This handbook is intended to answer questions and provide information that may be helpful to you and your child. Topics are in alphabetical order. Please feel welcome to telephone the school if you have any concerns or questions not addressed in this handbook.
Absences and Tardiness/Safety Check
Good attendance is essential for student achievement and overall school success. The district has a formal policy regarding student attendance based upon Michigan law.
Please make sure that your child arrives on time and is in attendance on a consistent basis.
In the event that your child will be absent or tardy to school, please contact the main office using the 24 hour Northwood Safety Check System:
1. Call (248) 541-0229 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (248) 541-0229 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, extension 1, anytime before 8:30am the day of the absence
2. After the recorded message and the beep, leave the following information:
- Student name
- Teacher name
- Reason for absence
- Anticipated length of absence
- Your child’s lunch order for the day of return
If you should forget to make this important call, the main office will call you. Please do not feel that telling the child’s teacher of the absence is adequate.
The main office must know of the child’s absence from school. The Safety Check program is for your child’s safety and your peace of mind. If you cannot be contacted, calls will be made to the persons listed on the Emergency Information Card that is kept on file in the main office.
For safety reasons, please send children to school as close to the bell time as possible. Please drop children off no earlier that 8:20, and pick them up promptly at the end of the school day.
If your child must be excused early from school during the school day, please come to the main office to sign the child out. The main office will call for your child from the classroom. If the absence is pre-arranged, it is also helpful to call the Safety Check
line the day of the requested early pick-up. If someone other than the parent/guardian will be picking up the child, please make sure this person’s name is listed on the Emergency contact form kept in the main office, and provide written permission for the child
to be released. Picture ID may be required before the child is called from the classroom.
Make-up Work during Absence
Students may obtain any missed work due to an absence upon their return to school. In the cases of extended illness, when it is appropriate, arrangements may be made with the teacher to obtain work prior to the child’s return to school. Teachers will need adequate time to prepare the work and have it available in the main office for pick-up. Taking students out of school for reasons that are not medically related or due to family emergencies is discouraged. It is not possible for teachers to substitute assignments for the classroom instruction they provide. Please understand that in these instances missed work will be available for pick up upon the child’s return to school.
Animals are not allowed in the school at any time.
4th and 5th grade students may ride their bikes to school with written parent permission and in observance of established safety guidelines.
Written permission must be on file in the main office. The bike must be parked and locked in the bike rack. Students must wear a helmet.
The bike must be walked while on school property. Bicycles are ridden to school and left in the bike rack at the owner’s risk.
Skateboards, inline skates and scooters are not allowed on school property.
BOOKS AND SUPPLIES
Books and some materials are supplied to the students. In some instances, teachers may make special requests for supplies to be used by your child in the classroom.
Supply lists may be sent home in the early part of the school year. Please be sure to label your child’s belongings, gym shoes, backpack, clothing items and any other personal items with his/her name.
All books and workbooks are loaned by the school district to the students free of charge.
However, students are responsible for lost or damaged textbooks or media center books and are expected to reimburse the school district.
Conferences may be arranged with your child’s teacher. Teachers may be contacted by phone, prior to the start of the school day, or by email (last name & first initial @royaloakschools.com).
The goal of any conference is the achievement of a better understanding of the child & his/her learning.
Parent involvement is crucial to success at school. Scheduled dates for parent-teacher conferences will be announced at the beginning of the school year, in the school calendar, in the Northwood Notes and the online school calendar (www.royaloakschools.com).
Parent/guardians may request additional conferences at any time. Conferences should be informal, pleasant, and constructive.
If further questions remain regarding your child’s progress in school after a meeting with the teacher, conferences may be set up between the principal and/or school support personnel.
Contact the school office to make these appointments.
This fall event provides an opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teacher to discuss the goals and objectives of the academic year.
Individual conferences are not held on Curriculum Night, nor are children present for this evening. A copy of the Elementary Curriculum for the School District is available in the school office and online at
The Northwood Elementary daily schedule is:
8:55 – first bell; doors open; students admitted to building
9:00 – second bell; morning session begins
12:00 – morning session ends; lunch begins
12:55 – first bell; students (re) admitted to building
– second bell; afternoon session begins
4:00 – afternoon dismissal
Children should not arrive at school prior to 8:40 a.m. or 12:55 p.m. Your child cannot adequately be supervised before this time.
The administration, faculty, and the PTA believe that student dress affects student attitudes toward learning.
Parents are asked to help students distinguish between school clothes and play clothes. Especially in hot weather, it is tempting for students to dress very casually.
Short shorts, spandex shorts, tank tops, bare midriffs are not appropriate. T-shirts with inappropriate messages are strongly discouraged for school dress at any time.
Tennis shoes or other closed toe shoe is recommended, as injury to feet is less likely. Clothing appropriate for school is expected, as well as outerwear suitable for the weather.
On very rare occasions it may be necessary to dismiss school early. At the beginning of the school year you will be asked to complete a form providing the school with emergency release information.
It is very important that you identify someone who is available and living nearby to pick up your child in the event of an early dismissal from school.
Field trips are an extension of the instructional program and it is expected that children will participate.
A field trip involves leaving the school, and written permission is required from the parent/guardian of every child.
Transportation may be by school bus or private car driven by parent chaperones. Parent chaperones may not bring any siblings on field trips, use their cell phones (unless for an emergency), or smoke while on the field trip.
Parent chaperones must submit required paperwork to the main office one week prior to the date of the trip, including copy of driver’s license and proof of insurance.
Alternate educational experiences will be provided for students who do not participate in field trip experiences.
Please look for announcements and other school information to come home with students each Friday.
The Northwood Notes, our school newsletter, is published most Fridays and sent home with all students.
The Board of Education recognizes homework as an essential part of the student’s learning process that is initiated in the school setting.
The assignment of homework to students by their teachers is expected and deemed to be an appropriate step toward achievement of instructional objectives.
Assigned homework activities should be clearly defined and should reinforce important skills and knowledge being developed in the classroom.
The nature, quality and frequency of homework may vary from level to level and from subject to subject.
Homework requires cooperation and understanding between home and school. The Board of Education expects communication from the teacher or instructor to students and parents regarding homework practices, expectations, and consequences.
It is the responsibility of parents and students to budget time for completion of homework assignments and the responsibility of teachers to evaluate and return completed work.
Communication with the student’s home shall occur if persistent problems with homework exist.
LOST AND FOUND
The Northwood Lost & Found is located in the hallway at the bottom of the ramp.
Labeling your child’s jackets, boots, gym shoes, hats, gloves, lunch box, backpack or other personal belongings makes it easier to return if lost.
Lost eyeglasses and keys are usually turned in to the main office. After a reasonable amount of time, unclaimed items in the Lost & Found are donated to a charitable
Look in the Northwood News for announcements about Lost & Found donations.
The supervised lunch period at Northwood begins the first full day of school. The classroom teacher takes lunch orders one day in advance.
If a child is absent, and a lunch choice for the following day is not left on the Safety Check line, it will not always be possible to obtain the lunch of choice on the day the child returns to school.
Students are dismissed for lunch at 11:35 a.m. and are expected to be back in their classrooms for the afternoon school session by 12:30 p.m.
Lunch options for Northwood students in grades 1-5 are:
- Bring a sack lunch to school. Milk is available for purchase. Please do not send carbonated beverages or beverages with red food dye (as it stains the tables).
- Purchase a hot lunch (free and reduced lunch applications are sent home with all students in September. Additional applications are available at the school office). Monthly menus are sent home with the Friday notes. The monthly menus indicate the cost of a hot lunch and the price of milk.
- Leave the building with a parent/guardian for lunch. Please make arrangements for this in the main office.
Students staying at school for lunch must remain at school for the entire lunch period.
Students leaving the building for lunch must schedule their return to school no earlier than 12:25.
They are not allowed to wait in the building entrance, nor are they allowed to go out onto the playground.
The following are rules for the lunch period:
- Appropriate language is expected at all times.
- Children must remain in defined areas of the playground and the lunchroom.
- Food will be handled properly, the eating area cleaned up and trash disposed of properly.
- Children will avoid causing physical or emotional harm to one another.
- Children are expected to respond appropriately to directions given by the lunch monitors.
- Children will enter & exit the cafeteria and the building in a safe and orderly fashion.
- All equipment that is taken outdoors will be returned to its proper place.
All students are expected to participate in scheduled outdoor recess daily unless a doctor’s note is supplied (or indoor recess is called).
The doctor’s note must specify the length of time that the child may not participate in outdoor recess. Please dress your child for the current weather conditions.
Rainy, extremely cold weather or excessively muddy playground conditions may prohibit children from being outdoors for recess. In these circumstances, students will remain indoors for recess.
Emergency Information Forms
Each student should have an up-to-date Emergency Information Form on file in the office. The form will be referred to in case of a medical emergency at the school.
It is the parent/guardian responsibility to update the phone numbers and medical information when necessary.
In consideration of your own child and others, please do not send a child who is ill to school. Attendance at school indicates that your child can participate in the full school program including recess and gym.
As a guideline, a child should not be sent to school if the child:
- has a temperature
- is vomiting or has diarrhea
- has green or yellow discharge from the nose
- has any contagious disease
The Oakland County Health Division makes recommendations involving uncomplicated cases of communicable diseases.
The recommendations are for use by school administration to exclude and re-admit children who are ill or are suspected of being ill.
Upon enrollment in school, a student must have a physical exam form signed by a licensed physician or his designee certifying that the student has been immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, rubella and mumps.
If your child requires medication during school hours, it will be dispensed by school personnel and only under the following conditions:
- There must be a Royal Oak Schools form on file entitled “Request for Dispensing Medication” signed by parent/guardian.
- An adult must bring the medications to school in the original pharmaceutical container. The container must be labeled with the following information:
- child’s name
- name of medication
- name of physician
- physician’s instructions for dosage and administration
- Medication may only be dispensed by school personnel.
If a child returns to school with a cast or following an illness that temporarily restricts activities, please bring a complete statement from the attending physician:
1. giving permission for the child to return to school
2. stating activity limits
Please advise the school of allergies or chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatic fever, etc., and supply definite instructions from the doctor for procedures in case of an emergency.
PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA)
The Northwood Elementary PTA is a member of the Royal Oak PTA Council, Michigan PTA and the National PTA. The PTA Board functions as an advisory council to the membership. Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month.
All parents/guardians are welcome to attend.
All PTA-sponsored activities are supported through money earned by fundraising efforts. All families are encouraged to join and become active participants in the Northwood PTA.
The PTA publishes the monthly PTA Northwood News, which is sent home on the first Friday of the month.
If you volunteer to bring food to a school party or event, please be aware of food allergies and food restrictions that may be present. See the teacher for specific guidelines. Please avoid peanuts and peanut products.
School photos are taken in early fall by a professional school photographer. Information is sent home regarding packages and pricing shortly after the school year begins. School yearbooks are often part of one of the paid photo packages.
Please check for this information as it comes home. Spring photo packages are also available. These packages are offered as a convenience to families.
Report cards are distributed four times each school year to all 1st – 5th grade students. Kindergarten students receive report cards twice per year. The cards are sent home with the students.
Parents/guardians must sign and return the envelope containing the report card to the student’s teacher. If there are any questions concerning a child’s progress, you are strongly encouraged to contact the child’s teacher for a conference.
Students will be evaluated on their grade level performance and applied work habits in each of the core curriculum subjects. Other subject areas are further evaluated based on specific skill development milestones taken from the Royal Oak School District and State Curriculum guidelines. Personal behavior and social development will also be commented upon.
SAFETY PATROL/SAFETY SQUAD
Safety patrol members help children cross the street at designated points surrounding the school. It is important that all children follow the directions of the safety patrol. Parents/guardians can help by constantly reminding their children to follow good pedestrian safety rules. If a problem develops because of a safety patrol member, please contact the school.
Fifth grade students are eligible to become safety patrol members. AAA and the Northwood PTA sponsor this program. Fourth grade students are eligible to become service squad members. These students assist with routine classroom procedures under the supervision of a classroom teacher. A Northwood staff member coordinates and supervises safety patrol and service squad volunteers.
Students who are members of the safety patrol, as well as 4th grade service squad students, are provided with a button to wear as identification. All safety patrol and service squad students are required to wear their buttons while “on-duty.”
A Technology Use Agreement must be signed by parent/guardian and the student, and be on file in the main office for students to use the available technology. This Agreement is signed when a student enters Northwood and is kept on file until the student leaves Northwood.
VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL
Parent/Guardian Volunteers and Visitors
Northwood is fortunate to have many volunteers and visitors to our school. We welcome our many volunteers and visitors. All visitors to the building must sign in with the main office and be provided with visitor’s pass, which is to be displayed at all times while in the building. The pass is to be returned to the office when the visitor signs out. All visitors must enter and exit the building using the parking lot doors.
Please contact the PTA Volunteer Coordinator for information about volunteering opportunities at Northwood. You may also contact your child’s teacher for information as well. Royal Oak School District policy states appreciation for school volunteers, but does expect that all volunteers working within the school are here to support the educational environment.
Students from other schools are not allowed to visit Northwood during the school day.