Bedford Hills Elementary School

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information


How do I contact the school? 
You may contact Bedford Hills Elementary School by calling 914-666-2708 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The mailing address is 123 Babbitt Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507. The school fax number is 914-864-3492.  
 
How many sections are there in each grade level? 
For the 2016-2017 school year, the anticipated number of sections is as follows:

Kindergarten - 2 classes

First Grade - 3 classes

Second Grade - 3 classes

Third Grade – 2 classes

Fourth Grade – 2 classes

Fifth Grade – 3 classes


What is the student enrollment in the school? 
There are approximately 300 students who attend Bedford Hills Elementary School.


Can I walk my child to his/her classroom on the first day of school? 
We encourage all students to take the bus to school. Parking at Bedford Hills Elementary School is limited. If you plan to drive your child to school on the first day, you may walk your child to the front door or drop them off in the front of the school.  No child should arrive at school before 8:30 unless they have an appointment with a teacher.


When will I know who my child’s teacher will be? 
This information will be mailed to you in mid-August.


Does our school have a before or after-school care program? 
The Country Children’s Center (CCC) is an independent, non-profit, tax exempt day care center licensed by the New York State Department of Social Services. CCC provides quality day care Monday through Friday on a year round basis. Please call 914-242-0520 or visit www.countrychildrenscenter.org for more information about the program, tuition, and availability.  


Is there a dress code? 
There is no dress code at Bedford Hills Elementary School. However, we do ask that students wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for school, recess, and the changing weather. In addition, we ask that students wear (or bring) sneakers when they have physical education. We do not allow sneakers with wheels or flip flops in school.  Please put your child’s name in all their clothing and on their lunch box. 


Can my child bring his/her snow pants/boots to school for recess? 
Children may bring their snow pants and boots to school. If they are prepared with this clothing and can independently put on/take off their snow apparel, they will be allowed to play in the snow during recess. Please write your child’s name on all outerwear.


Can my child leave their snow pants/boots in their cubby/locker? 
Your child may leave his/her snow pants and boots in his/her cubby/locker. However, we are not responsible for lost or stolen items.  
 
As a parent, what activities should I attend each year? 
It is very important that parents attend Open House, which takes place in mid-late September. It is also critical that parents attend the parent/teacher conferences, which occur twice a year (October and March). Parents are invited to many other events throughout the year (refer to the district calendar and notices sent home with your child or via electronic backpack), but these are the two most important events for parents to attend. BHESA meetings are also an important way to contribute to the school and learn about what is happening. 


Will my child go on any field trips? 
Yes, your child will go on field trips throughout the school year. The number of trips varies with each grade level. You will learn more about the field trips at Open House and from your child’s teacher.


Can my child carry and use a cell phone in school? 
While we do not prohibit students from bringing cell phones to school, we do discourage this practice. If students do bring cell phones to school, the cell phone must remain off and kept in their backpacks. They may not be used at any point during the school day and BHES is not responsible for lost or damaged cell phones.


What about other personal items and electronic devices in school?  
Game Boys, ipods and other hand-held electronic devices are not permitted in school. In addition, trading cards of any kind are not allowed in school.


What is the recess policy? 
Each grade level has recess for 25 minutes per day. Please be sure your child has warm clothes, gloves, and a hat for cold weather. If there is inclement weather (rain, heavy snow, or high winds) or if the temperature is below 20 degrees (with the wind chill), students will have indoor recess. Indoor recess is when students stay in their classrooms and participate in quiet, indoor activities such as drawing, board games, etc.
 
Will I be able to volunteer in the school? 
This varies with the needs of each teacher and the students in each class. Please contact your child’s teacher if you are interested in volunteering. There are many opportunities to volunteer in the library. Contact our Library Media Specialist or the BHESA service coordinator for more information.  

Admission and Registration

When may my child begin kindergarten? 
Children who enter kindergarten in September must be five years of age by December 1st of that year. When you register your child for kindergarten, original proof of age is required. A birth, hospital, or baptismal certificate will be accepted. We will make a copy and return the original. All children who meet the age requirements may be enrolled in September. Parents who feel their children might not be ready for kindergarten are urged to discuss this with the principal.


How do I register my child for school? 
All children who are eligible to enter kindergarten in the Bedford Central School District are mailed a registration packet by February. If you do not receive a packet or are registering a child for another grade, please contact the district registrar, Mary Lou Cavaliere, at 914-241-6005. Completed forms need to be brought to the district registrar for approval.


What medical requirements must students meet in order to attend school? 
All students must have a physical examination in the year the child enters school. Most insurance companies pay/cover one healthy child visit per year.


What immunizations should my child have? 
Your child must have the following immunizations: 
• 2 MMR’s (or 2 measles, 1 mumps, and 1 rubella) 
• 4 DPT 
• 4 Polio 
• 3 Hep B 
• 1 Varicella/Varivax 
If a student has incomplete immunizations, the parent/guardian must show acceptable proof that the child is “in the process of receiving” the required immunizations. A child must have received at least one dose of each vaccine and the parent/guardian must provide the date(s) of appointments with a specified health care provider for completion of the required immunization.  

Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack

Does my child eat snack in school? 
The students in each grade level are asked to bring snack to school.  The children are encouraged to bring a healthy snack to school.


Is there a breakfast program? 
Yes, there is a breakfast program. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and costs $1.50.  Children being dropped off for the breakfast program must report directly to the cafeteria. 


Can my child buy lunch every day? 
Students can bring lunch from home or purchase lunch and/or milk at school. Milk costs $0.65.  The monthly menu for lunch is posted on the school website. 


How much does the lunch cost? 
The price of a lunch is $2.00. A monthly menu is distributed to the students showing the daily lunch choices.


What is a lunch ticket? 
Every student is issued a student ID card at the beginning of the school year. This card remains in the cafeteria and allows students to order lunch without having to bring in money daily. Parents may choose to put any amount of money on the card and when the funds are depleted, parents will receive a reminder notice to send in money, should they wish to continue with this practice. (Checks should be made out to BHES Lunch Fund and put in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name and the word “cafeteria.”)

What if my child has allergies? 
Please contact the school nurse if your child has any severe allergies.  The school has peanut-free tables in the cafeteria and the students can invite friends to sit with them at the table. 

Academics

What is the maximum class size? 
The Board of Education has set the following guidelines for class size: 
Grades K-2 ………shall not exceed 25 students 
Grades 3-5 ………shall not exceed 28 students

Typically, the classes are well below these numbers, ranging from 19 to 23. 


What are specials? 
Interspersed each day is a special area subject such as physical education, art, or music. Students work with a teacher specialist in each of these areas. Every student has an opportunity to visit the library each week in order to borrow books. Each class visits the computer lab at least once a week.


What types of programs are available for students?  
Bedford Hills offers an array of programs and/or services for our students. The Enrichment Program provides extended and accelerated enrichment opportunities for the students who are identified as gifted learners. Academic Intervention Services (AIS) services are available to students who do not meet the standards on the Grades 3 – 5 NYS assessments and/or students who meet the district criteria.  Special Education and Speech and Language services are provided to students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and/or meet the district criteria for building level support. English as a Second Language (ESL) services are provided to our English Language Learners.


What is AIS? 
AIS is an acronym for Academic Intervention Services. These services are given to any student that does not meet the standards on any one of the NYS assessments. AIS services may also be given to students based on teacher observation and recommendation. These services are provided through various models. If your child is to receive this service, you will be informed via a phone call from your child’s teacher and a letter sent through the mail. The frequency of these services are determined by the building’s support services team.


What is a learning specialist? 
A learning specialist is a teacher who provides services to students with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or supports regular education students with high academic needs.


Are there speech and language services available? 
Speech and language services are provided to students who need this intervention in order to benefit from instruction. Service delivery can be provided in a variety of ways.


Are there programs for the Gifted and Talented students? 
Currently, the district addresses the needs of gifted students in different ways at the various levels. At the elementary level, there is a screening process to identify gifted students. Those identified are then scheduled into an enrichment push-in/pull-out program.  
At all levels there are teachers who differentiate their instruction to enrich learning for their gifted and advanced students. 

How much homework should I expect my child to have? 
Program demands will vary slightly from teacher to teacher. You can anticipate the approximate amount of homework as indicated below:

Grade Level

Homework and Reading Expectations for Students

Kindergarten

·     0-10  minutes on a occasional basis

First Grade

·     10-20  minutes on weeknights

Second Grade

·     20-30  minutes on weeknights

Third Grade

·     30-40  minutes on weeknights

Fourth Grade

·     40-50  minutes on weeknights

Fifth Grade

·     50-60  minutes on weeknights for regular assignments  and on weekends for occasional and long  term projects

How often are report cards distributed? 

Report cards are distributed three times per year.

 

How are report cards distributed? 
Report cards are distributed in the following manner: 
- sent home with the student In December and March.  
- mailed home after the last day of school.

 

How often are parent/teacher conferences scheduled? 
Parent teacher conferences are scheduled twice a year – October and March.

How do I communicate with my child’s teacher? 
Please ask your child’s teacher regarding the best way to contact him/her (voice mail, e-mail, etc.) You may always call the main office and leave a message.  

How do BHES students do on State Assessments?
Assessment and curriculum information can be found at the BCSD  Office of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment website
http://www.bcsdny.org/Departments.cfm?subpage=72


Health Services

Is there always a nurse present at school? 
Yes, there is always a nurse present during school hours. The nurse maintains health records for each child, administers first aid, assesses students with symptoms of illness or infection, and acts as a resource for teachers.


How often must my child submit physical examination information? 
You must submit physical examination information in kindergarten, second grade, and fourth grade.


What should I do if my child needs to take medicine at school? 
If your child needs to take medication at school, you should call the nurse and ask for the Permission for Medication Form. The doctor and parent must complete the form and sign it. Ask the pharmacy to label the bottle. A parent must bring in the medication and forms (children are not to carry medication in school).


What happens if my child becomes ill or gets hurt at school? 
Your child will go to the school nurse. The nurse will assess your child and call you if he/she needs to leave school early. It is imperative that we have a current phone and emergency contact numbers on file.


What should I do if my child temporarily cannot participate in physical education or outdoor recess? 
If your child cannot participate in physical education or outdoor recess, please have your physician write a note indicating the reason and length of time that your child will not be participating.


Does the school nurse do examinations of students’ eyes and ears? 
The school nurse completes a yearly vision examination of all students, with the exception of fourth grade students. A hearing examination is done yearly except in second and fourth grade. If you have concerns about your child’s hearing, you may contact the school nurse and request that your child be given a hearing exam.


Attendance

When does the school day start and end? 
The school day begins at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm. Children may enter the building at 8:30am but should arrive at school no later than 8:50am. There is no supervision prior to 8:30, so please do not send your children early.  The breakfast program begins at 8:30.


What should I do if my child is going to be absent? 
If your child is going to be absent from school, you should call the main office in the morning to let them know. When your child returns to school, NYS law requires that you send in a note indicating the reason for his/her absence.


What should I do if my child is late to school? 
If your child is late to school, bring him/her to the main office. A staff member will issue a “late pass” to your child before he/she goes to their classroom. A written note with the reason should be given to the office.


What should I do if I want my child to leave school early on a given day? 
If your child needs to leave school early on any given day, please write a note and send it to school with your child. Your child will give the note to the classroom teacher and the teacher will notify the main office. When you arrive to pick up your child, you will sign him/her out in the main office. (The main office will notify the classroom and your child will come to the main office.)


How will I know when school is closed or delayed for emergency reasons or inclement weather? 
You should listen to the local radio stations and/or check the district web site (www.bcsdny.org) to find out if there is a school closing or delay. The decision to close or delay school is typically made by 6:00am. Families will also receive an automated call from the School Messenger system. 


How will I know if school has to be closed in the middle of the day? 
If school has to be closed in the middle of the day, the School Messenger system will be activated. This service allows us to send a recorded telephone message and/or e-mail message to all parents within minutes after an emergency or incident has occurred at a specific building or in the district. You will verify a demographics page at the beginning of the school year so that you may be a part of this system. (If you need to update your information, please contact the main office.) In addition, announcements will be made over the radio whenever possible. In the event of an early dismissal, after-school activities will be cancelled. It is essential for parents who are not going to be home to have another adult who will be responsible in the event of delayed openings or early closings. Parents must be sure that their child knows of the procedures that he/she is to follow.

Parents should contact the school office by fax (914-864-3492) or email at cgold2524@bcsdny.org and dstrong1058@bcsdny.org or by phone at 914-666-2708 or 914-241-1362 if your child will go home a different way than he or she usually goes.  No calls are necessary if they will dismiss in the usual way. 

Testing

What standardized tests do students take and in what years? 
The New York State English Language Arts Assessment (ELA) in grades 3, 4, and 5. 
The New York State Mathematics Assessment in grades 3, 4, and 5. 
The Elementary Level Science Test in grade 4. 
The NYSESLAT is given to ESL students in all grades.

 

BHESA

What is BHESA? 
BHESA is our elementary school’s parent teacher organization. Their goal is to work together to make the children’s educational experience the best it can possibly be.


What does BHESA do? 
BHESA organizes and sponsors student enrichment assemblies, field trips, programs, and activities that the children of BHES would not receive through the regular school budget. BHESA also organizes fundraisers (BINGO Night, Book Fair, etc.) to fund these assemblies and trips.


When are BHESA meetings? 
BHESA meetings usually take place at 7:30pm every other month. Please refer to your district calendar for specific dates/times.


How is information communicated to parents that cannot attend the meeting? 
This information is communicated through flyers (sent home with students), e-mails, and a monthly newsletter.


How can I get involved in BHESA? 
BHESA is made up of various committees and subcommittees including Community Events, Educational Enrichment, Communications, Fundraising, Volunteerism, and more. Call a member of the Steering Committee or simply attend one of the monthly BHESA meetings.  


Transportation

How do I contact the transportation department? 
You can contact the Transportation Department by calling 241-6001.


What should I do if my child reports an incident that occurred on the bus? 
You should contact the Transportation Department to report bus incidents.


Can I drive my child to school? 
Yes, you may drive your child to school, but we encourage all children to ride the bus or walk to school. If you plan on driving your child to school, you should pull into the drop off loop and have your child exit the car on the right side. If you need to get out