Parent/Student Handbook

Iron Horse Elementary

Parent/Student Handbook

Our Mission:

To Know, To Care, To Excel

 

Vision:

Together we create a purposeful, positive, safe, and supportive environment where each individual and their ideas are honored and respected. We nurture passionate learners to reach their full potential.

20151 Tallman Dr.

Parker, CO  80138

 

Main Line: 303-387-8525

Attendance Line: 303-387-8527

Health Office: 303-387-8550

Kitchen: 303-387-8583

BASE: 303-387-8598

Office Information:

  • Principal: Kirsten Bloomfield
  • Assistant Principal: Sherri Carlson
  • Registrar: Janet Nolan
  • Administrative Assistant: Becki Gonzales
  • Health Assistant: Cyndi Reddy
  • Building Engineer: Carlos Ayala

Hours:

  • Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • School Hours: 8:29 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • AM Kindergarten: 8:29 a.m. - 11:32 a.m.
  • Iron Horse utilizes a rolling entry. Students will arrive between 8:20 and 8:37 a.m. and will go directly to their classroom where they will be supervised by their classroom teacher.
  • Students are not allowed on campus before 8:20 a.m. or after 3:45 p.m. unless they are involved in a supervised school activity.

 

Stay Connected with Iron Horse:

  • Iron Horse Website: Currently under construction
  • Iron Horse App: Currently under construction
  • Iron Horse Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Iron-Horse-Elementary-School-956786377774274/
  • Iron Horse Twitter: Iron Horse Elementary@IHE_Engineers

 

Douglas County School District Information

  • Central Office: 303-387-0100
  • Transportation: 303-387-0570
  • Weather hotline: 303-387-SNOW (7669)
  • DCSD Website: https://www.dcsdk12.org

 

Help Us Keep Your Information Up to Date

It is extremely important that parents keep the school up-to-date of changes in any emergency, home, cell, and work phone numbers and email addresses.  The most up-to-date information is necessary for communication and the safety of our children. Please ensure that all emergency contacts are up-to-date.  Check your parent portal account regularly to verify all information is accurate.  Corrections can be requested through express check in at the beginning of each year, or via parent portal.

 

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

 

BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS

Playground

  • Follow all equipment rules
  • Slide down the slide
  • Run on the turf
  • Tunnels are used to go through
  • Listen when whistles are blown for safety directions
  • Count to 100 to share swings
  • One direction on the bars always hanging below
  • Non-competitive play
  • Line up in designated area

Hallways

  • Walk on the Right Hand side, single file
  • Hands by your side, in pockets or to yourself
  • Whisper Voices

Cafeteria

  • Light out=silence for announcements
  • Throw trash in trash can
  • Clean up after yourself
  • Dismissal by tables when the table shows readiness (clean table, trash thrown away, lunch boxes ready)
  • No students in the hallway - ask permission to use the bathroom
  • Eat your own food - no sharing

Bathroom

  • One person per stall
  • Flush toilet when finished
  • Wash and dry hands
  • All trash belongs in trash cans
  • Honor personal space
  • Whisper Voices

Gym (for Assemblies)

  • Sit on pockets
  • Whole body listening
  • All body parts kept in personal bubble
  • Show appreciation through appropriate clapping
  • Model readiness for guests when given the signal

 

HOMEWORK

Homework should be meaningful, relevant and appropriate for each student. Students should be able to complete the assignments independently. The following guidelines have been established for each grade level at Iron Horse:

  • Kindergarten and First Grade:
    • Nightly Reading
    • Optional Home Activities
  • Second Grade:
    • Nightly Reading
    • Other Homework based upon specific student needs
  • Third Grade:
    • Nightly Reading
    • Nightly Review of Planner
    • Other Homework based upon specific student needs
  • Fourth and Fifth Grade:
    • Nightly Reading
    • Nightly Review of Planner
    • Test Study and Projects as scheduled in Planner
    • Other Homework based upon specific student needs

 

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Personal objects of value are to be brought to school only during special occasions and with specific permission from a teacher. All playground equipment (balls, jump ropes, etc.) is provided by the school. Students are not to bring any sports equipment to school unless specifically requested by their teacher. Toys and items such as electronic games, playing cards, etc. are not permitted at school. The school is not responsible for any loss or damage to students’ personal property.

 

DRESS CODE

Iron Horse is an educational business and strives to create a positive academic environment. A dress code is established for everyone, students and staff included, to provide a setting that is conducive to learning, teaching, and performing duties that occur during the school day. A student’s dress must adhere to the accepted standards of an academic setting and to the appropriateness of the teaching, learning, and business environment. Whenever there is a disagreement between the school and a student about appearance/dress, the school reserves the right to determine what is or is not appropriate. The following guidelines should be followed:

  • Headwear of any kind or color, including but not limited to, baseball caps, stocking caps, bandanas, etc. is not allowed in classrooms during the school day, with the exception of designated spirit days.
  • Excessively revealing clothing is not permitted.
  • No spaghetti straps or thin straps. All straps must be at least two fingers in width.
  • Shorts, skirts and/or dresses must be long enough to cover anatomy appropriately and need to be longer than arms-length with a closed fist.
  • Shoes or sandals must be worn at all times. No bedroom slippers of any kind or shoes with wheels in the soles are allowed unless for specific spirit days.
  • Clothing/jewelry that displays reference to drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances, illegal activity, offensive words, slogans or designs, gang affiliation, and/or inappropriate or suggestive messages is not allowed.
  • Sunglasses are not to be worn in the building.
  • Chains, including wallet chains, handcuffs, spiked items including jewelry, and other metal adornments that could potentially pose a threat as per local, state, and federal regulations are not allowed on school grounds.
  • Clothing or accessories that interfere with or endanger the student while he/she is participating in classroom or co-curricular activities are not permitted.

NOTE: Any part of the dress code may be waived by Administration for students with medical conditions or religious beliefs. As fashion trends change, dress guidelines may be updated to reflect what is and is not appropriate attire for school. Notification of changes in the dress code standards will be shared with students and parents via the school webpage and parent newsletter.

PARENT INFORMATION

ATTENDANCE/STUDENT ABSENCES

Colorado law requires that teachers maintain daily attendance records for students.  Parents are notified if they have not called in the absence of their child. Chronic absenteeism at the elementary level is closely linked with lower academic performance and increased high school dropout rates.  Attendance records will be inspected periodically by teachers to spot chronic absentees.  Teachers will make contact with the parents of children who are chronically absent to express their concern for the situation and see if there is anything the school can do to help improve attendance. The office will also monitor attendance and will follow up with parents when student absences exceed 10% of the school year. As part of our duty to enforce compulsory school attendance, communication will be sent home to parents informing them of excessive absences. Parents of students with attendance issues may need to develop a contract with Administration, and may further be taken to court to force compliance with Colorado’s mandatory attendance laws.

Arrival and Departure Information

School hours are 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The front doors will be opened 10 minutes before classes begin (8:20 a.m.), and students will be supervised as they enter the building.  They will be directed to their classrooms where their teacher will be waiting for them, and will begin their school day as soon as they arrive.  We ask that parents please drop their students off at the front door and not accompany their children into the building, allowing our staff to focus their attention on students.

Each day before students arrive at Iron Horse, teachers and staff are engaged in individual planning, team meetings, and committee work.  Before school, it is each teacher’s responsibility to prepare for the day’s lessons as well as communicate with colleagues about curriculum, instruction, and student needs.  Because we do not have supervision earlier than 10 minutes before school, please refrain from dropping off your students earlier than this time.

Upon dismissal, students should immediately go to the bus, parent pick-up line, or walk home. Students who linger will be sent home within a 15 minute window. After 3:45 p.m., parents will be called to arrange pick-up. Siblings over the age of 18 can pick up, as can parent designees.

Dismissal from School During the Day

Parents may request that students be excused from school prior to the regular dismissal time. Parents are asked to send a note stating who will be picking up the child and at what time. Parent and/or Designees are to sign students out at the office. Designees will be asked to provide proper identification before we allow the student to leave.  If possible, please inform the teacher that your child will be leaving early.

Extended Absences

Extended absences are discouraged. Missed instructional time can significantly impact a student’s learning. In-class instruction is difficult to replicate. Teachers will provide any missed work that can be made up after the student returns to class. Teachers will not provide work in advance of an extended absence due to the purposeful planning to meet students needs on a day-to-day basis. It is suggested that students continue to read during the absence.

Tardy Students

It is important that children arrive on time for school. A student is considered tardy if they are not in their classroom when the 8:37 a.m. bell rings. A tardy child not only disrupts the class when arriving late, he/she also misses the settling-in time when the teacher collects work, sets the tone for the day, and gives directions for activities. If a student arrives after the 8:37 a.m. bell, they will need to go to the office to check in. If a student arrives later than 8:40 a.m., a parent or adult must bring them into the office and sign them in for the day.

BICYCLES and SKATEBOARDS

Bike racks are available outside at Iron Horse. Students riding bikes should provide their own locks. Skateboards/Scooters may be brought to school but are not to be used while on campus. Students must be off their boards when they reach the property line of the campus. Skateboards/Scooters are to be stored in the pod areas. The school will not assume responsibility for the security of student bikes or skateboards/scooters.

BIRTHDAY POLICY

Due to the high number of students with severe food allergies and special dietary concerns, as well as Iron Horse’s emphasis on health and wellness, birthday celebrations may not include edible treats. For this same reason, parents may also not provide birthday lunches for students other than their own. Please save birthday cakes and cupcakes for your home celebration.


We realize many parents like to do something special in school for their child’s birthday. We’d like to suggest you consider donating a small gift to your child’s classroom. This donation from your child might be an educational game, a book for the class library, a ball to be used on the playground, or a pencil for each student in the room.  Classroom teachers also have a variety of activities for birthday celebrations designed to make birthday children feel special. All birthdays will be listed on our commons area TV.  

Please do not send birthday party invitations to school for distribution unless all students from the class are included. It can be very upsetting to the students who do not receive an invitation. Teachers cannot provide contact information for students in class due to confidentiality. Please utilize the school directory for this information.  

CAFETERIA

Lunch Times

Students will have a total of 40 minutes daily for lunch and recess with a 5 minute passing period. Students who do not finish eating in the allotted time are allowed to remain in the cafeteria until they have finished eating. There are typically two school lunch choices each day which vary. In addition, a fresh salad bar is offered daily. The cafeteria provides seconds on entrees, as well as the option to purchase snacks. If you do not want your child to purchase these items, please visit this website:  http://dcsdnutritionservices.org/policies/  to complete the No Extra Food Form. Please turn this form into the lunchroom at Iron Horse so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

Lunches from Home

Students may bring lunch from home, including a beverage. They may also buy milk at school. Food should be ready-to-eat as we cannot microwave or prepare any food for students.

Parents Welcome

Parents are welcome to have lunch with their child. In order to have an accurate count of the lunches to be prepared that day, please call the school office by 9:00 a.m. to let us know if you will be eating a school lunch.

Lunch Payment

Each child will be given a lunch account number, which they should memorize and which they can use to purchase lunch and snack. Parents may make deposits of cash or checks into their child’s account. Nutrition Services has an online payment option where you can post payments to your account. It is located on the IHE website. You can also view your student’s lunch choices each day on the IHE website. The child’s account is automatically debited each time the child buys lunch. Students may also pay cash for lunch or milk on a daily basis.

Nutrition Services Lunch Charge Policy

If a child’s lunch account balance is less than the cost of lunch and the child fails to bring lunch money, the child will be allowed to charge one lunch. If this occurs for a second day, the child will not receive a full meal. The child will receive white milk and items from the food bar. In such situations, a call will be made to the parents. These charges must be repaid immediately. Once the charges have been paid, the student may resume buying lunch.

Anyone needing financial assistance (even for a temporary period) may fill out an application for free or reduced meals. Applications are available in the school office or online at the nutritional website link. Please remember that if you have been on a free or reduced plan, a new application must be submitted at the beginning of each year. They do not roll over from year to year.

COMMUNICATION

Communication with home is a highly important part of the school operation.   Iron Horse electronically publishes a monthly parent newsletter, provides electronic Thursday Folder fliers and a monthly calendar, and maintains an app for mobile devices as well as a Facebook page.  Principal updates are available on a weekly basis via the website and are sent home weekly via School Messenger. Teachers will send home class newsletters, which tell about upcoming special events or units of study.  Elementary Progress Reports will be sent home at the end of each semester (December and June).

All communication between an Iron Horse parent and an Iron Horse staff member should be civil and respectful. If the school receives a communication (in person or electronically) that the Administration deems inappropriate and/or threatening, the school reserves the right to request to restrict communications accordingly. E-mail communications directed to staff members will be returned within one business day with the exception of holidays or breaks. For general questions, please contact the Registrar at 303-387-8525.

In the event of a conflict with a teacher or a school staff member, or if a parent has questions or concerns pertaining to classroom practices, academics or their student, the parent should:

1) Discuss with the teacher or staff member (if the parent is unsure of which teacher to talk to, the parent should start with the student’s homeroom teacher).

2) If the issue cannot be resolved at the teacher or staff level, the parent should next discuss the issue with the Principal or Assistant Principal, who will mediate a discussion between the parties in conflict.

3) If the issue cannot be resolved by the Principal or Assistant Principal, then the parent should discuss the issue with the Regional Director, Carrie Stephenson.

CUSTODY/PARENTING PAPERWORK

Please let the office know of any legal parenting arrangements involving your student(s).  In order for our office to support the needs of your family, we must have current documentation on file each school year.

DISCIPLINE

Philosophy

At Iron Horse Elementary, we believe that students should make positive choices, accept responsibility, and stand accountable for their decisions and actions. It is our expectation that students will make positive decisions affecting their lives. We expect our students to act responsibly, conducting themselves in a manner which will not disrupt or detract from the educational environment. When a student does make a poor choice, Iron Horse provides a safe and restorative environment in which he/she can learn from his/her mistake. We utilize affective questions and restorative circles consistently. When a student does not exhibit behaviors that demonstrate respect and responsibility, appropriate consequences will be provided. The consequences depend on the nature, seriousness, and/or frequency of the problem. These may include one or more of the following: reflecting on his/her personal choices and possible better options/choices for the future, apologizing, having “think time”, missing a recess, correcting a mistake, replacing broken or stolen property, losing use of equipment, community service, parent conference/contact and in-school or out-of-school suspensions.

While the staff prefers to focus on the positive, it is important to know that certain behaviors will not be tolerated and will be met with strong consequences. These behaviors include, but are not limited to, harassment of any kind, intentional damage to property, disrespect to adults, possession of a weapon, possession or use of tobacco or drugs, and intentional injury. In these instances, administration will speak with the student, as well as those involved, and parents will be contacted.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct will be available to parents on the DCSD and Iron Horse websites. A signature is required as proof of receipt via Infinite Campus. Students are held accountable for the information provided in the Student Code of Conduct. Iron Horse Elementary will support the Student Code of Conduct and discipline procedures set forth by the Board of Education.

Refer to the Douglas County School District Student Code of Conduct for policies and procedures regarding:

  • Behavior Expectations
  • Student Conduct on School Buses
  • Student Conduct
  • Discipline of Habitually Disruptive Students
  • Code of Conduct Rights & Responsibilities
  • Crimes of Violence & Unlawful Sexual Behavior
  • Student Attendance
  • Weapons in Schools
  • Grounds for Suspension, Expulsion, & Classroom Removal
  • Gang Related Behavior and Dress
  • Prevention of Bullying
  • Smoking & Other Uses of Tobacco
  • Non-Discrimination/Non-Harassment of Students
  • Student Involvement Regarding Drugs & Alcohol
  • Searches
  • Student Records/Information
  • Student Dress
  • Visitors to Schools

TRACK Tickets:  

Students will receive TRACK Tickets for exhibiting appropriate behavior within the school. One ticket from each grade level will be chosen weekly. Students whose tickets are chosen will meet with administration to call home to celebrate their success or choose a mystery item from the punch board (this is a student’s choice). If a child’s behavior needs to be corrected (and is not severe in nature), TRACK Correction Tickets (yellow) will be used.  Teachers will inform parents when a student has received a track ticket.  When a child has acquired six yellow tickets, they will be referred to the office for follow-up with Administration.

Bus Behavior

Students must have a district Z-Pass in order to ride the school bus. Please refer the Douglas County School District website for updated transportation information. A detailed list of student conduct on school buses can be found in the district Code of Conduct.

DIGITAL SAFETY AND USAGE FOR ALL DEVICES

Below are the general rules and guidelines that any student must follow while using technology at IHE. These rules apply at any time and on any device. These rules may be revised as needed and teachers and staff may have additional rules for their instructional areas. In addition, we encourage all families to discuss, demonstrate, and promote good digital citizenship.

IHE uses Douglas County School District’s wide area network and follows DCSD rules for content filtering. Any breaches to policies on appropriate content will result in the device being confiscated and student privileges revoked for device use. Students should not intentionally attempt access of sites or content they know to be normally blocked or filtered. The student’s IHE accounts may also be removed or suspended depending on the severity of the breach. IHE also follows Douglas County School District’s policy on use of District Information Technology, in addition to our own policies on appropriate use. The policy can be found here.

Students are to use technology as a tool for learning. Devices or equipment should not be used to play non-educational games, surf the Internet for information unrelated to their education, cyber bully (threaten, exclude, offend, or damage another person’s identity or character electronically), or intentionally try to break through security of the network filters. Infractions of this nature will result in the loss of privilege and/or locked accounts. Viewing of content that is not age- or school-appropriate is not allowed at any time. In some instances, the sharing of inappropriate content can lead to legal/law enforcement involvement or charges.

Consequences for breach of rules will be evaluated by the staff of IHE and dealt with on a case by case basis. Privileges for usage of technology at IHE can be restricted or revoked at any time if a student has misused technology.

ELEMENTARY PROGRESS REPORTS


EPR’s are sent home twice a year (December and June) and are accessed through InspirED.   

FERPA (FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT)

FERPA is a law governing privacy and who has rights to information regarding a student. The bottom line is that any educator or volunteer may not discuss your child with any other parent or educator. The guidance on intercampus discussions is, “Does this educator or volunteer have an educational need to know the information about the student?” This includes, but is not limited to, behavior, assessment information, social factors, etc.

In cases of discipline, it is very important that parents realize that to disclose discipline consequences of a child who is not their own would be a violation of this Act. We simply cannot tell you the names of students involved in discipline situations or consequences assigned to those students.

All volunteers are required to sign a confidentiality agreement, and in the event of a violation of this ACT, will not be invited back to help our students.

Guiding document for your reference:

FERPA Law

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Accidents and Injuries

Most injuries that occur at school require minimal assistance administered in the school’s Health Room. In the event of more serious accidents, we will assess the situation and may call 911 for assistance. It is very important to keep your child’s emergency contact information up to date.

Animals

The District has in place specific policies about animals with fur or feathers. In summary, no fur or feather bearing animals are allowed in the building at any time. In addition, no dogs will be allowed on school grounds at any time, per Douglas County School District Policy (Policy KFAA).  Teachers will work with IHE administrators and individual students wanting to share pets. If a request is approved, all pet visits will be arranged at an outdoor location.

Illness

Students who complain of illness are sent to the school’s Health Room. Whenever a child is running a fever (a temperature of 100 degrees or more), parents are contacted. In this case, parents are expected to pick up their child as soon as possible.

The Health Room is supervised by a health assistant. Our assistant has been trained in First Aid, CPR, and Universal Precautions. She is not a nurse and cannot diagnose medical problems. A DCSD Nurse Consultant oversees student health records, and is responsible for training our office staff. Guidelines for students visiting the Health Room are five visits or less per year. In the event that your student is visiting more often, a phone call home will be made or a letter will be sent to notify you of excessive visits and to develop a plan for your student.

Medications

Public schools are governed by strict laws and rules regarding the dispensing of any medication at school. Please refer to the DCSD website (under “Students”, “Health Services”) for specific information.  Parents whose children require medication must provide the office with a form (available in the school office or on the DCSD website) signed by their physician that specifically states the medication and what dosage the child is to receive. All medication must be kept in the original, pharmacy-labeled container in the school office under lock and key. Medication is only dispensed by trained office personnel. The office keeps a log of all medication dispensed at school and will notify parents when a child’s prescription is running low. Parents must bring all medications to the Health Room. Students are not allowed to bring any type of prescription or over-the-counter medication from home, with the exception of cough drops, which are permitted and can be given to the student’s teacher to be provided as necessary. No medications, including Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Benadryl, are provided by the school. If you would like your child to be able to take Tylenol (or other over-the-counter medication) at school, a medication request and release agreement form must be completed by you and your child’s physician, and you must bring the specific medication to the Health Room at school.

School Safety

We welcome visitors to Iron Horse and we want our students and staff to feel and be safe. To ensure that we know who is in the building at all times, we require everyone entering the building during the day to use the front door, check in at the office window, and wear a visitor badge during their visit. All doors are kept locked during the school day. Please do not seek access from a student or staff member at any other door. When staff members are unsure of the identity of a visitor, they will ask for identification. Iron Horse has emergency plans for fire, natural disasters, and unwanted intruders. Drills are conducted regularly so that students will know what to do in an emergency. Quiet, orderly behavior is expected during all drills.

Supervision

Adult supervision is provided by our staff Monday through Friday, from 8:20 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Playground supervision is not provided before or after school. To ensure safety, students or siblings will not be allowed to play on the playground before or immediately after school.

Dismissal

Parents waiting to meet their children at dismissal time should wait outside the building in the front lawn areas. All K-2 teachers will escort students to the designated pickup area. Students in grades 3-5 will be dismissed by their teacher from the classroom. Students are expected to immediately go to the bus, parent pick-up, or walk home. For safety reasons, students are not allowed to walk into the parking lot areas without an adult. If a student remains in the building after 3:45pm, the office will contact the parents to arrange release details.

IRON HORSE CURRICULUM

Balanced Literacy

Iron Horse utilizes a balanced approach for teaching reading and writing using what we know about best practices. Iron Horse encourages engagement and ownership of the students’ learning. Teachers gradually release new skills, allowing for modeled teaching, guided practice, and independent practice. Guided reading groups and book clubs are used to provide individual teaching points to small groups of children. Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension are taught throughout our K-5 classrooms in a manner that is meaningful and relevant to students.

Math

Iron Horse utilizes the enVisions math program, as well as a variety of other resources, to develop mathematical thinking in our students. Students develop proficiency through the following strands:

(1) Conceptual understanding refers to the “integrated and functional grasp of mathematical ideas”, which “enables them [students] to learn new ideas by connecting those ideas to what they already know.” Some of the benefits of building conceptual understanding are that it supports retention, and prevents common errors.

(2) Procedural fluency is defined as the skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately.

(3) Strategic competence is the ability to formulate, represent, and solve mathematical problems.

(4) Adaptive reasoning is the capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation, and justification.

(5) Productive disposition is the inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful, and worthwhile, coupled with a belief in diligence and one’s own efficacy.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), Differentiated Learning

A systematic approach to providing a seamless problem solving process that enhances the learning of all children by using consultation and support among all educators, combining the unique talents of both general educators and specialists for the success of ALL students. (In plain English, teachers across the school will be collaborating for student solutions both behaviorally and instructionally and blocking out time for specific instruction to students who are not demonstrating mastery of foundational skills or who are in need of extensions for advanced academia). What this means to our teachers and service providers is that students will be supported in and out of the classroom through a strategic method of service provisions and supports to provide personalized coaching towards mastery learning for every student.

THE JUNCTION

“World Class Libraries for a World Class Education”

World Class libraries are shifting their focus to a learning commons as a nationwide model. The learning commons facilitates the production, sharing, organizing, finding, and use of information in a collaborative environment that enhances 21st century learning.  With this in mind, Iron Horse is changing its perception that the library is just a place to store and check out books.  Students are encouraged to use the space for research, for creativity, and to collaborate with other students.  Although expectations still exist for students to respect the space, respect each other, and exhibit the proper treatment of all materials checked out, it is no longer a space where “silence” at all times is the case.  Procedures will be posted throughout the Junction to help students navigate the process of trying to locate specific titles or areas of interest, explain the check-out process, etc., but please know that volunteers and teachers will help facilitate this space to allow students to best utilize it for their specific needs. Books will be checked out as items are returned.   

Lost or Damaged Material

Contact the school as soon as possible when books have been lost or damaged.  Damaged materials are those damaged beyond circulating condition and the borrower will be charged for the cost of replacement.  Once patrons pay for the damaged or lost item, they can begin borrowing material again.  If the lost item is found, a refund will be provided.

LOST AND FOUND

Personal property that your students bring to school should be clearly marked with the owner’s name. Lost and Found items are located in the front hall near the entrance.  The office staff can direct you to this location.  Students may check the Lost and Found for lost items at any time other than class time.  Lost and Found items will be displayed during Parent Teacher Conferences so that students can claim lost items.  Small items (example: glasses, keys, phones, etc.) are located in a Lost and Found box in the office. Please ask the front office staff for access to these items.  Unclaimed items are given to charity every quarter. Although the school takes every precaution to safeguard private property, no responsibility can be assumed for articles brought to school.

PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION

PTO is our parent fundraising group. The PTO plans activities during the year (examples:  Fun Run, Trunk or Treat, movie nights, restaurant nights, etc.), and helps the school purchase items it could not otherwise buy. PTO meets once a month during the school year.  

PARENT/FAMILY VISITATION

Our parents have an open invitation to visit the classrooms of their children outside of core classroom instruction. Please contact the teacher prior to your visit to ensure a mutually agreeable time. Visits should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes and not be an interruption of core instruction which is critical to all students’ success. When observing, please respect the teaching and learning time. If you need to speak with the teacher, please schedule a conference outside of instructional hours. All parents will need to check in at the office and obtain a visitor’s badge prior to visiting classrooms.

Family members other than parents are not permitted to visit classrooms unless previously arranged with the classroom teacher and Administration.

PARKING

Iron Horse has a large parking area. All parents are asked to park in the lot immediately south of the school with overflow parking in the gravel lot. The gravel lot entrance will be closed daily from 3:25 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. to ensure the safety of students walking home.

PLAYGROUND EXPECTATIONS

We believe recess is an important part of each student’s day. We encourage students to go outside, get some fresh air and a little exercise. Students are encouraged to wear athletic shoes during nice weather to avoid injury to their feet while playing.  In order to keep our students safe, all students must wear snow boots when playing in the snow.  If students are not wearing appropriate snow gear, they will be asked to stay on the blacktop.

We provide active adult supervision during all recesses, but cannot provide “refs” and “umpires” for team sports. Many elementary-aged students are participating in competitive sports leagues after school. At times this may become aggressive competition. Recess is not a good venue to continue aggressive or competitive play. Students who show aggressive behavior and/or use inappropriate language will lose the privilege to play that sport. Please review with your child the purpose of recess and let him/her know that and that aggressive/competitive behavior will not be accepted.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAYS                                                                                                

Professional Development days have been incorporated into the school calendar.  This additional time is used for teachers to learn new methods, collaboratively plan for instruction, and analyze student data.  Students will not attend school on these days.

RECESS AND WEATHER

Recess is an integral part of school. During periods of inclement weather, please be sure your child comes to school dressed in appropriate clothing, including boots, hats, gloves, socks, and coats as necessary. Inside recess days will be decided by Administration and will be based on the temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover. Below 20 degrees is typically a cut off for children being able to go outside.  

Per district policy, recess will be shortened or cancelled whenever lightning exists in the area. If students are out at recess and lightning is seen or thunder is heard, the teachers or supervisors will blow their whistle 3 times. Students will immediately go quickly and quietly into the school and their classrooms.

REGISTRATION/WITHDRAWAL

Registration

The following must be completed before a student may attend Iron Horse: a pupil registration form, authorization to release records from the previous school, and copies of (1) proof of residency (either signed warranty deed or lease), (2) birth certificate, and (3) immunization records. Please do not expect to register your child and have him/her start school the same day. We need to allow the teacher time to prepare a desk, chair, and other classroom materials in order to create a welcoming first day experience for your child.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the following school year is held each January. The registration procedure includes the same steps listed above for other registration. By district policy, all students entering Kindergarten must reach their fifth birthday on or before the 1st of October.

Transfer/Withdrawal

Please be sure to let us know as soon as possible if you move out of our boundaries, as your child will need to transfer to his/her new school at that time. It is important that your child return all school-loaned books and materials. We will release records to your child's new school once all materials have been returned or paid for. If you have moved out of our boundary areas and would like to remain at Iron Horse, please see our Registrar for more information.

Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) PLANS

Passed in 1996 by the Colorado General Assembly, the Colorado Basic Literacy Act (CBLA) states that any student who is not meeting literacy standards for his grade must be carefully monitored, which may mean placement on a READ plan for students in grades K-3. If a student is on a READ plan at the end of 3rd grade, the plan will remain active in grades 4-12 or until the student is reading at grade level. A READ plan is based upon approved assessments. At Iron Horse, this is i-Ready.

The Colorado Basic Literacy Act recognizes that school and home must work together to build a student’s literacy. Teachers will request a conference with parents to explore strategies that can be applied and reinforced when a student is reading at home.

REPORTING CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT

There may be times when you have knowledge of or suspicion of an abuse or neglect situation in the community.  Many parents have contacted the school with these concerns for resources and support.  Although all school staff members are mandated reporters, social services is not likely to respond unless it is a first hand report from the person who has the initial knowledge of the incident.  In addition, school staff members cannot investigate these allegations.  For these reasons, we would like to provide you with the phone number of Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services.  At this number, professionals will be able to take your information and determine if an investigation or further information is needed.  Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services can be reached at 303-663-6270.

SAFETY

Drills of all types will be held periodically throughout the year. The goal of all drills is to teach staff and students how to respond to a variety of potential threats in a rapid, safe and orderly manner.

Evacuation will occur if all students need to leave the school in an emergency such as a fire, bomb threat, gas leak or false alarm.   

Lock Out may occur due to a dangerous situation (such as a bear sighting) in the surrounding neighborhood.  All students and adults should return to the building or their mobile classroom (with doors locked and window shades drawn) and stay inside, conducting business as usual, until the situation is resolved.  

Lock Down may occur due to a dangerous situation (such as an intruder) in the building.  

Shelter may be taken in case of tornadoes, bomb threats or hazardous material spills.   

Early/Late Dismissal occasionally occurs due to emergencies such as bad weather.  In the case of Early or Late Dismissal, teachers should remain with their students in their classrooms and await further directions via intercom. Students may be called to the office for dismissal, or parents may be directed to the classroom. Parents must sign all students out, either at the office or in classrooms. Siblings must be 18 years of age to sign their brother/sister out.

Lightning Dismissal:

    • The DCSD is following CHSAA's lightning guidelines, which state that outdoor activities will be suspended and personnel moved indoors when lightning is within a 6-mile radius. Activities will remain suspended until there is no longer lightning within a 6-mile radius for 15 minutes.
    • Parents/Guardians or other adults over the age of 18, who have been given permission in Infinite Campus, may pick up their child/younger sibling during a lightning delay at their own risk.
    • Siblings under the age of 18 coming to pick up a younger sibling will be asked to stay in the building and will NOT be released until it is safe.
    • Students who walk will be released when it is considered to be safe at the school site, when lightning is more that 6 miles away for 15 minutes.
    • Parents/guardians/siblings over 18 will sign out their student/sibling in the classroom

SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL (SAC)

The SAC is an advisory group to the Principal charged with making recommendations on curriculum and instruction, budget, and building operations.  The committee is comprised of parents, teachers, and the Principal, and meets on a monthly basis. Meetings are open to all parents, staff, and community. The SAC will make recommendations regarding specific areas mentioned above, and is not a fielding ground for complaints.

STUDENT DISTRICT AND SCHOOL FEES/SCHOOL SUPPLIES

There are fees for each student attending school for the use of books and other materials. We hope that this does not pose too much of a hardship on families, particularly those with more than one child in school.  Please note that those families qualifying for free and reduced meals will be exempt from some of these fees.  We charge a nominal amount for books that are damaged beyond normal usage, and ask for replacement costs for books that are lost.  You can access the list of required supplies for students at each grade level on our school web site.

Parents who qualify for free and reduced lunch are eligible for reduced fees and/or scholarships for field trips. In order to take advantage of this, parents will need to provide a copy of the free and reduced award letter to the office. Please note that letters are only good for one school year and parents will need to re-apply every year.

SCHOOL PICTURES

Student pictures will be taken at the beginning of the school year. Candid photographs of students, teachers, families and school events will be taken throughout the year for use in the school yearbook or on Iron Horse’s social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).

SNACK

Teachers will determine a “snack time” and the procedures for their individual classrooms. Snack time may be in the morning, afternoon, or throughout the day based on the needs of the children in the class and the daily schedule. Your child should not bring candy, gum, or drinks (other than water).

TELEPHONES - STUDENT USE

Students are discouraged from using regular school phones except for emergency purposes.  Student cell phone use for personal reasons is discouraged except in emergency situations with permission from a teacher or office personnel.   Classroom teachers may set expectations for the academic use of smartphones in their classrooms.  Students found in violation of classroom cell phone expectations may have their phones confiscated until the end of the day.  Parents of those students who habitually violate cell phone expectations will be contacted and a plan to address the issue will be created.

THURSDAY FOLDERS

Thursday folder information is sent home every Thursday in the Weekly Principal Update. Families can also access this information on IHE’s website.

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are an essential part of our learning community. All potential volunteers who would like to work with students or go on field trips must complete a Community Volunteer Application before they are able to volunteer. This is to ensure the safety of our students. This application can be found in the office or on the district website. Applications typically take two to three weeks to process.

VISITORS/SCHOOL SECURITY

We maintain the security of our building through locked doors and a visitor screening system.  When visiting the school, please press the button on the silver box near the front door.  This will alert the office staff of your presence, and will allow them to both see and speak with you.  The staff will ask you for your name and reason for your visit before opening the door.  You will then proceed to the front desk to check in on the computer.  All visitors, parents, and volunteers must check in on the computer at the office window. Visitors will be given a badge on each visit that must be worn at all times while in the building.  Upon departing, visitors will sign out on the computer at the office window and return their badge. Please note:  You are asked to not bring younger children to visit classrooms due to the distraction to the learning environment this may create, but younger siblings may certainly join their brother or sister during lunch with a parent.

WEATHER

Please dress your student(s) appropriately, keeping in mind the fact that the weather in our area is often unpredictable.  On very cold and/or wet days, children are kept inside during recess time.  We use guidelines that take into account temperature, precipitation, and wind chill to decide when recess will be held indoors.  

Snow Closures/Delays

The District website, www.dcsdk12.org, and telephone hotline, 303-387-SNOW (7669), will be your best resources in the event of delay or closure.

The school district will report schedule changes by geographic areas on local media outlets. Iron Horse is listed in the Parker/Legend feeder area. If an area is closed, buses will not operate into or out of that area.

The District will use the following methods to notify parents about weather-related school schedule changes.

All information will be updated by 5:00 a.m. on

  • local television and radio broadcasts
  • District website: www.dcsdk12.org
  • District weather hotline: 303-387-SNOW (7669)

Sometimes the weather requires delaying the start of school to ensure that buses, students and staff have time to arrive safely.  On a delayed schedule, elementary, middle and high schools start 90 minutes later than the normal school start time. School buses will run 90 minutes later than the normal route time. This means that Iron Horse will have a start time of 10:00 am. When afternoon activities are cancelled, ALL activities in the feeder area are cancelled including meetings, conferences, sporting events, practices/rehearsals, performances, and contracted community usage. Decisions about afternoon activities will be made by 1:30 p.m. and will be communicated on the District website (www.dcsdk12.org).

The safety of each of our students is our priority as we make decisions regarding delays and closures. As a parent, you have the right to make individual decisions for your child. If you choose to keep your child out of school due to severe weather, his or her absence from school will be excused.  If you have questions or concerns, contact District Security at 303-387-0377 or District Communications at 303-387-0033.