Liberty Elementary School
“Home of the Liberty Lions”
Parent Handbook 2018-19
The mission of Liberty Elementary School is to teach purposefully, to learn daily, and to love unconditionally in a safe, caring, and respectful environment.
We envision being a model school of academic excellence by empowering all students to find their passion and purpose in life through the development of a strong collaborative partnership with home and community.
Franklin Special School District
Welcome to Liberty Elementary School!
The doors of Liberty Elementary School are always open to parents. We look forward to a full partnership between home and school this school year.
The policies and procedures of Liberty Elementary School have been established through collaborative efforts to help make your child’s education positive and successful.
Please refer to this handbook often to find the answers to any questions you may have and to take the opportunity to learn more about our school and parent expectations.
Dr. Cheryl Robey Dr. Janetta Davenport
Principal Assistant Principal
The sole authority for the enforcement of the compulsory attendance laws are placed on the local Board of Education and its designated employees (TCA 49-6-3006).
- Excused Absences
FSSD Board policy 6.200 on attendance lists excused absences as follows:
- Personal illness or illness of immediate family member
- Personal Injury
- Death in the family
- Extreme weather conditions
- Religious observances
- Military service of parent or guardian
- School sponsored or school endorsed activities
- Summons, subpoena, or court order
- Extenuating circumstances which, in the judgment of the principal, create emergencies over which the student has no control, determined on a case-by-case basis
Absences not due to reasons above will be considered unexcused and the student will be responsible for making up missed work upon his/her return. When a student is absent, please call the school by 9:00 A.M. and state the reason for the absence. This communication helps as the attendance secretary is verifying absences and assists her with accountability of all students. The attendance secretary will call a student’s parent/guardian regarding all absences not verified. When your child returns to school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or hand deliver a note to the attendance secretary explaining the absence(s) within 7 days from the day the child returns to school. Otherwise, the absence will be marked as unexcused. If you send the note to school through your child, we encourage you to follow up by phone or email with the attendance secretary to ensure that it has been received and properly documented.
- Unexcused Absence Laws
LAWS (Tennessee Code Annotated – TCA)
TCA 49-6-3007 authorizes judges to assess a $50.00 fine against parents when a child has more than 5 unexcused absences during a 6-week period.
TCA 49-6-3007 requires the principal to notify parents when a child is absent 5 cumulative days.
TCA-49-6-3001 School Attendance Law which requires all children ages 6-17 inclusive to attend school each day.
(TCA-49-6-3007) communicates the steps involved in the required Tiered Truancy Intervention Plan
NEW TRUANCY PLAN
- (UNEXCUSED ABSENCES)
Truancy only refers to UNEXCUSED absences. All schools now must follow a new state law that requires school personnel to follow a truancy intervention plan for students who are accruing unexcused absences. Tier 1 intervention will be implemented when a child has accrued 5 unexcused absences. Tier 1 will require tasks to be completed by parent/guardian and student. Should Tier 1 requirements not be met and the student acquires 3 more UNEXCUSED absences, totaling 8 UNEXCUSED absences, Tier 2 will be implemented for the parent/guardian and the student. If UNEXCUSED absences continue to accumulate, Tier 3 will be implemented for the parent/guardian and the student. Tier 3 interventions may result in a referral to the Williamson County Juvenile Court for truancy and a referral to the Department of Children’s Services.
- (EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES)
Chronic absenteeism includes both excused and unexcused absences. Research shows that for student achievement, days absent from school can be an indicator for poor student success. In FSSD, attendance is monitored to determine what barriers, if any, are impacting a child’s ability to be in school on time and for the full day. We want to help eliminate ALL barriers that keep children out of school so our school attendance secretaries, principals and/or the district safety and attendance supervisor will contact parents/guardians if absences appear to be leading toward chronic absenteeism. The Tennessee Department of Education’s reporting standards use attendance data as an indicator of school quality and student success.
NOTIFICATIONS OF ABSENCES AND TARDIES
When a student accumulates 5 unexcused absences or 5 unexcused tardies, the parent will receive a letter from the attendance secretary. When a student accumulates 8 unexcused absences or 8 unexcused tardies, the parent will receive a letter from the attendance secretary. When a student accumulates 10+ absences (excused or unexcused) and/or 10+ tardies (excused or unexcused), a referral will be made to the district safety and attendance supervisor. A letter will be sent to the parent from the district safety and attendance supervisor indicating that excessive absences may result in juvenile court proceedings. Once a student accrues 10+ absences or tardies, he/she will also be required to submit a doctor’s note for absences or tardies to be excused for the remainder of the school year. It should be noted that if a student is not in school for three (3) hours and 15 minutes, the student is considered absent according to state regulations.
- Early Dismissal
Leaving school early is strongly discouraged due to the loss of instructional time and disruption to the learning environment. However, if you know your student will need to be checked out early, please send a note to the teacher. Students leaving early must be signed out in the school office by parents/guardians. If the student is leaving early because of a medical appointment, parents/guardians are encouraged to get an excuse note prior to leaving the medical facility and provide it to the front office upon the student’s return. We appreciate your efforts to make appointments during non-school hours. Please note, an early dismissal is also considered a tardy. (A child will not be released to anyone not listed on the office Rolodex.)
Please refrain from picking your child up after 2:30 unless it is an unavoidable situation.
- No Advance Assignments
Teachers will not send makeup work for days absent in advance. It will be the parent’s and student’s responsibility to get the work when the student returns. This allows the teacher to set aside work as the week goes on, rather than having to hastily prepare it prior to the absence.
A student is considered tardy to school if he/she is not in his/her homeroom when the bell rings at 8:30 a.m. or if he/she is checked out from the office before the school day ends. There will be exceptions for students arriving on late buses. Tardiness related to oversleeping, traffic, weather, or not leaving home on time is unexcused. A student who is tardy to school must report to the office with a parent to sign in and get a class admission slip. If a student is late because of a medical appointment, please provide an excuse note from the medical office. When a child comes to school late, it causes him/her to get off to a delayed start and disrupts the classroom.
A child must be present at least 3 hours and 15 minutes to be counted present for the day. This time allotment is determined by the state for ADA purposes. However, any minutes away from school are considered tardies.
Withdrawal from School
Withdrawing a child from school requires some paperwork. If you are moving or enrolling your child in another school, please come to the office a day or more in advance to make these arrangements.
Arrival/Dismissal Procedures and Transportation
The school bookstore is open daily from 8:00 A.M. until 8:30 A.M. Items such as notebook paper, transition paper, graph paper, tablets, folders, student planners, pencils, erasers, etc. are generally available.
8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.
The school doors will open for students at 8:00 A.M. There will be no student supervision available before 8:00 A.M. except for the Morning Afternoon Care (MAC) program. There will be no after school supervision available after 3:45 P.M. except MAC. PLEASE DO NOT DROP OFF YOUR CHILD BEFORE 8:00 A.M. UNLESS YOUR CHILD IS ENROLLED IN MAC.
ARRIVAL/ DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
Children arriving by car BEFORE 8:20 A.M. may enter the school only through the first grade door. The doors open at 8:00 A.M and will be locked at 8:20. If your child arrives earlier, he/she will need to be enrolled in MAC (Morning Afternoon Care). There is no supervision before 8:00 A.M. except MAC. From 8:20-8:30, children should enter through the main school entrance. After 8:30, a parent needs to walk a student into the building.
All children will wait in the GYM until 8:15. Students will be dismissed to classrooms at 8:15. Any student arriving after 8:15 A.M. may go directly to the classroom. Throughout the year, there will be school-wide ROAR assemblies that will be scheduled on Fridays. On those days, students will wait in the Multipurpose Room. After 8:30 A.M. all school doors, except the main front door, will be locked as a safety measure.
School will dismiss at 3:30 P.M. Car riders will be picked up in front of the school. Place the car “pick-up permit” in the window – bold and large enough to read from a distance. PLEASE do not get out of your car! PLEASE turn off your Cell Phones! This helps keep the flow of traffic going. (See “P.M. Traffic Flow” for more specific traffic pattern information.)
No car riders may be picked up in the end parking lot next to Ralston Lane. That lot is for bus traffic only. For their safety, children will not be allowed to meet cars there.
When picking your child up from the front office, please have your valid, government-issued photo ID. Students will not be released to anyone without this form of identification.
Any student living more than 1/2 mile from the school is eligible to ride a school bus. Bus information is available in the school office.
Car riders should be dropped off and picked up in front of the school. Please follow the marked lanes. There are two lanes of traffic for mornings and afternoons.
Car Pick Up Permit
In afternoon traffic, a child will not be allowed to get in a car unless a “pick up permit” is showing. A “pick up permit” should be with ANYONE who is allowed to pick the child up in the car line. A “pick up permit” can be obtained in the school office. (Two permits per family will be issued. If another one is needed, please come to the school office.)
If there is a divorce in a family and only one parent has custody, this parent must bring his/her custody papers to the office. We will make a copy for our file. This is the only way we can “hold” a child if the non-custodial parent comes to pick up the child.
A.M. Traffic Flow
There is one lane for drop off. Teachers are outside to direct traffic. Cars will be brought forward in groups. All cars will be unloaded before any cars are allowed to move. Then the next group of cars will be brought forward, and the cycle will be repeated. At first stop, have students ready to exit the car and let out all students. They can walk down the sidewalk to the door. Students need to get out of the car on the side nearest to the sidewalk. Please do not stop and get out of your car – it hinders the traffic flow for the cars behind you and creates a danger for your child when cars try to pass you.
P.M. Traffic Flow
Use two-lane pick up. Teachers are outside to direct traffic. Cars will be brought forward in groups of eight. All eight cars will be loaded before any cars are allowed to move. Then the next eight cars will be brought forward, and the cycle will be repeated. Please do not stop and get out of your car – it hinders the traffic flow for the cars behind you and creates a danger for your child when cars try to pass you.
Thank you for your help and patience. Your child’s safety is our primary concern.
Walkers and Bike Riders
Walkers should always walk on the sidewalks and cross the streets only where there is a Crossing Guard. Bike riders should dismount and walk their bikes on or off the school property. This precaution is for their safety and the safety of others.
VISITORS IN THE BUILDING
Parents are welcome and encouraged to visit our facility at any time.
In an effort to prioritize the safety and security of our school campuses and the students and employees therein, the Franklin Special School District Board of Education Policy 1.501 (Visitors to School/District Properties – Security Management) requires that all visitors to present a valid, government-issued photo ID when they enter any school building or office during normal hours of operation and all visitors may be subject to a background check.
If you do not have a current government-issued photo ID, please speak to the school principal or assistant principal and they will be glad to assist you.
Those who are simply visiting the office for the purpose of speaking to staff, filling out paperwork, or dropping items off do not need to present identification. However, anyone who wishes to visit an area beyond the office must abide by this revised policy.
Public schools are not public places, and school officials have a duty to protect the students while they are on campus. While we always welcome visitors and guests, we understand this very serious obligation and are proud that our school board has deemed this a priority by placing it in policy.
All visitors (anyone not employed in the building) must wear a badge. This is a state law. The badge must be evident to the teacher upon entry into the classroom. These guidelines are for your child’s and our staff’s safety. Upon exiting the building, return the badge to the office.
We respectfully request that all visitors adhere to this policy and thank you, in advance, for your understanding and support.
VISITORS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO VISIT CLASSROOMS UNLESS THE TEACHER IS EXPECTING YOU. We value our instructional time. Please make an appointment if you need to speak with a teacher regarding student concerns.
The MAC (Morning Afternoon Care) Program is available from 6:00 A.M. until 8:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. after school dismisses. For more information, please call the MAC Program (615-790-4719). MAC registration is available in the school office or at the MAC desk.
Liberty Elementary is uses a School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (PBIS). PBIS is an integrated, multi-tiered systems approach that supports schools to create safe and effective learning environments. PBIS is not a curriculum or a packaged product. The R.O.A.R. Behavior Matrix outlines the expectations for various areas of the school. R.O.A.R. has a specific meaning overall, and the Matrix breaks down the meaning into specific areas of the school.
R – I am Respectful
O – I am Organized
A – I am Always Safe
R – I am Responsible
Your child’s teacher will provide you with a copy of the Matrix, and we have prepared a Matrix that may be used at home. Please discuss those with your child so you will be familiar with it and can help us maintain a healthy learning environment.
In School Detention (ISD)
Liberty has an In-School Detention (ISD) program for chronic and/or severe discipline problems. A teacher’s assistant will monitor this program with class work assigned by the classroom teacher. Students can be placed in this class for a time period as short as recess up to three days. Occasionally lost privileges (i.e. field trips, school programs) are supervised in this room.
- Students are expected to dress appropriately. If a student’s attire is questionable, the principal or designee will make the determination of appropriateness.
- Short-shorts, oversized shirts, shirts that are too tight or with exposed midriff or spaghetti straps, and sagging or bagging pants are not allowed. (“Sagging” is defined as the bottom wear being worn below the waistline. “Bagging” is defined as bottom wear being worn not size appropriate. For 3rd and 4th graders, short-shorts are defined as shorts that are more than 3 inches above the knee.)
- Ball caps/hats (boys or girls) may not be worn inside the building.
- Clothes with any type of hand signs, inappropriate language or advertising are not allowed.
- Coats and sweatshirts with hoods may be worn when entering or exiting the building, but may NOT be worn in the classroom.
- Shoes with built in rollers cannot be worn at school.
Students are required to wear tennis shoes for physical education classes. Shoes may be kept at school and changed before class. Students not wearing tennis shoes will not be allowed to participate. Girls wearing dresses or skirts should wear shorts under them.
Parent conferences for all students will be scheduled during the months of September, October, March and April. For other conferences, please make appointments to talk with teachers before school hours, during the teacher’s planning time, or after school hours. An unannounced visit interrupts teaching and planning. If the teacher knows you are coming, he/she can plan accordingly for your visit. You can call the school office (615-790-0892) to set up an appointment with your child’s teacher. A short conversation in the hall can disrupt a classroom and interrupt an entire day’s schedule. Parents are urged to contact their child’s teacher first when there is a concern.
The Principal and Assistant Principal have an open door policy, but you are encouraged to make an appointment for a conference so they will have the time and attention reserved for you.
CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
Visitors are welcome for breakfast and lunch at any time. However, FSSD Board policy does not allow fast food from restaurants to be brought in. Thank you for your cooperation.
Food Brought To School:
Parents are encouraged to incorporate snacks that are healthy when possible. Parents or others coming to eat lunch with a student in the cafeteria are encouraged to come through the cafeteria line or bring a lunch from home. According to FSSD Board Policy 3.500: “Students will be permitted to bring their lunches from home and to purchase beverages and incidental items. Breakfast and lunches brought from outside food service facilities will not be permitted to be consumed in the cafeteria”.
SNACKS: Each child needs to bring a healthy snack each day (NO COOKIES, CAKES OR CHIPS).
Breakfast is served daily in the cafeteria from 8:00 A.M. – 8:25 A.M. If your child arrives after 8:15 A.M. he/she may not have time to eat before reporting to class.
Students go directly to the cafeteria upon arriving at school if they are going to eat breakfast. After finishing breakfast, students go to their classroom. If behavior is not appropriate, breakfast privileges will be denied for a specified amount of time after other discipline measures are tried. Teachers, Paraprofessionals, and the Cafeteria Staff monitor breakfast.
BREAKFAST PRICES (subject to change)
Students may pay for lunch by the day, by the week, or by the month. Students wishing to purchase for more than one day should take their checks or money to the cafeteria upon arrival at school. Each child will have a cafeteria number. Please put the child’s name, number, and teacher’s name on the memo line. A check may be written for more than one child; just indicate all children’s names, cafeteria numbers and teachers on the memo line. Please do not include any other payment to Liberty in the same check as lunch money. (The cafeteria money and Liberty money are always kept separate.)
Free or reduced breakfast and lunch is available for students who qualify. Parents may complete applications forms (available at registration) and will be notified by the school office when, and if, students qualify. Application forms are also available from the school office at any time during the year.
Students eat by grade level. The first part of lunch is quiet time for eating. After the quiet time is over the students are allowed to talk quietly until clean up time is announced. Quiet times are observed so food will be eaten and directions heard. Students are expected to use appropriate table manners during meals. Teacher assistants monitor the students during lunch.
LUNCH PRICES (subject to change)
Reduced: $ .40
Teacher: $ 3.75
Children visitors: $2.90
Classroom parties will be held approximately three times per year in your child’s classroom. Typically, these parties are scheduled around Winter Break, Valentine’s Day, and End of Year. Students are NOT permitted to wear costumes on party days. On party days, all visitors will be asked to sign out at 3:00 before dismissal begins (or 30 minutes prior to dismissal on early dismissal or abbreviated days). This will help ensure a safe, smooth, and orderly departure for all of our students. Food items brought in for these celebrations must be clearly labeled with all ingredients and those being brought in to “Allergy Alert” classrooms must not contain items restricted in that classroom.
FSSD has adopted a district-wide protocol which prohibits food items being brought to school for birthday celebrations. This decision was based on various factors including the dietary restrictions of many students and protecting instructional time. If you would like to send something for your child to pass out to classmates on his/her birthday, you may bring non-edible items such as pencils, bookmarks, stickers, erasers, etc. You may also choose to dedicate a new book to the library for your child’s birthday. The librarian will help select the perfect book and will place a dedication sticker inside the front cover with your child’s name and the date. This is a great way to celebrate the day, leaving a lasting legacy at Liberty, and allows the teacher to highlight your child’s birthday in a very special way. Teachers will continue to have their own ways of recognizing the birthday child and making him/her feel special that day.
You may purchase an ice cream treat for all students in the classroom to enjoy at lunch time. This can be done by ordering and purchasing from the cafeteria two weeks prior to your child’s celebration day. Ice-cream treats available to the students will include options for those students with food allergies and other dietary restrictions. If you plan to have a birthday celebration away from the school, please do not send invitations through the school.
The guidance program at Liberty Elementary School helps students begin to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to become healthy, productive citizens. The school counselor provides guidance services on an individual, group, or classroom basis. The school counselor works with students, staff, parents and the community to create a caring atmosphere.
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
ACADEMIC AND BEHAVIOR SUPPORT TEAM (ABST)-
- The Academic and Behavior Support Team provides ongoing support to the classroom teacher in his/her efforts to provide interventions for students struggling in the school setting (academically or behaviorally).
- The Academic and Behavior Support Team provides a seamless process for meeting the instructional needs of students at the Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 levels (see RTI2 information below).
- The Academic and Behavior Support Team consists of the follows: Principal or Assistant Principal, Psychologist, Special Education teacher, Instructional Coaches, classroom teacher, and other staff members (such as SLP, school counselor, etc.) that may be invited on a case-by-case basis.
- The Academic and Behavior Support Team provides the teacher and the parent with a brief summary of the recommendations. The parent’s copy of these recommendations is sent home with the child.
- Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the State of Tennessee implemented RTI2, which is a process focused on prevention and early intervention that uses assessment data for instruction, intervention, and transitions between tiers. The RTI2 framework is a 3-tier model that provides an ongoing process of instruction and interventions that allow students to make progress at all levels, particularly those students who are struggling or advanced/gifted. This process will be used to better meet the needs of each student.
TITLE I PROGRAM
Liberty Elementary School has a Title I school-wide program. The academic assistance offered to all students includes help for students needing assistance and the Pre-K Language Development Program. If you have any questions or comments about these programs, please contact Dr. Lee Kirkpatrick at 615-591-2802 or the school office.
State-mandated testing will be administered to third and fourth graders. Results of this testing are made available to parents. Please see the FSSD Assessment Calendar at the end of this Handbook.
Report cards are issued at the end of each nine-week period. Progress reports will be sent home midway through the nine-week periods. Please sign each report and return it to school in a timely manner. You will also receive curriculum objectives for the new nine weeks with each report card.
Each grade level and teacher may have different homework routines as part of their instructional plan. Check with your child’s teacher.
School Homework Policy in case of Absence
Should a student miss more than one day, homework may be picked up in the office after 3 P.M. The parent must call the school office before the teacher’s planning time to request assignments. (Each teacher will make you aware of planning times.) If the student only misses one day, the missed assignments may be made up when the student returns to school. Students typically have five days to complete missed assignments.
Absences not due to illness (such as trips, etc.) will be considered unexcused, and the student will have to make up missed work upon his/her return to school.
The student to whom the books are assigned must pay for textbooks that are damaged or lost.
Library books can be checked out electronically on a regular basis and are to be returned the week following checkout. Library books are considered the same as textbooks. The student is responsible for damage or losses.
Workbooks are provided by the school system and remain with the school if a student withdraws from our school.
SCHOOL HEALTH POLICIES
First aid and health care provided by the school nurse is primarily for illness and injuries which occur during the school day. The school nurse, according to law, is not allowed to make a diagnosis, prescribe treatment or administer medication without a signed medication form. Please help us to provide a safe and healthy environment by reading and following the policies and procedures below. Please feel free to contact the school nurse to discuss any health concerns you have regarding your child.
School Health Screenings
Free health screenings will be provided throughout the school year in compliance with guidelines of the Tennessee State Department of Education. These may include, but are not limited to, vision, speech, hearing, dental, height, weight and blood pressure. Please contact the school nurse if you wish to decline screening or have questions.
Medications at School
State law prohibits dispensing of medications, both prescription and non-prescription, at school without a completed medication form. This includes medications such as cough drops, Tylenol, Motrin, and ointments such as Neosporin. If your child requires medication during the school day, or if you would like to have medications available at school to be given if needed, please complete a medication request form. These forms are available from the school clinic or can be downloaded from Health Services. For chronic health conditions such as diabetes, food allergies and asthma, an individualized healthcare plan (IHP) should be developed to provide for the health needs of those students (see your school nurse immediately upon school entry). In the event of an emergency at school and medications have not been made available, 911 will be called.
Prescription medications and complementary or alternative medications require both a doctor’s signature and a parent/guardian signature. The medication must be brought to school in a labeled prescription medication bottle from the pharmacy.
Non-prescription (over the counter) medications require a parent/guardian signature. The medication must be in a new, unopened container with the name of the medication and expiration date clearly visible.
All medications must be brought to school by a parent/guardian. It is a violation of state law for students to possess medications on the school bus or school grounds unless provided for in the IHP.
Before and After School Activities
Upon enrollment in a before or after school program including, but not limited to, MAC, sports teams, clubs, band, choral, theater, it is the responsibility of the parent to notify the activity coordinator/staff of any health concerns and the location of any emergency medications, such as epinephrine auto-injectors, albuterol inhalers, Diastat, and Glucagon. The school nurse can be contacted by the parent and/or staff member to share the student’s IHP and coordinate access to the student’s emergency medications which may be available on school grounds.
Illness at School
Students should not come to school if…
They have had fever of 100 degrees or higher in the past 24 hours.
They have had vomiting or diarrhea two or more times in the past 24 hours.
They have been on antibiotics for strep throat, pinkeye or other infections for less than 24 hours.
Students will be sent home for….
Fever of 100 degrees or higher (must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school).
Vomiting or Diarrhea (Must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school).
Unexplained rash (must have a doctor’s note that they are not contagious to return to school).
Suspected Pink Eye (Must have 24 hours of antibiotic treatment before returning to school, or a note from the doctor stating the student is not contagious).
Lice (FSSD has a strict NO NIT, NO BUG policy) See nurse for Lice Eviction guidelines.
It is very important that we have your home, work and cell phone numbers. Please make sure to notify us of any changes. We must be able to contact you in case of an emergency, illness or injury.
Field trips are an important part of the educational experience. You will be asked to sign a field trip permission slip for each trip. A child will not be allowed to go on a field trip without a signed permission slip. All students are given a Liberty shirt to wear on school field trips. A child will not be allowed to go on a field trip without wearing the current school year Liberty shirt.
Students may be excluded from participating in a field trip if conduct and/or failure to complete classroom work related to the field trip indicates this need. Non-participation in a field trip will not justify absence from school. The ISD teacher assistant will supervise students who miss a field trip for one of these reasons, and appropriate work will be assigned.
Parent volunteers are always appreciated on field trips to help supervise. If attending a field trip, please do NOT bring younger siblings who could be a distraction from supervisory responsibilities.
BLACKBOARD CONNECT MESSAGING SYSTEM/ NON-RELEASE FORMS
The Franklin Special School District, including LES, uses a phone contact network for use in reaching FSSD families with important messages, such as early school closing or emergency situations. It is of the utmost importance to keep the school informed of phone number changes. Should there be a need to quickly send all families a message, we could not reach you if we do not have your current phone numbers.
The Franklin Special School District’s Non-Release Form is available to parents who do not wish for the public release of their child’s “directory information.” The district assumes that all students/parents consent to the public release of directory information unless the Non-Release Form is filled out by a parent or guardian and returned to the school.
“Directory Information” could include name, address, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance and other similar information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Typically this information is only requested when a photograph or video is taken of a school event. When media representatives visit the school, a teacher or administrator always supervises them.
Public release can also include, but is not limited to, other schools or the district’s web site. It is not our policy, however, to post student information on the web site for public view.
If you would like a form, contact the school office. Please note that this form excludes your child’s photograph and information from being included in school publications such as the directory and the yearbook.
Respect for Student Privacy Online
When attending school events, the Franklin Special School District recognizes that attendees often want to videotape and/or photograph the students. However, in an effort to respect the privacy concerns of others, as well as to honor the state and federal privacy laws of individual students whose parents/guardians have specifically requested not to be photographed, the District strongly requests that any video footage and/or still images of students who are not your own NOT be posted online to sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Although the FSSD strongly urges attendees to respect the privacy of others, families must also recognize that the District has no means for preventing attendees from taking such actions. A general courtesy is to ask for parental permission before posting video or photographs of students/families online.
DIRECTORY INFORMATION STATEMENT
The district may publicly disclose certain student information, known as directory information, at its discretion without consent. However, if you prefer NOT to have this information released, you must send a written notice annually to the school office before September 1st of the school year. Nondisclosure forms are available in the school office for your convenience.
FSSD has designated the following PII contained in a student’s educational record as “directory information”:
- student name
- physical and electronic mail address
- date and place of birth
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- honors and awards
- dates of attendance and grade level
and other similar information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed, such as a photograph. Public release would include, but is not limited to, news media (newspapers, radio stations, and magazines), other schools or districts (especially for athletics), and the district’s/school’s web sites.
Please listen to local news media for school closings. We are listed as Franklin Special School District or Franklin City Schools —NOT Williamson County or Franklin County Schools. We do not always do the same thing as Williamson County Schools, so please listen for the system names in bold letters up above. The MAC program will be open on SNOW DAYS. Snow MAC will be held at the Cannon Street location.
Should FSSD schools close early, the Blackboard Connect messaging system will be used to contact families via phone and email. Please be sure all phone numbers are kept current in the school office.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT POLICY. Parents are a vital part of the educational system. We encourage all parents to be informed about their child’s progress. Franklin Special School District offers parent-teacher conferences in the fall semester at the end of the first nine-week grading period. Ongoing communication is encouraged and valued. Liberty Elementary School provides a monthly school newsletter, progress reports, nine-week report cards, grade level newsletters, student progress monitoring, family math and reading nights and assessment schedules. Additionally, every school employee is accessible by email through the school website. Parents and guardians can call or email to communicate with staff as needed.
The Williamson County Family Resource Center regularly provides sessions and collaborates with FSSD schools. Meals and childcare are available at no cost to the family during the sessions.
Liberty Elementary School has numerous opportunities for parent participation:
- Parents are encouraged to join the LES Parent Teacher Organization and take advantage of all the opportunities that this organization has to offer.
- Parents are encouraged to volunteer in the Library/Media Center.
- Parents also have opportunities to participate in decision making at LES by serving as a parent representative on the Building Leadership Team. Contact Dr. Robey at 790-0892 if interested.
- Provide your support by becoming a Community Resource Participant.
- Participate as a school business partner.
- Participate as a community sponsor by donating funds for the LES school T-shirts and have your small and/or major business recognized on the LES school shirts.
The Parent Teacher Organization for the FSSD includes all schools. At Liberty, we have an active core of parents who organize school-based functions for our school. They are always looking for more hands to help. Please feel free to volunteer.
Liberty also has a large number of parent volunteers who help classroom teachers, the related arts teachers, and in the library. Please speak to any of these teachers or someone in the office if you are interested in volunteering in areas to help the entire school.
The Franklin Special School District collects and maintains student records to provide a basis for evaluation and delivery of services to students. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) sets out requirements designed to protect the privacy of parents and students. Specifically, the statute governs disclosure of records maintained by educational institutions. In brief, the statute provides that such institutions must provide parents of students access to official records directly related to the student, and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate; that institutions must obtain the consent of parents before releasing personally identifiable data about students from records to other than a specified list of exceptions; that parents and students must be notified of these rights; that these rights transfer to students at certain points; and that an office and review board have been established in the U.S. Department of Education to investigate and adjudicate violations and complaints of this section.
Types of Information–The school system maintains records as described below:
- Attendance Records
- Scholastic Records
- Medical Records
- Discipline Records including individual assessment
- Directory Information
- System-wide group test results
- Special Education data
Locations and Authorized Custodians–The primary source of access is the school in which a student is enrolled. The principal is the authorized custodian for these records. The Director of Special Education regulates records of students involved in Special Education Programs, including the dates of individual assessments. If a student leaves the FSSD, the student record will be sent to the new school upon written request from that school.
Parents of Franklin Special School District students have the right to know professional qualifications of the classroom teachers who instruct their children. Federal law allows them to ask for certain information about classroom teachers, which the school district will provide in a timely manner.
Specifically, parents have the right to ask for the following information about each child’s classroom teacher:
- Whether the Tennessee Department of Education has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches.
- Whether the Tennessee State Department of Education has decided that the teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulations because of special circumstances.
- The teacher’s college major; whether the teacher has any advanced degrees and, if so, the subject of the degrees.
- Whether any teachers’ aides or similar paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if they do, their qualifications.
If you would like to receive any of this information, call the FSSD Central Office at 615-794-6624.
CHILD FIND INITIATIVE/HOMELESS EDUCATION
The Franklin Special School District Child Find program identifies preschool through eighth-grade children with special education needs including mental retardation, developmental delays, autism, specific learning disabilities, serious emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, intellectually gifted, traumatic brain injury, blindness, and the following impairments: speech/language, hearing, orthopedic, visual, and physical.
Screenings and/or evaluations may be provided free of charge by the school district. If deemed necessary, the child may then be referred for special education services.
If you suspect your child needs additional support to achieve his or her educational potential, please contact the FSSD Special Populations Department at 615-794-6624.
If your family lives:
- In a shelter, motel, vehicle or campground;
- In an abandoned building or trailer, or other inadequate accommodations;
- With friends or relatives due to an inability to afford or find adequate housing; or
- On the street;
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act will provide you with certain rights. Your children have the right to attend school. They have the right to continue in the school last attended before becoming homeless. Your children may enroll in a school without a permanent address, school records, or immunization records in hand. The school will provide you with assistance in obtaining the proper documentation and your children will receive the same special programs and services provided to all other children. For more information, please contact Dr. Kay Boan, Federal Programs Coordinator, at 615-794-6624.
EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
It is the policy of the Franklin Special School District not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, creed, age, marital status or disability in its educational programs, activities or employment policies as required by Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race.
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap.
Inquiries about compliance with the Title VI, Title IX or Section 504 may be directed to the Civil Rights Coordinator at the Franklin Special School District Board of Education at 794-3015 or 794-6624.
Initial grievance regarding complaints relative to Title VI, Title IX or Section 504 must be directed to the Civil Rights Coordinator.
Complaints must be filed in writing to the Civil Rights Coordinator with a copy sent to the person or persons against whom allegations are made.
The coordinator will notify all parties involved in the allegation of discrimination within five (5) days of receiving the initial grievance as to the date and time of the hearing. The hearing must be held no later than thirty (30) days from the time of the initial filing of the complaint.
If an allegation of discrimination involves student admissions or programs, the coordinator will call the entire hearing before a committee composed of the principal, guidance counselor and homeroom teacher.
All parties involved will give ample opportunity for the presentation of evidence.
If the complaint cannot be resolved in the meeting, another hearing will be scheduled within five (5) days of the appeal and will be called no later than forty-five (45) days from the date of the first hearing. This hearing will be before the director of schools and the Board of Education.
The results of each hearing will be presented in writing to all parties involved within five (5) days of the grievance hearing. If the grievance involves employment, all time periods above will be the same, however, the initial hearing will be held before the director of schools and the Board of Education under the same rules and procedures as outlined for situations or admissions and programs.
If a satisfactory solution cannot be obtained locally, appeals can be made to the Office of Civil Rights, Washington, DC. The completion of a hearing at the local level is not a prerequisite for filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.
No person who files a grievance or participates in a grievance hearing shall be subjected to harassment, reprisals, or retaliation in any form. Forms for filing an initial grievance are available in the office of the Board of Education.
UNSAFE SCHOOL CHOICE POLICY
Under the Tennessee State Board of Education’s Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 40-38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade-level appropriate school within the district.
FSSD BOARD POLICY 6.304 Discrimination/Harassment
(Sexual, Racial, Ethnic, Religious)
Students shall be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination/harassment.
- It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or any student to discriminate against or harass a student through disparaging conduct or communication that is sexual, racial, ethnic or religious in nature. The following guidelines are set forth to protect students from discrimination/ harassment. Student discrimination/harassment will not be tolerated.
- Discrimination/harassment is defined as conduct, advances, gestures or words either written or spoken of a sexual, racial, ethnic or religious nature which:
- Unreasonably interfere with the student’s work or educational opportunities; or
- Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; or
- Imply that submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term of receiving grades or credit; or
- Imply that submission to or rejection of such conduct will be used as a basis for determining the student’s grades and/or participation in a student activity.
Alleged victims of sexual, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination/ harassment shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor or building administrator.
- Allegations of discrimination/harassment shall be fully investigated by a complaint manager (as set forth in Student Concerns, Complaints and Grievances 6.305). The privacy and anonymity of all parties and witnesses to complaints will be respected.
However, because an individual’s need for confidentiality must be balanced with obligations to cooperate with police investigations or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation or to take necessary action to resolve a complaint, the identity of parties and witnesses may be disclosed in appropriate
circumstances to individuals with a need to know. A substantiated charge against an employee shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including suspension. There will be no retaliation against any person who reports harassment or participates in an investigation. However, any employee who refuses to cooperate or gives false information during the course of any investigation may be subject to disciplinary action. The willful filing of a false report will itself be considered harassment and will be treated as such. An employee disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision by contacting the Federal Rights Coordinator or the director of schools. Any student disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision in accordance with disciplinary policies and procedures.
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT of EDUCATION Contact Information
Answers to many questions and much helpful information may be obtained from the State Department of Education by calling 1-888-212-3162 or visiting http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/index.htm.
Legal Services Division
Division of Special Education, Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0380
Fax: 615-253-5567 or 615-532-9412
CHILD ADVOCACY GROUP Contact Information
In addition to the state and local resources available to parents and children, there are many agencies and organizations that offer support, information training, and help in advocating for persons with disabilities in Tennessee.
A few of these organizations are listed below:
The ARC of Tennessee is on the Internet at http://www.thearctn.org/.
44 Vantage Way, Suite 550
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: 615.248.5878 Toll-free: 1.800.835.7077
Support and Training for Exceptional parents (STEP) is on the Internet at http://www.tnstep.org/.
712 Professional Plaza
Greeneville, TN 37745
Middle Tennessee: 615.463.2310
Tennessee Protection and Advocacy (TP&A) is on the Internet at http://www.tpainc.org/
416 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
1.800.287.9636 (Toll Free) or 615.298.1080
615.298.2471 (TTY) 615.298.2046 (Fax)
Tennessee Voices for Children is on the Internet at http://www.tnvoices.org/main.htm.
1315 8th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
Fax: 615.269.8914 TN Toll Free: 800.670.9882
These are but a few of the organizations available to help with information, training, and advocacy. For a more extensive list visit the Tennessee Disability Services — Disability Pathfinder Database:
On the web page, select your “county” and the “service” you desire. This information is provided as a service to individuals seeking additional avenues for help and information. The Department of Education does not intend this as an endorsement or recommendation for any individual, organization, or service represented on this page.
FRANKLIN SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT GENERAL NOTICE TO PARENTS REGARDING PROVISIONS UNDER TITLE VI, TITLE IX, SECTION 504, AND TITLE IV-A
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 197
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. It states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 504—Federal Civil Rights Statute enacted in 1973
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. It states that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance . . ..”
Section 504 regulations require school districts to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. That is, students with disabilities should be provided with educational services designed to meet their individual needs to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met. An appropriate education for a student with a disability under the Section 504 regulations could consist of education in regular classrooms, education in regular classes with supplementary services, and/or special education and related services.
To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
- have a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (walking, breathing, learning, seeing, hearing, ability to take care of oneself
- have a record of such impairment
- be regarded as having such impairment
Title IV-A—Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act
The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act is designed to support programs that prevent violence in and around schools; that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; that involve parents and communities; and that are coordinated with related Federal, State, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement.
More Information or Grievances
For more information regarding nondiscrimination policies and Section 504 compliance, please contact Ms. Beth Farrar, at (615) 794-6624.
For grievances, contact Charles Arnold or Catherine Stephens, Ed.D. at (615) 794-6624.
Inquiries and complaints may also be directed to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington D.C. 20202; telephone: (800) 421-3481 or (877) 521-2172.