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 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 each child’s strengths and needs.
Encouraging compassionate practices through cultural competency, service learning, inclusion opportunities.
Teaching healthy habits and social skills.
Welcoming both families & community members as partners in the growth and learning of our students.
In Math and English Language Arts Columbia Elementary School will decrease the number of students not meeting proficiency standards each year by 10% as measured by multiple high-quality assessments including the State Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) and STAR.
FIRST DAY PACKETS
First Day packets are sent home students within the first few days of school. We encourage parents to go through the packet, in a timely manner, as it 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.
Masks are expected to be worn in the building.
Outside, masks will be worn when students are in close contact.
Students should maintain an appearance that is clean, modest, and not disruptive to the educational process. Appropriate shoes and socks for running and climbing aid your child in safe vigorous exercise. Clothing that is disruptive in nature, obscene, offensive, or a possible health or safety problem should not be worn at school. Students who wear inappropriate clothing to school will be asked to change. Open- toed shoes, flip-flops, and sandals are discouraged for safety and mobility reasons. Make-up, colored hair paints and/or gels are inappropriate for the learning environment. Wheeled shoes may only be worn without wheels attached. If worn, they will have to be removed before going to class.
BACK TO SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Registration takes place during school hours. The office is the last two weeks of August. Registration is available online at www.mukilteoschools.org.
Back–to-School Conferences and First Day of School
September 5: No school, Labor Day
September 7 and 8: All grades family/teacher conferences by appointment
September 9: Grade 1 - 5 first school day
September 9: Preschool and Kindergarten family/teacher conferences continue
September 12: Preschool and kindergarten first school day
You will receive a District Calendar at the start of the school year, usually in the First Day Packet. Monthly calendars of school events are published in our Week , 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.
For 2022-23 lunch and breakfast are free to all students. To qualify for other 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!
Most students finish their lunch within 20 mins. Others have the option of eating at the “overflow table” if they need more time.
LIBRARY hours and Procedures
Library News and Information regarding library routines, special activities, and reminders will be sent out via the application.
Open Library Times in October, the library will be open before school for children to read quietly or take care of library business.
Typical Library Practices 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, nothing else may be checked out until the overdue materials are returned. Fines may be assessed for damaged or lost library materials.
At our Mukilteo Library, parents and students may check to see if Columbia has an AR test for the book your child is interested in borrowing.
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 and electronic devices to school. Parents may be contacted to come and pick up such devices. If you need your child to carry a cell phone or smart watch, it must be silenced and kept in the backpack while your child is on campus. The school is not responsible for replacing lost or stolen items.
*Please refer to the Mukilteo School District Student Rights and Responsibilities booklet for further information.
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 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 prior to any planned absences. This allows time for review by the school 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.
ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES for UNEXCUSED or EXCESSIVE absences (BECCA)
Letter #1—School representative sends a letter to parent at 1 unexcused absence or 10 excessive excused absences/tardies per trimester to request that the student’s attendance improve to ensure academic success.
Letter #2—School representative sends a letter explaining the Becca process to parent/guardian at 2 unexcused absences or continued excessive excused absences or .
Home-School Agreement is arranged—School representative meets (or conferences via phone) with the parent/guardian (and sometimes teacher) to discuss attendance patterns and impact to learning. An agreement for resolution is made.
When to file a Petition with juvenile court—At 5 unexcused absences in a month or 10 in a year (or for excessive excused absences/tardies have not improved) the school representative must file a petition with the Denny Juvenile Justice Center (DJJC) clerk. (Note-a copy of the petitions should go in CUM file for record keeping.)
- “Fact Finding”/Initial Hearing—Student and parent attend “Fact Finding” Hearing at DJJC to gain Becca information (Friday mornings only, content is secondary focus); if parents and/or student do not attend, then an automatic court order to attend school is on file. Until the student is 18 or graduates, this order will be in effect for Snohomish County (Note—each county is different. King County, for example, starts the Becca each year).
“Show Cause” - If the student’s attendance does not improve (continued unexcused or excessive absences) or improves and then relapses at any time, then the school must request a “Show Cause” hearing to prove that s/he and/or the parents are in contempt of court. At this hearing, the school representative will need to provide attendance records from the Initial Hearing until now, and then make a recommendation for “Purging Condition(s)” (a.k.a., what natural/logical consequences will help improve this situation).
“Review” Hearing - If the school representative is concerned the student/parent will continue to be out of compliance with the court order or is concerned they might fail to complete the required “Purging Condition(s)”
(a.k.a., what natural/logical consequence will help improve this situation).
Additional “Show Causes” (per need) - This part of the cycle is infinite and may happen as many times as needed.
Daily Bus Schedules
Transportation Services will send out postcards with printed 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” X 12” X 9” are not allowed. Cases must be held between legs 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.
Visitors may park in the north lot in of the school, but spaces are limited. Guests are not permitted in the south front lot by the gym.
CROSSING GUARDS/SAFETY PATROL
To/from school routes are mandated by the Mukilteo School District Transportation Department. All students who walk home must follow the directions of the school Safety Patrol and Crossing Guards. All students are required to walk with a supervisor, unless otherwise approved. 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 for information on picking up students during the school day.
BICYCLE, SKATEBOARD, and SCOOTER
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.
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 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 utilize a variety of positive award systems (Cougar Tracks, Classroom Dojo, , token economy, treasure boxes).
Parents are automatically included in school communications once the student is registered. It is very important to make sure we have your correct contact information.
STUDENT TELEPHONE USE
A student 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 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 the last week of school.
VISITORS (This option is currently not available)
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 (This option is currently not available)
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.
VOLUNTEERING (This option is currently not available)
There are many opportunities for volunteering 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.