World Learner School Board of Directors has established a policy that requires annual checks for all staff employed by WLS. These checks will be conducted by a third party vendor. In addition, all volunteers and contracted vendors working with students will also be subjected to an annual check according to the state system. Volunteers will pay $15 for the annual background check. Results of all findings will be kept on file according to data retention schedules.
A calendar is given out at the beginning of the school year listing many events and other useful information. Updates of calendar items are announced through the Friday newsletters (both classroom and office) and on the WLS website. Parents may also access the PTO website for calendar information at www.wlspto.org.
Students who wish to ride a bus other than their own must bring a note to their teacher. The note should indicate which bus is to be taken and must be signed by the parent/guardian. Prior permission must be obtained by the parent as such arrangements will not be allowed to be made during school hours.
Under Minnesota law, the reporting of suspected physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect are required of educational and health care professionals. The World Learner School staff members are mandated reporters and will comply with these reporting laws.
The World Learner School encourages individuality in its students. Clothing is one way in which students express this individuality. While WLS does not intend to interfere with a student’s right to express political, religious, philosophical or similar opinions in words on garments they wear to the World Learner School, we do have the responsibility to protect all students and ensure a continuous educational environment, free from disruption. Therefore, there are expectations of student dress based on the following:
Examples of prohibited attire include, but are not limited to the following:
The World Learner School dress code extends to school-sponsored activities off the school premises.
Swimwear is restricted to “Tankinis” or a single piece suit for female students and swimming shorts for male students. Bikinis and Speedo-style trunks are not permitted.
Classroom teachers will enforce the policy. The Director will arbitrate any dispute. Students violating the dress code will be asked to either fix the problem or return home and change.
Each child should also be equipped with outdoor clothing suitable to the season. We make an effort to go outside every day, except for pervasively rainy days and if the temperature is below -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Please provide a full set of clothing including socks, underwear, pants and shirt. Changes of clothing may be necessary due to accidents, wet weather, or other reasons. Please keep a pair of soft-soled indoor shoes at school. It is very important that each child has indoor shoes. Not only do they protect their feet, they allow muddy or wet shoes to be removed, thereby preserving our carpets and the beauty of our classrooms.
A good communication flow with your child's teacher is highly desirable and should be the principle vehicle for questions that may arise. Parent conferences are scheduled during fall and spring for this purpose. However, feel free to contact your child's teacher for any additional meetings. It is difficult to communicate with teachers during the school day as they are often not readily available via email or phone. If there is a message that must be attended to during the day, it is best to leave the message with the Office Manager for direct delivery to the teacher.
Problem Solving – This process of problem-solving pertains to issues in the classroom.
When a parent comes to a board member with a problem, the board member will confirm that the parent has followed the communication channel (first: teacher; next: administrator). If the parent has not, the board member will offer to facilitate the parent’s following of the steps in the communication channel. If, with such facilitation, the parent is still not satisfied with the response, either the parent or the facilitating board member may take the issue to the board.
The board may then decide to appoint one or two facilitators from the board (note that this appointment need not be done at a board meeting), with at least one being a staff member, to listen to the parent’s concern, and work toward resolution.
The appointed board facilitator(s) will contact the concerned parent within 48 hours of the appointment, and will subsequently make a written report to the board, preferably with the parent’s participation.
If a parent has a problem with an administrator, the parent is encouraged to meet in person with the administrator and work toward resolution. If the parent tries that and is not satisfied with the result, they may follow the steps above to involve the board.
Administration and staff will work to inform parents of school policies, procedures, and practices, so that parents know what to expect, and can ask questions and clarify issues. We hope to get to know each WLS parent through frequent interaction. We believe that good communication is based on first-hand knowledge of all parties’ perspectives, and a comfortable familiarity based on a history of dialogue.
Problem Solving Flow Chart for Parents at WLS
|---------> #1 Teacher Your child’s teacher is the natural first point of contact for any concerns you as a parent may have.
|---------> #2 Administration The director is always available to help with any concerns you may have. Deana has an ‘open door’ policy.
|---------> #3 Board of Directors
The board members are generally available and can help you if your concerns remain unresolved after you have spoken with your child’s teacher and the administration. There is also a Parent’s Forum at the start of each board meeting in which concerns may be voiced.
We invite you to become involved with the faculty, the staff and other parents and guardians of The World Learner School. We encourage families to attend open houses, Parent Education Nights, informational meetings, concerts, picnics, Parent Advisory Council meetings, Board of Directors meetings and other planned activities. Another way to get involved in supporting World Learner School is through the Parent-Teacher Organization, PTO. The website for the PTO is www.wlspto.org.
Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records
World Learner School complies with federal and state laws governing the release of student record information. These laws require the school to release ‘directory information’. Directory information includes the student’s name, address, telephone listing, photograph, student’s date of birth, gender, dates and schools of enrollment, grade level, school special honors and achievement, participation is officially recognized activities, and photos or videotapes of a student engaged in academic, non-academic or co-curricular activities. Directory information does not include individual grades, testing results, race, religion, or other personal facts.
Should a parent choose to classify their child’s directory information as private, their child’s directory information will be excluded from official school publications and electronic media including to but not limited to the yearbook, student newspaper, graduation programs, recognition lists, and performance programs.
By law, directory information must be made available to organizations or individuals who request it. PTO groups, Scouts, and photographers (Lifetouch) are examples of organizations who may request student directory data.
Parents may request that directory information be classified as private by completing the Privacy Form (available from The Office).
Education Records Protected by FERPA
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act requires that every student have the right for information other than directory information to be kept private. Information on Incident or Accident Reports may not disclose identifying information about any student other than the child who is the subject of the report. World Learner School staff are prohibited from disclosing any identifying information to any individual, neither in writing or verbally.
The Upper Elementary level of WLS traditionally spends a week of the school year in an optional experience at the Deep Portage Learning Center, a conservation camp in northern Minnesota, near Hackensack. Deep Portage as a co-curricular event and participation is expected. The Deep Portage Experience rotates through the seasons over the three years of Upper Elementary, attending a week in the fall and a week in the winter. It is expected that lead teachers attend this experience with students, typically leaving on Monday early afternoon and returning to WLS on late Friday afternoon. Other staff will be contracted to attend Deep Portage on an individual basis. Volunteer chaperones are also invited to attend, pending completion of a background check. Chaperones are responsible for the full cost of attending Deep Portage. Financial Aid may be available, please see the Director.
World Learner School is committed to maintaining a learning environment that ensures no interference with the educational process. Freedom and Responsibility are key Montessori tenets that allow for such an environment to exist. WLS promotes the building of peace through our classrooms and allows for the culture of peace to flourish. Through this effort, students have responsibilities and rights.
All WLS students have the right to:
All WLS students have the responsibility to:
In the event that the balance between freedom (rights) and responsibility become imbalanced, intervention is warranted. Typical intervention begins with a process of student/teacher consultation and the retraction of freedom until responsible actions prompt reinstatement of freedom. This process may include conflict mediation with students and restitution, constantly focused on a peaceful outcome.
Offenses by students requiring more than the usual Montessori-based intervention/counseling will require engagement with the Director and/or Parents. It is crucial to understand that each situation requires a unique and individualized approach. However, the outline below provides a guide that is deployed in addressing each situation.
The school may take disciplinary action resulting from:
Actions WLS may take following these violations may include, but are not limited to:
The school accepts that technology is pervasive and that many students bring electronic devices to school for both entertainment and safety. Nevertheless, electronic devices can be a distraction in a learning environment and the school needs to set limits on electronic device usage.
Failure to comply with the school policies regarding use of electronic devices will result in the electronic device being confiscated for the day and parents may be called to retrieve the item. Repeated violations of the policy will result in a complete ban on the student’s use of personal electronic devices on school premises.
Fire drills are conducted throughout the year at unannounced and varied times. All persons must leave the school in a quick, quiet and orderly fashion. Students will file to their designated locations and each teacher will take roll to account for each student in their classroom.
Tornado drills are conducted throughout the year at unannounced and varied times. Students will file to their designated locations in a quick and quiet fashion. Teachers will take roll to account for each student in their classroom. If a tornado warning is in effect when school is in session, students will not be dismissed until the warning has been lifted. If disaster occurs and students are not able to return to the school building, radio announcements will inform parents or guardians where their children have been taken for shelter.
Lock-down drills are conducted throughout the year at unannounced and varied times. Based on the specific nature of the lock-down drill, the students will file to designated locations in a quick and quiet fashion. These drills are meant to prepare staff and students for the potential need to react to an emergency situation.
The concept of “going out” is very important to Montessori elementary and middle school programs. It means that we want to start to see the world at large as part of our classroom, part of our environment, and to go out into it as a routine part of a fuller, richer, broader learning experience. Staff will drive the school-owned van for “going-out” excursions. Staff is approved annually for insurance through a Department of Motor Vehicles license check and is trained annually on maintaining and driving the van. Staff completes a pre-trip inspection prior to each excursion.
Children accompanying a staff member on a going-out trip sit in a seat unless the are required to be in a booster seat according the WLS policy. Children are required to wear a seat belt. These trips are short, generally to local businesses or points of interest relating to work the children are doing in the classroom. This feature of our program is important, and we would like all children to participate, but it is ultimately optional for parents. Since only a small number of students go on some of these trips, the teacher will have a fair way of choosing the limited number of students who go on a given trip. Since the groups are small (3-4 students), most of the students will remain in the room with the Teacher’s Assistant, or in some cases, the assistant will go and the teacher will stay in the classroom; any child whose family has opted for them not to participate in these “going out” trips will not stand out. Teachers will be in touch about this with the families of the children in their class, and they will notify the parents of the children involved and confirm the parents’ permission. Children will only be allowed to participate in these trips if email or verbal permission is granted.
It is the goal of WLS to provide a working and learning environment that promotes equal opportunities and is free of harassment in which the dignity of all individuals is respected. Therefore, it shall be a violation of WLS policy for any student or personnel of WLS to harass a student or any employee as defined by WLS policy, or to inflict, threaten to inflict, or attempt to inflict violence on any student or school personnel.
The term harassment includes, but is not limited to, intimidating, aggressive humiliating behavior or intentional harm towards one person or group. It may be single incident or carried out repeatedly over time.
Such behavior includes, but is not limited to:
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for students who commit an act of harassment range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and expulsion.
World Learner School prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person or group who reports an act of harassment. The consequence and remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the Director after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, in accordance with district policies and procedures.
World Learner School prohibits false accusations of bullying. Should false accusations be made, appropriate consequences will be assigned.
All members of the school—staff and students—are responsible for helping to ensure that individuals do not suffer any form of harassment and that they are encouraged and supported in any legitimate complaint. The school will act to investigate all complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of harassment or violence and to discipline or take appropriate action against any student or personnel who is found to have violated this policy.
A complete copy of the Harassment Prohibition Policy is available in the school office.
In the event of a student incurring a head injury of any type, WLS staff will notify a parent with 60 minutes of the injury. Parents will then have the option of seeking additional care or permitting staff to continue to monitor and care for the student. If a parent is not available, a message will be left at all phone numbers connected to the parent(s). Staff will attend to the injuries and apply first aid. If staff determines the student needs additional medical care and no parent can be reached, emergency personnel will be called.
Anyone can get head lice. Head lice are very small, brownish-colored insects that live on the head. Lice are difficult to get rid of and it typically takes at least two weeks to rid a home of lice.
The presence of a child in school signifies that he or she is able to play outdoors. Parents or other pre-designated adults will be called if a child is found to be sick while attending school. The school requests that parents provide two alternate telephone numbers to call so that an adult can be reached should a child need to be released from school. The teacher has the authority to send any child home if he/she believes a child is too sick to be in the classroom or that the child's illness may jeopardize the health of the other children in the class.
If a child has any signs of illness, such as pinkeye, skin rash, fever, sore throat, etc., please keep the child at home. The child's fever needs to be normal for 24 hours before the child may return to school. A child that has vomited at school or at home, must be kept out of school for a full 24 hours. If an accident occurs that requires emergency medical care, we will call (911) immediately. There is always a staff person on duty that is trained and certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Many children experience a fair number of minor accidents and variations in how well they feel from day to day. The teachers do their best to minimize accidents and handle sickness sympathetically and reasonably. When accidents and illness that are clearly very minor occur, teachers help to process the learning that comes from them. If it is clear that the situation warrants it, (911) will be called. In the case of a (911) call or head trauma, parents will always by contacted immediately.
In most accident/illness situations that do not require a 911 call, a call to the parents is routine. The purpose of the call may be to let the parents know that their child is not well enough to be in school, and to come and pick up their child. If, in the teacher’s judgment, the child is well enough to stay in school, the teacher, assistant, or office staff will call just to let the parents know what has happened. The parent has the option of taking the child home in such situations.
If a parent cannot be reached by phone, the teacher, assistant, and office staff will leave a message, monitor the situation, and update a course of action depending on conditions, as they continue to call to try to speak directly with a parent about the situation. It is vitally important that parents provide the WLS office with telephone numbers, which ensure that the parents can always be reached in case of a real emergency as well as in a minor accident/illness situation.
World Learner school does not celebrate holidays from a religious standpoint. Our staff employs simple, fun traditional events for students to interact socially with their classmates. Curriculum centered on holidays may provide students the opportunity to explore holidays from various historical and worldly religious vantage points. No specific religion will be highlighted or promoted through such explorations. We strongly discourage costumes that include weaponry, masks, blood or other associations of violence unless under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Every student at WLS will need a clean pair of shoes that can solely be used inside the Montessori environment. As our students often work on the floor, our teachers and staff take extra care to provide an environment that is clean, beautiful and well prepared. The student’s responsibility in that is to wear footwear that does not track in dirt or other residue to the classroom. These indoor shoes should be kept at WLS in lockers and changed into upon arrival each day.
All Montessori materials, novels and library books, textbooks, computers and other resource materials are supplied by World Learner School. Teachers will discuss with their students the appropriate use and care for these materials. If through carelessness, a student damages an instructional material or classroom furniture; a replacement cost will be assessed.
During each school year there will be four days in which school starts two hours late. WLS follows the lead of ISD 112 in providing this time to its teachers for professional development. Please check the WLS Calendar for this year’s Late Start dates. School will start at 11:20 a.m. on these dates and will end at 3:50 p.m.
Students in the Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School have lockers. Each student will be assigned a locker and the locker will be located in the vicinity of the classroom. No student is to switch or share a locker with another student. Each student will be held responsible for the condition of the locker assigned to him/her and for the contents of that locker.
The State-Mandated Locker Policy states "School lockers are the property of the school district. At no time does the school district relinquish its exclusive control of lockers provided for the convenience of students. Inspection of the interior of lockers may be conducted by school authorities for any reason at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant. The personal possessions of students within a school locker may be searched only when school authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover evidence of a violation of law or school rules. As soon as practical after the search of a student's personal possessions, the school authorities must provide notice of the search to students whose lockers were searched unless disclosure would impede an ongoing investigation by police or school officials."
If your child needs to take medication during the school day, a doctor’s written order must be obtained for prescription and over-the-counter medications (including ibuprofen or cough drops). In addition, the parent must complete a form entitled "Permission to Administer Medication" and give the medication to the office for placement in a locked cabinet until administration.
Prescription medications must come to school in the prescription bottle with the doctor’s name on it. Over-the-counter medications must be in the original packaging with the name of the medication on the packaging.
Please call the school if medication is being sent with your child so we may receive it appropriately.
You are encouraged to come and observe your child's class and other classes as well. As movement to the next level approaches (i.e. from lower elementary to upper elementary, and from upper elementary to middle school), it is very important for you to observe the level that your child will be moving to.
Observations are scheduled on Tuesday mornings. Observations begin about six weeks into the school year, when classrooms are settled, and when visits won't disturb the children. The first-time observation consists of a brief orientation/introduction with a staff member, including review of the observation guidelines, followed by 15-minute observations in each of the three levels: lower elementary, upper elementary, and middle school. The observation concludes with a Q and A with the Director or other designee, making the total time of the observation an hour and a half. Subsequent observations may be done without the orientation, focused on just one level, and without the Q and A.
Visiting observers will be escorted to each classroom by the Office Manager and shown where to sit. It is important that the observers remain seated and observe the activities of the classroom, both out of respect for the children and to help them gain a more accurate picture of a Montessori environment.
Set the Stage for Learning: The most important thing parents can do is to provide a healthy home in which learning is valued. A child’s school experience is set for success when the child lives in a stable, safe home, is fed healthy food, and gets good, ample sleep.
Communication: We need parents to read our newsletters and other communication we send out, and we pledge to listen to parents’ questions and concerns.
Permission: We are very busy with lots of activities, some of which unavoidably come up on short notice. We need parents to confirm their permission for their child to participate (they can also deny permission, of course!) in a timely manner.
Attend Parent Connection Sessions: Montessori is a unique, profound methodology that can be counter-intuitive. We offer Montessori for Parents nights to inform parents about Montessori philosophy, materials, and techniques, and to show how they are inextricably linked and revealing of one another.
Volunteer: Volunteering in a Montessori school may be different from schools practicing other methodologies. For example, typically we think that if a child is not capable of a developmentally appropriate practical life or academic task, the child needs a lesson in a related material from the teacher. We believe that “help” from a non-teacher often results in the child’s becoming dependent on the help, rather than self-sufficient, which is where the teacher’s lesson and the child’s subsequent work would lead. So typically our volunteer tasks are not helping students so much as helping the teacher prepare for giving lessons in an optimal environment. The exact nature of the volunteer tasks varies from teacher to teacher.
Attend Conferences: It is vitally important that parents attend the two main conferences each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Additional conferences are scheduled as needed.
These articles pertain to the operation procedures and policies followed by the World Learner School