School Policies

Attendance

Students are responsible for attending school on time every day and for attending every class. Parents are responsible for making sure their children attend school every day, maintaining regular contact with school, and sending a note to school explaining the reason for absence or lateness. Breakfast begins at 8:00 and students should not be dropped off any earlier than 7:55. Student entry into class is at 8:10 am and class begins at 8:15 am.

The tardy bell rings at 8:20. Students who are not in their rooms prepared to work at 8:20 are listed as tardy. Students who are tardy must get a late pass from the office.

The school day ends at 2:55 and all students should be picked up by3:00 pm.

The following are permitted reasons for absence:

  • Illness of the student (Physicians’ certificate required for ongoing absence due to illness)
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Court summons
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • State emergency
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Suspension
  • Lack of authorized transportation

Cell Phones

Mount Washington Elementary School strongly discourages cell phones and other portable electronic devices (iPods, electronic game devices, etc.) being brought to school. If a parent has a need for the student to have a cell phone, the student may not carry the phone throughout the day, but must store it in their locker. The school and staff do not accept responsibility for the loss or damage of that phone.

If a cell phone or other portable electronic device is found to be with the student the school reserves the right to confiscate the phone or electronic device. The parent/ guardian will be notified and will be required to come to the school in order for the phone to be returned.

Code of Conduct

The school district distributes a Code of Conduct Handbook for all students the first week of school. This handbook outlines specific behaviors and consequences the school will issue if students do not adhere to the expectations. All students are expected to know and follow the City Schools’ Code of Conduct. Parents and students must sign off that they have received and reviewed the handbook.

Students are expected to strive to do their best work possible and promote an environment where all students can learn to their fullest potential. The Code applies to all students at all times while on City Schools property during school hours, before and after school, while traveling on vehicles funded or owned by City Schools and at any school-sponsored event, including field trips.
The specific school rules include:

  • Follow directions
  • Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself
  • Use indoor voices
  • Use respectful words
  • Be safe and secure at all times

A few examples of how students might act inappropriately include disrupting a class, damaging school buildings or school materials, disruptive behavior on a school bus, taking property belonging to another student, engaging in physical violence, threatening other students or school personnel, etc.

When students are disruptive or act inappropriately, school staff and administrators respond to this behavior logically, appropriately, and consistently. School staff and administrators will follow the levels of interventions and responses outlined in the Code of Conduct when handling disruptive or inappropriate behavior. To encourage students to follow the rules, teachers develop incentives to help students work together to adhere to classroom expectation.

Dress Code

The Dress Code, as outlined in the BCPS Code of Conduct, addresses issues related to the safety of students. It represents a cooperative effort between the Board, the CEO, school principals, and the students of City Schools.

In general, students may dress in any style they desire, but there are some restrictions. Clothing style may not disrupt other students. Clothing may not be excessively distracting (no provocative messages). Several rules of thumb: sandals are OK if they have ankle straps, shorts should be down to the knee, shoulders should be covered (no tank tops ), and no hats or kerchief/bandanas inside the building unless head coverings are required for religious purposes. Students are responsible for keeping themselves and their clothes neat and clean.

The following outlines City Schools’ specific clothing / garments that are prohibited:

  • No clothing designed or altered to expose undergarments or parts of the body except arms or legs, as defined throughout these rules, is allowed.
  • Because theft or loss is a school security concern, the wearing of precious jewelry in our schools is prohibited.
    1. No metal chains, ropes, necklaces, bracelets or rings are allowed.
    2. No large or extravagant earrings are allowed.
    3. No multi-fingered rings are allowed.

    Exceptions:

    1. Non-visible metal religious items.
    2. Medical identification bracelets.
  • No undergarments worn as outerwear are allowed.
  • No wearing apparel printed with vulgar statements or statements promoting the use of drugs, alcohol, or violence is allowed.
  • Footwear such as slippers, thongs, “Heelys”, and flip-flops is not allowed.
  • No hats or bandanas are allowed.
  • No pajama-type attire, undershirts or other bedtime attire is allowed.
  • No shorts above the knee (when students is standing), halter tops, tank tops, muscle shirts or see-through tops are allowed. No mini skirts are allowed.

All students are expected to adhere to this policy. If a student is found not in compliance with the above list, then a parent/legal guardian will be notified that the student must change their clothing/garment in order to remain in school.

Homework

The staff developed a homework policy for the school with approval by the School Improvement Team. Teachers use the policy to guide the homework routines and procedures they us in their classrooms.

Purpose/Philosophy of Homework

  • Reinforce and review skills taught (ensures mastery)
  • Apply skills
  • Develop personal responsibility
  • Integrate cross-curricular concepts (long term projects)
  • Prepares students for tests
  • Experience reading for personal enrichment (book logs, book reports)

Communication

  • Explained in grade level handbooks/back to school letters including information such as: time, frequency, grading scale, absence policy for students and how homework is assigned when the teacher is out, long-term projects, purpose, due dates, rubric
  • Assigned by teacher in writing: planner, weekly sheet & checked by parent/guardian
  • Include in the Parent Handbook and publish on the school website

Expectations

Time

  • Kindergarten: 10 to 20 minutes, including reading
  • Grade 1: 10 to 20 minutes including independent reading
  • Grade 2: 10 to 30 minutes plus independent reading
  • Grade 3: 15 to 30 minutes plus independent reading
  • Grade 4: 20 to 30 minutes plus independent reading
  • Grade 5: 30 to 60 minutes plus independent reading
  • Subjects may overlap but grade level teachers are planning for this
  • Monday through Thursday

Content

  • Review skills recently taught as well as from previous units
  • All subjects: reading, writing, math, science, social studies
  • Daily homework
  • Long term project homework

Grading

  • Parent signature of homework sheet, planner, etc
  • Homework acknowledged by teacher with check marks, sticker, rubric
  • Parent is contacted if there is a pattern of missed or incomplete homework
  • Long term project may address more than one subject area
  • Homework passes for daily assignments are sometimes given as part of an incentive plan in classrooms but are not used for long term projects

Role of the Student, Parent, and Teacher

Student

  • Attempts all homework, completes and does their best on assignment
  • Returns assignment on time
  • Is aware of assignment, understands requirements, including the format
  • Asks questions of teacher, parent, or study buddy

Parent

  • Supports the policy of the classroom teacher
  • Provides a quiet place with desk, chair, supplies, good lighting
  • Grades K–2: provides assistance as needed
  • Grades 3–5: monitors and checks for completion
  • Communicate concerns regarding homework to teacher

Teacher

  • Ensures every assignment is relevant and directions have been provided/explained
  • Provides and follows homework routines

Inclement Weather

School Closing and Delayed Openings

An assessment of road conditions, neighborhood sidewalks, and school parking lots and walkways will be completed by City Schools Department of Facilities with input from MTA by 4:30 a.m. The CEO will use this assessment and the most current weather forecasts to decide whether to open schools on time, open two hours late, or close schools. The decision by the CEO will be announced to local television and radio stations by 5:00 a.m. and posted on the district’s website.

The two-hour delay announcement may be followed by an announcement that City Schools are now closed for the day. The decision to close schools after previously announcing a two-hour school delay will be announced to the news media by 8:00 a.m.

When school opening is delayed two hours, classes will begin at 10:15 a.m. and school breakfast will not be served.

Early Dismissal or Emergency School Closing

The decision to open schools on schedule will only be made when ii is felt that students and staff will be able to travel safely to their school destinations. If weather conditions worsen during the school day, City Schools may announce an early dismissal. It is important to monitor websites (Baltimore City Public Schools, WBAL-TV, etc.) and / or local television and radio stations for this announcement. A decision to dismiss schools early will be announced by 10:00 a.m.

If, during extremely warm weather, the temperature outside at the Baltimore Inner Harbor is reported by the National Weather Service to have reached the heat index of 90 degrees by 9:00 a.m., school officials will notify area television and radio stations that all schools will close for students 2 ½ hours earlier than regularly scheduled. Lunch will be served in all schools.

It is imperative that emergency records are accurate so that a parent, legal guardian, or appointed emergency contact person is able to be reached in case of an emergency.

Medication

Some students require medication and or medical treatment while they are in school. Health staff is available in school to provide this service. In order to provide this service, the appropriate form (found in the appendix or the Health Suite) must be completed, signed by the student’s medical provider and the parent/legal guardian and brought to the health suite. A completed form from the medical provider is required for both prescription and over-the-counter medication. Students may not possess, dispense, or distribute medication on their own. The medicine should be brought to school in the original container. The container should include the following: name of medication, directions for use, time, strength, and dose for dispensing, name of ordering medical provider, and the student’s name and grade. Medication and treatment supplies are to be brought to the health suite by the parent/legal guardian.

Medication and treatment will be performed according to standard nursing practice. All medications delivered to the school nurse must be picked up by the parent/legal guardian on the last day of school. Failure to pick up medication by the last day of school may result in disposal. If you have any questions, please call the school and ask to speak to the health suite staff.

Out of Zone

Students living outside the school’s zone may request approval to attend Mt. Washington Elementary School. City Schools has a process and The School Improvement Team used that process to develop procedures for Mount Washington to follow for all out of zone students.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the criteria and process
regarding the application, acceptance, and post acceptance process
for out of zone students.

Process and Timeline for Acceptance

  1. Special consideration to attend MWES must be requested by contacting the school office at 410-396-6354.
  2. All requests will be placed on a wait list.
  3. Parents/legal guardians will be notified of the decision to approve their request.
  4. As seats become available students on the wait list will be contacted and offered the opening. Decisions for acceptance in each grade will be based on the availability of student seats per grade. A sibling of a student already accepted as out of zone and students with administrative transfers made by central office staff will be given first priority followed by children of Baltimore City Schools’ employees. Then other students on the wait list will be considered.
  5. Students are accepted on an annual basis. Attendance for the following school year will be based on the availability of student seats per grade as well as adherence to post acceptance requirements outlined below. Priority will be given to returning students and siblings.

Technology & Internet

Students may use telecommunications (Internet) in Baltimore City Public Schools for educational purposes only. Students are allowed to access curriculum-related information and research topics and ideas that promote innovation in learning. Teachers and staff will make every attempt to ensure that the Internet is a safe learning environment. Students will be supervised while using the Internet and will be instructed in the appropriate and safe use, selection and evaluation of information. Students are expected to follow and adhere to the terms and conditions for acceptable policy use as outlined in the Code of Conduct handbook. The Student Acknowledgement of Review: Acceptable Use Policy, located in the City Schools Code of Conduct, is to be signed and returned to your child’s homeroom teacher the first week of school. Signing this form indicates that parents/legal guardians and students agree to the policy, terms, and conditions of Baltimore City Schools.

Textbooks

Classroom teachers will issue textbooks for use in the classroom, as well as those for home use. Students should make sure that textbooks receive appropriate care. Under the guidance of the parent/legal guardian, the student is expected to:

  1. Cover the book(s) without using glue, tape, or other adhesives that may damage the book(s).
  2. Keep each textbook free of all markings.
  3. Take proper care of each textbook while traveling to and from school.
  4. Bring the textbook(s) to class as directed by the teacher.
  5. Report loss of the textbook(s) to the teacher as soon as a loss is discovered.
  6. Return the textbook(s) to the teacher when asked to do so, or before transferring from a school.

If a textbook is lost or damaged then the parent / student is responsible to pay the cost to replace the textbook. If the replacement cost for the textbook is not recovered then the final report card may be withheld.

Replacement cost of a lost book is:

  • Hard cover textbook: $50
  • Soft cover workbook: $20

Visitors

Parents / legal guardians are always welcome to visit Mount Washington Elementary.

  • All visitors must enter through the main doors in the front of the building.
  • Parents/legal guardians and visitors to the school are required to report to the front office upon entering the building and sign in.
  • All visitors MUST wear a Visitor’s Badge in a visible place while in the school building. The school maintains the right to ask for identification from any visitor. Any suspicious individuals seen on school property should be reported to the front office immediately.

We ask that if you are coming to visit a teacher that you would please make an appointment prior to coming to school.