Policies

ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL

Breakfast is served daily from 7:45 am – 8:15 am. During that time, students will have access to the lunchroom and corresponding restrooms. School begins promptly at 8:15 am, and ends at 2:54 pm.  Students in grades K-5 report to the auditorium for morning admissions. Students in grades 6-8 report to the cafeteria for morning admissions. Kindergarten students are dismissed from Room 109. Grades 1-5 are dismissed from the auditorium. Grades 6-8 exit the building to the school yard at dismissal. All children should be picked up promptly at 2:54 pm.

SCHOOL UNIFORM POLICY

SHIRTS

Tops may be navy or white (with a collar), and long or short sleeves. No t-shirts. Students may also wear a navy or white turtleneck. A tan, gray, black, pink, or navy blue sweater or  sweater vest is acceptable. There may be no designs, slogans, or stripes on any tops other than the Houston logo. Hooded sweatshirts, track jackets, and jean jackets are not to be worn in the building at any time. Tank tops/sleeveless shirts are never permitted.

BOTTOMS

Students should wear khaki (tan) or navy blue pants or shorts with a brown or black belt (if needed). Students may wear a khaki (tan) or navy skirt/skort, jumper, or capri pants. Navy, white, or black tights/stockings/leggings/knee socks may be worn under skirts and jumpers. Jeans, cargo pants/shorts, and overalls are not permitted.

SHOES

Students may wear shoes of their choosing (including sneakers). Open-toed shoes, flip-flops, sandals, or shoes with high heels are not permitted.

GYM UNIFORM (Worn on Gym Days Only)

Yellow, blue, or gray t-shirts are permitted with blue, gray, or yellow sweatpants. Also acceptable are Houston t-shirts of any variety. Please wear cotton gym socks and  athletic sneakers.

COLLEGE GEAR FRIDAYS (GRADES 5-8)

Students in grades 5-8 may wear t-shirts/hoodies/sweatshirts representing colleges and universities. Pants should be uniform pants (khaki or navy), but may be sweat/athletic pants only if students have gym class on Fridays.

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS REGARDING UNIFORM POLICY

All students are obligated to adhere to the school uniform policy. Students who choose to disregard the uniform policy are subject to disciplinary action. Please let the counselor know if your family needs support in obtaining uniforms. Resources are available.

DRESS DOWN DAYS

During the school year, students will be able to participate in “dress down days.” The primary function of dress down days is to fundraise for the Houston store; however, there will be times during the year when students are invited to dress down at no cost. All clothing must be appropriate in nature. Revealing clothing or clothes displaying inappropriate images or language will not be accepted.

ABSENCES

A note to the teacher explaining the absence is required in order for the child to be excused. Send the note upon the child’s return to school. If your child does not submit a note after three days, then the absence will be marked as unexcused on his/her report card. Please be informed that student absences will be excused for health reasons, bereavement, and family emergencies. Family vacations during the school year are not excusable and have the potential of negatively affecting student academic progress. Family emergencies will be addressed relative to the nature of the incident. In the event that your child misses an extended period of time, please be sure to contact the child teacher(s) to find out what class work or homework has been missed.

Religious holidays and religious instruction:

(1)  Upon written parental request, and in accordance with the policies of the district’s board of school directors, students may be excused from school for religious holidays observed by religious groups.

(2)  A student’s absence from school for religious holidays or for religious instruction shall be recorded as an excused absence. A penalty may not be attached to an absence for religious holidays or instruction.

LUNCH

Children may pack a lunch or receive a free federally funded lunch. There are NO LUNCH APPLICATIONS. All students have been granted the opportunity to receive free breakfast and lunch. Lunch and recess times (45 minutes) are supervised by school climate staff. Lunch is scheduled to last 25 minutes, while the remaining 20 minutes are scheduled for recess. Students may play in the yard after finishing their lunch and cleaning their tables. On rainy or snowy days, children may bring non-electronic games to school to play in the lunchroom, after they have eaten. Parent volunteers, who have obtained the appropriate clearances, are encouraged to help supervise lunch and games in the yard at recess. Please be sure to notify your child’s teacher of any food allergies.

LATENESS POLICY

Students are marked late if they arrive after 8:15 am. In the event that a student is late due to yellow school bus pickup, that child will be excused from being tardy. The principal reserves the right to excuse tardy arrival due to a valid circumstance. When a student is late, the student must report to the front desk/office to fill out a late slip, and then go to the classroom. Excessive lateness will result in disciplinary and/or truancy action. Any student arriving after the daily morning entrance into the building is considered late. Houston follows the truancy policy outlined by The School District of Philadelphia.

EMERGENCY CLOSINGS AND DISMISSALS

School Closings will be officially announced on KYW-1060AM. The announcement will state, “All Philadelphia public schools are closed or are dismissing at….” Also, you will find school closing on the school district’s website. A specific school will be named only in the event that there is an emergency at that school.

EARLY DISMISSAL

Parents must submit a written request for early dismissal to the principal. You can send your request with your child and instruct him/her to give the request to his/her teacher. Whenever possible, please try to schedule doctor’s appointments during non-school hours. Unless there is an extreme emergency, please do not request your child to be dismissed early from school after 2:30 pm. This causes a major disruption to classroom instruction and end of the day procedures. We appreciate your cooperation. If this policy is repeatedly violated, a meeting will be scheduled with the parent/guardian and principal.

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS/VAN SERVICE PICK-UP: Students will not be dismissed to be picked up for any type of van service or after school pick-up prior to 2:54 pm. Please make sure that you inform your service providers.

SCHOOL VISITOR PROCEDURES

We welcome and encourage visits to school by parents/guardians, other residents of the community, and interested educators. To assist in providing for a safe and optimum-learning environment, these guidelines are established for school visits.

A visitor is a person who enters school property to see someone in a professional capacity, to inspect or learn more about building operation and programs, or to attend their student’s educational conference.

A volunteer is a person who has been authorized by the Principal to enter the school property to offer a service to students, teachers, or school operations.

The school administration shall develop and implement guidelines governing school visits. The school Principal is authorized to prohibit the entry of any person to a school of this district in accordance with this policy and such guidelines.

1.     A visitor shall register at the school welcome table to obtain authorization for a visitation and shall abide by these guidelines.

2.     A visitor shall schedule all conferences and visits in advance.

3.     Conferences concerning student progress shall be scheduled with the teacher. Other visits shall be scheduled with the school’s Principal.

4.     Each visitor shall receive a visitor pass to be worn so it is easily seen.

5.     Visitors shall not interrupt instruction.

6.     No visitor may confer with a student in school, other than a student of whom s/he is the parent or guardian, without prior permission of the Building Principal.

PICKING UP STUDENTS

Students may be picked up during the school day or after school by parents or other family members having custody, but not by any other adults, unless we have written permission from the parent or guardian (Must be over 18). Students will only be released to individuals listed on the emergency contact list unless proper arrangements are made. ALL individuals who pick up students must present photo identification to the main office.

LATE PICK-UPS

Late pick-ups cause children unnecessary stress. It also drains Houston’s resources. Please plan ahead and avoid this problem. Students whose escorts are late picking them up will be brought back into the building. Repeated occurrences of late pick-up may result in notification to appropriate services.

REWARDING POSITIVE BEHAVIOR- HOUSTON BUCKS & DOJO

All students are capable of positive behavior. All students at Houston will have an opportunity for this positive behavior to be rewarded. During the day at Houston, students that exhibit desired positive behavior will be given Houston bucks. This artificial currency can be redeemed for prizes at the end of each month during the academic school year. Houston bucks are only used as a positive reinforcement. Your child’s teacher will send home Class Dojo invitations. This is a communication tool that also promotes positive student choices.

CELL PHONE/ELECTRONICS POLICY 

Students are not permitted to be in visible possession of a cell phone during school hours unless otherwise directed by Houston staff. While in school, cell phones must be completely turned off. Similarly, electronic equipment such as tablets and other handheld devices must remain off during school hours. Students are permitted to use cell phones before school and after dismissal for communication with parents. Students who violate this procedure will have his/her cell phone confiscated. Confiscated cell phones can be received from the Principal by the parents.

1st Offense: Phone will be confiscated and student may pick it up at the end of the school day

2nd Offense: Phone will be confiscated and parent must pick it up

3rd Offense: Phone will be confiscated and given to the principal. A meeting will then be scheduled with the following parties; Principal, parent/guardian, and student. Phone will be returned to parent/guardian at the time of the meeting.

4th Offense: Phone will be confiscated. Child will be disciplined at the administration’s discretion.

REPORT CARDS/GRADES

Please check your school calendar for report card and progress report dates. Report cards will be distributed quarterly. Houston will follow the marking guidelines identified by the School District of Philadelphia. https://www.philasd.org/curriculum/curriculum-and-instruction/marking-guidelines/

GRADED WORK

Graded student work will be sent home every Thursday in the Yellow Folder. Parents are to sign and return all graded work the very next day (Friday). Graded work should not be kept at home. All graded work will be kept in a student file and can be reviewed again during report card conferences. If parents have a question about a grade or are requesting to keep work over the weekend so that students can review mistakes, a written note must be sent to the teacher’s attention.

HOMEWORK PROCEDURES

Children who regularly complete homework are more successful in school. Homework reinforces classroom learning. It helps students learn to study independently, to think rationally, to plan, and to organize. Please support your child’s homework and study practices by ensuring a quiet area for homework completion has been established and that assignments are complete. Students should read independently at least 30 minutes every night. At a minimum, students in grades K-8 will have homework assigned Monday through Thursday. Check your child’s yellow folder each week for homework assignments.

LOST AND FOUND (Personal Property)

Please clearly label children’s clothing. Mark other personal property with children’s names and room numbers, i.e. books, book bags, etc. Losses will be lessened if all items are marked. Children are not permitted to carry large sums of money, toys, electronic games or expensive jewelry. The school will not be responsible for any items that are lost, stolen, or traded. The Lost and Found is located under the Parent Resource Table and in the cafeteria.