Parent Resources » Handbook


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Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year at Richlands Elementary School. The administrators, teachers, and staff are excited to work with students and parents to create a team effort in helping each child be successful. We share the Tazewell County Public Schools vision that we will provide a safe learning community committed to increasing student achievement by engaging stakeholders to maximize student success. Our motto, "Rigor, Relevance, Relationships: Excellence in Education" guides us in the decisions we make.
Please take the time to read the Student Handbook in order to familiarize yourself and your child with the expectations at Richlands Elementary School. Knowing what is expected will foster a successful school year.
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The doors open at 7:30 a.m.
Breakfast is served from 7:40-8:10 a.m.
Instruction begins at 8:15 a.m.
Pickups begin at 3:10.
1st bus dismissal is at 3:10
2nd bus dismissal is at 3:12.
Children are tardy after 8:15, and must sign in at the office before going to class. Parents driving children to school must use the road behind the school and drop children at the cafeteria/ gym entrance. This is a single-lane traffic, and drivers should be extremely cautious and alert. DO NOT drop your child off in front of the building. This is a very busy time and injuries could easily occur.
Under no circumstance is a child to be allowed to exit the car at the back of the school, walk down unattended from the visitor parking on the hill, or maneuver through the front parking lot in the mornings.
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It is important for students to be in school every day. Exceptions would be illness and emergencies. The elementary curriculum is developmental and builds on repetition and reinforcement with emphases on mastery of the Standards of Learning Objectives. This will occur only if your child has good attendance. Please notify the school when your child is ill and request makeup work. Notes from parents are required after each absence. Any student arriving after 8:15 a.m. will be counted tardy and is required to sign in at the office. Please keep in mind that students may be retained when absences exceed 15 days during the school year and excessive unexcused absences will be reported to the truancy officer.
  • Absences -- All students are expected to be in regular attendance.  Students who are absent from school must submit, the day following an absence, a doctor's excuse or a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian explaining the reason for the absence.  Excuses are kept on file for the entire school year.  Students are permitted seven parent notes per semester. 
  • Excused Absences -- Students are required to complete any assignments missed due to an absence.  Teachers may assist in helping students complete missing assignments during school; however, sometimes the work will be sent home for the student to complete.  Students will have three days to complete missing assignments due to an excused absence.
  • Unexcused Absence -- It is assumed that an unexcused absence represents a deliberate attempt by the student or his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) to avoid the duty of attending school.  Students will be required to complete work or assignments missed to the unexcused absence(s).
  • Suspensions -- Absences due to a suspension are to be treated as unexcused absences.
  • Excessive Absences -- Regular school attendance is essential for maintaining satisfactory academic progress and to establish, at an early age, work habits required for successful employment.  Student attendance is monitored each week.  An administrator will send a letter of notification to the parent of a child with five unexcused absences.  The parent will be required to attend an Attendance Counseling Team (ACT) meeting with administrator(s) and teacher when a student accumulates seven unexcused absences.
  • Tardiness/Check-ins/Check-outs :  Students should be in their classrooms by 8:10 a.m.  A warning bell is rung at 8:05 a.m., and the tardy bell rings at 8:10 a.m.  Students arriving after 8:10 a.m. will need to be accompanied by a parent to the office to be given a tardy slip to enter class.  Early check-outs must occur before 2:45 p.m. to prevent disruptions during dismissal.
  • Truancy :  A child is considered truant after five (5) unsupported or unexcused absences or is not enrolled in school.  A school administrator will begin the truancy procedure beginning with a letter of notification, an ACT meeting, and then a report to the truancy officer for Tazewell County. 
  • Homebound Instruction :  In the event a student develops a medical condition which could result in prolonged absences from school, that student may be a candidate for Homebound Instruction.  Student approved for Homebound Instruction are considered present.
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Breakfast is served in the cafeteria from 7:40 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Lunches begin at 10:30 and run through 1:05. Parents are welcome to have lunch with their children after getting a visitor pass in the office.
The breakfast and lunch prices for the 2016-2017 school year are as follows:
Student Breakfast: $1.15
Student Reduced Breakfast: .30
Adult Breakfast: $1.65
Student Lunch: $2.05
Student Reduced Lunch: .40
Milk: .55
Adult Lunch: $3.35
Parents will need to apply for free and reduced lunch each school year. Please turn in the application to the main office, and it will be forwarded to food services. While waiting for approval, parents will need to pay for the student's meals.
We are excited about a new online system parents will be able to use to monitor their child's cafeteria account. Parents will be able to view account balances, make payments/deposits, and see what extras their child has been purchasing. We will be sending home information about this new program with detailed instructions once school begins.
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Tazewell County bus drivers have the responsibility of transporting student to and from school in a safe manner. Students shall not behave in a disruptive manner or otherwise violate Standards of Conduct while waiting for a school bus, while on the school bus, or after being discharged from a school bus. All students will be expected to follow safely rules and display the following conduct on the buses:
  • Students must take assigned seats without crowding or pushing and remain seated while the bus is in motion.
  • Arms, legs, and head must not extend outside the bus.
  • Food or drinks are not allowed to consumed on the bus. 
  • Loud talking and the use of profanity or indecent language are not permitted on buses.
  • Glass bottles, animals, tape players, or radios are not allowed.
  • Aisles must be kept clear of book bags, books, etc. at all times.
  • Fighting, pushing, shoving and horse play are not permitted on buses.
  • State regulations prohibit the use of tobacco products on the bus.
  • Students will comply with driver requests as drivers ensure the safety of all students on the bus.
Student misbehavior will be reported in the form of a referral from the bus driver to an administrator. The administrator will respond with a warning and parent notification for the first offense. Student misconduct will result in a suspension of bus privileges for repeated offenses or serious offenses (i.e. fighting).
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  • Each class is to enter the cafeteria at their assigned time in a quiet manner with no loud talking, pushing, shoving or disturbance to other students eating.
  • Saved seats are not allowed as it often causes much confusion and disorder.
  • Each teacher will be expected to keep his/her class behavior within acceptable limits.  Teachers are to remain with students as they go through the serving line.  Talking should be in quiet, conversational tones.
  • Lines moving from serving area and lines moving to the trash disposal area should be organized and directed so as to not overlap.
  • Trays should be emptied in an orderly fashion.  Tables and floors are to be kept clean.  All trash will be disposed of in an orderly fashion.
  • Students lining up to cafeteria should do so in a quiet an orderly fashion.
  • Each child is expected to clean up after him/herself.
  • Each class will leave the cafeteria at their assigned time.
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It is important that children be in school a full day so please try to make appointments after school hours if at all possible.
If a change in your child’s usual school routine is necessary, we must have a written note with parent’s signature. No one will be permitted to take your child from the school, or change his/her regular bus without a written note. We are unable to identify voices over the phone and we must make every effort to eliminate bogus callers. However, if an emergency arises, let us now and we will try to help where we can.
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Students who are tardy must report to the office for a “tardy slip” before they will be admitted to the classroom. Parents wishing to check their child out of school early need to go directly to the main office. Office personnel will ask you to complete the necessary information for the check out. Your child’s teacher will be notified over the classroom intercom that your child is being checked out of school early. Please wait in the office until your child arrives from the classroom. If there are repeated tardies or checkouts then parents will be asked to conference with the principal. Tardies and checkouts have a negative impact on the educational program of our school. They interrupt instruction and cause extra work for everyone.
For the safety of all students we will not check-out students after 2:45 until 3:05 so that we can ensure all students are going home to the correct locations and all phone calls are made to guardians as necessary.
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Your child will remember your contributions for a lifetime and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have played a key role in his/her future.
As a family…read for fun read for information, but most of all READ TO LEARN.
This message has been brought to you by your public school. With you as our partner, there is no better place to learn.
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Report cards are sent home at the end of each six weeks grading period for grades K-5. The grading system as approved by the Tazewell County School Board is:


A: 93-100

B: 85-92

C: 77-84

D: 70-76

E: Below 70

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Parents who wish to have their children become good readers. No previous experience necessary!
  • Spend time together reading to your child and be sure and let him/her read to you.
  • Listen to you child and ask questions about stories he/she has read.  It is important that children have a chance to tell you about what they have read.
  • Make your home a house of books.  If your child sees you reading, he/she will model you.
  • Give books as gifts for birthdays or other gift-giving occasions.  Ask your child’s teacher or the librarian for ideas on the purchase of books.
  • Provide a place for your child to keep his/her books and magazines.
  • Subscribe to children’s magazines.
  • Select books based on your child’s interest:  hobbies, sports, and crafts are some areas that may be exciting.
  • And, give praise lots of it.  It encourages your child to read more.
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Your child may have homework daily. There are several reasons for homework:
1. To provide extra practice on learned skills.
2. To provide further learning in areas covered in the classroom
3. To provide an opportunity for student to learn for students to learn good work habits.
4. To provide parents opportunities to see what the student is studying and how well he/she is progressing
GRADES K-3 – 0-2 ½ hrs. weekly
GRADES 4-5 – 2-5 hrs. weekly
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When a child becomes ill at school, he/she should tell the teacher. It is essential for an emergency telephone number to be on file in the office. When a child goes to the clinic, his/her complaint will be logged by the health/nurse assistant. If a child has a fever, vomiting, or shows other signs of illness, parents will be called. If the conditions exist before a child leaves home or the night before, it would be a good idea to keep the child home until no sign of illness is apparent. A virus or infection can spread rapidly and school is no place for a sick child.
Sometimes a child may be involved in an accident at school and sustain an injury. If the injury is serious, parents will be called immediately. If emergency transporting is necessary, parents will be asked to meet us at the emergency facility. Again, be sure we have an emergency number that is current.
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During the school year, if it is necessary to alter the school schedule because of inclement weather, parents and students will be informed by listening to the local radio station. You may also call the Tazewell County Schools inclement weather line at 276-988-8046. DO NOT call the school to obtain closing information. If dismissed early, an announcement will be made by local radio and television stations one hour in advance of dismissal time.
School may operate on the late schedule (two hours) when inclement weather occurs. Schools will begin two hours later than the normal time. The local radio/television stations will also make this announcement.
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Articles found in and around the school should be turned into the office or given to the custodian, Ms. Kisha Keen. The owner may claim his/her property by identifying it. It is helpful to write names in coats and jackets with a permanent marker. Games, toys, C.D. players, Walkman, etc. are not to be brought to school.
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All medication prescribed or over the counter must be sent to the office or the school nurse with the appropriate form filled out giving the school permission to dispense the medication. Any prescription medication requires a form to be filled out by a physician. Prescription drugs must be in the original container and labeled. Under no circumstances are children to keep medicines of any kind in their desks, book bags, pockets, etc.
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The bookstore is located in the main entrance hallway near the office. Students may purchase supplies from 7:50 – 8:10 a.m. each day.
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Our school is staffed with a full-time guidance counselor. She is here to help you. She is available to counsel students and parents in individual and group settings. She can help your child in making healthy adjustments at school and /or new situations. She specializes in providing coping skills to be used in real-life situations. These include, but are not limited to, a rigorous academic program, broken friendships, drugs and alcohol, divorce and separation, illnesses in families, unemployment, death, scheduling time effectively, bullying, and moving to a new neighborhood or new school. You may contact her at the school at 276-964-4112.
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One of the most important lessons that students should learn is discipline.  While it is not addressed as a subject, it underlies the whole educational structure.  It is this training that develops self-control, character, orderliness, and efficiency.  Discipline is the key to good conduct and proper consideration for other people.


School discipline is simply a matter of courtesy, manners, and attitudes on the part of students.  All Richlands Elementary School staff members have equal authority.  Insubordination will not be permitted.  Students are expected to do what is asked of them while under our supervision.  Our school attempts to develop the child’s potential and skills to the highest degree possible.  Certain behaviors are disruptive to this positive learning environment and will not be tolerated.  Those behaviors include:


  1. Verbal abuse of another student or staff member by cursing, calling them obscene names, or threatening harm to others.
  2. Physical abuse of another student or staff member such as fighting, kicking, hitting, or throwing objects.
  3. Disrupting class so that learning is difficult for other students.
  4. Stealing or destroying the property of others or staff members.


When the above behaviors are observed, the incident is to be reported to the principal or assistant principal.  A conference will be held between the student and administrator to discuss the consequences of the inappropriate behaviors.  Parents of the student involved will be notified of the incident.  Good communication between the parent and teacher eliminates most undesirable behaviors.  It is the responsibility of the teacher to keep parents informed about their children.  In most cases, parent intervention will improve behavior.


Children are instructed and encouraged to report concerns about aggression to an adult, so that intervention can occur before children feel a need to fight.  Please help us by reporting any concerns you, as parents, may have, and encourage your child to do the same.

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In addition to regular classroom experiences, Richlands Elementary School students will have available the following special services:
Speech Therapy
Remedial Reading Classes
Remedial Math Classes
Learning Disability Resource Classes
Physical Education Classes
Library Classes
DARE – Drug Assistance Resistance Education
School Nurse
Gifted Education
After School SOL Tutoring
Guidance counseling/ character
Reading Bee
Spelling Bee
Geography Bee
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Parents and other visitors are welcome to visit the school. However, we request that all parents, volunteers and visitors be identified with an appropriate identification tag. Upon entering the school, we ask that you go directly to the main office to sign in. You will receive the appropriate identification tag. You are asked to return the tag as you leave the school building. After 8:20 a.m. all doors in the building will be locked except at the main office. ALL visitors are to report to the office before visiting anyone in the building! This is state law!
If a conference is desired, teachers should be contacted ahead of time to schedule a mutually convenient time. This may be during the teacher’s planning time, before school, or after school. Visitors will not be allowed to interrupt instructional time except for emergencies. This takes away valuable learning time from your child and the other students as well. Let us know what your conferencing needs are, and we will plan our time to accommodate you. Most problems can be completely eliminated with parents and teachers working together and communicating concerns effectively.