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Tackan Elementary School
99 Midwood Avenue
Nesconset, NY 11767-2099
(631) 382-2670

Principal's Desk Mission S. I. T. Responsibilities Academic Prog. Related Serv. Home-School Health/Attendance Security & Safety Student Council PTA Dismissal Request Form

HOME-SCHOOL CONNECTION

Kindergarten Screening

Children are registered for Kindergarten through the Central Office.  Registrations to date are delivered to the building principal before the end of March. 

The PTA sponsors and staffs a Kindergarten Orientation Program for Kindergarten registrants.  This program provides the soon-to-be kindergartner a weekly school experience for four weeks.  During this time, the child is provided the opportunity to go to Music, Art, Library, and Physical Education.  They will also have the opportunity to meet with a Kindergarten teacher, our nurse, and the principal. The children also have the experience of riding the school bus. Parents/guardians of registered children will receive invitations. 

When parents/guardians come to enroll a child for the Kindergarten Program, they will be able to make an appointment for the childís Kindergarten screening. If a child is not registered for the orientation program, the school will contact the parent/guardian to arrange an appointment for the screening. 

The Kindergarten Screening, which is mandated by the State of New York, is scheduled for the end of May through the beginning of June and consists of a school readiness test, a Speech and Language Screening, and a Pre-Kindergarten Activity Sheet. If there are any areas of concern, a member of the Tackan Child Study Team will consult with the parents and provide recommendations. 

A meeting for parents/guardians whose children are registered for Kindergarten is held in the Spring with the Principal and other staff members. During this time, there will be a presentation giving an overview of what a child will need for Kindergarten, a description of some practices at Tackan, and ideas on how parents/guardians can help their child get ready for the Kindergarten experience. 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Conferences are held at any time there is a need for communication between the childís parent/guardian and the childís teacher. Conferences can be initiated by a phone call to or from the childís parent/guardian. Just as teachers inform the parent about the childís progress and adjustment, the parents/guardians often provide the teacher with insight and understanding about the child that enable the teacher to be more successful in assisting the childís learning and social-emotional development.

Written report cards, accompanied by a conference with the teacher, are provided to all parents/guardians in November. Three half days are scheduled by the district to facilitate the conferences. Written progress reports are sent home in March and in June. The district schedules one half-day release time in the Spring to facilitate a conference if one is requested by the teacher, parent, or Principal.

Conference days are noted on the school calendar and reminder notices are sent home. On these days, dismissal in Kindergarten and Grades One through Five is:

Early School: 11:45 AM
Late School: 12:20 PM

Before parents meet with the teacher, it is a good idea to have a conference with the child.  We suggest asking the following open ended questions: 

What do you like about your class this year?

What are some of the most successful things you have done?

What have you found most difficult?

What are some of the things you feel you need to work on?

What are some ways your teacher or I can help you?

The following important topics should be discussed at the formal parent/teacher reporting conference:

Information and supportive examples about how the child is meeting academic expectations

Comments about the childís work habits and time utilization

Class participation and ability to work in learning groups

Respect for the rights of others

How the child is developing socially and emotionally

When a parent returns home from a conference with the teacher, it is important to be positive and goal oriented in sharing the discussion and report card with the child.  Let the child know that the issues he/she raised were discussed.

Emergency School Closing

School Closing announcements will be broadcast over the following stations:

WALK (97.5 FM or 1370 AM)

WBLI (106.1 FM)

WCBS (880 AM)

Channel 12 News

As a courtesy, the class parents will make reasonable attempts to contact families regarding school closings or delayed openings which are due to bad weather or other emergency conditions.  This call will be as early as possible to alert everyone in time.  Decisions are usually made by 6:30 AM.  If you do not wish to be called by the class parent, please inform him/her.  To avoid multiple calls at home or at work, many parents elect to be called only by the class parent of the oldest child.  Others do not mind multiple calls and use additional calls as a backup.  Class parents will also make reasonable attempts of notification in the event of an early dismissal from school.  Please be sure that the class parent has a current phone number at which you or an emergency caretaker can be reached in this instance.  The caretaker person should be on your childís bus route.  Class parents should also have a current work number to reach you should the emergency caretaker be unavailable.  Please inform the school office if you do not wish the PTA class parent to have your phone number.

Emergency Plan

An important practice, on a daily as well as emergency basis, is to make a plan with your child as to what procedure they should follow if you are not at home when he or she arrives home from school.  It is always possible that a parent can encounter an unexpected delay. Children should have a plan that makes them feel safe even if you are not home when they get there. 

It is also important to inform the bus driver if your child has a medical condition that may require quick emergency intervention. All buses have two-way radios and the driver can get help if he/she is alerted to a potential problem (diabetes, epilepsy, allergies to insect bites, etc.). The school is not permitted to provide this information to anyone, not even the bus driver, without your written consent.

Class Parents

Class Parents act as a liaison between the school and the parents/guardians.  They are responsible for notifying parents of school closings, early dismissals and delayed openings.  Class Parents also assist the teachers in organizing class events, parent volunteers for projects, field trips, etc. 

We use the following procedure to select Class Parents:

In June, a flyer is sent home by the PTA asking for volunteers. The volunteer list is then given to the classroom teacher who selects two people.  Parents will not be selected for the same child two years in a row unless there are no other volunteers.  If this occurs, this would not prevent a parent from being eligible for the following year. A person can only be class parent for one class in a given year. You can volunteer for more than one class but can only accept one.

Class Placement

At Tackan, we put in a considerable amount of time to develop balanced classes in terms of class size, boy to girl ratios, and range of student needs.  As best as we can, we try to separate children who may interfere with each otherís learning and ensure that every child knows some of the other children in the new class.  Our goal is to provide equivalent learning opportunities for all the children in the school. 

We do not take requests from parents for specific teachers.  We do honor requests not to have a particular teacher, but only if an older sibling or the child him/herself has had the teacher before.  In this case, we ask only that you put this in writing and give no other reason except the prior experience with the teacher. 

If you have particular concerns about your child's needs that you believe we should take into consideration for class placement, please bring them to the principalís attention in writing before April 1.

Homework Policy

Homework is any schoolwork done by the pupil at home.  It is based on an outgrowth, continuation, or projection of learning experiences.  Homework is effective if it contributes to achievement and has a favorable effect on study skills and attitudes.  It serves a valid purpose when it affords opportunities for independent study and enriches school experiences.

The objectives of homework include the following: 

To enrich the school experience through related home activities and promote family involvement in the childís schooling.
This primarily takes the form of establishing a homework routine and homework center.  The child should develop the habit of doing homework in a specific place and at a certain time.  Providing materials at the homework center encourages good work.  Some supplies for the homework center might include paper folders, pencils, eraser, sharpener, scissors, markers, crayons and a stapler.  In addition, sometimes this involvement can take the form of helping the child with a special project.
To stimulate voluntary effort, initiative, independence, responsibility, and self-direction.
This is a very important reason to provide homework and a homework routine.  It is a teacherís responsibility to structure the last ten minutes of the school day so that the child can organize assignments and materials to bring home.  It is the parentís responsibility to expect the child to pack what is needed. For security reasons, teachersí rooms are locked after dismissal. The student should remember to bring home materials, books, and assignments. In the event something is lost or overlooked, teaching the child strategies, such as calling a friend for the work, helps to promote independence, initiative, and responsibility.
To reinforce school learning by providing the necessary practice, integration, and applications learned in the classroom.

Practice leads to internalization and integration of skills and concepts. To accomplish this goal, it is important that children do their own work.  Parents can help with this by expecting children to do their own work neatly and carefully.  It is wise to ask them to rewrite homework if it is sloppy or full of careless mistakes. If a child expends reasonable effort and does not understand the work, the parent can stop.  In this situation, it is important to sign the homework and state that the child could not do the assignment.

To complete class assignments when necessary.
While it is not recommended that all pupils in the elementary school receive a stated number of assignments per week, we do have suggested guidelines for appropriate homework assignments.  The approximate time for homework is as follows:

Kindergarten:  10 minutes
Grade One: 15 minutes
Grade Two: 20 minutes

As the students get older, homework assignments should gradually increase in length so that by the time the student is in fifth grade, he or she will be spending forty-five minutes to an hour doing homework. Since homework in the upper elementary grades can consist of both daily and long-term assignments, the time could vary on a daily basis.  
It is important to help the child develop the ability to do long range project planning and to learn to break the project into smaller planning tasks with intermediate deadlines.  In addition, long-term assignments promote proficiency at problem solving methods and time for creative endeavors. 
In addition, it is recommended that all children read or be read to daily.  The guidelines are as follows:
Primary students: 15 to 20 minutes
Intermediate students: 20 to 30 minutes or more if time permits

Homework on Weekends and Vacations

A student will not be penalized for not bringing in homework on time due to religious observance, when such is acknowledged by parental notice. Homework, other than long- term assignments, will not be assigned over weekends or vacations.

Homework for the Absent Student

Generally, if a child is too sick to be at school, he/she is too sick to do homework.  Doing work pages from a book, or reading a book is not the same as being in class.  You cannot duplicate teacher/student and student/student interaction at home.  Direct instruction, problem solving, and strategies for learning as well as the interactions in the classroom provide a learning experience that can only occur in school.  In those rare instances where a child may not feel too ill but is contagious and needs to be kept at home, the parent/guardian should give the teacher at least one dayís notice regarding the preparation of work to be sent home for the student.  Books will not be sent home via a child from another family without prior notification of that childís parent/guardian.

Homework/Schoolwork During Vacations Not on the Smithtown Central School District Calendar

Children are expected and required to be in school on days designated on the School District Calendar as ďDays School Is In Session.Ē  If a child is absent on these days for purposes of a family vacation, it is an illegal absence.  The school will not provide work to students who are out of school for this purpose. 

Ongoing Responsibilities

Long-term assignments encourage pupils to practice organizing their time, provide opportunity for relating facts, promote proficiency at problem solving methods, and encourage creative endeavors. 

Students should be responsible for knowing their schedule. They need sneakers on days when they have physical education class and a smock should be provided for art.

Birthday Policy

In Kindergarten only, parents may provide a snack and juice to the class to acknowledge the birthday of a Kindergarten child in school.  The purpose of this practice is to ease the childís transition into the elementary school and enhance socialization skills.  At other grade levels, the classroom teacher may acknowledge the birthday boy or girl in some other way such as giving a privilege, singing the birthday song, etc.  We will acknowledge all studentsí birthdays during morning announcements. 

Birthday invitations may only be given out in school according to the following criteria:

  1. All girls in the class are invited to an all girl activity.
  2. All boys in the class are invited to an all boy activity.
  3. All children in the class are invited to a boy/girl activity.

School Activities

There are times during the school year when the children partake in school activities and curriculum related events.  These events may include an activity or snack with the support of the parents.  Prior arrangements must be made with the classroom teacher.  The school will consider any holiday and cultural activity/ food with prior approval by the classroom teacher.  We encourage this request to be based on the cultural aspect of the holiday. 

There are other instances when activities are held for the culmination of a curriculum unit.  These events may vary from year to year and be different at each grade level and in each classroom.  Some events, to name a few, that have taken place at Tackan in the past are International Luncheons, 100th Day of School Activities, Authorís Teas, Readerís Theater, Biography Presentations, Pillow Reading and the Math Carnival.  These activities are arranged by the teachers to enhance subject areas.  Classroom teachers may contact parents if additional support is needed.

 
Send email to info@smithtown.k12.ny.us with questions or comments about this web site.
© 2006 SCSD June 13, 2006
Smithtown Central School District
Joseph M. Barton Building
26 New York Avenue
Smithtown, NY 11787
(631) 382-2000