Evergreen Forest Student & Family Handbook
Evergreen Forest Student Expectations
- Be at school (on time), unless ill.
- Follow school, classroom, playground, and bus rules.
- Obey all adults who work and volunteer at the school.
Bobcats PRRR!: We are Positive, Responsible, Respectful, We Reach our Potential
Positive Behavior Intervention & Support (PBIS)
PBIS focuses on providing a clear and consistent system of expected behaviors. Students are taught the expected behaviors for the classroom, hallways, breakfast and lunch line, restroom, playground, and before/after school. Expectations are taught and reinforced throughout the year. The emphasis is on reinforcing positive behavior and providing students with the tools necessary to succeed at school and become productive citizens.
PBIS Daily Reward System: When students display expected behaviors, Bobcat Bonus tickets will be given out. With each Bobcat Bonus, students earn a paw stamp on their Earn and Return Card. The Earn and Return Card will be completed upon earning ten stamps, and the student will receive a paw token. Students can earn many different colored paws to wear on their lanyards.
If a Student Doesn't Follow the Rules
Staff will teach and reinforce the expectations we have created for students. In the event a student chooses to behave in a manner that is unsafe or interferes with the learning environment, Evergreen Forest will use progressive discipline to help students make positive choices. Guardians will be notified by email, note, phone call, or in person if the behavior becomes chronic. For major discipline incidents, the administration will contact guardians.
Hallway and Common Areas: Students are expected to walk silently through the halls to avoid disturbing learning. Students should allow space for others, stay to the right, and keep their hands, feet, and belongings to themselves.
Restrooms: Students are expected to appropriately use the restroom, wash their hands, and quickly return. Students are expected to keep the restrooms clean by using supplies with care and cleaning up after themselves.
Breakfast and Lunch: Students are expected to use good table manners, quiet voices, and polite, kind words. Students are responsible for keeping their area clean and picking up after themselves. Please help your child master mealtime expectations by practicing at family meals.
Playground: Students are expected to play safely, take turns, use appropriate language, and follow game and equipment rules. All students are expected to be helpful and considerate to one another. Students will be taught problem-solving strategies and are asked to practice positive solutions to small problems.
Recognition for Exceptional Behavior
Students will have a Paw Pride Certificate on display in their classroom or hallway. Students who have not received a discipline referral will earn a paw sticker for outstanding behavior each month. At the end of the year, students who have earned a paw sticker every month (no FYI's or major referrals all year) will earn a golden seal on their certificate.
Academic Collaboration Time (ACT) Days
There are designated days during the school year for staff to collaborate, look at data, and make plans to ensure that students are successful at school. This is called Academic Collaboration Time (ACT). The days are held on Wednesdays throughout the school year, and school is dismissed at 1:40 pm on those days.
Evergreen Forest staff know that students are most successful when they are in class, learning every day. Our expectations for attendance are: In school, On Time, All Day, Everyday!
Consistent school attendance is required by law. Families must call the school, send a note, or report an absence in Skyward Family Access. The office must hear from parents on or before the day of your absence, or we will call home. See more information about the absence reporting process >>
What if your student is sick?
If a student is sick and not coming to school, please call the school office at 360-412-4670 or use Skyward Family Access to report the illness. If the absence is not reported, office staff will call to find out why students are absent.
When a student has a fever or becomes ill at school, we will call and send the student home. Students should be free of fever for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
If your child is absent from school, all make-up work will be given to the student when they return to school. We will not provide make-up work while the child is absent because:
- If a child is too sick to come to school, they should rest and recuperate.
- Reading is always a standing assignment and should be done every day when possible.
- Collecting homework for one child stops the instruction time of the teacher and class.
- Missed work is not always replicable in the form of homework and must be adjusted by the teacher.
Breakfast & Lunch at School
Meal prices for 2023-24 (unless there is a current free & reduced price application on file):
- Milk only - $0.50
- Breakfast - $2.25
- Lunch - $3.25
Free/Reduced lunch applications can be picked up in the school office or filled out online anytime. Students on the free/reduced meal program from the prior year will automatically continue on the program into the next school year for the first 30 school days or until a new application is processed. A new application will need to be submitted by the end of September. Once an application is completed, please allow up to 10 business days for it to process. Parents are responsible for all lunch charges before a free/reduced application has been approved.
Not only do students of qualifying families receive free breakfast and lunch, but certain fees are reduced or eliminated. See more information on free reduction >>
Hot Lunch vs. Cold Lunch
Students who want a hot lunch may purchase one that has been cooked by our kitchen staff. Teachers will not cook or warm food brought from home for students due to safety concerns. Food brought from home (cold lunch) should be healthy and edible without additional heating.
Change in After-School Routine
Any changes in after-school transportation, whether the student walks, rides the bus, or rides in a car, must be arranged at the beginning of the school day. Students will not be permitted to make telephone calls to parents or guardians during the day to inquire about altering their normal travel arrangements.
If the office does not receive a note specifying a change, students will go home the way they would on a normal day.
All changes to end-of-day transportation must be reported to the office before 2:00 pm on the day of the change (changes cannot be scheduled ahead of time).
Notes must have the exact instructions, including the date, first and last name of the student, guardian signature, and specific instructions for changes to the student's normal end-of-day routine.
Students may NOT be checked out of school between 2:35 and 2:55 pm. The last twenty minutes of the day are very important for learning as teachers review the day’s lessons and discuss homework assignments with students. Interruptions during the last twenty minutes disrupt vital learning time for the class. Proper identification will be required if an adult needs to pick up a student early from school. We will not send students anyone who is not a parent, guardian, or emergency contact. ID is always required, even for parents!
Please try to schedule appointments outside the school day. We realize this is not always possible, but the more students can learn in the classroom, the more successful they will be. If families have to pick up their child early, please send a note or contact the office as early in the day as possible.
Students must wear:
- Opaque top (shirt, blouse, sweater, sweatshirt, tank, etc.)
- Opaque bottom (pants, shorts, skirt, dress, etc.) that fully covers the rear.
- Clothing that covers undergarments or bathing suits of similar design (waistbands and bra straps excluded).
- Footwear (elementary students need to wear footwear that is safe for recess and PE).
This dress code permits additional student attire requirements when necessary to ensure safety in certain academic settings (e.g., recess, physical activity, science, or CTE courses). Additionally, these guiding principles allow for reasonable variation in required student attire for participation in specific activities (e.g., swimming or gymnastics).
The following dress (includes clothing/jewelry/costumes) creates an unsafe learning environment and is prohibited:
- Clothing that promotes drugs, alcohol, tobacco, violence, pornography, exclusive messaging, gang association/affiliation, or displays inappropriate pictures or writing.
- Clothing that demonstrates hate group association/affiliation or exhibits hate speech/imagery targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or other protected groups.
- Dress that covers the student’s face to the extent that the student is not identifiable (except clothing/headgear worn for a religious or medical purpose or masks worn to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases).
- Scented products to protect those with allergies.
- Jewelry that poses a safety hazard.
Exceptions to this dress code will be made for attire worn in observance of a student’s religion.
Drop-off and Pick-up Information
Students may begin to arrive as early as 8:05 am, no earlier. If a student eats breakfast at school, it is important that they arrive at 8:05 am so they have enough time to eat. There is no adult supervision until before 8:05 am. Students being dropped off or picked up need to do so at the designated locations.
Drop-off time ranges:
- Last names A-K at 8:10 am
- Last names L-Z at 8:17 am
Guardians will be called if students are dropped off early.
Students arriving at school after 8:25 am are recorded as tardy. A guardian must accompany the student to the office to sign them in if the tardy is to be excused. If this is not done, the tardy will be considered unexcused.
Students arriving at school after 10:20 am are recorded as a partial day absent. Students arriving after 12:50 pm are recorded as absent for the entire day. Students who leave school before 12:30 pm will be recorded as a partial day absent.
- Regular Day: 8:20 am–2:55 pm
- ACT Early Release Wednesdays: 8:20 am–1:40 pm
- Conference Half Days: 8:20–11:25 am
Since staff members have other assigned duties after school, it is very important that students are picked up on time. Please note conference half days and Academic Collaboration Time (ACT) Wednesdays on your family calendar at home to avoid confusion.
Evergreen Forest believes that students and staff are safer when we are prepared. Students and staff will practice multiple drills throughout the year to prepare for an emergency.
These drills include:
- Fire drills
- Earthquake drills
- Lock down drills
- Shelter in place drills (for situations where it is safer for students to be inside the building and not outdoors)
Students cannot go on a field trip without written permission from guardians. In some cases, inappropriate behavior may keep students from participating in field trips. In these cases, the teacher will have conversations with the child and guardians prior to the trip.
One of the field trip opportunities for students is Olympia Junior Programs (OJP), which allows students to watch live performances at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia each year.
Family volunteers are always needed for field trips. As with all our volunteers, a volunteer application needs to be submitted and approved. Fill out a volunteer application >> Applications take approximately two weeks to be approved and are good for two years.
Friendship & Bullying Information
Who do I play with at recess?
At recess, every student is welcome to play with others. Students can choose to play with different people each recess. We include new or shy students and those who may be different from ourselves. It is also OK to make a choice to play alone.
How do I play with others?
We take turns deciding what to play or do. We do not tease or call names. We do not gossip or talk about others behind their backs.
What do I do when someone’s feelings get hurt?
We apologize when we hurt another classmate’s feelings.
What do I do if I feel bullied?
If you feel that someone is bullying you, it is important that you tell an adult (parent, teacher, playground supervisor) so they can help you feel safe at school. Definition of bullying: Bullying is any mean word, look, or act that is done repeatedly to hurt someone’s body or feelings. Evergreen Forest staff will use various strategies to help Evergreen Forest be a safe learning environment. More information about the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying reporting process >>
Getting to School
Riding the Bus
Our preference is for all students to ride the bus or walk to school since we do not have enough parking or curb space to have everyone come to school with their families. The buses will get students to school on time. When riding the bus, remember that it is a privilege. Failure to follow the bus rules can result in losing bus privileges or not being allowed to ride the bus. The rules below are for student safety. If the drivers have to watch students, they cannot be as careful driving. Remember, when on a bus:
- Keep hands & feet to yourself.
- Speak kindly.
- Use indoor voices.
- Sit in one seat, facing forward during the whole ride.
- Keep the bus clean (pick up your papers).
- Eating on the bus is not allowed.
- Breakables, animals, balloons, and things that spill are not allowed.
- Hands, feet, head, and materials will be kept inside the bus.
- Follow the driver’s directions and instructions.
Students need to stay at the assigned bus stop. They are not allowed to change stops. If students are having trouble at their bus stop, families are encouraged to help with the situation or contact transportation.
Questions regarding transportation may be directed to the transportation department at 360-412-4540 or contact them on their webpage.
Walking to School
Only students living in designated walking areas may walk to school. If a house is on a bus route, students may not walk or ride a bike to school (or home) without an adult. This is a district policy and is for student safety. The crossing guards are stationed at the crosswalks near the school to ensure students get across the street safely. Do not cross unless they tell you it is safe and they are in the streets with their flags. We do not want our students hurt. Please show respect for our safety patrollers. See our walking zone and more information about transportation to school.
Bicycles, Rollerblades, etc.
Upon reaching school grounds, bikes, scooters, etc., must be walked directly to the bike racks and locked. If you choose to rollerblade to school, you will need to follow the rules for bikes. Students must wear a helmet. Shoes with skates in the shoe are not allowed in the building, as they tear up the floors and are a safety hazard.
Homework is an important part of a student’s education, providing necessary practice and enrichment, in addition to keeping families informed about what their child is learning. Students who do not complete classroom assignments and/or homework may be required to complete this work at recess.
At Evergreen Forest, our library has an extensive collection of books students may use at school and check out to take home and read. We want students to love reading and have the ability to access library books to read at school and at home. However, we need students to follow a few simple rules:
- Be careful with books – we want them to survive for many years to come!
- Return books on time – other students often wait for a book to be returned. When you return a book late, others also have to wait longer to read it.
Thank you for your help. Happy reading!
Lost and Found
Many children own similar or identical coats and other items. Remember to write your child’s name on coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, umbrellas, lunchboxes, gloves, etc. This will help us to return lost items to students quickly. Check the lost and found regularly if an item is lost. If no one claims the items, we will donate them to a local charity.
Medication at School
Schools are prohibited from giving medication unless guardians have filled out an Authorization For Administration of Medication at School form with the doctor’s instructions and signature. Guardians need to bring the medication in the original bottle from the pharmacy. Without the special form, we cannot give students cough medicine, Tylenol, or cough drops. Students cannot carry any medication, including cough drops or Tylenol, in their backpacks or pockets. Evergreen Forest Health Room and more information >>
Pets, Toys, and Valuables
Please do not bring pets, toys, trading cards, fidget spinners, or any valuables to school. If a student has an item to show and tell, please bring it in a large bag or backpack that is closed at the top. Families may want to bring it to school for the child if it is special or large. All show-and-tell items must have prior approval from the teacher.
School Phones: Students only call home when there is an emergency. (Calling home to go to a friend’s house is not an emergency.)
Cell phones: Cell phones are considered valuables and need to be left at home or out of sight and turned off while on school property. School staff will not be responsible for lost or stolen phones.
- Obey and report problems to the playground supervisors.
- Play safe: keep hands and feet to yourself, and take turns.
- Kicking, pushing, tripping, tackling, dog-piling, roughhousing, or engaging in any similar activity is prohibited.
- Differences should be settled peacefully, without fighting, threats, or insults.
- Play in authorized areas.
- No cell phones.
- No toys from home.
- No food.
- All game rules must be followed.
- Leave alone rocks, bark, sticks, pine cones, and other objects.
- Climbing on the backstops, fences, or school buildings is not permitted.
- Littering is not permitted.
- Spitting is not allowed.
- Do not jump off the playground equipment or run up the slide.
- Use only the restrooms that are designated as recess restrooms.
- When the bell rings, line up at your designated area quickly.
School & Classroom Communication
We try very hard to communicate with families regarding important events at school, either through a newsletter, website, or email. Classroom teachers may also send home a weekly or monthly newsletter. In addition, our school website and Facebook page are full of important and useful information about our school.
For phone calls, emails, and text messages, our school utilizes School Messenger using the contact information you have on file.
Some teachers opt to use Remind, our teacher-messaging service that sends text messages and phone app notifications directly from the teacher. Your teacher will let you know how they will communicate with you about their classroom.
Skyward Family Access
Skyward Family Access is the student data portal that includes attendance, grades, and more. Guardians are given login information, and new families are given login information as part of the enrollment process. If login information has been forgotten or there are further questions, please contact the office.
Log into Skyward via a web browser or through the smartphone app.
Special Treats or Parties at School
If at all possible, please celebrate birthdays and other special events at home. Many children have hurt feelings or religious concerns regarding these events. If students choose to celebrate at school, parents must first obtain permission from the teacher and celebrating will be done at the teacher's discretion. Homemade treats are not allowed—all treats must be pre-packaged and store-bought. Treats also need to be nut-free. Healthy snacks are welcomed.
Spirit Day on Fridays
Every Friday is Evergreen Forest Spirit Day. We show our Evergreen Forest pride and spirit by wearing green and yellow. During sports seasons, students can participate by wearing a shirt or jersey of their favorite team or wearing Evergreen Forest colors to support our school. Evergreen Forest shirts are for sale through our PTSA at designated times during the year.
Evergreen Forest is fortunate to have computers for students to use during the school day. The district has policies students must follow to keep their computer privileges. These policies are in place to protect the students of the district. Teachers and parents will supervise the use of the Internet. Students not following directions will lose computer privileges. If parents do not want their child to have access to the Internet, please contact the office.
Three-Hour Delays or School Closures
If there is snow on the ground in the morning or the roads are icy, school may start 3 hours late or be canceled.
Our district office will notify the families via School Messenger and local media by 6:00 am the day of the cancellation or delay. Information will also be posted on the district and our school website.
On 3-hour late start days, bus riders catch their bus 3 hours later than normal. Parent drop-off and walkers may arrive at 11:15 am. Students will be released at normal times. In the event of school closure, the day will need to be made up either by using the built-in makeup day in May or at the end of the school year (moving the last day of school).
The important people in our students' lives are always welcome to be involved in our school and classrooms. We do request that younger siblings do not come to school when volunteering. Also, follow the expectations below when volunteering at school:
- All volunteers must have an approved volunteer application on file.
- Volunteers must sign in and wear their volunteer badge (labels are available at the volunteer desk).
- Volunteers must follow the NTPS dress code.