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Welcome Back Letter to Parents, Guardians, and Students to the 2017/2018 School Year

 

Dear Parents:

 

Welcome to the 2017/2018 School Year.  I would like to first of all introduce our new Assistant Principal, Joe Mullikin.  Mr. Mullikin will be transitioning this year as Assistant Principal to Principal for the 2018/2019 School Year.  I will serve as your principal for the final year and transition from Principal to retirement at the end of this school year.  I hope that your summer is great and you are getting ready for school.  As the opening day approaches, I want to focus on helping our families prepare for the upcoming school year.     

School supply lists are on the Meridian223.org Highland Web page by grade level.  The handbook is posted under Highland School news.  All important school dates are listed in the handbook and on the Calendar page. 

If you have not yet completed registration, call the school and talk to Julie or Michelle.  If you call in July, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Let’s focus on our partnership.  Partnership refers to our parental commitment to live and support all that we are teaching in school -- citizenship skills and academic skills.  A child receives mixed messages when we teach and practice behavior and academics in our school environment and these same behaviors and academics are not practiced as a family.  Please support behavioral and academic expectations at home.  Going over our school handbook in detail will help you to know exactly what is valued and reinforced at Highland.     

At this time, we are planning for four kindergarten classes at Highland and the hours are 8:00-2:30.  Prekindergarten will have two morning sessions from 8:00-10:30 and two afternoon sessions from 12:00-2:30.  We have 5 first grade classes and 4 second grade classes.  Student school hours are 8:00-2:30 for all of our K,1,2 students.    

Thank you for your commitment to our schools for your children. 

The following is a summary of the first few days of school. 

Tuesday, August 15 is the Highland Open house.  Kindergarten Open House will take place from 5:00-5:30, Second Grade Open House will take place from 5:30-6:00, and First Grade Open House will take place from 6:00-6:30

 

Aug. 15 and Wed. Aug 16      

 

Teacher Institutes - STUDENTS DO NOT ATTEND

Thursday, Aug.  17

First Day of School (K, 1st, and 2nd - 8:00-2:30).  Send a lunch or money for lunch accounts for the hot lunch program.  PreK - Mandatory meeting 9:00 or 5:30. 

Friday, Aug. 18

First day for pre-k students (8:00-10:30 or 12:00-2:30)

Friday, Aug. 25

Picture day - More info to come via backpacks

Friday, September 1

Early Release Day - 11:10

Monday, September 4

Labor Day - No School 

 

Other early release days will be November 10, December 8, February 16, March 23, and May 4.  We will dismiss at 11:10 on those days.  Please look at the calendar in the handbook to get all of the days and breaks on your calendar. 

 

Pick up and Drop-off Procedure

Please help us to make sure that the students being dropped off and picked up are safe.  Use the area along the east side parking lot sidewalk as a dropoff only.  Kiss your child before you arrive so that you may quickly let them exit your vehicle on the curbside as you pull up.  If you need more time, please park and walk your child to the building when you are ready.  Do not park or wait in the traffic lane next to the sidewalk.  PLEASE PASS THIS PROCEDURE ON TO GRANDPARENTS OR WHOEVER WILL BE PICKING UP OR DROPPING OFF YOUR CHILDREN.

 

Students can be dropped off between 7:30 and 7:50.  Earlier arrivals need to be approved in advance by Principal Coulahan or Asst. Mullikin.  Student pickup at 2:30 is by sign out in the cafeteria.  Park your car and then come in the back east side door.  The door will be unlocked at 2:30.  Please follow this procedure for the safety of all students.  Students are expected to be in their seats and ready to begin class at 8:00.  Dropoff by 7:50. 

The school lunch program works like a debit account.  Keep your account in the positive and milk and lunch purchases can take place starting on the first day of school.  If you would like your child to start eating the school lunch, please send a check or cash on the first day of school with your child in an envelope with their name on it.  Your check or cash will be deposited into your family lunch account.  Call the office if you have any questions about the school lunch program.  Applications for free or reduced lunch are available on the district website in July of 2017.    

Please help us maintain accurate school records.  Notify the school office of any change of address or phone number (both home and work in case of emergency), e-mail address or enrollment status. 

Joint custody parents who do not receive the school newsletter and communications may arrange to receive the information sent home by requesting to be placed on a mailing list. 

Highland School and the Meridian Schools are very successful for many reasons.  We have strong active support from our staff and parents in our educational partnership and our parents are accepting of their roles as primary educators of their children.  Our staff deeply appreciates the support our parents give through PTO and volunteerism.  PTO volunteers invest many hours and the evidence of those hours can be seen in many programs and supplies throughout our school.  I am so thankful for the community building activities and the volunteerism that flows from our parents and our PTO. 

Kindergarten and new student parents are reminded that medical exam forms are due in the school office before the beginning of the school year. 

Kindergarten and second grade parents are reminded that dental examination forms are due in the school office by May 15 for the current school year.  Dental exams performed 12 months prior to May 15th are valid. 

Medication - A stringent state and district policy exists.  If your child must take medication during the school day, stop by the office and complete the necessary paperwork to allow the medication to be taken.  Please do this before school starts.  New forms must be completed for each school year.  MEDICATION SHOULD BE TAKEN AT HOME WHENEVER POSSIBLE.  AT NO TIME SHOULD STUDENTS CARRY ANY TYPE OF MEDICATION ON THEIR PERSON with inhalers being the only exception.  Please note that our nurse is NOT able to dispense over-the-counter medications with parent permission over the phone. 

Class lists will be posted outside of the building on the doors at Highland and Monroe Center at 3 pm on Thursday, August 10 through Thursday, August 17. 

All volunteers and visitors that will be coming into contact with students in school must have completed and submitted their volunteer form.  This is available on the Highland website tab under “News.”  Submit that in advance of any volunteering. 

 

A positive parent partnership with the classroom teacher contributes to a successful school year for your child.  When parents contradict classroom and/or school procedures a child is placed in the awkward position of not respecting school authority - a necessary condition of positive school interactions.  Parents are always encouraged to communicate with our staff … especially in person in a prearranged conference. 

When planning your family vacations please try to honor the school calendar.  When students are absent from school there is significant impact on the classroom. 

You are probably aware of the growing concern of allergies to nuts, such as peanuts.  Parents, please make sure you notify your child’s teacher each and every year if there is an allergy concern with your child.  All parents should be sensitive to growing student allergy concerns as class treats are brought to school.  Students with allergies should be trained by their parents to ask about ingredients and to ask for alternatives.   

The school office hours are 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.  Feel free to call should you have any questions or concerns.  

The district website, Facebook, e-mails, and the mass phone call messaging system will be utilized all throughout the year to reduce the use of paper and keep you informed.  Parents that are not connected to the internet are invited to contact the school office to discuss options like being put on a mailing list to access the posted school information. 

Welcome back to school.  Enjoy your summer vacation.  We know that we will have an excellent school year full of many successes for our students, families, teachers, and staff.  We look forward to seeing you soon.         

                                                                                         Sincerely,

                                                                                         Mike Coulahan, Principal

                                                                                         Joe Mullikin, Assistant Principal