August 3, 2015

School Policies and Procedures    

School Policies and Procedures

  Download Topa Topa School Policies and Procedures Handbook

Policies and Procedures

Mission Statement

The Topa Topa Mission is to challenge the hearts and minds of our students to:

  • Study the California Common Core State Standards with high expectations for achievement
  • Improve our Community
  • Celebrate and Understand Similarities and Differences in People
  • Realize their Full Potential to Become Good Citizens
  • Explore Technology and Use it Effectively
  • Study and Appreciate the Arts Including Music, Dance, and Drama
Topa Topa Staff 2013-2014
Title/Grade Name Room #
Principal Sherrill Knox Office
Office Manager Kathy Alstot Office
Secretary Michelle Fitzgerald Office
Kindergarten Heather Myers K1
Kindergarten Falcon’s Nest K2
Kindergarten Angie Genasci K3
First/K Tracy Oakland 9
First Amy Bujold 2
Second Elaine Reasor/Karin Dingman 7
Second Alex Mejia 11
Third Jennifer Hankins/Carolyn Burke 3
Third Tracey Anderson 15
Third/4 Petra Battleson 14
Fourth/5 Andrea Beguelin/Burke 21
Fourth Tiffany Turse/Tina Mahler 24
Fifth/Sixth Brenda Hill 4
Fifth Janine Comrack 28
Fifth Caroline Stubbs 27
Sixth Sarah Ferranti/Lindsay Haley 23
Sixth Chris Ando 22
Special Day Class Rebecca Kirkland 18/19
RSP Rosario Lotts 12
RSP Susan Dvortcsak 26
Speech Cathy Zacher 5
Library/Lab Suzanne Olson 16/17
School Psychologist Heather Malone D
ELL Teacher Ann Gard 20
Music Teacher Don Orser Band Room
Intervention Teacher Kelley Mays/Lindsay Haley 8
Intervention Teacher Karin Dingman/Holly McArthur 25
PE Teacher Alex Perez Playground
Custodians Hayden White, Kevin Dunn  
Bilingual Aides Mary Banuet, Barbara Caballero, Alex Perez  
Instructional Aides Romelia Leonard, Kim Catlett, Dora Livingston  
Special Ed. Aides Tim Austin, Candace Hull, Shonna Lewis, Judy Meisinger, Jennifer Moore, Maribel Robles, Laura Young  
Noon Duty Staff Ashley Brown, Marcie Carnine, Elizabeth Crowder, Romelia Leonard, Olina Mayberry, Patricia Cruz  
Nutrition Services Lillian Sheets, Donna Barraza  

School Day

Being on time for school helps your child to be successful at school.  Please allow enough time for students to get to school on time.

First bell - 8:10 a.m. Children line up

8:15 School begins

Kindergarten:  8:15-1:15 (Early-birds) and 9:15-2:15 (Late-birds)

Grades 1-6: 8:15-2:45

Wednesday schedule:  8:15-12:45 all students

Every Wednesday is a short day.  The extra time allows for meetings with staff, planning time, and more frequent parent conferences.           

Other early dismissal dates and times are listed on the calendar, in monthly bulletins from the school office, and teacher newsletters.  Look for special notices at the end of each month or a couple of days before special events and on the bulletin board in front of the school between rooms 2 and 3.

Children are not supervised on the school grounds until 7:45 a.m.  Please do not drop children off any earlier as there will be no adult supervision and it is not safe for them to wait in front of the school alone until supervision begins.  Children are expected to leave the school grounds as soon after dismissal as possible unless requested to stay by the classroom teacher or unless they are attending after school classes.

Students should arrive at school no later than 8:10, when the warning bell rings.  Punctuality is very important.  Teachers begin explaining the organization of the day first thing in the morning and it creates a significant handicap for children who miss this time (especially if they miss it on a regular basis.)  If your child is tardy, please remind them to check in at the office.


Each day of attendance is essential to a child’s educational growth so please help assure that your children are in school as much as possible.  Children should not be sent to school, however, when ill.  We ask that parents notify the school giving the specific reason for their child’s absence.  This can be done by calling the school office at 640-4366 extension 1560.  Your help in this matter saves the school hours and hours of secretarial time, as the law requires that we clear all absences with a parent contact.

Children who become ill at school will be sent to the office and parents will be notified.  It is important that your child’s emergency card be up to date and include other contacts such as friends and relatives, in case the parent is unavailable.  When you move, change your phone number, or contacts, please remember to notify the office of your new numbers.  If a child is injured at school, we will contact all numbers on the emergency card until we find someone to assist in treating the child.  If no contacts can be reached, and if the child needs medical attention, Mr. LeSuer will call 911.

If a child is going to be out of school for reasons other than illness, please notify the office or your child’s teacher in advance so that an Independent Study Contract can be prepared.  It is important that all of the assignments on the contract are completed upon the child’s return to school.  Credit cannot be given for partially completed contracts.

LUNCH SCHEDULE (regular day)

Group 1Grade K, 1, 2 and 3

Group 2Grades 4 and 5

Group 3Grade 6

RECESS SCHEDULE (regular day)

GRADES K, 1, 2 and 3

GRADES 4 and 5


LUNCH SCHEDULE (short day)

Group 1: Grade K, 1, 2 and 3

Group 2: Grades 4 and 5

Group 3: Grade 6


GRADE K, 1, 2 and 3

GRADES 4 and 5




All children will have some homework.  Each grade level has worked out a system for assigning and collecting homework that will be fully explained in letters home and at Back to School Night.  Homework may be drill and practice to reinforce a concept being taught, an extension of a lesson, or a discovery assignment.  Most classrooms require Reading as part of the homework assignment.  Parents should help the child in accepting responsibility for completing the homework and doing it well.  Some subjects or longer assignments require budgeting of time over a period of a week or more.  We really appreciate your help in monitoring your child’s progress. Failure to complete homework assignments will result in deficits in your child’s education and create poor work habits.

If your child is absent and you would like to pick up homework, we would be happy to accommodate you.  Just call the office in the morning and we will have it ready for pick-up by the end of school.


A formal scheduled parent-teacher conference will be scheduled for mid-November at which time parents and teachers will set goals for the year.  Report cards will be sent home each trimester with the student.  See the calendar for exact dates.

You may have a conference more frequently as necessary to ensure the success of your child.  Please call to set up an appointment with the teacher to schedule conferences as needed. 

Please Join the PTA and Support Our Schools

Our PTA is very active and wants to hear from you!  We encourage and enjoy volunteer help at our school.  Topa Topa has enormous parent participation and support.  Parents are one of the main reasons we were selected as a Distinguished School.  We have jobs and activities for everyone.  Please ask how you can help.  By being a volunteer in whatever capacity you can, you are sending your children the powerful message that school is important to you too!


There will be an awards assembly once a month on the first Friday after lunch.  If your child is receiving an award, you will be called by your child’s classroom teacher.  Parents are always welcome at assemblies, so if you have time, stop by and enjoy the celebrations.

Parent Visits

After the first three weeks of school, parents or guardians are encouraged to visit school and acquaint themselves with our teachers and the curriculum.   You are welcome to visit your child’s classroom.  For our children’s safety, please sign into the office anytime you visit the school and pick up a visitor’s badge.

Student Behavior and Discipline

In order to maintain a safe campus environment and classroom climate conducive to learning, each student is expected to obey all school rules and regulations as well as the laws of the community.

Under no circumstances will conduct be allowed that is considered to be potentially hazardous to others including acts of violence, bullying or harassment, fighting, destruction of school property, and/or theft or persistent violation of school rules which interfere with the educational program.  Immediate steps will be taken to appropriately discipline any student involved in such behavior.  Persistent problems will result in a Pink Slip, which is a referral to the principal.  Students who assault another child, harass others, or threaten another student may be subject to suspension.


  1. Students shall demonstrate respect for all adults, teachers and supervisors and accept responsibility for their actions.
  2. Students shall not physically or verbally abuse other students.
  3. Students shall use the playground equipment safely and as instructed.
  4. Students shall not run in the corridors.
  5. Students shall obey all bell signals.
  6. Students shall wait for the bus in the appropriate area.  Bus rules must be obeyed.
  7. No playing in bathrooms or other areas of the school where there is no immediate adult supervision.
  8. Children in Kindergarten through fourth grades may not bring toys or personal electronic items to school.  Children in fifth and sixth grades may bring small toys such as balls, yo-yo’s, etc. as long as they do not cause disorder.
  9. Children shall not insult or hurt another’s feelings purposefully.  This includes harassment that is verbal, written, or physical.  All children will be expected to follow the school’s bullying prevention rules.
  10. Profanity is not allowed and will result in a Pink Slip if a warning does not stop the behavior.
  11. Cell phones are not to be used during the regular school day activities and should not interrupt the teacher’s instructional time. 

Guests on Campus

Parents or other adults who come on campus for any reason should check in at the office and pick up a visitor badge for identification purposes.  In order to release a child during the school day, parents or guardians will need to check in at the office and sign a log stating that they are taking the child and for what purpose they are leaving.  For release of a student to anyone other than a parent or guardian, the school must be notified in writing or the adult’s name must be on the emergency card.  Lunches, lunch money, or other items that you need to bring during the school day may be left in the office so that the class is not disturbed.

Money at School

Students are encouraged to bring money only for the purchase of milk, lunch, snack, and those items that may be sold at authorized school activities.  Children bringing money to school should keep it in their possession at all times unless the teacher directs them otherwise.  Money should never be left on or in the student’s desk.

Phone Use by Students

Use of the school phone by students is discouraged except for emergencies or when directed by the teacher.  There are phones in all classrooms but please don’t use them to make arrangements for after school plans or on a regular basis.  Phones that ring in the classroom disrupt instruction.


When medication needs to be given to a student during school hours, the procedure shall be:

  1. Parents will write a note stating the procedure and times for administering the medication.
  2. The physician prescribing the medication must fill out a Medication Authorization form that is available in the school office.
  3. The parent must assume the responsibility for seeing that medication is brought to school.  The label on the container must clearly identify the medication, the schedule, the physician, and the pharmacist.
  4. The daily medication shall be delivered to the office by the student or parent upon arrival at school.  Medication cannot be kept in the classroom.

The school is not authorized to give medication of any kind to students without the above procedures in place.

Physical Education

Physical education is considered a class and grades are assigned.  Everyone is expected to participate.  Suggested clothing includes athletic shoes, and loose-fitting clothes which permit physical activity.  Weather permitting, shorts or pants are a good choice.

If your child has been sick and needs to be excused from P.E., send a signed note to school with the student's name, name of the illness or injury, and dates for which he is to be excused from class. 

Grades are assigned on the basis of attendance, attitude (sportsmanship), effort and participation.  The goal of the Topa Topa PE program is that children should have fun while participating in healthy activities. The curriculum that provides the core of the program is called SPARKS.  This is an active, comprehensive program that teaches the skills necessary for children to develop strong, healthy bodies.  The SPARKS program is aligned with the California PE standards for elementary students. 


Students should continually be reminded of proper bicycle use and safety to and from school.  Bikes are to be parked and locked in the racks located on the school grounds upon arrival at school.  All students must wear helmets and are subject to ticketing if they are not worn. ROLLERBLADES OR ROLLER SKATES ARE NOT ALLOWED on the school’s grounds.  Skateboards and scooters if used must be locked in the bike area.  Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Student Dress Code

The Topa Topa staff and I have a strong belief that elementary school should be a time when children look, act, and dress like children.  Therefore, we ask that students not expose any underwear (including straps), cover their midriffs, and not wear any clothing with inappropriate logos, including references to alcohol, or ethnic origin.  Students who are not dressed appropriately will be asked to call home for a change of clothing.   Clothing and footwear need to be appropriate for inclusion in physical education and recess activities.  Sandals, flip-flops, and high heels are not considered appropriate for these activities.  Sandals and thongs are also not good for school because our field and grass areas frequently attract bees and only shoes will adequately protect children’s feet.  Students wearing sandals will be reminded that they are not a good choice for school.  If the problem becomes a hindrance to your child’s school day or prohibits them from participating, the teacher may call home and ask for your help in correcting the problem.

School Bus Rules

  1. Bus Driver is in charge while you are on the bus.
  2. Arrive 5 minutes before the bus is due at your stop.  While waiting for the bus, don’t stand in the street or road.  Be in good order while waiting.
  3. Don’t lunge for the bus.  Wait for the bus to stop and the door to open.
  4. Take the seat assigned you by the driver.  Feet out of the aisle.  No tripping.  Keep your seat while the bus is moving.  Don’t hang out the window.  Keep your body entirely inside the bus.
  5. Do not throw anything inside the bus or out the window.
  6. Noise - Keep the level of conversation down.  No yelling.
  7. No fighting or scuffling.
  8. No eating or drinking on the bus.
  9. Animals are forbidden on the bus.
  10. Do not push or crowd while getting on or off the bus.
  11. No profanity or obscene gestures and behavior.
  12. No vandalism or destruction of bus.
  13. No spitting on the bus.
School Bus Tickets
A ticket may be issued to any student who does not follow the bus rules listed above.  When the first ticket of the year is issued to a student, he/she must have a parent or guardian sign the ticket and return it to the driver before he/she is allowed on the bus the following day.  If the same student receives a second ticket, he/she is prohibited from riding the bus for five school days.  A third ticket issued to the same student will result in the child losing the privilege of riding the bus for the rest of the school year.

Lunch and Recess

Topa Topa students have the option of buying a school lunch or milk.  The price of a school lunch is $2.50 and includes milk; milk alone is $.50.  Applications for free or reduced lunch are available in the office.  Please return the application to the office at school or the district office if you need this provision.  Students on a reduced lunch program will pay just $.40 for a school lunch. 

During recesses, an adult supervisor will be present to help with recreational games and sports.  All children are encouraged to participate in these activities.  There are four additional adult supervisors present during lunch moving about throughout the lunch tables, playground, and hallways during this time while students are not in class.

After School

Topa Topa does not maintain after school supervision of students.  Students on campus after school dismissal should be limited to those with parents who are actively supervising their playground activities or those enrolled in a specific after school activity.   For safety reasons, unsupervised students who are still on campus after dismissal should come directly to the school office to confirm or arrange immediate ride arrangements. 

Students at Topa Topa can use the office phone for health problems and transportation emergencies only.   

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