Student Handbook

EPCS Mission Statement:

Englewood on the Palisades Charter School will provide a nurturing, caring, child-centered, constructivist learning community modeling skills and habits necessary for attaining a high degree of achievement in our increasingly complex, interdependent global society.


EPCS: School of Choice:

The Englewood on the Palisades Charter School is a school of CHOICE. Families who choose our school are expected to uphold the mission, values and policies that have been developed by the school. Parents who enroll their child(ren) in our charter school agree to adhere to all rules and regulations designed to promote a safe and productive learning environment. Families and/or students who consistently fail to abide by the school mission, values and/or polices may detect a negative impact this behavior might have on the child’s social, emotional and educational progress.


Student Safety Procedures:

  1. Parents, family members or visitors will not be permitted to enter the school building during the morning drop-off or during the end of the day dismissal. This policy also includes early dismissal and/or dismissal due to weather or other emergencies.
  2. Students must be Dropped-off using one of the Drop-off Plans.
    Parents who are going to drop-off their child(ren) must go to the front of the building and use the horse shoe drive-way entrance from West Demarest Ave., (driveway next to the EPCS sign) to the EPCS-Gym A.M. drop-off doors. These doors are also used for student bus drop-off and pick-up.

    **Cars are not permitted to park in this area**

    Students who arrive after 8:00am must report to the Administrative Office.
  3. Students Pick-up
    At 3:00pm or any other dismissal time, all students will be dismissed from the assigned doors facing the school parking lot. Please allow time for your child’s class to get to their pick-up door. Parents must park their cars and walk to the appropriate door to receive their child from their classroom teacher. Students will not be dismissed without the teacher seeing a parent or approved designee at the assigned pick-up door. **

    **An “Approved Designee” is a person who is listed on a student’s Emergency Card. Students will not be released to any adult if their name is not listed on the Emergency Card. There will be no exceptions except for the following.

    In case of an emergency, it is the parent’s responsibility to contact the Administrative Office giving permission to release their child(ren) to an adult who is not listed on the Emergency Card. All approved emergency designees must have a valid ID.

Students who have written permission to walk home will be dismissed with their class.

Please adhere to the following parking rules:

Parents must enter the parking lot from West Demarest Ave. The row of parking spaces closest to the school may not be used during drop-off or dismissal. Street parking is also available.

Grade Level Student Drop-off and Pick-up Doors
Door #1: Door with EPCS sign facing parking lot
Grades:
Kindergarten
1st Grade
3rd Grade
5th Grade
Door #2: Facing Parking Lot
Grades:
2nd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade

Due to the movement of students throughout the school building during the scheduled dismissal time of 3:00pm to 3:15pm; parents, family members and visitors are not allowed in the school during this time. All appointments with administration and teachers must be made after 3:15pm.

Important:

It is our expectation that parents or approved designees will arrive at the school in time for the scheduled dismissal. However, students who are not picked-up from their designated doors by 3:15pm will be brought to the school gymnasium. At this time a fine of one dollar ($1.00) per minute for each child will be imposed on the parent or approved designee until 3:30pm.

If students are not picked-up by 3:30pm they will be placed with the students who are enrolled in the After-School Program. At this time parents will be charged at the daily rate of the After-School program

If your child(ren) is/are consistently being picked-up late, it will be recommended by Administration that they be enrolled in the After-School program.

Half day sessions are from 8:00am to 12:00noon. Students who are not picked-up by 12:15pm on half days or on days that we have an emergency dismissal will be brought to the school gymnasium. After 12:15pm, a fine of one dollar ($1.00) per minute will be imposed on the parent or approved designee until the child(ren) is/are picked-up.


Student Discipline Code:

School exists to meet the educational needs of all the students enrolled. There is a commitment on the part of this school to make certain that students have received the full benefit of a quality education. In order to fulfill this commitment, students’ behavior must at all times support the mission of the school. When students interfere with the rights of others to learn, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, which will include steps to help the students modify their behavior.

The process for improving student’s behavior will include the involvement of parents and all appropriate school personnel, as well as outside agencies if it is deemed necessary. Teachers, administrators, school nurse, and the school’s Child Study Team are among the staff available to assist parents and students. Outside agencies include the County Mental Health Bureau, the Youth Services Bureau, the Family Courts, Child Protective Services, and private professionals and organizations.


School Conduct and Discipline Policy:

Students have the responsibility to respect the rights of other students, staff and all persons associated with the educational progress of this school. All students must exercise the highest degree of self-discipline by observing and adhering to rules and regulations that have been established by the institution. It is EPCS belief that by accepting and fulfilling their responsibilities, students will come to value the importance of a safe learning environment, and all of the privileges that come with their experiences.

Our school’s Behavior Code depends on an acceptance of the following assumptions:

  1. That the safety and welfare of all students must take precedence over the inappropriate actions of a few.
  2. That no student has a right to interfere with the learning opportunities of others.

In an effort to be fair and provide due process:

  • Students will be informed about the standards of behavior they are expected to meet.
  • Students will be aware of specific behaviors giving rise to any proposed penalties or discipline.
  • Students will have an opportunity to express or convey their views or rebuttals regarding incidents to the decision-making authority and,
  • The decision-making authority will base its decisions on the incident(s) or matter(s) about which a student has been apprised.

Student Behavior Code:

The EPCS Behavior Code has been developed to help students regulate their behavior on school property or at school sponsored events in accordance with school guidelines. Self-discipline is of course essential to the effective operation of the school and for the total development of every student.

When students fail to exhibit self-discipline, they can expect discipline to be imposed upon them by the school administrators. When necessary, it can be expected that one or more of the following actions will be taken:

The imposed penalties usually will follow from minimum to maximum in accordance with the number of violations (for example, first offense–talk with the student and/or parent) received by the student. However, there may be times when a higher level of disciplinary action will be invoked due to the nature and/or degree of the infraction and/or inappropriate behavior.

Any disciplinary actions may be concurrent with or superseded by established penal law.

If the severity of the violation requires notification of the police department; they will be contacted. If this action takes place, parents/guardians will be notified and a conference will be arranged.


Textbook Accountability:

It is the student’s responsibility to account for all textbooks, workbooks, and all other school property issued for instruction by the classroom teacher. Students must understand that all property made available for their use must be returned in good condition. Lost or damaged textbooks will be paid for by the parent/guardian. All school issued textbooks must be covered at all times.


Electronic Equipment:

Students are not permitted to bring any electronic games, cell phones, IPod’s, IPad’s, Tablets or any computer games to school. Cell phones and electronic games that are brought to school and used during the school day will be taken away from the student by administration and the parent/guardian will be notified. Students who continue to disregard these rules will have their equipment taken away, and a parent or guardian must retrieve the item(s) from the administrative office. The school will not be held responsible for lost, broken or theft of personal property.


Toys:

Students are not permitted to bring any toys or card games to school except when requested by the teacher for a specific class activity. The school will not be held responsible for lost, broken, or theft of personal property.


Homework Policy:


Homework is an activity that is assigned to extend learning outside of the classroom. Learning is a continuing process that begins in the classroom under the direction of the teacher, and continues at home with meaningful follow-up activities. Homework is an integral part of the learning process. The student, teacher, parent, and the school administrators are all partners in this process. We believe that the information provided below will help strengthen this partnership, and will continue to ensure the success of our students.

The purpose of homework is:

  1. To enrich and extend classroom learning and experiences.
  2. To develop effective, independent work habits and study skills.
  3. To provide essential practice of skills learned in school.
  4. To extend class work, and where necessary, to implement, more fully, the course of study.
  5. To encourage students to actively seek and prepare background information for classroom activities.
  6. To encourage the use of out-of-school resources, i.e., the public library and museums.
  7. To encourage students to prepare appropriately for tests.
  8. To provide an opportunity to make up missed schoolwork.
  9. To serve as a communication link between home and school in regard to the curriculum.

The amount of time in which students will spend on homework will vary according to grade, different course requirements and individual student differences, level of development, and needs. It is believed that students should be assigned homework on a daily basis. The following recommended time allocations for homework and reading at the various grade levels are approximate. When necessary a greater amount of homework will be given, which might include additional reading, a research project, working on a long-term assignment, and/or preparing for the local and state assessment tests.

If your child consistently states that s/he has no homework, or completed their assignments in school, please ask to see their completed assignments. All homework assignments must be written in their school planner, homework folder or homework packet. At times teachers will request that the parents sign specific and/or all homework assignments. Your signature will indicate to the teacher that the parent is aware of his/her child’s assignments, the type of work that is being required, and/or make-up assignment(s).

When a student is absent from school for an extended length of time (three or more days), it is the parents’ responsibility to contact the teacher to determine the specific work assignments that must be made up. Parents may call the school to request the homework assignments. The assignments can be picked up from the Administrative Office at the end of the school day.

Teachers should not be expected to provide homework assignments in advance of a student’s absence from school, unless arrangements have been made in advance.

Recommended Homework Time Schedule:

Kindergarten
to be determined by teacher
Grade 1
45 minutes 10 minutes
Grade 2
45 minutes 10 minutes
Grade 3
60 minutes 15 minutes
Grade 4
70 minutes 30 minutes
Grade 5
90 minutes

Reading Time Schedule:

Kindergarten
to be determined by teacher
Grade 1
10 minutes
Grade 2
10 minutes
Grade 3
15 minutes
Grade 4
30 minutes
Grade 5
45 minutes
It is our expectation that the parent and/or guardian will:
  • Create a positive attitude in the home towards school and homework by making homework a priority, checking the student’s planner for daily assignments and teacher comments, and reviewing all communications sent home by the student.
  • Establish and monitor a regular daily routine for the completion of homework by providing the time, place, and proper study environment.
  • Be aware of and support the homework expectation of the child’s teacher(s) and sign homework planners when requested.
  • Keep ongoing communication with the teacher, especially if academic difficulties arise.
  • If necessary, provide guidance while the child independently completes his/her assignments.
The student will be responsible for:
  • Accurately recording homework assignments in their student planner.
  • Maintaining and organizing their homework and class work.
  • Making a demonstrated effort to complete all of their assignments.
  • Managing his/her time so that all assigned tasks will be completed in a timely manner.
  • Working each day towards the completion of long-term assignments so that they may be completed by assigned deadlines.
  • Completing and submitting all assignments on time.

It is imperative that all students understand the importance of completing all required homework assignments. The classroom teacher will monitor all homework assignments. Students who do not adhere to this policy will receive a zero for each assignment not completed and/or submitted. All zero grades will count against the student’s grade for that specific subject and marking period.


Dress Code Policy:


All students are expected to report to school dressed appropriately and adhering to our school uniform policy. It has been proven that a uniform provides students with school uniqueness, enforces discipline and maintains a wholesome learning environment that will contribute to academic achievement, and have many other advantages; including saving money for families, removing distractions and trend competitions, and peer pressure. We are asking for your support and cooperation.

If a student comes to school dressed out of uniform:
  1. The teacher will inform the Administrative Office and the parent/guardian will be contacted.
 
  1. After a parent has received two written and/or verbal communications, and the student continues to come to school dressed out of uniform, the parent/guardian will be contacted by telephone and a change of clothing will be requested to be brought to school.
 
  1. If a parent refuses to bring a change of clothing, the parent will be requested to take their child home for the day.
 
  1. After the second communication, steps 1, 2, and 3 will be followed and the student will be required to attend one day of detention from 3:00pm to 3:30pm.  The parent will be required to pick the student up at 3:30pm.  If the student remains after 3:30pm, the parent will be charged the daily rate of the After-School Program.

Field Trip Cougar Tee Shirt

In an effort to identify our EPCS students; we are requiring that they wear their “White Cougar” tee shirts on all school field trips. This shirt can be purchased through the EPCS PTO at a cost of $12.00.

Boys

Shirts
Light blue long or short sleeved Polo shirt with logo
Pants
Navy pants, no visible brand labels. NO JEANS
Shorts
In warm weather, any solid navy walking shorts
Shoes
Black shoes, solid black or white low top sneakers (NO LIGHTS or COLORS) to be worn on gym days only.
Socks
Navy
Sweater (choose one)
Navy V-Neck Sweater Vest with logo or Navy V-Neck Cardigan with logo, or Navy Polar Fleece Jacket with logo.
Gym Shirts
Light Blue Gym tee shirt with silkscreen to be worn on gym days only.
Gym Shorts
Navy Micromesh Nylon Gym shorts with silk screen to be worn on gym days only
Gym Sweatshirt
Navy Heavyweight sweatshirt
Gym Sweatpants
Navy Heavyweight sweatpants

Girls

Shirts
Light blue long or short sleeved Polo shirt with logo
Pants
Navy pants, no visible brand labels. NO JEANS
Shorts
In warm weather, any solid navy walking shorts
Skorts
Navy skort. Skort must be knee length.
Shoes
Black shoes, solid black or white low top sneakers (NO LIGHTS or COLORS) to be worn on gym days only.
Socks
Navy
Stockings
Navy stockings or tights
Sweater (choose one)
Navy V-Neck Sweater Vest with logo or Navy V-Neck Cardigan with logo, or Navy Polar Fleece Jacket with logo.
Gym Shirts
Light Blue Gym tee shirt with silkscreen to be worn on gym days only.
Gym Shorts
Navy Micromesh Nylon Gym shorts with silk screen to be worn on gym days only
Gym Sweatshirt
Navy Heavyweight sweatshirt
Gym Sweatpants
Navy Heavyweight sweatpants

The EPCS Uniform Company is:

Flynn and O’Hara

Emerson Plaza
473 Old Hook Road
Emerson, NJ 07630
201.634.0111

Order online: www.flynnohara.com/register

Order your school uniforms online:

Order Online

Daily Schedule Policy:


Daily Schedule Policy:

The EPCS school day for all students in kindergarten through fifth (5) grade is from 8:00am to 3:00pm. All students will be expected to report to the gymnasium no later than 8:00am. Students who need to participate in our early morning drop-off program may report to school at 7:15am. Please review drop-off policy.

Tardy Policy

A student is considered tardy when she/he arrives to school after 8:15am. All students who arrive at school after the beginning of our scheduled day are required to report to the Administrative Office with an adult to be signed in.

Important:

If a student will be arriving to school after 8:15am, the Administrative Office must be notified of their tardiness, and the office must be informed of their request for lunch at 201.569.9765. If a child arrives at school after our school lunches have been ordered and we have not been previously notified, it is the parent’s responsibility to bring a bagged lunch to school for their child.

If a student is marked tardy, their attendance will be reflected on their Report card and Attendance Card.

When students arrive at school late they miss their opportunity to participate in activities which have been planned to initiate the development or the continuation of a lesson or skill. Being late for school does not always allow students to be present when an assignment is given; however all late students are required to make up all assigned work.

Absences:

Parents must notify the EPCS Administrative Office no later than 8:15am if a student is going to be absent, and it is not a pre-arranged absence. When calling the school to report an absence, please state the student’s name, grade, teacher’s name and why the student is going to be out.

If This Happens

Please Do This

If your child is absent from school for any reason
  • Call the Administration Office after 8:15am.
  • Send a note on your child’s day of return.
  • Doctor’s note is required for any absence due to contagious illness (flu, ringworm, chicken pox, pink eye, etc.)

10 consecutive days absent will require you to re-register your child in the school
  • Please meet with Administration.

Students absent from school a total of 20 or more days without a medical excuse or other approved absences will risk retention for that school year.
  • Students absent for extended medical reasons will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

In case a child must leave school early
  • Parent must come into the Administrative Office and sign the student out of school.
  • No early pick-up after 2:30pm.

Unreported Absences:

As stated above, it is the parent’s responsibility to notify the Administrative Office when their child is going to be absent. If the Administrative Office has not received a call before 8:30am on the third day of absence, all attempts will be made to contact parents using the work and/or emergency numbers that were submitted to the office.

Early Departure:

If your child must leave school before the scheduled dismissal time, please send a note to the classroom teacher to indicate the time they will be picked up. All students must be signed out of school by a parent/guardian or adult that is listed on the student’s emergency card. It is the student’s responsibility to get their homework assignment(s) before leaving school.

Dismissal:

School is dismissed at 3:00pm except on the days that have been designated as half days, with a 12:00noon dismissal time. Students must be picked-up by their parent/guardian or designated person listed on the Student Emergency Card.

Students who are permitted to walk home from school must submit a letter from their parents to the classroom teacher indicating that permission has been granted for their child to walk home. Please review dismissal policy.