Student Handbook

                                   Student Handbook       SES Handbook 2018-2019 











Challenging Student Excellence . . .One Step At A Time









Southside Elementary



To challenge all students to achieve

excellence in academic, physical, and social development,

in a disciplined environment to become lifelong learners.





  • Student learning is the chief priority for the school.


  • Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.


  • Students learning needs should be the primary focus of all decisions impacting the work of the school.


  • Students learn in different ways and should be provided with a variety of learning activities to accommodate differences in learning styles.


  • Students need to apply their learning in meaningful contexts.


  • Student self-esteem is enhanced by positive relationships and mutual respect among and between students and staff.


  • The commitment to continuous improvement is imperative if our school is going to enable students to become confident, self-directed, lifelong learners.









Alabama law states that a child must be five on or before September 2 of the year he enters kindergarten.

Arrival and Departure

Students should not be on campus until 7:20 a.m. when gym early supervision begins. The line up bell will ring at 7:40 a.m. and students will go to the classrooms. At 7:45 a.m. the tardy bell rings. All students should be engaged in instruction at that time.


Attendance and Absences

All students are expected to attend school regularly and to be on time for classes in order to receive the greatest benefit from the instructional program and to develop habits of punctuality, self-discipline and responsibility.


A written excuse will be required of all students after an absence. The written excuse should state:

Date, Student Name, Reason for absence/nature of illness. These excuses are kept for audit.


If an acceptable excuse is not presented in three days of returning to school, the absence will be coded as unexcused. Excused absences are: illness, death of a family member, inclement weather. Students who are out of town must have prior permission from the principal only in order for the absence to be excused.


When a student receives three unexcused absences, the teacher, counselor or assistant principal will contact the parent regarding the student truant condition. After a student receives five unexcused absences, the student will be referred to the Etowah County Attendance Supervisor.


Students who are tardy three times will be counted absent one day unless the tardies are excused.


Students are responsible for missed work while absent and should be prepared for class work when returning to school.  Students will not be allowed to make up work for unexcused absences.


Requests to pick-up assignments should be made before 10:00 a.m. Assignments may be picked up in the office after 2:00 p.m.


Buying and Selling

Students are not allowed to buy from, sell to, or trade with each other any items at school or on the school bus.  Parents should warn their child not to purchase items or accept items from others.


Cell Phones

Students are not allowed to use cell phones at school.  The Etowah County Student Handbook states all Disciplinary Actions for a Cell phone violation. Parent cell phones must be turned on vibrate before entering the school building.


Check Outs

Parents should come to the office to check a child out. The student will meet the parent in the office.  We discourage early checkouts unless there is a legitimate reason or emergency.


In a divorce case where checkouts may pose a problem, the school should have a copy of the custody decree in the child’s permanent record.  It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to furnish this information.




Southside Elementary School will not tolerate conduct by any student that interferes or disrupts an atmosphere conducive to learning.  Violators will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures designed to ensure that no student interferes with the rights of others to receive a quality education.

The School Wide Discipline Plan will be followed by each teacher. Corporal punishment will be administered as a last resort following the guidelines of the Etowah County Board of Education and the State of Alabama.  The school behavior philosophy is to prevent problems from happening by following the basic rules of conduct.

            (1)        Act in an orderly manner

            (2)        Be respectful of others

            (3)        Be prepared each day for instruction

            (4)        Enter and leave all areas of the building orderly

            (5)        Help keep the school clean and attractive

            (6)        Use good manners in the lunchroom

            (7)        Walk at all times

            (8)        Refrain from abusive, vulgar language

            (9)        Do not steal

            (10)       Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself

            (11)       Chewing gum is not allowed at school

            (12)       Toys or other playthings are NOT to be brought to school


We believe all students can behave appropriately and will not allow any student to stop teachers from teaching or other students from learning.


A communication notebook may be necessary and initiated for the success of a student.  It is required that the notebook be read and signed each day by the parents.  If the parents fail to sign the notebook for three consecutive days, the notebook will be discontinued.



Parents are encouraged to visit the school to confer with the teachers, counselor, or principal concerning the welfare of students.  Teachers have specific times when they are available for parent conferences.  Problems concerning grades and student’s work should be discussed with the teacher before conferring with other school personnel. Appointments for conferences must be made in the office 24 hours in advance. Conferences will not be scheduled during a teacher’s instructional time. The special education teachers, counselor, and/or principal will attend any  conference when requested by the teacher or parent.  Teacher home phone numbers cannot be given out by school personnel.


Counseling Program

A full time counselor is on staff at Southside Elementary and the counseling program is available to all students. It provides individual and small group counseling in addition to classroom instruction.


The counselor is available to interpret test scores to parents, teachers, and students. The counselor assists school staff in identifying student deficiencies and consults with parents about special needs of students.


Disruptive Items

Students are not allowed to bring toys and play things to school unless requested by the teacher. A teacher has the authority to take such items from the student. Parents may pick up the items in the principal’s office.


Dress Code

To eliminate confusion of ownership of clothing, please put your child’s FULL NAME in coats and on other valuable items. Students should be dressed appropriately while attending school and school functions. The principal may require students to call home for proper clothing before allowing a student to attend class. Improper school dress includes soffee cheerleader shorts, halters, backless tops or clothes with obscene, suggestive language. Clothing with advertisements for alcohol and tobacco is prohibited along with sunglasses, visors, caps, hats, and jewelry that could cause injury.   Students should wear tennis shoes only.  The only exception will be in the winter months, students will be allowed to wear soft soled boots. 


Discipline:    Please see the Etowah County Student Handbook.  Administrators and teachers have various options when it comes to punishment of a student.  SES is grateful for parent support when dealing with disruptive behaviors.  Education and Safety are our priorities.  It takes a village to raise a child.





Fire, tornado, and/or intruder drills are practiced monthly to make certain students learn proper safety procedures.  Every precaution is taken to insure the safety of your child during school hours. In case of an emergency and our students are to vacate the campus, parents will be directed to Southside First Baptist to check out students.


Extended Day Care Program

The Etowah County Community Education Department operates an after school day care Monday through Friday for a small fee. After school students attending this program report directly to the gym. The program offers one to three hours of after school care including assistance with homework, games, crafts, refreshments and free play.  There is an annual registration fee of $10 and $5 a day for one child or $4 for more than one child in the same family.  This program is for Southside Elementary School students only. For more information contact the school office.




Forgotten Items

Forgotten books, lunches, and lunch money should be brought to the office to be delivered to the child’s room by school personnel.



Grades are derived from test scores, daily grades, and homework.

The following point average and letter symbols will be used. Report cards are issued every six weeks.

                        90-100  A

                        80-89    B

                        70-79    C

                        60-69    D

                        0-59      F


Southside Elementary complies with the Etowah County Board of Education Policy addressing communicable infectious diseases or conditions for students and employees. Copies of this policy are on file in the school library.


A child should not attend and will be sent home if he/she has the following: fever, skin rash, head lice, and vomiting. Parents are requested to contact the school nurse or counselor if their child has a contagious disease that will require several days out of school.

There is an Etowah County Lice policy.  Where lice is a nuisance, it can be treated.  Only 1 absence is excused for lice.

Information Updates

Contact the office if you have a change of address, phone number, or if emergency info changes. Check the report card address and notify the office if it is incorrect.



Students are encouraged to obtain accident insurance for their own benefit and protection.


Students are encouraged to use the library and to check out books.  Students have daily access to the library and may check out two books per day. Additional books may be checked out for reports or assignments when needed. Books may be renewed for an additional week if the student brings the book to the library on the date due.


Students with overdue books are not allowed to check out additional books until the overdue book is returned or the replacement fee is paid. A replacement fee for lost or damaged books and for removal or damage to the bar codes is charged. If a book is found and returned after having been paid for, the fee will be refunded less $1.00 for processing charges. The receipt for the book payment must be presented for a refund.




Lost and Found

Found articles (glasses, jewelry) are kept in the office until the end of school unless claimed. All unclaimed articles are given to a charitable organization at the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to check the coat box for lost coats and sweaters weekly. Students are responsible for their items.  



The school lunch program consists of four food components: (1) meat or meat substitute, (2) vegetable or fruit, (3) bread or bread alternate, and (4) milk. Students are allowed to choose the items they want from the self-serve line, and must take three of the five food items offered.


Students are not allowed to have carbonated drinks in cans, bottles, or a thermos.


Parents may eat with their child during the regular lunch period after the first month of school by calling the lunchroom manager by 8:30 a.m. to make a reservation for a plate lunch. Adult lunches cost $4.00 and should be paid as the adult goes through the line. If parents bring fast food, please put it in a plain bag to prevent undue attention.


All parents are encouraged to complete a form for Free and Reduce meals the first week of schools. Each student has a computerized lunch account. For student convenience lunch money should be paid every MONDAY.  Please put checks and cash in an envelope with the student name and teacher’s name on the outside.  We encourage lunches to be pre-paid by depositing money in your child’s account every MONDAY. Parents, please add money to the account on a regular basis so your child will not run out of money. You will be notified when the account balance is low. The state will not allow students to charge.



Lunch is $2.25 daily

Breakfast $1.00 daily


All parents are encouraged to complete a free and reduced lunch form. If a student qualifies…Reduced lunches are $0.40 and breakfast $0.30.




Medications. The medication must be in the original bottle with your child’s name and directions on the label. Parents must sign a medical form and submit a doctors’ permission.


Students are not allowed to transport medication or to have medication in their desk or book bag. All medication MUST be supervised by the school nurse.


Over the counter medication should be in the correct medication bottle with written directions from the parent. Teachers or office personnel are not allowed to measure medication from a bottle nor give any over the counter medications. We have trained personnel responsible for administering medication.





Parents are encouraged to sign up for an e-alert with the board of education in order to receive text messages and/or emails during inclement weather. Check the ecboe webpage for directions.

For local school information you can also sign-up for the school wide e-alert (REMIND).

Text this message: @bb975d to this number: 256-2191




When school will be closed due to severe weather, the superintendent will also notify all local radio and TV stations before 6:30 a.m. Tune in for this information when it is doubtful that school will be in session.



Inform your child’s teacher as to what they should do in case school must DISMISS early for emergency situations. It would be impossible to call every parent or for parents to call the school. Early dismissal announcements will be made on all local radio and TV stations.

Several homeroom teachers use the REMIND SYSTEM.  We encourage parents to sign up for all notices that would keep you informed on your child’s school.

Information concerning special programs, holiday notices, and items of importance will be sent home with the student.

Grades 1-5 use Tuesday take home folders. Kindergarten has a daily folder.  Please check folders for any important information.



Invitations to parties may not be passed out at school unless every child in the room receives one.

Balloons and gifts should not be delivered to the school.


Room mothers or parents are permitted to bring a simple treat for students on special occasions but drinks are not permitted. The treats should be brought to the office and the teacher will pick up during regular snack time.


Physical Education

All students are expected to participate in physical education classes. To be temporarily excused from physical education classes, the student is required to bring a note signed by a parent or guardian.  If the student is to be excused for an extended period of time, a note from a physician is required.


Physical Education equipment is furnished; therefore, students should not bring bats, balls, gloves, or other play things to school.


For student safety, all students must wear tennis shoes to school.



School pictures are made twice each year. There is no obligation to purchase these pictures.


Privacy of Students

The Etowah County Board of Education has adopted a policy of compliance with the General Education Act, Title IV of Public Law 90-247. This act prohibits the release of personally identifiable information by school officials about students or former students without written permission of the parents. Information classified as “Directory” information or information requested by persons or institutions which have legitimate educational interest in the student may be released without the written permission of the parents.


Returned Checks

All checks must include a current address, phone number, and what the check was written for.  There will be a $29 service charge added to all returned checks due to non-sufficient funds. If a check is returned due to non-sufficient funds, we can no longer accept a check from that party. If a check is not redeemed within five days a certified/registered letter will be sent. Ten (10) days will be allowed to reconcile the check. After ten days the returned check will be turned over to the Etowah County District Attorney’s Special Services Division for collection.




School Supplies

Students are expected to have paper, pencil and other necessary supplies every day.



A student’s desk, personal belongings, or person may be searched if the teacher, principal or assistant principal deems it necessary to maintain the safety or integrity of the school environment. All searches will be conducted with the consent of the principal or assistant principal and with witnesses present.



Due to recent information on childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes, a state wide wellness policy has been established.

DRINKS:    plain water (infused with sugarless fruit flavor)


FRUIT:       fresh or canned in its own juice.


VEGETABLES: any raw cut up vegetables


DAIRY           cheese sticks/cubes, sugar-free jello, sugar-free pudding, yogurt (plain or fruit)


OTHER          popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, crackers, crackers with cheese, low-sugar dry cereals, trail mix, nut


NO sugar fruit drinks, fruit roll-ups, or Gatorade type drinks.



Southside Elementary is a Peanut Aware school. We have students in our school with a severe peanut allergy.  Strict avoidance of nut products is the only way to prevent a life threatening allergic reaction.

No peanut products will be allowed as a snack food.

Since lunch is eaten in the cafeteria, your child may bring peanut butter, peanuts or nut products for lunch only! There will be a designated peanut butter table.  Please include wipes in their lunch box. 



School begins at 7:45 a.m. Students not in homeroom when the bell rings will be considered tardy at 7:46. The first bell rings for students to go to homeroom at 7:40 a.m.


A parent or guardian must sign in tardy students in the office. A tardy pass will be issued to enter the classroom.

Students who are tardy three times will be counted absent one day unless the tardies are excused. This could affect perfect attendance.



The school phone is for business purposes only. Students should know and understand how they will get home before leaving for school each day.  This will prevent unnecessary confusion for the child and will eliminate unnecessary phone calls and disturbances during the school day.  


            A phone call is not acceptable to change a student’s transportation. A written note (signed by the parent/guardian) must be provided or faxed (442-1075). Students may use the phone for emergencies only.







Field trips are considered a privilege for our students.  At any time a student’s behavior may interfere with their attendance on a field trip, if deemed inappropriate by the teacher.




Each student should have the same method of transportation daily except in emergency situations.

At no time will a student be allowed to ride a bus not assigned to him. A written request from both students’ parent must be given to the office and a bus pass will be issued.



Bus Behavior

All students are to be respectful and act orderly on the bus. Improper behavior will result in disciplinary measures that could lead to suspension for repeated or severe problems.


(1)        Stay seated (head, arms, or hands are not to be extended from window)

(2)        Obey the bus driver

(3)        Glass items, balloons, living animals, and health or safety hazards are prohibited

(4)        Appropriate voice level


Seat assignments may be given to prevent problems from happening.


Bus routes are set by the Etowah County Board of Education. To request a change or to add a stop requires a form be submitted for consideration. This form may be obtained in the school office. The transportation supervisor will make a visit to determine the appropriateness of the request.



Car Riders

Kindergarten and First Grade Morning Traffic

(Front of the school)

School doors open at 7:20. Please do not leave students at school until the doors open.

1st Bell rings at 7:40 for students to go to homeroom. 2nd Bell rings at 7:45 you are TARDY at 7:46.


Due to the large number of car riders, traffic rules are established to ensure the safety of your child.


ALL kindergarten and first grade students are to be unloaded and loaded at the front of the building and students must walk through the monitored front door to go to the gym. No student should be unloaded at the gym.


When cars enter the school driveway there are 2 lanes. The first car of each lane should pull up to the first white crosswalk. We try to unload and load 4 or 5 cars at one time. Please watch the traffic monitor so you will know when to stop and go. All cars will be stopped for the children to get in or out, walk to the white cross walk and proceed to the sidewalk. After the children are safe, the monitor will motion for the cars to go.


To speed the loading and unloading processes please BE READY.  As you enter the driveway and wait in line unlock doors, get book bags and lunch boxes ready, undo seat belts, and kiss your children good-bye. Please do NOT get out of your car. The monitors will help your child get out until they understand the routine. Do PRACTICE this procedure at home especially locking and unlocking seat belts. When students learn to lock and unlock their own seatbelt, they will gain self-confidence and self esteem.


Administrators and monitors will greet your child and show him/her how to go to the gym. Students will stay in the gym until the bell rings for homeroom (7:40).


When you park in the parking lot there are two white line walkways that should be used when walking into the school building. Parents, please model this safety procedure for your child.


****Do not let students out in the parking lot unsupervised.  Our PE teachers are present at 7:20 for car duty, and not before then.  Do not let students out in the parking lot.  All cars should use the front two lanes in front of the school.


For the Safety of our students, please do not allow your child to play in the front lawn or parking lot during dismissal. Many parents are waiting on middle school students to transfer, cars and busses are still entering and exiting our campus and we want to ensure that children are safe from all moving vehicles.



Kindergarten and First Grade Afternoon Traffic

(Front of School)


Kindergarten and first grade parents may line up at 2:15 for car riders. Anyone prior to 2:15 will be in preschool traffic.  Please use 2nd lane if you absolutely must arrive before 2:15.  Remain in your car. Do not block driveways or entrances to the roads because emergency vehicles must have access to school and the neighborhood at all times.




2nd – 5th Grade Morning Traffic


The back service road will be open for car riders AFTER 7:30 due to bus traffic. The back service road is one lane only. (Emergency lane must be left open) No double lines should be formed until you turn to approach crosswalks. Stay in your lane. Students will use the crosswalk located on the side next to the lunchroom.


            ALL STUDENTS and VISITORS must enter the front school office entrance at ALL times.


2nd – 5th Grade Afternoon TrAffic


Do not come before 2:15 to wait for afternoon car riders. Watch for walkers. NO DOUBLE LINES on service road. NORTH bound traffic will use Hawthorne and the service road behind gym and SOUTH bound traffic will use the service roaD



Students are not permitted to bring visitors to school. All parents/visitors must report directly to the school office for a visitor name tag to go to any classroom in the building. Parents should not go to a classroom during instructional time.


Volunteers should sign the volunteer log in the office and get a volunteer name tag before reporting to their assignment for the day. Parents may eat lunch with their child during the regular school lunch period after the first month of school. If parents bring fast food to school, it should be placed in a plain bag to prevent attention from other students. The lunchroom manager must be contacted by phone or note before 8:30 a.m. to reserve a plate lunch.






A 24 hour advance notice should be given to the office when a student is withdrawing from school. This is to allow the staff sufficient time to complete required transfer forms.  All debts must be cleared and all books returned before a transfer slip can be issued.  Transcripts will be mailed to the new school upon request.


After signing the statement below please only send the signed portion to your homeroom teacher. Keep this school calendar on your refrigerator along with the school calendar/menu sent to you every month.











System Wide Calendars can be found online at

Southside Elementary Handbook Signature Page:



I                                                           (student name) a student at Southside Elementary School and my parent(s)/guardian hereby acknowledge by our signatures that we have accessed the handbook online or requested a copy and read, or had read to us, the Southside Elementary Student and Parent Handbook.

(Student sign)                                                                (Parent/Guardian sign)                                                       

***Sign, and return to the homeroom teacher.                               Date:___________________________________

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