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Policies

2016-2017 Early Childhood Handbook

Zion Dress Code

Zion Wellness Policy

General Policies

The following is taken from the school handbook given to all K-8 parents at the beginning of each school year.  Please refer to this page for any questions you may have about general school policies and practices.

Admissions

Zion admits students of any race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, and other school-administered programs. (If you are looking to Zion as an alternative to public education, see “Student Services.”)

Children entering preschool must be at least 3 by July 31. Children entering into pre-kindergarten must be at least four by July 15. Children entering kindergarten must be at least five by October 15, this will change to July 31 for the 2012-2013 school year.  In accordance with legislation of the State of Nebraska, a certified copy of the birth certificate must be presented at the first registration along with evidence of immunization and, for Kindergarten and 7th grade only, physical examination by a qualified physician. The registration fee is required before a chair can be guaranteed.

Alcohol and Drugs

It is absolutely prohibited for any student or employee of Zion to engage in the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on site or as part of any of the school’s activities. Zion will provide an age-appropriate, developmentally-based drug and alcohol education and prevention program.

Arrival and Dismissal

Students should not arrive prior to 7:45 am. Students arriving prior to 8:10 am should report to the church fellowship hall. Students may report to their rooms at 8:10. School dismisses at 3:30 pm.

Attendance

Parents should phone in any absence from 8:15-8:45 am. If no call is made, the school will contact the parent or guardian to determine the reason for the absence. Written excuses must accompany the student when returning to school. Students must participate in all curricular activities including PE unless a written excuse from a doctor is given to the teacher. Absences of 10 days or more per semester may be a basis for retaining the student. Discussion, lab work and daily activities are often more valuable than homework.

Bicycles

The school assumes no responsibility for bicycles brought to school. There is a bike rack on the playground. Bicycles should be locked during school hours and may not be ridden on school grounds, grass or playground.

Cancellation of School

In the event that we need to cancel school due to weather or some other emergency, the cancellation information can be found in three ways:

  • 1)  The school website, www.zionkearney.org, will be the first and best place to check.
  • 2)  All radio and TV stations will be notified. However, please note that because Zion is at the end of the alphabetical listings, we are often among the last to be shown, and stations often go to commercial before reaching our name. 

Cell Phones

If a child is to carry a cell phone for use outside of school hours, it must remain turned off and in the child’s school bag while at Zion. If it is removed from the bag or turned on it will be confiscated for the remainder of the day and will only be returned when a parent comes to the office to retrieve it.

Change of Address

It is very important that the school office maintain an up-to-date address and telephone number listing. Immediately notify the school of any name, address or phone number changes.

Chapel

Weekly Chapel is held every Wednesday at 8:20 am for anyone who would like to attend. In Chapel the children learn and experience corporate worship through the liturgy of Matins. They are given the opportunity to develop stewardship through regular chapel offerings that are used for various mission projects designated each year.

Choir

Zion is proud to maintain a choral tradition for students in grades K-8. Attendance for all performances and worship services is expected.

Church and Sunday School Attendance

Zion anticipates that families will attend church and Sunday school regularly. Attendance data is recorded weekly for synodical purposes. If you have no church home, we invite you to attend a worship service at Zion and speak with Pastor DeLoach. Worship times are 8:00 and 10:30 am each Sunday. Sunday school and Adult Bible Study are conducted at 9:15 am.

Classroom Visits

Parents are invited to visit the school when it is mutually convenient. Please consider visiting in the morning or early afternoon from September through May. Register your visit at the school office and escort yourself to the classroom. If you have a particular concern, submit it to the teacher in writing.

Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are held after the first and third quarters. Parents are encouraged to discuss progress or problems any time it is mutually convenient for the parent(s) and teacher(s) involved.

Damage to School Property

Everyone must treat school and church property responsibly. This includes textbooks, desks, chairs, tables and other furniture, playground equipment, walls, windows, flooring and other parts of the building, and anything else belonging to the school or church. The school will be reimbursed for careless damage.

Discipline

Teachers have the authority to maintain discipline in their classrooms. School policy regarding discipline has been established in the board manual. When a student becomes disruptive, the teacher may conference with the parent or guardian. If the situation persists, the head teacher will be consulted.

Emergency Information

In the event of an emergency, we need as much information as possible to handle the situation quickly and efficiently. Each student is required to have the following information on file in the school office:

  • 1) Caregiver’s name and address; home, work and cell phone numbers
  • 2) Emergency phone number of close relatives and/or friends (we recommend 3 separate contacts)
  • 3) Physician’s name, phone number and medical alert information

Field Trips

Parents should receive notification in advance for field trips and will be asked to sign permission forms. Children without signed forms will not participate. A small amount of money may be necessary to cover an admission cost. Parents may be invited to attend field trips, though some trips limit the number of adults that may attend. Students are expected to wear their Zion polos on all field trips.

General Behavior

Christian courtesy is expected at Zion. We value orderliness, cleanliness, safety, and our God-given bodies to create a positive learning environment. Negative behavior including pushing, fighting, coercion, lying, graffiti, stealing, possession of illegal substances, etc. will not be tolerated. Such behavior may result in suspension.

Gum and Other Consumables

No gum or candy is allowed unless permitted by the teacher. Pop is available after 3:45 pm and may be consumed outside. Be respectful of our carpeting and furnishings.

Holidays and Classroom Parties

Zion Lutheran recognizes many church holy days as well as most legal holidays. In recognizing holidays, we will emphasize our unique stance as Christians first and citizens of America second. We will display our awareness of the many negative worldly aspects associated with some holidays.

Homework and Assignments

Homework is an important aspect of each child’s learning process. Every day parents should help their child by overseeing completion of assignments and arranging for a quiet, comfortable place for the student to work. The encouragement of parents is motivating to help children develop study skills. The best environment for homework may vary from student to student and so will be left to the discretion of the teacher and parents.

Hours

School Hours (K-8) M-F 8:15 am – 3:30 pm
Secretary Hours M-F 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Teacher Hours M-F 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Pre-Kindergarten MWF 8:15 am – 11:15 am 12:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Preschool T/Th 8:15 am – 11:15 am

Illness and Injury

Parents should not send a child to school when the following symptoms occur:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or more
  • Vomiting or diarrhea in the last 12 hours
  • Sore throat with fever or visible pus
  • Earache with discharge or fever
  • Infectious disease such as head lice, influenza, measles, chicken pox, impetigo and pinkeye
  • Illness that would cause school activity to suffer

Children will be dismissed from school if:

  • Vomiting occurs or there is persistent nausea (lasting more than one hour)
  • Child develops a fever of 100 degrees or more
  • Child feels too ill to function in a “normal” way
  • An accident at school requires immediate attention
  • Child has evidence of head lice or any other contagious disease

Leaving School

Students are not allowed to leave the school during regular hours unless prior arrangements have been made. A parent’s permission for their child to leave will be given only by written request and is preferred days in advance of the anticipated departure. Students will be expected to make up any work they miss.

Lunch Program

The lunch program is available from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. At this time we are not able to offer lunch to the preschool students. Hot lunches are available to students at the rate of $2.40 per meal. Milk is available at a rate of $0.50 per carton. Milk is available for students bringing their own sack lunch and for milk breaks in the classroom. Pop cannot be part of the student’s lunch program (this also applies to sack lunches). Payment is to be prepaid for the month ahead through the school secretary. Reminder notices are sent out on Fridays once the account falls below $5.00. The school is not responsible for feeding students once the account falls below zero, therefore prompt and courteous payment is required. Students are encouraged to apply for full, reduced or free meals through the school office. For your reference, the milk & lunch price sheet is included below.

Month Days Lunch Milk Lunch & Milk
August 10 $26.40 $5.50 $31.90
September 19 $45.60 $9.50 $55.10
October 17 $40.80 $8.50 $49.30
November 19 $45.60 $9.50 $55.10
December 15 $36.00 $7.50 $43.50
January 20 $48.00 $10.00 $58.00
February 17 $40.80 $8.50 $49.30
March 21 $50.40 $10.50 $60.90
April 16 $38.40 $8.00 $46.40
May 12 $28.80 $6.00 $34.80
Totals 167 $400.80 $83.50 $484.30
Preschool milk: $30/yr Pre-kindergarten milk: $50/yr

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, contact:

USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights
Room 1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410
(800) 795-3272 (voice and TDD).
Medication

All medication, including over-the-counter products, must arrive at the school in the original container and the parent/guardian must give written permission for it to be dispensed. It is medically recommended that students who require use of an inhaler be allowed to carry it on their person. Only Zion Lutheran staff who have taken the required Medication Aid Class will dispense medications. All medications will be dispensed according to Nebraska law. Permission forms for staff-dispensed and self-administrated medications are available at the school office.

Medical Appointments

Make every effort to schedule medical appointments outside of school hours. If this is not possible, notify the teacher or school secretary in writing before the absence.

Nuisance and Harmful Items

Items such as comics, matches, radios, trading cards, pogs, any electronic game or device, knives, play knives and anything else that the teacher finds to be a nuisance will be confiscated and kept by the teacher and/or head teacher. The school reserves the right to permanently retain such items. Any harmful objects or weapons, including pocket knives, will be confiscated and appropriate action will be taken.

Pets

Pets are to be brought only at the discretion of the teacher. You may wish to call the teacher in advance for show-and-tell of creatures. Occasionally pets may be featured at a school assembly. Potentially dangerous pets and animals may not be brought to school under any circumstances.

Physical Education

PE is an integral part of the student’s experience. PE is necessary to maintain a healthy body, and to develop leadership, sportsmanship and healthy Christian attitudes. Students are not required to change into special clothing for PE class, but non-marking sneakers are requested. For liability purposes, the classroom teacher will always accompany the students from UNK.

Pictures

Individual pictures will be taken September 29 and 30. Packages are purchased from Lifetouch at the time pictures are taken. Class composites and yearbooks will be made available later in the school year.

Playground

Students are allowed to use the playground area during PE and recess when supervised by a teacher. If a child uses the playground after 3:45 he or she must be supervised by a parent or guardian.

Policy

The board of education for Zion determines school policies. Policies are administered through the principal and available for inspection upon request.

Recess

Some students are given more than one recess each day and should be prepared to go outside unless the air temperature or wind chill is 10 degrees or colder. Prepared students will have snow boots, gloves, hats and winter coats (not jackets). Unprepared students will stand outside next to the building. Everyone will be supervised. Students under the direction of the teacher or having written medical excuses will be allowed to remain inside where the student will be supervised by the classroom teacher. We encourage all students to use recess to their advantage. Gossiping, tattling, fighting, bullying and horseplay will not be tolerated.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued quarterly and are to be signed by parents and students. They are due back into the classroom one week after they are received unless special circumstances are communicated with the teacher.

School Pride

Our school colors are royal blue and white. The school’s mascot is a crusader in full armor which parallels the Christian faith as spoken of in Ephesians 6. We encourage students to identify with these symbols and represent school pride, especially during school color days, Lutheran Schools Week and the spring Field Day.

Supervision of the School

Zion is owned and operated by Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kearney, Nebraska under the Board of Education as part of the Nebraska District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The Nebraska District Office may be contacted in writing at P.O. Box 407, Seward, NE 68434.

School Supplies

Parents will be furnished with a list of school supplies during a summer mailing and also during final registration. Some items may need to be replenished during the school year.

Smoking

Smoking is strictly prohibited in the school by students and adults. Students will not use tobacco products of any kind at any time.

Student Services

Zion does offer special services through Kearney Public Schools for students that are eligible.  If you think your child needs special services, please speak with your homeroom teacher.  Should all parties agree that your child would benefit from such services, the formal assessment and testing process can begin.  If you have any questions, please see the head teacher. 

Tardiness

The teacher expects prompt arrival to school. Late arrivals disrupt schedules and classroom procedures. Anyone arriving after 8:15 to school or the classroom is considered tardy.

Telephone Use by Students

Students may politely use the phone by obtaining the teacher’s permission. Parents are asked not to have children called to the phone. Messages may be delivered through the school office.

The Crusader

The Crusader is the newsletter sent home with each child on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. In addition to the website, it will be your best source for school news. The newsletter includes calendar events, hot lunch menus and special announcements. Deadline for submission is Tuesday at noon.

Zion Board of Christian Education

If for any reason you need to contact one of the board members to voice an opinion or to ask questions, please feel free to do so. As a professional courtesy, board members should be consulted for problems pertaining to the policies of the school. Day-to-day operations should be directed to the principal. The Board of Education meets on the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) of each month. A copy of the Board of Education’s approved policies is filed in the principal’s office.