Policies and Rules
The Torrance Unified School District does not carry medical or dental insurance for children hurt on the school grounds; unfortunately, children do get hurt, sometimes seriously. If your family health insurance does not cover accidents, it might be worthwhile to invest a few dollars for this coverage. Low-cost accident insurance for children is available through a District-sponsored group plan. We strongly suggest that every child be protected in this manner. The information and application are in the Annual Notification of Parent’s Rights and Responsibilities. This document is located on www.tusd.org.
Appropriate Items for School
Birthday parties are not allowed at school. Balloons, gifts and treats can be disruptive to the learning environment. In lieu of birthday treats, we encourage you to donate a book to the classroom library. The donation of a book is entirely optional.
There is a definite relationship between good dress habits, good work habits, and proper school behavior. At Arnold, the Dress Code will be strictly enforced in order to encourage school-appropriate behavior at all times. Students may wear hats outdoors, but are expected to remove them indoors and upon request. Hoods may not be worn at any time so that students’ faces can always be visible. Flat, closed-toed shoes must be worn at all times. See-through fabrics, bare midriff tops, spaghetti straps, and clothing not concealing underwear are prohibited. In general, shirt straps must be at least 2-inches wide. Skirts and shorts must not be shorter than mid-thigh. Students whose clothing or hairstyles are disruptive, inappropriate, or offensive in any way will be sent to the principal.
Home Made Foods
In accordance with county health laws, home-made or home-baked goods may not be served to students in the classroom. These goods are still permitted at PTA or other functions that occur outside of school hours.
Money & Valuables
Children should only bring money to school to meet lunch needs or for other school-approved activities. Children should not bring valuable articles as the school will not be held liable for lost or broken items.
Physical Education Equipment
From time to time, school equipment “strays” from school. Parents and students have a responsibility to question the appearance of such items as footballs or soccer balls, and make a direct effort to have them returned to school. Students should not bring personal play equipment to school.
These shall not be brought to school except with the teacher’s permission to “share.” They shall remain in the classroom unless specific approval is obtained from the principal. This includes trading cards of any kind, such as baseball, Pokémon, etc. Hard balls, marbles, water pistols, slingshots, and other items of a dangerous or nuisance type will not be allowed. No radios, MP3 players (i.e. iPods, iTouch), or computerized games (i.e. DS) are to be brought to school at any time. Please note that laser pointers are considered a dangerous object and subject to all disciplinary actions as outlined in the No Tolerance Policy including 5-day suspension and recommendation to expel.
Starting in September 2007, Torrance schools implemented school Wellness policies in accordance with SB12 and SB965. These policies outline specific goals relating to nutrition and physical education in schools. The law requires that only Senate Bill compliant food items be served at school in the cafeteria and during classroom events. This is a joint effort between the state, the district, the school and the PTA to support a school environment in which active and well-nourished students are more likely to attend school and are better prepared to learn.
Absences and Attendance
It is necessary, according to state law, that we know whether the absence is due to:
- Medical Appointments
- Personal Reasons
Upon returning to school, your child must present to the teacher a signed note indicating days, dates of absence and the reason(s).
Kindergarten parents should call their teacher’s line directly to report an absence before 8:50 a.m. All other parents do not need to call in for an absence, simply send your child with a note the following day. Your child is considered late if not in line at the 8:50 a.m. bell. Late students must sign-in at the office where they will receive a re-admit slip before going to class. Accuracy in the attendance count depends on each late student picking up this slip and turning it in to his teacher when he gets to class. Missing the beginning minutes of class results in students missing an orientation to the instruction for the day; please make every effort to help your child be on time. Tardy counts are recorded on achievement reports.
If you wish your child to leave during the school day, please send a note with the child on that day indicating:
- The time to be excused.
- Purpose (medical appointment or personal).
- Who the child will be picked up by.
- Whether your child will be returning to school on the same day. Early dismissal of a student is subject to approval by the principal and requires that the student make up missed assignments/tests.
- If leaving school early for any reason, each child must be signed out from the office by an authorized adult.
Child Welfare and Attendance Codes
California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Section 4622
Requires pupils to conform to school regulations; obey all directions; be diligent in study and respectful to teachers and others in authority; and refrain from the use of profane and vulgar language.
Education code Section 44807
Every teacher in the public schools shall hold pupils to a strict account for their conduct on the way to and from school, on the playgrounds, or during recess.
We believe that the role of the school, as that of the home, is to provide firm but loving guidance and discipline to assist the child toward the attainment of the eventual goal of self-discipline. Developing self-discipline takes the combined efforts of students, parents and teachers.
In order to accomplish this crucial goal, we believe that children in their young and formative years require positive guidance coupled with well-defined limits of behavior. The observance of these limits gives the child a sense of inner security and contributes toward the formation of strong moral character.
The child must know, for example, that he will not be allowed to harm himself, others, or the property of others. Also, a child will not be permitted to interfere with the learning process. If he transgresses these limits, he must be prepared to accept the required consequences. By law, adult supervisors on campus serve in the absence of parents.
The discipline plan for our school is based on the TUSD Discipline Policy and Administrative Rules for Grades K-5.
Arnold Elementary follows a progressive discipline model in accordance with the TUSD Discipline Matrix for Grades K-5. Consequences are sequential and vary due to seriousness of offense. A child who breaks a school or playground rule may be assigned an after-school detention to occur the following day. After-school detention lasts 15 minutes. Parent notification is provided with the detention. However, if a child needs to call home, he or she may do so. Children who receive 3 detentions are referred to the principal for a student/principal conference.
A severe misbehavior may result in school suspension or expulsion. Students may be suspended for:
1. Classroom Disruption/Disobedience
2. Violation of School Rules
4. Profanity, vulgarity, inappropriate language/attire/gestures or disrespectful.
5. Use and/or possession of tobacco and/or paraphernalia, including lighters and matches
6. Possession or use of any controlled substance or alcohol
7. Possession or lighting of fire crackers/starting fires or setting off fire alarms
8. Assault, intimidation, fighting, or attempting to cause or threatening to cause injury to another person
9. Vandalism, graffiti, theft
10. Inappropriate use of computers
Other more serious offenses may result in immediate suspension and expulsion or immediate suspension and a determination of further action, which may result in expulsion proceedings. Please contact the school for more information about the Zero Tolerance Policy.
Bully Prevention Strategies
1. Stop (tell the bully to stop)
2. Walk (walk away—don’t engage)
3. Talk (tell an adult)
Throughout all TUSD elementary schools, Chirp the Bird is helping to promote the idea of “Expect Respect.” Students learn strategies to recognize and respond to bullying and other inappropriate behaviors. By using the consistent response of “Stop, Walk, Talk” students and staff can help to put an end to bullying on campus. Bullying is not tolerated on campus; all incidents should be reported to the office immediately so that swift action can occur, and the behavior stopped.
Positive Behavior Matrix
In order to maintain an appropriate learning environment for ALL students, the Positive Behavior Matrix (chart on next page) will be encouraged while on campus. If students remember to Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Use Your Best Effort, the consequences listed on the previous page will not be necessary. The Arnold staff strives to create a positive learning environment where students will thrive and feel connected. Students will periodically be rewarded for their positive behavior by teachers and staff.
We also use a technique called “Conflict Strategies” to help students develop problem-solving skills and self-reliance. These strategies will allow most children to learn alternative ways to reach positive closure on misunderstandings, thereby growing in their responsibility to themselves and others.
1. Talk it over - listen.
2. Walk away.
3. Say - “I'm sorry.”
4. Do something else (i.e., play in another area.)
5. Take turns.
7. Ignore it.
8. Have the group in a game vote, with the majority deciding the dispute.
9. If these strategies do not work, ask an adult for help.
Playground Rules (for SAFETY)
1. Be respectful to those in authority.
2. Use appropriate school language - no profanity.
3. Share equipment - no closed games.
4. Toys and balls from home are not allowed.
5. Do not play in the halls or between and behind the buildings.
6. Eating is allowed in designated areas only.
7. Do not run on the blacktop, except in an organized game.
8. Never throw rocks or other objects (such as sand).
9. Use equipment appropriately and in the assigned area.
10. Tackling, tripping, pushing, piggy-back, or pile-on games are not permitted. “Tag” is not an allowed game on the school playground.
11. No jumping off bars or swings.
12. No standing on top of the jungle gym.
13. Fighting is never permitted.
14. Chewing gum or spitting is not allowed.
15. Rough play and/or “play fighting” is never allowed.
16. No drinks or bathroom use after the bell.
17. When the bell rings, all activities must stop. Students are to get off all equipment, get out of the sandbox, hold balls, be still and wait for the whistle to walk to line.
18. A general rule of safety on the playground is -- any activity is unacceptable if it is dangerous, destructive, discourteous or disrespectful.
Damage or Loss of School Property
Students shall be held liable for damage to or loss of school property. Please note Educational Code, Section 10606 quoted below:
“Any pupil who willfully cuts, defaces, or otherwise injures in any way any property, real or personal, belonging to the school district is liable for all damages so caused by the pupil.”
Please help us protect our school from vandalism by reporting any unusual activities to the Torrance Police Dept. at (310) 328-3456.
Homework is an extension of the instructional program and shall be regular in accordance with the needs and abilities of the student. Homework shall be explained before it is taken home.
Homework should be independent practice to reinforce skills previously taught in class. Although time spent on homework will vary according to individual needs, abilities, and course of study, the following guidelines for homework assignments have been established:
Grade Time Allocation per Week:
K ………………. 20 to 40 minutes
1-2……………..1 Hr. 30 minutes to 2 Hours
3……………….. 2 to 3 Hours
4-5 …………….3 Hrs. 20 minutes to 4 Hours
An independent study contract has been developed to provide students with class work while they are away from school due to family business or vacation. If you are planning to have your child out of school for five days or more, please contact your child’s teacher at least a week in advance, so that an independent study contract can be developed.
Lost and Found
Lost clothes are collected and stored in the cafeteria. Because of limited space, unidentified clothes cannot be stored indefinitely. After advance notice is given to students and parents, lost and unmarked items will be donated to charity.
Lunch and Expenses
Arnold Elementary has a computerized lunch payment system. Each student will have an ID card in the cafeteria. Parents may put money on their child’s account by sending cash or a check payable to “TUSD.” Envelopes are available from the school office. Online payments are also available through https://family.titank12.com. You will be notified when your child’s account goes below six dollars. If you prefer that your child never eat in the cafeteria, please notify the cafeteria in writing. As always, students may continue to pay for meals on a daily basis. *
Lunch (including beverage) ……………………….. $3.00
Milk …………………………………………………… $ .50
Fruit Juice……………………………………………… $ .50
*Prices subject to change.
The information and Form for Free and Reduced Lunch is enclosed in the School Information Packet.
Reporting of Academic Achievement
Student progress is reported to parents in three ways:
1. Parent-Teacher Conferences
2. Progress Reports
3. Trimester Achievement Reports
Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled twice each year. Progress Reports are issued halfway through each reporting period. These serve to alert students and parents of any unsatisfactory achievement or citizenship grades. Report Cards are issued three times a year; they reflect a student’s achievement and effort for the trimester and serve as a basis for academic awards and recognition. The final report card will not be issued until all library and other school books are paid for or returned.
Only students in grades 4 and 5 are permitted to ride bicycles to school. Bicycles must be walked while on school grounds. A bicycle rider must provide his own lock and chain and must wear a bicycle helmet. Bicycles must be removed from the bike parking area each
night. Riding a bicycle is a privilege and can be revoked by the principal for violations of the bicycle rules.
From 8:00 a.m. to 9:14 a.m., and 2:45 P.M. to 3:45 p.m, there is a crossing guard at Adolph and 228th Pl., Ladeene at 227th St., and at the corner of Kent and Lomita Blvd; children living on the south side of Lomita Blvd. are encouraged to cross at this location.
Dropping Off and Picking Up Students
The spaces in the Arnold School parking lot are assigned for staff only.
Due to limited parking space, we have a valet drop-off system in the morning. When using the valet system, it is imperative that you stay in your car with the engine running at all times. If you are only dropping off your child, you are to stay in the right lane (curb-side) and have your child remain in the car until the valet opens the car door. When picking up your child from school, please do not double park; double parking is unlawful and unsafe. Students are to remain on the curb until a car stops at the curb or an adult parks and comes to get the student. Do NOT park in spaces specifically designated for staff only. Students should not step between cars to enter a car. The parking lot is considered a street and all rules of street safety apply.
Parents and Visitors on Campus
To protect students and staff, the Torrance Unified School District requires that all guests to the school report their presence and the purpose for the visit to the school office immediately upon arriving on campus. Guests and volunteers are required to sign a volunteer/guest registry and supply photo identification. Guests and volunteers must sign in and out on the registry.
School volunteers who assist on a regular and ongoing basis are required to complete a Volunteer Application and have a Megan’s Law or a State/Federal Background Check. Proof of a current negative TB test is also required.
To prevent classroom disruption, parents must bring lunches, money, books, etc. to the school office rather than taking them directly to their child’s room. Parents are welcome and are encouraged to visit the school and their child’s class. However, please check with the teacher in advance. Unannounced visits may cause disruption to the instructional program.
According to Municipal code 63.4.030, skateboards and rollerblades are prohibited on school grounds at all times. Violators may be ticketed and fined by the police department. Students may not ride or wear these items on school grounds. School will not store these items if students bring them to school.
School Accountability Report Card (SARC)
Each year, the school publishes a report to parents about pertinent successes and issues involving the school. This report is available on the TUSD website at www.tusd.org.
Sexual Harassment Policy for Students
The Torrance Unified School District is committed to an educational environment in which all students are treated with respect and dignity. Each student has the right to learn in an environment that promotes equal educational opportunity and is free from discriminatory practices. Sexual harassment is a violation of Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and California Education Code Sections 210 through 214, inclusive. Therefore, the district strongly condemns, opposes, and prohibits sexual harassment of students whether verbal, physical, or environmental, by anyone in or from the district. Any student who engages in sexual harassment of any student in or from the district may be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion. Any employee who engages in sexual harassment of any student in or from the district may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
As used in this policy and regulation, “sexual harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, made by anyone in or from the district.
Informal Resolution Process - To accommodate the unique nature of sexual harassment complaints, an informal process is provided for the primary resolution of a complaint at the earliest possible date.
1. The principal will be available to receive sexual harassment complaints from students. If the complaint is against the principal, the student may present his or her complaint to the appropriate assistant superintendent, K-12 schools. Upon receiving a sexual harassment complaint the principal shall:
a. Counsel the alleged victim.
b. Obtain a factual written statement of the complaint.
c. Conduct an investigation, interview the accused, and any witnesses as appropriate, and recommend the disposition of the complaint.
2. The principal will review the factual information collected to determine whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, giving consideration to the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the sexual advances and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, and will take and/or authorize appropriate action.
3. An effort will be made to protect the privacy of the parties involved in a complaint. Files which pertain to complaints handled under the informal process shall be kept confidential.
Smoke Free Policy
Arnold Elementary School is a smoke free environment. The use of tobacco products of any kind are not allowed on any part of the school campus, including the playground and parking lots.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Torrance Unified School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, marital status, medical condition or handicap in educational programs, activities, and employment. All educational opportunities will be offered without regard to race color, national origin, sex or handicap. Limited English skills will not be a barrier to admission and/or participation in vocational education programs.
Use of School Facilities
School facilities are available for public use during non-school hours. An application for their use is available at the district office. Use of the school is conditional and must be approved by the principal and the district business manager.