The purpose of this Information is to provide you with a quick reference of guidelines and policies for Alderwood Elementary School. Our website is updated frequently with calendar changes and important information.
Alderwood and IUSD take student attendance very seriously. We believe that student success begins with daily attendance. As a result, we take steps to ensure that students attend school daily and that each student complies with school attendance laws and stipulations outlined in the California Education Code. The two basic attendance laws are:
- All persons 6 through 18 years of age are required by California State Law to attend school. Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child’s attendance. (Education Code Section 48200)
- A pupil is considered truant if he/she is absent for more than 3 full days in one school year without a valid excuse; tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without valid excuse on 3 occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. (Education Code Section 48260)
As parents of elementary school children, you bear the primary responsibility of ensuring that your children are in school daily, arrive on time, and remain in school the entire day. With that in mind, parents are encouraged to take a pro-active approach in establishing positive attendance patterns and avoiding chronic truancy. This will assist your children in reaching their highest potential. By law, absences or tardies are only excused if the child is ill, is attending a funeral for an immediate family member, or involved in religious observance. In each case, documentation or proof may be required. Unless it is an emergency, it is recommended that medical and dental appointments be scheduled after school.
In order to establish positive attendance patterns, it is recommended that parents teach their children the following:
- Follow all district and school attendance policies.
- Make education their top priority.
- Emphasize to them that to get the best start in life, they need a good education.
- Remind them if they do not go to school, they will fall behind other students and they can’t get the grades needed to graduate.
- Explain to them that students who miss school are often victims or perpetrators of crimes.
- Understand that tardies and leaving school early should be an exception, not a norm.
The majority of students who have accumulated more than three unexcused absences from school or tardies at Alderwood are not considered habitual/chronic truants, but would be categorized as soft truants.
Soft Truancy includes, but is not limited to:
- Bringing a child late to school (less than 30 minutes).
- Picking up your child early for family outings, vacations, frequent medical appointments or business, or even trying to avoid traffic.
- Excusing a student as ill more than 10 days without medical verification.
- Frequent excused absences.
- Keeping an older child home to baby-sit.
- Keeping an older child home to work.
- Irregular attendance.
- Taking vacation during school.
Chronic truancy almost always begins with a pattern of soft truancies that is not corrected.
In order to keep all our students safe, it is important that we verify all student absences as soon as possible each day. Should your child need to be absent from school, please call our attendance line at 936-5401 to report the absence. This number may be called at any time. If possible, we ask that you call this number and report your child’s absence by 8:00 a.m. By doing this, we can avoid calling you at home or work to verify your child’s absence. As stated above, it is important that children be in attendance whenever possible. In addition to missing important classroom instruction, students are often challenged with feelings of trying to catch up. As important as punctuality and attendance are to student achievement, children should not be sent to school ill. Children who come to the office with a body temperature of 100 degrees or above will be sent home and should remain at home until a normal body temperature is maintained for 24 hours. Homework may be requested after the second day of absence. You may contact the teacher directly and check the classroom website for assignments.
If you find it necessary to schedule a medical/dental appointment during the child’s class time, please have your child dismissed through the office. A sign-out sheet is located in the main reception area. We do require that children be signed out in this booklet by an adult who is listed on their Contact Information should they leave school for any reason.
In order to foster student responsibility, minimize classroom interruptions, and avoid unnecessary embarrassment, it is important that students arrive to school on time. It is for these reasons that we have instituted a formal tardy policy at Alderwood. A student is considered tardy if he/she arrives after class begins. This will be 8:10 a.m. for students in grades 4th through 6th, 8:20 for students in grades 1st through 3rd, 8:00 for kindergarten students attending the AM schedule, and 11:20 a.m. for kindergarten students on the PM OWL schedule, as well as Transitional Kindergarten. A tardy will be unexcused for any reason other than the following: medical or dental appointment.
- After any unexcused tardy, the child is responsible for making up the lost instructional time.
- After the fifth unexcused tardy, the child is responsible for making up the lost instructional time. A letter will be sent home.
- After the tenth unexcused tardy, the child is responsible for making up the lost instructional time. A conference with the principal may be held. A second letter will be sent home.
- After the fifteenth tardy, the child is required to make up the instructional time. The student will be referred to the district’s School Attendance and Review Board.
In the interest of safety, we ask that all visitors report to the office to sign in through our automated computer system. At that time, visitors will be issued a badge to wear, indicating to the students and staff that they are authorized to be on campus. The visitor badge must be worn at all times when they are on school grounds.
In order to effectively manage students during recess and lunch and ensure their safety in this less restrictive environment, our campus is closed to visitors on our playground.
All volunteers must complete an IUSD Volunteer Registration & Screening Information form prior to volunteering. This form is completed only once, and it only needs to be completed at one Irvine school. The forms are available in Woodbury’s office and are forwarded to the Irvine Unified School District’s Human Resources Department where the information is verified; all forms are then filed there.
Classroom Celebrations and Parties
Celebrations can be educational, fun, and exciting for our students. Dietary restrictions, cultural beliefs, food allergies, and the varied nutritional preferences of our parent population require considerable and deliberate coordination of any event involving food. Students in our school community have life threatening allergies to certain foods and other allergens. With that in mind, classrooms are expected to follow the guidelines outlined below for celebrations and parties.
- To reduce the risk of exposure to one of the most common allergens, please do not send any peanut or nut containing foods for any classroom celebration or party.
- Classrooms will make allowances for students with food allergies or certain health conditions to bring an alternative item and participate in the festivities.
- Consider non-food items for parties so that all children may participate in the fun.
- Please contact your teacher before bringing any food products to the classroom.
The Alderwood staff makes a concerted effort to establish a learning environment that is conducive to the development of good study habits and uninterrupted academic learning time. We seek your cooperation and assistance in this effort. You can help us by:
- Sending the teacher a note or e-mail should you need to pick up your child early. This will allow the teacher time to have your child prepared for pick up.
- Avoiding calling school and leaving messages for your child, unless it is an emergency. The telephone is made available to students only for emergencies.
- Establishing a system that helps eliminate forgotten lunches and homework. Forgotten homework will be placed in the teachers mailbox. Late lunches should be placed on the "Late Lunch Cart" located outside of the school office.
Rainbow Rising and Kids Club are a positive alternative for working parents in need of childcare. Rainbow Rising is located on campus. They can be reached by calling 949-856-3018. Kids Club is located at the University Community Park. If you would like additional information about Kids Club, including fees, please call 949-724-6815. To receive information regarding other Irvine childcare facilities, you may call the Irvine Community Services Department at 949-724-6632.
Alderwood Elementary School promotes a standard of appearance which enhances the learning environment while allowing for reasonable comfort and individuality for all students. With the support of the student’s guardian, each student is expected to appropriately groom and dress themselves, keeping clothing clean, comfortable, and appropriate for all elementary school activities. A student’s clothing should not be a distraction or disruption in the classroom.
The following is Alderwood Elementary School’s Dress Code:
- Shoes should be practical, appropriate and sturdy enough for all school activities, including physical education. For students’ safety, flip flops, crocs, clogs, open-toed sandals or backless shoes are not to be worn at school.
- Approved hats, hoods and caps are acceptable for outside activities only. No headwear may be worn inside the building, except if it is worn for cultural/religious reasons or a special event. This includes hooded sweatshirts.
- No distracting hairstyles or hair color, except if it is worn for a special event.
- No distracting makeup.
- No jewelry that distracts from the educational environment or could be unsafe during physical activities should be worn. Earrings that dangle could become dangerous when playing.
- Sunglasses may be worn outside the building.
- Clothing may not contain inappropriate graphics or messages.
- Shirts must be long enough to keep the midriff covered when the arms are raised. Bare midriffs, sheer or see-through clothing, bare backs, off-the-shoulder tops, spaghetti straps, muscle shirts, and other revealing garments are not allowed.
- Shorts and pants must be of the appropriate size. Overly baggy or saggy pants will not be allowed. No short shorts or skirts. The hemlines should be no higher than mid-thigh (pockets should not hang below the bottoms of shorts).
- Undergarments or boxer shorts must be totally covered by outer clothing. Sleep and loungewear are not appropriate.
Parents can help monitor the dress code by purchasing clothing that is in good taste; seeing that each child leaves for school properly dressed, and encouraging each child to take pride in his/her appearance. The school will monitor this dress code and inform parents in the event that a student's dress or grooming is not appropriate for school.
Below is an excerpt from the IUSD’s Board Policy governing Dress and Personal Appearance:
Appropriate dress and personal appearance at school and school-related activities shall not include any clothing, attire, or accessory that by its manner of appearance, arrangement, trademark, fit, or any other attribute, is unsafe; disruptive; unhealthful; obscene; profane; ethnically, racially or sexually degrading; libelous or slanderous; exposing undergarments; provocative or revealing; advocating unlawful behavior or illegal substances; or suggesting or promoting any affiliation with any street gang or other group that commits unlawful acts [see Board Policy 5132(a)- Dress and Personal Appearance and Board Policy 5136(a) - Gang Affiliation].
Early Dismissal / Parental Custody
Children leaving campus need to be signed out by the parent/guardian. Please come to the office to do so and we will call for your child. Children will only be released to parents or other adults listed by you on the child’s parent portal contact. If there are specific limitations related to the release of a child to a natural parent, please be advised that legal custody documents must be on file in the office. The natural mother or father can obtain their child from school at any time, unless a court order is on file indicating otherwise. Photo I.D. is required.
Field trips are an integral part of the elementary school experience. It is common for students in every grade at Alderwood to take field trips each year. In order for students to participate in a class field trip, a Field Trip Permission Form is required to be completed and signed by a parent/guardian prior to departure.
Illness and Accidents at School
Any time your child visits the school’s health office, a note will be sent home notifying you of the visit and a brief description of the reason for the visit will be provided. If your child does not have a fever or the reason for their health office visit is minor and does not require action from a parent, they will be sent back to class. If your child becomes ill or experiences an accident at school that requires him/her to be sent home or seek medical attention, you will be contacted immediately. If we are unable to reach parent(s) or guardian(s) at home or work, we will then call the emergency contacts listed on your child’s record. Please keep home phone, work number(s), cellular phone number(s), pager number(s), and emergency contact names and phone numbers current in the Parent Portal. If someone cannot be reached that is listed on your child’s emergency card, depending on the seriousness of your child’s condition, paramedics may be called. This includes, but is not limited to a child having an asthma attack or allergic reaction and no inhaler, epi-pen, or medicine has been provided. 911 will be called in all life-threatening situations.
Items Brought From Home
Personal play equipment, such as toys, balls, games, etc. should not be brought to school unless special permission has been granted by the teacher or principal. This includes electronic devices like music players, media players, and video games.
Lost and Found
Throughout the school year, we accumulate a large number of sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, and lunch boxes. We urge parents to label everything with your child’s first and last name that is sent to school. Items that are labeled are easier to locate when they are put in the Lost and Found. If your child is missing any of these articles, please visit the lost and found racks located near the lunch tables. Small items such as glasses, retainers, jewelry, and more valuable items such as musical instruments are placed in the front office. Unclaimed items are donated to charities during winter recess, spring recess, and at the end of the school year.
Hot lunches are available for students in grades 1-6 for the price of $3.25 each school day. Students may pay for lunch with cash or by establishing a MealsPlus online account. To create an account for your child, please log into www.iusd.org and click on Food and Nutrition Services. You will be guided through the process. For those students with existing accounts, you may pay online or pay with a check or cash. Envelopes are available in the school office to use if you pay with a check or cash. Once a deposit is made in your child’s account, he/she will be able to buy lunch. If you have any further questions, please call IUSD Food Services at 949-936-6520.
Breakfast items are also available for purchase for $2.00 during recess. Milk is available for those students who bring their lunches for $.75. Students may pay with cash or deduct from their MealsPlus account.
Please be certain that your child has a lunch each day. In an effort to foster student responsibility, it is our policy not to loan lunch money.
Any time your child requires medication at school, the medication must be kept in the health office to be given by school personnel. Education Code 49423 allows school personnel to administer medications if the following steps are taken:
- Physician’s request form is completed and submitted to the office annually for each medication.
- Parental release form is on file in the office. Both the physician and a parent must sign the consent form prior to medication being administered at school. This form is available in the school office and on-line at the following link: http://intranet.iusd.k12.ca.us/healthserv/
Scroll down to Medication Administration Request.
- The pharmacy container with the medicine is labeled with the name of the child, name of the medicine, dosage requirements, and physician’s name.
- Medicine is brought to school by the parent.
These regulations apply to non-prescription medications as well. Non-prescription drugs include aspirin, vitamins, cough syrup, cough drops, ointments, etc.
Parent Teacher Association
The Alderwood PTA is a very active and supportive group. The association is composed of volunteer parents and committed staff members who devote their time and talents to providing support for our school and special experiences and events for our students. There are many opportunities for parents to become involved. Your membership and participation in this outstanding organization benefits your child’s education. Meetings are held monthly in the school multi-purpose room. Membership and other PTA related information is sent home during the first few weeks of school.
Research shows that parent involvement is key to helping children succeed in school. The idea has been basic to PTA’s philosophy and action since its beginnings in 1897. PTA goes even further by stating that children do better in all ways when their parents care about what they are doing at home, in the community and in school.
PTA activities establish communication between school and home. Parents are encouraged to attend meetings, support activities, and volunteer. Dates and times of meetings and activities will be on the Alderwood website. PTA questions can be directed to AWpta.firstname.lastname@example.org you can also visit the PTA website at www.AlderwoodPTA.com.
Alderwood welcomes and values our volunteer parents. Without volunteers, many programs and activities offered at our school would not be possible. Parents will be given opportunities to sign-up to help in the classroom, and to assist with various events taking place throughout the school year.
Are you interested in volunteering at Alderwood? Here are the necessary steps to become an approved Alderwood/IUSD volunteer.
Fill out the online volunteer application. Click here for the online application
After completing the online application, contact the school site(s) you will be volunteering at to get more information about completing the screening process.
Once the screening is complete, you will be an approved volunteer until the start of the next school year. All volunteers will be required to reapply at the start of each school year.
For volunteer resources, visit the Raptor section of our Help Center.
TRAVELING TO AND FROM ALDERWOOD
The safety of our children at Alderwood Elementary is a top priority. With over 800 students attending our school, it is vital that all
community members are aware of, and comply with, pick up and drop off procedures. For your reference we have created a visual
representation of traveling procedures. Additionally, we have complied a list of key regulations and suggestions to provide for an
efficient trip to and from school while keeping children safe.
- Parents should remain in their cars when using student loading zones in the parking lots. Students are only permitted toenter/exit vehicles from the passenger side of the car. Place all needed materials (backpacks, instruments etc.) within the child’s reach inside the car. Avoid accessing the car trunk during loading/unloading.
- Always wait to pull completely forward within the loading zone before allowing your child to enter/exit the vehicle.
- When exiting the large and small parking lots, turn right. Left turns are prohibited.
- Cars are prohibited from entering the small parking lot by making a right turn off of Knollcrest. When entering the lot via left turn, do not block Knollcrest. Wait to turn into the lot until your vehicle is able to fit completely within the lot area.
- U-turns are prohibited on Knollcrest.
- Pedestrians should only cross Knollcrest via the crosswalk. Follow the blue routes above; never walk across lot driveways.
- Areas of curb along Knollcrest are designated red to provide sight lines for drivers. Cars are prohibited from stopping or parking in these areas at any time. Do not unload or load students along red curbs.
- Kindergarten students cannot utilize student loading zones. They must be walked to and from designated Kinder meeting areas. See classroom teachers for details
Pets should not be on campus unless the teacher or principal has granted special permission. Please be aware that, pursuant to Orange County Ordinance 41.46, dogs are not to be on school grounds at any time. Should you choose to bring your dog when walking your child to and from school, please wait for your child off school grounds.
Playground and School Supervision
Supervision by staff at entry points to our campus, in the parking lots, and on the playground is provided fifteen minutes before school begins every day. For your child’s safety, students should not arrive on campus prior to 8:00 a.m. Upon arriving, all students in grades first through sixth report to the playground blacktop and line up for class in their assigned area. Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students must be accompanied by an adult and line up outside their classroom in their assigned area, and they are dismissed directly to their parent or guardian at dismissal. Students in grades first through sixth are dismissed from the outside door of the classroom to meet their parents, carpool, daycare provider, or walk home. After school supervision ends fifteen minutes after dismissal every day. All students must leave campus within fifteen minutes after school unless other arrangements have been made or they are being directly supervised by a parent. No student will be kept after school without prior parent permission.
Recess and lunch supervision is provided by trained Alderwood staff. Playground supervisors are easily identified by the yellow vests they wear and their IUSD identification badge.
Report Cards/ Parent Conferences
Report cards are issued at the end of each trimester during the school year. During the first month of school, parents are invited to attend Back to School Night to learn about the grade level curriculum and instructional program for their child. This evening is for adults only. A goal setting parent/teacher conference is held after the first month of school to establish learning goals for each student. A second parent/teacher conference is scheduled in the spring for some students. Parents are encouraged to schedule conferences with the teacher anytime they feel there is a need during the school year.
Open House is scheduled in the spring. All members of the family are invited to come and share in the activities and experiences your child has had during the school year.
Safe Travel To and From School
IUSD Board Policy only allows elementary children in grades third through sixth to ride their bicycles to school. Each bicycle must be in safe working order and be equipped with a lock and be parked in the bike racks. Bikes should be locked at all times when not in use. California law requires that all school age bike riders wear safety helmets. Additionally, Alderwood students in grades third through sixth may ride skateboards or scooters to school if they are wearing a helmet and have the ability to lock it in the bike racks or have made arrangements with their teacher to keep it in the classroom while school is in session. Students in grades kindergarten through second may ride skateboards or scooters to school if they are wearing a helmet, are accompanied by an adult, and the adult takes home the scooter or skateboard. Children and adults are expected to follow all traffic safety laws when going to and from school. In the interest of safety and taking into consideration the number of people around the school at arrival and dismissal times, students must walk their bicycle and carry their skateboards or scooter when they are on school grounds.
If your child will be walking, riding a bicycle, skateboard or a scooter to school, please discuss the safest route with your child. Bicyclists and pedestrians must use crosswalks and utilize the assistance of a crossing guard or staff member when provided. Students are not allowed to cross the parking lot at any time without using a parking lot crosswalk. CLICK HERE for Safe Route to School Map.
We want to reassure you that Alderwood Elementary has an extensive emergency plan. In compliance with California law, the Irvine Unified School District uses the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) in its emergency plans and procedures. Response procedures are in place to activate the emergency plan. Each year the staff reviews and practices the plan in mock drills to ensure the safest and most efficient response to an emergency. State law requires each elementary school to conduct monthly fire drills, a lock-down drill, and a drop-and-cover drill as part of the emergency preparedness plan.
How can you help ensure our students’ safety as a parent?
- Always sign-in your child at the office if your child is arriving late or sign-out your child in the office if your child is leaving school.
- Volunteer in your child’s class. You must sign-in and out with the raptor and a volunteer sticker at all times.
- Be familiar with the school site and report anything out of the ordinary to the school office or after school hours to the police.
- Carefully read correspondence sent home by the school.
In the event of an emergency:
- Remain calm.
- Walk to the playground and follow student release procedures.
- Ask, “How can I help?”
- Volunteer and follow the instructions and guidelines carefully.
Student Accident and Health Insurance
The school district makes available to parents a low cost accident and health insurance for their children. Forms are available through our re-registration process. Additional forms are available in the office. The desirability of having such a plan can provide benefits and coverage when help is needed.
Student Birthday Celebrations
Alderwood recognizes parent’s desire to celebrate their child’s birthday at school. Parents wishing to provide their child’s classroom with a birthday celebration treat must make the arrangements with their classroom teacher in advance of the celebration. Midday deliveries will not be accepted. When providing treats, individual portions are encouraged. Treats will be distributed to children at the end of the school day. Balloons are not allowed on campus.
Student Fee Information
California's Constitution affirms that students and parents cannot be required to pay money to gain access to educational activities, nor can they be charged for materials and supplies necessary to participate in educational activities.
“Educational activities” has been clearly defined to include extracurricular offerings such as music, sports and some clubs. Moreover, the rules described above are believed to apply to all affiliated groups supporting district and school programs, including PTAs, boosters and foundations.
In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state over impermissible fees, charges and deposits imposed on public school students. Two years later, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that codified existing laws and judicial decisions while establishing reasonable enforcement measures for schools and districts. The ACLU subsequently dropped its suit.
It should be noted that IUSD was in the process of analyzing its own practices even before the ACLU suit, looking specifically at funding requests that were made to help offset the cost of transportation, elective courses, summer school classes and essential supplies and equipment. The district has since worked to clarify that parent donations for most educational activities are voluntary, and that students will not be denied participation if their families choose not to contribute.
For further information, please check the following link on the Irvine Unified School District website: https://iusd.org/student-fee-information
Textbooks and library books are school property and are loaned to students. Students are responsible for their safekeeping. All hard cover textbooks must be covered. Students are responsible to pay for lost or damaged textbooks. Most textbooks are available online.
Traffic and Parking Procedures
The Irvine Police Department actively patrols the area around Alderwood at arrival and dismissal times. They watch for cars speeding, illegally parking, and other unsafe driving behaviors. In order to keep our students safe, we ask that parents use caution when driving in our parking lot and around our school. When parking in the neighborhood, please obey all traffic laws and be considerate to our neighbors. Please do not block driveways, leave trash in the area, allow your children to play on someone’s yard, or make excessive noise.
Parents may park their car in either school lot and in any parking space not reserved for staff or the silent auction family. Both parking lots have designated loading zones identified by a yellow curb. You may only drop off and pick up your child in these areas. When dropping off students, please pull as far ahead as possible next to the curb in the loading zone before dropping off your children. This will keep things moving quickly. At no time may a driver leave his/her car unattended or park in the loading zone. In addition, the Irvine Police Department will cite any parent unloading students in any street away from the curb, often referred to as double parking. Not only is it illegal, but incredibly dangerous.
Alderwood Safe Routes to School
Use of Telephones and Cell Phones
We ask that you take care of all arrangements for the day with your children before they leave for school. If the forecast is for rain, send them in a coat or jacket and give them a plan for pick up/dismissal for inclement weather. If after school activities are scheduled, be certain that they know what is expected of them before they leave for school. We ask that ONLY EMERGENCY MESSAGES be telephoned in to children, since we strive to keep instructional interruptions to a minimum. Arrangements with friends must be made prior to coming to school.
Cell phones are permitted at school, however, board policy requires that they be deactivated during the regular school day and used only during an emergency affecting the school or community. The use of cell phones is prohibited during school hours. They are to be turned off and in the student’s backpack during school hours. Cell phones that are turned on during school hours are subject to confiscation and will only be returned to a parent through the front office.