Common Questions from Our Parents…

  • The School Day

    The school hours are from 7:45 a.m. until 1:47 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. 
    School hours on Wednesday are from 7:45 a.m. until 12:32 p.m.
    Supervision of children begins at 7:15 a.m. Children should not arrive before 7:15 a.m.

     Arriving at School

    When students arrive in the morning, they are expected to go directly to their assigned area.
    All students eating breakfast at school should go directly to the cafeteria. All other students should go directly to their classroom when they arrive at school (no earlier than 7:15am).
    The late bell rings at 7:45 a.m. Students arriving after 7:45 a.m. must stop by the office to check in and pick up a tardy slip before reporting to class.

    Attendance

    A full school term for the State of Florida is 180 school days for students. Each day’s absence is recorded.
    Regular attendance is required by Florida Law; Section 232.09. The statue states, “Each parent of a child within the compulsory attendance age shall be responsible for such child’s school attendance as required by law.”
    Parents are requested to report reasons for absences by sending a note to the teacher following the child’s absence.
    Alachua County attendance officers receive computer generated attendance reports and follow-up with school personnel on reasons for student absences. Repeated absences or tardies are referred for further investigation. Attendance officers may call or visit parents when students have excessive absences or tardies.

    GETTING TO & FROM SCHOOL SAFELY

    *For Your Child’s Safety: All parents MUST pick up children in the designated car pick-up area. Due to the number of children we dismiss each day, we ask that parents please wait outside the building.

    Walking to School

    Students must walk on the sidewalks provided and cross the highway only at the designated crosswalks with the crossing guard.

    Bus Riders

    Bus students are to go directly to the bus loading area upon dismissal. Students will board the bus, find their seat and remain in their seat. Students are not permitted to exit the bus without the permission of the driver or supervising teacher. Each student is responsible for getting on the correct bus. 

    Students go directly home after being dropped off at their bus stop. Children will not get off at a different stop without a note from home. Students must have a note from home and signed by the principal to ride a bus different from his/her regular bus.

    Children who ride the shuttle bus between Alachua and Irby Elementary must be at Alachua at 7:30 a.m. and on time to catch the bus. If a student misses the bus, it is the parent’s responsibility to see that the child arrives at Irby Elementary. When students arrive at Alachua Elementary on the shuttle bus in the afternoon, they must leave the grounds immediately and go directly home. This is a courtesy provided by the Alachua County Public School system and may be revoked at any time.

    Automobile Riders

    All automobile traffic must use the car area in front of Building 1. Single-lane traffic only is permitted in the car pick-up area. Students to be picked up by car should go directly to the designated loading zone in front of the school. Students waiting to be picked up will remain on the sidewalk while waiting for their ride. Students must load from the curb under the teacher’s supervision.

    Cars will follow the established traffic pattern. Drivers are encouraged to pull up as far as possible next to the sidewalk. Please do not leave a car unattended in the loading zone. If your child is not waiting for you when you get to the pick up area, please circle through the line again.

    Parents must come into the front office to sign out any student not picked up on time.

    SAFETY CONCERNS MANDATE THAT CHILDREN NOT BE PICKED UP OR DROPPED OFF IN THE BUS LOADING AREA!

    Bicycle Riders

    Due to the young age of the students at Irby Elementary, we request that students not ride bicycles to school. 

    Skateboards

    Skateboards/dogs are not allowed on campus at any time.

    CHANGING PLANS FOR GETTING HOME

    Please make advance plans for getting home on rainy days or when the routine for getting home changes. A written note must be sent with your child explaining how he/she is to get home if there is a change. This policy is in effect to ensure the safety of our children. Due to the difficulty of verifying a parent/guardian’s identity on the phone, we ask that requests to change the way a child goes home not be made via phone. We thank you for your understanding and for adhering to this safety measure as we take every precaution to keep our children safe.

    CHILDREN WHO NORMALLY RIDE THE BUS WILL BE PUT ON THE BUS UNLESS THEY HAVE A NOTE EXPLAINING HOW THEY ARE TO GET HOME. ALL CHILDREN WILL BE SENT HOME IN THEIR USUAL MANNER UNLESS THE SCHOOL IS NOTIFIED OF SPECIFIC CHANGES.

    EXTENDED DAY PROGRAM

    An educational program for after-school hours is scheduled from school dismissal until 5:55 p.m. Information on costs and registration is available in the school office. This program is only provided when school is in session.

    GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT CONDUCT

    Parents are urged to help their children understand the expectations set forth by Irby Elementary School and the School Board of Alachua County. The purpose of the behavior guidelines is to insure a happy, cooperative, safe environment for learning.

    Students at Irby Elementary are responsible for their personal behavior at all times. Members of the school community are expected to be polite and considerate of the rights of others.

    Students are expected to cooperate with all teachers and staff members. Student teachers, visitors, and volunteers are to be treated with the same respect as teachers and staff.

    Physical violence and threats are considered to be very serious forms of misbehavior and will not be tolerated at Irby Elementary.

    All students are expected to abide by the rules set forth in the School Board of Alachua County Code of Student Conduct. Failure to display appropriate behavior may result in loss of individual privileges or a conference between the parents and the teacher or principal.

    I”rby’s Care Program

    The goal of the Irby “I-Care Program” is that our children will learn to value themselves, each other, and the world around them. Through developing “I-Care” skills, children will be empowered to find creative and productive ways to settle conflicts and to live cooperatively with themselves, others, and their world. 

    In a cooperative venture between home and school, we can work together to be proactive in teaching our young children a set of life skills which will develop self-respect, kindness, respect for property, a sense of personal responsibility and strategies for conflict resolution.

    I”rby’s Care Rules

    1.   We listen to each other.
    2.   Hands are for helping, not hurting.
    3.   We use “I-Care” language –

    • Please
    • Thank You
    • You’re Welcome
    • Excuse Me
    • I’m Sorry

    4.   We care about each other’s feelings.

    5.   We are responsible for what we say and do.

     Toys & Games

    Toys, radios/tape players, and games (including electronic devices) should be left at home unless the teacher gives prior permission for them to be brought to school. If these items are brought to school, they will be collected and a parent may be requested to come pick them up. It is very important that students concentrate on learning while at school. Toys often distract the student from his/her lessons.

     Weapons

    Weapons and other dangerous objects, including pocket knives, are not permitted on school buses or the school grounds. Possession of a weapon is a serious offense and may result in suspension or expulsion from school. Refer to the Code of Student Conduct for specific details.

     Gum, Candy, Etc.

    Children may not eat during class without permission of the teacher. If food is brought to school, it should be put away until the child is seated in the lunchroom. In accordance with our District Wellness Program, we encourage parents to choose fruit or other nutritious snacks rather thancandy.

    Playground

    Some important things to remember while playing are:

    • only one person on a swing
    • do not jump from the swing
    • be sure the slide is empty before you slide down
    • come down the slide feet first
    • throw only a ball on the playground
    • do not wrestle or tackle another person

    Bus Rules

    It is a privilege to ride a school bus. Students are expected to follow the rules. Students must:

    1.    Obey the driver

    2.    Stand off the roadway while waiting for buses.

    3.    Be at the bus stop on time.

    4.    Sit according to the seating chart.

    5.    Remain seated when the bus is in motion.

    6.    Keep arms and heads inside the windows.

    7.    Remain quiet. Unnecessary conversation with the driver is dangerous.

    8.    Observe classroom conduct at all times while aboard the bus.

    9.    Have no food or drink on the bus.

    10.  Whenever boarding or departing, cross the road 10 feet in front of the bus when the driver that it is clear to cross.

    11.  Ride only your assigned buses to and from school. Written permission, with principal approval, is required to get off at a different

          stop. Parents assume responsibility.

    12.  Pay for damage to school buses or property within 10 days after billing.

    13.  Have no large boxes, balloons, cages, firearms, knives, glass bottles, animals, reptiles

          offensive materials, etc. on the buses.

    14.  Three bus reports or serious misconduct may result in either temporary or permanent suspension of the privilege of riding the school bus.

    Bringing Money To School

    Students should not be allowed to bring extra money to school unless a note is sent home for a school sponsored project.

    Leaving School Early

    Students are not permitted to leave during the school day without being checked out through the office. The parent / guardian must come to the office and sign the child out. The child will then be called from the class. In an effort to minimize disruptions in the classroom, we ask that early checkouts be reserved for emergency situations only. Please plan to make all doctor appointments, etc. after school hours. We thank you for your cooperation.    

    If someone other than the parent / guardian is to pick up the child, make sure the office has written authorization from the parent / guardian. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify any after-school daycare when a child is absent or has gone home directly from school.

    WE MUST KNOW IF THERE IS SOMEONE WHO IS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED FROM SEEING OR PICKING UP THE CHILD. THIS MUST BE NOTED ON THE EMERGENCY CARD. WHEN THIS PERSON IS A NATURAL PARENT OF THE CHILD, A COURT ORDER BARRING VISITATION MUST BE ON FILE IN THE CHILD’S RECORD.

    Student Attire

    You are expected to dress for school and school activities in a way that contributes to your health and safety, promotes a positive school learning environment and does not disrupt the events and activities of the school. General Dress Code Requirements This general dress code applies to all students at school and to all students while attending school-sponsored activities after the regular school day.

    A. Clothing must be the appropriate size for you, not be oversized or undersized. The waist of the garment shall be worn so that the waistband is worn at the waist and not below the waist. You may not wear baggy/saggy pants.

    B. Shirts/blouses/dresses must cover midriff, back, and sides at all times and should be fastened with no visible cleavage or undergarments.

    C. Shorts/skirts/jumpers/skorts/dresses shall be worn no shorter than “mid thigh.” Mid thigh is determined by extending the arms to the sides of the body and finding the tip of the longest finger (using normal posture).

    D. In addition to the above basic uniform, the principal may designate more restrictive dress code requirements, if approved by the school’s SAC.

    Each school will provide students/parents with a copy of the school’s dress code.

    Exceptions

    A. You may wear special clothing necessary for a school-sponsored activity, as permitted by the principal.

    B. If you are enrolled in a career academy, you may wear the uniform of that program.

    C. The Superintendent, in consultation with the principal, may waive the dress code policy on a case-by-case basis for reasons such as, but not limited to, medical necessity or sincerely held religious belief.

    D. Shoes must be safe and appropriate. You may not wear bedroom slippers or shoes with wheels. Elementary students only, must wear shoes that are closed-toed and closed-heel and/or athletic shoes; you may not wear platforms, sandals, flip flops, crocs or jellies.

    E. Outer Garments: You may wear coats, jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, or other appropriate outer garments when necessary due to weather conditions or for other legitimate reasons. The outer garments must be of the appropriate size for you and shall not be overly baggy or violate any other provisions of the dress code.

    Prohibitions

    You may not wear:

    A. Clothing that is not properly fastened;

    B. Clothing, hair styles, piercings, jewelry, or accessories that are dangerous to the health and safety of yourself or others, or are distracting or disruptive to the orderly learning environment;

    C. Clothing that exposes undergarments or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner;

    D. Clothing that is unlined sheer or unlined lace;

    E. Clothing that is form fitting, unless proper outer garments are worn over top of it;

    F. Visible undergarments, sleepwear or outer garments traditionally designed as undergarments such as boxer shorts, or bras;

    G. Clothing, including outer garments or accessories (such as backpacks, jewelry, and purses) which have slogans, signs, images, or symbols that:

    1. promote drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gang identification, weapons, or lewd sexual behavior or

    2. denigrate or promote discrimination for or against an individual or group on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, race, religion or gender.

    H. Hats, bandannas, sweat bands, headgear, or other head coverings, inside the school building, except when approved by the principal/designee;

    I. Combs, curlers, or hair picks; or

    J. Sunglasses inside the school building. You may wear sunglasses, hats, or other sun-protective wear while outdoors during school hours.

    Discipline

    The principal or designee has the authority to decide if your clothing complies with Board policy. If the principal determines that your clothing does not comply with Board policy, your parent/guardian may be asked to bring an appropriate change of clothes to school, or you may be asked to leave an after-school activity. You may also receive a disciplinary consequence for violating the school’s dress code policy. Repeated violations may result in progressively more serious consequences. You may appeal the principal’s decision through the Student Grievance Procedure in Policy 5710, Student Grievances. F.S. 1001.43, 1006.07 Adopted 7/17/07 Revised 6/1/10 Revised 7/29/14 Revised 

    Art, Music, & Physical Education

    Each student participates in a regularly scheduled class for art, music, and physical education. Parents should help children select shoes and clothing appropriate to the activity of the day.

    Lost & Found

    The school maintains an area for claiming lost belongings. Parents should mark their children’s things with a permanent marker. The most frequently misplaced articles include: jackets, sweaters, sweat shirts, and lunch boxes. Items marked with the child’s first and last name are easy to return to their owner.

    Getting The News

    Newsletters with special events are sent home throughout the year. The Alachua County Public School’s communication office also provides a system for getting prerecorded phone messages to each home. This system is used to get important information out to parents. Children should be instructed to get an adult to the phone immediately if they answer the phone and hear a message from school. The message is repeated to ensure all information is received.

    A letter from the principal and a cafeteria menu is sent home at the beginning of each month.

    Field Trips

    Field trips are planned as extensions of class activities. Parents and guardians are encouraged to volunteer as chaperones. Chaperones may not bring other children on the field trip. Volunteer applications must be completed each year and must be submitted at least one week prior to a field trip. An application must be on file for anyone who chaperones a field trip.

    Should a student’s conduct indicate that he/she might present a safety or security risk while off the grounds, they may not be invited to participate in the field trip. In some cases, a parent or guardian might be required to personally chaperone the child as a condition for participation.

    No child will be allowed to go on a field trip without a signed permission form. All students must ride the bus to attend a field trip.

    Homework

    Homework is a planned extension of school activities. Its purpose may be to reinforce important facts or skills, or to enrich a subject through personal experimentation or research. Correctly used, it helps develop self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.

    If a child is struggling with homework (i.e. amount of time required), the parent should request a conference with the child’s teacher. Homework should be completed and returned to class within the allowed time limit. If an emergency prevents a child from being able to complete the assignment, the parent is encouraged to contact the teacher so that adjustments may be made.

    Bringing Animals To School

    Animals may not be brought to school without prior permission from the teacher. The cage used should adequately provide for ventilation, food, and water, as well as insure the safety of the animal and the children. Dangerous or poisonous animals are not permitted.

    An adult must transport the animal to and from school. Animals are not allowed on the school bus.

    Library Media Center

    The Media Center is open to students and parents at any time during the school day. Students come to the Media Center individually, in small groups, and with their class.

    The Media Center is a place for everyone to enjoy. Students may talk quietly, but not disturb others. It is a place for recreational reading, research, browsing, and instruction.

    Books may be checked out for one week. Overdue books are considered lost until they are returned. If a student loses or damages a book, he/she will be expected to pay for it.

    The school is required by the School Board of Alachua County and the State of Florida to collect from a pupil/parent/guardian the purchase price (or percentage thereof, depending on the age of the material) of any material a student has lost, damaged, or destroyed.

    All students are expected to take proper care of school materials that are used at school or taken home. Parents can help by reinforcing responsible use of these materials at home.

    Cafeteria

    The cafeteria at Irby Elementary serves breakfast and lunch daily. Students eating breakfast may do so as soon as they get to school. Breakfast is served between 7:15 a.m. and 7:35 a.m.

    We are a free breakfast and lunch school site. All students eat for free. Students may bring in money to purchase snacks from the cafeteria. Teachers collect snack money from students every morning.

    Lunchroom Conduct

    1. Basic rules to remember while in the cafeteria are:

    2. Talk quietly to people at your table.

    3. Stay at your table.

    4. Follow the traffic pattern.

    5. Do not trade or share food.

    6. Wait for a hostess or teacher to dismiss you from the table.

    7. Put silverware, trash, and trays in their proper disposals.

    8. Leave your area clean.

    9. Always use your best manners.

    Visiting The School

    Visitors and volunteers are welcome at W.W. Irby Elementary. We have a few simple guidelines that should help make your visits as pleasant and productive as possible.

    Arrangements should always be made with the teacher in advance. This can be done through a written note or by calling the teacher at school (386-462-5002) between the hours of 7:15 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., or between 2:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday.

    For the safety of our school community, all visitors and volunteers are requested to check in through the front office upon arrival on campus.

    Parent-Teacher Conference

    It is our hope that communication between the home and school will be ongoing. The School Board’s policy of not setting formal conference days supports the belief that parent-teacher conferences should be scheduled as needed throughout the year. We value the opportunity to talk with parents about the child’s progress.

    Conferences may be requested by either parents or teachers. Parent-teacher conferences need to be scheduled in advance. If a parent wishes to set up a conference time, he / she may contact the teacher either with a written note or by calling at the times listed above in the visitation notes.

    Mrs. Fortner, the principal of Irby Elementary, is also available for parent conferences. If you wish to meet with Mrs. Fortner, please call the school office (386-462-5002) to set up an appointment.

    Class Parties & Special Occasions

    A limited number of class parties are held during the year. Birthday parties are not conducted at school. However, a parent may bring a treat to share with the child’s class. Arrangements should be made with the child’s teacher ahead of time. We encourage healthy food snacks to be served to the students. Please, no artificially colored drinks (red, purple, orange) as they stain the carpet and adversely affect some students.

    Invitations to private parties, unless issued to every student in the class, may not be distributed at school.

    Deliveries for students (flowers, balloons, etc.) cannot be accepted at school. Such deliveries can be a disruption of the class as well as a problem for the child going home. Balloons are a safety hazard on the school bus.

    Reporting Pupil Progress

    Interim reports as well as report cards are sent home at regular intervals throughout the year.  Report card receipts should be signed and returned to school.

    Student Emergency Cards

    The school must have an emergency card on file for each student with current names and telephone numbers of people to contact in case of an emergency and who is allowed to pick up your child. If any of the information changes, please notify the school office immediately.

    Parent Teacher Association & School Advisory Council

    Our Parent Teacher Association does a tremendous job of promoting a positive educational program. We invite all parent/guardians to become actively involved in any of the many PTA sponsored activities. As a volunteer, room mother, Board member, or officer, you can make a meaningful contribution. Get involved and be a part of the team!

    The School Advisory Council advises the principal on issues of school-wide concern and will be instrumental in the on-going process of the development, implementation, and evaluation of a School Improvement Plan which addresses the seven state goals:

    1.   Readiness to start school

    2.   Graduation rate, Post Secondary Ed., & Employment

    3.   Student performance

    4.   Learning environment

    5.   Safety and environment

    6.   Teachers and staff

    7.   Adult literacy

    All meetings are open to the public. Notices of the meetings will be on the monthly letter from the principal.