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Elementary Student Handbook

Joe Sawyer

Dr. Joseph M. Sawyer, Superintendent

Dear Families,

     I am pleased to welcome your children as students of the Shrewsbury Public Schools. Our school district has earned a reputation for providing an excellent education that engages students in meaningful learning within an environment of respect and caring. I am confident that you will find that our educators and support staff are highly skilled and deeply committed to achieving our mission of providing the skills and knowledge necessary for our students to become successful, contributing citizens in our 21st-century world. I invite you to be active partners in your children’s education in whatever ways you can, in order to continue our tradition of having a supportive and engaged parent community that enhances the quality of our schools.

     Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school’s principal or to me if you have a question, suggestion, or concern. I look forward to working together to ensure that our schools provide a truly outstanding education that improves the lives of our students and contributes to making Shrewsbury a terrific place to live and raise our families.

Respectfully,

Joe Sawyer

Amy Clouter 

Amy Clouter, Assistant Superintendent

     Happy New Year! It’s my pleasure and privilege to welcome you back to school. From my perspective this really is a ‘most wonderful time.’

     Our students fuel our work, and their return infuses every building with new energy. The children are well met by teams of talented educators ready to engage and include every child. I’m confident that you’ll find in the Shrewsbury Public Schools a place where staff are always seeking to provide our graduates with the skills, knowledge and mindsets they’ll need in order to succeed.

     Along with a ensuring your child has a strong foundation in the basics, our district is committed to helping our students develop the ability to ask meaningful questions, grapple with complex problems and collaborate with other learners.

     Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, suggestions, or thoughts to share about teaching and learning in the Shrewsbury Public Schools.

SHREWSBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

Increase Value to the Community

  • Continue our school district’s reputation for excellence.
  • Provide the personnel, resources, and infrastructure needed to ensure the quality of education necessary for our students to meet the challenges of the 21st century .
  • Serve community needs through volunteerism.

Engage & Challenge All Students

  • Ensure that all students participate in rigorous learning experiences that require the application of knowledge and skills, with an emphasis on writing across all content areas.
  • Empower students to meet future college, military, and workplace demands in a globally connected environment by building proficiency at the 21st century skills of communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

Enhance Learning through Technology

  • Provide staff and students access to the technology needed to strengthen teaching and learning in ways that are not possible with traditional tools in order to help students master 21st century skills. 
  • Utilize technology to provide better access to information and interactive media, a wide range of assessment and feedback tools, and the ability to make learning connections locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Promote innovative uses of technology that advance the district’s educational and operational goals and monitor new approaches for equity, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  • Educate students to use technology productively and responsibly.

Promote Health & Wellbeing

  • Reinforce respectful, positive school cultures in order to empower members to act with kindness, empathy, and compassion.
  • Communicate and model the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and healthy living habits.
  • Ensure a systematic response to students who are struggling with social, emotional, and/or mental health issues.

MISSION & CORE VALUES OF THE SHREWSBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

MISSION

The Shrewsbury Public Schools, in partnership with the community, will provide students with the skills and knowledge for the 21st century, an appreciation of our democratic tradition, and the desire to continue to learn throughout life.

CORE VALUE: RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY

All members of the school community will treat one another with consideration, integrity, and honesty. We honor each person’s individuality, celebrate our community’s diversity, and support school cultures of mutual acceptance and respect. We accept the responsibility to work hard and persevere in all that we do and to take responsibility for our actions.

CORE VALUE: COLLABORATION & COMMUNICATION

All members of the school community accept shared responsibility for the learning of all students. Teaching and learning take place in collaborative school cultures that are based on trust, respect, and mutual accountability. Collaboration and effective communication with parents, town government, local businesses, and community members is foundational to our culture. In our schools students gain collaboration skills needed to become successful citizens, learners, and teammates in a global society.

CORE VALUE: COMMITMENT TO HIGH STANDARDS & EXPECTATIONS

All members of the school community commit to upholding high standards and expectations for all students. We work to engage students in important learning through excellent teaching and we foster the belief that effective effort is the most important element of success. We prepare students for future success by supporting their capacity for using technology, thinking independently, solving problems, and learning throughout life.

CORE VALUE: EQUITY

The school community strives to create opportunities for all students to achieve success. We provide all students with appropriate and rigorous curriculum and high-quality instruction that recognizes differences in needs and learning styles. We advocate for the resources necessary to support successful teaching and learning and we use our resources responsibly for the maximum benefit of students.

Central Office

Dr. Joseph M. Sawyer, Superintendent

Amy Clouter, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Patrick C. Collins, Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations

Jane O. Lizotte, Assistant Superintendent for Community Partnerships & Well-Being

Barbara A. Malone, Director of Human Resources

Margaret Belsito, Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services

High School

Todd Bazydlo, Principal

Jeffrey Lizotte, Assistant Principal

Maureen Monopoli, Assistant Principal

Greg Nevader, Assistant Principal

Gerald O’Connell, Assistant Principal

Oak Middle School

Dr. Ann Jones, Principal

Anne Koertge, Assistant Principal

Scott Yonker, Assistant Principal

Sherwood Middle School

Jonathan Kelly, Principal

Heather Gablaski, Assistant Principal

Karen Gutekanst, Assistant Principal

Parker Road Preschool

Lisa Robinson, Principal

Beal Early Childhood Center

Christian Girardi, Principal

Calvin Coolidge School

Tiffany Ostrander, Principal

Floral Street School

Lisa McCubrey, Principal

Gina Kelly, Assistant Principal

Spring Street School

Brian Mabie, Principal

Walter J. Paton School

Wendy Bell, Principal

Elementary School Principals and Mission Statements

 

Parker Road PreschoolLisa Robinson, Principal

Lisa Robinson     

Parker Road Preschool is a school for young children within a diverse community.

 

Beal Early Childhood Center; Christian Girardi, Principal

Christian Girardi

At Beal, highly specialized early childhood staff is committed to creating an educational environment that is safe and responds to the unique learning needs of young children.

 

Calvin Coolidge School; Tiffany Ostrander, Principal

Tiffany Ostrander

The Calvin Coolidge Elementary School, in partnership with our students, families and the larger community, strives to build a respectful educational community.

 

Floral Street School; Lisa McCubrey, Principal

Lisa McCubrey

Working together ...

Planting the seed of lifelong learning

Cultivating cooperation, compassion, and confidence

Building integrity in a respectful community ...

Our gift to the future.

 

Spring Street School; Brian Mabie, Principal

Brian Mabie

We pledge to:

Work hard and be responsible for our learning.

Support each other to reach high academic goals.

Respect our differences and make the world a better place.

 

Walter J. Paton School; Wendy Bell, Principal

Wendy Bell

Paton School is a respectful community that integrates common language and shared expectations among students, families, and staff across all aspects of the school day.

Mission: The Shrewsbury Public Schools in partnership with the community will provide students with the skills and knowledge for the 21st century, an appreciation of our democratic tradition and the desire to continue to learn throughout life.

School Committee Members

Sandra Fryc, Chair

Lynsey Heffernan

B. Dale Magee, Secretary

Jason Palitsch

Jon Wensky, Vice Chair

School Committee Website

Beal Early Childhood Center

  • Full Day Kindergarten and Grade 1  9:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Morning Kindergarten 9:15 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
  • Afternoon Kindergarten 12:55 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  

Parker Road Preschool

  • Parker Road Morning Session  8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Parker Road Afternoon Session 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Full Day Multi-age Special Education 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Little Colonials @ SHS Morning Session 8:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Little Colonials @ SHS Afternoon Session 11:40a.m. – 2:10 p.m.

Coolidge School

  • Grade K through Grade 4 9:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.          

Floral Street School

  • Grade 1 through Grade 4 9:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.          

Paton School

  • Grade K through Grade 4 9:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.          

Spring Street School

  • Grade K through Grade 4 9:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

     The Shrewsbury Public Schools employ a variety of methods to communicate with parents, students, and community members. Click on the links below for more information:

Decision to Close or Delay

 If inclement weather impacts the morning commute, the Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with the Highway Department and Public Buildings Department, will decide whether to cancel school or delay the opening of school. This decision will be made based on road conditions throughout the town, as well as on the ability to clear school driveways, parking lots, and entrances/exits. Please note that plowing and treating roads is the Highway Department's first priority, and neighborhood sidewalks may not be cleared prior to the morning commute. Conditions will vary in different neighborhoods across town (especially side streets), and many town sidewalks may not be cleared for some time after a snowfall.

Parents are in the best position to judge the situation in their own neighborhood and to make decisions regarding safety. When you are deciding whether your child may walk to school or wait at a bus stop, to drive your child to school, or to allow your high school student to drive to school, please be mindful of the conditions, especially given the height of snow banks at intersections and in parking lots. Parents who do not feel comfortable with the conditions in their neighborhood when school has not been canceled always have the option to choose not to send their children to school.

During poor weather, parent pick up and drop off lines at schools and bus routes will typically run more slowly than on a normal day, so we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Communication of Closures and Delays

The Superintendent of Schools typically decides whether to close or delay opening between 5:30 and 5:45am. Once the decision is made, the district's automated phone call and e-mail system will be used to communicate this information to families and staff. For families, the phone message will be sent to the phone number selected in PowerSchool for cancellations and the e-mail will be sent to both parents' addresses - it is crucial that parents maintain up-to-date contact information in through the PowerSchool Parent Portal for this to be effective. This message will be sent between 5:30am and 6:00am, and may take up to 15 minutes to cycle through.

Cancellation and delay information will also be broadcast on WBZ TV Channel 4, WCVB TV Channel 5, WHDH TV Channel 7, WFXT TV Channel 25, WTAG Radio AM 580, WSRS Radio FM 96.1, and WBZ Radio AM 1030. The Shrewsbury Public Schools web site Delays and Cancellations page will be updated as soon as possible after the decision; that site will also contain all of the information in this section. Cancellation and delay information will also be posted on the Superintendent's official Facebook page and Twitter account.

Delay Information

In cases where some additional time for road treatment and snow removal from campuses will be needed for school to be held, the Superintendent may choose to delay the opening of school. Typically this will be a one-hour delay, but occasionally a 90-minute or two-hour delay may be put in effect.

When there is a one-hour delay, morning Extended School Care is canceled and all school programs, including morning Kindergarten and Preschool sessions, will begin one hour late. When there is a 90-minute or two-hour delay, Extended School Care, morning Kindergarten, and morning Preschool classes are all canceled.

Please see the table below for the adjusted start times for the school day for students in the case of a delay. When a delay is called, students may not arrive at the school campus until one hour, 90 minutes or two hours later than the time they are allowed to arrive on a normal day, as there will not be access and supervision prior to that time. Bus routes will also begin one hour, 90 minutes or two hours later than on a normal day.

SCHOOL 1 HOUR DELAY 90 MINUTE DELAY 2 HOUR DELAY
High School 8:35 AM 9:05 AM 9:35 AM
Oak Middle 9:00 AM 9:30 AM 10:00 AM
Sherwood Middle 9:00 AM 9:30 AM 10:00 AM

Parker Road & Wesleyan

9:30 AM

AM Session Canceled
PM Session Normal Time

AM Session Canceled
PM Session Normal Time

Coolidge, Floral,
Spring and Paton
10:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM
Beal - Full Day K 10:15 AM 10:45 AM 11:15 AM (AM K Canceled)

Beal - AM K
Beal - PM K

10:15 AM

AM Session Canceled
PM Session Normal Time

AM Session Canceled
PM Session Normal Time

Little Colonials

9:15 AM

AM Session Canceled
PM Session Normal Time

AM Session Canceled
PM Session Normal Time

Early Dismissals

Under rare circumstances, the Superintendent of Schools may determine that inclement weather that threatens to make the afternoon commute unsafe requires an early dismissal from school. If such a decision is made, we will notify families using the emergency function of our automated phone and e-mail system so that all phone numbers on record for both parents will be called (home, mobile, and work) in addition to both parent e-mails. Families are asked to plan ahead regarding childcare for such a situation.

Shrewbury's Extended School Care Delay and Cancellation Policy

When school is canceled, all Extended School Care programming is also canceled. When there is a delayed opening, the morning session of Extended School Care is canceled as access to school campuses will not be possible, but the afternoon session will be held. In the rare case of an early dismissal, the afternoon session of Extended School Care is canceled.

Summer Math Challenge

     To children, the summer slide means water, garden hoses and slippery plastic sheets. To teachers, the “summer slide” is the noted decrease in reading, writing, and math skills after a vacation with fewer books, pencils, and less math fact practice. While students attend Shrewsbury Public Schools, they spend countless hours working on reading, writing, and math skills.

     To support our students and their skills over the summer, we have put together Summer Reading and Summer Math Calendars.

     For every day that your child reads, record the number of minutes read or the title of the book on the calendar. At the conclusion of each month your child can record his/her favorite book read and you will sign off.

     The math calendar provides ideas for different math activities each day. Your child can indicate the activities completed with a check in the box.

     When school begins they can bring the calendars in to show their new teacher their reading and math efforts. These calendars can be found below and/or in the Elementary Handbook and on the Shrewsbury Public Schools website: https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/curriculum/summer-reading

Entering Preschool Entering Kindergarten Entering 1st Grade
Entering 2nd Grade Entering 3rd Grade

Entering 4th Grade

Summer Reading

     The summer reading information can be found on the district website. There is a parent letter, Summer Reading Bingo board, and reading list.

     Please use the following link below to access these items:
 https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/curriculum/summer-reading

Visual Arts Mission & Vision Statement

     The Visual Art Department fosters an inclusive learning environment. We focus on creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and the development of innovative technical skills. Our vision is for students to be open-minded, culturally aware, responsible contributors, developing a life-long appreciation for art.

Performing Arts

     The performing arts have a far-reaching impact on all of our lives with real world connections. The objective of our department is to have students develop an appreciation for the beauty of music and drama as well as providing a creative outlet for their expression of talent and emotions. The Shrewsbury elementary music program is divided into several standards. Each grade level acquires musical skills with various lessons that align with these musical standards. Creating, performing and responding to music are the fundamental music processes. Students learn by doing!

     The school media center is the very heart of our elementary schools in Shrewsbury. In the complex technological world of today, education is no longer simply the acquisition of a body of knowledge. Rather it is the ability to access, effectively evaluate and creatively present this information in a meaningful fashion. Information literacy prepares individuals to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in today's global information society.

     Elementary students in grades K - 3 visit the media center each week (half day kindergarten students visit media center every other week).

     All students will receive a First Book letter at the beginning of the year, which provides guidelines for borrowing books from our Media Centers. If your child chooses a book, which you feel, is not suitable for him/her, he/she may stop by the media center and exchange it at any time.

     The physical education curriculum for elementary students in Shrewsbury Public Schools is child-centered. Students learn the joy and satisfaction of being physically active and part of the group regardless of their personal strengths or limitations. Physical Education also provides unique opportunities for positive peer interaction, good sportsmanship, and proper self-discipline and control. Emphasis is placed on the student's commitment to a positive mental attitude toward physical activity. Individual activities, team sports, and recreational games are introduced with age appropriate expectations. The instruction strives to help each student realize his/her potential and work to meet it. Through physical education, it is paramount that students learn a variety of important life skills which include movement skills, knowledge, and behavior/social skills, over the course of each school year.

     Comprehensive Health Education provides the opportunity for all students to develop and demonstrate health related knowledge, attitudes and practices that integrate physical, mental, and social dimensions of health and wellness. Health Education instruction is presented on a weekly bases by a licensed Health educator starting in the 4th Grade.

     Health Education in Shrewsbury is a sequential 4th-11th grade curriculum addressing the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health and enables children and youth to become healthy and productive citizens and establish and practice health-enhancing behaviors over a lifetime. Curriculum is designed to motivate children and youth to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, reduce health-related risk behaviors and develop and demonstrate health-related knowledge, attitudes, skills and practices.

     Student Expectations for Elementary Health include:

  • Develop an awareness of feelings of self and others
  • Become skilled in problem solving
  • Recognize the relationships between body systems and the effects of disease
  • Learn about personal safety and abuse prevention

     The Shrewsbury School Committee encourages the use of information technology to assist in preparing students for success in life and work by providing access to a wide range of information and the ability to communicate with others. Information technology will be used to increase communication, enhance productivity, and assist staff in upgrading existing skills and acquiring new skills. The system/network will also be utilized to provide relevant school information to the community.

     Information technology is defined as Internet access, email, published and non-published documents, and various forms of multimedia technology. The district employs the use of specialized filtering software that monitors Internet traffic and blocks inappropriate web sites.

     Access to information technology through Shrewsbury Public Schools is a privilege, not a right. Violations of the agreement may result in disciplinary action.

     Because information technology is constantly changing, not all situations can be anticipated or addressed in a policy. All users are expected to understand and comply with both the “letter” and the “spirit” of this policy and show good judgment in their use of these resources.

 

Elementary Grades K-2 Acceptable Use Agreement

     Using the computer/iPad correctly is a very important job. I promise to follow these rules.

  • I promise to use the Internet and computers/iPads for my schoolwork only.
  • I promise to stay on the web pages that my teacher shows me.
  • I promise to ask for help if I don’t know what to do.
  • I promise to never give my picture, my name, address, home phone number or the name of my school on the Internet.
  • I promise to tell my teacher if I read or see something on the Internet that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • I understand network files are not private. Teachers may view the contents at any time. I promise to respect all school computers and use them correctly.
  • Now that I have made these promises, I will sign my name to show that I will follow these rules. If I break my promise I will not be able to use the computers or other instructional technology equipment.
  • Personal information includes pictures, names, addresses, e-mail addresses, home phone numbers or location of my school.
  • I understand that all school rules apply while I am using the Internet and computers. If I do not follow these rules, I may lose my Internet privileges, be subject to disciplinary action, and may need to attend a meeting with my parents, teacher, and principal.

 

Elementary Grades 3-4 Acceptable Use Agreement

  • I will promise to use the Internet and computers/iPads for educational purposes.
  • I will only use the computers/iPads and Internet after obtaining my teacher’s permission.
  • I will only use bookmarked sites unless my teacher or another authorized adult supervises my use of a search engine for approved research. 
  • I will not use e-mail, enter any chat rooms or use instant messaging without permission from my teacher.
  • I will always treat people online with respect and treat them as I would like to be treated.
  • I will respect the rights of copyright owners and will not plagiarize work that I find on the Internet.
  • I will respect all school hardware and never load software or do anything to damage any equipment.
  • I will tell my teacher right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • I will not leave an account open or unattended or trespass into anyone else’s files, folders, or work. I
  • understand network files are not private. Network administrators may view the contents at any time in order to maintain system integrity.
  • I will never send any personal information about me or anyone else without first checking with my teacher.

     The PowerSchool Parent Portal Parent Portal is a secure Web site that has been designed to act as a comprehensive communication vehicle. Parents/guardians will use this as a resource for obtaining information, school activities sign-up, busing, tracking progress, etc. Below is a list that outlines what the PowerSchool Parent Portal account encompasses:

  • Update contact/demographic information (PK-12)
  • View attendance (PK-12)
  • Acknowledge student handbook receipt (PK-12)
  • Request bus privileges (K-12)
  • View bus route, stop, and pickup time information (K-12)
  • Sign up for band/chorus/orchestra (4-7)
  • Choose a foreign language (5-6)
  • Choose a summer reading book (7-8)
  • Sign up for sports (7-12)
  • View grades & assignments (9-12)
  • View the school's Daily Bulletin (9-12)

For more information about the Parent Portal and account creation click here: https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/it/powerschoolparentportal

Parent Demographics

REQUIRED ANNUAL EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION UPDATE & HANDBOOK ACKNOWLEDGMENT

     Each year, all parents are required to review and update their emergency contact information and review and acknowledge the school handbook. These updates are required in order to view bus route information, and to access to other online functions such as sign-ups for activities, etc.

     To do this, log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal at https://ps.shrewsbury.k12.ma.us.

     Click on the “Demographic Information Update” button on the left menu. Review your emergency contact information and correct if necessary, view the school handbook, and click the blue button at the bottom of the screen.

     Please note that all families are required to perform these steps in order to ensure that we have the ability to contact you in the event of an emergency.

     Schoology is an online Learning Management System currently being used by teachers to allow students and parents to access assignments and class materials online.

     To access Schoology, please visit this page (https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/it/schoology) for account setup instructions.

     The Shrewsbury Public Schools curriculum is linked to MA State Frameworks. The specifics of your child’s curriculum will be covered at our annual curriculum night. If you have any additional questions, please contact your school’s curriculum coordinator.

     The district is very focused on equity, which gives us an opportunity to highlight the experiences that students have across elementary schools.

Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks

Sample Standards Based Report Card

sample standards based report card

     Extended School Care is a non-profit organization that provides quality before and after school care for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Operated by the Shrewsbury Public Schools, the program is fully funded through parent fees. Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where students can engage in enrichment activities, participate in recreational programming and socialize with their peers. Time is also set aside each day for students to work on their homework.

     Our experienced and caring staff members create fun and innovative programming for students of all ages, interests and abilities. We focus on building positive relationships, developing social skills, strengthening self-esteem, and encouraging independence, responsibility and good decision-making.

     Our programs are located within the school building at Beal, Coolidge, Floral, Paton, Spring and Sherwood.

     For more detailed information please visit our website: https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/extendedlearning/extended-school-care

Times (before and after)

     Before school program: 7:00 AM until the start of the school day (please note there is no before school program at the Sherwood Middle School)

     After school program: starting at school dismissal and closing at 6:00PM

Waitlist Info

      The earliest you may add your child to the extended day waiting list is January of the year your child will start school. Incoming students applying for the wait list between January 1st and February 28th will be entered into a lottery to determine your waitlist number. The lottery will be drawn in early March. You will be placed on the list after people on the existing wait list. (For example if there are 50 people on the waiting list and you are pulled first from the lottery, your waitlist number would be 51.)

     Anyone applying for the waitlist after February 28th will be placed at the bottom of the list based on date of application.If you are moving to Shrewsbury you can only be added to the waiting list after you have registered for school.

     A Breakfast Program is offered daily at Coolidge Elementary before the school day begins. Breakfast is not served at the other Elementary Schools. A variety of cereals, fruits, pastries, morning breads, juice and milk are offered daily. All meals meet the USDA requirements for good nutrition.

     A Lunch Program is offered daily at all schools, except for Parker Road Preschool/Wesleyan Terrace. A minimum of four entrees are offered daily. In addition a variety of sandwiches, milks, 100% juices, fruits, and vegetables are offered daily. All meals meet the USDA nutritional guidelines.

     Please call the Cafeteria Manager at your child's school with questions and concerns about allergens. Each site has ingredient information for all foods sold by the cafeterias. We offer meal choices that accommodate allergies.

Free and Reduced Meals

     Free and reduced price meals are available to students if there is financial need. Applications are available online at lunchapp.com.

Kindergarten Snack Program

     Snack time is an important activity in the Preschool Program. Teachers use this time to model and talk with the children about healthy eating habits, facilitate social interactions and good table manners. The Parker Road Preschool (15 Parker Road & 2 Wesleyan Terrace) offers a nutritious snack program through the Food Service Department. This snack program ensures that all ingredients have been screened and approved for distribution and consumption by all students. This is especially important for the safety of students with life threatening food allergies.

     For information about the Kindergarten Snack Program, please visit: http://schools. shrewsburyma.gov/foodsvc/

     Shrewsbury Public Schools provide special education services in accordance with State and Federal regulations. Students may be referred for a special education evaluation under two conditions; 1) when a parent requests an evaluation and there has been an identified suspected disability; 2) under “child find” the district has followed the Early Intervening Team (EIT) process and provided interventions in the general education classroom to remediate any concerns and they have not proven successful. If a student is found eligible for special education services the TEAM will propose an Individualized Educational Program, which defines the type and frequency of services.

     Shrewsbury provides special education services in the Least restrictive Setting. This includes working with students in their general education classroom whenever possible. There are a variety of supports and services available at each elementary school to meet the unique learning needs of the students to help them make effective progress towards their goals. Specific questions about the special education programs should be directed to the Team Chair in each elementary school or to the Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services. She can be reached by phone at 508-841-8660. The Special Education Office is located at 15 Parker Road.

Guidelines for Classroom/Program Observation

     The purpose of An Act to Provide Access to Information for Parents and Evaluators (House Bill No.391) is to protect the rights of parents in participating fully and effectively with school personnel in the development of appropriate educational programs for their children.

     To that end, the Shrewsbury Public Schools has established guidelines regarding parents’ observations of their child or child’s program conducted by themselves, their educational advocate, or an evaluator. The cooperation of school and parent is essential to ensure the safety of children and the integrity of the program while under observation. The district’s guidelines for observations of students and programs are listed below.

Requesting an Observation

Parent(s)/Advocates/Evaluators

  • In order for the school district to have verbal or written contact with an educational advocate or evaluator, a “Release of Information” form must be signed by the parent for requests for an advocate or evaluator to observe the student in the classroom.
  • A request for an observation shall be made to the school principal either through email, letter, or telephone minimally 3 days in advance of the requested observation date. Principals will immediately notify the teachers involved and determine the appropriateness of the specific date requested. Requests for an observation shall include the purpose and desired outcome of the observation.
  • Principals should inform parents that their presence might influence the performance of their child that day, as well as the performance of other children.
  • The building principal shall notify the Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services of the request to observe.
  • Different observation requests may require more planning and observation time than others depending on the complexity of the students needs being evaluated or observed. For example, timely access following a request to observe a specific classroom, which the parties agree, can be achieved in an hour. In other instances, such as when a designee needs to observe the current and proposed programs, including periods of unstructured time to observe student’s interactions and responses the observation may take longer to schedule.
  • For evaluators, observations may occur at greater frequency to complete an assessment. An evaluator must be credentialed/licensed in the area being evaluated. This will also be scheduled with the Principal or designee.
  • There will be periods of time when observations will not be scheduled, such as during MCAS or other district wide testing and during the first two weeks of school and the last two weeks of school.
  • The duration and extent of the observation will be determined on an individual basis.

Expectations During Observations

  • For evaluators, the length of the observation shall be a reasonable time to address the purpose of the observation and desired outcome and shall be limited to an amount of time agreed upon by the evaluator and school principal or designee.
  • The number of people scheduled to observe a child or program at one time shall be limited to 2 people and no children may accompany a parent, advocate, or evaluator.
  • A staff member will accompany a parent, advocate, or evaluator for the duration of the observation.
  • Those observing will be seated in an area that will not disrupt instruction.
  • Staff members involved in a classroom observation will welcome observers to the class but will not interact with observers before, during, or immediately after the observation period. Discussion of the observation may take place at subsequent conference. Discussions should last no more than 20-minutes unless a TEAM meeting is being scheduled.
  • Those observing shall respect student confidentiality and shall not share any impressions of other students with anyone. Observers will be asked to sign a statement that in the event that they obtain personally identifiable or confidential information during the course of an evaluation/observation, they will not disclose it.
  • School safety procedures shall be adhered to at all times.
  • Principals retain the authority to exercise their discretion at any time to reschedule or terminate an observation in the event of a building emergency or a disruption that impacts the physical or emotional well-being of the children in the school or the program being observed or when necessary to protect;
  • The safety of the children in the program during the observation;
  • The integrity of the program during the observation; and
  • Children in the program from disclosure by an observer of confidential or personally identifiable information he or she may obtain while observing the program.

Follow Up

  • Depending on the purpose of the observation, staff will schedule a meeting or make telephone contact to follow up on the observation.
  • If the parent requests a TEAM meeting and an evaluation was conducted as part of the observation, the evaluator shall provide a written evaluation report to the school district at least 10 days prior to a scheduled team meeting.


     Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal statue which states, in part, "No otherwise qualified individual, shall solely on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

     This requirement not to discriminate in educational programs and activities also extends to employment. Each school has a designated Section 504 Coordinator. Initial inquires relating to Section 504 should be directed to the building-based Section 504 Coordinator who can be contacted through the principal’s office. Further information may be requested by contacting the Director of Pupil Personnel Services at (508) 841-8660.

     The following grievance procedure should be used to report discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Acts of 1973:

     To fulfill its obligation under Section 504, the Shrewsbury Public Schools recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding personnel and students. No discrimination against a person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs or activities of the Shrewsbury Public Schools.

     The school district has a specific requirement under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes the responsibility to identify, evaluate and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to free and appropriate educational services. Questions about eligibility or services should be first directed to the building-based coordinator.

     If a parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school, he/she has a right to a hearing, first with the district’s Section 504 Coordinator, and secondly with an impartial hearing officer. The district’s Section 504 Coordinator can be reached at 15 Parker Road, Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or by phone at (508) 841- 8660.

     The Director of Pupil Personnel Services, the district’s Section 504 Coordinator, who will provide a written report of the district’s findings, will hear all grievances in a timely manner. If a parent or guardian is unsatisfied with the results of the review they may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools.

     For grievances not resolved at the Superintendent’s level, a review by an impartial hearing officer may be scheduled. Individuals with grievances are not required to use the Shrewsbury Public School’s grievance procedure. Written complaints may be filed with the following agencies:

  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 75 Pleasant Street Malden, MA 02148-4906 (781) 338-3000
  • United States Department of Education Region 1 – Office of Civil Rights John W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse – Room 222 Boston, MA 02109-4557 (617) 223-9662
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission One Congress Street Boston, MA 02114 (617) 565-3200
  • Mass. Commission Against Discrimination One Ashburton Place, Room 601 Boston, MA 02108 (617) 727-3990

     Support instruction in reading and mathematics is provided through the Title I Program. This is a federally funded program based on the economic needs of the school community and the learning issues of its students. Elementary programs exist at the Beal Early Childhood Center, Coolidge School and Floral Street School. Specific questions about the Title I program should be directed to Ms. Maureen Henry, Title I Director, at mhenry@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us or through your child’s school office.

ELL

     Shrewsbury Public Schools provides English language instruction and support for students whose native language is not English. Instruction is provided outside the regular classroom in a small group setting or on an individual basis. English language learners (ELL students) study language appropriate materials to increase their English language reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. The English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher collaborates with the classroom teacher and sends home quarterly reports. If your family speaks a language other than English and you believe your child needs English language support, please contact your child’s classroom teacher or building principal. They will notify the ESL teacher so services can be scheduled.

     At any time during the school year, you can also request an interpreter or a document to be translated by sending an email to your child’s teacher and/or grade administrator. Please follow this link to access to Home Language Survey https://campussuite-storage.s3.amazonaws.com/prod/11162/b2004386-1ca3-11e6-b537-22000bd8490f/1718745/11f8c608-2860-11e8-86d6-1289bff8a33a/file/5HomeLanguageSurvey.pdf

     Each elementary school is staffed with a certified school psychologist who provides counseling and support to students who are experiencing challenges which affect their educational performance. Students may be referred for counseling by their teacher, the building principal, or the school nurse.  Parents who believe their child should meet with a counselor should call the school psychologist and discuss their issues and concerns. The school psychologist works with both students receiving special education services and students in the general education classrooms.

1. What are the entrance requirements for the Shrewsbury Public Schools?

     The Shrewsbury School Committee maintains a policy requiring students to be five (5) years of age on or before August 31st to attend Kindergarten and six (6) years of age on or before August 31st to attend Grade 1. To enter grades two (2) through twelve (12), the student must have completed and passed the previous grade level at a state-approved school or home-school program. A birth certificate or baptismal record must be presented as proof of age upon registration. Hospital records are not acceptable.

2. How do I register my child for school and what do I need to bring?

     Students are registered at the Superintendent’s Office at 100 Maple Avenue. Students’ original birth certificate or passport, health records, proof of residency, and last report card (if applicable) are required for registration..

3. Where can I find a list of students in my child's class?

     Lists of students enrolled in each classroom are given to volunteer room parents and distributed at the beginning of each school year. If you do not want your child included on this list, please send this request in writing to the school principal.

4. What measures are taken to ensure school safety and security at my child's school?

     Fire drills and lock down drills are conducted periodically throughout the school year. During these drills, students must follow teacher instructions. Exterior doors remain locked in all of Shrewsbury’s elementary school. Parents will be permitted access through the school office.

5.What do I need to do if I want to dismiss my child early from school?

     Early dismissals will be granted in the case of an emergency. A note signed by the parent must be sent to the child’s teacher on the day of the dismissal. Parents may pick their child up in the main office. No child will be allowed to leave school without the permission of the building principal or designee.

6. Can I visit my child's school during the school day?

     We are happy to have parents visit our schools. However, as welcome as parents are, they may also focus attention away from classroom instruction and become a distraction to both the teachers and the students. Parents are welcome to visit after arranging a time and a stated purpose with the classroom teacher. Specific details about visiting each school and checking in at the main office will be provided at each school, but we do request that each visit be scheduled in advance with the teacher. Visitors must register at the main office and wear a visitor’s badge that will be issued at that time.

7. Our family is planning a vacation during the school year. Can I pull my child out of school for that time?

     It is the expectation of the School Department that all students will be in attendance for all scheduled school days unless the child is ill or there is an unexpected emergency. If a family chooses to go on vacation during the school year, homework will not be provided ahead of time. A folder of class work will be saved for the student to complete when he/she returns to school. Extended vacations have a detrimental effect on a child’s educational program and negatively impact the environment for the other students in the class. Parents must discuss any possible extended absences with the school principal. Any student who is absent for vacation purposes will be marked with an unexcused absence for the first fifteen (15) days absent. On day sixteen (16), the student will become inactive and the parent must re- register the student at the school department offices at the Town Hall before the student may begin attending school again. Proof of residency will be required at that time. If the student has been out of the country for thirty (30) days or more, students will be asked to submit the results of a TB test six (6) to sight (8) weeks after their return.

8. My child is in preschool and we are taking an extended vacation. What are my next steps for tuition?

     If your family takes an extended vacation and you wish to secure your child's placement in the program, you are still responsible for your tuition payment. Otherwise, notice of withdrawal from the preschool program must be submitted in writing to the Parker Road Preschool four weeks prior to the withdrawal date.

9. What do I need to do if my child has been or will be absent for an extended period of time?

     In the event that your child is injured or seriously ill and will be absent for an extended length of time you should notify the school nurse, who will verify the absences and assist parents with the process for support and/or homework. A student must be absent for three consecutive days before parents can request homework.

10. What if I have a concern about my child's classroom, school, etc?

     We welcome the opportunity to assist you and your child to have a successful experience in our schools. Contacting the right person and discussing your concerns can solve most problems. Generally the best place to resolve an issue is with the source, the classroom teacher. In the event that you are not satisfied with the solution or are unable to resolve an issue you should then contact the building principal. Please note that building phone numbers are listed in this handbook. Direct phone numbers for teacher’s voice mail will be published during the school year. In the rare event that your problem is not addressed sufficiently at the building level, you should then contact the Superintendent’s Office at 508-841-8400.

11. Can I volunteer in my child's classroom or school?

     Volunteering in the Shrewsbury Public Schools is a time-honored tradition. School volunteers are always in demand and perform a variety of functions, from working in the main office, to preparing materials for teachers and students, to working in the media center or computer lab, to presenting special topics and projects to the students. Your support and expertise is welcomed. Volunteering does not require specific skills. The person with whom you work will train you. Volunteers typically work one day per week, either for the whole day or part of the day. The key to a successful experience is dependability. Volunteering requires a commitment for the period of time the individual agrees to work in the schools. All volunteers must complete a CORI check with the school department. If you are interested in volunteering in our schools, please contact the Principal (or a specific classroom teacher if there is one with whom you would like to work) and explain what you would like to do and what your schedule will allow.

12. I want to be a substitute teacher. What steps do I need to take?

     Substitute teachers work to ensure that appropriate classroom instruction continues when the classroom teacher is absent. The school department maintains a list of available substitutes. The minimum requirement is a college degree. If you are interested in working as a substitute teacher, you should contact Ms. Barbara Malone, Director of Human Resources. She can be reached at 841-8400.

13. When are parent teacher conferences and what can I expect?

     The following date has been established for parent-teacher conferences: November 12, 2019. Teachers will contact parents to arrange for a convenient time to meet; please note that some conferences may need to take place on an alternate date, as it is not always possible to schedule all conferences in one day. Please note that students do not attend school on the conference day. Additionally, either the parent or the school may originate parent-teacher conferences. The teacher will contact the parent to schedule a conference if he/she determines a need to do so. When the parent sees a need to meet with the school, he/she should contact the classroom teacher or the counselor to schedule a conference. Except for the scheduled dates, conferences are normally scheduled for before the school day or after school. The school department requests that parents try to understand the operational schedule of an elementary school and work with the school to schedule a time that is mutually convenient for both the parents and the school. Prior to the meeting it is important to note key issues that you would like to address. These might include your child’s performance and progress, personal development, discussion about a specific curriculum area or skill development, or test results.

14. How can I access my child's student school records?

Parents have a right to see their child’s school records. Parents should call the principal to arrange a visit to the school to review the student’s cumulative folder. The complete record will be made available to the parents. For copies of records, please allow up to ten school days. If a student will be transferring from the Shrewsbury Public Schools, please notify the school office two weeks prior to the last day of attendance. All student records will be mailed directly to the new school/district. Parents are asked to sign a release form and may request copies of records needed to register in the new school/district. Shrewsbury Public Schools does not release student information to outside organizations. A student’s temporary records will be destroyed no later than seven (7) years after a student transfers, withdraws, or graduates from the Shrewsbury Public Schools.

15. How are students grouped within their classrooms?

     The Shrewsbury Public Schools recognize that the purpose of grouping is to create learning environments that best meet the needs of students. As a result, the school district supports flexible grouping practices at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. In order to deal effectively with mixed ability groups and students with special needs, teachers must be classroom managers, using a variety of instructional strategies. These may include pretest and post-test evaluations, small group lessons, learning stations, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, independent study, and the use of technology. These are also the components for increasing the efficiency of instruction and compacting the curriculum. At the elementary level, students are grouped heterogeneously in self-contained classrooms, with opportunities for team structures in grade 4. Within elementary classrooms, teachers use a variety of strategies such as whole class, small group, and individualized instruction. The Shrewsbury Public Schools recognize that students grow and change during their years in school and that school programs must respond accordingly. Students must not be categorized or tracked in such a way as to limit their potential growth. Consequently, each level in the system develops flexible grouping strategies based upon the ages and needs of its students.

16. How does Shrewsbury support the learning of all learners, including High Potential and High Achieving Students?

     It is the philosophy of the Shrewsbury Public Schools to provide rich learning environments that promote academic excellence for all learners. Accordingly, curriculum and instruction should be designed to nurture the unique strengths of each student. It is the belief of the Shrewsbury Public Schools that student achievement thrives in a school system that celebrates individual strengths and differences. Students demonstrate the ability to achieve in a multitude of areas. Curriculum for high potential and high achieving students flows from the belief that each learner is unique and valued for his/her special talents, and is capable of accomplishment in academic areas as well as in art, music, technology, athletics, and drama. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the schools to provide opportunities for students to explore their talents in a variety of formats. The activities of the Shrewsbury Public Schools for students who demonstrate high potential and high achievement are normally provided in the context of regular instruction. Teachers employ grouping strategies according to the diverse abilities and interests of their students. Additionally, there are times when students work outside the classroom. At the high school, courses are offered at varying levels of challenge. Students make course selections based upon their interest and previous achievement. Since all children grow and change over time, enrichment activities must be accessible to all students. Grouping practices must be flexible and dynamic, and must recognize the diversity of learning styles and interests in every classroom.

17. How important is my child's attendance?

     Good attendance is important for success in school. Much of what children learn comes from the instruction by the teachers and interactions with other students in the classroom. To that end the School Department requests that parents make every effort to have their child attend each day school is in session. Children, however, do become ill and as a result need to stay at home. Parents should use their discretion regarding the seriousness of an illness but as a general rule if the child will be uncomfortable with a cold or may spread the illness to staff and students, it is best to keep the child at home. In the event that the child is too ill to attend to his or her work, the school nurse will make a determination to send the child home and will contact the parents.

18. What if my child is a walker or wants to ride a bicycle to school?

     Students who walk to school or are driven to school by parents should not arrive more than 30 minutes before the start of school. The school will not be responsible for students who arrive earlier. Only students in grade 4 are allowed to ride bicycles to school when weather permits. Students must secure bicycles with a chain and lock. The school will not be liable for any damage to, or loss of, a bicycle.

19. What is I have a transportation concern?

     If a parent is concerned about any matter related to transportation - schedules, behavior on the bus, policies, complaints, please call the Steve Rocco, Security and Transportation Coordinator at 508-841-1550 In the event that interpersonal student differences that create an extremely negative situation on a bus, parents should call the building principal.

20. What will happen if there is an accident while my child is on the bus?

     All injured children shall be referred to the school nurse. Those who are seriously injured will be transported to the home, doctor, clinic, or hospital as required, using the parent’s automobile, ambulance, or requested police assistance. An accident report will be completed by the nurse or principal and filed in the School Department Office.

21. Are school events or student accomplishments ever publicized in the media?

     Many school events, student accomplishments, and student work are published through both print and electronic media, including local newspapers, local cable television, social media and the school's website. If you have any objection to your child being included in the items listed below, you must send in writing your decision to opt out to your child’s principal. Unless the school receives contrary notice in writing from a parent, it is assumed that parents have given consent for the information below to be publicized.

  • Images for print, broadcast, and electronic display and distribution
  • Audio and video for broadcast and electronic display and distribution
  • Directory Permission-Student’s name, address, phone number and email address supplied to students and parents in your school community.

22. What if I have a question about tuition or fees?

Each building secretary has information about how to assist families with financial questions and concerns, and they apply district and/or state policies in a confidential way. Tuition for children in foster care with temporary guardians, or children in the care of grandparents should be waived for foster parents authorized for care by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), or who serve as temporary guardians, or for grandparents serving as the child’s guardian(s).

 

     Unless a copy of the order is given to the school, a non-custodial parent/guardian or anyone listed on the student’s emergency contact list will be allowed to dismiss/pick up a student from school.

(School Committee Policy #581)

     Principals, in consultation with the Instructional Support Team, may retain students in their current grade for the subsequent school year. Retention will be considered only after other alternatives (based on IST recommendations) have been attempted. Staff will provide regular communications with the parents during the course of the school year as issues relating to a student’s success begin to surface. The recommendation to retain a student shall be made, in writing to the child’s parents, by May 1st. Parents who wish their child to advance to the next grade level may appeal to principal’s decision to the superintendent of schools. The appeal to the superintendent should be made within ten days of the principal’s letter. (The special education team will make the recommendation to the principal for promotion/retention of special education students.)

(School Committee Policy #647)

     In accordance with General Laws Chapter 71, Section 32A, the Shrewsbury School Committee has adopted this policy on the rights of parents and guardians of our students in relation to curriculum that primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues.

     At the beginning of each school year, all parents/guardians of students in our schools will be notified in writing of the courses and curriculum we offer that primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues. The building principal will be responsible for such notification. Parents/guardians of students who enroll in school after the start of the school year will be given the written notice at the time of enrollment. If the planned curriculum changes during the school year, to the extent practicable, parents/guardians will be notified of this fact in a timely manner before implementation.

     Each such notice to parents/guardians will include a brief description of the curriculum covered by this policy, and will inform parents/guardians that they may:

  1. Exempt their child from any portion of the curriculum that primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues, without penalty to the student, by sending a letter to the school principal requesting an exemption. Any student who is exempted by request of the parent/guardian under this policy may be given an alternative assignment that will be clearly stated on the permission slip.
  2. Inspect and review program instruction materials for these curricula, which will be made reasonably accessible to parents/guardians and others to the extent practicable at the time of notification.

     Parents/guardians may arrange with the principal to review the materials at the school, and may also review them at other locations that may be determined by the Superintendent of Schools.

     A parent/guardian who is dissatisfied with a decision of the principal concerning notice, access to instructional materials, or exemption for the student under this policy may send a written request to the Superintendent for review of the issue.

     The Superintendent or designee will review the issue and give the parent/guardian a timely written decision, preferably within two weeks of the request. A parent/guardian who is dissatisfied with the Superintendent’s decision may send a written request to the School Committee for review of the issue. The School Committee will review the issue and give the parent/guardian a timely written decision, preferably within four weeks of the request. A parent/guardian who is still dissatisfied after this process may send a written request to the Commissioner of Education for review of the issue in dispute.

     Families that wish to participate in Homeschooling need to complete the following steps:

  1. A home school parent would need to submit a letter of intent to the Assistant Superintendent of Schools.
  2. Complete the Home School Application
  3. Please contact Donna Manzoli for an application and more information at: dmanzoli@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us

     Once their packet is reviewed by the Assistant Superintendent, an approval letter is sent to the parent(s).

     The homework policy of the Shrewsbury Schools is provided as a guide to balance homework with the realities of family life in the 21st century. The most effective implementation of the homework policy will occur when teachers, parents, and students appreciate the importance of good communication among those involved. The mission of the Shrewsbury Public Schools urges that the schools work “in partnership with the community.” Such a partnership is particularly important in the area of homework.

Policy – Grade 1 through Grade 8

     Homework is defined as written or non-written tasks that are assigned by teachers to be completed by students outside of the classroom. The purposes of homework in the Shrewsbury Schools are to practice newly taught skills, review previously mastered skills, develop independent study habits, and extend and enrich the curriculum. Homework should be related to the curriculum of the school and promote an understanding of the importance of lifelong learning. Additional academic homework will not be used as a behavior management tool or as a form of punishment. Finally, students, not parents, should do homework.

     Homework may be given four nights per week in grades 1-4 and should not be assigned on weekends. Homework may be assigned on Fridays in grades 5-8. Reading assignments are to be incorporated into the time allotments at each grade level. Because reading is crucial to academic success, voluntary reading beyond homework guidelines is encouraged.

     Long-term projects should be assigned at least two weekends before the work is due. Homework guidelines for some students with special needs may be determined by the student’s educational plan and should be specifically related to the student’s learning profile. The modifications in an educational plan supersede the general guidelines listed here.

Time Allocations per Grade Level

     The guidelines below provide the appropriate time limits that children at each grade level should devote to homework each night. Parents are encouraged to speak with their children’s teachers if homework time is routinely exceeding the guidelines.

Grade 1 - 15 minutes

Grade 2 - 20 minutes

Grade 3 - 30 minutes

Grade 4 - 40 minutes

(Monday-Thursday)

 

Students’ Roles and Responsibilities

  • Get the assignment and be able to ask for help if the assignment is not clear
  • Copy all assignments into planner (grade 4), carefully recording due dates
  • Set a time each day to do homework
  • Check work and, if possible, explain it to an adult
  • Maintain the highest quality work on homework assignments
  • Take home all necessary resources, such as packets, textbooks, notes and study guides
  • Bring the completed homework back to school when it is due
  • Be responsible for getting assignments when absent from school
  • Be responsible for taking care of, and returning, any borrowed resource materials

Teachers’ Role and Responsibilities

  • Identify the purpose of homework assignments for parents and students.
  • Establish objectives and guidelines for special projects, including any expectations for parent participation.
  • Follow the guidelines for the amount of time designated for homework including special projects.
  • Communicate expectations to students.
  • Post all assignments and provide time for students to record them.
  • Model homework strategies and provide models as appropriate throughout the school year.
  • Review homework and return it in a timely manner.
  • Establish a system for recording and reporting homework.
  • Ensure that resources and materials required for homework projects are easily obtained by the student.
  • Provide ways for parents to communicate with teachers about home- work.
  • Notify parents regarding homework problems and missing assign- ments.
  • Assign long-term projects so that the completion time includes more than one weekend, and is not limited to a school vacation period.
  • Discuss homework practice with colleagues and provide guidelines for the type of homework at each grade level in each school.

Administrators’ Role and Responsibilities

  • Ensure that homework is consistent with the educational goals of the Shrewsbury Public Schools
  • Facilitate communication between classroom and specialist teachers concerning homework
  • Monitor and support the teachers in the implementation of the homework guidelines
  • Encourage teachers to use homework as a tool to reinforce learning
  • Be aware of the assignment of major projects and their impact on the student’s overall educational program
  • Support the need for balance among the many learning activities in the life of a student besides homework
  • Facilitate the communication process between the school and home, and help maintain the parent/school partnership on homework.

Parents’ Role and Responsibilities

  • Promote a positive attitude toward homework as part of the learning process.
  • Understand and reinforce expectations for the quality of student work.
  • Provide structure, a place, and tools needed to help the child organize for the completion of homework.
  • Be available to provide supervision, but do not do the assignment for the child.
  • Have an understanding of the amount of assistance appropriate for homework assignments.
  • Communicate often with the student and his/her teacher, giving feed- back to the teacher when there is a homework concern.
  • Learn strategies/techniques for helping the student through opportunities such as parent homework clinics. 

Online Registration

     The registration process begins with the online portion through the PowerSchool Parent Portal. If you cannot access your Parent Portal account, please email the registrar Diane Abbott . A message will be displayed during the registration process stating whether or not a fee is required. Print the online registration confirmation form for your records. If no fee is due, your registration is complete.*

*Exception - The confirmation forms for students that do not require a fee due to the "Family Cap" must still be mailed with the other two registration forms where payment is due. For more information on Student Transportation and bus registration please visit: https://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/transportation/

(This handbook provides an excerpt on the major policy and procedure items regarding school bus transportation. The full School Committee Transportation Policy and district rules and regulations pertaining to all facets of the transportation program including the Bus Code of Conduct and fees can be found on the District website at the following link: http://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/transportation/)

     Each elementary school has a full time school nurse on staff. The nurse will provide support for children who become sick during the school day, who are injured at school, and/or need to have medications administered while at school. The nurse will evaluate children who are ill and will make a determination about their attendance. The school nurse is also available as a resource for students and their parents/guardians in regards to a wide variety of chronic or acute medical and psychosocial needs. Please update the school nurse if there are any changes in your child’s health status throughout the school year.

Illness/Fever

     The spread of germs is a reality in any group of young children. Please do not bring your child to school when he/she is ill. As a general rule, if a child has a fever or is vomiting, or has been diagnosed with an illness that is likely to spread to other students or staff, it is best to keep the child at home.

     Should your child exhibit symptoms of illness while at school, he/she should report to the nurse, who will work with your child to decide what should be done. Students should NOT call their parents/guardians directly on a pay phone or individual cell phones. Phone calls to parents/guardians will be made at the discretion of the School Nurse. In the event that a child shows symptoms of a contagious illness while at school, the child will be isolated from other students and the parents will be called immediately for dismissal. Any temperature greater than 100 degrees F (orally) is considered a fever. Children must be fever–free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, etc.) prior to returning to school.

     This applies even if the underlying cause of the fever is non-infectious, such as an ear infection, urinary tract infection, etc. Children with a fever do not usually feel well enough to participate and attend school activities. It is recommended that they be given 24 hours to recover from the fever before returning to school. Please note that a child who exhibits symptoms of illness (with or without a fever) may be sent home if the nurse feels that it is in the best interest of the child and/or the child’s classmates

Emergencies

     In the case of serious injury/illness, Emergency Medical Services (EMS/911) will be called, and parents will be notified. It is essential that PowerSchool data/Emergency Contact information be kept current so family members may be reached immediately. This information should be kept current by parents/guardians through use of the PowerSchool parent portal, which can be accessed here: https://ps.shrewsbury. k12.ma.us/public/home.html.

Hospitalizations

     If your child requires an overnight stay in the hospital for any reason, please contact your school nurse to inform her of the hospitalization and the expected needs on return to school. Medication Policy and Procedure Prescription or nonprescription medications required by a student should be administered at home by a parent whenever possible. Parents should use every effort to have medication times set for time periods other than school hours. When this is not possible, a Shrewsbury Public School nurse may assist in the administration of medication during school hours according to the District Medication policy which is highlighted below.

     Students are not allowed to carry medication on their person or in backpacks. A responsible adult must bring in medication to the school nurse in the original pharmacy labeled bottle, accompanied by parental permission and the licensed prescriber’s order. The licensed provider’s order shall be renewed as necessary, including at the beginning of each academic year. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school nurse of any changes to the student’s medication. Any changes must be accompanied by a licensed prescriber’s order as well as updated directions for administration. Parents must provide a revised pharmacy label and new container. Where possible, all unused, discontinued or outdated medications shall be returned to the parent/guardian. Any medications remaining in the health office at the end of a school year or will be destroyed if not picked up by the parent/guardian.

Special Medication Situations

     For short-term prescription medications, i.e., those requiring administration for ten school days or fewer, the pharmacy-labeled container may be used in lieu of a licensed prescriber’s order. Parental permission is required.

     Narcotics will not be kept in school as they alter consciousness. Any student requiring narcotics should remain at home. EXCEPTION: Those students whose chronic illness requires narcotic medication be given during the school day as prescribed by the treating physician.

Field Studies

     When medical/medication needs render it appropriate, a registered nurse will accompany field studies. Medications stored in the Health Office at school will be sent with the nurse. It is recommended that all students who require emergency medication by the school nurse ride on the same bus to allow access to the nurse as needed.

Physical Examinations and Immunizations

     Massachusetts General Law c.71, s. 57 and related amendments and regulations (105 CMR 200.000- 209.920) require physical examinations of school children within one year prior to entrance to school or within 30 days after entry, and at intervals of either three to four years thereafter. A student transferred from another school system shall be examined as an entering student. It is recommended that each time your child has a physical exam, a copy be submitted to your school nurse so that the school health record remains current. Immunization requirements are published annually by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and may be found in the Immunizations section of this handbook, as well as on the Nursing/Health Service page on the District’s website: http://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/nursing/.

     The Shrewsbury Public School District procedure requires that the student’s parent/guardian submit written documentation of the physical exam and immunizations at the intervals required by Massachusetts laws and regulations, as stated above, or their child will be excluded from school until such documentation has been provided. Parents are responsible for providing a copy of the original exam and record of immunizations. Parents/guardians of children who are not in compliance with this procedure will be notified of the physical examination/immunization requirements via mailings, newsletters or by telephone well in advance of the date of possible exclusion from school.

Screenings

The following school screenings are mandated by Massachusetts state law (M.G.L. c.71, s.57 and 105 CMR 200.000) and are conducted according to the following schedule:

  • Vision screenings screening: each year for students in grades pre K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10
  • Hearing screening: each year for students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10
  • Heights and weights are measured and BMI is calculated for students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. Aggregate data reported to the state as mandated. Individual student data is not reported but is recorded in the confidential student health record.
  • Postural screenings: each year for all students in grades 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9

     Per MA 105 CMR 200.000, the purpose of mandated screenings is to “identify and take appropriate actions with respect to disabilities and medical conditions of school children in public schools as soon as possible so as to enable all children to obtain the fullest benefit of their educational opportunities …” Screenings are a tool used for referral for further care and should not be considered diagnostic. Letters will be mailed home if follow-up for vision, hearing, or postural screening is recommended. BMI data is available by parent request to the nurse. Hearing and vision screenings are conducted in the health office by school nurses and trained personnel. Postural screenings, height, weight and BMI screenings are done by the Physical Education teachers, usually during the first 2 weeks of PE class. If the PE teacher has concerns about a particular student, the student will be rescreened by the school nurse. In order for a student to be excused from any screening(s), the parent/guardian must make a request in writing to the school nurse annually. For postural screening exclusion requests, documentation of screening within the past year by a medical professional must also be provided.

Destruction of Health Records

     When a student leaves Shrewsbury Public Schools, health records are transferred to the receiving school or given to a parent/guardian in their entirety whenever possible. Parents are encouraged to provide transfer information to ensure that health records follow the student. Any health records that remain at school after the student transfers, graduates, or withdraws, will be kept for 7 years and will then be destroyed in accordance with MA Dept of Education Student record regulations.

Concussion

     A concussion is a type of brain injury that can change the way the brain normally works. Children and adolescents are at great risk for concussions. The potential for a concussion is high during activities where collisions can occur, such as during physical education class, playground time, or sports activities. Proper recognition and response to a concussion can help prevent further injury and promote recovery. Supporting a student who is returning to school after a concussion requires a collaborative approach among school and health care professionals, the student and the family. Please notify the school nurse if your child has sustained any type of head injury.

Student Accident Insurance 

     Each fall, the School Department makes available to families the purchase of student accident insurance. Such insurance is typically purchased by those who do not have employer sponsored health/dental plans available to them in the workplace. Premiums will vary depending upon the insurance coverage level selected. It is the responsibility of the parent/student to select the policy, pay the premium, and coordinate payment for health services received. Please notify your school nurse if you are interested.

Student Accident Reporting

     Students and/or parents are responsible for reporting to the school nurse all accidents resulting in an injury. This is especially important for accidents that occur outside the school day in extra-curricular activities or in the athletic program. It is also especially important to notify the nurse should your child require crutches, a wheel chair or other assisstive device, as planning for an emergency evacuation will be necessary.

Medical Excuse for Physical Education

     All students well enough to attend school are expected to participate in physical education. Students unable to participate in physical education will need a medical excuse from a licensed MD/NP. This note should include a date the student will return to the physical education class and what activities the student may participate in.

Lice

     Head lice can be common in school-age children. Lice transmission in schools is rare because head to head contact has to occur and generally does not happen in a school setting. Head lice are not dangerous, only a nuisance. Parents/guardians will be contacted by the school nurse should lice be detected. Depending upon the extent of the case, you may be asked to come and pick up your child. The school nurse will discuss and recommend therapeutic options for treatment. Students may return to school after appropriate treatment at home.

Food Allergy Information

     A significant number of students in our schools have life threatening food allergies. Their allergens include peanuts, tree nuts (e.g.: walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, etc), soy, milk, wheat (gluten), fish, shellfish, various fruits, etc. Reactions to allergens can cause anaphylaxis, a sudden, severe reaction that is potentially fatal.

     In order to create a safe school environment for all students, Shrewsbury Public School buildings and classrooms are designated as “Allergy Aware”. This indicates an effort on the part of the school to make the community (students, staff, families, etc) aware that there are students with food allergies in the classroom or building, and for that reason to ask that they be respectful of those around them who might have allergies by refraining from bringing foods that contain allergens into school as much as possible, and that they never share food of any kind while at school or on the bus.

     Per the district’s Wellness Policy, staff are not permitted to bring food in to school to share with students. Any food used in classrooms for curriculum related activities must be approved by the principal after consult with the school nurse, and should be wrapped, store-bought foods, with ingredients listed on the labels whenever possible. The staff person leading the activity should check labels to ensure that no allergens are present.

     Families of students with food allergies are asked to partner with our schools by teaching their child about their specific allergen(s), what foods should be avoided, how to read food labels, how to recognize symptoms of a reaction, how to self advocate in regards to their allergy, and what to do if a reaction occurs. Students should be reminded that food of any kind should not be shared at school or on the bus. Parents/guardians should inform the school nurse of any known allergies and provide a doctor’s order, allergy management plan, and any required medications to the nurse at the beginning of each school year.

     Our food service department works hard to provide nutritious meal choices in our school cafeterias. If a student with food allergies chooses to buy food at school, parents/guardians should review menu choices at home and help to decide what is safe for their individual child. Some menu items may contain allergens.

     School and cafeteria staff will not monitor lunch choices made by students. If parents/guardians have questions about possible allergens, they should contact the cafeteria manager at their child’s school. Menus are available on the Food Service page of the Shrewsbury Public Schools website: http://schools.shrewsburyma.gov/foodsvc/lunch-menus.cfm. Allergy Aware tables will be available in the cafeterias at elementary schools and middle schools. Students with allergies can choose to sit at these tables along with non-allergic students whose lunch does not include allergens. Again, sharing/trading of food is not permitted.

The Shrewsbury School Committee has adopted a formal Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan. This plan, which can be found it its entirety on the district website, is fully compliant with state laws and regulations.

Reporting Bullying or Retaliation

     Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents or guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member shall be recorded in writing. A school or district staff member is required to report promptly to the principal or designee any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Each school will establish a procedure for staff to provide such reports by use of a written form and/or an online tool. In accordance with the law, reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not school or district staff members, may be made anonymously, with the understanding that no student shall be subject to discipline based solely on an anonymous report.

     There are three options promoted by the Shrewsbury Public Schools for students, parents and community members who wish to report an incident that may be considered bullying.

  • Reporting Option #1: The Shrewsbury Public School administration strongly encourages anyone who sees or hears of a suspected bullying incident to report the incident to a school administrator personally.
  • Reporting Option #2: If for whatever reason, an individual does not wish to discuss a suspected incident in person, a link on the school district’s website will provide you access to a reporting form that can be filled out by the reporter, printed and given to the respective school administrator(s). If you are not sure of the school the student(s) attend, the form can be delivered to the School Department Office in Town Hall.
  • Reporting Option #3: If a student, parent, or community member does not feel comfortable utilizing options #1 and #2 and would prefer to file a report anonymously, he or she can submit an anonymous report using a link on the district’s website. The submitted form will be sent to district and school administrators to be investigated.

Bullying Pledge for Students

     All elementary students and their parents/guardians are asked to review the Bullying Prevention Pledge. This pledge provides students with age appropriate language to identify bullying, proactive ways to prevent bullying, and steps to take if they find themselves bullied.

     We agree to join together with others in our school community to prevent bullying.

     Bullying is:

  • Acting in an unkind way that hurts someone: their feelings, body, or belongings
  • Is done over and over again
  • Causes the target of the bullying to be fearful about being in school

     I will:

  • Treat others with respect and kindness
  • Help others if they are being bullied
  • Include others who are left out

     I can respond to being bullied by:

  • Telling them to stop
  • Seeking help from a friend, getting away, and getting help from an adult

Statement Prohibiting Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Retaliation

     The Shrewsbury Public School district holds a core value of “respect and responsibility” and, as such, is committed to the continuous improvement of learning environments. In order to achieve these aspirations, the Shrewsbury Public Schools is committed to providing school environments where students are not subject to bullying and cyberbullying and the effects of such actions. Acts of bullying and cyberbullying are prohibited:

  1. On school grounds; on property immediately adjacent to school grounds; at a school sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds; at a school bus stop; on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by the school district; or through the use of technology, including use of the school district’s network for World Wide Web/Internet/intranet access; use of a personal electronic device when present at the locations cited above; or use of an electronic device owned, leased or used by the school district, and
  2. Af a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology, including through the World Wide Web/Internet or use of an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by the school district, if the acts create a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, or who provides information during an investigation of bullying, or who witnesses or has reliable information about bullying, also is prohibited. As stated in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, nothing in the Bullying Intervention and Prevention Plan requires the district or school to staff any non-school activities, functions, or programs.

     Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, or who provides information during an investigation of bullying, or who witnesses or has reliable information about bullying, also is prohibited.

     As stated in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O, nothing in the Bullying Intervention and Prevention Plan requires the district or school to staff any non-school activities, functions, or programs.

 The Shrewsbury School Committee has formulated Policy 316, which defines sexual harassment, establishes appropriate standards of conduct and sets guidelines for recognizing and dealing with sexual harassment. The text below is from policy 316; a complete copy of the policy is available in the main office of each school or at the Superintendent's Office at 100 Maple Avenue.

     The Shrewsbury Public Schools strive to meet the intellectual, emotional, cultural, physical and social needs of the entire school community. Students are encouraged to develop to their maximum potential and acquire the skills necessary to become mature, responsible and productive citizens. Faculty and staff members work in a professional environment to help students fulfill these goals. Sexual harassment is an unlawful and destructive behavior that interferes with education and teaching, and therefore, will not be tolerated.

     Students are encouraged to develop to their maximum potential and acquire the skills necessary to become mature, responsible and productive citizens. Faculty and staff members work in a professional environment to help students fulfill these goals. Sexual harassment is an unlawful and destructive behavior that interferes with education and teaching, and therefore, will not be tolerated.

     The term "sexual harassment" means any sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such advances is made a term or condition of benefits, privileges, or the basis of academic achievement; or such requests or advances create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive educational environment.

  • Sexual harassment includes verbal and physical behavior related to gender or sexual preference that creates an intimidating or controlling environment.
  • Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to: unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors inappropriate touching or verbal comments inappropriate written messages of a sexual nature or intimidation based on gender or sexual preference leering or voyeurism displaying sexually suggestive pictures or objects in school.
  • No form of sexual harassment will be to will be tolerated by Shrewsbury Public Schools. Anyone found to have committed any form of sexual harassment would be disciplined.
  • Retaliation against any individual for reporting sexual harassment is unlawful and will not be tolerated.
  • Student should report incident to a teacher, school guidance personnel, SRO or school administration. The school will inform parents and a meeting will take place.    

Reporting Sexual Harassment

     Every report of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and investigated in a timely manner. Investigations will be conducted in confidence.

     Whenever possible, any individual who believes that he/she has been harassed, should meet the harasser personally in order to resolve the issue on an informal basis. Students will be assisted and supported in this process by an adult in the school. If the individual reporting the harassment does not want to meet directly with the harasser they must report the incident to the building administrator, the guidance/ adjustment counselor or the school psychologist. All cases of sexual harassment must be reported to the building principal.

 The Shrewsbury Public Schools complies with the DOE restraint regulations, 603 CMR 46.00 et seq.(“Regulations”), to the extent required by law. According to their terms, the regulations apply not only at school but also at school-sponsored events and activities, whether or not on school property. A brief overview of the Regulations is provided below.

     Physical restraint, including prone restraint where permitted, shall be considered an emergency procedure of last resort except when a student’s behavior poses a threat of assault, or imminent, serious, physical harm to self or others and the student is not responsive to verbal directives or other lawful and less intrusive behavior interventions, or such interventions are deemed to be inappropriate under the circumstances.

     The district shall have procedures for restraint prevention and behavior supports regarding appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention. These procedures will be reviewed annually and provided to program staff and made available to parents of enrolled students.

     Physical restraint shall not be used:

  • As a means of discipline or punishment;
  • When the student cannot be safely restrained because it is medically contraindicated for reasons including but not limited to asthma, seizures, cardiac condition, obesity, bronchitis, communication-related disabilities, or risk of vomiting;
  • As a response to property destruction, disruption of school order, a student's refusal to comply with a program rule or staff directive, or verbal threats when those actions do not constitute a threat of assault, or imminent, serious, physical harm; or
  • As a standard response for any individual student. No written individual behavior plan or individualized education program (IEP) will include use of physical restraint as a standard response to any behavior. Physical restraint is an emergency procedure of last resort.

     Prone restraint is prohibited in Shrewsbury programs except on an individual student basis. Mechanical restraint and medication restraint is prohibited. Seclusion means the involuntary confinement of a student alone in a room or area from which the student is physically prevented from leaving. Seclusion does defined in 603 CMR 46.02.

     Time-out is not prohibited. Time-out means a behavioral support strategy developed pursuant to 603 CMR 46.04(1) in which a student temporarily separates from the learning activity or the classroom, either by choice or by direction from staff, for the purpose of calming. During time-out, a student will be continuously observed by a staff member. Staff will be with the student or immediately available to the student at all times. The space used for time-out will be clean, safe, sanitary, and appropriate for the purpose of calming. Time-out will cease as soon as the student has calmed. If a student has not calmed and the time-out may need to exceed 30 minutes, the principal or designee must be contacted in order to approve extending the time-out beyond this timeframe.

     The Regulations do not prevent a teacher, employee or agent of the District from using reasonable force to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent serious harm or from restraining students as otherwise provided in the Regulations.

     At the beginning of each school year, the principal of each building or his or her designee will identify program staff who are authorized to serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. These staff must have participated or will participate in in-depth training in the use of physical restraint. Such training shall be competency-based and at least 16 hours in length, with refresher training occurring annually thereafter.

1) Informing parents.

     The principal will make reasonable efforts to verbally inform the student's parents as soon as possible of the restraint, and no more 24 hours following the event, and will also notify the parent by written report sent either within three school working days of the restraint to an email address provided by the parent for communications about the student, or by regular mail postmarked no later than three school working days of the restraint. If the parent of a student receives report cards and other necessary school-related information in a language other than English, the written restraint report will be provided to the parent or guardian in that language. The principal will provide the student and the parent an opportunity to comment orally and in writing on the use of the restraint and on information in the written report.

2) Individual student review.

     The principal of the program will conduct a weekly review of restraint data in order to identify students who have been restrained multiple times during the week.

3) Administrative review.

     The principal will conduct a monthly review of school-wide restraint data.

4) Report all restraint-related injuries to the Department.

     When a physical restraint has resulted in an injury to a student or staff member, the principal will send a copy of the written report to the Department postmarked no later than three (3) school working days of the administration of the restraint. The principal will also send the Department a copy of the record of physical restraints maintained by the principal for the 30-day period prior to the date of the reported restraint.

5) Report all physical restraints to the Department.

     Every school will collect and annually report data to the Department regarding use of physical restraints in a manner and form directed by the Department Complaints. Complaints and investigations regarding restraint practices are covered by District Policy 132, Steps for Handling Complaints.

Additional Information

     The above procedures and guidelines will be reviewed annually with school personnel and shared with students and parents. A copy of the regulations can be obtained from the Director of Special Education/ Pupil Personnel Services, who can be reached at (508) 841-8660. A copy of the regulations of Department of Education may also be obtained at the following website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/

Suspension 


     A suspension is a short-term or long-term removal from regular classroom activities. Short-term suspension is the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for ten (10) consecutive days or less. Long-term suspension means the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for more than ten (10) consecutive days, or for more than ten (10) days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary offenses in any school year.

     A suspended student is restricted from entering the school buildings, or coming onto school grounds; and a suspended student may not participate in any school sponsored activities or functions during the suspension period. It is also recommended that parents restrict the activities of a student during the suspension period to reinforce the importance of the disciplinary consequence and to demonstrate cooperation between the school and family.

     The Principal or his/her designee has the sole responsibility for determining who is suspended. The suspended student may not be permitted to return to school until a parental conference has been held. 


In-School Suspension

     At the discretion of the Principal, an In-School suspension may also be imposed where a student is determined to have committed a suspendable offense. The Principal will inform the student of the disciplinary offense and the basis for the charge, and provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the Principal determines that the student committed the offense, the principal shall inform the student of the length of the In-school suspension. On the same day as the In-school suspension, the Principal will make reasonable efforts to notify the parent orally as soon as possible of the disciplinary offense, the reasons for concluding that the student committed the infraction and the length of the suspension. The Principal shall also invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the student's academic performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior. Such meeting shall be scheduled on the day of the suspension if possible, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible. The Principal on the first day of the in-school suspension will also send written notice to the student and parent about the in-school suspension, including the reason and the length of the in-school suspension, and inviting the parent to a meeting with the principal for the purpose.    

     In-School suspension means the student is removed from regular classroom activities, but not from the school premises, for no more than ten (10) consecutive days or no more than ten school days cumulatively for multiple infractions during the school year. In-School suspension for less than ten (10) days shall not be considered a short-term suspension. An In-School suspension of more than ten (10) days shall be deemed a long-term suspension. Students will be subject to limitations on their activities as determined by the Principal, including the privilege of field trip participation.


Opportunity for Academic Progress During Suspension/Expulsion

     Any student receiving in-house suspension, short-term suspension, or long-term suspension shall have the opportunity to make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal from the classroom or school. Any student who is expelled or suspended from school for more than 10 consecutive days shall have an opportunity to receive educational services that will enable the student to make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements through the school-wide educational services plan.

Student Due Process Rights

     In administering discipline, school officials will be careful to observe the right to due process under the law for each student. The nature of the violation determines the due process that school officials follow: 


1. DUE PROCESS RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON, POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, ASSAULT ON SCHOOL STAFF Massachusetts General Law Ch. 71, §37H authorizes the principal to expel students as follows:

  • a. Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
  • b. Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher's aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
  • c. Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing; provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal. After said hearing, a principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).
  • d. Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.
  • e. Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76. 
  • f. Districts shall report to the department of elementary and secondary education the specific reasons for all suspensions and expulsions, regardless of duration or type, in a manner and form established by the commissioner. The department of elementary and secondary education shall use its existing data collection tools to obtain this information from districts and shall modify those tools, as necessary, to obtain the information. On an annual basis, the department of elementary and secondary education shall make district level de-identified data and analysis, including the total number of days each student is excluded during the school year, available to the public online in a machine readable format. This report shall include district level data disaggregated by student status and categories established by the commissioner.
  • (g) Under the regulations promulgated by the department, for each school that suspends or expels a significant number of students for more than 10 cumulative days in a school year, the commissioner shall investigate and, as appropriate, shall recommend models that incorporate intermediary steps prior to the use of suspension or expulsion. The results of the analysis shall be publicly reported at the school district level. A copy of this law may be obtained in the main office.


2. DUE PROCESS RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH OR CONVICTED OF A FELONY (M.G.L. c. 71, §37H and M.G.L. c. 71, §37H1/2)

     Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal of a school may suspend a student for a period of time determined appropriate by the principal if the principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect.

     The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent. The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the suspension.

     The principal may expel a student who has been convicted, adjudicated, or admitted guilt with respect to a felony or felony delinquency, if the principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.

     The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the expulsion.

      A copy of this law may be obtained in the main office.

3. DUE PROCESS RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS CHARGED WITH OTHER VIOLATIONS (M.G.L. c. 71, §37H3/4)


Notice and Principal’s Meeting

     For any suspension under this section, the principal or a designee shall provide notice of the charges and the reason for the suspension or expulsion to the parent(s)/guardian(s) in English and the primary language spoken in the student’s home. This notice shall include:

  • The disciplinary offense;
  • The basis for the charge;
  • The potential consequences, including the potential length of the suspension;
  • The opportunity to have a hearing with the principal and the parent concerning the proposed suspension, including the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident;
  • The date, time, and location of the hearing;
  • The right of the parent and student to interpreter services at the hearing; 
  • If the student may be placed on a long-term suspension following the hearing with the principal:
  • The rights set forth under the “Procedures for Long-Term Suspension”; and 
  • The right to appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent.

     The student shall receive written notice of the charges and the opportunity to meet with the principal or designee to discuss charges and reasons for the suspension and/or exclusion prior to suspension/exclusion taking effect. The principal or designee shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. The meeting may take place without the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) so long as if the principal has sent written notice and has documented at least two (2) attempts to contact the parent in the manner specified by the parent for emergency notification. The purpose of the principal’s hearing is to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident for which the student may be suspended, provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, determine if the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequences for the infraction. The principal shall determine the extent of the rights to be afforded the student at a disciplinary hearing based on the anticipated consequences for the disciplinary offense. 


Short-term Suspension 


     The principal shall discuss the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student also shall have an opportunity to present information, including mitigating facts, that the principal should consider in determining whether other remedies and consequences may be appropriate. The principal shall provide the parent, if present, an opportunity to discuss the student's conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances, that the principal should consider in determining consequences for the student. Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, what remedy or consequence will be imposed. The principal shall notify the student and parent of the determination and the reasons for it, and, if the student is suspended, the type and duration of suspension and the opportunity to make up assignments and such other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal. The determination shall be in writing and may be in the form of an update to the original written notice. 


Long-term Suspension 


     In addition to the rights afforded a student in a short-term suspension hearing, the student shall also have the opportunity to review the student's record and the documents upon which the principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not; the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student's choice, at the student's/parent's expense; the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student's explanation of the alleged incident, but the student may not be compelled to do so; the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district; the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the principal, and to receive a copy of the audio recording upon request. If the student or parent requests an audio recording, the principal shall inform all participants before the hearing that an audio record will be made and a copy will be provided to the student and parent upon request. The Parent, if present, shall have an opportunity to discuss the student's conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances that the principal should consider in determining consequences for the student.
Based on the evidence, the principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, after considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to suspension, what remedy or consequence will be imposed, in place of or in addition to a long-term suspension. The principal shall send the written determination to the student and parent by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or any other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and the parent.

     *If the student is in a public preschool program or in grades K through 3, the principal shall send a copy of the written determination to the superintendent and explain the reasons for imposing an out-of-school suspension, whether short-term or long-term, before the suspension takes effect.

     If the student is suspended for more than ten (10) days for a single infraction or for more than ten (10) days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year, the notice will include: 


  • The disciplinary offense, the date on which the hearing took place, and the participants in the hearing;
  • The key facts and conclusions reached by the principal;
  • The length and effective date of the suspension and the date of return to school;
  • The notice the student’s opportunity to receive education services to make academic progress during the suspension;

     The student’s right to appeal the principal’s decision to the superintendent or his/her designee if a long-term suspension has been imposed. This notice of appeal shall include the process for appealing the decision, which requires the parent or student to file a written notice of appeal with the superintendent within five (5) calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension.

     The superintendent shall hold the hearing within three (3) school days of the student’s request, unless an extension is mutually agreed to. The superintendent shall make a good-faith effort to include the parent in the hearing.

     The hearing shall be conducted to determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense and, if so, what the consequence shall be. The hearing shall be audio recorded and a copy of the recording shall be provided to the student or parent upon request.

     All the same rights as are afforded in the above long-term suspension principal’s hearing shall apply to the student in a superintendent’s hearing.

      The superintendent shall issue a written decision within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. If the superintendent determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the superintendent may impose the same or lesser consequence than the principal.

     The decision of the superintendent shall be the final decision of the school district.

     No student will be suspended for greater than ninety (90) days, beginning on the first day the student is removed from the building.


Emergency Removal 


     The principal may remove a student from school temporarily when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense and the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school, and, in the principal's judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or disruption. The temporary removal shall not exceed two (2) school days following the day of the emergency removal. In the event of an emergency removal, the principal shall make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and the student's parent of the emergency removal, the reason for the need for emergency removal. The principal shall provide written notice to the student and parent as provided above, and provide the student an opportunity for a hearing with the principal as provided above, and the parent an opportunity to attend the hearing, before the expiration of the two (2) school days, unless an extension of time for hearing is otherwise agreed to by the principal, student, and parent. The principal shall render a decision orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day, which meets the requirements as described above. In the event of an emergency removal from school, the principal will not release the student until adequate provisions have been made for the student's safety and transportation. 


Superintendent’s Hearing

     
For long-term suspensions, the parent(s)/guardian(s) shall have five (5) calendar days following the effective date of the suspension or expulsion to submit a written request for an appeal to the Superintendent but may be granted an extension of time of up to seven (7) calendar days. If the appeal is not timely filed, the superintendent may deny the appeal, or may allow the appeal in his or her discretion, for good cause. The Superintendent will hold a hearing with the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s) within three (3) school days or the student’s request for an appeal. The time may be extended up to seven(7) calendar days if requested by the parent(s)/guardian(s). The Superintendent’s hearing may proceed without the parent(s)/guardian(s) if a good faith effort was made to include parent(s)/ guardian(s).

     The superintendent shall be presumed to have made a good faith effort if he or she has made efforts to find a day and time for the hearing that would allow the parent and superintendent to participate. The superintendent shall send written notice to the parent of the date, time, and location of the hearing. At the hearing, the superintendent shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense of which the student is accused, and if so, what the consequence shall be. Students shall have all of the rights afforded to students at the principal’s hearing for long-term suspension. The Superintendent will issue a written decision within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. If the superintendent determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the superintendent may impose the same or a lesser consequence than the principal, but shall not impose a suspension greater than that imposed by the principal's decision. The Superintendent’s decision is the final decision of the district.


Discipline for Students with Disabilities

     All students are expected to meet the requirements for behavior as set forth in this handbook. In addition to those due process protections afforded to all students, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and related regulations require that additional provisions be made for students who have been found eligible for special education services or who the school district knows or has reason to know might be eligible for such services. Students who have been found to have a disability that impacts upon a major life activity, as defined under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act, are, generally, also entitled to increased procedural protections prior to imposing discipline that will result in the student’s removal for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or where there is a pattern of short term removals exceeding ten (10) school days in a given year.

     The following additional requirements apply to the discipline of students with disabilities:

  • The IEP for every student eligible for special education or related services shall indicate whether the student can be expected to meet the regular discipline code of the school or whether the code should be modified to address the student’s individual needs.
  • Students with disabilities may be excluded from their programs for up to ten (10) school days to the extent that such sanctions would be applied to all students. Before a student with a disability can be excluded from his/her program for more than ten (10) consecutive school days in a given school year or ten (10) cumulative school days in a given school year, building administrators, the parents/guardians and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 team will meet to determine the relationship between the student’s disability and behavior (Manifestation Determination). The team will determine whether the student’s behavior was caused by, or was directly and substantially related to his/her disability or whether the conduct in question was the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the student’s IEP or 504 plan.
  • If building administrators, the parents/guardians and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team determine that the student’s conduct was not caused by, or directly and substantially related to the student’s disability or failure to implement the IEP or 504 Plan, the school may discipline the student in accordance with the procedures and penalties applicable to all students but will continue to provide a free appropriate public education to those students with IEPs. There is no entitlement to provide a free appropriate public education to those students on 504 Plans. The student’s IEP team will identify the services necessary to provide a free appropriate public education during the period of exclusion, review any existing behavior intervention plan or where appropriate, conduct a functional behavioral assessment.
  • If building administrators, the parents/guardians, and relevant members of the student’s IEP or 504 Team determine that the conduct giving rise to disciplinary action was caused by, or directly and substantially related to the student’s disability or failure to implement the IEP or 504 Plan, the student will not be subjected to further removal or exclusion from the student’s current educational program based on that conduct (except for conduct involving weapons, drugs, or resulting in serious bodily injury to others) until the IEP or 504 Team develops, and the parent/ guardian's consent to, a new placement, or unless the District obtains an order form a court or from the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) authorizing a change in the student’s placement. The Student’s Team shall also review the student’s IEP, and modify as appropriate, any existing behavioral intervention plan and arrange for a functional behavioral assessment.
  • If a student with a disability possesses or uses illegal drugs, sells or solicits a controlled substance, possesses a weapon, or causes serious bodily injury to another on school grounds or at a school function, the District may place the student in an interim alternative educational placement (IAES) for up to forty-five (45) school days. A court or BSEA hearing officer may also order the placement of a student who presents a substantial likelihood of injury to self or others in an appropriate interim setting for up to forty-five (45) school days.


     The Shrewsbury School Committee’s Policies #316 and #645 deal directly with the issues of harassment. Copies of these policies are available in the Principal’s Office at each school or through the Superintendent’s Office, located at 100 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545. Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Barbara Malone, Director of Human Resources at (508) 841-8400.

     The following grievance procedure, which was approved by the Shrewsbury School Committee, is to be used for all issues relating to harassment or discrimination involving student and/or staff:

  1. The Shrewsbury Public Schools does not and will not knowingly discriminate against any student or employee on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability. All reports of harassment or discrimination will be taken seriously and investigated in a timely fashion. Reports will be held in the utmost confidence.
  2. Any individual who believes he/she has been the subject of harassment or discrimination should immediately report the incident, either verbally or in writing to an administrator, adjustment counselor, guidance counselor, or teacher. The principal must be notified in all cases of harassment or discrimination. All cases of harassment involving a staff member will be reported to the Director of Human Resources.
  3. An administrator will first meet with the parties involved in an attempt to resolve the issue informally.
  4. If the complainant is unable to meet with the alleged harasser, the administrator, teacher, or counselor may assist the complainant in drafting a letter clearly describing the incident (behavior, where and when it occurred), how the complainant felt, and a request that the behavior stop immediately.
  5. Any letter should be signed by the complainant, sent to the alleged harasser and be kept on file by the school administrator.
  6. The alleged harasser may be encouraged to apologize, personally or by letter or to write a letter refuting the allegations.
  7. In cases of alleged harassment requiring formal investigations, the following shall be implemented:
    • The complainant shall have the support of a staff member of his/her choice and the alleged harasser will also have the opportunity to select representation (union representative, attorney, teacher, etc.).
    • An administrator from the appropriate level will complete an investigation promptly and make a decision regarding the allegations.
    • In serious cases, where alleged harassment does not stop following a warning, appropriate disciplinary sanction may be imposed, up to and including suspension or dismissal.
  8. If the conduct violates the law, the incident will be reported to the appropriate authorities by the school administration. Retaliation or threats of retaliation are unlawful and will not be tolerated.
  9. In all cases of harassment or discrimination, the investigating administrator will make a final disposition and issue a written report, which will be maintained in the school files.

     If the complainant cannot utilize the procedure detailed above because the alleged harasser is involved in the procedure, the complainant should contact the Superintendent of Schools. Complaints about the Superintendent of Schools should be made to the Chairperson of the School Committee.

Shrewsbury Public Schools is required by the Massachusetts Department of Education to publish an annual statement of non-discrimination. This notice serves to meet that requirement. 

     The Massachusetts Equal Educational Opportunity statute, General Laws Chapter 76, § 5, ensures that all students have the right to equal educational opportunities in the public schools. It is the policy of the Shrewsbury Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities, or employment practices. Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Barbara Malone, District Equity Coordinator, at 508 841-8400.

     The Shrewsbury Public Schools are in compliance with state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment. The following laws apply:

  • Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76, § 5, which states, “No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in the admission to a public school or in obtaining the advantages, privileges, and course of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.”
  • Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is a Federal statue which states, in part, “No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program receiving federal assistance.” This requirement not to discriminate in educational programs and activities also extends to employment. Ms. Barbara Malone is the Title IX Coordinator, Director of Human Resources at (508) 841-8400.
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provides that no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title VI provided for equal access and prohibits discrimination in the assignment of students to classes. It also prohibits discrimination in ability grouping or tracking students.