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Family Handbook

Table of Contents

General Information


Welcome to Mitchell Elementary School

Educating our youth is a cooperative venture involving the home, as well as the school. Mitchell Elementary has been a partner with parents throughout its distinguished history. That history began when Mitchell Elementary was built to relieve overcrowding at Sombra Del Monte Elementary. It was dedicated on November 4, 1962 and named after the great Albuquerque educator, George F. Mitchell, who passed away five years earlier. Mr. Mitchell was known for his genial and gentle manner, but most of all for his life to educating the children of Albuquerque. Mitchell celebrated its 50th school year just last year.

Children come first at Mitchell, just as they did for George Mitchell over a 100 years ago when he first started teaching. Please know that everything we do at Mitchell Elementary is done with the best interest of the children in mind. Knowing that communication between school and home is an essential element in the educational success of children, we prepared this information guide for you. This guide should acquaint you with the Mitchell Mission, schedule, calendar, rules and policies. Please keep it handy. We hope you will find it useful and informative.

If you have any questions, or if you seek information not included in this guide, please feel free to call the school office at 299-1937.

Mitchell Mission Statement

Recognizing that all children can learn, Mitchell teachers, staff, and parents will provide a nurturing, safe, and stimulating environment. We will provide a positive environment conducive to learning in which each child can reach his potential academically, socially, and emotionally. Children are taught according to their needs and abilities and we maintain high expectations and provide tools that will prepare them for the demands and opportunities of the 21st century. We strive to develop responsible and productive citizens of the future.

School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS)

Mitchell supports a SWPBS philosophy. This means we have clearly defined, positive behavioral expectations campus-wide that are outlined in a matrix (see below) that the school staff created. The staff works hard to explain these behavioral expectations to the students again and again throughout the school year. They pertain to behavior in the classroom, as well as in areas like the playground, cafeteria, bathrooms, quiet zone, etc. The foundation to all this is what we, as an entire school, say every day together: “We respect ourselves, others and the environment.”

So in essence, the SWPBS matrix helps explain “what respect looks like” in all these areas. The students also earn acknowledgments for showing respect in a variety of ways. The Mustang Voucher of Pride (MVP’s) slips are earned individually and turned in for prizes or MVP’s can be grouped together into a collection of MVP’s earned by fellow students to foster whole class acknowledgments such as popcorn for the classroom, extra PE time for the classroom, etc.

SWPBS also integrates the STOP-WALK-TALK (SWT) approach to problem behaviors. Students are taught to speak up for themselves by communicating “Stop!” to those students creating problem behaviors for them. The next step, should the problem behaviors continue, is for the student to “Walk” as in walk away from the problem behavior (other students -“bystanders” – are encouraged to assist the student in walking away without getting involved in the dialog of the conflict). If the problem behavior persists, then the student is encouraged to “Talk” and report this problem to their teacher or staff member so that it can be appropriately addressed.

Mitchell recognizes that SWT may not be enough for students caught in a true bullying situation. The Albuquerque Public School (APS) district defines bullying as unfair and one-sided behavior; it happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose, in person or via multi-media. If a student feels another student is repeatedly targeting them in a one-sided manner, it is the student’s responsibility to report this clearly and directly to their teacher or other staff member. If a family member feels their child is being bullied repeatedly and in a one-sided manner, then the family member can report this to the teacher or the Principal. The targeted and reporting student will complete the APS Student Harassment/Bully Report Form (SH/BRF). Appropriate school staff will interview students involved, the target student and aggressor student will be interviewed separately. All this is considered by the APS “Discovery Process” in order to determine if the problem behaviors meet the APS definition of bullying. In any case, the student behaviors will be addressed and appropriate consequences administered as warranted.

Additional information regarding SWPBS will be shared at curriculum night. You will also be receiving a Partnership in Education Compact and Mitchell Policy and Procedures sheet that will need to be reviewed and signed by you and your child.

General Information and School Policies

After-School Instructions

Before your child leaves for school in the morning, it is very important that they know where they are supposed to go after school. Also:

  • No children are allowed on school grounds before 7:30 AM or after 2:10 PM unless they are accompanied by a parent/guardian, or are enrolled in the YMCA, or another after-school program.
  • Any child left unsupervised or not picked up by 2:10 PM will be referred to APS Police.
  • If you have an emergency and must change your previously arranged plans, you may call the office and they will attempt to reach your children to let them know of the change.
  • Although every attempt will be made to forward your information, we cannot guarantee that the change in plans will be relayed to your child.
  • No students will be called from class or given messages after 1:30 PM.

Alternative Language Services – English Language Learners

A Mitchell staff member, using the current APS protocol, will assess students who speak a language other than English. Depending upon the results of this screening, students will receive English as a Second Language (ESL) services and/or Sheltered Instruction, unless exempted or services are refused by the parent. If you have any questions about our ESL program, please contact our Principal, Ana Sanchez at 299-1937.

Arrival Time

Children are not to be in the playground area before 7:30 AM, as no adult supervision will be available until that time. If a parent is accompanying a student before school, the student and parent must be on the playground and not in the patio area near the classrooms.

Asbestos Re-inspection Survey

According to requirements of the EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA 1987), the Board of Education completes mandatory re-inspections on a three-year cycle. In addition, surveys are conducted every six months of all buildings within the APS district.

In the past, asbestos was widely used in building construction. Since AHERA was enacted, APS has implemented an Operations and Maintenance Program to train maintenance personnel with proper handling and safe procedures for asbestos-containing materials. As EPA has suggested, it is APS’ policy to remove asbestos only when a damaged condition dictates, or maintenance remodeling or demolition is involved. In these instances, precautions are taken to ensure the safety of our staff and students.

Accredited environmental inspectors visit our school to re-inspect the condition of material with asbestos or assumed to contain asbestos and complete a re-inspection survey. The asbestos management plan for our school is filed in the mail office and is accessible to parents at any time.

Attendance

The New Mexico Compulsory School Attendance Law requires that all school-age children attend school. Arriving on time and staying through dismissal are also expected and essential. Be aware that ANY COMBINATION of 5 absences, tardies, and/or early dismissals in one semester is cause for concern. District policy states that excessive absences may result in a recommendation for retention and/or be reported to the Children’s Court Division of the District Court Division of the District Court. We emphasize and recognize the importance of regular and prompt school attendance simply because it does make a difference! When your child is absent from school, he/she may miss more than the day’s lessons. Class discussions can be just as valuable. If your child is truly sick, he/she should stay home, of course. But missing school for any other reason can become a bad habit. Studies show that children who have poor attendance in the elementary years are much more likely to drop out of high school later. You can show your child how important you think good attendance is. Schedule appointments and vacations around school hours!

The first and last few minutes in the classroom are generally some of the most important. Arriving late means directions for the day and introduction of new concepts are missed. Leaving early means missing reminders and clarification regarding homework assignments and upcoming events. If your child must stay home due to illness, ask the teacher for assignment to be sent home. If you ask for this in the morning when you call them in sick, homework can usually be available for pickup that afternoon. Be sure to call the school and notify them of absences so that they will be documented. Also, keep verification of doctor’s appointments so you can provide documentation to the school. We must work together to teach children responsibility and the value of education.

APS Attendance Policy and Absences

  • APS students are allowed no more than 5 unexcused absences per semester and no more than 10 unexcused absences per school year.
  • The parent/guardian must notify the school each day that the student will be absent, in accordance with the notification procedure established by the school.
  • Absences may be excused for the following reasons with appropriate documentation:
    • Doctor’s appointment
    • Illness
    • Death in the family
    • Family emergency
    • Religious commitment
    • Diagnostic testing

An unexcused absence is any absence that does not fit into the above guidelines for excused absences, is not school-related, or is not reported within two school days of the absence.

  • In the event that the school has not received notification of absence by a parent for three (3) consecutive days, the school must make an attempt to contact the parent/guardian.
  • Excessive absences, even those that are excused, may result in further inquiry from the staff/principal and a request for additional documentation.
  • Family vacations are considered unexcused absences, and it is expected that parents will schedule vacations during periods of time when school is not in session.
  • Students who are signed out before the end of the instructional day must have written documentation of the reason (as defined under excused absences) or be subject to the same consequences as tardy.

Absences

It is the parents’ or guardian’s responsibility to call the school when the student is absent. On the day of the absence, a parent or guardian calls the school office (299-1937).

Absences resulting from short-term suspensions or authorized absences, such as those approved for participation in extracurricular or co-curricular events will not be included when evaluating excessive absences.

Tardiness

Arriving on time for class is expected and essential. Tardiness impacts the student and school in four ways:

  1. Academic time is lost. Directions and introduction of new concepts are missed.
  2. Classroom instruction is interrupted when a student is late. Information needs to be repeated for the latecomer.
  3. A child may be embarrassed by the late arrival.
  4. Increased record keeping and the issuance of admit slips take additional time.

If a child is not inside the classroom at the 7:45 bell, they are considered late. Late students must:

  • Be accompanied to the office by a parent or guardian (over the age of 18) to receive a tardy slip.
  • Have a tardy slip to enter the classroom.

If staff notices a pattern of tardiness, parents will be contacted for a conference. A plan to eliminate tardiness will be developed.

Early Student Checkout

Parents who remove a child from school early must sign the child out on a log sheet in the office. Parents may be asked to show a picture I.D. before they remove the child from school. We do this in order to ensure the safety of your children. When the child reenters school on the same day, the parent comes to the office to sign the child back into school.

No students will be called from class to leave early after 1:30 PM.

Bicycles, Skateboards, Roller Blades, Skate Shoes, and Scooters Policy

If students ride bicycles to school, they should follow proper procedures for their safe use. It goes without saying that a helmet is considered essential for safe biking. Dismount and walk bikes when on school property. Bikes must be stored in the bike racks and will not be permitted in the administration building or in classrooms. Students are responsible for locking their bikes to the racks to prevent theft. The school is not responsible for loss or damage. Skateboards, roller blades, shoes with wheels in the soles, and scooters are not allowed on APS property.

Cafeteria

All students receive free breakfast and lunch this year.

Breakfast is served from 7:20-7:40 a.m. each day.

  • Additional Milk –$. 40
  • Questions? Call Beverly Elks at 299-1937 ext 36494.

Due to the new Health and Wellness guidelines developed by the State of New Mexico elementary schools are only allowed to sell water in our vending machines. We would like to ask parents to refrain from sending soda pop and candy in lunches. We are also asking for no candy for snack, send healthy choices instead.

Costume Parade

At the end of October, Mitchell holds a short annual Fall Costume Parade. Children are asked to avoid wearing frightening or inappropriate costumes. Students choosing not to participate in the parade will be offered an alternate activity. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school if you wish for your child to participate in an alternative activity.

Crossing Guards

The City of Albuquerque makes two crossing guards available for the safety of our students. These guards are here to assist students in crossing Comanche Street and Morris Street. Children should obey the crossing guards at all times. It is imperative that children stay on the sidewalk until given the signal to cross by the guard. Children should leave school promptly at dismissal time so that they can proceed with the help of crossing guards. If a child is to be kept after school, the teacher will notify the child’s parent(s). All parents and students MUST use the crosswalks and cross where the crossing guards are stationed.

Custody Issues

The office and classroom teacher should be notified of any custody issues involving your child. This notification should be written court documents, which clearly state who has custody, whom may have access to your child, and any changes in the situation. The school cannot deny access to a custodial parent unless there are court documents prohibiting such contact. Please update the documents each year in the office. Any questions please contact our counselor. 

Discipline/Expectations

Mustang Pride: "I come to school prepared to learn. I respect myself, others, and the environment."

School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) Matrix  
Expectations Inside Outside Quiet Zone
Respect Ourselves
  • Be on task
  • Bring all materials
  • Show Pride
  • Use time wisely
  • Play safely
  • Bell rings-walk to spot
  • Walk quietly
Respect Others
  • Listen/ Follow directions
  • Hands/feet/ objects to self
  • Speak politely
  • Listen/Follow directions
  • Hands/feet/ objects to self
  • Share/use equipment properly
  • Listen/Follow directions
  • Hands/feet/ objects to self
  • Use soft voice
Respect Environment
  • Keep area clean
  • Use furniture/ materials properly
  • Clean up after self
  • Keep area clean
  • Use equipment
  • properly
  • Keep area clean

 

Cafeteria Pride Expectations – These same expectations are in place wherever the students are eating.

  • Walk in quietly and wait quietly in a line.
  • Take one of what you want.
  • Go to assigned area & sit. Stay seated entire time.
  • If you need to get up, raise your hand & request permission.
  • Clean up your area - table & floor.
  • Wait to be dismissed.
  • Walk quietly to trashcans, dump leftover food in trash, dump leftover milk in bucket.
  • Set tray in dishwasher area or throw away disposable tray
  • Quietly leave area and show Mustang Pride in the Quiet Zone & on the playground.

Discipline Procedures for Offenses

Offenses will be documented in writing to the principal, teacher and parent on Correction Slips. Slips will note whether the offense was observed by an adult, confirmed by witnesses, and/or admitted by the student. All students K-5 will receive slips for both minor and major offenses, as well as safety offenses. Offenses will be cleared at the end of each trimester.

Correction slips will have the following consequence(s):

  • 1st: Notification and Time Out
  • 2nd: Notification, Time Out and Reminder of ISS on next offense
  • 3rd: Notification, call to parents and In-School Suspension

Additional slips will result in In-School or Out-of-School Suspension, at the discretion of the administration.

In-School Suspension (ISS) takes place in the administration office or ISS Room. There is constant supervision by the Mitchell staff and students are required to reflect upon their behavior through rule and essay writing. The ISS could be a half-day or a whole day. A conference with parents may be necessary before the student returns to class.

It is the discretion of the administration to assign In-School or Out-of-School Suspensions for offenses deemed more serious or dangerous even if it is not the third offense.

Correction Slips

Correction Slips will be issued for the following:

  • Bullying: repeatedly targeting in a one-sided manner.
  • Defiance: Refusing to comply with any reasonable demand or request by any school official or sponsor at places and times where school personnel have jurisdiction.
  • Disruptive Conduct: Conduct that disrupts the educational process constitutes a health or safety hazard, is in violation of state or municipal law, or is in violation of specific school rules.
  • Drugs/Alcohol Possession and/or Use
  • Fighting: Employing hostile contact in which at least one party has contributed to a situation by verbal action and/or bodily harm.
  • Vandalism: Deliberately or maliciously destroying, damaging, and/or defacing school property or the property of another individual.
  • Profanity: Using language that is crude, offensive, insulting or irreverent; use of coarse words to show contempt or disrespect; swearing.
  • Weapons: Possessing or using a weapon or “look-alike”.
  • Lying: Telling an untruth or failure to tell all of a story.
  • Stealing: Taking something that does not belong to you.
  • Cheating: Talking, passing notes, or looking at another student’s answers on an assignment or test.
  • Threats: Threats of physical/emotional harm, intimidation, gestures, and/or verbal abuse.

Guidelines for Student Behavior

  • No toys, including collectible cards and electronic devices (including cell phones) are to be brought to school with the exception of basketballs, footballs, tennis balls, and jump ropes. Parents must pick up any confiscated items from the office. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Follow directions, without arguing, the first time you are told.
  • Treat other students with respect. We do not allow fighting, kicking, punching, name calling, pulling clothes, or throwing objects such as rocks, snowballs, and sand.
  • Objects that could possibly cause injury to you or other students may not be brought to school. Such objects will be removed and returned only to the parent.
  • Students are not permitted in the administration building or library without a pass from a Mitchell staff member. Children are not permitted in the teachers’ lounge or administration building restrooms for any reason, even if accompanied by an adult.
  • Students are permitted to play only in the playground area. Classrooms, portables, and the patio areas are off limits before school or during recess, unless a teacher-sponsored activity is in progress or an adult accompanying them. Playing between buildings, near the fence on Comanche, or in any school parking lots is not allowed.
  • Once a student arrives at school he/she is not to leave campus. Students are to remain on school grounds before and during school hours.
  • Students are to come to class promptly when the bell rings.
  • Students must use the sidewalks around the parking areas. Students and parents are not allowed to walk through the parking lots.
  • There will be no littering on school grounds (this includes graffiti). Students caught littering will be assigned campus clean-up detail for an appropriate amount of time.
  • Students are to leave school promptly at dismissal time so they can have the help of the crossing guards. Always obey crossing guards.
  • Any child left unsupervised or not picked up by 2:10 p.m. or within ten minutes of the end of an after-school activity will be referred to the APS Police Department for pick-up.

Safety Rules

  • Throwing rocks, wood chips, snowballs, or sand is not allowed.
  • Walk in patios and on sidewalks. Running in the Quiet Zone is not allowed.
  • Respect our neighbors’ property. Do not climb walls or fences, throw items over walls or fences, or aggravate their pets.
  • When playing Wall Ball, keep the ball below the windows.
  • Play safely and courteously. Tackling, tripping, pushing, hitting, grabbing, or pulling on others is not allowed.
  • Use the equipment properly and safely.
    • Jump Ropes are for jumping only. They should never be tied or looped around equipment or other students.
    • Swings:
      • Jumping out of swings is not allowed
      • Twisting, swinging side-to-side, or throwing the swings is not allowed
      • Swing in a sitting position, one person to a swing
    • Slides:
      • Slide on your bottom, feet first
      • Flips or jumping off the slide is not allowed
    • Tetherball: Students must adhere to the tetherball rules presented by Coach Domina in during PE. Creating new rules is not allowed.
    • Bars:
      • Cherry drops or flipping off bars is not allowed
      • Walking or standing on top of the bars is not allowed
  • Randomly kicking, throwing, or hitting playground balls after the bell rings is not allowed.
  • Students should never be in the parking lots of the school.
  • If the safety rules are not followed, your right to play may be removed.

Play Day is a fun-filled day with field activities, relays, a movie and more. It is held during the final two weeks of the school year. Denial of Play Day is at the discretion of the administration.

Dismissing Students During School Hours

Children will not be dismissed from school during school hours unless a parent or authorized adult comes to the office to sign-out the child. No student will be called to the office until the person picking him or her up arrives in the office. Students will not be called from class to leave early after 1:30 PM. Families the school day. Students are not to leave the playground during recess.

Dress Code

Students’ dress may not present a health or safety hazard, violate municipal state law, or present a potential disruption to the instructional program.  Attire or accessories that advertise, display, or promote any drug, including alcohol or tobacco, sexual activity, violence, disrespect and/or bigotry towards any group are not acceptable.  Hats may be worn on campus, but are not allowed in the classroom or any other inside setting. Unacceptable clothing and accessories include, but are not limited to, gang-related attire, excessively tight or revealing clothes, short shorts or skirts (above the end of the students’ fingertips when arms are at their sides), bare midriff, low-cut and/or off the shoulder blouses, spiked jewelry, chains, belts with more than 2 inches excess.  “Sagging” (the wearing of pants below the waist and/or in a manner that allows underwear or bare skin to show) and “bagging” (the wearing of excessively baggy pants with low hanging crotches) are prohibited.

Drop-off, Pick-up, and Parking Lot Procedures

The circular drives on Comanche are for buses and child care vans only.

Inca Street will be used for ALL student drop-off and pick-up Kindergarten through 5th grade. Parents should access Inca from San Gabriel headed south, enter the parking lot using the north entrance, drop-off and pick-up students is designated area near cafeteria and exit back on to Inca headed south. Parents should NOT park in this parking lot or in the north parking lot at any time.

Please note there is no right turn into the parking lot from Inca.

Please assist in the smooth flow of traffic by pulling your car forward as far as possible when picking up or dropping off students.

Do not drop-off or pick-up your child on Comanche Street. You may drop them off on Inca, south of Comanche and they can use the crosswalk to access campus. Please DO NOT drop-off/pick-up or park in the fire lanes. Fines for misuse of the Fire Lane can reach $500.

At no time should children be in the staff parking area, located on the north or east side of the school. Students are asked to walk on the sidewalk and go around the parking area. Walkers approaching the school from Inca Street are encouraged to use the crosswalks and walk on the sidewalk as closely as possible to the North wall area of the parking lot. Students walking on Comanche Street will obey the directions of the crossing guard and enter the school from the front.

Drug Policy

Mitchell Elementary School is a drug-free zone. The use or possession of a controlled substance or “look-alike” substance by students is prohibited. A controlled substance is any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, inhalant, or intoxicant of any kind. “Look-alikes” are prohibited and specifically included in the Mitchell drug policy whether or not they are capable of producing a change in behavior or altering a state of mind.

Drugs prescribed for health reasons are permitted on campus. Parents are responsible for providing the school with a written permission form indicating that drugs will be taken at school for health reasons. (Please refer to the Student Behavior Handbook for more information.)

Emergency Information

At registration, you will be asked to fill out an emergency information card for use by the school nurse. It is imperative that the information in this card be up-to-date and accurate. Current telephone numbers are of special importance in case a child becomes ill or is injured at school. Please inform the school office as soon as possible if there are any changes.

Emergency Procedures

In case of a school-wide emergency, Mitchell Elementary has a Safe School Response Plan which outlines procedures for early school dismissal, evacuation, lockdown, and shelter-in-place. Fire drills are held monthly and safety drills are held at regular intervals. Student safety is a priority at Mitchell Elementary. In case of emergency please refer to APS website www.aps.edu or local news for instructions. Our goal is to keep your child, and you safe. Do not come to the school to get information.

Family Nights

Mitchell will host several family nights this year. These evenings are used to celebrate the progress and creativity of our students. Family Nights are a Mitchell tradition and we always have wonderful participation from our families.

Field Trips

Sometimes field trips can be used as a way of enhancing the curriculum taught in the classroom. Field trips will emphasize curriculum and clearly support classroom instruction. They are not a required component and are left to the discretion of the teacher. Parents must sign a permission form allowing their child to go on a class field trip.  No siblings are allowed on Mitchell field trips. 

Guidance and Counseling Services

Counseling support is provided by a licensed mental health professional. Students, parents/guardians, families, and staff may consult with the counselor on a confidential basis. If the counselor or any adult perceives the possibility of a student safety risk, by law that confidentiality may be compromised. If a student is not feeling happy or successful at school, the counselor may be of help. The school counselor is involved with the Student Assistance Team (SAT), the Health and Wellness Team (HWT), the School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Team (SWPBS), and is a source for both APS school and community support and resource information.

Classroom guidance lessons of a wide variety are offered cooperatively with teachers and staff as scheduling allows. Mitchell’s SWPBS program approaches general problem behavior among students by teaching “Stop- Walk-Talk” (SWT) and supports students in asserting themselves, helping one another handle conflicts initially, and when to report or “talk” to a school adult/family member for further assistance and support to resolve the problem.

It is important to understand that school counseling support is not the same as clinical therapy. The school counselor might see a student once, or off and on, for various reasons such as a teacher or staff member observing that the student appears down or agitated and asking the student to check in with the counselor. Often, a student will initiate a request to go talk with the counselor about whatever might be bothering him or her, perhaps a conflict with friends or maybe concerns or worries over family matters. It is not uncommon for these needs and interactions to occur quickly and casually within the school day and without the families being notified first. However, the school counselor values communication with the families and in general, will contact the family, with the student’s knowledge that contact will be made, to give them a sense of what the student might be trying to handle so that the family can be involved and supportive as well.

Families/guardians are most welcome to contact the school counselor with any concern or question they might have regarding their child, and how to maximize their success and well-being at school. The counselor is the conduit for additional support, such as community resource counseling and/or family counseling; should those needs arise, contact the counselor.

Harassment Policy

Our school prohibits harassment of any kind including harassment based on gender, ethnicity, religion, and an individual’s disability. School personnel who become aware of harassment concerns and/or issues will promptly and effectively act to end the harassment and prevent it from recurring. Any concerns related to harassment should be reported to the principal.

Holiday Practice/Religious Policy

While parents have the ultimate responsibility for the development of their child’s belief system, the staff at Mitchell Elementary is dedicated to showing sensitivity to the needs of each individual student and respect for individual beliefs. Communication between home and school is essential. In the case of a student who wishes not to take part in a specific school or classroom activity, an alternative will be offered. Parents are responsible for communicating with their child’s teacher and other school staff about specific concerns and needs. While holiday activities are permissible, they will not be drawn out over excessive periods of time and will have an instructional/curricular focus. Religious or cultural symbols may be used when teaching about holidays. Any discussion of religion will be academic and not devotional.

Illness and Injury

Children who become ill at school are not allowed to go home by themselves. They must be picked up by a parent or authorized adult. Parents will be asked to pick up their child, within one hour, when there is: vomiting/severe diarrhea, temperature above 100 degrees, skin rash, injury, and other causes for concern.

Please make sure that we have all of your current telephone numbers and emergency contact information on file in the office. Contact our clerk to update your information as it changes.

Informed Consent

There may be circumstances when it is necessary to release confidential information regarding a student. State law requires that any suspicion or evidence of child abuse/neglect, elder abuse, or knowledge of a minor engaging in dangerous or illegal behavior be reported to the appropriate child protection agencies and/or legal authorities. Furthermore, if a student poses a serious danger to him/herself or is a substantial danger to others, any individual (including school personnel) with knowledge, evidence, or suspicion of said danger, is required by law to intervene. The intervention may include informing family members, identified victims, and/or the proper authorities to provide for the safety of the student and others.

Instructional Council (IC)

Instructional Council is a decision-making body of Mitchell staff and parents.  IC evolved from an APS district-wide emphasis on site-based management, and now every school in APS is required to have an IC.  The Mitchell IC is composed of administration, teachers (grade level and Learning Community chairpersons), staff and parents.  The by-laws state how members are to be selected.  To learn who is on the present IC, you may ask in the office.

The minutes of each IC meeting are available for anyone to read.

Library Policies and Procedures

The Mitchell library encourages Mustang Pride and provides students and staff with a rich variety of print and electronic resources to encourage intellectual curiosity, personal enjoyment of reading and informational literacy.  Students will visit the library with their class several times a month.  During that time they learn about the library and how it is organized, practice researching and locating information in books and online resources and beginning in Kindergarten they will learn to locate, check out and care for books and other library materials.  They will explore areas of interest and develop strategies for selecting materials for different academic and recreational purposes.  

Books are due on or before the due date, which is generally the next time the class visits the library.  All books must be returned before the students may check out any new books.  Book checkout is based on the following guidelines:

  • K & 1st-grade students may check out 1 book at a time.
  • 2nd & 3rd-grade students may check out 2 books at a time.
  • 4th & 5th-grade students may check out 2 books at a time, with additional materials being made available as needed for specific assignments and/or if the student has a good record of returning books.

Responsible use of library materials is an important component to the library program.  All students will learn appropriate care and use of library materials.  Although there are no fines for overdue books, fines will be incurred if materials are damaged or lost. 

If a parent/guardian doesn't want their child to bring books home, you must notify the librarian in writing.

Any book(s) lost, stolen, or damaged for any reason must be paid for by the parent/guardian of students who borrowed the books.

Lost & Found Items

Please clearly mark your child’s name inside all items. Often very nice items go unclaimed because we are unable to identify the owner. The Lost & Found box is located in the school gym/cafeteria. Unclaimed items will be given to the APS Clothing Bank. The school is not responsible for lost items.

Medications

No medication will be administered at school without authorization from the child’s parents and physician. The child’s physician must fill out medication forms (available in the nurse’s office) before any medication can be administered at school. Forms may also be available at your physician’s office. APS policy stipulates that any prescription medication to be given during school hours must be in the original container. Please contact our school nurse for further information regarding the complete APS Medication Policy.

Mitchell Boundaries and Residency

Mitchell Elementary serves students who live in the area North of Candelaria, South of Spain, East of Eubank, and West of Juan Tabo. To ensure that only students living in this area attend Mitchell, we will ask you for proof of residency at registration, and we may request it at any point during the school year. Please note that for our purposes, proof of residency will be an original recent utility bill (gas, electric). Documentation must have your name and address. This is the only documentation that we will accept.

Nightly Reading and Nightly Writing Program

Recognizing that reading is an essential part of everyday life, all Mitchell students will participate in a Nightly Reading and a Nightly Writing program.  Each grade level has developed specific criteria to best meet their needs.  The general components of the Nightly Reading and Nightly Writing program include reading and writing, parent monitoring of these activities and periodic parent response.  In order to improve fluency and comprehension in reading, we recommend each student participate in daily oral reading with a parent or sibling.

Open House

Mitchell holds an Annual Title I Meeting & Open House to give parents an opportunity to visit their child’s classroom, meet the teacher(s) and learn more about materials and resources used at their child’s grade level. Reminders will be sent home ahead of time through fliers and teacher newsletters. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

At the end of the 1st and 2nd trimesters (12 week period), time is set-aside in the school day for Parent-Teacher Conferences (see School Calendar on page 2 for dates). Students do not come to school on the two parent conference days. Your child’s teacher will send home information on scheduling a conference with you. At the time of the conference, you will be given your child’s Progress Report and have an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with the teacher.

The Spring Parent/Teacher Conference will be student-led, so students will need to attend the conference.

 Parent Interaction Policy

The staff at Mitchell encourages parents to be involved in the education of their child.  There are many opportunities for parent involvement:

  • Provide educational support at home
  • Maintain on-going communication with staff regarding the educational needs of your child
  • Assist in learning activities in the classroom
  • Attend school functions
  • Provide input to staff that would assist in classroom placement
  • Assist in before/after school activities
  • Assist in PTO-sponsored activities

There is an open-door policy at Mitchell.  Teachers welcome parents of their students to observe and/or assist in the classroom.  The administration asks for 24-hours notice if you will be visiting the classroom for a purpose other than providing pre-arranged assistance to the classroom teacher.  It is also requested that observations in the classroom be kept to a maximum of 20 minutes. Being aware of the student’s classroom schedule, and planning ahead, will ensure a more productive visit and minimize classroom disruptions.  Teachers are available by appointment before and after school for discussion of programs and/or student progress for individual students.  Please call our school office to make an appointment.

Volunteer Pride Expectations

Volunteers must have a background check through APS.

  • Never discipline a student. Inform a staff member.
  • Never raise your voice with any student. Inform a staff member.
  • All students must stay in the Lobby when a parent visits the Office (0-4 stays with parent) No exceptions.
  • Before 7:30 a.m. and after 2:10 p.m. all students must be in the company of a parent or guardian
  •   when on campus.  This includes the playground. 
  • All phone calls into a classroom must go through the office.
  • All volunteers must have a staff member present when interacting with students.
  • A designated staff member will dismiss classes in the cafeteria.
  • If in doubt, ask a staff member.

Permission to Photograph/Record

Many programs, activities, and events taking place in the Albuquerque Public Schools are of interest to the public. Often civic, educational, student and other groups are interested in learning about our students and programs. From time to time, we produce or allow to be produced photographs, video recorded programs, and films to provide information to the public about our programs. In addition, newspaper coverage, broadcast television programs, and cable television programs sometimes feature our classes and activities. When any such videotape, film or photograph is produced and released, it becomes the property of the party to whom it is released, and it may be replayed or reprinted at a later date. Classrooms may also be videotaped for the purpose of teacher evaluation or student behavioral concerns. These videos will not be shared except with the classroom teacher and/or the parent of the student in question.

Physical Education (PE)

Physical Education (PE) is a regular part of our curriculum and all children are expected to participate. On days when your child has PE class, please make sure they are dressed for physical activity, including wearing tennis shoes.  

Redirector Program

The Redirector Program was implemented at Mitchell in November 1998. It is a behavior intervention strategy that is an adaptation of the traditional Time-Out and Live Space Interview models. Students who are interfering in the educational process or who break a rule anywhere at school are candidates for a referral to the Redirect room. The school Redirector helps students investigate, in a positive way, how their behavior is inappropriate and facilitates the formulation of a written plan for alternative acceptable behavior. The process can be completed in as little as 15 minutes so that each student can return to class to put the plan into practice. The redirection process:

  • Provides an immediate and consistent intervention in the cycle of inappropriate behavior
  • Intervenes early in the behavior cycle, before the behavior becomes seriously disruptive
  • Shortens the time that students are out of the classroom due to inappropriate behavior
  • Helps the student plan for more appropriate and effective behavior
  • Returns the student to the classroom as soon as possible to implement the behavior plan
  • Is positive and is supportive

The redirection process is NOT:

  • Counseling
  • Punishment

The administration handles behavior serious enough for immediate consequences.

Registration

Returning students should have registered for school during the previous spring trimester. Any changes in addresses, telephone numbers, etc. should be reported to the school office. New students will register at the beginning of the school year on the designated date. Parents of students registering at Mitchell after the first day of school are asked to start their children the following day. That gives the office time to make the necessary preparations to welcome the new student. This policy is also applicable to in-school transfers.

Section 504 & the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The following information is in regards to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Section 504 and the ADA are federal laws that prohibit discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving Federal financial assistance. The Acts define a person with a disability as anyone who:

  • Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more activities such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and work;
  • Has a record of such impairment; or
  • Is regarded as having such impairment.

In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504 and the ADA, Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system.

The school district has specific responsibilities under Section 504 that include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate education services. Parents or staff members who feel that a student may be eligible for 504 services should notify the Student Assistance Team and request a 504 Conference to consider eligibility. An eligible student will have an Accommodation Plan developed based on his/her educational needs and upon the least restrictive environment necessary to meet those needs. Parents will receive written notification of the school’s decisions concerning the student’s identification, evaluation or educational placement. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has the right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn in English/Language Arts and Math, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that students need for success in college and careers.  New Mexico State Standards are still implemented for all other content areas.

Standards-based Progress Reports

The standards-based progress report will be sent home three times a year, at the end of each twelve-week period. A Midterm Progress report will also be sent home three times a year, at the midpoint of each trimester.

Student Assistance Team

The Student Assistance Team meets to discuss children’s progress and to develop action plans for meeting individual differences. The Student Assistance Team’s membership includes the classroom teacher, principal, nurse, counselor, and volunteer teachers from general and special education. Parents are notified of the meetings and are invited to be active participants on the team. Parents or teachers may request that educational screening of academic achievement be conducted. Children are screened and assessed to determine their areas of strength, need and academic progress. If a parent has concerns regarding their child’s progress in school, they may contact their child’s teacher or the counselor, and a Student Assistance Team referral may be initiated.

Student Placement Policy

There are many factors that are taken into consideration when students are placed in a new classroom setting at the beginning of the school year. Heterogeneous groups are created with equity in class size, dates of birth, and boy to girl ratios. In addition, previous year’s classroom teachers and support staff play a very important role in student placement. They provide data about current academic levels of performance, work habits and behavior.

Mitchell Elementary has a policy by which disruptions to classroom learning are kept to a minimum. For this reason, spring parent visitations of classrooms, other than their child(ren)’s classroom(s), will not take place.

All classroom placements are tentative until the 20th day of school.  At this time the district makes a final teacher allotment, based on the school population for the first 20 days of school.

Redistribution Policy

If at or before the 20th day we are required to open a classroom, close a classroom, or formulate a combination class, the students that are in the affected classroom or grade level will be equitably distributed among the other teachers at that grade level, placed in a new class, or in a combination class. Volunteers (parents and children) will be given the opportunity to move to the new classroom. Using the placement method, the rest of the class will be formed. Heterogeneous groups will be created. This is always an extremely stressful and emotional time for all. It is the goal of the school that the Redistribution Policy will not have to be used. Unfortunately, there are times when enrollment numbers are unpredictable and do not solidify until the actual start of school.

In-School Transfer Policy

Research indicates that children need a minimum of three weeks to adapt to a new classroom environment; therefore, there will be no parent initiated transfers during the first three weeks of school. After the first three weeks of school, the following procedure will be followed:

  • If a parent has a concern about a child’s classroom placement, the parent must first speak directly with the child’s teacher about the concern. The parent and the teacher will formulate an informal agreement or action plan to address the concern.
  • If after this initial conference, the parent continues to have concerns, the parent must notify the principal who will then arrange a formal conference with the parent, teacher, counselor, and principal. At this conference, a formal action plan will be written and distributed to those involved. A minimum of three weeks must pass before the next step occurs.
  • If the parent continues to believe the child’s needs are not being met, then a final conference will be held in the principal’s office. The counselor, parent(s), the child’s present teacher, and if necessary, the teacher who may potentially receive the child will attend. At this conference, the needs of the child will be discussed and a record of the conference will be kept in the principal’s office. Children will be moved into new classes on a space-available basis only and will be moved to the classroom with the lowest pupil-teacher ratio.

Student Retention – Remediation Legislation

The New Mexico State Legislature has passed legislation related to educational standards, remediation programs and promotion policies. This new legislation requires APS to identify and provide remediation for all students who are performing below the state levels for proficiency.

Parents/guardians of students who have been identified, as not meeting required proficiency levels must be notified before winter break. At this time, the teacher(s) will meet with the student’s parents to explain specific academic deficiencies and work together to develop an Academic Improvement Plan. Any student completing Grades 1-5, who had an Academic Improvement Plan and has not attained the required level(s) of proficiency by the end of the school year, may be referred to an APS Summer Literacy Program. If by the start of the next school year, a student in Grades 1-5 has failed to attain the required levels of proficiency, one of two options may be exercised:

  • The student will be retained in the same grade for no more than one year with an Academic Improvement Plan developed by the Student Assistance Team.
  • The student will be promoted to the next grade level if the parent refuses to allow their child to be retained and signs a required waiver. A parent may refuse retention only once in grades 1-7. A student failing to attain the required level of proficiency after a one-year retention will be provided with alternative programming.

This legislation requires early identification of students, notification of parents and specific remediation plans. It also outlines the conditions for retention. Mitchell Elementary has always closely monitored student progress and included parents in every step of the process. This legislation helps us in our efforts to help students succeed in school.

Student Transfers

Students who reside outside the Mitchell district must apply for transfer from the Albuquerque Public Schools Student Services Department. They may be reached at 855-9050. Out of district students who have been approved for transfer and attend Mitchell Elementary can have their transfer revoked at any time for the following reasons:

  • Excessive (4.5 or more) absences and/or tardies in one semester
  • Disruptive behavior and/or acts of misconduct
  • Lack of parental support/cooperation with school staff to meet the needs of the student
  • Overcrowded conditions in the school

Technology/Internet Policy

Mitchell Elementary has two computer labs.  The primary lab is for grades K-2 and the intermediate lab is for Grades 3-5.  The computer labs have Macintosh computers with over fifteen computer programs ranging from math and science to art and writing programs.  The labs are set up as desktop publishing centers with the abilities of combined art and writing.  The centers include student and teacher networked computers, scanners and color printers that allow Mitchell students and teachers the ability to scan, work and print from anywhere in the lab. The labs are wired for Internet capabilities for research and further educational outreach programs. Mitchell students also have access to iPads in the classroom. 

Internet access is available at Mitchell Elementary School in the Computer Labs, Library, all classrooms and the Office.  The Internet provides access to countless libraries, magazines, and education sites, and opens doors for exploration and discovery.  Internet access is an integral part of the educational process at Mitchell.  It should be understood that Internet access is designed for educational purposes.  Internet access will be guided and monitored by Mitchell Staff.  However, students must understand that they must make a personal commitment to its proper use.  It is not possible for APS or its teachers and staff to restrict access to all controversial materials, and so cannot be held responsible for materials acquired on the network.  Unethical use by the student other than that which is specified by the teacher will be considered a violation of Mitchell Internet Policy, and disciplinary action will be taken. 

As with many other aspects of technology and mass media, we have access to the best and worst that the world has to offer.  At Mitchell, technology is being used as a positive and integral part of the curriculum.  The Internet will be a useful part of classroom instruction, and students will be able to participate in the best that technology can offer. Each class is scheduled a time in the lab for approximately 45 minutes, one time per rainbow cycle.  Each class also has additional time in the labs to work on intervention programs.

Timely Pick-Up

Please note that the APS School Board policy states that children cannot be left at school more than 15 minutes after the normal school day. (Children attending after-school programs are exempt because they are under adult supervision.) Failure to follow this policy will require notification to School Police.

Title I Reading Intervention

Reading intervention is provided through our Title I program for students whose literacy skills are below grade level expectations.  Ms. Washburn works with K-2nd-grade students to correct literacy skills deficits because studies have shown that the earlier you intervene the greater students will benefit.  Mrs. Krezan works with 3rd – 5th-grade students to reinforce literacy foundations and support reading. Eligible students are identified through formal assessments and observation.  During the interventions, students receive intense small group instruction designed to help accelerate their reading growth. 

Visitor Badges

In accordance with state law, all visitors to our campus during the school day must first check in at the office and must wear a “Visitor” badge. The badges let the staff and children know you have been cleared to be at the school. Thank you for your help on keeping our school safe!

Mitchell’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)

The PTO is a non-profit and unincorporated association of its members. It has no affiliation with any other local, state, or national organizations. You are a member of our PTO if you are a parent or guardian of a Mitchell student, a member of the administration, or a staff member at Mitchell Elementary.

The PTO Board comprised of parents, faculty, and staff, meets on the first Monday of each month at 2:15 PM in the administration building during the school year.

They plan events and functions and manage the business of running the PTO. These meetings are always open to PTO members. At least one General PTO meetings is held for all parents and staff during the school year to introduce the Board and its functions, to approve the budget for the year, to promote communication and convey information, and to elect the next year’s officers.

Our PTO is the charter organization that sponsors Boy Scouts at Mitchell. The PTO engages in several different areas of activities to help meet our objectives. Some are described below:

  • Hospitality: The PTO helps to create a positive environment for staff and parents by sponsoring a Room Parents’ Tea, a Staff Appreciation Day, and provides refreshments at many activities.
  • Liaisons: Two teachers serve on the PTO Board and bring information to and from the rest of the Mitchell staff. The PTO has representatives to the APS North East Region Citizens Advisory Council to keep us informed of APS activities, policies, etc. The PTO also has a liaison to the Hoover Middle School Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) to keep channels of communication open between the two schools.

  • Room Parents: Many classroom teachers try to identify parents who are willing to help in various ways in the classroom. Parents may help in the classroom during school hours, help with phone calls to parents, and/or help the teacher with organizing classroom celebrations. If you are interested in helping as a room parent, please contact your child’s teacher.

  • Safety and Health: The PTO is concerned with the health and safety of all our children. They promote safety in the parking lots and on the playground. They help sponsor speakers on a variety of topics such as gang awareness, “Say No To Drugs”, “Good Touch Bad Touch”, and help with materials for parent workshops.

  • School to Home Communication: The PTO believes communication between school and home is very important. The “Mitchell Mustang” is published regularly to keep everyone informed of activities, policies, fundraisers, etc. Information for the newsletter may be placed in the Newsletter basket on the counter in the office. Ads will be accepted at $20 for a business card size space. The editor reserves the right to reject an ad or run it at a later time if space is limited. In addition to the Mustang, parent information is located outside the main office.

  • Ways and Means: The PTO sponsors fundraisers throughout the school year, which provide extra resources for our school. The following fundraisers have been held at Mitchell in recent years:

    • Fall Festival and Holiday Craft Fair
    • School pictures
    • Jog-A-Thon and Read-A-Thon
    • Mustang t-shirt sales and Spirit Store

The PTO is a non-profit (501)(3)(c) organization and cash donations are tax deductible. Checks for all fundraisers or donations should be made payable to the Mitchell PTO.

Funds are allocated for a variety of items and activities, all for the benefit of the children and the Mitchell community as a whole. Activities that have been sponsored include Art-in-the-School, the Mitchell Music Program, the Reading Program, and Guidance and Counseling offerings. The funds are also used for classroom purchases, to pay for buses for field trips, math manipulatives, computer supplies and software, awards, and many more items. One major focus for this year is implementing a variety of new and creative after-school programs, which will benefit the students in several different ways. Parents and teachers are encouraged to support the fundraisers as best they can in order to help the PTO provide these extras for our children.

2017- 2018 PTO/School Volunteers

Volunteering for Mitchell PTO (or other school-related activities) is a great way to help your kids and your school.  Your help is what will make your PTO a strong organization.  The Mitchell PTO sponsors fundraisers to assist with various items and activities throughout the school year, such as: providing classroom supplies, funding campus beautification, and field trips.  The PTO also aids in providing supplemental materials and various other supplies needed to ensure a continued high-quality educational experience for your children.  Mitchell PTO tries to fill the gaps APS leaves.  We are ever striving to make Mitchell an awesome experience for each of our children.  In order to do this, we need YOU!

Community Support

Community Partners

Businesses in the community have joined schools to help promote education.  Any contacts for donations must go through the designated representative. Our supporters include:      

  • Wal-Mart on Academy
  • Bank of America at Eubank and Candelaria
  • Church’s Chicken on Menaul and Juan Tabo
  • Farmer’s Insurance on Comanche & Morris
  • Hausermann Mechanical

These businesses sponsor student activities and contribute in various ways to the education of our students here at Mitchell. 

Mitchell collects “Box Tops for Education”.  This is a great way to support Mitchell classrooms.  Half of all money earned goes back to your child’s classroom.

You can link your Smith’s card to Mitchell and we will receive a percentage of every dollar you spend at Smith’s

Mitchell has also partnered with Goodwill.  There is a collection bin in the main office.  Donate any of the following to benefit Goodwill, help New Mexicans find a job in the community, and support Mitchell Elementary:

  • Clothing & Shoes
  • Accessories, Jewelry, Handbags & Luggage
  • Housewares & Home Décor – No furniture, please
  • Linens & Towels
  • Toys, Books & Games

Playground Recreation Programs

YMCA is offered at Mitchell Elementary School Monday through Friday before (if enough students are registered) and after school. The program operates from 6:15 - 7:30 AM and 1:55 – 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.

YMCA offers a planned curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for elementary –school children, and that includes activities in literature, math, science, physical education, social studies and the arts.  The cost is $40 for YMCA members or $55 for non-members for before OR aftercare and $60/$75 for both before AND aftercare.  Scholarships are available. 

Please call Chris Glenn at McLeod YMCA  - 292-2298 for more information.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Information will be available on the website, announced on the morning announcements and sent home for all extra-curricular activities.

Go Forth Mustangs, Practice Pride!

School Calendar

2017-18 School Calendar
August # Meet Your Teacher – (1st & 2nd) 4:30PM and (3rd – 5th) 5:00PM
August # Kindergarten Classroom Visits
August #

Insert the rest of your calendar items here.

Please don't leave any empty row/column cells (like what you see below)!

   

New Mexico students are required to have 180 days of instruction each school year. This equates to 990 hours of instruction for grades K-5 (excluding 30 minutes for lunch but including 30 minutes for recess each day). The hours of instructional time each school offers in its schedule and calendar are reviewed each year by the Public Education Department of the State of New Mexico. Mitchell consistently meets these requirements.