Parent Handbook for Gunston Elementary

Gunston Elementary Parent Handbook

1. Gunston Open House and Fair is an Activity Scheduled Before the School Year Begins Where you can:

  • Drop off any school supplies
  • Tour and get comfortable with your child’s school.
  • Student information packets with Emergency Care Forms, PTA Membership Forms, etc. will be available.
  • Deposit funds into your child's lunch account in the cafeteria and bring in medication to the clinic.
  • Sign up for Kiss & Ride tags.
  • Classroom assignments will be posted in the cafeteria.

10100 Gunston Road Lorton, VA 22079 / 703-541-3600/ (fax)703-541-3697

2. First Day of School

First Day of School 2019 is August 26

All students must have updated immunization information on file in order to start school on August 26, 2019. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be assigned to a class and parents of those students will be called to bring their child home until these requirements are met.

Our doors are always open

  • Join your child for lunch in the cafeteria
  • Sign up to be a classroom volunteer
  • Chaperone a field trip
  • We encourage you to observe in the classroom. In order to minimize disruption to instruction, observations are 30 minutes in length and need to be prearranged with an administrator.

3. School Drop-off and Pick-Up Times

School Drop-off and Pick-Up Times

To ensure safety for our students, we ask parents to remember the following:

  • Doors open at 8:25 am. Students arriving prior to 8:25 am are to remain with their parent.
  • For the first days of school, staff members are assigned to assist children in finding their classrooms.
  • As a safety measure, we ask that all Kiss–N-Ride students be dropped off at Entrance #3. You will need a Kiss-N-Ride tag in your car window. Please do not drop off students in the parking lot or in front of the building
  • If you arrive after 8:35 am and the Kiss-N-Ride has closed, please park your car and walk your students through door #1.
  • Students arriving after 8:35 am will need to be signed in as tardy.
  • When escorting your child into the building, please use the crosswalk.
  • During arrival please refrain from walking your students to class in order to prevent disruptions to classroom routines.

4. Breakfast and Lunch/School Purchases

  • Lunch (including milk) $3.25
  • Breakfast$ 1.75
  • Unflavored milk and apple juice $ 0.60
  • Energy Zone bottled (8oz) water $0.50

You may deposit money into your child’s account during Open House or by one of the following methods at any time:

  • Online at www.myschoolbucks.com
  • Check made payable to Gunston ES Food Services. Please include your child’s name on all checks.
  • If your child received free or reduced lunch last year, please be sure to turn in a new application.
  • Applications for free and reduced meals are available in the school office or online at http://www.fcps.edu/fs/food/mealprices.shtml

 

My SchoolBucks School Store

Online payment for student fees and school store items will be available through the MySchoolBucks School Store. This online payment service provides a quick and easy way to pay for school-related purchases. You will be able to pay for a variety of school fees using credit/debit cards or electronic checks.

MySchoolBucks provides:

  • Convenience – It’s available 24/7 on the web.
  • Efficiency – It eliminates the need to write checks and for students to bring money to school.
  • Flexibility – You can make payments using credit/debit cards and electronic checks.
  • Security – The MySchoolBucks system adheres to the highest security standards, including PCI and CISP.

Enrollment is easy!

Just go to the link located on your school’s homepage to establish an account. Add your students using the name of the school they are attending and either their student ID number or birthdate.

Once the account has been established, you will receive a confirmation email. Then you can start making purchases with your credit/debit card or electronic checks! There are no convenience fees for using the online payment system.

Need help? Reach Customer Service by:

Stay updated with what's happening at Gunston Elementary Sch

5. Volunteers

Volunteers

Our Gunston volunteers work with students, assist in the library, help with art projects, prepare instructional material, or work on PTA projects. You may sign up at Back to School Night or contact your child’s teacher or a PTA officer for ways to be involved in your child’s education. All volunteers working with students will be provided with school-based training to ensure consistency in teaching practices.

Volunteers require a background check unless they are:

  • Parents or guardians who have children currently enrolled in FCPS.
  •  Current FCPS employees or students who serve as volunteers
  • School Age Child Care (SACC) employees
  • Current law enforcement officers
  • Volunteers who help with occasional or one-time-only events (i.e., field days, classroom parties) as long as there is direct supervision by regular school staff.

6. School Dress Code

6. School Dress Code

We expect students to come to school dressed in proper attire for school activities. Clothing should fit, be neat and clean, and conform to standards of decency.

We do not permit the following:

  • Clothing with improper language or images
  • Sagging or low cut pants or shorts above finger-tip length
  • Tank tops, midriff tops, low cut necklines, tube tops, halter tops, backless blouses, shirts with see through material.
  • Head coverings such as scarves, bandannas, or hats unless required for religious or medical reasons.
  • Tennis shoes or shoes with rubber soles are necessary for physical education classes and active recess play.

7. Gunston PTA Officers

8. Attendance

Attendance

  •  When your child is absent or will be tardy, please let the school know by completing form on Attendance page, email at: GunstonElem.Attendance@fcps.edu or by calling the attendance line at 703-541-3600. Both options are available 24 hours. This is a critical safety precaution for your child.
  • If we do not hear from you by 9:00 am you will be contacted by an automated system using the information from your child’s emergency care sheet.
  •  Students should be in their seats by 8:35 am. An excused tardy or absence includes illness, death in family, doctor or dentist appointment, and observance of a religious holiday.
  •  Each student returning from an absence should present a note from a parent or guardian stating the reason for the absence if they have not reported the absence in advance.
  •  We encourage family trips during scheduled school vacations and strongly discourage such trips during the school year because these extended absences interrupt sequential learning in many subject areas. Virginia law requires us to withdraw any student who is absent from school for 15 consecutive days or more from our enrollment. Upon the student’s return a parent must again officially enroll him or her. It is critical to your child’s success that they are in school daily and on time.

9. New Staff Members

New Staff Members!

We are excited to welcome the following new staff members. They come with impressive backgrounds and experiences and will be sure to add their gifts and talents to our Gunston family.

Preschool Teacher – Retno Nuristani

Kindergarten Teacher – Trenise West

1st Grade Teacher – Andrea Flores

2nd Grade Teacher – Kelly Wheeler

Advanced Academic Resource Teacher – Melissa Chang

Music – Marie Carlow

ESOL - Melanie Zayas

Custodian (part time) – Edward Osei

 

New this spring 

Acting Assistant Principal Courtney White

Acting Principal Kristen Rucinski

10. Classroom Parties

Classroom Parties

Room parents and your child’s classroom teacher make the arrangements for class parties, which are limited to 2 per year. Parents wishing to provide birthday “treats” in the classroom should contact the classroom teacher prior to bringing them.

11. Transportation

Transportation

  • Those students eligible to ride the school bus will receive a letter indicating their bus stop and time.
  • Please report to the bus stop at least five minutes prior to the listed time.
  •  Students are required to board and depart the bus at the assigned stop to prevent over-crowding on buses. Any changes require permission from the school office.
  •  Please be patient with any changes or delays in the transportation schedule as some needed adjustments are made during the first week of school.
  • Kindergarten students will not be let off the bus unless an adult is present and will be returned to school if a parent is not at the bus stop to meet them. The bus driver may not accept responsibility for another person picking up your child. For this reason, if someone else will pick up your kindergarten student please inform the school.
  • If you require a change in transportation, such as riding a different bus or meeting a parent at the Kiss-N- Ride site, please send a note to your child’s teacher on the morning of the change.
  • If a student is visiting a friend, both students must bring permission notes from their parents. In order to ensure that your child arrives home safely, all bus changes need to be made by noon on that day.

12. Student Rights & Responsibilities

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Please look for the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities to be coming home soon. In accordance with state regulation, parents are required to review the information with their children and return the signed signature sheet to their child’s teacher by the end of September .

 

Reminder…

Don’t forget to label your child’s items especially coats, backpacks and lunch boxes!

13. School Security

School Security

Safety continues as an overriding priority at Gunston Elementary. We regularly review our security procedures in order to ensure a safe learning environment for our students. We appreciate your assistance in helping us keep our students safe by following these procedures. We require all visitors and volunteers to sign in and out using their driver’s licenses at the school office and receive a visitor’s badge. Visitor badges should be removed before you exit the school. Visitors can expect to be questioned by school personnel if they are not displaying the visitors or volunteer badge issued at the office. If a student needs to leave school during the day for an appointment or any reason, please send a note to the office 24 hours in advance of the appointment. There is no need to call ahead. When you come to the office to pick up your child, please sign the child out and a secretary will call for your child. Students will be called to the office when you arrive. Students will not be released to anyone except the parent/guardian or those listed on the emergency care form unless other arrangements have been given in writing by the parent/guardian. This permission slip should state who is picking up the child. Photo identification will be required. Students may be released to either parent/guardian provided there is no contrary court order on file. These recommended procedures have been adopted to protect the safety of our students. We appreciate your support in ensuring a caring, happy and most importantly safe, learning environment.

 

14. School/Home Communication

School/Home Communication

Take-Home Thursday folder

Thursday has been designated as our “take home” day. Parents are encouraged to look for communication from school each day, but we will try to limit most correspondence to Thursdays.

Parent input form

usually completed by the end of May for the following year.  You must print it it out to return.

  • The App…“Remind 101”

  • School-wide message service. Download the Remind 101 App. Text 81010 and text the message @gunstone

 

  • News You Choose

  • Stay updated with what is happening at Gunston Elementary! Sign up for News You Choose emails (to replace our monthly Eaglette newsletter) on the Gunston Homepage at @email 

 

  • Blackboard

  • Each grade level team has a Blackboard account and will post homework and events occurring in the classroom. Teachers also use a variety of additional methods to communicate with families. Parents should sign up for parent accounts for Blackboard 24/7 and SIS.  Additional information can be found here.

 

  • Twitter

  • Follow us @GunstonElem to get a peek into the daily school activities of our Eagles.

 

  • Keep in Touch

  • The FCPS Keep in Touch (KIT) Basic is the automatic enrollment service of KIT for parents of FCPS students and employees of the system. It draws contact information from the student information system and the employee databases. FCPS central offices and schools use KIT Basic for three types of messages: emergency, attendance and outreach. It is important that parents keep their child’s emergency contact information up to date with the school.
  • Contact information may also be updated online through @email, (a feature of FCPS 24-7 Learning Blackboard).

15. Medical Permission Forms

Medical Permission Forms

The school is not permitted to administer any medication unless a parent has completed a Medical Permission Form that requires a doctor’s signature.Students are not permitted to transport medication! Parents must bring any medicine to school and check it in with the clinic aide or one of the secretaries. The school Health Nurse will be available during the open house to accept medications and discuss any concerns you may have.

16. Illnesses

Illnesses

Students with the following symptoms are encouraged to remain home from school:

  • Rash 
  • Sore Throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery and Inflamed Eyes 
  • Fever. (must be fever free for 24 hours, without medication, before returning

To protect our students we require a doctor’s note stating that he/she may return to school following symptoms of:

  • Pink Eye
  • Impetigo 
  • Ringworm 
  • Scabies
  • Certain Rashes

The clinic may need to call you to pick up your child if they exhibit symptoms of illnesses such as:

  • Fever over 100.4 Degrees 
  • Persistent Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Unexplained Rash
  • Head Lice
  • Persistent Cough.