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Elementary School
Mission: We will learn, serve, and achieve.
Vision: Every Day! Every One! Every Way!

Bulldog Staff Handbook
Principal: Mrs. Shaneeka Moore-Lawrence

Assistant Principal: TBD


Mission, Vision, Theme, PBIS Expectations

Welcome to Bethesda Elementary School. The Bethesda, faculty, staff, and

administration believe that all children can learn when given time and the
appropriate instruction. We believe that all children learn best through active
participation in a stimulating environment that builds upon the strengths and
needs of every student. We strive to continuously provide opportunities that
engage students in learning to help prepare them to become effective citizens.

Bethesda’s mission and vision provide direction both for our school as an
organization and the individuals within it. They serve to define our purpose
and provide a means by which we may fulfill that purpose. Together, they
represent a collective commitment by all members of our community to serve
our students in the most effective manner possible.

We will learn, serve, and achieve.

Every Day! Every One! Every Way!

2017-2018 THEME
Building our future, one student at a time

I Am Respectful!
I Am Responsible!
I Am Ready!
I Am A Bulldog Learner!

School Colors School Mascot

Blue and White Bulldog

All staff members should familiarize themselves with and abide by all federal,
state, Durham Public School, and Bethesda Elementary School policies.

Every accident and injury involving students, staff, or visitors in the school
building, on school grounds, or at any event sponsored by the school must be
reported immediately to the Principal, Bookkeeper, and Parent. The Student
Accident/Injury Report is now a google form and can be found at the following
Once reported, the Bookkeeper will give you the necessary forms that you need to
complete. These forms must be completed on the day of the accident or injury and
given to the Principal. Keep your eyes open for potential hazards around the
building and alert the office when necessary.


Mrs. Moore-Lawrence 919-358-6496 (work cell) 919-491-3630 (cell)
ext. 84345 (work)
Mr. Blue ext. 84305
Mr. Lockard ext. 84319


Morning announcements will be made between 7:50 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. When
necessary, afternoon announcements will be made between 2:10 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.
Students will participate in the delivery of the morning announcements by reciting
the 1) Pledge of Allegiance, 2) Bulldog Pledge, and 3) School Mission, Vision, and

Theme. Staff members wishing to have announcements made are to hand them to
the Family Community Specialist in written form prior to 7:30 a.m.


● Homeroom teachers should have an updated transportation list that
indicates how each student arrives to school (bus, car, before school care,
van) and how each student leaves school (bus, car, after school care, van).
● 7:15 a.m.
o Students are allowed to enter the building. Upon arrival, they are to
report to their homeroom classroom.
● 2:15 p.m.
o Students should be ready for dismissal. Please ensure that your room
is quiet so everyone can hear the afternoon announcements and
dismissal directions.
o Dismissal of DPS’s After School Care students and car riders
● 2:20 p.m.
o Bus riders and van riders are dismissed by front office staff via
● Inclement Weather Dismissal
o When we are using the inclement weather dismissal process, staff will
be notified over the intercom by the front office staff.

● On a regular basis, K-5 PLCs will create common assessments and utilize the
data to drive instruction.
● English Language Arts
o K-5 District Writing Assessments
o Case 21
● Mathematics
o K-5 District and State Mathematics Assessments
o Case 21
● End-of Grade Tests
o 3rd-5th ELA, Mathematics, Science (5th Only)


Your attendance and timeliness are vitally important for the success of our
● Staff members are expected to be at work on time.
● In advance, all preplanned leave forms should be submitted to the Principal
for review.
● As far in advance as possible, certified staff members should inform AESOP
of any leave that will require a substitute.
● If leave is unexpected due to illness or some other unforeseen circumstance,
a leave form must be submitted to the Principal on the day of your return to
● If you must schedule a medical or personal appointment during the school
day, you will be required to take leave for a half day or a whole day,
whichever is applicable.
● The following leave requests will likely not be approved….
o Leave requests for the day prior to or after a holiday
o Leave requests for the day prior to or after a workday
o Leave requests during major assessment windows (BOG, EOG, Mock
EOG, etc.)
● If an instructional support staff member (i.e. EC, AIG, ESL, Instructional
Assistant, etc.) will be absent, he/she must notify each teacher he/she
works with of the absence.
● Unless otherwise directed by the Principal, the workday begins at 7:00 a.m.
for all certified staff members. For certified staff, the workday ends when
you have completed preparation for the next day and attended all school-
related meetings/professional development sessions. However, certified
staff members should not leave campus prior to 3:00 p.m. For classified
staff, your workday begins at 7:00 and ends at 3:00 unless you have to
attend school-related meeting/professional development session.
● Throughout the school year, there are evening school events that staff
members are required to attend. You will receive a calendar of those events.
● All staff will sign in using the Time Card Computer System located in the
Main Office. Failure to sign in using these procedures can result in a loss of
pay for that particular day.
● Instructional Assistants will also keep a timesheet and need to return the
timesheet by the designated deadline provided by the Bookkeeper .

● The Principal will receive a daily printout of staff attendance. Tardy staff
members will receive written notification of tardies. Frequent tardiness will
be documented via a formal memorandum placed in the staff member’s
personnel file.
● Staff who receive more than five tardies per semester (August-December
and January-June) will receive a written reprimand that will be placed in your
personnel file. It is each staff member’s responsibility to monitor and keep
up with his/her own tardies. Letters placed in your personnel file will be
used for evaluation purposes and to make recommendations for continued
● Staff with excessive tardies or absences will be placed on a support plan
and/or monitored/directed PDP.
● Absences requests on the day prior to or right after a holiday are
discouraged and will be reviewed by the principal. Approval may not be
● Staff members are required to report to their designated morning and
afternoon duty stations by the time provided by administration.


DPS’s Before and After School care is open Monday-Friday, excluding holidays and
other designated dates. Before School Care operates from 6:45 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.
After School Care operates from 2:15 p.m. to 6:00 p. m. If you have questions
about this program, please contact the SAC Club Manager, at extension 84316.

7:15 a.m. Students begin arriving to class
7:45 a.m. Tardy Bell (Students must be in the classroom by 7:45 a.m.)
2:15 p.m. Dismissal begins


● At the beginning of the school year, each student will be given a “Boomerang

● Daily, “Boomerang Folders” should go home with pertinent information (PBIS
calendar, homework, reading log, monthly newsletters, monthly calendars,
parent communication, report cards, progress reports, notes, etc.)


Within each classroom, a content board should be displayed for 1) ELA, 2) Math, 3)
Science, and 4) Social Studies. The content board should include the following
related to the current standard(s) being taught: Content Vocabulary, Essential
Question, Learning Target, Graphic Organizers and other Visuals, and other items
as determined by the PLC and Administration.

An effective and established classroom management plan is necessary for a
classroom to be conducive to student learning. It is the teacher’s responsibility to
maintain a well-managed classroom. The following are Bethesda’s classroom
management guidelines.

● All teachers must have a classroom behavior management plan that must be
communicated to parents in the welcome letter and first newsletter. It
should be shared with students during the first weeks of school.
● The teacher’s classroom management plan must be “taught” to all the
students and must be posted in the classroom in a location that is clearly
● All teachers must follow the school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention
Support (PBIS) plan for student behavior and office referrals.
● Students are not to be sent to the office for misbehaving. If an
emergency arises, call the office and an administrator will come to your
classroom. If deemed necessary we will remove the student from the
● All discipline issues that result in an office referral shall be handled by
an administrator. All administrative discipline decisions are final.
● It is the teacher’s responsibility to handle minor discipline issues in the
● Establishing positive and respectful relationships with students is the key to
a well-managed classroom with minimal discipline issues.
● All parents should receive a copy of the teacher’s behavior management plan.

Steps to take before doing a discipline referral:
Items that are in BOLD are mandatory and should always take place FIRST. Please
ensure you have done each of these items you did before you fill out the referral
____ 1. Verbally redirect the student by having a private conversation with
the student to encourage them to get back on track and warn them
of the consequences that will take place if they do not start
____ 2. Utilize classroom behavior system and consequences.
____ 3. Make parent contact.
____ 4. Send the student to a buddy classroom for a break.
____ 5. Appropriate documentation via PBIS calendars, office referral, or PBIS

● All incidents should be logged on

Bulldog Bucks
This is part of our school wide behavior plan with PBIS. Bulldog Bucks are given to
students who meet PBIS expectations, exemplify one of the monthly character
traits, or set a good example for their peers. Students collect their Bulldog Bucks
and can then use them to buy items from the PBIS store.

Class Incentives
Class Incentives reward a class for doing a great job of modeling PBIS
expectations as a whole class. Classes can earn class incentives in a variety of
ways: walking respectfully in the hallway, doing a great job in specials, working hard
as a group in class, etc. Rewards will be determined by each individual teacher and
a class can vote on desired rewards. Additional suggestions include pajama day,
bring your favorite stuffed animal to school, have a dance party, etc.

At Bethesda Elementary, we make every attempt to teach students appropriate
behaviors. We believe that rewards should be logical and realistic. Teachers are the
primary decision makers and rewards can either be individual or whole class. We will

have quarterly award ceremonies to celebrate the academic and behavioral
successes of each student. We also have Positive Office Referrals. Staff members
are strongly encouraged to complete a Positive Office Referral for students who are
demonstrating PBIS expectation and setting a good example for others. Students
who receive a Positive Office Referral will receive a small prize and a shout out on
the morning or afternoon announcements.

There are times that a student may not respond to our positive behavior system or
may engage in behaviors that are seriously disruptive or dangerous. At these times,
there are consequences for negative behavior and a discipline referral should be

We believe:
● Consequences should be logical and realistic.
● Consequences should be proportional to the behavior.
● It is unacceptable to engage in misconduct that disrupts school or class
routines (i.e. setting fire alarm, bomb threats, fighting, using profanity
or obscenity, cheating, stealing, gambling, or extorting money or favors
from others, willfully defacing or damaging public school property or the
property of individuals at school).
● Only the principal or assistant principal have the authority to suspend
students from school.
● Suspensions - Suspensions shall be the responsibility of the principal and
assistant principal. Prior documentation will support any action. This
includes bus suspensions as well.

● Lunch: The efficiency of our lunchroom depends on strictly following the
schedule. Please do not alter the time schedule, as it will affect everyone. If
for some reason your class is not going to eat in the cafeteria (field trip,
reward, etc.) please notify the cafeteria manager in advance. Students
should be escorted to and from lunch by a staff member. Please do not leave
students unattended in the cafeteria.

● At least three weeks in advance, the cafeteria manager should be notified
via email if a class or grade level will not be eating in the cafeteria or if bag
lunches are needed. This prevents cafeteria purchases of food which will
not be needed.
● When bringing your class to lunch, please follow these steps:
1. Line your class up with lunch boxes in the front of the line, lunch choice 1
in the middle of the line, lunch choice 2 at the end of the line, etc. This
will help expedite the process.
2. Students should quietly enter and exit the cafeteria.
3. Classes will sit at their assigned tables. All students must sit with their
4. Prior to exiting the cafeteria, students should dump their trash and
excess liquids and quietly line up in the designated area.
5. Classroom helpers should wipe tables.


The Child Family Services Team (CFST) is led by the School Social Worker and
School Nurse. This team seeks to assist with exploring and addressing specific
students concerns related to academic performance, behavior, emotions, home
environment, and medical needs. The team will support the referring teacher by
coordinating meetings with the family and involved community agencies, if
applicable to assist with the development of strategies and interventions, to meet
the student’s needs. Teachers should promptly refer students who need additional
support. Referral forms can be obtained from the School Social Worker and
School Nurse.
● Bethesda has a full-time School Nurse who, as a member of the Child Family
Support Team (CFST), works with families, staff, and students to ensure
that students’ medical needs do not negatively impact their academic
o The School Nurse is able to assist staff with concerns related to
dental, vision, hearing, lice, rashes, burns, potential bone and muscle
injuries (fractures, sprains, tears, breaks, etc.), human growth and
development, hygiene, and other medical related items. In the
absence of the School Social Worker, suspected neglect or abuse can
be reported to her as well.
o At the beginning of the school year, each teacher will receive a first
aid kit that includes band-aids, gauze, cotton balls, thermometer,
thermometer covers. If you need additional supplies, please notify
the School Nurse. These in-class supplies ensure that teachers have
the supplies needed to address minor medical needs (cut, temperature
check, etc.).
o If you need a student to see the School Nurse, please dial the
appropriate extension or contact the Secretary at extension 84301.
If a child expresses that they are feeling ill, please contact the
child’s parent/guardian via your office phone. Leave a detailed
message if you reach a voicemail.
o Medication Policy: If it is necessary for medication to be
administered to a student, the parent/guardian must supply
prescription medication to the School Nurse and complete a “Request
for Medication to be Given During School Hours” from which requires
a doctor’s signature.
● Bethesda has a full-time School Social Worker who, as a member of the
Child Family Support Team (CFST), works with families, staff, and students
to ensure that students social, physical, emotional, and behavioral needs do
not negatively impact their academic progress.
o In addition, the School Social Worker is able to assist staff with
concerns related to suspicions of neglect or abuse.
o If you need a student to see the School Social Worker, please dial the
appropriate extension or contact the Secretary at extension 84301.


Durham Public Schools allows two celebrations per school year. Our celebrations
are in December and June. The teacher or administration may plan special snacks
(with an emphasis on healthy snacks) for other occasions. These are not parties.
Due to safety concerns, students should not bring glass containers to school. The
classroom teacher monitors daily snacks. Healthy snacks are recommended.

To help address guidelines outlined in the DPS Healthy and Active Lifestyle Policy,
birthday snacks will not be allowed at school. Birthday pencils, stickers, etc. may be
distributed, but must be coordinated with the classroom teacher. All foods that

are brought to school for classroom celebrations must be signed in at the main
office and must come packaged or from an inspected food establishment.


Each month, we will host a Character Education Breakfast. Each teacher will
nominate one student who best represents the character trait of the month,
submit that name to the Counselor by the designated date, and call the parent to
invite them to the breakfast.


● When staff members note that equipment or the building is damaged, either
by intention or accident, they shall communicate the damage to the
Secretary. It is the duty of staff members to supervise students so that
damage to the school building, furniture, equipment, or other school
property does not occur. The custodians’ jobs are to maintain a clean
building. Custodians will sweep, mop and dust classrooms. Staff and
students should ensure that their items are neatly organized and stored.
● Staff should close and lock all windows and doors when leaving for the day.
● Staff and students are responsible for the appearance of the building and
grounds. They work together to clean up after themselves in the classroom,
cafeteria, restroom, playground, and other areas in the building. If you need
a custodial or maintenance issue addressed in your classroom, please
complete a Maintenance Request.


As with any organization, communication is an important element for success.

● Daily, your email and mailbox should be checked once in the morning and once
before you leave in the afternoon. The mailboxes are located in the main
office. Please do not send students to pick up your mail, as the mailboxes
contain confidential information.
● Non-emergency phone messages will be sent to your voicemail. Please review
the voicemail instructions. Daily, you should check your voicemail via phone
or email.
● Weekly, the Principal will send a Staff Update via email with important
information and upcoming events. It is important that you carefully review
this information.
● Weekly, the Principal will send a Principal Spotlight via ConnectEd message
to families in English and Spanish. This message includes important
information and upcoming events that families should be aware of and this
message is also posted on Bethesda’s website.
● Periodically, the Principal will send a ConnectEd message to staff via phone
or a letter via U.S. Postal Mail. Please ensure that the Secretary and
Principal have your current phone number and mailing address.
● Please be sure to utilize positive communication techniques when
communicating with and about administration, colleagues, students, parents,
and community partners.


Staff members will communicate with each other in a respectful and professional
manner. Staff members are encouraged to handle disagreements amongst one
another by first attempting to resolve the matter directly with the staff member.
If a resolution cannot be reached and/or you are uncomfortable speaking with the
staff member, administration will be there for support. If a disagreement occurs,
it should not result in a verbal altercation in front of students, parents, or other


Parent communication should be consistent, positive, and ongoing.
● Throughout the year, staff will keep a log of all parent communication in the
Parent Communication Log on Google Docs. This includes, but not limited to

the logging of, face to face contact, phone calls (even if parent does not
answer), email, and text messages.
● The first Monday of each month, the grade level will send home a monthly
newsletter. These newsletters should contain information that informs
parents about what children are learning in all academic areas as well as any
other information that parents should know. Copies of all newsletters should
be sent in English and Spanish. In addition, prior to distribution, the
newsletter should be sent to the principal the last Monday of the previous
month for review and translation.
● A monthly calendar will be disseminated in English and Spanish to remind
parents of upcoming events. This calendar will go home the first Monday of
each month, along with the monthly grade level newsletter.
● Each night, teachers should send home a reading log for parents to sign.
● Within the first three weeks of school, the teacher will make a positive
contact with the parent of each student in the class. This should be
documented in the Parent Communication Log.
● Weekly, teachers will make one or more positive contacts with a parent(s).
This should be documented in the Parent Communication Log.
● In the Fall, Fall Parent Conferences are required for each student. In the
Spring, Spring Parent Conferences are required for each student performing
below grade level. Additional conferences are held as requested by the
teacher and parent.
● When a staff member has an academic or behavioral concern about a
student, he/she should immediately contact the parents.
● When calling parents, please leave a message if you are unable to reach
them. If the student is calling, have them leave a message as well. Many
times, the Secretary will get a phone call from a parent that saw the school
called but there is no message.

● School counselors are available to every student in the school. With the
counselor, a student may discuss and explore freely and in confidence any
problem or feelings that are personally important. During counseling, these
concerns may be talked through and examined, alternatives explored, and
decisions made about future course of action.

● Should the counselor find that additional assistance of some sort is needed;
the counselor will facilitate this process. Parents are encouraged to talk to a
counselor about any area of concern related to their children and the school.
Should you have concern about any of your students, check with the
counselor. Together, you can form a plan to best serve the needs of the
student. In addition, to one-on-one and group counseling, Counselors provide
daily lessons for their assigned special classes and monthly lessons for those
classes not assigned during special classes.

All cumulative records must be checked out with the Data Manager. These records
must be kept locked in the records room and should not be left unattended in your
classroom. When returning files, check in with the Data Manager and be sure to
have the contents in the same order as they were when you removed them.


AV and Technology equipment should be checked out to staff by the Media
Coordinator/Technology Champion. Staff members are responsible for all items
checked out to them.

Please refer to the district policy for the expectations for staff dress. You are
the professional and your dress should reflect that. Friday is Casual Day and on
this day, staff can wear “school jeans”. At the principal’s discretion, an
inappropriately dressed staff member may be asked to go home and change.

Monthly, fire drills will occur during the instructional day. As you are familiarizing
your students with the routines and procedures, please be sure to address fire
drill expectations.
● Students should line up and walk silently through the halls. They should
remain silent until the fire drill is over and they are back in the classroom.

● During each fire drill, teachers should take a copy of a student list outside
to account for every student.
● During fire drills, all people in the building, excluding those administering the
drill, must exit the building.

In the event of a tornado or a tornado drill, proceed according to the following
Tornado Watch:
● All teachers will be notified of the tornado watch.
● Teachers will continue regular classroom activities.
● Students will NOT be informed of the possible danger.
● Designated persons will serve as lookouts on all four sides of the building.
● Bus drivers will be notified of the WATCH.
● School will be dismissed at the normal hour and bus drivers will follow
regular routes using due caution.
Tornado Warning:
● All classes will be notified by the signal.
● All students and staff will IMMEDIATELY proceed to the designated areas
in the building as indicated on the building outline map posted in each room.
● All students and staff will assume a curled position with heads to the wall in
order to protect their eyes and head. If they are easily accessible, coats
and jackets could be used to cover heads, arms, and legs.
● All teachers will take roll and notify the principal if someone is missing.
● Students and staff will not return to their classrooms until the all clear bell
is rung.
● School bus drivers will not be permitted to leave on their bus routes as long
as a tornado WARNING is in effect.
If There Is No Warning, But A Tornado Is Sighted Approaching The School,
All Persons Will:
● If time permits, go to an interior hallway.
● If time does not permit, get into the safest area of your classroom (the
inside wall farthest away from doors and windows).
● Avoid windows, auditoriums, gymnasiums, or other structures with wide,
free-span roofs, when possible.
● Get under any heavy furniture available.

● Assume a curled position so as to protect your head and eyes.

Bomb Threat Procedures

● If you answer the phone and receive the bomb threat remember which line
the call came in on.
● Immediately notify an Administrator. If they are not available, proceed
with the next steps.
o Call Law Enforcement Officials through 911 and inform them of the
bomb threat.
o Evacuate the building using Fire Drill Procedures.
o Make sure classes are away from the building.
o Return to the building only when law enforcement officials have given

Lockdown Procedures
The checklist below serves as a guide in case of a critical incident.
● Clear students from the hallway immediately and have them report to the
nearest available classroom.
● Close and lock all windows and doors.
● Move students away from windows and doors. It is preferable to seat
students against an interior wall which will provide them protection.
● Account for students.
● Turn off lights.
● Use red and green cards to communicate with emergency responders.
o GREEN CARD. The teacher should display a green card to alert
responders that everything is safe in the classroom.
o RED CARD. The teacher should display a red card to alert
responders that emergency assistance is needed as soon as possible.
o NO CARD. In the event no cards are displayed, emergency
responders will assume that the intruder is in the classroom.
o In the event the intruder gains access to the room and takes hostages
and the room is contacted by the office, use the school code phrase
to communicate to the office.

o In the event the intruder gains access to the room and begins
shooting, instruct the students to leave the classroom. They should
be further instructed to leave the building or run to another location.


You are required by law to report suspicions of abuse or neglect. It is not your
responsibility to prove or investigate abuse or neglect. Suspicions of abuse or
neglect should be immediately reported to the Principal and the School Social
Worker (or the School Nurse, in the absence of the School Social Worker). The
School Social Worker can assist you with making the report to the Department of
Social Services’ Child Protective Services Department at 919-560-8424. The law
allows these reports to be made anonymously.


It is vital that we have accurate information on how to reach parents, plus at least
two other people who will accept responsibility for the student if he/she is injured
or sick at school. If during the year there are changes, please notify the office so
we can keep our records up-to-date.

In the event of illness or serious accident, the parent will be notified at once and
arrangements made for the student to be taken home or his/her physician. If the
parent cannot be reached, the student will be taken to the nearest hospital
emergency room.


Each teacher is expected to have emergency lesson plans. These plans should be
generic so that they can be used at any time. Emergency lesson plans, a class
schedule, morning and afternoon dismissal information, and student emergency
contact information should be given to the Secretary by September 8th.

Employees’ Children
Staff members cannot bring their children to work on student days. Employees’
children can come to work on teacher workdays. Parents are responsible for their
children on workdays.

If an emergency arises and a staff member needs to leave campus before the end
of the workday, the staff member must see an administrator. Once granted
permission to leave by an administrator, the staff member must sign out when
leaving campus and sign back in as soon as they return. If a staff member needs to
leave before the end of the day, a half day must be taken.


Staff members needing to conduct business regarding the education of their
children will be allowed to do so in accordance with North Carolina law. Staff
members are allowed to take up to four hours a year for this type of business. A
Parental Involvement Leave Request Form must be completed and approved two
days prior to the requested date.


To accelerate student learning and achievement, throughout the school year, staff
will be observed.
● Daily, Administration will conduct classroom walkthroughs to see rigor,
relevance, and engagement in action. Within 48 hours, feedback will be given
via note, email, and/or face-to-face dialogue.
● Regularly, Administration will conduct formal staff evaluations. This will
always be handled with integrity and according to district and state
expectations, policies, and procedures. Feedback will be given in a timely
fashion via face-to-face dialogue and formal document. The schedule of the
observations is conducted according to state and district guidelines related
to the number of years a staff member has been teaching.

● Each grade level should coordinate a maximum of four field trips per school
year (one per quarter; depending on cost).
● Field trips must relate to the Common Core Curriculum Standards specific to
that grade level.
● Upon return from the field trip, students will create a product that
demonstrates learning gained from the field trip.
● If a student is unable to pay for a field trip, please contact the Principal.

● A minimum of four weeks prior to the trip date, the Principal should receive
field trip paperwork from the staff member planning the trip. Copies of the
forms can be obtained from the Bookkeeper.
● All field trips must be taken prior to May 30th.
● All field trips should be scheduled to depart from school no earlier than 9:15
a.m. and must arrive back at school no later than 1:30 p.m.
● All students must ride the school bus. Field trip chaperones must be
approved DPS volunteers. Before inviting a chaperone, please contact the
Main Office to verify that the person is on the district’s approved volunteer
list. No chaperone should be left alone with a group of students and all
chaperones must stay with their assigned group. No chaperone is allowed to
curse, smoke, or drink alcohol on school field trips.
● If you are concerned about a student attending a field trip, please discuss
the matter with the principal before excluding a student.

A parent will be notified when a student exhibits fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, head
injuries, lice, etc. If a student’s parent cannot be reached, the emergency phone
number on his/her card will be called.

Students should be kept home when the following symptoms are present: fever,
diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, red and watery eyes with drainage, severe headache,
undiagnosed rash, lice, etc. CHILDREN SHOULD REMAIN AT HOME UNTIL
SYMPTOM-FREE (without benefit of medication) FOR 24 HOURS.

If a student needs to take medication at school, a physician must fill out a Form
1702 Parent Request and Physician’s Order for Medication. MEDICATION WILL

At the designated time each day, the student will report to the office where a
trained staff member will dispense medication. WE CANNOT ALLOW A
includes aspirin, cough drops, sunscreen, acetaminophen, etc.

Homework is an opportunity for students to practice what they have learned in
school at home. Homework provides parents with opportunities to “see” what
students are expected to learn. Reading is an essential part of homework as it is
the building block of all other subjects and will be part of the daily homework
expectations. Monday-Thursday, K-5 students should be assigned homework.
Homework will always reflect what students are currently learning or have learned
in the past.

Upper grade students will use homework planners. The planner is an organizational
tool for students and parents. Each day, students should write assignments and
classroom information in the planner. The planner should also be used as a
communication tool between teacher and parent.

The following outlines the homework requirement for each grade:

Kindergarten – up to 30 minutes of homework to include 15 minutes of reading
1st Grade – up to 40 minutes of homework to include 15 minutes of reading
2nd Grade – up to 50 minutes of homework to include 20 minutes of reading
3rd-5th Grade – up to 1 hour of homework to include 30 minutes of reading

Nightly, all students (K-5) will be expected to complete a reading log. Nightly,
parents should talk with their child about what they’ve read and sign the reading
log. Let’s work together so that all of Bethesda’s students become better readers.

Effective instruction drives student achievement; it oozes with rigor, relevance,
and engagement.
● Rigor: helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is
● Relevance: making it real for students and applicable to the 21st century
● Engagement: when students devote substantial time and effort to a task,
care about the quality of their work, and commit themselves because the
work has significance to their world

● Instruction will begin promptly at 7:45 a.m. During instructional blocks,
teachers and Instructional Assistants should be engaged with students.
● Staff should follow their instructional schedules. Schedules should be
posted on the outer classroom window.
● When students are working independently, teachers and Instructional
Assistants should frequently circulate and monitor. This will give you
formative information about student performance.
● Grading and other clerical work should be done during planning or outside of
school hours.
● Daily lesson plans should be available in each teacher’s PLC Notebook and
located in a prominent location in the classroom (i.e. teacher’s desk, guided
reading table, counter).
● When planning lessons, all staff are required to utilize the district’s
curriculum documents via SchoolNet, Common Core and Essential Standards,
and pacing calendars.
● It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to always know the
instructional level of all students in the class.
● All strategies and action steps from the SIP should be followed and
implemented into instruction daily.
● Data should drive daily instruction.
● Daily, classroom walkthroughs will be conducted and prompt feedback will be
● Staff who need additional support to meet expected instructional
performance standards will receive this via professional development,
coaching, mentoring, and a support plan.
● Instructional time is sacred. Unless there is an emergency, announcements
will be made before or after the instructional day.
● Office staff will limit the number of interruptions during instructional time.
● All students will be held to high academic standards.
● If you are in need of instructional supplies, please complete a Supply
Request and forward it to the Bookkeeper, Mrs. Valle. Supply orders will be
filled within 48 hours, based on availability.
● Staff will respect the instructional time of other staff members which
o Not using planning time to visit other teachers who are providing

o Sending notes via students to other teaches
o Walking across the hallway or leaving your classroom unattended
o Copies should be made prior to morning duty, during planning, or after

Teachers will be supplied with keys to their rooms and storage areas. Master keys
will only be supplied to personnel in regular need of such keys. All keys will be
accounted for and turned in at the end of the school year. Fees will be assessed
for the replacement of lost keys and lock changes.


All certified staff members (Specialists, K-5 Homeroom Teachers, EC Resource
Teachers, AIG Teachers, ESL Teachers) will post lesson plans for the following
week within designated Google Drive folders by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Please assist students in gathering any work missed due to absences. Make up work
must be made up within a reasonable amount of time depending upon the length and
cause of the absence. A general rule: Students should have the same number of
days to make up work as the number of days that they were absent. Please utilize
the designated form to communicate makeup work to the student and


1. Posting of Master Schedule - All certified staff members must post a

poster-size master schedule in the front of the classroom and an 8 ½ x 11
schedule outside of the classroom on the wall.

2. The Learning Target for each subject should be posted on the whiteboard.
They should be large, legible, and visible to all students. Learning
Targets/Essential questions must be aligned to what is written in the lesson
plan for that week and based on the Common Core Standards and NC
Essential Standards.

3. Teachers must have procedures in place for the following:
● Pencils (When to sharpen, what happens when a pencil breaks, etc.)
● Bathroom and water breaks
● Asking questions
● Leaving the classroom (transitions to other classes, office,
assemblies, dismissal, etc.)
● Emergencies (tornado, fire, lock-down, lockout)

4. Teachers should have lesson plans in Google Drive and hard copy (paper

5. Additional Requirements
● Academic Word Walls (K-5, EC Resource, ESL, Specialist, AIG)
● High Frequency Word Wall (K-2)
● Expectations and Consequences
● Anchor Charts
● PBIS Chart

Meetings –All teachers should be prepared to stay until 5:15pm on staff meeting
days. Meeting dates are announced in advance and featured on the calendar.

● All staff meetings will be a time for teachers to learn something that will
enhance his/her instructional practice as well as share classroom successes
and challenges with colleagues.
● Please report to the location as soon as your last student has been
dismissed. On meeting days, any student who has not been picked up by 2:50
p.m. should be escorted to the office to wait with the secretary.
● Please come to all meetings with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
● Shared norms will be established to effectively facilitate all meetings.
These norms will be reviewed before the start of each meeting.
● Please don’t plan medical and other appointments on meeting days.
● There will be times when meetings are designed to target certain groups of

● Staff are expected to stay until 5:00pm (or until professional development
is finished) on early release days. Please refer to the district calendar for
this year’s early release days.

School Improvement Team

Bethesda’s School Improvement Team (SIT) is an elected leadership body within

the school. This group consists of administration, certified staff, classified staff
and parents. This group of leaders serves as liaisons between the SIT and their
specific PLC. The SIT helps make decisions about issues related to school
improvement. The group is instrumental in developing, monitoring and maintaining
the School Improvement Plan. The SIT meets once per month during the school
year. The SIT helps develop and monitor the implementation of our School
Improvement Plan (SIP). This plan governs our instructional path and is a very
important part of our school. Teachers are expected to be intimately familiar
with our SIP goals and understand their role in reaching the plan’s goals.

● Setting the tone for the day begins at 7:15 a.m.
● All non-homeroom staff should report to their designated duty stations at
the time designated by the Principal and Assistant Principal.
● All classroom teachers should be standing at their classroom door to
greet students from 7:15 a.m. until 7:40 a.m.


Movies or television programs viewed at school must be preapproved by
administration by completing and submitting the proper paperwork. All videos used
in the classroom must be aligned with the appropriate curriculum and should be
used to supplement instruction. The only exception to this rule is related to
rewards. Movies and videos should be rated G. If you wish to show a PG movie,
parent permission must be obtained. Please see the Secretary for the permission
form. No movie or video should be rated higher than PG. Please follow all copyright
rules and regulations.

Standards-Based Grading

● There will be a no “zero” policy.
● Homework will NOT be graded but can be used as a small percentage of
students’ grades as determined by each PLC and approved by
● Parents MUST be contacted upon the first missing assignment. All
efforts should be documented on your parent contact log.
● Parents MUST be contacted if a student receives a failing mark on a
graded assignment. All efforts should be documented on your parent
contact log.
● Grades should be taken on assignments that have solid instructional value
and measure skills that have already been taught.
● Report cards must be an ACCURATE reflection of a student’s true
academic performance. A student that is struggling in any aspect of a
particular subject should not earn a 3 in that area. Consult with an
administrator if you are having trouble determining a grade.

Observation/Evaluations - Teacher observations will be conducted all year long. A

minimum number of evaluations are required by state mandate depending on years
of experience and evaluation cycle. Teachers may be on a “Non-Career”,
“Formative” or “Summative” observation cycle.

● Evaluations/Observations will always be handled with integrity and according

to district and state expectations.
● All evaluations will be followed by post conference to discuss strengths and
opportunities for improvement.

The following chart outlines how to determine what evaluation cycle you are in. If
after reading the chart, you are still uncertain about what category you fall in to,
please see me.

Observation Teachers in This # of Type of Observation

Cycle Cycle Observations
Teachers that are 4 Full Evaluations ● Peer and first
Probationary in their first 4 ● 1 Peer Obs Observation
● 3 Admin Obs
years of teaching are Announced
● 2 Unannounced
Teachers that 4 Full Evaluations ● Peer and first
Probationary have taught for at ● 1 Peer Obs Observation
Experienced least 4 years in ● 3 Admin are Announced
another NC LEA Obs ● 2 Unannounced
or state
Career teachers 3 Full Evaluations ● First
Career that are renewing ● 3 Admin Observation is
Summative their license in Obs Announced
the current year ● 2 Unannounced

Career teachers 2 Abbreviated ● 2 Unannounced

Career Non- that are not Obs by Admin
Summative renewing their
license in the
current year

The office is open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The office is a very busy place
during the school day, especially 7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Please reduce office disruptions during these critical times.

● Daily attendance should be completed by 8:00 a.m. After 7:45, the Data
Manager will code tardies in PowerSchool.
● To be considered present, a student must be in attendance for at least ½ of
the day (11:00 p.m.)
● The Data Manager will code suspensions in PowerSchool.
● Students arriving late to school must report to the main office. Upon
arriving to the classroom, they should have a tardy slip. The tardy slip is
required for classroom admittance.

● When a student is absent, the student should bring a note from a
parent/guardian explaining the absence. When you receive this note, please
appropriately code the absence in PowerSchool. If you receive the note
after five days, you are unable to code the absence in PowerSchool. The
Data Manager will have to code the absence.
● Each day, these notes should be filed in a folder in your classroom.
Maintenance of this documentation is essential.
● When a student shows excessive absences or exhibits a pattern of chronic
absences, it is the teacher’s responsibility to speak with an Administrator,
Social Worker, and/or Counselor to see about how best to serve the student.
● These actions will be taken at the following benchmarks of absenteeism:
o Each Absence: Automated phone call from School Messenger
o Two Consecutive Absences: Phone call from the homeroom teacher
(document call in Parent Communication Log via Google Docs)
o Three Unexcused Absences: Contact from CFST via letter sent home
with child
o Six Unexcused Absences: Letter from the Principal requesting
attendance to meeting; Attendance contract initiated and Truancy
Court by CFST
o Ten Unexcused Absences: Letter from Principal detailing Court
policy; CFST files paperwork with Court officials
● Students who must leave school during the school hours must be signed out
through the office. Do not allow a child to leave school with anyone during
the school day without notification from the office.

Technology Tuesday: The second Tuesday of every month, all staff should be
prepared to stay until 5:15 p.m. for technology professional development.

Professional Development Wednesdays: Two-Three Wednesdays per month, all

staff should be prepared to stay until 5:15 p.m. for professional development.

● Technology Tuesdays and Professional Development Wednesdays will be a

time for staff to reflect upon ways to enhance their instructional practices

by learning new practice and sharing classroom successes and challenges with
● On Technology Tuesdays and Professional Development Wednesdays, please
report to the designated location as soon as your last student has been
● Please come to all sessions with enthusiasm, an open mind, and a willingness
to learn.
● Unless otherwise indicated, all staff members are required to attend all
Technology Tuesdays and Professional Development Wednesdays. There will
be times when meetings are designed to target specific audiences.

Early Release Days and Required Teacher Workdays

On Early Release Days and Required Teacher Workdays, staff members are
required to participate in the designated activities and should stay until the
professional development session is finished. Please refer to the calendar for
these dates.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) –Tuesdays and Thursdays are our

school wide PLC days. This is collaborative team time. During PLCs:
● Tuesday PLCs will take place during specials. Thursday PLCs will be extended
and include your specials time plus an additional 30 minutes. A teacher
assistant will cover your class during this extra time to allow you extra
planning time with your team. All assistants are expected to report to their
assigned class 5 minutes before assigned time.
● School administrators, IFs and other support staff will attend Tuesday PLCs
to help with data analysis and to share pertinent information with your team.
We will not interrupt your Thursday PLC time unless there is something that
needs to be shared that can’t wait until the following Tuesday. Thursday’s
PLCs are dedicated to the grade level team working together. Members of
the leadership team may still attend these Thursday sessions.
● Part of Thursday’s PLC needs to be dedicated to reviewing lesson plans for
the coming week. Each team member should come prepared to share their
assigned part of the lessons and bring copies of any resources that
accompany the lesson plans. Team members should offer feedback and/or
suggestions to ensure that the best possible plans are in place for the
coming week (s).

● There should be no talk of field trips or other housekeeping and non-
instructional issues. Your team may decide to have a special time set aside
for such tasks and conversations
● Teams should be using data to drive instruction
● All team members should be active participants
● Teams should be prepared to show evidence of collaborative planning, data
analysis and data driven instruction.
● Teams should focus on the main thing –Student Achievement

Data Talks/Half Day Planning –This year, each grade level team will engage in
data talks and extended PLC planning 6 times per year. Depending on your grade
level you with either meet from 9-12 or 12:30-3:30 (see separate schedule for
your grade level assignments).The focus of the first hour of these meetings will be
to look at one piece of student data together with administration and Instructional
Facilitators and make instructional decisions to address student achievement gaps.
The remaining time will be designated for planning based on the first portion of
the data talk and any other instructional planning that the PLCs determines

● Teachers may be required to bring “evidence” of what is being done in the

classroom to address data concerns.
● Curriculum progress will also be discussed at these meetings

Instruction –Effective instruction drives student achievement. High quality,

rigorous instruction will be delivered in every classroom on a daily basis. Following
are the expectations for instruction in every classroom.

● Daily, students will engage in Stamina Reading (SR). During this time
students are to independently read a book on their independent text
level. While students are reading, teachers are conducting 1:1
conferences with students to observe their reading. Teachers are
expected to take notes on each student’s reading behaviors. Teachers
should have about 3-1:1 conferences per day during Stamina Reading
time. Teacher assistants and support staff assigned to classes should
also be conducting conferences with students.
● Teachers should follow their instructional schedule daily.

● All schedules should be posted on the outside of the classroom door.
● Teachers/Instructional Assistants should be engaged with students during
instruction. Instructional Assistants are to work with students during
instructional time and should not be out of the room or doing clerical work
during instructional time. It is the classroom teacher’s responsibility to
ensure that the Instructional Assistant knows how to and has the tools to
effectively work with students.
● No teacher should be sitting at his/her desk while students work. Frequent
circulation and monitoring is the expectation even when students are working
independently. This will give you formative information about student
● Grading and other clerical work should be done during planning or outside of
school hours.
● Teachers and Instructional Assistants should not make copies during
instruction. These duties should be performed during planning time or
outside of the instructional day.
● Daily, teachers should have detailed weekly lesson plans available and visible.
● All lesson plans should be uploaded to Google Drive by 11:59 p.m. each
Wednesday for the upcoming week. Part of each extended PLC should be
dedicated to reviewing these lesson plans thoroughly as a team. It is the
responsibility of the classroom teacher to always know the instructional level
of all students in the class.
● Daily, all strategies and action steps from the SIP should be followed and
implemented into instruction.
● Use data to drive the instruction in your class.
● Walkthroughs will be conducted regularly on every teacher. Feedback will
be given regularly.
● Teachers that are not meeting expected instructional performance
standards may be placed on a support plan.
● All students must be held to high academic standards.
● No announcements will be made during the instructional day unless there
is an emergency
● Office staff will limit the number of interruptions during instructional

Writing in Specials

It is the expectation that Specials teachers work with classroom teacher to
integrate what students are learning in the classroom into specials. Students
should write in specials regularly to demonstrate learning. Specials teachers are
expected to produce at least one writing piece per month for each grade level.


The purpose of taking grades is to measure how much students have learned and to
determine what instructional adjustments need to be made in order to help
students who are experiencing academic difficulty.
● Parents MUST be contacted upon the first missing assignment. This contact
should be documented in your parent contact log.
● Parents MUST be contacted if a student receives a failing mark on a graded
assignment. This contact should be documented in your parent contact log.
● Grades should be taken on assignments that have solid instructional value
and measure skills that have already been taught.
● Progress Reports and Report Cards will be disseminated according to the
designated dates within Bethesda’s Master Calendar.

● Daily, receipt books and collected money should be submitted to the
Bookkeeper by 12:00 p.m.
● Collected money should not be stored in classrooms overnight or left in the
classroom during the day unattended.
● A copy of receipt book procedures is included in this handbook.

Staff should adhere to the recess master schedule. On a daily basis, state law
requires that students receive 30+ minutes of physical activity and emphasizes
that recess cannot be taken away as a form of consequence. Indoor activities
should be planned during inclement weather. Students may not be excluded from
outside time for disciplinary reasons as it is a violation of NC Education Law.

Each quarter, parents of students performing below grade level will receive a
retention alert letter from the Principal. This letter indicates that currently, the
student is not meeting grade level standards and is on the possibility of retention

list. Students performing below grade level should have a referral to the MTSS

During the fourth quarter, the Teacher Council and each recommending teacher
will meet to discuss each student on the final possibility of retention list. The
recommending teacher will bring appropriate evidence and documentation of
intervention, parent communication, attendance and behavior data, and other
relevant artifacts. The Teacher Council will make a recommendation to the
Principal. The Principal will make the final decision.

Once the final decision of retention is made by the Principal, the parent will
receive the report card and Principal letter indicating retention. Within the month
of June, a parent can appeal this decision to the Principal.

● The safety of our students and staff is very important.
● All outside doors will be locked. To reenter the building, classes and staff
must enter through the main entrance.
● Visitors will be admitted into the school building by office staff. If you see
someone in the hall without a visitor’s pass, please stop and ask them to
report to the office immediately.
● Do not use objects to wedge a door open.
● Each day, all staff should wear their DPS ID. If a replacement ID is
needed, please see the Secretary.
● All classroom doors must be locked at all times. Be sure to keep your keys
with you.
● Whenever you leave your classroom, lock all windows and doors.
● When walking around the building unaccompanied, students must have a hall
pass. Staff should stop any student who does not have a hall pass.
● Please notify the office when you take your class outside or any other part
of the building for non-scheduled activities. If a parent comes to pick up a
student, we need to know where to locate the class.
● Students should not be in a classroom unless an adult is with them.

School Improvement Team

Bethesda’s School Improvement Team (SIT) is an elected leadership body within
the school. This group consists of administration, certified staff, classified staff
and parents. This group of leaders serves as liaisons between the SIT and their
specific PLC. The SIT helps make decisions about issues related to school
improvement. The group is instrumental in developing, monitoring and maintaining
the School Improvement Plan. The SIT meets once per month during the school
year. The SIT helps develop and monitor the implementation of our School
Improvement Plan (SIP).

Before your absence, it is important to prepare for your substitute. Your
substitute folder should contain the following items and additional items that will
maximize instructional time during your absence:
1. Seating chart
2. Daily schedule
3. Location of needed materials
4. Lesson plans
5. PBIS expectations
6. Name and room number of a colleague who can assist

Each certified staff member will submit and update a substitute folder with
emergency sub plans. It will be used in case of an emergency absence. The folder
contents should include daily procedures and guidelines that govern their class and
any additional information not included in the lesson plans that the substitute may
need. Emergency lesson plans must be submitted to the Principal by September 8,

During the day, the Staff Lounge is a place where you can go for a break when you
are not scheduled to provide student supervision. Vending machines, microwave,
refrigerator, freezer, and a telephone are located in the Staff Lounge . Students
may not enter the lounge. The lounge is located in E14.

Media Center: Provides daily open access for students to check out appropriate
books; provides scheduled weekly visits.

Bookroom: Sets of guided reading books are to be checked out.

SchoolNet: Staff can access SchoolNet for curriculum guides, pacing guides,
helpful websites, lesson plans, sample assessments, and more. It is expected that
staff utilize SchoolNet for updated information to help guide their instructional


Student work products must meet the following criteria:

● All student work must be standards–based.
● All student work must be dated (month, day, and year)
● All displayed student work products must be current--no more than three
weeks old

● All displayed student work products must have the standard written above
them with a description of the activity

Example – RL1.1 -Ask and answer questions about key details and events in a
Students listened to the story Tomas and The Library Lady being read aloud.
As they listened, they developed “I wonder” statements and made
predictions using a T-Chart. After the entire story was read they answered
three comprehension questions and responded in writing.

● All displayed student work products must be current--no more than three
weeks old

● All student work products displayed in the hallway must reflect all of the
students in the class (i.e. a full class set should be posted)

● Displayed student work products that are not writing should have some
written response from the student to explain their thinking. This could be

simply answering an EQ, describing how an answer was derived, and/or a
written description of what was learned.

Teacher Council

Teacher Council is a team designed to ensure that our school climate is one that is
positive and appropriately responsive to the needs of staff and students. School
climate is the responsibility of each and every staff member in their respective
roles. Teacher Council will convene once per month- every second Monday with the
School Improvement Team.

Students should be supervised at all times and in all areas of the school. Staff
members should walk students to and from all areas. When you send a student
somewhere, the student should have a hall pass. You are liable if you leave your
students unattended.

Dress--Student and teacher dress affect student behavior. Teachers are
expected to dress professionally as befits their teaching activity. Staff members
are expected to dress professionally as befits their teaching activity as follows
the student dress code.

Behavior--Proper language, gestures, emotional control, and mannerisms should be a

role model for students.

Staff Ethics and Conduct--Please remember that the welfare of the child is the
first concern of the school district. It is the responsibility of the staff members
to support programs and activities. The philosophy for all staff, including
administrators, is kids first. At times you may have a concern regarding. When
addressing this concern, you should do so in a professional and courteous manner.
Staff members are to be faithful and prompt in attendance, support and enforce
board and building regulations, turn in reports on time, attend meetings as
scheduled by the administration, look out for the safety and welfare of all

students, dress professionally, refrain from using language, gestures, and
mannerisms that are profane, and use the faculty lounge for its intended purpose.

Confidentiality - Professional communication of educators requires no discussion of

individual students and their problems in non-professional situations. The teacher's
lounge and public places are inappropriate locations for these discussions.


In-service day work hours are 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., unless otherwise notified. Please
use each day productively—analyze data, create assessments, prepare instructional
plans, prepare bulletin boards and displays, finalize grades, review files, attend
professional training, and participate in PLCs.

Teacher Classroom Resources

All teacher resources—manuals, textbook resources, manipulatives, assessment
kits, leveled readers, etc.--should be housed in a central location within your
classroom. These materials were purchased by and are the property of Bethesda
Elementary School. Additional teacher resources can be obtained from the
Bookroom, Media Center, Principal, Assistant Principal, and Media Coordinator.


Throughout the year, Bethesda will host Family Events centered around a
curriculum area. Staff are expected to participate during these events; there will
be times where only specific staff members are required to attend. Throughout
the year, you will be expected to collect necessary Title I documentation.

1. Minimum of four field trips (i.e. one per quarter)

2. Monthly Grade Level Newsletter (English and Spanish)
Items to include:
● Important dates
● Upcoming field trips and payments; how to pay for field trips online
● Volunteer classroom opportunities
● Parental tips (homework assistance, websites, curricular, etc.)
3. Monthly Updates to Grade Level Webpage

Bethesda’s PTA offers valuable support to our staff, families, and students. All
staff, families, and students are encouraged to join the PTA. Yearly dues are


Bethesda is committed to the concept of Professional Learning Communities. As
such, it is imperative that all staff members embrace this concept. If you are new
to the PLC concept, it will be important to familiarize yourself with the
information. Please see an administrator for assistance.

Every staff member will be working toward raising student achievement through
effective instructional practices. To do this, each PLC is expected to utilize the
curriculum documents for all subjects. SMART goals will be developed for each
grade level based on identified essential skills. We will measure improvement
through our common, formative, and summative assessments.

Each teacher is responsible for analyzing the data for the students in their
respective classrooms and for instructing each student in small groups or on an
individual basis so that each student reaches the goal. If, after analyzing your
data, you determine that the instructional strategy you used was ineffective,
change it. If it was effective, share it. Reteach essential skills, share
instructional strategies, and reassess. Each PLC will meet to discuss student
performance on assessments and to plan interventions for those students who are
below, at, or above mastery.

PLCs drive the instructional planning, implementation, and analysis that occurs at
● Weekly, each PLC will meet on the following days to plan instruction:
Monday: Data Kid Talk and Thursday: Instructional Strategies
● During PLC meetings, the focus is instruction, student learning, and student
achievement. Field trips, housekeeping, and non-instructional issues should
be addressed at another time.
● Teams should use data to drive instruction.
● All team members should be active participants.

● One or more members of the Instructional Leadership Team will attend each
meeting to offer support.
● The Teacher Council Representative for each PLC will facilitate the meeting
and ensure that the agenda, minutes, and products for each meeting are
disseminated to the each PLC and Instructional Leadership Team member
within 24 hours of the PLCs session.

Classroom Telephones
Each classroom office has a telephone. When you or a student need to contact a
parent, please use your classroom phone. If you are unable to reach the parent,
please leave a brief message that includes your name, the child’s name, and the
reason for your call. If you need to reach a parent with a long distance number,
please contact the Secretary at extension 84301. Please do not send a student to
the office to use the phone unless your phone is not working.

By Staff
Staff members will not use cell phones or other communication devices for
personal reasons during instructional time, inclusive of text messages. During the
instructional day, meetings, and professional development sessions, please ensure
that your cell phones are on vibrate or silent. During these times, please refrain
from texting, tweeting, facebooking, gaming, etc.

While the use of cell phones is permitted to contact the parents, staff members
are asked to use this as a last resort. Bluetooth or other headsets for cell phones
or personal communication devices may not be used on campus during the
instructional day. If you have an emergency, please call the office for coverage so
that your classroom instruction may continue.

By Students
❒ Students are allowed to have cell phones on campus. However, Cell
phones/electronic devices must be turned OFF or placed on SILENT before
students enter the school building. We are not responsible for lost or stolen cell

❒ Once inside the school building, students must store their cell phones/electronic
devices in a location that is not visible to the teacher or other students. Students
may use the device with teacher approval.

❒ If a cell phone/ electronic device rings, vibrates, is used for any reason without
teacher permission, is visible anytime during class time, or if a student is caught
using it on campus during class time, a staff member will confiscate the device.

❒ A student’s refusal to surrender the phone when asked is considered defiance.

Defiance may result in disciplinary consequences, including suspension. A parent will
be contacted.

❒Use of cell phone during a test (i.e. text messaging or calling) will be considered
cheating and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

❒Students are prohibited from using a cell phone, taking photographs, or

recording video at any time on school property.

❏ First Cell Phone/Electronic Device Offense ~ the device will remain in the
Main Office until the end of the school day, parent contact will be made by
the staff member who confiscated the device, and an in-school consequence
will be issued. Students may pick up the device at the end of the school day.

❏ Second Cell Phone/Electronic Device Offense ~ the device will remain in the
Main Office until a parent picks up the device. Parent contact will be made
by an administrator or designee and an in-school consequence will be issued.

❏ Third Cell Phone/Electronic Device Offense ~ the device will remain in the
Main Office until a parent picks up the device. Parent contact will be made
by an administrator or designee and an in-school consequence will be issued.
The student may be prohibited from bringing the cell phone/electronic
device back on campus.

At all times, it is our responsibility to supervise students.
● Students should NEVER be left in any classroom unsupervised.
● If a staff member has to use the restroom or step out of the classroom for
a pressing issue and there is not another staff member in the room to
supervise the students, the staff member should contact the Secretary at
extension 84301.



Our Positive Behavior Philosophy

In our caring school community, all of the adults share the responsibility to ensure
every child’s behavioral and academic success. We all have high standards for
ourselves and for each other.
We expect all of the people in our community, the staff, volunteers,
parents/guardians as well as the students, to model respect for self, for others,
and our school.

Bethesda implements the Positive Behavior Intervention Support process as a

school-wide philosophy. PBIS is a collaborative process for assessment and
development of effective interventions and reinforcements. The aim is to build
and sustain environments in which positive behavior is more effective than problem

Classroom management is different than discipline! Effectively managing your

classroom is an essential part of maintaining a conducive and positive learning
environment. An effective teacher manages a classroom; an ineffective teacher
disciplines a classroom. The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline;
it is the lack of procedures, routines, and expectations. Classroom management
deals with the procedures, routines, and expectations that you establish at the
beginning of the school year. Students must know how you want them to begin the
day, pass in papers, sharpen their pencils, line up, etc. Procedures must be
rehearsed over and over again until the students do them automatically. When this
happens, you have a routine. Think about how students learn. Will telling them a
procedure one time allow them the opportunity to learn it? That will work for some,
but not for all. Students have to learn exactly what you expect of them.
At Bethesda, we strive to teach, model, and reinforce positive student behaviors.
We believe that rewards should be logical and realistic.

We believe:
● Consequences should be logical and realistic.
● Consequences should be proportional to the behavior.
● It is unacceptable to engage in misconduct that disrupts school or class
routines (i.e. possessing a weapon, bullying, setting fire alarm, bomb threats,
fighting, using profanity or obscenity, cheating, stealing, gambling, or
extorting money or favors from others, willfully defacing or damaging public
school property or the property of individuals at school).

Minor discipline issues are best handled by the teacher. If these items are
referred to an administrator, a teacher’s effectiveness for problems of a more
serious nature will be lessened and students soon become aware of the
ineffectiveness of the classroom teacher. If there is a situation where a student
needs to be removed from the classroom, call the office for assistance. Students
should not be "kicked out" of the classroom. Situations of this sort are to be
discussed with an administrator and then a course of action will be developed.

There are times that a student may not respond to our positive behavior system
and may engage in behaviors that are seriously disruptive or dangerous. At these
times, there are consequences for these behaviors. Only the principal or assistant
principal have the authority to suspend students from school. Discipline is not a
group matter. A whole room should not be punished for the misdeeds of a few.
Please remember to talk with a student individually, instead of humiliating them in
front of the entire class.

All classroom teachers should show respect to all students. Students should be
taught and shown how to take responsibility for the choices that they make. Avoid

getting into a power struggle with a student. Simply state what it is you want the
child to do, then walk away. After a fair amount of time, go back to the student
and repeat your expectation. If it is possible to give a choice, do that. That will
help the student maintain some form of control over the situation.

Throughout this entire process, parent communication is a must! No discipline form

should come to the office without first having contacted the parent. Consequences
should be appropriate to the infraction and should support our philosophy of
discipline. We want children to learn from their mistakes as opposed to
punishment. It is the intention of administration to support every staff member.
Make sure that administration can support the decisions you make by following the
philosophy, policies, and procedures of the school and district.


Visitors are welcome in our school. Before reporting to the classroom, a visitor is
required to sign in at the main office and receive a visitor's pass. Those
interested in volunteering, should complete a DPS volunteer application. Teachers
should schedule parent volunteers according to what best suits the classroom
needs. Volunteers are NOT to grade papers or have access to private student
data. Only approved volunteers can volunteer at school or chaperone field trips.
If you have questions about volunteers, ask the Family Community Specialist for

2009 S. Miami Blvd. - Durham, NC 27703
919-560-3904 (home)/ 919-560-3482 (fax)


I have read the Bethesda Elementary School Faculty Handbook. I also know
that I have access to it online for viewing. If you would like a hard copy,
please let the principal know. I understand I am responsible for all of the
information and items included in the faculty handbook. In addition, I
understand that I am responsible for knowing the information that is
presented to me in weekly emails from the Instructional Leadership Team. I
acknowledge that Durham Public School Policies are accessible at all times and
also available online. I am responsible for knowing the information, being
aware of any updates, and upholding all policies. Lastly, I know that I must
check my voicemail and email a minimum of twice daily and respond within 24-
48 hour