Ben Lomond Elementary School 621 E. Covina Blvd. Covina, CA Phone: (626) Fax: (626)

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1 Ben Lomond Elementary School 621 E. Covina Blvd. Covina, CA Phone: (626) Fax: (626) August 9, 2016 Dear Families, We hope that you had a pleasant and relaxing summer. Welcome to the school year! The Ben Lomond Elementary School staff takes pride in being a student-centered team. Our commitment to excellence is evident in the high quality education that we provide your children. We are looking forward to working with you and your children this year. It is a privilege to be able to serve as Ben Lomond Elementary School s principal, and I look forward to working collaboratively with you and with all of the members of our staff to inspire our children to excel socially, emotionally, and academically during the school year. I am excited about working with you and your children this year. I always make myself available for parents, staff members, and students. With your collaboration, support, and strong partnership, we will build a brighter future for every student at Ben Lomond during this new school year. I am delighted to inform you about the work that was done over the summer to continue to enhance and renovate our facilities. Our school office was painted, two glass doors were installed, and new carpet was installed throughout the office building. New carpet was installed in room 14-19, and the cafeteria has a new floor. Fences and gates throughout the school will be installed at some point this year. All of these upgrades will support our efforts to provide our students with an environment that is conducive to learning. Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Brannum who has accepted a middle school teaching position near her home. Mrs. VanHemelryck, one of our school helpers, has also accepted a full time job with a company, and we congratulate her for this wonderful opportunity. We welcome Ms. Arellano, our new upper grade teacher, to our team. It is with great pleasure that we also welcome Ms. Cruz, our new school helper, to our team who is coming from Workman Elementary School. In addition to the supervision playground aides that are currently part of our team, please give a warm welcome to Ms. Bosworth and Ms. Hines. Mrs. Dinson will be the long term substitute teacher for Ms. Castor, who will be teaching fourth grade, until Ms. Castor resumes her teaching responsibilities in October. Classroom Assignments In order to continue ensuring the safety of all students, classroom assignments with students names on them will not be posted publically at any school within the Covina-Unified School District. Your child s classroom assignment is printed on the label below for your convenience. Adults will be available to help your children find their classrooms on the first day of school if you are unable to accompany them. Classroom assignments are tentative due to enrollment fluctuations beyond the school s control. Each year some students must be reassigned to new classrooms the first weeks of school to help balance all the class sizes. 1

2 In an effort to be helpful to you, here is some basic information as you prepare for the start of the new school year which is Monday, August 22, 2016 at 8:15 a.m. for all students. Students need to be in line daily by 8:10 a.m. Students will be marked tardy if they are not in their seats by 8:15 a.m. The cafeteria begins to serve breakfast at 7:30 a.m. for students who eat their breakfast at school. Students in grades TK/K will go to school from 8:15 a.m. -1:00 p.m., and students in grades 1-5 will go to school from 8:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m. All students will be dismissed at 12:00 p.m. on the following days: 8/26, 8/30, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/11, 10/25, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29, 12/6, 12/20, 12/23, 1/10, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/28, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21, 3/24, 3/28, 4/11, 4/25, 5/2, 5/16, 5/30, 6/6, & 6/8. All students will be able to eat a free sack lunch on minimum days if parents order one for their child. There will be more information going home regarding this free sack lunch on the first week of school. Please make sure that your children arrive to school on time because every minute that they spend in the classroom makes a positive difference in their overall academic achievement. Parents are welcome to take their children to their line number on the playground only on their first day of school on August 22 nd. There will be My First Day of Grade posters in front of the school if you wish to take a picture of your child on the first day of school. The signs will be up by 7:30 a.m. Regular Weekly Schedule Transitional Kindergarten/ All Students 8:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Kindergarten Grades 1-5 All Students 8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Music class for grades 4-5 on Mondays and Thursdays Physical Education Classes on Wednesdays Supervision Except for students who eat breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m., supervision is provided each morning from 8:00 a.m. until school begins. Please do not allow your child to arrive at Ben Lomond early since adequate supervision is not available. Afternoon supervision is provided from dismissal until 2:35 p.m. each afternoon. I am pleased to inform you that we will have both Kid s Korner Extended Day Care and Think Together at Ben Lomond this year. Kid s Korner offers extended day care for students in grades TK-5 in room 14 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for a fee. Kid s Korner is also available for free or for a reduced cost. The cost for after school child care on Tuesdays for Kids Korner if your family does not meet the requirements for free or reduced cost in August is $52.00, from September-May $78.00, and in June $ Think Together is an extended day enrichment program that is free and takes place from 2:30 p.m. - 6:00 and on minimum days from 12:00p.m.-6:00 p.m. for students in grades 1-5 (limited spaces available for Kindergarten students (1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. or on minimum days from 12:00-6:00 p.m.). Students who are enrolled in Think Together and Kid s Korner will get a free supper daily if their parents would like them to eat after school. Applications for Think Together and Kid s Korner are available in our school s main office. 2

3 School Parking Lot Safety The first week of school is busy with high traffic. Please walk if you live nearby. If you do come by car, we need your utmost patience realizing that you may need to park on surrounding streets. Please drive slowly and with caution when driving on the school s driveway or on the surrounding streets. We want to keep all of our students safe. Ben Lomond s south parking lot has three lanes. The lane closet to the curb is for buses and childcare vans only. Please do not enter this lane at any time. The center lane is for drop-off or pick-up only and is the lane you should enter when dropping off or picking up your child. Please do not leave your vehicle unattended in this lane at any time. Parents of Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten parents will need to park their cars either on the school parking lot or on side streets in order to walk to pick up their child from the TK/K classroom. We are now asking parents of Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students to park their cars in a parking stall or on a side street because on most Tuesdays the entire school will be dismissed at 12:00 p.m. Once you have picked up your child, you may drive carefully into the left lane nearest the parking spaces and exit the parking lot. You may only turn right from the Ben Lomond parking lot onto Covina Boulevard. Please drive slowly in the parking lot at all times and watch carefully for students. The speed limit is 5 MPH. It is also extremely important that you follow the directions of staff members who on duty in the parking lot each morning and afternoon. They are there to help ensure student safety. Thank for your courtesy to our staff members, teachers, students, and to other drivers. School Uniforms Uniforms are required at all elementary schools in the Covina-Valley Unified School District, and we know that students will be proud to wear the Ben Lomond team uniforms. Blouses and shirts should have collars and may be white, red, or navy blue. They should not contain any logos or decorations. Pants, shorts, skirts, and jumpers may be navy blue or tan. Jeans may not be worn. Ben Lomond spirit wear may be worn at any time. Shoes should be closed-toe and must contain a strap across the heel. Tuesday is our school spirit day and students are encouraged to wear their Ben Lomond t-shirts. Also, Thursday is our Going to College Day, and students can wear the t-shirt or sweater of their favorite university to school. Tennis shoes are ideal footwear for school. In order to show support for the Ben Lomond community and team spirit, I encourage parents to support our uniform policy by not requesting a uniform waiver. Breakfast and Lunch Information Breakfast will be served each morning from 7:30-8:00 a.m. Cost for breakfast is $1.25 (25 cents reduced price). Cost for lunch is $2.50 (40 cents reduced price). Milk and juice can be purchased for 40 cents each. The Covina-Valley Unified School District Food Services Department will be sending home more information later in the summer regarding school meals. The cafeteria will serve pizza from Mike s Pizza three times this year. 3

4 Parent Involvement A positive and collaborative partnership with parents is a key to our students success. We encourage and welcome parent involvement. If you would like to volunteer at Ben Lomond, please contact the school at your convenience. Also, parents have the opportunity to serve on the School Site Council, to work on PTA projects, to help with other committees this year, to volunteer in the Library Media Center, and to volunteer in our classrooms. We believe that school-home partnerships are important, and we look forward to working with you this year. School Safe Policy Visitors, volunteers, and parents are welcome to visit Ben Lomond. In order to maintain a secure environment for all students, please check in at the main office by showing your Driver s License or California Identification card to members of the office staff and sign in the main office before entering the school grounds. Please wear the visitor s pass so that it is visible to school personnel at all times. Furthermore, when parents or emergency contacts pick students up from school prior to dismissal, please have a valid form of identification ready just in case the office staff does not know you. A student cannot be released to any adult who is not on the registration form or emergency contact information that was provided by the parent. School Supplies Information regarding grade-level wish lists for supply donations is included in this mailing for grades TK- 5. We understand that individual family situations do not always make this possible. Please know that donations of your time and your talents are appreciated as much as material items. Office Hours The school office will open on Monday, August 8, The school office hours are Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please call the school office staff or me at (626) Important Dates for Early Planning Please mark your calendar for our New School Year s Eve Celebration on Friday, August 19, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and our Back to School Night for parents on August 22, 2016 starting at 5:40 p.m. with the PTA and Title I meeting in the cafeteria and classroom presentations from 6:00-6:35 p.m. for parents in Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten and on August 25, 2016 starting at 5:30 p.m. with PTA and Title I meeting in the cafeteria and classroom presentations from 6:00-6:35 p.m. for parents of students in grades 1-3 and classroom presentations from 6:40-7:15 p.m. for parents of students in grades 4-5. Your attendance at Back to School Night is very important because you will hear 4

5 your children s teachers discuss their specific program and expectations. I look forward to seeing you at both of these events. For Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Parents Only Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten parents are invited to visit the kindergarten classroom on the first day of school, August 22 nd, from 8:15-8:35 a.m. There will be a Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten orientation meeting for parents and their children who will be new students at Ben Lomond on Friday, August 19th at 4:00 p.m. in the library media center that will be facilitated by the school principal and some of the Kindergarten teachers. This will be a good opportunity for the teachers and me to get to know you and your children better and to answer any questions that you may have about Ben Lomond Elementary School. Beginning on the second day of school, kindergarten students will enter the green kindergarten gate that leads to the kindergarten playground at 8:05 a.m. alone with the teacher who is supervising the kindergarten students. Students who eat breakfast at the lunch tables may come to school as early as 7:30 a.m. An adult school supervisor will walk kindergarten students who eat breakfast in the cafeteria to the green kindergarten gate once they have finished their breakfast. Kindergarten students do not bring backpacks to school. Please make arrangements so that your child is picked up on time at 1:00 p.m. Kindergarten students are dismissed from their classrooms. Teachers release students from the classrooms to parents or adults who are on the child s emergency contact information only. Please make sure that the contact information on the emergency card is current. This year parents of Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students will need to park their cars in a parking stall or park on a side street when they pick up their children at 1:00 p.m. I am looking forward to welcoming all parents and students back to school on August 22 nd. The first day of school is always a memorable day for every student, and the opening of this school year will be a special one as well. Thank you for your support and cooperation. Sincerely, Astrid Gonzalez Principal 5

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