Schoharie Elementary Student-Parent-Teacher Handbook 2019-20

Elementary Parent Handbook 2019-20 Print-friendly version 

Table of Contents

Message from the Principal
Mission Statement
Information and Procedures – School Closings & Delays
Emergency Dismissal
Please Keep Us Informed (Student Information Card)
Early Release for Medical Appointments
Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
Daily Time Schedules
Discipline Procedures
PBIS Expectations
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Code of Conduct
DASA, Bullying and Cyberbullying
School Bus Safety
SCS Electronic Technology Acceptable Use Procedure
Personal Items
Food Services
Health Services
Special Program Offerings
Physical Education Requirements
Dress for Success in Schoharie
Alternate Bus Location Transportation Request Form

Message from the Principal

Dear Schoharie Families,
Welcome to Schoharie Elementary School: “A collaborative learning community, supporting the whole child.” We hope you find the educational experience here to be positive, supportive, and successful for students and you.

We are always striving to improve communication between parents, the local community and the school community. Please contact us with any suggestions or information you may have which will help us improve the effectiveness of our communication and everyone’s experience.

Parents are the child’s first and most important teacher. The teachers, staff and administration of Schoharie strive to support you in your role as a parent.  We invite you to become an active member of our school community. Please contact your child’s teacher, the main office, library or the EPTSO if you have an interest in volunteering with the school.

We look forward to working with you in the creation of a learning environment which is caring, nurturing and supportive of your child’s hopes and dreams.

Andrea Polikoski
Elementary Principal

“Students will succeed when staff and families work together to meet their physical, social, emotional and academic needs within a safe and supportive environment as they progress to secondary education.”

Mission Statement

The community of Schoharie Elementary is dedicated to creating and sustaining a learning environment which supports and values individual growth and accomplishment in an environment which is collaborative and nurturing.  The core values of honesty, fairness, perseverance, responsibility and patience are actively discussed, modeled, encouraged and recognized daily. 

Information and Procedures 

School Messenger

Schoharie Central School District is now using an automated call, text and email system called School Messenger to strengthen communications with all families. School Messenger will be used for routine calls and reminders, such as attendance and school meal balances; to share district and school news; and to inform about emergencies including school closings, cancellations and delays.

School Messenger will automatically integrate contact information from the district’s SchoolTool student management system for parents/guardians of enrolled students. This means that parents/guardians will be automatically connected to School Messenger through SchoolTool, and if their information is up to date in SchoolTool, it will be up to date in School Messenger. There is no separate School Messenger account for parents/guardians to register for or maintain.

All parents/guardians should ensure the following information they provided to their child’s school is up to date:

  • Primary Contact
  • Email
  • Home Phone, including area code
  • Cell Phone, including area code

Parents/guardians who need to update their information should contact their child’s school office.  Questions regarding School Messenger should be directed to the principal. Please be sure not to block School Messenger on your cell, phone or email.

School Closings and Delays

In the event that school/after school activities are cancelled due to inclement weather or other emergency situations, in addition to utilizing School Messenger, the information can be found on local media including television, radio and newspapers and via postings on the school website:

Emergency Dismissal

The safety of our students is our top priority. Please be sure to have an Emergency Dismissal Plan established for your child, in the event that school closes early, due to weather or other emergency situations.  This plan is sent home on the first day of school. Please complete this card and return it to your child’s teacher as soon as possible.

Please note this plan is intended to be used for unexpected emergency dismissals only, this is not used for early dismissals scheduled on the District Calendar.

Please Keep Us Informed (Student Information Card)

Please be sure to update any changes to the Student Information Card throughout the school year. It is important for your child’s safety that we have accurate information on file.  This information includes:
– Current home address, mailing address, and telephone (home and/or cell phone) numbers
– Parent(s) work phone numbers
– Parent(s) email addresses
– Emergency contact person(s)/phone number(s)
– Custody arrangements (please be aware that court documents must be on file with us to be honored)

Early Release for Medical or Dental Appointments

Whenever possible, please schedule medical and dental appointments after school hours.  Understanding that this is not always possible, please follow this procedure:

  • Send a completed Dismissal Pass to school with your child in the morning.
  • When you or a designated individual from your Emergency Care Plan arrives, please come to the elementary office with a valid photo id and sign the student out.
  • We will call your child from the classroom.
  • Before leaving, please be sure that your child has both the in-class assignments and the homework assignments for that day.
  • If your child returns to school later that day, please return to the office and sign him/her back into the school. 

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures


All students will enter through the double lobby doors please. Students will be picked up by classroom teachers promptly at 8:10 to start the day.

Breakfast: The breakfast program opens at 7:45 and stops serving at 8:05.  This will allow children who need to eat first to be prepared to start the school day at 8:10. If they need to eat breakfast, this should be done as soon as they arrive and completed by 8:05. If they do not need to eat breakfast, please send them as close to 8:10 as possible, but not later than 8:10.

Students who are transported to school in vehicles by parents/guardians: Please pull up to the Drop Off Zone (the crosswalk area within the parking lot) and say goodbye to your child in your car to drop him/her off. Staff members will be stationed there to safely escort your child across the crosswalk. Or, please park in a parking space (not the Drop Off Zone) if you wish to walk your child to the lobby doors. We appreciate your assistance in managing traffic so we can get everyone safely settled into the school day.


All students will be released for dismissal at 2:37. Please be aware that instruction occurs until the end of the day, and your child will miss important learning if they are signed out early.

If you do need to sign your child out early for an appointment or legal excuse, please send in a completed Dismissal Pass with your child that morning so we can prevent disruptions to instruction at the end of the day. Please come to the elementary main office to sign your child out.

Students who are picked up in vehicles by parents/guardians at dismissal:  Please indicate your intent to transport to ensure the safe dismissal of your child(ren). You can refer to Alternate Bus Transportation Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  In order to assist us in getting your child to you quickly and safely please follow the safety procedures. 

Please remain in your car and your child will be brought to you by staff. You will receive a printed sign with your child’s last name on it to place in your windshield to assist us in identifying you quickly. Or please park your vehicle in a parking spot (not the Drop off Zone) if you choose to walk to the lobby doors to pick your child up. 

Dismissal Passes

Schoharie Elementary School and District Transportation have implemented a procedure to effectively communicate to all relevant people when an emergency change to your dismissal plan occurs.  We appreciate your cooperation in completing and submitting the enclosed Dismissal Pass each time your child will not be following their dismissal procedure on file with the school. 

The passes are to be completed by you, in full, under the following conditions:
– Any time your child is to take a bus home that is not his/her regular route in the event of an emergency.
– Any time your child rides a late bus. Please note an exception to this is when your child joins an after school club or organization.
– Any time your child is to be dismissed early for an appointment.
– Any time your child is to be picked up at the lobby doors instead of taking a bus.

Please be sure to fill the Dismissal Pass in completely and send it in to school with your child when an unexpected change occurs.  All changes to transportation should be submitted to our office prior to 12:00 in order to process the request effectively. Please contact the Transportation Office at (518) 295-6684 for questions regarding bus numbers.

Please be reminded we no longer take phone calls or hand-written notes for changes to your child’s dismissal plan. If you do have an emergency in which you are unable to email, fax, or send in a pass, please be prepared to share the code word you have on file, as the safety of our students is our top priority.

Thank you so much for your cooperation in keeping our Schoharie School Community safe and aiding our ability to get your child dismissed to you promptly. 

After-School Transportation

The late bus run does not include door-to-door delivery of students. Please instruct your child to tell the driver where he/she is to be dropped off on the route.  Late buses leave school at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. A “Late Bus Transportation” form must be completed and returned to the main office. Students will only be dropped off at the location indicated by the parent/guardian. Students will not be eligible to ride the late bus without a completed form on record. 

Only students involved in school sponsored activities are allowed to ride the late bus. Students may not stay after school unsupervised for any reason and only the supervised students will be allowed on the late buses. 

Please be aware that there are three buses which provide the late bus transportation. The routes may be lengthy and the bus ride will be longer than the bus ride your child experiences during the regular dismissal at 2:37 p.m.  Students may be dropped off at designated stops, not necessarily their usual bus stop. 

If you have any questions please contact the bus garage at (518) 295-6684.

Phone Calls to and from Home

Please refrain from calling school with a message for your child unless it is an emergency. A learning environment free from interruptions is optimal. 

Teaching students to be responsible is an integral part of the educational process at Schoharie Elementary. Therefore, we discourage students from making phone calls home because they forgot lunch money, homework assignments, books, and personal items.     

It is our desire that the student, parents and staff will work together to promote responsible behaviors in our students. We encourage students to organize their belongings the evening before for the following school day.  Included in these needs are:
– Books and homework assignments
– Lunch or lunch money
– Permission slips and money for field trips or special events
– Musical instruments
– Notes from home: Dismissal Passes, absence
– Sneakers for gym
– Appropriate dress for winter (boots, hats, gloves/mittens)

Visitors Policy

All visitors are required to report to the elementary office with a valid photo id to sign in to an electronic database and receive a visitor’s pass. Please be sure to state the purpose and location of your visit as it is noted on your pass. All visitors are required to wear this pass while in the building; the pass will be removed when the visitor signs out of the building.

In order to ensure only authorized persons are in the building, all staff members will ask visitors not wearing a pass, or in an undesignated location, to report to the office to sign in and receive one.

Only school personnel are permitted to be on the playground during the school day. Parents, community members and other non-school personnel are not permitted to observe, play or interact with students and/or staff during recess or instructional periods. Exceptions to this protocol include special school-wide events (field days, Olympics, etc.) and special classroom events (picnics/parties) to which parents have been specifically invited to attend. On such occasions, parents and other visitors should follow sign-in procedures as outlined above or sign-in procedures established for the specific event.  We thank you for your cooperation.

Parent Involvement

Parents play a vital role in the education of children. Children excel when their parents are actively involved in the educational process and emphasize the importance of learning to their children.  This involvement may take many different forms, from reading to your child each evening to becoming a parent volunteer during the school day.  We are always looking for parents to volunteer during our PBIS “Redemption Days,” assist in our elementary library, or be a “Mystery Reader” in classrooms, or assist with activities you can do at home. We invite you to find a level of involvement that you are comfortable with and one that fits into your schedule.  We would love to have you involved!

Reporting to Parents

Reporting your child’s progress in the elementary school is accomplished through progress reports and report cards. Parent conferences are also used, as appropriate, to reinforce the progress reports and report cards. Parent conferences may be arranged at the request of either the parent or teacher. Please feel free to contact the teacher with any concerns you may have regarding your child’s progress.

Parents will be notified as soon as possible regarding difficulties and/or lack of expected progress your child may be experiencing. It is our goal to work together with you to support your child’s learning and provide opportunities for success.

Progress reports and trimester report cards will be sent home to update parents on their child’s progress. Parents will be asked to sign a signature card which will be included with the report card and return it to the homeroom teacher. A copy of the report card is filed in your child’s cumulative academic file.
Non-custodial parents may request a copy of their child’s report card and progress reports, discipline, attendance, testing results and field trip information. Please communicate with the parent/guardian who will complete the Student Emergency Information Card which is sent home with students on the first day of school. You can also contact the elementary office for more information.  

Reporting Schedule – Kindergarten-Grade 6                

Progress Reports:
October 18, 2019
January 24, 2020
May 1, 2020

Report Cards:
December 6, 2019
March 23, 2020
June 24, 2020

Homework Policies

Schoharie Elementary School’s homework policy aims to support students in the forming of routine homework habits and strong study skills. Please check with your child’s teacher for the specific supplies needed by your child for this school year. The level of responsibility increases as your child progresses through the grades.

Parents play a vital role in homework support. Parents are asked to check student agenda books daily in grades 1-6. In some grades, parents will be asked to sign the assignment pads daily to ensure the students develop and practice productive homework habits. All parents should make arrangements for students who are absent to complete any assignments missed during their child’s absence by calling the elementary office between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m. to request the classroom assignments and/or homework for the day. If a call is received later in the day, there may not be enough time to gather the materials together as teachers are engaged in instruction.



In the event your child is absent from school, please send in a written note of excuse with him/her on the day he/she returns to school, as required by NYS law. Please include in the note the date of absence/tardiness and the reason for the absence. It is school policy that if an excuse is not received within three days of the absence, it will be recorded as an unexcused absence.

According to NYS law, excused absences include:
– Student sickness
– Death in the family
– Doctor’s appointments
– Religious observations

According to NYS law, unexcused absences include:
– Oversleeping
– Visiting
– Going on vacation
– Missing the bus

Research shows that student achievement drops significantly when students miss more than 10% of the school year due to absences. While we understand there are often specific medical needs that impact attendance, and we work closely with families to support those students, the following procedures have been established for unexcused absences:
1) After being absent, tardy 5 times and/or early leaves:
a) Phone call home
b) Written notification will be sent home

2) After being absent, tardy 10 times and/or early leaves:
a) Phone call home
b) Written notification will be sent home
c) The parent will call the school nurse each subsequent time the student is
absent or tardy

3) After being absent, tardy 15 times and/or early leaves:
a) All of the above & a home visit by school personnel

4) After being absent, tardy 20 times:
a) All of the above & a conference with the administration, school nurse, and
guidance counselor or social worker in order to decide upon a course of
action, which could include filing a PINS (Person in Need of Supervision)
petition with Family Court/Hotline call to Child Protective Services (CPS)
b) A letter from your child’s physician will be required for each future

Each case will be determined on an individual basis according to the existing circumstances. Legitimate absences because of chronic medical illness will not be considered as an attendance problem.

Daily Time Schedules

Daily Schedule:
7:45 – Building opens, Breakfast served
8:10 – Instruction Begins
2:37 – Students dismissed, Activity period begins, 4H Afterschool Program begins
3:30 – Activity period ends, late bus run (Tues, Wed, Thurs)
5:37 – 4H Afterschool program ends (parent pick-up)

Lunch and Recess Schedules (2019-2020):
Kindergarten Recess 10:10 – 10:30, Lunch 10:30 – 10:50
First Grade Recess 11:00 – 11:20, Lunch 11:20 – 11:40
Second Grade Recess  10:35 – 10:55, Lunch 10:55 – 11:15
Third Grade Recess 12:15 – 12:35, Lunch 12:35 – 12:55
Fourth Grade Recess 11:25 – 11:45, Lunch 11:45 – 12:05
Fifth Grade Recess 11:50 – 12:10, Lunch 12:10 – 12:30
Sixth Grade Recess 12:45 – 1:05, Lunch 1:05 – 1:25

Discipline Procedures

Behaviors that are hurtful and/or dangerous are outlined specifically in the Discipline Code. Behaviors are divided into three levels and the corresponding consequences for each level of offense are stated.

The Schoharie Elementary learning community believes that all children are entitled to be treated fairly and with dignity. Discipline issues are initially addressed at the  classroom, bus, and cafeteria or playground level. Unresolved or ongoing issues and more serious offenses are referred to the elementary office for administrative action.

Discipline is a shared responsibility between home and school. Parental notification of disciplinary action may be written (discipline referral form) or verbal (telephone call). If deemed necessary, the development of an Individual Behavior Plan (IBP)will be a collaborative effort involving the parent, student, supervising adult(teacher, bus driver, and teaching assistant), counselor(s) and the principal.

All disciplinary procedures taken are in accordance with Schoharie Board of Education policies and NYS Education statutes and regulations.

PBIS Expectations

Be Respectful. Be Responsible. Be Safe. Be a Community: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Schoharie Central School students, faculty and staff have united behind these expectations: Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe, and Be a Community to develop a positive school environment through PBIS, a proven, research-based program.  PBIS helps students learn positive and appropriate behaviors and schools to maintain a safe learning environment where teachers can teach and students can learn. A positive school culture supports and promotes educational growth, achievement and academic success for all students.

A proactive approach, PBIS unites students, faculty, staff, parents, guardians, families and the community behind clear and consistent expectations and goals that build upon students’ strengths, reward good behaviors and discourage problem behaviors by identifying both consequences and paths to re-learning and self-improvement. Through PBIS, students learn life skills that benefit them far beyond the walls of the classroom.

Students have clear and detailed guidelines for positive behavior they are to show not only in the classroom, where such rules traditionally exist, but also anywhere they are in the school building, on campus and around or on a bus.

For example, students have learned to adjust the volume of their voice to their location, from a zero (quiet) in the hallway to a 1 in the cafeteria and 2-3 on the playground. In all locations, they are to show pride in learning and demonstrate respect, compassion and patience for their peers. These expectations developed by the PBIS team are taught to the whole school through “Stations” twice a year and reinforced by staff and students consistently in the appropriate settings.

The entire approach is positive, not punitive – there are consequences, but they are clear and instructive and designed to build good behavior while discouraging bad behavior and disruptions to learning.

Schoharie Elementary students showing positive behaviors can earn Scho Bucks. Scho Bucks can be redeemed for small prizes on “Redemption Wednesday.” Students can purchase items from small trinkets or toys to exciting opportunities such as a Stewart’s free ice cream pass or lunch with the principal. These prizes will be available in the cafeteria. Classroom teachers will take students down to redeem Bucks for prices once a month. Additionally, once a month students will have the opportunity to enter their Scho Bucks into raffles to earn larger prizes such as a brand new bike, scooters, electronics and more.

A PBIS matrix (chart) of school-wide expectations that is part of the printed version of this handbook is available from the elementary office for those unable to access the print-friendly version.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Attend school in the district in which his/her parents or legal guardian .
Express his/her opinion.
Dress in such a way as to express his/her personality.
Expect that the school will be an orderly place for all students to gain an education.
Be fairly disciplined according to the Code of Conduct.
Receive information about solving personal problems and to have a chance to receive help to solve problems that cannot be solved .
Be treated equally and fairly.
Be respected as an individual.

Attend school daily, except when ill, and arrive on time.
Express opinions and ideas in a respectful manner so as not to offend, slander, or disrupt the rights of others.
Dress so as not to endanger physical health or safety, to limit participation in school activities, to be offensive, distracting.
Know all rules and expectations and to behave accordingly.
Be willing to give information in disciplinary cases.
Be aware of the information and services available and to ask for help when needed. Learn about serious and dangerous wrong doings and to try to get help to solve problems.
Treat others equally and fairly.
Respect the rights of others.

Code of Conduct

Behaviors and Consequences

Level 1 Behaviors:
Gossiping/spreading rumors
Embarrassing or making someone look foolish
Teasing about clothing/possessions
Threatening to reveal personal information
Daring to engage in unsafe behavior
Defacing property or clothing/Graffiti
Playing a mean trick
Unacceptable language
Engaging in unsafe behaviors
Inappropriate Dress*
Improper use of Electronic Devices*
Improper Behavior on the bus

Level 1 Consequences-Any one or more of the following consequences:
Making amends
Class meeting on topic
Loss of privileges
Parent/Guardian notified
Student assigned for part or all of the day to another location within the building
Confiscation of Electronic Device
*Pattern of Level 1 offenses may result in consequences for Level 2 offenses and referral to intervention services

Level 2 Behaviors:
Spitting towards a person
Damaging property
Demeaning physical acts that are not harmful
Locking in a closed or confined space
Ethnic slurs
Setting another up to take the blame
Humiliating another publicly
Excluding another from group
Teasing another about appearance
Taking possessions (lunch, clothing, toys)
Sexual or racial taunting
Not reporting to class
Leaving school grounds without permission
Disruptive/uncooperative behaviors
Disrespectful/rude behaviors
Leaving instructional areas without permission
Falsifying signatures/note

Level 2 Consequences:
Parent contacted and any one or more of the following consequences:
Loss of privileges (progressively more severe than Level 1)
Making amends:
– Repairing, cleaning, or replacing item (natural consequence)
– Writing a report on the topic (race, theft, defacing property)
– School or community service
– Monetary retribution
Referral to one-on-one or small-group intervention sessions
Short-term out of school suspension
Student Behavior Plan
Removal from Class
After-school detention
*Pattern of Level 2 offenses may result in consequences for Level 3 offenses

Level 3 Behaviors:
Physical violence/inflicting bodily harm
Threatening with a weapon
Maliciously excluding/group rejection of an individual
Malicious spreading of rumors
Threatening with total isolation
Verbal threats of aggression against property or possessions
Verbal threats of using coercion against family or friends
Showing private body parts
Inappropriate touching
Pulling fire alarms
Making bomb threats

Level 3 Consequences-Required parent conference with teacher and principal and any of the following consequences:
Loss of privileges
Student behavior plan (for example, contract, functional behavioral analysis)
Referral to one-on-one or small-group intervention sessions
Out of school suspension
Contact of local law enforcement personnel
In-house suspension
Referral to Juvenile Justice System


Schoharie Elementary School is committed to safeguarding the rights given to all students under state and federal law, such as the “Dignity for All Students Act,” which prohibits harassment against students in school, including harassment based on real or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression) and sex, and to prohibit discrimination based on these same characteristics. In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil environment, all students have the right to:

– Take part in all school activities on an equal basis regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation or disability.  
– Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.  
– Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.
– Be in an environment that fosters mutual respect and encourages the acceptance of diversity.

Bullying and Cyberbullying

For the purposes of this code of conduct and its implementation, “bullying” is defined as the repeated intimidation of others by the real or threatened infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically transmitted, or emotional abuse, or through attacks on the property of another that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or that takes place off school grounds but is designed to or has the effect of interfering with one’s ability to be educated in a safe, non-hostile environment.

Bullying can take three forms:
Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings);
Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats); and
Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships; or engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation).

As with other forms of bullying, cyberbullying is an attempt to display power and control over someone perceived as weaker. Cyberbullying involving District students may occur both on campus and off school grounds and may involve student use of the district Internet system or student use of personal digital devices, such as cell phones, digital cameras, and personal computers to engage in bullying.

Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology; harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs).

Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to bullying/cyber-bullying behavior, as well as any other person who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of bullying/cyberbullying, shall report the behavior to any staff member or the Building Principal.

The Schoharie Learning Community is committed to protecting the physical and emotional safety of all of our students. All reports of bullying and/or threatening behavior will be investigated and addressed, appropriate to the child’s age and the severity of the situation. 

School Bus Safety

Students riding a school bus should always:
Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.
Stand at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) away from the edge of the road.
Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, board carefully.
School buses now have seat belts, be sure to learn to use the seat belt correctly.
Stay in your seat and sit quietly so that the driver is not distracted.
Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting the bus.
Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus carefully and crossing the road.

Crossing students should:
Walk in front of the bus; never walk behind the bus.
Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 giant steps ahead of the bus.
Be sure the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
Wait for the driver’s signal to cross.
The bus driver and others cannot see you if you are standing closer than 10 feet to the bus.  Stay out of the danger zone!
If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. NEVER try to pick it up yourself!
While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.  Headphones and earbuds can keep you from hearing the instructions and warnings from the driver, take them off when entering or leaving the bus. 
When you get on or off the bus, look for the bus safety lights and make sure they are flashing.
Be alert to traffic.  When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, left before you enter or cross the street.

Bus Conduct

When reviewing these behavioral expectations with your child, please emphasize to him/her that riding on a school bus is a privilege.  Safety is our top priority. 

Students are expected to:
Show respect for all persons in authority
Be reasonably quiet and orderly
Demonstrate consideration for people and property at the bus stop and on the bus
Enter and leave the bus only when it is motionless
Remain in their seats while the bus is moving
Keep all body part and other objects inside the bus window
Behave in a manner which protects the safety of all of the other passengers.  Fighting, threatening others, use of abusive or offensive language/actions and smoking are not permitted and are subject to disciplinary action.
Refrain from eating and/or drinking on the bus.

Oversized items: Please use a plastic shopping bag as a guide for determining if an item can be safely carried on the bus.  Only musical instruments of a reasonable size may be carried on the bus.
Animal specimens are not allowed on the busses and must be brought to and from school by parents/guardians.

This policy includes an outline of consequences should a student violate one or more of these expectations. Any consequence for misbehavior will be implemented by the building principal and will be consistent with the severity of the infraction. Misbehavior on the bus will be addressed through the tiered level of infractions and consequences (Level 1, 2, 3) and may result in a suspension of bus privileges. In the event of a suspension off the bus, parents/guardians are responsible for providing/arranging for transportation to and from school. 

Video Cameras on Buses

Video cameras are used to monitor student behavior on school vehicles transporting students to and from school or extracurricular activities. Video is used by administration only and, due to its confidential nature, is not shared with anyone else.  Students found violating bus conduct rules will be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the District’s Code of Conduct.

Misbehavior on the bus will be addressed through the tiered level of infractions and consequences (Level 1, 2, 3) and may result in a suspension of bus privileges. In the event of a suspension off the bus, parents/guardians are responsible for providing/arranging for transportation to and from school.

SCS Electronic Technology Acceptable Use Procedure

The purpose of the Schoharie Central School District Local and Wide Area Networks along with the Internet are intended to be used to advance and promote education in all of its school buildings within the district.  It is intended to assist in the collaboration and exchange of information among all who are concerned and involved with education. The goal of infusing technology into daily operations of our classrooms, libraries, and offices is to promote high quality technological resources in an equitable, efficient and cost-effective manner. Such technology includes and is not limited to electronic mail, local computer networks, through internet and other on-line services.

The benefit of being connected to the internet and other on-line services is that it expands classroom teaching dramatically by making many fascinating resources, including original source materials from all over the world, available to students, teachers, parents and administrators. These services bring information, data, images and even computer software into the classroom from places around the globe, and it does this almost instantaneously. Access to these resources can involve students in individual and group projects, cross-cultural collaborations, and idea sharing not found in schools that lack Internet and on-line-services access.

While the benefits of the Internet and other on-line services are enormous, parents need to be aware that they are open systems, which contain pockets of material that many people would disapprove of and keep away from children. The Schoharie School District will make an effort to prevent student’s access to inappropriate material on the Internet and other on-line services, but we cannot guarantee that they will not encounter text, pictures, or references that are objectionable.

The District asks parents for assistance in developing responsible attitudes, reinforcing appropriate behaviors and observing security practices on the network. System users should have no expectation of privacy with respect to files saved or maintained on the Districts computer systems. Network administrators and District officials will have access to all files in order to ensure system integrity and compliance with this procedure.

The use of the Local Area Network, Wide Area Network, and Internet is a privilege, not a right. Users are responsible for what they say and do on the networks. Because communication with thousands of others is so quick and easy, it is important to think before communicating and show respect for other people and for their ideas. The use of computers must be in support of education and research, and consistent with the educational objectives and the mission of the Schoharie central schools. Use of the Schoharie Districts network or that of another organizations connected network or computing resources must comply with the rules appropriate for each network.

It is imperative that staff, students and visitors conduct themselves in a responsible, decent, ethical and polite manner while using such equipment and networks. This procedure does not attempt to articulate all required or proscribed behavior by its users. The following general guidelines are provided to illustrate appropriate conduct and use. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather indicative of the type of conduct which will be considered by the district.

Use Regulations for Students

These regulations must be reviewed and signed by students and parent(s)/guardian(s). These guidelines apply to all including administrators and teachers. Please read the following carefully and sign below.
1. Student safety is important to the district. Students are not to reveal personal information about themselves or others, including personal address or phone numbers on the Internet.       
2. Accessing or distributing inappropriate material. i.e. obscene, abusive, threatening, harassing, or material specifically prohibited by district policy, local, state or federal law or regulation is prohibited.
3. Students are to respect others’ privileges. Attempts by a user to log on to the system in the name of another individual, with or without the individual’s consent, will be considered a security violation. Students are not to disrupt the use of the network by other users. They must not access files of any business, person, or agency to steal, subvert, destroy or view information that is not appropriate.
4. Students need to cite sources. If students use the ideas or works of others, they must give them credit. Not citing where information came from, or copying it directly, is plagiarism and will be dealt with as an academic violation. Unauthorized duplication or other forms of infringement are not appropriate. District users must recognize and observe applicable copyright laws and regulations.
5. Students may only use email and other outside communications, i.e instant messaging, personal webpages, etc. for school projects after receiving approval from their supervisor.
6. Prudent use of the district’s finite resources and shared technological resources is expected. Downloading videos, music or playing games is prohibited except for instructional purposes.
7. All student files will be deleted at the end of each school year. Email is deleted as well. 
8. Students must immediately inform a teacher or parent(s) or guardian(s) if they find something online that is inappropriate.
9. If students identify a security problem on the Internet, students must notify a system administrator. Attempts to log on as a system administrator will result in cancellation of privileges. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history with other computer systems may be denied access to the district’s computers.
10. Students and their parents/guardians will be held responsible for any costs due to damage to computers caused by the student such as uploading or creating computer viruses, reprogramming the computer to damage system files, hacking into the system to change or delete student/teacher files or system files, attempting to try programming or installing programs without permission or damaging components of the computer. Such vandalism will result in cancellation of a user’s privileges. address or phone numbers on the Internet.

Consequences for Violations of the Technology Use Policy

Inappropriate use or intentional misuse of the school’s hardware or software that isn’t included in the categories listed above will result in consequences of 30, 60 and 90 day restrictions for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd infractions respectively. Teachers will provide students with alternative assignments to meet class requirements. Consequences listed above are separate from those additional consequences considered as a result of harassment or insubordination. Infractions which result in physical damage or the need for significant manpower to repair damage could result in financial restitution being required. Students are given alternative assignments by their teachers which do not require the use of computers during the loss of privileges period.

In accordance with District Policy, students with personal cell phones in their possession at school must keep them turned off and out of sight from the beginning of the school day through the end of the day. Cell phones must be kept out of sight and are never to be used at any times in areas where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, showers, locker rooms, and rest rooms. Students may not use a cell phone in a manner that interferes with instructional activities or to inappropriately message others. The school may take the phone and make it available in a reasonable amount of time if a student violates this policy. Students may also be subject to further discipline for continued infractions.

Parents are asked to refrain from text messaging or calling their children during the school day.  Should an emergency arise during the day, please contact the elementary office at (518) 295-6651.  Students are permitted to use the school phones (in the case of emergencies).

Personal Items

Toys from Home

Children are discouraged from bringing toys, games, trading cards and electronic devices from home unless they are specifically requested by a teacher. The school cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage to the item. Balls (footballs, basketball, soccer) brought into school should be placed in a plastic shopping bag. No baseballs (hardballs) are allowed on the playground.

Lost and Found

We ask parents to encourage their child to check the Lost and Found Department (located outside of the ’52 Gym). Each year many articles go unclaimed. It would be helpful if your child’s name was placed inside their belongings. Those items misplaced will be returned to your child quickly and accurately.

Lost items on the Bus

Please contact the bus garage at (518) 295-6684 to check for lost items.

Food Services

School Breakfast: Breakfast is offered to all students who wish to take advantage of it. Breakfast is served from 7:45 to 8:05 a.m. each day. 

School Lunches: The daily lunch menu is sent home with the elementary students during the last week of each month. It is also posted on the Schoharie CSD website ( 

The school lunch program uses a Point of Sale cash register system and every student has an account, accessed by their student I.D. number. Any amount of money can be deposited on a student’s account in the form of check or cash for purchasing breakfast, lunch and/or milk (to go with bag lunch brought from home). Money can be added to a student’s account in the cafeteria any day of the week prior to 10:00 a.m. or online any time.

A student will debit their account each time they purchase a meal, and they must pay cash for snacks (chips & ice cream). Please remember that whenever you send money to school with your child, send it in a sealed envelope and labeled with your child’s name, grade, the amount enclosed and what the money is for. Pre-printed envelopes are available to send in payments for students’ accounts. A new envelope will be sent home with a receipt for payments.  Envelopes can be picked up at the elementary cafeteria.

Snack Milk: Snack milk (consumed at snack time in the classroom) can be purchased through the cafeteria. Send payment to the cafeteria in an envelope, labeled with child’s name, teacher and amount. The classroom teacher will send a list to the cafeteria each day of the students receiving snack milk, and keep track of the number of days snack milk is paid for. Please note that bottled water and juice are also available for lunch and/or snack time.

Meal Charging: In the event that a student loses or forgets their lunch money, a school lunch will be provided for them. The debited amount can be paid the next day. Student account balances can be reviewed by parents online, accessed from this website.  If a student accumulates more than 5 charges, parents will be notified by a phone call, letter or email. The purchase of snacks is not allowed when a student has a negative balance in their account. Please emphasize to your child that charging is a privilege and every effort should be made to be responsible with their lunch money.

Free or Reduced Price Breakfast and Lunch: Forms are available from the nurse’s office for children who are entitled to a free or reduced price breakfast/lunch. All applications and information is kept in strict confidence. We encourage you to contact our school nurse if you believe that your family may qualify for this benefit. We hope that all families who qualify will take advantage of this program, as it benefits both the families and the school district.

Please note: Families that qualify for the previous school year must re-apply by October 1st of the new school year to continue their benefits.

Elementary Cafeteria Prices
Full  Meals:
Student Breakfast: $1.50
Adult Breakfast: $2.45 
Student Lunch: $2.50                                 
Adult Lunch: $4.10

A la carte Items:
Second Entrée: $1.65
Milk: $.50                              
Juice: $.50
Ice Cream: $.75
Baked Chips: $.75
Bottled Water, 8 oz.: $.25
Bottled Water, 16 oz.: $.50

Health Services

Physical Examinations:  New York State mandates physical examinations.
Physicals will be held during the school year for all students in Kindergarten, grades 1, 3, 5, and all students new to our district that do not have a physical on file. All children in Kindergarten, grades 1, 3, and 5 will receive hearing and vision screenings. Girls in grades 5 are also screened for scoliosis each year. For 5​th​ grade girls to be exempt from the scoliosis screening, a current physical must be on file in school. 

To be admitted or allowed to attend school, a certified copy of immunizations is necessary. Certified means signed by a doctor or clinic who administered the shots. NYS requires the following immunizations:
4-5 doses of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (Dtap) vaccine
3 doses of hepatitis B
2 doses of measles/mumps/rubella vaccine
2 doses of the Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
3-4 doses of poliomyelitis vaccine
3 OPV or 4 IPV
Students attaining 11 years of age are required to have a Tdap (pertussis) booster to remain in school.

New York State Public Health Law, Section 2164 requires that schools will not permit a child to attend school ​unless ​the parent provides the school with a certificate of immunization or proof from a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant that the child is in the process of receiving the required immunizations. Important:​ on June 13, 2019, NYS eliminated the religious exemption from vaccinations for school attendance.

New York State Education Law prohibits the giving or self administering of internal medicine in school without both a written doctor’s order for the medication and a written parental request to give the medication. This law includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications (including cold medicines, aspirin, Tylenol, cough drops, etc). Medications should be hand delivered to our school nurse in the original container and with the original prescription label attached. Inhalers need to be labeled. This enables the school nurse to seek further information from the parents if needed and/or provides information to the nurse in order to protect against loss or misuse of the medication. Medication will not be administered unless all of these conditions are met. Medications cannot be carried on the student unless all these conditions are met.

Download an Authorization for Administration of Medication in School form.

Physical Education Class/Recess:
If a student is unable to participate in physical education class due to an injury, he/she is also unable to participate in recess. This is a school policy designed to protect your child from any further injury. Any medical condition warranting a modification from regular gym must have updated medical documentation on that condition renewed at the beginning of each new school year (example: gym as tolerated, epilepsy, diabetes).

Guidelines for Sending Students Home from School Due to Illness: 
The following guidelines have been developed by school officials in consultation with the school physician. The conditions which warrant sending a child home include:
Temperature of 100.0 or above
Persistent headache
Persistent upset stomach
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) or any discharge or crusting near the eyes
Any condition based upon the school nurse’s evaluation which she feels warrants medical attention and/or the need to isolate a sick child from the other students.

Guidelines for Children Returning to School after an Illness: 
The following guidelines determine whether a child is ready to return to school following an illness.
Fever-fever has been absent for 24 hours, without the use of a fever reducer, for example,Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)​ – after 24 hr of treatment
Vomiting and Diarrhea​ – symptoms have stopped and child is able to hold down fluids and food
Head lice​ – after receiving a treatment for lice and there can be no live lice visible
Scabies​ – after medicated treatment with note from doctor
Strep throat​ -after 24 hours of treatment with note from doctor

Special Program Offerings

Information about Special Education upon Entry to School

Every parent or person in parental relation has rights regarding the referral and evaluation of their child for the purposes of special education services or programs. Parents and Guardians can refer to A Parent’s Guide to Special Education on the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) website at:

After-school Programs

Schoharie Elementary School offers a variety of after-school activities including academic assistance, intramurals, clubs, and special art and music projects. These activities are all supervised by staff members or adult volunteers. Participation in these activities require written parental permission. Bus transportation is available at 3:30 p.m. for students engaged in supervised activities. Please be aware that students are not allowed to remain after-school unsupervised.


Schoharie is proud to offer a variety of musical programs for our students. These programs are in addition to regular classroom instruction.

Choir: Our choirs perform in two concerts throughout the year, a holiday concert and a spring concert. The elementary music program includes three groups, one choir for the fourth graders and one choir for the fifth and sixth graders. The third program is an ensemble group for fourth and fifth graders, called the BlueNotes, which rehearses afterschool and travels to perform throughout the community. Also, exceptional students in the fifth and sixth grade choir may participate in the All-Star Festival.    

Band: Our instrumental music program begins in the fifth grade. Fifth and sixth graders who are interested in learning to play a musical instrument are encouraged to speak with the elementary band director  at (518) 295-6600 – Option 2. Band members will participate in the holiday concert, the spring concert, a band trip and parades on Memorial Day.

Fifth and sixth grade choir and band practices are scheduled on alternating days to provide the opportunity for students to participate in both activities if they so choose. We encourage you to speak with your child regarding the responsibility involved in learning to play an instrument and the commitment one makes when joining a band or chorus. 


Students are allowed to sign out library books and magazines for a two-week period. Most materials may be renewed if the student has not completed reading them at the end of the two-week period. Reference books are available on an overnight loan basis only. 

Kindergarten and first grade students are allowed to borrow one book at a time. Second graders through sixth graders are allowed to borrow the number of library materials (books and magazines) which corresponds with their grade level (i.e., third graders may borrow three books). Books may be exchanged every day at the teacher’s discretion.

Fines are not assessed for books returned past their due date, however, students are strongly encouraged to be responsible and renew materials they haven’t finished reading. Parents are asked to help their children keep library materials in good condition. Please keep library materials away from pets and small children who often tear or write on the pages. Your cooperation and support in protecting our library materials and returning them on time is greatly appreciated.

Our school library is pleased to have a number of digital resources, including several services that offer free access to digital or eBooks and audiobooks, online encyclopedias, and databases. All services are online with 24/7 access via the Elementary Library link off the district website. Please be aware, students with overdue school library materials may not be able to download from the sites. More information about how to access these great resources will be sent home with your child in the early fall.


KID$ (Kids Investing Dollars Saving) Program is a partnership between First New York Federal Credit Union and Schoharie Elementary School. The KID$ Program gives students the opportunity to open and maintain a savings account. Each student will learn through experience the principles of saving, how to manage money responsibly and the importance of investing money for a return (interest/dividends).

Through this program, your child will develop the habit of saving while practicing math skills and watching his/her savings grow.  Students are encouraged to compare their savings register with the quarterly statements they will receive from First New York at their homes.  For your student, this reinforces the importance of saving for the future and basic money management skills.

Accounts: Each student’s account will be established through the school and First New York FCU, with a branch located at 795 East Main Street, Cobleskill. All deposits are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government through the National Credit Union Administration, NCUA.

Account Ownership:
Established in the student’s name and a joint owner (parent or legal guardian)
Minimum deposit to open the account is $2.50.  The opening deposit will be matched by First New York FCU up to $5.00.
Minimum-in-school deposit – $0.25
Maximum-in-school deposit – $10.00
No account maintenance fees
Competitive dividend rates paid directly into the account.
Students can earn up to $20 per year when they bring their report cards in to a FNY branch. Visit for more information.

Experience has proven that young children learn thrift and responsibility faster if the money in their savings account belongs solely to them. The Schoharie School Savings Program is set up for and is the property of the student in whose name the account is held. The parent or guardian is simply designated as a joint owner.

Physical Education Requirements


All students in kindergarten through 5th grade are required to wear athletic sneakers during physical education classes. Sneakers will no longer be available in the nurse’s office for students to borrow. Safe athletic sneakers have soles with good traction and grip; this is very important. Converse, sneaker sandals, hiking boots and slip-ons are not appropriate footwear for physical education.


From November through the end of February, students will be required to take out their earrings during physical education. This is for their safety as well as that of their peers. According to state regulations, students are required to participate in physical education; choosing to sit out is not an option. Students should not get their ears pierced from November through February.

Dress for Success in Schoharie

The purpose of the student dress code is to reinforce the district’s mission to prepare all students for success in school and all post-graduate endeavors.

Student attire should reflect an atmosphere of mutual respect and not be a distraction to the learning environment.

The dress code isn’t just about how students look, it’s also about how they behave and achieve.

A common-sense overview of the dress code

What to wear

Students are expected to dress in a manner that is appropriate for school and school-related functions. Student dress should reflect the idea that school is a place of business where students are learning both academic and social skills. Dress should not be disruptive to the instructional process.

Dress code expectations are intended to promote an emotionally safe environment for all students and to avoid incidences of harassment that might occur as a result of dress that is inappropriate for a school setting.

This code is applicable in all schools, facilities and grade levels.

Clothing and accessories should not promote alcohol, tobacco or drug use or display weapons or violence. Certain classes require special footwear, such as athletic sneakers for physical education and closed-toe shoes for labs, art and tech classes. Bedroom shoes or slippers are not appropriate.  Dresses, skirts and shorts must extend to at least the mid-thigh.

All backpacks remain in lockers throughout the day.

What not to wear

  • Clothing or accessories with inappropriate graphics or language: Clothing or accessories that contain messages that are vulgar, obscene, sexually explicit, potentially disruptive, or that denigrate others because of race, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. are not allowed.
  • Safety: Items that could be considered weapons, such as heavy chains or studs are prohibited.
  • Anything revealing: No crop tops, tank tops with straps less than two inches wide, muscle shirts, tube tops or necklines where cleavage is not covered. Shirts should not be backless. Underwear must be covered at all times.
  • Hat: The wearing of hats is left to the discretion of building administrators. Hats are allowed for religious reasons and/or medical conditions (with proper documentation.
  • Accessories: Items that could be considered weapons such a s heavy chains or studs are prohibited.
  • Hoodies: Students may wear hooded sweatshirt, but the hood may not be worn indoors.
  • Revealing clothing is prohibited.
  • Athletic uniforms that are inconsistent with the school dress code should not be worn during the school day.

What happens if the dress code is violated?

Students who violate the dress code will be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item.

Building administration has final discretion about dress code.

Dress code-related illustrations  are included in the printed version of this handbook, which is available from the school office and as a print-friendly download.

The Schoharie Central School District Dress Code isn’t just about how students look. It is about how students behave and achieve.

Core beliefs

Students First: Each student is invaluable.

Continuous Improvement: Growth is a process that involved risk-taking, making mistakes and perseverance.

Exploration and Innovation: Creativity and discovery are inspired by asking questions where answers are uncertain.

Collaboration: We are smarter and stronger together.

Communication: Open exchange of ideas builds trust and confidence.

Accountability: Attaining excellence is a shared responsibility.

Fiscal Responsibility: Students are worthy of our wise investments.