Policies and Expectations at Mint Valley Elementary

Information by subject (alphabetized)

A complete up-to-date review of policies can be found in our
Parent/Student Handbook (placed online May, 2014)

Attendance and Tardy Policies
Attendance Procedures

Attendance Procedures

Excellent school attendance is one of the most important factors in your child's academic success. At Mint Valley we ask parents to make excellent attendance a priority by limiting absences to those due to illness, and to make routine appointments outside of school hours whenever possible.

We ask parents to communicate in the following ways:

  • Call the school in the morning to let us know the reason your child is absent. Please call 575-7581, before 9:00 a.m. By contacting us, we know your child is safe and we will not make efforts to contact you during the day. If your child is going to be late and needs a lunch, call to order before 9:30 a.m.
  • Send a written note to the school office the day your child returns, stating the reason for the absence. These notes are kept in your child's attendance file.
  • Notify the office if you are planning a vacation during the school year. Any absence which impedes a student's progress may not be excused. Please follow up with a written note the day your child returns. If you are taking your child out for a day or more, there is a form in the office to fill out to excuse that time. This needs to be filled out at least three days before the absence.

School staff will communicate with you in the following ways:

  • You will receive an automated call from the school if your child is abesnet. (RCW.28A.)
  • If absences (or tardiness) are excessive, our staff is available to assist you in solving issues interfering with attendance. We will attempt to communicate with you by phone, letter, home visit, or by scheduling a conference.
  • Physician excuses may be requested to substantiate excessive absences. The decision to excuse absences rests with the principal.
Homework Procedures

Much of the classroom work is done with a classroom book or workbook, or done in class.

If your child is absent for a couple of days, we would suggest the following:

  • Read - Either read to them or have them read a book.
  • Math - Practice simple math facts.

If you feel they need to have homework sent from school, please allow their teacher 24 hours notice and then pick up work in the office.


Lost and Found


Each year we have dozens of coats and other articles of clothing in our lost and found.  Please  write your child’s name of the label of their coats so we can identify the owner of lost items.  A lot of the coats look the same so name are really important to determine ownership.


Counselor Services


A counselor is available at Mint Valley. A referral may come from parents or a staff member for counseling or academic concerns. The child may be seen in individual or group settings depending on the nature of the referral. 



Early Release for Staff Development
The Longview School District is committed to a process called “Strategic Planning.”  The goal of this process is to improve our schools to meet the learning needs of all of our students.
To provide time to work together to initiate changes nad improvements in curriculum and instructional techniques, we start school one hour late every Wednesday.  
Our staff uses this time to meet and work on Site Action Plans to improve instruction in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing.  We will have workshops from experts  in these curricular areas.  We will do team and individual planning which will allow us to find ways to apply the information and strategies that we learn.


Emergency School Closures
Will there be school today?   Or, it has started to snow will school be letting out early?
When we have cold and blustery weather; parents, teachers and even students begin to wonder about the possibility of school being cancelled due to snow, ice or other conditions, which would make the trip to school hazardous.  Remember, the presence of a little snow is not the main factor.  Decisions about canceling school are name early in the morning.  District officials notify all local radio stations of these decisions.  Stations in turn, relay this message to listeners several times, beginning at 6:00 am.
If, on a given snowy or icy morning, you wonder about whether there will be school, just turn on your radio or television to one of these stations:
KBAM  1270 AM, KLOG  , KLYK, KEDO 1400 AM, 1490 AM KUKN 94.5 FM, and KAZL 107.1 FM
TV Channels: 2, 6, and 8 or Web sites: www.pdxinfo.net
Information will be repeated several times during the morning.   ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WILL NOT HAVE LATE STARTS.  


Mint Valley is a Title I School because of the percentage of students enrolled who qualify for free or reduced lunch. The Federal Government provides us with funds to support our classroom instructional program. In the past, our Title I Reading Teacher has taught reading groups during the 90 minute reading blocks each day. This will change for the 2006-2007 school year. The Title I Reading Teacher will provide instruction that is supplementary to the regular program. 
Students will be assessed in specific reading skills three times per year. Those students whose performance is not at the specified level will have additional time to master those specific skills outside of the regular reading block time. The targeted instruction will be provided by the Title I Reading Teacher with support by para-educators. Usually this will be thirty minutes per day in small groups. There will be support of math instruction as well, following the same patterns.
Our Title I funds have provided us with the opportunity to expand our kindergarten schedule  Some kindergarten students with deficits in specific skills will be provided the opportunity to either come earlier in the case of pm students or stay later which would apply to the morning students.  The extra time will be spent providing instruction targeted at those skills. Once the skills are at the correct level, students will go back to the regular kindergarten day.
Our Parent Liaison is funded by Title I funds. She is a distinct asset to our ability to support families in a number of ways including attendance, transportation, and coordination with community support agencies.
One requirement of the Title I program is that we have a “Parent-School Compact,” which is essentially a listing of the responsibilities of the school and staff, the student, and the parent. These compacts are reviewed during conferences in the fall and signed by the teacher, the student and the parent. 


Daily Bell Schedule
8:20– Breakfast Begins
9:00--School Starts-Tardy bell rings
3:30-Dismissal Bell rings
3:40 Busses depart


Attendance and Tardy Policies
It is important that a child be in school every  day unless there is a compelling reason for an absence.  When students miss school their learning is impacted and they tend to struggle more. Missed instruction and interactions with the teacher and classmates cannot be made up.  Please make sure your child is here regularly. If you child is ill, please call the school office (575-7581) AND send a written excuse when the child returns to school.  This is a requirement established by the State of Washington. If you do not call us, we will call you.  This is an issue of safety.
The Becca Bill passed by the Washington State Legislature requires the following steps be followed when an absence is unexcused.

1. First unexcused absence:  The school will call or send a written notice about the absence.

2. Second unexcused absence in a month or seventh in a school year: A certified letter will be sent asking for a conference with the parent.  A conference must be held and a plan written to solve the problem.

3. If the problem continues, a referral will be made to the district attendance officer.

TARDY:  a student arriving at school after the 8:50 bell will be marked tardy. If a student arrives an hour or more after the tardy bell, they will be marked absent for the morning. If they are checked out earlier than an hour before school ends, they will be marked absent for the afternoon. If, for some reason your child in not able to get to school on time, please call the office and specify whether or not a lunch needs to be ordered.
For those times when a child needs to leave school early for a doctor’s appointment or for some other reason, parents must check the student out through the office. We will not release a child to anyone not designated by the parent to pick the child up from school. Please provide the school with any legal paperwork regarding guardianship arrangements so that we can follow any court-appointed child custody limitations. A non-custodial parent has the right to be informed of a child’s school progress. The non-custodial parent will not be permitted to visit with nor will the student be released to the non-custodial parent without the approval of the custodial parent (Longview School District Policy 3610)


The staff at Mint Valley expects that ALL of our students will behave appropriately in  the classroom and throughout the school.  When students behave appropriately, we will make a conscious effort to acknowledge or recognize that behavior in a positive manner to increase the likelihood that this behavior will continue.  We also want the students to be self-managers and recognize when they are behaving responsibly.
The students who misbehaves does so because he or she made a choice to act in such a manner.  We will work with the student with parent support to make them aware of more acceptable behavioral choices.  Consequences for inappropriate behavior will be applied.  The first step is usually a reflection time still in the classroom but away from where the problem occurred.  If the student is not able to gain control they will be asked if they need to have their parents involved for help and guidance.  If the negative behavior continues they are sent to the office to make arrangement for you to come to school. 
Our school behavioral guidelines and classroom rules will be relatively few in number, but will be general in nature.  They will be taught to your child so that he or she knows what is expected.
When necessary, severe problems will be dealt with using appropriate strategies and consequences.  Examples of severe problems are: fighting, bullying, direct defiance or disobedience, damage to property, etc.  Parents will be notified in cases of chronic or severe disobedience.  Typically, the principal deals with severe behavior issues.
For our school to be successful, the cooperation of you, the parent is vital.  It is critical that we work together to support our students and to provide consistency in our expectations.  Working together, we can teach our students to be responsible, pro-vide a positive school atmosphere, and enhance each student’s opportunity to learn.



Students today have many personal toys, games along with electronic devices for video, music etc.  As a school, we work very hard to use our  time and resources to enhance students’ learning capacity.  Personal items have the potential to be disruptive to the learning process and to create difficulties for staff, parents, and students.
Many of these personal items are expensive.  When they are brought to school, we cannot be responsible for them.  Because of the possibility of damage or loss due to theft, we recommend that students NOT bring toys, games, or electronic devices.
Remember that each grade level has a list of supplies that are needed to assist student learning.  If you are wondering whether an item is appropriate for school use, please check with your child’s teacher.  
If an item brought to school results in a distraction or disruption the staff member may confiscate an item and return it at the end of the day to the child or parent.  Repeated problems will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
Your child may have a need for a cell phone for safety and family communication purposes, which is fine.  Cell phones must be kept in back packs and remain turned off during the day.  This will minimize the potential for disruption.  


Vacations and School Attendance
Because attendance is so vital for school success, we ask that you try to schedule family vacations during the school vacations.  Please see the principal to discuss whether you plans may or may not be considered excused.


On four occasions during the school year, students will be dismissed tow hours early to facilitate family plans for holidays or vacations.  Dismissal for these days will be at 1:30 pm.  Please  note these dates on your calendar. 
Beginning of Thanksgiving Break
Beginning of Winter Break
Beginning of Spring Break
Beginning of Summer Vacation


Homework Procedures
Much of the classroom work  is done with a  classroom book or workbook, or done as a class.
If your child is absent for a couple of days, we would suggest the following:

 Read ~ Either read to them or have them read a book.

 Math ~ Practice simple math facts

If you feel they need to have homework sent from school, please allow their teacher 24 hours notice and then pick up work in the office.


Breakfast & Lunch
Breakfast is at 8:20 AM in the gym.  
Supervision for children starts at 8:30 AM.  Children should not be at school prior to  8:20.
Free and reduced lunch forms must be filled out at the beginning of each year.  They can be picked up in the office.
Any amount of money can be added to your child’s account.  
Your child will be notified if their account is getting low.  To find 
out your account balance, call  Nutrition Services at 575-7172.
Any overage at the end of the year will be carried over.
**Please fill out a new free/reduced form in the office if there are any changes in household occupants or income during the year.


Volunteers are always welcome!! 
If you are interested in volunteering at Mint Valley, please pick up forms in the office.
If you are wanting to volunteer for a field trip, return the completed forms two weeks before the field trip.


Our goal is to make Mint Valley Elementary School a safe place for our students and staff.  There are some concerns that we are trying to address.  For these efforts to b e successful, we need your help and cooperation.


School District Policy requires that all visitors to the school are required to check in at the office.  Volunteers need to sign in and pick up identification badges.  A check in system assures us that only parents and others with legitimate business or reasons are present in our school.  Those without identification will be asked to check in at the office.  Staff members are also required to wear district photo identification.


If you are dropping off an item for your child during the day, we ask that you do not go directly to the classroom, but check in through the office. 


It is important for you to notify your child’s teacher of changes in routines and schedules for after school pickups.  We have a large number of parents calling just before dismissal time with messages on schedule changes or on who might be picking them up.  We are not always able to deliver the messages due to the number and the time needed to deliver these messages.  So, plan ahead and send a note with your child with the schedule change.  This will enable the office to handle those emergency times when plans change at the last minute.


Our Health Room is served by a school nurse, para-educator and office staff.  Services provided in the Health Room include:
Taking temperatures, observing for symptoms of illness, providing ice packs, treating minor cuts and bruises, allowing children not feeling well a chance to rest,  and contacting parents when that is deemed appropriate. 

During the school year the nurse assists with testing vision, hearing and scoliosis.  They keep the teachers informed of individual health concerns of specific children and is responsible for keeping records on immunizations. She provides training to staff and students on health topics and manages the distribution of medication.


By District Policy medication, both prescription and over the counter, is not given to students by school staff.  The only excep-tion to this is when a physician believes that the failure to receive medicine may result in the student being unable to attend school or participate in learning activities.
Two permission forms must be on file in the school office for medication to be given at school (forms are available from our office staff and most physician’s offices have them available  for you).
 1. Parent Request Form

2. Medical/Dental Authorization Form-filled out by a licensed physician or dentist.

State law requires these forms.  No other forms will be accepted.