Attendance Policies

School Hours and Breaks:

General

The total number of days in the planned school year shall not exceed 190.

Not less than five hours in each school day, or in the case of Infant I and II – four and one half hours, shall be devoted to instruction. The hours of instruction shall be divided into two sessions with one interval of not less than one half hour between sessions.

It shall be the duty of the Principal to:

(A) Investigate the cause(s) of recurrent absenteeism, and decide on the appropriate action to be taken.
(B) Use initiative in minor cases, in collaboration with school and home to secure regular attendance at school.
(C) Ensure the observance of the school attendance rules through counseling and consultation with pupils and parents.

The Board of Governors, or the Principal, shall comply with any notice from the health authorities requiring them for a specified time with a view to prevent the spread of disease, either to close the school or to exclude any pupil from attendance.

It shall be the duty of the Principal to quarantine from school any child suffering from any contagious or infections diseases or who comes from a house where such is known to exist. The Principal shall immediately report every such case to the appropriate authorities.

Regular school hours are:

7:55am to 11:30am - Pre-K
7:55am to 1:10 pm - Kinder to Infant II
7:55am to 2:10pm - Std. I and Std II
7:55am to 2:20pm - Std III
7:55am to 2:30pm - Std IV to Std. VI
7:55am to 3:40pm - Std VI from Oct to May (PSE extra classes)

Parents are asked not to drop children off any earlier than 7:30am and not to leave them at school any lager than 4:00pm. These are the regular office hours of Belize Elementary School. The school will not be responsible for any students on campus at any hours other than between 7:30am and 4:00pm.

Breaks are taken as follows:

9:30am to 10:00am - Pre-K and Kinder
10:45am to 11:25am - Infant I – Std II
11:00am to 11:40am - Std III – Std VI
12:00pm to 12:40pm - Freshman - Seniors

Rainy Days:

In the event of excessive rain or bad weather, stay tuned to the local radio or television station between 7:00am and 8:00am for announcements and decisions about closing.

Holidays:

The types and exact dates of holidays shall be set out in the annual school calendar as issued by the Principal.

Annual holidays:

Christmas - three weeks
Easter - two weeks
Mid-year - July and August (both inclusive)

The Principal may, with the approval of the Board of Governors, grant special holidays up to a maximum of three sessions per annum.

Absences and Tardiness

It is essential that all students attend school regularly and arrive on time to begin the school day. Any student who arrives after 8:00 a.m. must report to the office for a late pass. Tardiness is recorded in the official attendance register. Parents will be notified after five incidents of tardiness within the same term. From Pre-K to Std. I, the child is marked absent for every incident of tardiness after this even if the child is in class. From Std. II to Std. VI, a demerit is given for each late arrival after this.

When a student is absent from school, the office must be notified before 8:30 a.m. The child must return to school with a note from the parents/guardian explaining the reason for the absence. Excessive absenteeism may jeopardize a student’s successful fulfilment of academic requirements. Students are responsible for all assignments and tests missed during times of absence. It is their responsibility to find out what they missed and to make it up.

If a student is absent for 33 days or more in any academic year he/she must repeat that year. This includes all classes from Pre-K to Std. VI. Exceptions may be made if the absence was due to a job transfer on the part of the parents, or some similar situation. In these cases the child must present reports from the school attended during the absences from Belize Elementary School and must be able to keep up with the class work upon returning.

A pupil who has not attended school for a period of six successive weeks (unless on the grounds of ill health) shall have his name struck off the roll. If he returns subsequently he shall be treated as a new admission.

Early Dismissal Procedures and Deliveries

Parents are encouraged to avoid taking students out of school before the regular dismissal time. Should this be necessary, parents are asked to notify the office in advance and to report to the office to call for the child. No student will be dismissed from the classroom during regular school hours. If any person other than a parent or guardian is sent to pick up the child, this person must be identified in writing by the parents or guardian.

In order to protect the children, it is important that all parents, guardians, or visitors during school hours report to the office upon entering the school.

If there is a need to deliver lunch, a message, or forgotten equipment to your child, bring it to the office and not directly to the classroom.

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Academic Policies/Sports

Curriculum:

Students are offered a well-rounded curriculum in compliance with directives of the Ministry of Education.

In addition to religion and the major academic subjects, students receive instruction in physical education and library science. Music and Art are incorporated into the classroom curriculum.

Grading:

Report Cards are issued three times a year at the end of each term.

Grading for Pre-K and Kinder is done as a report on skills and concepts. Grading is done by letters for Infant I and Infant II as follows:

E - Excellent
S - Satisfactory
N - Needs Improvement

All classes above Infant II are graded with number grades as follows:

A (97-100) C+ (80-83)
A- (94-96) C (77-79)
B+ (90-93) C- (74-76)
B (87-89) D (70-73)
B- (84-86) F (69 and below)
A grade of 69 and below is considered a failure. Failure in any three subjects or in English constitutes a failure of the term. An overall failure in any three subjects or in English constitutes a failure of the year.

A student is required to pass Math for two years out of Std. IV, V and VI in order to graduate. Students wishing to participate in any school team sports must maintain a minimum overall average of 75.

Unsatisfactory slips are given out in the middle of the 1st and 2nd terms. These indicate that the student is failing or in danger of failing that particular subject.

A student is placed on the Honor Roll with an overall average of 85 or over, with a passing grade in English, and fewer than 10 demerits for the term.

There is a fee ($5.00 at present) for any report card that is lost and has to be replaced by the school.

Homework

Homework is a vital part of the educational program since it provides for the reinforcement of concepts and skills developed in the classroom and gives the students practice in applying what they have learned.

The rationale for homework includes the opportunity to help the student develop responsibility and independence, to teach organization and time management skills, to reinforce skills and concepts presented in class, and to extend learning beyond the classroom with an emphasis on problem solving and critical and creative thinking.

Students are responsible for knowing what is expected of them and for completing their homework assignments neatly and on time. Parents are asked to supervise their child(ren)’s home study habits and to encourage growth in taking personal responsibility for their schoolwork.

Failure to do homework or to produce it when asked may result in a variety of consequences.

Homework Do's & Don'ts:

If you encounter some frustrating moments that relate to homework, use these do’s and don’ts as guidelines:

(1) Do let your child know that you consider homework a priority.
(2) Do provide a well-lit, comfortable place for your child to do homework on a regular basis.
(3) Do discuss a regular scheduled time for homework and include your child in the final decision based on reasonable choices.
(4) Do encourage that there be no television or telephone interruptions.
(5) Do praise your child for a job well done but do not correct the homework.The teacher will not know what kind of errors your child is making and needs extra help on.
(6) Do not try to be the teacher.

Homework should be practice or extension of a concept that has been learned. If your child does not understand, encourage him/her to talk with the teacher. You may want to talk with the teacher if you feel the child will not admit this lack of understanding.

Do not get into a power struggle and force your child to do the work. The responsibility lies with him/her. If the work is not handed in on time, let him experience the consequences at school.

Special Projects:

From time to time teachers will assign special projects to be completed outside of regular school hours. The children are grouped randomly and are expected to stay in the assigned group. This teaches the students how to work together in different teams and how to develop their research and presentation skills. Parents/guardians are asked to encourage their children in the preparation of these projects but are asked not to help with the project itself. The teachers grade these projects.

Promotion/Retention:

We are dedicated to helping each child have a successful school experience. If a child is not making adequate progress, every effort is made to ascertain the cause, to meet with parents, and to provide the help necessary to remedy the situation.

A failing grade in three or more major subjects, or in English, leads to retention. When a student’s grades indicate the possibility of retention, parents will be notified by the middle of the last term. A conference will be held with the parents/guardian, teacher(s) and Principal so that all concerned can arrive at the decision that would be most educationally beneficial to the child.

No student will be allowed to repeat any class more than once. A student is allowed to fail twice while at BES but upon the third failure he/she will be asked to leave.

Parent/Teacher Conference:

We give importance to ongoing communication with parents. The teachers are always willing to meet with parents who have any particular questions or concerns. Feel free to schedule appointments after school with teachers at any time to discuss your child(ren)’s progress or problem.

Parents should first talk with teachers about any problems with students before talking to the Principal or Vice-Principal about the problem. After you speak with the teacher, the Principal or Vice-Principal will be happy to join you and the teacher for further discussions if assistance is needed.

Parents should talk to teachers and administrations about school policies and procedures before directing a request or concern to the school board or individual members thereof.

Communication with the Administration:

The Principal keeps parents informed of the overall curriculum and programs through periodic newsletters. These communications are delivered to parents/guardians through the students in interdepartmental envelopes that should be signed and returned to show that the parents/guardians have received the notice. Parents are encouraged to share with the administration any problems, concerns, or suggestions they may have. Appointments with the Principal should be made through one of the school secretaries during regular office hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO):

All parents/guardians and all faculty members belong to the PTO that meets at different times during the year. These meetings provide the opportunity for communication and collaboration between the school and the home. Parents are encouraged to attend these meetings.

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