Inside Topeka 2008-2009 Handbook


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Inside Topeka 2008-2009 Handbook

  1. 1. Topeka 2008-2009 Handbook<br />Topeka Drive Elementary School <br />9815 Topeka Drive<br />Northridge, CA 91324<br />Mrs. Chiae Byun-Kitayama, Principal<br />Telephone: 818-886-2266<br />Fax: 818-885-7682<br />This handbook is a general guide to help families familiarize themselves with most of the policies, procedures, and programs offered at Topeka Drive Elementary School. Please take time to review this information, and keep it on hand as a reference for the entire school year. If you need additional information on any topic or policy in the handbook, the office staff can assist you by direction you to the proper resource.<br />TABLE OF CONTENTS____________________________________<br />Part 1 – About Topeka Drive Elementary School<br />School Philosophy<br />School Mission and Goal Statement<br />Topeka’s Goals <br />General Campus Information <br />Faculty and Staff <br />Instructors <br />Aides and Assistants <br />Special Education Assistants <br />Bell and Time Schedule <br />Drop-Off and Pick-Up of Students <br /> Driving Your Student to School and Using Drop-Off and Pick-Up Zones <br /> Driving To School and Walking To Campus and Pedestrian Safety <br />Bicycle Safety <br />Traffic Safety Guidelines <br />Breakfast and Lunch <br />Lost and Found <br />Minimum Days and Banked Days <br />Pay Phone <br />Special Needs Students <br />Student Behavior<br /> <br />TABLE OF CONTENTS (cont.)<br />Part 2-Your Student’s Education<br />Attendance <br />Curriculum <br />Homework <br />Testing <br />Report Cards <br />Student Resources <br />School Supplies <br />Schools For Advanced Studies (SAS) <br />Art Docent Program <br />Arts Prototype Program <br />Field Trips <br />Instrumental Music Program <br />Physical Education <br />Dual Language <br />CHARACTER COUNTS! <br />Part 3-Student Services and Events <br />After School Playground <br />Kidcare After School Program <br />Counseling/Guidance Services <br />School Nurse <br />Teacher’s Aides <br />Library/Media Center <br />Computer Lab <br />Events and Programs at Topeka <br />Part 4-Communicating With Topeka<br />Conferences <br />Contacting Your Student’s Teacher <br />General School Information <br />Emergencies <br />Family Emergencies <br />Telephone Calls <br />Topeka’s Website <br />PTO Manager <br />LAUSD Website <br />Part 5-Getting Involved At Topeka<br />Parent Teacher Association (PTA) <br /> Art Docent Program <br />TABLE OF CONTENTS (cont.)<br /> <br /> Green Team <br /> PTA Reflections Program <br /> Room Representatives <br />Topeka Tomorrow <br />Volunteering at Topeka <br />Part 6-Topeka Drive Elementary School Policies<br />Absences, Truancies, and Tardiest <br />Bus Riders <br />Cell Phones and Pagers <br />Dress Code/Good Grooming <br />Loitering/Truancy Ordinance <br />School Visitors <br />Topeka Drive School Discipline Program <br /> Philosophy <br /> Playground Rules <br /> Playground Consequences <br />Positive Rewards <br />Personal Improvement Program (PIP)/a.k.a. “Detention” <br />General rules <br />Part 7-LAUSD Information and Policies<br />Part 8-Frequently Asked Questions <br />Part 9-Important Phone Numbers <br />ACKNOWLEDGMENTS<br />This handbook comes to you from Topeka Tomorrow, a Topeka PTA committee dedicated to raising funds for enrichment programs at Topeka such as physical education, computer lab, music and art. Many parents and volunteers have contributed to this effort, but we owe special thanks to:<br /><ul><li>Mrs. Chiae Byun-Kitayama and Jo Grofsky for their contributions to this handbook and their overall support.
  2. 2. Sarona Vivanco for initially compiling and writing the first handbook, which this handbook has been derived from.
  3. 3. We would also like to thank our Topeka Tomorrow 2008-2009 Corporate Sponsors.
  4. 4. Please check out their ads in our book and take your business to them when you can – let’s all thank them for supporting our school!
  5. 5. 2008-2009 CALENDAR
  6. 6. Classes BeginWednesday, September 3, 2008
  7. 7. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, September 9, 2008
  8. 8. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, September 16, 2008
  9. 9. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, September 23, 2008
  10. 10. Unassigned Day – school is closedTuesday, September 30, 2008
  11. 11. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, October 7, 2008
  12. 12. Unassigned Day – school is closedThursday, October 9, 2008
  13. 13. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, October 14, 2008
  14. 14. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, October 21, 2008
  15. 15. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, October 28, 2008
  16. 16. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, November 4, 2008
  17. 17. Veteran’s Day (Legal Holiday)Tuesday, November 11, 2008
  18. 18. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, November 18, 2008
  19. 19. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, November 25, 2008
  20. 20. Thanksgiving Holiday (Legal Holiday)Thursday, November 27, 2008
  21. 21. School HolidayFriday, November 28, 2008
  22. 22. Minimum Day – school ends at12:33 p.m.Monday, December 1, 2008
  23. 23. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, December 2, 2008
  24. 24. Minimum Day – school ends at 12:33 p.m.Wednesday, December 3, 2008
  25. 25. Minimum Day – school ends at 12:33 p.m.Thursday, December 4, 2008
  26. 26. Minimum Day – school ends at 12:33 p.m.Friday, December 5, 2008
  27. 27. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, December 9, 2008
  28. 28. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, December 16, 2008
  29. 29. Minimum Day – school ends at 12:33 p.m.Friday, December 19, 2008
  30. 30. Winter RecessDecember 22, 2008 to January 9, 2009
  31. 31. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, January 13, 2009
  32. 32. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Legal Holiday)Monday, January 19, 2009
  33. 33. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, January 20, 2009
  34. 34. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, January 27, 2009
  35. 35. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, February 3, 2009
  36. 36. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  37. 37. President’s Day (Holiday)Monday, February 16, 2009
  38. 38. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, February 17, 2009
  39. 39. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, February 24, 2009
  40. 40. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  41. 41. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, March 10, 2009
  42. 42. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, March 17, 2008
  43. 43. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, March 24, 2009
  44. 44. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, March 31, 2008
  45. 45. Spring RecessApril 6 through April 10, 2009
  46. 46. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, April 14, 2009
  47. 47. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, April 21, 2009
  48. 48. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, April 28, 2009
  49. 49. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  50. 50. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, May 12, 2009
  51. 51. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, May 19, 2009
  52. 52. Memorial Day (Legal Holiday) Monday, May 25, 2009
  53. 53. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, May 26, 2009
  54. 54. Minimum Day – school ends at 12:33 p.m.Thursday, May 28, 2009
  55. 55. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, June 2, 2009
  56. 56. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, June 9, 2009
  57. 57. Banked Day – school ends at 1:28 p.m.Tuesday, June 16, 2009
  58. 58. Minimum Day – school ends at 12:33 p.m.Friday, June 19, 2009
  59. 59. Last Day of InstructionFriday, June 19, 2009
  61. 61. Dear Parents,</li></ul>I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to you as we look forward to the <br />upcoming 2008-2009 school year at Topeka Drive Elementary School. The staff at Topeka has been busy preparing for an exciting and rewarding school year for our students. We are looking forward to assisting you with your child’s educational plans and activities through the coming year and working together to provide the best educational program. I look forward to working with students and parents through the school year.<br />At Topeka Drive Elementary School, we strive to create a nurturing educational environment that encourages the best academic performance for each student. Our priority is to prepare our students for a lifetime of learning so that they may become productive members of our community.<br />Please look over your Inside Topeka handbook carefully. This handbook has been designed to serve as a resource guide for Topeka families. Parents and students are encouraged to read and discuss the Inside Topeka handbook together as it provides an understanding of both the school and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) policies.<br />On behalf of all the faculty and staff at Topeka Drive Elementary School, I wish you a rewarding 2008-2009 school years!<br />Chiae Byun-Kitayama<br />Principal <br />PART I – ABOUT TOPEKA DRIVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL<br />Topeka Drive Elementary School is located in Northridge and serves approximately 550-580 elementary school students from Kindergarten through the Fifth Grade. Topeka is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and is part of District 1. Topeka Drive was built in 1963 and first opened its doors to students in 1964.<br />The entire Topeka community, parents, teachers, students, and staff, is dedicated to a high quality learning experience for each student. One of the hallmarks of our wonderful school is the level of parent involvement. We are proud of our school and of the accomplishments of our students. Topeka Drive students consistently excel on state and district tests.<br />Topeka Drive is one of the High Performing Schools in LAUSD’s Local District 1. Topeka is a School for Advanced Studies which provides differentiated curriculum for students who are identified as gifted in grades 3 through 5. Topeka also offers a Dual Language Program in Korean in English. In 2004, Topeka was granted status as an LAUSD Elementary Arts Prototype School. The program is designed to increase arts education for selected classrooms in all grades, allowing students to experience various forms of art, including drama, dance, and visual arts.<br />Topeka Drive Elementary School follows a traditional school year calendar with all students on the same schedule, including Kindergarten. The school office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout the school year. During breaks, the school office is closed.<br />SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY_______________________________________________________<br />Positive behavior is both stressed and reinforced at Topeka Drive Elementary School. We believe in catching students in the act of being good, and encourage such behavior through positive reinforcement. Six times per year, school wide assemblies are held, and students showing exemplary behavior are recognized and honored. Students are able to earn certificates and awards from their teachers for outstanding citizenship both in the classroom and on the playground. Students can also earn a visit to the principal’s office to gain positive recognition and a special treat.<br />The philosophy behind our plan is that teachers must work in an environment conducive to teaching. No child has the right to disrupt their environment n such a way that learning cannot take place. Additionally, each child has the right to know in advance what is expected of him or her and what the consequences will be for not living up to these expectations.<br />SCHOOL MISSION AND GOAL STATEMENT___________________________________<br />The mission of Topeka Elementary is to prepare all students to be productive citizens within the large community. Students will grow academically and personally, thus enabling them to live and work more productively and harmoniously with the political, social, and economic institutions of our society in the next century.<br />TOPEKA’S GOALS____________________________________________________________<br />To ensure that all educational programs are based on high and challenging standards accompanied by a process for monitoring and determining effectiveness.<br />To ensure that all students are provided an integrated and coordinated program, basing needs on educationally sound and legally acceptable practices.<br />To ensure that all students have equitable access and opportunity to participate in and benefit from high quality curricular and extracurricular activities.<br />To ensure that parents and community members including business, industry, and labor have the opportunity to assist and support the educational process.<br />To ensure that all students develop life skills that will lead to success in the home, at work, and in the community.<br />To ensure that all students participate in a climate with opportunities that is conducive to the development of self-esteem and interpersonal skills.<br />To ensure that all students develop an appreciation and respect of cultural similarities and differences.<br />To ensure that all students experience an educational climate that allows them access to post-secondary educational opportunities, and to encourage students to make appropriate choices in preparing for a productive and satisfying career.<br />To provide a safe and positive learning environment with maximum time on task where both school and community cooperate in the educational process.<br />GENERAL CAMPUS INFORMATION___________________________________________<br />The Topeka Drive Elementary School campus is open from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on school days.<br />Topeka’s mascot is the Topeka Tiger, and the school colors are gold and blue. You may notice that a number of faculty and staff wear Topeka Drive clothing on Fridays, School Spirit Days. Students are encouraged to show their pride for Topeka by wearing Topeka Drive Elementary School shirts and sweatshirts. These items are for sale periodically during the year. Watch the “Tiger Tidbits” Newsletter for details.<br />FACULTY AND STAFF<br />ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF<br />NameTitlee-mail address<br />Chiae<br />Jo GrofskyAssistant Principal,<br />Cheryl PrattOffice Manager<br />Linda MartinezOffice Assistant<br />Sue SmithOffice Assistant<br />Sharon MoranLibrary Assistant<br />Beatrice BowmaniNurse<br />Paula HazardPsychologist<br />Sandy Silvers Speech<br />Elise ZimmermanAdapted P.E. Orientation and Mobility<br />Sandra CollerOrientation and Mobility<br />Bryan Klinestecker Orientation and Mobility<br />Isabela KlineOrientation and Mobility<br />Linda MouradianInstrumental Music<br />Hava AllounO.T.<br />Randy KahnDHH<br />Sandra Baik Bilingual Coordinator<br />Mabel RamosKidcare Supervisor<br />Maricela AlcarazKidcare<br />David BryanPlayground Director<br />TBAPlayground Worker<br />Manuel EncinasPlant Manager<br />Ronnie PlatonBuilding and Grounds Worker<br />Javier BarajasBuilding and Grounds Worker<br />Shobna GandhiCafeteria Manager<br />Shabia AhmedCafeteria Helper<br />Emelita De JesusBraillest<br />INSTRUCTORS<br />InstructorRoomGrade<br />Jana DeLaCerraRoom 18Kindergarten<br />Erin GallangerRoom 17Kindergarten<br />Cheryl TrejoRoom 1Kindergarten<br />Kay ParkRoom 2Kindergarten/Dual Language<br />INSTRUCTORS (cont.)<br />Wendy MijangosRoom 19Kindergarten<br />Marie BradleyRoom 71st Grade<br />Laura HinesonRoom 51st Grade<br />Susan StulbergerRoom 41st Grade<br />Christina WeeRoom 31st Grade/Dual Language<br />Jodie AlzateRoom 132nd / 3rd Grade<br />Kendy WaltherRoom 132nd / 3rd Grade<br />Carolyn LusenRoom 112nd Grade<br />Sylvia MiyashiroRoom 242nd Grade<br />Deborah RohsslerRoom 122nd Grade<br />Sandra BaikRoom 142nd Grade/Dual Language<br />Keith BillingtonRoom 253rd Grade<br />Helene DutraRoom 233rd Grade<br />George HeskettRoom 153rd Grade<br />John KimRoom 163rd Grade<br />Tova FeldingRoom 274th Grade<br />Jill SilverRoom 284th Grade<br />Jennifer LeeRoom 264th Grade<br />David AparicioRoom 315th Grade<br />Robert ScheurnRoom 335th Grade<br />Patricia WillmoreRoom 325th Grade<br />Linda OstrinRoom 22RSP<br />Gloria BosmanRoom 6VI-Pre-K<br />Janie CarpenterRoom 30VI-Primary<br />Karen BerryRoom 29VI-Upper<br />AIDES AND ASSISTANTS<br />NameTitle<br />Cheree FinebergTeaching Assistant<br />Camille ReyesTeaching Assistant<br />Eunice WooTeaching Assistant<br />Lakisha HolmesTeaching Assistant<br />Aileen AltamiraTeaching Assistant<br />Mahshid KassariTeaching Assistant<br />Lee Ann AllenPlayground/Lunch Aide<br />Charlene HanReasonable Accommodations Aide<br />Jessica EncinasAPEIS<br />SPECIAL EDUCATION ASSISTANTS<br />Monica MoormanRyan Perkins<br />Joan HarmellLjubica Corns<br />Ismelda AguirreMary Ann Cummins<br />BELL AND TIME SCHEDULE<br />The official school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and extends to 2:28 p.m. Students should not arrive at school before 7:30 a.m.<br />Bell Schedule<br />7:30 a.m.Playground opens, Cafeteria opens for breakfast<br />7:55 a.m.Students line up on playground<br />8:00 a.m.School begins, all perimeter gates are locked<br />10:10 a.m.*Recess<br />10:25 a.m.Warning Bell<br />10:30 a.m.Recess ends<br />12:00 p.m.*Lunch for grades 3, 4, and 5<br />12:15 p.m.Lunch for Kindergarten, grades 1 and 2<br />12:40 p.m. Warning bell for grades 3, 4, and 5<br />12:45 p.m. Lunch ends for grades 3, 4, and 5<br />12:55 p.m.Warning bell for Kindergarten, grades 1 and 2<br />1:00 p.m.Lunch ends for Kindergarten, grades 1 and 2<br />2:28 p.m.Dismissal<br />*No bells ring at this time.<br />MINIMUM DAYS:BANKED DAYS (TUESDAYS)<br />Grades K-5 8:00 a.m. – 12:33 p.m.Grades K-5 8:00 a.m. – 1:28 p.m.<br />BELL CODES:EMERGENCIES:<br />One Bell PrincipalFire Drill – Short bell rings intermittently for<br />Two Bells Plant Manager/10 seconds then for 5 seconds (pattern repeated)<br /> CustodiansTake Cover – Long bell, short bell <br />(pattern repeated)<br />RAINY DAYS:________________________________________________________________<br />Eat In/Play In – One long bell,Eat In/Play Out – Three long bells,<br />5 minutes before recess or lunch5 minutes before recess or lunch<br />Gates will be locked after the 8:00 a.m. bell, except for the main entrance. It is extremely important that all visitors check in at the office when entering the school. Visitors will receive a Visitor’s Pass when on campus. Please see Part VI for more information on school visitation.<br />DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP OF STUDENTS_______________________________________<br />Dropping off and picking up students immediately before and after school is a congested and hectic time period. Your cooperation with Topeka’s drop-off and pick-up guidelines helps make drop-off and pick-up run safely and smoothly. The main goal of these guidelines, and of the volunteers who enforce them, is to avoid accidents and injuries. Some rules may be inconvenient, but they help avoid dangerous situations. Remember that rules apply to everyone.<br />Driving Your Student to School and Using Drop-Off and Pick-Up Zones<br />There are three drop-off and pick-zones at Topeka. You may use these zones ONLY if you plan on letting your child in or out of your care and driving away. NO PARKING IS ALLOWED IN THE DROP-OFF/PICK-UP ZONES. Each zone corresponds with a gate. The zone and gate that you should use depends upon your child’s grade. Gate assignments are as follows:<br />For Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grade students, use Gate A, the Labrador Street Gate.<br />For 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade students, use Gate C, the Superior Street Gate.<br />For Special Day Class/Special Needs Students and Visually Impaired Students, use Gabe B, the Topeka Drive Gate/School entrance.<br />Please refer to the map of Topeka on Page 11 of this handbook to review your gate assignment.<br />When using the drop-off/pick-up zones, remember that there is no parking in the zones at any time. Do not leave vehicles unattended in these zones to deliver a child to their classroom; remain in your vehicle. Traffic Volunteers may be available to assist in drop-off and pick-up zones by helping children in and out of vehicles, keeping the lines moving, and making sure everyone remembers to use safe practices.<br />Please be considerate of our neighbors and do not use your horns unless it is absolutely necessary. Be sure to observe parking signs and no stopping rules at all zones. If you are assigned to the Superior Gate, wait in front of or behind the red zones, not in the red zones. The zone is designated red so that people may cross superior safely. Do not pull in front of other drivers who are observing the red zone while they are waiting behind the stop sign.<br />If you have both upper and lower grade children to drop off and pick up, or if you drive a carpool of combined grade levels, you are encouraged to use the Superior Street Gate. This area is less congested than areas at the other gates.<br />Students may also be dropped off on Topeka Drive past the driveway, south of the school entrance. If you pick up in this area, children must wait inside the school and watch for you to arrive.<br />In the case of rain, Gate C students may use Gate A. If it is raining, be sure to allow extra time in the morning, and consider picking up at a slightly later time in the afternoon to help alleviate congestion around the school.<br />Driving to School, Walking to Campus and Pedestrian Safety<br />If you wish to park your car and walk to campus to drop off or pick up your student, there is ample parking on the side streets that surround the school, such as Donna Avenue. The north side of Labrador Street, the south side of Superior Street and the east side of Topeka Drive also has available parking. <br />Do not use the staff parking lot at any time.<br />If your student wishes to walk to campus, please discuss with them the safest way to get to school, and encourage them to use that route. When crossing the street to get to campus, cross at the street corners only. There is considerable traffic around Topeka each morning and afternoon, so be aware of your surroundings. Please set a good example for all of the children and cross streets only at the street corners.<br />Please discuss with your student the safest way to and from school, and be sure to teach them the safest way to cross the street to get to school. Three of the most obvious hazards are actually created by some parents of Topeka students. These hazards are:<br /><ul><li>double parking;
  62. 62. parking across the street and calling for children to run across;
  63. 63. dropping off or picking up students either in the parking lot or by the large trash bins south of the school entrance.</li></ul>Please note that per Fire Department regulations, there is no stopping along the west side of Topeka Drive beginning at the corner of Labrador Street before 5:00 p.m. on school days.<br />Please adhere to all laws regarding the use of seat belts and car seats. Everyone riding in a vehicle must use seat belts at all times. Some Topeka students are still required to ride in a car seat per California State Law.<br />BICYCLE SAFETY____________________________________________________________<br />Neighborhood students in grades 4 and 5 may ride their bicycles to school provided that:<br /><ul><li>Both the parent and the student have signed a bicycle registration card which is on fine in the school office;
  64. 64. The bicycle has a current City of Los Angeles Bicycle License;
  65. 65. The student wears a bicycle helmet whenever riding the bicycle;
  66. 66. The bicycle is in good condition and has a lock; and
  67. 67. All rules are observed.</li></ul>It is the law – children ages 17 and under must wear a bicycle helmet whenever riding a bicycle. Wearing a bicycle helmet has been proven to prevent up to 85% of bicycle-related head injuries to children. Make sure your child’s helmet is fitted properly on their head for maximum protection.<br />Non-adherence to the rules will result in suspended privileges.<br />TRAFFIC SAFETY GUIDELINES_______________________________________________<br /><ul><li>No parking is allowed in any drop-off/pick-up zone.
  68. 68. When using the drop-off/pick-up zone, remain in your vehicle. Do not leave vehicles unattended in these zones to quickly deliver a child to their classroom.
  69. 69. Per Fire Department rules, there is no stopping on Topeka Drive starting at the corner of Labrador Street before 5:00 p.m. on school days.
  70. 70. Double parking is prohibited at all times. Do not pull up next to a parked vehicle in order to have a child get out of your car.
  71. 71. Do not block school buses at any time.
  72. 72. Stop when you see school buses with red lights flashing, and proceed only when they are turned off.
  73. 73. U-turns are prohibited on Topeka Drive, Labrador Street, Donna Avenue, and Superior Street, as are 3-point turns in driveways.
  74. 74. The Staff Parking Lot is for the use of staff only.
  75. 75. Never let a child out of a car and onto the street. Please have children exit vehicles on curb side only.
  76. 76. Watch your speed.
  77. 77. Observe all seatbelt can child car seat laws.
  78. 78. Observe all street signs.</li></ul>The faculty and staff of Topeka do their best to respect the surrounding neighbors, but parental assistance in this endeavor is mandatory. Do not block any neighbor’s driveway or park in their driveway under any circumstance. We are good neighbors!<br />Parents, please set a good example for all of the children, not just yours. It is important to be on time to school, but safety always comes first!<br />BREAKFAST AND LUNCH_____________________________________________________<br />Breakfasts and lunches are available for purchase every school day. Breakfast is served between 7:30 a.m. and 7:55 a.m. Breakfast costs 60 cents, and lunch costs $1.00. You may pay for breakfast or lunch with cash or with meal tickets. For your convenience, weekly or monthly meal tickets may be purchased in advance at the cafeteria. Please note that only cash is accepted for the purchase of meal tickets. Each month, a breakfast and lunch calendar will be sent home with your student to assist you in making your meal selections. Students who bring their own lunch may purchase milk or orange juice at lunch time. Milk costs 35 cents and orange juice costs 30 cents.<br />Free and reduced cost meals are available to eligible families through the approved application procedures. Children need healthy meals to learn. The Los Angeles Unified School District urges eligible families to apply for the National School Lunch Program, which provides free and reduced price meals to our students on school days. This program is paid for using your federal tax dollars, and was created in order to encourage healthy eating for school age children. Please go to the school office to obtain information and an application for free or reduced cost meals. Completed applications should be returned as soon an possible to the cafeteria or mailed to the LAUSD Food Services Division at 333 S. Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90017. If you have any questions on this program, please call (800)300-3663 or (213)241-3185.<br />The lunch-time schedule for students is conducted in two sessions. The lunch period for upper grade students (3rd, 4th, and 5th grades) is from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. The lunch period for primary students (Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades) is from 12:15 to 1:00 p.m. Each class has its own assigned lunch tables, and students must keep their lunch areas clean by picking up their own trash. All Kindergarten students eat and play in the Kindergarten Playground area. The fifth grade students have the privilege of eating lunch on the steps near the office. They must keep that area free of trash in order to continue to have that privilege.<br />Lunch time aides are assigned specific areas to supervise while students are eating and while they are engaged in sports activities on the playground. In addition to the lunch time aides, the Special Education Assistants also supervise their students on the playground.<br />During lunch and recess play periods, students are assigned a play area according to their classroom schedule. The Topeka playground has a sports field, jungle gym, a reading garden and areas for playing basketball, kickball, tetherball, four-square, circle game, hopscotch, and jump rope.<br />Students must conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the rules and regulations of the school and playground. Upper grade students serve as play leaders for the primary classes. Students are encouraged to play in their classroom assigned areas; however, they may socialize with their friends at the lunch benches with adult supervision.<br />RECESS______________________________________________________________________<br />Classes go outside daily for recess, weather permitting. Recess is from 10:10 to 10:30 a.m. for all grades. Please make sure your student is appropriately dressed for the weather before coming to school. If your child is recovering from illness or physical injury and should stay in during recess, please write a note to the teacher. If your child needs to stay in from recess for more than 3 consecutive days, you will need to provide a doctor’s note.<br />RECESS (cont.)<br />Milk and orange juice or snack is available for purchase during recess each day. Milk costs 35 cents and orange juice costs 30 cents. Students may also purchase breakfast at recess time. Please read the section on Breakfast and Lunch for additional information on food sales. Students are encourages to eat at table that have been assigned to their class and keep their areas clean. Students may play at assigned play areas while the Teacher’s aides provide recess supervision.<br />LOST AND FOUND____________________________________________________________<br />Throughout the school year, many backpacks, lunchboxes, jackets, and other items are left at school. The Lost and Found is located in a cart next to the west entrance to the school auditorium. If your student is missing an item that they brought to school, have them check the Lost and Found. Please make every effort to clearly mark you student’s name on all belongings that o to school, including clothing, lunch boxes, book bags, and personal supplies.<br />MINIMUM DAYS AND BANKED DAYS__________________________________________<br />Throughout the school year, some days will be designated as Minimum Days or Banked Days. In recognition of the importance of professional development for teachers and administrators, the Los Angeles Unified School District has adopted a Professional Development Banked Time Policy. In order to implement the policy, the following will occur:<br /><ul><li> Topeka Drive students will attend school for an additional nine (9) minutes every day of the year, beginning on the first day of school
  79. 79. Topeka drive students will be dismissed one hour (60 minutes) early on Tuesdays to provide time for teachers to participate in on-going professional development sessions, beginning on September 9, 2008, and extending through June 16, 2009.</li></ul>A list of all Banked Tuesdays is included in the school calendar at the beginning of this handbook.<br />All Kindergarten students must go home directly after dismissal. There is no supervision at school for Kindergarten students after dismissal.<br />Banked Days are from 8:00 a.m. to 1:28 p.m. Minimum Days are from 8:00 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. This schedule applies to all students from Kindergarten through 5th Grade.<br />PAY PHONE__________________________________________________________________<br />Students may use the pay phone in the corner of the school office for personal calls. Students may only use this phone after school.<br />SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS___________________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive has a variety of programs for students with special needs. The resource Specialist Program works with students identified through the Individual Education Program (IEP) process as having a Specific Learning Disability. Services are given both within the general education classroom and in a pull-out setting in the Resource Room.<br />The Visually Impaired (VI) Program works with students who are blind or partially sighted and are included in the general education classrooms. The VI teachers provide help to the general education teachers through enlarged print materials, and /or Braille materials for the VI students. The VI teachers also provide instruction to the students in the general education classroom, or in a pull-out at the VI classroom.<br />There are two Special Day Program classes on campus. The SDP?MRS class is for students with mental retardation. The SDP/Autism classroom has students with the diagnosis of Autism. Students from these classes are taught according to their IEP, and are mainstreamed into general education when appropriate. There are also Designated Instruction and Services itinerant teachers who serve IEP students in Speech and Language, Adapted P.E., Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Orientation and Mobility, and Occupational Therapy.<br />STUDENT BEHAVIOR_________________________________________________________<br />Our belief is that school must be a safe, orderly place for children to learn best and students are expected to behave appropriately. Teachers will contact parents and guardians as needed to discuss behavior issues. If necessary, the Principal will call parents regarding their student’s behavior. Staff will show respect for students, and students are expected to show respect to the staff and to each other. Please refer to the Topeka Drive School Discipline Program that appears In Part VI of this handbook.<br />PART 2 – YOUR STUDENT’S EDUCATION<br />Everyone at Topeka Drive Elementary School strives to provide the best possible learning environment for the students. The education of each child is the first priority at Topeka, and we are proud to offer a variety of programs designed to offer a well-rounded education.<br />ATTENDANCE_______________________________________________________________<br />Successful work in school depends on regular attendance. Punctual and regular attendance is extremely important for learning. Improving student attendance is a top priority for all LAUSD schools. The district set a goal of a 2% increase in student attendance. Please see Part VII of this handbook for more information on the LAUSD’s policies regarding attendance.<br />CURRICULUM_______________________________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive follows the State of California Standards Based Curriculum as its instructional model. As of the 2008-2009 school year, Topeka will be in the sixth year of implementation of the Open Court Reading Program. Topeka also uses the Harcourt Mathematics series.<br />HOMEWORK_________________________________________________________________<br />Homework is an important extension of instruction in our school program. Your student should have homework every night. Monday through Thursday, with the exception of weekends and holidays. However, assignments will vary from classroom to classroom, and may be different for individuals in the same class. Check your student’s backpack or assignment book to verify the homework that has been assigned. Please see Section VII for the District’s homework policy.<br />TESTING_____________________________________________________________________<br />Topeka students, along with public school students throughout California, participate in the state’s Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. This testing program has four components:<br /><ul><li>The California Standards Test (CST) is for grades 2 – 11.
  80. 80. The California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6) is for grades 3 and 7.
  81. 81. The Spanish Assessment of Basic Education (SABE/2) is administered to Spanish speaking English Learners in grades 2 through 11 who have been enrolled in California public schools less than 12 months.
  82. 82. California Alternative Performance Assessment (CAPA) is administered to students in grades 2 through 11 who have severe cognitive learning disabilities, are being instructed in an alternative curriculum and who cannot participate in the tests listed above even with accommodations or modification.</li></ul>The bulk of STAR Testing is conducted in May of each school year. A report of your student’s STAR tests will be sent to your home after they arrive in the District. If your students take the SABE/2, results for that test will be on a separate report.<br />Your student’s STAR results will provide you with valuable information regarding their academic progress. Individual student results are merged to prepare grade level reports for each school, district, county and state. The results are also used to calculate the Academic Performance Index (API) and federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for each school<br />TESTING (cont.)<br />The administration at Topeka Drive encourages all parents and guardians to have their students tested. Test results provide parents and the school with valuable information about students. Parents and guardians may request that their student not be tested with any of the STAR Program tests or on any specific content area. If you do not want your student tested, submit a written request to the school office prior to the testing. Again, the bulk of the STAR Testing is conducted in May of each school year. Information about testing will be sent home with your student prior to the testing period.<br />The LAUSD requires ongoing assessment through the Open Court Reading Assessments and the Math Quarterly Assessments. The students in grades 4 and 5 participate in the state mandated Science assessments, given three times during the year.<br />REPORT CARDS______________________________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive issues report cards three times per year, with the first reporting period including a parent conferencing component in addition to the report card. Topeka follows LAUSD guidelines for grading student performance in academic achievement and in effort.<br />STUDENT RESOURCES_______________________________________________________<br />During the school year, a homework club and after school Extended Learning Program may be offered if sufficient funding from the District becomes available. Students who need extra help may be given the option of the After School Extended Learning Program. The Student Success Team also helps students who are in need of accommodations or remediation in the general education classroom.<br />SCHOOLS FOR ADVANCED STUDIES (SAS)____________________________________________<br />The Schools for Advanced Studies are programs designed throughout the District that have been implemented to improve educational options and increase professional training to support the development of gifted and talented youth. The SAS Program offers an intensive academic articulated program for students in Grades 3-5, in which both innovative and traditional courses are taught. The course content is modified to match the students’ achievement level or capacity for learning. SAS receives funding from the District in the form of a block grant. SAS teachers and administrators are required to participate in professional development training. For availability of space or a description of the SAS program, please call the school office and ask to speak to the coordinator of the SAS program.<br />ART DOCENT PROGRAM_____________________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive’s Art Docent Program is a parent run art program. The mission of the program is to enhance students’ lives by exposing them to great works of art, and to encourage student’s creative self-expression through art. The Art Docent Program typically starts in the spring and runs for 10 weeks. The program utilizes parent volunteers to bring art lessons to the students. This instructional art program is one part art history lesson, and one part hands on creative art making and techniques. Many famous artists and their works are covered throughout the program. To become involved in this program, look for an informational flyer that will come home with your student.<br />ARTS PROTOTYPE PROGRAM________________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive Elementary is and LAUSD Elementary Arts Prototype School. The program is designed to increase arts education at selected schools. Classes may receive instruction in dance, theater, and visual arts from LAUSD-designated instructors. Assemblies and programs for the whole school have also been offered. Arts Prototype Schools also receive funding to support professional development in the arts and the purchase of arts instructional materials.<br />The Arts Prototype program is divided into stages, with each stage offering participation to a greater number of classes at the school. The program builds professional development for teachers into the curriculum, allowing those trained last year to continue offering arts instruction this year. This component helps to spread the arts curriculum to all classes that have not yet participated. The Arts Prototype Program is not a complete long-term solution to Topeka’s enrichment needs, but, is a framework upon which future arts offerings can be built.<br />FIELD TRIPS_________________________________________________________________<br />Field Trips, when classrooms are taken to LAUSD-approved sites for additional educational opportunities, may occur during the year. Field Trips are funded by the individual classrooms as well as the PTA’s fundraising efforts. Permission to attend Field Trips must be granted by the parent or guardian in order for the student to participate, and may only be granted by the parent or guardian completing and signing a Trip Slip. Trip Slips must be returned to the teacher in advance of the Field Trip.<br />INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PROGRAM___________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive has the distinction of being one of approximately 50 LAUSD elementary schools hat participate in the instrumental music program. The program is designed for students in grades 3 through 5. Students can begin instrumental music in grades 3 and 4, and go on to participate in the advanced orchestra after 1 year of experience.<br />Beginning instrument classes are offered in violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. Students wishing to participate in the instrumental music program are recommended by the classroom teacher. Instrumental music students must be responsible, must maintain academic levels, must be good citizens, and most importantly, must commit to a full year of instruction.<br />Instrumental music meets once a week on Thursdays. Beginning classes meet individually for 45 minutes, and the advanced orchestra meets for 1 hour. The entire instrumental music class, including both beginners and advanced, performs at the annual Spring Concert in June. The advanced orchestra performs at Open House and at the 5th Grade Culmination. Advanced orchestra participants are eligible to participate in the annual LAUSD “Accent on Performance” honor festival. An orchestra of 100 members is selected from students throughout the District. Participation is based on teacher recommendation and an audition. Topeka Drive was represented in the 2008 festival by 7 students!<br />LAUSD offers extraordinary arts education to our students, and the instrumental music program at Topeka Drive is thriving. The music program enrollment in the 2007-2008 school year was approximately 100 instrumental music students.<br />PSYCHO-MOTOR PROGRAM (PHYSICAL EDUCATION)<br />Thanks to the funds raised by the Topeka Tomorrow campaign, psycho-motor classes were offered to all Topeka Drive Elementary students in school year 2007-2008.<br />The psycho-motor (physical education) classes are taught by coaches from the North Valley YMCA. A 50 minute class session is held once a week and consists of warm-up exercises, cardiovascular activities, muscular strength and endurance exercises, skill development, including sport-specific skills, flexibility exercises, and cool-down activities. The LAUSD requires that students participate in 200 minutes of physical education classes per 10-day period.<br />Everyone at Topeka Drive Elementary School is grateful to all families and local businesses that have supported the Topeka Tomorrow campaign and made this program possible.<br />DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM_________________________________________________<br />Topeka Elementary offers a Dual Language Program in English and Korean for Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. The program places English-proficient and Korean-speaking students together in a classroom where both languages are valued and used for instruction. The program is designed to promote bilingualism, biliteracy, and multiculturalism.<br />CHARACTER COUNTS!_______________________________________________________<br />Our school community recognizes the importance of character development for all students, and that the work of parents in instilling core values at home should also be supported at school. To address this issue, Topeka Drive Elementary emphasizes a character education program. This program is based on the nationally recognized and acclaimed CHARACTER COUNTS! Program, under the leadership of Michael Josephson. The program focuses on core ethical values called the “Six Pillars of Character.” These universal values include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Development of these traits defines good character and leads to positive conduct. Productive citizenship, and academic excellence.<br />Each month Topeka has an Award Assembly during which a different grade level will present a skit or a song along with auditorium banners and bulletin boards to highlight that month’s Pillar of Character, Students who most exemplify a specific character trait emphasized each month receive character awards from their teacher during the Awards Assembly. Students are encouraged to follow all the pillars of character and teachers use discussions about character as motivation for student compositions.<br />Our character education program includes lessons in character, class activities, school assemblies, contests, special events, and recognition programs. Parents and guardians will be continually updated on the program.<br />Like you, we at Topeka Drive Elementary hold the highest expectations for student achievement and for the character and conduct of every student. To that end, a copy of our commitment to Character and Code of Conduct is being provided to every student at the beginning of the school year, and is located on the next page of this handbook. Please review and discuss this Commitment to Character and Code of Conduct carefully with your student. We at Topeka Drive look forward to your support in our continuing efforts to build a strong school community comprised of individuals who demonstrate trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship every day. Character does count!<br />PART 3 – STUDENT SERVICES AND EVENTS<br />AFTER SCHOOL PLAYGROUND_______________________________________________<br />The after school playground is open on regular school days from 2:28 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The after school playground is for students, ages seven and older, to participate in recreational and educational activities t no charge. The after school playground is led by two Youth Services coaches on the yard who provide activities for the students. This is NOT a child care program. It is a “permissive” recreation program. Participants arrive and leave at their own discretion and volition. Participation is a privilege. Students must conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the rules and regulations of the school and playground.<br />The Topeka playground has a sports field, a reading garden, and a sensory garden in addition to areas for basketball, kickball, tetherball, 4-square, circle game, hopscotch, jump rope, and the jungle gym.<br />All Kindergarten students must go home directly after dismissal. There is no supervision at school for Kindergarten students after dismissal.<br />Middle school students who need to come to Topeka to pick up their siblings may do so, but must follow Topeka’s school policies and are encouraged to join after school activities at their current school of attendance.<br />Snacks may be available for purchase after school for the first 10 – 15 minutes following dismissal. Students must be sure to keep the playground free from litter and eat their snacks at the lunch tables.<br />KIDCARE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM_________________________________________<br />Kidcare is a supervised after school program that is available for a fee. Parents wishing to sign-up their students for this program must talk with the Kidcare supervisor to register during the first week of the new school year. Space in this program is limited.<br />COUNSELING/GUIDANCE SERVICES__________________________________________<br />The Student Success Team may refer a student for counseling assistance through “School Mental Health” Services. School Mental Health is a counseling service for students and families available through LAUSD. A referral for that service is made through the school nurse either due to a decision from the Student Success Team, or a self referral by the parent for the student. Please contact the school office for more details. School Mental Health is housed at a separate location in the San Fernando Valley.<br />SCHOOL NURSE______________________________________________________________<br />A School Nurse is at Topeka one day per week. The school nurse is able to provide general health care and screenings. The school nurse does not take the place of regular visits to each student’s health care professional.<br />TEACHER’S AIDES___________________________________________________________<br />Topeka has a total of 6 positions for both Instructional Aides and Teacher’s Aides who work three hours per day assisting teachers in all general education classes. Our special needs students are also served by the Resource Specialist Program, the Visually Impaired Program. The Special Day Programs assist students with Autism and students with Mental Retardation.<br />LIBRARY/MEDIA CENTER____________________________________________________<br />Topeka’s library/media center is staffed by the full time Library Aide during regular school hours, Monday through Friday. It is a fully functioning library with areas for classroom lessons, storytelling, computer use, and online research.<br />For success in learning, students need the opportunity to interact with good books by reading them and by using them for research. It is for this reason that our elementary school library permits all students to borrow books from the school library, provided a parent or guardian has indicated that they will accept responsibility for lost or damaged books.<br />The following are ways to help you Topeka student assume this responsibility:<br />Model careful handling of books.<br />Help students find a safe place to keep library books during the borrowing period.<br />Help students to remember to return the books to the school library on time.<br />COMPUTER LAB_____________________________________________________________<br />The Computer Lab is fully functioning with internet access, programs for the students and a part time computer technician to maintain it. Classrooms will be scheduled to use the lab weekly for approximately 30-45 minutes. Each classroom also has internet access and the school has a variety of classroom computers appropriate to each grade level and need.<br />EVENTS AND PROGRAMS AT TOPEKA________________________________________<br />Back to School Night is held at the beginning of the school year and is for parents only. We do not encourage Topeka students to attend, as this event is to inform parents about a variety of topics relating to your child’s education. There is no supervision provided for students at Back to School Night. Report to your child’s classroom at the appropriate time to meet your child’s teacher, see the classroom and materials, and hear a presentation about the upcoming school year. You will have an opportunity to ask questions of your child’s teacher, but please remember that this is the appropriate time to discuss topics that are general in nature and apply to all of the students in the class. There will be opportunities for you to speak with your child’s teacher individually throughout the school year.<br />Open House occurs during the Spring Semester, and all parents and families are encourages to attend this event with their children. Open House is a wonderful opportunity to see your student’s classroom and their class work.<br />Award Assemblies occur six times per year at Topeka. These assemblies are for the entire school, and highlight students who show outstanding character or improvement in an academic subject area. Students from each class are recognized at the Awards Assemblies with certificates and awards from their teachers for academic achievement and for outstanding citizenship both in the classroom and on the playground.<br />EVENTS AND PROGRAMS AT TOPEKA (cont.)<br />The annual Holiday Program showcases each of our grade levels as they sing holiday songs and kick off the holiday season. Families are invited to see the program which is held prior to the Winter break. Watch for more information on this year’s Holiday Program on the Topeka website, or in flyers that will be sent home with your student.<br />Picture Day occurs at Topeka once in the fall, and again in the spring. Information will be sent home with your student in advance of Picture Day, announcing the day and the picture packages that are available for purchase. Picture Day in the fall includes portraits of each student plus a classroom picture. Each student who gets their picture taken in the fall will also receive a Topeka Drive Elementary Student I.D. Card. Spring pictures are portraits of each individual student only; no class photos are taken in the spring.<br />Hoopfest- Our third annual faculty basketball game will take place in the fall. This is a family social evening, featuring our teachers and staff competing in a basketball game, food, raffle prizes, halftime entertainment, and souvenirs! Prepare yourself for a night to remember!<br />Art Show- Art docents put together a display of students’ artwork for all to see. It is a culmination of a 10-week Art Docent Program, taught by dedicated parent volunteers.<br />Homework Club- The library is open 2 or 3 days a week after school for students to do homework or read. Volunteer parents supervise the library during these times.<br />Book Swap- This tradition will occur several times during the school year during recess and lunch. Students ring in used books in good condition and they swap them with other used books that interest them. The books need to be in the K-5th grade reading level.<br />The annual Spell-a-Thon gives Topeka students an opportunity to show off their spelling abilities! Students are given a list of words to study prior to the Spell-a-Thon, and seek pledges from friends and family members. On a designated day, teachers administer a spelling test, and students collect pledges based on the number of words that they spelled correctly. Students who turn in pledges from the Spell-a-Thon are given a special treat.<br />Dine-Out Nights- Throughout the year, the Topeka Drive PTA sponsors Dine-Out fundraising nights at local restaurants. These events are a fun and easy way to support Topeka. To take part, bring a Dine-Out Night flyer to the participating restaurant on the designated date, and a portion of your food purchase will be donated to Topeka. Watch for Dine-Out Night information that will come home with your student throughout the school year.<br />PART 4 – COMMUNICATING WITH TOPEKA<br />In many ways, the successes of Topeka Drive students depend upon good communication between Topeka families and the school. There are many ways to become informed about Topeka Drive Elementary and the events and programs that occur throughout the school year. You are urged to go through your student’s backpack each day, and read the flyers that come home. If you are unclear about any information that has come home with your student, call the school office.<br />CONFERENCES______________________________________________________________<br />Parent conferences are scheduled during the first reporting period of the school year. If you wish to schedule an additional conference with your student’s teacher, please call the school office at 886-2266. The teacher will contact you to schedule a conference.<br />CONTACTING YOUR STUDENT’S TEACHER___________________________________<br />If you have a question for your student’s teacher, you can either send a note with your student, leave a note for the teacher in the school office, or leave a message with the school office and the teacher will contact you. Any questions regarding class assignments, work, or activities should be relayed to the classroom teacher as soon as possible to prevent misunderstandings.<br />GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION___________________________________________<br />A monthly letter from the Principal, the “Tiger Tidbits” Newsletter, monthly breakfast and lunch menus, the monthly school calendar, and other important flyers are sent home with students on Thursday in their Information Folder. Please be sure to check your child’s backpack every day to see if any important information has been sent home. Also, check Topeka’s website at for current information about our school.<br />EMERGENCIES______________________________________________________________<br />In the event of an emergency such as an earthquake or fire, students will be taken to specific areas on the playground assigned to their classroom. Students will be under the supervision of their teachers. Parents may come to the marked Reunion Gate on Superior Street to pick up their students in case of an emergency. If a parent is unable to pick up a students in an emergency, the school will only release students to an adult listed on the student’s Emergency Care. Any adult calling for children must show proper identification before children will be released to their care.<br />During the school year, fire drills, earthquake drills, and other emergency preparedness drills will take place to familiarize the students with emergency bells and procedures. If for some reason Topeka Drive Elementary needs to be evacuated, students will be taken to the Nobel Middle School yard off of Lassen Street.<br />FAMILY EMERGENCIES______________________________________________________<br />Occasionally, a medical appointment or family emergency makes it necessary for children to be released before regular dismissal time. In this event, the parent or guardian must sign a release note, available in the school office. Students may only be released to adults listed on the emergency card. In case the adult is not listed on the emergency card, parents may give permission in writing for their child’s release. Sorry, there will b no phone permission. Children will not be released from school to walk home alone before the end of the school day.<br />TELEPHONE CALLS__________________________________________________________<br />Please make every effort to make arrangements regarding lunch, lunch money, after school arrangements, and other messages before your student leaves for school. Each time the staff has to give a message to a student, it necessitates bussing a room and having the teacher relay the message to the child. Each disturbance interferes with the teacher’s lesson and the student’s education. Also, the office staff is limited, and with the many other duties, time does not always allow the staff to follow through with private messages in a timely manner. School telephones are for emergency use only. Students should not request use of school telephones to call home for forgotten homework, books, lunches, etc. The phone in the office is a business phone. Students are allowed to use the public phone in the school office only after school. In case of emergence, students must have permission from staff to use the main office phone.<br />TOPEKA’S WEBSITE__________________________________________________________<br />Topeka Drive has a website which may be found at You are encouraged to visit this site often to obtain up-to-date information on Topeka. On the website you will find the “Tiger Tidbits”, Topeka’s monthly newsletter. Also, you will find information about upcoming events, school sponsors and important news relating to Topeka Elementary School. <br />PTO MANAGER______________________________________________________________<br />PTO Manager is a web-based software program we have adopted to help us, as a parent group, recruit, track, manage and communicate with parents in a more effective way. Through this program, we can track what programs and events parents are interested in helping with, communicate effectively with them, and track hours of volunteering. It is a great way for committee chairs to find which volunteers have signed up to help with their program or event and gives them the tools to effectively reach those parents. There is a Finance Manager side to the program which will make the job of the treasurer (and the job of all of us who depend on accurate, accessible group financial records) so much easier. Look for your e-mail inviting you to browse through Topeka’s upcoming events and programs and take a moment to fill in your profile if you haven’t already.<br />LAUSD WEBSITE_____________________________________________________________<br />The Los Angeles Unified School District has a website with extensive information which may be viewed at A variety of instructional information is available, including LAUSDnet Kids, Beyond the Bell, Learning Standards, Guidelines for Instruction, a Digital Library, and Early Childhood information. In additions, all of the LAUSD’s policies may be found on the website. If you need information from District, the LAUSD website is an excellent resource. There are many rewarding ways to become involved in your child’s education at Topeka.<br />PART 5 – GETTING INVOLVED AT TOPEKA<br />There are many rewarding ways to become involved in your child’s education and at Topeka Drive Elementary School. We encourage parents and grandparents of Topeka students to support our school, and have many avenues available for involvement. Your student will be very happy to see that you support their education when you volunteer at Topeka.<br />Many opportunities for involvement take place outside of normal school hours, so even working parents have several opportunities to help our school. In addition to getting to know other wonderful Topeka families, you will feel connected to your child, show an interest in your child’s education, and feel good about your contributions. Students also benefit from parent involvement in many ways:<br />Students who have parents involved in their school:<br /><ul><li>Show more positive attitudes toward school;
  83. 83. Display higher achievement in reading;
  84. 84. Are assigned higher quality and more grade appropriate homework;
  85. 85. Observe more similarities between family and school;
  86. 86. See parents, school, and the larger community contributing to their education;
  87. 87. Demonstrate improved achievement; and,
  88. 88. See the link between schoolwork and future careers.
  89. 89. From the California PTA Parents Empowering Parents Guide</li></ul>PARENTS TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA)_____________________________________<br />The Topeka Drive Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is the elected body that is responsible for developing, funding, and supplying volunteers for the events and fundraisers listed in this section. Everyone can be a member of PTA, and there are many ways to support our school through you time and efforts.<br />PTA is the largest advocacy volunteer group that works on behalf of children. PTA is concerned about all children, and fights to secure laws that protect the rights of children. Being a member of the PTA links you to this wonderful group of caring people.<br />The Topeka Drive Elementary School PTA is actively involved in activities throughout the year for all students. Dues are $5.00 per member. A portion of these monies go to the District, State & National PTA for support throughout the year developing programs. Members are encouraged to attend our monthly meetings to voice concerns and share ideas. The monthly “Tiger Tidbits” newsletter will keep you informed of PTA activities, meeting dates and programs.<br />PTA is directly responsible for many other events and activities that occur at Topeka, designed to enrich your student’s learning and classroom experience. PTA pays for Weekly Readers, which are mini-magazines containing information on current events. Each students receives a Weekly Reader in their classroom every week. PTA also sponsors special assemblies for the student body by bringing in special programs on a variety of topics. PTA is responsible for Teacher appreciation events, as a special thank you to the wonderful teachers at Topeka Drive. PTA purchases testing preparation materials to help our students prepare for state tests, it helps to pay for the maintenance of school office equipment, and pays for photocopier expenses. PTA helps offset the cost of 5th grade class events, school emergency supplies, <br />PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA) (cont.)<br />and covers the cost of an extra classroom aide that is used throughout the classrooms. Other benefits provided by the PTA include:<br />Art Docent Program<br />Topeka Drive’s Art docent Program is a parent run art program whose mission is to enhance student’s lives by exposing them to great works of art, and to encourage student’s creative self-expression in making art. The Art Docent Program typically starts in the spring and runs for approximately 10 weeks. The program utilizes parent volunteers to bring art lesson to the students. This instructional art program is one part art history lesson, and one part use of creative art making and technique. PTA supports the Art Docent program through purchasing art supplies for the students to use, and coordinating the parent volunteers to lead the program. More information will be sent home with your student. If you are interested in assisting as an Art Docent in a classroom, please contact the school office at 886-2266.<br />Green Team<br />The Green Team is a group of individuals who help facilitate campus beautification projects throughout our campus. If you are interested in helping out the Green Team, contact the PTA President.<br />PTA Reflections Program<br />The National PTA believes that all children deserve a quality arts education, and it encourages students to pursue artistic expression through participation in its annual Reflections Program. The program allows all students from Kindergarten through 5th grade to create and submit original works of art in six areas: literature, musical composition, photography, dance/choreography, film/video production and visual arts (which include art forms such as drawing, painting, and print making a collage). Themes are selected from thousands of ideas submitted by students to the National PTA’s Reflections Program Theme Search.<br />Parents are urged to help and encourage their children to participate in the Reflections Program. It is very rewarding to see what kind of magic can be produced when children express themselves through art and the Reflections Program. More information on this program will be sent home with your student later in the year.<br />Room Representatives (Room Parents)<br />Each classroom has a Room Representative (Room Parent) to help organize volunteers, holiday parties, and other events. Room Representatives assist with other school wide PTA initiatives which may include carnivals, Topeka Tomorrow, Open House, Fundraisers, etc. Room Representatives also assist with communication and are a vital link between the PTA and our Topeka families. If you are interested in assisting as a Room Representative, contact your student’s teacher or the PTA President.<br />The efforts of the PTA enrich the lives of all Topeka students. We encourage you to support the PTA.<br />TOPEKA TOMORROW________________________________________________________<br />Topeka Tomorrow is a committee of Topeka’s PTA dedicated to raising funds for enrichment programs at the school. These include the YMCA-staffed physical education (psycho-motor) program for grades K-5, music assemblies, computer lab, and art. <br />TOPEKA TOMORROW (cont.)<br />Years of steady budget cuts at the state and local level mean that many of the educational and enrichment programs that many of us took for granted as children are not currently within our school’s budget. Topeka Tomorrow’s goal is to restore a full range of these enrichment activities to Topeka Drive Elementary. Topeka Tomorrow has raised thousands of dollars from our community and school families. All of the money raised through Topeka Tomorrow is devoted to funding enrichment programs.<br />Each September, Topeka Tomorrow coordinates our school’s Annual Drive, launched with a letter to every family at Topeka asking for a cash donation to the school. This year, the requested amount was $250, though families can contribute any amount they choose. Unlike other fundraisers in which we partner with other organizations such as wrapping paper companies and end up keeping only a portion of the profits, 100% of all Annual Drive funds raised stay at our school.<br />Topeka Tomorrow also has a community sponsorship program to provide opportunities for local businesses and individuals to directly participate in their neighborhood school. We are seeking donations of cash, in-kind products, or services, and in return offer recognition items designed to publicize the donor’s business to the more than 450 families at Topeka.<br />VOLUNTEERING AT TOPEKA_________________________________________________<br />The volunteering opportunities at Topeka Drive Elementary School are endless. If any parent, grandparent, or community member has a particular skill or interest they would like to share with the school or students, or would like to provide classroom assistance, please contact our Principal, Mrs. Kitayama, at the school office at 886-2266, or the PTA President Wendy Dern at 885-0025.<br />PTA is always in need of volunteers for the many events that are held throughout the year, even for events that are not fundraisers. Topeka Drive is constantly on the lookout for volunteers who are willing to serve as committee or event chairs, committee members, event workers, graphic designers, or Homework Club workers. Computer savvy people and people who can help with the marketing of Topeka events are also needed. <br />Ask Your Student’s Teacher – Many teachers have things that need to be cut, collated, stapled, or copied. If you have some time in the evening to assist a teacher in preparing teaching materials, it would be greatly appreciated. Contact your child’s teacher to see if he or she needs any assistance. This is a great way for working parents become involved in and support their student’s education!<br />PART 6 – TOPEKA DRIVE ELEMENTARY POLICIES<br />ABSENCES, TRUANCIES, AND TARDIES_______________________________________<br />All students are expected to attend school on a regular basis and to arrive on time. Students having excessive absences, truancies, or tardies will be referred to the Principal. Parents of students with excessive absences, truancies, or tardies will be notified by mail and requested to conference with the Principal. Should the absences, truancies, or tardies continue, the Principal will report the case to the Pupil School Attendance counselor/Student Attendance Review Board. The Student Attendance Review Board was established by the California Legislature in 1975 for the purpose of finding solutions to school attendance problems.<br />BUS RIDERS__________________________________________________________________<br />Students coming to school by bus are expected to observe all of the safety standards. Moving about while the bus is in motion, loud talking, or other behaviors that may distract the driver are not permitted. Children who continually disregard the rules will be suspended from the bus. Usually several warnings are issued. Please help by talking with your child about safe riding. Also, it is important that the students be at the pick-up point on time. Parents of PWT students who do not have transportation may request transportation for parent/teacher conference or other important school matters.<br />CELL PHONES AND PAGERS__________________________________________________<br />LAUSD policy allows students to have cell phones on campus. Cell phones are to be used for emergency needs only. Cell phones may not be turned on or used during class instructional time.<br />Pagers are not recommended in school. If a parent needs a student to have a pager for emergence use, please see the principal.<br />Visitors to Topeka may bring cell phones on to campus. It is highly recommended that call phones and pagers be on vibrate mode when visitors are on campus, especially when visitors are near classrooms, at conferences, or at the Holiday Program. Visitors are urged to use good judgment when using cell phones on campus in order to not be disruptive.<br />DRESS CODE/GOOD GROOMING______________________________________________<br />Good grooming, neatness, and cleanliness are stressed at Topeka Drive. Good health habits are considered a part of your student’s training, and these habits should be reinforced at home. Please make sure that your student is clean and groomed before arriving at school.<br />DRESS CODE/GOOD GROOMING (cont.)<br />Please see that your child is dressed for school as if it were a place of business, which it is. When making selections for the school day, clothing should be based on these rules: clothing should be:<br /><ul><li>Safe – appropriate for the day’s weather, it should not impede your student’s ability to move, and should not be a length that your student might trip over it;
  90. 90. Clean;
  91. 91. Not offensive;
  92. 92. Not disturbing to the educational programs of the school</li></ul>It is recommended that your student wear closed toe, comfortable shoes to school that are safe and provide adequate support during P.E. activities.<br />LOITERING/TRUANCY ORDINANCE___________________________________________<br />On May 23, 1995, the Los Angeles City Council passed a Loitering/Truancy Ordinance. This Ordinance prohibits any person under the age of 19 and subject to compulsory school attendance, from loitering in or upon the public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, playgrounds, or other public grounds between the hours of 8:30 am and 1:30 pm on days when the student’s school is in session. The exceptions to this Ordinance are as follows:<br /><ul><li>A student is accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  93. 93. A student is on an emergency errand directed by a parent or guardian.
  94. 94. A student is going or coming directly from their place of gainful employment.
  95. 95. A student is going to or returning from a medical appointment.
  96. 96. A student has permission to leave campus for lunch and has in his/her possession a school issued permit.
  97. 97. A student is going to or returning from a public meeting.</li></ul>If a student is found to be in violation of this ordinance, he/she will receive a citation. This will require you, as the parent or guardian, to appear in court with your youngster and may include a fine of $250 or community service. The fine and community service may be suspended only if the student returns to court at the end of 60 days with proof of no unexcused absences for that period. Failure to appear or repeated offenses may result in suspension of, or inability to obtain a driver’s license.<br />SCHOOL VISITORS___________________________________________________________<br />Parents are urged to visit the school, meet with your student’s teacher, and become acquainted with the school program. Frequent short visits are suggested rather than visits of longer duration.<br />Topeka Drive Elementary School Visitor’s Policy<br />All campus visitors must:<br /><ul><li>Request an appointment for a visitation date and time from the office staff after entering the school office. Every effort will be made to schedule the appointment for the date and time requested in accordance with the school’s bell schedule.</li></ul>SCHOOL VISITORS (cont.)<br /><ul><li>Complete a visitor’s permit and obtain the principal/designee’s approval before proceeding to the classroom. The visitor must sign in on the Visitors On Campus Log Book located at the front counter of the school office and wear a Visitor Badge before going on the campus.
  98. 98. Determine the classroom activity you are observing and keep the classroom observation time and frequency reasonable.
  99. 99. Follow the school’s established procedures for scheduling an appointment with teachers and / or principal/ designee after the classroom visit, if needed. Give the school office your written request for the date and time of a conference. Please indicate the name of the teacher with whom you wish to meet.
  100. 100. Return the visitor’s permit to the school office before leaving the campus. Be sure to sign out on the Visitors On Campus Log Book located at the front counter in the school office.</li></ul>Some important rules for visitors:<br /><ul><li>Enter and leave the classroom as quietly as possible.
  101. 101. Do not converse with the students, teacher, and / or instructional aides during the visitation.
  102. 102. Do not interfere with any school activity during the visitation.</li></ul>TOPEKA DRIVE DISCIPLINE POLICY__________________________________________<br />Please plan on setting aside time to discuss with your student the elements of Topeka Drive Elementary School’s Discipline Program that appear on the following pages. It is important that you read and discuss the rules and expectations, and that both you and your student understand them. Please refer to them throughout the school year as needed.<br />OBJECTIVES OF OUR SCHOOL DISCIPLINE POLICY__________________________________<br /><ul><li> To create the best classroom environment for learning and for teaching.
  103. 103. To increase student time on task.
  104. 104. To achieve consistence in discipline in the school.
  105. 105. To provide students with clear expectations concerning behaviors.
  106. 106. To improve home and school communication and cooperation for the benefit of the students.
  107. 107. To establish a philosophy of discipline and discipline code for Topeka Drive Elementary.</li></ul>POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORTS_____________________________________________________<br />Positive behavior is both stressed and reinforced at Topeka Drive School. We believe in catching students in the act of being good and encourage such behavior through positive reinforcement. There is a school wide assembly in which students showing exemplary behavior are recognized and honored six times a year. Students are also able to earn certificates and awards from their teacher for outstanding citizenship both in and outside the classroom. Students can also earn a visit to the principal’s office for positive recognition and a special treat.<br />PHILOSOPHY_______________________________________________________________________<br />The philosophy behind our plan is that teachers must work in an environment conducive to teaching. No child has the right to disrupt this environment in such a way that learning cannot take place. Additionally, <br />every child has the right to know in advance what is expected of him/her and what the consequences will be for not living up to these expectations.<br />BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS________________________________________________<br />Expectations are Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. These expectations are defined for the common areas of the school. By clearly defining the expectation for each area (cafeteria, hallways, and auditorium, computer lab, library bathroom, etc.) students are able to more easily understand what is expected of them.<br />GENERAL RULES____________________________________________________________________<br /><ul><li>Knives or other dangerous objects are not allowed at school at any time. The consequences for bringing any such item on campus shall automatically be recommended for expulsion from school of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  108. 108. Personal items such as toys, balls, radios, etc. may not be brought to school except for sharing time in class and permission by the teacher.
  109. 109. Children are expected to settle their differences without resorting to physical means – Those who do will be held accountable for their behavior – consequences range from warnings to suspensions depending on the circumstances
  110. 110. Bicycles may be ridden to school by fourth and fifth grade students with permits from the school.
  111. 111. Gum chewing is not allowed at any time at Topeka
  112. 112. Profanity is out of place on campus.</li></ul>PERSONAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM______________________________________________<br />Some grades levels established detention procedures at recess and /or lunchtime. Student referral to this program is based on incomplete schoolwork, homework, and misbehavior. <br />PART 7 – LAUSD INFORMATION AND POLICIES<br />Please take the time to read the LAUSD Parent-Student Handbook for 2008-2009. A copy of this Handbook will be distributed to every student. This important booklet has Federal and State laws, codes, and LAUSD regulations and policies relative to the operation of the public school system, such as Non discrimination Statement, Sexual Harassment Policy, Special Education, Conduct of Pupils, Absences, Immunizations, Health Information, Internet Access, and Uniform Complaint Procedures. Parents and guardians as the responsible adult for a student in the LAUSD must read this material, and sign and return to school the receipt on the last page of the LAUSD Parent-Student Handbook.<br />The LAUSD Parent-Student Handbook is also available on line at www. in several languages including English, Spanish, Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.<br />PART 8 – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS<br />What do I do if my student is late to school?<br />Please write a note to the school office. Have the student report to the office to deliver the note and pick up their attendance card. Please encourage your student to attend school on time, and please schedule medical or dental appointments for after school.<br />My child was absent from school yesterday. What do I need to send to school verifying the absence?<br />It is required by state law that absence of children from school, whether due to illness or non-illness, be verified by a note from the parent or guardian. Please include the child’s name, days not in attendance, and the reason for the absence. If illness, please indicate the nature of the illness and have your child give the note to his/her teacher upon returning to school.<br />What do I do if my student forgets to bring homework/lunch/jacket to school, and I want to drop it off?<br />Parents may come to the school office and drop off the material. Please clearly label the items with the student’s name and room number. Student monitors will take materials to class before recess and after lunch.<br />My child is sick today and not attending school. Can someone pick up their homework?<br />Homework is typically not sent home for absences of fewer than three days. For students who will miss more than three days of school, please contact the classroom teacher to discuss missed homework.<br />Where can I buy breakfast and lunch tickets?<br />You may purchase breakfast and lunch tickets at the cafeteria before school. Only cash is accepted for the purchase of meal tickets.<br />How do I get my Topeka student out of class in case of a family emergency?<br />Occasionally, a medical appointment or family emergency makes it necessary for children to be released before regular dismissal time. In this event, the parent or guardian must sign a release note, available in the school office. Students may only be released to adults listed on the emergency care, In case the adult is not listed on the emergency care, parents may give permission in writing for their child’s release. Sorry, there will be no phone permission. Children will not be released from school to walk home alone before the end of the school day.<br />What do I do if my family is moving to another area, and our Topeka student will be attending another school?<br />Please inform the school office in advance, and indicate the name of the new school. If the new school is within the LAUSD, please obtain a Pupil Attendance Record (PAR) from the school office. You will receive documentation to take to the new school.<br />Why do the large main gates to the school on Topeka Drive remain locked at all times?<br />This is for safety reasons. Topeka maintains a secure perimeter so that the school office can monitor all visitors. The small main gate remains open from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each school day. Visitors must check in at the office before entering the campus.<br />What do I do if I am concerned about something that happened at school?<br />Always start with contacting your student’s teacher. Write a note or leave a message in the office for the teacher requesting a conference. Most concerns can be taken care of during a phone call or parent-teacher conference. If you still have a concern after conferring with the teacher, call the office and ask to make an appointment with an administrator.<br />PART 9 – IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS<br />Topeka Drive School Office818-886-2266<br />Topeka Drive School Fax Machine818-885-7682<br />To report loitering or truancy1-800-TO-LAUSD<br />To report vandalism213-625-6631<br />LAUSD Local District I Office818-654-3600<br />LAUSD Police – Valley Division818-893-6423<br />Devonshire Division LAPD818-756-8283<br />Northridge Library818-886-3640<br />Nobel Middle School818-349-4200<br />Northridge Park818-349-7341<br />City Councilman Greig Smith818-756-8501<br />190500Huntington Learning Center<br />Devonshire Reseda Shopping Center<br />18527 Devonshire Street<br />Northridge, CA 91324<br />Phone: 818-360-7700 <br /><br />254000178435<br />Brian J. Kim DDS MSD<br />10515 Balboa Blvd., Suite 280 <br />Granada Hills, CA 91344<br />Phone: 818.363.7900<br />Fax: 818.368.7111 <br /><br />Friends of Topeka Sponsors Jackie Combs Floral Design 818-363-7861 or 818- 515-3499 MVP Athletic Apparel 616-618-0599 or 616-259-4286 Paquito Mas 9229 Winnetka Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311 818-775-1555 Partyscapes of Northridge818-359-0624 or 818-723-2715 Traveling Pea 818-998-6154 Delicious Bakery 9147 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324 818-349-5700 <br />