s teacher. Younger students should read to their parents or be read too nightly! This should be a pleasure to carry out with your child. If your child is absent, make sure that the make-up homework is completed and returned to school in three days. If your child will be absent longer than one day please contact the teacher for the make-up work. It can be picked up in the office. If your child is only absent for one day, the teacher will send the work on the day the child returns to school.

Home School Connection Notebook: Each student will bring this home each day. Please spend a few minutes each night reading important information and return it to school on the next school day. This routine is the key to positive and open communication with the teacher. It gives important information on your child’s homework, and behavior as well as other information. Any correspondence that you have for the teacher should be placed in this notebook as well.  

Instructional Time: We highly value and protect every child’s instructional time; therefore, class time is uninterrupted. If you need to speak to your child’s teacher please send a note asking her to call you.

Birthday Parties: Due to the increased amounts of, and the various allergies students have today, we do not celebrate student birthdays with food. Students are recognized by the teacher and class with a celebration in honor of your child’s special day. We appreciate your attention to this matter and thank you for keeping all of our students safe.

Classroom Celebrations: Periodically, and at the appropriate times, classrooms have celebrations for special and academic occasions. At the teacher’s request, treats from the “schools approved food list” (treats lower in sugar, fat, and calories) may be requested. To see the approved food list please visit our school website (www.goes.acs.ac). Homemade treats are no longer served.

Transportation: The driveway in front of the school is for school buses only from 7:15 A.M. to 8:15A.M. and from 2:45 P.M. to 3:30P.M. Students who come to school on the bus should return home on the bus unless they have a note from their parents given to the teacher. Any changes in a child’s transportation must be in writing from the parent. For your child’s safety, phone calls are not accepted to change a child’s transportation.

Bus Regulations: Please stress to your child the importance of following the rules while on the bus. It is impossible for the bus driver to keep a constant eye on the students and the road. When students are not following the bus rules everyone’s safety is at stake. In cases where students seriously or continually break the rules, or are involved in a severe offense suspension of bus privileges could be enforced. Parents are notified by note of warnings, and both note and phone call for suspension.      

Car Rider Information:   Car riders may be dropped off at the car rider area starting at 7:30AM. If you wish to accompany your child into the building please park in the parking lot. For your child’s safety, please drop off your child in the designated areas only. Do not drop students off in the middle of the parking lot and/ or allow them to cross through traffic alone. At dismissal, students are only released to adults who display the official car rider sign (provided by the school). If you do not have your sign, you must come into the office and show proper ID. Please do not ask for an exception.

Cafeteria: The school cafeteria is a nonprofit service designed for the convenience of students who wish to purchase all or part of their lunch or breakfast. Students who are not able to pay the price charged may qualify for reduced or free lunches under the free or reduced-price lunch program. We request that ALL parents complete the application form whether you plan to use the program or not. Information on the application is confidential. It is important to know that you may reapply for the free/reduced lunch program. Applications are available in the school office should your financial status change during the year. Applications must be filed at the beginning of each school year. If you need assistance in completing a free/reduced form please contact Mrs. Conatser.

Make sure your child has lunch money or a lunch each day. Breakfast is $1.25; Lunch is $2.00. Students may only charge for one day. Desserts and extra items may not be charged. Please pay lunch charges in a timely manner in the cafeteria.

Breakfast is served each morning beginning at 7:30 A.M. Students wishing to eat breakfast should be at school by 7:45 a.m. All students must be in the gym by 8:00 A.M.  

Parents, guardians, and grandparents are always welcome to dine in the cafeteria. They must first sign in at the school’s office and sign out when the student leaves the cafeteria.  

Breakfast, lunch, or snack brought from home by the student is allowed if the food is for the student’s own consumption. Per our School Board Policy, commercial foods (fast food) brought into the cafeteria should be free of any logos and should appear as a meal or snack prepared at home.

Sharing any food by a student or parent is not permitted.

Lunches brought from home should be well-balanced. Thermos bottles should not contain carbonated drinks. Canned/bottled soft drinks are not permitted for lunch.

Each student is assigned a lunch number. It is the responsibility of each student to learn this number and use it each time a meal or item is purchased regardless of the manner of payment. Help your child learn this number.

Parent Conferences: Parent-Teacher Conferences are held each semester. Other Parent-Teacher conferences are encouraged and may be requested when necessary. Parents or teachers requesting a conference should send a note stating the date and time of the conference request. The teacher or parent will verify the conference time and date by a note or phone call. The school’s counselor (Mrs. Rhonda Cross) can also be contacted to hold conferences. Conference times are immediately before or after school or during the teacher’s planning time. Administrators are also available for conferences upon request.

Parent-Teacher Organization: The Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meets four times a year. The PTO’s educational events, fundraisers, and special projects directly benefit the students, teachers, parents, and the community. The PTO officers have many new activities and events planned this year and will need you to volunteer for these special events.