2021-2022 Fort Hunt Parent Handbook

PARENT HANDBOOK 2021-22

Fort Hunt Elementary School

8832 Linton Lane

Alexandria, VA  22308

Direct Line - 703-619-2600

Attendance Line - 703-619-2626

Clinic - 703-619-2610

Fort Hunt Website - http://www.fcps.edu/FortHuntES/

FCPS Website - http://www.fcps.edu/index.shtml

FCPS School Calendar - https://www.fcps.edu/calendars/standard-school-year-calendar

Weather and Emergency Messages

FCPS Red Apple Cable TV Channel 21

Local News Stations

FCPS Website

A more detailed description about school closing, delayed opening or early dismissal is available online in the FCPS Home Page.  Parents and guardians are responsible for having an advanced arrangement for where their child(ren) should go in case of a schedule change.

 

Notes from Fort Hunt

The FCPS website contains valuable information you may need throughout the year, including calendars, services and special programs, the instructional program, and information about starting school. A link to parent resources is: https://www.fcps.edu/resources.

 

eNotify (formerly Keep in Touch) and FCPS 24/7 ParentVUE Account can be accessed on the FCPS Homepage. Contact Rosa Dobarco at @email about signing up for parent accounts.

 

Attendance

The Instructional Day is Monday-Friday 8:55 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.  

Early Arrival – Before 8:35 a.m. To keep our students safe, walkers and car riders should arrive at school no earlier that 8:35 a.m.  Students are not allowed in the school building before 8:35 a.m. without permission from a teacher.

Arriving On Time – Between 8:35 a.m. - 8:55 a.m. Our first bell rings at 8:35 a.m.  Students should be in their classrooms by the second bell at 8:55 a.m. If they will be late, they must come to the office for a tardy slip.

Important Attendance Info:  If you know your child will not be arriving first thing in the morning, please notify the front office by:

If your child is either going to be absent for the entire day or late for any reason, call the school attendance line at 703-619-2626 before 10:00 a.m. The attendance line is available 24-7 for your message.  In your message, provide details describing the reason for the absence.  If the school does not receive a call from a parent/guardian, the absence will be considered unexcused.  This information also assists us in monitoring illness. Missing more than ten percent of the school year can impact academic achievement.  

Excused Absence and Tardy—Illness of the student, death in the family, doctor or dentist appointment, and observance of a religious holiday.

Unexcused Absence and Tardy—Family trip, childcare situation, oversleeping, or non-school related activity.   Pre-arranged Absence - If you know your child will be absent for an extended period of time, please fill out and submit this request form: https://www.fcps.edu/sites/default/files/media/forms/se291.pdf   It needs to be submitted to your child’s morning teacher and authorized by admin prior to your departure date.

Release of Students During the School Day

Parents should send a written request to the teacher and front office when your child must leave early.  Parents must report to the office to pick up and sign out their child. After you sign out your child, we will call your student to the office.  Children will not be released to anyone other than a parent or guardian without a written request signed by a parent.  Children are not allowed to walk home alone during school hours.  Early pick-ups at the end of the day must occur at least 20 minutes before the final bell (no later than 3:20p).

Family Trips

We encourage family trips during scheduled school vacations.  We strongly discourage such trips during the school year because these extended absences interrupt sequential learning in many subject areas.  We must withdraw from our enrollment, any student who is absent from school for 15 consecutive school days.  Upon the student’s return, a parent must again officially enroll him or her.

Calendars

Fort Hunt follows the FCPS School Calendar, available at https://www.fcps.edu/calendars/standard-school-year-calendar  This calendar includes holidays, breaks, grading periods, and early release dates.  Information about days missed and makeup days are also available.  A calendar of school events is posted on the school’s website. 

Keep Us in the Loop How Do We Contact You?

Your emergency contact information is vital to us and to you.  It accompanies your child everywhere he or she goes – even on field trips.  Phone numbers, addresses, and the names of the adults you permit to take your child from school should all be kept up-to-date.

You can access and update your child’s emergency care information via the FCPS program, [email protected], which is available through the ParentVUE account on FCPS 24-7.  You must register for Parent VUE Accounts.

The paper version of the emergency care form is still available at the school.  It is not necessary to complete both the paper and the online version, but one must be completed for each student.

Keeping Parents in the Loop

Student Progress Reports

If you did not sign up for an electronic version of your student’s progress report, you will receive a printed Progress Report shortly after each of the four nine-week grading periods in the school year. If you signed up for an electronic version, it will be available through your ParentVUE account a few days after the end of each quarter.  

Interims

The Interim Report may be issued when a student’s work either declines or improves.

School Communication

Parents can find the latest news about school events and happenings via the:

Emergency

In case of an emergency, information is communicated to parents through eNotify, Channel 21, and radio and TV announcements.

Clinic Services

Schools are authorized to administer first aid only.

When to Stay Home

Students with a rash, watery and inflamed eyes, fever, sore throat, new cough that is not due to another health condition, shortness of breath, new loss of taste/smell, vomiting, or diarrhea should stay home until a doctor determines symptoms are not contagious.  The FC Department of Health recommends children remain home fever-free without medication for 24 hours prior to returning to school.

When We Will Call You

Our clinic works to control and manage exposure to contagious diseases.  We will call for these symptoms:

  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Head lice
  • Inflamed eyes with discharge
  • Persistent cough

The parent/guardian will be notified and a Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form will be sent home. The top portion of the form will be completed by the School Public Health Nurse or School Health Aide.  Parents are expected to pick up their child within one hour of notification. Parents are to check into the front office. Keep all emergency numbers current.  We ask that you notify the clinic if your child has head lice, strep throat, flu, chicken pox, has (or a family member has) tested positive for COVID-19 or other contagious illnesses. For more information on FCPS’ health and safety guidance, please go to this link: https://www.fcps.edu/return-school/student-health-and-safety-guidance-document

Physician’s Note Needed

Some rashes, (pink eye, impetigo, ringworm, and scabies) can be passed among students.  We require a note from a physician for any child with these symptoms.  It should state the child is not contagious before returning to school.

Return to School After COVID-19 Diagnosis In order to return to school, the parent/guardian must provide to the school a completed Sick Student Notification and Return to School form.  The “Return to School” portion of the form must be completed by a healthcare provider, noting the student’s assessment and the date the student may return to school. Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return to school until:

  • It has been at least ten (10) days since the child first had symptoms AND
  • The child has had no fever while off of anti-fever medicines (ex: Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.) for 24 hours AND
  • The child’s symptoms are getting better AND
  • The Return to School health form has been completed by a healthcare provider  

Allergies and Chronic Illness

Please inform clinic aide as soon as possible if your child has allergies or chronic illnesses.  This information is kept confidential but is shared with classroom teachers to ensure your child’s safety.

Medication at School

Prescription and most over-the-counter medications require strict adult supervision.  Forms to authorize school staff to administer medication are available at school and online at https://www.fcps.edu/resources/student-safety-and-wellness/school-health-services.

  • Parent must bring medication to and from school.
  • Child must have first dose of new medications at home.
  • Parent must personally collect unused portions of medications.  If unclaimed, the medication is destroyed at the end of the year.
  • Parent is responsible for submitting a new form to the school for any changes in dosage or time of administration.

Most injured students are sent to the clinic aide to ascertain severity of injury.  Depending on the severity of the injury, parents may be notified by the clinic aide.

Food Services

FCPS is committed to providing all students access to meals during the week.  There is no charge for these meals for students through the 2021-22 school year. Breakfast will be a Grab & Go meal that students will take to their classrooms to eat. Hot lunch will be served 5 days a week in the cafeteria. If a student would like a second entrée or other a la carte item, they may use their MySchoolBucks account or pay cash.

Use this link www.myschoolbucks.com to set up or add funds to the MySchoolBucks account. Parents may also send in cash or check made payable to Fort Hunt Food Services to the cafeteria manager.  Send the cash or check in a sealed envelope clearly marked “Cafeteria Manager” and include your child’s name and their morning teacher’s name.

Discipline (Online and In-Person)

We expect students to respect the rights and privileges of others and accept responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of their behavior.  The FCPS discipline code is presented in Regulation 2601 in the Student Rights and Responsibilities booklet.

Personal Property

FCPS does not assume responsibility for the personal property of students and does not purchase insurance for their property. Fort Hunt urges parents and students to carefully consider the types and value of property taken to school.  Unidentified articles found in the school are placed in Lost and Found.

All personal electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets must be kept turned off and out of sight. This also includes on buses. Smart watches must be on silent mode.

Homework/Independent Reading

Homework/Independent Reading is a key point of contact between home and school.  It is assigned to reinforce skills taught in the classroom, to enrich the school experience and/or to complete work that wasn’t finished in the classroom.  Grades K-3 might have around 30 minutes of homework/reading and grades 4-6 might have around 60 minutes.  Parents should create a home environment that reinforces the importance of education.  For valuable information visit the Parent Resource page at https://www.fcps.edu/resources.

School Clothes

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

We do not permit:

  • Clothing with improper language or images.
  • Face masks with improper language or images.
  • Students wearing shirts with inappropriate slogans or sayings will be given a temporary replacement.
  • Sagging or low-cut pants, low-cut necklines, tube tops, spaghetti straps, halter tops, backless blouses or blouses with only ties in the back, short shorts, and clothing constructed of see-through materials.
  • Head coverings, such as scarves or bandanas, unless required for religious or medical reasons.
  • Shoes with rollers, flip flops or sandals with no back strap.

Tennis shoes or shoes with rubber soles are necessary for physical education classes and active recess play.

Resources

School Aged Child Care (SACC)

The Fairfax County Office for Children operates a SACC center at Fort Hunt that provides before and after school childcare for elementary aged children in grades K-6. Fees are on a sliding scale, and enrollment is limited. Information on the SACC program may be obtained by calling the Office for Children at (703) 449-8989.

Instructional Programs Offered at Fort Hunt Elementary  

Advanced Academics                                                     

School-based services are delivered to eligible students in grades 3-6. The program is designed to strengthen direct services for gifted learners and to enhance the quality of instruction offered to all students.  The gifted and talented resource teacher collaborates with classroom teachers to design differentiated lessons that challenge students to learn at a faster rate, think on a higher level, and/or study sophisticated and complex content through extensions of the FCPS Program of Studies.

Young Scholars

Young Scholars is designed to find and nurture advanced academic potential in students from historically underrepresented populations.  Curricular interventions and support are provided through the collaboration of the classroom teacher and the advanced academic resource teacher.  As students progress through elementary and secondary school, continuing support and opportunities for accessing rigorous coursework are provided by school staff.  For more information on Young Scholars visit https://www.fcps.edu/academics/middle-school-academics-7-8/advanced-academics/young-scholars-k-12.

Fine Arts

Students at Fort Hunt also have the opportunity to participate in the strings program beginning in 3rd grade and the band program beginning in 4th grade.  Students may join the school chorus beginning in 5th grade.  Students are also given the opportunity to participate in general music and art weekly.

Counseling

Counselors at Fort Hunt conduct monthly classroom lessons on character education, study skills, and learning strategies and are available to work with students in small groups or on an individual basis.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

The mission of ESOL Services is to develop the English proficiency of students, enhance their academic achievement, and support school staffs as they deliver quality instruction.

Spanish Immersion

Students learn math, science, and health in Spanish during half of the school day. Students who begin learning a second language in elementary school through the Foreign Language Partial Immersion Program may continue their language study in middle and high school.

LTC

LTC is an acronym that stands for Language Through Content (Science). It is an approach to language learning that allows students to develop basic communicative skills in a language while reinforcing and enriching content in other disciplines. Due to Fort Hunt’s specialized program, Spanish Immersion, LTC is only offered to students who are not enrolled in our immersion program.

For more information on Foreign Language visit https://www.fcps.edu/index.php/academics/foreign-language-elementary-school-fles-programs

Special Education

Students that require support to access the general education curriculum may receive special education services.  Special education services are typically provided in the general education classroom with the support of a special education teacher.

Speech and Language

The purpose of Speech and Language (S&L) is to facilitate the development of effective and efficient communication skills so that students may participate as fully as possible in educational and social interactions.  Speech-language services are delivered in a variety of ways across multiple settings to best meet the individual student’s needs.

Testing

All Fairfax County schools participate in county and state mandated testing programs.  Standard of Learning (SOL) tests are administered in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6.  Results of state mandated tests are sent directly to students’ parents or guardians.

Parent Volunteers

Parents are encouraged to help teachers, in special programs or work on PTA projects/events.  You may sign up by contacting your child’s teacher or a PTA officer to participate. A room parent will be selected by each classroom teacher from a list of interested parents.

Transportation

Routines and Family Plans

Children thrive on the consistency of a routine. You should make changes in transportation only when necessary.  If you require a change from routine, send a note to your child’s teacher on the morning of the change.  In cases of play dates, we must receive a note from both sets of parents.  Buses operate at capacity and may not be able to accommodate extra passengers.

Kiss and Ride

  • Morning begins at 8:35 a.m., afternoon begins at 3:40 p.m.
  • Follow the directions of the staff.
  • Go directly to Kiss and Ride; do not use the bus access lane in front of the school.
  • Do not drive in the exit lane if you are late. Please park on the street and walk into the school.
  • Pull your car forward as far as possible in the line.
  • Make sure that your child exits your car on the building side.
  • Identify children you are picking up by displaying a large legible sign with family name and child(ren)’s name(s).  Signs are available in the office.
  • Masks or face coverings must be worn as they exit your car.

Parking and Dropping Off or Picking Up Children

Virginia state law forbids the passing of a school bus that is loading or unloading children.  We do not allow parking in the driveway in front of the school during arrival and dismissal.  Avoid parking in

front of the school from 8:30 a.m.-9:10 a.m. and from 3:20 p.m.- 4:50 p.m. Please do not park in spaces designated for staff.

Bicycle Safety

Students may ride their bikes to school.  Bike racks are located by entrances 4 and 11. 

Bicyclists should follow these guidelines:

  • Obey the police crossing guard, safety patrols, and automobile traffic rules, including signaling for turns and stopping at intersections.
  • Walk your bike in from the street to the school.

Bicycle helmets are mandatory to ride to school, and a bicycle lock is highly recommended.

Bus Riders

FCPS provides bus transportation for students who reside more than a mile from school.  Bus riders should follow these guidelines:

  • Refrain from crossing or playing on private property.
  • Cooperate with the safety patrols and obey the bus drivers.
  • Arrive at the bus stop five to ten minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
  • Remain seated and talk quietly after boarding the bus.
  • All kindergarten students riding afternoon school buses are to be met at their bus stop by the parent, day care provider, designated adult or a sibling in 7th grade or higher.  If there is no one to accompany or receive a kindergartner, the child will be returned to the school.
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices may not be used on buses.
  • Masks/face coverings must be worn at all times on the bus.

Walkers

Walkers will be dismissed from exit 11.  Plan to meet your child at exit 11.  Walking students must use designated paths, sidewalks, or the crosswalk where safety patrols are stationed.  Kindergarteners and first graders must be accompanied by a parent or sibling on their walk home.

Lunch with Students

Parents/guardians are welcome to join their student for lunch in the cafeteria.  You will not be able to take a student to eat in the hallway or courtyard due to County health and safety issues.

Birthday Celebrations We do not celebrate individual birthdays in the classrooms at Fort Hunt ES – the 3rd Wednesday of each month we have Cupcake Day. On that day we celebrate all the students with birthdays in that month with a cupcake and a book from the PTA (in the cafeteria during their lunch time) Parents/guardians may come to school to join their student for lunch. They may not take their student and/or other students to eat in the hallway or courtyard.  Visitors must log in/out in the office.

Critical Incident Terminology

Lockdown

Lockdown describes enhanced security measures that are taken to protect against potentially violent intruders. No one is admitted into the school nor can students be dismissed.  

Shelter in Place

Shelter-in-Place procedures are used to temporarily separate people from hazardous outdoor atmosphere, e.g., a hazmat incident.  The building is secured, and measures are taken to shut down the intake of outside air.  No one is allowed to enter the school until public safety officials give the all clear.

Secure the Building

Secure the Building is used if the danger is outside the building, e.g., a robbery near the school. Outdoor activities are cancelled, and all exterior doors are secured while staff members and students are free to move about inside the building.

Stay Put, Stay Tuned

Stay Put, Stay Tuned is implemented at the request of public safety officials to limit any impact on the transportation infrastructure.  Normal end-of-day release will not occur until authorized by public safety officials.  Parents are allowed to check out their students from school.