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Shalmont Central School District
Joby Gifford, Principal
Jacqueline Gordon, Assistant Principal
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100 Princetown Road, Schenectady, NY 12306 • Phone: 518.355.1342 Fax: 518.357.0293

Student/Parent Handbook

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Student-Parent Handbook and Code of Conduct 2018-19

"Every Minute Counts"


The staff and community of the Schalmont Central School District will provide programs, resources, and facilities to foster a positive learning environment. Each individual will be encouraged and assisted to grow emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially to meet the challenges of the future.

Names and Numbers

Schalmont Central School District
Jefferson Elementary School
100 Princetown Road
Schenectady, NY 12306

Intermediate Office Phone: 355-1342 ext. 5001
Mr. Joby Gifford, Principal
Mrs. Linda Lawson, Secretary

Primary Office Phone: 355-1342 ext. 5080
Catherine Prey, Secretary

Mrs. Tara Bush, School Nurse, ext. 5036

Food Service Director, Renee Heller, 355-9200 ext. 4020
Transportation Supervisor, Joseph Hilts 355-9201 ext. 4201
Special Education Director, Shari Lontrato 355-6110 ext. 4018
District Office 355-9200
Schalmont Teacher's Institute 355-6110 ext. 3123

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School Arrival/Dismissal Times


School begins at 8:45 am each morning. Children will enter the building through the main entrance that faces Princetown Road. For safety reasons, please do not drop off your children prior to 8:45 am, as there is no supervision for them. Students must enter the building through either the K-1 or 2-4 main entrance. Students are not permitted through any other door.

Students who arrive after 9:00 am are legally tardy and must report to the Primary Office (accessed through the parking lot adjacent to Ford Avenue). Students will need to be signed in by a parent or guardian. Help your child get off to a good start each school day. Please make every effort to have your child(ren) to school on time.


Students will board the buses at 3:00 pm. If you wish to pick up your child, please enter through the K-1 primary entrance and pick up your child in the cafeteria at 2:55 pm. Photo identification will be required whenever children are picked up.

If you need to pick up your child during the school day, please sign them out using the K-1 Primary Office. Photo identification will be required whenever children are picked up.

*During pick up and drop off times, please do not park along the sidewalk. This is a fire lane and should be kept clear at all times. The front eleven spaces have also been reserved for parent /visitor parking.

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Daily attendance in school is very important to your child’s academic success. Students are faced with the challenges of meeting the requirements of New York State’s higher standards. It is essential that our students be present for the intensive instruction, which will assist them in meeting the standards.

Please try to make non-emergency dental and medical appointments for students after hours, if possible.

If your child will be absent or late for school, please call 355-1342, ext. 5080. Please tell us your name, your child’s name, their grade, and the reason for their absence. In the event you do not call us, you will receive an automated phone call asking you to verify the absence with the school. All children returning from an absence must have a written excuse which includes the reason for the absence, the dates of the absence, and the signature of the parent/guardian.

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Breakfast/Lunch Programs

(Please note that lunch and breakfast prices have increased)

Jefferson Elementary offers a nutritionally balanced breakfast program to students in grades K-4. Breakfast is served from 8:20–8:50 a.m., which includes both hot and cold foods, juice and milk. The cost of breakfast is $1.75.

Lunch is served to students in grades K-4 from 11 a.m.-1:25 p.m. daily.

Monthly menu choices are provided online or by request from your child’s teacher. Hot, healthy lunches are served daily as well as "grab and go" items such as bagels, snacks, and milk.

Lunch costs are as follows: Lunch is $2.75, Milk is 50 cents

*Please refer to our Food Services page for further instructions regarding pre payment of meals.

The lunch schedule at Jefferson is as follows:

11-11:25: Grade 3 lunch, Grade 2 recess

11:30-11:55: Grade 2 lunch, Grade 3 recess

12:00-12:25: Grade 4 lunch

12:30-12:55: Grade 1 lunch, Grade 4 recess

1:00-1:25: Kindergarten, Grade 1 recess

1:30-1:55: Kindergarten recess

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Homework Guidelines


The Schalmont Central School District and school community believe that homework plays a critical role in teaching and learning. It also provides an excellent opportunity for parents to become aware of their child’s daily academic experiences.

The purpose of homework is to strengthen academic skills and reinforce concepts taught by teachers. Appropriately assigned homework not only improves student achievement, it also develops time management skills, self- discipline, independence, personal responsibility, and the ability to follow directions and prioritize.

Amount of Homework

To promote consistency and fairness, these are guidelines for the amount of time; however, teachers may vary in their beliefs and system for assigning work. For example, some teachers choose not to assign work over the weekend or during holiday periods.

  • Kindergarten: 10 minutes per school weekday
  • First Grade: 20 minutes per school weekday
  • Second Grade: 30 minutes per school weekday
  • Third Grade: 40 minutes per school weekday
  • Fourth Grade: 50 minutes per school weekday

These timeframes do not include recreational reading. Also, some teachers may assign a specific amount of additional time for reading.

Reading for pleasure in itself is an extremely important pastime that has great impact on a student’s success. The research is clear that students who read regularly are more successful in school. It is important for teachers and parents to continually encourage students to read more and often.

Student’s Role and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the student to record their homework assignments.
Students are encouraged to seek clarification about homework assignments they feel are unclear. It is their responsibility to complete homework and return it at
the time it is due. Students at all levels who are experiencing difficulty with their homework are encouraged to seek help from their teachers.

It is incumbent on parents in the early grades and students themselves as they mature to request homework assignments missed based on absences. Students who are ill may take it upon themselves to complete homework while staying home, depending upon the illness.

Parent’s Role and Responsibilities

It is the parent’s role to reinforce the importance of homework and encourage home completion in a timely manner. Parents need to monitor their child’s homework. If parents set rules within their home that define where, when and under what conditions their child needs to complete their work, the task becomes more routine and less cumbersome.

It is essential that parents provide guidance for their child, not answers. Parents are encouraged to find out more specifics about individual teachers procedures and requirements when a child is absent.

Homework Tips for Parents

  •  Express to your child the importance of a good education and the value of doing homework.
  •  Make sure your child has a quiet, well-lit place to do homework. Make this location a permanent one.
  •  Watch your child for signs of frustration. Suggest a short break and then return to the task.
  •  If your child is struggling to complete an assignment, you may need to contact your child’s teacher.
  •  At various times during the school year, positively reinforce how well your child is doing.

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Nurse’s Notes

Please refer to the Schalmont website for updated information regarding health related matters at Jefferson Elementary School. Our website may be accessed on the Schalmont web site at Once on the home page, click on the Jefferson link to find useful information about our school.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call our school nurse, Mrs.Tara Bush, at 355-1342 ext. 5036.

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Conference Dates/Report Card Dates

Parent Conferences are an important time for parents and teachers to work together by sharing information, discussing student expectations and setting goals that will help the child grow as a learner and succeed in school. All parents are encouraged to schedule a fall conference date with their child’s teacher. Students will be dismissed at 11:30 am on these dates to allow for afternoon meeting times with parents.

The fall conference dates are:

  • October 3
  • October 14
  • October 20
  • October 26

Report Cards will be sent home with students (K-4) three times during the school year.

  • First Trimester Report Card December 23, 2016
  • Midterm Report Card March 23, 2017
  • End of Year Report Card June 21, 2017

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Assessment/Testing 2016-2017

Teachers continually assess student performance through observation, student conferences and a review of each student’s written work or informal assessments.

Standardized tests are also used to help students reach higher standards of learning and to focus on basic skills and their application. Currently, standardized statewide tests are given to students in grades 3-8. The following chart shows a breakdown of the standardized tests given to students at each specific grade.

Grade Assessment: Date Given

  • 3 and 4 NYS English/Language Arts 3/28 - 3/30
  • 3 and 4 NYS Math 5/2 – 5/4
  • 4 NYS Science (Performance) 5/24-6/2, (Written) 6/5

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Visitors to the School

The District encourages parents and other district citizens to visit
the district's schools and classrooms to observe the work of students,
teachers and other staff. Since schools are a place of work and learning,
however, certain limits must be set for such visits. The building principal or
his/her designee is responsible for all persons in the building and on the
grounds. For these reasons, the following rules apply to visitors to the

1. Anyone who is not a regular staff member or student of the school will be considered a visitor.

2. All visitors to the school must report to the office of the principal upon arrival at the school. There they will be required to sign the visitor's register and will be issued a visitor's badge, which must be worn at all times while in the school or on school grounds. The visitor must return the identification badge to the principal's office and sign out on the visitor's register before leaving the building.

3. Visitors attending school functions that are open to the public, such as parent-teacher organization meetings or public gatherings, are not required to register.

4. Parents or citizens who wish to observe a classroom while school is in session are required to arrange such visits in advance with the classroom teacher(s), so that class disruption is kept to a minimum.

5. Teachers are expected not to take class time to discuss individual matters with visitors.

6. Any unauthorized person on school property will be reported to the principal or his designee. All unauthorized persons will be asked to leave. The police may be called if the situation warrants. In addition, those persons violating a court order of protection will be reported to the police.

7. All visitors are expected to abide by the rules for public conduct on school property contained in the Code of Conduct.

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Jefferson Playground

The Jefferson Playground is used daily during lunchtime by all students. However, it is a community playground and residents are welcome to use the playground after school hours. To maintain safety, several rules have been listed below.

  •  Students should respect the rights, feelings, and property of other children and adults
  •  Students should avoid any type of rough play that may cause injury.
  •  Students should obey the monitors at all times.
  • Students should use proper language at all times.
  •  Students should use all playground equipment in an appropriate manner.
  •  For safety and enjoyment, please help keep our playground clean.
  •  Sandals or open-toed shoes will not be permitted on the playground due to safety reasons.

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Public Conduct on School Property

The District is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning. To create and maintain this kind of an environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions.

A. Prohibited Conduct: No person, either alone, or with others shall:

1. Intentionally injure any person or threaten to do so.

2. Intentionally damage or destroy school district property or the personal property of a teacher, administrator, other district employee, or any person lawfully on school property, including graffiti or arson.

3. Disrupt the orderly conduct of classes, school programs or other school activities.

4. Distribute or wear materials on school grounds or at school functions that are obscene, advocate illegal action, appear libelous, obstruct the rights of others, or are disruptive to the school program.

5. Intimidate, harass or discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

6. Enter any portion of the school premises without authorization or remain in any building or facility after it is normally closed.

7. Obstruct the free movement of any person in any place to which this code applies.

8. Violate the traffic laws, parking regulations, or other restrictions on vehicles.

9. Possess, consume, sell, distribute or exchange alcoholic beverages, tobacco, controlled substances, or be under the influence of either on school property or at a school function.

10. Possess or use weapons in or on school property or at a school function, except in the case of law enforcement officers, except as specifically authorized by the school district.

11. Loiter on or about school property.

12. Refuse to comply with any reasonable order of identifiable school district officials performing their duties.

13. Willfully incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited by this Code of Conduct.

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As members of this school, we promise to care about each other. We will help each other whenever we can. We promise to make our school a place of joy, discovery, peace, and respect. Above all, we will always try to never hurt anyone
on the inside or the outside.

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