Parent Student Handbook 2012 – 2013 School Year
This Handbook is provided so that you will have basic information about the history, structure, philosophy and program of Glen Urquhart. This will give you a sampling of what a day in the life of GUS is all about, and it will provide you with information about the rules and policies that govern life at the school. If you would like to know more, we encourage you to participate in the various school activities and Parents’ Association events, as well as to volunteer in the wide range of school programs that use volunteers.
Glen Urquhart continues its tradition of providing innovative and progressive education for the families of the north shore. We are looking forward to another wonderful year. We are pleased that you have chosen to be a part of the GUS community. There are many exciting events that will occur during the school year, and we look forward to sharing those events with each of you.
If you have questions or concerns about any of the policies of the school or about any statements in the Handbook, please feel free to contact the Head of School, Dave Provost.
Thank you for sharing your children with us.
Please Note: This Handbook is not a contract. It does not create any rights or obligations enforceable against GUS. GUS reserves its right to amend or modify this Handbook in its sole discretion for the benefit of the School.
SECTION ONE – HISTORY, MISSION, PHILOSOPHY
GLEN URQUHART SCHOOL, originally the North Shore Middle School, was founded in 1977 by Lynne Warren. The impetus for the founding of the school was a desire to provide an educational program that goes beyond traditional schooling and aims at integration of intellectual, creative, and aesthetic learning.
In its first years, the school rented space in local church buildings. However, as the school grew from eight students the first year to eighty students in the fourth year, it was evident that a permanent home was required. Through the generous involvement of the founder’s husband, David Warren, the present facilities were purchased, renovated, and made available to the school on a rental basis beginning in September 1982. The school launched a capital campaign in December 1986 to purchase its facilities. Successfully raising $500,000, the school took ownership of the property in January 1988, assisted by a $1.1 million dollar Massachusetts Industrial Finance Authority bond issue.
When the school moved to the present site, the former Orchidvale property, in 1982, it adopted its present name, Glen Urquhart School. At the suggestion of the founder, the school chose the Scottish family name of Urquhart and combined it with “Glen,” the word for a green, shady place (replacing the word “vale” in the property’s former name) creating the name Glen Urquhart. This name honors David Warren’s family.
The history of the name Urquhart reveals that it was a “place name” in ancient Scotland. The first Urquhart was Conacher Ach Mohr, the clansman who slew the great boar, thus ridding Urquhart of a terrible menace. This feat earned him the title Conacher Ach Mohr of Urquhart, “he who slew the Boar.”
Urquhart Clan Traditions Adopted by the School
At the 1982 dedication of the school’s new building, the Laird of Clan Urquhart, Chief Kenneth Trist Urquhart, gave his formal permission for the school to use the name Urquhart, and with it, the tartan, the motto, the battle cry, and the ancient boar’s head crest. These clan traditions provided the young school an ancient and colorful history.
There are several versions of the Urquhart tartan, but the school uses the modern one, which is a navy blue and dark green field with one red, two black and two white stripes. The tartan in the form of ties and sashes is worn by our Eighth Graders on special occasions such as Graduation.
School colors are gray and green (between kelly green and a dark forest green). The school colors were inspired by the sight of present day Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness. The remains of its tall stone tower, assorted walls, and foundations are surrounded by soft mounds of green plants slowly creeping over them. This gray and green sight, silhouetted against the blue of lake and sky, prompted the school colors of gray and green: gray for the creative human idea of castle seen in the hand-dressed, hand-placed stones, and green for the natural world around them.
The Motto, “Meane Weil, Speak Weil, Doe Weil,” is an especially appropriate one for use in an educational setting and is often referred to during the school year. We use it in both its old and modern English forms at Glen Urquhart.
The Battle Cry, “Trust and Go Forward,” reminds us of each clan’s ancient duty to protect its land. Today, we observe these words in a more symbolic manner in keeping with each person’s journey through life; within this context, the words “Trust and Go Forward” become a more peaceful and appropriate adaptation.
In its present facility, the school serves approximately 220 students in kindergarten through eighth grade with thirty-eight full and part-time faculty members. The school grounds include twenty-three acres of land. The main building is an old barn and garage complex that was renovated and expanded in the early 1980’s to provide an aesthetically pleasing learning environment. This building now houses grades kindergarten through five, two art rooms, a music room, a science lab, Spanish and Latin classrooms, and several offices. The Upper School Building, completed in November 2007, houses classrooms for grades six through eight, an assembly space, a seminar room, and several offices. A 7,000 square foot greenhouse that was originally constructed in the 1950’s has been recently restored and dedicated to service to the community through a partnership with The Food Project, as well as to enhanced learning opportunities for all students. Other facilities include an athletic field (Bartlett Field), a performing arts and athletic center (Braemar), a playground, an outdoor classroom, and a nature trail.
The school is incorporated as a non-profit organization and governed by a Board of Trustees. Members of the Board are elected for three-year terms. Election takes place in late May or early June at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation. All parents are members of the corporation and are urged to attend the Annual Meeting. Glen Urquhart School is accredited by the Association of Independent Schools in New England. Having completed the re-accreditation process in the spring of 2006, the school’s accreditation has been extended for another ten year period.
At Glen Urquhart School, we encourage children to:
- Explore their intellects and develop their imaginations,
- Pose questions as often as they devise solutions,
- Speak individually, yet work collaboratively,
- Discover the best within themselves,
- Respect all people and value their differences,
- Act responsibly in our community and in the world.
The philosophy of education that is embraced each day at Glen Urquhart School encompasses the following beliefs:
- Children thrive in a nurturing environment where their ideas, feelings and thoughts are valued.
- Children learn best when a curriculum extends the boundaries of their intellects and encourages them to achieve their personal best.
- Children find joy in learning when a curriculum is intellectually challenging, developmentally appropriate, integrated among subject areas, engaging of all their senses, and inclusive of resources beyond the school’s walls.
- Experiential learning, thematic study, small group instruction, and integration of the arts in the academic disciplines expand the child’s knowledge base and lead to a greater depth of understanding.
- Learning to work collaboratively, communicate effectively, solve problems creatively, and act responsibly are essential parts of the curriculum.
- The curriculum is enhanced by a campus designed to celebrate artistic expression, promote environmental awareness, and appreciate and preserve the natural environment.
- Children are enriched in a community that includes people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities.
- Community service encourages lifelong attitudes and actions that promote good citizenship.
- Teachers are role models whose wisdom, skills, and caring facilitate learning and help children develop diligence, confidence, morality, courage, humor, and imagination.
- Parents, teachers and children work together to build the positive community values of respect, kindness, empathy, acceptance, and personal integrity.
Glen Urquhart School is committed to the ongoing process of building and sustaining an inclusive and respectful community and culture. The School strives to provide an educational experience free from prejudice. We seek to achieve this goal through better understanding and honoring of diversity in its many forms, including those of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, family structure, and physical and learning abilities. Active commitment to this ideal is fundamental to the School’s mission to encourage children, as well as all members of the school community, to respect the rights of all people and value their differences.
SECTION TWO – GENERAL POLICIES
Access to Student Information
Official records for each student are kept in locked, fire-retardant file cabinets. They are accessible to parents or guardians upon written request. The files contain progress reports, health records and the results of standardized testing. The contents of this file are passed on to other schools that the student attends after Glen Urquhart.
When a student’s parents are divorced or separated, it is the policy of the school to provide equal access to all the official records and reports regarding their child. All school announcements and related information are mailed to all parents. Moreover, each is granted access to the child, to the teachers, and to the administrators. Such access is provided without notification of other parties and regardless of the party or parties paying the tuition and/or fees. Exceptions to this policy are undertaken only when necessary to comply with applicable law and/or when so ordered by a court of law. However, financial records (billing and financial aid) are given only to the parent(s) who has/have assumed financial responsibility for tuition payments.
The Director of Admission, Leslie Marchesseault, takes inquiries about admission to the school and coordinates the admission process. Glen Urquhart welcomes students of any race, color, religion or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Glen Urquhart does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational or admission policies, financial assistance programs and athletic or other school administered programs.
Questions or concerns about student accounts or other financial matters should be directed to MaryAnn LaCarubba, Director of Finance, at extension 116.
“Celebrate Through Books” Program
This program is a further special way of celebrating a birthday, honoring a special person (grandparent, teacher, friend) or commemorating a friend or family member by donating a book to the library in that person’s honor or memory. When donating a book of your choice or choosing a selection from the library wish list, please avoid duplication by checking with the school librarian. Your selection may either be purchased by you or ordered through the school library. Make sure to include with your book or order the person’s name and event, date to be celebrated, and in the case of a birthday, the age! A personalized, hand-engraved plate will then become a permanent part of the Glen Urquhart Library collection.
The Board of Trustees has established a target enrollment number for each grade: 20 in kindergarten, 22 in grade one and 24 in grades two through five, and 34 (two sections of 17 each) in grades six through eight. However, there are certain circumstances in which that target number might be exceeded. It might be exceeded in any grade when there is the case of a retention or a skipped grade and no student in that grade has withdrawn, or in the case of a qualified faculty child on the waiting list. It could be exceeded in grades three through eight when there is a qualified sibling on the waiting list or a qualified candidate who represents diversity. It could be exceeded in grades six through eight when there is an applicant who has exceptional talent.
Communication Between Parents and Teachers
Excellent parent-teacher communication clearly enhances a child’s school experience and is the most important component of a parent’s relationship with the school. GUS has established guidelines to help ensure that this communication goes smoothly.
Evaluating Progress: A student’s progress is evaluated in writing three times a year, at the end of each trimester. The written report includes checklists and narratives that indicate the student’s progress as measured against the goals of the curriculum. No letter or number grades are included on report cards in the kindergarten through fifth grade. Students are introduced to grading gradually in fifth grade, where students receive percentage scores on tests and letter grades on certain written assignments. The emphasis throughout the lower school is on helping students to become aware of their own progress and on giving them specific feedback on the effectiveness of their efforts. The emphasis on an individual’s progress discourages competition for grades.
Parent /Teacher Conferences: In addition to the written reports, teachers in the Lower School have regularly scheduled conferences with parents twice a year. These conferences are scheduled for October 17 (grades K-5 only) and 18 (grades K-8), prior to the end of the first trimester, and February 6 (grades K-5) and 7 (grades K-8), prior to the end of the second trimester.
In addition to these regularly scheduled conferences, the school encourages parents and teachers to meet whenever either party feels that there is a problem to be addressed. Communication is the key to overcoming such problems. Parents may request a conference at any time by contacting the teacher directly through voice mail or email, by leaving a message in the school office, or by speaking with someone in the administration.
Informal Communication: The place to start with a concern is with your child’s teacher. This person is eager to work with you to make your child’s education the best possible and to resolve any concerns. If a satisfactory resolution is not attained, Donna Staller, Director of the Lower School, or Gretchen Forsyth, Director of the Upper School, is available to help facilitate a resolution.
Communication deserves careful thought. Therefore, please do not use drop off or pick up times to discuss issues. Instead, please set up a time when the teacher will be able to give you her/his undivided attention. Parents should call or email the teacher and leave a message. Each teacher has voice mail that can be reached through the main phone number (list of extension numbers is included in the directory), or you may send an email to a teacher using the following formula: initial of first name plus last name @gus.org. Example: email@example.com. Please respect teachers’ family commitments and personal time by leaving messages on voice mail or sending them emails rather than calling them at home.
Dress Guidelines (Modeled on the “One Rule”)
Glen Urquhart does not strictly define a “dress code,” but students are expected to dress for school in clothing that is safe, clean, and respectful of themselves and others. GUS embraces the values of diversity, individuality, creativity, imagination, and personal expression. GUS also embraces the values of working and learning collaboratively, acting responsibly, and being considerate of others. The school’s dress guidelines seek to honor and balance these values.
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children make good choices about what they wear at school. In making clothing choices for or with your child, please consider the “safe, clean and respectful” guidelines:
1. Is the clothing safe?
Students at GUS wear clothing that allows them to engage safely in their daily activities: participating in “hands-on” learning activities, climbing stairs or play structures, using glue and paint, circling up on the floor, or playing at recess.
Will loose shoelaces, long pant legs, or very high heels cause me to trip on the stairs or in a crowded hallway? Can I climb into the library loft?
Footwear should be appropriate to the age and activity of the student (including science lab).
2. Is the clothing clean?
Are there food stains or mud stains that could carry unhealthy germs and spread illness, or harbor unpleasant odors?
Clothing should be clean and in good condition.
3. Is the clothing respectful?
GUS’s “One Rule” applies here: “No student has the right to interfere with the learning or the well-being of another student or with the purpose of an activity.”
Are my clothes disrespectful of my teachers or classmates?
- Clothing should not have language or graphics that are obscene or that promote drug or alcohol use.
- Outerwear should cover all underwear.
- No spaghetti straps for girls; no tank tops for boys
- Pants and shirts should overlap.
- Clothing length and neckline height should be reasonably moderate.
- Caps and hats may only be worn outdoors (excepting religious headwear).
Decision-making about dress presents a meaningful and collaborative learning opportunity. Students and teachers, too, will discuss the dress guidelines, at age appropriate levels, and help formulate expectations, particularly with respect to recent fashion trends.
If parents or students are unsure of the appropriateness of the clothing, it should not be worn to school. If a student’s clothing is not safe, clean, or considerate, a member of the administration will contact the student’s parent(s). GUS expects cooperation from both parents and students. In the case of serious departures from the guidelines, parents may be asked to bring a change of clothes to the school.
Dress-up Day Guidelines: There will be events at which students will be expected to dress up more than usual. For some field trips, depending on the destination, and for some events at school – such as Grand Friends’ Day, Bread Day, Solstice Assembly – students will be expected to dress more formally. Specific guidelines will be announced in advance, but in general, blue jeans, shorts, and sweatshirts/pants are not allowed on dress-up days. There are specific dress requirements for Evening with the Graduates (7th and 8th graders) and Graduation (8th grade).
Events Away from School
Some GUS events, such as field trips, take place at locations away from the school grounds. Students at these events are expected to adhere to the same guidelines for proper conduct as they would for events taking place at the school. Parents and guardians who accompany classes on field trips will be assigned to a group of students and will be expected to monitor their students’ behavior and abide by school policies regarding adult supervision of children. Parents who drive students on field trips must first complete a Volunteer Driver Application and provide copies of their car registration and their driver’s license.
Family Events at School
Many of the GUS special events take place on weekends and after school hours. At these events (e.g. ice cream social, art show) parents are responsible for their children’s behavior and are expected to abide by school policies regarding adult supervision of children.
Parents are asked to plan vacations and other family trips during times when school is not in session. Extended absences disrupt a child’s progress at school and send the message to the child that other things are more important than school. If a planned absence is necessary during school time, please notify the Head of School in advance to request an excused absence. For lengthy absences during the school year that are parent initiated and not approved by the Head of School, teachers are not required to provide make up tests and class work. Students, however, are required to keep up with homework.
Glen Urquhart has a philosophical commitment to having an economically diverse student body. To that end, the Board of Trustees sets aside a significant amount of money in each year’s budget to provide tuition assistance to families who have a demonstrated need. Applications for financial aid are processed by the School and Student Service for Financial Aid, which sends a recommendation to the school about how much the family can afford for tuition. The final decision about aid is made by the school after taking into account the SSSFA recommendation, the school’s ability to provide aid, and extenuating circumstances.
Financial aid applications are processed by the Director of Admission and the Director of Finance. For new families this happens in conjunction with the admission process. Most families complete the Parent Financial Statement (PFS) on line, and it can be found on the NAIS web site under the School and Student Services, Please contact Leslie Marchesseault, Director of Admission,, at extension 115 or MaryAnn LaCarubba at extension 116, to inquire about financial aid or to request an application.
Food and Nutrition
Glen Urquhart students bring their own lunches to school. There are no cooking or refrigeration facilities available to students. In the event your child forgets her/his lunch, the child may call home or may get something from the office. As a general rule, children are not allowed to share or exchange items in their lunch. We assume that parents are monitoring what their children take to school, and we expect them to eat what they have brought from home. Lunches should include snacks for midmorning break.
The school believes strongly in the value of good nutrition. The school requests that parents exclude any food or beverages with high sugar content from their children’s lunches.
In addition, the eighth grade offers a pizza lunch one day a week. The pizza is purchased from Harry’s Pizza and Deli in Beverly Farms and delivered to the school. Students may place an order the morning of pizza day.
Nut Safe Policy: Peanut butter, nuts, or other foods containing obvious nut products will not be allowed in school. Examples of foods with obvious nut products, in addition to nuts themselves, include granola bars, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cups, muffins containing nuts, and any other candy or baked goods with nuts.
The full cost of providing a Glen Urquhart education is not covered by tuition alone. As with most independent schools, we rely on voluntary, tax-deductible contributions to provide the level of excellence for which we strive and to provide funds for future growth. Such contributions can be unrestricted or restricted, depending on the wishes of the donor. Following is a brief explanation of the various opportunities for giving to help fund current and future programs at Glen Urquhart.
Annual Fund: Gifts to the Annual Fund help the school fulfill its mission by providing money to support programs that enhance the basic curriculum. Contributions to the Annual Fund are used to support professional development of teachers, to buy equipment for classrooms, to support the arts and athletics, and to perpetuate special programs such as off campus activities. During the fall the Annual Fund Committee solicits gifts from parents, grandparents, past parents, alumni, and friends of the school. A community wide mailing and a phonathon initiate our appeal for the Annual Fund. Parent participation, at any level, is very important because strong parent support bolsters our appeal for grants from foundations and businesses. Our goal is to have 100% parent participation!
Capital Campaign: The Board of Trustees has identified several areas in which the school program could be improved with additional facilities. A campus master plan has been developed to guide decisions about future building, and a capital campaign begun during the 2005-06 school year provided funds for a new upper school classroom building, which was completed in November 2007. This project completed an important phase of the master plan, but there are still needs to be addressed. For more information about capital funding or the campus master plan, contact Dave Provost, Head of School.
Parents’ Association Fund Raising: Glen Urquhart is fortunate to have an active Parents’ Association, which supports the school in many ways. One key role of the Parents’ Association is raising funds for financial aid and special projects that enhance the school’s educational programs. When reviewing events, programs or promotions, the Parents’ Association uses the following guidelines.
The event, program, or promotion must be consistent with the school mission and philosophy and appropriate to the work we do with children.
- Programs that require competitive selling among students will not be considered.
- Individual parents may not use the school community as a market for personal gain or profit.
- The Parents’ Association will review written proposals for events, programs or promotions with goals and required resources for success clearly defined. Programs require a parent willing to take a leadership role and to assume the responsibility for planning and execution so that the program can be successful.
- The Parents’ Association will assess and prioritize programs and events weighing available resources against anticipated gain, and the timing of an event in relation to other events on the school calendar.
- Planning is generally done in the spring for the coming school year. New events have the best chance for success when proposed and planned so as not to conflict with existing events.
- The funds raised by events, programs and promotions will support the financial goals established by the Parents’ Association, the school administration, and the Board of Trustees. The Parents’ Association leadership, in keeping with the school’s needs and goals, will use its discretion in targeting additional funds for specific school programs after meeting its commitment to the financial aid program in any given year.
Restricted Funds: In addition to a General Endowment Fund, The Board of Trustees has created six restricted funds. If you are interested in contributing to the general endowment or to any of these restricted funds, or if you would like additional information, please contact Dave Provost, Head of School. Following is a list of these funds.
- The Harry Groblewski Fund for Visiting Artists and The Donald H. Grace Music Fund
- The Alan H. Feldman Faculty Endowment Fund
- The Kelly Stotz Wyke Fund for Science Education
- The Northrup-Warren Nature Fund
- The Augustus P. Loring Library Fund
Other Gifts: The school accepts gifts for special purposes that are consistent with the philosophy of the school. Restricted gifts may always be given to any of the funds listed above. As a general rule, new funds may be created for special purposes when the gift is at least $50,000. Individuals interested in making a gift in this category should contact Dave Provost, Head of School.
Gift Giving and Birthdays
Guidelines for Celebration of Students’ Birthdays
If students wish to celebrate their birthdays in their classrooms, the parent must check with the teachers first. Cupcakes or cake for snack are appropriate; favors and balloons are not. Please keep it simple.
We ask you to consider two things when you are planning birthday parties at home that include GUS students: the feelings of those who may be left out, and the range of financial resources GUS families have available. If you plan a large party, please remember that if a handful of students in your child’s class are left out, there are bound to be hurt feelings. These are times when we need to be adults and teach our children the value of being inclusive and not exclusive. Either include everyone, or limit the group to a single gender. In either case, do not distribute invitations at school. Mail them.
Small parties are a perfectly acceptable option, and make it possible for many families to afford hosting (and attending) them. Some of the ways GUS families have made birthday parties more manageable in the past include:
- Combining two or more children’s birthdays in one party (with each guest bringing only one gift).
- Suggesting that in lieu of giving a gift, the guest contribute to a charitable organization he or she supports.
- Inviting only two or three children to do something really special, such as attending a movie or a play or having a sleep over, and being extremely discreet about the event by mailing invitations and instructing children not to discuss it at school.
- Making a gift, or offering an experience rather than an item, such as a picnic at the beach instead of a toy.
Gifts to Faculty
In lieu of holiday gifts for the faculty, the school encourages families to participate in the Snowflake Project, which is run each December by the Parents’ Association. For a nominal fee, families may choose to purchase “snowflakes” in tribute to teachers and staff. Paper snowflakes hang in the school lobby as mementos. The money raised is donated toward a local service agency in honor of the teachers and staff.
At other times of the year, gifts to faculty are neither expected nor encouraged by the school. However, the school recognizes that a family may want to express special feelings toward a teacher, or may want to recognize a particular teacher’s efforts. To that end, families are asked to consider a gift to the classroom, to the school library, or to a school fund in honor of the teacher.
Should a family choose to give a personal gift to a member of the faculty, whether hand made or store bought, the school requests that the gift be given discretely to avoid making others feel they should have also provided a gift.
Should a group of families choose to jointly give a personal gift to a member of the faculty, the school requests that particular care be taken to ensure that choosing not to participate in the gift is as easy and acceptable an option as choosing to participate.
Health and Safety
The school employs a full time Registered Nurse, Lois Ferrigno. Mrs. Ferrigno serves as the Health Services Coordinator for the school.
The state requires that all kindergarten, third and sixth grade students, as well as all new students, have a physical exam before entering school. Also, all students must have MMR vaccinations in second and seventh grades, and those must be verified as well before students can enter school. If you do not provide this information, your child will not be able to attend school. This is a state law.
Illness at School: If your child becomes ill during the school day, we will call you and request that he or she be picked up as soon as possible. In the event that you cannot be reached, we will contact the emergency name you have provided. Please be certain that your emergency contact person understands our procedure and is willing to be of assistance. The school cannot keep a sick child because a parent is at work. Sending a sick child to school jeopardizes the health of others and does little to help the sick child get well. The school has a fever free policy. This policy requires that children be kept at home for 24 hours after their temperature has returned to normal.
Disabilities, Allergies: Please alert the School Nurse if a student suffers from mental or physical disabilities and/or severe allergies (e.g. peanut, dairy, wheat) which require special accommodations. The school will discuss with the parents or guardian what reasonable steps can be taken to address the student’s condition.
Learning Disabilities. Parents or guardians of students with learning disabilities who may require special education programs should consult with the SPED administrators for their public school districts. Please refer to the Parents’ Rights Brochure, available from Carol Stewart, the Academic Support Coordinator. See also Title 603 of the Code of Mass. Regulations, Section 28.00.
Emergencies: If a serious emergency occurs at school, we will take the child by ambulance or car to the nearest medical facility. In the meantime, school personnel will attempt to reach parents or the emergency contact person.
Student Use of Medication: Student medicines or pills of any kind will be stored only in the Health Center. This includes over-the-counter medication. Written authorization from the doctor must be received by the school in order to administer any prescription medication. We also need a form signed by the parent to dispense any medication, whether prescription or non-prescription. By state law we can dispense prescription medication only out of the actual prescription bottle. If this medication is needed at home, you may pick it up every day, or put some of the medication in another bottle for home and send the prescription bottle to school, or the doctor can prescribe a prescription for school and one for home. It must be clearly designated to us exactly what and how much medication is being prescribed by a doctor.
Communicable Diseases: When your child is diagnosed as having a communicable disease (chicken pox, measles, strep throat, impetigo, etc.), the school should be notified immediately. Families of other children in the class will be notified by the school.
Internet Access at School
Using Guided Internet Access at GUS means that students must have the teacher’s permission to go on the Internet with a specific academic purpose in mind. In the classroom, it is valuable for teachers to show topic-related web sites for whole class viewing. For further research, it is most productive for students to be directed to specific sites that the teacher has reviewed and provided addresses for in print or electronic form. Finding great sites by using search engines like Google for Upper School or KidsYahoo for Lower School are researched before class. Teachers are present to monitor activities when students are using classroom computers or student iBooks. Students are not allowed to borrow iBooks for unsupervised independent work.
SonicWALL Web Content Filter
At GUS we use the SonicWall firewall and content filter on our network to block access to questionable web sites for all users. The subscription service constantly updates and blocks sites in categories that we deem inappropriate for school use. The system administrator can open or block specific sites as needed.
Law Concerning Child Abuse
UNDER MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL LAW CH. 119, Section 51-A, the school is required to report to the Division of Social Services any instances in which there is reasonable cause to believe that a student is suffering physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect.
The school will not tolerate any situation that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury, or of emotional or sexual abuse of a child.
No Hazing: Hazing is strictly prohibited. Students who violate this rule are subject to discipline up to and including dismissal.
Lost and Found
The school’s Lost and Found collects a large amount of clothing and personal belongings over the course of the year. Items not claimed prior to winter vacation, spring vacation, and the end of the year are donated to charity. Families are urged not to give up on lost items; they are most likely in the Lost and Found! Names on outer garments (especially jackets, raincoats, sweaters, and sweatshirts) are strongly recommended. Objects identified with nametags are more likely to find their way home.
Music Players and Cell Phones
The use of iPods or other music devices, including mobile phones, at Glen Urquhart School is limited to specific instances in which a teacher or administrator gives permission for their use. In general, such devices are expected to remain in the off position and to be stored in a student’s backpack or book bag. They are not to be used at any time without the specific permission and knowledge of a teacher or administrator.
Examples of instances in which a teacher may give permission for the use of music players include eighth grade play rehearsal, seventh and eighth grade fitness class, and while traveling on the bus to or from an athletic contest. Students need to assume that they do not have permission to use a music player unless they have been given specific directions otherwise.
Organization of the School
Glen Urquhart School is organized into two divisions: Lower School for Kindergarten through Grade Five, and Upper School for Grades Six through Eight. The administrative team consists of the following people:
- Dave Provost: Head of School
- Donna Staller: Director of the Lower School
- Gretchen Scharfe Forsyth: Director of the Upper School
- Leslie Marchesseault: Director of Admission
- MaryAnn LaCarubba: Director of Finance
- Carol Stewart: Academic Support Coordinator
- Bruce Emerson: Athletic Director & Student Activities Director
- Cotton Carlson: Special Events Coordinator
- Debra Diggins: Director of Summer Camp and After School Care
Promotion and Graduation
Promotion from one grade to the next is based on successful completion of the academic year, which includes satisfactory academic achievement and proper student conduct. There are no absolute requirements for promotion; each student is evaluated individually. If during the year there is a concern that a student may not be ready for promotion, parents are contacted, and a course of action is established. Students graduate at the end of the eighth grade. The requirements for graduation, like those for promotion, include the successful completion of all courses and adherence to the school’s code of conduct. Students who have not successfully completed all courses may be required to do summer work before being allowed to matriculate to the next grade or to graduate.
Referrals to Outside Resources
While the faculty and administration are available to help students and their families address learning or emotional difficulties, there are occasions when the school may suggest that a child would benefit from additional help.
This help could include an evaluation (learning, psychological, speech/language, neurological, etc.) or individual tutoring. These suggestions are made by the school administration after consultation with the school staff and discussions with the family. Suggestions for appropriate professional help are available from the Head of School or the Academic Support Coordinator, Carol Stewart.
Secondary School Placement
The school takes an active role in helping eighth graders gain acceptance to appropriate secondary schools. The Head of School, Dave Provost, and the Director of Upper school, Gretchen Forsyth coordinates this process. The school provides advice to families as they begin the process of visiting schools and submitting applications. Visits to schools for tours and interviews should be scheduled in the fall. Generally speaking, secondary schools require that the applications be completed no later than January 31st, but some schools have an earlier deadline. Parents need to be aware of all deadlines and make sure that the appropriate requests for records and recommendations are given to the school well in advance.
The school recommends that all seventh and eighth graders register for and take the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). This test is required by most of the secondary schools to which our students normally matriculate. The eighth graders generally take the test in December, and the seventh graders generally take it in April. There are, however, several dates from which to choose. Information about the SSAT is mailed to eighth grade homes in September and to seventh grade homes in February. Information about the SSAT may also be obtained from their web site: www.ssat.org.
It is the family’s responsibility to request recommendations from faculty and to provide the appropriate forms, as well as to provide the school with a list of schools to which the student is applying.
Many students visit a number of secondary schools each fall. Sometimes this has created problems because a student has missed too much schoolwork. The school requests that parents schedule visits so as to minimize lost classroom time. Parents should notify their child’s homeroom teacher of planned visits in advance, so disruption is minimized and make-up work can be arranged for each class. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange make-up work with each teacher prior to the planned absence.
Student Conduct at Glen Urquhart
Our philosophy of personal responsibility: At GUS, we encourage children to take responsibility for their own behavior and for their own learning. We want them to be respectful group members. We want to help students become self disciplined. When students are in control of themselves, they are able to participate in their own learning and school life in a positive, productive way. They are also able to work and play in collaborative groups more successfully.
All adults at GUS work to establish rapport with students through respect, trust and understanding. Teachers in all grades have strategies to help children solve behavioral and interpersonal problems as they arise. There are a variety of techniques used in each class to aid children with conflict resolution and problem solving.
Children respond well when they know what is expected of them. In order to be clear about the school’s behavioral expectations, we have created the One Rule. This rule embodies our philosophy and helps everyone to support it. Administrators, teachers and parents work together to support children’s growth, and to create clear expectations and consequences for children. In our experience, when parents and teachers have frequent communication, children are well served.
Our One Rule: “No student has the right to interfere with the learning or the well-being of another student or with the purpose of an activity.”
All students should be aware that their actions on and off campus reflect on the school community as well as on themselves. Therefore, a student’s behavior away from school can affect his/her disciplinary situation at school. This is particularly true in regard to the use of social networking sites, emails, and other electronic messages directed toward classmates. A student’s behavior in the electronic world should reflect the same adherence to the One Rule as it does in face-to-face interactions. Any communication to or about any other member of the school community is subject to the school’s published code of conduct and the consequences for misconduct.
Our classroom management strategies: With younger children, teachers make clear their behavioral expectations, keeping in mind the developmental level and the personalities of the children in their classes. At the beginning of the year, teachers work with children to create classroom rules. Throughout the year, teachers communicate often about expectations for individual and group behavior. There are age and grade appropriate consequences for children who are not able to meet these expectations.
Our consequences for misconduct: The faculty has identified certain behaviors that are always unacceptable and will always elicit a response from a teacher. Each of these behaviors is a clear violation of the One Rule. These behaviors include:
- disrupting class
- damaging or destroying property
- using offensive language (including making racial, ethnic, gender-based or sexual insults)
- the use of any illegal substance
Cheating on school work is considered a serious offense. In cases where cheating occurs on homework or classwork, the consequences are a zero on the assignment and an after-school detention. When cheating occurs on a test, the consequences are a zero on the test and a one day suspension from school, a record of which becomes a part of the student’s transcript. The consequences apply equally to the person who accepted information from a classmate and to the person who provided the information.
The responses to other violations of the One Rule vary in degree, depending on the circumstances, particularly the severity of the behavior and the disciplinary history of the individual involved. In addition to notifying parents in writing and/or by phone, the responses that may be used by the faculty or administration include the following:
- teacher/student conference
- dismissal from class
- loss of recess privilege
- after school detention
- suspension from school
- dismissal from school
The loss of recess privilege takes precedence over any other activities or appointments the student may have for that period of time, including meeting with a teacher or working on a school project.
After school detention will generally be served for one hour after school on the day following the inappropriate behavior. In the case of upper school students, it will be served from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday or 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays. Such things as orthodontist appointments or horseback riding lessons are not excuses that will be accepted for missing after school detention. If a student misses after school detention, then he/she may not return to class until the detention is served. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Head of School.
The decision to suspend a student from school must have the approval of the Head of School. Suspension has the following implications:
The student is still responsible for all schoolwork missed during the suspension. However, any schoolwork that is missed or is due the day of the suspension will be penalized 5% of the grade for each day, except in the case of cheating, as noted above, when the academic penalty is a zero on the assignment or test. (A three day suspension would result in a 15% penalty on all academic work that was due during the suspension.)
In order to be readmitted to the school, the student must write a letter to the Head of School and either the Director of the Upper School or the Director of the Lower School, whichever is appropriate, explaining his/her reasons for being readmitted and explaining his/her plan for ensuring that the inappropriate behavior will not be repeated. That letter must be hand-delivered on the morning the suspension is scheduled to end, prior to the student entering class.
Suspension from school becomes a part of the student’s permanent record. Secondary schools always inquire about a student’s disciplinary record, and informing them of serious disciplinary issues, such as the kind that have resulted in suspension, is part of our obligation to any future school that our students may attend.
The decision to dismiss a student from the school is the responsibility of the Head of School. Dismissal from Glen Urquhart School for disciplinary reasons does not relieve the parents of the obligation to pay the tuition for the full school year.
The school treats all violations seriously. However, some violations are, by their nature, more serious and are considered as major violations. Major violations in addition to cheating include, but are not limited to: fighting, harassment of another student (including bullying), defiance of a teacher’s instructions, destruction of school property or of another person’s property, stealing, and possession of alcohol, tobacco, or any illegal drug. A major violation will normally result in an after school detention or a suspension.
Parent/Guardian Conduct: GUS also expects parents and guardians to respect the school’s rules and to conduct themselves appropriately when on school grounds and when participating in GUS events. Parents or guardians who fail to cooperate with school officials, follow school guidelines, or who otherwise interfere with the school’s educational goals may be asked to leave an event or school grounds.
The school takes every precaution to protect students’ personal property, but cannot be responsible for theft or loss when personal items (especially sports equipment and electronic items) are brought to school.
Textbooks and Required Supplies
The school purchases textbooks and other classroom materials and loans them to students for the school year. This procedure eliminates the purchase of new texts each year for every student and is part of the school’s goal of avoiding fees beyond the stated comprehensive tuition. In borrowing texts and books, students/families assume the responsibility for returning the borrowed items in comparable condition. Families will be charged the full replacement cost for any book that is lost or no longer useable. When books are written in or excessively worn, a partial charge will be made. These charges are at the discretion of the school.
Supplies: All families will receive a supply list from the school as part of the summer mailing. Students are expected to arrive for the first day of school with all of the required supplies.
Part of the spirit of the school is a result of the willingness of parents to volunteer their time, energy and talents to assist with the many activities of the school.
The Glen Urquhart Parents’ Association coordinates volunteers in a variety of activities including school-wide special events, fund raising, parent education, and social activities. The Parents’ Association also provides room parents for each class to help teachers with class-related activities including coordinating field trip chaperones and organizing special class events.
Volunteer work-days are held twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Watch for more information on volunteering for these activities.
Parents also are frequently involved in classroom projects and activities. Volunteers are also welcome to assist in the school library, school office and art room. Please contact the homeroom teacher or subject teacher directly about volunteering in the classroom.
In order to comply with applicable Massachusetts laws, and to protect all students from the possibility of abuse, it is necessary for volunteers to adhere to the following procedures:
All parents and other individuals who intend to remain in the building for reasons other than simply walking their child to class or delivering a message to the office, must sign in with the receptionist and obtain a visitor’s pass.
All parents and other individuals who volunteer in the school must be under the supervision of a teacher or administrator for the time they are present in the school.
No adult may be alone with a child (other than his/her own) or a group of children while in the school or while engaged in a school activity, such as a field trip, unless the school has obtained CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) data on that individual. If chaperoning a field trip, for example, there must be at least two adults present with each group of children.
Any parent who volunteers to chaperone an overnight field trip must provide the school with CORI data. A form for that purpose is available from the Elaine Collupy. Only the Head of School is allowed to view CORI data. The form should be requested at least a month in advance.
SECTION THREE – PROGRAM
There are several components to our advisory system, giving students and teachers an opportunity to establish rapport and giving teachers an opportunity to provide the best possible counsel to students. We believe that we are working in a partnership with parents to help students grow responsibly and healthily toward adulthood. The components of the advisory system include the following.
Homeroom and Circle Time: Homeroom teachers meet with their students at the beginning of the day in the upper school. Homeroom time begins at 8:15 this year, five minutes earlier than previous years. The purpose for this is to devote more time to the “Developmental Designs” curriculum, which is an extension of “Open Circle” in lower school. The goals of the program are to promote a sense of community within the class and to develop positive social skills with each student, all of which is a part of our bullying prevention program. It is critical that students be on time for homeroom. Homeroom is also “home base.” Each upper school student has a large locker inside his/her homeroom. Students keep book bags and projects in the homeroom, eat lunch there, and do chores. At the end of the day there is a checkout procedure for making sure children are organized to leave for home as well. The class reviews the assignments for the day and makes sure they have all the appropriate materials.
Lower school students begin each day with “circle time,” which is an important part of the daily routine in the lower school. Students and their teachers share concerns about school life, current events and personal interests and triumphs. Classroom rules arise out of circle time talks and are reviewed there during the school year. Assembly or holiday themes and special all-school projects may also be the focus of circle time activities. Because of the importance of circle time, all students are required to be in school by 8:15 a.m. Those arriving after 8:15 will be recorded as “late” and must get a late slip from the office. In addition, all lower school classes participate in the “Open Circle” program, which is a curriculum developed by Wellesley College to help children develop healthy social skills.
Life Skills: The weekly Life Skills period in the upper school is a chance to explore nonacademic topics of value to young teenagers. Topics discussed in past years have included drug and alcohol use, peer relations, decision-making, communication, media education, preparation for secondary school and sexuality.
Student Advisory: Each upper school student has a teacher or administrator as an advisor. Generally there are seven or eight advisees in a group. Advisors keep an eye on their advisee’s social progress and emotional health while at Glen Urquhart School. They meet with their advisees once a week for lunch. Each advisory group has students from all three grades. Advisors are also available for informal discussions with their advisees. Advisors keep track of a student’s nonacademic issues, which can include everything from developing friendships to serious disciplinary infractions. During the lunch meetings the advisory groups discuss a topic of interest having to do with social development and peer relations. This is another component of our bullying prevention program.
Themes: Aesthetics, creativity, and character development are integral parts of the intellectual and academic program at Glen Urquhart. Carefully structured around themes for each grade, the program incorporates sequenced instruction in basic skill areas while allowing for enrichment in activities and complexity of ideas. The themes provide a framework for integrating material from different subject areas, including the arts. These themes are:
Kindergarten: The World Around Us
Grade 1: Who Am I?
Grade 2: Where Do I Live?
Grade 3: Where Am I Going?
Grade 4: The Sea
Grade 5: The Land
Grade 6: The People
Grade 7: The Individual: Who Am I?
Grade 8: Society: Where Do I Live? and
The Individual in Society: Where Am I Going?
The faculty and administration at Glen Urquhart share a set of values that make the school a productive educational environment. Adults respect and prize the individuality of each student. We acknowledge that students have particular gifts and specific strengths in their approaches to learning. Teachers watch for growing confidence in all aspects of a student’s life at the school and support that growth by encouraging each student to do his or her best.
Curriculum Maps: Curriculum maps provide a monthly summary of topics, skills, essential questions and assessment tools in each subject and each grade. Maps are available as a link from the school’s internal web site.
Glen Urquhart School makes extensive use of field trips as part of its curriculum at each grade level. We depend on parent help with field trip transportation and supervision. The school’s policy is that all children riding in cars be in seat belts or appropriately sized booster seats. Insurance regulations require that parents who drive on field trips must first be “registered” in the front office. Registration consists of filling out a simple form and providing copies of one’s drivers license and car registration with insurance information. The School reserves the right to deny any parent with a history of moving violations or who is observed driving unsafely the opportunity to drive on field trips. The same standards of conduct that apply on school grounds also apply on field trips.
Extended Field Trips: Beginning in fourth grade, each class has at least one extended field trip that involves being away from school (and home) for one to three nights.
Fourth Grade Trip to Mystic Seaport: Fourth graders participate in a three day, two night hands-on experience at Mystic Seaport. Students investigate and resolve issues that may have challenged early sailors and seashore communities. In addition, they climb the rigging, row small boats, and sleep on a square rigger. The past is brought to life as students create their own scrimshaw and sing sea chanteys.
Fifth Grade Trip to Chewonki: In conjunction with their theme of “The Land,” fifth graders spend three days and two nights at Camp Chewonki in Maine. While working in teams, they learn camping skills, develop respect for the environment, solve group challenges, and explore various ecological topics.
Upper School Retreat: On the Thursday and Friday of the second week of school the sixth, seventh and eighth graders will spend two days together at Camp Winaukee in New Hampshire working on individual and upper school goals. The object of this trip is to build a sense of community within the whole upper school and to set goals for the year.
Sixth Grade Nature Study Trip: In the spring the sixth graders go to Cape Cod Sea Camp on Cape Cod for a three day study of coastal ecology.
Wilderness Trips: In the spring the seventh graders, along with some of their teachers, spend a few days hiking together in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on a trip led by staff members of the Appalachian Mountain Club. A follow-up trip to the same area happens early in the fall of eighth grade. These trips prove to be an effective way to build class bonds, a sense of interdependence among students and faculty, and a respect for individual differences.
Eighth Grade Class Trip to New York City: In May the eighth graders go on a four day trip to New York City. The focus of the trip is on immigration and is a natural conclusion to their eighth grade study of United States history. Students look at immigration from a variety of viewpoints, including tours of the United Nations and Ellis Island. In addition, students attend a Broadway play and visit one or two museums. The cost for this trip is not included in tuition. Students conduct fundraisers during the year to help offset the additional cost, and parents are expected to pay an additional fee in the range of $450 to $500.
Definition of Homework: Homework is independent work assigned by a teacher that students accomplish outside the school day and without teacher assistance. The definition of homework does not include unfinished class work or work missed due to absences.
Purpose of Homework: Homework is assigned so that students may strengthen academic skills, solidify concepts learned in class, preview upcoming topics for class discussion, and develop responsible study habits. Homework also helps parents remain aware of the topics being studied in class.
Amount of Homework: Homework is assigned based on the maturity level and ability of the students in the class. The following chart suggests the average amount of homework given in each grade. These amounts should not be considered strict minimums or maximums because individual assignments may vary. Parents may use these amounts as guides to monitor student time devoted to homework. Sometimes students will have long term projects assigned where the deadline is weeks away. Consistent, daily work on such projects should be considered part of each day’s homework, and teachers and parents may need to help students develop a schedule to pace themselves so as to meet the deadline in a reasonable way.
- Kindergarten: Rare (occasional project with parent assistance)
- Grades 1&2: Occasional
- Grade 3: 30 Minutes (Monday through Thursday)
- Grade 4: 45 Minutes (Monday through Thursday)
- Grade 5:One Hour (Monday through Thursday, occasional weekends)
- Grade 6: One Hour
- Grade 7: One and a Half Hours
- Grade 8: Two Hours
Student Responsibilities: Students are responsible for noting and understanding the assignment, completing it to the best of their ability, and handing it in on the day it is due. Students need to be aware that teachers in grades six through eight may use homework assignments as part of the calculation of the student’s trimester grade. Homework that is submitted late will lose 5% of the grade for each day it is late.
Parent Responsibilities: Parents are responsible for helping their children develop a good routine for completing homework, including setting specific times and places for the student to work. Parents should help with directions and help children check their work. Parents should not do their children’s homework for them. Even though upper school students are developing more independence around homework, it is still important for parents to provide guidance and support.
Teacher Responsibilities: Teachers are responsible for assigning the homework and for providing the explanations and directions necessary to ensure that students can complete the work with reasonable success. Each teacher should set specific homework guidelines for his/her class. Teachers are also responsible for checking students’ homework and for notifying parents if students are having problems with homework assignments.
“Calling it Quits”: Occasionally the amount of time a student spends on homework may far exceed the guidelines listed above. If this happens and it becomes time, in the judgment of the parent, for the student to quit, it is perfectly acceptable for the parent to “call it quits” and write a note to the teacher. It is then the teacher’s responsibility to make the necessary allowances for this assignment and to make adjustments for future assignments.
Email Alerts: If a student’s assignments are late or poorly done, or if a student does not do well on projects or tests, the teacher of that subject will send home an Academic Alert via email so that parents will be informed of the deficiency. Students who continue to have problems with assignments may be required to stay after school or to come in during lunch recess to make up work.
Make-up Work: Students are responsible for making up missed assignments, quizzes and tests. Teachers will work with them to set up a reasonable schedule, but it is the student’s responsibility to be sure the work is completed. When your child misses school due to illness, please request at the time of reporting the absence that the homeroom teacher send assignments to the office. Upper School teachers will assign or ask for “homework buddies” who will take homework assignments or books home for them.
Johnson Gallery and Upper School Gallery
Named in honor of a founding school family, the Johnson Gallery features exhibits of local artists’ work. The Gallery is located on the first floor of the main building. The Upper School Gallery is located in the main hallway just inside the main entrance to the upper school building. Work by local artists is also exhibited in this gallery, as is student art. Both galleries are open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
All upper school students participate in an organized sports program, which is scheduled on Mondays through Thursdays for sixth, seventh and eighth graders, and three days a week for sixth graders. Sixth graders have sports before 3:00, and seventh and eighth graders have sports after 3:00. The four sessions per week fulfill students’ need for physical education, conditioning, and exposure to team or individual sports. Students have the opportunity to compete against other schools in soccer and cross country in the fall, basketball or physical fitness in the winter, and lacrosse or intramural sports in the spring. Students who are involved in a sports activity outside of school, such as a swim or gymnastics team, may “contract out” of the GUS requirement for sports. Speak with Bruce Emerson, Athletic Director, for more information (extension 118).
Sports Clothes Requirements: The school requires that all students be dressed appropriately for sports. Bruce Emerson will provide the students with the uniform requirements for each sport.
As part of the school’s evaluation procedures, standardized tests in the form of the “Comprehensive Testing Program” from Educational Records Bureau are administered to students in Grades 4-8 in the spring. Results will be received by the school prior to the end of the school year. The results are used by the school to evaluate curriculum as well as to give additional information about an individual student’s areas of strength and weakness. Parents may review their child’s performance on the test by making an appointment with the Head of School.
The school has used the results of these tests as only one aspect of our ongoing monitoring of student progress. Classroom assessment, progress reports, parent conferences and conversations with students and teachers all are part of monitoring student progress. When viewing standardized test results, one must realize it is a very limited picture of a child’s progress.
Glen Urquhart School’s Summer Program offers an engaging, creative and non-competitive experience for children ages 4-14. As an extension of Glen Urquhart School, the camp promotes the school’s philosophy of fostering artistic expression of ideas, respect for each other, care for our environment, and collaboration with peers.
In addition, GAIN@GUS, a free academic and recreational program runs for five weeks each summer for Beverly and Lynn students on the school campus. Glen Urquhart students work as interns in the program. Math and Language Arts are taught in the morning and afternoons are spent at West Beach and other recreational destination. Each week also includes a field trip in and around the north shore.
The camp offers weekly morning workshops from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and weekly afternoon activities (including swimming at West Beach) from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Participants may choose morning or full-day attendance. Free early morning drop-off begins at 8:00 a.m. After-Program Care is available from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The distinctive workshops, whether focused in visual arts, creative writing, music, performing arts, fitness, or science, are geared toward the type of discovery and personal development to be obtained outside of the normal school year. The aim is for children to gain specific insight or skills in areas of their own choosing, and to come at new knowledge in a very personal manner. The workshops are designed to be supportive, relaxed environments with a low student-to-instructor ratio. They are taught by GUS teachers, area teachers and local artists. Afternoon activities, such as playing at the beach, practicing a sport, or going on an outdoor excursion, are led by area teachers and talented college students, many of whom are GUS alums. A full-time registered nurse and certified lifeguard are on staff. The camp utilizes the GUS academic and athletic buildings, computer lab, play equipment, woodlands, fields and trails.
Pull-ups – “Pull-ups” are the opposite of “put-downs.” The GUS community encourages the use of pull-ups instead of insults or sarcasm. Pull-ups are integrated into various class activities and school meetings. Students are taught that a pull-up is much more effective in developing and maintaining friendships than is a put-down.
Partner Classes – Students in grades one through four are paired with a partner in the upper grades. Through shared activities, partners develop a special relationship that provides the younger child with an older buddy and gives the older child the opportunity to be nurturing. Friendships are extended across the school.
Evening with the Graduates – At “Evening with the Graduates,” the night before graduation, each graduating eighth grader gives a brief talk about something that they have come to believe in deeply. At the end of the evening, the Urquhart Tartan and the leadership which it symbolizes are passed from the outgoing graduates to the incoming eighth grade in a traditional candlelit ceremony.
Graduation – Graduation at Glen Urquhart is indeed special. A bagpipe band leads a procession of trustees, faculty and graduates into a large tent on the green behind Braemar for a ceremony that features GUS graduates as speakers and personalized introductions of each graduating eighth grader. The President of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School hand out diplomas. The bagpipe band then leads those assembled into Braemar for a reception.
SECTION FOUR – DAILY ROUTINES AND CALENDAR
Attendance and Reporting Absences
Students are expected to attend school every day unless they are ill. In case of illness, please call the school before 8:30 AM. At the time of reporting your child’s illness, you may want to request that homework assignments be sent home. A note will be placed in the teacher’s mailbox with that request. This will ensure that the teacher will have ample time to compile the assignments.
Your child is important to us! Notification of your child’s absence verifies her/his safety. If a child is absent and a call has not been received from a parent by 9:00, someone will call home to ensure that a parent is aware of the child’s whereabouts.
Students arriving in their homerooms after 8:15 are late. When arriving late to school, a lower school student must pick up a late slip from the receptionist in the lobby. Upper school students must get a late slip from Elaine Collupy. This slip must be given to his/her homeroom teacher or class teacher before joining the day’s activities.
In Lower School frequent lateness causes the student to miss many circle times, which are critical to the curriculum and philosophy at Glen Urquhart School. In Upper School frequent lateness leads to missing homeroom and the daily activities that are part of our bullying prevention program. Homeroom serves to help the student develop those social ties to classmates that are necessary for the healthy emotional development of adolescents, as well as providing time for getting organized for the day.
If you need to pick up your child early, please send a note to school or call the school office. Students are to remain in class until a parent is here to pick them up. Please report to the receptionist in the lower school or to Elaine Collupy in the upper school, and someone will get your child out of class. Every student who leaves school early must be signed out by following the above procedure.
Car Pool Procedures
The safety of our students is our paramount concern. The procedures that follow are based on that concern. We respectfully ask parents to follow them in order to ensure that the school driveway is a safe place.
- Please do not use your cell phone in the car pool line
- The front driveway (entrance off Hart Street) is to be used only for dropping off and picking up students.
- Please do not leave your car while in the car pool line.
- If you need to stop and talk to a staff member, or if you need to come into the building for any reason, please park in the back parking lot (entrance off Greenwood Ave). Parking spaces in that lot along the curb in front of Braemar are reserved for school parents.
- There are also parking spaces reserved for lower school parents on the right side of the driveway as you head out to Hart Street. Please pull up past the usual carpool exit area and park your car and accompany your child into school on the grassy area, not in the driveway.
- Drivers are reminded that the school driveway is congested with children and cars at arrival and dismissal times; please stay to the right while waiting to pick up or drop off children, so that moving traffic may pass to your left.
- Children should enter and exit cars only from the passenger (right) side.
- If you come to school during the school day and need to park, please park in the back parking lot only. Parking anywhere in the front limits access for emergency vehicles, trash pickup, and visitors. The visitor spaces are for visitors who are not school parents.
- 3:00 P.M. Dismissal (Grades 1-5 Monday through Friday and Kindergarten on Tuesday and Thursday): Cars should be lined up around the perimeter of the driveway, with the first car stopping at the “Dismissal line begins here” sign. People should not try to pull out around cars unless directed by a staff member.
- Arrival: Before School Care is held in Braemar. Students who arrive at school before 8:00 should be dropped off at the front entrance of Braemar by entering the back parking lot off Greenwood Avenue. Continue in a counterclockwise direction around the parking lot so that the student may exit the car from the passenger side.
- Lower school students arriving after 8:00 should be dropped off in the circle so that they can enter the school through the main entrance. Cars should line up and drop off students at the “bottom” of the driveway (by the sawhorses), where administrators will unload two or three cars at a time. Please do not pull ahead of other cars in the line in order to fill in a space.
- Upper school students may be dropped off at the bottom of the driveway with lower school students, or they may be dropped off in front of the upper school building by entering the back parking lot off Greenwood Ave.
- 12:00 Dismissal (Kindergarten on MWF): Please park along the driveway circle rather than in the visitor parking spots. You may meet your child at the end of the walk, or your child may walk around the driveway path to meet your car. Children must never walk across the driveway while cars are pulling out, even if they are accompanied by a parent.
- 4:00 Dismissal (Grades 6-8, Monday through Thursday): All students dismissed at 4:00 need to be picked up from the back parking lot along the sidewalk that runs from the upper school building to Braemar. Seventh and eighth graders will be dismissed from sports at this time. Sixth grade students, who have had sports earlier in the day, will be dismissed from their homerooms and proceed to the back lot for pickup. Any students in after-school care who are leaving at 4:00 will also be taken to the back lot for pickup.
- Upper school students who remain after 4:00 to meet with a tutor, or for some other purpose, must inform an administrator (Mr. Provost, Mrs. Forsyth, Mrs. Staller, or Mrs. Marchesseault) of their purpose and schedule.
- Friday and “Special Event” Dismissal: In order to eliminate the backup in the front driveway that sometimes forces cars to stop on Hart Street, there are different procedures for car pool on Fridays and on other days when the whole school is dismissed at the same time (early dismissal, special event days, etc.) On those days, all car pools that contain any upper school (grades 6-8) students are loaded in the back parking lot. Lower school students who are in car pools with upper school students need to go to the back parking lot. Please enter off Greenwood Ave. and continue in a counterclockwise direction, picking up your students along the sidewalk that lies between Braemar and the Upper School Building. Car pools that contain only lower school (grades K-5) will pick up in the front driveway.
All students need to be picked up no later than the end of the After School Program at 5:30. There are no provisions for supervision after this time. In an emergency, the school will make every effort to be of assistance, but the Director of Extended Care must be notified of the circumstances so that alternative arrangements can be made.
- The school day officially begins at 8:15 for all students.
- Dismissal for kindergarten students is at noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at 3:00 on Tuesday and Thursday.
- Dismissal for first through fifth grade students is at 3:00 every day.
- Dismissal for sixth through eighth grade students is at 4:00 Monday through Thursday, and at 3:00 on Friday.
Our daily schedule of classes is based on a six-day cycle. The advantages of this cycle include the following:
- It provides for a more relaxed, evenly paced schedule.
- Class periods vary in length, so that some classes are 50 minutes, some 60 minutes, and some 75 minutes, This provides for a variety of teaching styles and methods, as well as time within class for students to do extended work on long term projects, or to have other special activities planned, such as a debate or mock trial.
- Classes meet on different days of the week from one week to the next. Thus, no class will be missed more frequently than another because of a preponderance of Monday or Friday holidays.
- All classes will have at least one day during the six day cycle when they don’t meet, which adds to the more relaxed pace of the schedule. The total number of minutes each class meets per week, however, will be the same or more than in previous schedules.
- Note: This new schedule does not affect the kindergarten noon dismissals on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, nor does it affect the 3:00 dismissal for all students every Friday.
- The days for this six day cycle will be labeled A, B, C, D, E, and F. A calendar of which day in the cycle happens on each calendar day in the school year will be posted on the web site. This schedule will not change or be affected by unscheduled days off, such as snow days.
Recess: Children are expected to go outside at recess unless the weather is extreme. It is important that students be dressed appropriately for the season. Warm coats and hats, boots, and mittens are needed in the winter. Teachers in each grade will let parents know about special arrangements for a change of clothing at school. If children are too ill to go out for recess, we urge parents to keep them at home where they can rest and be comfortable.
Before School Program: The Before School Program is available to families of children in Kindergarten through Grade Eight. The hours are 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. This service is provided to help working parents who need to drop off their children before 8:00, and to give all teachers the opportunity to start the day calmly before the children enter the classroom for the day. If you need to leave your child at school prior to 8:00, he/she must go directly to the Before School Program for supervision, which meets in Braemar. There is a fee for this additional service.
After School Program: The After School Program is available to all lower school students, grades K-5. Parents of kindergarten students may use After School to provide care for their children on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 12:00 to 3:00, and parents of all lower school students may use After School for child care until 5:30 each school day. In addition, there is supervision on early dismissal days and on parent/teacher conference days. If you are interested, please contact the Director of Extended Care, Debora Diggins, at extension 131. After School care is available on a regular or drop-in basis. There are different fees for each. Simple snacks (e.g., crackers and juice) are available to all children. The program includes outdoor games, arts and crafts activities, indoor games, computer activities, homework time, and quiet time. The main goal is for the children to have a relaxed and enjoyable time at the end of their school day. The Director of Extended Care handles enrollment, and the Business Office handles billing for the Extended Care Programs. If your child’s schedule changes, please send a note to the attention of the Director of Extended Care.
SASSY (“Skills After School, Say Yes!”) – SASSY is an after school program that provides a variety of creative and educational enrichment workshops to our students. Some classes are held weekly throughout the year, such as ballet and chess. Some classes are in a series, such as pottery or the SSAT Prep course. Others, such as “Gingerbread House Decorating,” may be one session. Notices and information about these programs are mailed at the start of the year and are posted in the Tartan throughout the year.
The library is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. When books are overdue, a student is given as many as three notifications by card directly to the classroom; the third and final notification gives a final return and billing date. If the books are not returned or replaced by the final billing date, parents will be billed for the full replacement cost, and the final report card will be held until the fee is paid.
If school is canceled or the opening is delayed because of dangerous travel conditions, this information will be sent to parents by way of a phone call through the School Messenger system. A recorded message from the Head of School, or another administrator, will inform parents about any changes in the school routine.
In addition, school closings or delays will be announced on the following radio and television stations: WBZ-1030AM, WRKO-680AM and Boston television channels 4, 5 and 7.
An announcement will also be placed on the school’s web site at www.gus.org.
Whenever we have a delayed opening, school will always begin at 10:00. Students should arrive between 9:45 and 10:00 and be prepared for classes to begin at 10:00.
The School Year
The academic calendar is divided into three marking periods, or trimesters. The ending dates for each of the trimesters are as follows:
First Trimester: November 6
Second Trimester: February 27
Third Trimester: June 9
Glen Urquhart School takes pride in the traditions and special events which stem from its philosophy and the Urquhart heritage.
Assemblies, Holiday Themes and Celebrations: Assemblies featuring a guest artist or speaker are held about once a month. They provide an opportunity to build community across the grades, to enrich the curriculum, and to expose the students to a variety of cultural experiences.
Special assemblies and all-school celebrations include:
Grand Friends’ Day, to be held on November 2nd this year, is an opportunity for all students to share their school experience with extended family and friends. The majority of our students invite a grandparent. If a grandparent is not available, we welcome your child’s special adult friend such as an extended family member, a neighbor, baby-sitter, past teacher or you, the parent. This day includes a variety of sharing activities including a morning coffee, classroom visits, and a music performance. Each child is encouraged to invite at least one grand friend to enjoy this special day.
Bread Day takes place on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Families in designated grades are asked to bake breads from their family heritage, and the assembly explores the rich variety of grains that serve as the “staffs-of-life” around the world, focusing on bread as a symbol of world unity and ethnic diversity.
The Winter Holiday begins with the Solstice Assembly, which celebrates the beginning of winter with music, stories, and legends of different cultures. Our Solstice Assembly this year occurs on December 20th at 10:30 AM with a noon dismissal.
May Day is an all-school celebration of spring. Students create flower baskets to share with neighbors, and Wednesday, May 1st. There will be a special schedule for that day.
Evening with the Graduates occurs the night before Graduation. Each eighth grader delivers a brief talk, and the graduating class passes on the “Tartan”, a symbol of leadership, to the seventh graders in a special candle lighting ceremony.
Graduation occurs on Thursday, June 13th, at 4:00 p.m. in a beautiful ceremony conducted under a tent in the field behind Braemar. It is part of the Glen Urquhart philosophy that no awards or “prizes” are presented at Graduation. Instead, each individual graduate is highlighted and thanked for his/her contributions to the life of the school.
The GUS website (gus.org) is the primary source of information about events at school. All parents should become familiar with the site and should check two or three times a week to view new postings. A weekly email will be sent each Friday to highlight upcoming events and to alert families to new articles on the web site. A primary goal for the site this year is to have more student generated content in the form of podcasts, student produced movies, and examples of student work. (The school policy of not identifying students by name on the public site will continue.) A secondary goal is to make the site more interactive by providing opportunities for parents and visitors to respond to postings on the site.
GLEN URQUHART SCHOOL SONG
Lyrics and Music by Georgia Bills
“A glen is said to be, a green shady place
Castle Urquhart stands reflected in Loch Ness
These are the symbols we use to help us find
The journey to the Harmony of Life
We have some words we share together on our way
Mean well, speak well, do well, together on our way
Trust and go forward Glen Urquhart School
Trust and go forward out into the world.”
Copyright © 2012 Glen Urquhart School. All rights reserved. Glen Urquhart School | 74 Hart St. Beverly, MA 01915 | 978 927-1064