Student Handbook

West Kingston Elementary






West Kingston Elementary School exists to treasure each child. 

Hand in hand, all those in our community will honor and respect a love of KNOWLEDGE

and provide an atmosphere of excellence, creativity, and enthusiasm.


Written by the SIT Team:  Lisa Alves, Tracy Amalfetano, Amy Shields, Allison Rosen, Melanie Petrichko, Amy Shields, Kelly Birrell, Kim Mather, 2014

Table Of Contents Page

Principal’s Welcome 2

Staff Directory 3

PTO Information (directory, after school, annual events) 4

School Day Hours 5

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures 6-8

Attendance/Truancy Policy 9

Lunch and Recess   10

School Expectations and Rules 10-11

Discipline Procedures 12-13

BCI Checks - Classroom Volunteers, Field Trips & CARES 14-16

Class Placements 16

The “A,B,C’s” of Other Important Information: 17-20

2016-2017 School Year Calendar 24

Dear Families,

Welcome to West Kingston Elementary School, home of the West Kingston Hawks!

In this handbook, you and your child will find important information that will be useful to you throughout the school year.  The West Kingston Elementary School Handbook provides you with guidelines, communication options, schedules and clear expectations promoting a positive and safe learning experience for all.  Please read this document carefully and retain it for use throughout the school year. You may also access school department policies on line at  

Without a doubt, the current stakeholders that make up WKES are some of the most welcoming, diverse, and perseverant groups in the history of our school!  We are very proud of our ‘soaring students,’ our effervescent families, and our compassionate colleagues!  We are committed to maintaining & continually improving the academic and social-emotional achievement of our students. In that spirit, we hope that families will find the information in this handbook helpful as we work together to support the children this year.

Throughout the year, it is my expectation that you will support your child’s education by:

  • Setting limits and boundaries at home to help us to teach expected school behaviors

  • Creating a homework routine and quiet space in which to work

  • Providing time for your child to read books of their choosing, daily for 30 minutes

  • Finding time for independent play!

The value of these four simple supports cannot be overstated. We need to work together and be relentless in our combined pursuit of excellence.

West Kingston Elementary School continues to be a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school. PBIS provides a framework for positive, preventative, predictable and effective behavioral supports which produce a school environment that is (a) safer, healthier and more caring ; (b) has enhanced learning and teaching outcomes; and (c) can provide a continuum of behavior supports for all students.  Please be sure to see the enclosed West Kingston SOAR. (Safety first, Own your actions, and Always act Responsibly) Matrix which provides clear behavioral expectations that are taught and celebrated throughout the school year.  In addition to PBIS, our West Kingston Elementary School community has also embedded the OLWEUS Bully Prevention Program  (OBPP)  into our curriculum.  The goal of OBPP is to change the norms around bullying behavior and to restructure the school setting so that bullying is less likely to occur or be rewarded.  We look forward to continuing our teaching opportunities in this area in addition to working closely with families and the community to make this work part of the fabric of West Kingston Elementary School.  Please refer to these websites for more information …  and

Family engagement is a continuous goal for all of us at West Kingston Elementary School.  We are here to develop and foster partnerships with you as your children grow and learn.  Research shows that the right kinds of school-family connections—those built on relationships, listening, welcoming and shared decision making—can produce multiple benefits for students, including higher test scores, better attendance, better social skills, and improved behavior at home and at school (Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2002).  I look forward to an amazing year of learning with you and your children.

As parents and guardians, I hope you will get involved as a classroom volunteer through CARES, as an event planner with the PTO, or even as a ‘data cruncher’ on the School Improvement Team.

I look forward to meeting you personally to tell you about the ‘excitement for learning’ that I see in the classrooms.


Mrs. Kim Mather, Principal, M.Ed.


Main Office

Ms. Jeanne Elliott

Mrs. Barb Bridges

Unified Arts Teachers

PE: Mrs. Kris Shumate, Mr. Charlie Lavallee ART: Mrs. Sarah Mayoh,

Mrs. Lynda Wilkie MUSIC: Ms. Karen Toy LIBRARY/MEDIA: Ms. Keri Londers


Mr. John Gould

Mr. George Gardner

ELL Teacher

Mrs. Katie Nerstheimer


Ms. Debi Vannoy

Reading Specialists

Mrs. Alicia Verdi, Ms. Cindy Sheehan

Mrs. Elyse Scherza, Mrs. Felicie Carroll


Mrs. Paula Rekos


Math Specialists

Ms. Mariann Hayward

Ms. Gina Defeo


Mrs. Melanie Petricko


Reading & Writing Workshop Coaches

Mrs. Sherril Whaley

Ms. Kelly Burdge


Señora Victoria Wagner


Teaching Assistants

Ms. Jennifer Tucker, Mrs. Lisa Winkler

Ms. Dilka Ramos, Mrs. Lynne Sickinger

Ms. Jennifer O’Brien, Mr. Mike Reeder

Señor Juan Batista. Mrs. Holly McMahon

Mrs. Kim Simmons, Ms. Brandi Natale

Mrs. Kateri Collins

Grade 1

Mrs. Tracy Amalfetano

Special Educators

Mrs. Karin Campbell, Mrs. Renee Moniz,

Mrs. Nancy Lenoce-Walsh, SLP: Mrs. Molly Baranoff, OT:  Ms. Kathy Giles

PT:  Mrs. Sue Still


Señora Sol Hernandez

Mental Health


Social Worker: Mr. Jonathan Sigman

School Psychologist: Mrs. Ashley Rita


Mrs. Jane Stafford


Mrs. Kim Mather

Grade 2

Mrs. Lisa Alves

All emails are: first initial, last name

Mrs. Laura Iverson

Mrs. Caighln Perrin

Grade 3

Mrs. Beth Hannafin

Ms. Cynthia MacNeil

Grade 4

Mrs. Sue Carr

Mrs. Heidi Pineda

Mrs. Jenn Rollins

West Kingston Elementary School PTO

The West Kingston Parent Teacher Organization consists of an energetic group of volunteers who work tirelessly to create an enriching environment for all who enter the school.  As a parent or guardian of WKES, please consider yourself a member of the PTO.  The West Kingston PTO Facebook page is updated several times per week  

This FB page is a private page.  Request to be a “friend” which will provide you with news and sign-up information for upcoming events.  We encourage you to participate in any way you feel you can throughout the school year.  We start the year with a whole-school play, and our after school programs start in November and run through late May.  Additionally, we have monthly family events that are fun and low-cost.

PTO Officers for 2016-17

Valerie Grenier Co-President

Heather Hopkins                            Co-President         

Kileen Urian Co Vice-President        

Lindsey Reilly Co-Vice-President


Nicole Fillion Co-Secretary                     

Danielle Nowell Co-Secretary           

Jeanine Silversmith Treasurer

Many hands make light work!


Bus Transportation

Ocean State Transit is our bus company.  Bus questions can be directed to 401-284-3920.

Bus rides are a good way to connect with friends before the day starts and as the day ends.  However, our bus drivers and monitors consider safety above all else. Their eyes are on the road.  (By the way, the National Safety Council ( has excellent information regarding school bus safety statistics.) It is our expectation that students follow safe bus procedures and the bus driver’s/monitor’s instructions at all times while riding on the bus.  Students who do not follow bus expectations are given appropriate warnings, consequences as warranted, meet with the principal, and letters are sent home.  Repeat offenders are not allowed to ride the bus when they are being unsafe and must be transported to and from school by a parent/guardian.

As important, our drivers and monitors request that parents, or their designee, are present for bus pick-up in the morning and for bus drop-off at the end of the school day. The times are published in the newspaper and are on the district website in late August. Again, this is a safety issue.  You (or your designee) must be present for bus drop-off at the end of the school day.  

So, what happens if you are not there to meet the bus at the end of the day?

#1.  The bus driver must pull over to radio the dispatcher.

#2.  The dispatcher must look up the family’s phone/contact information.

#3.  The dispatcher contacts the parent.

#4.  The dispatcher radios back to driver recommending next steps…i.e., to wait (which delays the rest of the students/parents on the route), or, to bring the student back to school after the route is complete.

#5.  The dispatcher contacts the principal.

#6.  The principal or designee is required to leave his/her duty at that time (i.e., after school program supervision, or teacher meeting, or parent appointment) to meet the bus back at school to accept student back to the school building.

#7.  The principal or designee stays with student until the family can be reached for pick-up at school.

#8.  If the parents cannot be reached, DCYF is contacted.

Please be certain to be there to greet your child’s bus at the end of his/her day.

ARRIVAL:  If you ever drive your child to school (8:35 – 8:53 a.m.)

The vast majority of families take advantage of the school’s bus system for transportation to and from school. For those few parents who do drive their child/ren to school, please use the outside lane (closest to the Outdoor Classroom) and allow children to exit your vehicle and cross the parking lot ONLY at the marked crosswalk.  Starting at 8:40 school staff will meet your child/ren at the crosswalk.  School staff will see the children into the school and get them to the right place.  Parents are not allowed to escort their child/ren into the building at arrival time.  Parents/guardians are encouraged and welcome to visit our school, (except during arrival and dismissal times). It is district policy however - for the safety of students and staff - that all parents check-in at the office for those pre-arranged appointments. (Please refer to policy #1250 for additional information.)


Student safety, especially at dismissal is very, very, very important.

(There are 300 students that need to get to numerous places, and we need to focus all of our attention on getting the students to the correct places ☺ - think: “air traffic controller!”)


Dismissal times need to be honored.  3:13 is the official end of instruction.

Students are in class and all staff are focused on student dismissal procedures betw. 3:00 - 3:25.

Please do not enter the school or office - without an appointment - at the end of the school day.

  • If you need your child prior to 3:13 (for an appointment, for example) the classroom teacher needs a note in the morning. Teachers use this note first thing in the morning as part of their attendance roster.  This note is then documented by the office/dismissal staff.  

  • If you need to pick up your child before 3:13 but there is no note, you need to contact the school BEFORE 12:30 (360-1130).  This is a safety issue because the teacher and the office need to know well-in-advance of dismissal time to ensure that all dismissal procedures are followed.  

  • Calls for dismissal will not be accepted after 12:30 unless your family is having an emergency.

  • As tempting as it might be to “beat the buses,” please consider it a GIFT to the school (and the principal) if you DO get ‘stuck behind a bus.’  Why?  Because that means that the office staff, teachers, and principal were able to focus all their attention on the safety (and destinations) of 300 students during dismissal time.

Please see “Dismissal Form” on next page for the dismissal documentation form.



(If there is a change needed at dismissal time and students are not taking their usual bus home)

WKES has all child/ren listed on updated bus lists and we will put your child on the correct bus.  However, occasionally, your child may need other arrangements at dismissal.  If this occurs, complete this note and send it in with your child.  

Child’s Name: ______________________________  DATE:__________________

Teacher’s Name: ___________________________ Regular Bus # ____________

______________  will be picked up by_________________________ today at

(child’s name)


*If anything changes, you must notify the office (360-1130) by 12:30.

C:\Users\michael\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\O0P1GEWR\MC900383850[1].wmf

If you have made outside arrangements with the YMCA for your children to attend the YMCA after school program, please fill this out for each child and we will keep this on file for the year.  If there is a change during the year, this will need to be resubmitted.

______________  Attends the after school YMCA program on (check all days needed)

(child’s name)








YMCA Daycare:  The YMCA provides before and after school care at Peace Dale School.  Registration is handled through the YMCA, however our office must be made aware of any changes in this routine as well as the YMCA in order to be sure students are where they need to be at the end of the day.   Students are transported to and from West Kingston Elementary School by the YMCA.  Please contact the YMCA for more information (783-3900).

ATTENDANCE/TRUANCY POLICY (School Committee Policy 8415)

                                   “ Be on time! Be on Task!  Every day!  Every class!

School Begins at 8:53 am and ends at 3:13pm

School Absences:

Please call the school (360-1130) and leave a message on the absence line if your child will be absent from school.  If you do not call the absence line, a school official will contact you to be certain the child is at home or with a designee.  If you desire homework for your child, please call the school by 9:30 a.m.  It may be sent home with another child or picked up at the main office at the end of the day. Also, do not send a child to school if s/he is sick.  You will be called to pick up any child deemed sick by the school nurse.  A doctor’s note is required after three consecutive absences in order for your child to be admitted back into school.

Excused Absence:  Excused absences include a student’s participation in an approved school-sponsored activity, suspension days, religious holidays, family emergencies to be approved by an administrator, doctor excused illness or injury (a note from a doctor or medical professional  excuse must be submitted within 3 days of the absence), or funerals.  If a student is absent for a medical reason 3 or more days, a doctor’s note MUST  be provided to the principal or school nurse when re-entering.

Unexcused Absence:  Every absence is considered “unexcused” even when a phone call by the parent/guardian has been received stating the specific reason for the absence by the attendance office.  For an absence that is 1 or more days in length to be considered excused, a note from a doctor or medical professional must be received within 3 days of the absence. Student absence from class for purposes of family travel or vacation is a loss of valuable class time and is strongly discouraged.  The number of days missed will be counted as unexcused absences.

Truancy:  A student is considered truant when he/she purposely stays away from school without parent/guardian permission and or is consistently late or dismissed early.  Students who do miss school with parent/guardian permission, however, can be considered truant at the discretion of the administration.

Tardy/Early Dismissal:  By Rhode Island State law, dismissals from school for any reason are considered part of a student’s attendance record and are counted as an absence. Students who arrive late and leave early miss out on valuable instructional time and causes a distraction to the teaching and learning going on in the classroom.  Please make every effort to help your child be in school on time every day and stay in school for the entire day.

Vacations During School Calendar:

We discourage families from scheduling vacations outside of the regular school vacations, holidays, and summer break, as quality learning time will have been lost.  Teachers are not responsible for preparing school work that a student will miss during a vacation that is not scheduled during school vacation periods.  Vacations are not excused absences and will affect truancy.

Your student’s attendance information can be found on South Kingstown’s Student Information Management System,  Skyward/Family Access component on the South Kingstown School’s web page under the Parent heading.  (Ex:  Username(parent): smithj     PW:  southkingstown*)

Consistent student attendance is essential to productive learning.

Lunch and Recess


Recess is part of the daily routine for all children, it is important to their social and physical development. All children are expected to go outside for recess unless there is written notice from a parent. Students are also expected to be dressed properly for the weather:  Snow boots, snow pants, coats, hats, mittens, should be worn during the cold months because we go outside year-round.


Behavior is never to infringe upon the rights of other students or adults, thereby disrupting the learning process or school environment.  A teacher or supervisory adult may remove a student from the classroom or playground area when the student deliberately caused a discipline offense that violates the safety or civil respect of others: (Please refer to Policy: Section 8000 /8310, 8315, 8320, 8325 for additional information.)

West Kingston Expectations Matrix (Rules)

All Settings










-Keep hands. feet & objects to self

-Follow directions of adults

-Leave toys and gum at home

-Follow directions

-Whole body listening

-One speaker at a time


-Walk in single file line

-Hands by your side

and off walls

-Play safely

-Use equipment properly

-Friendly competition

-Sit at table with feet on the floor

-Inside voices

-Respect Privacy

-Keep soap and water in the sink

-Keep aisles clear

-Keep hands and feet to self

-Stay seated

-Quiet voices

-Remain in seat

-Keep hands and feet to self


-Be on task

-Make good choices

-We will not bully others

-We will try to include students who are left out

-Be truthful

-Do your best work

-Do your own work

-Take care of yourself and your belongings

-Walk  quietly

-Walk directly to your destination

-Follow adult directions

-Line up at whistle

-Ask permission to go inside

-Eat your own food (no sharing)

-Proper table manners

-Stay in line


-Use soap and water to wash hands

Use quiet voices

-Sit quietly and wait for performance to begin

-Be attentive

-Sit still during bus ride

-Backpacks on lap

-Use inside voices



-Clean up after yourself

- Help students who may be being bullied

- Use respectful language

-Treat all school property & property of others with respect.

-Have all materials ready for class

-Complete and return homework

-Raise your hand

-Pick up litter

-Walk on the right side of the hallway

-Respect the natural surrounding

-Share equipment

-Clean up after yourself

-Throw trash in cans

-Place paper towels in the trash

Go  back to class quickly

Report low bathroom supplies to an adult

-Use proper applause

-Enter and exit silently

-Follow the directions of the bus driver and monitor

Olweus Bully-Prevention

As we continue to foster positive behaviors at WKES, we implement school-wide instruction and awareness on bully-prevention. The definition of ‘bullying’ is:  “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending him/herself.  Bullying is NOT when students have a disagreement.

There are 4 anti-bullying rules at West Kingston:

1. We will not bully others.

2. We will try to help students who are bullied.

3. We will try to include students who are left out.

4. If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.

The difference between ‘Rough-and-Tumble Play’ and Bullying

(excerpt from Olweus Anti-Bully materials)


‘Rough and Tumble’ Play


Relationship Between Children

Usually Friends

Usually Not Friends

Number of Participants

Maybe two, but often more

Two, but often a group against one

Balance of Power


(i.e., physical stature, or age)

Unequal (i.e., unequal physical stature, or age i.e.,)


Smiling faces, laughter

The inferior party:  sad, crying, angry

The superior party: laughter, scornful smile, not friendly

Underlying Intention

Friendly, positive

Negative, aggressive, desire to humiliate and insult




Gathering of Bystanders?



Relationship immediately after incident

Parties can often participate in a new common activity

The participants leave each other.


WKES staff members have been trained and will approximate the outlined conversation/process below if they see bullying:

Step 1.  “Stop.  This is not OK. This is a bully-free school.”

Step 2.  Supporting the student who has been bullied: “I am sorry that just happened to you.  That was not OK.  I am going to check in with you a little bit later to see how you are doing.”

Step 3.  To the bullying student/s: “When you said ________, that is called bullying. These are the rules here at WKES.” (names the above rules).

Step 4.  To the bystanders (if they intervened on behalf of the student who was bullied): “I appreciate how you supported this student by saying ________. That is exactly what we need students to do when they see someone being bullied.  I appreciate this and will let your teacher know how supportive you were today.”


To the bystanders who were unable to intervene: “When someone is being bullied, we are going to work together to support the student being bullied by saying, “Stop.  That is not OK.  This is a bully-free school.”

Step 5.  Staff member will impose an immediate and appropriate consequence for the student/s who bullied.  Appropriate teacher/s, social worker, Olweus team leader, and/or Principal will be notified. Documentation will be completed.

Step 6.  Appropriate staff member will check in with the student who bullied at a later time in the day.

DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES (School Committee Policies Section 8000 /8310, 8315, 8320, 8325)

Through PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) and our OLWEUS BULLY PREVENTION PROGRAM (OBPP), our focus is on recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors, however we must also have structures for addressing behaviors that disrupt learning or may result in harm to others.  Our school’s expectations are:

“Safety First, Own Your Actions, Always Act Responsibly (S.O.A.R)!  photo.JPG

Students are expected to demonstrate good citizenship and appropriate social behavior at all times. Behavior is never to infringe upon the rights of other students or adults, thereby disrupting the learning process or school environment.  A teacher or supervisory adult may remove a student from the classroom or playground area when the student deliberately caused a discipline offense that violates the safety or civil respect of others.  At that time our PBIS structures are used to reteach the expected behavior, impose consequences, and to communicate with families as necessary.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher directly at any time if you feel there is an issue that needs to be brought to our attention.  

Bus Discipline

The policy governing suspension of bus privileges is published in the South Kingstown District Calendar & Handbook. Briefly:

First Offense: Verbal reprimand, letter to parents

Second Offense: Warning letter to parents

Third Offense: Five (5) school-day bus suspension and conference with parent, bus driver, student, and principal

Fourth Offense: Bus suspension for remainder of year

Bus students must see that their bodies, books and personal belongings are kept out of the aisles.  Special permission must be granted by school authorities and the bus company to transport large items.  Band instruments that cannot be kept on the student’s lap may not be permitted on the bus.  School projects that cannot be kept on the student’s lap are not permitted.  Students must ride their assigned buses, getting on and off at their assigned stops unless a note is written by a parent granting permission to ride a different bus with a friend. The office and the bus driver must see the note.  The bus company # is 284-3920.

Suspensions and Expulsions

Suspension means an exclusion of a student from attendance at school, school property, and all school sponsored activities for disciplinary reasons. It may not be given for more than ten consecutive days, provided such suspension shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which it is imposed. Suspension is determined by an authorized member of the administrative staff.

Listed are some examples of breaches of conduct that may lead to suspension/expulsion:

  • threats

  • bullying

  • striking or assaulting a student or member of the staff

  • use of obscene or profane language

  • deliberate refusal to obey a member of the school staff

  • truancy and unauthorized leave from school property

  • blackmailing, threatening, intimidating staff or students

  • possession of a weapon or alcohol, or dangerous drugs or narcotics

  • destruction of school property

  • disruption of school day by bomb threats or false alarms

There is a more complete list of examples of behavior which could lead to suspension/expulsion in the district policy. The policy states that building administrators will forward to the police information of a violation of the law, involving a felony, taking place on school property. (Please refer to policy: Section 8000 / 8305 for additional information.)


All BCI’s must be on file with the South Kingstown School Department at the School Administration building – 307 Curtis Corner Rd., Wakefield, RI. in order to participate in any school field trip and to volunteer at school.

Field Trips: To comply with the new field trip policy, you must have a cleared current BCI on file. The BCI must be dated within 12 months of the trip.

Volunteers:  If you hope to volunteer in a classroom or at a school in SK, you must have a yearly BCI current  AND receive training from SK CARES – see the CARES website for volunteer and BCI information.

See next page for BCI Application.

FIELD TRIP POLICY (School Committee Policy 7120)

All chaperones must be at least 21 years of age and have an annual background check (BCI) that meets the satisfaction of the school department and state requirements.  All information is found on the website and through the CARES organization (360-1304).  Medical Guidelines: If any student has a serious medical condition, be sure that his/her doctor writes a letter indicating the child may safely attend and participate in trip activities.  For students possibly needing prescribed medical care while on the field trip, there must be an exchange of information between the school nurse teacher and the teachers on the field trip regarding care of the student.  Students requiring specialized medical care must be chaperoned by a school nurse or medically trained equivalent.  Parents may attend or designate another adult to attend in their place in order to relieve the necessity of a licensed nurse to attend in order to dispense medication or perform specialized procedures.  No student shall be denied access to a field trip or other activity solely on the basis of disability or medical condition.

Access to a field trip can be denied for behavior only if the behavior is not related to a student’s disability and this standard is equally applied to all students.

*Please note: Field trips begin and end at the school.  No one can take a student home from the place of the field trip.


Our students are placed into their next year’s classrooms very carefully and thoughtfully.  The teachers make placement decisions as a committee and meet over a series of weeks.  Classes are heterogeneous (classrooms with all ability levels).  Grade level teachers, resource teachers, itinerant teachers, your child’s prior teachers, and the principal make placement decisions based upon information gathered throughout the course of your child’s year/s at WKES.

To make balanced classes student placement decisions will consider the child’s academic abilities, learning style, work habits, individual needs, school behaviors and peer relationships.  

All parents will have the opportunity to inform the school of their child’s special learning needs through the use of the Student Information Form (available in the office in April and due by May 1st by request). The faculty values your insight and will take this information into consideration in our placement decisions.  

Notification of a student’s placement for the upcoming year will be placed on the last report card of the current school year. Unanticipated personnel and enrollment changes, which occur during the summer, may affect and change a child’s assignment. Parents and students will be notified as soon as changes are confirmed.

(Please refer to Policy: Section 8000 / 8125 for additional information.)

Other Important School Information


One time per year formal Parent/Teacher conferences will be scheduled by the district.  There will be no school that day and you will be notified in advance.  At any time during the school year, if you need to speak to your child’s teacher or the principal, please leave a message on voice-mail, send an email or a note.  We will reply as soon as possible.


Throughout this year, your child will be bringing home hundreds of practice reading books as part of their daily reading workshop.  These books need to be returned to the school the VERY NEXT day so that your child’s classmates can use them the next night.  They may be small books and seemingly insignificant, but they are precious to us.  Please ensure that your child reads them, then, puts them back in their backpack each night. Books not returned in a timely manner will be charged as a cost to your family because we will need to replace the book and put it back into the classroom’s reading library.

CELEBRATIONS (School Committee Policy 7751)

Due to the many food allergies, including those that are life-threatening, we do not allow treats to be brought to school for distribution to the whole class. An alternative option to honor a birthday might be to purchase a book for the class or school library with a bookplate honoring your child. Stickers or pencils are also options to consider.  If teachers request food, they will be specific about the allergies of concern. All food brought to the class must include ingredients and be approved by the school nurse. Please be very careful. We allow invitations to be distributed in the classroom only if ALL classmates are invited.


Children should dress appropriately for school and the weather.  Clothing should conform to reasonable standards of modesty and cleanliness. “The bottom of the tops should touch the top of the bottoms.”  Tee shirts and other clothing with messages should be appropriate for elementary school children. Children should wear suitable clothing and footwear on the days they have physical education. No hats are to be worn inside the school building or classrooms.

All children are expected to go outside for recess unless there is written notice from a parent. Students are also expected to be dressed properly for the weather:  Snow boots, snow pants, coats, hats, mittens, should be worn during the cold months because we go outside year-round.


The General Assembly of Rhode Island enacted a law entitled “Health and Safety of Pupils,” which requires school districts to have comprehensive safety plans.  We routinely practice Fire Drills, Lock Down and Emergency Evacuation drills.  In the event of an emergency, the principal will determine if students and staff should be evacuated outside of the building, or to a nearby relocation site.  Crisis Team Members will coordinate the orderly transfer of students to the evacuation center.  Each school has a designated primary relocation site and parents will be notified by the district automated telephone system with important information regarding reunification. Please be sure to update your telephone contact information throughout the year. State law requires 15 fire and emergency drills per year. Students are expected to leave the building in an orderly, quiet manner.  The teacher will take attendance to assure accountability for all children.  It is imperative that all classroom volunteers sign in and out consistently so that everyone is counted accurately.  


Forgotten items from home including homework, lunches, band instruments, etc., may be left at the office for delivery at a time which will not disrupt classroom routine.  HOWEVER, unless the item is absolutely necessary for the day, we suggest helping your child become responsible by allowing her/him to experience consequences for forgetting the item(s).  This will help develop a sense of responsibility and self-reliance.

HOMEWORK POLICY (School Committee Policy 7125)

Suggested Total Times for Daily Homework (10 minutes per grade level)

Kindergarten may read or be read to for 10 minutes per day

Grades 1-2 10-20 minutes per night

Grades 3-4 30-40 minutes per night

Role of the Student:

--Understand the homework assignment before leaving school;

--Take home all necessary materials to complete the assignment;

--Schedule time for homework that is compatible with family and/or after-school activities;

--Do their best on homework assignments with a minimum of parental help;

--Complete and return homework on time.

LEGAL CUSTODY (School Committee Policy 8410)

Anyone (parent, relative, friend) having a court order granting custody of a child must file a copy of said order with the principal of any school which the child attends. Changes in said documentation must also be submitted to the principal. Permission to release children to others must be in writing to the building principal and signed by the person having custody.  No child may be released without this written permission.


Please put your child’s name on every item brought to school. We will donate unclaimed, unmarked items to a charity such as The Jonnycake Center.  Check the Lost and Found, or the West Kingston PTO Facebook page frequently for pictures of any items lost.  Sometimes the items do not appear in the Lost and Found immediately, but surface later.

MEDICAL INFORMATION - Health and Wellness (School Committee Policy 5141)

Parents/guardians are requested, whenever possible, to schedule administration of medication outside of the normal school day.  Parents of students needing medication during the school day are required to bring the medication to the school nurse with an authorization form signed by your physician.  Both Prescription and Non-prescription medications require licensed health care provider’s written order and a written  parent authorization. All medication must be in a pharmacy labeled and/or prescription container and/or manufacturer’s container. At the time the prescription is filled, the parent/guardian shall have the pharmacist dispense an extra labeled container for use at school.  No student shall have in his/her possession any medication while on school property. All medication shall be dispensed by a School Nurse -Teacher.  No medication shall be dispensed without following this procedure. Never send your child to school with medication.  


Please notify the school if your child has any communicable conditions such as Strep Throat, Lice, Chicken Pox, Fifth disease, etc… This is a responsibility that must be practiced by all families.


By law, several classrooms and cafeteria areas are designated as “nut free” due to severe food allergies of students in our schools.  You will be notified if your child is in a “nut free” classroom.  They will not be allowed to eat any food containing nuts in the classroom at any time. However, food containing nuts may be eaten in the lunchroom.


School insurance is available at the beginning of the year.  You are not obligated to purchase this insurance.  If your child is not covered by health insurance, it is strongly recommended that you purchase the insurance in the unfortunate possibility of your child being injured at school.  Brochures and applications are online at For any questions, call Maria Parrillo at 360-1306.


During our Fall Open House, WKES Elementary will host an Open House and report to the community about our school’s most recent summative test data including state assessments.  Please watch for our Open House date to be publicized.


Children are not to bring toys to school.   We do not allow children to buy or trade personal items with other children and we will not mediate differences of opinion about ownership of items brought to school that are not labeled with a child’s name.


There may be times when the school may with to release for publication, photos for newspapers, videotaping, pictures on the school web page, FaceBook, Twitter etc. If you DO NOT want your child/ren to participate, you need to opt out by writing a letter to our office as soon as possible.  


Report cards are distributed quarterly in November, February, April, and June.  Parents are encouraged to request an appointment with their child’s teacher when there is a concern about their child’s academic or social progress.  


School Committee Policy requires that parents of all children be informed of the following requirement concerning child abuse or neglect: In compliance with Chapter 11 of Title 40 of the General Laws of the State of Rhode Island, employees of the school department are required to report any knowledge or suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the Rhode Island Department of Children and Their Families no later than 24 hours after such knowledge is learned or suspicion is raised.


We expect that proper care and attention be given to school materials.  Lost or destroyed classroom materials, library books, supplies, and materials must be replaced by the student or parent.  


We routinely practice fire drills.  We also conduct state-mandated Lock Down and Emergency Evacuation drills.  In the event of an actual emergency, the principal will determine if students and staff should be evacuated to another location outside of the school.  Parents will be notified by the district automated telephone system, or on SKSD’s website/app with important information. This allows us to keep our phone lines clear.  Please be sure to keep your contact information updated throughout the year, if your phone number changes!


The superintendent will make the decision to close schools.  A district-wide automated phone message will be sent to the telephone number listed on students’ registration information forms. Another App that can be downloaded from the App Store is “South Kingstown SD.”  You can customize this for West Kingston (or additional schools in the district if you have siblings).  Emergency information will be available on this app.  The following radio and television stations will be notified of school changes and will broadcast messages reliably.  (Mrs. Mather sets her own cell phone up through RI Broadcaster’s Association – Google it - to receive automated text messages regarding school closures.)

WPRI TV 12                    WJAR TV 10

WSNE 93.3 FM               WPRO 630 AM

WPJB 102.7 FM

If school is dismissed early due to inclement weather or emergency circumstances, any activity planned in the school that evening is cancelled.  When an after-school program is cancelled due to inclement weather or other factors, the sponsoring organization is responsible for notifying parents of the cancellation.  

If there is significant and long-term power outage for the entire area (i.e., hurricane, blizzard, etc.) the SK School system will keep you updated with an automated phone message (typically by 6:00 p.m.).  Please refrain from calling the school, because the school phones will not be operating during a power outage.  

For one-hour delays, families need to have their children at the bus stop exactly one hour later than usual.  

(Or, for one-hour delays, students may be dropped off between 9:45 – 9:53 a.m.  There is no staff available before that time.)


We use several resources to distribute important news and information: Home-School Communication Folder, web page, PTO Facebook, listserve, School Messenger, and Twitter @learningatWK.  

STATE TESTING (NAEP, PARCC & NECAP) (March 1, May, 2017)

Please do not schedule vacations or appointments for your children during these times, because it is very important that all students participate in testing. Specific dates will be published in the fall.

Participation in state testing is a state and federal mandate.  State tests assess each student’s acquisition of grade level expectations in Reading, Math and Science.  Results provide our school with essential information about how our programs and instruction are working.  We plan school improvement activities based on information provided by assessment results.  The school is committed to providing a positive, relaxed atmosphere, as well as appropriate breaks for all of our state test-takers.  Families can reinforce positive messages at home and provide extra snacks for their child during those testing days.  The school will notify you of the exact testing schedule in the fall.


Students in grades three and four will be issued a student planner at the start of the school year.  If lost or destroyed, it will be the responsibility of the student to replace. Another planner may be purchased at the school office.

Title I

Title 1 federal funds come to the school based on the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. These funds pay for educational supports to help all students reach their academic potential

  • Parents will be notified if their child is a Title I student

  • The school will host Title I events throughout the school year, which will include:

In the fall an annual meeting with all Title I parents regarding Title I regulations, parent involvement policy, services child will receive, the rights of parents to be involved and parent information sessions

  • Title 1 families will receive notifications and invitations to events through the school flyers and mail

  • Childcare will be provided at Title I events

  • Parents and students will be asked to provide feedback regarding Title 1 programs (parent workshops, student intervention programs during the school day, after-school and summer) in order to plan future programs

  • Annually-Title I parents will be involved in reviewing and planning the Title I plan.

West Kingston Elementary School receives Title 1 funds.  Under the Act, parents of children attending West Kingston may request the professional qualifications of their child’s teachers.  Parents may request information related to state certification, highly qualified status, emergency certification, and degrees as well as information about the qualifications of paraprofessionals.  This information is available by calling the main office at 360-1130 and speak to the principal.


District Title I Parent Involvement Policy

Title I Requirement, Section 1118, Parent Involvement


The South Kingstown Public Schools will put into operation programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents in all of its schools with Title I targeted assistance programs, consistent with the section 1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Parents are partners with the district in the development and dissemination of both the district and their school’s parent involvement policies. Furthermore, they are also our partners in the process of school improvement through meetings, surveys and written communication. These programs, activities and procedures have been and will continue to be planned and operated with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children.  

South Kingstown Public Schools truly believe that everyone gains if the school and parents work together to promote high student achievement.  Neither the school nor parents can do the job alone.  Parents play an extremely important role as children’s first teachers.  Parental support for children and for the school is critical to the success of each child.  Our core beliefs, outlined below, will be reflected in all our work with families and with the community

Transparent Evidence-Based Decision Making

  • The use of data will guide our decisions both for Title I students and for our entire district.

  • Evidence-based decision making will be shared with families to help them better understand student goals.

When We Support the Whole Child Now, We Support the Whole Community

  • South Kingstown believes that children are our future.  Supporting them in all aspects of their education translates to success for the entire community.  

  • Support for students should draw upon the guidance outlined in the RI Board of Regents Regulations that requires each child to have at least one adult who is knowledgeable about the child’s social/emotional, academic, and career goals.

  • Resources need to be spent in ways that have a direct effect on student achievement.

When the Whole Community Supports its Schools, it Supports its Future

  • We need active engagement of all members of the community to promote success for all students in all aspects of their life and especially for our neediest population.

  • Active engagement comes in many forms, from mentoring or volunteering students, to sharing information with families, or to providing training for our staff.

Academic Rigor for Each and Every Child

  • High quality, rigorous educational programming for all but especially for those in danger of being “left behind”

  • Equity of all educational opportunities for all students


The District will, with the assistance of our Title I schools and families, educate our teachers, principals, and staff as they reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners.  This professional development will emphasize:

  • The value of parental contributions

  • How to reach out to and work with parents as equal partners

  • How to strengthen the ties between the parent community and the school community

The District will offer technical assistance, coordination, and other support necessary to help schools plan parent involvement activities to improve student and school academic performance and build school and parent capacities for strong parent involvement in a variety of ways, including assistance for our Title I targeted assistance schools in the design of effective parent involvement programs that include the six types of parental involvement detailed by Joyce Epstein:

  • Communicating – communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful

  • Parenting – parenting skills are promoted and supported

  • Student learning – parents play an integral role in assisting student learning

  • Volunteering – parents are welcome in the school and their support and assistance are sought

  • School decision making and advocacy – parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families

  • Collaborating with the community – community resources are used to strengthen schools, families, and student learning

The District will, to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parental involvement programs and activities with the District pre-school, with Parents as Teachers, and with other parent resource centers.  This will support our efforts to encourage and enable parents to more fully participate in the education of their children.  Support may include providing families with workshops on transition from pre-school to kindergarten, literacy at home, and understanding grade level expectations.



The South Kingstown Public Schools will take the following actions to evaluate the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy in improving the quality of its Title I targeted assistance schools:

  • Examining gains in student data, including student achievement, school performance and attendance.

  • Surveying families annually to assess the effectiveness of the parent involvement activities in our Title I targeted assistance schools. This includes determining whether families have been provided with information in a timely manner and in a format and language that is easily understood.

  • Using family outreach coordinators, in partnership with the Rhode Island Parent Information Network, to help families make good use of community resources to increase support for themselves and for their children and to address barriers to greater participation in school based activities.  The effectiveness of this work will be assessed through the annual survey and through increased attendance at school sponsored events.

  • In addition to the annual meeting, the Title I schools will hold meetings throughout the year to provide parents with information and strategies that build on a parents’ capacity to help their child read at home.  Feedback from these meetings will be used to design future parent involvement activities.

First Reading: May 22, 2012, Second Reading/Adoption: June 12, 2012

Applications for our Free or Reduced Lunch Plan

For those families that may qualify for free or reduced lunch plans, it is important that you download the following application (click the link below and paste it into your browser).  The link to the application is included in this handbook.  The applications need to be completed and submitted to the school in September, or upon enrollment, for your child/ren to be included in the program. Hard copies are available at school.  Call 360-1130 and we will put one in your child’s backpack.


All students in grades Kindergarten through four have Art, Music, and Library once a week and Physical Education twice a week.  The teachers will provide a schedule to students the first week of school.  Students in grade four may participate in the school Chorus.  Also, students in grade four may participate in “Strings.”  Instruction is available in school at no cost to students.  The “Strings” teacher will send home announcements in early September notifying students and parents of their options.  Reminder: According to bus transportation regulations, instruments that cannot be accommodated on a child’s lap may not be brought on the bus.


Parents and community are welcome to visit our school upon prior notification and approval; however, for the safety of students and staff, all visitors must stop at the office to sign in to obtain a VISITOR BADGE.  Children should not be escorted to their classroom door by their parent, including parent volunteers, unless special permission is granted by the principal. (Please refer to policy #1250 for additional information.)


The YMCA provides before and after school care at Peace Dale School.  Registration is handled through the YMCA, however our office must be made aware of any changes in this routine as well as the YMCA in order to be sure students are where they need to be at the end of the day.   Students are transported to and from West Kingston Elementary School by the YMCA.  Please contact the YMCA for more information (783-3900).


WKES is a smoke-free environment.  There is no smoking permitted anywhere on the premises.

Thank you for reading this handbook with your child.  By reading this, you have made an important step in the education of your child.  We know that parents who are interested and involved with their children’s schools have children who THRIVE.

Important phone numbers:

Front Office: 360-1130

Mrs. Mather: 360-1161 (email is preferred:

Bus Company: 284-3920


Tear off and return to school by September 1st.

I have read the West Kingston Student/Parent 2016-2017 handbook.

Parent/guardian signature: ______________________

Student signature: _____________________________