Welcome to Hunter's Bend Elementary School for the 2021-2022 school year! We ask that all students and parents read through the content of this handbook to familiarize themselves with the school policies and helpful information about HBES.
HBES Policies and Procedures
The building is unlocked for students at 8:30 a.m. For safety and supervision reasons, no one should arrive before 8:30 a.m. (If you are enrolled in SACC the doors will open at 7:00 a.m.) Students arriving at 8:30 a.m. or after will come into the school through the front (car riders) or cafeteria entrance (bus riders/SACC) then go directly to class.
Students not in their classroom by 8:45 a.m. will be counted tardy and should be accompanied into the office by an adult for check-in. Students who are excessively tardy miss important directions and organizational time at the start of the school day. Additionally, they may disrupt the classroom as they enter after the school day has begun. We encourage students to arrive promptly at school each day.
Car Riders Arrival Procedures:
● All vehicles should use the right lane closest to the building. For the safety of all, only one lane of traffic is permitted. Please do not pass cars.
● Each vehicle, regardless of weather, should pull forward to the yield corner.
● All children should exit on the sidewalk/passenger side of the vehicle.
● All drop-offs should take place through the Car Rider Line.
● Once the child has exited the vehicle, drivers are released.
● Parent escorts are allowed from the parking lot; however, drop-offs are not permitted from the parking lot.
● Please follow the instructions of the staff present.
● Parking is not allowed in traffic areas.
● Be nice
A note and/or notification to the teacher and in School Dismissal App is required for early dismissal. Children must be picked up in the office and signed out of school by the parents, guardians, or others designated on the registration form. Early Dismissals are not permitted after 3:15 p.m., unless it is an emergency. Your child’s safety is the utmost concern to us. Dismissal during this time causes confusion and disruption, which results in an unsafe and disorderly environment.
School will be dismissed at 3:45 p.m. If your student is a car rider, please stay in line and follow the car rider dismissal procedures. Bus riders will be dismissed through the cafeteria. The WCS Transportation Department will be calling using an automated call-out if buses are running more than 15 minutes late in the afternoon. Walkers and bike riders will be dismissed from the gym hallway entrance and walked to the school property line. Parents must complete a walker/bike rider form annually for their child. Parents are encouraged to meet their child at the school’s property edge. In the event of inclement weather or thunderstorms in the area, there will be no walker/bike riders.
In the event that a student’s means of transportation needs to be changed, written permission from parents is required. Such communication should be directed to the student’s homeroom teacher and Attendance Secretary. All change in transportation notes will be sent to the office each morning and at the end of the day the students will receive their change in transportation slip from the office. Parents may send an email to the students' teachers that will be forwarded to the office. Students will only be permitted to change transportation modes with this slip so it is crucial that all parent notes requesting a change in transportation be turned into the office each morning. Email, faxes, and voicemails are not appropriate forms of communication if leaving time sensitive communication. Students without written permission for a transportation change will be sent home according to their daily dismissal procedure.
Car Rider Dismissal Procedures:
● Patience and consideration for the safety of students and courtesy to staff is appreciated. The safety of our students is a priority.
● Car riders are dismissed through the kindergarten entrance at 3:45 p.m.
● Parents should log on to the School Dismissal App each school year to set default transportation home.
● Parents are asked to form lines in each of the three lanes by pulling all the way forward to the yield line. SUV’s and taller vehicles are asked to use the far, outside lane from the school building. This helps create better sight lines for safety and allows a better view for parents/students.
● Please refrain from “flagging” or waving at your child while engines are running and/or cars are moving.
● Turn off cell phones and engines for safety.
● Parents should remain in or stand beside their vehicles.
● QR codes will be available for parents to scan prior to beginning dismissal procedures.
● Only cars between the yellow lines will be loaded. There are usually 2-3 rotations of cars.
● Students will not be released to parents in the parking lot or in other areas.
● Once students are released they will walk down the sidewalk in the direction of their vehicles.
● Please load quickly and buckle up for safety. Engines should remain off.
● All cars will be released at the same time once all students are safely loaded.
● Parents must make arrangements to provide exceptions in the school dismissal app in cases where a non-custodial person is picking up a student (ex. grandparents, sibling, family friend, etc.). This is the responsibility of the parents.
● Students will not be released from the car rider area without notification to the office. (including walk-ups from the adjacent neighborhood). Those without the app or notification will be required to pull to the parking lot and will dismiss from the office after showing identification.
● All cars will be released at the same time once all students are safely loaded.
● Thank you for your patience and helping keep all our students safe and secure. Please note transportation to and from school is also provided by the school bus.
● Be Nice.
Walkers & Bicycle Riders:
Students riding bicycles to school must park their bikes in the bike racks provided. Using a bicycle lock is advised. Bicycles must stand up at or in the racks. Bicycles cannot be left lying on the sidewalk or in the grass. The school cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to bicycles. Please emphasize bicycle safety, bicycle laws, the use of helmets and manners to your children if they ride their bicycles to/from school. All students who ride bicycles to/from school should wear helmets. Students should walk their bicycles while on school property. A Walker’s and Bicycle Rider’s permission form is available on the school website and should be returned to the office before choosing this mode of transportation to and from school each year. In the event of inclement weather at dismissal, students will use their alternate transportation to go home. Only students in grades 3rd-5th are eligible to be bike riders.
Please be mindful of the weather upon arrival, and dismissal. The school may call to delay dismissal for students. This includes car riders, bus riders, bikers, walkers, etc. Often times, a pop up thunderstorm may warrant this delay (lightning, strong winds, heavy downpours, etc.).
Williamson County Students participate in both formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are ongoing classroom assessments utilized to inform instruction. Examples include exit tickets, quizzes, unit tests, STAR Early Literacy universal screeners (Kindergarten), AIMSWeb Plus screeners (K - 5), and benchmark assessments (1 - 5). Students in grades 3-5 will participate in state and district assessments. During assessment windows, we ask that parents make every attempt to have students at school on time.
Consistent attendance and punctuality is a cornerstone of student progress and success. If students repeatedly miss school or are intermittently tardy, it puts them at risk for misunderstanding concepts that are taught and reinforced while they are not present. Consistent attendance is a priority at Hunters Bend. Additionally, student attendance is one of the categories the federal and state governments use to evaluate schools and assess whether or not they are making adequate yearly progress. Consistent attendance is a priority at Hunters Bend.
Tardies and Early Dismissals (before 3:15)
Students are tardy if they are not in their classrooms by 8:45 AM.
Late arrival and early dismissal may be excused for the following reasons: (1) illness, (2) death in the family, (3) recognized religious holiday, (4) doctor or dentist appointment, or (5) Principal approved emergency or exceptional circumstances.
Early dismissals are strongly discouraged after 3:15 PM (except in an emergency) due to safety issues and the interruption of instructional time in classes. Instructional time extends until dismissal at 3:45 PM.
Parents must send a note to the teacher the morning of the request for early dismissal (unless an emergency) with the following information:
- Student’s name and teacher’s name
- Date and time child needs to be dismissed
- Reason for early dismissal
The parent must sign the student out in the office at dismissal time stating time and reason, and office personnel will call the student to the office when the parent arrives to pick up the student.
Excused absences include: (1) illness, (2) death in the family, (3) recognized religious holiday, (4) doctor or dentist appointment, or (5) Principal approved emergency or exceptional circumstances.
The Williamson County School Board Policy 6.200 requires written parental or medical documentation for all absences, tardies, and early dismissals. This documentation ensures that school personnel are fully and accurately informed about your child. All absences are considered “unexcused” until a note is sent, preferably within 48 hours of the student’s return to school. Notes are kept on file for the school year. Parents may send an email with all appropriate information to their child’s teacher and the Attendance Secretary.
Notes should state:
- child’s name
- teacher’s name
- date(s) of absence
- reason for absence
- doctor’s note attached (if applicable)
- parent or guardian signature
In response to the new Tennessee Department of Education Accountability Regulations (ESSA), which defines students as "chronically absent" after 18 absences per year, regardless of excused or unexcused, WCS schools will be more conservative than in the past in regard to excusing absences due to family trips. Family trips should be scheduled during regularly planned breaks. Family trips will not be excused except for Principal approved emergencies or in exceptional circumstances.
Bullying is not tolerated. We ask all parents and students to report any bullying to a teacher or staff member in the building. The report will be investigated by the administration within 48 hours. The investigation and required intervention will be implemented within 20 calendar days. Administration will notify the parent/guardian of any students involved immediately. Administration will also provide information regarding any support services available. Administration will follow investigation procedures and definitions set forth in policy 6.3032. Behavior that is found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension.
Bullying is defined by Tennessee law as any act that substantially interferes with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities or performance. Bullying is: 1) repeated, 2) intentional harm, 3) against someone perceived with less power. Bullying has the effect of:
1. Physically harming a student or damaging a student’s property
2. Knowingly placing the student or students in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student’s property.
3. Causing emotional distress to a student or students; or
4. Creating a hostile educational environment.
If a student needs help with resolving a conflict or if a student feels that he/she is being bullied, he/she should communicate with a staff member such as a teacher, counselor or administration. Families may also report bullying to a WCS toll free tip line. The toll free number is 1-855-284-0669. Incidents can also be reported via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children need a worry-free environment in order to do their very best in school. Unfortunately, teasing and bullying are facts of life for some students. While these actions are not prevalent, any incident can be discouraging to a child and disruptive to the learning process. The learning of appropriate social skills is a vital part of the educational process.
Bullying can include any behaviors initiated by one or more students against a victim that are deliberate and hurtful, and are repeated over time. The key components of bullying are that it is unprovoked and that the physical or psychological intimidation occurs repeatedly over time, creating a pattern of harassment or abuse.
These incidents may NOT be considered bullying:
1. Not liking someone - It is natural that people do not like everyone around them and, as unpleasant as it may be to know someone does not like you, verbal and non-verbal messages of "I don't like you" or “I don’t want to play with you” are not acts of bullying.
2. Being excluded -It is very natural for people to gather around a group of friends and we cannot be friends with everyone, so it is acceptable when kids have a party or play a game at the playground, they will include their friends and exclude others. It is very important to remind kids they do the same thing sometimes too and, although exclusion is unpleasant, it is not an act of bullying.
3. Accidentally bumping into someone - When people bump into others, the reaction depends mostly on the bumped person's mood. This is also relevant for playing sports; physical contact is a part of some sports play. It is very important for teachers and parents to explain that some accidents happen without any bad intention and it is important not to create a big conflict, because it was not an act of bullying.
4. Making other kids play things a certain way - Again, this is very natural behavior. Wanting things to be done our way is normal and is not an act of bullying. To make sure kids do not fall into considering it as an aggressive or "bossy" behavior, we need to teach them assertiveness.
5. A single act of telling a joke about someone - Making fun of other people is not fun for them, but the difference between having a sense of humor and making fun of someone is a very fine line. It is important to teach kids (and grownups) that things they say as jokes should also be amusing for the others. If not, they should stop. Unless it happens over and over again and done deliberately to hurt someone, telling jokes about people is not bullying.
6. Arguments - Arguments are heated disagreements between two (or more) people (or groups). It is natural that people have different interests and disagree on many things. The argument itself is not a form of bullying, although some people turn arguments into bullying, because they want to win the argument so badly. They use every means to get what they want and find a weakness in the other person, abuse knowledge or trust they have gained and use it against the other person. It is very important to distinguish between natural disagreements and bullying during an argument.
7. Expression of unpleasant thoughts or feelings regarding others - Again, communication requires at least two players. Although it may be unpleasant to hear what someone thinks about you, it is not a form of bullying but a very natural thing. In every communication, there are disagreements and some form of judgment about each other's attitude and behavior.
8. Isolated acts of harassment, aggressive behavior, intimidation or meanness - The definition of bullying states that there is repetition in the behavior. Bullying is a conscious, repeated, hostile, aggressive behavior of an individual or a group abusing their position with the intention to harm others or gain real or perceived power. Therefore, anything that happens once is not an act of bullying.
All the behaviors above are unpleasant and need to be addressed, but are not to be considered as bullying. Considering the parties involved, intent, severity, and frequency of the behavior is essential when determining the course of action by the classroom teacher and/or administration. Many times, labeling a single act of aggression can turn it into bullying just by perceiving it that way.
Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment or bullying shall be unique to the individual incident and will vary in method and severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student’s history of problem behaviors. Remedial measures shall be designed to:
● Correct the problem behavior
● Prevent another occurrence of the behavior
● Protect the victim of the act
● Help the student understand how the other person feels
We believe it is imperative for the home and school to work harmoniously in helping students evolve into responsible individuals who can demonstrate good character traits while weighing the rights and interests of others at the same time. This learning related to character development is as important as academic achievement. Parents, students, teachers, and administrators contribute to a positive environment where children feel safe and have an opportunity to learn. Developing good character traits will allow students to learn empathy and celebrate everyone’s achievements. It is our goal to ensure our school environment is a place where students want to be and where they see themselves as capable of success. The goal of our school is to stop the behavior from continuing, prevent further incidents, teach empathy and positive social skills, involve the appropriate parents, and implement suitable consequences when necessary.
Hunters Bend teachers work to incorporate technology into student learning on a regular basis. All electronic games, toys, trading cards, handheld games, etc. are highly discouraged and should not be seen or heard during the day. If any of these items are seen or heard during the day they will be taken up and returned only to the parent/guardian.
The student’s classroom teacher will communicate to parents any exceptions to this policy for that specific classroom. You can find a copy of the Acceptable Use Agreement at the district website www.wcs.edu. In addition, students take full responsibility for personal digital devices at all times. The school is not responsible for the security of the device.
● The device must be in silent mode while on school campuses unless otherwise directed by the teacher.
● The device may not be used to cheat on assignments or tests or for non-instructional purposes during instructional time.
● The device may not be used to record, transmit or post photographic images or video of a person, or persons on campus during school activities and/or hours unless assigned by the teacher as allowed by the WCS Acceptable Use, Media Release and Internet Safety Procedures.
● The device may only be used to access files or internet sites which are relevant to the classroom curriculum. Non-instructional games are not permitted.
● Students must comply with a teacher’s request to turn off the device.
Students acknowledge and agree that:
● The school's network filters will be applied to the WCS guest network access to the internet and shall not be circumvented.
● The school district may collect and examine any device at any time for the purpose of enforcing the terms of this agreement, investigating student discipline issues, or for any other school related purpose.
● Personal technology must be charged prior to bringing it to school, and the device must run off its own battery while at school.
● Students remain subject to all other school behavior rules.
Students are responsible for the well-being of their device. Please consider the following to help ensure the safety and success of your child’s device:
● Record the serial number on the device in the event of it being lost or stolen
● Seek to use a password protected device
● Do not share any passwords
● Consider an insurance policy for your device
● Monitor your child’s use of the device on a regular basis
Hunters Bend will follow the guidelines set by the district that can be located at www.wcs.edu. Any disciplinary actions regarding inappropriate behavior with a device will be handled on a case-by-case basis, which can include the loss of BYOT privileges for any amount of time as determined, by the administration as well as other disciplinary actions.
Lunch should be a relaxing and fun time for students. To that end, cafeteria rules have been established to help create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere.
1. Walk into the cafeteria.
2. Stay in your seat with your feet under the table and keep your hands to yourself.
3. Talk to the people at your table. (Not to children behind you or at another table)
4. Raise your hand and wait for permission before leaving your seat.
5. Gather all your trash and clean up your area before leaving the cafeteria.
6. When your table is dismissed, throw away your trash.
7. If lights are turned off, everyone will be silent and listen for directions.
8. Get all utensils and condiments before sitting down.
9. Purchase ice cream and a la carte items when you go through the line.
A balanced hot lunch is served daily in our school, following a county prepared menu.
Lunch menus will be posted on the school website for you to access each month. There are other alternatives besides the daily menu. Fresh salads are offered daily as well. Students bringing their own bag lunches may purchase milk and snacks.
Please visit the District Website to learn more about the cost of meals.
If your child has food allergies, please provide the school nurse a doctor’s note explaining the allergy. There is a no charging policy for “Special Sales.”
Carbonated drinks are not allowed in the cafeteria. Please send items in your child’s lunch that can be easily managed by the child, as there is not sufficient staffing to assist each child individually. Sharing of food is not allowed because of possible food allergies. No outside vendor lunches from restaurants are allowed in the cafeteria. This will eliminate any dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt feelings, etc. of students while dining with friends/fellow students and will also protect our students with food allergies.
Students may not be picked up from car services such as Uber and Lyft. These companies prohibit minors from being transported alone.
Birthdays: Williamson County elementary schools will celebrate birthdays without a focus on food. Due to the increasing number of students with allergies, along with a focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle, WCS elementary schools does not allow edible birthday treats to be brought to school. Parents wishing to provide a special birthday treat may choose an alternative non-edible treat. Suggestions include bookmarks or pencils, donating a book in your child’s name to his or her school library or having a family member come read to the class.
We cannot allow private birthday party invitations to be passed out at school unless the entire class is invited. We also cannot give out phone numbers, email addresses, or home addresses due to confidentiality issues. The PTO provides a student directory for such purposes.
Parties: Two class parties (Winter Celebration and End of Year) have been approved for the students. Per district guidelines parties will be limited to two adults per class plus the PTO board.
For the protection of our students with food allergies, the parents/guardians of the student with food allergies must bring a supply of snacks to be distributed during parties. These snacks must be individually labeled with the child’s name. The classroom teacher will share specific snack procedures for his/her classroom. Parents bringing in food items will be asked to provide packaged items, including an ingredient list and nutritional information to the classroom teacher/school nurse. Homemade food items are not permitted.
Snacks: Students in all grades will bring their own daily snacks from home. This is to ensure that each child has food that is safe for him/her to eat. Parents providing snack items may be asked to provide an ingredient list to the classroom teacher/school nurse.
Cell Phone and Other Electronic Devices
Cell phones, Apple/Smart watches, and cameras may not be used to take pictures or video in the school setting. If, as a parent, you feel that it is imperative for your child to have a cell phone-Apple/Smart watch at school for after school communication, it is to remain in your child’s backpack, turned off during the school day and during bus transport to and from school. All items in backpacks are the responsibility of the student and the school is not liable for ANY loss or damage incurred. We are working to keep students focused on learning. All electronic games, toys, trading cards, MP3 players, virtual pets, hand-held electronic games, etc. are not permitted AND should not be seen or heard during the school day. If any of these items are seen or heard during the school day they will be taken up and returned only to a parent/guardian. Students take full responsibility for personal digital devices at all times. The school is not responsible for the security of the device.
Character Education - The 8 Keys of Excellence
● INTEGRITY – Match behavior with values
Demonstrate your positive personal values in all you do and say. Be sincere and real.
● FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS – Learn from mistakes
View failures as feedback that provides you with the information you need to learn, grow, and succeed.
● SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE – Speak honestly and kindly
Think before you speak. Make sure your intention is positive and your words are sincere.
● THIS IS IT! – Make the most of every moment
Focus your attention on the present moment. Keep a positive attitude.
● COMMITMENT – Make your dreams happen
Take positive action. Follow your vision without wavering.
● OWNERSHIP – Take responsibility for actions
Be responsible for your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. “Own” the choices you make and the results that follow.
● FLEXIBILITY – Be willing to do things differently
Recognize what is not working and be willing to change what you are doing to achieve your goal.
● BALANCE – Live your best life
Be mindful of self and others while focusing on what is meaningful and important in your life. Inner happiness and fulfillment come when your mind, body, and emotions are nurtured by the choices you make.
Chromebooks will be provided at the beginning of the school year. Before students are issued a Chromebook, both the child and parent must read and sign the Acceptable Use Policy, the Video Conferencing form and the Authorization District Device form. These forms will be made available in Skyward prior to the start of school for review and acceptance.
Students must act responsibly with their Chromebooks. Teachers will review proper practices with students to maintain good condition. If a student willingly and intentionally damages a Chromebook, the student may be charged for repairs up to the total cost for replacement. Charges will be determined by administration.
Students should take their Chromebook home nightly to charge the device, use the device for any assigned homework, and to be prepared for any transition to Remote Learning. Student issued Chromebook charge cords are not needed at school.
We are very fortunate to have a full time nurse on staff. They are committed to serving all students and staff. If a student becomes ill or injured at school, the teacher will have the student evaluated by the school nurse. Through an examination and in accordance with the district illness policy, the nurse will determine treatment or if the student does not meet criteria to stay in school. The nurse will notify parents if a student becomes significantly ill or injured. The school nurse may only administer medications that are provided and authorized by the parent/guardian. Refer to the WCS Medication Administration Protocol for guidance.
Students will be checked for head lice by the school nurse when demonstrating symptoms of infestation. Parents of students with live lice or an active infestation will be asked to pick up their child as soon as possible to begin the treatment process. The student may return to school only after the hair has been treated appropriately and the parent presents proof of treatment.
When determining whether your child is well enough to attend school, please refer to the Williamson County Schools Illness Guidelines found here.
Ongoing, two-way communication between the school and home and from home to school is essential in working together as partners in providing excellence in education for all students. Your ideas, questions, and concerns are important to the Hunters Bend team. We welcome your notes, calls, and visits. Listed below are ways we work to communicate with parents:
● Back To School Bash
● Grade Level Parent Orientations & Open House
● Hunters Bend Student/Parent Handbook
● PTO meetings
● PTO web page
● Teacher-Parent Phone Calls
● Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences
● School & District Websites
● Education Articles in Local Newspapers
● Automated Phone/Email Call-Outs
● Home Folders
All teachers have a published e-mail address. Although you may wish to communicate with your child’s teacher by e-mail, please be aware that e-mail is not always confidential. Please do not send time sensitive information by e-mail as the system is occasionally down and teacher’s instructional schedules do not allow for immediate response.
Voice Mail Policy:
All teachers have published voicemail extensions that can be accessed by calling 472-4580. Please do not leave time sensitive messages by voice mail, as teachers’ instructional schedules do not allow for immediate response. In an effort to keep in communication with parents, teachers will check their voicemail before and after school each day.
School staff will make every effort to return parent communication within 24 business hours.
Should a parent become dissatisfied with the action of a teacher, administrator, or other school employee, there is a recommended course of action to follow. First, try to resolve the complaint directly with the person on an informal basis. Following the teacher/parent discussion, persons can bring the issue to the principal.
CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING
We believe it is imperative for the home and school to work harmoniously in helping students grow into responsible individuals who can demonstrate good character traits while weighing the rights and interest of others at the same time. This learning related to character development is as important as academic achievement. Developing good character traits will allow students to learn empathy and celebrate everyone’s achievements. It is our goal to ensure our school environment is a place where students want to be and where they see themselves as capable of success.
Custodial Parenting Issues
Custodial parents must inform the school immediately upon any changes in custody, especially court restraining orders. Non-custodial parents requesting information for a student should provide the child’s teacher with self-addressed, stamped envelopes for periodically mailing information, or arrangements may be made for the child’s teacher to collect information to be transported with the student to the non-custodial parent. All families with a parenting plan must have that plan on file in our office along with any subsequent orders or changes to the parenting plan. Students will be unable to register for school without a parenting plan or court order establishing the primary care parent, should any court order exist.
District Wide Policies for Elementary
Technology and Chromebooks
Annual Public Notices
Annual Public Notices including FERPA, Child Advocacy Groups Contact Information, Homeless Education, Rights of Children with Disabilities and Parent Responsibilities, Section 504 Notice, State Statutory Rights of Parents and Students, Teacher Information, and the Williamson County Schools Statement of Non-Discrimination can be found on the Annual Public Notices posted to the WCS website.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Williamson County, in compliance with federal and state law, performs a countywide Child Find. Child Find uses screening to find students in both public school or private school located in the geographic region who may need special education services and supports.