Columbia Elementary School
Mission: Developing Confident, Competent and Compassionate People
We believe. . .
- We have a duty to examine personal and institutional bias to provide a school where all children have equitable access and believe they belong.
- All students learn.
- We have the duty to support students toward a love of learning and reaching their full potential.
- Each student brings unique value to our learning community.
- A safe and productive learning environment for both our students and ourselves supports learning.
- Positive relationships among students, staff and parents help students learn. Community partnerships are vital to successful students.
We are committed to. . .
- Providing equitable access to rigorous academic and social-emotional support.
- Knowing and teaching each child’s strengths and needs.
- Encouraging compassionate practices through cultural competency, service learning, inclusion opportunities.
- Teaching students healthy habits and social skills.
- Welcoming both families & community members as partners in the growth and learning of our students.
FIRST DAY PACKETS
Most of the first-day packet information is shared and collected electronically through ParentSquare. To submit form responses via ParentSquare and use other two-way communication tools, please activate your ParentSquare account to confirm your contact information is correct. If you need to update or correct your contact information, please contact your student's school office.
First Day packets includes valuable information and forms to fill out and return to school. Included in this packet will be the Family Privacy Rights, Student Rights and Responsibilities booklet, the District School Calendar, forms for joining the PTA, volunteer opportunities and free & reduced lunch forms.
9:00 am - 11:30 am Preschool Morning (AM)
12:55 pm - 3:25 pm Preschool Afternoon (PM)
9:00 am - 3:25 pm Grades K—5th
Friday there is no preschool.
Friday is Learning Improvement Time for teachers. Grades K-5 dismiss at 2:10 pm
Students who arrive prior to 8:45 AM will be asked to call a parent to make other arrangements for childcare. At dismissal, students are expected to go home immediately.
Typical lunch times are as follows:
All students in grades K-5 are expected to bring a backpack without wheels or other schoolbag. Students are encouraged to carry only those items immediately needed for school.
At Columbia Elementary we strive to create a community that is safe, conducive for teaching and learning, and promotes the dignity of all students. Student dress should be compatible with an educational setting. Any pictures or messaging on clothing should be of content that is appropriate and respectful for students in K-5. We trust that students and parents/guardians will work together to develop a workable and comfortable standard.
Since recess occurs regardless of weather conditions, it is advisable to wear warm, water-resistant clothing and shoes during our long rainy season. It is each student’s responsibility to stay dry on rainy days and to stay out of wet areas. Students who choose to get wet intentionally will not be given dry clothes from the nurse. Close-toed shoes are recommended as they provide additional protection from stubbed toes or other injuries. Tennis shoes should be worn on each P.E. day to provide increased safety during activities and to avoid damage to our gym floor.
It is helpful to mark clothing with your child’s name such as coats, sweatshirts, hats, etc.
BACK TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Registration takes place during school hours. The office is open the last two weeks of August. Registration is available online at www.mukilteoschools.org.
You will receive a District Calendar at the start of the school year. Monthly calendars of school events are published in our Week at a Glance, monthly school newsletter and on the Columbia website.
Our kitchen staff prepares and serves breakfast and lunch daily. Breakfast is served from 8:35 AM to 8:55 AM. Lunch times are listed on page 1. A variety of foods are offered. Lunch is served on half-days.
Lunch and breakfast are free to all students. To qualify for other services, complete the application for Free and Reduced meals. Please complete the Online Application or stop by the office for a form. This application needs to be filled out and turned in each year!
LIBRARY hours and Procedures
Library News and Information: Notices regarding library routines, special activities, and reminders will be sent out via the ParentSquare application.
Access to the Library: Each class has an assigned 30-minute weekly library time. If time is missed due to scheduled events or inclement weather, we will work to provide an alternative check-out session. In addition, students may take care of library business first thing in the morning, and during open library time at 3:00 each afternoon (M-Th.).
Typical Library Practices: Children will check out books for a two-week period. K and 1st graders will begin by checking out 1 book. 2nd and 3rd graders may check out 2 books. 4th and 5th graders may check out 3 books. If items are overdue, no additional books may be checked out until the overdue materials are returned. Damaged or lost library materials may result in a fine or request for replacement item.
LOST & FOUND
All found items are taken to the school Lost & Found, which students may visit before and after school to look for lost items. The Lost & Found becomes so full that items are periodically donated to charity. An announcement of donation dates is made at least 1 week in advance, then daily during morning announcements. Parents are strongly encouraged to mark items such as jackets, sweaters, gloves, and caps with students’ names. This also includes lunch boxes and water bottles. Small valuable items will be kept in the main office when found.
Please avoid bringing toys to school. We recognize that parents provide their children with cell phones for safety reasons. However, cell phones must remain turned off and stored away during the school day including breakfast and lunch. It is the students’ responsibility to put away and silence devices upon entering the school in the morning. Columbia Elementary is not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of these items.
Students must follow the rules of cell phones and smart watches.
- Cell phones and smart watches may only be used before or after school outside of the school gates.
- Cell phones and smart watches may not be turned on or used during lunch or recess.
- Cell phones and smart watches may not be turned on or used in the bathroom.
- Cell phones and smart watches must be powered off and kept in backpacks.
- Cell phones and Smart watches may be in the classroom, only if they have been clear by the nurse for medical purposes.
If a student needs to contact a member of their family during the school day, they may ask their teacher and use one of the phones in the main office. If a student isn't feeling well, they should come to the office to see the nurse.
If a student is using their cell phone or smart watch on campus, consequences may include verbal warning, phone call home, cell phone/smart watch held in office for parent to pick up, and/or loss of privileges.
Thank you for reviewing these guidelines with your child!
Reporting student absent/late to school. When your child is absent or late to school the State law requires documentation that the parent has called or sent in a note stating the reason for the student’s absence or tardy. Without this documentation, your child’s absence/tardy will be recorded as unexcused.
Please contact our 24-hour attendance line before 9 am @ (425)366-2605. If you do not report, you will receive a call from our automated attendance line. You can expect an automated attendance call by 10:20 AM for morning sessions/full day classes, and by 1:30 PM for afternoon sessions (preschool only). This is to ensure student safety.
Absences/tardies/dismissals are considered excused for the reasons stated below. Late arrivals must check in at the office for a tardy slip.
Picking up your student during school day: To pick up your student early, please send a note with them ahead of time so that the teacher may plan accordingly. Parents must sign-out their student in the office prior to departure. Avoid 3:10 – 3:25 pm requests for dismissal. This is a high traffic time. Your child’s dismissal may be delayed.
Under the laws of the State of Washington, attendance in school is mandatory. Absences are excused under this law for the following reasons: 1) Student illness; 2) Family emergency; 3) Doctor or dentist appointments; 4) Religious observances; 5) Absences agreed appropriate by the school principal, provided that such absences do not cause a serious adverse effect upon the student’s educational progress.
Vacation/Travel: Please make every effort to plan family vacations or trips during regular school breaks or other non-school days. Absences due to vacation/family trips MUST BE PREARRANGED AND APPROVED BY THE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL pursuant to #5 above. Please complete an “Excused Absence Approval Contract” (available on the Columbia website or in the school office) at least 10 days prior to any planned absences. This allows time for review by the school principal, your student’s teacher, and entry of absences by the Attendance Clerk. Vacation/family trips which are not pre-approved will remain unexcused. Avoid family trips during school testing dates.
Daily Bus Schedules
Transportation Services will communicate bus schedules prior to the start of school. For the most accurate information on schedules, check the postings on the Mukilteo School District website. All students are expected to follow safety rules and bus driver’s instructions.
Unfortunately, some musical instruments cannot be safely trans-ported on school buses. Cases larger than 38”x12”x9” are not allowed. Cases must be held between student’s legs and cannot encroach or take over another student’s seat.
To ensure student safety, any change in your student’s normal transportation from school requires a note from a parent or guardian. The student should bring the note to the office where a transportation pass (bus or pick up) will be issued. We are unable to interrupt teaching time during the school day to relay messages to students. Any play dates or other changes should be made prior to the start of the school day.
* All after-school arrangements should be made with your student before school ends.
CROSSING GUARDS/SAFETY PATROL
Suggested walk routes are developed by the Mukilteo School District Transportation Department and can be found on the Mukilteo School District Website. All students who walk home must follow the directions of the school Safety Patrol and Crossing Guards. Fifth graders who are interested in becoming Safety Patrol members may contact the Safety Patrol Supervisor during the school year.
DROP OFF/PICK UP STUDENTS
Morning drop-off is curbside ONLY. Before school, students must be dropped off at the north parking lot. The only exception to this rule is YMCA daycare students, who may be picked up and dropped off in the south lot, but only if parking spaces are available. Guests may never park along the fire lanes or “No Parking” areas in the south lot. Be cautioned, lines in the north lot may be long during these times. Proper north lot etiquette is to get in the line, quickly drop off/pick up your child when you reach the curb and proceed around the parking area and back out to Harbour Pointe Blvd.
After school pickup: After school, students must be picked up in the north parking lot. During dismissal, students walking from the curb to a car, or across the parking lot, MUST be accompanied by a staff member or an adult. Do not leave your vehicle unattended in either parking lot unless it is parked in a designated parking space. See Attendance (page 3) for information on picking up students during the school day.
BICYCLE, SKATEBOARD, and SCOOTERS
Columbia Elementary Staff recommend that children be in the third (3rd) grade or higher before riding their bicycles, skateboards, or scooters to school. However, school staff respect the judgment of parents as to their children’s readiness in this area. All children who ride their bicycles, skateboards, or scooters to school must wear a helmet. Bicycles, skateboards, and scooters are to be locked in the bicycle rack. There is no provision for storing them elsewhere, and the school assumes no responsibility for them. Bicycles, skateboards and scooters are not to be ridden on school campus grounds. Wheeled shoes may only be worn without the wheels attached.
DISABLED PARKING: SPECIAL CONSIDERATION
Please remember that Washington State disabled parking laws can and will be enforced in the school parking lot, and that Columbia is home to special programs which need unobstructed access to the disabled parking and bus areas for wheelchair access, especially the ones in the north parking lot.
Columbia is Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS) School. This means all staff work together to support successful academic and social-emotional behaviors through positive recognitions and reinforcements.
The following are components of a PBIS school:
Columbia students are safe, respectful, and responsible.
Columbia school wide expectations are posted throughout the school and are specific to the areas. Expectations are taught at the beginning of the school year and reinforced throughout with positive recognitions.
System for Recognition
Columbia recognizes students with Cougar Cards, weekly drawings, and Cougars CARE (Compassion, Academics, Respect, and Endurance) Awards at assemblies each trimester. Classroom teachers also utilize a variety of positive award systems.
Classroom Systems and Routines
Classroom routines and procedures are created with the students so they feel a sense of belonging and responsibility, and know what to expect.
Second Step Social Emotional Program
Second Step Social Emotional Program is used in each classroom to teach appropriate social-emotional skills. Most classes combine the learning during Class Community Meetings. In addition, Second Step Anti-bullying and Child Protection Units are taught.
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB)
HIB Policies and Procedures:
RCW 28A.300.285 defines harassment, intimidation or bullying as any intentionally written message or image—including those that are electronically transmitted—verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:
- Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property.
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education.
- Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
- Has the effect of substantiallyhttps://www.mukilteoschools.org/Page/1129 disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Please refer to the Mukilteo School District website for more information.
The Mukilteo School District uses the ParentSquare communication platform for district, school and teacher communications. ParentSquare provides a secure way for the district, school principal, teachers, staff and families to send and receive school and class information, share pictures and files, see calendar items, sign up to volunteer and much more ... all in one place!
Log in to the ParentSquare webpage here. You may also log in through the app on your mobile device.
STUDENT TELEPHONE USE
A student phone is located in the school office. Generally, students may only use the phone for school-related communications. Students are not allowed to use the phone for last minute after-school plans.
Only EMERGENCY messages are delivered to students throughout the day.
SCHOOL NEWSLETTER AND NOTICES
Columbia communication notices will be sent on Thursdays. Columbia publishes a monthly newsletter at the end of each month. It is located on our website. You may request a paper copy. Community notices are sent via MSD’s PeachJar account to parent/guardians’ email on file.
Within the first couple months of school, individual pictures will be taken. Photo packages from the photo company are available for purchase. Class photos are taken in the spring. Yearbooks are available for purchase and are pre-ordered in February. Yearbooks are distributed in the last week of school.
For safety purposes, please observe the following procedures:
- Enter the Columbia campus through the front office.
- Must present government issued ID.
- Sign-in and wear a badge.
- Tell the receptionist your reason for visiting.
VISITORS FOR ASSEMBLIES
For the safety of students, staff, and families, all visitors to school assemblies and evening events will present photo ID before entering the gym. A table will be setup outside the gym for such events where you will be expected to check-in. Your name will be recorded as it appears on the ID. If you do not have photo ID, you will not be allowed to enter. If you wish to stay after the assembly, please check-in in the main office where a badge will be issued to you.
PARTIES, HOLIDAYS and CELEBRATIONS
Traditions and celebrations are a part of American culture and heritage; they help students understand the seasonal calendar and their place in a larger community. We are sensitive to the diverse cultures of our Columbia community and will seek to include learning about the cultures represented by our students. In the event your child will not participate in school or classroom planned activities, we will provide alternate learning activities in the library.
Sorry, no home-prepared goodies should be served. We need to be able to read ingredient lists on packaging to ensure the safety of students with allergies. Check with your child’s teacher regarding possible food allergies in the classroom. In some cases, no food items are allowed in classrooms; as a result, treats may be served in the lunchroom during lunchtime.
- All baked goods must be store bought and in original wrappers.
- All juices must be canned or bottled and unopened.
- All candy should be individually wrapped.
- Healthy treats are strongly encouraged.
Your cooperation is appreciated!
DELIVERIES TO STUDENTS/BIRTHDAYS
Please take all items you bring to school for your student to the school office. Items should be clearly labeled with student’s name and teacher. Birthday treats may be retrieved by students at recess, due to their disruptive nature. If your child brings party invitations to hand out at school, please direct him or her to be discreet in handing out the invitations if only special friends are invited.
Animals are never allowed at school, even outdoors. Animals in vehicles must be secured and unable to have contact with students.
In the event of an earthquake or other disaster, your child will remain safe under the supervision of Columbia staff members. When it is deemed safe for families to arrive at school to pick up students, families will wait in the ‘Student Release’ line, provide your child’s name, we will retrieve your child. Families will sign the children out. Please update your emergency contact list to include those who may retrieve your child.
Generally, photographing/video recording of students and staff is not allowed. If you wish to photograph or film, please obtain permission from your child’s teacher or the Principal beforehand.
There are many opportunities for volunteering at Columbia. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your child’s teacher, the librarian, our front office staff, or a PTA officer to ask how you can help. In accordance with state laws, all volunteers must:
- Read all required School Board Policies and have on file with the school, the document stating policies have been read. (These policies are easily accessed by going to www.mukilteo.wednet.edu; click on the top bar, “Community Connection”).
- WSP request for criminal history information
- Volunteer Applicant Disclosure form
In the Classroom
CONTACTING A TEACHER
To contact a teacher concerning your child, we recommend you:
- Send an e-mail. Staff members at Columbia have their own e-mail accounts.
E-mail addresses are listed on the Columbia website.
- To reach a teacher by phone it is best to call before school (8:15-8:45 am) or after school (3:30-4:00 pm). Dial the school office at (425) 366-2600 to be transferred. Teachers will not be interrupted during class time. You may also leave a message at the school office for a teacher to return your call.
The Columbia Elementary School Homework Policy is grounded in Best Practice Research. Homework is assigned for the purpose of practice or preparation for learning. The amount of time spent on homework differs depending on the grade level with approximately 30 minutes a day for kindergarten through second grades (includes silent or shared reading), and up to 50 minutes for third through fifth grades (includes silent reading time).
* Parent involvement decreases as students grow in independence. For more independent students, parents can help facilitate homework, but be careful not to solve content problems for students.
If you have concerns about your child’s progress in class, please contact the teacher to arrange a conference, (either by telephone or e-mail). If you feel this does not resolve your concerns, contact the Dean of Students or Principal. Conferences are usually scheduled between 8:15 AM and 4:00 PM at staff or parent request.
It is extremely important that students wear snug shoes which will not fall off during physical activity. Students are not allowed to participate in PE if they are wearing loose shoes, sandals, boots, heels or flip-flops.
COUGAR RUNNING CLUB
Once a week, students run/walk laps at lunch recess. Students find this a fun time to walk/run next to friends or strengthen their individual physical endurance. Each time a student completes a lap, they are given a mark, which is recorded by classroom teachers. As students accumulate laps throughout the year, they are recognized with special motivational awards.
WHEN TO KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME
Sending a sick child to school puts others’ health at risk. If your child has any of the following symptoms, they must stay home for a minimum of 24 hours. Please keep your child at home and make appropriate childcare arrangements if they have any of the following symptoms:
• Shortness of breath
• Loss of taste or smell
• Unusual fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea or abdominal pain
EYES and EARS: Stay home if thick mucus or pus is draining from an eye or if your child has “pink eye” (conjunctivitis). Consult a health care provider for a diagnosis and follow their directions. Children with ear infections without fever do not need to be excluded from school, but the child needs to get medical treatment and follow-up. Untreated ear infections can cause permanent hearing loss.
LICE, SCABIES: Health officials tell us head lice do not pose a health hazard and are not easily spread in a classroom, but they still must be effectively treated. A child found to have head lice at school will not be sent home and excluded from class on the day the lice are found. The student’s parents will be expected to treat active cases of head lice and keep the student home until treatment is completed. Your school nurse or other health care professional can help with diagnosing head lice and can offer suggestions about treatment.
NURSE’S OFFICE AND MEDICATIONS
A school nurse is assigned to Columbia. Health room assistants help cover the nurse’s room at times. Medications dispensed at school must be in the original container and have a Medication Authorization signed by your doctor and parent on file. If your child has a life-threatening health condition, severe asthma, allergies, or other health concerns, a plan of action, in case of an emergency, must be on record. Also, please be sure to keep your child’s immunization records current.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
The PTA consists of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, Committee Chairs, parents and teacher members. Please contact a current officer if you would like to serve on the PTA Board. Contact information is listed on the Columbia website.
PTA fundraisers generate needed funds and encourage school spirit for all of our students. The events provide field trip support, technology support, camp support, teacher grants, assemblies and other special purchases which benefit students.