Procedures and Guidelines

Click on the topics below to learn more about our procedures and guidelines.

Animals/Pets

Pets or other animals are not allowed in school without obtaining permission from the student’s teacher. Animals may be brought into the perimeter of the school for educational purposes only. They must be vaccinated as required by local government ordinances, appropriately housed, humanely cared for and properly handled. Poisonous and dangerous animals will not be permitted. Persons bringing animals into the school must receive prior permission from the classroom teacher. Animals are not to be transported on school buses. Parents should be involved in the transport of animals to and from school once permission is granted by the classroom teacher.

Attendance/Truancy

Attendance – School Board Policy 503

The school will excuse - or not excuse - students according to district policy and state law. The Spring Lake Park School Board believes that regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students, and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. The purpose of this policy is to encourage regular school attendance. It is intended to be positive and not punitive.

Student’s Responsibility

  • Attend all assigned classes every day school is in session and be aware of and follow the correct procedures when absent from an assigned class; and
  • Request any missed assignments due to an absence 

Parent/Guardian’s Responsibility

  • Ensure the student is attending school; and
  • Inform the school in the event of a student absence, and work in partnership with the school and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise

Reasons for absence from school or class that are considered excusable are:

  • Serious illness of the student, which causes him/her to remain home or go to the doctor, illness which prompts the school nurse to send the student home, legal quarantine, or serious illness in the family demanding the student’s presence at home
  • Death of an immediate family member or close friend or relative
  • Medical, dental or orthodontic treatment or counseling appointment
  • Court appearance occasioned by family or personal action
  • Religious instruction not to exceed three hours in any week
  • Physical emergency conditions, such as fire, flood, storm, etc
  • Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension
  • Religious holiday (please inform the school ahead of time)
  • A school activity that has been approved by the principal
  • Family emergencies
  • Special requests from parents, which must be arranged in advance with the principal

A few examples of absences that are not excused are:

  • Oversleeping
  • Missing the bus
  • Day off of school

All parents/guardians and students need to be familiar with these procedures. 

Absence Procedure

Regular attendance in school is mandatory and all absences are subject to verification by school officials. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to telephone the attendance office on the day of the absence to inform the nurse of the reason for the student’s absence. This is a 24-hour telephone number, and you may leave a message if the attendance secretary is not available. When leaving a message, be sure to include your name, the student’s name (spelling the last name), the student’s grade and teacher, the date of the absence, and the specific reason for the absence.

Note: The school will excuse - or not excuse - students according to district policy and state law. Parents/guardians have 48 hours after their child’s absence, beginning with the first hour of school, to call the school or provide a written note to ask for the unexcused absence to be changed to excused. Written notes or phone calls will not be accepted after 48 hours following the return of the student. The 48 hours excludes holidays and weekends. Failure to notify the school within the 48 hours will result in the absence remaining unexcused and be considered truant. Disciplinary action may result, including a truancy petition to Anoka County. Parents/guardians should notify the school anytime they are placing another adult in supervision of their child (e.g. they will be out of town, hospitalized, etc.).

Partial-Day Absence Procedure

A student is considered absent for a half day if he/she misses more than 60 minutes at the start or end of a school day. A student arriving at school after the school day has begun should comply with the following procedures:

  • Parent/guardian should call the school main office prior to the student’s arrival at school
  • The parent and student should report directly to the office to sign in

A student who needs to leave school during the school day should comply with the following procedures:

  • Permission to leave school during the school day for any excusable reason (medical, dental, court, funeral, etc.) requires parent/guardian written consent or confirmation by telephone
  • In case of emergency or illness, the student must report to the nurse, who will contact the parent/guardian by telephone. A student can be released only after the parent/guardian has been contacted

Absent or Late to School

If your child will be absent, arrive late or leave early, please call the school attendance line. You can call 24 hours a day and leave a message. If a child is not at school, and the school has not received notice of an absence, the school will call the parent or guardian.

Grades K-4 Absence Procedures

A student is considered tardy if he/she arrives or leaves within 60 minutes after the start or before the end of the day. A student is considered absent for a full day if he/she misses four or more hours of the school day. A student is also considered absent for a full day if he/she arrives to school, but is picked up within 90 minutes.

Doctor/Nurse Notes

Doctor/Nurse Notes

There are times throughout the school year when students may be placed on a doctor/nurse note attendance monitoring program. This may be due to excessive tardiness, permits to leave and absences. Students will be placed on the doctor/nurse note program automatically following 15 days of excused and/or unexcused absences. Parents/guardians will be notified by mail from the attendance office. The following procedures will go into effect when the decision is made:

  • Phone calls and written notes will no longer be accepted from the parent/guardian. If your child is to miss any school during the remainder of the school year, the time will be excused by following one of two steps:
    • The student is to come to school and see the health care specialist. The health care specialist will determine if he/she is medically ill and provide an excuse. The student then will be sent home 
    • The student is to go to a private doctor/dentist to be determined ill. The student is to request a written doctor/dentist note excusing the time away from school for each day of non-attendance. The note must be given to the attendance secretary once the student returns to school

Please call the health care specialist or the principal if you have any questions regarding this procedure.

Truancy

Any student who is absent without school approval will be subject to disciplinary action. Students who are absent from school for three days, in a single year, without valid excuse are considered truant. Schools are mandated by state law to report a truant student to the proper authorities.

Truancy Procedures

  • Third unexcused absence = Letter to parent/guardian
  • Seventh unexcused absence =
    • Letter to parent/guardian and
    • School officially reports the student as a “habitual truant”

Background Checks

We encourage each of you to volunteer within our schools. To maintain a safe environment for all children, there will be events, field trips, and other opportunities where the district may require adult participants to complete a criminal background check.

Bicycles, Roller Blades, Scooters and Skateboards

For safety reasons, riding roller blades, scooters, or skateboards to school is not allowed. Parents may choose to drop-off or pick-up their children.

Bus Transportation

Bus routes are established during the summer by the district transportation office/Lorenz Bus Company. If you have general questions about bus routes, bus stop locations, or schedules, please contact the Transportation Department at 763-600-5590 or transportation@district16.org.

If you need to report or ask a question about a late-arriving bus of more than 15 minutes, or if your child has left something on a bus, please call:

  • Lorenz Bus Service: 763-201-8888
  • Voigt’s Bus Service (Special Education Routes): 763-571-1241

Riding a bus to school is a privilege, not a right. Students who choose not to follow established bus rules will lose the opportunity to ride the school bus. All parents and/or adults not employed or contracted by the district will need to receive pre-approval from the building principals and/or the district Transportation Department before boarding any school bus. This provision will be waived in cases where there is a life-threatening emergency on a school bus.

School Bus Safety Rules

  • Obey the driver’s instructions
  • Be verbally considerate
  • Keep your hands, feet, and belongings to yourself
  • Respect yourself, others, and property
  • Sit in your seat and face forward
  • No eating, drinking, tobacco, or chemicals on the bus

Bus Consequences

While on the bus, a student may be warned by the bus driver about inappropriate behavior. In these cases, a bus driver and student conference may be held, and the student may be assigned a designated seat. A written report may also be given to the student. These reports include:

  • First report: Parent contacted, student conference with principal/designee, report is sent home
  • Second report: Parent contacted, student conference, assigned seat, report is sent home
  • Third report: Parent contacted, student conference, one- day bus suspension may occur, report sent home
  • Fourth report: Parent contacted, student conference, two-four-day bus suspension may occur, copy of report sent home
  • Fifth report: Parent is contacted, student conference, five-day bus suspension may occur, copy of report sent home
  • Sixth report: Parent is contacted, student conference, possible suspension of bus riding privileges for remaining portion of the trimester

Additional written reports may result in permanent suspension of bus riding privileges. Parent will then be responsible for providing transportation to and from school for their child. A severe infraction may result in an immediate suspension from riding the bus.

Campus Portal

This is your parent online access to secure and timely information about your child’s class schedule, attendance, report card, and transcripts. To sign up, print out and review the Parent Portal Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Each parent must complete and assign a separate Parent Portal Acceptable Use and Safety Policy in order to receive an account. If you need technical assistance, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 763-600-5555 or portal@district16.org.

Celebrations, Birthdays and Treats

We believe that birthdays are special days for young children. As a school district, we are implementing new procedures to recognize birthdays while promoting a healthy school environment.

We are asking parents to not bring food or other treats to their child’s classroom to celebrate a birthday. In lieu of bringing a treat, students may choose to bring a non-food item to share with the class, or as an alternative, a book or a rainy day game may be donated to the class.

Classroom teachers may provide a variety of age-appropriate events for students on their birthdays. These special events may include cards from the teacher and/or classmates, wearing a special birthday crown or hat, having special classroom privileges, and singing a “Happy Birthday” song. Names of those celebrating their birthday are announced at the beginning of each day in their homerooms.

Data Privacy

Student class directory/phone list information includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name, address, and telephone number. Student directory information is available to the child’s classroom, except for the student’s yearbook photograph, which may only be released pursuant to this policy for publication in the school’s yearbooks or school district publications. A student’s parents may make directory information private data if a written request to that effect is received by the superintendent from the student’s parent/guardian. If you have any objections to your child being videotaped or photographed, you must contact the office. Spring Lake Park Schools has an extensive board policy on the use of student information that is available on the district website.

Field Trips

Field trips are a part of the total school experience. In order to participate in the field trip experience, a signed parental permission slip must be on file with the teacher before the field trip occurs. Children who do not have a signed permission slip will not be able to participate in the trip.

Due to the safety and liability that is encountered from leaving the school premises, we ask that siblings and older brothers and sisters of school age not accompany their parents on field trips. Teachers appreciate the extra help that adult chaperones can offer during the trip. In addition, there will be a limit on the number of parents or legal guardians who serve as field trip chaperones.

Formal Reporting

Assessing the growth and development of our students is an important part of our school program. District writing teams have aligned assessment strategies with the state requirements and learner outcomes. Our goal is to use assessments that allow students to demonstrate what they know and can do. This is achieved by using a variety of assessment methods. The reporting of progress to parents/guardians is accomplished by the use of parent-teacher conferences, report cards and ongoing communication through the year. Conferences are held twice during the year and report cards will be issued three times at the end of each trimester. Along with opportunities to connect with parents/guardians, regular communication at opportune times will be evident to best personalize for each student.

Health Services

Spring Lake Park Schools maintain a health program designed to protect the health of students. A Health Care Specialist is available each day during school hours. Parents must provide transportation if their child becomes ill at school and needs to leave. If a child receives a serious injury, the parent or alternate person listed on the emergency card will be contacted. If the parent or alternate person is not available, the student will be transported to Unity Hospital. Additional information on immunization and screenings is available in the district calendar/resource guide.

Medications

Prescription medications given at school must be accompanied by a physician’s order. Medication should be brought to school by the student’s parent/guardian in the original bottle, whether prescription or over-the-counter. A signed permission form from the parent stating the reason for the medication, dosage, time and effective dates to be given must accompany any medication. All medication will be kept in the health office and distributed by the health care provider, including over-the-counter medicine such as cough drops.

Inviting Student Learning Environment - Our Beliefs

In an inviting student learning environment, each student and staff member feels valued, inspired and has a sense of belonging. By implementing consistent student and staff expectations and practices that align with personalized learning and are culturally responsive, we create culturally proficient learning communities, and develop the skills and dispositions to become self-directed, powerful learners.

An inviting student learning environment is attainable when we believe:

  • All students and staff desire to have positive and personal relationships
  • Each student has a desire to learn, and their engagement is directly influenced through the design of student work and learning experiences
  • We value each student, and recognize that each student brings unique assets, experiences and voice to the school and classroom environment
  • We value each family and recognize that families are essential partners in our shared desire for each student to become positive, caring contributors to our schools and community
  • It is our collective and individual responsibility to provide clear, consistent and caring expectations, and teach the skills needed for each student to find success that leads to predictable and safe learning environments for both students and staff
  • Challenging behavior will occur and is a form of communication
  • Staff individually and collectively influence the behavior and culture of a classroom and school through their responses, and pattern of responses to challenging behavior. Partnership among staff is necessary to support students and one another

When we collectively bring these beliefs to practice, students will be engaged and develop the skills and dispositions necessary to be self-directed, powerful learners.

Lost and Found

Each school has a designated lost and found area. Jewelry, money, wallets, purses and eyeglasses can be claimed in the main office. Unclaimed items are donated to local charities throughout the course of the school year.

You can help your child retrieve lost items such as clothing, backpacks and lunchboxes by labeling everything with his/her name.

If your child leaves something on the bus, items can be retrieved by calling the transportation department at 763-600-5590. Please provide your child’s bus number to claim misplaced items when calling.

Nutrition Services and Food Allergies

Breakfast & Lunch Programs

Spring Lake Park Schools provides both breakfast and lunch service to students. Menus can be found on the district website on the Nutrition Services page. Every student is issued an account accessed by a PIN number. Students use this number to purchase meals. The cost of a meal is deducted from the student’s meal account. It is the responsibility of the student’s parent/guardian to keep adequate funds in the account for purchases.

The Nutrition Services department sends out a weekly call to notify parents of low funds. Students may deposit money into their account by check or cash at school or by credit card through Infinite Campus. Checks should be made payable to “Spring Lake Park Schools Nutrition Services.” Households with more than one child in a school need to designate the amount of money to be placed into each child’s account. If your student(s) leaves the district and there is a positive balance in their account, please complete a refund/transfer form found on the Nutrition Services web page. If the balance goes unclaimed, it will be transferred into an angel account.

Application for Educational Benefits

Families must complete a new application for each school year, which is mailed to each household in August. You will be notified of the status of your application by mail. 

The breakfast/lunch program is computerized, and a computerized management program eliminates the use of tickets. Each student is assigned an account number (PIN) to be used to make food payments and purchases. The purchase price of your child’s meal is then automatically deducted from the account. If your child brings cold lunch, you might want to put some money into his/her account to cover milk purchases. There will be no change given to students. Any change will be deposited in the student’s account. When the account balance becomes low, your child will be notified that it is time to bring more money. Every meal is a well-planned and balanced meal. 

Spring Lake Park Schools provides free and reduced- price meals for children. A letter to parents each school year explains the program and includes an application form. A parent or guardian may apply at any time during the year for free or reduced-price lunches for their children by completing the application form and returning it to the principal’s office. Applications are processed and eligibility letters are sent out from our district food service office.

Food Allergies

The Nutrition Services department is aware of the increasing number of children who are affected by a food allergy. As a way to help parents know what ingredients are in food served at district schools, ingredient statements for menu items are available online or by request akimme@district16.org.

District staff works to protect children with food allergies from potential reactions. The process starts with the school nurse who communicates to the kitchen manager about students with food allergies. The kitchen manager notes the allergy on the student’s school meal account, which is linked to the point of sale to notify the cashier. If a food allergy is prompted by the computer, together, the cashier and student will review the meal.

Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies
  • Peanut butter sandwiches are served prepackaged to prevent cross contamination with other items
  • All bakery items received from the bread company, including sliced bread for sandwiches and toast, hamburger buns and hot dog buns are manufactured in a tree nut and peanut free facility
  • For all other items on the menu, it is recommended parents view the ingredient statement to determine if a food is “safe” for their child to eat

Families are always welcome to provide lunch from home for their student.

Peanut/Nut Aware Classrooms and Snacks

Spring Lake Park Schools is continuing to emphasize practices that make our schools safe for all students. This work includes partnering with parents in adopting peanut and nut aware practices. Many students in our schools have severe allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, and/or products which contain nuts. Strict avoidance is the best way to prevent a severe allergic reaction. Accidental ingestion or even touching a tiny trace of a nut may cause a potential fatal reaction for some students.

In an effort to ensure all students are safe throughout the school day, we are asking parents to partner with us to ensure the safety of our students. We need help in supporting the following guidelines to make our classrooms peanut/nut aware:

  • All classrooms will be peanut/nut aware throughout Spring Lake Park Schools
  • Please do not send any classroom snacks containing nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, or other nut products for daily snacks
  • If your child packs a lunch containing tree nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, or other nut products, it must stay in a sealed container while being kept in the classroom
  • Students will be permitted to bring nut products as part of their lunch, as students with allergies sit at a separate table where there is adult supervision of food products
  • Nut aware tables will be clearly labeled in lunch rooms for students with allergies
  • Please be aware of products that may be produced in a plant that contains peanuts/nuts

It is not an expectation that your child brings a snack to school, nor will there be a designated time for snack during the school day. If you choose to send a snack for your child to eat during the school day, they may do so under the above guidelines.

Personal Property/Valuables

Common sense and consideration is the best guide in determining whether or not to bring personal possessions (valuables, iPhones, headphones, handheld games, etc.) to school. The school staff is not responsible for valuables that students bring to school. It is recommended that students leave all valuables at home. If special circumstances make it necessary for a student to bring money or other important possessions to school, please have your child let his/her teacher know and leave the belongings in the office.

Problem Solving Procedures for Parents

We want to know what you think concerning what happens at our schools. Please call or stop in at any time. If your child tells you something about school that sounds unreasonable, please contact a teacher or principal. This type of communication helps prevent misunderstanding. When you are especially pleased about something a teacher or the school is doing, it would also be nice to hear from you. A phone call or a note about something that pleases you can make a teacher’s (or principal’s) day.

If you are concerned about a situation in your child’s education, visit with the classroom teacher first, and then with the principal, if necessary.

Recess

All students will be expected to go outside for recess unless the weather does not permit. Students will need a written note from a physician to be excused from recess. Students are expected to wear boots, snow pants, coats, and appropriate winter clothing. The following are our guidelines for canceling outdoor recess:

  • The outside temperature is 0° and/or the wind-chill factor is -10 °F
  • Extreme icy or sloppy conditions
  • Raining and/or lightning

School Closings, Delayed Starts, and Early Dismissals

Snow, extremely cold weather, or a facilities problem such as a broken water main could cause schools to close for the day, start late, or dismiss early.

The district makes every possible effort to keep schools open, in most weather conditions, if bus travel is safe. Unless we announce otherwise, assume that school will be in session. In the case of snowy or cold conditions, be sure to dress your kids warmly for the possibility of longer walk times or waits at the bus stop, and allow for the occasional delay with pick-up times. As always, it is the parent’s decision about whether or not to have their child go to school. A student who remains at home or arrives late will be excused.

Notification sources if school is canceled

  • An alert notification about school closing will be sent to you by telephone, e-mail and/or text. A message will be sent to your primary phone, cell phone, or work phone and e-mail address, depending on the information you provided the district. To update your records or see your contact preferences, login into Campus Portal on the district website. You can contact your child’s school, the Technology Help Desk at 763-600-5555 or email portal@district16.org for assistance.
    • An easy-to-find Alert Message will be posted on the top of each page of the district and school websites
    • Recorded messages will be on district and school office phones
    • Twin Cities news radio and television stations will be contacted

Student Census Verification Form

The Student Census Verification can be accessed and changed in Parent Portal or parents can contact their child’s school office to make any necessary changes. Remember to notify the school of any change in address, telephone numbers, child care, or emergency contact person. Please also notify the school if your work status or work schedules change. This information serves a number of purposes and must be as complete and accurate as possible.

Student Drop-off and Pick-up

Buses

For schools with bus drop-off and pick-up in the back of the school, we ask parents to not drop off children in the back of the school as this is a bus only area. 

Cars

If you are driving children to and from school, use the parking lot or drop-off lane in the front of the school. Your child will enter through the main entrance of the school. Parents can either park in the parking lot and walk their child into the school or stay in the drop-off lane and let the child out in front of the school. For safety reasons, we ask parents to not drop their child off in the parking lot and have them walk across the street on their own or park in the drop-off lane and walk their child into school.

Students should not be dropped off prior to 9 a.m. unless they are enrolled in Learning Ventures Child Care, before-school programs or when previous arrangements have been made. Due to safety reasons, we are unable to have students wait without parents prior to 9 a.m. After 9 a.m., students will wait outside until the school bell rings. In inclement weather, students will be allowed to wait indoors.

Students Coming and Going from School

If your child is not going home as he/she usually does, it is necessary to notify the teacher and the office in writing at least 30 minutes prior to dismissal, giving permission and detailing the change of arrangements for that day. Please do not rely on email – if for some reason a teacher is absent on a given day, the sub would not have access to the teacher’s email account. Please call the office. If a student is going to another child’s home after school, each child’s parent must send a written permission note. Students may not ride a bus other than their assigned bus, unless there is an emergency situation where a parent will not be home to meet the student. Encourage your child to return directly home after school without stopping to play until he/she has reported his/her whereabouts to you.

Supplemental Student Accident Insurance

Spring Lake Park Schools, and all of its employees, work hard to ensure that every student has a safe and rewarding experience while attending our schools. Even with this environment and the many precautions we take, accidents can happen while students are at school.

You may or may not be aware that the district does not provide insurance coverage for students during the time they spend on school grounds. If a child has an accident while attending school during the day or while participating in after school activities, the family’s health insurance carrier would cover any related expenses.

We have made it convenient for families to purchase student accident insurance through Special Markets Insurance Consultants, Inc. and underwritten by Sentry Life Insurance Company for the upcoming school year. This program is completely voluntary. Each family should examine their health insurance coverage as well as co-pays and deductible limits to determine if this supplemental coverage would be a benefit to them.

The district has made it relatively convenient for families to purchase Student Accident Insurance through Special Markets Insurance Consultants, Inc. and underwritten by Sentry Life Insurance Company for the upcoming school year. This program is completely voluntary. Each family should examine their health insurance coverage as well as co-pays and deductible limits to determine if this supplemental coverage would be a benefit to them.

If you are interested in exploring a supplemental insurance coverage, by August 15, we will have a link on the school district’s website that will make available a variety of insurance coverage options for families to consider for their students. If you have questions about this service, you can call the Business Office at 763-600-5033.

View the Student Accident Medical Insurance Program brochure

Learn how to signup for the voluntary student accident insurance

View the schedule of benefits

Telephone Calls

To maximize learning time, calls will only be forwarded to voicemail and not directly to the classroom when class is in session. Teachers will check for messages and return calls at an appropriate time or within 24 hours. Students may use the phone for emergencies only. Please make arrangements for after-school activities prior to the start of the school day.

Visiting

We encourage parents to participate fully in their child’s education. Should you wish to visit your child’s classroom, please contact the classroom teacher in advance of your intended visit. Each school has special activity days at which time all parents are invited to visit. You will receive special notice of these dates. All visitors must sign in at the security desk in the main office. Parents are welcome to come and have lunch with their child. However, parents will not be permitted to go to their child’s classroom at any time during the day without prior arrangements having been made between the teacher and parent, and then communicated to the office staff.

Building Security – Visitor Guidelines

We encourage parents to participate fully in their child’s education. Should you wish to visit your child’s classroom, please contact the classroom teacher in advance of your intended visit. Each school has special activity days at which time all parents are invited to visit. You will receive special notice of these dates. All visitors must sign in at the security desk in the main office. Parents are welcome to come and have lunch with their child. However, parents will not be permitted to go to their child’s classroom at any time during the day without prior arrangements having been made between the teacher and parent, and then communicated to the office staff.

Child Visitors

Students are not permitted to bring friends, younger brothers/sisters or visiting relatives to the regular school class. Parents volunteering or visiting a classroom are also asked to not bring along young children. It has been our experience that such visitations cause confusion in programming, and may be a disruption to the learning activities.

Wednesday Communication Folder

In order to foster excellent school/home communication, each child will bring home a Wednesday Folder. Parents are requested to review the folder Wednesday evening and return the folder with their student the following day. Occasionally, there will be notes, papers, or forms requiring a parent’s signature, and these should be signed and returned in the folder the following day.

Parents are encouraged to communicate with their child’s teacher any time and use the weekly folder to request a conference, phone call or to make other comments. We have found that this system of communication encourages a larger percentage of school information reaching our parents.