Parent Handbook

Weather and Emergency Messages

In the case of closings or delayed openings, alerts will be pushed to the school website and 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.

 

Food Services

Prices for Students:

Breakfast               $1.75

Lunch                     $3.00

Double Deal       $2.25

Milk                  $  .60

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.

Keep in Touch and FCPS 24/7 Parent View Account can be accessed on the FCPS Homepage. Contact Rosa Dobarco about signing up for parent accounts.

 

Attendance

The Instructional Day is:

Monday-Friday 8:55 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.

Early Arrival - 8:35 a.m.

To keep our students safe, walkers and car riders should arrive at school no earlier than 8:35 a.m.  Students are not allowed in the school building before 8:35 a.m.

Arriving On time - 8:35 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.

Absent or Tardy after 8:55 a.m.

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 8:50 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, the absence will be considered unexcused.  This information assists us in monitoring illness.

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, child care situation, oversleeping, nonschool-related activity, traffic, or missed bus. 

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.

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 business days or more.  After 15 days or more, upon the student’s return, a parent must again officially enroll him or her. 

 

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 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, or park on the street and walk in to 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).

Parking and 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 after 3:15 p.m. Please do not park in spaces designated for staff.

Bicycle Safety

Students in grades 4-6 may ride their bikes to school, provided they have a signed permission letter from a parent and understand bicycle safety.  Permission letters should be turned into Mrs. Perez.  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 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.

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 parent or sibling on their walk home.

 

Calendars

Fort Hunt follows the FCPS School 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, weCare@school, which is available through the Parent View account on FCPS 24-7.  You must register for Parent View Accounts.

The paper version of the emergency care form is still available.  It is not necessary to complete both the paper and the online version.

 

Keeping Parents in the Loop

Student Progress Reports

You will receive a printed Progress Report shortly after each of the four nine-week grading periods in the school year.  At the end of the first nine weeks, a Parent-Teacher Conference will be held to discuss your child’s progress.

Interims

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

Keep in Touch (KIT)

KIT messages may be delivered as either a telephone voicemail or an email message.

Wednesday Folder

Wednesday Folders are large white envelopes that are sent home with your child each Wednesday.  This envelope may contain important correspondence from the school or county, information from your child’s teacher, or updates from the PTA.  The Wednesday Folder should be signed and returned along with any forms requiring parent signature the following day.

Your Child Needs Your Involvement

Conferences and Observations

Students succeed when their parents communicate and are a model valuing the importance of education.  We encourage you to attend:

  • Open House to meet your child’s teacher.
  • Back to School Night to learn about the grade level curriculum and expectations.
  • Your child’s Parent-Teacher Conference to learn about progress and concerns.  If at any time you would like a conference with the teacher regarding any aspect of your child’s progress, please contact your child’s teacher.  All staff members have an e-mail address that can be accessed at Fort Hunt Elementary School’s web site.
  • Volunteer for class events, tutoring and other school events and activities.

 

School Supplies

School supply lists are available in the office or on the school’s web site.

 

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, 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

Children with these symptoms will need to be picked up as soon as possible.  Keep all emergency numbers current.  We ask that you notify the clinic if your child has head lice, strep throat, chicken pox, or other contagious illnesses.

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.

Immunizations

A booster dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) is required for all students entering sixth grade. 

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 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 must be on file prior to sending medication in to school. 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.
  • Parent is responsible for submitting a new form to the school for any changes in dosage or time of administration.

 

All injuries sustained at school are reported to the clinic and an accident report will be completed.  All injured students are sent to the clinic aide to ascertain severity of injury.  Parents are notified of injuries by the clinic aide.

 

Food Services

How to Pay

  • Online
  • Check- Send a check made payable to Fort Hunt Food Services to the cafeteria manager in the morning.  Include your child’s name and teacher’s name.  Indicate if you want meals only.  (A notice is given to your child when they have 3 lunches left). 
  • Cash- Parents can deposit cash in their child’s cafeteria account. Parents can deposit funds in child’s account by sending cash in a sealed envelope clearly marked “Cafeteria Manager” and your child’s name.

 

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 electronic devices such as MP3 players and cell phones must be kept turned off and out of sight.

 

Discipline

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.

 

Homework

Homework is a key point of contact between home and school.  It is assigned to reinforce skills taught in the classroom and to enrich the school experience.  Teachers decide on the amount and type of work considering the level, maturity, and ability of the child, gradually increasing the responsibility for students in grades 1 – 6.  Parents should create a home environment that reinforces the importance of education.  For valuable information visit the Parent Resource page.

 

Parties

Room parents and the classroom teacher make arrangements for the class parties, which are limited to two per year.  Room parents may request a one-time donation from families or PTA to help defray costs. No latex balloons or peanuts are allowed due to allergies. Please check with teachers to confirm any other allergies that may be present in the room.  Due to allergies, we ask that class treats be limited to the two approved parties.

 

All birthdays are celebrated monthly during lunch on Cupcake and Birthday Books Day.  Cupcake and Birthday Books Day is the third Wednesday of each month.  Invitations for home parties may not be passed out during school hours.  Individual birthday celebrations are not permitted.

 

School Clothes

We expect students to arrive 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.
  • 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 or flip flops.

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

 

Resources

Communication

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

School Aged Child Care (SACC)

The Fairfax County Office for Children operates a SACC center at Fort Hunt that provides before and after school child care 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.

Field Trips

During the school year, classes may take field trips that relate directly to the regular instructional program.  Parents must return permission slips no later than the day before the scheduled trip.  We cannot accept verbal permission.  For safety and insurance reasons, younger siblings may not accompany chaperoning parents on field trips.  All children must ride the bus to and from the event.  Children must attend the entire field trip.

Emergency

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

 

Critical incident Terminology

Lockdown

Lockdown describes enhanced security measures that are taken to protect against potentially violent intruders. No one is admitted in to 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.

 

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 visit the Young Scholars FCPS information site.

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.

LTC

LTC is an acronym that stands for Language Through Content. 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. More information can be found on the FCPS Foreign Language site.

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.

PBA

Positive Behavior Approach (PBA) is a research based school-wide approach to improving school climate and creating a safer and more effective school through the use of proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors.

Spanish Immersion

Students learn math, science, and health in Spanish during half 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.

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.

Technology

Students at Fort Hunt are provided with many opportunities to use technology.  Fort Hunt has mobile computer labs and Smart Boards in each classroom.  Each classroom is also equipped with computers for student use.  All Fort Hunt students have Blackboard accounts which allow them to access their teacher’s Blackboard site.

Student Council Association

The Fort Hunt student council serves to engage students in learning about democracy and leadership while providing service to the school and the community.  The SCA helps share students’ ideas, interests, and concerns with the teachers and administrators. 

 

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 in classrooms, special programs, field trips or work on PTA projects.  You may sign up at Back to School Night or contact 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.