The WPS initiated an “Alert Now” program which provides notification of both non-emergency and emergency situations happening at school.
All parents are expected to sign up for this program. Notification is given to parents by cellphone, voice message, home phone or email. This is determined by parents’ preference as they sign up for the program. All parents are highly encouraged to go to the website and register. If you have any questions, contact our office at 662-7656.
If a student wants permission to ride a bicycle to school, the parent must contact the principal in writing. The parent notification will be kept on file in the office. Students who ride bicycles to school are required to have a lock for the bicycle and are required to secure it during school hours. The school will not be responsible for the property before, during or after school hours.
We ask that parents do not send in treats or snacks on their child’s birthday. We celebrate all birthdays for each month on the last Friday of the month. If you would like to provide the treats/snacks for your child’s birthday month, please contact your child’s teacher to make arrangements ahead of time. Any treats that are brought in without the teacher's knowledge or approval will not be permitted past the office.
Sale of Items at School
The School Board forbids the sale of items by students at school and prohibits school sponsored house-to-house sales by students.
School Mascot and Colors
The FDES mascot is a loveable panda bear. The school colors are black, white, and green. We encourage our students to identify with these symbols as a representation of our school spirit and Panda PRIDE: Patience, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Excellence.
All doors to our school are locked in order to ensure security of the building. Anyone wishing to enter the building must do so through the front doors. Using the intercom system, a school employee will unlock the doors once the identity and purpose of each visitor has been established.
All visitors are required to go to the office when entering the school. A driver’s license or valid ID is required to be shown on your first visit to the school. Before exiting the building, the visitor must sign out in the office using the badge that was issued. It is important that our office staff knows who is in the building at all times. This helps to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Car Rider Policy
Adults picking up students at dismissal will be required to have the car tag with the student’s name and grade level, posted in a location that is visible to FDES staff. This will serve as verification that each child is being turned over to a familiar and trusted adult. If the car tag is not visible, the driver must come to the office and show identification prior to picking up the student. No child will be dismissed without a name tag. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Walking Students to Class
If your child arrives at school before 7:50am parents are permitted to walk them to their classrooms. Any student who arrives after 7:50am will be escorted to their classrooms by an FDES employee. Parents are permitted to walk their child to the classroom but are not permitted to go in the classroom at that time.
Participation in certain school activities by a non-custodial parent (HB2147) provides that unless a court order has been issued to the contrary, non-custodial parents of students enrolled in public schools or daycare centers, shall not be denied the opportunity to participate in activities, such as parent-teacher conferences, for which parental participation has been encouraged by school policy. The custodial parent is responsible for providing the court order, if one exists, to the public school.
All Winchester Public Schools have crisis intervention plans. These plans are designed to meet the needs of each individual school. The plans focus on the safety of the children during various possible threatening situations. As with fire drills, these crisis plans will be practiced throughout the school year. We do not anticipate any threatening situations in or outside of the building, however if one does arise, we have very specific plans in place to protect students. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact Ms. Maestle.
In order to protect our students, we ask that parents/guardians not take any pictures of other students. This includes during field trips, when volunteering in classrooms, or during after school events.
Distribution of Non-School Publications
Distribution within the school of non-school publications (materials not purchased or approved by the School Board for use for instructional purposes) is restricted. Such materials must have prior written approval of the Superintendent of Schools before they may be distributed at school.
Together, staff and parents share the responsibility for determining appropriate school dress. School clothing should be appropriate for the weather and school activities. Students should not be dressed in any clothing that compromises safety or modesty or interferes with the educational process. Students are not to wear articles of clothing that have language or pictures that are sexually suggestive, offensive or degrading to others, or that carry messages of drugs, alcohol or violence. Pants are to be worn at the waistline and shirts and tops must meet the waistline and not reveal bare midriff. Shorts are acceptable only if their length is equal to or longer than the student’s fingertips when arms are relaxed at sides. Tennis shoes are expected to be worn on physical education days.
The school reserves the right to provide students with alternatives if the clothing worn to school is deemed inappropriate by administration.
Items Necessary for School
Students should bring to school only items that are necessary for school. Items not necessary for school should be left home. This includes items such as, electronic games, trading cards, and other toys. Knives and other potentially dangerous objects as well as glass containers are not allowed in school. Any items that distract from instruction will be taken to the office. Parents will be contacted to come to school and pick up items that have been taken.
The benefits of homework for young students are very minimal, according to research. (Cooper, 1989; Cooper et al., 2006; Marzano & Pickering, 2007). A more effective use of time for young learners is nightly reading, especially when the time is spent reading with a loved one.
At FDES, students will receive very limited amounts of written homework, but will be expected to read, either by themselves or with a loved one, every night. Reading at home will be the nightly homework expectation for all students.
When written homework is assigned, it will be aligned with the following guidelines:
- Appropriate for the specific standards at each grade level
- Reasonable in length
- Directly related to classroom work
- Well defined in advance by the teacher
- Understood by the students
- Reviewed by the teacher and student
- Positive in nature
Change of Address or Telephone
It is essential that parent/student address and telephone information be accurate and up to date in the office. Please notify the school immediately if you have a change of address or telephone number during the school year.
Report Cards and Conferences
The school year for all students is divided into four report card periods. The first and third 9 week periods involve a required parent/teacher conference that is conducted in a student led format. Conferences are scheduled to discuss the progress of students and their report cards are given to parents at that time. The school system places great emphasis on the importance of conferencing at all levels. Every effort should be made to attend these conferences. At the end of the second and fourth report periods, report cards are sent home. Dates of the report periods are listed on the school calendar. Conferences may be requested by parents, teachers or the principal whenever the need arises. Communication between home and school helps ensure a consistent environment for the child.
Standards of Learning
All Standards of Learning can be found on the Virginia Department of Education website. If you do not have access to this website, you are welcome to contact the office.