Handbook

School Hours

School hours are 8:05 a.m. — 2:35 p.m. The tardy bell rings at 8:10 a.m. Students should not arrive prior to 7:55, as there is no staff available for supervision prior to that time. If your child needs to arrive prior to this time, he/she must be enrolled in the Carmel Parks & Recreation Program. For safety purposes, all exterior doors are locked daily.

 

Building Visitors

Parents are welcome to visit us providing the visit does not impede the educational process. We ask that you schedule your visits through your child’s teacher. In addition, we ask that you adhere to our policy of identifying yourself as a visitor in the building by checking in at the Office and wearing an identification badge.

We request that parents contact the office to arrange for any non-family visitor to the school or classroom at least 24 hours prior to the visit. Observations by outside agencies must be approved by the building administration.

All individuals visiting elementary schools must enter through the main entrance and report to the main office to identify themselves with a driver’s license or state ID card, check into the building utilizing the School Gate Guardian system and obtain a visitor’s badge that should be worn while in the building. Any visitor in the building without a visitor’s badge will be redirected to the office. These procedures are in place to ensure the safety of all students, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

There are times when visits are not encouraged (testing, special programs, etc.). Furthermore, uninterrupted instructional time in the classrooms is always our priority. Visits by relatives, particularly young children, are discouraged except on special occasions and must be cleared through the office. Prior to your visit, please make the appropriate arrangements with your child’s teacher. Please understand that visiting with your child while at recess is not allowed. Please limit your stay to one hour or less per classroom visit.

School Guardian

All Carmel Clay Schools utilize a visitor check in system to provide the best possible security for our students and staff. All visitors are required to scan their driver’s license or state identification card to enter the school. This increased level of security will allow the school to better track visitors and help increase the safety and security of our students and staff. As you enter the school, you will be required to scan your identification card and be issued a badge to wear. When you leave the school, you will scan and return that badge. As always, safety is a top priority at Carmel Clay Schools. Thank you for your continued support as we continuously work to improve our educational institutions.

Volunteers

Interested in volunteering at school or attending a field trip?

All volunteers must have a criminal history background check done prior to volunteering at school. If you are a new volunteer, please make certain you have a completed Criminal History Background Check on file. If you have multiple students who attend multiple schools in Carmel, you only need one criminal background check. Background checks are $17.95. Your student's school administration will be contacted when the criminal background report is complete.

Criminal History Background Check

During the 2013 legislative session, in regard to Bullying Prevention and Intervention in Indiana, the General Assembly passed HEA 1423, and the Governor signed P.L. 285-2013 into law. This law requires all staff and volunteers to be educated about bullying and its prevention. In order to meet the training requirements of this legislation, Carmel Clay Schools has created a training presentation based on information provided by the Department of Education.

Prior to volunteering, please access the link for your child's school to view the presentation:

After viewing the presentation, type your full name in the box that says “Electronic Signature” to indicate that you have viewed the video and understand its contents. The record will be logged in our School Office Pro database where school secretaries can verify participation.

If you have questions about this process, please contact David Woodward

Thank you in advance for helping keep our schools safe!

CCS Board Volunteer Policy

When volunteering, please find alternative care for younger children. 

Student Attendance

Daily attendance at school is absolutely vital in ensuring your child’s academic success. Should your child have an illness that prevents him/her from coming to school, we ask that you notify the school each day prior to 8:30 AM. Please leave a message on our school’s attendance line or speak with someone in the office. In the event that we are not notified of a child’s absence, we will attempt to contact parents or emergency contacts to verify absence and ensure the safety of the students.

In order to ensure the safety of your child, if a student is reported absent by his/her teacher and a parent has not called the office, the following procedure will be followed:

  • Contact teachers to make sure that they didn’t receive any e-mails about the absence, but the office wasn’t notified. (please copy office if you email a teacher regarding an absence, as a substitute may be in the classroom and your email may not be received)
  • Call parents at primary contacts.
  • Review possible building locations that a student may have been taken to for support services before checking in at the classroom.
  • Review pre-arranged absences that are on file.
  • Call ALL parent contacts listed including emergency contacts. Check files for old phone numbers.
  • Contact transportation if student rides bus to school. Conduct a building sweep.
  • Administration will make a home visit if the school if unable to verify the student’s whereabouts via phone calls to the parents and/or other emergency contacts.
  • Contact Director of Student Serves at ESC, by 10 am if all other attempts have failed.
  • Contact Police

Students must be in attendance at school by 11:30 a.m. to be eligible for extracurricular activities that day or by 11:30 a.m. on Friday to be eligible for Saturday participation. Exceptions to this would be pre-arranged absences or school-related functions.

 

Early Dismissal

If your child should need to be released early from school for any reason (doctor’s appointment, dental, etc.), please notify the classroom teacher in writing and send it to school. Once you arrive to transport your child you MUST come to the main office and request that your child be dismissed from the classroom. Students will not be called to the office until the parent reports to the office. Please park in a spot, not along the curb. Your child will be released from the main office ONLY. Students will only be released to a custodial parent or emergency contact (according to the most current school records.) It may be necessary to show identification prior to the child being released.

If plans change during the school day please submit the information to our office by using the transportation widget on your PowerSchool Parent Portal. This must be completed by 1:30.

Carmel Clay Attendance

CCS Attendance Policies

ACES Attendance Information

Two Target Groups:
Students with Excessive Excused Absences:

  • Grades 1-6
  • Grades 7-12

Students with Unexcused Absences

  • Grades 1-6
  • Grades 7-12

Students with Excessive Excused Absences:

Excused absences not included in the ACES Program are:

  • Religious Holidays
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Court Appearances, Jury Duty
  • Serving as a page for the State Legislature
  • College Visitation - High School
  • Driver License Examination - High School
  • Immigration, passports
  1. When a student misses 7 excused days of school, (vacation or illness, no doctor's notes provided), the parent, student, school administration, counselor/social worker and nurse will meet to discuss the students attendance at school.  In some cases the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting. At the meeting, an attendance letter  will be handed to the parents. The meeting will attempt to discern what the issues are for the student missing school and devise a plan to assist the student in improving their attendance. Documentation of the meeting must be kept in the student file. 
  2. When student misses 10 excused days of school,(vacation or illness, no doctor's notes provided), a Letter of Incapacity and a physician's certificate, which requires a doctor’s note for any further absences, will be mailed to parent by certified mail.
  3. When student misses 12 excused days of school, (vacation or illness, no doctor's notes provided), the student and parent are referred to the ACES program.  The school administration will fill out and submit an ACES Referral Form to the Director of Special Services as well as the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  The Prosecutor’s Office will then contact the parents by mail and phone to inform the parent and child of the required meeting.
  4. At the meeting the deputy prosecutor will present a presentation informing the parents and students how truancy leads to delinquency, increases the chances for becoming a dropout, Indiana law on school attendance and educational neglect, define excused and unexcused absences and the consequences of further absences from school. 
  5. Any further absences will result in a meeting between the deputy prosecutor, school administration, Carmel school probation officer, parent and child. 
  6. If students in grades 1-6 are still missing school, educational neglect charges will be filed.  If students in grades 7-12 are still missing school, truancy charges will be filed and a pick up order will be issued.

Students with Unexcused Absences:

“Unexcused Absence” means an absence from school that is not authorized by the local school administrator or local school corporation rule.

  1. When a student misses 1 unexcused day of school, the parent, student, school administration and counselor will meet.  In some cases the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting.  At the meeting, an attendance letter will be handed to the parents.  The child will be assigned an In School Suspension. 
  2. When a student misses 2 unexcused days of school, student and parent are referred to the ACES Program.  The school administration will fill out and submit an ACES Referral Form o the Director of Special Services as well as the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  The Prosecutor’s Office will then contact parents by mail and phone to inform the parent and child of the required meeting.
  3. At the meeting the deputy prosecutor will present a presentation informing the parents and students how truancy leads to delinquency, increases the chances for becoming a dropout, Indiana law on school attendance and educational neglect, define excused and unexcused absences and the consequences of further absences from school. 
  4. When a student misses 3 unexcused days, they will be assigned to Out of School Suspension which will be served at Saturday School.
  5. When a student misses 4 unexcused days, a truancy petition will be filed. In addition a pick up order will be issued for students in grades 7-12.

CCS Tardy Policies

ACES Tardy Policies

Grades 1-6

  1. When a student misses 3 hours of seat time due to tardiness at the beginning of the school day, the parent, student, school administration and counselor will meet.  In some cases the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting.  At the meeting, a tardy letter will be handed to the parents.
  2. When a student misses 4 hours of seat time due to tardiness, student and parent are referred to the ACES Program.  The school administration will fill out and submit an ACES Referral Form to the Director of Special Services as well as the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  The Prosecutor’s Office will then contact parents by mail and phone to inform the parent and child of the required meeting.
  3. At the meeting the deputy prosecutor will present a presentation informing the parents and students how tardiness leads to delinquency, increases the chances for becoming a dropout, Indiana law on school attendance and educational neglect, and the consequences of further missed seat time at school. 
  4. Any further hours of missed seat time will result in a meeting between the deputy prosecutor, school administration, Carmel school probation officer, parent and child. 
  5. If students in grades 1-6 are still missing seat time due to tardiness, educational neglect charges may be filed.  

Grades 7-8

1. When a student misses 3 hours of seat time due to tardiness at the beginning of the school day, the parent, student, school administration and counselor will meet. In some cases the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting. At the meeting, a tardy letter will be handed to the parents. The child will be assigned an In School Suspension. 

2. When a student misses 4 hours of seat time due to tardiness, student and parent are referred to the ACES Program. The school administration will fill out and submit an ACES Referral Form to the Director of Special Services as well as the Hamilton County Prosecutor. The Prosecutor’s Office will then contact parents by mail and phone to inform the parent and child of the required meeting.

3. At the meeting the deputy prosecutor will present a presentation informing the parents and students how tardiness leads to delinquency, increases the chances for becoming a dropout, Indiana law on school attendance and educational neglect, and the consequences of further missed seat time at school. 

4. When a student misses 5 hours of seat time, they will be assigned to Out of School Suspension which will be served at Saturday School.

5. Any further hours of missed seat time will result in a meeting between the deputy prosecutor, school administration, Carmel school probation officer, parent and child. 

6.  If students in grades 7-8 are still missing seat time due to tardiness, truancy charges may be filed and a summons to court may be issued.

Grades 9-12

Carmel High School has had an effective tardy policy for a number of years.  Including the components of ACES as part of this policy will make it more effective.  Below is the Carmel High School tardy policy.

CHS Tardy Discipline Policy (Resets each grading period)
1st Tardy:  Warned by Teacher
2nd Tardy:  Detention
3rd Tardy:  Out of Class Suspension
4th Tardy:  Community Service
5th Tardy:  1 Day In-School Suspension
6th Tardy:  1 Day Out-of-School Suspension/Saturday School
7th Tardy:  3 Days Out-of-School Suspension
8th Tardy:  5 Days Out-of-School Suspension or request Expulsion

One loop hole of this policy is students can accumulate up to four tardies each grading period and never serve in-school suspension while accumulating over 20 combined tardies. The following policy will help close that loop hole.

  1. When a student receives an In-School Suspension, a 2ndCommunity Service, or a 3rd Out-of-Class Suspension as part of the Tardy Discipline Policy, the parent, student, school administration and counselor will meet.  In some cases the School Resource Officer will attend the meeting.  At the meeting, a tardy letter will be handed to the parents.  The child will be assigned an In School Suspension if one has not already been assigned through the standard tardy policy. 
  2. When a student receives an Out-of-School suspension, a 2nd In-School Suspension, a 3rd Community Service, or a 4th Out-of-Class Suspension, student and parent are referred to the ACES Program.  The school administration will fill out and submit an ACES referral form to the Director of Special Services as well as the Hamilton County Prosecutor.  The Prosecutor’s Office will then contact parents by mail and phone to inform the parent and child of the required meeting.
  3. At the meeting the deputy prosecutor will present a presentation informing the parents and students how tardiness leads to delinquency, increases the chances for becoming a dropout, Indiana law on school attendance and educational neglect, and the consequences of further missed seat time at school. 
  4. When a student receives an additional tardy, they will be assigned to Out-of-School Suspension (Saturday School) if this has not already been assigned through the standard policy.
  5. Any additional tardiness will result in a meeting between the deputy prosecutor, school administration, Carmel school probation officer, parent and child. 
  6. If students in are still missing seat time due to tardiness, truancy charges will be filed and a pick up order will be issued.

Discipline Policy

“The School Board recognizes the importance of safeguarding a student’s constitutional rights, particularly when subject to the Corporation's disciplinary procedures." A student who has committed a disciplinary infraction will be afforded due process in proportion to the disciplinary action taken by school officials.

CCS Student Discipline Policy

Suspension and Expulsion of Nondisabled Students

 

Bullying

Rules from the District Bullying Prevention Initiative:

  • We will not bully others.
  • If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will immediately tell an adult.
  • We will include students who are being left out.
  • We will help students who are bullied.

CCS Anti-Bullying Policy

Transportation

Bus Conduct

The bus conduct and safety rules are designed to promote safety on the bus at all times. The safety of all students is our top priority. Therefore, each student is expected to cooperate fully by always obeying the rules. The authority of the bus driver will be recognized and supported by all for everyone’s safety. The noise level on the bus must be low so the driver can communicate with students, and be able to hear traffic sounds such as sirens. Students must quickly respond to the directions of the bus driver.

Riding the school bus is a privilege. Therefore, it is very important for parents to review the bus rules with their children. Respectful, quiet, appropriate behavior is expected at all times. Rude, disrespectful, and/or dangerous behavior by any child may result in a suspension of transportation privileges. It then becomes the responsibility of the parent to provide transportation to and from school. Buses are not to be used to transport additional students for after– school social activities. Students are not permitted to ride any bus other than the one assigned unless prior approval is arranged through the classroom teacher or administration. Permission from the parent needs to be sent to school in writing.

All changes in bus arrangements and all problems and concerns about routes/bus stops/drivers should be brought to the attention of the Carmel Clay Transportation through the “Transportation Concern” form located in the PowerSchool Parent Portal. Individual schools do not have the authority to make changes or to deal with transportation route difficulties.

Transportation Changes

Any changes in transportation arrangements must be made through School Dismissal Manager. We cannot, for the safety of your child, rely on verbal directions given by the child. Students will go home using the regularly scheduled method unless a transportation change has been completed by parent or guardian by 1:30 p.m.

Walking and Bike Riding

Parents living south of 116th Street may choose to allow their student to walk to school. Please remember if you do allow your student to walk to school, crossing guards are not in place and a parent or an adult should supervise.

Emergency

Emergency School Cancellations

In case of severe weather, schools in the Carmel Clay School District may only be cancelled by order of the superintendent or designee. Students and families will be notified of a school delay or closing through the School Messenger phone system. All contact information in the student database should be up to date at all times. Please be certain your family has a plan for such early dismissal. This situation should be discussed with your children at the beginning of the school year and repeated periodically.

Lockdown/Severe Weather Situations

Students will NOT be released to parents during an emergency school lockdown or during a severe weather situation. All students will be required to report and remain in their assigned locations until conditions are safe. These procedures have been established for the protection and safety of our students.

Emergency Contact Information

If a child becomes sick or injured during the school day, parents will be notified immediately. Updated student information records are critical for this process. Please remember to update your contact information via the PowerSchool Parent Portal with any change in home or work phone numbers and names and phone numbers of friends and/or relatives to be called if parents are not available. If applicable, also provide cell phones and pager numbers.

Health

Immunizations

Indiana law requires that students in all grades are required to meet the minimum immunization requirements. The immunization record must include the student’s name and date of birth, the vaccine given and date (month/day/year) of each immunization. Please visit the Nurse page for specific guidelines.

Injuries/Illness

Injuries should be taken care of before the child is allowed to return to school. If a child becomes sick or injured during the school day, parents will be notified immediately. It then becomes the parent’s responsibility to pick up the child as soon as possible.

A child with a contagious illness or fever should not be sent to school. Any student whose temperature is above 1000 F will be sent home from school. However, a student may also be sent home when his/her temperature is below 1000 F should other symptoms warrant it. Any student with a fever should be kept home until the student has been fever free for 24 hours without medication (temperature below 1000 F). Students may return to school:

  • strep infections – after antibiotics and temperature below 100 degrees for 24 hours
  • pink eye – after prescribed medication for 24 hours and improved condition
  • skin lesions – it is mandatory that any student that has an open wound keep it covered during the school day and during athletic events
  • ringworm – only if the lesion is covered and verification of anti-fungal treatment is given
  • scabies – the next day after treatment
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea – will be handled on a case by case basis after consultation with the school nurse

Medication Policy

When it is necessary for your child to take medication at school, the following guidelines are in effect for your child’s protection:

  1. Transportation and Storage of Medication: ALL medication, both prescription and non-prescription, must be transported to and from the school nurse’s office by a parent or guardian. Students are not permitted to have any medication or drug in their possession.
  2. Original Container: ALL medication, prescription or non-prescription, must be in its original container. A prescription medication will already have the pharmacy label with the name of the student, name of medication, and the time when medication is to be administered. Please write your child’s name on a non-prescription container.
  3. School Permission to give Medication: Medication must have a written doctor’s statement or current prescription (label on container) indicating that the medication is to be taken during school hours. Physician orders may be faxed to the school. The school will also need a signature from parents or guardians giving their permission for the school to give the medication. It shall be the student’s responsibility to come to the nurse’s office to receive the medication at the designated time. If it becomes necessary to give a student medication that is not kept at school, a parent or legal guardian may come to the school and administer the medication.
  4. Benadryl and Analgesics: In case of a bee or wasp sting, Benadryl will be given according to weight guidelines if a parent consent is on file. Also, the school nurse will administer analgesics (generic Tylenol or Advil) if a parent consent is on file. At the elementary level (K thru 5) parents will be notified when analgesics are given.
  5. If the medication is to be terminated, the parent should notify the school by phone or provide a written and dated withdrawal of consent.
  6. Student possession and self-administration of emergency medication is permitted for students with acute or chronic medical conditions. An annual written authorization must be received from both the parent and physician stating the nature of the disease and that the student has been instructed in how to self-administer the medication.
  7. All updates to a student’s medical history and permission for Tylenol/Advil need to be completed through the PowerSchool Parent Portal.

 

Head Lice

Parents have prime responsibility of assisting in the prevention and management of head lice cases through regular checks of their child’s hair and starting immediate treatment when head lice are detected. While head lice are a nuisance, they do not spread disease and are not a health issue. Should a case of head lice be brought to the school’s attention, the school nurse will maintain confidentiality at school, verify presence of an active infestation, and bring it to the child’s parents’ attention. Parents, students and school staff will be educated about head lice identification, treatment and prevention. If at all possible, students should not be excluded from school for having head lice, as the management of head lice should not disrupt the educational process of the child. The need to exclude students from school will be determined on a case by case basis. This policy is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, and the Hamilton County Health Department.

Speech and Hearing Screening

Indiana State law mandates hearing testing for all children in Kindergarten, 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th grades; new students; special education students; and any children with known losses. A communication screening will be conducted for these students, as well as those students identified in previous years as having maturational sounds in error.

Dress Code

Students will be expected to keep themselves well-groomed and neatly dressed at all times. Any form of dress or hairstyle which detracts from the learning environment will not be permitted. This includes apparel advertising alcoholic beverages or with other obscene or questionable printing on them. Short shorts, low rise pants or shorts, halter tops, tank tops and tops revealing midriffs, etc are not appropriate. Shorts in general should be worn ONLY when the weather is extremely warm. Ball caps, hoods or hats may not be worn in the school building. Safe, appropriate footwear must be worn on the playground. Students not dressed appropriately may be asked to change.

Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the day/season’s weather as we take the students outside each day with the exception of rainy weather or of temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

School Lunch

Carmel Clay Schools use a computerized method of collecting funds, counting meals, and a la carte items in the school cafeteria. Each student will have an account identified by their student identification number. Cashiers will use your child’s photo or name to identify them in the serving line.  

Lunch Menus & Prices

Online Payment System

Free and Reduced Price Meals

 

Technology Use Policy

Any misuse of technology in school will result in suspension of privileges and possible disciplinary action.Misuse shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

Intentional violations of copyright law;

Intentionally seeking information on, obtaining copies of, or modifying files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users; Misrepresenting other users; Disrupting the operation of technology through abuse of hardware or software, including the intentional introduction of software viruses; Malicious use of technology through hate mail, harassment, profanity, vulgar statements, or discriminatory remarks. Knowingly using on school grounds during school hours an electronic recording device in a manner that is inappropriate or a situation not related to a school purpose or educational function.

CCS Responsible Use Policy

 

Smoke-Free & Drug-Free Environment

The Carmel Clay School Board has designated all school buildings and campuses as smoke and drug free environments. This policy applies at all hours of every day.

Communication/Report Cards

Communication between school and family is an essential key to ensuring student success. Report cards are distributed every quarter (grades 1-5), or each semester (Kindergarten). More frequent communication can be initiated by either the parents or the teacher if specific concerns arise. Please first speak with your child’s teacher if an issue or concern arises.

Support Programs

In addition to the diversified programs of the regular classroom, our schools offer a variety of support programs. Among these are programs that address:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and hearing difficulties
  • Emotional disabilities
  • Occupational and physical therapy needs
  • A high ability program for academically gifted children
  • An elementary counselor/MSW for individual, group, and parent support
  • Staffing and referral procedures for specialized testing
  • ENL (English as a New Language) services
  • Carmel Clay Parks Department: before and after school programs

If you or your child has a need for a support program, please call the principal, assistant principal, counselor, or classroom teacher for more information.

Miscellaneous

Lost & Found

All items (except for small or personal items of value) found but not claimed by students, will be placed in the lost and found located in our Music Hallway.

Telephone Use

Students will not be called to the phone unless it is an emergency. Student use of the phone to make arrangements for visits or other social events is not permitted. We will also limit the use of the phone for forgotten assignments.

Field Trips

Parents will be notified in writing and asked to give their written permission for their child to attend a field trip prior to each field trip. It is critical that this permission be received for each field trip the child attends. Please note that without the appropriate parent permission, students will not be permitted to participate on the field trip. A full criminal history check must be obtained prior to chaperoning a field trip. Forms are available at the front office.

Classroom Parties & Student Birthdays

Student birthdays are announced daily and a small memento is given to the child by the office. Teachers may have additional recognition activities within the classroom. Classroom parties are only those scheduled by the teacher or PTO. Individual birthday parties with treats are not permitted due to food allergies and our wellness initiative. To prevent hurt feelings and the sense of exclusion, students are not to bring party invitations to school to distribute. Flowers, balloons, gifts, and candy may not be delivered to students at school.

Valuables, Money & Excluded Items

In the best interest of students, we request that valuable items not be brought to school. All clothing items, such as coats, should be clearly marked with your child’s name. There will be few reasons other than lunch for your child to spend money at school. It would wise for students to bring to school only the amount of money needed for each day. Items that could endanger the safety of students (such as knives or other tools) are never permitted at school. If a dangerous item is brought to school, students will be asked by the administration to the leave the item in the office and then to take it home at the end of the day or in some cases, a parent may be asked to come and pick up the item.