Handbook

2017-2018 MBE Student and Family Handbook

ROUTINES

Pre-kindergarten:
Begins at 8:15 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m. Students using specialized transportation will be escorted to and from vans by a paraprofessional. All other PK students and guardians enter and exit through the front doors of the school.

Early-kindergarten – Grade 4:
Begins at 8:35 a.m. and ends at 3:17 p.m.
Below are specific arrival and dismissal routines that apply to all students EK – 4.

Arrival: The school day officially starts at 8:40 a.m. Classrooms open at 8:35 a.m. so teachers are able to greet students individually as they arrive.

By Car
If you drive your child to school, arrival is at 8:30 a.m. at the front of the building.  Your child may independently walk to his or her neighborhood.

By Bus or Van
Buses and Vans pull into the north parking lot. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., children enter the building and join classmates in grade level neighborhoods.

Classroom routines begin at 8:40 a.m. Students arriving after 8:40 a.m must sign in at the front office with an adult.

Bus Dismissal: Teachers will walk children to the buses at 3:18 p.m. and help students line up in their appropriate lines to board. Buses generally leave Muddy Brook by 3:25 p.m. Bus changes are authorized through the Massini Bus Company. To reach the bus company call 413-229-7962 or email massinibus1@verizon.net. After getting authorization from Massini for a bus change, you must contact our front office by either calling Christine Kelly (413-644-2350) or sending a note with your child in the morning. You may use a change-of-dismissal form available on our website or get this form directly from our front office staff (email Christine.Kelly@bhrsd.org).

Walker Dismissal: This year children picked up by car will be dismissed to the gym at 3:17 p.m. Anyone picking up before this dismissal time must sign out in the office. Early dismissals are recorded in a student’s attendance record, so please be aware of our protocol on this topic (see our handbook). When parents pick up this year they may either pick up in the front hall or do a valet pick up in the front circle. During our first days of school staff members will be outside helping to direct traffic starting at 3:10 p.m. Students will be dismissed as their ride drives up to the front of the building.

Please note that any changes in dismissal require communication with the front office. Please do not email your child’s teacher about end of day routine changes. Teachers are focused on students and we cannot guarantee they will read email before the end of the day.

Early Morning Drop off at 8:00 a.m.
We offer early morning drop off each day that school is in session. This program takes place in the library. Parents/Guardians sign in as they come into the building. Adults may walk their children to the library, or children can walk on their own. Unicycle Team and Ukulele club will begin within a few weeks.

Chess Club
Chess club meets every Monday and Wednesday at 8:00 starting the first day of school. Dr. Gene Kalish, leader and teacher of our chess club, invites children and their parents/caregivers to come every Monday and Wednesday at 8:00. During the first weeks, Dr. Kalish will give particular attention to children who have never played chess. There will also be boards available for children who know the game and want to independently play during this time.

Before School Together Time in our Community Room
Our community room also opens at 8:00 a.m. Parents and children headed to the community room sign in as they enter the building and are welcome to spend time together in the community room before school. Students walk to their classroom area neighborhoods at 8:30 a.m. to begin their school day. Parents and guardians may walk students to the neighborhoods, or they are welcome to stay in the community room until 9:00 a.m. After 9:00 a.m., the community room is used by students and teachers for instruction. With the support of our PTO, and with your great suggestions, we will make the community room increasingly more inviting and comfortable over the course of this year.

Visiting and Volunteering: Volunteers help make Muddy Brook a wonderful place to learn, grow and experience what it is to be part of a thriving and caring community. We welcome volunteers for short and long term projects. All visitors and volunteers check in at the office, sign in, and wear a pass while in the building.  If you would like to volunteer please speak directly to your child’s classroom teacher to coordinate schedules. Then connect with Christine Kelly in the front office to complete paperwork for mandated background checks.

School Supplies: School supplies such as pencils, scissors, crayons, paper, glue, and rulers are provided by the school. Please check with your child’s classroom teacher about possible needs if you are interested in donating supplies for special projects.

Daily Snack: Please send your child to school each day with a healthy snack. Please do not send candy or soda, and please respect classroom-specific guidelines where we are caring for students with food allergies.

Breakfast & Lunch: School breakfast costs $1.25. School lunch (including milk) costs $2.25. Students may purchase milk only for 50 cents. If you think you may qualify for free or reduced lunch, but have not received an email certifying this, please pick up an application from Christine Kelly in our main office (christine.kelly@bhrsd.org). We will be happy to assist you with filling out the application if that would be helpful.

Allergies: The cafeteria has a peanut-free table. We will be asking children not to sit at this table if they have a lunch containing any nut products. Our goal is to have a safe, inclusive environment for all students with allergies.

Student Belongings: Please take a few moments to label your child’s belongings. It is helpful to label backpacks, coats, lunchboxes, and even shoes. The Lost & Found is located in the cafeteria.

Footwear: Sneakers are the preferred footwear and are necessary on gym days. Please avoid flip flops, clogs, and shoes with high heels. We value children moving freely and participating in active play. When purchasing sneakers please select a variety with non-marking soles.

Birthdays/Celebrations: Student birthdays and celebrations are an important part of our life at Muddy Brook. However, in line with our district wellness policy, we ask that you refrain from sending in cupcakes or other birthday treats. We will find other ways to celebrate. Thank you for your support with this.

Toys/electronic games: Toys, cell phones and hand-held electronic games from home are not allowed during the learning day at Muddy Brook. There are special occasions and some other flexibility, but the general rule is to please leave toys at home.

School Calendar: Please make sure to reference the school calendar for upcoming professional-development days for staff. The calendar is available on the last page of the Student & Family Handbook. The first half days (12:00 p.m. dismissal) are September 15th and October 27th. Our school website calendar is updated regularly.

Open House: Our annual Open House is from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27th. This year we will also hold a Principal’s Coffee at 4:30 p.m. before the Open House.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Our annual fall Parent-Teacher Conferences will be October 26th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. and October 27th from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Your classroom teacher will invite you to sign up for a specific time to discuss learning goals for the year.

Finally, as you prepare for school in the next days, think about your morning  routines and preparing your child(ren) for a wonderful day. Do talk with your child(ren) about your own experiences in school, making friends, and learning about a new teacher.  Encourage her/him to ask questions and know that there will be times when she/he is uncertain or processing new information. Try to schedule outdoor activity every day and also plenty of sleep. The first weeks of school can be especially tiring for students as they assimilate new routines and relationships. Good sleep, exercise, and time together at home to talk about the new routines will help all of us get off to a great start.